Ezra 8

 

In this chapter Ezra writes in the first person.  As a result, numerous unacknowledged errors can be found in this chapter.  According to my theory of inverting vavs, the vav prefix of a first-person imperfect verb should not be inverting.  In this chapter there are numerous cases of incorrectly inverting vavs prefixing such verbs.  I will point them out where they occur.  I believe these occurrences to be oversights by the scribe, possibly because he confused his Hebrew with the Aramaic (which has no inverting vavs) in previous chapters.

וְאֵלֶּה רָאשֵׁי אֲבֹתֵיהֶם וְהִתְיַחְשָׂם הָעֹלִים עִמִּי בְּמַלְכוּת אַרְתַּחְשַׁסְתְּא הַמֶּלֶךְ מִבָּבֶל׃   8:1

Ezra 8:1   Now these are the heads of their fathers' houses and their genealogy of those coming up with me during the reign of Artaxerxes, the king, from Babylon.

מִבְּנֵי פִינְחָס גֵּרְשֹׁם מִבְּנֵי אִיתָמָר דָּנִיֵּאל מִבְּנֵי דָוִיד חַטּוּשׁ׃   8:2

Ezra 8:2   From the sons of Phinehas, Gershom; from the sons of Ithamar, Daniel; from the sons of David, Hattush;

מִבְּנֵי שְׁכַנְיָה מִבְּנֵי פַרְעֹשׁ זְכַרְיָה וְעִמֹּו הִתְיַחֵשׂ לִזְכָרִים מֵאָה וַחֲמִשִּׁים׃   8:3

Ezra 8:3   from the sons of Shecaniah:  From the sons of Parosh, Zechariah; and with him reckoning genealogically regarding males, a hundred and fifty.

מִבְּנֵי פַּחַת מוֹאָב אֶלְיְהוֹעֵינַי בֶּן־זְרַחְיָה וְעִמּוֹ מָאתַיִם הַזְּכָרִים׃   8:4

Ezra 8:4   From the sons of Pahath-moab,  Eliehoenai son of Zerahiah, and with him two hundred males;

מִבְּנֵי שְׁכַנְיָה בֶּן־יַחֲזִיאֵל וְעִמּוֹ שְׁלֹשׁ מֵאוֹת הַזְּכָרִים׃   8:5

Ezra 8:5   from the sons of Shecaniah, the son of Jahaziel, and with him three hundred males;

וּמִבְּנֵי עָדִין עֶבֶד בֶּן־יוֹנָתָן וְעִמּוֹ חֲמִשִּׁים הַזְּכָרִים׃   8:6

Ezra 8:6   and from the sons of Adin, Ebed son of Jonathan, and with him fifty males;

וּמִבְּנֵי עֵילָם יְשַׁעְיָה בֶּן־עֲתַלְיָה וְעִמּוֹ שִׁבְעִים הַזְּכָרִים׃   8:7

Ezra 8:7   and from the sons of Elam, Jeshaiah son of Athaliah, and with him seventy males,

וּמִבְּנֵי שְׁפַטְיָה זְבַדְיָה בֶּן־מִיכָאֵל וְעִמּוֹ שְׁמֹנִים הַזְּכָרִים׃   8:8

Ezra 8:8   and from the sons of Shephatiah, Zebadiah son of Michael, and with him eighty males;

מִבְּנֵי יוֹאָב עֹבַדְיָה בֶּן־יְחִיאֵל וְעִמּוֹ מָאתַיִם וּשְׁמֹנָה עָשָׂר הַזְּכָרִים׃   8:9

Ezra 8:9   from the sons of Joab, Obadiah son of Jehiel, and with him two hundred and eighteen males,

וּמִבְּנֵי שְׁלוֹמִית בֶּן־יוֹסִפְיָה וְעִמּוֹ מֵאָה וְשִׁשִּׁים הַזְּכָרִים׃   8:10

Ezra 8:10   and from the sons of Shelomith, Ben-josiphiah and with him a hundred and sixty males,

וּמִבְּנֵי בֵבַי זְכַרְיָה בֶּן־בֵּבָי וְעִמּוֹ עֶשְׂרִים וּשְׁמֹנָה הַזְּכָרִים׃   8:11

