[b-hebrew] Aspect, nitzdak in Dan 8:14

B. M. Rocine brocine at twcny.rr.com
Thu Jun 10 12:08:16 EDT 2004

Hi Eduard,

As you may be aware from the debate on b-hebrew or from the vast and
contradictory literature on the semantics of the BH verb, that there is a
variety of opinions.  A consensus is difficult to determine.

What's more, we may be particularly hesitant about commenting on nitzdak
because it is from Daniel.  Daniel is not typically in the corpus of study
in literature that examines BH verbal semantics, which generally include
only the "Standard BH Prose" of Genesis through 2 Kings.  (In fact, may I
ask if there is any literature on the verbal semantics of Daniel's Hebrew?
It sounds like Rolf is including Daniel in his corpus.)

In short, the scholars are still debating the verbal semantics of the
"standard" prose, so that the field has not ventured yet into such texts as
Daniel, which are considered so late they are supposed to be probably
distinct.  It's sort of strange how the burden of proof has fallen to those
who want to claim Daniel's Hebrew is the same as that of other times rather
than on those who claim that it is different.

But let's not be too pessimistic, so that we despair of being able to
comprehend Daniel 8:14.  In a quick perusal, the passage you cite does
appear standard, so that the meaning of the form for nitzdak, in my view is
perfective (not perfect), viewing the situation as a whole  (I think of the
qatal and weqatal as inherently adjectival or stative.  This is an aspectual
category). The reference is to the future, but I can't say we get the future
meaning from verb form alone.  Future reference comes from verb form *plus*
context.  I think my reading of the passage is like Rolf's even though we
get there by a little different route.


you wrote:

> Dear Peter:
> As I mentioned to Ethan, the 'Aspect' thread gave me the opportunity to
> inquire on a topic that has been of interest to me for a few years, that
> the morphology of the verb NITZDAK, its aspect, in the context of Daniel
> 8:9-14. I did not have  in mind specifically the discussion about aspect,
> but I don't think I deviated from the general topic of the thread.
> Please refer to my message to Noam Ethan. I would appreciate if you let me
> know your personal opinion about the aspect or rather Aktionsart of the
> I mentioned.
> Regards,
> Eduard
> On 09/06/2004 11:13, Noam Eitan wrote:
> >>One of the verbs that have preocupied me in this sense is the NITZDAK of
> >>Daniel 8:14 ( the niphal waw consec perfect 3rd person masculine
> >>of the verb TZADEIK).
> >>
> >
> >
> >
> >I don't think this NITZDAK is a good launching pad for a discussion about
> >aspect, because the meaning of both is controversial. We need examples
> >where the meaning can be clearly gleaned at least from the context to
> >discuss such a topic. - Noam Eitan, Brooklyn, NY
> >
> >
> >
> >
> Another good reason for not using this as a launching pad is that (by
> everyone's reckoning) Daniel was one of the last books of the Hebrew Bible
> to be written, and there is evidence that in late biblical Hebrew the
> meanings of some verb forms were beginning to shift towards the rather
> different meanings found in DSS and Mishnaic Hebrew. This whole topic is
> certainly controversial. But to avoid such controversy it is best to start
> with the core non-poetic texts of the Hebrew Bible, i.e. the Pentateuch
> the historical books from Joshua to Kings.
> --
> Peter Kirk

B. M. Rocine
Living Word Church
6101 Court St. Rd.
Syracuse, NY 13206

ph: 315.437.6744
fx: 315.437.6766

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