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The “Seven Eyes” of Zech 3:9 and the Meaning of the Dual Form*

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AbstractThe so-called “dual” form, when it occurs with parts of the body naturally occurring in pairs such as hands and eyes, is not dual in meaning as commonly supposed, but rather plural. This explains why the phrase in Zech 3:9 means “seven eyes” and not, as occasionally suggested, “seven pairs of eyes.” This “dual-form plural” is only rarely used where terms for body parts are extended to other objects, making it unlikely that means either “facets” or “springs.”

Affiliations: 1: University of Cambridge, Email: ct335@cam.ac.uk

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