[b-hebrew] HITPAEL as mutual action

Richard Benton rcbenton at wisc.edu
Wed Apr 15 15:52:39 EDT 2009

Dear Michiel,

The Hitpael of HLK is very common.  It doesn't not seem to have any 
reflexive force, but refers more to the action of "walking."  HLK in the 
Qal generally refers to getting from here to there--and end point.  The 
Hitpael does not have an endpoint as its focus, but focuses more on how 
one walks.  More specifically, HLK in the Hitpael is metaphorical for 
how morally one "walks."  In the case of Noah, he was morally upright 
because he "walked" in God's ways.

Richard Benton

Michiel Borkent wrote:
> Hello,
> I'm relatively new to biblical Hebrew and I would like to learn more through
> this list.
> Recently I wondered what the significance of the verb HLK in the Hitpa(el
> is. For example in Genesis 6:9. Does it mean: to make yourself go
> (reflexive)?
> I was thinking maybe it could also mean: Noah and God influenced each
> other's ways (reciproke) or Noah imitated God's ways (imitative sense of the
> Hitpa(el).
> I would like your thoughts on this.
> Greetings,
> Michiel Borkent
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