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ISalzman
10-09-2009, 11:38 PM
I've been stewing on this one the last couple of days. I finally figured that it couldn't hurt to post this one on the Non-BibleWorks section of the forum and see if anyone out there was willing to take a stab at this. I understand that one's theology will probably have some effect on how one answers the question. If we're honest, theology always enters into our thinking and thought processes. Nevertheless, here goes.

In Zechariah 8:3, there is a prophetic utterance or declaration by God, as indicated by the formulaic Ko 'amar Yahweh. The prophetic word begins with God's assertion, shavti el tziyon. As you can readily tell - even if this is only my transliteration - shavti is a qatal form. Some call it, by its traditional nomenclature, a "perfect." This is then followed by two veqatal verbs, veshakhanti and veniqra'ah. It is quite common to translate the veqatal forms with English future tenses, as almost all, if not all, English versions do here. Vis-a-vis the qatal form, the English versions seem to be split over their translations, with half of them translating shavti as "I have returned" or "I am returned." The other half translate it with an English future, "I will return."

Intuitively and logically, I, myself would lean to an English future here and would translate shavti as "I will return." According to my own theology, which I am not attempting to argue here, I see this promise as having its ultimate fulfillment eschatogically.

But I am always uncomfortable about coming to a particular translation motivated by my theology. I would rather have my exegesis driven by the grammar. Now, of course, I could argue that my future translation of shavti is fueled by the parallel structure of the verse. In other words, I could argue that since shavti is parallel to the two veqatal verbs that follow it, a future translation is justified. But even that bothers me to a little extent.

So, my question is this: Does anyone know of any other instances outside of this context where a prophetic sequence is commenced with a qatal verb and then followed by one or more veqatal forms? In other words, what other scriptural/prophetic contexts depict a sequence of future events that is, in its sequence, signaled at the onset (i.e., initially) by a qatal verb? Further, if you, yourself, favor a futuristic translation for shavti, what use of the perfect or qatal would you call this? Grateful for any discussion this might provoke. Grateful for any takers.

Jpcfortress
10-10-2009, 08:20 AM
Isalzman,

I believe that the wqtl forms can be taken as a future here, especially if you take shavti as a future. Waltke and O'Connor explain this usage on pp. 530-532 of the Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Syntax. If I understand them correctly, they would explain the text in this way: As a consequence of my return to Jerusalem I will dwell in Jerusalem, and (as a consequence of my return to) Jerusalem will be called...

I believe that the focus here is on the consequence of the Lord's return to Jerusalem.

Waltke and O'Connor give some other examples on the pages I mentioned above of prophetic instances where the same construction is used: Eze 17:24; 22:14; Isa 49:6; 43:14.

I hope this helps,
Jason Van de Burgt

ISalzman
10-10-2009, 09:25 AM
Isalzman,

I believe that the wqtl forms can be taken as a future here, especially if you take shavti as a future. Waltke and O'Connor explain this usage on pp. 530-532 of the Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Syntax. If I understand them correctly, they would explain the text in this way: As a consequence of my return to Jerusalem I will dwell in Jerusalem, and (as a consequence of my return to) Jerusalem will be called...

I believe that the focus here is on the consequence of the Lord's return to Jerusalem.

Waltke and O'Connor give some other examples on the pages I mentioned above of prophetic instances where the same construction is used: Eze 17:24; 22:14; Isa 49:6; 43:14.

I hope this helps,
Jason Van de Burgt

Jason, thanks! But that was not my question, exactly. I have no problem translating the veqatal forms as futures. That's how I would almost always translate them. Veqatals in discursive texts almost always reference actions future to the speaker and the moment of the discourse.

My tendency is to take the qatal shavti as a future since it is parallel to the veqatals (I say parallel to the veqatals, but not necessarily). My question is this: Should shavti be taken as a future? It seems unusual to me that a series of prophetic events would be begun by a qatal verb. What use of the qatal would this be? The tendency on behalf of some might be to call this a prophetic perfect ("perfectum prophetu;' spelling?). But that is sometimes used as a catch-all, when people can find no other categories of the qatal. It is akin to when we diagnose people with 'Dementia.' Well, there are a whole bunch of different varieties of Dementia. Sometime we just use Dementia as a buzzword for mental illness.

