[b-hebrew] verb forms--perfect as future

michaelabernat9001 at sbcglobal.net michaelabernat9001 at sbcglobal.net
Fri Apr 13 16:45:58 EDT 2007


I'm not sure that it was possible for Naomi to have sold the property in the 
manner which you are describing for two reasons. First, as I understand the 
inheritance rights given in Numbers 27:8-11, Naomi did not have any personal 
claim to the property.

It looks to me like Ruth 4:5 states that he had to marry Ruth to acquire the 

Second, Ruth 4:9 tells us that Boaz purchased the property directly from 
Michael Abernathy
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Peter Kirk" <peter at qaya.org>
To: <michaelabernat9001 at sbcglobal.net>
Cc: <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Friday, April 13, 2007 5:08 AM
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] verb forms--perfect as future

> On 13/04/2007 04:47, michaelabernat9001 at sbcglobal.net wrote:
>> I know some of the members reject the idea that the perfect is used for 
>> the future so I spent a few minutes examining some of the passages used 
>> to support this concept.
>> While I can understand how some of these passages may be considered a 
>> matter of interpretation, there were two that I could not see how the 
>> perfect could be translated as a past tense--Ruth 4:3 and 2 Kings 5:20.
>> Ruth 4:3 reads
>> 3 וַיֹּאמֶר לַגֹּאֵל חֶלְקַת הַשָּׂדֶה אֲשֶׁר לְאָחִינוּ לֶאֱלִימֶלֶךְ 
>> מָכְרָה נָעֳמִי הַשָּׁבָה מִ‍שְּׂדֵה מוֹאָב׃
>> Rth 4:3  And he said unto the near kinsman: 'Naomi, that is come back out 
>> of the field of Moab, SELLETH the parcel of land, which was our brother 
>> Elimelech's;
>> I can't see how you could translate sells as a past tense. Verse 4 makes 
>> it plain that the property has not been sold yet. I can understand how 
>> one could take this as a present tense-- "Naomi is in the process of 
>> selling" or as a future "Naomi will sell."  But "Naomi sold" seems to be 
>> excluded by context.
> I wonder if this is a misunderstanding of the whole scenario of Ruth, and 
> the process of redeeming land. I know that many English translations 
> interpret this scenario as you did. But it seems to me that a more likely 
> scenario is as follows: Naomi has already sold this plot of land, perhaps 
> while she was still in Moab to support herself in her widowhood there. 
> Presumably she sold it to some unrelated third party. But, according to 
> Leviticus 25:25, Elimelech's nearest relative has a duty to buy back the 
> property from the third party, to keep it with Elimelech's family. As the 
> very nearest relative is unwilling to do this, Boaz as the next nearest 
> performs this duty. On this interpretation, no problem with the verb 
> tense.
>> 2 Kings 5:20 reads
>> 20 וַיֹּאמֶר גֵּיחֲזִי נַעַר אֱלִישָׁע אִישׁ־הָאֱלֹהִים הִנֵּה חָשַׂךְ 
>> אֲדֹנִי אֶת־נַעֲמָן הָאֲרַמִּי הַזֶּה מִ‍קַּחַת מִ‍יָּדוֹ אֵת 
>> אֲשֶׁר־הֵבִיא חַי־יְהוָה כִּי־אִם־רַצְתִּי אַחֲרָיו וְלָקַחְתִּי 
>> מֵ‍אִתּוֹ מְאוּמָה׃
>> 2Ki 5:20  But Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said: 
>> 'Behold, my master hath spared this Naaman the Aramean, in not receiving 
>> at his hands that which he brought; as the LORD liveth, I will surely RUN 
>> after him, and take somewhat of him.'
>> Verse 20 describes what Gehazi plans to do. He does not carry through 
>> with this action until the following verse.
> Here the QATAL verb is in a subordinate clause after KI 'IM as part of an 
> oath formula, which may explain the unusual verb usage. Other examples of 
> a QATAL with this formula are noted in GKC 149.
> -- 
> Peter Kirk
> E-mail:  peter at qaya.org
> Blog:    http://www.qaya.org/blog/
> Website: http://www.qaya.org/
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