[b-hebrew] Boring grammar again

Karl Randolph kwrandolph at email.com
Sat May 7 02:47:40 EDT 2005

Kelton & Peter:

I think I see what youall mean.

Looking at the first verb listed in the dictionary, )BD, used over 100 times in Qal, about 40 times Piel and about 25 times Hiphil. The basic meaning is to become lost in the sense of not being able to be found, often used as a euphamism for death and dying as the dead are lost to us.

An example of the intensive Qal is found in Deuteronomy 4:26, and it is a Qal, not Piel.

The Piel shows the primacy of the concept that something is so lost that it cannot be found, that it is also used to make objects so lost that they cannot be found again, e.g. Numbers 33:52.

At least for this first verb, it appears to fit the pattern: Qal to become lost, Hiphil to cause to become lost, and Piel to make lost (the state of being lost).

I would not list each binyan a separate dictionary entry, for some of the patterns are very regular. For example, the Hiphil is so consistantly the causative of the Qal that the exceptions (if there are any exceptions) would be better listed under the root than separately.

Thanks for your answers. Karl W. Randolph.

----- Original Message -----
From: kgraham0938 at comcast.net
> @Karl:
> I had the very same question of trying to figure out the difference 
> between Piel's and Hiphils.  And the best answer I found was in " A 
> Guide To Biblical Hebrew Syntax."   It explains that the difference 
> between Piels and Hiphils as the difference between the imposition 
> of a state (adjectival) and the imposition of a process (verbal).
> So for example if you take Hayah which means to be alive in the 
> qal, the Piel is to cause to be alive, and the Hiphil is to cause 
> to live.  The distinction is between causing to be something or do 
> something.
> So to sum it up the Piel causative focuses on bringing about a 
> state, whearas the Hiphil causative expresses the cause of an 
> action.
> --
> Kelton Graham
> KGRAHAM0938 at comcast.net
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