Variation on phrase from Ecclesiastes

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Re: Variation on phrase from Ecclesiastes

Postby kwrandolph » Thu Jul 10, 2014 11:26 am

Ken M. Penner wrote:
kwrandolph wrote:How do you know this is not a participle when read in context:
והסכל ירבה דברים לא ידע האדם מה שיהיה?

In Ecclesiastes, the participle is usually spelled יודע.

Usually, but not always. E.g. Ecclesiastes 9:11.

Ken M. Penner wrote:
kwrandolph wrote:On what basis do you claim that this is a prefix conjugation (the Masoretic points don’t count as evidence)?

I make that claim on the basis of the Masoretic points. Feel free to ignore them; I don't.

I’ve found the Masoretic points demonstrably wrong often enough that I now insist that they not be counted as a reliable reference. By “demonstrably wrong”, I mean according to the meaning given by the points, not whether or not they correctly reference Biblical pronunciation (which they also don’t).

Ken M. Penner wrote:
kwrandolph wrote:But I agree with you that the Yiqtol doesn’t express “aspect” (a time measurement) nor tense. As a result, this is why I wonder how well a modern Israeli who knows only modern Hebrew would understand good Biblical Hebrew, because modern Hebrew is a tense based language?

אני לא יודע

Good Biblical Hebrew is אני לא ידעתי according to the majority of recorded conversations in Tanakh.

Ken M. Penner wrote:
kwrandolph wrote:
Ken M. Penner wrote:Mind you, this is late biblical Hebrew. It could be different in earlier stages of Hebrew.

You mean that about 950 BC is “late Biblical Hebrew”?

No, I don't mean that. To use just the example in this message, check out the fuller spelling of the participle יודע and compare it books we know are early and to books we know are late. יודע never appears in the Pentateuch, Joshua, Judges, but it does in Esther, Ezekiel, & 2 Chronicles.

You shouldn’t make a claim that’s so easy to check. What about Ruth 3:11? Samuel gives indications of early authorship, and the form is found three times in those books. Also found in Isaiah, Amos and other kingdom period books. (Actually the consonantal form appears more often, but as a Niphal, not a participle.) Ecclesiastes is an early kingdom era book, written over four centuries after the Pentateuch. Since the fuller spelling of the participle is found in other kingdom era books, why not also here?

Karl W. Randolph.

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Re: Variation on phrase from Ecclesiastes

Postby beauford » Wed Aug 20, 2014 9:47 pm

Thank you both for your full treatment of this issue! This discussion has been very informative.
Robert Hanshaw

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Ben Putnam
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Re: Variation on phrase from Ecclesiastes

Postby Ben Putnam » Fri Jun 26, 2015 8:23 pm

For modern, I would venture to say it would be אף אחד לא יודע שום דבר af eHad lo yodea` shum davar. I'm thinking מאומה me'uma there may be more formal than שום דבר in modern. But אף אחד is the modern idiom for nobody, no one.

For biblical Hebrew, I would say one way to word it might be לא ידע איש מאומה lo yada` ish me'uma. For a statement that focuses more on the present situation of no one currently knowing anything, I'd probably go for אין איש יודע מאומה en ish yodea` me'uma.

Ben Putnam

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