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Bible Lexicons

Gesenius Hebrew Grammer

Part 112

§112. The Perfect with Wāw Consecutive.

G. R. Berry, ‘Waw consecutive with the perfect in Hebrew,’ in Bibl. Lit., xxii. (1903), pp. 60–69.

1. The perfect, like the imperfect (§ 111), is used with wāw consecutive (cf. §49a; on the external differentiation of the perfect consecutive by a change in the position of the tone, see §49h) to express actions, events, or states, which are to be attached to what precedes, in a more or less close relation, as its temporal or logical consequence. And as, according to §111a, the narrative which begins with a perfect, or its equivalent, is continued in the imperfect consecutive, so, vice versa, the perfect consecutive forms the regular continuation to a preceding imperfect, or its equivalent.

Rem. 1. This alternation of perfect and imperfect or their equivalents is a striking peculiarity of the consecutio temporum in Hebrew. It not only affords a certain compensation for the lack of forms for tenses and moods, but also gives to Hebrew style the charm of an expressive variety, an action conceived as being still in progress (imperfect, &c.), reaching afterwards in the perfect a calm and settled conclusion, in order to be again exhibited in movement in the imperfect, and vice versa.[1] The strict regularity of this alternation belongs indeed rather to the higher style, and even then it depends upon the view and intention of the speaker, whether he wishes the action, &c., to be regarded as the logical consequence of what has preceded, or as simply co-ordinate with it, and so in the same tense.

2. A succession of any number of other perfects consecutive may be co-ordinated with a perfect consecutive (cf. e.g. Ezekiel 14:13, Amos 5:19, Ruth 3:3, four perfects in each case, Isaiah 8:7 five, Exodus 6:6f. eight). It is true, however, of the perfect (as conversely of the imperfect, §112c), that as soon as the Wāw is separated by any intervening word from the verb to which it belongs, an imperfect necessarily takes the place of the perfect, e.g. Genesis 12:12 when the Egyptians shall see thee, they shall say (וְאָֽמְרוּ‎), This is his wife: and they will kill me (וְהָֽרְנוּ אֹתִי‎) but thee they will save alive (וְאֹתָךְ יְהַיּוּ‎).

2. The perfect consecutive, like the imperfect consecutive, always belongs to the period of time expressed by the preceding tense, or its equivalent, with which it is connected as the temporal or logical consequence. The particular cases may be classed under three heads: (a) the perfect consecutive in immediate dependence (see e), (b) in loose connexion (see x) with the preceding, and (c) the perfect consecutive at the beginning of the apodosis to other sentences, or their equivalents (see ff).

3. The perfect consecutive in immediate dependence on the preceding tense, or its equivalent, serves

(a) As a frequentative tense to express past actions, &c., i.e. actions repeatedly brought to a conclusion in the past, and follows tenses, or their equivalents, representing actions which have continued or been repeated in the past:

(α) After a simple imperfect, e.g. Genesis 2:6 אֵד יַֽעֲלֶה‎ there went up a mist (again and again) from the earth, וְהִשְׁקָה‎ and watered (as it were, and ever watered afresh), &c. This frequentative use of the perfect consecutive is equally evident after frequentative imperfects, Genesis 2:10 (וְהָיָה‎ and it became again every time; וַיְהִי‎ would mean, and it became so once for all); 29:2f. (four perfects consecutive referring to actions repeated daily); Exodus 33:7–11 יִקַּח‎ he used to take at each new encampment the tent, וְנָטָה‎ and to pitch it again every time without the camp; notice, amongst the numerous frequent. perff. consec., the imperf. in vv. 7, 8, 9, 11, always in a frequentative sense; 34:34f., Numbers 9:19, 21 (among several simple imperfects), 10:17, Judges 2:19, 1 Samuel 2:19 תַּֽעֲשֶׂה‎ she used to make... וְהַֽעַלְתָה‎ and brought it to him from year to year; 1 Samuel 27:9 (וְלָקַח‎), 1 Kings 14:28, 2 Kings 3:25, 2 Kings 12:15 (in verses 16f. imperfects occur again). So also in dependent sentences, Genesis 6:4 (וְיָֽלְדוּ‎ as a continuation of יָבֹאוּ‎), Job 31:29.[2]

