[b-hebrew] 1Kings 3:19 )$r a relative?

Harold R. Holmyard III hholmyard at ont.com
Mon Oct 11 16:41:55 EDT 2004


Dear Clay,

>This is what Holmstedt* has to say about  )$r in 1Kings 3:19:
>
>Note (32) is a reference to 1Kings 3:19
>
>"In (32), the head that the extraposed relative modifies is the noun phrase
>son. The extraposed relative appears to be non-restrictively modifying the
>head in that it provided additional information which is unnecessary for
>identifying the referent of son (the head noun phrase son is already
>identified by virtue of the construct relationship with this woman). The
>relative clause is in fact providing the cause of death; the point is,
>however, that syntactically it is more economical to analyze the rva clause
>as a relative even if we render it as a causal clause in translation."

HH: But BDB and DCH identify )$R as a particle of relation or sign or 
relation. BDB says that "as a rule )$R is a mere connecting link and 
requires to be supplemented by a pronominal affix or other word, such 
as $M, defining the nature of the relation more precisely. . . ." 
Gesenius (138a) qualifies this by adding that )$R was originally a 
demonstrative pronoun.

HH: This issue of what is economical can cut both ways, since it is 
more economical to have )$R as a particle of relation than to have it 
perform two distinct functions. It is not that economical to have two 
functions that don't really cover what the word does. The question of 
the function is significant, since Robert admits that the function of 
the pertinent clause in 1 Kgs 3:19 is causal. The lexicons and older 
grammars see numerous functions for )$R and examples like 1 Kgs 3:19 
bear out the wisdom of their observation. It evidently took on a 
variety of uses. Gesenius notes its function in temporal, final, and 
consecutive clauses (GKC 164-66).

				Yours,
				Harold Holmyard



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