found him אֶל־מַ֫יִם רַבִּים by the great waters; cf. Dt 166, 1 K 1320, and a still more remarkable instance in 8:30 אֶל־מְקוֹם שִׁבְתְּךָ אֶל־הַשָּׁמַ֫יִם. This combination of two different ideas, of motion to a place and being or acting in the place (very plainly seen in Dt 166 but to the place which the Lord thy God shall choose... shalt thou bring thine offering and there shalt thou sacrifice, &c.), is the same as the Greek use of εἰς, ἐς for ἐν, the Latin in potestatem, in amicitiam ditionemque esse, manere (Cic. Verr. 5, 38; Div. 2, 14, &c.); cf. also the common German expressions zu Hause, zu Leipzig sein, zu Bette liegen, &c.
[119h] (b) בְּ. Underlying the very various uses of this preposition is either the idea of being or moving within some definite region, or some sphere of space or time (with the infinitive, a simultaneous action, &c.), or else the idea of fastening on something, close connexion with something (also in a metaphorical sense, following some kind of pattern, e.g. the advice or command of some one בִּדְבַר פ׳, בַּֽעֲצַת פ׳, or in a comparison, as in Gn 126 בְּצַלְמֵ֫נוּ כִדְמוּתֵ֫נוּ in our image, after our likeness; cf. 1:27, 5:1, 3), or finally the idea of relying or depending upon..., or even of merely striking or touching something.
[119i] Thus the use of בְּ is explained—
(1) In the sense of among (in the domain of), e.g. Mi 72 יָשָׁר בָּֽאָדָם אָ֫יִן there is none upright among men; in the sense of consisting of, in specifying the constituents of a collective idea, e.g. Gn 721 and all flesh died... in (=consisting of) fowl, &c. 8:17, 9:10, Ho 43. Also after ideas of appearing, manifesting oneself, representing, being, in the sense of as, in the capacity of (prop. in the sphere, after the manner of, see above), consisting of..., tanquam, the בְּ essentiae of the earlier grammarians, corresponding to the Greek ἐν, the Latin in, and the French en, e.g. Ex 63 I appeared unto Abraham... בְּאֵל שַׁדָּי as El Shaddai; Jb 2313 וְהוּא בְאֶחָד but he is (manifests himself as) one, i.e. he remains always the same; Dt 265, 2862 בִּמְתֵי מְעָט in the condition of being few, cf. 10:22 to the number of seventy; Is 4010, ψ 397.—Cf. also such examples as Ex 184 (ψ 352, 1465) בְּעֶזְרִי as my help; Dt 2614 being unclean; Is 2816 in Sion (i.e. I make Sion a foundation); Ez 2041 as a sweet savour; Pr 326, perhaps also Ex 32 in (i.e. as) a flame of fire; Is 6615 with (i.e. like) fire; ψ 3122, 3720 (102:4). For the origin of all these forms of expression ψ 546 is especially instructive, since אֲדֹנָי בְּסֹֽמְכֵי נַפְשִׁי is not meant to refer to the Lord as belonging to the סֹֽמְכִים, but only to ascribe to him a similar character, i.e. the Lord is one who upholds my soul; so also ψ 996, 1187, Ju 1135 [the plur. as in §124g–i].—Cf. Gesenius, Thes. Linguae Hebr., i. 174 f., and Delitzsch on ψ 352.
[119k] (2) To introduce the object after transitive verbs, which denote touching, striking, reaching to (thus to some extent a fastening on, see above) something, in English sometimes rendered by at, on, &c., and in German generally by compounds with an, e.g. anfassen=אָחַז בְּ, anrühren=נָגַע בְּ, &c. To the same category belongs also the construction of verbs denoting authority (מָלַךְ, מָשַׁל, נָגַשׂ, רָדָה, the last prop. to tread on...) with בְּ, inasmuch as the exercise of the authority is regarded as a laying hold of the person ruled; so also, the introduction of the object by בְּ after certain verba dicendi, or when the mental action is to be represented as extending to some one or something: e.g.
- Cf. Wandel, De particulae Hebr. בְּ indole, vi, usu, Jena, 1875.
- e.g. res in praeda captae, i.e. things taken as spoil; see Nägelsbach, Lat. Stilistik, § 123:4. On the Hebrew בְּ essentiae, see Hauschild in the Festschrift zur Einweihung des Goethegymn. Frankf. a. M. 1897, p. 163.
- Other instances formerly cited here (Is 264, ψ 5519, where בְּ is used before the subject) as well as ψ 685 בְּיָהּ שְׁמוֹ Jah is his name, are textually very uncertain. Cf. Cheyne, SBOT. Isaiah, p. 173, on Is 264.