How to Interpret Biblical Hebrew Verbs (Part 4 of the Verbal Systems of the Biblical Languages)

February 10, 2021 // The Biblical Languages Podcast

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Image: Depictions of the Ten Plagues of Egypt, "A plague of locusts" (Add.27210, f.13) "Moses and Aaron by the river of blood" (Add.27210, f.11), and "The Plague of Darkness" (Add.27210, f.13), from The British Library

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In this episode of the Biblical Languages Podcast, co-hosts Nick Messmer and Kevin Grasso discuss how our analysis of the biblical Hebrew verbal system actually impacts our interpretation of specific biblical texts.

Here's a snapshot of what you can expect in this conversation:

  • Key distinctions for analyzing verbs such as notional categories vs. morphological forms, semantics vs. interpretation, and meaning vs. function.
  • Overviews of the meaning of Yiqtol and Qatal, and how these analyses account for the biblical data
  • How to apply the semantics of these verbal forms to interpret specific verbs in actual biblical texts

This is Part 4 of our series on The Verbal Systems of the Biblical Languages. Check out the other episodes in this series:

Show notes


The following papers and presentations by Kevin on the biblical Hebrew verbal system are mentioned in this episode:

The following biblical passages are discussed in this episode:

  • Genesis 48:21
    • Hebrew: וַיֹּאמֶר יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶל-יוֹסֵף, הִנֵּה אָנֹכִי מֵת
    • English (NKJV): "Then Israel said to Joseph, “Behold, I am dying."

  • Exodus 7:18
    • Hebrew: וְהַדָּגָה אֲשֶׁר-בַּיְאֹר תָּמוּת, וּבָאַשׁ הַיְאֹר
    • English (NIV): "The fish in the Nile will die, and the river will stink."

  • Exodus 5:11
    • Hebrew: אַתֶּם, לְכוּ קְחוּ לָכֶם תֶּבֶן, מֵאֲשֶׁר, תִּמְצָאוּ
    • English (NIV): "Go and get your own straw wherever you can find it."

  • Exodus 15:1
    • Hebrew: אָ֣ז יָשִֽׁיר־מֹשֶׁה֩ וּבְנֵ֨י יִשְׂרָאֵ֜ל אֶת־הַשִּׁירָ֤ה הַזֹּאת֙ לַֽיהוָ֔ה וַיֹּאמְר֖וּ לֵאמֹ֑ר
    • English (ESV): "Then Moses and the people of Israel sang this song to the LORD, saying..."

  • 2 Kings 12:17
    • Hebrew: אָז יַעֲלֶה, חֲזָאֵל מֶלֶךְ אֲרָם, וַיִּלָּחֶם עַל-גַּת
    • English (Kevin): "This was when Hazael, king of Aram, went up and fought against Gath."

  • Micah 6:4
    • Hebrew: כִּי הֶעֱלִתִיךָ מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם, וּמִבֵּית עֲבָדִים פְּדִיתִיךָ
    • English (NIV): "I brought you up out of Egypt and redeemed you from the land of slavery."

  • Genesis 26:27
    • Hebrew: וַיֹּ֤אמֶר אֲלֵהֶם֙ יִצְחָ֔ק מַדּ֖וּעַ בָּאתֶ֣ם אֵלָ֑י
    • English (ESV): "Isaac said to them, 'Why have you come to me?'"

  • Genesis 4:9
    • Hebrew: וַיֹּ֤אמֶר יְהוָה֙ אֶל־קַ֔יִן אֵ֖י הֶ֣בֶל אָחִ֑יךָ וַיֹּ֙אמֶר֙ לֹ֣א יָדַ֔עְתִּי הֲשֹׁמֵ֥ר אָחִ֖י אָנֹֽכִי
    • English (NIV): "Then the LORD said to Cain, 'Where is your brother Abel?' 'I don't know,' he replied. 'Am I my brother's keeper?'

  • Proverbs 24:32
    • Hebrew: וָֽאֶחֱזֶ֣ה אָ֭נֹכִֽי אָשִׁ֣ית לִבִּ֑י רָ֝אִ֗יתִי לָקַ֥חְתִּי מוּסָֽר
    • English (ESV): “Then I saw and considered it; I looked and received instruction.”
    • English (NET): “When I saw this, I gave careful consideration to it; I received instruction from what I saw.”
    • English (NIV): “I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw:”

  • Psalm 93:1
    • Hebrew: יְהוָה מָלָךְ גֵּאוּת לָבֵשׁ לָבֵשׁ יְהוָה עֹז הִתְאַזָּר אַף-תִּכּוֹן תֵּבֵל בַּל-תִּמּוֹט
    • English (KJV): "The world also is stablished, that it cannot be moved."
    • English (ESV): "The world is established; it shall never be moved."
    • English (NIV): "The world is established, firm and secure."
 

Where to listen

You can listen and subscribe for updates here: https://biblingo.org/podcast/

You can also listen and subscribe on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotify, and Overcast.

Listen to the full episode, share your feedback, and let us know topics you'd like to hear on future episodes!


