[b-hebrew] ואילילה Micah 1:8

Chris Watts dekruidnootjes at eircom.net
Sun Jul 21 07:14:39 EDT 2013

It is difficult to sometimes to fit another language inot our  
catagorical boxes of what we are brought up with, when we try to do  
this and it does not fit, then that leads to a mental block in  
understanding meaning and nuances in the host langauge.  I agree that  
we must translate hebrew into 'tense' or 'aspekt' since this is  
'normal' and without that we are left bewildered by the hebrew  
language.  However, I prefer now not to see tense, but rather  
'perpective'.  Essentially which part of the sentence the writer  
considers as having been set down as complete and 'immoveable' and  
which part of the sentence is still 'ongoing'.  Some call this  
completed action and incomplete action, and the verbs written  
according to one of these two 'perspectives'

The funny things is, I agonised over tense and aspekt and the myriads  
of pages grammarinas have written about this phenomena in hebrew for  
months, for me, they over- complicated the issue.  The simple fact is  
that just like in dutch, we baggage up the verbs at the end of  
sentence and action is usually thrown towards the end of a sentence  
like a motorway pile-up of infinitives, hebrew has its cultural  
perspective, complete or incomplete.  The incomplete having to be  
transferred into either future or present and the complete into  
past.  As a sort of simple way to explain, and I wish grammar books  
would explain in reality and not in high un-reacheable langusitic  
concepts, let's say that I wanted to write the following:  The earth  
will burn up and the people will tremble and fall, In hebrew this  
would most likely be said as:  The earth burned up and the peolple  
will tremble and fall. This is an over simplification and there are a  
few more combinations but this, hopefully, introduces you to the  
perspective from which, in those days, the hebraic mindset wrote and  
spoke.  Modern hebrew of course has the three tenses now, but  
biblical hebrew spoke with two distinct forms only and then varying  
combinations of these two distinct forms would communicate the past  
present and future in their evryday lives.

Chris Watts

On 21 Jul 2013, at 04:14, Mike Burke wrote:

But I didn't think there was a future tense in Hebrew?

Michael Gerard Burke

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