Category:Book of Mormon/Anthropology/Language/Hebraisms/Clauses

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Hebrew clauses in the Book of Mormon

Parent page: Book of Mormon/Anthropology/Language/Hebraisms

Hebrew influence on Book of Mormon text: Subordinate Clauses

Biblical Hebrew begins subordinate clauses with prepositions plus a word that translates as that, such as in Ezekiel 40:1: "after that the city was smitten." Such a use of that in English is awkward and therefore rare. Yet it appears frequently in the Book of Mormon, another evidence of Hebrew influence. It was even more frequent in the 1830 edition, but many of the thats were dropped from later editions to read more smoothly (noted in the following examples by brackets).

"And because that they are redeemed from the fall" (2 Nephi 2:26)
"because that my heart is broken" (2 Nephi 4:32)
"because that ye shall receive more of my word" (2 Nephi 29:8)
"because [that] they had hardened their hearts" (1 Nephi 16:22)
"because [that] ye are of the house of Israel" (2 Nephi 6:5)
"before [that] they were slain" (1 Nephi 13:15)
"before [that] he shall manifest himself in the flesh" (Enos 1:8)
"and after that I had been lifted up upon the cross" (3 Nephi 27:14)
"after that I am gone to the Father" (3 Nephi 28:1)
"after [that] I have abridged" (1 Nephi 1:17)
"after [that] he hath been commanded to flee" (1 Nephi 3:18)[1]

Hebrew influence on Book of Mormon text: The Relative Clause

In Hebrew, the word that marks the beginning of a relative clause (generally translated which or who in English) does not always closely follow the word it refers back to, as it usually does in English. Some Book of Mormon passages give the impression of having been translated from such Hebrew sentences:

"Our brother Nephi . . . has taken it upon him to be our ruler and our teacher, who are his elder brethren" (1 Nephi 16:37) instead of to be a ruler and teacher to us, who are his elder brethren.
"The Egyptians were drowned in the Red Sea, who were the armies of Pharaoh" (1 Nephi 17:27) instead of the Egyptians, who were the armies of Pharaoh, were drowned in the Red Sea.
"Then shall they confess, who live without God in the world" (Mosiah 27:31) instead of then shall they who live without God in the world confess.[2]

Notes

  1. John A. Tvedtnes, "The Hebrew Background of the Book of Mormon," in Rediscovering the Book of Mormon, edited by John L. Sorenson and Melvin J. Thorne (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book Co.; Provo, Utah: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 1991), Chapter 8.
  2. John A. Tvedtnes, "The Hebrew Background of the Book of Mormon," in Rediscovering the Book of Mormon, edited by John L. Sorenson and Melvin J. Thorne (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book Co.; Provo, Utah: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 1991), Chapter 8.

Pages in category "Book of Mormon/Anthropology/Language/Hebraisms/Clauses"

The following 2 pages are in this category, out of 2 total.