[b-hebrew] Isaiah 53: bruises?

Harold R. Holmyard III hholmyard at ont.com
Sun May 23 16:05:38 EDT 2004

Dear Vadim,

>patah (as in haburah) is NEVER reduced to hatef.
>Besides, even if reduction would be there, dagesh would remain.

HH: You're right about the first part. I apologize. I assumed that 
"haburah" had a qames at the start. The lexicon gives three alternate 
spellings for this word, and it has no problem with dropping the 

I'm not exactly sure why all the changes occur or why the alternate 
spelling for haburah occurs here. This is the kind of detail I 
generally avoid. I suspect it has something to do with the prefixed 
preposition B. Gutturals prefer pathach before them, and also the 
noun here is definite because of the suffix.

A grammar (GKC 27b) will say that in an open syllable the language 
has frequently retained only a half-vowel where there originally 
stood a full short vowel. (Actually the letter X at the beginning of 
a word prefers hateph pathach.) That may be what has happened in this 
alternate spelling for haburah, and it may be due to the fact that 
otherwise there would be two adjacent pathachs because of the 
prefixed preposition ba- in the word in Isa 53:5: WBXBRTW. Also, you 
cannot normally have a short vowel in an open, unaccented syllable. 
So the ba- sound before X needs the guttural X to close the syllable. 
So the second pathach (under X) became hateph patach and the 
following dagesh with B dropped.

With the dagesh and a pathach you have habburah. The hab- is a 
separate syllable. If you go to a hateph pathach, then you lose the 
separate syllable hab-, and I think the hateph pathach joins with the 
following bu  sound. In Isaiah 53:5 I guess the sound would be 

There is another word for "stripe, mark" that also begins with a 
hateph pathach: XBRBRH (Jer 13:23).

You are doubting a word here that the lexicons accept. Delitzsch says 
that it's the same word as in Isa 1:6. I would say you should invest 
in a good lexicon. You would save yourself a lot of headaches.

					Harold Holmyard

>Vadim Cherny
>>  >To begin with, haburah is a different word from havurah, since otherwise
>>  >cannot account for hatef (ex-kamatz) in havurah.
>>  HH: The hatef is there because of the 3ms pronominal suffix that has
>>  been added to XBRH in Isa 53:5. When you add a pronoun suffix, it
>>  often reduces the first vowel of the noun.
>>  Yours,
>>  Harold Holmyard
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