February 10, 2021 // The Biblical Languages Podcast

Image

Image: Depictions of the Ten Plagues of Egypt, "A plague of locusts" (Add.27210, f.13) "Moses and Aaron by the river of blood" (Add.27210, f.11), and "The Plague of Darkness" (Add.27210, f.13), from The British Library

Share this Post

In this episode of the Biblical Languages Podcast, co-hosts Nick Messmer and Kevin Grasso discuss how our analysis of the biblical Hebrew verbal system actually impacts our interpretation of specific biblical texts.

Here's a snapshot of what you can expect in this conversation:

  • Key distinctions for analyzing verbs such as notional categories vs. morphological forms, semantics vs. interpretation, and meaning vs. function.
  • Overviews of meanings of the Yiqtol and the Qatal forms and how they account for the biblical data
  • How to apply the semantics of these verbal forms to interpret specific verbs in actual biblical texts

This is Part 4 of our series on The Verbal Systems of the Biblical Languages. Check out the other episodes in this series:

Show notes

The following papers and presentations by Kevin on the biblical Hebrew verbal system are mentioned in this episode:

The following biblical passages are discussed in this episode:

  • Genesis 48:21
    • Hebrew: וַיֹּאמֶר יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶל-יוֹסֵף, הִנֵּה אָנֹכִי מֵת
    • English (NKJV): "Then Israel said to Joseph, “Behold, I am dying."

  • Exodus 7:18
    • Hebrew: וְהַדָּגָה אֲשֶׁר-בַּיְאֹר תָּמוּת, וּבָאַשׁ הַיְאֹר
    • English (NIV): "The fish in the Nile will die, and the river will stink."

  • Exodus 5:11
    • Hebrew: אַתֶּם, לְכוּ קְחוּ לָכֶם תֶּבֶן, מֵאֲשֶׁר, תִּמְצָאוּ
    • English (NIV): "Go and get your own straw wherever you can find it."

  • Exodus 15:1
    • Hebrew: אָ֣ז יָשִֽׁיר־מֹשֶׁה֩ וּבְנֵ֨י יִשְׂרָאֵ֜ל אֶת־הַשִּׁירָ֤ה הַזֹּאת֙ לַֽיהוָ֔ה וַיֹּאמְר֖וּ לֵאמֹ֑ר
    • English (ESV): "Then Moses and the people of Israel sang this song to the LORD, saying..."

  • 2 Kings 12:17
    • Hebrew: אָז יַעֲלֶה, חֲזָאֵל מֶלֶךְ אֲרָם, וַיִּלָּחֶם עַל-גַּת
    • English (Kevin): "This was when Hazael, king of Aram, went up and fought against Gath."

  • Micah 6:4
    • Hebrew: כִּי הֶעֱלִתִיךָ מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם, וּמִבֵּית עֲבָדִים פְּדִיתִיךָ
    • English (NIV): "I brought you up out of Egypt and redeemed you from the land of slavery."

  • Genesis 26:27
    • Hebrew: וַיֹּ֤אמֶר אֲלֵהֶם֙ יִצְחָ֔ק מַדּ֖וּעַ בָּאתֶ֣ם אֵלָ֑י
    • English (ESV): "Isaac said to them, 'Why have you come to me?'"

  • Genesis 4:9
    • Hebrew: וַיֹּ֤אמֶר יְהוָה֙ אֶל־קַ֔יִן אֵ֖י הֶ֣בֶל אָחִ֑יךָ וַיֹּ֙אמֶר֙ לֹ֣א יָדַ֔עְתִּי הֲשֹׁמֵ֥ר אָחִ֖י אָנֹֽכִי
    • English (NIV): "Then the LORD said to Cain, 'Where is your brother Abel?' 'I don't know,' he replied. 'Am I my brother's keeper?'

  • Proverbs 24:32
    • Hebrew: וָֽאֶחֱזֶ֣ה אָ֭נֹכִֽי אָשִׁ֣ית לִבִּ֑י רָ֝אִ֗יתִי לָקַ֥חְתִּי מוּסָֽר
    • English (ESV): “Then I saw and considered it; I looked and received instruction.”
    • English (NET): “When I saw this, I gave careful consideration to it; I received instruction from what I saw.”
    • English (NIV): “I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw:”

  • Psalm 93:1
    • Hebrew: יְהוָה מָלָךְ גֵּאוּת לָבֵשׁ לָבֵשׁ יְהוָה עֹז הִתְאַזָּר אַף-תִּכּוֹן תֵּבֵל בַּל-תִּמּוֹט
    • English (KJV): "The world also is stablished, that it cannot be moved."
    • English (ESV): "The world is established; it shall never be moved."
    • English (NIV): "The world is established, firm and secure."

Where to listen

You can listen and subscribe for updates here: https://biblingo.org/podcast/

You can also listen and subscribe on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotify, and Overcast.

Listen to the full episode, share your feedback, and let us know topics you'd like to hear on future episodes!

Image

The Biblical Languages Podcast hosts discussions and interviews related to learning the biblical languages and issues relevant to biblical exegesis. Episodes cover topics in 4 major categories: language acquisition, linguistics, cultural backgrounds, and exegesis.

Listen & subscribe here: https://biblingo.org/podcast/

 

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