Indirect volitives in Genesis 1?

Paul Zellmer zellmer at
Fri Sep 25 08:35:00 EDT 1998

Trevor M Peterson wrote:

> But the problem is that
> they don't go far enough in their discussion to justify or condemn my
> attempts in Genesis 1.  The three waw-jussives in question (vv. 6,9,26)
> follow, respectively, two jussives and a cohortative, which is similar
> but not quite the same as following an imperative.  I'm particularly
> curious about this, since W&O do point out that a sequence of imperatives
> does not behave the same way.  My question then (which they really don't
> seem to answer in what they cover) is whether a jussive-jussive sequence
> (or cohortative-jussive) would be expected to follow the
> imperative-jussive nuance or the imperative-imperative.


Based on their discussion in 39.2.5b, of which Gen 1:26 is Example 5, I would assume
they view this in the same way as imperative-imperative.  The result is close to being
the same, but the overt form would be two different volitional statements.

I realize this is a reversal of my previous agreement with your proposition, but W&O'C
treat what each of us were doing in 39.2.5a, "There is a tendency, both in translation
and commentary, to assign to the conjunctive was a more logically distinct value where
possible; this tendency may obscure the distinctive shape of Hebrew narrative."

I realize we can disagree with them, but I don't have the ammunition right now to
fight them!



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

zellmer at

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