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February 4, 2012 / attilashrugs

Two TAV’s Too Many: Parsha BESHELACH

Parsha BESHELACH and the TAV’s
The parsha this week plays tricks with the Hebrew letter Tav, ת.
In Exodus 14:13 Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again.” “Deliverance” in Hebrew is yeshua. “Yeshua”, is a proper noun, the name that we know in its Hellenized and Anglicized form as “Jesus”. Yet the text has it ישועת Yeshuat. Though in Hebrew, nouns and proper nouns, like yeshua and Yeshua, will carry suffixes in place of our freestanding possessive pronouns. “My salvation” would be “yeshuati”; “his salvation” is “yeshuaki” etc. However there is no suffix that I know (and admittedly I am a beginner at Hebrew) that would explain that Tav suffix. It seems as though there would be an explanation but none is noted in any of the Chumashim I own.

Later, in fact right after the “deliverance of the LORD” causes the sea to return to its original regime, drowning the pursuing Egyptians, and the celebratory Song of The Sea followed by Miriam’s Song comes the next act. Immediately after Miriam’s song, the very next verses Ex. 15:22-23 play the Tav trick again! 22 Then Moses led Israel from the Red Sea and they went into the Desert of Shur. For three days they traveled in the desert without finding water. 23 When they came to Marah, (מָרָתָה)they could not drink the waters of Mara (מִמָּרָה) {the extra first Mem, מ, is the prefix for “of”} because they were bitter, (מָרִים). (That is why the place is called Marah.)

Marah is what the place is named in the English translation, in every translation known by me. Yet…
Yet the Hebrew is clearly hiding a Tav, ת. Since Tav could look like a Hey ה, I wondered if perhaps it was a typo. No, it is spelled the same in every Hebrew language edition. Its English spelling however varies between Mara and Marah. Neither of these spellings would be the proper pronunciation of מָרָתָה. The proper pronunciation of this word is MaRaTa.
Hmm. So, we have two extra Tavs, neither with any purpose nor commentary.
Rarely words in the Torah are read aloud differently then how they are spelled. Always this is made clear, in every Torah; except here. It is as if a deliberate sign to raise curiosity was left. Whether we read English, or Spanish (23 Cuando llegaron a Mará,) French (Ils arrivèrent à Mara), Italian (23Arrivarono a Mara), German (23Da kamen sie gen Mara), all are blinded to the Tav!
For unclear reasons only the Latin Vulgate recognizes the Tav ( 23et venerunt in Marath.)

Other than the Latin Vulgate, the ubiquitous and therefore deliberate hiding of the Tav in vernacular translations is strange.
Could it be a flag? If so, a flag for what? Perhaps we are to notice that another Tav should not be pronounced? Exactly fifty verses above, immediately before the final miracle of the parting of the sea and the return to normalcy that resulted in the destruction of the Egyptians, recall, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. … “ By noticing the flag fifty verses later, we return here with an entirely new possibility! By removing the Tav, which we proved was of no consequence in Mara, we see Yeshua! But we see something else.

And Moses said unto the people: ‘Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of HaShem…

Look at the last four words in Hebrew.  הִֽתְיַצְבוּ וּרְאוּ אֶת־יְשׁוּעַת יְהוָה
Notice “the את Yeshua.” That Alef Tav is never translated. In addition in translations words in italics (like the just now, means it is implied but not in the original Hebrew. Alef Tav is the silent verb object. But it is also the exact sense of the Greek “Alpha Omega”. Yeshua is named as the Alpha Omega. Like Tav, Omega is the final letter in its alphabet. “I am from Beginning To End;, from First to Last, I am the Alpha Omega αθ”. So “Fear not stand still and see the את αθ Yeshua, יהוה.
What an awesome sight.


Leave a Comment
  1. Mishkan David / Feb 5 2012 3:29 am

    The tav at the end of yeshua is a combinative form, joining it to YHWH. That is why “yeshuat YHWH” is translated “salvation OF YHWH”.

    I will have to look further into the issue with “Martah”. But I know the two tavs are not related.

    • attilashrugs / Feb 5 2012 5:22 pm

      Thanks for taking the time to read my blog; and even more for offering a helpful response. I have never heard of the combinative form. When I write that my Hebrew is beginner level maybe +1 I mean it. No false humility!
      Do you know where there are other examples of the combinative form? 2 hours later: Having looked at Page H. Kelly Biblical Hebrew (An Introductory Grammar)I did not see anything about combinative forms. But I did learn about constructive forms, which as described by you often perform the job of “of”. I presume these are interchangeable terms? I learned that feminine nouns ending in ה ָ ,in the singular-absolute are replaced by ת to form the singular-construct. And indeed the Hebrew for deliverance or salvation is ישׁוֹעה. Since it is a feminine noun ending with Hey it clearly makes clear that the name Yeshua is excluded. Another great theory shot down by fact.
      But, maybe not so fast. Maybe that Tav in MaRaTa that is unpronounced is exactly the key to unlock a secret. By applying the”Ignore-the-Tav rule” as in 15:23, at 14:13, then Yeshua MUST be capitalized!
      Even better!

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