[b-hebrew] Gesenius on Femininity

Peter Kirk peter at qaya.org
Mon Sep 25 08:58:44 EDT 2006

On 23/09/2006 19:39, Chris and Nel wrote:
> Gesenius makes some interesting observations about the purpose of a noun 
> being in the feminine:  "Indication of the gender of the noun" page 411 
> (1898 edition).
> This got me thinking about a few words that had no apparent reason for being 
> in the feminine.  One such word was the obvious -- Torah.  And so I wonder 
> whether there would be agreement to the following 'idea' (based on 
> Gesenius's reasoning) that while this concept was masterful, strong, 
> dominant and hence a masculine ideal; it is rather by absolute contrast a 
> productive, sustaining, nourishing concept! and hence feminine.  (All this 
> assuming that Torah is understood along the lines that it means nore 
> teaching and guiding and instruction rather than the negative concept of 
> 'Law' as assumed in some circles)
> What are your thoughts on this?
This is not how language works. In any language with grammatical gender, 
the gender of many nouns is entirely arbitrary and no significance can 
be derived from it at all.

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

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