[b-hebrew] qatal and qotel
kwrandolph at gmail.com
Wed Aug 17 19:43:11 EDT 2011
On Wed, Aug 17, 2011 at 3:14 PM, Randall Buth <randallbuth at gmail.com> wrote:
> >As I read Judges 6:29, there are two verbs עשה (%H which I found myself
> reading as participles. This time, the Masoretes pointed these verbs as
> Qatal, so this time I disagreed with the Masoretes. As in the previous
> example in this thread, I read the conjugation as referring to the actor
> more than the action, hence the participle.
> Then the next verse has the verbs and נתץ NTC and כרת KRT which I read as
> Qatal verbs because here I see the emphasis on the action more than on the
> Karl W. Randolph.>
> The verb עשה is best as qatal. It refers to a done deed, past, not to
> something that Gid`on is always doing or in the process of doing.
> You may be confusing the effect of the word mi 'who?'. The question word
> does ask "who" did it. But the verb refers back to the previous night's
> events. They were not yet looking for a serial iconoclast.
> Randall Buth, PhD
That’s the answer I would have given based on what I learned in first year
Hebrew, but upon reading Tanakh through I discovered that what I learned in
first year Hebrew did not always accurately describe the actions recorded in
Qatal is used for future, present and past events, It is also used for both
perfective and imperfective aspects. The same is true of the Yiqtol.
Therefore, just because a deed was done in the past, and is a done deed,
does not necessarily call for a Qatal.
The participle focuses not so much on the action as on the actor, place
where an action takes place or on an event. It too can refer to repeated or
ongoing actions, or an action that occurs only once, i.e. both imperfective
and perfective aspects. While there is no question of participles being used
for present and future events, I see no good reason to rule it out for past
actions as well.
In this example, the people are looking for the who in the whodunnit, which
would call for the participle to be used for a past event that is done and
over with. The emphasis was not on the action, that was last night and
obvious, but who. Therefore the question was, who is the guilty party, not
on what was done.
Based on the above, the participle is the preferred form used in the verse.
Based on another discussion recently, the Masoretes may have mispointed this
verse based on a faulty view of Biblical Hebrew grammar: in other words,
they pointed it based on grammar imported from another language, rather than
on the grammar that the original writer intended.
Karl W. Randolph.
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