Gesenius' Hebrew Grammar/154. Sentences connected by Wāw

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§154. Sentences connected by Wāw.

154a Wāw copulativum[1] (וְ) serves to connect two or more sentences, or single words (on its various vocalization, cf. §104d–g). Its use, however, is by no means restricted merely to joining sentences which are actually co-ordinate. Frequently the language employs merely the simple connexion by Wāw, even to introduce an antithesis (Gn 1721, 1919, Lv 212, Jb 625, and very frequently in circumstantial noun-clauses), or when one of the two clauses is not co-ordinated, but subordinated to the other. On the use of וְ to introduce circumstantial clauses, cf. especially §141e and §142d; introducing causal clauses, §158a; comparative clauses, §161a; final clauses, §165a; consecutive clauses, §166a. On wāw apodosis, cf. §143d, and the sections there cited; on the use of Wāw in numerical sayings, cf. §134s.

154b Rem. Sometimes wāw copulativum joins a sentence apparently to what immediately precedes, but in reality to a sentence which is suppressed and which must, therefore, be supplied from the context. So especially וְ with imperatives to express inferences, e.g. 1 K 222 וְשַֽׁאֲלִי ask now rather; Ez 1832 for I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth..., וָהָשִׁיבוּ wherefore turn yourselves. Also at the beginning of a speech in loose connexion with an act or speech of another person, e.g. Ex 220, 2 S 1811, 243, 2 K 414, 41, 7:13, 2 Ch 259; cf. also Jos 77 (וְלוּ), ψ 210, 44, Is 87. Sometimes the suppression of the protasis is due to passionate excitement or haste, which does not allow time for full expression; this is especially illustrated by Nu 1214, 203 (וְלוּ), 1 S 1012, 1514, 2214, 2816, 2 S 1812, 243, 1 K 222 (וָלָ֫מָּה), 2 K 110, 719 (cf. verse 2); Is 314, Zc 210, ψ 26 (at the same time a circumstantial clause whereas I=and yet I have, &c.); cf. also a new clause beginning with the formula of wishing וּמִי Nu 1129, Ju 929; on the disconnected use of וָלֹא and וָיֵשׁ cf. § 159 dd.

  1. For further particulars of the use of wāw copulativum, see Gesenius’ Thesaurus, i. 393 ff. On its use in the co-ordination of similar tenses and moods (e.g. five imperfects consecutive in Gn 2534, five perfects with וְגַם) as well as of dissimilar tenses and moods, the remarks made in the treatment of the tenses will suffice. With regard to the connexion of single nouns by וְ (which strictly speaking is always really a contraction of so many clauses into a single sentence) the following observations may be made:—

    (a) Contrary to English usage, which in lengthy enumerations uses the and to connect only the last member of the series, in Hebrew polysyndeton is customary, as in Gn 1216 wāw copulativum six times, 24:35 seven times, 15:19 ff. nine times, and in Jos 724 ten times. Sometimes, however, only the last two words are joined (so in a series of three members, Gn 532, 101, 1126, 132, 141, 3039, &c.; the last three out of a series of four, Jer 226); less frequently only the first two, ψ 459; cf. §132d. The formula תְּמוֹל שִׁלְשׁוֹם yesterday (and) the day before yesterday, Ex 58, &c., is always without the copula. On the other hand, the constructio asyndetos in a series of verbs is used as a rhetorical expedient to produce a hurried and so an impassioned description; e.g. Ju 527 at her feet he bowed, he fell, he lay; Ex 159, Dt 3215, 1 S 156, Jer 47, Am 521, ψ 1010, 141, 455, Jb 2019, 284, 298, Ct 211, 56, &c.

    (b) Frequently wāw copulativum is also explanatory (like isque, et—quidem, and the German und zwar, English to wit), and is then called wāw explicativum, e.g. Gn 44 and (i.e. namely) of the fat thereof (unless it is simply copulative); Ex 2412, 2512 (to wit two); 27:14, 28:23, Ju 173 (in וּמַסֵּכָה; here as often elsewhere, to introduce an explanatory gloss, cf. Is 178, Ez 315, and especially P. Haupt, SBOT. Isaiah, p. 90, l. 21 ff.), 1 S 1734 and that too with the bear; 2 S 1320, Is 5711, Jer 1710, Am 311, 410, Ze 9:9, Pr 312, Neh 813, 2 Ch 2310 (but in 1 S 283 the וּ before בְּעִירוֹ is to be omitted with the LXX); cf. also such combinations as וְעַדמִן from... and even to..., Gn 133, 1423, 194, 11, &c.—In 1 S 611 (see Driver on the passage), 2 S 123, &c., ו is equivalent to yea, and; in Is 327 even.

    וְ is used to express emphasis (=and especially), e.g. in Gn 316 וְהֵֽרֹנֵךְ; Is 21, ψ 181, perhaps also in Jb 1017 yea, a whole host; 2 Ch 1614.—An undoubted example of what is called wāw concomitantiae occurs in Jb 4112 a seething pot וְאַגְמֹן with burning rushes; cf. Ex 1010 (with your little ones), 12:8, Lv 112, Is 425. In Arabic this wāw concom. is followed by the accusative.

    וְ-וְ is used in the sense of bothand in ψ 767, Dn 13, 813. On וְ-וְ as meaning sivesive, cf. §162b.

    (c) See the Lexicon on adverbs used in a copulative sense, such as גַּם also, moreover, summing up a number, e.g. גַּם־שְׁנַ֫יִם both together, Gn 2745, Pr 1715; גַּם־כֹּל all together; as an intensive and, e.g. Gn 308, 377, 1 S 308; cf. also such examples as 1 S 2412 see, yea see! גַּם-גַּם or גַּם-וְגַם Gn 2444=bothand; גַּם occurs three times in Gn 2425 and 32:20; also אַף, which is generally still more intensive, in the sense of also, in addition to this, even, and belongs rather to poetry, and to the later language; frequently also equivalent to a mere and, but sometimes adversative but now, ψ 4410, &c.; and אַף-אַף (also three times), equivalent to both—and; cf. וְאַף גַּם and even, Lv 2644; אַף־כִּי prop. add to this also that, equivalent to not to mention, according to the context either quanto magis or quanto minus.