• No available translations found

To go or to disappear?

Angel_of_1_day_(ver2)In this article I want to discuss the thesis offered by Biglino in a brief post of his blog (click here). The Biglino’s post is is put between inverted commas. My comments are in red.

“After the post on verbs in the plural translated as singular, we see another wrong  translation designed to make people believe that the Bible speaks of God, of spiritual angels etc.

Judges, Chapter 6
Gideon meets a malach (angel?) that ask some food that lay on a stone and then ignites it with a flame produced by a shaped object with a stick in his hand. ”

That’s the first problem: to quote verses out of context. In so doing you can to make the Bible say just what do you want! Really Gideon meets only a messenger – mal’ak? If Biglino had read more carefully the chapter, he would have seen that in verse 12 of Chapter 6 it says: And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him … Gideon didn’t meet a mal’ak just as a simple man would meet, because an angel appeared unto him. The verb to appear in Hebrew is the niphal of ra’ah and it is a technical term for God’s appearances (cf. BDB on ra’ah).

Therefore, the analysis of the context tells us that the account belongs to the literary genre of the epiphany, or manifestation of God or of a being from above and not belonging to the human horizon.

“After the amazing fact, the Judeo-Christians theologians translators say that the messenger (6.21):

“Disappeared from sight of Gideon”
“faded out to Gideon’s eyes”
“disappeared from his eyes”

These translations convey the idea that the angel, as a spiritual entity (!?), suddenly disappeared. ”

Out of the context that we have presented, the verse 21 seems to speak of a simple messenger – because mal’ak also means this – that moved away from Gideon.

“However the Hebrew verb is very clear and is not suitable for interpretation:

Halach: “he walked away from …”
That is, after having astonished the poor Gideon with his technological small object, it simply goes by walking.”

Here is the trick! The verb is halach but Biglino doesn’t report the complement: me’enaw. So the messenger didn’t leave, but it moved from his eyes. This sentence could mean that the messenger walked away from his sight, but with the context that speaks of appearance I believe that the most appropriate translation is to disappear from view. In this case there is some doubt if this is an angel or a real person … 

“Beautiful, is not?”

Biglino concludes with this sarcastic note. I also conclude in a similar way: Is it nice?

Simone Venturini


Comments are closed.