Gesenius' Hebrew Grammar/136. The Demonstrative Pronoun

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§136. The Demonstrative Pronoun.

136a The demonstrative pronouns are זֶה, fem. זֹאת, plur. אֵ֫לֶּה (§ 34), hic, haec (hoc), hi, &c., and the personal pronoun הוּא, likewise used as a demonstrative, fem. הִיא, plur. masc. הֵ֫מָּה, fem. הֵ֫נָּה (§32b), is, ea (id), or ille, &c., ii, eae or illi, &c. The distinction between them in usage is that זֶה (like hic, ὅδε) almost always points out a (new) person or thing present, while הוּא (like is, ille, αὐτός, ἐκεῖνος) refers to a person or thing already mentioned or known (see the examples below).[1]

136b Rem. 1. Compare the instructive examples in Gn 323, Ju 74 of whom I say unto thee, this (זֶה) shall go with thee, he (הוּא) shall go with thee (so afterwards with negatives). Moreover, הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה this day, i.e. the actual day on which one is speaking or writing (Gn 2633, &c.), but הַיּוֹם הַהוּא the day or period of which the historian has just been speaking (Gn 1518, 2632) or of which the prophet has just been foretelling (Is 530, 718, 20 ff.) and of which he continues to speak or foretell. Nevertheless זֶה and אֵ֫לֶּה are also found in certain common combinations where הוּא and הֵ֫מָּה would be expected, and vice versa; thus almost always הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה, plur. הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵ֫לֶּה, but בַּיָּמִים הָהֵ֫מָּה or בַּיָּמִים הָהֵם—With a secondary sense of contempt (like Latin iste) זֶה occurs, e.g. in 1 S 1027, 2116, 1 K 2227, Is 610, &c. In the sense of the neuter, this, זֹאת is more common than זֶה, as Is 525, 439, &c., but הוּא more common than הִיא.

136c 2. Both זֶה and הוּא are sometimes used almost as enclitics to emphasize interrogative words (like the Latin nam in quisnam; cf. also quis tandem); e.g. Jb 382 מִי זֶה who now (darkeneth, &c.)...? 1 S 1755 f., Is 631, Jer 4919, ψ 248, 2512, &c; מַה־זֶּה what now? 1 S 1011; how now? Gn 2720; why now? Ju 1824; but before the verb עָשָׂה it is usually מַה־זֹּאת Gn 313, 1218, Ex 145, Ju 1511; לָ֫מָּה־זֶּה wherefore now? Gn 1813, 2522, 1 S 1728, 2 S 1223, &c.—So also מִי־הוּא Is 509, Jb 47 ff.; and still more emphatically מִי הוּא־זֶה ψ 2410, Jer 3021.

136d 3. זֶה is likewise used as an enclitic (see c above): (a) of place, in such passages as Gn 2721 הַֽאַתָּה זֶה וגו׳ whether thou (that art here) be my son Esau? 2 S 220 is it thou? הִנֵּה־זֶה behold, here, 1 K 195, Is 219;[2] cf. also the strengthen- ing of the separate pronoun by הוּא Is 4325 (אָֽנׄכֹי), 1 S 728, Is 3716, ψ 445 (אַתָּה), and אֵ֫לֶּה הֵם these are, Gn 2516, 1 S 48; (b) of time: עַתָּה זֶה now, 1 K 1724; just now, 2 K 522; and rather frequently before words denoting number, e.g. Gn 2736 זֶה פַֽעֲמַ֫יִם twice, now; cf. 31:38, 2 S 142, Jb 112, 73, 193; separated from the numeral in Gn 3141 זֶה־לִּי elliptically for this, i.e. this present period, is to me, i.e. makes altogether, twenty years, &c. The other examples are similarly elliptical.

  1. On זֶה and הוּא standing separately as determinate in themselves, see §125i. On the use of determinate demonstratives as adjectives, see §126u.
  2. On the other hand, it is very questionable whether זֶה in ψ 10425 (זֶה הַיָּם), Is 2313 (זֶה הָעָם), Ju 55, ψ 689 (זֶה סִינַי) can be taken, according to the common explanation, simply as a prefixed demonstrative particle (the sea yonder, &c.). In ψ 10425 הַיָּם may be in apposition to זֶה; cf. § 126 aa, on Ex 321, and Zc 57, where אִשָּׁה אַחַת is in apposition to זֹאת depending on הִנֵּה, and also Ez 4045, where הַלִּשְׁכָּה is in apposition to זֹה; otherwise it is most naturally taken as the subject, this is the sea. Is 2313, Ju 55, 1 K 1414, and ψ 689 might also be explained in the same way; but in these passages the text is almost certainly corrupt. In Ju 55 in fact זֶה סִינַי is most probably to be regarded with Moore as a very early gloss, which subsequently found its way from this passage into Ps 68.