Posts Tagged With: syntax

Translating the Twelve: Hosea 1:7-9

Today’s “Translating the Twelve” is Hosea 1:7-9

7 וְאֶת־בֵּ֤ית יְהוּדָה֙ אֲרַחֵ֔ם וְהֽוֹשַׁעְתִּ֖ים בַּיהוָ֣ה אֱלֹֽהֵיהֶ֑ם וְלֹ֣א אֽוֹשִׁיעֵ֗ם בְּקֶ֤שֶׁת וּבְחֶ֨רֶב֙ וּבְמִלְחָמָ֔ה בְּסוּסִ֖ים וּבְפָרָשִֽׁים׃

8 וַתִּגְמֹ֖ל אֶת־לֹ֣א רֻחָ֑מָה וַתַּ֖הַר וַתֵּ֥לֶד בֵּֽן׃

9 וַיֹּ֕אמֶר קְרָ֥א שְׁמֹ֖ו לֹ֣א עַמִּ֑י כִּ֤י אַתֶּם֙ לֹ֣א עַמִּ֔י וְאָנֹכִ֖י לֹֽא־אֶהְיֶ֥ה לָכֶֽם׃ ס

7. But on the house of Judah I will have compassion1 and I will deliver them2 by Yahweh their God. Yet I will not deliver them3 by the bow or by the sword or by war with horses and with horsemen.

8. After she had weaned4 “No Mercy” she conceived5 and she bore6 a son.

9. Then He said7, “Call8 his name ‘Not My People’ for y’all are not my people and I am9 not y’all’s.

Below I’ll parse the verbs and briefly discuss some of my syntactical choices if I have time and remember.

Syntactical Choices

7. “On the house…”–There’s no preposition here, but I thought the addition smoothed out the English some.
“By Yahweh…by the bow, etc”–using the ב as one of agency/means.
“with horses/horsemen”–The pattern broke here of ו + ב so I think horses and horsemen may be describing the type of war rather than how God is not going to be saving his people. Not a huge issue.

8. “After she…”–Temporal use of the ו here with the wayyiqtol. She probably waited until after she weaned the child to have another. Not a lot different than when, but this is more explicit.

9. As much as I hate saying y’all and y’all’s, I did want to bring out the plural aspect of the 2nd person pronoun here. Please have mercy on me.


1. Piel yqtl 1cs רחם
2. Hif wqtl 1cs + 3mp suffix ישע
3. Hif yqtl 1cs + 3mp suffix ישע
4. Qal wyyqtl 3fs גמל
5. Qal wyyqtl 3fs הרה
6. Qal wyyqtl 3fs ילד
7. Qal wyyqtl 3ms אמר
8. Qal imv ms קרא
9. Qal yqtl 1cs היה

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Translating the Twelve: Hosea 1:5-6

Today’s “Translating the Twelve” is Hosea 1:5-6

5 וְהָיָ֖ה בַּיּ֣וֹם הַה֑וּא וְשָֽׁבַרְתִּי֙ אֶת־קֶ֣שֶׁת יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל בְּעֵ֖מֶק יִזְרְעֶֽאל׃

6 וַתַּ֤הַר עוֹד֙ וַתֵּ֣לֶד בַּ֔ת וַיֹּ֣אמֶר לוֹ֔ קְרָ֥א שְׁמָ֖הּ לֹ֣א רֻחָ֑מָה כִּי֩ לֹ֨א אוֹסִ֜יף ע֗וֹד אֲרַחֵם֙ אֶת־בֵּ֣ית יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל כִּֽי־נָשֹׂ֥א אֶשָּׂ֖א לָהֶֽם׃

5. And it will be1 in that day, that I will break2 the bow of Israel in the valley of Jezreel.

6. Then she became pregnant3 again and she bore4 a daughter. Then He said5 to him, “Call6 her name ‘no mercy’ for I will have mercy7 no more8 on the house of Israel, that I will certainly9 forgive10 them.

Below I’ll parse the verbs and briefly discuss some of my syntactical choices if I have time and remember.

Syntactical Choices

6. “Mercy no more”–literally ‘I will not increase again, I will have mercy.’ The first verb often takes an imperfect and merges together like a helping verb. In other words, God is done having mercy on Israel.

“That I will certainly forgive them.”–This is a double doozey. This phrase is a combination of infinitive absolute + finite verb of the same root to show emphasis. It is also, however a figurative use of the word that is most often translated ‘to lift, raise etc’. I’m not 100% convinced that this is what is meant. Part of me wants to say he is using it to mean that God isn’t taking Israel as his bride (of course the masculine plural object make that understanding difficult). The third option is to say that God is rising up against them. Grammatically this is the easiest to defend, but usually when נשא is used like that there is another word mixed in as an indirect object. I’m going to stick with ‘forgive’ until I see more evidence otherwise.


1. Qal wqtl 3ms היה
2. Qal wqtl 1cs שבר
3. Qal wyyqtl 3fs הרה
4. Qal wyyqtl 3fs ילד
5. Qal wyyqtl 3ms אמר
6. Qal imv ms קרא
7. Hif yqtl 1cs יסף
8. Piel yqtl 1cs רחם
9. Qal yqtl 1cs נשא
10. Qal inf abs נשא

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