[b-hebrew] 1 Sam 17:16

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Tue Aug 7 02:45:33 EDT 2007


On 8/5/07, Peter Bekins <pbekins at fuse.net> wrote:
> Karl,
> I have not followed the thread you quoted, so forgive me if I am off
> point or repetitive.
You are the only one who has replied. Thank you.

> I looked back at my notes from my Classical Hebrew narrative class
> when we read through this section of Samuel. As you mention, both H
> $KM and H(RB, are pointed as "verbs" - hif inf abs. As the inf abs is
> largely used as a verbal complement,  we understood this as an
> adverbial phrase, probably a hendiadys, which would be translated by
> a prepositional phrase in English as "from early in the morning until
> late at night" (see HALOT, under $KM entry 1d).
Do you know of another example of such a linguistic construct in
Biblical Hebrew?

There is a standard way of saying from morning to evening, namely all
day, and off the top of my head I can think of no hendiadys that has
such a meaning, nor even something that is similar.

> I would not be inclined to read the two words as nouns since $KM only
> refers to rising early in the hifil binyan, thus a noun built on the
> root would reflect that mishkal, ie with some sort of prefix. $KM as
> a noun already refers widely in Semitic to the shoulders or back of
> the neck. If the inf abs were being used as a substantive I think we
> would need another H for the article.
There are two problems with the above: 1) The Biblical Hebrew corpus
is so limited that just because a verb is found only in one binyan in
Tanakh, does not mean that in everyday speech that it was used only in
that binyan. Furthermore, derivatives from a root can be from other
binyanim than the binyan found in Tanakh. And 2) is the $KM referring
to the shoulder from the same root? There are many nouns, adjectives
and adverbs used in Tanakh for which there is no expressed root in

> Of course, this is the only occurrence of (RB as a hifil verb
> referring to doing something late at night, but it is a logical
> extension and I would be more inclined to read it as parallel to H
> $KM, rather than the other way around.
That's the point, they are in parallel. If one is a noun, then both
are. If one is a verb, then so is the other.

When reading the verse, I came to a place where I expected to find a
noun, and instead found a verb. Hence my question. I know the
Masoretic pointing is demonstrably wrong in some places, which leads
me to question the pointing in every difficult passage, where changing
the pointing fits common usage.
> Peter Bekins
> Grad Student, Bible and Comparative Semitics
> Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati, OH
Thanks again. Karl W. Randolph.

>  > Dear All:
>  > As I was reading through 1 Samuel, I noticed that H$KM is used as a
>  > noun with a definite article prefix, not as a hiphil verb as pointed.
>  > It is in context with "the evening" as a parallel, indicating the
>  > Goliath made his challenge twice a day.
> > From the context, the word should be a noun, not a verb.
> >
>  > What do you all say?
>  > Karl W. Randolph.

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