[b-hebrew] Vocalization of wnr)h 1Sam 1:22

Karl Randolph kwrandolph at email.com
Mon Sep 15 15:50:49 EDT 2003

Dear Clay Bartholomew:

I have never heard of a passive Qal before. I was taught that the Niphal is the passive for the Qal.

One of the challenges in reading the text without points is that often the consonants can be read as Qal, or Niphal, or Piel or Pual, and it is only the context that decides which is which.

If we read  nr)h as a QAL it is a first person plural, as you say. If it is Niphal, it is third person sing.

There are four verbs in Hannah’s statement: the first is third person sing., the second is first person sing., the fourth third person sing., the third verb is either third person sing. or first person plural. The first person plural fits the flow of the sentence as well as the Qal usage of R)H as is found in other passages using this unique context.

The Greek you transliterated below is third person sing., and I believe the Latin is the same.

In closing, I do not agree with Mr. Alter that it is late, unless “late” can be as much as 2000 years ago.

Yours, Karl W. Randolph.

----- Original Message -----
From: CS Bartholomew <jacksonpollock at earthlink.net>

> Karl,
> I did some more work on this but was hesitant to go on with discussion
> because I felt like I was "putting my feet in the bilge"* and without help
> from some expert source would just get further and further into confusion.
> Here are some of the issues:
> Passive QAL
> Under r)h HAL (page 1160 sec. 4) suggests that where nr)h might be a passive
> QAL. Waltke/O'Connor #22.6 explain this but after reading it half a dozen
> times I was no less enlightened than before.
> Active/Passive Translation
> Robert Alter translates it as an active QAL, "We will see the LORD's
> presence ... 
> The Vulgate translates active but using appareat, a word which in the active
> form has the same semantic value as nr)h read as nifal.
> > Also note that the Vulgate supports the MT:
> > 
> > 1Sam. 1:22 ... et appareat ante conspectum Domini et maneat ibi iugiter
> > 
> > The vulgate uses the active form appareat to render the niphal r)h where the
> > LXX uses the passive ophthesetai. Both render the sense of the MT
> So the Vulgate and LXX appear to read nr)h as nifal, note person and number.
> I am very open to correction here, since I am in over my head on this
> question. 
> If we read  nr)h as a QAL passive it would be first person plural, No?
> The ancient versions are only one form of evidence, but they do undermine
> Robert Alter's suggestion that the nifal reading of nr)h 1Sam. 1:22 didn't
> show up until the middle ages.
> greetings,
> Clay Bartholomew 
> *i.e., getting embroiled in difficulties, see Euripides, Heraclidae line168
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