(β) After an imperfect consecutive, e.g. Exodus 39:3 (Samaritan וקצצו‎), 1 Samuel 5:7 (? see §112rr), 1 Samuel 7:16, 2 Samuel 15:25, 2 Samuel 16:13 and he threw stones at him, וְעִפַּר‎ and east dust continually; 2 Samuel 12:16, 2 Kings 6:10, 2 Kings 12:11, Jeremiah 37:15, Job 1:5.

Rem. The frequentative perfect consecutive is sometimes joined even with imperfects consecutive which simply express one single action or occurrence in the past; thus Exodus 18:26, Exodus 40:31 f., 1 Samuel 1:4, 2 Samuel 15:1 f., 1 Kings 14:27 (cf. verse 28); 1 Kings 18:4, 2 Kings 12:10. For other examples of a loosely connected frequentative perfect consecutive, see below, dd.

(γ) After a perfect, Genesis 37:3 (וְעָשָׂה לוֹ‎, i.e. as often as he needed a new garment)[3]; Genesis 31:7, Numbers 11:8, 1 Samuel 16:14, 2 Kings 3:4, Psalms 22:6;[4] in interrogative sentences, 1 Samuel 26:9 who has ever, &c.; Psalms 80:13, Job 1:14, Ruth 4:7.

(δ) After an infinitive, Amos 1:11 עַל־רָדְפוֹ‎ because he did pursue his brother, וְשִׁחֵת‎ and (on each occasion) did east off all pity (then an imperfect consecutive); after an infinitive absolute, Joshua 6:13, 2 Samuel 13:19, Jeremiah 23:14.

(ε) After a participle, Isaiah 6:3 (וְקָרָא‎), &c., frequentative, as a continuation of עֹֽמְדִים‎, verse 2); 1 Samuel 2:22, 2 Samuel 17:17.[5]

(ζ) After other equivalents of tenses, e.g. Genesis 47:22 the priests had a portion from Pharaoh, וְאָֽכְלוּ‎ and did eat (year by year), &c.; 1 Kings 4:7.

(b) To express present actions, &c., as the temporal or logical consequence of actions or events which continue or are repeated in the present, especially such as have, according to experience, been at all times frequently repeated, and may be repeated at any time:

(α) After a simple imperfect, e.g. Genesis 2:24 therefore a man leaves (יַֽעֲזֹב‎ is accustomed to leave) ... וְדָבַק‎ and cleaves, &c., here, as frequently elsewhere, clearly with the secondary idea of purpose, i.e. in order to cleave; Isaiah 5:11 (if וְהָיָה‎ is to be taken as a continuation of יַדְלִיקֵם‎); Isaiah 28:28, Jeremiah 12:3, Hosea 4:3, Hosea 7:7, Psalms 90:6, Job 14:9; also in dependent clauses, Leviticus 20:18, Isaiah 29:811, Amos 5:19.

(β) After a participle, as the equivalent of a sentence representing a contingent action, &c., e.g. Exodus 21:12 מַכֵּה אִישׁ וָמֵת‎ (instead of מַכֵּה‎ there is in verse 20, &c. וְכִי יַכֶּה אִישׁ‎) if one smite a man and (so that) he die, &c., Exodus 21:16, Isaiah 29:15, Amos 6:1, Habakkuk 2:12.

(γ) After an infinitive absolute, Jeremiah 7:9 f. will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery (simple infinitives absolute; cf. §113ee), וּבָאתֶם‎ and then come and stand before me... and say, &c.; cf. below, u.