Ezra 8:11   and from the sons of Bebai, Zechariah son of Bebai, and with him twenty-eight males,

וּמִבְּנֵי עַזְגָּד יוֹחָנָן בֶּן־הַקָּטָן וְעִמּוֹ מֵאָה וַעֲשָׂרָה הַזְּכָרִים׃   8:12

Ezra 8:12   and from the sons of Azgad, Johanan son of Hakkatan, and with him a hundred and ten males,

וּמִבְּנֵי אֲדֹנִיקָם אַחֲרֹנִים וְאֵלֶּה שְׁמוֹתָם אֱלִיפֶלֶט יְעִיאֵל וּשְׁמַעְיָה וְעִמָּהֶם שִׁשִּׁים הַזְּכָרִים׃   8:13

Ezra 8:13   and from the sons of Adonikam, the last, and these are their names, Eliphelet, Jeiel, and Shemaiah and with them sixty males,

וּמִבְּנֵי בִגְוַי עוּתַי (וְזָבוּד) [וְזַכּוּר] וְעִמֹּו שִׁבְעִים הַזְּכָרִים׃   8:14

Ezra 8:14   and from the sons of Bigvai, Uthai, and Zabbud, and with him seventy males.

As far as I am concerned, there’s something peculiar and interesting about the “error” in this verse:  In about 30% of the popular bibles, the name in the parentheses, Zabbud, is replaced with what is considered to be the correct name, Zaccur (in the brackets).  Now the first name appears only one other place in the bible while the latter name appears 17 more times.  But, other than by frequency of appearance, there is no way to be sure which name is the correct one.  I wonder how the decision was made to mark this name as an error.  Majority vote?  Most likely.

וָאֶקְבְּצֵם אֶל־הַנָּהָר הַבָּא אֶל־אַהֲוָא וַנַּחֲנֶה שָׁם יָמִים שְׁלֹשָׁה וָאָבִינָה בָעָם וּבַכֹּהֲנִים וּמִבְּנֵי לֵוִי   8:15

 לֹא־מָצָאתִי שָׁם׃

Ezra 8:15   And I gathered them to the river going to Ahava and we camped there three days.  And I observed among the people and among the priests that I found none from the sons of Levi there.

According to me, the first word in this verse is incorrect, as I mentioned at the start of this chapter.  Translated as and I gathered them, the correct Hebrew should be ~h,ytceB.q ynIa]w.  Then the seventh word, translated as and we camped, is also incorrect.  It should be written as WnynIx Wnx.n:a]w.  Finally, the eleventh word, translated as and I observed, is incorrect.  It should be ytinOyB ynIa]w.

וָאֶשְׁלְחָה לֶאֱלִיעֶזֶר לַאֲרִיאֵל לִשְׁמַעְיָה וּלְאֶלְנָתָן וּלְיָרִיב וּלְאֶלְנָתָן וּלְנָתָן וְלִזְכַרְיָה וְלִמְשֻׁלָּם רָאשִׁים   8:16

Ezra 8:16   So I sent for Eliezer, for Ariel, for Shemaiah, and for Elnathan, and for Jarib, and for Elnathan, and for Nathan, and for Zechariah, and Meshullam, the chiefs; and for Joiarib, and for Elnathan, the teachers.

Another improperly inverting vav prefix, as mentioned at the start of this chapter.  The first word, translated as so I sent, should be written as yTix.l;v ynIa]w.

וָאֹוצִאָה) [וָאֲצַוֶּה] אֹותָם עַל־אִדֹּו הָרֹאשׁ בְּכָסִפְיָא הַמָּקֹום וָאָשִׂימָה בְּפִיהֶם דְּבָרִים לְדַבֵּר   8:17

 אֶל־אִדֹּו אָחִיו (הַנְּתוּנִים) [הַנְּתִינִים] בְּכָסִפְיָא הַמָּקֹום לְהָבִיא־לָנוּ מְשָׁרְתִים לְבֵית אֱלֹהֵינוּ׃

Ezra 8:17   And I had them go to Iddo, the chief, in the locality of Casiphia, and I put in their mouths the words to speak to Iddo, his brethren who were situated in the locality of Casiphia, to bring to us who were from the ministers for the house of our God.

