A question closed recently as proofreading asked about the grammaticality of the following subjunctive statement: They suggested that the washing machine not be put in that place.
To my ear, that sounded about right. But a comment was even more interesting: To me, this sentence is ungrammatical—it should be “…that the washing machine be not put there”.
This intrigued me, as intuitively I would not think to reverse the OP's order of not and be.
With very limited google-fu, I found sites that listed the negative in the subjunctive before the verb, but without explanation.
And finally (heart sinking) even found it here on EL&U where it was addressed in comments, but the accepted answer had zero votes.
Be not on the other hand, sounds fine in the imperative:
- If this fall into thy hand, revolve. In my stars I am above thee; but be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them. Shakespeare, Twelfth Night A. II, S. V.
In the Bible, it seems angels and others are always commanding us to be not afraid:
And the angel of the Lord said unto Elijah, Go down with him: be not afraid of him. And he arose, and went down with him unto the king.
Is there any reason besides the beauty of Early Modern English that be not might be respectably used with the negative subjunctive?