[b-hebrew] Piel or "stative usage of verb"

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Thu Oct 8 13:04:15 EDT 2009


On Thu, Oct 8, 2009 at 8:35 AM, Gerry Folbre <gfolbreiii at gmail.com> wrote:

> Karl:
> Karl wrote: “I just did a quick electronic search of Tanakh and found that
> the verb is
> used only six times in Tanakh, five of them in context of a road or path.
> Only one of them is it clear from the form that it is a piel. So from the
> contexts, how do you know that the other five occurrences of the verb are
> piels (remember, in this discussion, you cannot refer to the Masoretic
> points)?
> (Notice, I do not claim they are not piels, just ask for why I should
> consider them piels.)”
> Pr. 4:26 פלס מעגל רגלך  וכל דרכיך יכנו׃
> “Always make smooth the path of your feet; and all your journeys will be
> directed securely.”

Where do you get the “always”?

> Pr. 5:21 כי נכח עיני יהוה דרכי אישׁ  וכל מעגלתיו מפלס׃
> “When in front of the eyes of yhwh are the ways of man; thus all their
> courses of action are surely made level.”

This is the one example in Tanakh that the form indicates that פלס is piel.

> In these two examples the intensive Pi’el verb conjugation appears to make
> sense; Pr. 4:26 “Always {intensively} make smooth” and Pr. 5:21 “are surely
> made level/smooth”.

This looks like eisegesis, not exegesis, in order to defend a concept that
is in question.

> The context of the verses themselves appears to direct the verb פלס to be
> accepted as the intensive Pi’el.

Look at the context of Proverbs 4, starting at verse 20, we see in the
pattern that by the time we reach verse 26, its use could actually be
adjectival rather than strictly as a verb.

> At least that is my understanding of the text.   Furthermore, I certainly
> hope I have not made anymore typo's while transcribing the Hebrew Text.
> Gerry Folbre

First of all, I reject that piel indicates intensive action. I am not alone
in this rejection.

Therefore I look to other contextual clues to see what are piel verbs.

Karl W. Randolph.

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