Hebrew Language/Deut 30:19

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Question
The phrase that occurs in this verse is

ובחרת בחיימ

It seems to be translated "Choose life" as if choose were an imperative.  However, it seems that the verb is a future tense because of the vav.  "You will choose".  (Correct me if I am wrong).

However, I cannot understand why the ב is on the word life.  Does בחר require this preposition?

Thank you.

Answer
Steve,

The  ב is added to 'life' due to a quirk in Hebrew grammatical rules. It sort of like asking a Russian who is on the way to the market where he is going. Using Russian grammatical rules he'd most probably answer "I'm going to market" instead of "I'm going to the market", because the article 'the' does not exist in Russian.It helps to think of the ב not as a prefix of 'life', but as a suffix of בחר. Hebrew requires you to use the ב before an item which is being chosen.

Hope it helps.

Gaddy

Hebrew Language

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