(c) To express future actions, &c., as the temporal or logical consequence of tenses, or their equivalents, which announce or require such future actions or events. Thus—

(α) After imperfects in the sense of a simple future, e.g. Amos 9:3 f. מִשָּׁם אֲחַפֵּשׂ וּלְקַחְתִּים‎ I will search and take them out thence, &c.; Genesis 4:14, Genesis 40:13, Exodus 7:3, 1 Samuel 17:32, 2 Kings 5:11, Job 8:6 f. (also with a change of subject, Genesis 27:12, Judges 6:16, &c.); and in interrogative sentences, Genesis 39:9, Exodus 2:7, 2 Samuel 12:18, 2 Kings 14:10, Amos 8:8, Psalms 41:6; cf. also Ruth 1:11; in sentences expressing a wish, 2 Samuel 15:4; as well as in almost all kinds of dependent clauses. Also in conditional clauses after אִם־‎ Genesis 32:9, Exodus 19:5, 1 Samuel 1:11, or כִּי‎ Genesis 37:26, or הֵן‎ Jeremiah 3:1; in final clauses after לְמַ֫עַן‎ Genesis 12:13, Numbers 15:40, Isaiah 28:13; after אֲשֶׁר‎ Deuteronomy 2:25, or פֶּן־‎ Genesis 3:22, Genesis 19:19, Genesis 32:12, Isaiah 6:10, Amos 5:6; in temporal clauses, Isaiah 32:15, Jeremiah 13:16; and in relative clauses, Genesis 24:14, Judges 1:12, 1 Samuel 17:26.

(β) After the jussive (or an imperfect in the sense of a jussive or optative) or cohortative, with the same or a different subject, e.g. Genesis 1:14 f. יְהִי מְאֹרֹת... וְחָיוּ‎ let there be lights... and let them be, &c.; Genesis 24:4, Genesis 28:3, Genesis 31:44, 1 Kings 1:2, 1 Kings 22:13, Ruth 2:7, 1 Chronicles 22:11; after a jussive expressing an imprecation, Psalms 109:10.

(γ) After an imperative, also with the same or a different subject, e.g. 2 Samuel 7:5 לֵךְ וְאָֽמַרְתָּ‎ go and tell (that thou mayst tell), &c., and often, perf. consec. after לֵךְ‎ (as also the perf. consec. of אָמַר‎ and דִּבֶּר‎ very frequently follows other imperatives); Genesis 6:14, Genesis 8:17, Genesis 27:43 f., 1 Samuel 15:3, 18, 1 Kings 2:36, Jeremiah 48:26.

(δ) After perfects which express a definite expectation or assurance (cf. §106m and n), e.g. Genesis 17:20 הִנֵּה בֵּרַ֫כְתִּי אֹתוֹ וְהִפְרֵתִי אֹתוֹ‎ behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, &c.; Isaiah 2:11, Isaiah 5:14; on Amos 4:7 see above, note 3 on h; in an interrogative sentence, Judges 9:9, Judges 11:13.

(ε) After a participle, e.g. Genesis 7:4 for yet seven days, אָֽנֹכִי מַמְטִיר‎ and I will cause it to rain... וּמָחִ֫יתִי‎ and I will (i.e. in order to) destroy, &c.; Jeremiah 21:9; also with a different subject, Genesis 24:43 f. the maiden which cometh forth (הַיֹּצֵאת‎)... וְאָֽמַרְתִּי אֵלֶ֫יהָ‎ to whom I shall say..., וְאָֽמְרָה‎ and she (then) shall say, &c. This use of the perfect consecutive is especially frequent after a participle introduced by הִנֵּה‎, e.g. Genesis 6:17 f.; with a different subject 1 Kings 20:36, Amos 6:14; after a complete noun-clause introduced by הִנֵּה‎ (cf. § 140), Exodus 3:13 behold, I come (i.e. if I shall come)... וְאָֽמַרְתִּי לָהֶם‎ and shall say unto them..., וְאָֽמְרוּ‎ and they (then) shall say, &c.; 1 Samuel 14:8 ff., Isaiah 7:14, Isaiah 8:7 f., 39:6.

(ζ) After an infinitive absolute, whether the infinitive absolute serves to strengthen the finite verb (see §113t), e.g. Isaiah 31:5, or is used as an emphatic substitute for a cohortative or imperfect (§ 113 dd and ee), e.g. Leviticus 2:6, Deuteronomy 1:16, Isaiah 5:5, Ezekiel 23:46 f.

