Jer 15:6-9

yochanan bitan ButhFam at
Wed Sep 15 05:39:53 EDT 1999

>Why can we not construe the three WAYYIQTOLs and the QATALs following them
>(except L)H in v 6, which is present) as true futures?
are you talking english or hebrew? lamma mayyim enam zormim lema`ala?
english might prefer "true futures", 
but those are not "true futures" in hebrew. 
mi yitten vexol ha-hitkatvut ha-zot hayta bisfat `ever, af ha-`atiqa! 

again, take those verbs vv. 6-9 out of their context and they are plain
past references, even though tense is not absolutely grammaticalized. it's
just the way the language works, hundreds of thousands of times. 
when nothing else is around, we still have the verb forms. i know you don't
like that. sorry. you may call it pragmatics, though, and find something of
a middle ground. 
we extract real-world reference out of those minimally-differentiated
e.g. in 2 Samuel 7.9  va'axrita 'and i cut off [past]' ... ve`asiti 'and i
will make[future]'. all we have are the verb forms and the change right
there. like the old judges 13.3 example: velo yaladt veharit 'and you
didn't give birth and you will become pregnant'. 
randall buth

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