Dropsie College Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


This dissertation examines the function in Biblical Hebrew (H) and translation into Greek in the Septuagint (G) of 'ayyeh, yesh, `ôd, 'ên, and hinneh, which belong to a H form-class called "predicators of existence".

A translator-centered study, it addresses one aspect of the matrix used to characterize translation technique--namely, consistency of rendering. It asks how each word functions in H in order to determine how the translators may have understood it. It then discusses its translation in every passage where the usual rendering was not used (book by book).

Each word has a usual rendering; these can be divided between those which entail a form of eimi and those which do not, reflecting both the nature of the syntagms within which these words occur, and their primary functions.

'ayyeh (pou eimi) yesh (eimi), and 'ên (ou eimi) are primarily syntagmatic predicators of existence and only secondarily, if at all, adverbs.

`ôd is usually represented by eti, which entails both its functions of continuance and repetition. hinneh, which functions as a deictic predicator syntagrnatically and as a discourse-level particle supra­syntagrnatically, is usually rendered by idou, which recognizes its function in deixis, but not in discourse.

The characterization of the translation technique of the individual books of G which resulted from this study was compared to, and found basically to agree with, the results of other such studies, indicating the appropriateness and value of studying only one aspect of the matrix of characterization. Brief excurses address (1) the need for caution in asserting the unity of the translation of the Minor Prophets in light of this study; and (2) the benefit of studying the translation of synonyms assists both G and H lexicology.


Library at the Katz Center - Archives Thesis. BS1136 .P886 1990

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