Biblical Hebrew: asyndetic relative clause

Sharjeel72

Member
English
Hi

וַיֹּאמֶר בִּי אֲדֹנָי שְׁלַח נָא בְּיַד תִּשְׁלָח

And he said, O my Lord, send, I pray thee, by the hand of him whom thou wilt send.
(Exodus 4:13)

Here we seem to have an asyndetic relative clause. Is this relatively frequent in the Bible?

Thanks
 
  • Ali Smith

    Senior Member
    Urdu - Pakistan
    Joüon/Muraoka discusses this on p. 443 of A Grammar of Biblical Hebrew and glosses it something like “by the hand of one whom you will send”. He also mentions that asyndetic relative clauses are rare.
     

    Drink

    Senior Member
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    Let's be careful about the word asyndetic here. The relative clause is in fact indicated by the construct state.

    This happens in on occasion throughout the Bible. The most famous one being בראשית ברא, though it is arguable whether this is its correct interpretation or not. But there are other examples where it is crystal clear, like קרית חנה דוד.

    Most interestingly, however, is that I recently read in Huenergardt that he reconstructs this usage to Proto-Semitic, that construct state + finite verb was a way to create a relative clause all the way back in Proto-Semitic (before even the split of East and West Semitic).
     

    Ali Smith

    Senior Member
    Urdu - Pakistan
    Let's be careful about the word asyndetic here. The relative clause is in fact indicated by the construct state.
    I think it's asyndetic because asyndeton for relative clauses refers specifically to the absence of a relative pronoun or particle such as אשר. The construct state is okay for an asyndetic relative clause.
     

    Ali Smith

    Senior Member
    Urdu - Pakistan
    Drink: The following is definitely an asyndetic relative clause:

    חֶמְאַ֨ת בָּקָ֜ר וַחֲלֵ֣ב צֹ֗אן  עִם־חֵ֨לֶב כָּרִ֜ים וְאֵילִ֤ים
    בְּנֵֽי־בָשָׁן֙ וְעַתּוּדִ֔ים  עִם־חֵ֖לֶב כִּלְי֣וֹת חִטָּ֑ה
    וְדַם־עֵנָ֖ב תִּשְׁתֶּה־חָֽמֶר׃
    וַיִּשְׁמַ֤ן יְשֻׁרוּן֙ וַיִּבְעָ֔ט
    שָׁמַ֖נְתָּ עָבִ֣יתָ כָּשִׂ֑יתָ  וַיִּטֹּשׁ֙ אֱל֣וֹהַּ עָשָׂ֔הוּ
    וַיְנַבֵּ֖ל צ֥וּר יְשֻׁעָתֽוֹ׃
    (דברים לב יד-טו)

    Curd from cows and milk from a flock, with fat of lambs, and rams from the breed of Bashan, and goats, with the choicest of the wheat, and you drink wine of the blood of grapes.
    But Jeshurun became fat and kicked: you have grown fat, thick, and obese. Then he abandoned God who made him, and scorned the Rock of his salvation.
     
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