[b-hebrew] ex 22:8

Nir cohen - Prof. Mat. nir at ccet.ufrn.br
Sun Feb 10 20:07:36 EST 2013

dear kenneth,

  אֲשֶׁר יַרְשִׁיעֻן אֱלֹהִים, יְשַׁלֵּם שְׁנַיִם לְרֵעֵהוּ.  	8 

the problem with the literal text is that the paragogic N in YR$Y(N
refers to )LHYM in the plural, whereas the singular is used as a rule
(Ex 20:1,15, 21:13, 23:25 etc etc etc).

a non-literal minimal-pair alternative would be to replace 
YR$Y(N ("will condemn (v, 3p, plural)") by YR$Y(W ("will 
condemn (v, 3p, sing) him"), given that the letters N and W 
are similar (in the later hebrew alphabet, and to some degree, 
in the old too). this requires a tiny change in the text but is 
more consistent with the singular tensing for )LHYM. and the 
paragogic N disappears.

without having the statistics, i would add that the non-literal 
hypothesis would benefit if the paragogic N is mostly preceded by 
a W (as in Ex 20:11, 18:20,26).

nir cohen

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