Gesenius' Hebrew Grammar/130. Wider Use of the Construct State

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Gesenius' Hebrew Grammar  (1909) 
Wilhelm Gesenius
edited and enlarged by Emil Kautzsch
, translated by Arthur Ernest Cowley
Wider Use of the Construct State

§130. Wider Use of the Construct State.

a The construct state, which, according to § 89 a, primarily represents only the immediate government by one substantive of the following word (or combination of words), is frequently employed in rapid narrative as a connecting form, even apart from the genitive relation; so especially—

(1) Before prepositions,[1] particularly in elevated (prophetic or poetic) style, especially when the nomen regens is a participle. Thus before בְּ, שִׂמְחַת בַּקָּצִיר the joy in the harvest, Is 92, 2 S 121, ψ 1368f.; in participles, Is 511, 91, 198, ψ 847, and especially often when בְּ with a suffix follows the participle, e.g. ψ 212 כָּל־חוֹסֵי בוֹ; cf. Na 17, Jer 816 (ψ 241); ψ 649 (unless רֹאֶה should be read); 98:7.[2]—Before לְ, Ho 96 (but read probably מַתֲמַדֵּי כַסְפָּם); ψ 585 (before לָמוֹ); Pr 249, Jb 182, La 218 (before לָךְ); 1 Ch 655, 2328; in participles, Ez 3811, Jb 245; before לְ with an infinitive, Is 5610, and again before לְ with a suffix, Gn 2421, Is 3018, 643;[3]—before אֶל־, Is 1419, Ez 2117; —before אֶת־ (with), Is 86; —before מִן, Gn 322, Is 289 (a participle); Jer 2323, Ez 132, Ho 75; —before עַל־, Ju 510; —before בִּלְתִּי, Is 146; —before the nota accus. את, Jer 3322; —before a locative (which in such cases also serves as a genitive), Ex 2713, Jer 115.

b (2) Before wāw; copulative, e.g. Ez 2610; but חָכְמַת Is 336, גִּילַת 35:2, and שְׁכֻרַת 51:21 may be cases of an intentional reversion to the old feminine ending ath, in order to avoid the hiatus (וָ)־ָה וְ.

c (3) When it governs the (originally demonstrative) pronoun אֲשֶׁר; so especially in the combination מְקוֹם אֲשֶׁר, Gn 3920, 403, the place where (prop. of that in which) Joseph was bound; cf. § 138 g; or בִּמְקוֹם אֲשֶׁר Lv 424, 33, 2 S 1521, 1 K 2119, Jer 2212, Ez 2135, Ho 21. We should expect הַמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר, בַּמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר, as in Gn 3513, &c., at the place which..., cf. § 138; but אֲשֶׁר is treated as a nomen rectum instead of as an attribute. Cf. also מִיּוֹם א׳ followed by a perfect in 1 S 298, and יְמֵי א׳ Lv 1346, Nu 918.[4]

d (4) When it governs independent sentences (cf. § 155), which virtually stand to the construct state (as nomen regens) in a sort of genitive relation, e.g. Ex 413 בְּיַד־תְּשְׁלָח prop. by the hand of him whom thou wilt send; Nu 233 דְּבַר מַה־יַּרְאֵ֫נִי the matter of that which he shall show me, i.e. whatever he shall; Is 291 קִרְיַת חָנָה דָוִד the city where David encamped; Jer 4836, ψ 163 (if the text be right), 65:5 (Pr 832), ψ 816, Jb 1821 the place of him that knoweth not God; Jb 2916, La 114 (if the text be right) into the hands of those against whom I cannot stand.[5] In Gn 394 (כָּל־יֶשׁ־לוֹ) the כָּל־ takes after it a noun-clause, and in Ex 94, still more boldly, a subst. with לְ.—Very often a time-determination governs the following sentence in this way; thus אַֽחֲרֵי followed by a perfect, Lv 2548, 1 S 59; בְּיוֹם ψ 1023 (before a noun-clause), Ex 628, Nu 31, Dt 415, 2 S 221, ψ 181, 5917, 1383 (in every case before a following perfect), ψ 5610 (before an imperfect); מִיּוֹם followed by the perfect, Jer 362; כָּל־יְמֵי Lv 1446, 1 S 2515, Jb 292 (כִּימֵי as in the days when...[6]; cf. כִּימוֹת and שְׁנוֹת before a perfect, ψ 9015); בְּעֵת before a perfect, Jer 615 (cf. 49:8, 50:31); before an imperfect, Jb 617; תְּחִלַּת before a perfect Ho 12.

