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orion The "tenses" of DSS Hebrew

Dear listmembers,

In J.H. Charlesworth (1997) "The Dead Sea Scrolls Hebrew, Aramaic, and
Greek Texts with English Translations", volume 4A, pp 40-45, there is a
comparison of 4Q236 and the Masoretic text of Psalm 89.
In Psalm 89:20 we find a wayyiqtol of )mR, which is translated by P.W.Flint
as "and said". However, the corresponding verb in  4Q236 (1) is a yiqtol of
)MR which he translates as "you will say". I ask: Is there really a
justification for seeing a tense difference here?

For instance, if we look at Psalm 89:43-44 we find a Hifil yiqtol in the
middle of three Hifil qatals, all having past meaning, so even in the Psalm
does not a yiqtol necessarily have future meaning.  E. Qimron (1986) "The
Hebrew of the Dead Sea Scrolls",  p 45, note 7 says: "It is unclear whether
DSS Hebrew has a distinctive form for consecutive waw, as the short
imperfect is used even in cases where the waw does not convert the tense,
e.g. TS 23:17. BH too employs the short form of the imperfect with both waw
consecutive and waw conjunctive, e.g. WE:YF$EB Dn 11:19 ( contrast YF$IB
ib. 18)."

I would like to hear some opinions about this question: Could there be that
there is absolutely no converting waws at all in DSS Hebrew, to the effect
that we should not expect to find a
 semantic difference between yiqtols with and without prefixed waw?


Rolf Furuli
Lecturer in Semitic languages
University of Oslo

For private reply, e-mail to Rolf Furuli <furuli@online.no>
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