weqatal in Jdg 3:23

Paul Zellmer zellmer at cag.pworld.net.ph
Thu Oct 1 19:06:28 EDT 1998

Matthew Anstey wrote:

> Bryan,
> You wrote,
> > How about that crazy weqatal in Jdg 3:23?   My tanslation:"And Ehud went
> > out(wayyiqtol) porchward(?), and closed(wayyiqtol) the doors of the
> > roof-room upon him[Eglon], and was a 'locker'(weqatal: _w:na(al_  ).
> Revell (via W&O'C) has established 2 criteria for distinguishing weqtl from
> we + qtl (waw-relative from waw-copulative). The first is when it follows a
> series of perfect forms (as we have here) that act as a single semantic
> unit, representing different aspects of the same event. The second is
> semantically similar verbs occuring in short parallel phrases. W&O'C
> summarise by saying, "If semantic pertinence demands that the situation
> represented by weqtl is perfective in aspect and not subordinate to the
> preceding situation, then the construction should be construed as a
> waw-copulative"
> It seems that both cases in Judges we have this:
> Jdg 7.13 reads (NRSV):  ..."I had a dream, and in it a cake of barley bread
> tumbled into the camp of Midian, and came (wyyqtl) to the tent, and struck
> (wyyqtl) it so that it fell (wyyqtl); it turned upside down (wyyqtl), and
> the tent collapsed (we + qtl)."
> Jdg 3.23 reads (NRSV) Then Ehud went out  (wyyqtl) into the vestibule, and
> closed (wyyqtl) the doors of the
> roof chamber on him, and locked them (we + qtl).
> Both verses talk about essentially one semantic idea (collapsing tents;
> closing doors). And in both semantic pertinence suggests reading as perfect
> forms. The LXX translator probably read this way, as he translated the verbs
> in both sentences as aorists.  I therefore think that J-M and Ges. are wrong
> in their parsing of these as weqtl.

Matthew and Bryan,

Based on this view, would it not be possible that the  we + qatal is off-line
and describes the *wayyiqtol clause*?  Can we translate it in the "-ing" form,
e.g., "Then Ehud went out ..., and closed the doors ..., locking them."  The
Judges 7 example: "Behold, surely I had a dream, and, behold, a cake of barley
bread tumbling into the camp of Midian, and it came to the tent, and it struck
it, and it fell, and it turned upside down, collapsing the tent."

>From these two examples, it could be that the difference between the participle
form and the we+qatal form that are both translated here with -ing is that the
participle is describing the cake and the we+qatal is describing the wayyiqtol.
The we+qatal in both cases also take direct objects.

What think ye,


Paul and Dee Zellmer, Jimmy Guingab, Geoffrey Beltran
Ibanag Translation Project
Cabagan, Philippines

zellmer at faith.edu.ph

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