[b-hebrew] yorenu (again) in Sanhedrin 105

David Kummerow farmerjoeblo at hotmail.com
Mon Jun 30 19:26:29 EDT 2008

Dear Gabe,

Third-person pronominal suffixes augmented with nun are attached to the 
long prefix verb (the future/imperfective) and not to the short prefix 
verb (the jussive). Consequently, a jussive rendering like "let his God 
teach him" is completely out of the question. The word order of 
subject-verb with the prefix verb is also generally diagnostic of 
indicative vis-a-vis modal.

David Kummerow.

> Thanks much to Harold, Yigal, Yitzhak and Isaac for all the help. The 
> "nun energicum" is what I was missing.
> It had seemed to me that the Sanhedrin passage is playing off this nun 
> in order to change "teach him" (in /Isaiah/) into "teach us" ("us" being 
> the Israelites who answer "the prophet" in Rabbah b. bar Hana's 
> parable). This was the Soncino reading; but the Schottenstein 
> translation has "teach IT" (the yetzer hara' in the parable) -- and, 
> appropriately as per Yitzhak's information, puts a dagesh in the nun of 
> the Talmudic text as well. (I am assuming that the dagesh's are later 
> additions to the Talmudic text as well as the Biblical, so that Soncino 
> and Schottenstein can decide where to put their dagesh's in the Talmud. 
> Correct? Or is there an "official" Masoretic Talmud?)
> But what both translations agree on is to say "LET his God teach 
> [him/us]" rather than simply, "His God will teach [him/us]". This fits 
> in with a reading of the passage that takes the Israelites as being 
> defiant or rebellious, and thus resisting the teaching, or at least 
> taking no responsibility for controlling themselves. What interests me 
> is an alternative reading, in which the Israelites would be saying, in a 
> more positive manner, "His God WILL teach us." So what I want to know 
> is, is there any grammatical basis for deciding this? If you set out to 
> translate the two English sentences ("Let him teach us", "He will teach 
> us") into (Biblical) Hebrew, what would you come up with to distinguish 
> them?
> thanks again,
> Gabe Eisenstein

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