unfoldingWord® Hebrew Grammar https://uhg.readthedocs.io/en/latest/
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:github_url: https://git.door43.org/unfoldingWord/en_uhg/src/branch/master/content/conjunction.rst
.. _conjunction:
.. include:: includes/conjunction-summary.rst
.. include:: includes/hebrew/conjunction-summary-hebrew.rst
Biblical Hebrew contains only one primary conjunction (the prefix וְ),
but a whole family of other words also function as conjunctions.
In Biblical Hebrew, :ref:`particles<particle>`
and conjunctions are often combined with each other to form compound conjunctions.
Compound conjunctions should not be considered merely as the sum of the
components, but rather as a single grammatical entity with its own range
of meanings which may or may not be different than the individual
component words.
.. include:: includes/conjunction-categories.rst
.. include:: includes/hebrew/conjunction-categories-hebrew.rst
Sentences in Biblical Hebrew often begin with the conjunction ו (as either a consonant or a shureq vowel).
This conjunction וְ ("and") cannot stand alone as an independent word but must be connected to another word as a prefix.
This can be added to a :ref:`noun<noun>`, a :ref:`verb<verb>`, a :ref:`pronoun<pronoun>`, or a :ref:`particle<particle>`.
The shewa in וְ can lengthen to a vowel, usually pathah (when paired with the definite article) or qamets
(when paired with both the article and a ה prefix), but others are also possible.
.. note:: The conjunction וְ is often left untranslated when it begins a
sentence or clause, or when it appears within the sequential verbal
forms (:ref:`verb_sequential_perfect` and :ref:`verb_sequential_imperfect`).
Also, the conjunction is often added between every item of a list in
Biblical Hebrew; but in English the וְ is not translated for each item.
The conjunction וְ can appear either as a prefix to a word or particle,
or as part of a sequential verbal form.
.. csv-table:: Example: ZEC 3:3 –– as a prefix to a separate word
וְעֹמֵ֖ד לִפְנֵ֥י הַמַּלְאָֽךְ
**we'omed** lifne hammal'akh
**and-he-was-standing** to-face-of the-angel
**and he was standing** in front of the angel
.. csv-table:: Example: GEN 1:13 –– as part of a sequential verbal form
וַֽיְהִי־עֶ֥רֶב **וַֽיְהִי**\ ־בֹ֖קֶר י֥וֹם שְׁלִישִֽׁי׃
**wayehi**-'erev **wayehi**\ voqer yom shelishi
"**And-there-was**\ \_evening, **and-there-was**\ \_morning, day
"**This was** evening and morning, the third day."
The conjunction וְ can express any of the following connective
.. _conjunction-conjunctive:
.. include:: includes/conjunction-conjunctive.rst
.. csv-table:: Example: GEN 2:17
וּמֵעֵ֗ץ הַדַּ֙עַת֙ ט֣וֹב **וָרָ֔ע** לֹ֥א תֹאכַ֖ל מִמֶּ֑נּוּ
ume'ets hadda'ath tov **wara'** lo thokhal mimmennu
"But-from-tree-of the-knowledge-of good **and-evil** not you-shall-eat
"But from the tree of the knowledge of good **and evil** you may not
.. _conjunction-simultaneous:
.. include:: includes/conjunction-simultaneous.rst
.. csv-table:: Example: GEN 1:5
ַיִּקְרָ֨א אֱלֹהִ֤ים ׀ לָאוֹר֙ י֔וֹם **וְלַחֹ֖שֶׁךְ** קָ֣רָא
wayyiqra 'elohim la'or yom **welahoshekh** qara laylah
"And-he-called God to-the-light day **and-to-the-darkness** he-called
"He named the light ""day,"" **and** he named **the darkness** ""night."""
.. csv-table:: Example: GEN 45:14
ַיִּפֹּ֛ל עַל־צַוְּארֵ֥י בִנְיָמִֽן־אָחִ֖יו וַיֵּ֑בְךְּ
**וּבִנְיָמִ֔ן** בָּכָ֖ה עַל־צַוָּארָֽיו׃"
"wayyippol 'al-tsawwere vinyamin-'ahiw wayyevk **uvinyamin** bakhah
"And-he-fell on\_neck-of Benjamin\_his-brother and-he-wept
**and-Benjamin** wept on\_his-neck."
"He hugged his brother Benjamin's neck and wept, **while Benjamin**
wept on his neck."
