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Sunday, November 04, 2007

One too many men ...

Not that there shouldn't be a lot of men.

Mike is doing a comparison of the TNIV and the NIV here. It seems there are not enough changes.

I was trying to explain to someone today that Serah or Serach, the daughter of Asher, also the female equivalent of Methuselah since she occurs in two different time periods, was able to go out to war. This is not to advocate a women in combat. However, if your homeland is threatened, ...

The problem is that the savvy man I was debating with skewered me with the TNIV. He pointed out that only men are able to go out to war.
    "Take a census of the men twenty years old or more, as the LORD commanded Moses." These were the Israelites who came out of Egypt: Numbers 26:4
The ESV is much better, also supplying a footnote.
    "Take a census of the people,[a] from twenty years old and upward," as the LORD(A) commanded Moses. The people of Israel who came out of the land of Egypt were:


    1. Numbers 26:4 Take a census of the people is implied (compare verse 2)
I am actually a little fuzzy on what the Hebrew text says at this point but I can't find the word for men. Does it say "among the son from twenty years" or am I just imagining this? Bleat.


At Sun Nov 04, 08:45:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

from what I understand, "take a census of the people" is gapped in the MT.

At Sun Nov 04, 08:57:00 PM, Blogger Yvette said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At Sun Nov 04, 09:00:00 PM, Blogger Yvette said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At Sun Nov 04, 09:08:00 PM, Blogger Yvette said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At Sun Nov 04, 09:20:00 PM, Blogger Yvette said...


What about Deborah?

Jdg 4:4 Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was leading Israel at that time.
Jdg 4:5 She held court under the Palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites came to her to have their disputes decided.
Jdg 4:6 She sent for Barak son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali and said to him, “The LORD, the God of Israel, commands you: ‘Go, take with you ten thousand men of Naphtali and Zebulun and lead the way to Mount Tabor.
Jdg 4:7 I will lure Sisera, the commander of Jabin’s army, with his chariots and his troops to the Kishon River and give him into your hands.’ ”
Jdg 4:8 Barak said to her, “If you go with me, I will go; but if you don’t go with me, I won’t go.”
Jdg 4:9 “Very well,” Deborah said, “I will go with you. But because of the way you are going about this, the honor will not be yours, for the LORD will hand Sisera over to a woman.” So Deborah went with Barak to Kedesh,
Jdg 4:10 where he summoned Zebulun and Naphtali. Ten thousand men followed him, and Deborah also went with him.

At Sun Nov 04, 09:26:00 PM, Blogger Yvette said...

Sorry about the comments removed. I had not read your post close enough and stated some of the things you already said.

My Hebrew is so rusty, but I'm going to try and read some more about your question.

BTW, I got to your post via the women in combat conversations. I appreciate your insights and candidness.

At Sun Nov 04, 09:34:00 PM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...

Hi Yvette,

What I really meant to say was there can never be too many men. But in this case it seems that Serah was a woman.

About Deborah. Some feel she just went along. But Serah seems to have been the real thing.

At Mon Nov 05, 01:10:00 AM, Blogger DjR said...

Suzanne wrote: Does it say "among the son from twenty years" or am I just imagining this?

It's just the idiom for "20 years old". The text is a bit, ahh, compressed here! If you compare at Num 4:2-3, you'll see the part that's “assumed”; and cf. 26:2.

And here's the HALOT entry for ben in age formulae:

[quote]—8. in expressions specifying age (vid. בַּת 4): aged (so much) (MHb. JArm. Palm. Syr. Arb. Soq.): בֶּן־שְׁמֹנַת יָמִים eight days old Gn 17.12, בֶּן־שָׁנָה one year old Ex 12.5 (1S 13.1 the number is missing), בֶּן־שְׁנָתוֹ (“situation specification” Landsberger JNES 8:288, vid. ‪יוֹם ‪3, ‪חֹדֶשׁ ‪2, BL 518/1) one year old Lv 23.12 (6 x), בֶּן־חֲמֵשׁ מֵאוֹת שָׁנָה Gn 5.32, בִּן־לַיְלָה one night old, meaning grown up in one night Jon 4.10[/quote]

Don't know how Blogger will cope with that bit of unicode!

I guess in 26:4, you could gloss it as something like: “From the 20-year-olds and upwards (as YHWH commanded Moses), the Israelites who came out of Egypt were:”

David Reimer

At Mon Nov 05, 06:37:00 AM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...


Thanks. That is what I was looking for. I have the 1971 Holladay edition. I looked for this, but I didn''t notice it among all the other entries. It is only one short line there.

Anyway, I never did make my point - it doesn't say man. Serah seems to have been a rather anomalous character, I must admit.


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