At any rate, as I mentioned earlier, I am inclined to take shavti as a future. But, as mentioned, this is not so much grammatically-driven as it is by my assumption that the entire verse is prophetic (in the vein of foretelling). But thanks, Jason, for taking a crack at it. Go Ticats! (Actually, I am an Als fan)

David Kummerow
10-12-2009, 09:09 PM
Helpful reading on this issue is:

Anstey, Matthew P. 2009. “The Biblical Hebrew qatal Verb: A Functional Discourse Grammar Analysis.” Linguistics 47: 825-844.

Rogland, Max. 2003. Alleged Non-Past Uses of Qatal in Classical Hebrew. Studia Semitica Neerlandica 44. Assen: Van Gorcum.

In my opinion, weqatal is often better not taken to be a grammaticalized future verb. Rather, it represents a cosubordinate construction whereby what is morphologically a main verb is semantically subordinate (linguistic reading on this could start with Sonia Cristofaro, Subordination [Oxford Studies in Typology and Linguistic Theory; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003]). In the case of weqatal, it inherits tense, aspect, mood, and illocutionary force from the main verb it is constructionally dependent upon.

Regards,
David.

ISalzman
10-13-2009, 10:01 AM
Helpful reading on this issue is:

Anstey, Matthew P. 2009. “The Biblical Hebrew qatal Verb: A Functional Discourse Grammar Analysis.” Linguistics 47: 825-844.

Rogland, Max. 2003. Alleged Non-Past Uses of Qatal in Classical Hebrew. Studia Semitica Neerlandica 44. Assen: Van Gorcum.

In my opinion, weqatal is often better not taken to be a grammaticalized future verb. Rather, it represents a cosubordinate construction whereby what is morphologically a main verb is semantically subordinate (linguistic reading on this could start with Sonia Cristofaro, Subordination [Oxford Studies in Typology and Linguistic Theory; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003]). In the case of weqatal, it inherits tense, aspect, mood, and illocutionary force from the main verb it is constrctionally dependent upon.

Regards,
David.

Great contribution, David! Your post illustrates that there is a lot of new thinking about the Hebrew verbal system (much the same way as there is about the Greek verb in the NT; just witness, for example the buzz and debate generated by Constantine Campbell's new book on Biblical Greek verbal aspect). The point is that there really is a gap in our full understanding of the Hebrew verbal system and, unfortunately, biblical Hebrew has no living informants. There is even thinking today that dismisses the traditional notions of the "perfect" and "imperfect" as the being the unjustified imposition of Latin and Greek categories onto biblical Hebrew. Some suggest that we can only come to a better understanding of the Hebrew verbal system by doing a distributional analysis of the different verbal forms at the clause/clausal level!

At any rate, if I understand you correctly, David, you intend to say that the veqatal verbs in Zech 8:3 are dependent on the main verb, which in this case is the qatal shavti. All good and well and perhaps correct. But, again, my original question was: What gives us the grammatical permission to render shavti with an English future? Apart from intuitively knowing that this text is most likely, entirely prophetic (i.e., eschatological; though not all understand it this way), what use of the qatal would this be that allows us to understand it as an English future?

Jpcfortress
10-13-2009, 03:24 PM
Jason, thanks! But that was not my question, exactly. I have no problem translating the veqatal forms as futures. That's how I would almost always translate them. Veqatals in discursive texts almost always reference actions future to the speaker and the moment of the discourse.

My tendency is to take the qatal shavti as a future since it is parallel to the veqatals (I say parallel to the veqatals, but not necessarily). My question is this: Should shavti be taken as a future? It seems unusual to me that a series of prophetic events would be begun by a qatal verb. What use of the qatal would this be? The tendency on behalf of some might be to call this a prophetic perfect ("perfectum prophetu;' spelling?). But that is sometimes used as a catch-all, when people can find no other categories of the qatal. It is akin to when we diagnose people with 'Dementia.' Well, there are a whole bunch of different varieties of Dementia. Sometime we just use Dementia as a buzzword for mental illness.

At any rate, as I mentioned earlier, I am inclined to take shavti as a future. But, as mentioned, this is not so much grammatically-driven as it is by my assumption that the entire verse is prophetic (in the vein of foretelling). But thanks, Jason, for taking a crack at it. Go Ticats! (Actually, I am an Als fan)

Hi Isalzman,

Sorry for misunderstanding the question. It was hard to forget your question, so I had to take another stab at it. I poked around in Jouon Muraoka and found a possible answer to your question.

