Hebrew Syntax.

Rolf Furuli furuli at online.no
Mon Apr 15 03:14:04 EDT 2002

Dear Moon, Peter, and Dave,

In my view, Galia has produced a very fine scientific work. However, 
it just covers a part of the Hebrew Bible and her interpretations of 
some of her examples may be open to discussion. The example I used is 
not an exception.

In my analysis of all the YIQTOLS  of the MT (13.625, I may have 
missed a few, and a few were textually spurious) I got the following 

Past 1.022
Pre-past 5
Perfect 173
gnomic 657
Future 4.841
Modal 5.117

I ascribe modality to "only" 37,6 % of them. Even some YIQTOLs which 
are sentence initial evidently are indicative. In his article "The 
Distribution of Short and Long Imperfect Forms in Biblical Hebrew", 
Le$onenu 1,2, 5760-5761, 2000-2001, Moshe Florentin refers to "150 
indicative forms (not cohortative) in a head position /sentence 

The reproduction below of one of the tables of my thesis regarding 
BW) with past meaning shows that YIQTOL is frequently used in the 
indicative. There are many more examples of BW)  than those that 
occur in the table and hundreds of examples of other YIQTOLs with 
past meaning in the indicative.

a	Genesis 6:4	The Nephilim were (ŠwyDh) in the earth in 
that days, and also after that, when the sons of God were going 
(ŠwaøbÎy rRvSa) to the daughters of men and they bore (ŠwdVlÎy×w) 
sons to them
b	Genesis 27:33	and I ate (lAkOaÎw) of everything before you 
came in (awøbD;t M®rRfV;b) and I blessed him (ŠwhEkßrDbSaÎw)
c	Genesis 30.38	And the staffs that he had peeled (lEŠxIÚp), 
he placed (gEŠxÅ¥yÅw) in front of the flock, in the gutters, in the 
watering troughs, where the flocks came (Î  NaøbD;t rRvSa) to drink
d	Genesis 41.50	Before the year of famine came (awøbD;t 
M®rRfV;b), two sons were born (dA;l¨y) to Joseph
e	Judges 14:18	Before the sun went down (aøbÎy M®rRfV;b) on 
the seventh day the men of the town said (ŠwrVmaø¥yÅw) to him
f	2 Samuel 15.37	And David's friend Husai came (aøbÎ¥yÅw) into 
the city; also Absalom came (aøbÎy MølDvVbAa×w) into Jerusalem.
g	1 Kings 3.16	Then two women, prostitutes, came in 
(hÎnaøbD;t zDa) to the king, and they stood (hÎnˆdOmSoA;tÅw) before 
h	1 Kings 4:28	And the barley and the straw for the horses 
and for the teams of horses they kept bringing (ŠwaIbÎy vRkrDl×w 
MyIsŠw;sAl NRbR;tAh×w MyîrOoVÚcAh×w) to the proper place
i	2 Kings 6:32	And Elisha was sitting (bEvOy) in his own 
house, and the older men were sitting (MyIbVvOy) with him; and he 
sent (jAlVv–¥yÅw) a man before him. Before the messenger had come in 
(aøbÎy M®rRfV;b), he himself said (rAmDa) to the older men
j	2 Kings 19.33	By the way that he came (aøbÎy_rRvSa) he will 
return (bŠwvÎy) (yiqt past and fut)
k	2Kings 20:14	And Isaiah the prophet came in (aøbÎ¥yÅw) to 
king Hezekiah and said (rRmaø¥yÅw) to him: "What did these men say 
(ŠwrVmDa) and from where did they come (ŠwaøbÎy N–yAaEmŠw)
l	1 Chronicles 9:28	For it was by number that they were 
brought in (MŠwayIb×y rDÚpVsImVbŠw) and it was by number tht they 
were brought out (MŠwayIxwøy)
m	Ezra 10:8	And anyone that did not come (awøbÎy_aøl) in 
three daysŠ all his goods was put under ban (MårFjÎy) 
n	Nehemiah 13:19	And some of my own attendants I stationed 
(yI;tˆdAmToRh) at the gates; no one came in (awøbÎy_aøl) on the 
Sabbath day 
o	Esther 2:14	She did not go in (awøbDt_aøl) again to the 
king unless the king had taken delight (XEpDj_MIa) and she was called 
(hDaˆrVq–n×w) by name
p	Ezekiel 19:9	And they put (Šwh¨nV;t–¥yÅw) him in a cage by 
means of hooks, and they brought (ŠwhUaIb×yÅw) him to the king of 
Babylon. They brought (ŠwhUaIb×y) him into prison, so his voice was 
no longer heard on the mountains of Israel.
q	Habakkuk 3:16	I heard (yI;tVoAmDv), and my belly trembled 
(zÅŠgˆrI;tÅw), my lips quivered (ŠwlSlDx) at the sound, rottenness 
entered (awøbÎy) into my bones, and I trembled (zΊgˆrRa) within 



Rolf Furuli

University of Oslo

>Moon, may I answer you here as one also trained originally in science
>and who then worked as an engineer. In most branches of science, if a
>hypothesis has a 96% or 97% fit with the observed facts (as here), the
>general truth of that hypothesis is considered rather strongly
>indicated. Of course one then needs to look at the remaining results.
>They may be spurious or corrupted (cf. here the text may be corrupt);
>but one would need to look into whether that is reasonable. Or one might
>find that this small residue of results can be accounted for by making
>adjustments to the hypothesis. Sometimes it might be necessary to leave
>the hypothesis as incomplete and uncertain because a residue of results
>has not been accounted for. But I am sure no scientist would reject a
>hypothesis completely because of a 3-4% discrepancy.
>Peter Kirk
>>  -----Original Message-----
>>  From: Moon-Ryul Jung [mailto:moon at sogang.ac.kr]
>>  Sent: 14 April 2002 16:24
>>  To: Biblical Hebrew
>>  Subject: RE: Hebrew Syntax.
>>  Rolf,
>>  As a topic related to this exercise, G. Hatav believes that
>>  yiqtol and weqatal are "modals". Your example is a counterexample
>>  to her thesis. In her book, she also noted some non-modal uses of
>>  yiqtol and said it is difficult to explain them (She thinks some are
>>  corrupted because some other versions do not use yiqtol in those
>>  examples.) The non-modal use of yiqtol is  3% [more than 30] of the
>>  yiqtol's in her corpus, which is Genesis through Kings. The non-modal
>>  of weqatal is 4% of the 573 weqatal's.
>>  I have no idea how to deal with this kind or this amount of
>>  counterexample. Hatav seems to think it does not invalidate her
>>  thesis. As a scientist/engineer in training, I wonder how such
>>  counterexamples do not invalidate her thesis. If there is no way
>>  to explain away these counterexamples, how is it that they do not
>>  invalidate the thesis? Is there some agreement going on here among
>>  the players in the field?
>>  Moon
>>  Moon R. Jung
>>  Sogang Univ, Seoul, Korea
>>  Moon
>>  Moon R. Jung
>>  Sogang Univ, Seoul, Korea
>>  ---
>>  You are currently subscribed to b-hebrew as: [Peter_Kirk at sil.org]
>>  To unsubscribe, forward this message to leave-b-hebrew-
>>  14207U at franklin.oit.unc.edu
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