Gesenius' Hebrew Grammar/104. Conjunctions
104a 1. The conjunctions serve to connect sentences, and to express their relations one to another. They may be either—
(a) Original pronouns, e.g. the demonstrative כִּי that, because, for.
(b) Original substantives, which afterwards were reduced to the rank of pronouns, adverbs, or conjunctions; so perhaps אֲשֶׁר (see § 36), which is sometimes used to express the general idea of relation, sometimes as a relative pronoun (properly a demonstrative), but in many cases stands simply for כִּי; also אַל־ (nothing), that not; פֶּן־ that not (the Greek μή of prohibition), &c. To these may be added the adverbial combination of substantives with prepositions, e.g. בְּטֶ֫רֶם (in the not yet) earlier, before, for which מִטֶ֫רֶם is also used. On the combination of two particles to express complex ideas (e.g. אַף־כִּי added to this, that=much more), see the Syntax, §163f.
104b (c) Prepositions, which with the addition of the conjunction אֲשֶׁר or כִּי together form one single conjunction, e.g. יַ֫עַן אֲשֶׁר because, prop. on account of the fact that; אַחַר אֲשֶׁר, and more frequently אַֽחֲרֵי אֲשֶׁר, after that; כַּֽאֲשֶד according as (with כְּ); עֵ֫קֶב כִּי and עֵ֫קֶב אֲשֶׁר in consequence of the fact that, for the reason that, because. Sometimes, however, the conjunction in such cases is omitted, and the preposition itself used as a conjunction, e.g. עַל־ (for עַל־אֲשֶׁר) although, Jb 1617.
So, at any rate, according to our linguistic principles. It would, however, be more correct to say, that instead of the intermediary אֲשֶׁר the whole of the succeeding sentence is regarded as one substantival idea, under the immediate government of the preposition. In the same way, all prepositions governing the gerund in English may be paraphrased by conjunctions with the finite verb, see §§ 114 and 115, passim.
104c 2. Besides those already mentioned, there are certain other small words now used as conjunctions, of which the derivation or original meaning is altogether obscure, thus אוֹ or, אִם־ if (also or before the second member of a double question), אַף also, וְ and, and others.
104d Rem. The pointing of the וְ (originally וַ, as still before Ḥaṭeph Pathaḥ and—with a following Dageš forte—in wāw consecutive of the imperfect; cf. §49f) is in many respects analogous to that of the prefixes בְּ, כְּ, לְ (§102d–i), but as being a weak consonant, the wāw copulative has some further peculiarities:
(a) Usually it takes simple Šewâ (וְ).
104e (b) Before words which begin with a guttural having a compound Šewâ, it takes the vowel with which the Šewâ is compounded (according to §28b), e.g. וַֽחֲכַם and be thou wise, וַֽעֲבָדִים and servants, וַֽעֱזוּז and strength, וֶֽאֱכֹל and eat thou, וָֽחֳלִי and sickness. On וֵאֽלֹהִים, וֵאֽלֹהַי &c., see §102d; on וַֽאדֹנַי, &c., see §102m; on such cases as וַעְצֹר Jb 42, cf. §28b.
104e (c) Before words with simple Šewâ under the first consonant (except in the cases under f), the Wāw becomes the vowel û (cf. §26a), e.g. וּלְכֹל and to all, so also (except in the case under g) before the cognate labials ב, מ, פ, hence וּמֶ֫לֶךְ. On the cases in which simple Šewâ has become a Ḥaṭeph after וּ copulative (e.g. וּֽזֲהַב Gn 212), cf. §10g.
104f (d) With a following יְ the וְ coalesces to form וִי according to §24b, as וִיהִי and let him be. On the peculiar punctuation of the wāw copulative before forms with initial Šewâ from הָיָה to be and חָיָה to live (e.g. וִֽהְיִיתֶם Jos 84, וֶֽחְיֵה Gn 207), cf. §63q.
104g (e) Immediately before the tone-syllable it frequently takes Qameṣ, like בְּ, כְּ, לְ (see §102f), but in most cases only at the end of a sentence or clause (but cf. also וָכֹא 1 K 2230), e.g. וָמֵ֖ת Ex 2112 (on the other hand, in verse 20 וּמֵ֖תִ is in closer logical connexion with what follows); 2 K 74 וָמַ֣הְנוּ שָׁ֔ם, וָמַ֑תָנוּ and וָמָֽתְנוּ; Ru 33 וָסַֹכְתְּ; ψ 1015 וָ֝רָֹע; 1 S 94 וָאַ֔יִן; 2 S 1326 וָלֹ֔א; Ez 479 וָחָ֔י; cf. also (with Ṭiphḥa) Gn 3313, 2 S 1512. The very frequent connexion of nouns expressing kindred ideas, by means of וָ, is due simply to considerations of rhythm, for even in such cases the Wāw must immediately precede the tone-syllable, which must be marked by a disjunctive accent, e.g. תֹּ֫הוּ וָבֹ֫הוּ Gn 12, יוֹם וָלַ֫יְלָה Gn 822 (see also the previous examples); Gn 1314 (thrice); Ex 253 זָהָב נָכֶ֫סֶף; ψ 967 כָּבוֹד וָעֹז; ψ 767 וְרֶ֫כֶב וָסוּס; Gn 713 וְשֵׁם־וְחָם וָיֶ֫פֶת; נֹחַ 1 K 2110 כֹּה וָכֹה ;אֱלֹהִים וָמֶ֑לֶךְ thus and thus; Est 18 אִישׁ־וָאִֽישׁ at the end of the verse, but in ψ 875 אִישׁ וְאִישׁ in spite of the Deḥi with the second אִישׁ, because it is closely connected with the following predicate. Also with three words פַּ֫חַד וָפַ֫חַת וָפָ֑ה Is 2417. On the other hand, the rapid pronunciation וְ occurs before a conjunctive accent (and, when farther removed from the principal pause, even with the smaller disjunctives, in spite of a following tone-syllable), e.g. צֹאן וְעֶ֣בֶד Gn 326; cf. Gn 3140, Lv 723, Dt 221, and among the examples given above, Gn 713 and ψ 767. (Exceptions: וָקֵ֥דְמָה Gn 1314, where evidently the וָ is intended to ensure the slow and solemn recitation of the promise, but also וָזִ֥יף Jos 1555, וָעֵ֣תֶר 197, וָבֶ֥טֶן 1925, all immediately before the pause.) For the same rhythmical reason וְ (not וָ) is used regularly with certain monosyllables which, by their nature, lean more closely upon the following word, thus וְזֶה, וְאֵת, וְגַם, וְלֹא (to be distinguished from וָלֹ֔א if not, with Zaqeph gadol, 2 K 517), and others.