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By Strunk & White English grammar rules:

  • "your daughters, who are here, …"
  • "your daughters that are here …"

have quite different meanings.

The first is a parenthetical clause ("which" or "who" with two commas), adding the fact that all the daughters are here.

The second is a restrictive clause ("that" or "who" with no commas), and refers to the daughters that are here while excluding the daughters that are elsewhere.

Elements of Style, II.3:

Enclose parenthetic expressions between commas.

Non-restrictive relative clauses are, in accordance with this rule, set off by commas.

The audience, which had at first been indifferent, became more and more interested.


Restrictive relative clauses are not set off by commas.

The candidate who best meets these requirements will obtain the place.

Genesis 19:15 (KJV) says:

… and thy two daughters, which are here … (KJV)
… and your two daughters who are here … (NKJV)

Because of the comma, the first means that there are only two daughters.

Without a comma, the second version implies the existence of other daughters that aren't here.

Did the translators change their minds about what this means?

Which meaning does the original Hebrew have, or is it ambiguous?

Edit: for some unfathomable reason, I originally said "Greek" rather than "Hebrew". I can't imagine why I thought Genesis wasn't writen in Hebrew. Sorry for the confusion.

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  • The interlinear LXX online reads the two daughters of you whom you have . I don't see any ambiguity in that. τας δυο θυγατερας σου ας εχεισ
    – Nigel J
    Oct 28, 2021 at 19:20

1 Answer 1

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The interlinear LXX online reads : τας δυο θυγατερας σου ας εχεισ

the two daughters of you whom you have .

I don't see any ambiguity in that.

ἔχω Strong 2192 to have, hold or possess


Wycliffe Bible (1382) - from Latin Vulgate :

thi twey douytris whiche thou hast,

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  • 1
    Sorry, I can't imagine why I specified "Greek" rather than "Hebrew". Oct 29, 2021 at 0:24

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