rbgrice wrote:I was wondering why וִהְיִיתֶם֙ "you will be" is translated as a future even though it is in the perfect. I thought maybe it is somehow a waw consecutive but I do not understand why there is a hireq underneath the waw. Does anyone know why the verb looks like this? Or why the verb is translated as future?
Just as Kirk Lowery wrote, there’s no consensus on the meanings of the Hebrew conjugations of Qatal and Yiqtol.
Most modern students of Biblical Hebrew are from western languages that conjugate for tense, some for aspect as well. That includes modern Israeli Hebrew. As a result, they can’t conceive of a language that doesn’t conjugate for some measure of time. Therefore one often sees the Qatal called “perfect” or “perfective”, and Yiqtol as “imperfect”, “imperfective” or “future”.
Previously we had a member active on this list whose PhD dissertation was that Biblical Hebrew didn’t conjugate for tense. Therefore, according to his research, the terms “past” or “perfect” are incorrect when referring to Qatal forms of verbs.
Looking at Genesis 3:5, therefore, the context, not the verbal conjugation, is what determines where on the time-line an action is found.
There are some non-Indo-European languages that don’t conjugate for tense, rather the time when an action takes place is determined by context, so Biblical Hebrew is not unique in that sense.
The context of Genesis 3:5 is of a future action.
As for the hireq, you can ignore it. I have found that the Masoretic points are not trustworthy, so I ignore them.
Just my 2¢.
Karl W. Randolph.