[b-hebrew] Someone knows?

Randall Buth randallbuth at gmail.com
Thu Apr 21 08:55:28 EDT 2011

>Again, in 2 Samuel 1:9, 16, while these are not hiphils, they are
> conjugated from MWT where the second tau is the normal
> conjugation suffix for the use and context.

Wrong. It is not true that
"the second tau is the normal conjugation suffix"
[root m.w.t. in the polel binyan with two 't' required: motet]

data for easier referral:
2Sm 1.9 umotete-ni ומתתני 'and kill me'
[imperative of motet + object. It could have been vocalized
umotat-tani 'and you will kill me'. Also polel and showing the two
't' of the polel.]
(2Sm 1.10 wa-amotete-hu ומתתני 'and I killed him'
[prefix conj. motet + object])
2Sm 1.16 motat-ti et  מתתי את 'I killed + object'
[suff. conj. of motet + separate object]

The second taw in both of these is the required 't' of the POLEL
binyan 'to put to death'.
Pere had already alerted you to the existence of this binyan
you must have read right past it in the next verse at 2Sm 1.10,
between verses 9 and 16.

You will also note that the meaning is transitive and not
intransitive/experiential like the qal למות la-mut 'to die'.

For your information, the suffix on the qal would be with 1 't':
מתי mty matty 'I died'.
Second person: מתה mt(h) matta 'you died'
(these are not polel: motatta 'you put to death, killed').

All of this is standard BH phonology and spelling, AND
consistently fits the consonantal text, as will be
pointed out below.

> which is why when I look at Numbers 17:6, I expect to
> see HMTTM for MWT with a second person plural suffix.

Yes, that is what YOU expect, apparently the result of your
frequently mentioned LALALA (CVCVCV) "Hebrew" dialect.

But your expectation would not be BH.  It is flawed for BH.
I could sympathize with you a little bit if you were taking
time to correctly process the earlier data from these

There is a 'long form' of hif`il endings with extra 'o', like
wa-havi'o-tem והביאותם, hafiSo-tem הפיצותם / הפצתם.
This could have produced *hamitotem, *hamitoten,
and they would have been written with another 't'.
But our three examples in BH are all without the 'o'-syllable
and thus are all written without an extra 't'. This can be
stated in the other direction as well. The three examples are
written without an extra 't' and thus are documenting the deletion
of a possible -o syllable in these forms. Likewise, first-pers-
singular examples showing the form with the hif`il 'i' vowel
are not written with two taw תת:
Hos 2.3 והמתיה wa-hamit-tiha, 1Sm והמיתיו wa-hamit-tiyw.

Learn the forms and possibilities first,
filter for appropriateness,
then discuss BH.
You appear to be trying this in reverse order, unsuccessfully.

You do not discuss and have apparently missed
a basic spelling and phonological principle. It relieves
this discussion of any problem and fits with known BH.
As mentioned in the thread, there are over 100 cases
where roots that end in 't' (taw) have a subject-suffix beginning
in 't' added, BUT they are written without an additional 't'.
That is the NORM for BH.
Maybe that has not been getting through--
it is normal in BH spelling to NOT write an extra 't' when adding
a subject-suffix beginning in 't' to a verbal root ending in 't'.
Get this right first, learn and understand the principle and all
the examples. See further discussion below.
Then we can discuss possible exceptions.

> what I meant was that in 2Chronicles 22:11, there is the
> classic, normal conjugation expected for the context,
> with a second tau

Your restatement does not help. You fail to recognise that an
intervening 'a' vowel forces the 't' to be written. This, too, is
normal for BH:
hemitathu המיתתהו THIRD person subject + object -athu.
It is not a subject-suffix whose syllable BEGINS in 't'.
That subject 3fs-suffix begins in a vowel, not a 't'.

> Do you know of any other examples of a verb listed in
> dictionaries with a consonant, waw, tau, which conjugate in
> qatal hiphil without the medial yod and without a second tau
> where normal conjugation calls for one?>

On the one hand:
This is a highly specific request. And yes, it occurs and was
mentioned. We have Ex 1.16, Nu 14.15, 17.6, 1Sm 15.3,
2Sm 13.28, Is 14.30, Hos 2.5, Hos 9.16. Those are enough
examples to establish a pattern. And they also fit the norm.
This is a phonological question, and can use wider,
phonological material in order to fully understand it.

On the other hand:
As mentioned just above, there are over 100 examples where
a root ends in -t and a subject suffix begins in 't'.

