[b-hebrew] Taw added to Verbs

Isaac Fried if at math.bu.edu
Sat May 12 21:04:09 EDT 2007


OK, let's take a short [QACAR] grammatical step forward. The actors  
in Genesis 3:17 are God and ADAM, God speaks and ADAM listens. The  
third "actor"---the forbidden fruit, as well as the act of having  
eating it, hover in the background. The first verb of the verse is ) 
AMAR, 'said'. It is in the QAL, 'light', form, namely the root )MR  
with just two inserted 'A' sounds to facilitate its pronunciation  
[remember what I said earlier, 'A' means nothing]. This verb form is  
without any attached or inserted personal pronouns, and by default it  
refers to a fait accompli. If you wish to explicitly say "he said"  
you need to preposition or post-position the separate personal  
pronoun HU: HU )AMAR, or )AMAR HU. Notice that )AMRU = )AMR-U = )AMR- 
HU is 'said they'. In Genesis 3:17 it is merely )AMAR and not the  
full HU )AMAR since it is contextually evident that God [HU] did the  
saying. For a female it is HI )AMR-AH, with a last [now attached] HA  
for 'she'. Notice that it is not )AM[A]RAH---one 'A' sound is  
"snatched away" (elided) so as to leave the word with only two  
vowels, as is the taste of the Hebrews.
Next comes the inflected verb $AMA(TA = $AMA(-ATAH, 'hear you',  
proper English: 'you heard', from the root $M(. The context makes it  
clear that this TA is 'you' with reference to ADAM. The word $AMA(TA  
contains by default three 'A' sounds, but not four. I would put a  
tiny hiatus after the schwa under the letter AYIN and say $AMA([ ]TA  
rather than $AMA([A]TA as I often hear [you may safely ignore the  
schwa mobile and schwa quiescent business].
Next comes VATO)QAL = VA-TO-)QAL from the root )QL, 'eat'. The  
preposition VA, the "VAV conversive" according to traditional  
grammarians, is in my opinion but a variant of the substantive BA,  
'come', corresponding to the English 'be'. I would translate it as  
'then'. Clearly TO is a personal pronoun of the AT, ATAH kind,  
standing here also for ADAM. It is possible that this form is used  
instead of TA for euphonic reasons as it sounds clearer and better  
then the AAA bleating of *VA-TA-)QAL [asterisk denotes an unused  
form]. But I am not excluding the possibility that TO harbors two  
personal pronouns, one for ADAM and one [as we contextually  
understand it] for the thing eaten. Thus, possibly, TO = T-O = AT-HU.  
If so, then the translation of VATO)QAL = VA-AT-HU-)QAL is 'then you  
he [the fruit] eat'. Contextually we also understand that the speaker  
refers to a past event.

Since we are at it let's consider some verb forms from the last two  
chapters of Leviticus.  on 25:4 we find TIZRA(, from the root ZR(,  
'plant'. We may look at it as TI-ZRA(, 'you plant' or T-I-ZRA(, you  
it [your field] plant'. Next we find TIZMOR = TI-ZM-O-R, from the  
root ZMR, 'prune'. The internal O is a personal pronoun standing for  
the vine in need of pruning.
On 25:5 we find QC-IY-R-KA, from the root QCR, 'reap'. Here the  
internal IY is a personal pronoun standing for the wheat itself , and  
the last KA for 'you' in the sense of 'your'. In the genitive Hebrew  
uses the personal pronouns AK, AKAH, AKEM, AKEN in place of AT, ATAH,  
Thus QAC-YI-R is the noun 'harvest', but QC-O-R is the exhortation  
'harvest!', and QAC-E-R is 'shorten!' Q-U-CAR is 'he [HU] was made  
short', which is the same as HU-QCAR. Yet QAC-U-R is 'he [U = HU] is  
harvested', while QACR-U is ' harvest they = they harvested'.
on 25:9 we find the interesting form TA-(AB-IY-R-U, from the root  
(BR, 'pass', It contains the three personal pronouns TA, YI, and U  
standing for Israel, the ram's horn, and every individual of the  
congregation. It translates then, thus: ' you [the addressee] pass it  
[the sound of the SHOFAR], all of you'. Indeed TA-)ABR-U, 'you pass,  
all of you' does not contain an internally inserted pronoun as there  
is no reference here to an external object being also carried over.

Isaac Fried, Boston University

On May 11, 2007, at 5:08 PM, Brak wrote:

> Actually all the "theorizing" has been helpful. After my initial
> question, which was due to me forgetting about the feminine third  
> person
> form, I then proceeded to ask the purpose for the seemingly  
> redundancy.
> I mean we know that "the woman" is speaking - so I was wondering  
> why the
> need to add "she". Why not just have H)#H )MR "The woman  
> said ....", but
> instead the text has "And she said, the woman, .....".
> To me it looked a little redundant. So the responses I have gotten  
> have
> been helpful.
> Now I wish to expand the question one step further:
> If you were translating the word WAT.O)MER by itself, how would one go
> about translating it?
> I currently assume there isn't a way to do so.
> The reason I ask is in a verse like Gen 3:17 you have L")MOR LO) TO) 
> Now it is usually translated as "saying, you shall not eat", but
> couldn't also be translated "saying, she shall not eat".
> B"H
> John Steven
> "If you don't behave as you believe, you will end by believing as you
> behave."
> -Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen.
>>> John,
>>> You are on the right track. All you need is just organize and
>>> systematize your thoughts. I said it before and I will say it again.
>>> 1. The Indo-European languages have thoroughly destroyed the
>>> structure of their mother tongue. They have bungled their root  
>>> system
>>> and forgot all about their original internal system of personal
>>> pronouns.
>>> 2. For some reason Hebrew is left in nearly pristine form. It is
>>> nearly as ADAM and EVE invented it in their boundless cleverness
>>> still fresh from the tree of knowledge.
>>> 3. Every word in the Hebrew language is composed of a root and
>>> personal pronouns, that's all. Every Hebrew vowel excepting 'A' is a
>>> personal pronoun. In nouns the personal pronouns refer to the  
>>> object,
>>> while in verbs (acts) the personal pronouns refer to the actors.
>>> 3. The (compound) separate personal pronouns ANI, ANOKYI, ATAH, AT,
>>> HU, HI, ANU, ATEM. HEM, HEN, can not be inserted between the radical
>>> letters lest they confuse the root.
>>> 4. The word TIRCAX is actually two words that have come close
>>> together. They are TI-RCAX, where TI is a variant of AT or ATAH
>>> standing for the actor-addressee. Since TI is gender indifferent
>>> Hebrew adds (H)YI for the female at the and, TI-RCX-YI. So LO TI- 
>>> RCAX
>>> reads exactly as you say it does: "no you kill". For the girls it  
>>> is:
>>> "no you kill she". For the many Hebrew adds (H)U, TI-RCX-U, and so
>>> on. When many speak for themselves they say NI-RCAX, where NI is a
>>> variant of ANI and ANU. The single speaker contacted ANI to the mere
>>> E, E-RCAX, "I kill".
>>> Isaac Fried, Boston University
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