Future tense in Psalm 41:5 (LXX)

Stephen C. Carlson scarlson at mindspring.com
Sat Dec 9 20:44:28 EST 2000

At 04:57 PM 12/9/00 +0000, Jon D. Boyd wrote:
>My question centers on the use of the future tense DIELEUSOMAI.  Most
>English versions render the Hebrew as an imperfect: "I used to go . . ." 
>And the Hebrew word is in the prefix form, which indicates imperfective
>aspect.  But, as Carl has mentioned, the LXX can be interpreted on its
>own merits.  My question: What do you make of this use of the future
>tense?  Is this just a bad translation of the underlying Hebrew (changing
>the sense of the Hebrew text), or can the future tense be used to
>describe something that used to happen?  

The Hebrew imperfect generally denotes a continuing or incomplete
action, whether in the past, present, or future.  Since many
actions in the future are not complete, it is not surprising to
see the Hebrew used (and interprete) for future actions.

Stephen Carlson
Stephen C. Carlson                        mailto:scarlson at mindspring.com
Synoptic Problem Home Page   http://www.mindspring.com/~scarlson/synopt/
"Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs chant the words."  Shujing 2.35

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