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Bible Lexicons

Gesenius Hebrew Grammer

Part 120

§120. Verbal Ideas under the Government of a Verb. Co-ordination of Complementary Verbal Ideas.

1. When a relative verb (incomplete in itself) receives its necessary complement in the form of a verbal idea, the latter is, as a rule, subordinated in the infinitive construct (with or without לְ‎), less frequently in the infinitive absolute, in a few instances in the form of a participle (or verbal adjective), or finally in the imperfect without the copula. In these combinations the principal idea is very frequently represented by the subordinate member of the sentence, whilst the governing verb rather contains a mere definition of the manner of the action; cf. d and g below, and §114n, note 2.

(a) On the subordination of an infinitive construct as an accusative of the object, and as the complement of relative verbal ideas, see above, §114c, and the numerous examples given in §114m; on the infinitive absolute as object, see §113d.—The complement in the form of a participle (as in Greek, and also frequently in Syriac) occurs in Isaiah 33:1 כַּֽהֲתִֽמְךָ שׁוֹדֵד‎ (cf. for the form, §67v) when thou hast ceased as a spoiler, i.e. to spoil; Jeremiah 22:30 לֹא יִצְלַח... ישֵׁב‎ he shall never prosper, sitting, i.e. so as to sit, &c.; Jonah 1:6 what meanest thou, sleeping? i.e. that thou sleepest;[1] by a verbal adjective, 1 Samuel 3:2 now his eyes הֵחֵ֫לּוּ כֵהוֹת‎ had begun being dim, i.e. to wax dim (unless we read כְּהוֹת‎=לִכְהוֹת‎, cf. §114m); by a substantive, Genesis 9:20 and Noah began to be an husbandman (omitting the article before אֲדֶמָה‎).

(b) Examples of the subordination of the complementary verbal idea in the imperfect[2] (in English usually rendered by to, in order to or that) are—(1) with both verbs in the same person: after the perfect, Isaiah 42:21 יְהֹוָה חָפֵץ... יגְדִּיל‎ it pleased the Lord... to magnify, &c.; Job 30:28, Job 32:22 לֹא יָדַ֫עְתִּי אֲכַנֶּה‎ I know not to give flattering titles; after a perfect consecutive, 1 Samuel 20:19 (where for תֵּרֵד‎ we should read with the LXX תִּפָּקֵד‎); after an imperfect, Psalms 88:11, Psalms 102:14, Job 19:3, Job 24:14; after an imperf. consec., Job 16:8; after a participle, Isaiah 5:11a.—(2) with a difference in the persons: after a perfect, Leviticus 9:6 this is the thing אֲשֶׁר־צִוָּה יְהֹוָה תַּֽעֲשׂוּ‎ which the Lord commanded (that) ye should do; a negative imperfect follows צִוָּה‎ in Lamentations 1:10; after the imperfect, Isaiah 47:1 (5) כִּי לֹא תוֹסִ֫יפִי עוֹד יִקְרְאוּ־לָךְ‎ for thou shalt no more continue (that) they call thee, i.e. thou shalt no longer be called, &c.; Hosea 1:6 לֹא אוֹסִיף עוֹד אֲרַחֵם‎ I will no longer continue (and) have mercy, i.e. I will no more have mercy; Isaiah 52:1, Proverbs 23:35.—Numbers 22:6 peradventure I shall prevail (that) we may smite thom, and (that) I may drive them out of the land (אוּכַל‎ may, however, be a scribal error for נוּכַל‎, due to the preceding אוּלַי‎, and in that case the example would belong to No. 1); after a participle, 2 Samuel 21:4.—A perfect is possibly subordinated in Lamentations 1:10; but the explanation of בְּ֫אוּ‎ as a relative clause is preferable.

2. Instead of subordination (as in the cases mentioned in a–c), the co-ordination of the complementary verbal idea in the finite verb (cf. above, c) frequently occurs, either—

(a) With the second verb co-ordinated in a form exactly corresponding to the first (but see below, e) by means of וְ‎ (וַ‎, וָ‎).[3] As a rule, here also (see above, a) the principal idea is introduced only by the second verb, while the first (especially שׁוּב‎, יָסַף‎[4], הוֹסִיף‎) contains the definition of the manner of the action, e.g. Genesis 26:18 וַיָּ֫שָׁב וַיַּחְפֹּד‎ and he returned and digged, i.e. he digged again; 2 Kings 1:11, 13; in the perfect consecutive, Isaiah 6:13; with הוֹסִיף‎, e.g. Genesis 25:1 and Abraham added and took a wife, i.e. again took a wife; Genesis 38:5 and frequently; with הוֹאִיל‎ in the jussive, Job 6:9; in the imperative (cf. §110h), Ju 1 6 וְלִין הֽוֹאֶל־נָא‎ be content, I pray thee, and tarry all night (cf. the English he was persuaded and remained, for to remain); 2 Samuel 7:29; with מִהַד‎ Genesis 24:18, 20, &c.; with חִמַּד‎ Song of Solomon 2:3.

Rem. 1. Instead of an exact agreement between co-ordinate verbal forms, other combinations sometimes occur, viz. imperfect and perfect consecutive (cf. §112d), e.g. Deuteronomy 31:12 that they יִלְמְדוּ וְיָרְֽאוּ אֶת־יְהֹוָה‎ may learn, and fear the Lord, i.e. to fear the Lord; Isaiah 1:19, Hosea 2:11, Esther 8:6, Daniel 9:25b; perfect and imperfect, Job 23:3 (O that I knew how I might find him); perfect and imperfect consecutive, Joshua 7:7, Ecclesiastes 4:1, 7; jussive and imperative, Job 17:10; cf., finally, Genesis 47:6 וְאם־יָדַ֫עְתָּ וְיֶשׁ־בָּם‎ and if thou knowest and there are among them, &c., i.e. that there are among them.

