[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).

Shalom,
Bryan

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



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