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Grammatical Aspects of Biblical

University of Maryland, College Park


A. Word Pairs a n d Parallelism
B. T h e Corpus
C. What is Grammatical Parallelism?


A. Word Pairs f r o m Different Morphological Classes
1. Noun II Pronoun
2. Noun or Pronoun II Relative Clause
3. Prepositional Phrase H Adverb
4. Substantive II Verb
B. Word Pairs f r o m t h e Same Morphological Class
j. Word Pairs of Different Tense
2. Word Pairs of Different Conjugation
3. Word Pairs of Different Gender
4. Word Pairs of Different Number


A. Positive-Negative Parallelism
B. Parallelism Involving Change in Grammatical Mood
C. Subject-Object Parallelism
D. Nominal-Verbal Parallelism


V .




* T h e author wishes to thank Prof. D. Hillers and Prof. M. Greenberg for reading the
manuscript and offering many helpful comments. A Summer Stipend from T h e National
Endowment for the Humanities enabled me to complete the work.






A. Word Pairs and Parallelism
I t has become a commonplace t o assert that parallelism is the outstanding
characteristic of biblical poetry. And while it occurs primarily in poetry, it
is not totally absent f r o m prose.1 Yet it is surprising how little is actually
known about the inner workings of this popular rhetorical feature.
T h e most important component of biblical parallelism seems t o b e
parallel word pairs. This has been the object of most studies of biblical
parallelism during the last quarter century. T h e pairs have been listed, 2
a n d t h e principles by which they were selected have been examined. Most
of the literature o n the subject accepts the hypothesis that there was a
tradition of fixed word pairs in Ugaritic a n d Hebrew poetry which automatically conditioned t h e use of the second member of a pair once t h e first
member was employed. This assumption has been recently challenged in
a study by William R. Watters, in which h e shows that the majority of word
pairs a r e not traditional (i.e. they d o not recur), a n d that the recurrence of
others can b e explained by reasons other t h a n a fixed tradition.3 But
whatever t h e truth may b e in regard to a tradition of fixed pairs, Watters
stresses again the importance of word pairs in parallelism. " T h e parallelism as well as the sense of t h e line is based u p o n t h e word pair." 4 I n fact,
not only a r e word pairs important, they a r e essential. "There can b e n o
parallelism without a word pair." 5
( 1 ) I use "prose" and "poetry" in the conventional manner, without attempting to define
either. Examples of prose verses containing parallelism are I Sam. 3:1, 2, 7. From such
examples it would appear that attempts to differentiate poetry from prose solely by the
presence o r absence of parallelism are misguided.
O n the basis of parallelism, formulaic pairs, and other rhetorical features J . S. Kselman
has recendy identified some hitherto unrecognized poetic fragments ("The Recovery of
Poetic Fragments from the Pentateuchal Priestly Source ,"/BL 97 [1978] 161-173). These
verses may, indeed, be poetic fragments, o r they may simply show, as d o several examples in
the present study, that many of the rhetorical features found in poetry also occur in prose.
O n possible criteria for differentiating prose from poetry see D. N. Freedman, "Pottery,
Poetry, and Prophecy: An Essay on Biblical Poetry," JBL 96 (1977) 5-26.
For some views on the difference between prose and poetic parallelism (not necessarily
shared by this writer) see Wm. Whallon, Formula, Character, and Context, Studies in Homeric,
Old English, and Old Testament Poetry (Cambridge: Harvard Univ. Press, 1969) 197-199.
(2) T h e most comprehensive listing of parallel word pairs in Ugaritic and the Bible is M.
Dahood, with the collaboration of T . Penar, "Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs," Ras Shamra
Parallels I (Analecta Orientalia 49, Rome: Pontifical Biblical Institute, 1972) 71-382; I I
(Analecta Orientalia 50, 1975) 1-39·
(3) Formula Criticism and the Poetry of the Old Testament (Berlin and New York: Walterde
Gruyter, 1976) 60-80.
(4) Ibid. 42.

(5) Ibid‫׳‬

the "rhetorical criticism" of those passages should b e more complete. t h e morphologic a n d syntactic categories a n d forms. T o appreciate the full measure of intricacy a n d beauty of a specific verse one must always go back to t h e context. I n many cases a verse is part of a larger structure built o n lexical o r phonetic patterns. it is not only words ("lexical units a n d their semantic classes") that are paired in parallelism. is n o t sufficient to explain t h e wide variety of parallel stichs that occur in the Bible. some are fortuitous findings of my own. t h e lexical units a n d their semantic classes in both their convergences a n d divergences acquire a n autonomous poetic value. inherent a n d prosodie. o r author. fixed o r not. b u t other aspects o r levels of language as well."Language 42 (1966) 423. (7) It may be that certain phenomena recur more often in one book or period but that is not the concern of the present study. o r woven among other levels of parallelism. Some of t h e verses have been noted by others.Cf. along with other rhetorical features. . n o r is it necessary t o prove the existence of these types. T h e r e are other aspects of parallelism that need t o b e recognized a n d analyzed. in entire passages. When these a r e noted. T h e compilation of a complete list of all verses illustrating all types of parallelism is not a practical undertaking without t h e aid of a computer. "Poetry of Grammar and Grammar of Poetry. time. 7 T h e verses cited represent examples of various types of grammatical parallelism. But t h e purpose of this study is t o abstract certain general features of parallelism. T h e use of word pairs. (6) "Grammatical Parallelism and Its Russian Facet. This study will examine some of the grammatical aspects ("morphologic and syntactic categories a n d forms") of biblical Hebrew which a r e activated in biblical parallelism. These other aspects are r e f e r r e d t o by Roman Jakobson when h e states that Pervasive parallelism inevitably activates all t h e levels of language — the distinctive features.[3] GRAMMATICAL ASPECTS OF BIBLICAL PARALLELISM 1 9 But while word pairs a r e a crucial ingredient of parallelism. there is more t o parallelism t h a n the presence of word pairs. I have purposely drawn o n all parts of the Bible because the phenomena which I have observed a r e not limited to a particular genre." Lingua 21 (1968) 604. B. T h e r e is some injustice d o n e to a verse by lifting it out of context. as I have done. 6 I n short. Jakobson. T h e Corpus T h e corpus u n d e r consideration f o r this study is t h e entire Hebrew Bible. also R.

Lexically these stichs a r e in parallelism. a n d how the danger of monotony. inherent in such a repetitive type of rhetoric. syntax is concerned with the sentence o r stich as a whole. Ps 103:10 ‫לא כחטאינו עשה לנו‬ ‫ולא כעונתינו גמל עלינו‬ T h e corresponding terms occur in the same o r d e r in both stichs a n d a r e quite obvious: 1. When we examine t h e morphological aspects of parallelism we will be comparing the morphology of parallel terms (word pairs). o r . T h e negative particle ‫ לא‬is paired with the same. a stich. both terms a r e of the same gender a n d number. or. t h e pairing of two different grammatical structures in parallel stichs we t e r m grammatical parallelism. A term composed of a preposition + n o u n 4‫ ־‬possessive suffix (‫)כחטאינו‬ parallels a different term composed of the same parts of speech (‫)כעונותינו‬. (8) Other techniques employed to avoid monotony in parallelism are the omission and/or addition of terms and the change of order of the terms. A qal perfect 3rd person singular verb is paired with a different verb with the same morphology. T h e first contains n o morphological parallelism. many others alter that structure in some way. is avoided. What is Grammatical Parallelism? While there are many stichs which repeat the grammatical structure of those which precede them. however. Let us illustrate by citing two verses. Morphological parallelism is the pairing of parallel terms f r o m different morphological classes (parts of speech) o r f r o m the same morphological class but containing different morphological components. better. 3. b u t complete morphological repetition. 8 Grammar has two subdivisions: morphology a n d syntax. 4. Morphology deals with the individual components of a sentence. morphologically. T h e only morphological difference is in ‫ מאלוה‬/ / ‫ מעשהו‬the latter containing a possessive suffix which is absent (for semantic reasons) in the former. T h e alteration of grammatical structure in parallel stichs. they a r e repetitive.2 0 [41 ADELE BERLIN C. I n addition. T h e second has o n e instance of morphological parallelism. in parallelism. Grammatical parallelism warrants f u r t h e r analysis because it is one of the keys t o understanding how parallel stichs are generated. 2. J o b 4:17 ‫האנוש מאלוה יצדק‬ ‫אם מעשהו יטהר גבר‬ Although the word pairs occur in a different o r d e r in the two stichs they a r e easily recognizable. . A preposition4 1 ‫ ־‬s t person plural suffix is paired with a different preposition with the same suffix.

