Jerusalem, neuter plural

From: Denley, LT; James T (
Date: Thu Sep 02 1999 - 14:13:05 EDT

I would like to hear from those on the list about any grammatical
concepts or linguistic rules that apply when taking a place name (or a
proper noun or noun) from one language to another with the results like
we find with Jerusalem in the GNT when it is a neuter plural:

I'm not so much interested in the etymology of IEROSOLUMA as I am a
general set of rules. Understand it occurs in feminine singular and an
indeclinable form as well. One lexicon seemed to suggest that it's
taken from a spelling of Jerusalem in Hebrew with plural vowel points.
Am more interested in if there is anything about the use of neuter
plurals for what otherwise would be singular proper nouns or nouns when
translated. The particular verse that brought this to mind was in John
4:20 where the woman at the well asks Jesus "ALLA UMEIS EN IEROSOLUMOIS
say we must worship." Or similar words. (I apologize, I don't have my
text in front of me.) Why take a proper noun in Hebrew and make it a
neuter plural? Perhaps it has advantages when declining it. Rules at
play? Something unique to "Jerusalem"?

Apologize, also, if there is a thread on this in the archives. Perhaps
someone could check. I only have email available.


Jim Denley
Command Chaplain

Only 45 more days left on this six-month deployment. Very grateful to
God for that. Receiving the digest everyday has been a real blessing.

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