Deuteronomy 28, 69: superscript or subscript?
Van Rooy, H.F.
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Should Deut 28, 69 (MT) be regarded as a subscript to the preceding section of the book or as a superscript for the following section? The general opinion is currently that it is a superscript, in conjunction with Deut 29, 1.1 It is, however, possible to re-evaluate the current position by using a semantic approach. The verse consists of one sentence with a core - 'lh dbry hbryt - and a subordinate clause (a relative clause) defining the bryt. The method employed is to study all the occurrences of the expression to define the referential meaning of the expression in these cases. With this semantic information as starting point, a new look can be taken at Deut 28, 69. The expression dbry hbryt occurs in Deut 28, 69; 29,8; II Reg 23, 3 = II Chr 34, 31; Jer 11, 126.96.36.199; 34, 18; Ex 34, 28. The related expression dbry spr hbryt occurs in II Reg 23,2 + II Chr 34, 30. The only instance where the expression occurs in a nominal sentence is in Deut 28, 69. In all the other instances the expression is the object (or part of the object) of a verb. In a number of the instances the expression is qualified by an adjectival phrase or clause, qualifying either one of the constituents of the expression or the expression as a whole. This syntagmatic information can be used to clarify the references of the expression.
- Faculty of Theology