"standard hebrew syntax is verb-initial"

peter_kirk at sil.org peter_kirk at sil.org
Wed Aug 4 20:33:20 EDT 1999

Reading this as biblical Hebrew rather than a different later dialect, 
I would say that the meaning "[..] Hyrcanus. [..] rebelled [..]" is 
unlikely as there would normally be a WE- or other conjunction 
separating the clauses. Also "[..] Hyrcanus rebelled [..]" is unlikely 
as there is no WE- before "Hyrcanus", and I can't think of another 
conjunction ending with B. I would go for something like "the [..] of 
Hyrcanus had rebelled [..]", taking the word ending with B as a 
construct state noun before "Hyrcanus" and the QATAL verb as a 
flashback corresponding to the English perfect (here, guessing at a 
context in a past narrative, past perfect).

But I would also suggest that such a small fragment without a context 
is all but meaningless. Michael Wise's translation is justified as a 
word-for-word gloss which is about the best that makes sense.

Peter Kirk

______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: "standard hebrew syntax is verb-initial"
Author:  mc2499 at mclink.it at internet
Date:    04/08/1999 08:25

Vince recently said what is in the subject line in a post. I have a 
question for the brave. In Mish(C), 4Q322 Frag 2, we find this line (6) of 
the fragment -- so isolated that no context is to be hoped for:

                     ]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 be

                     [..] Hyrcanus. [..] rebelled [..]

Thanks for any thoughts,


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