[b-hebrew] Waw Consecutive in Narrative Hebrew Narrative

Matthew T. Williams kopio at comcast.net
Sun Oct 12 03:14:01 EDT 2003

Hello All,

I've recently had instructors at school tell me two (apparently) conflicting
things about waw consecutives in Hebrew Narrative.  I was wondering if I
could get a few list members to chime in with their thoughts about it.
Off-List replies are fine if appropriate (i.e. theologically or other than
linguistically motivated).

The point that one of my teachers made is that since the book of Joshua
starts with a waw-consecutive, it is meant to be read as a continuation of
the Torah.  He made the point that throughout the TaNaK, there are numerous
points where books start with a waw-consecutive and that this is a literary
tool used by the authors to portray them as a linear story, and that we
should read them in that light.

My other teacher (my Hebrew teacher) shook his head and said that's not what
he thought at all.  He suggested that waw-consecutives are almost a
"default" type of verb form in Hebrew, and that they are so common, that to
find them at the start of the book isn't surprising at all.  He thinks the
first view reads far too much into the text.

Any discussion/suggestions would be warmly received.



Matthew T. Williams
kopio at comcast.net
Vancouver, Wa

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