[b-hebrew] verb forms - Isaiah 56:6-7 was dying you shall die

michaelabernat9001 at sbcglobal.net michaelabernat9001 at sbcglobal.net
Thu Apr 12 16:03:17 EDT 2007


I know that the Qatal commonly refers to the past
but do you acknowledge any acceptions to that?
Such as when the verb refers to a continuing state.
Gen 4:9.
  9 וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֶל־קַיִן אֵי הֶבֶל אָחִיךָ וַיֹּאמֶר לֹא יָדַעְתִּי 
הֲשֹׁמֵר אָחִי אָנֹכִי׃
And the LORD said unto Cain: 'Where is Abel thy brother?' And he said: 'I 
KNOW not; am I my brother's keeper?'

Gen 32:11

קָטֹנְתִּי מִ‍כֹּל הַחֲסָדִים

I am too little for all the mercies. . .

How do you interpret Isaiah 5:13 as a prediction of future captivity or 
something said after the captivity has begun?

 13 לָכֵן גָּלָה עַמִּי מִ‍בְּלִי־דָעַת וּכְבוֹדוֹ מְתֵי רָעָב וַהֲמוֹנוֹ 
צִחֵה צָמָא׃

Isa 5:13 Therefore My people are gone into captivity, for want of knowledge; 

their honourable men are famished, and their multitude are parched with 


Michael Abernathy

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Lisbeth S. Fried" <lizfried at umich.edu>
To: <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Thursday, April 12, 2007 10:01 AM
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] verb forms - Isaiah 56:6-7 was dying you shall die

> Dear Harold and Peter,
> Yes, you are correct of course. BH has really only two tenses imperfective
> and perfective,
> plus the participle. The imperfective is for verbs where we would use a
> modal, as well as uncompleted actions that began in the past and continue
> into the future.
> The problems come not in narrative, where it is clear that we are dealing
> with a narrative tense (which in English are the past tenses), but in the
> prophetic texts.
> I should have said that the Qatal is always past, not that the Yiqtol is
> always future.
> Perhaps you'll prove me wrong here too.
> Best,
> Liz Fried
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
> [mailto:b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On
>> Behalf Of Harold Holmyard
>> Sent: Thursday, April 12, 2007 10:47 AM
>> To: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
>> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] verb forms - Isaiah 56:6-7 was dying you shall 
>> die
>> Dear Liz,
>> >>
>> >>> Oh, I don't insist on anything but that verbs in Yiqtal be translated
> bytheEnglish future
>> (and verbs in Qatal by English past tense), that's all I
>> >>> insist on. ...
>> >>>
>> >> Yes, but my main point is that this is not necessarily appropriate.
>> >> Rather often in biblical Hebrew YIQTOL does not have a future meaning,
>> >> but a past or present continuous one. Or at least that is my
>> >> understanding of the Hebrew verb system, although of course it is
>> >> controversial. The problem comes when YIQTOL in biblical Hebrew is 
>> >> read
>> >> as if it were the future tense in modern Hebrew.
>> Peter is absolutely right, except that the assertion is not even a
>> matter of controversy. YIQTOL does signify the future in biblical
>> Hebrew, but that is not all it does. It is the imperfective, and the
>> imperfective might be considered appropriate for the future, since
>> future actions are usually not yet complete. But the imperfective is
>> also used for actions that are in progress or for actions that are
>> iterative, intermittent, prolonged, or stative.  These can be in the
>> present or past:
>> Judg 7:5: whoever laps with his tongue
>> Ex 23:8 a bribe blind officials
>> Gen 2:6 streams would come up from the ground
>> 1 Sam 1:7 and so he used to do annually
>> 1 Kgs 8:6 a stairway led up to the middle level
>> Since the YIQTOL may be a blending of two earlier verb forms in West
>> Semitic, its older forms may even indicate a simple past:
>> Ex 15:1: then Moses sang
>> 1 Kings 3:16: then two prostitutes came to the king
>> The YIQTOL has all sorts of modal uses as well, which call for helping
>> verbs in English like "can, would, could, may, should, must, want, will.
>> The YIQTOL can also function as an imperative:
>> Ps 51:9: cleanse me with hyssop
>> Gen 1:9: let dry land appear
>> Yours,
>> Harold Holmyard
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