[b-hebrew] Psa 1,1f

Dave Washburn davidlwashburn at gmail.com
Mon Mar 12 20:46:32 EDT 2012

On Mon, Mar 12, 2012 at 5:04 PM, K Randolph <kwrandolph at gmail.com> wrote:

> George:
> On Sun, Mar 11, 2012 at 5:09 PM, George Athas <George.Athas at moore.edu.au
> >wrote:
> > This is quite different to Yiqtol, which has a more complex view and,
> > therefore, a wider range of possible translations into English. The
> Yiqtol
> > has no specific occurrence of an action in view. It either looks at
> things
> > generally (e.g. gnomic present), as occurring many times (e.g. habitual
> > past), or as not having occurred yet (e.g. future, subjunctive). The
> > distinction I'm drawing here is not just that the verbs state something
> (of
> > course they do!), but how they present the action (an aspectual
> question).
> > Yiqtol verbs do not present an action as simple, concrete fact.
> > Furthermore, Wayyiqtol is aspectually different to Qatal, in presenting
> an
> > action as though it were happening 'live', thus producing a sense of
> > momentum.
> >
> I, too, find the Yiqtol being more complex than the Qatal, The most common
> use seems to be in narrative to indicate continuation of the story. The
> Yiqtol is also used to indicate subjunctive (e.g. Exodus 20 “You should not
> commit adultery.” ”You should not steal.” etc.), volition (Exodus 5:2 “…
> and even Israel I have no intention of sending out.”), optative (Genesis
> 4:7 “If you do what is pleasing …”), and in Psalm 1:2 the possibility that
> it indicates desire, that the blessed person wants to read God’s Word day
> and night.
The term that brings all of these together, unashamedly borrowed from Galia
Hatav, is "irrealis." As I understand it, qatal and wayyiqtol express
realis situations (I will put aside the differences between those two for
now) whereas yiqtol and weqatal express irrealis situations. These include
subjunctive, optative and future, among others. I will also skip over the
differences between those two forms for now, to avoid any attempt at
hijacking this thread.

Dave Washburn

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