BDB abbreviation

Trevor Peterson 06PETERSON at
Fri Jan 11 12:20:00 EST 2002

>===== Original Message From Andre Landman <landmal at> =====
>I am trying to determine the meaning of an abbreviation in BDB which does
>not appear to be in their list of abbreviations. The entry is the verb
>'MR.  In the second line under the headword, next to Eth... there is what
>appears to be I.2, followed by "shew, declare" etc. Anyone able to tell me
>what the I.2 refers to?

My best guess is that they identify the stem and pattern of the Ethiopic verb. 
"I" probably indicates the G stem (Heb. Qal) and "2" the second pattern 
(Ethiopic has verbal patterns that look very close to and quite probably were 
derived from stem types but are now merely an aspect of the lexical form that 
a given verb takes). Although the script doesn't show it, the middle radical 
is doubled in this verb, as in all verbs of the second pattern. Don't confuse 
it with the D stem (Heb. Piel), though, as they are frozen forms specific to 
each root.

So the long and short of it for those who don't know Ethiopic would be that 
this root in the G stem means "shew, declare" (which is what the "I" tells 
you). The "2" is only significant if you know Ethiopic. Of course, I could be 
completely off base on what the abbreviation is doing there, since I'm not 
that familiar with the different notation systems; but it does fit what I 
would expect.

Trevor Peterson

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