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Why does Deut. 21:15 not use the Qal imperfect of "satam"?

Reader comment on item: Westerners Welcome Harems
in response to reader comment: Reply To Jennifer Solis

Submitted by jenifer solis (United States), Dec 20, 2008 at 02:55

First, thank you for the cordial response; I can see you are as passionate as I am regarding your faith.

I go on the original Hebrew, with the aid of Strong's Concordance; this adds NOTHING, I repeat ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to the original Hebrew; unlike many, many, MANY interpretations/additions (respectfully, including the sources you referred to).

Second, regarding Deut. 21:15; should the second wife mentioned be an addition, and not a replacement (remember the context; the preceeding verses describe the aquisition of, then DISCARDING of, the first wife), why does the author choose to use the Hebrew Qal Passive Particle of sane' and instead does not use the Qal imperfect of "satam" ("hated"), which would suggest a process or condition which is incomplete? Is the man to forever hate his first wife, while having a second one? How is that known?

"Satam" (Hebrew for "hated"), for example - in Gen. 49:23, the Qal imperfect of the root "satam" is used, meaning a process or condition which is incomplete; it is used to describe a single (as opposed to repeated) action of the past -

"The archers have sorely grieved him; and shot [at him]; and hated him" - Gen. 49:23

The above Hebrew word for "hatred", in the Qal imperfect, is used over 19,000 times in the Old Testament. Why was it not used in Deut. 21:15? BECAUSE THE FIRST WIFE in Deut.21:15 was DISCARDED, permanently.

Deut. 21:15 (IN THE ORIGINAL HEBREW) uses the Qal Passive Participle verb form of sane', ("hated"), which occurs only 1,000+ times in the Old Testament. It represent an action or condition unbroken in it's continuity. UNBROKEN. Unbroken, unbroken, UNBROKEN. Divorce is, needless to say, DIVORCE. It is UNBROKEN. It is PERMANENT. This "hate" in Deut 21:15 was not flexible; it was a permanent condition, and, as you will remember, it is reflective of preceeding verses wherin the first wife was "sent away; let go".

Let's take a look at the word "beloved" in Deut. 21:15. The root is "ahab", meaning to love, human love for another, as well as God's love toward man. In Deut. 21:15 "ahab" is again the Qal Passive Particle, meaning it is unbroken; this love is on-going; as should be with a wife. This, juxtaposed against the FIRST wife of Deut. 21:10-17. Again, Deut. 21:15 uses the Qal Passive - it is UNBROKEN. Same as the "hate" for the FIRST wife, whom was discarded, which is unbroken, this second wife whom he loves is also "unbroken" - it is also a Qal Passive Participle. One is a postive; the other, eternally a negative.

Again, looking at the CONTEXT and lexicon of THE ORIGINAL languages of Deut. 21:10-17, one would be hard put to think it had anything to do with polygamy. It instructs the triumphant Jews with regards to any, SINGULAR (one) woman they might choose to marry from among the given defeated society/army. And, should they discard her, what to do regarding offspring. Simple. Clear. It's there; just DO NOT take the ONE VERSE out of context.

I understand your trepidation, and warning, of errant sources - example - Deut. 21:15 describes this second wife as "unloved" (KJV, NKJV, ESV, NASB), or, that the husband "loves one and not the other" (NTL, NIV), or, "one [was] loved and the other disliked" (RSV), or, "the one loved and the other hated" (YNG), and last but not least, "the one beloved, and the other hated (HNV).

Which is why, and again, I'll never be able to wrap my head around this one, WHY do people feel the need to ADD to the original languages? It's there, IN THE ORIGINAL LANGUAGES.

As an afterthought, again, what do you think of Deut. 17:17?



P.S. ~ I must admit that I, having studied the Bible via the original languages of Hebrew and Greek, have done so for 30+ years under the guidance, inspiration of a true scholar - Colonel R.B. Thieme, of Houston, Texas. He is an absolute perfectionist with regards to the Word of God; he has over 11,000 hours on tape, teaching God's Word from the original languages. He is the one who taught me the absolute truth of the sheer perfection of God's Word; there is absolutely nothing that compares.


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