Jouon Muraoka suggest that a the qatal form can be used in the future as an extension of its use in the present. This is when the qatal form is uttered before the act is done and it always is the first person form of the verb. They also give other instances of this use of the qatal form. (see Part 3, ch. 1, section 112g). In the next paragraph, they explain that the prophetic future is a rhetorical device.

Thanks for the reference to the Ticats, but I don't follow sports much at all (plus I'm an import to Hamilton...) Hope your Als are doing alright.

Hope this helps,
Jason Van de Burgt

David Kummerow
10-13-2009, 08:08 PM
There is even thinking today that dismisses the traditional notions of the "perfect" and "imperfect" as the being the unjustified imposition of Latin and Greek categories onto biblical Hebrew.
Not exactly. The traditional notions of "perfect" and "imperfect" are generally dismissed due to the incorrect use of terminology. By "perfect" and "imperfect" BH grammarians actually generally meant "perfective" and "imperfective" aspect, so it's better to actually use the proper linguistic terminology.


At any rate, if I understand you correctly, David, you intend to say that the veqatal verbs in Zech 8:3 are dependent on the main verb, which in this case is the qatal shavti.
Yes, that's correct.


But, again, my original question was: What gives us the grammatical permission to render shavti with an English future? Apart from intuitively knowing that this text is most likely, entirely prophetic (i.e., eschatological; though not all understand it this way), what use of the qatal would this be that allows us to understand it as an English future?
Sorry for not being clear. That's what my suggested reading was directed to answering (it wasn't related to the point I made about weqatal; I was only raising that since you'd suggested the weqatals might point towards a future construal of the initial qatal).

Regards,
David.

ISalzman
10-13-2009, 10:01 PM
Not exactly. The traditional notions of "perfect" and "imperfect" are generally dismissed due to the incorrect use of terminology. By "perfect" and "imperfect" BH grammarians actually generally meant "perfective" and "imperfective" aspect, so it's better to actually use the proper linguistic terminology.

Agreed, I think "Perfective" and "Imperfective" are probably better terms. But I think that's what most grammarians mean when they use the shortened forms.



Sorry for not being clear. That's what my suggested reading was directed to answering (it wasn't related to the point I made about weqatal; I was only raising that since you'd suggested the weqatals might point towards a future construal of the initial qatal).

Regards,
David.

Gotcha. Unfortunately, I don't know how I would get access in the near term to your suggested readings. But will make note of the two articles. Thanks.

Irving

ISalzman
10-13-2009, 10:07 PM
Hi Isalzman,

Sorry for misunderstanding the question. It was hard to forget your question, so I had to take another stab at it. I poked around in Jouon Muraoka and found a possible answer to your question.

No problem at all for the misunderstanding. And thanks for your persistence.



Jouon Muraoka suggest that a the qatal form can be used in the future as an extension of its use in the present. This is when the qatal form is uttered before the act is done and it always is the first person form of the verb. They also give other instances of this use of the qatal form. (see Part 3, ch. 1, section 112g). In the next paragraph, they explain that the prophetic future is a rhetorical device.

Thanks for the reference. I will check it out.


Thanks for the reference to the Ticats, but I don't follow sports much at all (plus I'm an import to Hamilton...) Hope your Als are doing alright.

Hope this helps,
Jason Van de Burgt

Do you mind my asking where you're imported from? At last count, the Als were doing pretty well. But I don't get regular updates. And if they lose, I don't lose any sleep over it. Wouldn't it be nice if all of life were like that? Again, thanks for the interaction, Jason.

Irving

bkMitchell
10-14-2009, 12:03 AM
This might be of interest to you:



"§59. QATAL is used to denote states and actions viewed as states, which the context sets in the future; these usages are naturally, like the present usages in § 57, restricted to non-narrative discourse and poetry.
(a) In a sense of the Engl. future perf.(which Engl. in fact rarely uses) QATAL indicates that a situation or event, though fut., is prior to another fut. situation or event. Gen, 24. 19 I will draw for your camels also עַ֥ד אִם־כִּלּ֖וּ לִשְׁתֹּֽת until they (shall) have done drinking. 2 S. 5. 24 כִּ֣י אָ֗ז יָצָ֤א י
for then Y. has (will have) gone out before you. Gen. 28. 15; 48/ 6, I S. I. 28, 2 K.7. 3, Is. 4. 4; 6. 11; 16. 12, Jer. 8. 3, Mic 5. 2, Ru. 2. 21.

