Page:Gesenius' Hebrew Grammar (1910 Kautzsch-Cowley edition).djvu/497

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§150. Interrogative Sentences.

H. G. Mitchell, ‘The omission of the interrogative particle,’ in Old Test. and Sem. Studies in memory of W. R. Harper, Chicago, 1907, i, 113 ff.

 [150a1. A question need not necessarily be introduced by a special interrogative pronoun or adverb. Frequently[1] the natural emphasis upon the words is of itself sufficient to indicate an interrogative sentence as such; cf. Gn 2724 אַתָּה זֶה בְּנִי עֵשָׂו thou art my son Esau? (but cf. note 1 below) Gn 1812, Ex 3314 (פָּנַי י׳); 1 S 1112 שָׁאוּל יִמְלֹךְ עָלֵ֫ינוּ Saul shall reign over us? 1 S 227, 2 S 1617, 1829 שָׁלוֹם לַנַּ֫עַר is it well with the young man? (but cf. note 1); 1 S 164, 1 K 124, Is 2828, Ho 416, Zc 86 (should it also be marvellous in mine eyes?); Pr 516. So especially, when the interrogative clause is connected with a preceding sentence by וְ, e.g. Jn 411 וַֽאֲנִי לֹא אָחוּס and I should not have pity? Ex 822 will they not stone us? Ju 1123, 1416, 1 S 209, 2420, 2511, 2 S 1111, 1520, Is 3711, 4419 b, Jer 2529, 455, 4912, Ez 2031, Jb 210, 109; or when (as in some of the examples just given) it is negative (with לֹא for הֲלֹא nonne?), 2 K 526 (but cf. note 1), La 338. [2]

 [150b]  Rem. The statement formerly made here that the interrogative particle is omitted especially before gutturals, cannot be maintained in view of Mitchell’s statistics (op. cit. p. 123 f.). The supposed considerations of euphony are quite disproved by the 118 cases in which הַ or הֶ occurs before a guttural.

 [150c2. As a rule, however, the simple question is introduced by He interrogative הֲ (הַ; as to its form, cf. §100kn), ne? num? the disjunctive question by הֲ (num? utrum?) in the first clause, and אִם[3] (also וְאִם, less frequently אוֹ) an? in the second, e.g.

  1. Mitchell (op. cit.) restricts the number of instances to 39, of which he attributes 12 (or 17) to corruption of the text. Thus in Gn 2724 he would road, with the Samaritan, הַֽאַתָּה as in verso 21, in 1 S 164 הֲשָׁלֹם, in 2 S 1829 הֲשָׁלוֹם as in verse 32; similarly he would read the interrogative particle in 2 K 526, Ez 113, Jb 4025, 411; 1 S 308, 2 K 919, Ez 1113, 179.
  2. But in 1 S 2710 instead of אַל־ (which according to the usual explanation would expect a negative answer) read either אֶל־מִי (עַל־מִי) with the LXX, or better, אָן (אָ֫נָה) whither? with the Targum. In 2 S 235 read חֶפְצִי הֲלֹא with Wellhausen.
  3. Quite exceptional is the use of the particle אִין num? (common in Aramaic) in 1 S 219 וְאִין יֶשׁ־פֹּה num est hic? The text is, however, undoubtedly corrupt; according to Wellhausen, Text der Bücher Sam., the LXX express the reading רְאֵה הֲיֵשׁ; but cf. the full discussion of the passage by König, ZAW. xviii. 239 ff.—The above does not apply to interrogative sentences introduced by interrogative pronouns (§ 37) or by the interrogatives compounded with מָה what? such as כַּמָּה how many? לָ֫מָּה why? (see §102k), מַדּוּעַ why? (§99e), or by אַיֵּה where? אֵיךְ, אֵיכָה how? (§ 148), &c. On the transformation of pronouns and adverbs into interrogative words by means of a prefixed אֵי, see the Lexicon.