(η) After an infinitive construct governed by a preposition (for this change from the infinitive construction to the finite verb, cf. §114r), e.g. 1 Samuel 10:8 עַד־בּוֹאִי אֵלֶ֫יךָ וְהֽוֹדַעְתִּי לְךָ‎ till I come unto thee (prop. until my coming) and show thee, &c.; Genesis 18:25, Genesis 27:45, Judges 6:18, Ezekiel 39:27; cf. 1 Kings 2:37, 42.

Rem. To the same class belong 1 Samuel 14:24, where the idea of time precedes, until it be evening and until I be avenged, &c., and Isaiah 5:8, where the idea of place precedes, in both cases governed by עַד־‎.

4. The very frequent use of the perfect consecutive in direct dependence upon other tenses (see above, d–v) explains how it finally obtained a kind of independent force—especially for the purpose of announcing future events—and might depend loosely on sentences to which it stood only in a wider sense in the relation of a temporal or logical consequence. Thus the perfect consecutive is used—

(a) To announce future events, &c., in loose connexion with a further announcement, e.g. Genesis 41:30 וְקָמוּ‎ and two co-ordinate perfects consecutive, equivalent to but then shall arise, &c.; frequently so after הִנֵּה‎ with a following substantive (1 Samuel 9:8), or a participial clause (cf. the analogous instances above, under t), e.g. 1 Samuel 2:31 behold, the days come, וְנָֽדַעְתִּי‎ that I will cut off, &c.; Isaiah 39:6, Amos 4:2, Amos 8:11, Amos 9:13, and very often in Jeremiah; after an expression of time, Exodus 17:4, Isaiah 10:25, Isaiah 29:17, Jeremiah 51:33, Hosea 1:4. Further, when joined to a statement concerning present or past facts, especially when these contain the reason for the action, &c., expressed in the perfect consecutive; cf. Isaiah 6:7 lo, this hath touched thy lips, וְסָר‎ therefore thine iniquity shall be taken away, &c. (not copulative and it is taken away, since it is parallel with a simple imperfect), Genesis 20:11, Genesis 26:22, Judges 13:3 (here in an adversative sense); Hosea 8:14. In loose connexion with a noun-clause, a long succession of perfects consecutive occurs in Exodus 6:6 ff. Also in Amos 5:26 וּנְשָׁאתֶם‎ may be an announcement yea, ye shall take up; but cf. below, rr. Rem. 1. Very frequently the announcement of a future event is attached by means of וְהָיָה‎[6] and it shall come to pass (cf. the analogous continuation in the past by means of וַיְהִי‎, § 111, 2), after which the event announced (sometimes after a long parenthesis) follows in one or more (co-ordinate) perfects consecutive, Genesis 9:14, Genesis 12:12 (וְהָיָה כִי‎=if, as in 46:33, Exodus 1:10, Exodus 22:26 and frequently), 1 Kings 18:12, Isaiah 14:3 f., Amos 8:9; or in the imperfect, Genesis 4:14, Isaiah 2:2, Isaiah 3:24, Isaiah 4:3, Isaiah 7:18, 21 ff. (cf. 29:8); or in the jussive, Leviticus 14:9. It very rarely happens that the verb which is thus loosely added, agrees in gender and number with the following subject, as in Numbers 5:27, Jeremiah 42:16 וְהָֽיְתָה‎ (before הַחֶ֫רֶב‎), and in Jeremiah 42:17 וְיִהְיוּ‎ (before כָּל־הָֽאֲנָשִׁים‎).

