Prophetic Perfects in the Psalms

Lee R. Martin lmartin at
Mon Apr 23 08:44:27 EDT 2001

Dear Rolf,
See my comments among your post below.

> Lee R. Martin wrote:
> >Dear Rolf,
> >How are you able to determine which of these are "future perfects"?  Why
> >can't all of them be future perfects?
> >Lee R. Martin
> >
> >> Dear Ken,
> >>
> >> In my list of 965 perfects (QATAL and not WEQATAL) in the whole Tanach,
> >> where reference time comes after the deictic point (future reference),
> >> are from the Psalms. Three or four of these are "future perfect" and
> >> rest are simple future. > >> Rolf
> Dear Lee,
> In Hebrew we do not have forms coding for future tense and the perfective
> aspect, which can be combined to create future perfect.

Yes, Rolf, this is true.
> This means that I follow the procedure to interpret all verbs with future
> reference (YIQTOL,WEYIQTOL, WAYYIQTOL, QATAL, and WEQATAL) as simple
> if the mentioned criteria do not show that a particular form is future
> perfect (modality will of course be considered as well).

Rolf, I believe that you are beginning here with the wrong assumption.  It
seems more logical to me that we begin with the assumption that all QATALS
with future reference be future perfects unless there are sound reasons for
deciding against it.
> (1) Gen. 24:19 NIV After she had given him a drink, she said,  "I'll draw
> (YIQTOL) water for your camels too, until they have finished (QATAL+
> infinitive) drinking."

I agree that this is future perfect.
> (2) Gen. 28:15 I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and
> will bring you back to this land. I will not leave (YIQTOL) you until I
> have done (QATAL) what I have promised (QATAL) you."
I agree that this is future perfect
> (3) Gen. 17:20 And as for Ishmael, I have heard (QATAL) you: I will surely
> bless him (QATAL); I will make him fruitful (WEQATAL) and will greatly
> increase (WEQATAL) his numbers. He will be the father (YIQTOL) of twelve
> rulers, and I will make him (WEQATAL) into a great nation.
Unlike you, I understand this as either performative or future perfect.
This sentence is fundamentally different in structure from the two previous.
The qatal in the previous verses were in subordinate clauses, preceded by an
adverb, but in this case the qatal is in an independent clause. If this is
not future perfect, then how would you construct a future perfect
independent clause in BH?

Gen. 17:16 I will bless (WEQATAL) her and will surely give you (QATAL)
> a son by her. I will bless (WEQATAL) her so that she will be (WEQATAL) the
> mother of nations; kings of peoples will come (YIQTOL) from her."
Same as above. Either performative or future perfect.

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