[b-hebrew] is there are break between Gen 34:18 and 19?

B. M. Rocine brocine at twcny.rr.com
Wed Sep 13 13:53:08 EDT 2006

Dear David,

Yes, its a break.

V. 19 does not introduce a new character or change characters, so I 
don't think that can be used as a justification.   Also 19 reads 
*ha*nna`ar, and *ha*ddavar, both definite articles binding v. 19 to 18 
at some level.

However, I would still consider v. 19 a break because the writer avoids 
mainline forms.  He may easily have said, vayya`as hanna`ar... or 
vaymaher hanna`ar la`asot... to place the new event on the main 
plotline.  Rather, by using an irrealis clause (and a noun sentence), he 
"demotes" the information in 19 to background for the scene at the city 
gate.  Why put Shecem's circumcision into the background?  It probably 
helps explain the town elders' willingness to entertain the terms of an 
agreement with Ya`akob's family.

I am not saying that all lo'-clauses, X-qatals, or noun sentences are 
found at the beginnings of their sections.  They may be embedded within 
sections or close sections when they elaborate on previous events.  Such 
is not the case in v. 19.

As I read Hemerdinger, he does indeed class the lo'-clause as an 
X-qatal, but others, such as Longacre, consider a lo' clause as another 
class labeled irrealis.  I prefer the latter classification myself.


David Gray wrote:
> Is there are break between Gen 34:18 and 19?
> At the beginning of 19 we find:
> וְלֹֽא־אֵחַ֤ר הַנַּ֙עַר֙ לַעֲשֹׂ֣ות הַדָּבָ֔ר
> Welo’-ekhar hanna‘ar la‘asowt haddavar
> Does the class as an X-qatal, Hemerdinger (1999:22), and if so does this signify a break?
> Berlin has a break there, as shown by the change in characters (participants).
> David Gray

B. M. Rocine
Living Word Church
6101 Court St. Rd.
Syracuse, NY 13026
(W): 315.437.6744

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list