2. The jussive form וִיהִי‎ occurs (in the sense described in y) instead of וְהָיָה‎ in 1 Samuel 10:5, 2 Samuel 5:24 (1 Chronicles 14:15), 1 Kings 14:5, Ruth 3:4, although in the first three places a jussive is wholly inadmissible in the context, and even in Ruth 3:4 (where an admonition follows) וְהָיָה‎ would be expected (see below, bb). In 1 Kings 14:5 the form is a textual error, and the pointing should simply be וַיְהִי‎. In the other passages ויהי‎ (always before an infinitive with a preposition) stands at the beginning of the sentence at an unusually long distance from the principal tone, and hence is certainly to be explained according to §109k, except that in 1 Samuel 10:5, &c., the simply rhythmical jussive form takes the place, not of the full imperfect form, but (exceptionally) of the perfect consecutive.

(b) To introduce a command or wish: Deuteronomy 10:19 love ye therefore the stranger; 1 Samuel 6:5, 1 Samuel 24:16, 1 Kings 2:6 (in Genesis 40:14 the precative perfect consecutive, as elsewhere the cohortative, jussive, and imperative, is strengthened by means of נָא‎). So, also, in loose connexion with participial and other noun-clauses (see above, x), Genesis 45:12 f., 1 Kings 2:2 f., Ruth 3:3 f., 3:9.—In Genesis 17:11 the perfect consecutive (וּנְמַלְתֶּם‎ and ye shall be circumcised, &c.) is used to explain a preceding command.

Rem. As in the cases mentioned above under y, the connexion may be made by means of וְהָיָה‎. Thus with a following perfect consecutive, e.g. Genesis 46:33, Genesis 47:24, Judges 4:20. Cf. also Genesis 24:14, where the real wish, at least as regards the sense, is contained in the next sentence.

(c) To introduce a question, whether in loose connexion with another interrogative sentence (see above, p), e.g. Genesis 29:15 art thou my brother (equivalent to, Surely thou art), וַֽעֲבַדְתַּ֫נִי‎ and shouldest thou then serve me for naught? or with a positive statement, e.g. Exodus 5:5 (וְהִשְׁבַּתֶּם‎ will ye then make them rest?); Numbers 16:10, 1 Samuel 25:11, and (if it is Mileraʿ) Psalms 50:21 (וְהֶֽהֱרַשְׁתִּי‎).

(d) To introduce actions frequently repeated hence analogous to the numerous examples of a frequentative perfect consecutive, above, under e), e.g. 1 Samuel 1:3 (וְעָלָה‎ of annual festival journeys); 13:21 (where, however, the text appears radically corrupt); 27:9 (וְהִכָּה‎, i.e. every time, therefore continued by means of וְלֹא יְחַיֶּה‎); 1 Kings 5:7 (וְכִלְכְּלוּ‎, parallel with a simple imperfect); 9:25, Jeremiah 25:4, Hosea 12:11, Daniel 8:4.—In Job 1:4 f. a series of frequentative perfects consecutive is interrupted by an imperfect consecutive, while a simple imperfect (as the modus rei repetitae) forms the conclusion. In Jeremiah 6:17 a similar perfect is expressly marked, by placing the tone on the final syllable (according to §49h), as parallel with the real perfects consecutive.

Rem. The loose connexion of tempora frequentativa by וְהָיָה‎ (cf. the Rem. on y and bb) is also very common in this sense; thus with a following perfect consecutive, Genesis 30:41 f. (but in verse 42a, where the verb is separated from the Wāw by an insertion, we find לֹא יָשִׂים‎ he used not to put them in, according to §107e); Genesis 38:9, Exodus 17:11, Exodus 33:7 ff. (see above, e), Numbers 21:9, Judges 6:3, Judges 19:30, 1 Samuel 16:23 (followed by five perfects consecutive); 2 Samuel 15:5; with a following imperfect (as the modus rei repetitae), Judges 2:19, 2 Samuel 14:26.—In Judges 12:5 f. והיה‎, contrary to what would be expected, is continued by means of the imperfect consecutive, and in 1 Samuel 13:22 by וְלֹא‎ with the perfect (instead of the imperfect).