.. _conjunction-alternative:
.. include:: includes/conjunction-alternative.rst
.. csv-table:: Example: EXO 20:10
לֹֽ֣א־תַעֲשֶׂ֨ה כָל־מְלָאכָ֜ה אַתָּ֣ה ׀ **וּבִנְךָֽ֣־וּבִתֶּ֗ךָ** עַבְדְּךָ֤ **וַאֲמָֽתְךָ֙ וּבְהֶמְתֶּ֔ךָ וְגֵרְךָ֖** אֲשֶׁ֥ר בִּשְׁעָרֶֽיךָ׃
"lo-tha'aseh khol-melakhah 'attah **uvinkha-wwvittekha** 'avdekha
**wa'amathekha uvehemtekha wegerekha** 'asher bish'areykha"
"Not\_you-shall-do any\_work you **nor-your-son\_nor-your-daughter**
**nor-your-female-servant nor-your-cattle nor-foreigner** who in-your-gates."
"On it you must not do any work, you,
**or your son, or your daughter, or your male servant, or your female servant, or your cattle, or the foreigner**
who is within your gates."
.. _conjunction-contrastive:
.. include:: includes/conjunction-contrastive.rst
.. csv-table:: Example: GEN 6:8
וְנֹ֕חַ מָ֥צָא חֵ֖ן בְּעֵינֵ֥י יְהוָֽה׃
**wenoah** matsa hen be'ene yehwah
**But-Noah** found favor in-eyes-of Yahweh.
**But Noah** found favor in the eyes of Yahweh.
.. _conjunction-explicative:
.. include:: includes/conjunction-explicative.rst
.. csv-table:: Example: GEN 4:4
וְהֶ֨בֶל הֵבִ֥יא גַם־ה֛וּא מִבְּכֹר֥וֹת צֹאנ֖וֹ וּמֵֽחֶלְבֵהֶ֑ן
wehevel hevi gam-hu mibbekhoroth tsono **umehelvehen**
"And-Abel brought also\_he from-firstborn-of his-flock **even-from-fat**"
"As for Abel, he brought some of the firstborn of his flock **and some of the fat**"
The word אוֹ is the standard :ref:`alternative<conjunction-alternative>` conjunction in Biblical Hebrew,
usually translated as "or" in English.
.. csv-table:: Example: EXO 21:32
אִם־עֶ֛בֶד יִגַּ֥ח הַשּׁ֖וֹר **א֣וֹ** אָמָ֑ה׃
'im-'eved yiggah hashor **'o** 'amah
If\_male-servant gores the-ox **or** female-servant
If a bull attacks and gores a male **or** female slave
.. include:: includes/ci_flexible.txt
The word כִּי is the standard :ref:`causal<conjunction-causal>` conjunction in Biblical Hebrew,
and is usually translated as "for" in English.
However, it is also commonly used as a :ref:`conditional<conjunction-conditional>` conjunction (usually translated, "if").
Often,כִּי is conditional when it occurs at the beginning of a sentence and
causal when it occurs in the middle (or toward the end) of a sentence,
but there are notable exceptions to this general rule.
.. _conjunction-causal:
.. include:: includes/conjunction-causal.rst
.. include:: includes/hebrew/conjunction-causal-hebrew.rst
.. _causal-result:
.. include:: includes/causal-result.rst
.. csv-table:: Example: GEN 3:14
ַיֹּאמֶר֩ יְהֹוָ֨ה אֱלֹהִ֥ים ׀ אֶֽל־הַנָּחָשׁ֮ **כִּ֣י** עָשִׂ֣יתָ
זֹּאת֒ אָר֤וּר אַתָּה֙׃"
"wayyomer yehowah 'elohim 'el-hannahash **ki** 'asitha zoth 'arur
"And-he-said Yahweh God to\_the-serpent **because** you-have-done this
cursed you"
"Then Yahweh God said to the snake, ""**Because** you did this, I will
curse you."""
