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BHS missing Malachi 4


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#1 Daniel Wee

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 08:39 PM

I seem to be missing the Hebrew text for Malachi 4 in BHS. Is this just me or is there something missing in the text?

#2 Robert Holmstedt

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 08:56 PM

In the Hebrew Bible, Malachi only has 3 chapters and ends with 3:24.

English translations follow the Latin Vulgate and start a new chapter at 3:19 [= 4:1 English].

Confusing, eh?
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#3 Daniel Wee

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 07:21 AM

Thanks for the reply Robert. I suspected something like that might be the case but then I did an online search and found a few sites such as the following:-

http://bhcv.hebrewta...m/malachi/4.htm

where they allegedly show Malachi 4 form the BHS and that was what confused me.

Okay, so what you're saying is that the numbering is different but all the verses are there. Got it. Thanks.

#4 Daniel Wee

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 07:39 AM

I'm not sure if this next Malachi 4 question belongs here but here goes anyway:-

The BHS text for Malachi 4:2 (Eng) or Malachi 3:20 (Hebrew) is a well known verse which reads in the NKJV as "healing in His wings" and in the NAS and NRSV as "healing in its wings". In the Hebrew I see this as בּכנפיה which, if I am not wrong, translates to "in her wings". I am guessing that the reason it got translated as "His" or "its" was because the translators took the referent as שמש which could be masculine or neuter (though there isn't actually a neuter case.) Is this right?

Daniel

#5 R. Mansfield

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 11:48 AM

The BHS text for Malachi 4:2 (Eng) or Malachi 3:20 (Hebrew) is a well known verse which reads in the NKJV as "healing in His wings" and in the NAS and NRSV as "healing in its wings". In the Hebrew I see this as בּכנפיה which, if I am not wrong, translates to "in her wings". I am guessing that the reason it got translated as "His" or "its" was because the translators took the referent as שמש which could be masculine or neuter (though there isn't actually a neuter case.) Is this right?


Daniel, you provided me with a bit of Bible study this morning because after I read your question, I had to look into this. "in her wings" is indeed the literal translation of the Hebrew. I noticed that Ralph Smith in the Word Biblical Commentary translates it this way. In looking at a few commentaries, I saw that the early church associated "the sun of righteousness" with Christ, so I imagine that's why the NKJV uses his. They are just being a bit interpretive, I think.

I can speculate that most English translations translate the phrase as "in its wings" because we generally think of the sun in neuter terms. That is, we think of the sun as an it, not a she.

Interestingly, in the NAC, Ray Clendenen notes that in the ANE, the sun's rays were often depicted as the wings of a bird, which accounts for the image itself.

Edited by R. Mansfield, 31 January 2012 - 11:52 AM.

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#6 Joe Weaks

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 12:08 PM

chair, lamp, house, sun, rock in Hebrew (and Greek) all have grammatical gender, of course (Fem, Masc, Neut), but for non-animal nouns, we translate in English as neuter, unless we're trying to sound classically poetic or something. But it should be translated at "its".
However, that committee should be ashamed of itself to be so interpretive as to provide "his wings" for this structure. That's just poor and unnecessary to so determine for the reader what a reference should be.
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