5. Further, the perfect consecutive is very frequently employed with a certain emphasis to introduce the apodosis after sentences (or their equivalents) which contain a condition, a reason, or a statement of time. Such an apodosis, as in the cases already treated, may represent either future events, or commands and wishes, or even events which have been often repeated in the past. Thus—

(a) The perfect consecutive occurs in the apodosis to conditional sentences[7] (§159g, o, s):

(α) After אִם‎ with the imperfect, e.g. 2 Kings 7:4b אִם־יְמִיתֻ֫נוּ וָמָֽתְנוּ‎ if they kill us, (well then) we shall but die; here the perfect consecutive is used obviously with greater emphasis than the imperfect (נִחְיֶה‎) which immediately precedes; Genesis 18:26, Genesis 24:8, 41, 32:9, Numbers 30:15, Judges 4:20, 1 Samuel 1:11, 1 Samuel 20:6, 1 Kings 3:14, Nahum 3:12, Ecclesiastes 4:11.

(β) After אִם‎ with the perfect (in the sense of a futurum exactum), Numbers 5:27, 2 Kings 5:20, 74a, Isaiah 4:4 f.; as precative apodosis after אִם־נָא‎ with the perf. preteritum, Genesis 33:10; as a frequentative perfect consecutive, to represent past events in the apodosis after אִם‎ with a perfect, Genesis 38:9, Numbers 21:9, Judges 6:3, Job 7:4; after אִם‎ with imperfect, Genesis 31:8.

(γ) After כִּי‎ (in case, suppose that) with the imperfect, Genesis 12:12, Exodus 18:16, Judges 13:17, Isaiah 58:7, Ezekiel 14:13.[8] Frequentative with reference to the past, after כִּי‎ with frequentative perfect, Judges 2:18, Job 7:13f. (δ) After אֲשֶׁר‎ with the imperfect, Genesis 44:9 אֲשֶׁר יִמָּצֵא אִתּוֹ... וָמֵת‎ with whomsoever... it be found, let him die; with the perfect, Exodus 21:13 and if a man lie not in wait, &c.; Judges 1:12.

(ε) Very frequently after a perfect consecutive (one or more) containing the condition, e.g. Genesis 44:29 וְהֽוֹרַדְתֶּם‎... וּלְקַחְתֶּם גַּם־אֶת־זֶה‎ and if ye take (or shall have taken) this one also... ye shall bring down, &c.; cf. Genesis 33:13, Genesis 42:38, Genesis 44:4, 22, 47:30, Numbers 30:12, Ruth 2:9, and probably also Ezekiel 39:28.—Also frequentative in reference to the past, e.g. 1 Samuel 17:34 f.... וּבָא הָֽאֲרִי וְיָצָ֫אתִי‎ and when there came (as sometimes happened) a lion... I went out, &c.; Exodus 33:10, Numbers 10:17 ff., 1 Kings 18:10, Jeremiah 20:9 (the perfects consecutive being regularly continued in the apodosis by וְלֹא‎ with an imperfect[9]).

Rem. The perfect consecutive may be used also in the protasis to express a condition when the employment of the perfect consecutive in the apodosis has become impossible, owing to an emphatic word having to stand before it; thus in Ezekiel 14:14 on account of הֵ֫מָּה‎; 33:4 on account of דָּמוֹ‎.—In 1 Samuel 14:52 the imperfect consecutive, contrary to what might be expected, stands in the apodosis, and when Saul saw any... valiant man, he took him unto him, where וַיַּֽאַסְפֵ֫הוּ‎ suggests the special case, rather than a repeated occurrence; cf. 2 Samuel 15:2. Conversely, in 1 Samuel 2:16 (וַיֹּאמֶֹר‎ perhaps a mere mistake for וְאָמַר‎), 17:35 b an imperfect consecutive stands in the protasis.

(ζ) After various equivalents of sentences, which contain a condition; thus, after a substantive standing absolutely, or a participle (a casus pendens), Genesis 17:14 וְעָרֵל זָכָר... וְנִכְרְתָה וג׳‎ and the uncircumcised male (in case such an one be found), he shall be cut off, &c.; cf. Genesis 30:32, Exodus 12:15, 2 Samuel 14:10, Isaiah 6:13, and (after an infinitive with a preposition) 2 Samuel 7:14; in a wider sense also Exodus 4:21, Exodus 9:19, Exodus 12:44, Isaiah 9:4, Isaiah 56:5.

