Brian W. Davidson

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Sometimes a different description, new terminology, is all it takes for understanding to click. This is one reason I find it helpful to turn to the Lexham Discourse Hebrew Bible (LDHB) as a reference tool. As I read Genesis 41:39 recently, I was puzzled by the use of אחרי. After looking over the entries in BDB and HALOT, it still wasn’t clear how the phrase introduced by this word was functioning in the sentence. Here is Genesis 41:39 in BHS and in the LDHB:

וַיֹּאמֶר פַּרְעֹה אֶל־יוֹסֵף אַחֲרֵי הוֹדִיעַ אֱלֹהִים אוֹתְךָ אֶת־כָּל־זֹאת אֵין־נָבוֹן וְחָכָם כָּמוֹךָ

This is the way a typical verse looks in the LDHB. Runge and Westbury have marked the discourse features of the text with symbols, as described in the introductory volume.  Note that the entire second line is surrounded with the symbols [TM … TM]. This marks אחרי הודיע אלהים אותך את־כל־זאת as a “temporal frame.” Hovering your mouse over one of the TM symbols displays the name and a concise definition of this discourse feature:

[TMTemporal framesTM]: the fronting of time-related information to establish a specific time frame for the clause that follows.

This description helps me understand why אחרי is commonly translated “since.” The term “temporal frame” clicks. The prepositional phrase introduced by אחרי (usually rendered as a dependent clause in English) describes the circumstances that led Pharaoh to draw his conclusion concerning Joseph: “there is no one as discerning and wise as you.” The flow of thought could be paraphrased like this: “After God made known to you all this, surely we must conclude that there is no one as discerning and wise as you.” The statement in the last half of the verse is inferred from what has just taken place.

This is one example of how you might integrate the LDHB into your workflow. After reading the Introduction included in the Lexham Discourse Hebrew Bible Bundle, you will be able to use the LDHB as a complement to your other secondary sources–grammars, commentaries, etc. Many thanks to Logos for sending me a gratis copy for review.

Related Post: Redundant Quotative Frames in Jonah

2 responses to “Lexham Discourse Hebrew Bible as a Reference Work”

  1. Paul Cable

    Good stuff. I’ve been wondering where discourse analysis best fits into an every-day exegesis “workflow.” Framing it this way is helpful.

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