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Bible Lexicons

Gesenius Hebrew Grammer

Part 119

§119. The Subordination of Nouns to the Verb by means of Prepositions.

1. In general. As is the case with regard to the looser subordination of nouns to the verbal idea (§ 118), so also their subordination by means of prepositions is used to represent the more immediate circumstances (of place, time, cause, purpose, measure, association, or separation) under which an action or event is accomplished. In the case of most prepositions some idea of a relation of space underlies the construction, which then, in a wider sense, is extended to the ideas of time, motive, or other relations conceived by the mind.

On the origin of the prepositions and the original case-relation in which they stand to the nouns governed by them, cf. § 101, where a list of the prepositions is given with their original meanings. Cf. also § 102 on the prefixes, and § 103 on the union of prepositions with suffixes.

2. A not unimportant part is played in Hebrew by the compounding of prepositions to represent more accurately the relations of place, which either precede or follow the action. In the former case מִן־‎, and in the latter (which is not so frequent) אֶל־‎ occurs before other prepositions of place; cf. e.g. Amos 7:15 the Lord took me מֵאֽחֲרֵי הַצֹּאן‎ from behind the flock; 2 Kings 9:18 turn thee אֶל־אַֽחֲרָי‎ to behind me, i.e., turn thee behind me; מֵעִם־‎, מֵאֵת‎ from being with ..., as in French de chez, d’après quelqu’un.[1] For further examples, see c.

Rem. 1. We must not regard as combined prepositions in the above sense either those substantives which have become prepositions only by their union with prefixes, as לִפְנֵי‎ before, מִפְּנֵי‎, לְמַ֫עַן‎ on account of (but e.g. מִלִּפְנֵי‎ from before, Genesis 4:16, &c., is such a compound); nor adverbs, which are also formed by combining words which were originally substantives (also used as prepositions) with prepositions, as מִחוּץ‎ without, מִתַּ֫חַת‎ in the sense of below,[2] מֵעָל‎ above (so also in Genesis 27:39, Genesis 49:25, not from above). These adverbs of place, however, may become prepositions by the addition of לְ‎, e.g. מִחוּץ לְ‎ outside as regards ..., i.e. outside of something, in 1 Kings 21:13 even after a transitive verb of motion; מִתַּ֫חַת לְ‎ below as regards ..., i.e. under something (cf. עַד־מִתַּ֫חַת לְ‎ until they came under ..., 1 Samuel 7:11), מֵעַל לְ‎ over something, &c.; לְבַד‎ prop. in separation; לְבַד מִן־‎ in separation from, i.e. apart from, besides. Only rarely in such a case is the לְ‎ omitted for the sake of brevity, e.g. Job 26:5 מִתַּ֫חַת מַיִם‎ beneath the waters; Nehemiah 3:28 (מֵעַל־‎).

2. Real combinations of prepositions (each retaining its full force) occur—

(a) With מִן־‎, in מֵאַחַר‎, מֵאַֽחֲרֵי‎ (see above) from behind something; מֵאֵת‎ and מֵעִם‎ from with (see above); מִבֵּין‎ or מִבֵּינוֹת‎ from between something (with motion in either direction, see e.g. Genesis 49:10); מִלִּפְנֵי‎ from before (see above); sometimes also מִמּוּל‎ Leviticus 5:8, &c.; מֵעַל־‎ from upon, i.e. off from; מִתַּ֫חַת‎ away from under (see footnote 2 on p. 377).

(b) With אֶל־‎, in אֶל־אַֽחֲרֵי‎ to behind, אֶל־בֵּינוֹת‎ to between; אֶל־מִבֵּית לְ‎ forth between 2 Kings 11:15; אֶל־מִחוּץ לְ‎ forth without, i.e. out in front of, Numbers 5:3; אֶל־תַּ֫חַת‎ down under.[3]—In Job 5:5 the two prepositions of motion are combined in a peculiarly pregnant construction, אֶל־מִצִּנִּים‎ (he goes thither and takes it) out of the thorns, i.e. he taketh it even out of the thorns, but the text is hardly correct.

