[b-hebrew] Gen 14:6 and the construct state
jc.bhebrew at googlemail.com
Thu May 6 03:43:50 EDT 2010
I really don't think your average Hebrew writing possibly 3,000 years ago
had a grammatical notion of different rules for proper nouns and common
nouns. I really also don't think he had a grammatical notion of construct
and apposition quite as rigid as your modernised and highly theoretical
linguistics based approach has.
Languages disregard high level generalisations at will. That is why it more
useful a guide to use a rule of thumb such as two nouns next to each other
rather than getting bogged down with so called 'rules' about the construct
form. What you are calling apposition just looks like a construct to me that
doesn't obey your expected rule system of constructs. It has the same
linguistic function and the exact same meaning.
In fact, I challenge you find and show us a single phrase you analyse as
apposition which has an unambiguously significantly different meaning to its
construct counterpart. I'm sure you will agree that there are none.
Also, your criticism of Karl's method of not using the vowels is completely
unwarranted. They are an addition to the text and therefore a potential
corruption of it. Karl's method is only to be commended and, in fact, the
Hebrews read the text in this way for thousands of years before the
Massoretes made this change. It is only by reading the text in this way that
you are able to engage your instincts in matters of logical disambiguation
decisions. If you rely on the vowel pointing then you rely on many of these
decisions having been made for you. Not an entirely scholarly approach. This
is not to say that Karl's decisions are necessarily superior but at least
he's made the effort of training his own instincts and this is only to be
commended. Were I to run a Hebrew course I would teach students from the
word go to read the text unpointed.
On 6 May 2010 10:09, Donald R. Vance, Ph.D. <donaldrvance at mac.com> wrote:
> We are talking about the MT. If you want to make up your own vowels,
> go ahead, but don't claim to be talking about Hebrew. Personal names
> also don't get pronominal suffixes. PNs and common nouns are two
> different kettles of fish, hence the different terminology. As for
> your examples in Judges, every one is "Beth-Lehem, Judah" and yes,
> they are appositional phrases and every published grammar that I know
> of treats them that way. However, as it turns out, Beth-Lehem would
> look the same in the absolute and the constuct states, so there is no
> morphological guide here. We say Atlanta, Georgia without the genitive
> marker "of"; they are simply in apposition. Beth-Lehem, Judah would
> follow that pattern. I did a search in Accordance for PN <within one
> word of> PN and the only examples I could find (granted, just a quick
> scan of the results) of the construction we are talking about--
> Geographic Name next to Geographic Name--involve Beth-lehem. It is
> interesting in Micah 5:1, we have the identical construction but using
> Ephratha instead of Judah and no one understands that as a construct.
> Ephratha is an appositional phrase further identifying Beth-lehem:
> "Bethlehem, Ephratha."
> There is one construction, however, that might give credence to your
> idea: ûr kasdim. Ur certainly seems to be a PN and the phrase is
> usually understood as "Ur of the Chaldeans." Granted, Ur has an
> unchangeably long vowel, so its absolute and construct states are
> identical in form; morphology doesn't help here. I guess an
> appositional analysis of this phrase is possible ("Ur, Chaldeans"
> meaning the "Chaldean Ur"), but seeing Ur as being in the construct
> state seems more plausible, at least to me. Ironically, the LXX treats
> ûr here as "the region of" and not as a PN. Go figure.
> Donald R. Vance, Ph.D.
> Professor of Biblical Languages and Literature
> Oral Roberts University
> dvance at oru.edu
> donaldrvance at mac.com
> On May 5, 2010, at 12:04 PM, K Randolph wrote:
> > Donald:
> > On Wed, May 5, 2010 at 8:48 AM, Donald R. Vance, Ph.D. <
> donaldrvance at mac.com
> >> wrote:
> >> Jim,
> >> OK, let's try this again. It is impossible for bhrrm to be a
> >> construct.
> >> Period.
> > Not true. Possible if proper nouns (names).
> >> Karl,
> >> Proper Names do NOT occur in construct. Beth-Lehem Ephratha is NOT a
> >> construct relation ship. It is an appositional phrase. How do I
> >> know this?
> >> There is no reduction as occurs in nouns in the construct
> >> relationship.
> >> Further, there are no examples of PNs in construct with the
> >> resulting vowel
> >> reduction.
> >> And where is your evidence of vowel reduction, or lack thereof,
> >> when the
> > vowels were not recorded at all?
> > If you mean the vowels of the MT? Forget it. They are wrong often
> > enough
> > that I found them untrustworthy. So untrustworthy that I no longer
> > use them,
> > nor even have them on the page as I read the text.
> > As for proper nouns, that is, names, not appearing in construct,
> > what do you
> > make of Judges 17:7–8, 19:1–2, 18, and many more? Are these
> > oppositional
> > phrases?
> > By the way, I think the moderators would prefer it if you sign your
> > name.
> > Karl W. Randolph.
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