Verb trial thesis

David Taylor dave201 at
Mon Apr 8 02:01:16 EDT 2002

----- Original Message -----
From: Randall Buth <ButhFam at>
Date: Sun, 7 Apr 2002 03:37:41 -0400
To: Biblical Hebrew <b-hebrew at>
Subject: Re: Verb trial thesis

> On 1 Sam 17.34-35. The verbs are talking about open-ended, 
> multiple actions, i.e. the veqatal verbs. The vayyiqtol pulls out one 
> incidence and uses it as an example of what would happen in a 
> particular case. You may translate with "if a lion would stand up 
> against me", though the structure is not a standard conditional 
> clause, it is an exemplary clause within a string of habituals. 
> blessings
> Randall Buth
> Jerusalem

Shalom Randall,

I would like to differ with your proposed translation, since the setting of the story clearly indicates that the incident did occur. David is using it to prove to Saul his courage and valor and that he is capable of fighting the Philistines. There is no point in stating what he would do, i.e if a lion did this I would do that, since David has already claimed that he is capable of fighting the Philistines. It is when Saul said: "You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are but a youth while he has been a warrior from his youth." that David wanted to represent his proven capability (i.e the incident of the lion).

The interchange between the the veqatal verbs and vayyiqtol verbs in 1 Saul 17:34-35, I believe, is to indicate that the action represented by the veqatal verb is immediately followed by the action represented by the vayyiqtol. Hence the translation could be like this: " As soon as the lion took the lamb from the flock, I went out after him" and " as soon as I rescued it from his mouth he rose up against me".



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