weqatal in Jdg 3:23

Bryan Rocine 596547 at ican.net
Fri Oct 2 12:58:00 EDT 1998

Dear Paul, Matthew, et al,

I hope I am not missing something, only having read W and O'C on Revell,
and not Revell himself on this issue.  If we can agree that Revell's first
case for the wayyiqtol---->weqatal series exists(also referred to as
hendiadys, I think), I think we can probably also agree that this
first-case example in Jdg 3:23 might also have been expressed by
wayyiqtol---->wayyiqtol.  E.g.  _way.a(an way.o)mer_  "and he answered and
said" or _way.ip:nu way.a(a:lu_ "and they turned and went"  or even 
_way.el:ku way.abo)u_ "and they went and came", or Exo 24:8  _way.iq.ax
mo$eh )et had.am way.iz:roq (al ha(am_  "And Moses took the blood and
sprinkled (it) upon the people." 

The question then becomes *why* did the Hebrew writer/speaker exercise this
"weqatal option" in Jdg 3:23 or elsewhere?  It's a pragmatically marked
option.  What does it mark?  This is the question Longacre is trying to

Paul, I think your translation, also suggested by one or two others, "Then
Ehud went out ..., and closed the doors ..., locking them" is good and may
even be the best we can do.  Question:  suppose we accept Longacre's
thesis,  that such a weqatal is a marker of a pivotal or climactic event.  
Not so much for the sake of the thesis, or because we like the good man. 
Let's try the thesis on for size because we want to see if we can introduce
a sensitivity to pragmatics into our translation.  So let me try to devise
an English translation that marks a climactic event.  I'll go to the
extreme a little to make a point:  "Then Ehud went out..., and closed the
doors..., and a locker [of them] was he."   I am trying to use a correct
but extraordinary syntax on the "pivotal event."  After all, the BH syntax
*is* extraordinary, so much so that many scholars have labelled it a
mistake.  I think the notion beneath our two translations is equivalent, so
let's ask the pragmaticist's question:  How does my translation *function*?
 Does it fly in the face of anything you know about BH?  My understanding
of the weqatal supports the translation.


> From: Paul Zellmer <zellmer at cag.pworld.net.ph>
> To: Biblical Hebrew <b-hebrew at franklin.oit.unc.edu>
> Subject: Re: weqatal in Jdg 3:23
> Date: Thursday, October 01, 1998 7:06 PM
> Matthew Anstey wrote:
> > Bryan,
> >
> > You wrote,
> >
> > > How about that crazy weqatal in Jdg 3:23?   My tanslation:"And Ehud
> > > 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
> > 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
> > tumbled into the camp of Midian, and came (wyyqtl) to the tent, and
> > (wyyqtl) it so that it fell (wyyqtl); it turned upside down (wyyqtl),
> > the tent collapsed (we + qtl)."
> > Jdg 3.23 reads (NRSV) Then Ehud went out  (wyyqtl) into the vestibule,
> > 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
> > forms. The LXX translator probably read this way, as he translated the
> > in both sentences as aorists.  I therefore think that J-M and Ges. are
> > in their parsing of these as weqtl.
> >
> Matthew and Bryan,
> Based on this view, would it not be possible that the  we + qatal is
> and describes the *wayyiqtol clause*?  Can we translate it in the "-ing"
> e.g., "Then Ehud went out ..., and closed the doors ..., locking them." 
> Judges 7 example: "Behold, surely I had a dream, and, behold, a cake of
> bread tumbling into the camp of Midian, and it came to the tent, and it
> it, and it fell, and it turned upside down, collapsing the tent."
> >From these two examples, it could be that the difference between the
> 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
> The we+qatal in both cases also take direct objects.
> What think ye,
> Paul

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