[b-hebrew] Iterative 1Sam 1:7

Dave Washburn dwashbur at nyx.net
Fri Sep 5 22:29:26 EDT 2003

On Friday 05 September 2003 12:17, CS Bartholomew wrote:
> R.Alter's notes (The David Story) on 1Sam 1:7 comment on the "iterative
> tense."  Waltke & O'Connor (31.2.b) also cite 1Sam 1:7 as an example of the
> non-perfective used in an iterative context.
> What does this prove?
> 1Sam. 1:7 wkN y(#h #nh b#nh mdy (lth bbyt yhwh kN tk(snh wtbkh wl) t)kl
> Iteration is very explicitly encoded here by #nh b#nh
> (LXX eniauton kat¹ eniauton). What then can we say about the non-perfective
> y(#h of 1Sam. 1:7? It occurs here in a context which is explicitly
> iterative but the iterativity is made explicit by other means. Perhaps a
> negation could be stated, that a perfect would never be used in the slot
> occupied by y(#h.
> Even if this negation could be sustained, it is not equal to a positive
> statement that the non-perfective encodes iterativity, is it?

As you noted, iteration is specifically encoded in the auxiliary phrase, not 
necessarily in the verb form.  I would suggest that the presence of iteration 
in this clause says nothing at all about the force of the verb form.  
According to Galia Hatav's approach, which makes sense to me, the prefix form 
is used because this does not refer to a specific instance or event and hence 
falls under her somewhat broadened definition of "irrealis mode."

Dave Washburn
"God does a lot of things in the Psalms
that He can't get away with in systematic theology."

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