"imperfect" Niphal which is actually Passive Qal

Discussion must focus on the Hebrew text (including text criticism) and its ancient translations, not on archaeology, modern language translations, or theological controversies.
Forum rules
Members will observe the rules for respectful discourse at all times!
Please sign all posts with your first and last (family) name.
ducky
Posts: 174
Joined: Mon Aug 05, 2019 4:01 pm

"imperfect" Niphal which is actually Passive Qal

Postby ducky » Sun Aug 25, 2019 5:23 pm

ducky wrote:
Isaac Fried wrote:Here is Jer. 5:6
עַל כֵּן הִכָּם אַרְיֵה מִיַּעַר זְאֵב עֲרָבוֹת יְשָׁדְדֵם נָמֵר שֹׁקֵד עַל עָרֵיהֶם כָּל הַיּוֹצֵא מֵהֵנָּה יִטָּרֵף
What do I care what "Binyan" is יִטָּרֵף. All I need to know is that
יִטָּרֵף = היא-טרף, with היא referring to the beneficiary of the act טרף, namely, the one having the good fortune of ending as dinner for the tiger.

I gave this example using this root, for a reason.
we were speaking about the grammar of the Masoretic and the Binyanim, and what was used and what was not.
I will wait with the answer.


the יטרף is not really a Niphal but it is a Passive Qal that is pronounced "yutraf" (looks like Huphal).

When one looks at a basic grammar book, he may see in the "conjugation tablet" that the Niphal is marked as the passive for Qal.

But the Niphal is not really linked directly to Qal. It is a conjugation that stands on its own.
The Qal has its own passive
Like Piel has Pual (quttal)
and Hiphil has Huphal
So the Qal (pa'al) has "pual" (qutal)
(the Qal has more passive forms)

Notice the difference between the quttal and the qutal.

This form of qutal as passive Qal is seen in the bible as quttal (exactly like the pual).
But while the double "t" of Pual is part of the conjugation form, the double "t" of the Passive Qal is a Dagesh that comes because of the previous opened short vowel.
So they seem the same, but their essence is different.

When it comes to the imperfect form, the Passive of Qal comes in the form of "yuqtal".

The Niphal original meaning was not passive, but it is reflexive or mutual.
For example:
נכנס - reflexive - got in (he let himself inside the room)
נלחם - mutual - fight with someone

When the Passive Qal was stopped to be used (and the reasons are understood according to the forms that it uses), the Niphal took its place and was used as the passive of Qal

When the Masoretic voweled the text, whenever they saw this passive Qal, they changed it to Niphal (only if the spelling of the word allowed it) (like in the "imperfect forms")
(When it comes to the "perfect" form - it was voweled as Passive Qal "quttal")

When the Bible write יטרף, it can be seen as Niphal (yittaref) or as Passive Qal (yutraf)
How should we know if that is Niphal or Qal?

First, we see that the meaning of יטרף is pure passive (eaten by an animal) - there is no doubt about it.
Second, we see the root of טרף comes only in Qal.
There is no נטרף in the Bible which is pure Niphal (not as "perfect" and not as a participle).
Why is that?

By that, the assumption is that the יטרף form is understood as Qal form and should be voweled as "yutraf".
But since this form was lost, the MT voweled it according to the Niphal which "took the place" of the Passive Qal - as "yittaref" (So the passive meaning is kept, the form is different)

Note:
when it comes to the "perfect" as טרף טרף יוסף in Gen. 37:33, the second טרף is not a "pual" form, but it is a Passive Qal form.
Because the first טרף as absolute is Qal. as the combination needs to be: Absolute and the next verb from the same conjugation.
And also, there is no "piel" for טרף.

Another note:
This examination is valid for any "yqtl" in a passive meaning who doesn't have a "perfect" and Participle Niphal.
And also, it is valid for any "pual" (quttal) that for some reason has no "Piel" occurances, and that its active form is always Qal. (that would raise a suspicion that it may be a "perfect" passive Qal).
David Hunter

User avatar
Jason Hare
Posts: 308
Joined: Mon Sep 30, 2013 5:07 am
Location: Tel Aviv, Israel
Contact:

Re: "imperfect" Niphal which is actually Passive Qal

Postby Jason Hare » Sun Aug 25, 2019 5:43 pm

Here is an example of this phenomenon described in Hendel and Joosten's How Old is the Hebrew Bible?: A Linguistic, Textual, and Historical Study (Yale UP: 2018), page 2:

snip.jpg

The idea is that the ktiv was probably originally supposed to be read as וַיֻּלְדוּ but the loss of this form and its replacement with the niphal forced the insertion of a vav, so that it would be read as וַיִּוָּֽלְדוּ, as we read it today.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Jason Hare
Tel Aviv, Israel

User avatar
Jason Hare
Posts: 308
Joined: Mon Sep 30, 2013 5:07 am
Location: Tel Aviv, Israel
Contact:

Re: "imperfect" Niphal which is actually Passive Qal

Postby Jason Hare » Sun Aug 25, 2019 5:57 pm

They go on to say the following, which is even more interesting. The verb would be expected to be נוֹלְדוּ, but we have the consonantal text ילדו. It makes better sense to see this as the passive of the qal, so that we would have יֻלְדוּ.

snip.jpg

This comment about midwifing probably ignores verses like Isaiah 9:5, which clearly uses a pual to represent the concept of being born.

כִּֽי־יֶ֣לֶד יֻלַּד־לָ֗נוּ בֵּ֚ן נִתַּן־לָ֔נוּ וַתְּהִ֥י הַמִּשְׂרָ֖ה עַל־שִׁכְמ֑וֹ וַיִּקְרָ֨א שְׁמ֜וֹ פֶּ֠לֶא יוֹעֵץ֙ אֵ֣ל גִּבּ֔וֹר אֲבִי־עַ֖ד שַׂר־שָׁלֽוֹם׃

That is, unless the authors would have us think that this form should also be pointed as a qal passive (יֻלַד). In such a case, we might run the risk of simply changing every instance to match our expectation, since that can often be done with an unvocalized text.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Jason Hare
Tel Aviv, Israel

ducky
Posts: 174
Joined: Mon Aug 05, 2019 4:01 pm

Re: "imperfect" Niphal which is actually Passive Qal

Postby ducky » Sun Aug 25, 2019 6:13 pm

Hello Jason,
thanks for the comment

Very nice explanation.

The perfect of passive Qal and the Pual are pointed the same, and so, when you see this ילד in the verse, you should see it according to the meaning.

Also, notice that this root ילד is also seen in pure Niphal form.
And notice that this Niphal form comes mostly in the late books (which maybe it shows seed of evolutions).

but it is found also once in Kings (a first temple book).

Anyway, I think it is interesting to see check (if possible) why the MT changed some of the perfect ילד to Niphal, while this Passive Qal was also used as a regular common form.
(I mean, they didn't have a problem with this form of ילד as passive Qal) but for some reason, they chose to change it to Niphal in some cases).
David Hunter

Isaac Fried
Posts: 1448
Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:32 pm

Re: "imperfect" Niphal which is actually Passive Qal

Postby Isaac Fried » Sun Aug 25, 2019 9:11 pm

ducky wrote
Note:
when it comes to the "perfect" as טרף טרף יוסף in Gen. 37:33, the second טרף is not a "pual" form, but it is a Passive Qal form.
Because the first טרף as absolute is Qal. as the combination needs to be: Absolute and the next verb from the same conjugation.
And also, there is no "piel" for טרף.

I see no need to get entangled here with the terminology game of "perfect", "pual", "piel", "Passive Qal", "absolute Qal", "conjugation", etc.. It is all very simple and very clear: in Gen. 37:33
חַיָּה רָעָה אֲכָלָתְהוּ טָרֹף טֹרַף יוֹסֵף
it is
טָרֹף = טר-הוּא-ף
טֹרַף = ט-הוּא-רף

with the internal הוּא being יוֹסֵף as the beneficiary (OK "beneficiary" of the act טרף
In the same way, יֻלַּד = י-הוּא-לד
C'est tout!

Isaac Fried, Boston University

Isaac Fried
Posts: 1448
Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:32 pm

Re: "imperfect" Niphal which is actually Passive Qal

Postby Isaac Fried » Sun Aug 25, 2019 11:45 pm

וַיִּוָּֽלְדוּ ? It is easy and simple:
וַיִּוָּֽלְדוּ = בא-היא-ולד-הוּא
with no need for any "Linguistic, Textual, and Historical Study" of any "proto-Hebrew", replete with qal, niphal, passive qal, qutal, yuqtal, imperfect qal, and other "defunct verbal forms".

Isaac Fried, Boston University


Return to “Hebrew Bible”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests