[b-hebrew] Re: agent or patient in Psa. 33:12?

Nachman Levine nachmanl at juno.com
Thu May 13 23:43:17 EDT 2004

About 105:26

""What is ambiguous about this verse?
The two verbs "shalah" and "bahar" are in synonymous 
parallelism, therefore
the subject of both is identical. Moreover, it's a psalm, a temple song,
temple poets would naturally have praised one of their own. Shall I cite
other cases of such in Psalms?
Jonathan D. Safren
Dept. of Biblical Studies
Beit Berl College"

"Not semantically ambiguous. Just syntactically ambiguous, which is
easily demonstrated. While there is parellism between the verbs (not
entirely synonymous, Bahar doesn't mean what Shalah does and intensifies
it, though the election of Aharon would be "subordinate" to Moshe, and
Shalah means a whole lot of different things throughout Ps 105) but on
the level of phonological parallelism (as in Kselman,Ceresko,Watson,
Schokel, Adele Berlin's, ideas of sound pairs, semantic-sonant chiasmus,
AvdO//Bahar bO would an assonantic and semantic-grammatical parallelism
of its own, both as sound pairs and genitive agreement or synonomy. So
there are several levels of parallelism here.
That's why I wondered about possible multivalence."

Hmm. It gets more interesting. In 105:6 it already says :

Zera` avraham AVDO//bnei ya`akov BEHIRAV

It appears that the actual established parallelism is: (Zera
Avraham)//Bnei Yaakov) and Avdo//Behirav (although Avdo first describes
Avraham, then Behirav "intensifies" to his great-grandchildren but the
actual lexical/semantic parallelistic pair is: Avdo/Behirav)

So in 105:26 the actual parallelism is Avdo//asher Bahar Bo, governed by
just one verb: Shalah governing two objects, or by the double-duty
Shalah: Shalah Moshe AVDO//[we-Shalah] Aharon asher BAHAR BO (as later in
105:43 the double-duty verb Wayotzi  governs `AMO//BEHIRAV, (similar to
and different from the first one but with the same single/plural

So really there is no verbal parallelism at all in 105:26 (other than
perhaps Shalah//[we-Shalah] but most probably Shalah Mosheh [we-] Aharon
where Moshe and Aharon are a famous enough pair in Psalms to be a divided
merismus), the only parallelism being the descriptions (which
semantically would probably decide BAHAR BO as the one God chose.)

BUT we both definitely got the idea that "The two verbs "shalah" and
"bahar" are in [synonymous] parallelism" which makes me wonder if in
context we are looking at: a verse with parallelism of descriptions,
disguised as one with parallelism of verbs. 

So once it implies several subtle shades of meaning, I would then ask if
it is indeed multivalent . . . even at the syntactic level?

Nachman Levine

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list