Is R)$YT even a "time" word?
mc2499 at mclink.it
Fri Mar 22 19:37:08 EST 2002
>I am not "redefining time phrases and clauses". I am questioning whether
>R)$YT is considered as a time word in the Hebrew language.
As I have said Paul, I'm not talking about r'$yt, but
br'$yt. When did Jeremiah received the word of God?
At the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim. It answers
a when question. It is therefore a time phrase. This
is not a difficult concept and I see no reason for
even questioning it.
>The fact that it
>can be tied to (W)YHY, which is clearly a time word in the narratives, does
>not make R)$YT a time word just because there are other cases where time
>words plus the beth are used in similar situations. In fact, it weakens the
>case, as it makes it an event which the writer felt needed a clear time
>qualifier to bring out the time aspect.
It shows that br'$yt operates just as bywm does. It's
>Your whole case on associating the clauses Gen 1 with
>BR)$YT is made on
Not my whole case, Paul. I have clearly listed three
reasons why I do it.
>parallelism between time words which are clearly that
>(normally day), words that are by definition a duration
>of time, and R)$YT, which is by basic definition the
>first item in a series.
Sorry, Paul, but if I say in English, at the beginning of
June, it's a time phrase. If I say I was born at the
beginning or the reign of Queen Elizabeth, it is simply a
time phrase. If Jeremiah is said to have received the word
of God at the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim, one
would normally take that as a when. Your doubts about this
matter have nothing to do with the Hebrew. I can't think
of any reason why you even venture to postulate the idea.
It doesn't stem from the text or normal understandings of
the phrases under question.
>I would not disagree that generally
>BR)$YT refers to time. I do not agree, however, that dropping off the beth
>results in a time word. Therefore, by your declaring it as such without
>clear justification is actually *you* redefining the term "time word".
I've never talked of "dropping off the beth". And if I
have ever talked of a time word, then it was a slip. I
have consistently talked of time phrases. br'$yt, bywm,
b`t (and what is connected to them). When it is an
answer to a when question then it is a time phrase.
There is no redefinition on my part: this is just you
retorting a previous statement of mine. You hadn't
thought of this little number before I pointed out the
relation whith other time phrases, so now you are
trying to say that it is not a time phrase. You get the
chronology here? What I would like to know is your
motivation for reinventing the significance of br'$yt.
>So I am not asking you to justify that BR)$YT is a time word. The beth is
>common to both sides of your proposed parallel structures. You still do
>need to show that R)$YT is a time word, as is YWM, for your parallelism to
You're talking about r'$yt for some reason. As there is
no reason to talk about the term without the b-, for
that is what we need to analyse, let's get back to the
subject: if the phrase of which br'$yt is the start
responds to the question "when" then the phrase is a
time phrase. There is no need to talk about r'$yt per
>I trust you can see the difference between what I am asking,
>and what you have argued below.
Sorry, but I can't.
>I'm afraid that I'm not the one making the stretch here.
You're simply trying to invent a new meaning to br'$yt, so
that it's not parallel to other such time phrases.
The bottom line is, if br'$yt is a response to when, which
is the only important criterion. As such it is directly
analogous with bywm and b`t, "on the day" and "at the time".
It is simply less frequent. As both bywm and b`t take
clauses there is no reason to believe that br'$yt doesn't as
well. In fact, br'$yt, which is qualified in all other uses,
makes perfect sense as a time reference qualified by what
follows, and, without qualification, doesn't yield much sense
at all without an overlay of two thousand years of erroneous
eisegesis of the dequalified phrase.
If you accept that br'$yt responds to when as in the examples
from Jeremiah, then I don't see why you are arguing here.
Attempting to say that bywm must be a duration because ywm is
not punctiliar seems to miss the point. "I got married on the
first day of June" is functionally equivalent to "I got
married at the beginning of June", where the first would
involve bywm and the second br'$yt. Semantic content comes
from words and context, not just words alone.
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