veqatal and adverbs, and Genesis 1:1-3

Peter Kirk Peter_Kirk at
Mon Sep 4 09:28:06 EDT 2000

Dear Rolf,

The interpretation of Genesis 1:1-3 preferred by Rashi and several list
members, if it were unambiguous, would provide your counter-example, as they
interpret WAYYO'MER in verse 3 as the main verb following an extended
adverbial phrase of time. A waw conjunction is not normally found after a
time phrase and before a verb. In fact, can anyone find ANY examples of
this, with any verb form? To put it another way, this interpretation demands
that in verse 3 there is a WAYYIQTOL form in a non-sentence-initial

Now when I questioned some months ago whether this was a possible sentence
structure, I remember that some examples were found. Please can someone
quote these examples again, i.e. any sentence in which an adverbial phrase
precedes a WAYYIQTOL verb which it modifies.

This makes me happy because if we do get even one example I have managed to
falsify one of Rolf's claims, and if we don't get any examples I can safely
conclude against Rashi's interpretation, on the grounds that it is based on
a unique grammatical construction as well as a conjectural emendation of
bara' to baro'. ;-)

Peter Kirk

----- Original Message -----
From: "Rolf Furuli" <furuli at>
To: "Biblical Hebrew" <b-hebrew at>
Sent: Sunday, September 03, 2000 5:22 PM
Subject: Re: veqatal and adverbs


... The enclitic WAWs can in *all* instances be explained as mere
> conjunctions. You can falsify this claim by pointing to just one example
> where a conjunctive meaning is not possible.

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