[b-hebrew] Basic question on vowel points and verbals

waldo slusher waldoslusher at yahoo.com
Sat Jul 19 08:43:02 EDT 2003

Please pardon my basic questions, but I am very new to
Hebrew. In fact, I am reading an Introduction to
Hebrew for the first time. The author (Allen Ross)
indicates that vowel points were created in the 7th to
9th centuries by the Masoretics. Back when the OT was
written, I am assuming that Hebrew did not use vowel
points. As I was reading on the Qal, Niphal, Piel, and
Pual, I was understanding the author to say that some
of these verbal stems are distinguished BY THEIR VOWEL
POINTS. Am I right in assuming that these stems were
distinguished in OT times based on CONTEXT/USAGE
rather than any formal markings?

Also, perhaps I haven't read far enough, but so far,
no indication has been forthcoming of the Hebrew verbs
TEMPORAL nature. The author has yet to say whether or
not the Hebrew verbal system is TEMPORAL, ASPECTUAL,
or BOTH. Which is it, or is this a debatable topic?

Waldo Slusher
Calgary, AB

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