[b-hebrew] Re: Compound Words in Hebrew

George F. Somsel gfsomsel at juno.com
Mon Jun 28 10:34:58 EDT 2004


On Mon, 28 Jun 2004 06:29:40 -0700 Peter Kirk <peterkirk at qaya.org>
writes:
> On 28/06/2004 06:15, George F. Somsel wrote:
> 
> >On Mon, 28 Jun 2004 07:41:24 -0500 "Eduard C Hanganu"
> ><eddhanganu at hotmail.com> writes:
> >  
> >
> >>...
> >>
> >>My question is purely morphological,  and please, allow me to 
> repeat 
> >>it: 
> >>does the lexicon of the Hebrew language include COMPOUND words? 
> And 
> >>if the 
> >>answer is affirmative, what is the Grammar that discusses this 
> >>matter?
> >>    
> >>
> 
> There are a very few, for example B:LIY.A(AL "worthlessness" which 
> appears to be a compound of B:LIY "without" and YA(AL "benefit". 
> Gesenius (GKC 81d) discusses this point, but very briefly. In fact 
> the 
> only other example which GKC recognises, apart from proper names, is 
> 
> C:PAR:D."(A "frogs".
> 
> > ...
> >
> >Not to make any comment on the presence or lack thereof of compound 
> words
> >in Hebrew, I don't think this can be considered as a compound since 
> if
> >this were considered to be one concept rather than 2 the period
> >envisioned would then be 6 years rather than 3.
> >  
> >
> 
> The argument here is rather backwards: from historical events, to an 
> 
> interpretation of a specific passage, to the meaning of a word, to 
> the 
> structure of the Hebrew lexicon. Since we have already demonstrated 
> that 
> 2300 evenings *or* mornings doesn't fit the history exactly anyway, 
> 
> there is no reason to write off the hypothesis that (EREB B.OQER is 
> a 
> compound word meaning a period of rather over six years. Whether 
> that 
> means we look for another period that this passage applies to, or 
> consider Daniel a false prophet, is irrelevant to the lexical and 
> syntactic issue.
> 
___________

That is one way of handling the problem.  Since, however, it is generally
conceded that the Book of Daniel was an ex eventu (or at least
contemporaneus) writing, it would be surprising to find him making such a
mistake.  My inclination is to accept that he knew whereof he spoke.

george
gfsomsel



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