[b-hebrew] Prophetic Perfect?

Harold R. Holmyard III hholmyard at ont.com
Wed May 19 10:35:24 EDT 2004

Dear Rolf,

>"In my doctoral thesis I have translated Jeremiah 50 and 51 into 
>English, and this is a *prophecy* about Babel. In the 104 verses I 
>have translated, the following verbs  with simple future: 70 
>yiqtols, 2 weyiqtols, 7 wayyiqtols, 49 weqatals, and 63 qatals. In 
>addition, 4 qatals are translated with future perfect. "  The verbs 
>are found in the following verses: Jeremiah 
>50:1,2,3,5,8,12,15,18,21,23,24,25,27,29,31,33,43,45, and 
>Please look at these two chapters and decide how many QATALs and 
>WAYYIQTOLs you will translate by simple future? And if you choose 
>another tense, please indicate your arguments for that.
>Of the about one thousand QATALs with future reference I have 
>listed, less than 10 per cent should be viewed as future perfect 
>(according to the context), so in most places I will use simple 
>future. There are quite a number of places where the choice of 
>QATAL, while being simple future, could signal stress of some kind, 
>and this must be considered by the translator.  The following 
>questions should be considered: The way grammars and textbooks 
>define QATAL, does this mean that a simple future meaning is 
>excluded?  2) Can we trust these definitions, or are they in need of 
>a revision?

HH: The NIV translators put a number of QATAL verbs in Jeremiah 50 in 
the past, beginning with DBR in 50:1. The NIV uses perfects in the 
first three verbs of 50:6, then two past verbs. They use past verbs 
in 50:7. They use perfect or past verbs in 50:17 and for the last 
verb in 50:18 (PQDTY). They use past verbs in 50:23-24. They have 
perfect verbs in 50:25. They use a perfect translation for B) in 
verse 27, for (&TH and ZRH in verse 29, and for B) in verse 31. They 
have two perfect verbs in 50:43 ("has heard, has gripped") and two in 
50:45 ("has planned, has purposed"). All the other verbs in Jeremiah 
50 are present, future, or imperatives. The past and perfect verbs 
seem appropriate in their contexts. So NIV would agree with you that 
the QATAL can be taken as future.

				Harold Holmyard

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