2. Special mention must be made of the instances in which the natural complement of the first verb is suppressed, or is added immediately after in the form of an historical statement, e.g. Genesis 42:25 then Joseph commanded and they filled[5] (prop. that they should fill, and they filled...; cf. the full form of expression in Genesis 50:2); a further command is then added by means of לְ‎ and the infinitive; Exodus 36:6; another instance of the same kind is Genesis 30:27 I have divined and the Lord hath blessed me, &c., i.e. that the Lord hath blessed me for thy sake.

(b) With the second verb (which, according to the above, represents the principal idea) attached without the copula[6] in the same mood, &c. In this construction (cf. §110h) the imperatives קוּם‎ (ק֫וּמָת‎, ק֫וּמִי‎, &c.) and לֵךְ‎ (לְכָה‎, לְכִי‎, &c.) are exceedingly common with the sense of interjections, before verbs which express a movement or other action, e.g. קוּם הִתְהַלֵּךְ‎ arise, walk, Genesis 13:17, Genesis 19:15, Genesis 27:43; in the plural, Genesis 19:14; Exodus 19:24 לֶךְ־רֵד‎ go, get thee down; 1 Samuel 3:9; with a following cohortative, 1 Samuel 9:10 לְכָה נֵלֵכָ֑ה‎ come, let us go; Genesis 31:44 and frequently.—Also with שׁוּב‎ (a periphrasis for again) in the perfect, Zechariah 8:15; in the imperfect, Micah 7:19, Psalms 7:13, Psalms 59:7, Psalms 71:20; in the jussive, Job 10:16; in the cohortative, Genesis 30:31; in the imperative, Joshua 5:2, 1 Samuel 3:5 lie down again; הוֹאִיל‎ (sometimes to express the idea of willingly or gladly) in the perfect, Deuteronomy 1:5, Hosea 5:11; in the imperative, Job 6:28; הִרְבָּה‎=much, 1 Samuel 2:3 אַל־תַּרְבּוּ תְדַבְּרוּ גְּבֹהָה‎ do not multiply and talk, i.e. talk not so much arrogancy; in the imperative, Psalms 51:4; הֵחֵל‎, Deuteronomy 2:24 הָחֵל דְשׁ‎ begin, possess; יָכֹל‎, Lamentations 4:14 בְּלֹא יֽוּכְלוּ יִגְּעוּ‎, without men’s being able to touch, &c.; מִהַר‎=quickly, in the perfect, Psalms 106:13; in the imperative, Genesis 19:22, Judges 9:48, Esther 6:10.—Other examples are: Hosea 9:9 הֶֽעֱמִיק‎=deeply, radically; Zephaniah 3:7 הִשְׁכִּים‎=early (even in the participle, Hosea 6:4, Hosea 13:3); Isaiah 29:4 שָׁפֵל‎=low, cf. Jeremiah 13:18; Joshua 3:16 תָּמַם‎=wholly; Psalms 112:9 פִּוַּר‎=plentifully.

Rem. This co-ordination without the copula belongs (as being more vigorous and bolder) rather to poetic or otherwise elevated style (cf. e.g. Isaiah 52:1, Hosea 1:6, Hosea 9:9 with Genesis 25:1, &c.). Asyndeton, however, is not wanting even in prose; besides the above examples (especially the imperatives of קוּם‎ and הָלַךְ‎ Genesis 30:31, Deuteronomy 1:5, Deuteronomy 2:24, Joshua 3:16, 1 Samuel 3:5) cf. also Nehemiah 3:20, 1 Chronicles 13:2. For special reasons the verb representing the principal idea may even come first; thus Isaiah 53:11 יִרְאֶה יִשְׂבָּע‎ he shall see, he shall be satisfied (sc. with the sight), for the satisfaction does not come until after the enjoyment of the sight; Jeremiah 4:5 קִרְאוּ מַּלְאוּ‎ cry, fill, i.e. cry with a full (loud) voice.

  1. In יֹדֵעַ מְנַגֵּן‎ 1 Samuel 16:16, which appears to be a case of this kind, two different readings are combined, יֹדֵעַ לְנַגֵּן‎ and the simple מְנַגֵּן‎.
  2. This kind of subordination is frequent in Arabic and in Syriac (cf. e.g. the Peshiṭtâ, Luke 18:13); as a rule, however, a conjunction (corresponding to our that) is inserted. Cf. moreover, the Latin quid vis faciam? Terence; volo hoc oratori contingat, Cicero, Brut. 84; and our I would it were; I thought he would go.
  3. Cf. the English colloquial expression I will try and do it.
  4. Of a different kind are the cases in which יָסַף‎ with a negative is co-ordinated with a verb to emphasize the non-recurrence of the action; cf. Numbers 11:25 they prophesied and added not, sc. to prophesy, i.e. but they did so no more; Deuteronomy 5:19, Job 27:19 (reading וְלֹא יֹאסִיף‎).
  5. Cf. the analogous examples in Kautzsch’s Gramm. des Bibl. Aram., §102.
  6. To be distinguished, of course, from the cases in which two equally important and independent verbs are used together without the copula in vigorous poetic imagery, e.g. Exodus 15:9, Job 29:8, &c.
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