Lee R. Martin
lmartin at vol.com
Mon Nov 9 12:14:41 EST 1998
I am forwarding this reply from Johannes Diehl, with my poor
translation. If anyone knows German, please make corrections.
1. When one examines imperative-chaining, it appears that the last
imperative of such a chain normally carries the tone, therefore it
represents the main statement of the command, the request or the
invitation (direktiv). In Ex 12,21 the first two imperatives are
prerequisite for the third imperative, because only if the Israelite
selects and takes the sheep, can they slaughter the Passover. Therefore,
that imperative, on which this depends, is W:ShaChaTu.
2. These three imperatives conclude in v.22 with three further weqatals.
My examinations of weqatal after imperatives is not yet locked,
therefore please, receive the following with caution: If a weqatal
stands after an imperative, it specifies or expounds it the previous
imperative. One can see this here in ex 12 beautifully. The main
statement stands in v.21: slaughter the Passover. Exactly what that is
like should follow then in v. 22. It is an explanation, so to speak,
what is the actual content of the Passover slaughter namely, to spread
the doorposts and threshold with blood. All this is anticipated in the
third imperative of v.21, and v.22 sets forth only one further
explanation of the Passover slaughter.
3. Surely, We'aTeM doesn't stand arbitrarily in v.22b before the verb.
On this occasion, it is a so-called composite nominal-sentence, a
compound nominal claus (nominatives absolute). If the subject comes
before the verb, then the verbal sentence loses its quality as
verbal-sentence and becomes a nominal sentence. The nominal sentence
stands in contrast to the verbal sentence as a condition, and I believe,
that is exactly what is intended here. The Israelite shall remain in
his/her house during the whole night and not go out the door, since
otherwise he/she would be killed. This already has the character of a
condition. Therefore, the sentence would be understood as the apodosis
(? Chalsatz) to the previous verbal sentences. You may get further
information on the composite nominal sentence from Reinhard Lehmann
(lehmann at mail.uni-mainz.de).
4. The weqatal in v.24 represents a problem indeed. It is, for example,
unclear who is addressed here, because the whole previous section was in
the second person plural, not split up between you and your sons.
Therefore, the elder person of Israel seems not to be spoken to here.
Cf. for example Martin Not (the second book Mose: Exodus (ATD 5),7.
Aufl. Göttingen 1984 (1958), S. 76) the verses 24-27 are a
Also, however, a literary critical break is available between v.23 and
v.24 and the syntactic connection of both verses is difficult to decide.
Unfortunately, I have no more satisfactory explanation than this.
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From: Johannes Diehl <jdiehl at mail.Uni-Mainz.de>
Subject: Re: Imperatives
Date: Mon, 9 Nov 1998 14:25:36 +0100 (MET)
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