Making Sense of Destruction: A Frame-Semantic Analysis of šḥt in the Hebrew Bible

General Article




frame semantics, destruction, שׁחת, cognitive linguistics, Hebrew Bible


The verb šḥt is worthy of investigation. It is a prominent verb of destruction that occurs throughout the Hebrew Bible. It is also polysemous. Furthermore, its basic meaning has not yet been determined in the various reference works and it defies the traditional wisdom that specific stems have specific meanings. Great advances have been made in utilising cognitive linguistic (CL) methodologies to interpret the Hebrew Bible (HB). We are not aware of any robust attempt at using insights from CL to investigate the meaning of šḥt. For this study, we utilised frame semantics (FS) and several other CL methodologies to gain insight into the semantic force of šḥt in the HB.


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Author Biography

Johannes Malherbe, South African Theological Seminary

After completing his theological studies at the University of Stellenbosch, Johannes served for seven years as a Pastor in a rural community in the Western Cape. During his season there, he completed his DTh (University of Stellenbosch) in Old Testament Studies. He served for several years at two influential ministries, Petra College (focusing on children’s ministry) and Africa School of Missions (focusing on missions), before joining SATS full-time as the Head of the PG School in 2012. He took office as the Head of Academics in 2018. Johannes is married to Annelie; they have four adult children.



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How to Cite

Connoway, Izaak, and Johannes Malherbe. 2023. “Making Sense of Destruction: A Frame-Semantic Analysis of šḥt in the Hebrew Bible : General Article”. Journal for Semitics 32 (2):21 pages .



Received 2023-11-16
Accepted 2023-12-11
Published 2023-12-18