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

George Athas George.Athas at moore.edu.au
Tue Apr 21 23:37:06 EDT 2009

Scuba diving, eh? Some of us have time to kill... ;)

It’s the yiqtol that conveys habitual action in the past. For example, 1 Sam 2.19 uses a yiqtol, תעשה, to describe Hannah’s habit of making the boy Samuel a robe to wear, which she would take to him each year. To me, this action is realis. However, since we are not focusing on one particular instance of this action, our vIew of the action is indefinite. Therefore, as far as habitual past action goes, ‘indefinite’ seems to fit.


Moore Theological College (Sydney, Australia)

From: <dwashbur at nyx.net>
Reply-To: <dwashbur at nyx.net>
Date: Wed, 22 Apr 2009 13:27:13 +1000
To: B-Hebrew <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] The use of the Yiqtol in Isaiah 1:21

On 22 Apr 2009 at 12:25, George Athas wrote:

> Dave,
> Good question. I like the realis/irrealis distinction, and often use
> it to supplement my definitions in the classroom. The only qualm I
> have with it is I'm not sure it adequately describes habitual action
> in the past. Such actions are, to my mind, realis. To see them,
> however, as indefinite, I think overcomes this problem.
> I'd be interested in your thoughts on this.

I confess there's a lot of recent discussion that I haven't been following (too focused on
scuba diving!).  Could you expand a couple of things for me:  which form(s) do you see
denoting habitual action in the past, and how do you define "indefinite" in the context that
you're using it?

Dave Washburn

b-hebrew mailing list
b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list