unfoldingWord® Hebrew Grammar https://uhg.readthedocs.io/en/latest/
You can not select more than 25 topics Topics must start with a letter or number, can include dashes ('-') and can be up to 35 characters long.

151 lines
6.0 KiB

:github_url: https://git.door43.org/unfoldingWord/en_uhg/src/branch/master/content/word_order.rst
.. _word_order:
Word Order
In Biblical Hebrew the verb normally comes first in a sentence or
clause. In cases where another grammatical element precedes the verb,
especially the subject, the context must determine whether or not a new
narrative or section of text is being introduced, or whether or not the
narrator is introducing a break in the narrative.
In verbal sentences (that is, sentences with a verb), the structure of
the sentence in Biblical Hebrew is: (1) the
in first position; (2) the subject, in second position; (3) the object,
in third position. Other grammatical elements such as
prepositional phrases, discourse
etc. can be inserted at various points within that general sentence
structure. In most cases, variations from the standard word order are
for literary reasons or to add some emphasis (usually on the word moved
to the beginning of the sentence), but this does not fundamentally
change the meaning. Sometimes however, if a grammatical element (often
the subject) is placed before the verb, it has implications for the
general structure of a narrative and/or how to best divide up the text
in smaller blocks. In these cases, the context must determine whether
this introduces a new narrative or section of text, or if it indicates a
break in the narrative.
Poetic portions of the Hebrew Bible generally not follow the standard
structure for several reasons. For example, they use a lot of nominal
sentences that do not have a verb, they use parallelisms where the same
thought is repeated twice, as well as other poetic tools.
The standard word order
.. csv-table:: Example: GEN 1:4 – with a direct object
וַיַּ֧רְא אֱלֹהִ֛ים אֶת־הָאֹ֖ור
wayyar 'elohim 'eth-ha'owr
and-he-saw God [dir.obj]\_the-light
and God saw the light
.. csv-table:: Example: EXO 9:1 – with an indirect object
וַיֹּ֤אמֶר יְהוָה֙ אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֔ה
wayyomer yehwah 'el-mosheh
and-he-said Yahweh to\_Moses
And Yahweh said to Moses
Deviation with no change in meaning
Not indicating a break in the narrative, because here the deviation
happens in the middle of a sentence.
.. csv-table:: Example: GEN 1:5
וַיִּקְרָ֨א אֱלֹהִ֤ים׀ לָאוֹר֙ י֔וֹם **וְלַחֹ֖שֶׁךְ** קָ֣רָא לָ֑יְלָה
wayyiqra 'elohim la'or yom **welahoshekh** qara laylah
"and-he-called God to-the-light day **and-to-the-darkness** he-called
"God called the light ""day,"" **and the darkness** he called ""night."""
.. csv-table:: Example: 2KI 3:22
וַיַּשְׁכִּ֣ימוּ בַבֹּ֔קֶר **וְהַשֶּׁ֖מֶשׁ** זָרְחָ֣ה עַל־הַמָּ֑יִם
wayyashkimu vabboqer **wehashemesh** zorhah 'al-hammayim
"and-they-rose-early in-the-morning **and-the-sun** had-risen
"They awakened early in the morning **and the sun** reflected on the
Introducing a new narrative or section of text
Though it is common to begin a book or major portion of a book with the
it is also possible to put the subject of the first sentence at the
beginning of the book.
.. csv-table:: Example: JOB 1:1 – indicating a new narrative
אִ֛ישׁ הָיָ֥ה בְאֶֽרֶץ־ע֖וּץ אִיּ֣וֹב שְׁמ֑וֹ
**'ish** hayah ve'erets-'uts 'iyyov shemo
**man** there-was in-land-of\_Uz Job his-name
There was **a man** in the land of Uz whose name was Job
.. csv-table:: Example: 2KI 3:4 – indicating a new section of text
וּמֵישַׁ֥ע מֶֽלֶךְ־מוֹאָ֖ב הָיָ֣ה נֹקֵ֑ד
**umesha' melekh-mo'av** hayah noqed
**and-Mesha king-of\_Moab** was sheep-breeder
Now **Mesha king of Moab** bred sheep
A subject placed before the verb can also indicate a new, smaller
section of a narrative, or a continuation after there has been a short
break in the narrative.
.. csv-table:: Example: 2SA 19:11 – indicating a new section of a narrative
ְהַמֶּ֣לֶךְ דָּוִ֗ד שָׁ֠לַח אֶל־צָד֨וֹק וְאֶל־אֶבְיָתָ֥ר
הַכֹּהֲנִים֮ לֵאמֹר֒"
"**wehammelekh dawid** shalah 'el-tsadoq we'el-'evyathar hakkohanim
"**and-the-king David** sent to\_Zadok and-to\_Abiathar the-priests
**King David** sent to Zadok and to Abiathar the priests saying
.. csv-table:: Example: 2SA 18:19 – indicating a continuation after a break in the narrative
וַאֲחִימַ֤עַץ בֶּן־צָדוֹק֙ אָמַ֔ר
**wa'ahima'ats** ben-tsadoq 'amar
**and-Ahimaaz** son-of\_Zadok he-said
**Then Ahimaaz** son of Zadok said
Indicating a small break in the narrative
Sometimes a grammatical element (usually the subject) placed before the
verb can indicate a break in the narrative action to provide the reader
with some extra information about the story being told. Usually, these
instances will be clearly discerned from the context.
.. csv-table:: Example: 2KI 3:21
וְכָל־מוֹאָב֙ שָֽׁמְע֔וּ כִּֽי־עָל֥וּ הַמְּלָכִ֖ים לְהִלָּ֣חֶם בָּ֑ם
**wekhol-mo'av** shame'u ki-'alu hammelakhim lehillahem bam
"**and-all\_of-Moab** they-heard that\_they-came the-kings to-fight
"**Now** when **all the Moabites** heard that the kings had come to
fight against them"
.. csv-table:: Example: 2SA 18:18
וְאַבְשָׁלֹ֣ם לָקַ֗ח וַיַּצֶּב־ל֤וֹ בְחַיָּו אֶת־מַצֶּ֙בֶת֙
**we'avshalom** laqah wayyatsev-lo vehayyaw 'eth-matseveth
"**and-Absalom** had-taken and-he-built\_for-him in-his-life
"**Now Absalom**, while still alive, had built for himself a large
stone pillar"