3. A general view of the union of certain verbs, or whole classes of verbs, with particular prepositions, especially in explanation of certain idioms and pregnant expressions.[4]

(a) (אֱלֵי) אֶל־‎[5] towards, properly an expression of motion or at least direction towards something (either in the sense of up to=עַד‎, or into=אֶל־תּוֹךְ‎), is used after verbs not only in answer to the question whither? but by a specially pregnant construction, in answer to the question where? e.g. Jeremiah 41:12 they found him אֶל־מַ֫יִם רַבִּים‎ by the great waters; cf. Deuteronomy 16:6, 1 Kings 13:20, and a still more remarkable instance in 8:30 אֶל־מְקוֹם שִׁבְתְּךָ אֶל־הַשָּׁמַ֫יִם‎. This combination of two different ideas, of motion to a place and being or acting in the place (very plainly seen in Deuteronomy 16:6 but to the place which the Lord thy God shall choose... shalt thou bring thine offering and there shalt thou sacrifice, &c.), is the same as the Greek use of εἰς, ἐς for ἐν, the Latin in potestatem, in amicitiam ditionemque esse, manere (Cic. Verr. 5, 38; Div. 2, 14, &c.); cf. also the common German expressions zu Hause, zu Leipzig sein, zu Bette liegen, &c.

(b) בְּ‎.[6] Underlying the very various uses of this preposition is either the idea of being or moving within some definite region, or some sphere of space or time (with the infinitive, a simultaneous action, &c.), or else the idea of fastening on something, close connexion with something (also in a metaphorical sense, following some kind of pattern, e.g. the advice or command of some one בִּדְבַר פ׳‎, בַּֽעֲצַת פ׳‎, or in a comparison, as in Genesis 1:26 בְּצַלְמֵ֫נוּ כִדְמוּתֵ֫נוּ‎ in our image, after our likeness; cf. 1:27, 5:1, 3), or finally the idea of relying or depending upon..., or even of merely striking or touching something.

Thus the use of בְּ‎ is explained—

(1) In the sense of among (in the domain of), e.g. Micah 7:2 יָשָׁר בָּֽאָדָם אָ֫יִן‎ there is none upright among men; in the sense of consisting of, in specifying the constituents of a collective idea, e.g. Genesis 7:21 and all flesh died... in (=consisting of) fowl, &c. 8:17, 9:10, Hosea 4:3. Also after ideas of appearing, manifesting oneself, representing, being, in the sense of as, in the capacity of (prop. in the sphere, after the manner of, see above), consisting of..., tanquam, the בְּ‎ essentiae of the earlier grammarians, corresponding to the Greek ἐν, the Latin in,[7] and the French en, e.g. Exodus 6:3 I appeared unto Abraham... בְּאֵל שַׁדָּי‎ as El Shaddai; Job 23:13 וְהוּא בְאֶחָד‎ but he is (manifests himself as) one, i.e. he remains always the same; Deuteronomy 26:5, Deuteronomy 28:62 בִּמְתֵי מְעָט‎ in the condition of being few, cf. 10:22 to the number of seventy; Isaiah 40:10, Psalms 39:7.—Cf. also such examples as Exodus 18:4 (Psalms 35:2, Psalms 146:5) בְּעֶזְרִי‎ as my help; Deuteronomy 26:14 being unclean; Isaiah 28:16 in Sion (i.e. I make Sion a foundation); Ezekiel 20:41 as a sweet savour; Proverbs 3:26, perhaps also Exodus 3:2 in (i.e. as) a flame of fire; Isaiah 66:15 with (i.e. like) fire; Psalms 31:22, Psalms 37:20 (102:4). For the origin of all these forms of expression Psalms 54:6 is especially instructive, since אֲדֹנָי בְּסֹֽמְכֵי נַפְשִׁי‎ is not meant to refer to the Lord as belonging to the סֹֽמְכִים‎, but only to ascribe to him a similar character, i.e. the Lord is one who upholds my soul; so also Psalms 99:6, Psalms 118:7, Judges 11:35 [the plur. as in §124g–i].[8]—Cf. Gesenius, Thes. Linguae Hebr., i. 174 f., and Delitzsch on Psalms 35:2.

(2) To introduce the object after transitive verbs, which denote touching, striking, reaching to (thus to some extent a fastening on, see above) something, in English sometimes rendered by at, on, &c., and in German generally by compounds with an, e.g. anfassen=אָחַז בְּ‎, anrühren=נָגַע בְּ‎, &c. To the same category belongs also the construction of verbs denoting authority (מָלַךְ‎, מָשַׁל‎, נָגַשׂ‎, רָדָה‎, the last prop. to tread on...) with בְּ‎, inasmuch as the exercise of the authority is regarded as a laying hold of the person ruled; so also, the introduction of the object by בְּ‎ after certain verba dicendi, or when the mental action is to be represented as extending to some one or something: e.g. קָרָא בְ‎ to call on some one, נִשְׁבַּע בְּ‎ iurare per aliquem, שָׁאַל בְּ‎ to enquire of some one. Again; רָאָה בְ‎ to look upon, שָׁמַע בְּ‎ to hearken to (but cf. also m), generally with the secondary idea of participation, or of the pleasure with which one sees or hears anything, especially pleasure at the misfortunes of others, hence רָאָה בְ‎ to see his desire on any one or anything; cf. however, Genesis 21:16 let me not look upon the death of the child; 1 Samuel 6:19 because they had looked [irreverently] at the ark of the Lord.

