[b-hebrew] 2Sam24:1 v. Gen18:1-3

Read, James C K0434995 at kingston.ac.uk
Mon Aug 15 12:51:37 EDT 2005


I'm sorry but you have just totally confused me. Am Istill talking to the Peter that I spoke with before 
about the divine name? Were you not a supporter of the form Yahweh based on verbal grammar?

I'm only seeking the truth as are you.I don't have an opinion or an agenda here. I'm just asking for info.

-----Original Message-----
From: b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org on behalf of Peter Kirk
Sent: Mon 8/15/2005 5:37 PM
To: Dave Washburn
Cc: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] 2Sam24:1 v. Gen18:1-3
 
On 15/08/2005 16:48, Dave Washburn wrote:

> ...
>
>>Surely I don't.  Even before I understood the concepts of the various
>>grammatical
>>meanings, the word "wayye$eb" intrinsically conveyed to me, as a kid
>>reading the Bible in Hebrew, an *act* of sitting and not some stative verb
>>form. 
>>    
>>
>
>So what? As a kid, you might have misunderstood it.  I don't see the point 
>here.
>
>  
>
>>This is 
>>conveyed solely by the verb form.  
>>    
>>
>
>Hardly.  In nearly all places where it carries that connotation, it's conveyed 
>mainly by context.
>
>  
>
Dave, are you denying that WAYYE$EB (at least in most cases) means 
"(and) he sat down", an action, and that W:HU' YO$EB (what we have in 
Gen 18:1) means "(and) he was sitting", a state? Or are you claiming 
that there is no semantic difference and that we can only tell from the 
context which was meant?

> ...
>
>>I think some of the discussions here should separate 
>>between personal theories that may be advanced by individual members on the
>>list, and which those same members may discuss, and the standard accepted
>>understanding which is what someone new to Biblical linguistics is
>>interested in knowing.
>>    
>>
>
>Excuse me?  Are you trying to declare personal theories, which incidentally 
>have been published in refereed journals and elsewhere, out of bounds?  I 
>guess you want to silence Rolf too, then, because he definitely has a 
>personal theory that he presents often and politely here.  My theory is 
>another one. ...
>

Dave, no one wants to silence anyone. But what Yitzhak is doing to you 
is what you and I have often done to Rolf, he is objecting when a 
speculative theory not (yet) accepted by the scholarly consensus 
(whatever that may be) is presented as if it is accepted fact. And he is 
presenting an alternative view which is far more widely accepted, 
although of course that does not imply that it is correct or even 
coherent. I don't think appeals to one's personal authority carry more 
weight on this list than appeals to the authority of a scholarly 
consensus. What we are all looking for is evidence.



>...
>  
>
>>>YHWH appearing.  That's an awfully short line!  And the business about "a
>>>new line of events" ignores the fact that the next verb, "he lifted," is
>>>another wayyiqtol.  What's it sequential to?  Abraham sitting?
>>>      
>>>
>>Yes.  Abraham was sitting, and then he looked up.  What's the problem?
>>
>>    
>>
>>>Hardly.  To get that
>>>you'd have to assume that Abraham stood up and then lifted his eyes,
>>>      
>>>
>>Huh?  Why? How?  Why does "lifting one's eyes" require Abraham to
>>stand up?
>>    
>>
>
>Because it's a wayyiqtol, and according to your presentation, the action of a 
>wayyiqtol presents the next item in a sequence taking place after the 
>previous action is completed.  That's what you said, go back and reread your 
>post.  So the wayyiqtol "he lifted up his eyes" according to your own theory 
>means that the action of being seated had to have been completed first, i.e. 
>he stood up.  
>
>  
>
No, Yitzhak's interpretation does not require this, even if perhaps his 
wording was not clear. The rule of sequentiality applies only between 
two WAYYIQTOLs. A stative clause followed by a WAYYIQTOL does not, on 
anyone's interpretation, require that the state was terminated before 
the action of the WAYYIQTOL. Indeed I would suggest the opposite, that 
it implies at least in most cases that the state is still continuing at 
the time of the action.