Two more improperly inverting vavs:  First, the word before the first left parenthesis and the word in the first set of brackets are incorrect.  Translated as and I had ... go, their vav prefixes should be non-inverting.  According to me, the correct Hebrew should be yTik.l;h ynIa]w:..  The word in the pair of parentheses, Nethinim, is misspelled.  The correction is in the second set of brackets.  Finally, the fourth-from-last Hebrew word in the top line, which is hm'yfia'w", translated as and I put, also contains an inappropriate inverting vav (according to me), and should be written as yTim.f ynIa]w.

וַיָּבִיאּוּ לָנוּ כְּיַד־אֱלֹהֵינוּ הַטּוֹבָה עָלֵינוּ אִישׁ שֶׂכֶל מִבְּנֵי מַחְלִי בֶּן־לֵוִי בֶּן־יִשְׂרָאֵל וְשֵׁרֵבְיָה וּבָנָיו וְאֶחָיו   8:18

 שְׁמֹנָה עָשָׂר׃

Ezra 8:18   And, they brought to us as the good “hand” of our God was upon us, a man of wisdom from the sons of Mahli son of Levi son of Israel, and Sherebiah and his sons and eighteen of his brethren,

וְאֶת־חֲשַׁבְיָה וְאִתּוֹ יְשַׁעְיָה מִבְּנֵי מְרָרִי אֶחָיו וּבְנֵיהֶם עֶשְׂרִים׃   8:19

Ezra 8:19   and with Hashabiah, and Jeshaiah from the sons of Merari with him, his brethren and twenty of their sons,

וּמִן־הַנְּתִינִים שֶׁנָּתַן דָּוִיד וְהַשָּׂרִים לַעֲבֹדַת הַלְוִיִּם נְתִינִים מָאתַיִם וְעֶשְׂרִים כֻּלָּם נִקְּבוּ בְשֵׁמוֹת׃   8:20

Ezra 8:20   and from the Nethinim whom David had given, with the princes, for the service of the Levites, two hundred and twenty Nethinim; all of them were designated by name.

וָאֶקְרָא שָׁם צוֹם עַל־הַנָּהָר אַהֲוָא לְהִתְעַנּוֹת לִפְנֵי אֱלֹהֵינוּ לְבַקֵּשׁ מִמֶּנּוּ דֶּרֶךְ יְשָׁרָה לָנוּ וּלְטַפֵּנוּ   8:21

 וּלְכָל־רְכוּשֵׁנוּ׃

Ezra 8:21   Then I proclaimed a fast here at the river of Ahava to humble ourselves before our God, to seek from Him the right path for us and for our children, and for all our substance.

Another improperly inverting vav prefix, as mentioned at the start of this chapter.  The first word, translated as then I proclaimed, should be written as ytiar'q ynIa]w.

כִּי בֹשְׁתִּי לִשְׁאוֹל מִן־הַמֶּלֶךְ חַיִל וּפָרָשִׁים לְעָזְרֵנוּ מֵאוֹיֵב בַּדָּרֶךְ כִּי־אָמַרְנוּ לַמֶּלֶךְ לֵאמֹר יַד־אֱלֹהֵינוּ   8:22

 עַל־כָּל־מְבַקְשָׁיו לְטוֹבָה וְעֻזּוֹ וְאַפּוֹ עַל כָּל־עֹזְבָיו׃

Ezra 8:22   For I had been ashamed to request from the king a force and horses to succor us from any enemy along the way, as we had spoken to the king saying, “The ‘hand’ of our God is upon all who seek Him for good, but His power and His ‘wrath’ are upon all abandoning Him.”

וַנָּצוּמָה וַנְּבַקְשָׁה מֵאֱלֹהֵינוּ עַל־זֹאת וַיֵּעָתֵר לָנוּ׃   8:23

Ezra 8:23   So we fasted and we sought from our God concerning this, and He was entreated regarding us.

Two more improperly inverting vav prefixes, as mentioned at the start of this chapter.  The first word, translated as so we fasted, should be written as Wnm'Wc Wnx.n:a]w.  The second word, translated as and we sought, should be written as WnvQeB Wnx.n:a]w.

