Ariyel's Flower,hinne-qatal

Peter Kirk peter_kirk at
Thu Jan 27 23:09:00 EST 2000

Dear Randall,

Thank you for your off-list help with this. But I still beg to differ 
from you. I feel that you have not taken proper account of the 
different temporal semantics of HINNE and QATAL versus WAYYIQTOL. I 
have become quite familiar with this through my discussions with Rolf 
Furuli, though I have not come to agreement with him on this.

It seems to me that whereas WAYYIQTOL establishes a new R-time which 
(usually) follows the previous event, the effect of HINNE (as well as 
one of immediacy) is the opposite, to fix the R-time as one which is 
already known. Very often this R-time is the time of a previous event. 
This is especially clear in the common idiom "he saw, and HINNE...": 
the reference time for the HINNE is the time of seeing, at which point 
the event described can be present, hence a participle, or past, using 
QATAL. Judges 6:28 works like this, although the verb of seeing is 
omitted. (I can hardly say it is implied, as it cannot be implied in 
the parallel idiom in 2 Kings 19:35!) This type of fixing of the 
R-time is doubly signalled in a case like Gen 38:29 with the WAYHIY 
KE- meaning "and at the same time that...", stressing simultaneity.

Then we have 2 Samuel 14:6-7. Here the HINNE works slightly 
differently in that it fixes the R-time as the speech time (which is 
also common with HINNE, surely) and signals the start of the main 
story following the introduction in verses 5b-6. The event of verse 7 
is of course sequential to those of verse 6, but the point is rather 
that this describes the present situation. That is why NIV and NRSV 
both translate with "now" and a present perfect: "Now the whole 
family/clan has risen ..." This is in accord with the regular meaning 
of X QATAL, as are all the examples you quote which have a QATAL. I 
think that a translation "Then the whole family/clan rose..." would be 
quite wrong.

So I would still take

vehinne dibbera ha-tsitsa
vehinne dibber ha-peraH

in the story as meaning something different from what was intended 
(and in fact nonsensical in the context), something like "and (at the 
time when she bent down) the flower had said..."

Peter Kirk

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