Deut. 4:26

Ben Crick ben.crick at
Thu Sep 28 09:48:05 EDT 2000

On Wed 27 Sep 2000 (22:50:11), rwponder at wrote:
>      My question is this: Does this grammatical anomaly suggest that
> originally the Hebrew infinitive was a single phenomenon with *alternate*
> forms -- the construct and absolute or something akin to them -- but
> without the clear distinction in grammatical function that eventually
> was the case?
>      Or is this likely a mistake in pointing -- it really should be
> pointed as an infinitive absolute?

 Dear Reggie,

 No doubt the b-hebrew gurus will answer you in full. My "take" is that only
 the Consonantal Text is "given" (the KeTiB), and that the pointing is added
 by the Massoretes to facilitate our construing of the text. So no canonical
 authority is invested in the pointing, ISTM.

 The penultimate word is certainly taken by translators to be the Niph`al
 Infinitive Absolute even though it is pointed Hi$$FMeD (inf construct with
 tsere) instead of Hi$$FMoD (inf absolute with holem). The LXX (Brenton) has
 ALL' H EKTRIBHi EKTRIBHSESQE - clearly for the Infinitive Absolute emphasising
 the verbal idea of the root $-M-D.

 I was always taught to be cautious about conjectural emendations of the
 sacred KeTiB. Now the Pointing - that's fair game...

 Revd Ben Crick, BA CF
 <ben.crick at>
 232 Canterbury Road, Birchington, Kent, CT7 9TD (UK)

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