[b-hebrew] Ruth 1:12 too old for a husband

Jonathan Mohler jonathan.mohler at gmail.com
Mon Jul 22 14:17:33 EDT 2013

This idea is still reflected in some modern languages.  In Swahili, and to my knowledge in all Bantu languages, the man is always the agent of the verb "marry" or "take" (in marriage).  The woman does not take him, she is taken by him.  This is related to the fact that he "acquires" her, just as in BH.  A man marries, the woman "is married."  By analogy in BH when the man takes the woman (to be to him a wife), the verb would be a qal, while if a woman is taken, I would expect the niphal.

In our English vows, we ask "do you take this man,"  In Swahili, It would be more like "do you agree to be taken."

Jonathan Mohler
Baptist Bible Graduate School
Springfield, MO

On Jul 22, 2013, at 8:28 AM, b-hebrew-request at lists.ibiblio.org wrote:

> The part of verse 12:  זקנתי  מהיות  לאיש  concentrating on the mem prefix.  Looking down my lists of how מן  is used I have presumed to fit it into the "Causal" category, (from arnold and choi ref heb syntax book).  Literally translated in idiomatic way:  "I am too old from being for a husband."  It's interesting to see how modern hebrew would say this:  אני זקן מכדי שאהיה לי הבעל  they have also that nuance of 'from' followed by the verb 'being'.  It is interesting to note that she does not say :   זקנתי להיות אישה

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