BDB844 [H834]

אֲשֶׁר particle of relation (Moabite id.; origin dubious:

1. according to TsepreghiDiss. Lugd. p. 171 MühlauBö. Lb. ii. 79 n. StaMorg. Forsch. 1875, 188; Lb. § 167 HomZMG 1878, 708 ff. Müll§ 153 SayceHebraica. ii. 51 LagM. i. 255 & especially KraeHebraica. vi. 298 ff, originally a substantive 'place' = footstep, mark, (do.), אֲתַר, place, Assyrian ašru, used (see Kraetz.) both as a substantive 'there, where,' and as a relative of place 'where': in Hebrew this development has advanced further, and it has become a relative sign generally. The chief objection to this explanation is that it would isolate Hebrew from the other Semitic languages, in which pronouns are formed regularly from demonstrative roots (compare also ZMG 1886, 738).
2. according to PhiSt. C. 73 SperlingNota Rel. im Hebr. 1876, 15-22 for אֲשֶׁל, developed from the relative שׁ (q. v.) by (1) the prefixing of either a merely prosthetic א, or, better, a pronominal א (giving rise to אש, the form of the relative in Phoenician), and (2) the addition of the demonstrative root ל [found also in אֵל, אֵלָּה, הַלָּזֶה (q. v.), he who, who (plural)]: the main objection to this explanation is the change of ל to ר, which is hardly rendered probable by the compare of Syriac by side of ᵑ7 הָלְכָּא. 1 seems preferable, the primitive root having acquired different significations in the different Semitic languages, and having been weakened in Hebrew to a mere particle of relation). A sign of relation, bringing the clause introduced by it into relation with an antecedent clause. As a rule אֲשֶׁר is a mere connecting link, and requires to be supplemented (see the grammars) by a pronominal affix, or other word, such as שָׁם, defining the nature of the relation more precisely: e.g. Gen 1:11 אֲשֶׁר זַרֵעוֺבֿוֺ literally as to which, its seed is in it = in which is its seed, Ps 1:4 like the chaff אֲשֶׁרתִּֿדְּפֶנּוּ רוּחַ as to which, the wind drives it = which the wind drives, etc.; & so אֲשֶׁרשָׁ֗֗֗ם = where, אֲשֶׁרמִ֗֗֗שָּׁם = whence, Gen 2:11; Gen 3:23; Gen 20:13 etc. Sometimes also (see below) the relation expressed by it is specifically temporal, local causal, etc. More particularly

1. it includes its pronominal antecedent, whether in the nominative or oblique cases, as Num 22:6 וַאֲשֶׁר תָּאֹר יוּאָר and he whom thou cursest is cursed, Exod 4:12 and I will teach thee אֲשֶׁר תְּדַבֵּר that which thou shalt say; and with particles or prepositions, as אֵת אֲשֶׁר (according to the context) him who . . ., those who . . ., that which . . .; לַאֲשֶׁר to him who . . . Gen 43:16, to those who . . . Gen 47:24, to that which Gen 27:8 מֵאֲשֶׁר Judg 16:30; 2Sam 18:18 than those whom; Lev 27:24 לַאֲשֶׁר קָנָהוּ מֵאִתּוֺ to him from whom he bought it, Num 5:7; Isa 24:2 כַּאֲשֶׁר נשֶׁא בוֺ like him against whom there is a creditor.
2. instances of אֲשֶׁר followed by a pronominal affix, or by שָׁם, שָֽׁמָּה, מִשָּׁם, are so common that the examples cited above will be sufficient. Very rarely there occurs the anomalous construction עִם אֲשֶׁר Gen 31:32 for אֲשֶׁר עִמּוֺ (see Gen 44:9), בַּאֲשֶׁר Isa 47:12 for אֲשֶׁר בָּהֶם, לַאֲשֶׁר for אֲשֶׁרלָ֗֗֗הֶם Ezek 23:40: Ps 119:49 see under על אשׁר. It is followed by the pronoun in the nominative, in the following cases: —
\ \ \ (a) immediately, mostly before an adjective or participle, Gen 9:3 all moving things אֲשֶׁר הוּאחַֿי which are living, Lev 11:26; Num 9:13; Num 14:8; Num 14:27; Num 35:31; Deut 20:20; 1Sam 10:19 (see Dr) 2Kgs 25:19 (|| Jer 52:25 היה) Jer 27:9; Ezek 43:19; Hag 1:9; Ruth 4:15; Neh 2:18; Eccl 7:26 before a verb 2Kgs 22:13 (omitted 2Chr 34:21).
