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Building the Internal Chronology of the Bible

Research: Grammar Analysis of Genesis 15.13 in Masoretic and Septuagint Texts

Masoretic Text: Biblica Hebraica Stuttgartensia
Table 1. Genesis 15.13 in the Masoretic
Gen 15.13aThen He said to @Avräm, Know for certain that your seed will become a sojourner in a land not theirs
Hebrewwayyö@merle@avrämyädhöãøtëdhaøkî->ghëryihyehzarøákäbe@eretslö@lähem
GrammarWC|QCI3msP|PNmQIAQI2msPt|msnQI3msmsn|PS2msP|fsnnegP|PS3mp
TWOT519|1181063|4848848976|330491582a193|16710641063|504
Literalthen He saidto @Avrämfor certain knowthat a sojournerwill becomeyour seedin a landnotto them
Gen 15.13band they will serve them, and they will afflict them ~ 400 years. #.
Alt.and they will serve them, and [by them] they will be afflicted ~ 400 years #.
Hebrewwaøávädhûmweøinnû@öthäm ~@arbaømë@ôthshänäh #.
GrammarCW|QP3mp|PS3mpCW|PielP3ppDOM|PS3mpC#C#fsn
TWOT519|1553519|1652186210611352419a
Literaland they will serve themand they will afflictthemfourhundredsyear
TWOT: Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (2 vols) Grammar Analysis: Gen 15.13a opens with a waw conversive, which turns the attached Qal Imperfect verb 'yö@mer' into a Qal Perfect, signifying completed action. It's followed by the inseparable preposition 'le' attached to the proper name @avräm, functioning as the indirect object for the verb. Next comes a Qal Infinitive Absolute of the verb 'yädhäø' followed by a Qal Imperfect 2ms of the same verb. The particle 'kî' is attached to the indefinite msn 'ghër,' which serves as the direct object of the QI3ms form of 'häyäh.' The subject follows in the msn 'zarøa' with a 2ms pronominal suffix. A prepositional phrase follows with the inseparable preposition 'be' attached to the indefinite fsn ' @erets. ' Next is a negative followed by the preposition 'lä ' attached to a 3mp pronominal suffix. Gen 15.13b continues with a conjunctive 'we' (spelled 'wa' because of the Hateph vowel) attached to the Qal Perfect 3mp verb with a 3mp pronominal suffix, 'øávädhûm, ' signifying completed action. Another conjunctive 'we' attached to a Piel Perfect 3pp follows, 'øinnû, ' but this time the 3mp pronominal suffix is attached to the Direct Object Marker as a stand alone, '@öthäm. ' The Athnak ends the unit, followed by two numbers, @arbaø më@ôth, and a fsn, shänäh. Hebrew Language Notes: "The Waw Conversive and converted verbal forms are used primarily in narrative sequences to denote consecutive actions, that is, actions occurring in sequence." BBH, 17.1, pp.192. ". . . the converted Imperfect is normally used for the past tense narrative sequence." BBH, 17.3, pp. 195 The Qal Infinitive Absolute form of TWOT #48 (yädhaø) emphasizes the verb following it. Translation: for certain, surely "Before a a reduced or Hateph vowel, the waw conjunction is spelled with the corresponding short vowel of the Hateph vowel." BBH, 5.7 #3, p.44 A verb without a separate subject has the pronoun implied by the conjugation form as the subject, i.e., a 3ms verb translates as ' he + verb action. '
Table 2. Hebrew Language Notes for Genesis 15.13
TWOT#330gûrI. abide, be gathered, be a stranger, dwell in/with, gather tog, remain, sojourn,inhabit, surely, continuing; root means to live amg ppl who r not blood relatives; not havg native civil rit & w/o a voice n comty affairs, the ger was dependent on hospitality; a) gër: alien, sojourner, stranger;
TWOT#1553øavadhwork, serve; (a-f); similar to halekh: in tt the translation depends on the object on which the labor is expended, i.e., to till the ground; service to things, ppl, or God; includes slave labor, servg a king, serving YHWH as a priest; NT does not use this word concept for ministry functions
TWOT#1652øänähIII. afflict, oppress, humble; primary meang: to force, to punish, inflict pain, mostly in Piel; to find oneself n a stuntd, humble, lowly position; cowed, humbled; see article on shades of meang; (a-f)
BDB p776øänähIII. be bowed down, afflicted; Piel: humble, mishandle, afflict
Dav p606øänähII. bestow labor upon, afflicted, humbled; Piel: to oppress, subdue, afflict, humble.
