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וַיִּסְעוּ כָּל עֲדַת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל מִמִּדְבַּר סִין לְמַסְעֵיהֶם

What does this Posuk mean - "they traveled to their travels"

why does the Torah use a repetitive form?

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1 Answer 1

Generally, the pattern of


is called the cognate accusative. The accusative argument (the object) is a word that sounds (or is) very much like the verb itself. It is very common in the Torah and in some modern languages; somewhat common in English. Rather than being repetitive, it is a standard pattern that is used with certain verbs. (See the Wikipedia page for some examples.)

In Tana"ch the specific pattern found is usually the infinitive absolute followed by the declined ("conjugated") verb as appropriate for the semantic context. I do not remember seeing one that is not an example of this pattern. As a result, it is notoriously awkward to translate into English since infinitives work very differently (and so does inflection).

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