Closely related to this is the use of בְּ‎:

(3) To introduce the person or thing, which is the object of a mental act, e.g. הֶֽאֱמִין בְּ‎ to trust in (to cleave trustingly to) somebody or something; בָּטַח בְּ‎ to have confidence in...; שָׂמַח בְּ‎ to rejoice in or at something, &c.; דִּבֶּר בְּ‎ to speak of (about) some one or something, Deuteronomy 6:7, 1 Samuel 19:3, &c.

(4) The idea of an action as extending to something, with at the same time the secondary idea of participation in something, underlies finally the partitive use of בְּ‎, e.g. אָכַל בְּ‎ to share in eating something, Exodus 12:43, Leviticus 22:11; also simply to eat, to taste of something, Judges 13:16, Job 21:25; so also לָחַם בְּ‎ to eat of, and שָׁתָה בְ‎[9] to drink of something, Proverbs 9:5; שָׁמַע בְּ‎ to hear a whisper of something, Job 26:14; מָצָא בְּ‎ they found remaining of her only..., 2 Kings 9:35; נָשָׂא בְ‎ to bear a share of something, Numbers 11:17, Ezekiel 18:20, Job 7:13. Cf. also חָלַק בְּ‎ to give a share of something, Job 39:17; בָּנָח בְ‎ to do building to, Nehemiah 4:4.

(5) With the idea of touching, striking against anything is naturally connected that of proximity and vicinity near, and further that of association with something; cf. Genesis 9:4 בְּנַפְשׁוֹ‎ with the life thereof; 15:14, 32:11 בְּמַקְלִי‎ with my staff. Sometimes בְּ‎ combined with a verb of motion (to come with something), expresses the idea of bringing, e.g. Judges 15:1 Samson visited his wife with a kid, i.e. he brought her a kid; Deuteronomy 23:5, Psalms 66:13, 1 Chronicles 15:19 ff., 16:6.

(6) From the idea of connexion with something, being accompanied by something (see n), is developed, finally, the instrumental use of בְּ‎, which represents the means or instrument (or even the personal agent), as something with which one has associated himself in order to perform an action; cf. Micah 4:14 בַּשֵּׁ֫בֶט‎ they smite with the rod; Isaiah 10:24; Psalms 18:30 בְּךָ‎ by thee (so also 44:6, parallel with בְּשִׁמְךָ‎); Isaiah 10:34, Hosea 1:7, Hosea 12:14; cf. also עָבַד בְּ‎ to labour by means of some one, i.e. to cause him to labour at it, Exodus 1:14, &c. On בְּ‎ with the passive to introduce the means or the author, see §121f.

A variety of the בְּ‎ instrumenti is ב‎ pretii (the price being considered as the means of acquiring a thing), cf. Genesis 23:9, Genesis 29:18 (בְּרָחֵל‎); 30:16, 33:19, 34:15 (בְּזֹאת‎ on this condition); 37:28; also, in a wider sense, Genesis 18:28 בְּ‎ for the sake of; 1 Samuel 3:13.

Rem. The use of בְּ‎ instrumenti to introduce the object is peculiar in such expressions as Psalms 44:20 and thou coveredst over us בְּצַלְמָ֫וֶת‎ with the shadow of death; Job 16:10 פָּֽעֲרוּ עָלַי בְּפִיהֶם‎ they have opened wide their mouth against me (prop. have made an opening with their mouth); cp. Psalms 22:8, Exodus 7:20 he lifted up בַּמַּטֶּה‎ the rod; Leviticus 16:4 חָגַר‎ and צָנַף‎ followed by בְּ‎; Joshua 8:18, Lamentations 1:17. Analogous to some English expressions we find both to gnash the teeth, Psalms 35:16, and to gnash with the teeth, Job 16:9; to wink the eye, Proverbs 10:10, and to wink with the eye, Proverbs 6:13; shake the head, Psalms 22:8, and to shake with the head, Jeremiah 18:16, Job 16:4.—In all these instances the verb (intransitive) construed with בְּ‎ has a greater independence, and consequently more emphasis than the verb construed with a direct accusative; the latter conveys a sort of necessary specification of the action, while the noun introduced by בְּ‎ is used rather as a merely adverbial complement. An instructive example of this is נָתַן קוֹל‎ vocem emittere, to utter a voice, also to thunder, while in נָתַן בְּקוֹלוֹ‎ Psalms 46:7 (68:34, Jeremiah 12:8), נָתַן‎ has an independent sense = he thundered with his voice (i.e. mightily).