(b) More directly related to the speaker's or poet's present, QATAL represents a fut. action not as an action but as a state of doing or having done.
This QATAL may occur in the protasis of a real condition, 2S.15.33
אִ֚ם עָבַ֣רְתָּ אִתִּ֔י וְהָיִ֥תָ עָלַ֖י לְמַשָּֽׂא If you will go with me, you shall be a burden to me. Exx. 121b. Or in questions expressing astonishment, incredulity on the like. Gen 18.12 after I have grown old
הָֽיְתָה־לִּ֣י עֶדְנָ֔ה shall I have pleasure? Jud. 9.9 הֶחֳדַ֙לְתִּי֙ אֶת־דִּשְׁנִ֔י
shall I abandon my fatness? cf. Vss. 11, 13. Gen. 21. 7, Nu. 23, I S. 26. 9, 2 K. 20. 9, Jer. 30. 21, Ez. 18. 19, Hab. 2. 18, Ps. 10. 13; II. 3; 39. 8; 80. 5, Job 12. 9.
It is also found in straight prediction, occasionally in prose discourse but more frequently in poetry, notably prophetic poetry. This 'prophetic perf.'(as it is traditionally called) preserves its stative nature by being found on its own, or following כִּ֣י or לָכֵן, or being suddenly interjected among fut. YIQTOLs and Vav cons."


Page 67/68
Davidson's Introductory Hebrew Grammar – Syntax
Revised by John C. L Gibson
T&T Clark Ltd; 4 edition (1994/12 & 1997)
ISBN-10: 0567097137


Hope that helps

ISalzman
10-14-2009, 10:51 AM
This might be of interest to you:

"QATAL is used to denote states and actions viewed as states, which the context sets in the future; these usages are naturally, like the present usages in (section 57), restricted to non-narrative discourse and poetry.
(a) In a sense of the Egl. future perf.(which Egl. in fact rarely uses) QATAL indicates that a situation or event, though fut., is prior to another fut. situation or event. Gen, 24. 19 I will draw for your camels also...until they (shall) have done drinking. 2 S. 5. 24....for then Y. has (will have) gone out before you....
(b) More directly related to the speaker'S or poet's present, QATAL represents a fut. action not as an action but as a state of doing or having done. This QATAL may occur in the protasis of a real condition, 2S.15.33 If you will go with me, you shall be a burden to me. Or in questions expressing astonishment, incredulity on the like. Gen 18.12 after I have grown old shall I have pleasure... It is also found in straight prediction, occasionally in prose discourse but more frequently in poetry, notably prophetic poetry."
(page 67/68 J.C.L Gibson Davidson's Introductory Hebrew Grammar~Syntax 1997)

Hope that helps

Thanks, Brian! It seems like the usage of the qatal shavti here (Zech 8:3) most closely conforms to the last part of (b) above; namely, "It is also found in straight prediction, occasionally in prose discourse but more frequently in poetry, notably prophetic poetry." This seems to be the classical notion of the "Prophetic Perfect." I guess there's no getting away from that. Not that I necessarily want to, mind you! But sometimes we label something out of convenience because we desire to make it fit our neat little systems. In this case, we might believe all of Zech 8:3 to be prophetic; hence, we are motivated to call this usage a "Prophetic Perfect." And, seemingly, it is. But, there are interpreters who render shavti with an English past tense here ("I have returned") and who claim a fulfillment to this verse in the prophet's (Zechariah's) day. But, to me, to note the attendant consequences of God's return to Zion - namely, that Jerusalem would be called "the Mountain of the Lord of Hosts" and "the City of Truth" describe characteristics of the city that have never been true or fulfilled till now. They, obviously, await and anticipate a future fulfillment (when Jesus returns).

By the way, is the Grammar you referenced available in BibleWorks? Else, do you have it in print media or some other bible software platform? Kol tuv!