\ \ \ (b) in a negative sentence, at the end: Gen 7:2; Gen 17:12; Num 17:5; Deut 17:15 אֲשֶׁר לֹא אָחִיךָ הוּא who is not thy brother, Deut 20:15; Judg 19:12; 1Kgs 8:41 || 1Kgs 9:20 ||.
N.B. Ps 16:3 אֲשֶׁר בָּאָרֶץ הֵ֑מָּה is an unparalleled expression for 'who are in the land'; read ׳אֲשֶׁר בָּאָ֑רֶץ הֵמָּה אַדִּירֵי וג 'the saints that are in the land, they (המה) are the nobles, in whom,' etc.
3. sometimes (though rarely) the defining adjunct is a pronoun of 1 or 2 person as well as of 3 person. In such cases it is strictly to be rendered I who . . ., thou who, etc.; Hos 14:4 אֲשֶׁרבְּֿךָ יְרֻחַם יָתוֺם thou by whom the fatherless is compassionated ! Jer 31:32 I, whose covenant they brake, Jer 32:19; Isa 49:23; Job 37:17f. thou whose garments are warm . . ., canst thou ? etc., Ps 71:19; Ps 71:20; Ps 144:12 we whose sons, etc., Ps 139:15 my frame was not hidden from thee, אֲ֯שֶׁרעֻֿשֵּׂיתִי בַסֵּתֶר I who was wrought in secret (= though I was wrought in secret), Exod 14:13 for ye who have seen the Egyptians to-day, — ye shall not see them again for ever! (compare Ps 41:9).
4. the defining pron. adjunct is dispensed with
\ \ a. when אֲשֶׁר represents the simple subject of a sentence, or the direct object of a verb: so constantly, as Gen 2:1 the work אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה which he made, Gen 3:3 the tree אֲשֶׁר בְּתוֺךְ הַגָּן which is in the midst of the garden, etc.
\ \ b. after words denoting time, place, or manner, so that אֲשֶׁר then becomes equivalent to when, where, why:
\ \ \ (a) Gen 6:4 אַחֲרֵי כֵן אֲשֶׁר afterwards, when, etc. (compare 2Chr 35:20) Gen 45:6 there are still 5 years אֲשֶׁר אֵין חָרִישׁ when there shall be no plowing, Josh 14:10; 1Kgs 22:25 after יוֺם or הַיּוֺם Deut 4:10; Judg 4:14; 1Sam 24:5 (see Dr) 2Sam 19:25; Jer 20:14 and elsewhere; similarly Gen 40:13. (β) Gen 35:13 בַּמָּקוֺם אֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר אִתּוֺ in the place where he spake with him, vGen 35:14; Gen 39:20; Num 13:27; Num 22:26; Deut 1:31 in the desert which thou sawest, where (accents Ke Di), Deut 8:15; 1Kgs 8:9 (unless לוּחוֺת הַבְּרִית has here fallen out: see ᵐ5 & Deut 9:9) Isa 55:11; Isa 64:10; Ps 84:4. So (γ) in אֶל אֲשֶׁר to (the place) which (or whither) Exod 32:34; Ruth 1:16 אֶלכָּֿלאֲֿשֶׁר to every (place) whither Josh 1:16; Prov 17:8 בַּאֲשֶׁר in (the place) where Judg 5:27; Judg 17:8; Judg 17:9; 1Sam 23:13; 2Kgs 8:1; Ruth 1:16; Ruth 1:17; Job 39:30, once only with שָׁם Gen 21:17 בְּכֹל אֲשֶׁר wheresoever Josh 1:7; Josh 1:9; Judg 2:15; 1Sam 14:47; 1Sam 18:5; 2Sam 7:7; 2Kgs 18:7 מֵאֲשֶׁר from (the place) where = whencesoever Exod 5:11; Ruth 2:9 עַלאֲֿשֶׁר to (the place) whither (or which) 2Sam 15:20; 1Kgs 18:12 עַלכָּֿלאֲֿשֶׁר Jer 1:7. (δ) זֶה הַדָּבָר אֲשֶׁר ֗֗֗ this is the reason that or why . . . Josh 5:4; 1Kgs 11:27.
