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

Yonah Mishael yonahmishael at gmail.com
Sun Oct 29 23:22:37 EST 2006

Regarding this topic, I also learned that an infinitive absolute
coupled with a finite verb form is an intensifier. I would be
interested in any *evidence* to demonstrate that it only means "liable
to", though I think this is stretching. If you have more from the
author, please forward at least the bibliographical note to the list.


On 10/29/06, K Randolph <kwrandolph at gmail.com> wrote:
> Chris:
> Does Ehud Ben Zvi have any Biblical Hebrew examples to back up his
> theory, or is he using only later rabbinical practice?
> As for Jesus in John 8, there were more than one reason for his
> reaction. 1) He did not condemn the woman, and as I understand it,
> those who were witnesses should throw the first stone. 2) The law
> cited always required that the man be executed, the woman only if it
> could be shown that it was consensual and not a rape; where was the
> man? 3) Jesus did not say that the woman should not be stoned, rather
> that the one who was not in error (the word does not necessarily mean
> "sinless") should throw the first stone. Since she was caught "in the
> very act", that means that they caught the man too, so where was he?
> Therefore, those who brought the woman were in error, incorrectly
> applying the law. The law is found in both Leviticus and Deuteronomy.
> If a law is not consistently applied, then it isn't justice. Mercy in
> justice is where the demands of the law are fulfilled, then the
> payment is freely given on behalf of the one who cannot pay.
> If the law is not consistently applied, then it encourages more
> lawbreaking. More lawbreaking has the innocent as its primary victims.
> It is not mercy to society not to enforce the law consistently.
> Therefore, I see no reason to go against the traditional
> interpretation of the text insisting on consistent application of
> punishment for crimes.
> Karl W. Randolph.
> On 10/28/06, Chris and Nel <wattswestmaas at eircom.net> wrote:
> > 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).
> >
> > NOTE:
> > 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.
> >
> > regards
> > chris
> >
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Yonah Mishael ben Avraham
Joplin, MO
yonahmishael at gmail.com

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