Monday, August 29, 2016

More Comments from Readers – Part IV


Here are more comments that we have received from readers of this website blog: 
    Comment #1: “To wonderboy's point, "both" is commonly used to list three or more things (both men, women and children). One example is Ether 10:12 "...and the people became exceedingly rich under his reign, both in buildings, and in gold and silver, and in raising grain, and in flocks, and herds, and such things which had been restored unto them." Just an observation” Tyrus. 
    Response: We have dealt with this several times before, so let's try it from this angle: First: “both gold, silver and copper” is correct only because it separates “gold and silver” as one type of item (precious metals) and “copper” as a second type of item (non precious metal); the same is true of “both men, women and children, i.e., “men and women” as adults, and “children” as non-adults. In both cases, the term both is used correctly. On the other hand, to say “In my salad they put both Cucumbers, Avocado and Sweet Peppers,” is incorrect since all three are fruits and is the misuse of the word “both,” while “In my salad they had both tomatoes, eggplant and lettuce” would be correct, since tomatoes and eggplant are fruits, and lettuce is a leaf vegetable.
    As for Ether 10:12, this is not a list as the others are, i.e., of gold and of silver and of copper (of men and of women and of children), but a sentence structure that lists "the people became exceedingly rich under his reign, [both in buildings and in gold and silver], the rest follow under his reign: and (also) in raising grain, and in flocks, and herds, and such things which had been restored unto them. One is a determiner and the other is a predeterminer. Of course you could also make the case that buildings, gold and silver are physical, non living items, while grain, flocks and herds are living and eatable items.
    I also beg to differ with you in "both is commonly used to list three or more things," actually, the opposite is true. In American English both is used to mean as an adjective: “One and the other; relating to or being two in conjunction” also as a Pronoun: “Both indicates that the action or state denoted by the verb applies individually to each of two entities” also as a conjunction: “Used with and to indicate that each of two things in a coordinated phrase or clause is included.” 
Which image would you not use the word “both” with? 

    As stated in various English grammar rules: “Both refers to one and the other; two together; the one as well as the other; the two; two considered together. “if you want to emphasize that what you are saying is true of two things or people, you put both in front of the first of two noun phrases.” Or “you can put both in front of the first of two adjectives, verb phrases, or adverbials.” “The phrase after both should be of the same type as the phrase after and.” “You can put both immediately in front of a single noun phrase when it refers to two people or things.” Under Adjective; “both (used with count nouns) two considered together, the two: as in “both girls are pretty.” 
    Under “Caution: Don't use 'both' to talk about more than two things or people. Instead you use all.” 
    Since both is defined ancient and today as meaning "two" and is never followed by three or more items in correct English, though it may be found in some cases, it is not proper English. Both means two. In Hebrew, the word for both is “yachad” (pronounced “Yakh’-ad”), שני (Shin Nun Yod), which means “a unit together, both” and used as we use “both,” also means “two united, each other, and used to combine two items, though one may be greater than the other,” as in “God and man (we) together” used in scripture for “they perished together” “in place and time at once” “all together” “the clean and the unclean” “the ox and the donkey” “the gazelle and the deer” “dwell together as one” “a man and his countryman” “alike, the one as well as the other”
    Comment #2: “You seem to be able to answer any question, and I have always wondered what it means when Moses told the Lord he was “slow of tongue” Jaylynn O.
    Response: Actually, Moses said he was “slow of speech, and of a slow tongue” (Exodus 4:10), which has a meaning probably not what most people think. First of all, “slow of speech” literally means “heavy of mouth” which in turn defines someone who is not comfortable or confident in speaking; while “of a slow tongue” literally means having a “heavy tongue” which, in turn means having difficulty with a foreign language or with language all together.
    When the Lord wanted Eziekel to go preach to the House of Israel, the prophet was reluctant, not feeling up to the task and the Lord said to him: “For thou art not sent to a people of a strange speech and of an hard language, but to the house of Israel. Not to many people of a strange speech and of an hard language, whose words thou canst not understand. Surely, had I sent thee to them, they would have hearkened unto thee” (Ezekiel 3:5-6). When the Lord was telling Moses to return to Egypt, Moses was not concerned about any problem with any defective articulation, but in his inability to take command his Hebrew and former Egyptian languages.
Moses had commanded the Egyptians and was mighty in words and deeds 

    To more fully appreciate this exchange between the Lord and Moses, we have to keep in mind that 40 years earlier Moses was not slow of speech and fully confident in his abilities: as stated in Acts, Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and deeds” (Acts 7:22). But for the 40 years in Midian, Moses had been speaking mostly to sheep as a herdsman. No longer was he addressing with eloquence the throngs of Egyptians in their mighty courts and halls and no doubt had lost much of his earlier speaking ability—at least the confidence of such in his own mind. 
    The fact that Moses thought himself not eloquent was probably a prideful thought based on the fact that he had once commanded great attention with his speech. It can be deflating to have once been the focal point of command of language and then fall to a point where one loses confidence in that command and asked to go before people who had once known his eloquence. Even though the Lord was not sending Moses, anymore then he was Eziekiel, to a foreign land where they spoke a foreign language, but to the House of Israel. It seems, at least in this early stage of his calling, Moses was more reluctant than fearful—after all, he had once felt far superior to the Israelite slaves, and Master to a certain degree as the son of the Pharaoh to their overseers.
The Lord gave Moses his brother Aaron to speak for him when they were before the Pharoah of Egypt 

    The point is, Moses was unwilling, not unable, which is probably true with many good people who the Lord calls or wants to call to his service. Rather, he would have us willing and unable, since he can add to our abilities to any degree he needs and chooses. A lesson to learn from this might be that when we are unwilling, the alternate choice of the Lord might not be in our own best interest—take Moses, who was given Aaron to speak for him, yet later on created the Golden Calf which altered the course of Israelite history.

2 comments:

  1. Impressive explanation re: Moses. I did not know that. Thanks Del.

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