[b-hebrew] Prophetic Perfect? Psalm 107:18-21

Ken Penner pennerkm at mcmaster.ca
Thu May 20 16:29:52 EDT 2004

Hi Liz,

I mention Psalm 107 because it was the subject of some discussion in March
here on B-Hebrew. Bryan Rocine asked us to look at verses 19-21, and Peter
Kirk thought verse 18 should be included. 

> I suppose there are exceptions. How would you know
> when anything is an exception tho? I don't think context is
> trustworthy since you deny part of the context when you ignore
> the form of the verb.
> I tend not to make exceptions myself.

Context is trustworthy when we have explicit time indicators in the text.
Consider in context Exodus 10:3,  )D-MTY M)NT L(NT MPNY: "Until when (will?
or did?) you refuse to humble yourself before me?" Pharaoh hadn't stopped
refusing when he was asked this.

Even the context is not necessary at times: how can living people say GW(NW
(Numbers 17:27), if the tense means the event of dying (or the state of
being dead) preceded the act of speaking ("we died")?

This is how we know when something is an exception. Would you still say
context is never trustworthy? Or would you say, yes, sometimes (however
rarely), QATAL forms are used for future events?

Ken Penner

> As for Psalm 107 I remember translating it in a 
> class at NYU with Dan Fleming, but I don't remember
> anythng in particular abou the discussion. Since I'm not
> going to translate the entire psalm for you over e-mail,
> and since off-hand I don't see or remember anything problematic,
> you should tell what particular verse(s) you would like me
> to tackle.

> > I would be interested in your translation of Psalm 107.

> > > I don't believe in a prophetic perfect. Nope.

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