[b-hebrew] Definiteness in bhebrew

James Christian jc.bhebrew at googlemail.com
Mon Oct 19 08:58:40 EDT 2009


Hi,

2009/10/19, K Randolph <kwrandolph at gmail.com>:

> James:
>
> On Sun, Oct 18, 2009 at 11:53 AM, James Christian <
> jc.bhebrew at googlemail.com
> > wrote:
>
> > Hi,
> >
> > What I'm really looking for are concrete clues from which we can extract
> > rules about how Hebrews understood definiteness. When is it OK to say
> > Elohim
> > and not HaElohim? Is it ever OK to use Ha with bereshith? If not why not?
> > Is
> > it the preposition? Is it the quality of the noun itself? Can we extract
> > any
> > kind of generalisations whatsoever which are likely to work with any kind
> > of
> > high accuracy when applied to the whole corpus? These are the kind of
> > questions I'm thinking about.
> >
> > James Christian
> >
> >
> > As for the use of Elohim and haElohim, there are 337 verses where
> haElohim
> are found vs. 635 verses where just Elohim (without a prefix) are found.
> That’s according to a quick electronic search. With such a ratio, it is
> likely that whether or not to use the definite article may be one of
> personal preference, not a mathematically describable rule.


Thanks for the statistics but in order for them to be useful we need to
count the following:

1) How many times is Elohim used for God
2) How many of those times is Elohim used for 'gods'
3) How many of those times is HaElohim unambiguously used as a title for
'The God'
4) How many of those times is HaElohim unambiguously used with literal
meaning of 'the gods'


James Christian





> As for BR$YT in Genesis 1:1, the original may have had an understood
> definite article, one that was lost in the Masoretic tradition. The lack of
> vowels in the original makes it impossible for us to be sure.
>
> Karl W. Randolph.
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