"The Destroyer" is used as a proper noun in the book of Revelation (9:11) to name a (or the) destroying angel, but "the destroyer", when appearing in Exodus 12:23 during the Passover narrative, is not capitalized in any of the most common English translations. The passage in Revelation says directly that "the Destroyer" is more than just an accident of that individual's function but indeed is a name.

Are "the craftsman", "the destroyer", and "the waster" proper nouns in Isaiah 54:16? Is there a way to determine when these words should be read as proper nouns in general in the Hebrew, or perhaps LXX Greek?


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In the original Hebrew there is no definite article before the word "destroyer" or "craftsman." The Hebrew is בָּרָ֥אתִי מַשְׁחִ֖ית לְחַבֵּֽל not בָּרָ֥אתִי הַמַשְׁחִ֖ית לְחַבֵּֽל. This would indicate that it isn't referring to a specific known Destroyer, but destroyers generally. So to the reference to a smith (or craftsman) means smiths generally, not a specific smith.

It is not uncommon in Biblical Hebrew to refer to some noun in the singular when it is meant to represent a large number of those things. For example, in Genesis 32:6, Jacob says וַיְהִי-לִי שׁוֹר וַחֲמוֹר, צֹאן וְעֶבֶד וְשִׁפְחָה. This literally means "I have ox and donkey, sheep and slave and maidservant." But it is clear that Jacob actually had a great many of those, not just one of each.

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