Jer 15:6-9

peter_kirk at peter_kirk at
Wed Sep 15 17:08:45 EDT 1999

Dear Rolf,

Please can you specify the "clues" that this passage is future and not 
past. Do you have any good reason, apart from any theories of the 
meaning of verb forms, to reject the translation of RSV which takes 
this passage as past? I would agree that the sudden transition to 
future in verse 9 is awkward, but then there is a sudden change in 
Hebrew verb form from QATAL (via WEQATAL) to YIQTOL (which you have 
failed to count). Presumably this awkwardness (and perhaps 
harmonisation with the wider context in separate "oracles" e.g. 
vv.3-4, a rather dangerous procedure!) is one reason why NIV has 
translated the whole passage as future. Do you have any other 
explanation for this change of Hebrew verb form?

I wrote the above before seeing Randall's response and your response 
to that. I should add that I am not here suggesting any kind of 
"prophetic perfect", but rather that Jeremiah (writing at an unknown 
time, I would guess during the reign of Zedekiah) is referring to a 
past partial destruction (the first capture of Jerusalem?), and then 
(at the end of verse 9) looking ahead to a future complete destruction 
(the final capture of the city?).

Peter Kirk

______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Jer 15:6-9
Author:  <furuli at> at Internet 
Date:    13/09/1999 12:21

Dear list-members,

In the mentioned verses I count 12 QATALs, 1 WEQATAL  and 3 WAYYIQTOLs. I 
cannot find any clue in the context suggesting that the events mantioned by 
the prophet is past; i.e. that reference time comes before speech time. 
However, I find many clues that they are future; i. e. reference time comes 
after speech time. How would the particular model for Hebrew verbs that you 
believe in, direct you in the translation of these verses? In other words, 
how would you translate the verses?


Rolf Furuli
University of Oslo

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