Verbs in Ps 18 ans 2 Sam 22
596547 at ican.net
Thu Sep 3 18:20:44 EDT 1998
I wonder why my earlier question did not illicit any responses on-list. I
am under the impression that folks still learn their Hebrew from texts
which teach the "waw-conversive," that a prefixed vav(or waw) converts
yiqtols to qatals and qatals to yiqtols. I know Jouon-Muraoka prefers the
term "waw-inversive"(see § 111a), Waltke and O'Connor prefers the term
"vav-relative"(see § 33.1.2e-g), and Gesenius, "vav-consecutive"(see §§
111-112), but they all teach the conversion doctrine. What are we to do
with the "un-vavved" yiqtols of Psa 18 and 2 Sam 22? Of the three grammars
mentioned above, only W and O'C compare the two versions of the poem(see §
31.1.1d) and in so doing seem to contradict their § 33.1.2e-g.
Jouon-Muraoka does describe a "preterital yiqtol" with examples from Psa 18
but not 2 Sam 22(see § 113g-i). He says that such yiqtols have the value
of qatal and that a qatal would have been even a better choice of form in
many such cases. In all due respect I ask, better for whom? Us? Didn't
the ancients understand their language better than we? I would say that if
the ancients used the yiqtol that chances are, the yiqtol was a better
choice; and if our model can't explain the choice, we may need a better
Is it o.k to try my own answer to my own question? At the off-list
prompting of some list members, I shall.
A comparison of Psa 18 and 2 Sam 22 indicates that the allegedly magical
morpheme, the so-called "vav(or waw)-conversive," no matter what exactly it
is called,--Oh, boy, I shouldn't say this...so many scholars, so much
weighty tradition!!!-- does not exist. The prefixed "narrative morpheme"
<vav-patakh-dagesh forte> on a yiqtol has discourse function rather than
conversive power. It makes *explicit*(like the English words _then_ and
_so_) the consecutivity of events that is left implicit without it.
There really is no great shortage of "un-vavved" yiqtols which represent
single, past events, for instance, over 20 of them following the particle
I had written:
>Here's a comparison of some of the verb forms in Psa 18 and 2 Sam 22(the
verse numbers conveniently correspond) which are essentially the same poem.
How can this be?
>Verse root Psa 18 2 Sam 22
>7 $m( yiqtol wayyiqtol
>12 $yt yiqtol wayyiqtol
>14 r(m wayyiqtol yiqtol
>15 $lx wayyiqtol yiqtol
>16 glh wayyiqtol yiqtol
>24 hyh wayyiqtol wayyiqtol
> (short) (long)
>38 )sg weyiqtol wayyiqtol
>39 npl yiqtol wayyiqtol
>44 pl+ yiqtol wayyiqtol
B. M. Rocine
Living Word Church
6101 Court St. Rd.
Syracuse, NY 13208
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