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NOTE: The part of this table, which shows the judgment of the Masorites tipon the Hebrew letters, presents a strange phenomenon, a language
Short vowels in our own language are frequently almost lost i speaking; and there are many words, which, if written without then would become, by a little experience, as intelligible, and be as easil read by us, as those Hebrew words and syllables, which are destitut of vowels, were by ancient Jewish readers.
It is probable, that diphthongs, though discovered by no character were nevertheless made in the original pronunciation of the lan guage; but as uniformity in reading will be greatly promoted, if al will agree to omit them, as it is at best a work of mere conjecture and as the radical letters will be more discernible without such com binations, the reader is advised to pronounce the vowels also distinctly
The Hebrew language was anciently written without spaces be tween the words, each sentence was therefore free from every stop unless we except that with which it terminated, the : soph passy But the reader must have been much aided in dividing the words, i we can suppose any one who knew the language, to have stood in need of such help, by the use of the five final letters 70 P, which almost never fail to indicate the end of the word, to which they respectively belong. The custom also of always terminating th line with an unbroken word, was another help; and lest the sentenc should seem divided too much by a space at the end of the line, no large enough for the next word, they extended to a greater widt.
17,5,5, , and m, as often as either of those letters terminate the preceding word, under such circumstances.
ו בראשית ! ברא 2 אלהים 3 את 4 השמים 5 ואת 6
Alzim bera Berashit 5 4 3 2 1 uheshek ubëu tēu ēitē uēarets ēarets
8 7 :2
2 הארץ: 7 והארץ 8 היתה 9 תהו 10 ובהו 11 וחשך 12
1. n'vna In the beginning. 3 in, is a particle, vide rule 148.* from 772 hollow. n'ont the beginning, is a noun feminine, vide rule 16, from the noun ux'n the head, beginning, principal, &c. This word, being restricted by no adjunct, can only mean the beginning of time, or of the creation.
2. N created. It is in the third person singular, masculine, preter tense in Kal. Vide rule 66. This word expresses the production of substances, not a change of form, in this place; for it appears afterwards that the matter thus created was without form.
3. on God. That this noun, which is not unintentionally here joined with the singular verb 890 (vide rules 127, 133) is nevertheless really plural, appears not merely from its termination o' (vide rule 19) but by its being frequently joined with adjectives, pronouns, and verbs in the plural; as, “ Let us make noys man, in our image gipasa," &c. Gen. i. 26. It seems probable that it comes from the Arabic word one to reverence. Some think' from obs to swear. Others from 58 and 77' the mighty God. Vid. num. 154, post.
4. nx. This particle following an active verb, and going before a noun which has the servile 17 emphatic (vid. rule 151) prefixed, admits of no translation, unless we render it the substance of. Here the sense will allow it, which is rarely the case. This idea perhaps ori. ginated from the circumstance, that nx is composed of the first and last letters of the alphabet. It sometimes may be rendered to, towards or with, and comes from ons 10 anproach. Vide rule 200. Vid.
num. 85. 382. It was by the Masoretic grammarians termed the sign of the Accusative case.
* See the grammar at the end of the book.
I IN the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth. 2 And the earth was without form and void; and darkness was upon
5. D'An the heavens. i the, is emphatic. Vide rule 151. D'ov is a noun mascul. found only in the plural. Vid. rule 19. Perhaps the root is DV, vid. rule 199, to put or place; or from the particle ov there, and O'n waters; or from 703 to remit, and Din the waters.
6. n89 And. 1 and, is a conjunctive particle. Vide rule 157. For ne vid. num. 4.
7. 1987 the earth. 7 the. Vide rule 151.778 earth, is a noun compounded of x formative, rule 147, and r a verb, to break in pieces.
8. 778771 and the earth. 1 and. Rule 157. 7 the. Rule 151. 778 earth. Vid. num. 7.
9. Onuni was. It is the third pers. fem. sing. preter. Kal of the verb i'n to be. Rule 103. It would be, if regular, nn'n, but it changes its 77 or last radical letter into a before the servile 7 of the fem. Vid. rule 102. It agrees with yox in gender, number, and person. Vid. rule 127.
10. inn void. This word often occurs in the Scriptures, sometimes as an adjective, in other instances as a substantive, but in the same form, except the usual prefixes. Perhaps the root is in waste, with the formative 1. Rule 162.
11. 1731 and without shape. I and. Rule 157. 1773 occurs only here and in Isa. xxxiv. 11. and Jer. iv. 23. It is of 172 hollow, and i formative. Vide rule 162.
12. Junii and darkness. 1 and. Rule 157. Jun as a verb signifies, to tremble or hide, as a noun, darkness. Tumbi, 1 and, the. fenn, the darkness. Rule 150.
על 13 פני 14 תהום 15 ורוח 16 אלהים 3 מרחפת 17
3 על 13 פני 14 המים: 18 ויאמר 19 אלהים 3 יהי 20 אור 21
Alzim Uiamer ēmim peni 3 3 3
13. Sy upon, is a particle from aby to ascend. Sy is also above, concerning, besides, 10, near, with, &c. and sometimes for the sake of.
14. '39 the face of. It is a noun mascul. found in the plural only. It is here in construction, vide rule 24, for D'39 faces or face, and derived from 1739 to behold. Vid, rule 200.
15. binn the deep. n is formative of the noun. Vide rule 189. The formative 1 is also to be rejected. Vide rule 195. The fem. noun dinn comes from 0907 to tumultuate, vid. R. 200 and num. 18.
16. nin and the Spirit. I and. Rule 157. n as a verb, to inhale, as a noun, air in motion, the soul of man, the Holy Spirit, whose existence like the air is certain, though he be invisible.
17. nonno causing a motion, is the participle Benoni fem. in Hiphil, vid. rule 75, of 900 to shake, the as frequently, is here omitted. Vid. rul. 81. It agrees in gender and number with nn. Vid. rul., 115. 113. For the omission of an'n was, vid. rule 144.
18. D'977 the waters. 7 the. R. 151. D'n waters is by contraction for o's the plural of the mascul. noun water. This word and b' the sea, in the plur. D'* seas, and also bi' a day, in the plural D'n' days, are all derived from 797 to make a noise.
19. 728and God said. I and, is in this case conversive. Vide rules 57. 136. and the note infra.* 198" said, is the third person masc. sing. fut. Kal of Ox to speak. Vid. rule 194. Postea 1385 saying, has been called a gerund, the infinitive of Kal, and by others the participle Benoni Kal, the 1 being dropped, as is very usual. Vid. rule 78. The s is a prefix. Rules 175. 142.
20. 'n' there shall be. It is the third pers. m. sing. fut. Kal, for 7777 dropping 7 final in the future, being a verb defective in Lamed He. See rule 102. From 1707 to exist.
21. 718 light. A noun, by rule 195, from 7 to flow. For I inserted, see rule 158. It is used with 17 emphatic in the next verse. Rule 150. Vide num. 23, 398.
* ; is termed merely conjunctive, when it connects similar tenses