Hendiadys in the Hebrew Bible, An Investigation of the Applications of the Term

University dissertation from University of Gothenburg

Abstract: It is evident that the term hendiadys, which is derived from the classical rhetorial tradition has for hundred of years been frequently applied to constructions and combinations of components in the Hebrew Bible. This study investigates on which constructions and components in the Hebrew Bible that the term hendiadys is applied to, and hence which phenomena that induces the use of the term. For that purpose a large amount of examples of suggested and suspected so-called hendiadyses in the Hebrew Bible have been colleced. The examples are derived from a variety of sources based on or engaged in linguistic or exegetical investigations of the Hebrew Bible and biblical Hebrew; lexicons, dictionaries, grammars, monographs, articles, etc. The examples which are derived from all biblical books and genres have been analyzed and categorized, and through the morpho-syntactic and semantic analysis a large amount of various categories and subcategories have been deduced. The result unmistakably shows that the term hendiadys was already in antiquity used for several constructions, and although not defined satisfactorily, is applied to an profuse amount of constructions of all kinds derived from the HB. It is regularly used for different phenomena and there is no agreement in definitions or applications, on which construction(s) the term ought to be applied to or which function(s) these syntagms represent. There are more suitable and specific terms available for the constructions involved, and instead of the term beeing a precise exegetical, grammatical or semantic instrument, the applications in practice point to the existence of diverse phenomena in need of research. By looking beyond similarities with rhetorical figures in the classical tradition it has been discovered through this investigation that the largest category deduced in the analysis and that consist of peculiar combinations of nouns that seem to require reintepretations occur most frequently in what is formulated as direct discourse in Hebrew Bible.

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