\ \ c. more extreme instances Lev 14:22; Lev 14:30; Lev 14:31; Num 6:21; Deut 7:19 (wherewith), Deut 28:20; 1Sam 2:32 (wherein), 1Kgs 2:26; Judg 8:15 (about whom), Isa 8:12 (where יאמר would be followed normally by לוֺ), Isa 31:6 turn ye to (him as to) whom they have deeply rebelled, Isa 47:15; Zeph 3:11; Eccl 3:9; 1Kgs 14:19 (= how).
\ \ d. it is dispensed with only in appearance after ׅ׳אֲשֶׁר אָמַר (אָמַרְתִּי וג followed by the words used, its place being really taken by a pronoun in the speech which follows, as Gen 3:17 the tree as to which I commanded thee saying, Thou shalt not eat from it, Exod 22:8; Deut 28:68; Judg 7:4 (זֶה) Judg 8:15 (where the noun repeated takes the place of the pronoun, compare Deut 9:2) 1Sam 9:17 (זֶה):23 +; compare 2Sam 11:16; 2Kgs 17:12; 2Kgs 21:4.
5. אֲשֶׁר sometimes in poetry = one who, a man who (men who), ὅστις, οἵτινες, Ps 24:4; Ps 55:20; Ps 95:4; Ps 95:5; Job 4:19; Job 5:5; Job 9:5 (Hi) Job 15:17.
6. אֲשֶׁר occasionally receives its closer definition by a substantive following it, in other words, its logical antecedent is inserted in the relative clause:
\ \ \ (a) in the phrase peculiar to Jeremiah, ׳אֶל יר ׳אֲשֶׁר הָיָה דְבַר י that which came (of) the word of ׳י to Jeremiah Jer 14:1; Jer 46:1; Jer 47:1; Jer 49:34 (compare Ew§ 334);
\ \ \ (b) Exod 25:9; Num 33:4; 1Sam 25:30; 2Kgs 8:12; 2Kgs 12:6 לְכֹל אֲשֶׁריִֿמָּצֵא שָׁם בָּֽדֶק׃ Ezek 12:25 compare the Ethiopic usage Di§ 201;
\ \ \ (c) (antecedant repeated) Gen 49:30 = Gen 50:13, 1Sam 25:30 (׳י repeated), Isa 54:9 (probably) as to which I sware that, etc., Amos 5:1 which I take up over you (as) a dirge.
7. ׳אֲשֶׁר ל that (belongs, belong, belonged) to, is used
\ \ a. either alone or preceded by כָּלֿ to express (all) that (belongs) to, as Gen 14:23 מִכָּלאֲֿשֶׁרלְֿךָ of all that is thine, Gen 31:1 מֵאֲשֶׁר לְאָבִינוּ of that which was our father's, Gen 32:24 & sent over אֶתאֲֿשֶׁרלֿוֺ that which he had, + often
\ \ b. as a circumlocution of the genitive, as Gen 29:9 עִםהַֿצּאֹן אֲשֶׁר לְאָבִיהָ with the sheep that were her father's, Gen 40:5; Gen 47:4; Lev 9:8; Judg 6:11; 1Sam 25:7 הָרֹעִים אֲשֶׁרלְֿךָ, 2Sam 14:31 אֶתהַֿחֶלְקָה אֲשֶׁרלִֿי, 2Sam 23:8; 1Kgs 1:8; 1Kgs 1:33 עַל הַפִּרְדָּה אֲשֶׁרלִֿי upon mine own mule, v1Kgs 1:49; 1Kgs 4:2; 2Kgs 11:10; 2Kgs 16:13; Ruth 2:21 and especially in the case of a compound expression depending on a single genitive, as Gen 23:9; Gen 40:5; Gen 41:43 מִרְכֶּבֶת הַמִּשְׁנֶה אֲשֶׁרלֿוֺ the chariot of the second rank which he had, Exod 38:30; Judg 3:20; Judg 6:25; 1Sam 17:40; 1Sam 21:8 אֲבִיר הָרֹעִים אֲשֶׁר לְשָׁאוּל the mightiest of Saul's herdmen, 1Sam 24:5 אֶתכְּֿנַףהַֿמְּעִיל אֲשֶׁרלְֿשָׁאוּל, 2Sam 2:8 Saul's captain of the host, 1Kgs 10:28; 1Kgs 15:20; 1Kgs 22:31; Jer 52:17; Ruth 4:3.
