examples: vayyiqtol and adverbs, peter

yochanan bitan ButhFam at compuserve.com
Sat Sep 9 13:25:16 EDT 2000

shalom Peter,

>Thank you. I think Isaiah 6:1 will do nicely as the single example
>to refute Rolf's assertion.

thank you, you're welcome. (though see below on a second point.)

>I'm not so sure of the validity of the Moabite Stone for such an argument,
>as we need to prove not assume that it is close enough to regular
>Any examples with wayehi are less clear cut as the wayehi clause can be
>taken, at least at some level, as an independent sentence giving a setting
>and joined to the following sentence by a conjunction.

As I mentioned in another email, yes, Isaia 6.1illustrates a vayyiqtol
following an adverbial phrase, 
but no, it is not a "vav that is not a vav" to paraphrase Rolf. (rolf's
question is a bit like asking for non-water water, or a species of
two-horned antelope with one horn.)  

More importantly, let me encourage you to further read or study the moabite
stone sometime. Rainey (Tel Aviv University, emeritus?) should have an
English, annotated version of Ahituv's Hebrew Inscriptions ready by next
Spring. (be careful of Gibson, v. 1-2, he's not considered realiable over

We can, and should, assume that Moabite is a different dialect from Judean
But that does not diminish its value for Judean Hebrew. 
It's importance is in paralleling structures that some may want to ascribe
to scribal accidents. 

for example, I've actually heard people throw out Isaiah 6.1 on the grounds
that "vavhahippux doesn't follow an adverbial phrase", therefore they claim
that the text is corrupt. It's nice to have it in stone in a sister
dialect, at least 'most probably'.  (see ps below)

We also have an example of a vav hahippux as a non-sequential overlay and
also a 'dramatic pause' of X-qatal in that little text. Nice. 

In many ways the Moabite stone is a tight little text that illustrates in a
sister dialect some of the same discourse structures that occur in Judean
Hebrew. (We also have fun stuff in Moabite like Qal intix-T va'eltaHam
[hifta`al, cf. Ex 2.4 vatetatsav, for our one example in biblical Hebrew
outside of names]) So how close is Moabite? Close enough to illustrate
Judean Hebrew in a surprising number of contexts. I suspect, but cannot
prove, that they are closer than British and American English. 

Randall Buth

ps: on isaiah 6.1 from another post on this thread to Rolf:

Isaiah 6.1, the event "I saw the Lord" is a focal, 'on line' thematic'
It is not a subordiated relative: "**It was year X when I saw the Lord" (**
means 'not correct, it misses the pragmatics')

would you like the pramatics? 
     "In the year that king Uzzia died something important happened. I saw
the L-rd."

That was for free. If you see it and can use it fine. If you want details
or want to fight it, then you'll have to wait for the book. 

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list