.. _causal-purpose:
.. include:: includes/causal-purpose.rst
.. csv-table:: Example: GEN 20:10
מָ֣ה רָאִ֔יתָ **כִּ֥י** עָשִׂ֖יתָ אֶת־הַדָּבָ֥ר הַזֶּֽה׃
mah ra'itha **ki** 'asitha 'eth-haddavar hazzeh
What did-you-see **so-that** you-did [dir.obj]\_the-thing the-this?
What prompted you **to** do this thing?
.. _conjunction-conditional:
.. include:: includes/conjunction-conditional.rst
.. include:: includes/hebrew/conjunction-conditional-hebrew.rst
.. _conditional-hypothetical:
.. include:: includes/conditional-hypothetical.rst
.. csv-table:: Example: 2KI 4:29
ִּֽי־תִמְצָ֥א אִישׁ֙ לֹ֣א תְבָרְכֶ֔נּוּ **וְכִֽי**\ ־יְבָרֶכְךָ֥
אִ֖ישׁ לֹ֣א תַעֲנֶנּ֑וּ"
"**ki**-thimtsa 'ish lo thevorkhennu **wekhi**-yevarekhkha 'ish lo
"**If**\ \_you-meet man not\_greet-him **and-if**\ \_greets-you man
not answer-him."
"**If** you meet any man, do not greet him, and **if** anyone greets
you, do not answer him."
.. _conditional-actual:
.. include:: includes/conditional-actual.rst
.. csv-table:: Example: GEN 27:1
וַיְהִי֙ **כִּֽי**\ ־זָקֵ֣ן יִצְחָ֔ק וַתִּכְהֶ֥יןָ עֵינָ֖יו מֵרְאֹ֑ת
wayhiy **ki**-zaqen yitshaq wattikhheyna 'enayw mere'oth
"And-it-happened **when**\ \_old Isaac and-were-dim his-eyes
**When** Isaac was old and his eyes were dim so that he could not see
Other uses
The word כִּי can also express other conjunctive meanings, often as an
:ref:`contrastive<conjunction-contrastive>` following a negated statement. If in doubt, it is
recommended to always consult a dictionary or lexicon for the exact
meaning of the word in any specific instance.
.. csv-table:: Example: GEN 17:15
ָׂרַ֣י אִשְׁתְּךָ֔ לֹא־תִקְרָ֥א אֶת־שְׁמָ֖הּ שָׂרָ֑י **כִּ֥י**
שָׂרָ֖ה שְׁמָֽהּ׃"
saray 'ishtekha lo-thiqra 'eth-shemah saray **ki** sarah shemah
"Sarai your-wife not\_call [dir.obj]\_her-name Sarai **but** Sarah
"As for Sarai your wife, do not call her Sarai any more. **Instead**,
her name will be Sarah."
.. note:: Like the word כִּי, the word אִם in Biblical Hebrew is also
extremely flexible in its meaning. If in doubt, it is recommended to
always consult a dictionary or lexicon for the exact meaning of the word
in any specific instance.
The word אִם is the standard ``conditional`` conjunction in Biblical Hebrew.
It is most often used to describe a hypothetical condition and
translated as "if" in English. However, this term can can be nuanced and
translated in a variety of specific ways, and it can be joined with
various other particles to form different compound conjunctions.
Therefore, this word must be translated always with senstivity to the
context to express the correct nuance.
.. include:: includes/conditional-hypothetical.rst
.. csv-table:: Example: GEN 18:26
אִם־אֶמְצָ֥א בִסְדֹ֛ם חֲמִשִּׁ֥ים צַדִּיקִ֖ם בְּת֣וֹךְ הָעִ֑יר
**'im**-'emtsa visdom hamishim tsaddiqim bethokh ha'ir
**If**\ \_I-find in-Sodom fifty righteous in-place the-city
**If** I find fifty people in Sodom who have done nothing wrong
The following example is a hypothetical condition as an affirmation of
an actual condition.