. Formula Criticism 174. It will be shown that in some cases the pairing of morphologically different terms seems to have been intentional. Noun or Pronoun II Relative Clause10 Isa. 15. as noted by W. (10) A relative clause is not a part of speech. ‫ייראו מה‬ ‫ממנו יגורו כל ישבי תבל‬ 2. 42:1. Noun II Pronoun Ps.4 5 : 4 ) " (9) Word order. does have a semantic function. or. but one does not find a relative pronoun by itself. However. 3 3 : 8 ‫כל הארז‬. Note especially p. and often the pronoun is omitted. T h e order of the words does not affect the syntactic analysis o f a stich." What Andersen means is that in poetry two parallel stichs arranged chiastically are to be viewed as one sentence. 65:9. not syntactic parallelism. 44:1 ‫ועתה שמע יעקב עבדי‬ ‫וישראל בחרתי בו‬ (Cf. in our study we are not interested in the two stichs as a unit. The Sentence in Biblical Hebrew (The Hague and Paris:Mouton. as demonstrated by F. and also in Ps. in order to heighten the effect o f the parallelism beyond that already produced by the use o f semantically parallel terms. Isa. 2:23. In both verses stich b has the same syntactic structure as stich a. Andersen. A. T h e second part o f the paper will deal with syntactic parallelism — that is. more specifically. I have noted the following combinations: 1. MORPHOLOGICAL PARALLELISM Word Pairs from Different Morphological Classes Whenever a word from one part o f speech parallels a word from a different part of speech we have a form o f morphological parallelism. parallel stichs with different syntax. 123: "Chiasm is a syntactic as well as an artistic device. but in the contrast between the two stichs. 41:8. and perhaps Hag. (11) T h e word pair ‫ עבד‬/ / ‫ בחר‬does not appear in Dahood's list of word pairs (Ras Shamra Parallels) but occurs in Isa. Watters. chiasm. 2. 44:1. and therefore it is not considered grammatically significant for the purpose o f this study. 105:6.[5] GRAMMATICAL ASPECTS OF BIBLICAL PARALLELISM 21 T h e first part o f this paper will list and examine several types o f morphological parallelism. I. 9. 9 Both morphological and syntactic parallelism augment the total effect of the parallelism. II. and provide an almost infinite number o f possibilities for constructing parallel stichs. 43:10. The change in word order in Job 4:17 does not alter this fact. 1974) 119-140. 33:2 ‫הודו להיבכנור‬ ‫בנבל עשור זמרו לו‬ Ps. The two verses quoted above are examples o f syntactic repetition. 89:4.

(Summer. "The Role of Linguistics in a Theory of Poetry. Kiparsky.22 [6] ADELE BERLIN T h e relative clause may precede the noun. their mor(12) Cf. pronouns take t h e place of nouns. o r participle) can parallel a verb. (13) Compare P. ‫זכר ה‬ ‫הביט וראה את חרפתנו‬ Lam. a term may b e paralleled by o n e f r o m a different morphological class. f o r the members of each category are normally used as substitutes f o r each other in biblical Hebrew. prepositional phrases a n d adverbs o f t e n serve the same syntactic function a n d are not always distinguishable. T h e evidence seems to indicate that any parts of speech that serve the same syntactic function can b e used as parallel terms. Joüon. Parallel terms f r o m the same morphological class may b e morphologically identical o r morphologically different.) . 1923) 267." (Italics in the original.. adjective." Daedalus. in addition to the choice provided by lexical-semantic possibilities. not parallelism). 1973) 235: "the linguistic sames which are potentially relevant in poetry arejust those which are potentially relevant in grammar. I n the next section we will show that efforts were made t o broaden the selection of parallel terms even when they a r e f r o m the same morphological class. ‫בקשתי א ת שאהבה נפשי‬ ‫בקשתיו ולא מצאתיו‬ 3· Prepositional Phrase II Adverb ‫בכל עת‬. 34:2 4‫ ׳‬Substantive II Verb Ps.. 5:1 Song 3: ! . Word Pairs f r o m the Same Morphological Class As stated in t h e preceding section. o r to parallel it by another term f r o m the same morphological class. Moreover. I t is also possible to repeat the same term (technically this is repetition. P. 3 4 : 2 a ' s o illustrates that a substantive (noun. as in ‫מה היה לנו‬. ‫אברכה את ה‬ ‫תמיד תהלתו בפי‬ Ps. B. This is n o t uncommon in parallelism a n d will b e discussed u n d e r syntactic parallelism. Grammaire de l'hébreu biblique (Rome: Pontifical Biblical Institute.1 3 This provides a grammatical dimension f o r broadening the choice of parallel terms. 12 a n d a relative clause may serve as a subject o r object — t h e same syntactic slot also filled by nouns a n d pronouns. T h e r e is really nothing unusual about such pairings. T h e following sections will enumerate parallel pairs f r o m the same class which are morphologically different.

in Hebrew in 1951) 47-48 = Biblical and Oriental Studies. 1971. "The YQTL-QTL (QTL-YQTL) Sequence of Identical Verbs in Biblical Hebrew and in Ugaritic. Ps. M. the shift is not limited to specific conjugations o r grammatical voice. first pub. a n d vice versa (the qtl-yqtllyqtlqtl sequence) in parallel stichs has been recognized f o r some time a n d is amply documented. not o n t h e semantic level. He. (16) Cf. (18) The Goddess Anath (Jerusalem: Magnes Press. 1 4 I t occurs with verbs f r o m the same root. 1975) 58-59· T h e article originally appeared in Tarbiz 14 (1943) 1-10. such as is f o u n d in Ps. Word Pairs of Different Tense T h e shift f r o m perfect t o imperfect forms. 26:4 ‫לא ישבתי עם מתי שוא‬ ‫ועם נעלמים לא אבוא‬ 15 It is important to emphasize that the qtl-yqtl shift occurs not f o r semantic reasons (it does not indicate a real temporal sequence). Held. . 18 a n d t h e factitive-passive sequence by M. and They: A Literary Approach to Isaiah 53. Dahood: Ps. D. Held. 19 However. of Sheffield. Ps. Held's treatment of this and the following verse. 77:12 (Ketiv) (14) Cf. Dahood. Held. as in Ps. vol. 24:7 ‫שאו שערים ראשיכם‬ ‫והנשאר פתחי עולם‬ 17 This was called the active-passive sequence by U . 1976) 47-48. Psalms III {Anchor Bible. "The Active-Result (Factitive-Passive) Sequence of Identical Verbs in Biblical Hebrew and Ugaritic. ι. cit. op. (15) Cf. as can be seen f r o m t h e following verses listed by M. 286. (17) Cf. Supplement Series 1 (Sheffield: Univ. (19) JBL 84 (1965) 272-282. M. 1962) 281-290. ‫וישב ה‬ o r with verbs f r o m different roots. 16 b u t f o r stylistic reasons. Cassuto. Journal for the Study of the Old Testament. Word Pairs of Different Conjugation Another phenomenon in parallelism is the use of the same verbal root in two different conjugations."/ßL 84 (1965) 276. Clines. 1970) 420-423. I t represents a type of paralleling o n the grammatical level. 2.[7] GRAMMATICAL ASPECTS OF BIBLICAL PARALLELISM 23 phological difference does not affect the meaning of the parallelism." Studies and Essays in Honor of Abraham A. 2 (Jerusalem: Magnes Press. Garden City: Doubleday. 29:10 ‫ה׳ למבול ישב‬ ‫ מלך לעולם‬. / . 64:5 (qal-hiphil). as in Ps. it provides a n added dimension t o t h e parallelism. Neuman (Leiden: Brill. We. note 8. 24:9 and M.

