[b-hebrew] Well, well well, Whose changing a hundred years of a basic rule - Infinite Absolute!

Chris and Nel wattswestmaas at eircom.net
Sat Oct 28 13:20:35 EDT 2006

To my complete surprise, when I translated the verse in Exodus 21: 28, as 
"when an ox gores a man or a woman and they die, the ox shall deffinately be 
stoned" - I was wrong.  Apparantly an Infinitive Absolute plus imperfect 
most likely conveyed:  'it is liable to be stoned' or 'it may be stoned'. 
BUT, not killing it is NOT breaking the law. Cited in "Readings in biblical 
hebrew, Ehud Ben Zvi, Hancock and Beinert - 1993"

Similarly, in Leviticus 20:10 "he shall surely be put to death" (I have 
always cringed at this 'shall surely' business anyway), means that he is 
liable to execution but if PARDONED that is not breaking God's commandment. 
And you know what, all this makes much more sense anyway.  BUT what is this 
new developement in the Infinitive absolute, is this an isolated opinion or 
is there a consensus out there, and how did they arrive at this 
understanding?  (And if it is correct then why don't they correct the 
'Modern' grammar books).

Of course all this allows for the fact that there WAS mercy to be found in 
the law after all and this excites me, since I have always been under the 
impression that there was no Flexibility in the regulations, just rigidity. 
This would thoroughly explain Jesus's ability to be both an upholder of the 
law while at the same time appearing to break it by not having that woman 
stoned who was brought to him by those individuals who wanted to test Jesus.


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