Questions for Rolf

Greg Doudna gdoudna at
Sat Apr 21 01:44:30 EDT 2001


Your posts are very interesting. For the benefit of those on
the list who may have tuned in late and missed earlier discussions
(a way of asking for myself!), could you just state very simply
what you see as the difference between yqtl and qtl (prefix and
suffix) conjugations in your view? What are these two conjugations
marking, why are they used, what is their difference in meaning,
etc., or are you saying it is all totally free variation?

You cite many examples from BH showing inconsistencies
with conventional assumptions. However I have done a lot of
work on the Qumran pesharim and related texts, and curiously,
it looks to me (in the pesharim; not in 1QH) like the verb forms
function very much like the naive ways which you attempt
to refute, i.e. there is a consistent pattern of wicked figures named
with sobriquets: their crimes are named as qtl/perfects (past),
whereas their punishments (future) are named with yqtl (imperfects).
The consistency of this pattern argues against any notion of
free variation as the explanation.
(I hasten to say this is not quite totally consistent; but the
rare exceptions are reasonably explained as scribal errors.)
And the waw-consecutives seem to 'reverse' the tense just as
in the beginner's Hebrew-learning conception that most on this
list would talk the beginner out of.

Three possibilities: (a) is QH a reduction or development such
that the 'naive' tense rules, which in fact don't work for BH 
(as per your and other data) DO work here, because they
have BECOME that way? (b) maybe I'm reading the

pesharim wrongly?, or (c) maybe some underlying single 
explanatory system would account for both QH and BH
verb uses by a single set of rules.  (Maybe you have such
a set of rules to propose?)

In any case, thanks: basically could you just give your
one-paragraph (or more) basic beginners' intro to your

Greg Doudna

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list