Grammar Mistakes in Hebrew Grammars

My wife showed this to me in her Hebrew grammar and my jaw dropped. I pulled a screen clipping off the Amazon preview of the first edition, which has the same mistake and I thought I’d share it with you:

image

This is from page 108 in the first edition of Biblical Hebrew: A Text and Workbook by Bonnie Kittel, Vicky Hoffer, and Rebecca Wright (page 122 in the 2nd).

Do you see the problem here? There are at least two. The more obvious one is in the first example of the Hebrew relativizer supposedly functioning as the subject of a verb. Maybe it is and maybe it isn’t. I don’t know Hebrew. But what I do know is that if I assume the Hebrew is right and it is the subject of the verb, then the translation is wrong because there the relative pronoun is the object of the verb. But if the translation is right, then the example is wrong on both counts. That’s a Object, not a subject.

The less obvious problem is with the statement, “In addition to what we usually think of as “relative” functions…” Just what do you usually think of as relative functions anyway? Can English relative not be Subjects, Objects, & Objects of prepositions? The man who read the book [subject], the book which the man read [object], the house in which I live [object of preposition]. Granted the last one is stilted and rather formal, but it’s still grammatical. Are these not ways we usually think of relative functions?

Maybe I’m crazy and I’ve missed something big here that’s really obvious, but I just look at this and I shake my head.

UPDATE: See comments — all of them.

Advertisements