24:7. This emendation. the root ‫ בגד‬only in different forms of the qal.. Lam. 1:19-20 ‫לד‬5‫הלבן מאה שנה ל‬ ‫ואם שרה הבת תשעים שנה תלד‬ ‫וגם אנכי הקזאקיתיהו לה׳‬ ‫כל הימים אשר היה הוא שאול לה׳‬ . (21) T h e verses listed by Cassuto and Held are Isa. 1:28 Isa. 20:7. 24:12 (JBL 84.JBL 97 (1978) 168. Here one might see an ABBA pattern composed of ‫שאו — אדם— אדמה — תשאה‬. Not only does ‫ שדד‬show variation in conjugation. 414). 69:15 (Psalms III. There is no need to change ‫ יולד‬to ‫ אולד‬or to explain the lamed of ‫ לבן‬as emphatic.. Jer. the verbs ‫ תשאה‬and ‫ שאו‬exemplify both a change of tense and of conjugation. Ps. 139:21 (piel-qal). 21 the following verses contain the same verbal root in different conjugations in parallel stichs: Gen. SYNTACTIC PARALLELISM. Kselman. 31:3. Ps. . 17. 69:15. 19:13-14." Isa. 275. as well as a shift from plural to singular (see below). 17:17 22 I Sam. This is a play o n words made possible because the root ‫ אכל‬occurs in different conjugations with different meanings: the qal means "to eat" and the pual means "to be consumed. but repetition of the same pattern f o r both verbs is avoided by using ‫ שדד‬in passive constructions a n d ‫ בגד‬in active (impersonal) constructions. The phonetic pattern in 6:11 is entirely different. T h e word ‫ נשאר‬may have been used in 24:12 because it makes a good phonetic complement to the word ‫ שער‬at the end of the verse. 38:3.Jer. 24:12 contains the same idea and several of the same terms found in 6:11 this does not mean that all of the terms need be identical. seems also to be supported by Isa.20 I n addition t o the verses cited by the aforementioned scholars. 15:19. following the reading in the LXX.[8] ADE L E BERLIN 2 4 (hiphil-qal). 17:14. Held hesitates to include Isa. 6:12 ‫קתה‬#? ‫וירא אלהים את הארץ והנה‬ ‫כי השחית כל בשר את דרכו על הארץ‬ Gen. J .. (22) Cf. (20) Dahood also lists Ps. 33:1 ‫הוי שולד ואתה לא שדוד‬ ‫גדו בד‬3 ‫יביגי יל א‬ ‫כהתמד שולד תושד‬ ‫כנלתד לבגד לבגדו בד‬ T h e root ‫ שדד‬occurs here in the qal and huphal. 29:5.. 5:21. note 2). while it is true that Isa. Cf. "Will (a child) be born to a centenarian. S. 6:11 because many modern commentators. notes Held. emend ‫ תשאה‬to ‫תשאר‬. ‫לו‬5‫טוב הארץ ו*א‬ ‫תאכלו‬ I S ‫חרב‬ I . T h e syntax of the two parallel stichs need not be identical. I n my opinion emending ‫ תשאה‬is unnecessary. However. 20:14 and see below. 6:11 (?). and will Sarah who is ninety years old give birth" makes a good parallelism.

R. and Special Studies [New York: Jewish Theological Seminary. p. 13: !9-20 ‫חו מן הארץ‬$?‫ · נ‬. 25:21 Lev.GRAMMATICAL ASPECTS OF BIBLICAL PARALLELISM 2 5 Isa. in juxtaposition (one after another) o r in collocation (at some distance f r o m o n e another).‫ה אל הכהן‬$‫וןה‬ Josh. ‫ניעהר יצחק ל ה ׳‬ ‫ה הכהן‬$‫ ור‬. . 30:23) H o s . 20:14 ‫ארור היום אשר ^ ד ת י בו‬ ‫יום אשר ל ^ נ יאמי אל יהי ברור‬ J e r . Ras Shamra Parallels I. 7:23 Gen. 87. ‫ח את כל היקום‬9‫ף‬ ‫ מ!ןוןר לו ה׳‬. 12:13-14 " W · · · ‫ו ב א ש ה‬ ‫— ו ב נ ב י א נקז^ר‬ Mie. M. it has been noted that terms which are used as parallel pairs in parallel stichs may occur elsewhere. . 24 Gen. and those which constitute the "action and result" formula (The Book ofJob. 23 T h e same is t r u e of word pairs consisting of the same verbal root in different conjugations. Commentary. . 6:14b Job 2 2 : 3 0 ‫ליט‬90 ‫ותסג ולא‬ ‫לט לחרב אתן‬5‫ואשר ת‬ ‫יהלט אי נקי‬ ‫ןןקולט בבר כפיר‬ Furthermore. 511. 1978] p. 66:13 ‫כאיש «שר אמו תנחמני‬ ‫ם‬5?‫כן אנכי אגק‬ ‫ובירושלם תנחמו‬ J e r . 4 5 : 1 ‫לרד לפניו גוים‬ ‫וןח‬5‫ומתני מלכים א‬ ‫ל?תח לפניו דלתים‬ ‫ושערים לא יסגרו‬ (23) Cf. (24) Many of Cassuto's and Held's examples really belong in this category. in poetry o r in prose. 23:19 ‫הנה סערת ה׳ חמה יצאה‬ ‫וסער מתחולל‬ ‫על ראש רשעים לחול‬ (cf. J e r . 6:1 ‫ויריחו ס^רת וגןסגרת‬ Isa. Gordis correctly distinguishes "the use of the same verb in two different tenses or voices. New Translation. . Dahood. in two separate and parallel stichs" and "the use of the two verbs within the same stich." H e then further subdivides the latter category into those which constitute the "plea and response" formula.

26 ADELE BERLIN Isa. ‫מדוע נב*ד איש‬ ‫ בחצרות אלהינו ?פייחי‬. . at times. n o matter in what part of speech these roots may b e f o u n d . it was modified slightly. because it produces the assonance a n d the play o n words which is so much a part of biblical rhetoric. . 5 7 : 2 ° Ezek. (87) Ibid. 2 7 His observation o n the effect of t h e device appears to b e correct. I n this respect verses containing the same verbal root in different conjugations a r e only one subset of the set of verses in which two different forms of the same root occur in parallel stichs. Moshe Greenberg." 26 H e also suggests that there were fewer available parallel pairs f o r verbs than f o r nouns. b u t I doubt that the biblical author was ever at a loss t o find a parallel verb if h e so chose. more effective than using a totally different verb. ‫צדיק כתמר לפרח‬ Both a shift in tense a n d a shift in conjugation a r e f o u n d in Hos. 875. Held's explanation f o r t h e shift in conjugation is that "the device is stylistic a n d would seem to aim at stressing a n d emphasizing the effect o r result of t h e action referred t o in the first stichos. I t would seem that using the same root in a different conjugation is. . Examples are: J u d . 2:1 Mal. SS 1 1 1 ) 2 5 ‫התקוששו וקחןזו‬ ‫בגןה יהודה‬. 2:10-11 _1 Ps. . 1:16 ‫הרחי וגזי על בני תענוגיד‬ ‫הרחבי הרחתד כנשר כי גלו ממך‬ Ps. 92:13 4 [IO] ‫והרשעים כים נ^רש כי השקט לא יוכל‬ ‫ולגרשו מימיו רפש וטיט‬ ‫שובו והשיבו‬ (cf. (26) JBL 84 (1965) 874. 5 : 5 ‫וישראל ואפרים לכשלו בעונם‬ ‫כשל גם יהודה עמם‬ M. . a n d so rather than repeat t h e same verb in the same f o r m . 14:6 Zeph. 80:6 ‫האכלתם לחם דמעה‬ ‫ותשקמו בדמעות שליש‬ (25) These verses were called to my attention by Prof. 5:28 ‫מדוע בשש רכבו לבוא‬ ‫מדוע אחרו פעמי מרכבותיו‬ Mie.

