Analyzing זֶה Grammar and Reading זֶה Texts of Ps 68:9 and Judg 5:5
The grammar of ancient Hebrew זֶה straightforwardly accords to cross-linguistically attested patterns of demonstratives. זֶה and its feminine singular and common plural counterparts function primarily as deictic pronouns or deictic nominal modifiers. A small set of examples indicate that some stage of Hebrew witnessed the grammaticalization of זֶה as a relative marker and a copular pronoun. However, for over a century, another function of זֶה has been proposed and become entrenched within Hebrew grammatical analysis—that זֶה follows other Semitic languages in functioning as a “genitive” marker. By addressing all the relevant data, including the two most commonly cited examples of a “genitive” זֶה, Ps 68:9 and Judg 5:5, as well as the comparative Semitic argument, I demonstrate that there are no cogent reasons for assigning to זֶה the role of a “genitive” marker.