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The armed forces seeking to take control of the territory were brutal.

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Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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Nov 13, 2002
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I'm finishing up a reading of the King James Bible (1611), which I began on January 1, and just came upon an interesting use of a relative pronoun inside a "gerund-participial clause," as PaulMatthews calls them. The syntax is not precisely analogous, in that the "relative clause," if it may be called one, is nonrestrictive and has a verb phrase as the antecedent of the relative pronoun, "which" demonstratively standing for "passing through the Red sea as by dry land":

"Which" clearly functions as the direct object of "do" in the "which"-clause. We could rephrase the "which"-clause like this: "which, assaying to do, the Egyptians were drowned." Alteratively, it could be rephrased like this: "assaying to do which, the Egyptians were drowned." And, by such contortions, we can, by extention, postulate a fairly close analogue of the construction under debate: "They did something assaying to do which the Egyptians were drowned." :)
Mind you. the KJV is pretty incomprehensible to most people, including the most religious. (Atheist, but not of the sabre-swiping type)
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