the people; Nu 103 כָּל־הָֽעֵדָה all the congregation (cf. 1 K 85); 1 K 140, Is 98, 253, Am 15 עַם; 1 S 1747, Ezr 1012 קָהָל assembly. Cf. also the construction of national names, as אֲרָם (§122i), e.g. 1 K 2020 וַיָּנֻ֫סוּ אֲרָם and the Syrians fled; 1 S 45.—(β) with the predicate following, 1 K 85 צֹאן וּבָקָר sheep and oxen, construed with the plural in the following relative clause; Jb 114 הַבָּקָר הָיוּ חֹֽרְשׁוֹת the cattle (cows) were ploughing; 2 S 31 and 1 Ch 106 בַּ֫יִת=family (in 1 S 613 בֵּית שֶׁ֫מֶשׁ on the analogy of names of countries, is used for the inhabitants of Bethshemesh); Ho 117, Ezr 44 עַם; ψ 6811 חַיָּה herd [if correct, figuratively for people]; Is 2619 נְבֵלָה dead bodies; Is 2711 קָצִיר boughs; 1 S 41 יִשְׂרָאֵל, preceded by a predicate in the singular.
[145d] (b) Of substantives occasionally used as collectives: (α) with the predicate preceding, Gn 3424 זָכָר; Ju 955, 1510 אִישׁ; Is 164 רֹמֵס the treader down.—(β) with the predicate following, Jb 819 אַחֵר=others; Ez 283 סָתוּם a secret; [ψ 97, and even after זֶה Jb 1919.]
[145e] (c) Of feminines as collective terms denoting masculine persons: (α) with the predicate preceding, 1 S 1746 וְיֵדְעוּ כָּל־הָאָרֶץ that all the earth may know, the i.e. all the inhabitants of the earth; cf. Dt 928, ψ 661, 961, 9, &c.; Am 18 שְׁאֵרִית remnant; (ψ 338 כָּל־הָאָ֫רֶץ).—(β) with the predicate following, Gn 4157, 2 S 1523, 1 K 1024, Gn 486 מוֹלֶ֫דֶת issue; 1 S 233 כָּל־מַרְבִּית all the increase; Jb 3012 פִּרְחָח rabble. In Hag 27 read חֲמֻדֹת with the LXX.
[145f] Examples of predicates in the singular, notwithstanding the collective meaning of the subject, occur in Gn 3511, Ex 1024, 1410, Dt 139, &c.—For examples of bold enallage of the number in noun-clauses with a substantival predicate, see above, §141c.
[145g] Rem. Not infrequently the construction begins in the singular (especially when the predicate precedes; see o below), but is carried on, after the collective subject has been mentioned, in the plural; e.g. Ex 120 מְאֹד וַיִּ֫רֶב הָעָם וַיַּֽעַצְמוּ and the people multiplied, and waxed very mighty; 33:4.
[145h] 3. On the other hand, plurals which have a singular meaning (§124a) are frequently construed with the singular, especially the pluralis excellentiae or maiestatis (§ g–i; on the union of these plurals with attributes, cf. §132h), as אֱלֹהִים Gn 11, 3, &c. (but see the Rem.), אֲדֹנִים master, Ex 214 בְּעָלִים master, owner, Ex 2129; cf., moreover, פָּנִים with the singular, Jb 1616 Keth., רַֽחֲמִים Pr 1210.—So feminine forms with a masculine meaning are construed with a masculine predicate, e.g. Ec 129 הָיָה קֹהֶ֫לֶת חָכָם the preacher was wise.
[145i] Rem. The construction of אֱלֹהִים God with the plural of the predicate may be explained (apart of course from such passages as 1 K 192, 2010, where the speakers are heathen, and אֱלֹהִים may, therefore, be a numerical plural) partly as an acquiescence in a polytheistic form of expression, partly from the peculiar usage of one of the early documents of the Hexateuch, called E by Wellhausen, &c., B by Dillmann; cf. his commentary on Numbers—Joshua, p. 618, and above, §124g, note 2. So Gn 2013 (but in conversation with a heathen); 31:53, 35:7, cf. also Jos 2419. That this construction was afterwards studiously avoided from fear of misconception, is shown by such passages as Neh 918 compared with Ex 324, 8, and 1 Ch 1721 compared with 2 S 723. Cf. Strack’s excursus on Gen 2013 in Die Genesis, Munich, 1905, p. 77.