[b-hebrew] XSD

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Tue Aug 23 09:06:41 EDT 2005

On 23/08/2005 01:45, Karl Randolph wrote:

> ...
>>Well, the first clause in this verse starts at the beginning and 
>>continues until XESED HU', with 'ASHER introducing a clause 
>>subordinate to this one. The sentence structure in fact seems to 
>>state that it is the man who is XESED, but it could be interpreted 
>>that the whole situation is so descibed. But I don't see that the 
>>meaning could a description of what follows, which is separated off 
>>by the VAV conjunction attached to a QATAL verb (i.e. WEQATAL) 
>>which always indicates a new clause.
>Looking at the verse, the )$R precedes the XSD HW) so that 
>the latter is either part of the subordinate clause, or 
>the introduction to the following clause. ...

Not at all. )$R introduces a subordinate clause which is very often 
embedded within the main clause. And that seems to be what is happening 
here (Lev 20:17), at the formal syntactical level, literally "A man {who 
takes his sister, daughter of his father or daughter of his mother and 
sees her nakedness and she sees his nakedness} he/it is XESED." {...} 
indicates the embedded clause. Formally HU' is a resumptive pronoun 
referring back to the man.

>... I read it as the 
>Secondly, does the WAW prefix on a verb always indicate a 
>new clause, ...

This is my understanding.

>... or only when affixed on a Qatal? I read the WAW 
>to have the same force as on the final verb in Isaiah 53:2. ...

I would read this as a separate clause "(he had) no appearance ... we 
desired him". The semantic link between these clauses is a difficult 

>On a related issue, when I see applications of a noun that 
>is used well over 100 times in Tanakh, all of them having 
>one meaning and only once apparently having a different and 
>opposite meaning, I then question why? Is this a special 
>figure of speach? Did I misunderstand the text? Is there 
>possible copyest error? Is this a loan word from another 
>language that just happened to have the same form as a 
>previous lexeme in the language (though in this case, with 
>Torah being the earliest section of Tanakh, it is very 
>unlikely)? Are we looking at an unusual though acceptable 
>grammatical construct? Is this slang? In short, a one time 
>opposite use raises many red flags.

I agree with you, Karl. I am not like Harold, relying on authorities. 
But I have looked at the context of these three uses of XSD, and I 
cannot see a way in which they are not a very different sense of the 
word than the typical one - which is itself rather diverse. But one 
thing I understand but you don't seem to, is that in Hebrew like every 
other language many words have very diverse meanings, and it is 
dangerous to assume otherwise.

Peter Kirk
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)

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