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Bibil Identifier bibil:261209
Publication Type Journal article
Title (English, Long) אִם‎ . . . הֲ‎: A rhetorical question anticipating a negative answer
Author Watson, Rebecca S.
Journal Journal for the Study of the Old Testament (Volume: 44, Issue: 3)
Year (Publication) 2020
Year (Original (1st Edition)) 2020
Year (Copyright) 2020
Year (Reference) 2020
Year (Second publication) 2020
Language English
Pages 437-455 Pages
Genre Original
Abstract The interrogative sequence אִם‎ . . . הֲ‎ in Biblical Hebrew can be employed in two forms of disjunctive question. The first offers mutually exclusive questions and the second comprises a rhetorical pair. Close examination of the extant examples reveals no difficulty in distinguishing between these two forms and, further, that, when employed to express a rhetorical question, the double rhetorical sequence אִם‎ . . . הֲ‎ anticipates the answer 'No'. Careful study of a debated example, Jer. 31.20, confirms that a negative answer is implied here, hence the evidence strongly favours this reading in the other contentious passage, Hab. 3.8. Here, triple rhetorical questions introduced by the interrogative particles אִם‎ . . . אִם‎ . . . הֲ‎ are employed in a motivated interrogative sentence, suggesting that a negative answer is therefore expected.
Keywords Thesaurus BiBIL : Old Testament (Introduction) : Hebrew
Thesaurus BiBIL : Old Testament (Introduction) : Literature : Devices and Figures : Rhetorical Question
Pericopes Jeremiah 31,20
Habakkuk 3,8
Terms אּם אם
Last modification 2022-01-11