(c) לְ‎[10] to, a very general expression of direction towards anything, is used to represent the most varied relations of an action or state with regard to a person or thing. On the use of לְ‎ as a periphrasis for the genetivus poseessoris or auctoris (the idea of belonging to), see § 129; on לְ‎ with the passive, to introduce the author or the cause, see §121f; on לְ‎ in a purely local sense (e.g. לִימִֽינְךָ‎ at thy right hand, prop. towards thy right hand), or temporal (e.g. לָעֶ֫רֶב‎ at evening, &c.) or distributive, see the Lexicon

The following uses of לְ‎ properly belong to the government of the verb:

(1) As a nota dativi[11] to introduce the remoter object; also

(2) To introduce the dativus commodi. This dativus commodi (or incommodi, e.g. Ezekiel 37:11) is used—especially in colloquial language and in later style—in the form of a pronoun with לְ‎, as an apparently pleonastic dativus ethicus, with many verbs, in order to give emphasis to the significance of the occurrence in question for a particular subject. In this construction the person of the pronoun must always agree with that of the verbal form.[12] By far the most frequent use of this לְ‎ is with the pronoun of the 2nd person after imperatives, e.g. לֶךְ־לְךָ‎ go, got thee away, Genesis 12:1, Genesis 22:2, Deuteronomy 2:13 (also in the feminine, Song of Solomon 2:10, 13); נְטֵה לְךָ‎ turn thee aside, 2 Samuel 2:21; סְעוּ לָכֶם‎ take your journey, Deuteronomy 1:7; עִבְדוּ לָכֶם‎ pass ye over; בְּדַח־לְךָ‎ flee (to save thyself), Genesis 27:43; עֲלִי־לָךְ‎ get thee up, Isaiah 40:9; פְּנוּ לָכֶם‎ turn you, Deuteronomy 1:40; שׁוּבוּ לָכֶם‎ return ye, Deuteronomy 5:27; ק֫וּמִי לָךְ‎ rise up, Song of Solomon 2:10; שְׁבוּ לָכֶם‎ abide ye, Genesis 22:5; חֲדַל לְךָ‎ forbear thee, 2 Chronicles 35:21 (in the plural, Isaiah 2:22); הָ֫בוּ לָכֶם‎ take you, Deuteronomy 1:13, Joshua 18:4, Judges 20:7, 2 Samuel 16:20, and so almost regularly הִשָּׁ֫מֶד לְךָ‎ (see above, §51n) cave tibi! and הִשָּֽׁמְלוּ לָכֶם‎ take heed to yourselves; דְמֵה רְךָ‎ be thou like, Song of Solomon 2:17 (cf. verse 9), 8:14, is remarkable; after a perfect consecutive, 1 Kings 17:3, 1 Samuel 22:5; after an imperfect consecutive, e.g. Isaiah 36:9 וַתִּבְטַח לְךָ‎ and puttest thy trust.—In the 3rd person, e.g. וַתֵּ֫שֶׁב לָהּ‎ and sat her down, Genesis 21:16, cf. 22:5, Exodus 18:27, Psalms 120:6, Psalms 123:4, Job 6:19; even after a participle, Hosea 8:9.—In the 1st person plural, Ezekiel 37:11.

(3) To introduce the result after verbs of making, forming, changing, appointing to something, esteeming as something; in short, in all those cases in which, according to §117ii, a second accusative may also be used.

(4) In loose connexion with some verbal idea in the sense of in reference to, with regard to... (§143e); so after a verbum dicendi, Genesis 20:13; 1 Kings 10:23, cf. Isaiah 36:9; even before the verb, Jeremiah 9:2.—To the same class belongs also the Lamedh inscriptionis (untranslatable in English, and hardly more than a mere quotation-mark) which introduces the exact wording of an inscription or title; thus Isaiah 8:1 write upon it... (the words) מַהֵד שָׁלָל וגו׳‎ (cf. verse 3, where the לְ‎ naturally is not used); Ezekiel 37:16.

