איך נפלו גבורים

Ali Smith

Senior Member
Urdu - Pakistan
שלום

Someone translated איך נפלו גבורים as "How have the mighty fallen?"
Shouldn't it have been "How have mighty fallen?"

אני מודה לכם מאוד
 
  • radagasty

    Senior Member
    Australia, Cantonese
    I suppose, syntactically, גבורים is indefinite, so ‘mighty ones’ would be a suitable translation, but the usual form of this expression in modern English is ‘O how the mighty have fallen!’, or the more classic ‘The beauty of Israel is slain upon thy high places: how are the mighty fallen!’ The definite article is expected, at any rate, in English.
     

    Abaye

    Senior Member
    Hebrew
    That's how biblical poetry works. See Gesenius for example: "The (definite) article may be omitted in (biblical) poetry ...; in general it is used in poetry far less frequently than in prose. Its use or omission probably often rests on rhythmical grounds; it is sometimes omitted also for rhetorical reasons."

    In order to understand such verses one better read first about its language.
     

    GeriReshef

    Senior Member
    Hebrew
    The article wouldn't change significantly the meaning of the sentence.

    Suppose you hear about somebody who has done a very bad thing and you express your disappointment in a rhetoric question (like your quote): "How could a man do such a thing?". Why "a man" and not "the man"? The second option refers personally to this man (in contrary to others) , and the first one to all men (and not just him). So maybe King David wanted to say "how does it happen that brave people would be killed" (in general, not just King Saul and his sons).
     

    Ali Smith

    Senior Member
    Urdu - Pakistan
    Is that why there are no הs in וַֽיְבָרְכֵ֖הוּ וַיֹּאמַ֑ר בָּר֤וּךְ אַבְרָם֙ לְאֵ֣ל עֶלְי֔וֹן קֹנֵ֖ה שָׁמַ֥יִם וָאָֽרֶץ?
     

    GeriReshef

    Senior Member
    Hebrew
    This phrase probably would have been formulated in contemporary Hebrew with the article, and the meaning wouldn't be changed.
    Maybe the Hebrew language have changed: some places get the article (lakes, mountains, sky) and some not (cities, countries, islands);
    and maybe it is a literary way to create a contradiction between one supreme God, and the earth and the sky in plural (as the absence of the article implies).
     
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