veqatal and adverbs

Bryan Rocine brocine at
Sun Sep 3 17:20:41 EDT 2000

mah nishma, Randy!

You wrote:

> This is where using a language, even being fluent, is
helpful. You become
> aware of self-inconsistencies.

Fair enough.  As one *uses* the language, *functions* with
the language, consistencies appear which make communication
not only possible but efficient.  At the same time, may we
look for a more general understanding of a single form that
is used to express divergent situations?  Is such a
reduction pointless and naive?  Or does it bring us closer
perhaps to the ancients?

Take weqatal as an example: it is used as the mainline of
both predictive narration (future) *and* procedural
discourse (how-it-was-done-in-the-past discourse).  Not to
mention weqatal's significant appearance, more than a
handful of times, for one-time-and-done past events such as
in 1 Sam 17:38, in which weqatal is used, imo, to draw
attention to an act by Saul that foreshadows the
transference of the crown from Saul to David.  In other
words, might there be a general meaning for the form that
allows it to function in divergent contexts?  I believe in
the case of the weqatal that the answer is yes and stems
from the form's origin as a timeless expression of an
attribution.   qatal = he is/was a killer.  Weqatal = he
was/will be a killer.  I believe that until one becomes
sensitive to this underlying meaning of the suffixed forms,
one's reading of BH may be likened to kissing the bride
through the veil. ;-)

Just my two shqalim.


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

(office) 315-437-6744
(home) 315-479-8267

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