Volume 4, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2214-3157
  • E-ISSN: 2214-3165
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes



Examination of the figurative construction [X find favor in Y’s eyes] ([X ffi Y]) in Biblical and Israeli Hebrew reveals semantic and pragmatic differences in its use. In Biblical Hebrew, the construction reflects an ancient cultural conceptualization (Sharifian 2011) of ‘favor’ in which it is associated with the eyes of God or humans of high social status. The distribution of [X ffi Y] in this language emphasizes social and cultural hierarchies based on this ancient conceptualization of favor. Although originating from Biblical Hebrew, the use of the construction in Israeli Hebrew does not reflect the ancient conceptualization of xen ‘favor’ that had motivated its emergence. The analysis shows the differences in meaning and pragmatic function of [X ffi Y] in the two language variants, with a focus on contexts of use and the social-cultural identity of participants. This study illustrates the involvement of cultural conceptualization and scenarios in linguistic expression.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Ackerman, S.
    (2002) The Personal Is Political: Covenantal and Affectionate Love ('āhēb, 'ahăbâ) in the Hebrew Bible. Vetus Testamentum, 52(4), pp.437–458.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Bosman, T.
    (2011) Biblical Hebrew lexicology and cognitive semantics: A study of lexemes of affection. PhD diss., The University of Stellenbosch.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Brown, F. , Driver, S. R. , & Briggs, C. A.
    (1906) The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English lexicon. Dania Beach: Scribe, digital edition: Oak Tree software Inc., version 3.1
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Cross, F. M.
    (1998) From epic to canon: History and literature in ancient Israel. Baltimore/London: The Johns Hopkins University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Ekman, P. , Friesen, W. V. , & Ellsworth, P.
    (1972) Emotion in the human face: Guidelines for research and an integration of findings, New York: Pergamon Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Even Shoshan, A.
    (1988) The concentrated Hebrew dictionary. Jerusalem: Kiryat Sefer.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Kautzch, E.
    (Ed.) (1910) Gesenius’s Hebrew grammar. Oxford: Clarendon Press, digital edition: Oak Tree Software Inc., version 2.4.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Kövecses, Z.
    (1986) Metaphors of anger, pride, and love: a lexical approach to the structure of concepts. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi:  10.1075/pb.vii.8
    https://doi.org/10.1075/pb.vii.8 [Google Scholar]
  9. Kövecses, Z. , & Palmer, G. B.
    (1999) Language and emotion concepts: What experientialists and social constructionists have in common. In G. B. Palmer & D. J. Occhi (Eds.), Languages of sentiment (pp.237–262). Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. doi:  10.1075/aicr.18.13kov
    https://doi.org/10.1075/aicr.18.13kov [Google Scholar]
  10. Kroeze, D. G.
    (2004) A semantic study of the lexical field of ‘fear’ terms in Biblical Hebrew. PhD dissertation, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
    [Google Scholar]
  11. Kruger, P. A.
    (2000) A cognitive interpretation of the emotion of anger in the Hebrew bible. Journal of Northwest Semitic languages, 26(1), pp.181–193.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Lakoff, G.
    (1987) Women, fire, and dangerous things. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. doi:  10.7208/chicago/9780226471013.001.0001
    https://doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226471013.001.0001 [Google Scholar]
  13. Lakoff, G. , & Johnson, M.
    (1980) Metaphors we live by. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. Moran, W. L.
    (1963) The ancient Near Eastern background of love of god in Deuteronomy. The Catholic Biblical Quarterly, 25(1), 77–87.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. Noll, K. L.
    (2013) Canaan and Israel in antiquity. London/New Delhi/New York/Sydney: Bloomsbury.
    [Google Scholar]
  16. Palmer, G. B.
    (1996) Toward a theory of cultural linguistics. Austin: University of Texas Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  17. Sauter, D. , Leguen, O. , & Haun, D.
    (2011) Categorical perception of emotional expressions does not require lexical categories. Emotion, 11(6), 1479–1483. doi:  10.1037/a0025336
    https://doi.org/10.1037/a0025336 [Google Scholar]
  18. Schlimm, M. R.
    (2008) From fratricide to forgiveness: The ethics of anger in Genesis. PhD dissertation, Duke University.
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Sharifian, F.
    (2008) Conceptualization of del ‘heart-stomach’ in Persian. In F. Sharifian , R. Dirven , N. Yu & S. Niemeier , (Eds.), Culture, body, and language: Conceptualizations of internal body organs across cultures and languages (pp.247–265). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. doi:  10.1515/9783110199109.4.247
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110199109.4.247 [Google Scholar]
  20. (2011) Cultural conceptualizations and language. Amsterdam: Benjamins. doi:  10.1075/clscc.1
    https://doi.org/10.1075/clscc.1 [Google Scholar]
  21. (2015) Cultural linguistics. In F. Sharifian (Ed.), The Routledge handbook of language and culture (pp.473–492). Oxon/New York: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. The Historical Dictionary Project of The Academy of the Hebrew Language
    The Historical Dictionary Project of The Academy of the Hebrew Languageatmaagarim.hebrew-academy.org.il
  23. Vardi, R.
    (2015) Favor: A construction of affection in Biblical Hebrew. Hebrew Studies, 561, 49–69. doi:  10.1353/hbr.2015.0025
    https://doi.org/10.1353/hbr.2015.0025 [Google Scholar]
  24. (in preparation) The social conceptualization of ’hb ‘love’ in Biblical Hebrew. PhD Nijmegen.
    [Google Scholar]
  25. Weinfeld, M.
    (1982) ‘You will find favour… In the sight of God and man’ (Proverbs 3:4): A history of an idea. In B. A. Levine & A. Malamat (Eds.), Harry M. Orlinsky volume of Eretz-Israel, vol.161, (pp.93–99). Jerusalem: The Israel Exploration Society in cooperation with Hebrew Union College / Jewish Institute of Religion. [Hebrew]
    [Google Scholar]
  26. van Wolde, E. J.
    (2008) Sentiments and culturally constructed emotions: Anger and love in the Hebrew Bible. Biblical Interpretation, 161, 1–24. doi:  10.1163/156851508X247602
    https://doi.org/10.1163/156851508X247602 [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error