Your challenge, should you accept it, would be to find examples
where an extra, beginning, subject 't-' suffix is written with a
separate 'taw'.
Any binyan. Show your priniciple happening ANYWHERE !
And you must read BH correctly when doing that, if your
example is to pass muster. Your examples above, 2Sm 1.9
and 16, were incorrect readings of BH, failing to recognize
the use of the polel binyan מותת/מתת motet 'he put to death'.
(מתת is the 'Haser' spelling.)
(Ju 9.54, 1Sm 14.13, 1Sm 17.51, 2Sm 1.9, 10, 16, Jer 20.17,
Ps34.22, 109.16.)

Actually, I just did the above electronically.
I checked for roots ending in 't' and with a 1st or 2nd SUBJECT
suffix beginning with 't'.
There were 116 found by Accordance.

Were there any exceptions among the 116?
Not what you would be looking for.
Is 9:3 provides haHitto-ta, but החתת haHittota is because it is from
a hif`il  + root H.t.t.+ subject, so two of the three 't' were written and
a vowel separated the root from the suffix.
Similarly for ve-haHtat-ti והחתתי Jer 49.37 with 2 out of three 't' written,

and technically the 'suffix' 't' was not written.
Job 7.14 Hittat-tani. Same. two of three 't' written, the two root-t and
without an addition for the suffix-t.

Of the 116 examples, five were hifil 2plural subjects.
(Ex 1.16, 5.5 ve-hishbat-tem והשבתם, Nu 17.6, Dt 4.25 ve-hishHat-tem
והשחתם, 2 Sm 13.28.)
None of the five were written with a yod
and NONE of the five were written with one 't' written for the root
and another 't' written the suffix. They are all single 't' at the
root-suffix juncture.

>From another angle: 78 of the above 116 examples of non-third
person suffix conjugations were hif`il.
None had a separately written 'beginning-suffix-t'.

Of the 78 hif`il above, one was written with a 'y' in the hif`il.
1 Sm 17.35 wahamiytiyw והמיתיו
With a written hif`il-'y', I might have expected *vahamiytotiyhu.
[[Apparently, the 'o' syllable was dropped in this
'long pattern' (cf. va-hashivoti 'and I returned something') with a
heavy same-consonant 't' subject-suffix. (contrast 1 Chr 29.16
with -nu and a simple 'middle-waw' hif`il verb "long form", vs.
2Chr 29.19 'short type' [no extra syllable].) This explanation is
consistent for attested BH. (In the "exceptions" above, Is 9.3 -ta
is not a heavy suffix, while neither Jer  49 nor Job 7 use the
long 'i' vowel type of hif`il and are ineligible for the 'o' vowel.)]]
The MT to 1Sm 17.35 has a dagesh in the 't' since it is lengthened
from the merger of the root-'t' and the beginning suffix-'t'.

Yes, 1Sm 17.35 could be called irregular, though it is explainable.
The irregular part of 1Sm 17.35 is writing a resulting, closed-syllable,
unaccented [i]-vowel with 'y' in the First Temple period. But that
irregular 'y' spelling still attests that the 't' of the root and suffix
juncture is written with one 't'.
All 78 out of 78 times.

So do exceptions in spelling occur? Yes.
But that is nothing new. 1Sm17.35 has an unexpected 'y' in the
consonantal text. Far from unique in BH.

So are any of *hmttn or *hmttm or *hmyttm to be expected?
Not for BH.
NO example was found where a root ending in 't' (taw) had a
separate consonantal 't' added for writing the subject suffix
beginning with 't'.
ZERO, nada, bupkis.

Do examples of hif`il  m.w.t. +non-third person subject
'put to death' occur?
Yes. Ex 1.16, Nu 14.15, 17.6, 1Sm 15.3, 17.35, 2 Sm 13.28,
Is 14.30, Hos 2.5, 9.16.
(The 2nd-person-plural examples were Ex 1.16, Nu 17.6,
2Sm 13.28.)

The main problem that I have with all of the above is that this was
mentioned previously in various degrees of detail, yet you
persist in wanting to mold BH into your personal, inconsistent,
new dialect. I see that starting point as the major problem
that is causing so many misreadings.
You would be better off learning BH from the MT,
internalizing that well, and THEN reading an unpointed text.
(We encourage our BH ulpan students to learn BH to a level
to correctly read from the unpointed texts.)
And you could challenge the MT readings all you want,
probably more helpfully.
The length of this thread would have been unnecessary if
the data were allowed to correct your starting point. So this
is not a post-modern case of 'differing valid viewpoints', but of
consistent coverage of the data.
116 to 0.

Randall Buth

Randall Buth, PhD
Biblical Language Center
Learn Easily - Progress Further - Remember for Life

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