[b-hebrew] prepositions and grammar
VadimCherny at mail.ru
Thu Oct 6 13:47:14 EDT 2005
> "Great. And how do you know the idea, if you ignore the grammar?"
> You don't ignore the grammar. You have to understand the grammar of both
Right. So you have to see that le is dative in Hebrew, and ask yourself, if
English translation is equivalent of dative.
Say, "That Ishmael might live for you!" is a reasonable translation of what
is properly dative, “consecrated to you”.
But omitting le in Gen2:7 changes the meaning.
> "Became to a living soul" is not good English.
> Become simply does not take a prepositional phrase as its object in
> As for other examples,
> Exodus 4:3, 7:10, 7:12 Moses' staff became (le) a serpent.
> Deuteronomy 26:5 became a (le) great nation
> Joshua 7:5 the heart of the people melted and became (le) water
> Judges 1:33 became (le) tributary to them
> Judges 8:27 it became (le) a snare to Gideon and to his family
> Ruth 4:13 she became to him (le) a wife
> 2 Sam 8:2 the Moabites became (le) servants to David
> Psalm 114:2 Judah became (le) a sanctuary to him
> Isaiah 63:10 he changed himself to become (le) an enemy to them
Your examples fall into the category of the comparative sense of le.
1Kings2:2, “Be strong, and show yourself as a (le) man,” or Exodus4:3,
“[rod] became a (le) serpent.” Such usage of le is consistent with dative:
“as a man, as a serpent” (Russian подобно+dative). The connotation is,
“similar, but not the same”; Solomon, according to David’s estimate, was not
a man yet, but should behave like one.
The man, however, is universally referred to as “living soul”; here
identification replaces mere similarity. The reading, "The man became as a
living soul" is possible, but unlikely. Even if the meaning is indeed such,
the connotation is not becoming a live person (in which case le in the sense
of "as" would be improper), but turning from "as dead" (from the drought) to
"as alive" (in Eden), revived.
> Since you asked how I ignore the grammar, let me ask you, what grammars
> and lexicons are you using for Hebrew and English?
> The definition I gave you for le is a standard definition found in
I rarely feel a need to consult lexicon, and certainly not a grammar, but
when someone asks me for a reference, I suggest Steinberg. He is head and
shoulders above BDB.
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