(b) The perfect consecutive serves as the apodosis to causal clauses; thus e.g. after יַ֫עַן כִּי‎ with the perfect, Isaiah 3:16 f.; after יַ֫עַן אֲשֶׁר‎ with perfect, 1 Kings 20:28; after עֵ֫קֶב‎ with perfect, Numbers 14:24; also after what are equivalent to causal clauses, e.g. Psalms 25:11 (לְמַ֫עַן שִׁמְךָ... וְסָֽלַחְתָּ‎ for thy name’s sake... pardon...); Isaiah 37:29 after יַ֫עַן‎ with an infinitive.

(c) The perfect consecutive occurs as the apodosis to temporal clauses or their equivalents, e.g. 1 Samuel 2:15 בְּטֶ֫רֶם יַקְטִרוּן אֶת־הַחֵ֫לֶב נַ֫עַר הַכֹּהֵן... וּבָא‎ before they burnt the fat, the priest’s servant came (used to come), &c., hence a frequentative perfect consecutive relating to the past, as in Exodus 1:19; also after participial clauses (§116w), e.g. 1 Samuel 2:13 f. כָּל־אִישׁ זֹבֵחַ זֶ֫בַח... וּבָא‎ when(ever) any man offered sacrifice, then came, &c. (so Judges 19:30, 2 Samuel 20:12), with a frequentative perfect consecutive. The perfect consecutive is very frequently used to announce future actions or events after simple expressions of time of any kind; thus Genesis 3:5, Exodus 32:34 (after בְּיוֹם‎ with the infinitive), cf. also such examples as Genesis 44:31, Judges 16:2, Joshua 6:10, 1 Samuel 1:22, 1 Samuel 16:23 (numerous frequentative perfects consecutive after the infinitive with a preposition; so 2 Samuel 15:5, see above, ee); 1 Samuel 20:18, 2 Samuel 14:26, 2 Samuel 15:10, Isaiah 18:5; moreover, Exodus 17:4, Isaiah 10:25, Isaiah 29:17, Isaiah 37:26; even after single disconnected words, e.g. Exodus 16:6 עֶ֫רֶב וִֽידַעְתֶּם‎ at even (when it becomes evening) then ye shall know; cf. verse 7, Leviticus 7:16, 1 Kings 13:31, Proverbs 24:27.

6. Finally there still remains a number of passages which cannot be classed with any of those hitherto mentioned. Of these, some are due to the influence of Aramaic modes of expression, while in others the text is evidently corrupt.[10] In a few instances we can do no more than merely call attention to the incorrectness of the expression. (We are not of course concerned here with the cases—usually occurring in dependent clauses—in which a 2nd pers. perf. with Wāw copulative is simply co-ordinate with what precedes, as in Genesis 28:6, and probably Numbers 21:15, Deuteronomy 33:2.)

(a) The influence of the Aramaic construction of the perfect with וְ‎ as the narrative tense, instead of the Hebrew imperfect consecutive (cf. Kautzsch, Gramm. des Bibl.-Aram., §71b), is certainly to be traced in Qoheleth, and sporadically in other very late books,[11] perhaps also in a few passages in the hooks of Kings, which are open to the suspicion of being due to later interpolation; so probably 1 Kings 12:32 וְהֶֽעֱמִידִ‎; 2 Kings 11:1 Keth. וראתה‎; 14:14 וְלָקַח‎ (in the parallel passage, 2 Chronicles 25:24, the word is wanting); 2 Kings 23:4 וְנַשָׂא‎, &c.; verse 10 וְטִמֵּא‎, &c.; verse 12 וְהִשְׁלִיךְ‎, &c.; verse 15 וְשָׂרַף‎, &c.[12] Cf. also Ezekiel 37:2, 7, 10.

