Campus Location

Abilene Campus

Date of Award

Summer 7-10-2017

Document Type



Old Testament

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Committee Chair

Mark Hamilton

Second Committee Member

John Willis

Third Committee Member

Jo Ann Hackett


This thesis examines the evidence in the Hebrew Bible of the ancient Hebrew lexeme גלה. The aim is to determine how many roots are represented by the spelling ג-ל-ה in the Hebrew Bible. With the help of verbal valency theory, I examine the complementation patterns of גלה.

Previous attempts to understand the ancient Hebrew גלה focus on semantics. I challenge this approach and suggest that semantics alone is insufficient for understanding גלה (Chapter 1). Thus, I incorporate the clausal syntax of גלה with attention to גלה’s appearance in the different binyanim and the different complement patterns that accompany גלה’s different meanings (Chapter 2). These facts suggests that ancient speakers of Hebrew differentiated between two meanings/roots of גלה by keeping them separate in different binyanim and employing different complement patterns for each meaning/root. I briefly examine other Semitic languages, especially Akkadian and Aramaic, and then turn to Lam 4:22; Isa 49:9; Ezek 12:3, among other texts, to illustrate that our exegesis can improve when we know the expected complement patterns of a verb (Chapter 4). The thesis closes with a summary and suggestions for further research (Chapter 5).

The meanings associated with גלה remain categorically separated in different binyanim and each root has a set complement pattern that differs from the other homographic root. This evidence illustrates that ancient Hebrew understood גלה as two homographic roots. The method I use in this thesis provides a way to test supposed homographic roots and suggests ways to improve exegesis by understanding each verb’s expected complementation patterns.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.