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Composition for Text II, Number 4

Posted: Fri Sep 17, 2021 6:59 pm
by Jason
This is the exercise that I did quickly without talking during our session last night. I figured I would use the forum to talk through it with you.
And the Lᴏʀᴅ said unto him: ‘Wherefore speakest thou thus? Thy wife, Sarah, will bear thee a son and he will walk in thy ways and I shall bless him.’
We mentioned before that we are going to have a lot of phrases that repeat and become easier and easier to compose. This should be the case with the first line, which begins with the past narrative verb וַיֹּ֫אמֶר and he said. Again, the preposition with the attached personal suffix will precede the subject: וַיֹּ֫אמֶר אֵלָיו יְהוָה and Yahweh said to him. This is pretty much a fixed expression that occurs again and again in the biblical text. Have you become accustomed to it yet?

The word wherefore is an antiquated way of asking "why?" This can be either לָ֫מָּה or מָדוּעַ. The former is far more common, so it's more likely that you would use it.

Weingreen tells us that speakest in this context should be in the imperfect. You might think of it as "would you speak" in modern English. "Why would you say such a thing?" This gives it the modal / irreal sense. Thus is also provided to us by Weingreen in his notes. The phrase should read לָ֫מָּה תְּדַבֵּר כַּזֹּאת.

Weingreen tells that thy wife, Sarah should be rearranged to say "Sarah, your wife," which is שָׂרָה אִשְׁתְּךָ, since this is the more common order in Hebrew.

Will bear a son is simply the imperfect of the verb יָלַד. As a first-yod, it loses the yod in the imperfect. In this case, the 3fs is תֵּלֵד, since it takes Sarah as its subject, and the direct object is indefinite: בֵּן. Remember that the construct with makaf becomes בֶּן־ (with segol), but without makaf, it is בֵּן (with tsere). There's no reason for it to be in construct here. However, the possessive / indirect object is expressed with לְךָ.

Putting together all we have so far:
וַיֹּ֫אמֶר אֵלָיו יְהוָה לָ֫מָּה תְּדַבֵּר כַּזֹּאת שָׂרָה אִשְׁתְּךָ תֵּלֵד לְךָ בֵּן
And Yahweh said to him: "Why would you speak like this? Sarah, your wife, will bear a son to you."
Now we get into predictive text, which gives an indication of the future of the boy who is to be born. This predictive sense is used with the irreal perfect ("vav-consecutive perfect" or veqatal). And he will walk in thy ways uses the perfect הָלַךְ with the vav conjunction (וְהָלַךְ). "Ways" needs to be put in the plural construct (דֶּ֫רֶךְ > דְּרָכִים > דַּרְכֵי). The historical form is דַּרַכֵי, and when you add the 2ms suffix (ךָ) you get *דַּרַכֶ֫יךָ, in which the resh represents the near syllable (pretonic) and the dalet represents the distant syllable (propretonic). The near lengthens to kamats, while the distant reduces to sheva (*דַּרַכֶ֫יךָ > דְּרָכֶ֫יךָ). To this, we add the preposition בְּ־ for the full effect: וְהָלַךְ בִּדְרָכֶ֫יךָ.

Bless is the piel stem of the root בר״ך (bet-resh-kaf). Think of it in terms of "knees" (בִּרְכַּ֫יִם; sg. בֶּ֫רֶךְ) and "blessing" (בְּרָכָה). Like שִׁלַּם "he paid," it tends to take its 3ms qatal with patach (בֵּרַךְ), and notice that the tsere under the first radical is due to compensatory lengthening by the rejection of dagesh in the resh. The 1cs form is בֵּרַ֫כְתִּי "I blessed," as should be expected. To make it future (predictive), add the vav: וּבֵרַכְתִּי "and I will bless" (it is וּ because of the BuMP-Sheva rule). To add the direct object "him," you can either use the explicit אֹתוֹ (the DDOM with ו for 3ms) or just add the ו to the verb and get an attached suffix: וּבֵרַכְתִּיו and I will bless him.

Altogether, we have:
וַיֹּ֫אמֶר אֵלָיו יְהוָה לָ֫מָּה תְּדַבֵּר כַּזֹּאת שָׂרָה אִשְׁתְּךָ תֵּלֵד לְךָ בֵּן וְהָלַךְ בִּדְרָכֶ֫יךָ וּבֵרַכְתִּיו
And Yahweh said to him: "Why would you speak like this? Sarah, your wife, will bear a son to you. He will walk in your ways, and I will bless him."

Reminder about the forms of אִשָּׁה

Posted: Sat Sep 18, 2021 3:52 pm
by Jason
Reminder about the forms of אִשָּׁה.

The root of the word is the same as that of "person" — אנ״שׁ (alef-nun-shin). In the singular absolute, the nun assimilates into the shin:
אנ״שׁ > *אִנְשָׁה > אִשָּׁה
We would expect the construct of *אִשַּׁת, but this isn't what happens to it. It becomes אֵ֫שֶׁת. Notice that this is just like other segolates. When the feminine ending is added, the syllable closes and it becomes CiCCá (like שִׂמְלָה "dress" and שִׂמְחָה "joy"), except that in this case, the nun assimilates into the shin.

When you add suffixes to the construct (אֵ֫שֶׁת), the syllable closes up again, and you get:
אִשְׁתִּי "my wife"
אִשְׁתְּךָ "your (ms) wife"
אִשְׁתּוֹ "his wife"
Those are all the possible forms in the singular in the Bible.

👩‍❤️‍💋‍👩 Today, we can say אִשְׁתֵּךְ "your (fs) wife" and אִשְׁתָּהּ "her wife" in reference to same-sex marriages between women.

When the plural is used, it is based on the same root but without the alef. The construct plural is either נְשֵׁי־. So, we see:
נָשַׁי "my wives"
נָשֶׁ֫יךָ "your (ms) wives"
נָשָׁיו "his wives"
נָשֵׁ֫ינוּ "our wives"
נְשֵׁיכֶם "your (mp) wives"
נְשֵׁיהֶם "their wives"

Re: Composition for Text II, Number 4

Posted: Mon Sep 20, 2021 7:46 pm
by samthemanB3
Good explanations throughout! I went through it and entered it into my sheet.