e (5) Connected with a following word in apposition; certainly so in such cases as בְּתוּלַת בַּת־צִיּוֹן the virgin, the daughter of Zion, Is 3722; cf. 23:12, Jer 1417; also 1 S 287 אֵ֫שֶׁת בַּֽעֲלַת־אוֹב a woman, possessor of a soothsaying spirit; cf. Dt 2111.—Gn 1410, Ju 1922 (but read probably אֲנָשִׁים with Moore, as in Dt 1314, Ju 2013, 1 K 2110); 2 K 106, 1713 Qe; Jer 469, ψ 3516 (?), 78:9, Jb 2017 b (unless נַֽהֲרֵי or נַֽהֲלֵי be a gloss).

f Rem. Some of the above passages may also be explained by supposing that there exists a real genitive relation towards the preceding construct state, which has been, as it were, provisionally left in suspenso, in consequence of the insertion of some interrupting word, e.g. Is 3722, &c.; Jb 2017 a. Elsewhere (Dt 3319, ψ 6834) the nomen regens probably governs the following construct state directly.[7] g (6) The numeral אַחַד one for אֶחָד in close connexion, and even with small disjunctives, e.g. Gn 322, 4822, 1 S 93, 2 S 1722, Is 2712, Zc 117.

The character of these passages shows that the numeral here cannot be in the construct state, but is merely a rhythmical shortening of the usual (tone-lengthened) form.

  1. Cf. König, ‘Die Ueberwucherung des St.-constr.-Gebrauchs im Semit.,’ ZDMG. 53, 521 ff.
  2. In Ju 811 the article is even used before a construct state followed by בְּ, in order to determine the whole combination שְׁכוּנֵי בָֽאֳהָלִים tent-dwellers, taken as one word; cf., however, the remarks in § 127 f–i on similar grammatical solecisms.
  3. These are to be distinguished from the cases where לְ follows a construct state, which in conjunction with מִן (and the following לְ) has become a sort of preposition or adverb of place; thus, we have מִבֵּית־לְ Ex 2633 (for which in Ez 127 merely בֵּית לְ) meaning simply within; מִימִין לְ (2 K 2313, Ez 103) on the right hand (i.e. south) of; מִצְּפוֹן לְ (Jos 811, 13, &c., Ju 29) on the north of; cf. also Jos 1521 and לִפְנֵי מִן Neh 134.
  4. In Dt 235 the construct state governs a sentence introduced by the conjunction אֲשֶׁר (עַל־דְּבַר אֲשֶׁר by reason of the fact that, i.e. because); so also in 1 S 313.
  5. Probably Gn 2214 is also to be so explained (contrary to the accents), and certainly (contrary to the very unnatural division of the verses) 2 Ch 3018, which should read on thus: יְהֹוָה הַמּוֹב יְכַפֵּר בְּעַד כָּל־לְבָבוֹ הֵכִין the good Lord pardon every one that setteth his heart to seek God. [See Wickes’ Accontuation of the Twenty-one Prose Books of the Old Testament, p. 140.]
  6. Cf. Na 29 מִימֵי הִיא, usually explained to mean from the days that she hath been, but the text is evidently very corrupt.
  7. So also Is 2816 a corner stone of the preciousness (יִקְרַת is a substantive not an adjective) of a fixed foundation, i.e. a precious corner stone of surest foundation.—In 2 S 2019 the text is wholly corrupt; in ψ 119128 read כָּל־פִּקּוּדֶ֫יךָ.