[b-hebrew] Qatal in Gen 43:9, 14 and Michel's theory

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Wed Dec 8 18:18:00 EST 2010


Thanks for this description. I never heard of Diethelm Michel before, so
thank you for referencing his explanation.

One thing I have noticed is that when the Yiqtol is used in the optative or
subjunctive mood, then following Qatals are used to indicate what the
results will be. I think he would include this pattern in his “way” #2
listed below.

One reason I found this interesting is because, independently of him, I have
come to similar conclusions.

Karl W. Randolph.

2010/12/8 Joseph Justiss <jljustiss at msn.com>

> As some of you are aware, Diethelm Michel's study of the verb…
> As typical for the qatal we have found that it cites self-important facts
> which have no inherent connection to their setting. Frequently now the qatal
> is being used in a construction which adds an explanatory fact to something
> previously described. Therefore it explains. Usually the qatal in that case
> is tacked on by means of a ו, but also it can be used asyndetically.
> He further summarizes as follows:
> The qatal recounts an action which is in no dependence, which is
> self-important. This is shown in three ways.
> 1.       If a qatal is isolated or stands at the beginning of a clause it
> states a fact.
> 2.       If a qatal syndetically or asyndetically connects to a yiqtol or
> participle it does not continue this, but presents an explanatory fact
> beside it.
> 3.       If many qatals stand beside each other asyndetically they do not
> indicate an action progression, but rather they list equally important
> facts.
> It is number 2 which concerns us in this discussion. In Gen 43:9 Judah
> pledges himself as security for Benjamin with yiqtols then he switches to
> weqatals to explain exactly what he means by his pledge.  The weqatals do
> not add new information. They explain the preceding yiqtols--just like
> Michel's theory teaches.
> The same thing happens again in 43:14.  Jacob expresses a desire that the
> man (Joseph) have mercy on the brothers with a yiqtol then he explains what
> having mercy would look like, i.e. "may he set your other brother and
> benjamin free."  So the weqatal also expresses desire in a sense.  So the
> difference between the verbs here is not one of tense or mood. The qatal
> functions here to further clarify Jacob's preceding expression of desire.
> What do you all think?
> Joseph Justiss

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list