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Grammar of Biblical Hebrew


Wolfgang Schneider

Although Wolfgang Schneider’s Grammatik des biblischen Hebräisch: Ein Lehrbuch serves primarily as an introductory textbook to biblical Hebrew, it makes an invaluable contribution to the text-linguistic study of Hebrew Bible. Schneider’s understanding of narrative syntax and discourse linguistics continues to influence such grammarians as Niccacci and Talstra, through whom his work is validated. His discussion of clauses and text syntax remains pertinent to Hebrew students and professors alike. With this English translation, Schneider’s work may now make a worldwide contribution to biblical studies by clarifying for the student the contribution of text grammar to the reading of the biblical text.
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28 Nominal Forms of the Verb


28.1 Infinitives

The Hebrew verb has two infinitive forms in all stems: the infinitivus absolutus (inf a) and the infinitivus constructus (inf c). In order to avoid unwieldy Latin expressions, in this grammar the infinitivus constructus is denoted simply as “infinitive,” the infinitivus absolutus as “infinitive absolute.”1

Infinitive Absolute

The infinitive absolute

1. stands isolated in the clause (lat. absolutus = removed),

2. cannot be connected to suffixes and prepositions, and

3. introduces only the meaning of the verb into the clause (details on use → §§ 49.2 and 50.4).

In the Qal, the form belongs to the perfect class (→ § 24.2). The vowels do not change.

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