(d) מִן‎, originally (according to §101a) separation,[13] represents both the idea of distance, separation or remoteness from something, and that of motion away from something, hence also descent, origin from a place, Amos 1:1.

(1) From the idea of separation is naturally derived on the one hand the sense of (taken) from among..., e numero, e.g. Genesis 3:1 subtil as none other of the beasts, &c.; cf. 3:14, Deuteronomy 33:24, 1 Samuel 15:33, Judges 5:24 (so especially after the idea of choosing out of[14] a larger class, 1 Samuel 2:28; cf. Exodus 19:5, &c.), and on the other hand, the sense of without (separated, free from...), e.g. Isaiah 22:3 מִקֶּ֫שֶׁת אֻסָּ֫דוּ‎ without the bow (i.e. without one needing to bend a bow against them) they were made prisoners; cf. Jeremiah 48:45 מִכֹּחַ‎ without strength; Hosea 6:6, as the first half-verse shows, not more than burnt offerings (as R.V.), but and not burnt offerings; Micah 3:6, Psalms 52:5, Job 11:15, Job 19:26, Job 21:9, also such examples as Numbers 15:24 far from the eyes, i.e. unobserved by the congregation; Proverbs 20:3.

Here also belongs the use of מִן‎ after the ideas of restraining, withholding from, refusing to any one, frequently in pregnant expressions, which we can render only by complete final or consecutive clauses, e.g. 1 Samuel 15:23 he hath rejected thee מִמֶּ֫לֶךְ‎ away from (being) king, instead of מִֽהְיוֹת מ׳‎ (as in verse 26), that thou be no longer king; cf. 1 Kings 15:13, Isaiah 17:1 מֵעִיר‎ so that it is no longer a city; Jeremiah 17:16, Job 28:11 he bindeth the streams מִבְּכִי‎ that they trickle not; Genesis 16:2, Genesis 23:6 מִקְּבֹר‎ that thou shouldst not bury thy dead; Isaiah 24:10.

The מִן‎ has a still more pregnant force in those examples in which the idea of precluding from anything is only indirectly contained in the preceding verb, e.g. Genesis 27:1 his eyes were dim מֵֽרְאֹה‎ away from seeing, i.e. so that he could not see; Isaiah 7:8 Ephraim shall be broken in pieces מֵעָם‎ that it be not a people (just as in Isaiah 23:1, Jeremiah 48:2, 42, Psalms 83:5); Leviticus 26:13, Isaiah 5:6, Isaiah 49:15, Isaiah 54:9, Ezra 2:62 (for other pregnant constructions with מִן‎ see below, ff)[15]; on מִבְּלִי‎ and מֵאֵין‎ without, cf. §152y. (2) On the sense of motion away from anything depends the use of מִן‎ after such ideas as to take away from, to beware, to be afraid of, to flee, to escape, to hide oneself from (cf. καλύπτω ἀπό, custodire ab), sometimes again in pregnant expressions, e.g. Isaiah 33:15. On the idea of starting from anything depends finally the very frequent causative use of מִן‎ on account of, in consequence of (cf. our that comes from...), prae, e.g. מֵדֹב‎ for multitude, 1 Kings 8:5.

(e) עַל־‎.[16] The two original local meanings of this preposition are upon (ἐπί)[17] and over (ὑπέρ, super).

(1) From the original meaning upon is explained the use of עַל־‎ after ideas of commanding, commissioning (פָּקַד עַל־‎), &c., inasmuch as the command, obligation, &c., is laid upon the object. The construction is self-evident in the case of to lie, rest, lean, rely, press upon something; cf. also, for the last, such examples as Isaiah 1:14, Job 7:20, Job 23:2, and especially 2 Samuel 18:11 וְעָלַי‎ prop. upon me would it have been, it would have been incumbent upon me, &c.

(2) From the original meaning over is explained the use of עַל־‎ after ideas of covering, protecting, guarding כָּסָה עַל־‎, גָּנַן עַל־‎; also the combinations רִחַם עַל־‎ to have compassion upon..., חוּס עַל־‎, חָמַל עַל־‎ to spare some one, arise from the idea of a compassionate or protective bending over something. Cf. also נִלְחַם עַל־‎ Judges 9:17 = to fight for some one, i.e. in his defence.

