examples: vayyiqtol and adverbs

Peter Kirk Peter_Kirk at sil.org
Thu Sep 7 22:38:04 EDT 2000

Dear Rolf,

Perhaps this is not a fair question to a non-mother tongue English speaker.
But what conjunction would you put between "In the year that King Uzziah
died" and "I saw the Lord..." in a translation of Isaiah 6:1? I can't think
of any that fit, if we rule out ones like "however" which come after the
first element of the sentence, in English but not in Hebrew. That is because
neither in Hebrew nor in English does one ever find a conjunction between an
adverbial phrase and the sentence it modifies. Or how else would you
translate this verse to demonstrate the force of the conjunction?

Peter Kirk

----- Original Message -----
From: "Rolf Furuli" <furuli at online.no>
To: "Biblical Hebrew" <b-hebrew at franklin.oit.unc.edu>
Sent: Wednesday, September 06, 2000 6:58 PM
Subject: Re: examples: vayyiqtol and adverbs

> Peter Kirk wrote:
> This makes me happy because if we do get even one example I have managed
> falsify one of Rolf's claims, and if we don't get any examples I can
> conclude against Rashi's interpretation, on the grounds that it is based
> a unique grammatical construction as well as a conjectural emendation of
> bara' to baro'. ;-)
> ... 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.
> >
> Randall Buth answered:
> >shalom Peter,
> >You asked about examples of the following
> >> To put it another way, this interpretation demands
> >>that in verse 3 there is a WAYYIQTOL form in a non-sentence-initial
> >>position.
> >
> >I've presented on list the very nice Isaiah 6.1 and Moabite line 4-5? and
> >31(?) as examples of pure adverbial followed by vav hahippux. there are
> >others, and you might add any examples of "vayehi (befo`olo) vayya`as..."
> >contrasting with "vayehi (befo`olo) veha-po`el `asa ..., et al.
> >
> >Of course, I wouldn't exactly say 'the conjunctive meaning is not
> >possible', the question is very poorly phrased for Hebrew. It's looking
> >the language backwards/inside-out or outside-in, to turn a phrase.
> >
> Dear Peter and Randall,
> If something looks like a goose, it quacks like a goose, and it smells
> a goose, it probably is a goose.
> If something looks like a conjunction, it functions like a conjunction,
> it can be translated like a conjunction, it probably is a conjunction.
> None of Randall's examples are really convincing, particularly because WAW
> can have the force of most English conjunctions. So it is necessary to
> exclude more than the rendering "and" if one successfully should argue
> the WAW  before a verb is not a conjunction.
> Regards
> Rolf
> Rolf Furuli
> University of Oslo
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