Indirect volitives in Genesis 1?

Lee R. Martin lmartin at
Fri Sep 25 12:07:29 EDT 1998

Dear Trevor,
My interpretation of the verbs is as follows:
1- Genesis 1:6 Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters,
and let it divide the waters from the waters.
These are parallel forms and indicate two jussives. A weyiqtol may express
purpose, but it always indicates a second, additional action. See Niccacci,
Section 159.

2- 1:9 Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place,
and let the dry land appear: and it was so.
Same as above, two separate actions.

3- 1:26 Let us make man in our image, . . .
and let them have . . .
Same as above, two separate jussives.

4- 1:14 Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide
(purpose) the day from the night;
and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:
And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon
the earth: and it was so.

Weqatal is a continuation form that sets the action in the future. Niccacci,
section 156, says "In speech, when continuing a volitional form, weQATAL
simply qualifies the action as future (with a nuance of succession or
conclusion) unlike the weYIQTOL.

>you have access to it, look at Waltke & O'Connor, 32.2.2 and 34.6.a.
>In the latter
>section, they write in part, "After an imperative a verbal form not
>preceded by its
>subject or a negative particle is normally either a jusssive or a
>cohortative.  Where
>a prefix-conjunction form is not morphologically marked in such a
>context, it may be
>taken as having jussive or cohortative force.  The second volitional
>form signifies
>purpose or result...."

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