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Place of the Subject.
merely for the simple present or future, it may then like the other verbal, temporal designations, be placed at the beginning.
In the ordinary arrangement of the sentence, the object follows the subject, this latter as already stated, following the verb. This succession of the words maintains itself with special strictness, when a sentence or clause has been introduced by a strong. ly conjunctive term, as, " that or since, or by a temporal specification, as, (Jer. 23: 27), or a word on which a particular emphasis is intended to rest. See Gen. 1: 1. If the verb in this situation be in the Infin. constr. the position remains the same, and with so much the greater necessity. The noun in this case, which would be the subject of the verb if it were finite, comes next to the verb, and the object next to the subject; as, ding nini n, Gen. 13: 10. 29: 13. If there be more than one accusative dependent on the same verb, that which stands first in sense, usually stands first also in order; as, an
they have caused my people to forget my name, Jer. 23: 27. 9:19. Ps. 25: 9.
Smaller words, subordinate qualifications prefer to stand be tween the stronger parts of the sentence, i. e. the predicate and subject, or where these two are united in one word, between the verb and its object; as I will give to thee the land, what (how) have we done this? In this way the Infin. const. may be separated even from its subject by a smaller intervening word, since the connection of such an Infin. with the rest of the sentence is always less strict than that of an ordinary verb; as in ja, Is. 20: 1. 5: 24. Gen. 4: 15. So also by a license of poetry at least, the participle and its object may be separated; as who cast into the river the hook, Is. 19: 8. A similar liberty appears often in the position of ; and still more decidedly in such an order as in bip for inn?, Jer. 10: 13, which seems to have been adopted for the purpose of rounding off the period. The collocation of, Jer. 18: 13 can be referred only to the same cause; and some other similar transpositions are to be explained in like manner. But the later writ ers, it should be remarked, proceed much further in the use of this liberty than the earlier. This is particularly manifest in their insertion of the object sooner in the progress of the sentence, than the genuine Hebrew idiom would have allowed.
It is from a different principle, not that of an effort to secure smoothness of style, of which we have just spoken, but of conformity with the natural order of expression, that the adjective or
pronoun, when it has a qualificative force, must follow the substantive to which it belongs. In this case, as is well known, the article connects itself with the adjective or pronoun, if the noun have the article, or be rendered definite by any equivalent construction. The only proper exception to this usage, so far as regards the pronoun, is that of the simple demonstrative, which is sometimes placed before the definite noun; as this peo
ple, this Moses, (in the way of contempt, like iste,) Ex. 32: 1. Jos. 9: 12. Is. 23: 13. In the Arabic and Aramaean, however, this is the ordinary arrangement. Of the adjectives, is not unfrequently placed first (Ps. 32: 10); and some instances of this occur in regard to (Prov. 29: 6), and also (Jer. 30: 15), which are to be considered undoubtedly as poetic, rather than as sanctioned by common practice.
The case is entirely different when an adjective acquires the signification of a noun. The substantive which controlled the position of the adjective, must now itself give place to the adjective in its character as a noun. This latter, as the more important word, claims the first position; and at the same time a forcible expression arises, which was properly at home only in the poetry of the language. Thus the strong of power, tò xoαtegòr rns loyvos, i. e. very strong power, Is. 40: 26; y wip the holy of thy abodes, i. e. thy most holy abodes, Ps. 46: 5.
An adverb stands in like manner, according to the general rule, after its adjective; as very great. It has, however, on the whole, much greater freedom of position, and can easily precede the verb; as be greatly is he exalted. This latter remark applies almost universally to the adverb of negation.
The question constantly presents itself, in framing a sentence in Hebrew, whether the article should be inserted or not in connection with nouns and other words which occupy the place of nouns. The decision of such questions depends obviously upon a proper view of the nature of this part of speech; and the topic is one, therefore, which belongs more appropriately to another branch of Hebrew Syntax. Two or three remarks merely, supplemental to the usual statements on the subject, will be sufficient for this place. In the poets the article is less frequent than elsewhere, since they express themselves with greater brevity than other writers. Yet they too differ among themselves in this respect, since they do not all affect the same abruptness of style. Such passages as Micah 7: 11 sq. show how far this peculiarity might be carried, in striving to secure boldness and compression of
The definitive Particle.
speech by the omission of the article. Even out of poetry the same phenomena occasionally meets us, particularly in some of the later writers, who appear to have aimed at a studied brevity of expression. See Dan. 8: 13. 10: 1. Neh. 6: 10. Whether the article should be prefixed to proper names or not, will depend on their signification. If this be of the nature of an adjective, e. g. the Jebusite, the Syrian, the Roman, it would generally be employed. Yet here the Hebrew exhibits some fluctuation. It will be found perhaps that the older the term was in the language, the more liable it was to dispense with the article. So, too, prop. er names, which on their first appropriation to this use required the article, in order to make them specific, dropped it by degrees as the original import of such terms passed more and more out of view.
