Genesis 1:6

Trevor Peterson 06PETERSON at
Thu Dec 13 11:54:28 EST 2001

That may have something to do with it (allowing the corrections to the picture 
that she gave in her response), but the reason I brought up the lack of a G 
(Qal) stem for this root is that it seems to me that a speaker who has 
internalized the language will probably be a lot better at recognizing 
connections between verb forms that actually exist. Even though she has 
learned the root/stem system, there is no reason to learn a verb form that 
does not exist; hence, the relationship is not nearly as obvious. It may seem 
like a no-brainer that the root of mavdil is BDL, since none of the consonants 
is likely to go anywhere; but If I recall correctly, even the comparative 
evidence is usually attested in the C stem only.

I should add that the original inquiry seemed to imply that BDL means 
something by itself. (Something like, "What's the difference between BDL and 
MBDL?") Since there is no attested G-stem verb badal or D-stem biddel, there 
is no verb that can be called simply BDL. (Both the N stem and the C stem add 
prefixes in their various forms.)

Trevor Peterson

>===== Original Message From Peter Kirk <Peter_Kirk at> =====
>Actually the issue between Shoshanna and the others here is not a
>grammatical one but one of language learning. I guess that Shoshanna has
>learned her Hebrew by more natural methods of talking and reading, not from
>grammar books. Those of us who have learned from old style grammar books,
>comparative Semitics etc base our understanding of Hebrew on abstract and
>often reconstructed triliteral roots and stem/binyan types. But the native
>speaker doesn't think in terms of a root BDL and a hiphil form, he or she
>thinks, as Shoshanna has shown, in terms of a single verb MABDIL which has
>particular inflections, and may not even recognise the connection between
>different forms of the same root until this is pointed out. The same happens
>to us English etc speakers in our own mother tongues; only a few days ago I
>noticed the connection between two rather similar English words, obviously
>related when you think about it.
>Peter Kirk
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Trevor Peterson [mailto:06PETERSON at]
>> Sent: 13 December 2001 03:50
>> To: Biblical Hebrew
>> Subject: RE: Genesis 1:6
>> What may be complicating the matter is that there is no attested
>> form badal,
>> which presumably would be the G verb from this root. There is the N
>> nivdal/yibbadel, meaning "to withdraw; to go over to; to be
>> excluded from; to
>> be singled out." And there is the form seen here--the C
>> hivdil/yavdil, meaning
>> "to separate, divide from, make distinction; to separate; to single out,
>> select." The ma- prefix is part of the formation of the C
>> participle, which
>> forms a maqtil pattern in strong roots (based on the paradigmatic
>> root qatal).
>> The C stem often indicates causation of the corresponding G verb,
>> but since
>> there is no G verb in this case, that's something of a moot issue. So I'd
>> start out glossing it something like "that which separates."
>> Trevor Peterson
>> CUA/Semitics
>> >===== Original Message From uri hurwitz <uhurwitz at> =====
>> > 1. Sorry, but BDL is the root of mavdil. Check any elementary  Heb.
>> >grammer, specificially the Hif'il verbal form.
>> > 2. The prepostion L need not be translated; check the very next verse,or
>> >verse 4.                                                 Uri
>> >
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