[b-hebrew] Zech 6:8

Steve Miller smille10 at sbcglobal.net
Sat Dec 10 17:20:22 EST 2005

Thanks very much Karl.
I did not know that the only difference between the Hiphil and Qal Z(Q in
Zech 6:8 (and most other places) is the vowels, which (am I correct?) are
not part of the inspired text.

I agree with you regarding lexicons and scholars making simple things
complicated. Where I may differ with you is that I believe in understanding
the Bible, we need to stand on the shoulders of those who have studied and
borne fruit before us. If I use someone's explanation of the Bible, I
believe I need to understand how that explanation stands upon the Bible and
sound reason and facts.

Regarding the meaning of Z(Q, I am unsatisfied with your rendering. I
believe your rendering is so general that the word loses its rich, specific
meaning. What does David's daughter Tamar wailing after being raped by her
half-brother have in common with Sisera yelling commands to his chariots.
The only thing in common is a loud sound coming from the mouth. So you take
two completely different meanings and come up with a lowest common
denominator for the two and leave 90% of the meaning to the context. Then
this verb would be useless to understand a context. And it would not be a
good word to use in good writing.

Are there any Hiphil or Niphal occurrences of Z(Q that are unambiguously
Hiphil or Niphal just from the consonants? I think Judges 18:22-23 are
unambiguously Niphal, and 2 Sam 20:4 and maybe Job 35:9 for Hiphil, but I do
not know what I am doing here. If these are unambiguous, we could form the
meaning of the Hiphil and Niphal and separate those from the qal meaning of

Also: Judges 12:2 and 2 Chron 32:20 are the only Qal occurrences of Z(Q
where the direct object is the addressee. In all other cases the addressee
is linked with a preposition like el. Whereas the Hiphils thake a direct
object. Is it reasonable that the scribes messed up the pointing on these 2,
and they should really be Hiphil?

-Steve Miller

-----Original Message-----
From: Karl Randolph Friday, December 09
Dear Steve:

You sound like you have read too much theological works 
whereas I am simply a linguist. Theologians like too much 
(for my tastes) to make mountains out of molehills, often to 
defend predetermined outcomes. I don't own a theological 
dictionary, and after looking at a few definitions in one or 
two, I have been inoculated against ever wanting one.

Whereas English has grammaticized tense, Hebrew has 
grammaticized mode and aspect: modes such as simple 
active, stative, causative and their passives, and reflexive; 
and aspect. The claim that these grammaticizations lead 
to completely different definitions doesn't make sense, 
unless your argument is that what I understand as 
grammaticizations are really indicators for different 

As for Zachariah 6:8, the unpointed text gives no 
indication that this is a Hiphil verb, nor does the context. 
The context indicates that this is a Qal verb, with the 
person to whom the cry was made being indicated by the 
accusative pronoun. As a Qal verb, there is no question 
as to what the verse means, as a Hiphil, it leads to the 
convoluted long discussion we've been having. Why 
should we not recognize that this verse is another place 
where the Masoretes got the points wrong?

As a translator, you might make such a case that a hiphil 
grammaticization translates better using a different verb, 
but in this case a translator speaks, not a linguist 
analyzing the language itself.

Your argument was hurt by your admission, "SM: Herman, 
thanks very much. I did not know any of this. I can only 
read English. I cannot read Hebrew, whether pointed or 
not, well enough to understand it without helps."

In conclusion, it looks as if you are trying to defend a 
theological dictionary, not the Hebrew text.

Yours, Karl W. Randolph.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Steve Miller" <smille10 at sbcglobal.net>
> Thanks Karl,
> I appreciate your sharing the word $W(. This word is very similar to Z(Q,
> often used in the same verse. The difference seems to me to be that $W(
> involves humbling oneself while Z(Q does not.
> All the examples you give below where Z(Q does not mean a cry for help or
> distress are not the Qal form. The Qal form always is a cry for help or in
> distress. The Niphal and Hiphil forms are derived from the Qal, but would
> not be expected to have the same meaning as the Qal.
> The Niphal is always to be assembled for an emergency. That is the case in
> Judges 18:22-23. To be assembled for an emergency is to be made to hear a
> cry for help.
> The Hiphil is the question. One meaning is to assemble people or things
> an emergency, the exact active form of the Niphal. This is the case in
> Judges 4:13. Sisera assembled his chariots because he was being attacked
> Barak.
> But there is at least one Hiphil that cannot mean "assemble" (Job 35:9).
> Jonah 3:7 probably means the king caused the people to cry out. Or maybe
> could mean that the king assembled the people, but there is no direct
> object. In either case it was for an emergency. They believed Jonah's
> message that God was going to destroy them.
> The Theological Wordbook of the OT says re. Z(Q: 'The basic meaning of
> root is "to cry for help in time of distress."  It is used mainly in the
> QAL, but occurs a few times in the Niphal and Hiphil, where it carries
> distinctive meanings. ...
> In the Qal stem, the word is used almost exclusively in reference to a cry
> from a disturbed heart, in need of some kind of help. The cry is not in
> summons of another, but an expression of the need felt. ... In only one
> instance is the idea of summons involved, and that is when Jephthah called
> for Ephraimites to assist him against the Ammonites (Jud. 12:2). This is
> still a cry for help.'
> Yours,
> -Steve
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Karl Randolph Wednesday, December 07, 2005 12:50 PM
> Steve:
> I will back up HH in this. Z(Q, though often used in the
> context that such a cry was a cry for help, was not in itself
> a cry for help. The word for "to cry for help" is $W(.
> In Judges 4:13, Siserah cried out, giving commands as
> the commander, this was not a cry for help. Again in
> Jonah 3:7 the king cried out, giving commands.
> In Judges 18:22-23, Mikah"s crying out was one of
> complaint, that the tribe of Dan was stealing from him.
> He was not calling out to them for help.
> Now if I did a full study of all the occurrences, I expect to
> find many more such examples. Basically, the verb means
> to cry out, and the context tells what is the content of that
> crying out.
> Karl W. Randolph.

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