Closely allied to the article in its nature, is the definitive particle r, the correct application of which is not wholly free from difficulty in the formation of the Hebrew sentence. The general usage may be stated as follows. It is to be connected with the personal pronoun when this forms the object of a verb, but is hindered by some external difficulty from being attached as a suffix to the verb itself. Thus when emphasis requires the accusative of the pronoun before the verb, or in a separate form after it; as thee I slew, Num. 22: 33. Jer. 7: 19. Again, this would occur when a verb has two objects, both of which are personal pronouns, since only one of them can be expressed by the suffix; as in he caused me to see him. So also with the Infinitive in s in their seeing him. As to the connection of this particle with substantives, it may be remarked that they take it more especially if they precede the verb; but if they follow it, no certain rule can be prescribed. If the sign of the accusative be attached to them in this latter situation, however, it must be under the known condition that they are definite either from the nature of their meaning, or because they have the article or a following genitive or suffix pronoun. It may be added, that nouns which designate persons are much more prone to assume this particle, than those which refer to things. Hence certain words which are somewhat kindred in their character to the
under the אֶת and some others, take אִישׁ, אַחֵר, כל pronouns, as
circumstances in which the pronouns would receive it. But here too the usual distinction must be made between poetry and prose. The use of this particle is much less common in the former than in the latter; and, in prose, some of the fluctuation which exists, is to be attributed, no doubt, to individual diversities of style.
The omission of the copula in many instances where it would be expressed in other languages by the verb of existence, is a peculiarity which must be observed in the construction of the Hebrew sentence. The verb, in a strict point of view, is required only when the idea of becoming or of existing in some definite past or future, as distinguished from the present, is intended to be conveyed. The statement of Gesenius (Gr. § 141) suggests too limited a view of its omission.
We have considered the elements of the Hebrew sentence in its ordinary state of repose. We will now examine it in the more unequal, disturbed condition into which it is thrown, when it represents the mind in its endeavors to express itself with emphasis and force. The degree in which the sentence deviates in this case from the ordinary arrangement, depends in part on the mental state of the individual himself, in part on the words which he employs.
If it be a slight emphasis which is intended, it is sufficient to change the ordinary position, merely so far as to place the subject or object first, in which case the verb then stands properly in the middle; as, your hands shed not blood, our eyes saw it not, Deut. 21: 7. wears away, Job 14: 19. Infrequent and more poetic are the positions-object, subject, verb, 2 Kings 5: 13; subject, object, verb, Is. 13: 18. Zech. 10: 2. A substantive thus placed at the beginning is often repeated by means of its pronoun, whereby it is rendered still more emphatic; as, the blessing of
Jehovah, it makes rich, Prov. 10: 22, 24. Is. 8: 14.
stones (even) the water אֲבָנִים שָׁחֲקוּ מַיִם
The principal noun, of which something is to be affirmed, stands often isolated at the beginning of the clause, inasmuch as the speaker views it as the most prominent word, and then afterwards repeats it in the place which it would regularly occupy in the sentence, by using the personal pronoun; as, ix Jehovah -in heaven (not upon earth) is his throne, Ps. 11:4. Very seldom does such a substantive remain without such a resumption. To warrant this, the sequel of the sentence must give a complete sense by itself, and the connection be perfectly clear from the context. This happens only in the most excited discourse; as, that dayfar remote shall the day remove its limit,' Micah 7: 11; the idolsall pass away, Is. 2: 15, etc.
A special mode of giving prominence to the noun in a sentence
The point to be illustrated here remains in the passage whether this translation of it be adopted or some other one. There is a difference of opinion in regard to the meaning.
Repetition of Words.
consists in first awakening attention to it by means of a personal pronoun, and then after such a preparation introducing the object itself to which the pronoun refers. In the Aramaean this is very common; but in Hebrew prose it appears very seldom, and is confined almost exclusively to the older writings; as, when she saw him the boy, Ex. 2: 6. comp. Josh. 1: 2. Is. 17: 6. The case is different when a pronoun stands entirely alone without any accompanying substantive, being omitted because the speaker supposes that it will suggest itself from the obvious nature of the connection. Examples of this, though comparatively uncommon, may be found in any part of a discourse, as at the beginning in Is. 13: 2, or in the progress of it, as Prov. 12: 6. 28: 2, etc.
The use of, in order to render a noun in the sentence emphatic, requires notice here. This particle has the peculiar pow er of pointing out an object as something not to be overlooked; and performs this office in a manner which we can scarcely represent in our language. We translate indeed in such cases by in reference to, as regards, Lat. quoad; but its force is to be given in the tone, rather than by words. Thus in the antique style of the decalogue, at the end of the sentence when nothing further is necessary to the completion of the sense, we have the expression appended as relates to those who hate me, Ex. 20: 5. Its object is to bring distinctly into view the class of persons against whom the threatening just uttered stands, as a summary and pointed repetition of the statement which has already been made. Comp. Deut. 34: 11 sq. may be placed in like manner at the beginning of a sentence with the same effect. Is. 32: 1. Ps. 16: 3. 17: 4. The later writers employ this construction with still more frequency, so as in fact to weaken the import of its original use. The emphatic application of this particle, therefore, should be distinguished from its office when it serves merely to denote the loose connection which we ordinarily express by our phrase in relation to, etc.
One of the strongest modes of giving emphasis to thought in Hebrew consists in the repetition of words. This is practised in various ways. It is very frequent, for example, in the case of the pronoun, which from its abbreviated form for the most part in the language, admits less easily of being distinguished by mere position. Thus the person of the verb is often made prominent by its repetition in the form of the pronoun; as, best and I only am escaped, Job 1: 15. This idiom however, has been weakened in the later writers, who expand their sentences often to a