Syntax Confusion in the Dead Sea Scrolls

How would you break down the syntax of this sentence from 4Q397 ii 1:

אנחנו אומרים שהם שאין בהם טהרה

It seems to me we’re either missing a relative clause or we have an extra relative pronoun. Qumran syntax can get pretty hairy.

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2 responses to “Syntax Confusion in the Dead Sea Scrolls

  • robertholmstedt

    It’s not really problematic.

    The first שׁ introduces the complement of the verb אמר and the second שׁ introduces the relative for covert/null head of the copular complement (הם is the subject).

    Translation: ‘We say that they are (those) who purity is not in them’

    • Daniel O. McClellan

      Thanks Rob. That makes more sense. It appears I’m getting into texts that utilize a lot more of these covert/null heads of copular complements.

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