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In Deuteronomy 18:15 when Moses is talking to the Israelites about the prophet to come, he says:

נָבִ֨יא מִקִּרְבְּךָ֤ מֵאַחֶ֙יךָ֙ כָּמֹ֔נִי יָקִ֥ים לְךָ֖ יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֑יךָ אֵלָ֖יו תִּשְׁמָעֽוּן׃

I am specifically interested in the part

מִקִּרְבְּךָ֤ מֵאַחֶ֙יךָ֙

My question is, does the word מִקִּרְבְּךָ֤ (which in English is normally translated as "from among" or "from among you") already specify what the "from" refers to, or is the next word needed to specify what the "from" refers to?

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  • The word consists of the preposition מִן 'from, out of' + the noun קֶרֶב 'midst, inward part' + the possessive suffix ךָ֤ 'your (2 m. sg.)'. מֵאַחֶ֙יךָ֙ is in apposition, it's not strictly needed.
    – Cairnarvon
    Nov 11, 2023 at 15:21
  • Cairnarvon's comment is right and should just be an answer. The only thing I would add is to state explicitly that מִקִּרְבְּךָ֤ can be literally translated altogether as 'from your midst'.
    – pinnerup
    Nov 11, 2023 at 17:40
  • This is not linguistics; it's Ancient Hebrew <> English translation
    – Lambie
    Nov 11, 2023 at 17:55
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1 Answer 1

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This is a more precise translation:

The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet from among your own people, like myself; him you shall heed. (Deut. 18:15, JPS1985)

מִקִּרְבְּךָ֤ - from among/within you. You is singular so it refers to Israel, not individuals.

מֵאַחֶ֨יךָ֙ - from among your brothers/siblings. Your again is singular, referring to Israel.

Repetition of the idea is common in Hebrew and used for emphasis. The emphasis here is that the prophet will be Israelite.

Repetition for example, קֹ֥דֶשׁ הַקֳּדָשִֽׁים, holy of holies, in Exodus 26:33.

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  • I think you mean "Israelite" rather than "Israeli".
    – Colin Fine
    Nov 15, 2023 at 23:29
  • @Colin. I changed it based on modern convention, but Israelite is based on Greek and Israeli on Hebrew.
    – Perry Webb
    Nov 16, 2023 at 0:27
  • the origin of a word is irrelevant to its meaning. The English word Israeli is recorded by the OED only from 1948, and refers to the modern country of Israel. I am aware that this distinction does not hold in Hebrew, and quite possibly in other languages, but we are communicating in English.
    – Colin Fine
    Nov 16, 2023 at 11:09

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