>>>In addition, what's the first wayyiqtol in verse 1
>>>sequential to?  Ishmael's circumcision?  I think not.  It begins a new
>>>pericope, and isn't sequential to anything.
>>>      
>>>
>>It is sequential to anything that happened previously.  Being sequential
>>doesn't mean you have to know what the previous episode in the story
>>was.  What you do assume is that anything that happened previously
>>is over.  And that is the basic assumption of a new pericope.
>>    
>>
>
>Oh, nice cop-out!  The fact is, it begins a new pericope, and in that 
>position, sequentiality has nothing to do with it. ...
>

Yes, it does. There is at least a presumption within the editorial 
framework of the book that successive pericopes are presented in 
chronological order. That means that the start of one pericope is 
sequential to the preceding one - and that is why a large proportion of 
new pericopes start with WAYYIQTOLs. Of course there are cases of whole 
Bible books starting with WAYYIQTOL, but that may imply that, within an 
editorial framework, they were intended to be sequential to the previous 
book, as is surely intended with Leviticus (WAYYIQRA'...) and Numbers 
(WAYDABBER...).

>...
>  
>
>>Hinneh is not a verb.  Look at my other message.  "wa" or "w:" will always
>>be there.  But generally in conjuction with a verb it suggests serial,
>>sequential action.  As a reprecussion of this, when it does not appear in
>>conjuction with a verb, it suggests non-sequential action.
>>    
>>
>
>I have no idea what you just said.  First, I never said HINNEH was a verb.  If 
>you hadn't snipped the rest of my comment, that would have been clear.  
>Second, I have no idea what you just said.
>  
>

Well, it is very clear to me. Yitzhak holds that clauses starting with 
W- and a verb are sequential to what precedes, whereas when W- is 
attached to another element, and either the verb follows or the clause 
is verbless, the action or state is non-sequential. This is probably an 
over-simplification, but is not far from the truth.

>  
>
> ...
>
>>>Okay, you still haven't explained how a form that is always sequential to
>>>something else can begin a new line of events.  You also haven't
>>>explained why, if it's true that "by the time he looked up and sighted
>>>them, they were already standing before him," he had to run to them. 
>>>Running to them suggests that they were  still a ways away.
>>>      
>>>
>>"Standing before him" doesn't mean they were an inch away.  They could have
>>been a yard or two away.
>>    
>>
>
>So he ran a yard or two?  I hope he didn't wear himself out too badly.  It 
>still doesn't make sense.  And I notice you conveniently skipped over the 
>first part of that paragraph.
>
>  
>
So what is your alternative, Dave? That he ran towards them before he 
saw them, while still looking down? The sequence of events given by the 
WAYYIQTOLs is in fact the only pragmatically possible one, that he 
looked up, he saw the three, and then he ran towards them. Of course 
there is a slight problem about how far away they were when he saw them, 
but that doesn't go away if you make this non-sequential.

> ...
>
>>Huh? You don't like the theory because you have your own theory.  However,
>>until your theory is accepted by most linguists, you should discuss your
>>theory amongst linguists.  But if a new person comes and tries to
>>understand the passage, it is only reasonable to say, "Look, this is what
>>most linguists and almost everybody thinks it means.  But I think something
>>else, based on various exceptions."  And only then discuss your ideas.
>>    
>>
>
>Once again, I'd like to know what qualifies you to try and suppress someone 
>else's theory on this list.  If we're going to limit ourselves to supposedly 
>standard theories and only stick alternate theories off in their own little 
>ghetto, we're going to have a problem because there are about half a dozen 
>such alternate theories running around here. ...
>

Yitzhak is not in any way trying to suppress your theory. He is 
explictly stating that you are welcome to present your theory, but 
should add a disclaimed that this is your own opinion and not what is 
accepted by most scholars. And I agree. So you are making a false 
accusation for which you should apologise.

-- 
Peter Kirk
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)
http://www.qaya.org/



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