Prophetic Perfects in the Psalms

Lee R. Martin lmartin at
Mon Apr 23 15:48:30 EDT 2001

>  Lee R. Martin wrote,
> >>RF: This means that I follow the procedure to interpret all verbs with
> >> reference (YIQTOL,WEYIQTOL, WAYYIQTOL, QATAL, and WEQATAL) as simple
> >future
> >> if the mentioned criteria do not show that a particular form is future
> >> perfect (modality will of course be considered as well).
> >
> >LM: 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
> >with future reference be future perfects unless there are sound reasons
> >deciding against it.
> Dear Lee,
> I wonder if we understand the concept "future perfect" in the same way.

Dear Rolf, Yes I understand it in the same way.
> I have never heard of any approach in linguistics when one presumes that
> particular verbs are future perfect (a relative tense) if there are no
> evidence for it both in the form itself and in the context.

The evidence for future perfect is that the form is QATAL (which I presume
to be perfective) and the deictic point is future. A perfective form with
future tense is future perfect.

> >> (3) Gen. 17:20 And as for Ishmael, I have heard (QATAL) you: I will
> >> bless him (QATAL); I will make him fruitful (WEQATAL) and will greatly

While it is true that we have no indicator of a future deictic point here,
there is no evidence that the "blessing" (QATAL) is not in the immediate
past. Thus is not at all necessary to make this future.
> >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)
> >> mother of nations; kings of peoples will come (YIQTOL) from her."

In the case of Gen 17:16, the WEQATAL is enough to indicate a future deictic
point, thus the QATAL could very easily be a future perfect.

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