weqatal in Jdg 3:23

Bryan Rocine 596547 at ican.net
Wed Sep 30 10:30:49 EDT 1998


How about that crazy weqatal in Jdg 3:23?   My tanslation:"And Ehud went
out(wayyiqtol) porchward(?), and closed(wayyiqtol) the doors of the
roof-room upon him[Eglon], and was a 'locker'(weqatal: _w:na(al_  ).

Here are some views.  I have put them in order of "friendliness to the
text";  that is, the degree to which the author justifies the text as it

1.  Gesenius says plainly that it is an error(sect. 112tt).  Not very
smiley-face  ;-)

2.  Jouon admits that it violates the verbal system as he has described it,
and explores the possibilities that such weqatals may be errors either in
the text or usage(sect 119z).  

3.  Waltke and O'Connor do not mention Jdg 3:23 specifically but
admit(following Revell) the possibility and circumstances in which a
weqatal may have the value of a preterit(sect. 32.3).  

4.  Longacre("Weqatal forms in BH prose", _BH and Discourse Linguistics_ed.
Bergen) admits a preterit value for Jdg 3:23 _w:na(al_ and suggests such a
weqatal marks a climactic or pivotal point in a historical narrative.  I
add that it is the locking of the doors which delays the entrance of
Eglon's servants until just the moment of their master's death.  V. 25
reads "They took(wayyiqtol) the key, and opened(wayyiqtol)," _w:hinn"h
)a:don"yhem nop"l )arcah m"t_ "and look! their master was falling
earthward, dead."  I am saying that the locking of the door is a critical
element of timing in the account, coincidentally allowing Ehud's escape and
preventing Eglon from either identifying the assassin or giving a dying
word of instructions to the now leader-less Moab.

Where on this scale of views do you folks fall and why?

Thanks and shalom,

B. M. Rocine
Associate Pastor
Living Word Church
6101 Court St. Rd.
Syracuse, NY 13208


More information about the b-hebrew mailing list