[b-hebrew] The Explicative use of wayyiqtol

moon at sogang.ac.kr moon at sogang.ac.kr
Mon Apr 17 20:38:04 EDT 2006

Hi, let me send my message again, because the previous one was reported to contain
many wierd characters.

Hhere have been many and in depth discussions on the sequential nature of

WAYYIQTOL.  The following is the quote from the archive of this list written by

Prof. Niccacci:



 The information conveyed by this wayyiqtol is USUALLY ALSO
CHRONOLOGICALLY sequential (or successive) to that of the preceding
wayyiqtol; however, there are cases of explicative wayyiqtol as well as of
resumptive wayyiqtol. This fact does not contradict the claim that
wayyiqtol is sequential; it only qualifies it. 


I would accept the above explanation even in the case where 
a single WAYYIQTOL occurs next to X+QATAL (e.g. Josh 24:32, 24:33)
as long as  WAYYIQTOL  states something which flows out of the
context set up by X+QATAL. I have no problem with 
 WAYYIQTOL which goes back to sometime in the narrative 
 and starts or resume  a flash-back sequence of WAYYIQTOLs.

I would accept the "summarizing" use of wayyiqtol, because the summarizing

is a sort of conclusion which is a sort of logical entailment, which involves 

a  sequence. 

However, it is difficult for me to understand  the case of Num 1:47-54 within a broad
or qualified sense of sequence:


 47 The families of the tribe of Levi, however, were not counted (X + QATAL ) along with the others.
 48 The LORD had said to Moses (WAYYIQTOL):
 49-53 "You must not count the tribe of Levi or include them in the census of the other Israelites. ......."

 54 The Israelites did  (WAYYIQTOL) all this just as the LORD commanded Moses.

Verse 54 is an example of summarizing use of wayyiqtol, which summarizes

all things mentioned  in the chapter 1 before that verse. So, verse 54 is not a part of

a sequence started by WAYYIQTOL of verse 48. So, we have here a stand-alone

single WAYYIQTOL in  v 48.  This stand-alone single WAYYIQTOL does not form a sequence,

because v 48 DOES NOT FLOW out of the context set up by X + QATAL in v 47.
In this context, WAYYIQTOL in 48 explains the reason for the situation described in 
v 47. To use Niccacci's classification, X + QATAL in v 47 belongs to the previous
sequence, but does not set up a new context for the following sequence. 

In sum, WAYYIQTOL in v 48 does not start a new sequence of flash-back nor
form a sequence with respect to the context set up by X + QATAL. It simply provides
an explanation for v. 47 by remembering a previous commandment of the Lord to 
Moses. In other words, this WAYYIQTOL occurs in a context which is not
sequential in any sense. 

Can we explain this "explicative use" of WAYYIQTOL within the paradigm of 
broadly understood sequence, as Niccacci seems to believe?

I know that Bruce Waltki and O'Connor, in his book ( p. 547), claim that 
two orthogonal properties of wayyiqtol is subordination and perfective aspect. 
Under the notion of subordination, they include succession (temporal and logical)
and epexegesis (explanation) (e.g. 2 Sam 14:5, Ruth 2:3). 

But for me, it is hard to understand in what sense both succession and epexegesis
can be lumped together under the notion of subordination. If "X is subordinated to
Y" means here that "X is related to Y", then the concept seems too broad and so
vacuous, because every sentence occurring in a narrative is somehow related to its neighbors.
Any way out?

Moon-Ryul Jung

Sogang Univ,

Seoul, Korea

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