\ \ c. with names of places (especially such as do not readily admit the stative construct) Judg 18:28; Judg 19:14 הַגִּבְעָה אֲשֶׁר לְבִנְיָמִין Gibeah (the hill) of Benjamin, Judg 20:4; 1Sam 17:1; 1Kgs 15:27; 1Kgs 16:15; 1Kgs 17:9; 1Kgs 19:3; 2Kgs 14:11. compare שֶׁל (q. v.) which in Rabb, like the Aramaic -דִּיל, , is in habitual use as a mark of the genitive. — N.B. In Aramaic also דּי, , without ל, expresses the genitive relation, as מִלְּתָא דִימַֿלְכָּא, literally the word, that of the king = the word of the king. The few apparent cases of a similar use of אשׁר are, however, too foreign to the general usage of the language to be regarded otherwise than as due to textual error: 1Sam 13:8 read אֲשֶׁר אָמַר (or שָׂם Exod 19:5) שְׁמוּאֵל (ᵐ5 εἶπε); 1Kgs 11:25 supply עָשָׂה (ᵐ5 ἣν ἐποίησεν); 2Kgs 25:10 supply אֵת with (as || Jer 52:14); 2Chr 34:22 read וַאֲשֶׁר אָמַר הַמֶּלֶךְ (compare ᵐ5) and those whom the king appointed (abbreviated from 2Kgs 22:14); compare Ew§ 292 a, b with note.

8. אֲשֶׁר becomes, like Aramaic דּי, , a conjunction approximating in usage to כִּי: thus
\ \ a. = quod, ὅτι, that, subordinating an entire sentence to a verb of knowing, remembering, etc.
\ \ \ (a) with אֵת Deut 9:7 forget not אֵת אֲשֶׁר הִקְצַפְתָּ the fact that (= how) thou provokedst, etc., Deut 29:15; Josh 2:10; 1Sam 24:11; 1Sam 24:19; 2Sam 11:20 know ye not אֵת אֲשֶׁריֹֿרוּ how they shoot from off the wall ? 2Kgs 8:12; Isa 38:3 + often As subject (rare) 1Kgs 14:19; 2Kgs 14:15; 2Kgs 20:20. Of time (peculiarly) 2Sam 14:15 עַתָּה אֲשֶׁר now (is it) that . . . Zech 8:20 (probably) yet (shall it be) that . . . vZech 8:23 compare כִּמְעַט שֶׁ Song 3:4. (β) without אֵת (not very common, כִּי being usually employed): after יָדַע Exod 11:7; Ezek 20:26 (very strange in Ezekiel: see Hi) Job 9:5 (Ew De Di) Eccl 8:12, רָאָה Deut 1:31 (RV) 1Sam 18:15, הִתְוַדָּה to confess Lev 5:5; Lev 26:40 b, הִשְׁבִּיעַ 1Kgs 22:16 (caused to swear that . . .); after a noun Isa 38:7 הָאוֺת אֲשֶׁר the sign that . . . (|| 2Kgs 20:9 כִּי): with growing frequency in late Hebrew, 2Chr 2:7, and especially Nehemiah, Esther: Neh 2:5; Neh 2:10; Neh 7:65 (= Ezra 2:63) Neh 8:14; Neh 8:15; Neh 10:31; Neh 13:1; Neh 13:19; Neh 13:22; Neh 2:10; Neh 3:4; Neh 4:11; Neh 6:2; Neh 8:11; (מֵאֲשֶׁר) Eccl 5:4; Eccl 7:18 (with טוֺב: contrast Ruth 2:22) vRuth 2:22 vRuth 2:29; Ruth 8:12; Ruth 8:14; Ruth 9:1; Dan 1:8 (twice in verse). (γ) prefixed to a direct citation, like כִּי q. v. (= ὅτι recitativum) (rare) 1Sam 15:20; 2Sam 1:4; 2Sam 2:4 (see Dr) Ps 10:6 (probably), Neh 4:6.
