But Barth (Amer. Journ. of Sem. Laug., 1896, p. 7 ff.), following Hupfeld and Stade, has shown that the Hebrew article is to be connected rather with the original Semitic demonstrative hā, cf. Arab. hāḏa, Aram. hādēn, &c. The sharpening of the following consonant is to be explained exactly like the sharpening after וַ consecutive (§49f; cf. also cases like בַּמָּה, כַּמָּה, &c., §102k), from the close connexion of the ha with the following word, and the sharpening necessarily involved the shortening of the vowel.
[35m] The Arabic article is supposed to occur in the Old Testament in אַלְמֻגִּים 1 K 1011.12 (also אַלְגּוּמִּים 2 Ch 27, 910.11), sandal-wood (?), and in אֶלְגָּבִישׁ hail, ice=גָבִישׁ (Arab. ǵibs) Ez 1311.13, 3822, but this explanation can hardly be correct. On the other hand, in the proper name אַלְמוֹדָד Gn 1026 the first syllable is probably אֵל God, as suggested by D. H. Müller (see Lexicon, s. v.) and Nöldeke, Sitzungsber. der Berl. Akad., 1882, p. 1186. אַלְקוּם Pr 3031, commonly explained as=Arab. al-qaum, the militia, is also quite uncertain.
[35n] 2. When the prefixes בְּ, לְ, כְּ (§ 102) come before the article, the ה is elided, and its vowel is thrown back to the prefix, in the place of the Šewâ (§19k, and §23k), e.g. בָּשָּׁמַ֫יִם in the heaven for בְּהַשָּׁמַ֫יִם (so ψ 366); לָעָם for לְהָעָם to the people, בֶּֽהָרִים on the mountains, בֶּֽחֳדָשִׁים in the months; also in Is 412, read כֶּֽעָפָר instead of the impossible כֵּֽעָפָר. Exceptions to this rule occur almost exclusively in the later Books: Ez 4025, 4722, Ec 81, Dn 816, Neh 919, 1233, 2 Ch 107, 2510, 2927; cf., however, 1 S 1321, 2 S 2120. Elsewhere, e.g. 2 K 712, the Masora requires the elision in the Qerê. A distinction in meaning is observed between כְּהַיּוֹם about this time (Gn 3911, 1 S 913, &c.) and כַּיּוֹם first of all (Gn 2531, &c.). After the copula וְ (and) elision of the ה does not take place, e.g. וְהָעָם.
[35o] 3. The words אֶ֫רֶץ earth, הַר mountain, חַג feast, עַם people, פַּר bull, always appear after the article with a long vowel (as in pause); הָאָ֫רֶץ, הָהָר, הֶחָג, הָעָם, הַפָּר; cf. also אֲרוֹן ark (so in the absol. st. in 2 K 1210, 2 Ch 248, but to be read אָרוֹן), with the article always הָֽאָרוֹן.
The relative pronoun (cf. § 138) is usually the indeclinable אֲשֶׁר (who, which, &c.), originally a demonstrative pronoun; see further §138 and §155. In the later books, especially Eccles. and the late Psalms, also Lam. (4 times), Jon. (Jon 17), Chron. (twice), Ezra (once),—and always in the Canticle (cf. also Ju 712, 826, 2 K 611), שֶּׁ is used instead; more rarely שַּׁ Ju 57, Ct 17 (Jb 1929?); once שָׁ before א Ju 617 (elsewhere שֶׁ before a guttural), before ה even שְׁ Ec 318, and according to some (e.g. Qimḥi) also in Ec 222. [See Lexicon, s. v.]
- An original form han, proposed by Ungnad, ‘Der hebr. Art.,’ in OLZ. x (1907), col. 210 f., and ZDMG. 1908, p. 80 ff., is open to grave objections.
- In the Liḥyanitic inscriptions collected by Euting (ed. by D. H. Müller in Epigraphische Denkmäler aus Arabien, Wien, 1889) the article is ה, and also in a North Arabian dialect, according to E. Littmann, Safa-inschriften, p. 2, Rem., and p. 34.
- The full form אשר does not occur in Phoenician, but only אש (=אֲשֶּׁ?), pronounced asse, esse (also as, es, is, ys, us), or—especially in the later Punic and in the Poenulus of Plautus—ש (sa, si, sy, su). Also in New Hebrew שֶּׁ has become the common form. Cf. Schröder, Phön. Sprache, p. 162 ff. and below, § 155; also Bergsträsser, ‘Das hebr. Präfix ש,’ in ZAW. 1909, p. 40 ff.