Gesenius' Hebrew Grammar/161. Comparative Clauses
161a 1. A comparison between two facts is sometimes established by simply uniting them with wāw copulative, especially in gnomic poetry, when facts of a moral nature are compared with those of the physical world, e.g. Jb 57 man is born unto trouble, and the sons of flame fly upward, i.e. as the sparks by nature fly upward, so man, &c.; Jb 1211 (in an interrogative form; in 34:3 the same comparison as a statement); 14:11 f., Pr 173, 253, 263, 9, 14, 27:21, &c. Even without the connecting וְ Jb 2419 drought and heat consume the snow waters, שְׁאוֹל חָטָ֫אוּ so doth Sheol those who have sinned (cf. §155n); cf. Jer 1711.
161b 2. The conjunction כַּֽאֲשֶׁר (cf. §155g; the simple אֲשֶׁר occurs in the same sense in Ex 106, 1413, 3418) as, quemadmodum, is used as a comparative conjunction (Ob 15115), frequently with כֵּן so, corresponding to it in the apodosis, Is 314, 5214 f.. Sometimes, however, כֵּן (so also) occurs even after independent statements, Is 559, Jer 320.—Exact coincidence of two facts is expressed in Ec 515 by כָּל־עֻמַּת שָׁ· in all points as.
161c Rem. On the use of כְּ as, with single nouns or pronouns to introduce comparisons, cf. 118 s; on the alleged use of כְּ as a conjunction (equivalent to כַּֽאֲשֶׁר), cf. §155g.—It is to be further remarked that כְּ—כְּ when used in correspondence with one another, as—so (e.g. Lv 77, Ju 818, Is 242, Ho 49; also so—as, Gn 1825, 4418, Dt 117, 1 K 224; in Jos 1411, 1 S 3024 וּךְ—ךְּ; ψ 1274 and often, כֵּן—כְּ, cf. Jo 24), are not to be regarded as conjunctions, but as virtual substantives with a following genitive; כָּכֶם כַּגֵּר יִֽהְיֶה Nu 1515 properly means the like of you shall be the like of the stranger, i.e. your duty shall be (also) the stranger’s duty; cf. Lv 2422.
- On this wāw adaequationis, and in general on these proverbial comparisons, see Delitzsch, Das Salomonische Spruchbuch, p. 9 f. Moreover, instead of entire clauses, the nouns alone (without predicates) are frequently grouped together, e.g. Pr 2525, 2621, 2721 (called by Delitzsch, the ‘emblematic Mashal’). The expressions נֶחְשַׁב עִם prop. to be counted with some one, ψ 885, and נִטְשַׁל עִם to be likened with some one, ψ 281, 1437, also arise from the idea of comparison implied in grouping things together. On this use of עִם cf. Jb 926, where with is equivalent to like.
- In spite of its form this particle has originally nothing to do with כֹּל, כָּל־ all. The expression is compounded of כְּ and לְעֻמַּת, like the Aramaic כָּל־קֳבֵל for כְּלָֽקֳבֵל; cf. M. Lambert, REJ. xxx. 47.