View Full Version : Want to construct a syntactical search

12-19-2011, 04:32 PM

I wanted any guidance or feedback on how to construct the following search. I did a sermon this past weekend on Jeremiah 2:13. Without going into a lot of specifics, God laments His people's two evils there: (1) They rejected Him, the source of living waters and (2) they hewed out for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns, (x) that couldn't even hold water. There is, no doubt, a strong connection between the two evils. Intuitively, and logically, if you reject God as your source of spiritual fulfillment, you are going to look for it elsewhere, in all the wrong places. In this vein, the TNK version translates as follows: "My people have committed a two-fold wrong." I can see how one might be tempted to go that way on account of the close connection between the two evils. Nevertheless, the Hebrew treats them as two separate evils ( שְׁתַּ֥יִם רָע֖וֹת), as the plural indicates. But what is interesting is that the second evil is indicated by an infinitive construct verbal form prefixed by a lamed preposition. I probably don't have to tell you this but, often, an infinitive construct with a lamed preposition denotes purpose (or a purpose clause). If there were no mention of the number of evils that Israel had committed here, one might be inclined (grammatically) to see Israel's rejection of God as purposed in their fascination with counterfeit sources of fulfillment. Nevertheless, God enumerates them as separate and distinct evils which Israel had committed.

So, I would love to be able to construct a search of the Hebrew Bible looking for instances where an infinitive construct verb with a lamed preposition follows a perfect verbal form (or, I guess, imperfect too) in relatively close proximity. I guess it would probably be harder to construct the same search and include the presence of Hebrew numerals. At any rate, I would be deeply indebted for any suggestions and recommendations. Thanks.


Mark Eddy
12-19-2011, 11:15 PM
With WTM as the search version: '*@v?c* L@* *@v?[pi]* (the L should be lower case, and it will display in Hebrew) if you want the infinitive directly following the verb in perfect or imperfect.
If you want to allow for some intervening words: '*@v?c* L@* *3 *@v?[pi]* (for up to 3 intervening words--change the number depending on how close you want the infinitive to be to the finite verb).
Mark Eddy

12-20-2011, 10:38 AM
Thank you, Mark. 1324 verses ... yikes! I think I'll come back to this study in a sabbatical year (if I ever get one of those)!