1974) 55. We examine the case of gender first. Sappan. The Typical Features of the Syntax of Biblical Poetry in its Classical Period (Unpub. originally published in Leshonenu 15 (1947) 97-102. need not be in t h e same gender o r number. . Gordis. note 45. 511-513. (29) Cf. there appears t o b e some evidence of morphological parallelism involving a shift in gender a n d in number. vol. 30:6 ‫בערב ילין בכי‬ ‫ולבקר)תלין( רנה‬ Ps. I t is obvious f r o m such verses as Isa. Umberto Cassuto pointed o u t that there a r e Ugaritic a n d biblical examples which show that o f t e n a masculine word is used in reference t o a male o r masculine term. The Book ofJob. What remains t o b e investigated is to what extent a similarity o r difference in gender o r n u m b e r influences the choice of parallel terms. I n addition t o alteration of tense a n d verbal conjugation. This verse is not included in the lists. but its assonance is noted in the commentary. 1:2 ‫שמעו שמים והאזיני ארץ‬ that two terms need not b e of t h e same gender o r n u m b e r to b e parallel. Sappan discusses only the difference in gender. Hebrew University. 2. dissertation. They a r e part of a broader picture of morphological parallelism.[11] GRAMMATICAL ASPECTS OF BIBLICAL PARALLELISM J o b 11:18 28 Ruth 2:12 27 ‫ובטחת כי יש תקוה‬ ‫וחפרת לבטח תשכב‬ ‫ישלם ה׳ פעלד‬ ‫ותהי משכרתך שלמה מעם ה׳‬ 3· Words Pairs of Different Gender T h e paralleling of verbs in t h e qtl-yqtl sequence a n d verbs of different conjugations should not b e viewed as isolated rhetorical peculiarities. Even in a n incomplete parallelism the term omitted in the second stich (which is to be understood) may b e different in gender and/or n u m b e r f r o m its expressed counterpart in the first stich. (30) The Goddess Anath 44-46 = Biblical and Oriental Studies. R. 3 0 H e cited (28) Cf. 19:5 ‫בכל הארץ יצא קום‬ ‫ובקצה תבל)יצאו( מליהם‬ These examples merely prove that parallel terms. a n d a feminine synonym is applied to a female o r feminine term. 29 Examples of this a r e Ps. R. Jerusalem. expressed o r u n d e r stood. 66-68.

although they may not be exactly synonymous o r parallel. T h e pattern is chiastic. o r a t least the second term in each. the word ‫ משען‬harks back to ‫( יהודה‬here grammatically masculine. a r e f o u n d in ‫חמה יצאה ופער מתחולל‬. . (32) Understanding both ‫ שבי‬and ‫ שכיה‬to mean "captive" — thus RSV. T h a t is. a n d ‫ משענה‬to t h e feminine ‫ירושלם‬. Isa. But there is a slightly different way to view the phenomenon in these three verses. Cassuto suggested that these sets. compare Jer. 21:29. much like the pairs composed of the same root in different conjugations. 48:46 ‫אוי לד מואב‬ ‫אבד עם כמוש‬ ‫כי לקחו בניד בשבי‬ ‫ובנתיך בשביה‬ (cf. a r e (31) For example. 3: ! ‫כי הנה האדון ה׳ צבאות מסיר מירושלם ומיהודה‬ ‫משען ומשענה‬ I n Isa. but also that they were intended to parallel each other o n a morphological level. 23:19 Isa. 21:10-11) Nah. These three verses contain three sets of nearly identical word pairs: ‫ שבי‬/ / ‫שביה‬.‫ טרף‬/ / ‫טרפה‬. 30:23) J e r . 3-1‫ י‬Cassuto explains. 2:13b ‫וימלא טרף חריו‬ ‫ומענתיו טרפה‬ Isa. 48:46 with Num. 52:2 32 ‫התנערי מעפר קומי שבי ירושלם‬ ‫( מוסרי צוארד שביה בת ציון‬ketiv:‫התפתחי)התפתחו‬ Other verses which employ both masculine a n d feminine forms of the same root. 3 1 O n e must ask why such similar terms were chosen in these verses. Other sets of nearly identical terms. o n e in the masculine a n d o n e in the feminine.[12] ADELE BERLIN 2 8 J e r . T h e use of such closely related parallel terms is so striking as to indicate a n intent t o emphasize their morphology. the choice of these words was based o n morphologic considerations. ‫הנה סערת ה‬ (cf. What these pairs suggest to m e is not only that they were selected t o match the gender of other words in their respective stichs. cf. were chosen in order to match the gender of another word in their respective stichs. a n d ‫ משען‬/ / ‫משענה‬. 3:8). Deut. Surely there were other word pairs which were of t h e required gender.

. .. b u t it may b e o n e of t h e levels of parallelism operating in certain verses. may also b e considered morphological parallelism. 1:8 ‫שמע בני מוסר אביד‬ ‫ואל תטש תורת אמך‬ (33) This echoes Gen. indeed. T h e use of the same substantive in different genders in parallel stichs creates t h e same type of assonance that is produced by the use of t h e same verb in different tenses o r conjugations.) Gen. 11:1. t h e pair ‫ לב‬a n d ‫רוח‬ appear in 51:12 where both a r e masculine. (This verse is part of a larger play o n the root ‫נקם‬. From all of these verses we see that one way of forming a parallel word pair is by alternating t h e gender of t h e same word.) T h e use of the same adjective in different genders. although this is determined by the modified nouns. .. . Perhaps ‫ רוח‬has been used in verse 19 as a feminine in o r d e r to produce t h e masculine-feminine alternation which stands o u t in ‫ נשברה‬/ / ‫נשבר‬. T h e corollary to this is that o n e way of forming parallel stichs is by alternating the gender of those stichs. This is never t h e sole way in which a parallelism is constructed. Examples are Ps. 2 9 ‫ונתתיה חרכה‬ ‫מתימן ו ד ת ה כחרב יפלו‬ ‫יען עשות פלשתים בנהמה‬ ‫וינקמו נהם‬. 144:12 ‫בנתינו כזוית‬. and. 126:2 ‫אז ימלא שחוק פינו ולשוננו רנה‬ Prov. (It also serves t o p u t emphasis o n t h e adjective. ‫אשר בנינו כנטעים‬ Ps. T h e r e a r e many verses besides those already noted in which there is agreement in gender within a stich a n d alternation of gender f r o m o n e parallel stich to the next. 11:6 Isa.. 25:13 Ezek..[13] GRAMMATICAL ASPECTS OF BIBLICAL PARALLELISM Ezek.. 51:19 ‫זבחי אלהים רוח נשברה‬ ‫לב נשכר ונדכה אלהים לא תבזה‬ T h e word ‫ רוח‬may b e either gender. 25:15 . . 66:8 33 ‫הן עם אחד ושפה אחת לכלם‬ ‫היוחל ארץ ביום אחד‬ ‫אם יולד גוי פעם אחת‬ Especially interesting is Ps.