(3) Moreover עַל־‎ is used after verbs of standing and going, to express a towering over some one or something, sometimes in phrases, in which the original local idea has altogether fallen into the background, and which are therefore to be rendered in English by means of other prepositions (by, with, before, near), e.g. Genesis 41:1, &c., Pharaoh... stood עַל־הַיְאֹד‎ by the Nile (above the water level; cf. Psalms 1:3), and so especially עָמַד עַל־‎ in the pregnant sense to stand serving before some one (prop. over one who sits or reclines at table) Zechariah 4:14 (cf. Isaiah 6:2, where מִמַּ֫עַל לְ‎ is used for עַל־‎); הִתְיַצֵּב עַל־‎ to present oneself by command before some one, Job 1:6, &c. Cf. also עַל־יַד‎, עַל־יְדֵי‎ (Job 1:14) near, at (on) the side of some one or something.

(4) From the original meaning above (not, as formerly, explained, on to something, at something) there arise finally all the various constructions with עַל־‎ in the sense of towards, against. The original idea (which in many of these constructions has become wholly unrecognizable) starts from the view that the assailant endeavours to take up his position over the person attacked, so as to reach him from above, or to over power him; cf. especially קוּם עַל־‎ to rise up over, i.e. against some one, then with a transference of thought applied to any kind of hostile approach, נִלְחַם עַל־‎ to fight against..., חָנָה עַל־‎ to encamp against..., נֶֽאֱסַף עַל־‎ to be gathered together, to assemble against (Micah 4:11; cf. Psalms 2:2), &c.; even after verbs which express a mental action, e.g. חָשַׁב דְעָה עַל־‎ to imagine evil against any one, &c.

4. Sometimes a preposition appears to be under the immediate government of a verb, which, by its meaning, excludes such a union. In reality the preposition is dependent on a verb (generally a verb of motion), which, for the sake of brevity, is not expressed, but in sense is contained in what is apparently the governing verb.

Various examples of this constructio praegnans have been already noticed above in x and y under מִן־‎; for מִן־‎ cf. also Psalms 22:22 וּמִקַּדְנֵי דֵמִים עֲנִיתָ֫נִי‎ and thou hast answered and saved me from the horns of the wild oxen (in Isaiah 38:17, which Delitzsch translates by thou hast loved and delivered my soul from the pit, read חָשַׂ֫כְתָּ‎ with the LXX); Genesis 25:23, 2 Samuel 18:19, Job 28:12; cf. also זָנָה מִן־‎ Psalms 73:27 to go a whoring from any one i.e. to be unfaithful to him; רָשַׁע מִן־‎ Psalms 18:22 = to depart wickedly from God; חָרַשׁ מִן־‎ Psalms 28:1 to be silent from one (to turn away in silence); cf. Job 13:13 [; so with מֵעַל‎ Job 30:17, 30].

Pregnant constructions wgith אַֽחֲדֵי‎: Numbers 14:24 equivalent to וַיְמַלֵּא לָלֶ֫כֶת אַֽחֲרָ֑י‎ and he made full to walk i.e. walked fully after me; in 1 Samuel 13:7 read with the LXX חָֽרְדוּ מֵאַֽחֲרֶיו‎ they trembled, i.e. went trembling away from him; with אֶל־‎ Genesis 43:33 הָּמַהּ אֶל־‎ to turn in astonishment to some one (cf. Isaiah 13:8); דְּרַשׁ אֶל־‎ Isaiah 11:10, &c., to turn inquiringly to some one; הֶֽחֱרִישׁ אֶל־‎ Isaiah 41:1 to turn in silence to some one; חָרַד אֶל־‎ Genesis 42:28 to turn trembling to some one (cf. תָרַד לִקְרַאת‎ to come trembling to meet, 1 Samuel 21:2 [also with שאג‎, הריץ‎, שמת‎ and other verbs, Judges 14:5, Judges 15:14, Judges 19:3; see Lexicon]); cf. further Jeremiah 41:7, Psalms 7:7, 2 Chronicles 32:1; with בְּ‎ Psalms 55:19 he hath redeemed and hath put my soul in peace, exactly like Psalms 118:5; with לְ‎ Psalms 74:7 they have profaned and cast... even to the ground; cf. 89:40.

