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Ethan Dor-Shav
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Ethan Dor-Shav is now following The Typepad Team
Mar 15, 2010
Not hitpael [yitnafash]? Though rare, it is possible to use this reflex in a transitive mode (Gen 37:18; Num 33:54, 1-Sam 38:9). But, as I wrote in response to Josh, I believe that you are correct. Thus: "And it/they (heaven and earth) enlivened." (see comment about the possible use of a singular verb for plural objects). Thanks!
Thanks Josh! 1. My hunch is that your main problem with "va-yanach" is that it is singular, while heaven and earth are plural (and God is One). In other verses, however, the same exact singular transitive verb is used with multiple objects (Ex 23:12, Du 5:14). Of course, as a transitive verb it is otherwise used with a stated object (though sometimes eliminating the "et") which is why I went for "let go" [Following Ibn Ezra and the Midrash, Maimonides, in the Guide to the Perplexed (Part One, Chapter 67) talks of it being a transitive verb, in the sense of letting-go OF the world: “va-yanach le-olamo"]. In truth, it can simply mean "And he left on the seventh day"; note how in Numbers 7:15 "lo-yaniach" means "not to leave." This notion is close to your second point. 2. Note also how in the second verse I left the word "enlivened" without an explicit object. It can well be intransitive: "And THEY enlivened." Ethan