[b-hebrew] Iterative 1Sam 1:7

CS Bartholomew jacksonpollock at earthlink.net
Sat Sep 6 15:40:46 EDT 2003

On 9/5/03 7:29 PM, "Dave Washburn" <dwashbur at nyx.net> wrote:

> 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."

On 9/5/03 7:29 PM, "Trevor Peterson" <06peterson at cua.edu> wrote:

> Well, then, here we have another question to address. Is the use of a
> yiqtol form in a past narrative context an explicit indication of
> iterativity? Or are the other contextual factors that come into play? If
> we can identify a distinctive combination of factors that indicates
> iterativity ...

Trevor and Dave, 

Looking over texts where #nh b#nh denotes iteration I found some cases where
the wqtl pattern appears, for example see whlK in:

1Sam. 7:16 whlK mdy #nh b#nh wsbb byt )l whglgl whmcph w#p+ )t y#r)l )t kl
hmqwmwt h)lh

and see also w(lw in:

Zech. 14:16 whyh kl hnwtr mkl hgwyM hb)yM (l yrw#lM w(lw mdy #nh b#nh
lh#txwt lmlK yhwh cb)wt wlxg )t xg hskwt

I took a look at *S.R.Driver's treatment of this problem. He calls the
"frequentative" one of "the various senses in which the imperfect is
employed" (p. 30, #26) and then on page 142-3 #120 he notes that in 1Sam.
7:16 we have whlK "frequentative."

I noted that Waltke & O'Conner (#32.2.3e) treatment of this left me baffled.
They seem to suggest that the wqtl is imperfective but their detailed
treatment is somewhat complex :-)

An analyst not exposed to the time honored traditions of Hebrew grammar
might be inclined to divorce iteration from the verb form.

My initial objection was to the wording of R.Alter's comment on 1Sam 1:3-7
(David Story, p.3) "Then there is a series of actions reported in the
interative tense ..." which I consider misleading. Now after looking into
the problem a just a little I am tempted to go back to Homer and Euripides
where I feel relativly safe.

Thanks for your comments and insights.

Clay Bartholomew 

*Driver, S.R. Treatise on the Use of the Tenses in Hebrew & Some Other
Syntactical Questions Eerdmans: 1998, #26, #120.

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