5. In poetic parallelism the governing power of a preposition is sometimes extended to the corresponding substantive of the second member;[18] e.g. בְּ‎ Isaiah 40:19, Isaiah 48:14 he shall perform his pleasure בְּבָבֶל‎ on Babylon, and his arm shall be בַּשְׂדִּים‎ (for בַּבַּשְׂדִּים‎) on the Chaldaeans; Job 15:3; לְ‎ Isaiah 28:6, Isaiah 42:22 (but probably לְ‎ has fallen out after another ל‎), Ezekiel 39:4, Job 34:10 (perhaps also Genesis 45:8; משֵׁל‎ may, however, be taken here as a second accusative according to §117ii); לְמַ֫עַן‎ Isaiah 48:9; מִן־‎ Isaiah 58:13, Psalms 141:9 (unless וּמִמֹּֽקְשׁוֹת‎ is to be read); עַד־‎ Isaiah 15:8; תַּ֫חַת‎ Isaiah 61:7.

6. Adverbs which have acquired a substantival value are sometimes governed by prepositions, e.g. אֶל־חִנָּם‎ in vain, Ezekiel 6:10; אַֽחֲדֵי־כֵן‎ after this; בְּכֵן‎ (Ecclesiastes 8:10, Esther 4:16) then, on this condition; לָכֵן‎ and עַל־כֵּן‎ therefore; עַד־כֵּן‎ hitherto.