Irving

bkMitchell
10-14-2009, 10:30 PM
sometimes we label something out of convenience because we desire to make it fit our neat little systems.

By the way, is the Grammar you referenced available in BibleWorks? Else, do you have it in print media or some other bible software platform? Kol tuv!


One, this particular grammar/Syntax does not suffer from the above stated defect. On the same page it is written:


“Rem. I. The term “prophetic perf. “ is simply descriptive, but not the terms “perf. Certainty” or “confidence”. These terms presuppose the older view of QATAL as denoting completed action which is then due to the will or imagination of the speaker or poet exceptionally transferred to the future; but it is an ordinary QATAL an it is transferred to the fut. By the context in which it occurs. That usage is considered unusual, however, is shown by the variations on the cons. Forms which follow it in those passage where there is a continuation. It may either be followed by Vav cons. YIQTOL.(Is. 5. 15; 5. 5, PS. 22. 3) or ad sensum by Vav cons. QATAL (Is. 2. II; 5. 14, Ps. 20. 9).”

Two, this Grammar/Syntax, to answer your question, is not found in Biblworks8. I have it in hardback form, and I think it is already out of print, too. And, thus probably not commonly available anymore. This is the reason why I quoted it rather than simply refering you to a page number.

God bless your study of his word,
Brian

P.S.
It may not matter so much at this point but I have edited the quote from this Grammar/Syntax in my the first post to this thread, where I had ellipses( ...) before I have expaned the quote.

ISalzman
10-15-2009, 10:53 AM
One, this particular grammar/Syntax does not suffer from the above stated defect. On the same page it is written:


“Rem. I. The term “prophetic perf. “ is simply descriptive, but not the terms “perf. Certainty” or “confidence”. These terms presuppose the older view of QATAL as denoting completed action which is then due to the will or imagination of the speaker or poet exceptionally transferred to the future; but it is an ordinary QATAL an it is transferred to the fut. By the context in which it occurs. That usage is considered unusual, however, is shown by the variations on the cons. Forms which follow it in those passage where there is a continuation. It may either be followed by Vav cons. YIQTOL.(Is. 5. 15; 5. 5, PS. 22. 3) or ad sensum by Vav cons. QATAL (Is. 2. II; 5. 14, Ps. 20. 9).”



Thanks Brian. Hey, I gotta ask you this (this is driving me crazy already!). What does the abbreviation above, at the beginning of your quote - "Rem." - stand for? I have looked everywhere and cannot find a gloss. All of the grammars feature this little abbreviation (Gesenius, Jouon-Muraoka, etc.). Yet none decipher it on their "Abbreviations" page. Do you know? Does anyone know? (BTW, hovering your mouse over the abbreviation in Logos/Libronix does not avail anything on this one)

bkMitchell
10-15-2009, 11:22 AM
What does the abbreviation above, at the beginning of your quote - "Rem."

Rem= Remark/or an aside

ISalzman
10-15-2009, 11:26 AM
Rem= Remark/or an aside

Thanks Brian! How'd you know/get that?

How's the weather in Japan at this time of year?

Irving

bkMitchell
10-15-2009, 12:30 PM
Thanks Brian! How'd you know/get that?
How's the weather in Japan at this time of year?
Irving

Currently, I'm a lowly English instructor and it's kind of my job to know arcane abbreviations and minutiae(or to be able to find stuff and pretend I know it :o)

In the prefecture I live in it is about, 21 / 9 ℃

Grace and Peace,
Brian

ISalzman
10-15-2009, 12:48 PM
Currently, I'm a lowly English instructor and it's kind of my job to know arcane abbreviations and minutiae(or to be able to find stuff and pretend I know it :o)

Not lowly at all. I think it's a very noble and respectable profession/position. I tell all the kids at the congregation where I pastor that they should care about things like English, literature, and grammar. If they don't start with an appreciation of their own literature and grammar, how will they ever come to a true appreciation of the greatest literature the world has ever known (= the Bible)? And the most significant literature at that!


In the prefecture I live in it is about, 21 / 9 ℃

Grace and Peace,
Brian


Wow, doesn't sound too warm. It's beginning to get colder here in the Eastern US too, if it's any consolation.

Hesed VeShalom,

Irving