furuli at online.no
Wed Mar 15 01:53:40 EST 2006
You have misunderstood what is the basis of my conclusions regarding the
verbal system of classical Hebrew. It is not just poetic texts, but the
whole Tanakh, the DSS, and Ben Sira. All the 79,574 verbs of these
sources have been studied (a few verbs may have been overlooked of
course). At the end of my dissertation twelve pages are used to list the
passages from the Tanakh that are used as examples throughout the work.
Six of the pages list passages from Genesis through Kings, one page
lists the poetic books, and five pages list the prophets. This shows
that examples from prose are more numerous than those from poetry.
While I agree that the construction of poetry is different from prose
in Hebrew, we should be careful not to extrapolate this fact in wrong
directions. It is true that a poet can use a verb or another word in a
contrafactual way to create a certain effect. But such uses are
exceptions, and the *semantic meaning* of verbs is exactly the same in
prose as in poetry. A YIQTOL, QATAL, infinitive, and participle have
the same meaning in poetry as in prose. In order to have some basis for
the view that you cannot find the real meaning of Hebrew verbs in poetic
texts but only in prose, you need to refer to at least one language
where the semantic meaning of verbs are different in prose compared with
poetry. I am not aware of the existence of such a language.
My Question was about Origen's use of vowels. If he, where the Masoretes
used shewa, used the original vowel, and he used OU- both for
WAYYAIQTOL and WEYIQTOL, wouldn't that mean that both forms in his view
had the same vowel?
University of Oslo
Herman Meester wrote:
>I know Rolf Furuli's point of view regarding this issue, but the idea
>that there was, originally, no difference between wayyiqtol and
>weyiqtol is (I know I run the risk of enticing some members, incl.
>myself, to a long and heavy thread again ;) improbable if not
>Masora means tradition, not invention. The lengthened prefix
>consonant is real. It must have been there for ages prior to the
>masoretes. Any invention of this kind would have lead to discussions,
>none of which we find traces of in Jewish literature.
>Biblical poetry, which is what Rolf bases his thesis on, cannot be
>used to discuss this problem because in poetry, tenses, or verb
>aspect, or whatever, is blurred on purpose by the poet in order to
>give poetry its own syntax. This is a feature of all oral poetry in
>semi-sedentary or fully sedentary people's dialect continuums (i.e.
>areas where every ten miles there is some kind of language change, so
>that people can effortlessly understand other people that live ten
>miles off, but have trouble understanding people twenty miles off, and
>have no idea what people say thirty miles off), where travelling poets
>had to make themselves understood over rather large areas. Resulting
>in an artificial, non-"domestic" language with a unique and flexible
>syntax. Instances of this have been described for real (i.e.
>contemporarily) in several parts of the world, a.o. in Morocco. Cf.
>the medieval "troubadour" in the part of Europe where Romanic
>languages are spoken; they crossed linguistic borders without
>In other words, syntax of biblical poetry and syntax of biblical prose
>each deserve their own description.
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