[b-hebrew] The Explicative use of wayyiqtol

Peter Kirk peter at qaya.org
Fri Apr 21 05:12:51 EDT 2006

On 20/04/2006 18:03, John Cook wrote:
> ...
> Examples such as Num 1:48 as well as examples I offered in my article, such as Genesis 29:23-25a, 28-30a, demonstrate the saliency marking of WAYYIQTOL devoid of any clear sense of temporal succession.  In the latter passages, a temporally successive interpretation leads to an odd sequence of events, whereby Laban gives each of his daughters a maidservant between the time that Jacob has gone in to them on their wedding night and the following morning.  It seems doubtful that Laban would have taken such an inopportune moment to give his daughters maidservants.  Instead, I think the WAYYIQTOL forms in these instances mark the giving of the maidservants as highly salient to the narrative---particularly poignantly expressed by being placed in the middle of the report of the consummation of each marriage.
John, I don't hold to WAYYIQTOL being strictly consecutive, as there are 
some clear counter-examples. But I don't accept this one as being a good 
counter-example. It is clear that the formal giving of the maidservants 
was a part of the wedding ceremony, as also was the consummation of the 
marriage and the production of the proof of virginity. This proof was 
given to the bride's father (cf. Deuteronomy 22:13-19), and the giving 
of the maidservant may well have been in response to this - and all this 
may have happened before the morning. At least we certainly cannot rule 
out such a sequence of events - at least without detailed knowledge of 
the marriage customs of the time.

Peter Kirk
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)

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