[b-hebrew] Gen 2.18

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Mon Oct 29 16:14:32 EDT 2007


Do you have an agenda that you are trying to prove? If so, count me out.

On 10/29/07, A Becker <ABecker at nerdshack.com> wrote:
> You are right that Hebrew does not have tense. However, let us note what
> Waltke and O'Connor's "An Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Syntax" says
> concerning the wayyiqtol:
> "Situations described with wayyqtl are mostly temporally or logically
> succeeding. 'The most obvious and frequent relation is,' as S. R. Driver
> notes, 'that of simple chronological succession...but of this there is no
> need to give...examples, as they abound throughout the historical portions
> of the Old Testament.' Wayyqtl signifies logical succession where a logical
> entailment from (a) preceding situation(s) is expressed...One may question
> whether the notion of succession is signified by the grammatical form or by
> the associations of the words. That the form and not the words signifies
> succession becomes clearer in those instances where a chain is broken and
> where several perfectives are followed by wayyqtl."
Don't you see, the very sources that you quote have weasel words
("most", "mostly") leaving holes big enough to drive a Mac Truck
through. These weasel words are legitimate and I agree that they
properly belong, but you are not taking them into account. I have no
problem with these quotes, just of your misuse of them.

> Thus, as I said, the wayyiqtol form here is most straight forwardly
> understood to denote that the act of forming the animals in vs. 19
> temporally or logically follows God's concern for Adam's being alone in vs.
> 18. Hebrew does lack tense, but its verb forms express relationships to what
> occurs previously in the narrative. Since "[s]ituations described with
> wayyqtl are mostly temporally or logically succeeding," then "then...formed"
> or "so...formed" are not "mistranslations"; they are attempts to bring out
> the temporal or logical relation of the wayyiqtol (WYCR) to what precedes.
The problem with your translation is that it locks one into one and
one only understanding, a restriction not found in the text itself. In
this regard, you are adding to the text. I now see that that is no
misunderstanding on your part, but it is deliberate.
> You are right we will just have to disagree. I know the wayyitol does have
> other uses, but the majority of use for the wayyiqotl is for temporal or
> logical succession. For me, the burden of proof is on those who argue that
> some other relationship for the wayyiqtol is intended here. It is not enough
> to merely say "sometimes, etc." and then run with that.
> A Becker
The very sources you quote (Driver, Waltke and O'Connor) leave the
door open for an understanding other than what you insist on. Just
because a form usually, even the vast majority of times, stands for a
certain understanding does not mean that it always has that
understanding. The burden of proof is on you as to why this is not one
of the exceptions allowed by the sources that you quote.

For me, the number one rule is to follow the context. The context
argues that your translation "then..." is a mistranslation of the

Unless you have something significantly new to add to the discussion,
this is the last I plan to respond to you.

Karl W. Randolph.

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list