126:2. T h e question that remains is: is this juxtaposition of genders intentional? I cannot prove that such is the case. Word Pairs of Different Number We t u r n now to a consideration of morphological parallelism involving number. 3:8 suggests that there may have been a n intentional switching of genders in parallel stichs.g. 1:3. O n e verse which may b e suggestive of a n intentional alternation of genders in parallel stichs is Isa. I n the case of word pairs. 5:5. T h e effect of totality is emphasized by the chiastic word order.‫ ששון‬/ / ‫שמחה‬ ‫ הרים‬/ / ‫גבעות‬. g. however. a n d may even create a merismus. 114:2.ADELE BERLIN SO [141 T h e arrangement of the genders in these verses may b e accidental. e. too. Isaiah has created a morphological parallelism. Even the use of pairs which were originally based o n a morphological principle. and the word order all work toward the same end. o n e must take into account that some word pairs will (34) T h e pair Jerusalem // Judah also creates a merismus by employing a part and its whole. Lam. . as in Hos. not f o r morphological reasons. 3 4 T h e presence of this alternation in gender heightens t h e effect of t h e parallelism. o r masculine. f o r the following reason: Most parallel terms a r e chosen f o r lexical reasons. Thus the grammar. The verbs also constitute a totality since both verbs apply to both subjects: Jerusalem and Judah have stumbled and fallen. By choosing to construe it as masculine h e r e (and also in 3:1). T o summarize: Isa. ‫ בנים‬/ / ‫בנות‬. e. . there are inevitably many combinations containing o n e term in each gender. T h e use of such combinations does not prove a n intent t o alternate genders. the choice of parallel terms. ‫ אב‬/ / ‫אם‬. as in Ps. b u t t h e effect is a parallelism o n the morphological level. Here. Verses such as Ps. 3:8a ‫כי כשלה ירושלם‬ ‫ויהודה נפל‬ T h e word ‫ יהודה‬may b e grammatically feminine. 4. e. Pairs such as ‫ אב‬/ / ‫ אם‬a r e probably chosen o n t h e lexical level — i. it seems m o r e certain that pairs of nearly identical terms in different genders constitute a type of morphological parallelism. 144:12. Prov. I n 3:8 the two genders appear t o balance each other. they a r e traditional word pairs and/or are perceived as natural counterparts. 1:8 probably contain a coincidental shift in gender. does not necessarily prove that t h e author constructed his parallelism o n a morphological level. Since all nouns in Hebrew a r e either masculine o r feminine.

ך‬35 ‫ אחד‬/ / ‫ שנים‬in Deut. have a collective meaning. T h e r e are traditional. Watters has also observed the paralleling of a singular by a plural. (37) W. 32:‫. They will most likely be paired with a singular term. 17:6.[1 5 ] GRAMMATICAL ASPECTS O F BIBLICAL PARALLELISM 3 1 contain o n e singular a n d o n e plural term f o r lexical reasons. d ." T h e shift from singular to plural is natural. 7:17 a n d passim. Some words. o r natural pairs. ‫שמים‬. such as ‫ירח‬/ / ‫ כוכבים‬in J o b 25:5. as in J u d . Yet in most all instances.g. c. (36) This also follows the rule for paralleling numbers: χ // x+1. 97:8. a n d will often parallel a plural. But. This seems to b e the explanation f o r such pairs as ‫ מלכים‬/ / ‫ דוד‬in Ps.‫ אב‬/ / ‫ זקנים‬in Deut. logical." (38) Prof. since a person has only one father but more than one elder. b. although grammatically singular. e.פעמי‬cf. there are many verses in which. ‫ ערי יהודה‬/ / ‫ ירושלם‬in J e r . b u t often have a singular parallel mate. the lines are balanced in more uniform lengths. 48:12. e.‫ בעלה‬/ / ‫ בניה‬in Prov. 5:28 Hos. ‫מים‬. a singular term will parallel a plural one.‫שפתיים‬. a r e grammatically plural although they have a singular meaning. 5 : 5 b 38 ‫מדוע בשש רכבו לבוא‬ ‫מדוע אחרו פעמי מרכבותיו‬ ‫וישראל ואפרים יכשלו בעונם‬ ‫כשל גם יהודה עמם‬ (35) ‫ ז קנ י ם‬may mean elders of the generation preceding the father — cf. By so varying the singular-plural aspect of the words in pair. but explains the phenomenon as being necessary for metric reasons. Perhaps it might even be translated "grandfathers. Greenberg pointed out to me that the plural of ‫ מרכבותיו‬may have been conditioned by the plural of ‫ . Some words. 144:10. ‫גוי‬.‫עיניים‬. 31:28. Prov. which generates a plural predicate) f o r n o apparent reason other than t o create a parallelism o n t h e morphological level. e. Some words usually occur in the dual o r plural. Gen. Most of these fall into o n e of the following categories: a. such as ‫חיים‬. 32:3ο·36 T h u s . there a r e numerous verses which contain this type of parallelism f o r non-lexicalsemantic reasons. ‫תבל‬. ‫ ציון‬/ / ‫ בנות יהודה‬in Ps. Formula Criticism 105: "The poetry is literally loaded with cases where one half of a word pair is plural and the other half is singular.g. These verses contain a singular term paralleled by a plural (or a compound. O n e of the principles by which word pairs a r e formed is the paralleling of a whole a n d its part. ‫צררות כספיהם‬. f o r lexical-semantic reasons. in addition to these.37 This is most apparent when t h e same word appears in both stichs in different numbers. the use of singular o r plural has no impact upon the understanding of the line. 42:35· .

66:8 J e r . as in Isa. 5:9 J o b 10:13 ‫מי שמע בזאת‬ ‫מי ראה באלה‬ ‫העל אלה לוא אפקד נאם ה׳‬ ‫ואם בגוי אשר בזה לא תתנקם נפשי‬ ‫יאלה צ פ נ תבלבבי‬ ‫ידעתי כי זאת עמך‬ J o b 12:9 ‫מי לא ידע בכל אלה‬ ‫כי יד ה׳ עשתה זאת‬ J o b 18:21 ‫אד אלה משכנות עול‬ ‫וזה מקום לא ידע אל‬ Lam. T h e four-stich parallelism in Deut. .3 2 ADELE BERLIN Prov. While it was n o t f o r m e d primarily o n a morphological level. O t h e r examples a r e Isa. This pattern is repeated in the following stichs: ‫שאל אביך ויגדך זקניך‬ ‫ויאמרו לך‬. 32:7 ‫זכר ימות עולם‬ ‫בינו שנות דר ודר‬ Although many scholars p r e f e r to read ‫ בין‬o r ‫ בינה‬instead of ‫ בינו‬there is n o evidence t o support such a reading. 40:4 ‫כל גיא ינשא‬ ‫וכל הר וגבעה ישפלו‬ ‫והיה העקב למישור‬ ‫והרכסים לבקעה‬39 (39) I have written in Hebrew Annual Review (1979) on my interpretation of this verse. it reinforces the morphological pattern of this verse. 5:17 ‫על זה היה דוה לבני‬ ‫על אלה חשכו עינינו‬ I t is also striking t o find two parallel verbs in different numbers. T h e parallelism is clearly singular // plural. T h e pair ‫ אב‬/ / ‫ זקנים‬has been discussed above. 14:12=16:25 J o b 6:15 [16] ‫יש דרד ישר לפני איש‬ ‫ואחריתה דרבי מות‬ ‫אחי בגדו כמו נחל‬ ‫באפיק נחליט יעברו‬ o r when demonstrative pronouns are paralleled. as in Deut. 32:7 is only o n e of several four-stich stanzas that have a morphological pattern based o n number.

