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The Anterior Construction of Classical Hebrew
Ziony Zevit
Publication Date
April 2000


Zevit provides the most coherent and comprehensive study to date of the syntactical means by which chronological sequencing of events is expressed in biblical Hebrew narrative. This magisterial work provides a synthesis more than a decade in creation. Only Zevit has succeeded in treating this problem of Hebrew grammar and literature in reader-friendly fashion—clearly, simply, concisely. A must for anyone interested in the structure of Hebrew prose.

“The study is a valuable refinement in our comprehension of classical Hebrew narrative, and challenges the prevailing consensus.”
Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies

“Zevit’s book on the syntactic and stylistic phenomenon defined by him as ‘anterior construction’ presents this until now overlooked device within broader context. Bible scholars as well as linguists will benefit from careful study of this book.”
Archív Orientální

“an outstanding contribution, indispensable not only for strictly linguistic purposes but for Biblical interpretation as well.”
—Avi Hurvitz, Professor of Bible and Hebrew Language, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

“I enjoyed reading the book, especially the simple manner of argumentation. … Zevit argues—persuasively in my opinion—that the different forms of the classical Hebrew indicated tenses.”
—Gary A. Rendsburg, Cornell University

“a breakthrough in the study of the pluperfect/preperfect construction in biblical Hebrew … convincing … intelligent … interdisciplinary … an enlightening and engaging work.”
—Mark S. Smith, Skirball Professor of Bible and Ancient Near Eastern Studies at New York University