Page:Gesenius' Hebrew Grammar (1910 Kautzsch-Cowley edition).djvu/453

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Ex 203 אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים= another god, and Jos 2419 אֱלֹהִים קְדשִׁים (but cf. above, §124gk). On the other hand, 1 S 48 is to be explained as having been said by the Philistines, who supposed that the Israelites had several gods. On the connexion of אֱלֹהִים with a plural predicate, see §145i.

2. On the adjective (in the construct state) governing a following genitive, see §128x; for the participle in the same construction, see §116f–l.

§133. The Comparison of Adjectives. (Periphrastic Expression of the Comparative and Superlative.)
A. Wünsche, ‘Der Komparativ im Hebr. im Lichte der arab. Gramm.,’ in Vierteljahrsschrift für Bibelkunde, 1904, p. 398 ff.

 [133a1. Hebrew possesses no special forms either for the comparative or superlative of the adjective.[1] In order to express a comparative, the person or thing which is to be represented as excelled in some particular quality is attached to the attributive word by the preposition מִן־ (מִ‍·), e.g. 1 S 92 גָּבֹהַּ מִכָּל־הָעָם higher than any of the people. The fundamental idea evidently is, tall away from all the people (beyond all the people); cf. Ju 1418 מַה־מָּתוֹק טִדְּבַשׁ וּמֶה עַז מֵֽאֲרִי what is sweeter than honey? and what is stronger than a lion? Ez 283, Am 62 Frequently an infinitive appears as the object of the comparison, e.g. Gn 2919 it is better that I give her to thee, than that I should, give her, &c.; Ex 1412, ψ 1188f.[2]

 [133b]  Rem. 1. This use of מִן־ is also very common when the attributive idea is represented by an intransitive verb, e.g. 1 S 1023 וַיִּגְבַּהּ מִכָּל־הָעָם and he was higher than any of the people; Na 38. Jb 76. Elsewhere, especially after transitive verbs, מִן־ rather represents (on its different senses see §119vz) the idea

  1. There is in Arabic a special form of the adjective (the elative) for the comparative and superlative, which in Hebrew would have the form אַקְטָל. Instances of it, perhaps, are אַכְזָר daring, cruel, אַכְזָב deceptive (of a brook drying up), and its opposite אֵיתָן (contracted from ʾaitan) constantly flowing, perennis. These forms are, however, used without any perceptible emphasis, and cannot be regarded as more than isolated relics of an elative formation which has become obsolete, much as the Latin comparative disappears in Italian, and still more so in French, and is supplanted by the circumlocution with più, plus.
  2. In Ju 1125 the adjective is specially intensified by repetition, art thou so much better than Balak? It would also be possible, however, to translate art thou really better ...?