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About Ecclesiastes 12:1

וזכר את בוראיך בימי בחורתיך עד אשר לא יבאו ימי הרעה והגיעו שנים אשר תאמר אין לי בהם חפץ׃

Is the Hebrew word בוראיך in Ecclesiastes 12:1 singular or plural?

Which letter or letters are indicating that it is singular or plural?

Thanks!

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    Good question. +1. There is a discussion here about the '12:1 Kohelet'.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Nov 27, 2018 at 12:43
  • @NigelJ Thank you for introducing me to the discussion of the same word of the same text in the Judaism Community! I am glad that the Jews are discussing it. Praise the Lord! May they find that the Hebrew Bible is revealing plurality in the one Godhead. Commented Nov 28, 2018 at 14:30

4 Answers 4

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It is a masculine plural active participle of the G-stem (Qal) of the root ברא with a second person masculine singular suffix: "those that create you (your creators)". The yod signifies the masculine plural construct state.

The same form can be found in Deut. 7:15, בְּכָל־שֹׂנְאֶֽיךָ, "on all those that hate you" (from שׂנא), while the singular form of ברא can be found in Isa. 43:1, כֹּֽה־אָמַר יְהוָה בֹּרַאֲךָ, "thus says YHWH who creates you (your creator)".

As a related answer mentions, this should not lead one to "mistakes ... by those looking for hidden hints of plurality to the godhead", because it is most likely a fossilized term.

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    May I ask what a 'fossilised term' means ?
    – Nigel J
    Commented Nov 27, 2018 at 13:39
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    I believe, myself, that the word is inspired. And I believe that the word of God changes not, from age to age, from generation to generation. But I am obliged for the explanation of the term.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Nov 27, 2018 at 14:39
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    @NigelJ "inspired" and "the word of God changes not" was not here disputed. He was noting how languages evolve. Commented Nov 27, 2018 at 23:34
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    @SolaGratia Maybe that's how other languages progress and alter. But Hebrew and Greek were, evidently, subject to Divine Providence as a part of what 'inspired' requires. I said I believe that 'the word is inspired'. I meant the exact word in question - בוראיך .
    – Nigel J
    Commented Nov 27, 2018 at 23:36
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    Nothing about 'God inspired men writing in both Hebrew and Greek' logically necessitates these languages didn't change over time, or even from author to author—they did as is even seen in the Bible itself (and what about Aramaic)? No one is saying בוראיך isn't inspired: that's the point. Keelan's point if anything was getting to the root of why that word came to be part of the vocabulary of Hebrew speaking people in the first place so that God could incorporate it into Scripture. Not to doubt God' use of it, or its intended, current meaning at the time. Commented Nov 27, 2018 at 23:59
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It is clear that Trinitarians have no clue in relation to Hebrew, the verbs, nouns, and context of a sentence makes plural form words the singular for example Isaiah 41:13 - "For I am Yehovah your God who takes hold of your right hand and tells you do not fear I will help you." the pronoun I is singular and is ani in Hebrew, Yehovah the creator God is speaking in first person singular not plural, also Yehovah itself is a singular noun, so if you are talking about a creator in relation to Yehovah it is singular even though ELOHIM here is a plural word I am Yehovah your (GOD) the word ELOHEKA meaning (Your-God) is the plural construct second person singular, but the plural form Elohim in that word becomes a singular due to the singular nouns and pronouns. --SEE Stand On Scripture on YouTube it is a Unitarian Messianic YouTube Channel you can also see www.StandOnScriptures.com and go to Anti-Trinity Course page and see 49 answers to 49 Trinitarian arguments for the trinity being debunked.

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    – Community Bot
    Commented Feb 27, 2022 at 14:26
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The fact that a "plural" form of a word was used does not always indicate plurality in itself. As a matter of fact the word Elohim ( a plural type form) is used to indicate singular pagan gods that were never considered plural beings. God himself says He is ALONE and ONE. There is a simple explanation which shows that in Genesis 1, it is a single Being who created -- see God: Is Elohim a Plural Word?.

The word in Ecclesiastes 12:1 is actually a verb, which is considered a "loan word" , and as such it would also have taken on a new sense when it began to be used. This BibleHub link does a great job of differentiating between the sense of a word and it's form in the Hebrew scriptures.

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    Elohim can be considered as a collective noun or a 'composite' concept. It is not necessarily a 'plural' word. The word 'humanity' is a collective concept but is not 'plural'. And if Elohim be translated 'Deity' in English, the collective concept is carried over. You need to substantiate your argument regarding 'singular pagan gods'. Can you supply some references, please.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Sep 21, 2020 at 6:56
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The plurality use in verbs and nouns in Hebrew are not always used in plural, it all depends upon on the context of what you are speaking about or who you are. In this case no translation ever translates this as plural, see Chabad.org relating to Eccl 12:1 it is only the YLT (Youngs literal translation) that translates it as creators, however every other translation has singular, even Osyaik which Trinitarians claim is MAKERS every translation including YLT translates it as singular Maker.

  • Additionally Yehovah can not be plural because ani is singular when Yehovah speaks as "I am Yehovah and there is non other beside me" this negates other persons or things as being God as the me is the context of a person that there is nothing beside as being the God and Isaiah 45:5-11 is explicitly talking of the father in correlation to Isaiah 64:8
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    Welcome to BH and thanks for your contribution. Do take the tour to see how this site works. Calling people "ignorant" is not in the interests of this site. We are here to do hermeneutics and not to get personal. I have deleted personal comments including what Trinitarians lack.
    – C. Stroud
    Commented Aug 3, 2023 at 11:02

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