Grammar Discussion:
Table 3. Genesis 15.13a in the Masoretic
Gen 15.13aThen He said to @Avräm, Know for certain that your seed will become a sojourner in a land not theirs
Hebrewwayyö@merle@avrämyädhöãøtëdhaøkî->ghëryihyehzarøákäbe@eretslö@lähem
GrammarWC|QCI3msP|PNmQIAQI2msPt|msnQI3msmsn|PS2msP|fsnnegP|PS3mp
TWOT519|1181063|4848848976|330491582a193|16710641063|504
Literalthen He saidto @Avrämfor certain knowthat a sojournerwill becomeyour seedin a landnotto them
The first half of Genesis 15.13 translates straightforwardly. A waw conversive turns an Imperfect (incomplete action) verb into a Perfect (complete action) verb, which is a common narrative technique. The implied subject of the 3ms verb 'yö@mer' is 'He,' referring back to @élöhîm who has been talking to @Avräm for several verses. So it reads "Then He said to @Avräm . . .". Next up is a construction of emphasis, the Infinitive Absolute form of the verb (yädhöã@) followed by the QI2nd masc sing (2ms) verb itself (tëdhã@) – "Know for certain." Technically, the QI2ms verb 'tëdhã@' has an implied subject of 'you,' (@élöhîm is addressing @Avräm) but English does not require its translation. The next construction is an exception to the general rule in Hebrew sentence syntax of verb-subj-direct object. Here the direct object (ghër) with its attached particle (kî) precedes the verb-subject (yihyeh zarøákä). This is done to emphasize the direct object, which, in this case, is an indefinite masc sing noun (msn), translated as 'a sojourner.' The subject, a msn (zarøákä) has an attached 2msPS, which is a pronoun. In this case, the PS translates with the possessive pronoun 'your,' referring to @Avräm. Thus, I translate this construction as "that your seed will become a sojourner." The construction following next is a prepositional phrase modifying the direct object. The inseparable preposition 'be' is attached to the indefinite fsn '@eretz,' translating 'in a land.' '@eretz' can mean either earth (planet)     or land (territory) depending on its context. Here it clearly means 'land.' The negative particle 'lö@' negates the following inseparable preposition/3mpPS (lähem) translated literally as 'to them' or 'theirs.' So far the verse translates as "And He said to @Avräm, "Know for certain that your seed will become a sojourner in a land not theirs."
Table 4. Genesis 15.13b in the Masoretic
Gen 15.13band they will serve them, and they will afflict them ~ 400 years. #
Alt.and they will serve them, and [by them] they will be afflicted ~ 400 years #
Hebrewwaøávädhûmweøinnû@öthäm ~@arbaømë@ôthshänäh #
GrammarCW|QP3mp|PS3mpCW|PielP3ppDOM|PS3mpC#C#fsn
TWOT519|1553519|1652186210611352419a
Literaland they will serve themand they will afflictthemfourhundredsyear
A pair of Perfect (complete action) 3mp verbs, each with an attached conjunctive waw (we), continue the sentence followed by a direct object marker (DOM) attached to a 3mpPS. The first verb 'waøávädhûm' is in the Qal stem (simple action) with a 3mpPS. The context is clearly future, so it translates as 'and they will serve them.' The second verb 'weøinnû' is in the Piel stem (intensive action) follwed by the DOM attached to a 3mpPS and translates as 'and they will afflict them.' A literal translation of the pronouns and verb voices in this sentence, unfortunately, does not work in English. The Masoretic text has accent marks to facilitate the reading of the text. The two disjunctive accents, the Athnak and Silluq, mark major divisions or pauses in the text, similar to commas, semi-colons, and colons in English. The Athnak (~) marks the end of the first major division of the verse while the Silluq marks the end of the second major division and usually appears under the last word of the verse. The Sof Pasuq (#), or 'end of verse,' is the equivalent of a period in English. Since the Silluq and the Sof Pasuq both occur at the end of a verse, I only include the Sof Pasuq in my transliterations. The last part of the verse '@arbaø më@ôth shänäh'(four hundred years) comes after the Athnak. I think the most appropriate English puncuation to translate the Athnak in this instance is the colon. So, the full literal sentence reads, 'And He said to @Avräm, "Know for certain that your seed will become a sojourner in a land not theirs and they will serve them and they will afflict them: 400 years."' Septuagint
Table 5. Genesis 15.13 in the Septuagint
Gen 15.13aand it was said to Hábram, 'You will surely know that your seed will be a sojourner in a land not his own
SeptAnd it was said to Abram, Thou shalt surely know that thy seed shall be a sojourner in a land not their own,
GreekKaìerréthapròsHábram;ginóskonynósaihotipároikonestaispérmasouen gâioukidíai
GramrCAPI3msPPNmPAPms-nFMI2psCnsn-nFMI3sDA-ansn-aPN2ps-gP fsn-dnegfsav-d
Mounce277933064639118211824022423016393836506551481877117840242625.
