The form of weqatal (really wayyiqtol)

John Ronning ronning at
Sat Aug 14 16:20:54 EDT 1999

Dave Washburn wrote:

> > > In brief, I do not consider the WAW prefix to be a conjunction, and
> > > hence I don't consider it to have any "conversive" force in the
> > > traditional sense that the term has been used.  Rather, I consider
> > > it to be an inflectional morpheme that is actually part of the
> > > Hebrew verb system itself, and it is this inflectional morpheme that
> > > carries the sense of syntactic break.  The fact that it resembles
> > > the conjunction in its surface form does not make it a conjunction
> > > any more than the fact that HE- interrogative resembles the definite
> > > article means it has to be a form of the definite article (an
> > > analogy I've presented many times here).  We have such homonyms all
> > > over Hebrew, yet when we get to the WAW prefix we seem to have a
> > > blind spot.
> >


> > I don't know if it has "conversive force", but it certainly seems to
> > have "conjunctive force" -- or why don't we see w at wayyiqtol or
> > uwayyiqtol (whichever form the conjunction w at - would take on when
> > attaching to a word already beginning with w-, something which doesn't
> > occur in the Bible)?
> My approach predicts that this would be the case, because
> conjunction/coordination would suggest a syntactic connection.  If,
> as I submit, the wayyiqtol indicates a syntactic break, it wouldn't
> be expected to take a conjunction.  To say that the prefix must
> have conjunctive force because it doesn't take a conjunction is a
> non-sequitur.  A syntactic break is the antithesis of conjunctive
> force.

Dave, you're asking us to believe that wayyiqtol is a verb form that (1)
NEVER takes the conjunction, though all other verb forms do; (2) NEVER
is preceded by things that precede other verbs like KIY, 'ASHER, LO',
etc. etc.

Also that all translators and interpreters since the LXX are wrong in
seeing the WA- as a conjunction!

All because you think it is POSSIBLE (!) to explain the evidence apart
from distinct yaqtul/yaqtulu verb forms that have mostly merged in BH? 
I think you need to do some rethinking here.


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