[b-hebrew] Song of the Sea : Az Yiashir moshe

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Tue Mar 30 07:45:29 EST 2004

On 30/03/2004 04:19, Yigal Levin wrote:

>Several of the commentators that I read, such as Rashi and Ramban, point to
>other examples of the future being used in the past, such as um. 21:17, Josh
>10:12, 1 Kings 7:8 and 1 Kings 11:7. They understand it as meaning that
>Moses decided to sing, and then sang. Ibn-Ezra says: "it is customary for
>the narrator to put himself in the place of the character - to look at
>things from his prospective".
>Rashi does quote the Talmud (Sanhedrin 91b) as bringing this as proof of the
>future resurrection of the dead, but he takes this to be a secondary
>midrash, not the literal meaning of the verse. Hezkuni quotes Ramban (not in
>his commentary on Exodus) as understanding "then Moses and the Children of
>Israel WILL SING" as meaning that the Song of the Sea is to be sung every
>day for all generations - which certainly reflects Jewish practice since
>antiquity - the Song is recited as part of the daily prayers.
It is worth a reminder that this YIQTOL form, although it is a future 
tense in modern Hebrew and probably was to the mediaeval commentators, 
is not in fact a future in biblical Hebrew. It can equally be a 
continuous or habitual past, "Moses and the Israelites WERE SINGING" or 

Peter Kirk
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)

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