וָאַבְדִּילָה מִשָּׂרֵי הַכֹּהֲנִים שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר לְשֵׁרֵבְיָה חֲשַׁבְיָה וְעִמָּהֶם מֵאֲחֵיהֶם עֲשָׂרָה׃   8:24

Ezra 8:24   Then I separated out from the chiefs twelve of the priests, for Sherebiah, Hashabah, and with them ten from their brethren.

Another improperly inverting vav prefix, as mentioned at the start of this chapter.  The first word, translated as then I separated, should be written as ytld;b. ynIa]w. (the vowel symbols are also not quite correct).

וָאֶשְׁקֹולָה) [וָאֶשְׁקֳלָה] לָהֶם אֶת־הַכֶּסֶף וְאֶת־הַזָּהָב וְאֶת־הַכֵּלִים תְּרוּמַת בֵּית־אֱלֹהֵינוּ הַהֵרִימוּ   8:25

 הַמֶּלֶךְ וְיֹעֲצָיו וְשָׂרָיו וְכָל־יִשְׂרָאֵל הַנִּמְצָאִים׃

Ezra 8:25   And I weighed out to them the silver and the gold and the vessels, the offering of the house of our God, that the king and his counselors and his princes and all of Israel who were present had contributed.

As in the previous cases, the word before the left parenthesis (and that in the brackets) is incorrect.  In the Hebrew the vav prefix to the imperfect verb (and I weighed out) should be non-inverting  The correct Hebrew (according to me) should be ytlq,v. ynIa]w:..

וָאֶשְׁקֲלָה עַל־יָדָם כֶּסֶף כִּכָּרִים שֵׁשׁ־מֵאוֹת וַחֲמִשִּׁים וּכְלֵי־כֶסֶף מֵאָה לְכִכָּרִים זָהָב מֵאָה כִכָּר׃   8:26

Ezra 8:26   And I weighed out to their hand six hundred and fifty of silver talents and a hundred in talents of vessels of silver, a hundred talents of gold

The first Hebrew word is the same as the word in the brackets in the preceding verse.  As it is there, the correct Hebrew (according to me) should be ytlq,v. ynIa]w:..

וּכְפֹרֵי זָהָב עֶשְׂרִים לַאֲדַרְכֹנִים אָלֶף וּכְלֵי נְחֹשֶׁת מֻצְהָב טוֹבָה שְׁנַיִם חֲמוּדֹת כַּזָּהָב׃   8:27

Ezra 8:27   and twenty bowls of gold of a thousand darics, and two vessels of rich gleaming brass, precious as gold.

וָאֹמְרָה אֲלֵהֶם אַתֶּם קֹדֶשׁ לַיהוָה וְהַכֵּלִים קֹדֶשׁ וְהַכֶּסֶף וְהַזָּהָב נְדָבָה לַיהוָה אֱלֹהֵי אֲבֹתֵיכֶם׃   8:28

Ezra 8:28   And I said to them, “You are holy for the Lord, and the vessels are holy, and the silver and the gold is a freewill offering to the Lord, the God of your fathers.”

The first Hebrew word, translated as and I said, is incorrect according to me.  It should be written as yTir>m;a' ynIa]w:..  Then the third and fourth word are mismatched in number.  Translated as you are holy, the first word, you are, is plural, but the second word, translated as holy and the adjective modifying you, is singular.  Because Ezra says “and I said to them, ..., the Hebrew should be ~yvidoq ~T,a..  Similarly, the sixth and seventh words are also mismatched in number.  They are translated as and the vessels are holy,  The word for and the vessels are is plural, but the word for holy is again singular.  The correct Hebrew should be ~yvidoq ~yliKeh;w>.

שִׁקְדוּ וְשִׁמְרוּ עַד־תִּשְׁקְלוּ לִפְנֵי שָׂרֵי הַכֹּהֲנִים וְהַלְוִיִּם וְשָׂרֵי־הָאָבוֹת לְיִשְׂרָאֵל בִּירוּשָׁלִָם הַלִּשְׁכוֹת   8:29

  בֵּית יְהוָה׃

Ezra 8:29   “Be alert and give heed until you can weigh out before the chiefs of the priests and the Levites and Israel's princes of the fathers' houses, in Jerusalem, the chambers of the house of the Lord.”

