This is a misunderstanding of a grammatical structure in Hebrew, and other semitic languages, called the infinitive absolute. The verb is repeated to mean “surely”, “certainly”.

The Infinitive Absolute occurs most frequently in immediate connexion with the finite verb of the same stem, in order in various ways to define more accurately or to strengthen the idea of the verb. (Gesenius Hebrew Grammar p.342)

This same structure occurs in Gen. 2:16, too:

Genesis 2:16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden” …
Literally “eating you may eat”

And again in many other places, including Gen.2:17, 18:10, 18:18, 22:17, 28:22, 1 Samuel 9:6, 24:21, Amos 5:7, 7:17, Hab.2:3, Zech.11:17 etc. And related structures occur in Gen. 20:18, 43:3, 44:28, Jos.17:12, Judges 1:28, 1Sam.20:6, 1Kings 3:26, Job 13:5, Joel 1:7, Amos 9:8 etc.

(Infinitive absolutes can be detected by students using concordances with Strong’s numbering because the same number occurs twice for the same verb.)

The structure is also found in the Septuagint (the Jewish Greek Old Testament) as an example of a semitic construction passing into Jewish usage of Greek . This is also found in the New Testament in the words of Jesus where the Greek text records “with desire I have desired to eat this passover” (Luke 22:15) — even though the author, Luke, was a Gentile.

Tagged with →  
Share →