[b-hebrew] Michel on the Verb in the Psalms

Randall Buth randallbuth at gmail.com
Thu Oct 1 09:54:25 EDT 2009

vayyixtov Rolf Furuli
>PS. While I was preparing to send my post, I got Randall's post. And
I would like to make some  comments: Michel does not only deal with
syntax but also with verb meaning. Contrary to Randall I am not aware
of the existence of the strange breed of animals called "poetic
verbs". "

There has been a miscommunication here. Randall doesn't know
such a breed either, though Michal may have. (It's been thirty years
since I read it. Michal is not a successful way of reading biblical Hebrew,
including narrative, as WoC mention.)
I do not believe that poetic verbs are essentially different from narrative.
 A tense-aspect-mode system belongs to a language or register
as a whole. (diglossia is a different question and then there may be
two systems by definition. e.g. literary Hebrew, colloquial Hebrew in
the 2cBCE)  There is one verb system for literary/biblical Hebrew.
Having mentioned 'one verb system',
Hebrew does allow a poet to play with that  the system as a poetic
device.  As if:
"He did it well,
he would/will do it marvelously."
this is the YIQTOL-QATAL phenomenon discussed by Moshe Held
though it is more general than his article and was not limited to
'same verb'. The 'same verb' just helps us see the poetic intention
after 3000+ years in both Ugaritic and Hebrew.
So QATAL/YIQTOL can be a nice Hebrew poetic device.
But generally not translated into Greek by a mimicry of form (and I'm
not saying that they should, only that they didn't. you are aware that LXX
uses all aorist indicative for Ps 2 qatal-yiqtol yiqtol-qatal)
and often underappreciated by moderns.
Michal did not appreciate it.


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

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