Word for Word: Episode 4
הַ ... וְ
Before moving on to the "main course", let's look at two more "utensils" on the table. Just like the first word, B´, the article H´ and conjunction W´ look like prefixes. The definite article "the" sets a thing apart, while the conjunction "and" brings things together.
The Biblical languages lack an "indefinite" article, though the words for "one" are sometimes used for the idea of "no particular..." On the other hand, the conjunction waw (w) is versatile. In between words it means "and", but at the beginning of sentences it can be translated "now", "then" or even "so".
Both Hebrew letters, the "he" and the "waw" were originally vowels, E and U, respectively. This can be seen in the Greek transliterations η and υ. Suffice it to say, the addition of vowel "points" reflects a fluid and living language. This offers a challenge to translators, but God's Word never changes.
So, here is a little pneumatic device to learn today's lesson: "Hey, you, come join us". And a bonus: "Ha! We can get together".