[b-hebrew] prepositions and grammar

Vadim Cherny VadimCherny at mail.ru
Wed Oct 5 15:48:14 EDT 2005


>>> Some languages use a dative in situations where others require the
>>> accusative, and that's why we translate the literal "become to" as
>>> "become" in English.
>>
>>So, you suggest that Hebrew dative is consistently accusative in English?
>>('became a living soul' seems ablative to me)
>
> In case you didn't understand, let me try to be clearer.  Hebrew needs
> L after "become" for grammatical reasons.

Basically, you assert that le lacks semantical function? Hmmm

>  (And I'm pretty sure that you know enough Hebrew to know that.)

You are very kind

> I did not suggest that Hebrew dative is consistently accusative; but after 
> "become" it most certainly is.

It is ablative, anyway, in the traditional reading, not accusative.
Consistently? Ok, the first example ihih le I see, Gen17:18, "That Ishmael 
might live for you!" (Pefectly dative in Russian, посвящен тебе) I looked at 
the translation, and curiously, it is in the ablative, "before you," totally 
unwarranted.

> Also, what do you think "became for a living soul" means?   "He
> became.  And the reason he did that is to benefit a living soul"?
> Surely not.

That is an altogether different issue. We might understand the phrase or 
not, but not translate it a priori wrongly.
I can see several readings:

The Lord God would bring forward the man. Dust of the ground, [it] blew into 
his face. The essence of life, [that] became the man to a living being;

The Lord God would bring forward the man, the dust of the ground (idiom). It 
blew into his face, [the face of] the live being. The man lived for (to 
preserve) a living being.

The Lord God fashioned the man, the dust of the ground, and blew the breath 
of life into his face (by sending him to Eden). The man lived for (to 
preserve) a living being.


Vadim Cherny





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