Rashi lived before the age of grammatical textbooks.
Hence one of his functions was to teach the type of grammar
that we all take for granted and find in modern basic grammatical textbooks.
A major thrust in modern textbooks is verb conjugation. However
grammar additionally deals with a variety of other topics including:
1) plurality agreement, 2) gender agreement, 3) connective prepositions,
4) noun-adjective agreement, 5) indication of number, 6) subject-verb-object
sequencing, 7) noun-adjective sequencing, 8) pronoun-reference designation
and many similar rules found in
the modern textbooks of a variety of languages including Hebrew.
Today we study pronoun designation. Malbim introduced the
principle that Biblical Hebrew has two methods of designating pronouns
and each of these methods has a distinct meaning. If a pronoun is
- designated by a suffix letter or 2 letter word then the translation should be to him/her, or it.
- designated by an entire word then the translation should be only to him/her or only it.
- Lamed-Vav means to him while
- Aleph-Lamed-Yud-Vav means only to him.
Using this rule we translate Nu07-89 as follows:
And when Moses went into the Tent of Meeting to speak with him,
then he heard the voice speaking only to him [but Aaron did not receive
the prophetcies!] from the covering that was upon the ark of Testimony, from between the two kerubim; and he spoke to him.
In the above translation we have embedded the Rashi comment as a parenthetical
remark driven by the underlined word which we have translated according to the
above mentioned rule.