[b-hebrew] Ecclesiastes 3:11

Yitzhak Sapir yitzhaksapir at gmail.com
Sun Nov 18 12:17:32 EST 2007

On Nov 18, 2007 12:39 PM, Martin Shields wrote:

Hello Martin,

> > But ?$r doesn't work in Biblical syntax in this way.  ?$r generally
> > stands between the subordinate clause and the main sentence, as a
> > connection between the two.  If the subordinate clause needs to
> > refer to the antecedent it uses the 3s pronoun. HALOT provides (in
> > the entry on ?$r) Is 5:28 and Ps 95:5 as examples of this.
> This is often true, but is it always true? HALOT goes on to list
> examples of clauses with an antecedent referent but without any
> resumptive pronoun (e.g. Gen 2:8; Deut 1:39; Jud 21:5). It says, "so
> any word relating to a preceding noun may be omitted and the sense of
> the omitted element is inferred from the the context."

Preface all the following statements with my own 'it seems to me.' :)

But you have such a word, whether you realize it or not.  It is ?$r!
Furthermore, while the reference to an antecedent can be omitted,
where is it omitted when it is the object of a preposition.  I agree
that bly is acting as a preposition, but then it must take an object.
In the reading as explained by Bryant, this is the entire subordinate
clause which is the object.  In your reading, it is just ?$r where
?$r is the reference to an antecedent.  But where do you find that
?$r can reference the antecedent like this?  While ?$r can be
properly translated by 'which' in many cases, this is only where
'which' introduces a subordinate clause.  It does not translate
'which' when 'which' references just the antecedent.  There may be
border cases where it seems a reading says, for example, 'by which
such and such', but the Hebrew phrase really reads 'by { which such
and such }' whereby ?$r and the entire clause is the object of 'by'.
Furthermore, bly cannot take the object suffix forms of the 3rd
person, which is why in that case bl(dy would have to be used.  This
is why the form that properly references the antecedent is bl(dyw,
even if bl(dyw is not attested by itself in BH.   It is a reconstruction,
but a very reasonable one.  Finally, ?$r is not always found
immediately after its referent.

Yitzhak Sapir

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