Esther 2:5-10

Here is the next instalment — a partial section. The rest of the section will likely follow in two days.

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Esther 2:1-4

So, to make up for yesterday’s long text, today’s is rather short. It all evens out over the long haul, though.

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Esther 1:10-22

The next instalment is below. It is slightly longer than the normal post will be (13 verses), but I hated to chop an episode into parts.

Again, feedback is most welcome.

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Esther 1:1-9

One of our doctoral candidates, John Screnock, and I are finishing our grammatical commentary on the book of Esther for the Baylor Handbook on the Hebrew Bible series. As we do final revisions before submitting, I thought it would be useful to post much of the commentary here, in sections of 5-10 verses, in order for potential readers to ask questions, seek clarification, or point out confusing comments or typos. We thus hope to make the product cleaner and more usable. (We posted a shortened version of a section of our introduction, dealing with the historical linguistic profile of Esther, here.)

So, without further ado, below is the commentary for Esther 1:1-9, with subsequent sections to be posted one per day for the next three weeks. Consider yourself solicited for feedback!

*Note that the cross-references to our Introduction are not filled in.

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A Linguistic Profile of the Book of Esther (SBL 2013)

A doctoral student in my department, John Screnock, and I are co-presenting a paper in the SBL Linguistics and Biblical Hebrew section in Baltimore on Sunday. The paper is a much shortened version of a large section of our introductory chapter in the Baylor Handbook on the Hebrew Bible volume on Esther that we are writing (the volume is now 99% drafted).

Since we have finished the paper much sooner than I typically do, I have posted the paper and handout below. (It’s a relief to anticipate a flight without finishing my paper—what an odd feeling.)

See you in Baltimore!



More entries from Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics

To follow suit of my co-blogger, here are links to the offprints of my contributions to EHLL that arrive a couple of weeks ago. Without yet having read many of the numerous EHLL offprints from these volumes available on, it will be interesting to see how they are received considering the articles appear to at times take diametrically opposite viewpoints on overlapping topics.

One such example came in the immediately-following article to my “Aspect: Pre-Modern Hebrew,” the article “Aspect: Modern Hebrew.” This latter article quite curiously begins with introducing, among other things, Vendler’s four categories of situations. This seems odd only because there is an entire other series of entries on “Actionality (Aktionsart),” to which I contributed the Pre-Modern Hebrew entry, and which is arguably the more suitable location for discussing Vendler’s situation categories.

The other curiosity I noticed is that Jan Joosten begins his “Verbal System: Biblical Hebrew” article (which he kindly sent me and has posted on with the statement that the analysis of the system as consisting of a central opposition between qatal (Perfect) and yiqtol (Imperfect) “has proved wrong headed.” This stands in direct contrast with my statement about this central opposition in Biblical Hebrew in my “Verb” entry, which surveys the historical development of the Hebrew verb from the ancient period to Modern Hebrew. These volumes would appear to promise an interesting potpourri of perspectives on the Hebrew language.

2013. Actionality (Aktionsart): Pre-Modern Hebrew. Pp. 25–28 in Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics, Volume 1: A–F, ed. Geoffrey Khan. Leiden: Brill, 1.25–28. (PDF)

2013. Aspect: Pre-Modern Hebrew. Pp. 201–5 in Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics, Volume 1: A–F, ed. Geoffrey Khan. Boston/Leiden: Brill. (PDF)

2013. Verb. Pp. 896–901 in Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics, Volume 3: P–Z, ed. Geoffrey Khan. Boston/Leiden: Brill. (PDF)

Posted in Ancient Hebrew, Hebrew Semantics, Verbal System. Comments Off on More entries from Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics

Recycling . . . its not just about the environment!

Perhaps it is the combined effect of information explosion beginning the end of last century combined with the unending pressure to publish or perish, but too often scholars find themselves covering the same old ground that has already been well-covered by past scholars. It is not simply that we are engaged in the same sorts of debates (Indeed, my work on the verb admittedly focuses on one of the most longstanding debates in Hebrew grammar!), it is that we too quickly forget the ideas that earlier scholars have advanced—usually unsuccessfully, which explains their forgotten state. Unfortunately, the rapid digitization of these old resources makes such absent-minded recycling even more egregious.

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Posted in Hebrew Semantics, Hebrew Syntax, Historical linguistics, Linguistics (theory or typology), Verbal System, Word Order. Comments Off on Recycling . . . its not just about the environment!