\ \ b. it is resolvable into so that: Gen 11:7 אֲשֶׁר לֹא יִשְׁמְעוּ so that they understand not, etc., Gen 13:16; Gen 22:14 אֲשֶׁר יֵאָמֵר so that it is said, Exod 20:26; Deut 4:10; Deut 4:40 אֲשֶׁר יִיטַב לְךָ Deut 6:3; Deut 28:27; Deut 28:51; 1Kgs 3:12; 1Kgs 3:13; 2Kgs 9:37; Mal 3:19.
\ \ c. it has a causal force, forasmuch as, in that, since: Gen 30:18; Gen 31:49 and Mizpah, אֲשֶׁר אָמַר for that he said, Gen 34:13; Gen 34:27; Gen 42:21 we are guilty, אֲשֶׁר רָאִינוּ we who saw (or, in that we saw), Num 20:13 Meribah, because they strove there, Deut 3:24; Josh 4:7; Josh 4:23; Josh 22:31; Judg 9:17; 1Sam 2:23; 1Sam 15:15; 1Sam 20:42 go in peace, אֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּעְנוּ forasmuch as we have sworn, 1Sam 25:26 thou whom (= or, seeing that) ׳י hath withholden, 2Sam 2:5 blessed are ye of ׳י, אֲשֶׁר עֲשִׂיתֶם, who (οἵτινες) have done (or in that ye have done), 1Kgs 3:19; 1Kgs 15:5; 2Kgs 12:3; 2Kgs 17:4; 2Kgs 23:26; (Hi De Now). Here also belongs its use in אֲשֶׁר לָמָּה since why . . . ? (= lest) Dan 1:10: see below לָמָּה. On אֲשֶׁר עַל כֵּן forasmuch as Job 34:27 see below כִּי עַל כֵּן.
\ \ d. it expresses a condition (rare & peculiar): Lev 4:22 אֲשֶׁר נָשִׂיא יֶחֱטָא in (case) that = when (or if) a ruler sinneth (Lev 4:3 vLev 4:13 vLev 4:37 אִם), Num 5:29 (explained differently by Ew§ 334 a), Deut 11:27 and the blessing אֲשֶׁר תִּשְׁמְעוּ if ye hearken (Deut 11:28 אִם), Deut 18:22 Ges, Josh 4:21 אֲשֶׁר יִשְׁאָלוּן ֗֗֗ when they ask . . ., then . . . (Josh 4:6 כִּי), Isa 31:4. In 1Kgs 8:33 (|| 2Chr 6:24 כִּי, compare Kings v2Chr 6:35 v2Chr 6:37) אֲשֶׁר may be rendered indifferently because or when. Once, similarly, אֵת אֲשֶׁר 1Kgs 8:31 (|| אִם).
\ \ e. perhaps (exceptionally) = כַּאֲשֶׁר, as, Jer 33:22; Isa 54:9 (followed by כֵּן; but כֵּן q. v. sometimes stands without כאשׁר, & אשׁר may in these passages connect with what precedes); according to some also Jer 48:8; Ps 106:34 (in a connection where כַּאֲשֶׁר would be more usual: אֲשֶׁר may however be the object of אָמַר). In 1Sam 16:7 אֲשֶׁר יִרְאֶה הָאָדָם read כַּאֲשֶׁר, see Dr. feminine combined with prepositions, אֲשֶׁר converts them into conjunctions: see below, בַּאֲשֶׁר, כַּאֲשֶׁר, מֵאֲשֶׁר. On its use similarly with (אַחֲרֵי) אַחַר, מִבְּלִי, בַּעֲבוּר, עַל דְּבַר, יַעַן, לְמַעַן, כְּפִי, עַד, עַל, עֵקֶב, מִפְּנֵי, תַּחַת, see these words. — הַאֲשֶׁר, with ה interrogative, occurs once, 2Kgs 6:22. In Deut 15:14 also read כַּאֲשֶׁר: note ברכך before.

Note 1. אֲשֶׁר being a connecting link, without any perfectly corresponding equivalent in English, its force is not unfrequently capable of being represented in more than one way. See e.g. 2Sam 2:5 (above 8 c), Isa 28:12 unto whom he said, or for that he said to them.

Note 2. The opinion that אֲשֶׁר has an asseverative force (like כִּי, q. v.), or introduces the apodosis, is not probably, being both alien to its general usage & not required by the passages alleged. Render Isa 8:20 either 'Surely according to this word will those speak who have no dawn,' or '. . . will they speak when (compare above 8 d Deut 11:27; Josh 4:21) they have no dawn.'

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