[b-hebrew] Passive sentences in Esther?

Harold R. Holmyard III hholmyard at ont.com
Mon Oct 17 14:07:59 EDT 2005


Dear Luke,

>Over the weekend I went to a Bible study day, and the talks were on Esther.
>
>One of my favorite points from the talk was based on the grammar of
>some sentences in Esther, but I'd like to verify what was suggested.
>
>One of the verses mentioned was Est. 2:22. In context (from the ESV) 
>it says: -
>
>[21] In those days, as Mordecai was sitting at the king's gate,
>Bigthan and Teresh, two of the king's eunuchs, who guarded the
>threshold, became angry and sought to lay hands on King Ahasuerus.
>[22] And this came to the knowledge of Mordecai, and he told it to
>Queen Esther, and Esther told the king in the name of Mordecai. [23]
>When the affair was investigated and found to be so, the men were both
>hanged on the gallows. And it was recorded in the book of the
>chronicles in the presence of the king.
>
>The part of the passage picked on was at the of v22, where it says
>'And this came to the knowledge of Mordecai ... '.
>
>Here, in English in the ESV (and in other versions like ASV, KJV, YLT,
>NASB) the sentence is passive: Mordecai didn't find the information
>out himself, but the information was made known to Mordecai (like 'The
>ball was kicked to John', which is passive; as opposed to 'Billy
>kicked the ball', which isn't).
>
>However, is this the case in the Hebrew (or whatever language Esther
>was originally written in)? Is the sentence a passive one (in some
>English versions/paraphrases - like the CEV, GN, NIV - the sentence
>isn't passive)?

HH: The verb is passive in a passive phrasing.This is the translation 
of the verb in the Hebrew lexicon: "be known, become known."

				Yours,
				Harold Holmyard





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