[b-hebrew] Zechariah 3:4 "I will clothe"
randallbuth at gmail.com
Sun Mar 14 13:27:23 EDT 2010
>Can you give us some examples, other than the common "dying you shall die"
>(Gen 2:16) type?
Noam was not talking about that 'adverbial use' MOT TAMUT. See below.
>>There are so many instances in the HB where the infinitive absolute is used
>>where we would use today a finite verb, and we read the meaning from the
>>context. Can a specific reason be found for every time the infinitive
>>absolute is used (used in a way that looks awkward to us today), or was BH
>>generous in dispensing the infinitive absolute? I just find it difficult to
>>search for a special reason for the infinitive absolute where it crops up so
>>often in what looks like "the wrong place" to us today.
>>> Karl Randolph
>>> In isolation it looks like another case of mistaken pointing.
There is no mistake in pointing here, though one may always suggest re-writing
Using an 'infinitive' in place of a finite verb is something attested
1st Temple Hebrew, Phoenician, and 2nd Temple Hebrew. Noam is correct
that it is relatively common, though it is not common enough for us to have
a full grasp on when to use it and the special nuances or effects that
achieves from it. There are four-five examples in the Qumran fragments
of Tobit, which is one of the supporting pieces of evidence that Tobit was
originally in Hebrew and that the Aramaic Tobit is a translation.
one may distinguish two forms of this structure, one may be called
where the subject pronoun follows the verb (common in Phoenician),
and the other is simply (ve) QATOL, with no subject pronoun.
Eccl 4.2 is a famous example with a subject pronoun. Esther 9.1 is an example
with the 3ms pronoun.
For no pronoun, see Zech 7.5 ve-safod (2p), 12:10 vehamer (3p)
or Est 9.6 ve-abbed (3p).
1Ki 9.25 would be an example, though the extra yod in the ktiv is anomolous.
Jouon-Muraoka will have a longish discussion of this and some secondary
literature, should you wish to follow it up.
Finally, one may add that Zech 3.4 might also be read as a reflexive
imperative "dress yourself" (same niqqud, vowels). While rare, there are
possible examples of an object et+pronoun 'them(selves)' being used
reflexively. (Ex 5.19, Ezek 34.2).
For the record, I read Zech 3.4 as the infinitive (maqor, lo shem po`al).
Randall Buth, PhD
randallbuth at gmail.com
Biblical Language Center
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