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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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53 Orientation in the Meaning Structure of Texts—Organizing Particles


53.1 The Conjunction וְ (Waw copulativum)

The conjunction וְ is specified the least in its meaning. It has a great deal more range of meaning than German “und” [or the English “and”].

Just like the German “und,” וְ can also connect parts of a text (words, groups of words, clauses) in the same way of simply stringing together.

However, most of the time, the further range of meaning of וְ is considered, above all when the statements connected through וְ are not of the same kind (b) or stand entirely in contrast to one another. Particularly between clauses, the meaning of וְ must be determined from the content of the clauses.

Rule of Thumb

As a rule of thumb, the following is valid: וְ binds before a verb; וְ separates before a non-verb.

Waw before Nominal Clauses

The unspecified combination through וְ is common above all then when nominal clauses are embedded in a structure of verbal clauses.

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