Jonathan's use of _wl)_

Ben Crick ben.crick at argonet.co.uk
Tue Apr 24 17:26:19 EDT 2001


On Tue 24 Apr 2001 (09:29:23), dstabno at lifeway.com wrote:
> Is it possible that in this unique situation Jonathan is using language
> in an unusual way?  Is the writer of Samuel recording some kind of idiomatic
> usage or a dialect, or even sarcasm?  How could we determine if this is
> the case?  Does modern Hebrew shed any light on it?

 Dear Dave,

 The text of the books of Samuel is notoriously difficult. SR Driver wrote
 a whole book about it. /Notes on the Hebrew Text of the Books of Samuel/,
 Oxford, 1890. On pp 128-130 you will find his notes on 1 Samuel 20:9, 12,
 and 14-16.

 In verse 9, Driver suggests that the W:Lo' is asking a rhetorical question,
 as in Exodus 8:22 MT (26 English). "Shall I not tell you?". He points out
 that others suggest an aposiopesis "If I do not tell you, *then may the LORD
 do so to me and more also...*" (the Covenant formula, verse 13a). The W:Lo'
 in verse 12 is taken this way.

 Verse 12 seems to have a protasis introduced by KiY, with verse 13a as the
 apodosis introduced by KoH. Is Jonathan's speech a /prayer/ to YHWH, or is
 it a solemn oath in the name of YHWH?  The 2nd ms pronouns refer not to YHWH
 but to David. The Revised Version takes YHWH as vocative, and adds `eD after
 DaWiD: "Be witness, O LORD, God of Israel...", following the Syriac. The LXX
 adds OIDEN after KURIOS hO QEOS ISRAHL, reading YaDa` into the Hebrew.

 In verses 14-15, Driver says that the second W:Lo' is resumptive of the first;
 but he allows that "most moderns" prefer to point it W:Lu' (with qibbuts),
 yielding "And /mayest thou/, if I am still alive, /mayest thou/ show toward
 me, etc."; compare 2 Samuel 18:12 (W:Lu' for W:Lo').

 Driver says that the repetition of W:Lo' in verse 15 is "more awkward even
 than in v 14". What we have here is an anacoluthon as it stands. Perhaps,
 suggests Driver, we ought to follow the solution presented in the LXX:
 uniting 15b to 16, and treating it as a continuation of Jonathan's speech.
 Jonathan wishes to be exempted from the House of David's destruction of the
 House of Saul (see LXX).

 I'll leave modern Hebrew to others.

 Shalom 
 Ben
-- 
 Revd Ben Crick, BA CF
 <ben.crick at argonet.co.uk>
 232 Canterbury Road, Birchington, Kent, CT7 9TD (UK)
 http://www.cnetwork.co.uk/crick.htm






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