For example. 11:1 Isa. 92:13-14 ‫צדיק כתמר יפרח‬ ‫כארז בלבנון ישגה‬ ‫שתולים בבית ה׳‬ ‫בחצרות אלהינו יפריחו‬ where t h e pattern is singular // singular. which speaks of the righteous in the singular. singular // singular. As in t h e case of gender. which always occurs in the plural. a n d have (40) For ‫ אחדים‬cf. Singular-plural alternation apparendy varies freely. 37:17. 126:5-6 either a singular o r a plural can b e used generically in Hebrew. We have arbitrarily chosen o n e term. T h e fact that they are phonetically similar (‫ ברע‬and ‫)ברח‬. Ezek. 18:15 ‫לב נבוך יקנה דעת‬ ‫ואזן חכמים תבקש דעת‬ Prov. Prov. t h e use of the same o r similar adjectives in different n u m b e r emphasizes t h e adjective a n d yields a morphological parallelism.‫ברגע ר‬ ‫וברחמים גדלים אקבצך‬ As we can see f r o m Ps. plural // plural. Gen. Ps. ‫ישרי לב‬. 29:27 ‫תועבת צדיהים איש עול‬ ‫ותועבת רשע ישר דרך‬ Compare also Ps.[171 GRAMMATICAL ASPECTS OF BIBLICAL PARALLELISM 33 where t h e pattern is singular // plural. which describes t h e wicked in t h e plural. (41) ‫ ברגע‬and ‫ ברחמים‬are not normally word pairs. 4-5. 1:1-3. 14:33 ‫תנרח ח כ מ ה‬ ‫ב ל בנכיי‬ ‫ובקרב כפילים תודע‬ Prov. and that both are modified by similar adjectives adds to the impression that they are parallel terms. but can be contrued here as parallel terms because they each occupy the same position in their respective stichs. 54 : 7 40 ‫ויהי כל הארץ שפה אחת ודברים אחדים‬ 41 ‫טן עזבתיך‬. . singular // plural. 126:5-6 ‫הזרעים בדמעה‬ ‫ברנה יקצרו‬ ‫הלוך ילך ובכה נשא משך הזרע‬ ‫בא יבא ברנה נשא אלמתיו‬ where t h e pattern is plural // plural. a n d Ps. a n d the parallel section in vv. Moreover. we often find that a verse o r passage uses both — thereby producing a n alternation in number.

for which reason a change was also made in the order of the words of the two clauses" (From Noah to Abraham (Jerusalem:Magnes Press. 44 : 26 ‫מקים דבר עבדו‬ ‫ועצת מלאכיו ישלים‬ (Versions: ‫)עבדיו‬ Ps. 1 964] 315)· (43) This verse is prose and does not. 32:11 a n d by ‫ יודעיך‬in Ps. 7:9. Cassuto comments on this verse: "The difference between the plural those who bless you and the singular him who curses you was introduced. o r that the Versions h a d a different text. 145:6. 36:11. for the sake of diversification and variation in the parallelism. strictly speaking. but rather that the Versions were simply not sensitive to this particular device. T h e r e is ample evidence that the Bible contains morphological parallelism. Gen. a n d probably 94:15. Most likely there a r e other types besides those mentioned here. 12:3a ‫ואברכה מברכיך‬ 42 ‫ומקללך אאר‬ (Versions: ‫)ומקלליך‬ Isa. Mie. 26:13 43 ‫ככל מצותך אשר צויתני לא עברתי ממצותיד‬ (Versions: ‫)ככל מצותיך‬ I n light of t h e foregoing discussion we should not conclude that the M T is corrupt. T o conclude this section o n parallel terms f r o m t h e same morphological class I o f f e r a n example in which every word pair shows morphological parallelism. J e r . and paralleled by ‫ צדיקים‬in Ps. 114:2 ‫היתה יהודה לקדשו‬ ‫ישראל ממשלותיו‬ (Versions:‫)ממשלתו‬ Deut. 64:11 . it seems. we must comment o n what importance the recognition of the device of alternating n u m b e r has o n the interpretation of the biblical text. Finally. Ps. T h e shift in person. 97:11 . . 104:13. contain a parallelism. Song 1:2) should probably b e considered morphological parallelism. a n accepted rhetorical device in the Bible(cf. 9:10 ‫ונתתי את ירושלם לגלים מעון תנים‬ ‫ואת ערי יהודה אתן שממה מבלי יושב‬ I n this verse none of t h e parallel nouns match in respect to number: (42) U. T h e Massoretic T e x t contains several cases of singular-plural parallelism which are not reflected in the versions.34 [18] ADELE BERLIN noted that it is paralleled by ‫ צדיק‬in Ps. but reflects the same rhetorical usage of a shift in number in closely linked phrases.

T h e following a r e some ways by which syntactic parallelism is achieved: 46 A. They are phonetically similar. 44 ‫ גלים‬/ / ‫שממה‬. III. While this has not been demonstrated for biblical parallelism. Kiparsky. a n d the alliteration ‫מעון‬. Cf.‫שממה‬. . note 41. 1:8 ‫שמע בגי מוסר אביך‬ ‫ואל תטש תורת אמך‬ Prov. This verse also employs chiastic word arrangement a n d rhythmic parallelism. 6:2o ‫נצר בני מצות אביך‬ ‫ואל תטש תורת אמך‬ Hab. both having the same number of syllables and accent pattern. the two different syntactic structures used in parallel stichs are transformations of the same underlying sentence. Positive-Negative Parallelism This is a well known type of parallelism in which t h e same thought is expressed twice.‫ תנים‬a n d ‫יהודה‬. at some point in the derivation.‫מבלי‬. They also occupy the same position in parallel stichs. A similar principle operates in t h e paralleling of a stich as a whole: a stich may b e paralleled by o n e with the same syntax (syntactic repetition o r identity) o r by one with different syntax (syntactic parallelism).) Examples are Prov. and metrically similar. (45) T h e phrases ‫ מעון תנים‬and ‫ מבלי יושב‬are not lexically o r grammatically parallel. Daedalus (Summer. 45 T h e verbs are in the qtl-yqtl sequence. (46) On what basis did the poet choose an alternate syntax? P. note 34. 1973) 236 hypothesizes that "those syntactic elements which are counted as parallel for the purpose of verse are. (This is a f o r m of synonymous parallelism a n d is not to be confused with antithetic parallelism.the examples which follow suggest that such is the case." That is. SYNTACTIC PARALLELISM We have seen that individual terms can b e paralleled by a member of the same morphological class (with o r without a morphological change of the components). counted as sames according to transformational grammar. both beginning with mem.‫גלים‬. once positively a n d once negatively.GRAMMATICAL ASPECTS OF BIBLICAL PARALLELISM 35 ‫ ירושלם‬/ / ‫ערי יהודה‬. T h e use of morphological parallelism does not exclude t h e use of other types of parallelism o r parallelistic devices. a n d even ‫ תנים‬/ / ‫ יושב‬although strictly speaking this is not a parallel word pair. above. Phonetic parallelism is noticeable in the rhyme of ‫ירושלם‬. 3:17 ‫כחש מעשה זית‬ ‫ושדמות לא עשה אכל‬ (44) On this pair see above. o r by a member of a different morphological class.

3 : 1 7 contains f o u r stichs in a positive-negative-positive-negative pattern. 32:1 (47) Psalms III 423-424· ‫האזינו השמים ואדברה‬ ‫ותשמע הארץ אמרי פי‬ . Deut. as in Prov. 3:2b ‫ועינו החלו כהות לא יוכל לראות‬ I Kings 3:18b ‫ואנחנו יחדו אין זר אתנו בבית‬ T h e negative may precede the positive. 6:6 ‫כי אין במות זכרך‬ ‫בשאול מי יודה לך‬ interrogative // indicative Ps.e. 37:24b ‫והבור רק אין בו מים‬ ‫תשכח‬ Deut. Verse of this type in Psalms have been noted by M. Some involve second person jussive a n d imperative (i. Dahood. 9:7 ‫זכר א ל‬ I Sam. 3: i b ‫ודבר ה׳ היה יקר בימים ההם אין חזון נפרץ‬ I Sam. as in Gen. ‫בני תורתי אל תשכח‬ ‫ומצותי יצר לבר‬ Parallelism Involving Change in Grammatical Mood T h e r e are a number of parallelisms in which two different grammatical moods are paired. 47 T h e r e are also verses containing a n imperative and a third person jussive. This may involve indicative // interrogative Ps. all expressing lacking o r ceasing. 7 3 : 2 5 ‫י בשמים‬ ‫מ יל‬ ‫ועמד לא חפצתי בארץ‬ interrogative // imperative Ps. 19:13 ‫שגיאות מי יבין‬ ‫מנסתרות נקני‬ T h e r e are many cases of imperative //jussive / jussive // imperative. This device is often f o u n d in prose.3 6 ADELE BERLIN [20] ‫גזר ממכלה צאן‬ ‫ואין בקר ברפתים‬ Hab. also second person). 3:1 B.