LiteralAndit was saidtoHábramknowingyou will knowthata sojournerwill bethe seedyourin a landnotone's own
Gen 15.13band they shall enslave them, and they will mistreat them, and they will humble them, 400 years.
Septand they shall enslave them, and afflict them, and humble them four hundred years.
Greekkaìdoulósousinautòus,kaìkakósousinautoùs,kaìtapeinósousinautoùs,tetrakósiaéta..
GrammarCFAI3ppPN3ppCFAI3ppPN3ppCFAI3ppPN3ppC#npn-a.
Mounce27791530899277928088992779542789954842291.
Literalandthey will enslavethemandthey will oppressthemandthey will humblethem400years.
Mounce: The Analytical Lexicon to the Greek New Testament. Grammar Analysis: Genesis 15.13 opens with a conjunction 'kaì' followed by an Aorist Passive Indicative 3rd masc sing verb with an inherent pronoun 'errétha' and its indirect object comprised of a preposition and a proper name 'prós HAbram'. Next comes a Present Active participle (masc sing nominative) 'ginóskon' and a Future Middle Indicative 2nd person sing verb 'ynósai'. The object of the verb is a relative clause comprised of a conjunction 'hoti', a neutral indefinite sing noun (nominative) 'pároikon', its Future Middle Indicative 3rd pers singl verb 'estai', a neutral singl noun with its article 'tò spérma', a pronoun 'sou',  and a prepositional phrase. The prepositional phrase contains the preposition 'en', a fem singl noun (dative) 'gayi', a negative 'ouk',  and a fem singl adverb (dative) 'idíai'. The sentence continues with a verb phrasing repeated three times comprised of a conjunction, a Future Active Indicative 3rd persn plural, and its direct object. The last two words are a number and a neutral plural noun (accusative).
Table 6. Greek Language Notes for Genesis 15.13
MAL#4230pároikosa neighbor, later a sojourner, a temporary resident;
Vinesojournpároikosdwelling near, foreign, alien, sojourner; used w/eimi (to be)
MAL#259állótriosbelonging to another, foreign, a foreigner, alien
MAL#1530doulóowto reduce to servitude, enslave, oppress by retaining in servitude, to render subservient, to be under restraint, to be n bondage, to become devoted to the service of
Vinebondagedoulóowtransitive verb; to make a slave of, to brg n/t bondage, to be brought u/bondage
MAL#2808kakóowto harm, mistreat, cause evil to, oppress
Vineharmkakóowevil, to treat badly, to hurt, to do harm
MAL#5427tapeinóowto humble, abase; to bring low, depress, level; to depress the pride of
Vineabasetapeinóowto make low, bring low, leveling, to bring to a humble condition, to abase
MAL: The Analytical Lexicon to the Greek New Testament Vine: An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, One Volume Edition Now, looking at Genesis 15.13 in the Septuagint. The grammar is straightforward and does not need much discussion. With respect to the pronoun problem, the Septuagint avoids it by keeping the subject pronoun of the verbs consistantly referring back to the inhabitants of the foreign land, and the separate direct object pronoun referring to @:Avräm's seed. So, this is the grammar analysis of Genesis 15.13 in both the Masoretic and Septuagint texts. The translation discussion is in a separate document.

REFERENCE SOURCES Original Language Texts: Brenton, Sir Lancelot C.L. The Septuagint with Apocrypha: Greek and English. London: Bagster & Sons. 1851 (2001, US: Hendrickson), 1138p, 248p. Elliger, K. and Rudolph, W., eds. Biblica Hebraica Stuttgartensia. Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft. 1967/77, 1574p Grammar/Translation Tools: Brown, F., Driver, S., and Briggs, C. The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson. 1906, 1185p. Davidson, Benjamin. The Analytical Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon. Grand Rapids: Zondervan. 1970, 784p. Harris, R. Laird, Archer, Jr., Gleason L., Waltke, Bruce K. Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (2 vols). Chicago: Moody Bible Institute. 1980, 1124p. Mounce, William D. Basics of Biblical Greek: Grammar. Grand Rapids: Zondervan. 1993, 459p. Mounce, William D. The Analytical Lexicon to the Greek New Testament. Grand Rapids: Zondervan. 1993, 542p. Mounce, William D., Smith, D. Matthew, and Van Pelt, Miles V. Mounce’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words. Grand Rapids: Zondervan. 2006,1316p. Practico, Gary D. and Van Pelt, Miles V. Basics of Biblical Hebrew Grammar. Grand Rapids: Zondervan. 2001, 476p. Vine, W.E. An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, One Volume Edition. Old Tappan: Fleming H. Revell. 1940. Wallace, Daniel B. Greek Grammar: Beyond the Basics. Grand Rapids: Zondervan. 1996, 827p. Waltke, Bruce K. and O’Connor, M. An Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Syntax. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns. 1990, 765p.

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