[b-hebrew] Be-Reshit syntax
crazymulgogi at gmail.com
Tue Nov 22 18:51:36 EST 2005
To your question where the "when" comes from: I think I explained that
already, but I'll clarify:
if we have "in-beginning (of)", we are dealing with a point in time,
or at least the beginning of time itself; or we have to assume there
are timeless beginnings.
If we say "when... began", we have exactly the same thing: a point in
time. I call that a literal translation, because I believe that the
syntax a one language doesn't always follow the syntax of another. In
your way of thinking, you cannot "literally" translate most relative
clauses with asher, or should I say, hardly any sentence of the Hebrew
About your second point, I'm sorry Karl, but I must say your
understanding of the word we/wa "and" is a little bit odd. We/wa is
not about subordination at all, only word order, the kind of tense or
mode employed, and possibly words like we/wa *combined with* a certain
structure indicates subordination. How can you think that I say "if we
have two wayyiqtol clauses, the first is subordinate to the second"
just because I say that in Gen 1 we have an example of a subordinate
With all due respect, you may disagree with a.o. Alters and
ArtScroll's idea about Gen1, but if you want to disqualify it, first
try to take a look at word order, tense and mode use, in short,
For example, I hope you realise that at least verse 2 is not a short
main clause: this is impossible, because of word order: והארץ
(subject) is put first, but BH is VSO. We therefore have to do with a
circumstantial clause. Here WE(ha-aretz) has nothing do with one event
following up on another event.
The word we/wa doesn't work like English "and" at all.
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