[b-hebrew] $)L "ask" and $)WL "underworld"
yitzhaksapir at gmail.com
Thu Sep 20 04:28:45 EDT 2007
On 9/20/07, Pere Porta wrote:
> Can the noun $:)WOL, sheol, be considered as an Infinitive --either
> construct (1Sa 12:17) or absolute (Gen 43:7)-- of the verb $F)AL, to ask?
> Is it possible that this noun took origine from the fact that every human
> being "is asking" what he will find after death?
> If yes, would it come from the Infinitive construct rather than from the
> Infinitive absolute? Perhaps this last question makes no sense because both
> Infinitives are the same thing?
1 Sam 12:17 is not in construct, and while the construct form may superficially
look like the word in question, remember that "underworld" has the pronunciation
[$o?o:l] in the absolute, while the infinitive of $)L only in the construct.
It is furthermore, problematic to analyze verbs and nouns historically unless
the interpretation is directly attested, and in this case it is not.
Noun and verb
forms were reanalyzed often in Semitic languages, and in this case, "underworld"
has cognates in Ethiopic and Aramaic, which indicates at least a common heritage
in NW Semitic, and probably in West Semitic. HALOT notes the verb may be
related to the root $)H ("interchangeable with $W)") with cognates having a
range of meaning from "waiting" $HH in Samaritan to evil $)H in Arabic. In
Hebrew it refers to desolation, for example Is 6:11. However this depends on
the suffix -L which is in my opinion very problematic (KRML is probably from
"vine of god", BRZL is a foreign word with a cognate with -N, etc.)
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