The verb יכל

Classical Hebrew morphology and syntax, aspect, linguistics, discourse analysis, and related topics
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Kenneth Greifer
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The verb יכל

Post by Kenneth Greifer »

Could the verb יכל mean "to succeed" or "to be successful"? It is usually translated as "to prevail" or "to be able."
Kenneth Greifer
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Jason Hare
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Re: The verb יכל

Post by Jason Hare »

An interesting question. I'd like to think through this a bit. The verb appears 193 times in the Bible, and I'd like to look through those instances before responding. My initial feeling is that we don't need it for "succeed," since we have both הצליח and השכיל that are used for "succeed." I don't, starting out, think that this is the meaning you should draw from it. I'm mostly going to look at the instances that are generally translated as "prevail," since those would be the closest to this idea.
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Jason Hare
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Re: The verb יכל

Post by Jason Hare »

Just looking at the Word Study Tool on Logos, there are three instances in which the NRSV (and other versions) rendered יכל as "succeed." It seems like "and you will be able" and "and you will succeed" mean the same thing.

In Spanish, note that the imperfect podía means "I was able," while the preterite pude means "I succeeded" or "I managed (to do x)" (almost like lograr "to achieve"). They are both from the verb poder "to be able."

So, there seems to be some overlap in sense.
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Jason Hare
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Nihil est peius iis, qui paulum aliquid ultra primas litteras
progressi falsam sibi scientiæ persusionem induerunt.

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Jason Hare
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Re: The verb יכל

Post by Jason Hare »

This is the entry (handtyped by me) from Holladay's Concise Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament.
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Jason Hare
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Nihil est peius iis, qui paulum aliquid ultra primas litteras
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— Quintilian
Kenneth Greifer
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Re: The verb יכל

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Jason,
You typed all of that. Wow. Thank you. Also, I found out that if I am not logged in, I don't see those attachments. I just see a pink line or something that says I can't see the file. I have seen that line many times and I didn't know that I had to login to see what is actually there. I guess you have put many attachments on b-hebrew that I didn't see because I didn't know I had to login to see them. Now I feel kind of bad because there may have been all kinds of attachments that I could have seen in many earlier answers that I did not know about, and I probably would have liked to see them. Is it possible to mention in that pink line that you have to login to see what it says. That might help. I usually don't login to read b-hebrew discussions. I am kind of surprised and disappointed to find this out now.
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Jason Hare
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Re: The verb יכל

Post by Jason Hare »

Kenneth Greifer wrote: Sun Nov 29, 2020 8:50 am Jason,
You typed all of that. Wow. Thank you. Also, I found out that if I am not logged in, I don't see those attachments. I just see a pink line or something that says I can't see the file. I have seen that line many times and I didn't know that I had to login to see what is actually there. I guess you have put many attachments on b-hebrew that I didn't see because I didn't know I had to login to see them. Now I feel kind of bad because there may have been all kinds of attachments that I could have seen in many earlier answers that I did not know about, and I probably would have liked to see them. Is it possible to mention in that pink line that you have to login to see what it says. That might help. I usually don't login to read b-hebrew discussions. I am kind of surprised and disappointed to find this out now.
I don't have access to any forum setup issues. I'm just *always* logged in on the site. Is there a reason that you don't log in when you read responses?
Jason Hare
Tel Aviv, Israel
www.thehebrewcafe.com
Nihil est peius iis, qui paulum aliquid ultra primas litteras
progressi falsam sibi scientiæ persusionem induerunt.

— Quintilian
Kenneth Greifer
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Re: The verb יכל

Post by Kenneth Greifer »

Jason,
I don't know much about computers and the internet. I know they have "login" and "logout" for some reason. I don't know why they have "logout" too. Also, some people just look at discussion forums and they don't join or participate. I have no idea about what is the correct or best way of doing anything on the internet. I just barely get by somehow. I assumed that you login to actually comment and when you don't comment you log out. I am basically clueless when it comes to a lot of things involving computers and the internet. I am glad that I found out about this situation so that I will be able to see your attachments better from now on. Believe me. I barely know what I am doing on the internet.
Kenneth Greifer
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Jason Hare
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Re: The verb יכל

Post by Jason Hare »

"Logout" is more useful if you share computers with someone or if you have multiple accounts (like a moderator account that is anonymous, for instance). You don't need to log out of the forum on your own PC/Mac or telephone.
Jason Hare
Tel Aviv, Israel
www.thehebrewcafe.com
Nihil est peius iis, qui paulum aliquid ultra primas litteras
progressi falsam sibi scientiæ persusionem induerunt.

— Quintilian
kwrandolph
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Re: The verb יכל

Post by kwrandolph »

Kenneth Greifer wrote: Sat Nov 28, 2020 10:53 pm Could the verb יכל mean "to succeed" or "to be successful"? It is usually translated as "to prevail" or "to be able."
First of all, translation is not the same as meaning in the original language.

The basic meaning carried by the verb is ability, ability defined by its contexts. Sometimes that ability translates into success, sometimes the inability to deal with something. There’s no exact equivalent to יכל in English, so there’s some latitude in its translation.

Karl W. Randolph.
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