[b-hebrew] Fwd: questions, reliable evidence, 'stand' and 'said'

Rolf Furuli furuli at online.no
Thu Jul 9 06:07:38 EDT 2009

Dear Randall,

As you imply, before a meaningful discussion can 
be performed, we need to know exactly how we both 
define perfective and imperfective.  So far you 
have only given two + expressions of the 
perfective aspect and have said nothing regarding 
the imperfective one. And with all due respect, I 
do not understand what "+ a virtual whole" means. 
Are not all events with an event time or states 
"virtual wholes," each having a beginning and 
end? I also have problems with "+an endpoint 
attained". Does that mean that the action or 
state expressed by a perfective BH verb is 
completed at reference time? In other words, are 
actions and states expressed by perfective verbs 
always terminated?

As mentioned I would like to ask you for a 
definition of the imperfective verb. And in order 
to distinguish between the aspects I have the 
following questions:

1. Can both the perfective and imperfective make 
a *part* of an action or state visible?

2. Can both aspects make the details of an event visible?

3. Can both aspects include both the beginning 
and the end of an action or a state?

4. Can both aspects express conative and resultative situations?

>vayyish'al rolf
>Please tell us your definition of perfective and imperfective. What
>are the characteristics of a perfective and an imperfective verb
>respectively, and by which criteria can the two verbs (actions) be
>for purposes of the thread a perfective has
>+ a virtual whole
>+ an endpoint or point of attainment
>+/- a definition that would include the
>" `amad 'suffix-TAM' examples"
>If you want further discussions of definition, then please provide
>something for the `amad clauses as a workable starting point.
>2Chr 20:20, 2 Samuel 20:11 and 12, 2 Ki 2:7

To illustrate the definitions by examples is 
fine. I think that more list-members will benefit 
from the discussion when I use an English 
translation of a verse and supply the BH verb 
form than from a BH transcription. Sometimes your 
expressions are very short and to some extent 
somewhat cryptic, as "+/- a definition that would 
include the "`amad `suffix-TAM examples"" I guess 
that the majority of list-members do not 
understand exactly what you mean by this. Then to 
the examples.

In the 28 verses of Ezekiel, chapter 1, and the 
22 verses of chapter 10, we find 28 YIQTOLs, 15 
WAYYIQTOLs, 2 QATALs, and 7 participles  with 
past meaning. The question is whether there is an 
aspectual difference between the YIQTOLs, 
WAYYIQTOLs, and the QATALs. And if so, how can we 
see this aspectual difference?  I  use the verb 
(MD in these verses.

Ezek. 1:21 When the creatures moved (INF.CON.- 
HLK), they also moved (YIQTOL -HLK); when the 
creatures stood still (INF.CON. (MD) , they also 
stood still (YIQOL-(MD); and when the creatures 
rose from the ground, the wheels rose along with 
them, because the spirit of the living creatures 
was in the wheels.

Ezek. 1:24 When the creatures moved, I heard the 
sound of their wings, like the roar of rushing 
waters, like the voice of the Almighty, like the 
tumult of an army. When they stood still 
(INF.CON. -(MD), they lowered (YIQTOL-RPH) their 

Ezek. 10:3 	Now the cherubim were standing 
(PARTICIPLE) on the south side of the temple when 
the man went in, and a cloud filled the inner 
Ezek. 10:6 	When the LORD commanded the man 
in linen, "Take fire from among the wheels, from 
among the cherubim," the man went in and stood 
(WAYYIQTOL) beside a wheel.
Ezek. 10:17 When the cherubim stood still 
(INF.CON), they also stood still (YIQTOL); and 
when the cherubim rose, they rose with them, 
because the spirit of the living creatures was in 
Ezek. 10:18  ¶	Then the glory of the LORD 
departed from over the threshold of the temple 
and stopped (WAYYIQTOL) above the cherubim.
Ezek. 10:19 While I watched, the cherubim spread 
their wings and rose from the ground, and as they 
went, the wheels went with them. They stopped 
(WAYYIQTOL) at the entrance to the east gate of 
the LORD'S house, and the glory of the God of 
Israel was above them. 

In these verses we have two occurrences of the 
verb (MD as  YIQTOL and three as WAYYIQTOL. Do 
these forms have different aspects? And in that 
case, how can we see it? Or is it not possible to 
see it? And what about the other 26 YIQTOLs with 
past reference? Do they have different aspects 
compared with the WAYYIQTOLs? My answer is No. 
The YIQTOLs and the WAYYIQTOLs are all 
imperfective, and the reason why the YIQTOLs are 
used, is that some word element precedes each 
one, and therefore, a WAY- prefix would not be 
possible. Interestingly, we find  the same kind 
of account in the Ethipic Enoch, and here we we 
also have a great number of prefix forms with 
past reference.

We may also bring WEYIQTOL into the picture. In 
Nehemiah 3:14, 15 we find 2 YIQTOLs and 3 
WEYIQTOLs, all with past reference. Are these 
perfective or imperfective? There are two 
WEYIQTOLs of )MD. Are the end made visible in 

Neh. 3:14  	The Dung Gate was repaired 
(QATAL) by Malkijah son of Recab, ruler of the 
district of Beth Hakkerem. He rebuilt (YIQTOL) it 
and put (WEYIQTOL- (MD)) its doors and bolts and 
bars in place.
Neh. 3:15  ¶	The Fountain Gate was repaired 
(QATAL) by Shallun son of Col-hozeh, ruler of the 
district of Mizpah. He rebuilt it (YIQTOL), 
roofing (WEYIQTOL) it over and putting (WEYIQTOL) 
its doors and bolts and bars in place. He also 
repaired the wall of the Pool of Siloam, by the 
King's Garden, as far as the steps going down 
from the City of David.

>Randall Buth, PhD
>randallbuth at gmail.com
>Biblical Language Center
>Learn Easily - Progress Further - Remember for Life

Best regards,

Rolf Furuli
University of Oslo

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list