From: Brian P. Swedburg (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Thu Mar 22 2001 - 19:44:53 EST
> > Greetings Dan and list,
Dan, I said I would respond this week so I have been going over the discussion in the archives in order to do so. Your final question to me was
>>> I would be interested in understanding why the writer of Isaiah would
>>> consider that the use of the first person pronoun "ani" would be
>>> recognized as related to the Hebrew verb "eheyeh" either on or off list.
>>> Dan Parker
I have been looking at the BHS and LXX and here is my response. No, there does not appear to me to be a direct linguistic correspondance between the Greek of Is 47:8 and Ex. 3:14. I cannot say that listening to is 47:8 demands that one hear an echo of Ex 3:14., grammatically. Yet I would review the discussion below, and draw your attention to a few things.
At 1:33 AM -0600 3/12/01, John Wilking wrote:
> > > What does EGW EIMI mean in these verses? It appears to be idiomatic.
> > 8 NUN DE AKOUSON TAUTA hH TRUFERA hH KAQHMENH PEPOIQUIA hH LEGOUSA EN THi
> > KARDIAi AUTHS, "EGW EIMI KAI OUK ESTIN hETERA." 9 NUN DE hHXEI EXAIFNHS EPI
> > SE TA DUA TAUTA EN MIAi hHMERAi CHREIA KAI ATEKNIA hHXEI EXAIFNHS EPI SE EN
> > THi FARMAKEIAi SOU EN THi ISCUI TWN EPAOIDWN SOU SFODRA. 10 THi ELPIDI THS
> > PONHRIAS SU SU GAR EIPAS "EGW EIMI KAI OUK ESTIN hETERA" ...
> > I think what we have here is mockery of Babylon as idolatrously claiming
> > divine status in the same language used by Yahweh particularly in the
> > oracles of Second Isaiah; note especially 45:18 hOUTWS LEGEI KURIOS ... EGW
> > EIMI KAI OUK ESTIN ETI; 45:22 EPISTRAFHTE PROS ME KAI SWQHSESQE hOI AP'
> > ESCATOU THS GHS, EGW EIMI hO QEOS KAI OUK ESTIN ALLOS; 46:9 KAI MNHSQHTE TA
> > PROTERA APO TOU AIWNOS hOTI EGW EIMI hO QEOS KAI OUK ESTIN ETI PLHN EMOU.
> > This would certainly seem to be with cognizance of the language of Exodus
> > 3:14.
> > Carl W. Conrad
Here I would draw your attention to the fact that the thrust of Carl's argument is that within the context of Isaiah's oracle ( in which Yahweh contends with Israel in a legal "rib" format I find common in the prophets), while Yahweh is challenging and reasserting for Israel that He alone is God, Yahweh condemns Babylon for "acting like God/Yahweh". Yahweh condemns them for their supreme arrogance. He suggests the connection to Ex 3:14, which you have challenged.
> Carl, I can understand why one's theology might cause one to have
> this view, but is there really a grammatical link between this and
> Exodus 3:14?
> The Hebrew text of Isaiah employs simply ani without even the hu as
> found in the ani hu expressions that would normally be translated into
> Greek as EGW EIMI.
> The Hebrew text of Exodus 3:14 does not use ani or ani hu at all, but
> Do you posit that Semitic Babylonians considered that if one used only
> the first person pronoun they considered that a claim to divinity?
> It is a certainty they did not say EGW or EGW EIMI!
> In addition, if the Babylonians were aware of the language of Exodus
> 3:14 and intended to invoke this language, why did they not use Eheyeh
> or Eheyeh Asher Eheyeh? And if the LXX translators understood it this
> way why did they not translate the expression as found at Exodus 3:14
> in the LXX, not merely EGW EIMI, but EGW EIMI hO WN?
I fail to understand why this is being discussed as if Babylon had actually said words. I'm not bashing at issues of innerencey here. This is a poetic oracle. From a linguistic standpoint, I don't think Isaiah nor the writers of the LXX are expecting us to grapple with what words the Babylonians used. Rather, in the use of EGW EIMI, couched by LEGOUSA EN TH KARDIA ( see the dative use of EN KARDIA in LXX Deut 8:17; 9:4; 1 Sam 1:13; Ps 52:2; Is 47:7; 49:21: all suggest a metaphor of thinking, not speaking) it appears that we the readers are to be repulsed by the arrogant attitude of Babylon that does not fear Yahweh in its own confidence.
> As you are no doubt aware, EGW EIMI is used copulatively with the actual
> predicate as hO WN (the being.)
> Perhaps I have missed something in all of this that I should understand.
> Dan Parker
In the end, as I suggested before, I can't see this being settled by pure linguistics. That the Babylon's pride has been an affront to Yahweh is plain. I don't need to return to Exodus to establish that. Yet, IF one were to be reading Isaiah with an understanding that it is indeed the Word of the Lord miraculously delivered through the mundane lips of a prophet, (I am not advocating here, merely building to a linguistic point...) and if one sees the prophet as standing and delivering his message in the shadow of Yahweh's Torah, then it is not unreasonable to expect from Isaiah (and God?) exophoric references to Torah, which the covenant community recognizes even without full grammatical correspondence. I cannot prove this is the author of Isaiah's game plan, but in the face of his repeated echos of Torah (i.e Is 12:1-6) I assert that it is plausible.
Thanks for the great dialogue. tag, your it.
Brian P. Swedburg
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