6:1 a n d Eccl. 5:1 ‫אלתבהלעלפיר‬ ‫ולבך אל ימהר‬ These verses could be analyzed o n the morphological level as a change in person. For example. 3: ! 37 ‫קום ריב את ההרים‬ ‫ותשמענה הגבעות קולך‬ ‫בני תורתי אל תשבח‬ ‫ומצותי יצר לבך‬ Eccl. Word Pairs of Different Conjugation. change in conjugation. e. a n d positive-negative. 20:14 Hos. are also examples of subject-object parallelism.[21] GRAMMATICAL ASPECTS OF BIBLICAL PARALLELISM Mie. C. ‫בטרם אצורד ב ב ט ן‬ ‫ ובטרם תצא מרחם‬. Some cases of imperative // jussive also manifest subject-object parallelism. 5:1. Gen. 27:29 ‫הוה גביר לאחיו־‬ ‫וישתחוו לד בני אמך‬ Ge11· 37 : 33 ‫חיה רעה אכלתהו‬ ‫טרף טרף יוסף‬ J e r . ‫ארור היום אשר ילדתי בו‬ ‫יום אשר ילדתני אמי אל יהי ברוד‬ ‫אני ידעתי אפרים‬ ‫וישראל לא נכחד ממני‬ Ps.. as well as chiastic word order. . 5:3 .g. .. Mie. 1:5 J e r . . Subject-Object Parallelism Many parallel stichs are structured in such a way that the subject in one becomes the object in the other. 2:7 ‫בני אתה‬ ‫אני היום ילדתיך‬ Ruth 1:21 ‫אני מלאה הלכתי‬ ‫וריקם השיבני ה׳‬ Lam. 5:4 ‫מימינו בכסף שתיני‬ ‫עצינו במחיר יבאו‬ Many of the verses listed u n d e r MORPHOLOGICAL PARALLELISM. 6:1 Prov. 20:14 contains three types of grammatical parallelism: subject-object. J e r .

although this is a common word pair n o t f o r m e d o n t h e morphological level). . 13:46 ‫הוא‬ ‫וטהר הכהן א ת הנגע מ ה י י‬. 3 4 : 1 9 ! 5 ° : 8 . Nominal-Verbal Parallelism T h e verses listed in this section all contain a nominal clause paralleled by a verbal clause (or vice versa). e. I t is common t o find a verse displaying m o r e t h a n o n e type. . 20:14.g. 97:9 ‫כי אתה ה׳ עליון ע ל כל הארץ‬ ‫מאד נעלית על כל אלהיט‬ Ps. 50:8: v e r b a l . 13:12-13 . Ps. . . 145:18 ‫קרוב ה׳ לכל יוראיו‬ ‫לכל אשר יקראהו באמת‬ R u t h 2:18 ‫ישלם ה׳ פעלד‬ ‫ותהי משכרתן־ שלמה מעם ה׳‬ T h e use o f a substantive a n d ver b f r o m t h e same root is also f o u n d i n passages which a r e non-parallelistic. Exod.n o m i n a l . T h e s e categories of syntactic parallelism a r e n o t mutually exclusive.‫לכל מראה הכהן‬. .13 34) Lev. Some verses utilize a substantive a n d a v e r b f r o m t h e same root.o b j e c t . Deut. 4 9 : 4 ‫כי ריב לה׳ עם עמו‬ ‫ועם ישראל יתוכח‬ ‫ע ת‬ ‫אברכה את ה׳ בכל‬ ‫תמיד תהלתו בפי‬ ‫חבמות‬ ‫פי ידבר‬ ‫והגות לבי תבונות‬ Com pare also Ps. ‫ שמים‬/ / ‫ארץ‬. 32:1: imperative-jussive a n d verbal-nominal (‫ אדברה‬/ / ‫( )אמרי פי‬also plural-singular. Mie. J e r . ‫הוא בדד ישב מחוץ למחנה מושבו‬. Some verses employ substantives a n d verbs f r o m different roots. . Ps. 12:10 ‫ולא תותירו ממנו ע ד בקר והנתד ממנו ע ד בקר באש תשרפו‬ Lev.. ‫ וראה ה כ ה ו‬. m e n t i o n e d a b o v e . a n d negative-positive. : Lev. 13:17 (cf. 34:2 Ps.3 8 ADELE BERLIN [22] D. 6:2b Ps. su b j e c t . 8 1 : 1 4 . · .

Even when the parallel term belongs t o the same morphological class its f o r m is often varied in some way. We cannot know in all cases whether the biblical authors employed morphological parallelism intentionally. But whatever its origin. T h e inclination to vary t h e structure of parallel stichs is not confined to the morphological level. T h e structure of the language permits the paralleling of o n e term by another f r o m the same morphological class o r f r o m a different class. change in grammatical mood. b u t how they a r e used. gender. instinctively. Grammatical parallelism is a device whereby the grammar of the language is activated in order t o create parallel stichs. its presence certainly heightens the effect of the parallelism a n d adds a dimension of interest a n d variety to t h e stichs in which it occurs. o r accidentally. number. T h e parallelism is achieved by structural substitutions o r pairings in addition t o lexical-semantic pairings. subject-object. But how frequently does grammatical parallelism occur in relation to other types of parallelism? How does it manifest itself within a complete passage? T h e answers to these questions are not within the scope of the present study. and nominal-verbal. T h e categories of syntactic parallelism illustrated here a r e positive-negative. It is not only important to see which terms are used. I n some cases involving a shift in gender o r n u m b e r morphological parallelism resulted f r o m lexical necessity. O n the syntactic level we see that variety is provided by pairing two stichs with different syntax. Syntactic parallelism a n d morphological parallelism together constitute grammatical parallelism. o r person. if carried o u t f o r many passages. Using a t e r m f r o m a different class automatically introduces a grammatical change in one stich a n d creates a morphological parallelism. T h e f o r m of t h e word pairs is as interesting as their content. but the following section provides a sample analysis which. T h e purpose of this study was to call attention to the phenomenon of grammatical parallelism by showing individual examples of many types scattered throughout the Bible. by changing the tense. This also produces a morphological parallelism.GRAMMATICAL ASPECTS OF BIBLICAL PARALLELISM IV. conjugation. I n other cases it seems to have resulted f r o m a n intentional manipulation of the grammar of the Ianguage. . would give some indication of the prevalence of grammatical parallelism. 39 SUMMARY T h e section o n morphological parallelism has demonstrated that there is m o r e t o paralleling terms t h a n t h e selection of semantically appropriate word pairs.

b u t may b e (48) Cf. the new JPS translation: though the wicked bloom. . 6 — interrogative // indicative.‫ויציצו‬. a real perfect-imperfect may have been intended: "You m a d e m e 48 happy . ". it is not certain that this is a true rhetoric qtl-yqtl. . shows how grammatical parallelism may occur in a complete passage. . (49) But cf. [24] GRAMMATICAL PARALLELISM IN PSALM 9 2 This brief analysis of Ps. " is echoed by a declarative statement.4 0 ADELE BERLIN V . T h e "me" of the first stich becomes the "I" of the second. 3 — singular // plural. with a finite verb. . How immensely d e e p . . . For purposes ofcomparison I have noted M. [Dahood understands t h e verbs as being in the qtl-yqtl sequence a n d translates both by English past tense. grammatical parallelism is a very pervasive device. b u t this would then leave ‫ להודות‬without a n object.] V. RSV and the new Jewish Publication Society translation. T h e psalm was chosen at random. v. (therefore) I will sing . Within fifteen verses (not including t h e superscription) there are ten occurrences of grammatical parallelism. . 8 — T h e construction of this verse is complex a n d difficult. a r a r e occurrence (with t h e exception of Neh.] v. A rhetorical question. Elyon"). T h e verse appears t o have three stichs.5 —qtl-yqtl sequence (?) a n d object-subject parallelism. 92. 12:24. n o n e of them convincing proof f o r Dahood's translation. 2 — a change f r o m third person ("to the Lord") to second person ("to your name. 16:7 a n d 134:1." T h e use of ‫ לילות‬here is compared to Ps. Dahood's interpretation {Psalms II. .‫ בקר‬/ / ‫לילות‬. .] v. ‫בפרח‬. I Chron. though all evildoers blossom. b u t if it is at all typical. Dahood also notes the transition f r o m second person subject to first person subject both here a n d in ν 11. although h e does not speak in terms of subject-object parallelism. [Dahood considers ‫ מה‬t o b e a double-duty interjection a n d translates "How g r e a t . ". Anchor Bible) of the pertinent verses in brackets. not in a n d of itself impossible. [Dahood proposes t o eliminate the "incongruity" by parsing the lamedh preceding t h e Tetragrammaton as the vocative particle. I I Chron. 25:3. [Dahood translates "daybreak" a n d "watches of the night. "how g r e a t . it is only that they may be destroyed forever. T h e last stich of this verse can b e understood as the parallel of t h e first two. 31:2). . they are like grass.] v. 49 T h e first two a r e parallel to each other a n d contain a nominal-verbal parallelism achieved by t h e paralleling of a n infinitive. I n this case. a + b // c. This requires that the lamedh of the first stich be analyzed differently f r o m t h e lamedh of the second stich. however. that is. . based o n the MT.

