[b-hebrew] The use of the Yiqtol in Isaiah 1:21

Yitzhak Sapir yitzhaksapir at gmail.com
Tue Apr 21 11:00:41 EDT 2009

On Mon, Apr 20, 2009 at 7:05 PM, Joseph Justiss wrote:
> The Yiqtol in Isaiah 1:21 is handled by most English translations and the major versions as
> some kind of past reference "Righteousness dwelt/used to dwell in her" with the Targum
> using a paraphrastic construction "was done in her" (a perfect form of "to be" with a Gt
> participle). Is it not possible to read the verse as a prediction about what will ultimately
> happen to the faithful city? I'm thinking something like "righteousness will dwell in her,
> but for now murders" given the theological vision of restoration in Isaiah as a whole? How
> do we know for sure this is a "habitual past" use of Yiqtol and not just a forward looking use?

I feel that in some cases the vocalization may help.  Thus, in 1 Kings
8:1 we have yaqhel
rather than yaqhil.  Elsewhere, textual criticism may help.  Deut 4:41
has yavdil but the
Samaritan texts do not include the y/hiriq consistently.  The
accentuation may also help.
In Ex 15:1, we have ya$ir, but it is joined to the next word by maqqef
in such a way that
the accent falls on the first syllable.  In my view, this is an
attempt to maintain the stress
on the first syllable, indicating a preterite.  Here too, we might
have expected some
indication of a short form, perhaps yalen/yalan in comparison with Gen
28:11, 2 Sam
17:16, or an indication of stress.  It seems that here, the only thing
to go on is the

Yitzhak Sapir

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