In His Own Image and Likeness: Humanity, Divinity, and Monotheism

By W. Randall Garr | Go to book overview
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is an uncommon synonym of ‘give’ in Biblical Hebrew (see, especially, Jdg 1: 15) and, apart from the Yahwist tradition, is used only in its literal meaning. In J, however, the verb has literal as well as nonliteral meaning.1 Only J employs as an interjectional, pragmatic particle.


2.1. Isolating Nonliteral

The imperative of

is morphologically regular but phonologicaUy irregular. Like all imperatives, it is inflected for gender and number. Like all inflected imperatives, the form participates in a sound change that shifts the accent onto the ultima when that final syllable ends in a monomorphemic, long-vocalic affix.2

He said,

“Present the wrap that you are wearing.” (Ru 3: 15aα)

Joseph said,

“Give (me) your livestock, and I will give [the food] to
you in exchange for your livestock.” (Gen 47: 16a )

But other verbs lose their penultimate vowel consequent to the accent shift, as in

‘take’ ‘take’ (1 Kgs 17: 10; Is 23: 16, 47: 2) and ‘take’ does not. As Ru 3: 15 and Gen 47: 16 indicate, the verb's penultimate, thematic vowel is retained and lengthened instead.3 More

1 See Hermann Gunkel, Genesis (4th ed.; HKAT I/1; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1917 [1910]) 94 (= Genesis [trans. Mark E. Biddle; Mercer Library of Biblical Studies; Macon: Mercer University Press, 1997] 96).

2 For this change, see A. Ungnad, “Zum hebräischen Verbalsystem,” BASS 6/3 (1907): 56; Chr. Sarauw, Über Akzent und Silbenbildung in den älteren semitischen Sprachen (Det Kgl. Danske Videnskabernes Selskab, Historisk-filologiske Meddelelser 26/8; Copenhagen: Ejnar Munksgaard, 1939) 25–26; and J. Blau, “Notes on Changes in Accent in Early Hebrew,” in Hayyim (Jefin) Schirmann Jubilee Volume (ed. Shraga Abramson and Aaron Mirsky; Jerusalem: Schocken Institute for Jewish Research, 1970) 37–38 (in Hebrew) (repr. in Studies in Hebrew Linguistics [Jerusalem: Magnes, 1996] 51–52 [in Hebrew]).

3 Sarauw, Über Akzent und Silbenbildung 26 n. 1 (continued from 25); and E. J. Reveil, “Stress Position in Hebrew Verb Forms with Vocalic Affix,” JSS 32 (1987): 269. See also GKC §690; and GKB 2 §26c.

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