1 Sam 31:5: was Saul necessarily dead?

Niels Peter Lemche npl at teol.ku.dk
Fri Dec 31 03:44:22 EST 1999

Well, the logic of the senntence seem ti indicate that Saul was dead, cf.
the continuation: 'and he fell also he on his sword and died together with
him. Two consecutive imperfects following either a perfect or a participle.
and the v. 6: Wyyamat shaul ushlosht banaw etc, and in the next verse, he is
reckoned to be dead by all of Israel. The rest of the chapter has to do with
the fate of his body. So I assume that he was perfectly dead.


> -----Original Message-----
> From:	Dave Washburn [SMTP:dwashbur at nyx.net]
> Sent:	Friday, 31 December, 1999 06:14
> To:	Biblical Hebrew
> Subject:	Re: 1 Sam 31:5: was Saul necessarily dead?
> Peter wrote:
> > 
> > Well, here's an interesting question. Does the phrase in 1 Sam 31:5:
> > 
> > WAY.AR:) ... KIY M"T $F)UWL
> > 
> > necessarily mean that Saul was actually dead, or can it mean simply 
> > that he appeared to the armour bearer to be dead?
> > 
> > This is actually a question of Hebrew!
> And a good one!  I'm wondering why we have to consider M"T a 
> perfect and not a participle?  If it's the latter then we read "[he] saw 
> that Saul was dying."
> Dave Washburn
> http://www.nyx.net/~dwashbur
> Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth;
> give me an undivided heart that I may fear your name.
>                                    Psalm 86:11
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