.. csv-table:: Example: JER 15:1
אִם־יַעֲמֹ֨ד מֹשֶׁ֤ה וּשְׁמוּאֵל֙ לְפָנַ֔י
**'im**-ya'amod mosheh ushemu'el lefanay
**Though**\ \_stood Moses and-Samuel before-me
**Even if** Moses or Samuel were standing in front of me
.. include:: includes/conjunction-actual.rst
.. csv-table:: Example: NUM 21:9
ְהָיָ֗ה **אִם**\ ־נָשַׁ֤ךְ הַנָּחָשׁ֙ אֶת־אִ֔ישׁ וְהִבִּ֛יט
אֶל־נְחַ֥שׁ הַנְּחֹ֖שֶׁת וָחָֽי׃"
"wehayah **'im**-nashakh hannahash 'eth-'ish wehibbit 'el-nehash
hannehosheth wahay"
"And-it-happened **when**\ \_he-had-bitten the-serpent [dir.obj]\_man
and-he-looked to\_serpent-of the-bronze and-he-lived"
"**When** a snake bit any person, if he looked at the bronze snake, he
.. csv-table:: Example: GEN 31:8
ִם־כֹּ֣ה יֹאמַ֗ר נְקֻדִּים֙ יִהְיֶ֣ה שְׂכָרֶ֔ךָ וְיָלְד֥וּ
כָל־הַצֹּ֖אן נְקֻדִּ֑ים"
"**'im**-koh yomar nequddim yihyeh sekharekha weyoldu khol-hatson
"**When**\ \_thus he-said speckled-ones it-will-be your-wages
and-they-bore all\_the-flock speckled-ones"
"**If** he said, 'The speckled animals will be your wages,' then all
the flock bore speckled young."
This use of the conjunction אִם is often found in a question and is
usually translated as "or" in English.
.. csv-table:: Example: JOS 5:13
הֲלָ֥נוּ אַתָּ֖ה **אִם**\ ־לְצָרֵֽינוּ׃
halanu 'attah **'im**-letsarenu
Are-for-us you **or**\ \_for-our-enemies?
Are you for us **or** for our enemies?
The word עַתָּה ("now") in Biblical Hebrew often functions as a :ref:`temporal adverb<adverb-temporal>`, and sometimes as a :ref:`sentential adverb<adverb-sentential>`.
However, when עַתָּה appears at the beginning of a
sentence or clause, it usually functions not as an adverb but as a
conjunction, either standing alone or as a compound conjunction (when
paired with the prefix וְ or with particles such as גַּם or כִּי). In
either case, the term functions as a type of :ref:`causal<conjunction-causal>` conjunction, indicating that
what follows is based upon what has come before. This conjunction must
be translated always with great sensitivity to the context to express
the correct nuance; in English, this conjunction can be translated as
"now", "so", "so now", "and now", "therefore", and others. A dictionary
or lexicon will indicate the specific nuance of this term in individual
.. csv-table:: Example: GEN 31:13 –– as a stand-alone conjunction
עַתָּ֗ה ק֥וּם צֵא֙ מִן־הָאָ֣רֶץ הַזֹּ֔את
**'attah** qum tse' min-ha'arets hazzoth
**Now** rise-up go-out from\_the-land the-this
**Now** rise up and leave this land
.. csv-table:: Example: 1KI 8:26 –– with prefix וְ
ְעַתָּ֖ה אֱלֹהֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל יֵאָ֤מֶן נָא֙ דְּבָרֶיךָ אֲשֶׁ֣ר
דִּבַּ֔רְתָּ לְעַבְדְּךָ֖ דָּוִ֥ד אָבִֽי"
"**we'attah** 'elohe yisra'el ye'amen na' devareykha 'asher dibbarta
le'avdekha dawid 'avi"
"**And-now** God-of Israel let-it-be-true [exh.prtc] your-words that
you-spoke to-your-servant David my-father"
"**Now then**, God of Israel, I pray that the promise you made to your
servant David my father, will come true."
.. csv-table:: Example: GEN 44:10 –– in compound conjunction with גַּם
וַיֹּ֕אמֶר **גַּם־עַתָּ֥ה** כְדִבְרֵיכֶ֖ם כֶּן־ה֑וּא
wayyomer **gam-'attah** khedivrekhem ken-hu
And-he-said **also\_now** as-your-words thus\_it
**Now also** let it be according to your words.
.. csv-table:: Example: 1SA 13:13 –– in compound conjunction with כִּי
כִּ֣י עַתָּ֗ה הֵכִ֨ין יְהוָ֧ה אֶת־מַֽמְלַכְתְּךָ֛
**ki 'attah** hekhin yehwah 'eth-mamelakhtekha
**For now** he-established Yahweh [dir.obj]\_your-reign
**For then** Yahweh would have established your rule
This term is a :ref:`conditional<conjunction-conditional>` conjunction,
similar to אִם but used only to express hypothetical conditions.
