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What does "se" mean in Micah 6:8, "Ya se te ha declarado..."?


What is the purpose of "se" in the following text from Micah 6:8 (Nueva Versión Internacional)?

¡Ya se te ha declarado lo que es bueno!
Ya se te ha dicho lo que de ti espera el Señor

It doesn't seem like this is "declararse" or "decirse." But the passive "se" doesn't seem to fit either.

Note that the RVR1960 doesn't include "se":

Oh hombre, él te ha declarado lo que es bueno, y qué pide Jehová de ti

Why did the translators of the NVI include "se" in this verse?

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Is the difference between the two "already"? (My high-school Spanish isn't good enough for this.) I don't see that in the Hebrew original, for what that's worth. Monica Cellio‭ about 1 month ago

@Monica The "already" is there in the NVI in the word "ya" and not in the RVR. But that doesn't seem to be connected to the "se". Nathaniel‭ about 1 month ago

I don't speak Spanish well enough to be sure, but it looks to me like "it has been declared... it has been told." Maybe you're having trouble because you expected "he has declared... he has told" instead? user8078‭ about 1 month ago

2 answers


I speak Spanish well, but not Hebrew.

As user7078 suggested, the sentence as translated in the NVI says

"Already it has been declared to you what is good. Already it has been told to you what J-h requires from you: etc..."

"It has been declared" is a good translation because הִגִּ֥יד, according to wiktionary means simply "to declare", and the person is only specified later in the sentence.

Mechon-mamre gives a similar rendition:

It hath been told thee, O man, what is good, and what the LORD doth require of thee: only to do...

Biblehub's interlineal may be helpful to show the non-English syntax of the original, and how alike English and Spanish are by comparison.

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So then the "se" is actually the passive se after all? Interesting. Nathaniel‭ 19 days ago

@Nathaniel In Spanish it is, but I don't know if that distinction is in the Hebrew. Conrado‭ 19 days ago


Unlike the other answerer, I speak Hebrew well but not much Spanish. Hopefully between the two of us we can resolve this question sufficiently.

The original Hebrew reads,

הגיד לך אדם מה טוב ומה ה׳ דרש ממך

which I will translate as literally as possible as:

It has been told to you, Man, that which is good and that which the L-rd seeks from you.

The word הגיד is in passive tense, "It has been told." So I suspect the phrase Ya se te ha declarado is the translation of הגיד לך, "To you has it been stated." I'll leave it to the Spanish experts to break it down further.

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While the Spanish experts are here, what's up with the repeated verb declarado and dicho? There's only one verb outside the subordinate clauses, הגיד; if Spanish grammar requires that each object get its own verb phrase, why do they change the verb? DonielF‭ 17 days ago

Wow, this is thrilling, thanks for the word-for-word translation! I can confirm your suspicion, except that the "Ya" is "already"--another addition: te ha declarado is the translation of הגיד לך, "To you has it been stated." About the redundant verbs: the construction that you used in your literal translation would work as well in Spanish: "Se te ha dicho, Hombre, lo que es bueno y lo que J'a espera de ti." It looks like the translators wanted to highlight a poetic aspect... Conrado‭ 16 days ago

... of the parallel construction (is it obviously poetry in Hebrew?) Conrado‭ 16 days ago

הִגִּיד is not passive. הֻגַּד is passive. הֻגֵּד הֻגַּד לִי (Ruth 2:11) means "it has been told to me," but מִי הִגִּיד לְךָ (Genesis 3:11) means "who told you." Semantically הִגִּיד could be passive, but morphologically it isn't, so translating "as literally as possible" as passive is wrong user8078‭ 16 days ago

@user8078 So is it that הגיד by itself is just "said"? I mean, it seems like the passive voice is somehow implied in the sentence? (Donielf and you have almost hooked me on Hebrew--I am going to get a dictionary as soon as possible!) Conrado‭ 16 days ago

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