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The Infinitive Absolute As Finite Verb And Standard Literary Hebrew Of The Second Temple Period

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses one use of the infinitive absolute in the Hebrew of the Second Temple Period, viz., number 2 above: the infinitive absolute with the conjunctive waw functioning as a finite verb, a use that is also known in El-Amarna, Ugaritic, and Phoenician, though the waw is not obligetory in these languages and a noun or pronoun follows the infinitive absolute. The use of the infinitive absolute with waw functioning as a finite verb reflects archaizing on the part of the scribes. Methodologically, one can only prove that a phenomenon in Late Biblical Hebrew texts is a living spoken feature when there is corroborating evidence from other Second Temple sources. This chapter suggests viewing the use of the infinitive absolute with waw as finite verb in Late Biblical Hebrew as part of the "Standard Literary Hebrew" of the Second Temple Period that combines classical and post-classical elements.

Keywords: Ben Sira; finite verb; Second Temple Period; Standard Literary Hebrew; waw



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