[b-hebrew] Pronoun )nky in Judg. 6:8

Harold R. Holmyard III hholmyard at ont.com
Wed Oct 6 09:03:30 EDT 2004

Dear Clay,

>  > So lets ignore the position of the pronoun and ask the question why do we
>>  see a pronoun at all? What is the function of the pronoun. I agree this has
>  > to do with issues other than syntax. "Focus" isn't a syntax issue.

HH: This is an interesting question and may be 
hard to resolve immediately from the context, but 
I think the function of the pronoun is contrast. 
One may need to go back to the first verse of the 
chapter and earlier to see how:

Judg. 6:1 ¶ Again the Israelites did evil in the 
eyes of the LORD, and for seven years he gave 
them into the hands of the Midianites.

HH: What exactly did it mean that the Israelites 
did evil in the eyes of the Lord? It seems clear 
from the verbal pattern already established in 
the book from as early as 2:10:

Judg. 2:10 ¶ After that whole generation had been 
gathered to their fathers, another generation 
grew up, who knew neither the LORD nor what he 
had done for Israel.
Judg. 2:11 Then the Israelites did evil in the 
eyes of the LORD and served the Baals.
Judg. 2:12 They forsook the LORD, the God of 
their fathers, who had brought them out of Egypt. 
They followed and worshiped various gods of the 
peoples around them. They provoked the LORD to 
Judg. 2:13 because they forsook him and served Baal and the Ashtoreths.

HH: This caused the Lord to send enemies against them:

Judg. 2:14 In his anger against Israel the LORD 
handed them over to raiders who plundered them. 
He sold them to their enemies all around, whom 
they were no longer able to resist.

HH: This sets the repeated pattern for the following chapters:

Judg. 2:16 ¶ Then the LORD raised up judges, who 
saved them out of the hands of these raiders.
Judg. 2:17 Yet they would not listen to their 
judges but prostituted themselves to other gods 
and worshiped them. Unlike their fathers, they 
quickly turned from the way in which their 
fathers had walked, the way of obedience to the 
LORD's commands.

Judg. 2:19 But when the judge died, the people 
returned to ways even more corrupt than those of 
their fathers, following other gods and serving 
and worshiping them. They refused to give up 
their evil practices and stubborn ways.

Judg. 3:5 ¶ The Israelites lived among the 
Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, 
Hivites and Jebusites.
Judg. 3:6 They took their daughters in marriage 
and gave their own daughters to their sons, and 
served their gods.
Judg. 3:7 ¶ The Israelites did evil in the eyes 
of the LORD; they forgot the LORD their God and 
served the Baals and the Asherahs.
Judg. 3:8 The anger of the LORD burned against 
Israel so that he sold them into the hands of 
Cushan-Rishathaim king of Aram Naharaim, to whom 
the Israelites were subject for eight years.
Judg. 3:9 But when they cried out to the LORD, he 
raised up for them a deliverer, Othniel son of 
Kenaz, Caleb's younger brother, who saved them.

Judg. 3:12 ¶ Once again the Israelites did evil 
in the eyes of the LORD, and because they did 
this evil the LORD gave Eglon king of Moab power 
over Israel.

Judg. 4:1 ¶ After Ehud died, the Israelites once 
again did evil in the eyes of the LORD.
Judg. 4:2 So the LORD sold them into the hands of 
Jabin, a king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor. 
The commander of his army was Sisera, who lived 
in Harosheth Haggoyim.

HH: The mention of Jabin in 4:2 introduces the 
narrative continuing through chapter 5, but the 
pattern returns with 6:1, so we can assume that 
the evil in 6:1 involved the worship of other 
gods. When the people cry out to the Lord for 
deliverance 6:6-7 and he sends them a prophet, I 
think He wants to remind them that it was He, and 
not some other god, who brought them out of 
Egypt: The words in 6:10 also support this idea:

Judg. 6:8 he sent them a prophet, who said, 
"This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: 
It is I who brought you up out of Egypt, out of 
the land of slavery.
Judg. 6:9 I snatched you from the power of Egypt 
and from the hand of all your oppressors. I drove 
them from before you and gave you their land.
Judg. 6:10 I said to you,  'I am the LORD your 
God; do not worship the gods of the Amorites, in 
whose land you live.' But you have not listened 
to me."

HH: I realize that there is no relative pronoun 
before "brought" in 6:8, but I added it in order 
to show in English what the force of the emphatic 
Hebrew pronoun )NKY might be. The Lord seems to 
be contrasting Himself with the gods of the 
Amorites, who never did anything for the 

				Harold Holmyard

>And unfortunately, that puts it outside my area of real expertise.  My
>research rarely goes above the clause and/or clause-connector level.  I can
>spell "pragmatics," but that's about it :-)
>Dave Washburn
>"No good.  Hit on head."   -Gronk
>b-hebrew mailing list
>b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org

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