[b-hebrew] The translation of ehyeh

B. M. Rocine brocine at twcny.rr.com
Thu Aug 4 14:01:34 EDT 2005

Hi Harold,

Harold R. Holmyard III wrote:

Alviero Niccacci wrote:
>>Exod. 3:14a should then be translated: "I will be [first-place, volitive
>>yiqtol: I promise I will be, i.e. for you] what I was [yiqtol for habitual
>>past, i.e. or your Fathers]."
> HH: To me this is odd translation, taking the same verb and giving it 
> two different interpretations within three words.

You are seeing the neatness of the Niccacci model.  To him, the type of 
clause and the position within the clause are critical to understanding 
the meaning of a verb form.  It would be great, if you would want to 
learn more about Niccacci to read his "A Neglected Point of Hebrew 
Syntax: _yiqtol_ and position in the sentence." Liber Anus (1987) 
39:310-327.  It may be available on the net.

In summary, a yiqtol in first position (the first ehyeh) is volitional, 
but yiqtol in a dependent clause (the second ehyeh) expresses future or 
habitual past.

I have studied all the weyiqtols in the Tanakh as a means of testing 
Niccacci's claims about clause-initial yiqtols and found them to be 98% 
volitional or ambiguous (IOW only 2% clear counter-examples).


B. M. Rocine
Living Word Chruch
6101 Court St. Rd.
Syracuse, NY 13026
(W): 315.437.6744

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