Friday, April 17, 2015


Biblical scholars have long been aware that finite clauses in BH are most frequently verb-first. This fact was noted by the 19th-century biblical exegete Malbim (Rabbi Meir Loeb ben Jeḥiel Michael, 1809–79). Malbim (1973: §111) states that the general rule is that the sentence begins with the verb. In his commentary on 1 Kgs 20:18, Malbim (1964: 209) explains this rule as deriving from the principle that the most important item comes first. The verb is generally first because it is usually most important. A noun may be preposed in order to specify something about the noun or in order to express contrast, contradiction, or exclusion (Malbim 1973: §111).— Word Order in the Biblical Hebrew Finite Clause, page 10

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