The word can also appear in the alternate forms לוּא and לֻא.
This conjunction either:
1) expresses a condition that cannot (or probably will not) happen,
usually translated "if" in English;
or 2) conveys a strong desire for something to happen that cannot (or probably will not) be realized,
usually translated "if only" in English.
.. csv-table:: Example: JDG 13:23
לוּ֩ חָפֵ֨ץ יְהוָ֤ה לַהֲמִיתֵ֙נוּ֙
**lu** hafets yehwah lahamithenu
**If** he-wanted Yahweh to-kill-us
**If** Yahweh intended to kill us
.. csv-table:: Example: NUM 14:2
לוּ֩־מַ֙תְנוּ֙ בְּאֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרַ֔יִם
**lu**-mathnu be'erets mitsrayim
**If-only** we-had-died in-the-land-of Egypt
**We wish** we had died in the land of Egypt
This term is also a :ref:`conditional<conjunction-conditional>` conjunction,
and it expresses a certain kind of hypothetical condition.
The word can be used in two different ways:
either 1) in warnings to express a potential condition that will take place if the warning is not heeded,
usually translated "lest" in English;
or 2) to express the reason for a certain action to prevent a possible condition from taking place,
usually translated as "so that...not" (or similar phrasing) in English.
.. csv-table:: Example: GEN 3:3
וְלֹ֥א תִגְּע֖וּ בּ֑וֹ **פֶּן**\ ־תְּמֻתֽוּן׃
welo thigge'u bo **pen**-temuthun
and-not you-will-touch in-it **so-that-not**\ \_you-will-die
"nor may you touch it, **or** you will die."
.. csv-table:: Example: GEN 31:24
ִשָּׁ֧מֶר לְךָ֛ **פֶּן**\ ־תְּדַבֵּ֥ר עִֽם־יַעֲקֹ֖ב מִטּ֥וֹב
hishamer lekha **pen**-tedabber 'im-ya'aqov mittov 'ad-ra'
"Be-guarded to-you **so-that-not**\ \_you-speak with\_Jacob from-good
Be careful **that** you speak to Jacob **neither** good **nor** bad.
.. _conjunction-restrictive:
.. include:: includes/conjunction-restrictive.rst
.. include:: includes/hebrew/conjunction-restrictive-hebrew.rst
.. _conjunction-compound:
Compound conjunctions
.. include:: includes/notes/conjunction-compound.rst
.. _conjunction-concessive:
.. include:: includes/conjunction-concessive.rst
כִּי אִם
Sometimes the words כִּי and אִם are paired together to form a compound conjunction that functions most often as a strong contrastive
or a strong *concessive* ("except"). In English, it is usually translated as "but",
"but if", or "except". It is recommended to always consult a dictionary
or lexicon for the exact meaning of any specific occurrence of this
compound conjunction.
.. csv-table:: Example: 2KI 23:9
כִּ֛י אִם־אָכְל֥וּ מַצֹּ֖ות בְּתֹ֥וךְ אֲחֵיהֶֽם׃
**ki 'im**-'okhlu matsowth bethowkh 'ahehem
**but if**\ \_they-ate unleavened-bread in-midst-of their-brothers.
**but** they ate unleavened bread among their brothers.
אַף כִּי
Sometimes the words אַף and כִּי are paired together to form a compound
conjunction that functions as a strong *affirmative* (similar to an :ref:`affirmation particle<particle_affirmation>`). This compound
conjunction can appear with or without the prefix conjunction וְ
.. csv-table:: Example: GEN 3:1
אַ֚ף כִּֽי־אָמַ֣ר אֱלֹהִ֔ים
**'af ki**-'amar 'elohim
**indeed** he-has-said God
Has God **really** said
.. csv-table:: Example: EZK 23:40
וְאַ֗ף כִּ֤י־אַחֲרֵ֥י מוֹתִֽי׃
**we'af ki**-'ahare mothi
**and-more** after my-death
**how much more** after my death?