Jer 15:6-9, Rolf

Bryan Rocine brocine at
Wed Sep 15 23:33:52 EDT 1999

Hi Rolf,
you wrote:

> Dear list-members,
> In the mentioned verses I count 12 QATALs, 1 WEQATAL  and
> 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?

I think Randall Buth's comments are very good.  Alviero
Niccacci may be right, but let's assume the passage probably
refers to a future situation.

*Translation is indeed a problem*.  With his dramatic choice
of forms, the prophet brings his audience "right there."
Where?  The future. Past tense is inappropriate for the
translation maybe, but *so is future*, the reason being the
H forms used are not futures, and we lose the prophet's
rhetorical play if we translate them so.  Because I *have*
to use an English tense in translation, I will use present,
but I will indicate a "real world future reference" for the
discourse in parentheses.  Why use present?  Because I think
it is most consistent with the prophet's attempt to bring us
"right to the future" and because I think the qatals are
particularly compatible with present because they represent
what the subject is/was.  I'll just do a little sample.

6 You are a forsaker of Me, says YHVH, and you go backward,
so (you will see) I stretch forth My hand upon you, and I
destroy you.  I am tired of regrets.
7 So (you will see) I scatter them...I am an aborter...I am
a destroyer...none are returners.

I don't blame the translators for not doing my goofy little
parentheses thing, so I guess I don't blame them for using
future tense.


B. M. Rocine
Associate Pastor
Living Word Church
6101 Court St. Rd.
Syracuse, NY 13206

(office) 315.437.6744
(home) 315.479.8267

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list