Hebrew Syntax., 2 Sam 15:37

David Stabnow dstabno at lifeway.com
Wed Apr 17 10:52:20 EDT 2002

Rolf wrote: "The reason for the yiqtol rather than a wayyiqtol in [2 Kings
3:26], is the negation before it which even has a prefixed waw."

DKS: I believe the last clause of 3:26 is X-QATAL.  The YIQTOL of *YKL*
would be *YW.KAL*.  Thus this examples actually supports the traditional
understanding that X-QATAL is the counterpart to WAYYIQTOL.  That is, when
the writer needs to move an element to the front of a clause that would
otherwise be WAYYIQTOL, the result is X-QATAL.  In my dissertation
exploring whether negative clauses could be on-line, I observed hundreds if
not thousands of cases where a negative X-QATAL clause is within a string
of WAYYIQTOL clauses.  Your claim to the contrary simply doesn't account
for the vast majority of the evidence.

Rolf wrote: "One can hardly argue that the plurality of the yiqtols
indicates iterativity, habituality or progression, for the same argument
could be used regarding the wayyiqtols since they are plural as well."

DKS: It is not from the plurality of the forms that I would argue
iterativity, but from the forms of the clauses themselves.  X-YIQTOL and
WEQATAL are often used for the iterative or habitual sense.  The idea here
is that as they went, the Israelites were continually destroying the land.

Rolf wrote: "To argue on the basis of a special theory of discourse that
the YIQTOL does not portray an avent of this world but rather of an
imagined world is in my view very misleading. Something that is unfounded
is read into the text."

DKS: Do you not also have your own "special theory"?  The challenge is
which theory best accounts for the majority of the evidence with the fewest
unexplained cases.  If the X-YIQTOL's in Exod 19:19 are not iterative, they
are admittedly anomalous in my theory of DA (Schneider treated them
specially, calling them "actualizing" YIQTOL's).  But for every one case
like this you have to explain the hundreds of X-QATAL's in the midst of
WAYYIQTOL's -- e.g., in the vicinity of your examples, Exod 19:18; Judg
8:3; 2 Sam 15:11; 16:1.  As far as the "imagined world" is concerned, any
theory of language has to account for irrealis, whether it be negation or

Dave Stabnow
Bible Translation Editor
Broadman & Holman Publishers
Nashville, Tennessee
david.stabnow at lifeway.com

    Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do,
do everything for God's glory.  (1 Cor 10:31, HCSB)

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