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Implied subject, Gen. 7:23


Michel Gilbert
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Hi Robert,

 

What do you think the implied subject of וַיִּמַח אֶת כָּל הַיְקוּם (Gen. 7:23) is – המבול in vs. 17, which is 12 clauses before it, or יהוה from 7:4, ּמָחִיתִי אֶת כָּל הַיְקוּם ? Are there any rules for how far removed an implied subject can be?

 

Thanks,

 

Michel

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Michel,

 

In general, the nearest grammatically available and semantically acceptable referent is the antecedent. With that said, I occasionally come across texts where the subjects are switched without an overt subject repeated, so there are exceptions to the general rule. Even so, I think "the flood" is preferable in Gen 7.

 

Best,

Robert

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