strange verb question

Classical Hebrew morphology and syntax, aspect, linguistics, discourse analysis, and related topics
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Isaac Fried
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Re: strange verb question

Postby Isaac Fried » Sat Apr 13, 2019 9:10 pm

Gen. 23:5-7 reads
וַיַּעֲנוּ בְנֵי חֵת אֶת אַבְרָהָם לֵאמֹר לוֹ. שְׁמָעֵנוּ אֲדֹנִי נְשִׂיא אֱלֹהִים אַתָּה בְּתוֹכֵנוּ בְּמִבְחַר קְבָרֵינוּ קְבֹר אֶת מֵתֶךָ אִישׁ מִמֶּנּוּ אֶת קִבְרוֹ לֹא יִכְלֶה מִמְּךָ מִקְּבֹר מֵתֶךָ. וַיָּקָם אַבְרָהָם וַיִּשְׁתַּחוּ לְעַם-הָאָרֶץ לִבְנֵי-חֵת
KJV: Hear us, my lord: thou art a mighty prince among us: in the choice of our sepulchres bury thy dead; none of us shall withhold from thee his sepulchre, but that thou mayest bury thy dead.
NIV: “Sir, listen to us. You are a mighty prince among us. Bury your dead in the choicest of our tombs. None of us will refuse you his tomb for burying your dead.”
The context makes it clear that there was a spirit of mutual respect and goodwill between Abraham and the Hittites of the Hebron hills, who accepted him and wanted him to live among them, and were possibly all from the same region of what is today eastern Turkey or northern Syria between the Euphrates and the Tigris rivers. But, we need still to distinguish between the public display of ceremonial politeness and the eventual practical nitty-gritty details of property transfer.
Hence יִכְלֶה is, indeed, 'withhold' as translated. It is from the root כלה KLH in which the end ה H is a radical letter. The root כלה is a member of the Hebrew root family:
גלא, גלה, גלע
חלא, חלה
כלא, כלה
קלע
גלל, הלל, חלל, כלל, קלל

'include, contain'.
The initial IY of יִכְלֶה = היא-כלה is the identifier היא for the owner of the cave.

Isaac Fried, Boston University

Jemoh66
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Re: strange verb question

Postby Jemoh66 » Sat Apr 13, 2019 10:05 pm

Genesis 23:6 יִכְלֶ֥ה is a jussive, let not a single one of us withhold his tomb. It's an oath/promise.
Jonathan E Mohler
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Baptist Bible Theological Seminary

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SteveMiller
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Re: strange verb question

Postby SteveMiller » Sat Apr 13, 2019 10:07 pm

Thanks Isaac.
How do you get the meaning of "withold" from כלה, which means finish, vanish, fail, determined?
Also, why do you say יִכְלֶה = היא-כלה, since יִכְלֶה is masculine and היא means "she"?
Sincerely yours,
Steve Miller
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Honesty is the best policy. - George Washington (1732-99)

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SteveMiller
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Re: strange verb question

Postby SteveMiller » Sun Apr 14, 2019 7:49 am

Jemoh66 wrote:Genesis 23:6 יִכְלֶ֥ה is a jussive, let not a single one of us withhold his tomb. It's an oath/promise.

Thanks Jonathan. Why the hey at the end of the word instead of an aleph?
Sincerely yours,
Steve Miller
Detroit
http://www.voiceInWilderness.info
Honesty is the best policy. - George Washington (1732-99)

Isaac Fried
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Re: strange verb question

