[b-hebrew] -HM vs -MW suffix
George.Athas at moore.edu.au
Wed Feb 15 22:57:35 EST 2012
The theoretical predecessor of the preposition ל was probably למו. This is preserved only in Job a few times (e.g. Job 27.14). However, elsewhere the context seems to demand that למו be a preposition with pronominal suffix. Again, it may be an archaic style, but of the suffix rather than the preposition. Phoenician wrote the 3mp suffix with the preposition as לם and may have pronounced a vowel after the mem. It's most likely that למו is along the same lines.
Karl suggests that in some contexts the suffix appears to be singular. While I can see where he's coming from on this, it could just as easily be 3mp, rather than 3ms. It's hard to tell sometimes. There's lots of textual uncertainty in many of the instances of this word, which doesn't help things very much.
Director of Postgraduate Studies,
Moore Theological College (moore.edu.au)
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