וְקִבְּלוּ הַכֹּהֲנִים וְהַלְוִיִּם מִשְׁקַל הַכֶּסֶף וְהַזָּהָב וְהַכֵּלִים לְהָבִיא לִירוּשָׁלִַם לְבֵית אֱלֹהֵינוּ׃   8:30

Ezra 8:30   And the priests and the Levites accepted the weight of the silver and the gold and the vessels to carry to Jerusalem to the house of our God.

וַנִּסְעָה מִנְּהַר אַהֲוָא בִּשְׁנֵים עָשָׂר לַחֹדֶשׁ הָרִאשׁוֹן לָלֶכֶת יְרוּשָׁלִָם וְיַד־אֱלֹהֵינוּ הָיְתָה עָלֵינוּ וַיַּצִּילֵנוּ   8:31

מִכַּף אוֹיֵב וְאוֹרֵב עַל־הַדָּרֶךְ׃

Ezra 8:31   Then we set out from the river of Ahava on the first month's twelfth to go Jerusalem.  And the “hand” of our God was upon us and He delivered us from the hand of any enemy or ambush along the way.

The first Hebrew word, translated as then we set out, should, according to me, be written as Wn['s.nI Wnx.n:a]w.

וַנָּבוֹא יְרוּשָׁלִָם וַנֵּשֶׁב שָׁם יָמִים שְׁלֹשָׁה׃   8:32

Ezra 8:32   And we entered Jerusalem and sat there three days.

The first Hebrew word, translated as and we entered, should, according to me, be written as Wnha'B Wnx.n:a]w.

וּבַיּוֹם הָרְבִיעִי נִשְׁקַל הַכֶּסֶף וְהַזָּהָב וְהַכֵּלִים בְּבֵית אֱלֹהֵינוּ עַל יַד־מְרֵמוֹת בֶּן־אוּרִיָּה הַכֹּהֵן וְעִמּוֹ   8:33

אֶלְעָזָר בֶּן־פִּינְחָס וְעִמָּהֶם יוֹזָבָד בֶּן־יֵשׁוּעַ וְנוֹעַדְיָה בֶן־בִּנּוּי הַלְוִיִּם׃

Ezra 8:33   And on the fourth day was weighed out the silver and the gold and the vessels in the house of our God into the hand of Meremoth son of Uriah, the priest, and with him Eleazar son of Phinehas, and with them Josabad son of Jeshua and Noadiah son of Bennui, the Levites,

בְּמִסְפָּר בְּמִשְׁקָל לַכֹּל וַיִּכָּתֵב כָּל־הַמִּשְׁקָל בָּעֵת הַהִיא׃   8:34

Ezra 8:34   for all by number, by weight, and all the weight was recorded at that time.

הַבָּאִים מֵהַשְּׁבִי בְנֵי־הַגּוֹלָה הִקְרִיבוּ עֹלוֹת לֵאלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל פָּרִים שְׁנֵים־עָשָׂר עַל־כָּל־יִשְׂרָאֵל אֵילִים   8:35

 תִּשְׁעִים וְשִׁשָּׁה כְּבָשִׂים שִׁבְעִים וְשִׁבְעָה צְפִירֵי חַטָּאת שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר הַכֹּל עוֹלָה לַיהוָה׃

Ezra 8:35   The children of the exile who were emerging from the captivity presented burnt offerings to the God of Israel, twelve bulls on behalf of all of Israel, ninety-six rams, seventy-seven lambs, twelve he-goats of a sin offering, the whole being a burnt offering to the Lord.

וַיִּתְּנוּ אֶת־דָּתֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ לַאֲחַשְׁדַּרְפְּנֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ וּפַחֲווֹת עֵבֶר הַנָּהָר וְנִשְּׂאוּ אֶת־הָעָם וְאֶת־בֵּית־הָאֱלֹהִים׃   8:36

Ezra 8:36   And they gave the decrees of the king to the satraps of the king, and governors, beyond the river that they sustained the people and the house of God.

 

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