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Bible Lexicons

Gesenius Hebrew Grammer

Part 34

§34. The Demonstrative Pronoun.

Sing. this m. זֶה‎[1] Plur. com. these אֵ֫לֶּה‎ (rarely אֵל‎)
f. זֹאת‎ (זֹה‎, זוֹ‎)[2]

Rem. 1. The feminine form זֹאת‎ has undoubtedly arisen from זָאת‎, by obscuring of an original â to ô (for זָא‎ = זֶה‎ cf. the Arab. hâ-ḏâ, this, masc.; for ת‎ as the feminine ending, § 80), and the forms זֹה‎, זוֹ‎, both of which are rare,[3] are shortened from זֹאת‎. In Psalms 132:12 זוֹ‎ is used as a relative, cf. זוּ‎ below. In Jeremiah 26:6, Kethîbh, הַזּאֹתָה‎ (with the article and the demonstrative termination ־ָה‎) is found for זֹאת‎. The forms אֵלֶּה‎ and אֵל‎ are the plurals of זֶה‎ and זֹאת‎ by usage, though not etymologically. The form אֵל‎ occurs only in the Pentateuch (but not in the Samaritan text), Genesis 19:825, Genesis 26:34, &c. (8 times), always with the article, הָאֵל‎ [as well as אֵלֶּה‎, הָאֵלֶּה‎ frequently], and in 1 Chronicles 20:8 without the article [cf. Driver on Deuteronomy 4:42].[4] Both the singular and the plural may refer to things as well as persons.

2. In combination with prepositions to denote the oblique case we find לָזֶה‎ to this (cf. for לָ‎, §102g), לְזֹאת‎, לָזֹאת‎ to this (fem.), לְאֵ֫לֶּה‎, לָאֵ֫לֶּה‎ to these; אֶת־זֶה‎ hunc, אֶת־זֹאת‎ hanc, אֶת־אֵ֫לֶּה‎ hos, also without אֶת־‎, even before the verb Psalms 75:8, &c. Note also מְחִיר זֶה‎ pretium huius (1 Kings 21:2), &c. 2. The secondary form זוּ‎ occurs only in poetic style, and mostly for the relative, like our that for who [see Lexicon, s. v.]. Like אֲשֶׁר‎ (§36), it serves for all numbers and genders.

Rem. 1. This pronoun takes the article (הַזֶּה‎, הַזֹּאת‎, הָאֵ֫לֶּה‎, הָאֵל‎) according to the same rule as adjectives, see §126u; e.g. הָאִישׁ הַזֶּה‎ this man, but זֶה הָאִישׁ‎ this is the man.

2. Rarer secondary forms, with strengthened demonstrative force, are הַלָּזֶה‎ Genesis 24:65, Genesis 37:19; הַלֵּ֫זוּ‎ fem. Ezekiel 36:35; and shortened הַלָּז‎, sometimes masc., as in Judges 6:20, 1 Samuel 17:26, 2 Kings 23:17, Zechariah 2:8, Daniel 8:16, sometimes fem., 2 Kings 4:25: cf. 1 Samuel 14:1 [and 1 Samuel 20:19 LXX; see Commentaries and Kittel].

3. The personal pronouns of the 3rd person also often have a demonstrative sense, see §136.

  1. In many languages the demonstratives begin with a d-sound (hence called the demonstrative sound) which, however, sometimes interchanges with a sibilant. Cf. Aram. דֵּן‎, דֵּךְ‎ masc., דָּא‎, דָּךְ‎ fem. (this); Sansk. sa, sā, tat; Gothic sa, sô, thata; Germ. da, der, die, das; and Eng. the, this, that, &c. Cf. J. Barth, ‘Zum semit. Demonstr. ,’ in ZDMG. 59, 159 ff., and 633 ff.; Sprachwiss. Untersuchungen zum Semit., Lpz. 1907, p. 30 ff. [See the Lexicon, s. v. זֶה‎, and Aram. דא‎, די‎.]
  2. That זֶה‎ may stand for the feminine, cannot be proved either from Judges 16:28 or from the certainly corrupt passage in Joshua 2:17.
  3. זֹה‎ 2 Kings 6:19, and in seven other places; זוֹ‎ only in Hosea 7:16, Psalms 132:12.
  4. According to Kuenen (cf. above, §2n) and Driver, on Lev Deuteronomy 18:27 in Haupt’s Bible, this אֵל‎ is due to an error of the punctuators. It goes back to a time when the vowel of the second syllable was not yet indicated by a vowel letter, and later copyists wrongly omitted the addition of the ה‎. In Phoenician also it was written אל‎, but pronounced ily according to Plautus, Poen, v, 1, 9.
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