Yahweh's Emphasis - Grammatical Inversion
Yahweh directs his children to what is important, in his Word, by way of Emphasis. Our common way of emphasizing words today is to underline them, put them into italics, placing them in bold print, and by using many more techniques that direct the eye to what we are Emphasizing. A grammatical construction called, 'inversion,' is a technique that our Father uses throughout his Word. The Rotherham Emphasized Bible maintains these inversions and draws attention to them by using the symbols, < >. The most popular Bibles today (NIV & NLT) remove thousands of Yahweh's emphasis, displayed through grammatical inversion, by uninverting Yahweh's sentences.
What is a Grammatical Inversion?
1) She had never seen such an impressive live performance.
The sentence above displays a regular, relatively common word order in English. We have our subject (She), followed by a negative verb form in the past (had never seen) and a modified object (such an impressive live performance). Now let’s look closely at a second example:
2) Never had she seen such an impressive live performance.
Our second sentence clearly demonstrates a shift in the first example’s word order. Never is what is known as a ‘Negative Adverbial’. Above, Never has been taken away from the sentence’s main verb phrase and inserted at the beginning. Additionally, the past auxiliary had is placed in front of the subject, she. The basic formula for transforming common sentences into more emphatic statements is as follows:
Negative Adverbial or ‘Only’/'No’ Expression + Auxiliary or Modal Verb + Subject + Main Verb + Object
3) Never had we heard such a fascinating story.
Despite using the past perfect in sentences 2) and 3), this formula remains reliable with the present tense also. For example:
4) Rarely will I eat chocolate during the week.
5) Under no circumstances should you leave your children unsupervised.
Other Negative Adverbials include: rarely, not since, hardly, never before, not until, little, at no time etc.
‘No’/Only’ Expressions include: under no circumstances, not only, no sooner, in no way, only when etc.
Examples of sentences inverted are illustrated below.
I have played little tennis since I was a child.
He had hardly taken a seat before he started to talk.
Fruit and vegetables are not only good for your health, but they are also extremely delicious.
The cyclist was in no way held responsible for the recent accident.
Yahweh's Grammatical Inversions
God created the heavens and the earth in the beginning
The last grammatical inversion, used in his Word, is Revelation 22:19. Yahweh could have written,
God, will take away one's part,—from the tree of life, and out of the holy city,—from the things written in this scroll, if anyone shall take away from the words of this prophetic scroll.
Rotherham gives examples of inversions in his introduction to his Bible, one of which is Job 29: 14-15:
<Righteousness> I put on, and it clothed me,
He comments, "It would be difficult to name a passage more studded with the beauties of combined parallelism and emphasis than this. Observe that, here again, there are two couplets ; then, that an emphatic inversion leads off in the first line of the first couplet—an accusative before its verb; next, that the thought of "clothing" oneself, given in the first line, is emphatically and rhetorically amplified in the second line, "robe" and "turban" forming not merely clothing, but an adornment fit for any assembly; further, that the term "righteousness" at the beginning of the first line is answered by its synonym" justice" at the end of the second—a not infrequent device in Hebrew poetry, and that as the two substantives respond to each other and ending words also have a natural advantage, a slight stress is marked on " justice." In line three, note how the word " eyes " at the opening comes into rhythmic relation with the term "blind" at the close, the verb "to become" being unemphatically thrown in between them, with no stress on the pronoun " I," which is merely implied in the verb ; and how finally, in the last line, "feet" and "lame," instead of being parted like " eyes" and "blind" in the third line, are swiftly and unexpectedly welded into a single emphatic phrase at the head of the line, to be simply followed by the pronoun "I," which, though having primarily to serve, after Hebrew fashion, for the verb " to be," yet, with its long-drawn pausal vowel, lingers on the ear with an unspeakable pathos.
The NIV Bible uninverts this sentence, as seen below:
I put on righteousness as my clothing;
Rotherham states in his Bible, "when there is an inversion (marked as < > in his Bible), in the English arrangement as well as in that of the Hebrew. Sometimes the inverted and emphatically preplaced portion of the sentence is of some length, extending to a line or more. In such cases the angular marks (< >) frequently appear in darker type (thus < >), so as to be conspicuous, thereby also setting free the lighter marks to show a short inversion within a longer one (cp. Jer. 7: 5-7). If it be remembered that a closing angular sign never completes a sentence, but always demands a sequel before the statement is finished, both mind and voice will be materially assisted.
Jeremiah 7:5-7, has three small inversions within one large inversion.
But < if ye shall, thoroughly amend, your ways, and your doings,
Yahweh is Emphasizing, 'the conditions' that must be met to be able to dwell in the land. These conditions are the topics of, 'the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow,' 'innocent blood' and 'after other gods.'
The NIV Bible will keep the large inversion but uninvert the three smaller inversions, thereby losing Yahweh's Emphasis, as can be seen below.
If you really change your ways and your actions
Robert Young's Bible is faithful to the text, as can be seen below, but he did not mark the Emphasis, as does Rotherham, in his Emphasized Bible.
For, if ye do thoroughly amend your ways and your doings,
And God created the man, in his own image,
And Yahweh God laid command, on the man, saying,
<For this cause> will a man leave his father, and his mother,
And the woman said unto the serpent,
And he said, <The sound of thee> heard I in the garden,
And the man said
<In the sweat of thy face> shalt thou eat bread,
(For more information, read PDF version.)
© 2005-2017 Chuck Cunningham