  1. In other cases French, as well as English and German, can only emphasize one of the two combined ideas; thus, such expressions as il prend le chapeau sur la table, German and English er nimmt den Hut vom Tisch, he takes his hat from the table, all regard the action from one point of view only; the Hebrew here brings out both aspects of it by means of מֵעַל־‎ from upon, cf. e.g. Isaiah 6:6.
  2. Hence not to be confounded with מִתַּ֫חַת‎ from under, in such examples as Proverbs 22:27, which is a real compound preposition. In the above-mentioned adverbs also the מִן־‎ was originally by no means pleonastic; מִתַּ֫חַת‎ denotes properly the locality, regarded primarily as a place from beneath which something proceeds, and so on. This original sense of the מִן־‎, however, has become so much obscured by its regular combination with words of place to form independent adverbs, that it is even prefixed (evidently only on the analogy of such common adverbs as מֵעַל־‎, מִתַּ֫חַת‎) in cases where it is really inadmissible, owing to the meaning of the adverb, e.g. in מִבַּלְעֲדֵי‎, מִלְּבַד‎ without, cf. also such examples as מִבְּלִי‎, מִמּוּל‎, מִנֶּ֫גֶד‎, מִשָּׁם‎ (there), &c. Since a מִן־‎ is not usually repeated after מִלְּבַד‎, it appears as if מִלְּבַד‎ by a transposition of the מִן־‎ stood for the usual לְבַד מִן־‎. In reality, however, the preposition which forms the adverb into a preposition is omitted here, as in מֵעַל‎, מִתַּ֫חַת‎ without a following לְ‎ (see above). Properly מִלְּבַד‎ has a purely adverbial meaning=taken by itself, like מִלְּמַ֫עְלָה מִמַּ֫עַל‎ (Syriac men le‛ēl) above (adv.), as distinguished from מִמַּ֫עַל לְ‎ or מֵעַל־לְ‎ (Syriac le‛ēl men), over, upon something.—Also לְמִן־‎ from ... onward is not for מִן־לְ‎, but the לְ‎ serves merely (just like the Latin usqus in usque a, usque ad, usqus ex) to indicate expressly the starting-point, as an exact terminus a quo (of place or time).
  3. Also in 1 Samuel 21:5 אֶל־תַּ֫חַת‎ by a pregnant construction is virtually dependent on the idea of coming into, contained in the preceding אֵין־‎.
  4. A summary of all the relations and senses in which a preposition may be used, belongs not to the Grammar but to the Lexicon.
  5. Cf. Mitchell, ‘The proposition el,’ in the Journal of the Society of Biblical Literature and Exegesis, 1888, p. 143 ff., and especially A. Noordtzij, Het hebreeuwsche voorzetsel אל‎, Leiden, 1896, a thorough examination of its uses, and especially of the relation between אֶל־‎ and עַל־‎.
  6. Cf. Wandel, De particulae Hebr. בְּ‎ indole, vi, usu, Jena, 1875.
  7. e.g. res in praeda captae, i.e. things taken as spoil; see Nägelsbach, Lat. Stilistik, § 123:4. On the Hebrew בְּ‎ essentiae, see Hauschild in the Festschrift zur Einweihung des Goethegymn. Frankf. a. M. 1897, p. 163.
  8. Other instances formerly cited here (Isaiah 26:4, Psalms 55:19, where בְּ‎ is used before the subject) as well as Psalms 68:5 בְּיָהּ שְׁמוֹ‎ Jah is his name, are textually very uncertain. Cf. Cheyne, SBOT. Isaiah, p. 173, on Isaiah 26:4.
  9. To be distinguished from שָׁתָה בְ‎=to drink from (a cup, &c., Genesis 44:5, Amos 6:6), as in Arabic and Aramaic (Daniel 5:2). Cf. also ἐν ποτηρίοις (Xen. Anab. vi. 1, 4), ἐν χρυσώμασι πίνειν (1 Esdras 3:6), venenum in auro bibitur, Seneca, Thyestes 453, and the French boire dans une tasse.
  10. Cf. Giesebrecht, Die hebr. Präpos. Lamed, Halle, 1876.
  11. Just as in the Romance languages the Latin preposition ad (Italian a, before vowels ad>, French à, Spanish á) and in English to are used as a periphrasis for the dative.—On the introduction of the nearer object by לְ‎, cf. §117n.
  12. Such expressions as the analogous English he plucked me ope his doublet, but me no buts, and the like, are accordingly inadmissible in Hebrew.
  13. Cf. O. Molin, Om prepositionen min i Bibelhebreisken, Upsala, 1893, and especially N. Zerweck, Die hebr. Praep. min, Leipzig, 1893, who, instead of the partitive meaning (formerly accepted by us also), more correctly takes ‘separation’ as the starting-point of its various uses.
  14. All the partitive uses of מִן‎ also come most naturally under this idea of separation out of a larger class. Thus מִן‎ is used in the sense of some, something, and even one, in such expressions as and he slew... also מִשָּׂרֵי יִשְּׂרָאֵל‎ (divers) of the princes of Israel, 2 Chronicles 21:4; מִכָּל־‎ Leviticus 4:2; 1 Kings 18:5; מִדַּם הַפָּר‎ some of the blood of the bullock, Exodus 29:12, &c.; Job 27:6 my heart doth not reproach me מִיָּמַי‎ for any, i.e. for one, of my days; 38:12 מִיָּמֶ֫יךָ‎ one of thy days, i.e. ever in thy life (this explanation is confirmed by 1 Kings 1:6; cf. also 1 Samuel 14:45, 1 Samuel 25:28). In this way also, the frequently misunderstood Hebrew (and Arabic) idiom is to be explained, by which מִן‎ before אֶחָד‎, אַחַת‎ is equivalent to ullus; e.g. Leviticus 4:2 and shall do מֵֽאַחַת מֵהֵ֫גָּה‎ any one of these things; 5:13, Deuteronomy 15:7, Ezekiel 18:10; so before a nomen unitatis (see §122t), 1 Samuel 14:45 (2 Samuel 14:11, 1 Kings 1:52) מִשַּֽׂעֲרַת רֹאשׁוֹ‎ not one hair of his head.—מִן־‎ is used in the sense of the Arabic min el-beyān or explicative min (often to be simply translated by namely), e.g. in Genesis 7:22 of all that was, i.e. so far as it was, probably also Genesis 6:2 (=whomsoever they chose).
  15. On the use of מִן‎ to express the comparative, which likewise depends on the idea of distance from..., cf. below, §133a; on מִן‎ as expressing the distance of time from a fixed limit, in the sense of after, e.g. Psalms 73:20 מֵהָקִיץ‎ after awaking (cf. ἐξ, ἀρίστου, ab itinere), or after the lapse of..., e.g. Genesis 38:24, Hosea 6:2, and very frequently מִקֵּץ‎ from the end of, i.e. after the lapse of..., see the Lexicon; also for the use of מִן‎ to represent resting beside anything, like the Latin prope abesse ab...
  16. Cf. Budie, Die hebr. Präpos. ʾAl (עַל‎), Halle, 1882.
  17. Since the placing upon anything is an addition to it, עַל־‎ also implies in addition to something, cf. Genesis 28:9 (31:50); 30:40, 32:12 (probably a proverbial saying=mother and children); Deuteronomy 22:6. Also עַל‎ notwithstanding is no doubt properly in addition to, e.g. Job 10:7 although thou knowest, prop. in addition to thy knowing.—From the original meaning upon is also derived that of on account of (prop. upon the ground of) and in agreement with, according to, since the pattern is regarded as the foundation upon which a thing stands or rests.
  18. Similarly the force of a negative is sometimes extended to the parallel member; see §152z.
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