Sefer Yehoshua chapter one verse 13 reads:

זָכוֹר֙ אֶת־הַדָּבָ֔ר אֲשֶׁ֨ר צִוָּ֥ה אֶתְכֶ֛ם מֹשֶׁ֥ה עֶֽבֶד־יְהוָ֖ה לֵאמֹ֑ר יְהוָ֤ה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם֙ מֵנִ֣יחַ לָכֶ֔ם וְנָתַ֥ן לָכֶ֖ם אֶת־הָאָ֥רֶץ הַזֹּֽאת

On this Radak writes

זכור: מקור.‏

What does he mean by מקור?

All classic rabbinic uses or similarities to this word make no sense in this context: Source. Womb. Passive version of cold?! Everything seems patently wrong. I even checked Radak's own Seffer Hashorashim to see if he gave the word any special meaning. No luck.

  • 3
    Infinitive, rather than what we might expect, the imperative? Commented Sep 5, 2016 at 23:58
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    Not sure, but presumably addressing why the form is Zachor with a kametz rather than zechor with a sheva Commented Sep 6, 2016 at 0:02
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    @user6591 Yes, "makor" is what the grammarians used to call what we call "shem hapo'al" (a modern term) now. See Ramba"m's explanation on Baba M'tzi'a 2:9 for an example that clearly means that.
    – WAF
    Commented Sep 6, 2016 at 0:17
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    There's definitely enough information in the comments above to write a good answer.
    – Isaac Moses
    Commented Sep 6, 2016 at 14:31
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    @user6591 I think this question is great as it is. I'm sure you're neither the first nor the last to see this comment in the Radak and have no idea what "מקור" means in this context. You might want to add whatever you might have been thinking, e.g. "'Source'? Source of what?" An excellent answer would both explain what it means in general and what the Radak was getting at here by indicating that this particular word is meant to be infinitive. That would then be findable by and useful to both people confused by "מקור" in commentaries in general and people interested in understanding this verse.
    – Isaac Moses
    Commented Sep 6, 2016 at 14:47

1 Answer 1


Throughout his various commentaries, Radak used the word מקור dozens of times in explicit reference to the Hebrew infinitive. He does not appear to have discriminated between the infinitive construct and the infinitive absolute, which differentiation only seems to have appeared centuries later in the pedagogical Classical Hebrew grammars by the 19th Century Hebraists Baer, Davidson, Ewald, and Gesenius among others. Interestingly, one of these Hebrew grammars uses the word מקור in reference to the Hebrew infinitive.


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