[b-hebrew] Basic observations on WAYYIQTOL

Yitzhak Sapir yitzhaksapir at gmail.com
Sat Aug 20 17:58:12 EDT 2005

On 8/19/05, Peter Kirk wrote:

> But I realised another reason why I would take this as QATAL rather than
> a participle: in participial clauses the participle is generally
> preceded by an explicit subject, as in v.1, whereas here the subject
> follows the ambiguous form. But I am not sure off hand how general this
> rule is.

I wonder if there is a way to compare how many times the sequence
QATAL vs VERB as participle in the Bible.

> Agreed. In fact I would suggest a contrastive focus on the cattle,
> contrasted with the flour and bread which were Sarah's concern.
> Contrastive focus in narrative is commonly marked by a fronted element
> before a QATAL verb. And this probable analysis seems to me another
> reason to prefer to understand the verb as QATAL.

In light of this, I would read such a QATAL as parallel to the previous
action since "contrastive focus" appears to me to be a form of 
parallelism.  That is, by forming a textual unit from the text "Abraham said 
this to Sarah to do, and Abraham did this himself," the text appears to me 
to reference actions occuring simultaneously rather than in sequence.

Yitzhak Sapir

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list