[b-hebrew] How emphatic? THAT emphatic?

Yigal Levin leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il
Sat Jul 24 15:25:41 EDT 2010

Keith and all,

Please remember to sign posts with your full name.

Thank you,

Yigal Levin

Co-Moderator, B-Hebrew

-----Original Message-----
From: b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Keith McCune
Sent: Friday, July 23, 2010 11:04 PM
To: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: [b-hebrew] How emphatic? THAT emphatic?

Let me share with you a letter I wrote to a friend recently.

I would love to hear what you think.



Dear Michael,

You have probably heard the (perhaps pop) rule of thumb that the function of
doubled verbs-- with infinitive plus finite forms-- is to make the action
EMPHATIC.  One classic example is God's warning to Adam:  "You will SURELY

Do you like this explanation of the meaning of inf+finite?

How about 2 Sam 1:6?  The little opportunistic scavenger who brings David
the crown of Saul is describing what happened (and lying more than once in
the process).  He says:

*נִקְרא נִקְרֵיתִי* בהר גִלְבעַ

Here's my question:
Is the function of the infinitival doubling EMPHATIC?  And if so, in what
specific way?  If the intent is similar to (what is often said about) God's
warning to Adam, then the feeling would be:
'I really mean this!'

In other words, the little liar, who has been, let's say, systematically
pilfering from the dead of his own army all his life, is elaborately saying:
"By PURE CHANCE-- can you imagine!-- by UTTER COINCIDENCE-- I was near Mt.

If so, the only version that has even attempted to reflect the elaborateness
of the Amalekite's lie is the NET Bible:
"I *just *happened to be..."

What do you think?  Perhaps I am making a mountain out of a molehill?  But
then, that is what emphatic language does to us!


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