Postby Isaac Fried » Sun Apr 14, 2019 10:52 am

No Hebrew root can mean "finish"; What is "finish, vanish, fail (OK, fail = fall)"? Only: complete, conclude, at the end (notice: end = and) be done, have, hold and fasten it all הכל together.
See 1Kings 6:38
וּבַשָּׁנָה הָאַחַת עֶשְׂרֵה בְּיֶרַח בּוּל הוּא הַחֹדֶשׁ הַשְּׁמִינִי כָּלָה הַבַּיִת לְכָל דְּבָרָיו וּלְכָל מִשְׁפָּטָו וַיִּבְנֵהוּ שֶׁבַע שָׁנִים
NIV: "In the eleventh year in the month of Bul, the eighth month, the temple was finished in all its details according to its specifications. He had spent seven years building it."
We have already remarked that language is incapable of expressing the negative without a prior positive counterpart: First there is "a thing", and only then comes the "nothing" = no-thing.
See also Jer. 44:27
הִנְנִי שֹׁקֵד עֲלֵיהֶם לְרָעָה וְלֹא לְטוֹבָה וְתַמּוּ כָל אִישׁ יְהוּדָה אֲשֶׁר בְּאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם, בַּחֶרֶב וּבָרָעָב עַד כְּלוֹתָם
KJV: "Behold, I will watch over them for evil, and not for good: and all the men of Judah that are in the land of Egypt shall be consumed by the sword and by the famine, until there be an end of them."
תם is 'full, complete', but also 'no more'. If a room is full, then there is zero free space in it.
Hence יִכְלֶה is 'hold on', and hence 'deny'. And yes כלה = כלא which is too harsh. Furthermore, evidently כלא = קלע.

Isaac Fried, Boston University

Kenneth Greifer
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Re: strange verb question

Postby Kenneth Greifer » Sun Apr 14, 2019 11:22 am

Steve,

Maybe the Hittites spoke Hebrew a little differently or maybe whoever spoke or translated for them in their talk with Abraham used the wrong word. I don't know what language they spoke in that conversation. I am also not sure if the word would sound different if it had a hay or an alef at the end of it, so I don't know if it would have made a difference. It is also possible that someone wrote the word wrong thousands of years ago.

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Jason Hare
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Re: strange verb question

Postby Jason Hare » Sun Apr 14, 2019 2:52 pm

Alef and heh are frequently interchanged. Spelling was not as forced back then as it is today.
Jason Hare
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Kenneth Greifer
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Re: strange verb question

Postby Kenneth Greifer » Sun Apr 14, 2019 4:30 pm

Jason,

Do you know any examples of quotes with hay and alef mixed up like you said?

Isaac Fried
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Re: strange verb question

Postby Isaac Fried » Sun Apr 14, 2019 4:51 pm

Speaking is for the ear, writing is for the eye. The way I (and possibly also Jason Hare of Tel Aviv) speak Hebrew כלא and קלע sound exactly the same. They also mean essentially the same: 'enclose'. The different spellings are to alert the reader's mind to the detailed different circumstantial outcome of their applications. While כלא is mainly 'imprison, stop, detain', and hence the בֵּית כֶּלֶא, 'prison', of 2Kings 2:17 (notice there the עצר = אסר)
וַיַּעַצְרֵהוּ מֶלֶךְ אַשּׁוּר וַיַּאַסְרֵהוּ בֵּית כֶּלֶא
קלע is more in the sense of 'include, mingle, interlace', as in 1Sam. 25:29
וְהָיְתָה נֶפֶשׁ אֲדֹנִי צְרוּרָה בִּצְרוֹר הַחַיִּים אֵת יְהוה אֱלֹהֶיךָ וְאֵת נֶפֶשׁ אֹיְבֶיךָ יְקַלְּעֶנָּה בְּתוֹךְ כַּף הַקָּלַע
NIV: "the life of my lord will be bound securely in the bundle of the living by the Lord your God, but the lives of your enemies he will hurl away as from the pocket of a sling."
From the root קלע we have also the מִקְלַעַת = מי-קלע-את, ,'braid' of 1Kings 6:18.

Isaac Fried, Boston University

Isaac Fried
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Re: strange verb question

Postby Isaac Fried » Sun Apr 14, 2019 6:16 pm

In spoken Hebrew, of Mishnaic origin, גָלְעִין (of the root גלע so near to the root קלע) is 'fruit stone, pit', actually a כָּלְאִין imprisoned inside the body of the fruit, or itself shielding an interior seed.

Isaac Fried, Boston University


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