Pro 31 (was Re: Verbs in Ps 18 ans 2 Sam 22)

Paul Zellmer zellmer at
Sun Sep 6 19:00:47 EDT 1998

Bryan Rocine wrote:

> Dear Rolf,
> In a recent post you asked me to comment on aspect in Pro 31:13-28.  If you
> don't mind, I'll use the translation and parsing of verb forms which you
> have so kindly written out for the list.  It is below.  You have called
> qatals (P), yiqtols (I), and wayyiqtols (IC).
> But before I comment on
> aspect in the passage, I would like to note the organizing value of the
> qatals.  Each qatal introduces an additional quality of the virtuous woman.
>  This is in keeping with the note by Lambdin in section 44.4 that the qatal
> is used to note habitual activity without a specific tense value.  In v.
> 13, a qatal introduces her industry in crafts, in v. 14 her industry in
> food-getting, in v. 16, seperate qatals introduce her industry and wisdom
> in real estate ventures and vine-dressing, and so on.  When a yiqtol
> follows a qatal, the yiqtol further depicts the activity which was already
> labeled
> by a qatal, usually in greater, *but unsequenced* detail.  (I wonder why
> all
> "negative" description is given with the yiqtol.)    Wayyiqtols which
> follow
> qatals are used to denote seqenced activity.

Bryan, a side question then about verse 20 in particular.  If I read your brief
description of the interaction between qatals and yiqtols correctly, it would seem
this verse gives two distinct qualities of the woman.  Am I reading you correctly?
The relationship between the actions described there would have led me to expect a
yiqtol.  What significance, if any, would you suggest for the apparent doubling of the
description of care the woman has for the poor?  Could this play with your note about
the yiqtol in the first clause of 21?

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

zellmer at

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list