ruth 1.17 oath
ButhFam at compuserve.com
Sun Dec 27 07:49:39 EST 1998
here is a possibly ambiguous oath, with a footnote that is given to
ko ya`ase Y"H li vexo yosif
ki ha-mavet yafrid beni uvenex
a. thus may He do and double do...[if I do otherwise]...,
indeed death will be what separates us [nothing else].
b. thus may He do and double do
if even death will separate us. [i.e. death will not separate us]
my own answer from a footnote for students:
ki after the curse/oath formula generally introduces something
affirmed. Here it is death and only death that will separate Ruth from
For the oath to mean 'if even death would separate...', 'even death
one would have expected im 'if' [=certainly NOT] or possibly ki-im (cf. 2
Cf. 1 Sm 14.44, 20.13, 2 Sm 3.9, 1 K 2.23, 19.2 (19.2 with plural
verbs for gods!).
In oaths in general, im will introduce the condition being sworn
against (=he will NOT do it), while
im-lo will introduce something that the person swears to not let not happen
(=he will certainly do it).
More information about the b-hebrew