[b-hebrew] A Jewish perspective on reading biblical hebrew

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Thu Nov 25 16:32:53 EST 2004

On 25/11/2004 20:21, Noam Eitan wrote:

> ...
>I'm curious what are the feelings of Modern Hebrew speakers on this board 
>about this issue. I have a vague impression that they have been relatively 
>quiet on this thorny grammatical problem on this board, maybe because Modern 
>Hebrew speakers don't experience any tension or cognitive dissonance when 
>following the tenses (if that's what it is) in the text.
But surely there are places where the Hebrew Bible simply doesn't make 
sense if all verb forms are read as if they were modern Hebrew tenses? 
Aren't there? Can anyone suggest any examples? Perhaps 1 Samuel 1:5: is 
this understood as "And to Hannah he will give..."?

And what do modern Hebrew speakers make of WAYYIQTOL and WEQATAL forms? 
I assume they cannot understand these simply as future and past 
respectively, plus the conjunctions. That approach would certainly lead 
to cognitive dissonance, not least in putting most of the historical 
events of the Bible into the future!

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

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list