[b-hebrew] Vav consecutive Gen 1:3

George Athas gathas at hotkey.net.au
Wed May 26 06:09:01 EDT 2004

Serves to prove the view that the waw consecutive verbs are not imperfects at all, but preterites (past tense) with a non-converse waw. The jussive is formed off the preterite, hence both forms are shorter than the imperfect.

Best regards,

Lecturer in Biblical Languages
Southern Cross College
Sydney, Australia

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Harold R. Holmyard III 
  To: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org 
  Sent: Tuesday, May 25, 2004 6:22 AM
  Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Vav consecutive Gen 1:3

  Dear Chris,

  >I really mean it, I don't go looking for trouble but:
  >Genesis 1:2  --  Let there be light and there was light.
  >My grammar book states ( about the perfect + imperfect sequence):  "The vav
  >consecutive is used nowhere else in the whole hebrew verb system except
  >here".  I.E. Vav with patach.
  >So? YHi (yod heh yod) being a jussive is followed by exactly the same except
  >with Vav consecutive, and as I understand it one cannot point the vav in
  >this manner EXCEPT on a vav consecutive. Yet this second verb is also
  >Now you can all obliterate my reasoning because as is usual I have to be
  >missing something obvious.

  HH: I changed the header since the verse you cite is Gen 1:3. You may 
  be overlooking something. The preceding verb of importance may be 
  "and he said," because "Let there be light" is an object clause for 
  the verb of saying. So "and he said" is the main clause. The thought 
  progression may be: "And he said something, and there was light." So 
  the waw consecutive on "and there was" may follow a similar waw 
  consecutive on "and he said," which may go back to the QATAL verb 
  "was" in Gen 1:2: "darkness was."

  Harold Holmyard

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