) . 1778) viii.[2 5 ] GRAMMATICAL ASPECTS OF BIBLICAL PARALLELISM 4 1 better taken as the parallel of v. [Dahood u n d e r stands ‫ להשמדם‬as emphatic lamedh+finite verb. is that there is a reluctance t o accept a wide range of grammatic "incongruities" in biblical poetry. 14. b u t in vv. This is really not a new idea a t all. or similar to it in the form of grammatical construction. 9. 16 — positive-negative parallelism T h e feeling that o n e gets f r o m reading Dahood. equivalent. and d o not require contorted interpretations of the text o r cast doubts o n its accuracy. "my eye" // "my ears. 13-14 — These two verses a r e closely linked.] v.50 (50) Isaiah: A New Translation (London: Wm. T h e shift in number is better understood as the use of either o r both numbers in a generic sense. (Italics mine. Yahweh" of v. o r drawn u n d e r it. as in Ps. 13 t h e word ‫ צדיק‬is the subject. the parallelism is based o n t h e word pair ‫ עדי ע ד‬/ / ‫לעולם‬. This seems t o b e taking t h e imagery a bit too literally. ‫ יפרח‬a n d ‫( יפריחו‬although these terms d o not parallel each other directly). 3. " This leaves o n e with t h e disturbing feeling that the " H e " of ν 8 is someone other than the "But you. the thought is antithetic: "to destroy them forever" // "but You will b e exalted forever. [Dahood notes t h e shift in conjugation. I t is present in Lowth's famous definition of parallelism: When a proposition is delivered. v. CONCLUDING REMARKS This study has shown that there is a grammatical aspect t o biblical parallelism — that parallelism activates the grammatical level of t h e language as well as the lexical-semantic level. 13 t o the plural in v. v. H e also notes the shift in number. . a n d a shift in conjugation. 12 — singular // plural. 13 a n d two trees in vv. 126:5-6. forming a four-stich parallelism. by picturing o n e ‫ צדיק‬in v.)] v. Semantically. this study will show that some of these grammatical shifts are stylistic—that is.. Tegg and Co. ‫תמר‬ a n d ‫ארז‬. 5. Cf. Again t h e "me" of the first stich becomes the "I" of the second. VI. v. Hopefully. 14-15. 11 — object-subject parallelism. they were used f o r rhetorical purposes. these I call parallel lines. (He does not divide the verse in t h e usual way. o r contrasted with it in sense. a n d a second is subjoined t o it. T h e y contain a shift f r o m the singular in v." Cf. [Dahood ignores the difference in n u m b e r a n d translates both in the plural. a n d the result is often a forced explanation of t h e m o r a n emendation. . a n d others.] v. a n d explains it by saying that in v. 14-15 t h e subject is a compound. 9." Lexically. " H e completely destroyed them.

5:1. 5:3. Gen. a n d enjambment results. noun+suffix. o n e emerges with the preposterous notion that ‫ למשל‬/ / ‫ בכנור‬a n d ‫ אזני‬/ / ‫חידתי‬. p r e position+noun. I t is certainly worthy of that attention because it is used frequently a n d is o n e of the devices which accounts f o r the wide variety of parallel stichs in the Bible. Its effect is roughly analogous t o cases in English poetry where the units of meter o r rhyme d o not correspond t o the syntactic units. Obviously the word pair is ‫ משל‬/ / ‫חידה‬. A n d . T w o examples of such tension. O n e conclusion f r o m t h e study of syntactic parallelism is that parallel terms may occur in the same morphological f o r m b u t may be used t o fill different syntactic functions in each stich. Ps. o r between t h e lexical and t h e grammatical levels. it is necessary to examine t h e interaction a m o n g all these aspects of parallelism. I must emphasize that there a r e other aspects. Because of this.5 1 (51) T h e reverse is true of the parallel stichs discussed in the previous sections. t h e lexical-semantic aspect continues t o b e of interest. Most important. Lam. but has never been given t h e attention bestowed o n the lexical a n d semantic aspects of parallelism. b u t t h e illusion is created by using ‫ משל‬as a n indirect object a n d ‫ חידה‬as a direct object.g. e. o r "play o n grammar. This kind of tension (and it may involve other levels as well) adds zest t o the parallelism. 49:5 ‫אטה למשל אזני‬ ‫אפתח בכנור חידתי‬ T h e morphological sequence in both stichs is t h e same: verb. T h e existence of grammatical parallelism has been assumed all along. 49:5 a n d Lam. 5:4. . Eccl. This can b e seen in some examples of subject-object parallelism." a r e Ps. they have the same deep structures but different surface structures. T h e matter of omission and/or addition of terms a n d change of word o r d e r has been mentioned in passing. I would like t o o f f e r a few observations o n this subject. But if one analyzes the verse only o n t h e morphological level. of course. 27:29. T h e r e is also a phonetic aspect of parallelism (assonance) a n d a rhythmic o r metric aspect.[26] ADELE BERLIN 4 2 What Lowth calls "similar in t h e f o r m of grammatical construction" I take t o m e a n either grammatically identical (grammatical repetition) o r grammatically equivalent (grammatical parallelism). Having called attention t o o n e aspect of parallelism. there is t h e possibility of creating tension between t h e morphological a n d syntactic levels. I n linguistic terms these two stichs have t h e same surface structure b u t not t h e same d e e p structure.

This tension between t h e grammatical a n d lexical levels is produced by using o n e part of a word pair as t h e subject in t h e first stich a n d the other part as the predicate in the second stich. But lexically. 5:3 43 ‫יתומים היינו אין אב‬ ‫אמתינו כאלמנות‬ According to the syntax of t h e two stichs. T h e m o r e we understand of it. T h e r e a r e a multitude of potential parallel permutations f o r any given stich. Parallelism is a n extremely complex device. the usual pairing would b e ‫ יתום‬/ / ‫ אלמנה‬a n d ‫ אב‬//‫אם‬. a n d ‫ אין אב‬/ / ‫כאלמנות‬. t h e m o r e we will b e able t o understand the biblical text a n d appreciate its literary qualities. ‫ יתומים‬/ / ‫אמתינו‬." that is. both being attributes of the subjects.[271 GRAMMATICAL ASPECTS OF BIBLICAL PARALLELISM Lam. parallelisms. m o r e simplistic. Parallelism is a marvelous vehicle of literary expression — a n esthetically pleasing a n d engaging device. . since these are both t h e subject of their respective clauses. T h e biblical authors showed a mastery of parallelism which has yet t o b e appreciated by modern critics who correct t h e text in o r d e r to make "better. These a r e j u s t some of the possibilities that a grammatical analysis of parallelism yields.