a continuous progress, higher and higher... lower and lower; in Dt 227 (see §123e) and 16:20 (nothing but justice) the constancy of the action. Cf. Ex 2330 מְעַט מְעַט little by little, very gradually.
[133l] The repetition of substantives serves also as a periphrasis for the superlative in such cases as לְדֹר דֹּר (Ex 315) = to the remotest generations; cf. 17:16, Jer 614, 811 (perfect peace); Ez 2132 (עַוָּה three times); 35:7, Na 12; cf. also Ho 221 f. and the emphatic combination of synonymous verbs in Is 3310. Sometimes the completeness of an action or state is expressed by placing together two or even three substantives of the same stem and of similar sound, cf. Is 225, Ez 614 (33:28 f., 35:3); 32:15, Na 211, Zp 115 (Jb 303, 3827).
Cf. the exhaustive statistics collected by Sven Herner, Syntax der Zahlwörter im A.T., Lund, 1893. E. König, ‘Zur Syntax der Zahlwörter im A.T.,’ AJSL. xviii, 129 ff.
[134a] 1. The numerals from 2 to 10, as being originally abstract substantives, may be connected with their substantives in three different ways. They may stand either—
(a) In the construct state before the substantive (the object numbered being consequently in the genitive), e.g. שְׁלשֶׁת יָמִים a triad of days, i.e. three days; שְׁנֵי הָֽאֲנָשִׁים the two men; or
[134b] (b) In the absolute state before it (the object numbered being in apposition, §131d), e.g. שְׁלשָׁה בָנִים a triad, viz. sons, i.e. three sons; שְׁנַ֫יִם אֲנָשִׁים two men; or
[134c] (c) In the absolute state (likewise in apposition) after the object numbered, e.g. בָּנוֹת שָׁלוֹשׁ. So especially in long lists, since in these the substantives naturally come first, e.g. Gn 3215. Nu 717, 2819. Apart from such cases, the frequency of this order in the later Books is due to the fact that the character of the numeral tended more and more to become adjectival rather than substantival.
- Adverbs of the same stem are connected in this way in Nu 69, Is 295, 3013; of different stems in Is 526 and Jo 44. In Nu 122 the particles רַק אַךְ appear to be placed together for a similar purpose, equivalent to simply and solely.
- Different in kind from the triple utterance of the same words in 2 S 1833, Jer 74 and 22:29, and the double exclamation in Jer 419 and La 116 (?).
- Cf. §97a, where it is shown that the masculine is the original form of the numerals (used for both genders), and that the feminine was afterwards differentiated and used with masc. nouns, primarily in the second decade and then in the first as well.
- From Herner’s tables (op. cit., pp. 55–66) it appears, according to p. 68, that in the documents J, E, D of the Pentateuch, and in Jos 1–12, Judges, Samuel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, the Minor Prophets, Psalms, Megilloth, and Job, the numeral never, or very rarely, stands after its noun; in Kings and Ezekiel it stands several times after; in the Priestly Code nearly always after; in Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Daniel, nearly as often after as before the noun. In Ex 2810 the Masora makes the numeral in the genitive follow the construct state of the substantive numbered; we should, however, read וְאֶת־שֵׁמוֹת הַשִּׁשָּׁה; for the omission of the article before שׁ׳, cf. §126w.