"standard hebrew syntax is verb-initial"

yochanan bitan ButhFam at compuserve.com
Wed Aug 4 13:38:15 EDT 1999

>                     ]B HRQNWS MRD [
>In three separate publications, Michael Wise has translated this as 
>                     [..] Hyrcanus rebelled [..]
>Can such a translation be justified in any way? Or should it necessarily
>                     [..] Hyrcanus. [..] rebelled [..]
>                                   <subj>

The above observation, a good one, would be congruent with the lack of vav
with hirqanos but seems to miss the broader picture with word order. 
Biblical Hebrew regularly puts the SUBJECT (or setting material) before the
VERB whenever a suffix tense is used in narrative in a main clause. Thus,
even though BH is "verb-initial", pragmatic considerations would produce
exactly the above order: Hirqanos marad . . .
So far so good. 

but as for the suggestion, "marad" by itself would not normally begin a new

one would prefer to see "ve-hirqanos marad". 
My first impression would be a line like "[qome/heqi]m hirqanos mered" 
or keeping the bet: "[gibbe]v? , heHriv, Hishev, heshiv, shillev, hitsiv,
hilhiv or something that might collate with mered.

randall buth

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