[b-hebrew] infinitive absolute

Peter Kirk peter at qaya.org
Wed Nov 1 15:45:25 EST 2006

On 01/11/2006 17:33, Yitzhak Sapir wrote:
> On 10/31/06, Dr. Joel M. Hoffman wrote:
>> For example, the frequent repetition of MOT YUMAT seems to militate
>> against an emphatic meaning.  So does, e.g., the particular use in Gen
>> 3:4:  "The serpant told the woman you will not die" is much more
>> likely than the nearly nonsensical, "the serpant told the woman you
>> will not die empatically/certainly/etc."
> Why is "the serpent told the woman you will most certainly not die"
> "nearly nonsensical"?  You seem to assume that the empasis or
> intensity applies only to the verb and the "lo" negates the
> hypothesized intensive verb.  But it's quite possible that "lo"
> negates the verb "die" rather than "most certainly die".  When
> someone (that is, the woman) has her doubts, this is quite a
> persuasive technique and makes perfect sense in context.
I note that God's original command in 2:17 has the infinitive absolute, 
MOT TAMUT, although Eve's restatement of it in 3:3 lacks this, perhaps a 
subtle indication that she is already sceptical. So when the serpent 
responds in 3:4 with the negated infinitive absolute, LO-MOT TEMUTUN, 
could the meaning be something like "It is not certain that you will 
die", rather than "You will certainly not die"?

Peter Kirk
E-mail:  peter at qaya.org
Blog:    http://speakertruth.blogspot.com/
Website: http://www.qaya.org/

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