(b) The text is certainly corrupt in Isaiah 40:6 (read with the LXX and Vulgate וָאֹֽמַר‎); Jeremiah 38:28, where the narrative breaks off in the middle of the sentence; 40:3 (וְהָיָה‎, &c., wanting in the LXX); also in Judges 7:13 וְנָפַל הָאֹהֶל‎ is altogether redundant; in 1 Samuel 3:13 read, with Klostermann, the 2nd sing. masc. instead of והגדתי‎; in 1 Kings 21:12 וְהשִׁ֫יבוּ‎ is, no doubt, incorrectly repeated from verse 9, where it is an imperative.

Of other questionable instances, (α) the following, at any rate, may also be explained as frequentatives, Genesis 21:25, Genesis 49:23, Exodus 36:38, Exodus 38:28, Exodus 39:3, 1 Samuel 5:7, 1 Samuel 17:20, 1 Samuel 24:11 (but even so וְאָֽמְרוּ‎ would be expected); 2 Kings 23:12, Isaiah 28:26 (parallel with an imperfect); Amos 5:26 (unless it is rather, yea, ye shall take up; see above, x); Psalms 26:3, Ezra 8:36.

(β) A longer or constant continuance in a past state is perhaps represented by the perfect with וְ‎ (as a variety of the frequentative perfect with וְ‎), in Genesis 15:6, Genesis 34:5, Numbers 21:20, Joshua 9:12, Joshua 22:3b, Isaiah 22:14, Jeremiah 3:9. But the unusual perfects consec. in Joshua 15:3–11, 16:2–8 (ultimately parallel with an imperf. as in 17:9, 18:20), 18:12–21, 19:11–14.22.26–29.34, are without doubt rightly explained by Bennett (SBOT., Joshua, p. 23) as originally containing the directions either of God to Joshua or of Joshua to the people; cf. the evident trace of this in 15:4b. A redactor transformed the directions into a description but left the perfects consec., which are to be explained as in aa. In the same way וְהָיוּ‎ Exodus 36:29 is most simply explained as repeated from 26:25.

(γ) The following are due to errors in the text, or to incorrect modes of expression: Exodus 36:29 f., Judges 3:23,[13] 16:18 (read וַיַּֽעֲלוּ‎), 1 Samuel 4:19, 1 Samuel 17:38, 2 Samuel 16:5, 2 Samuel 19:18 f. (read צָֽלְחוּ‎ and וַיַּֽעַבְרוּ‎), 1 Kings 3:11 (where ושאלת‎ is, no doubt intentionally, assimilated to the four other perfects); 13:3, 20:21; 2 Kings 14:7 (where, with Stade, וְאֶת־הַסֶּ֫לַע תּפַשׁ‎ should be read); 14:14, 18:4 (where, at any rate, וְשִׁבַּר‎ might be taken as a frequentative, but not וכרת‎, &c.; evidently the perfects are co-ordinated only in form with הוּא הֵסִיר‎); 18:36, 21:15, 24:14, Jeremiah 37:15 (where וְהִכּוּ‎, but not וְנָֽתְנוּ‎, might be frequentative); Ezekiel 9:7 (omit וְיָֽצְאוּ‎ with Stade, and read וְהַכּוּ‎); 20:22 (והשבתי‎ Milʿêl before an imperfect consecutive); Amos 7:4 (וְאָכְלָה‎ after an imperfect consecutive); Job 16:12.

Finally, in 1 Samuel 1:12, 1 Samuel 10:9, 1 Samuel 17:48, 1 Samuel 25:20, 2 Samuel 6:16, 2 Kings 3:15, Jeremiah 37:11, Amos 7:2 וַיְהִי‎ is to be read throughout instead of וְהָיָה‎, but in Genesis 38:5 וְהִיא‎ with the LXX.

  1. It is difficult to give a proper explanation of this phenomenon (according to §49a, note, to be found only in the Canaanitish group of languages), when we have given up the theory of a special wāw conversivum in the unscientific sense mentioned in §49b, note, at the end, and if we accept the fact that the perfect and imperfect consecutive cannot possibly be used in a way which contradicts their fundamental character as described in §§ 106 and 107. In other words, even the perfect consecutive originally represents a finally completed action, &c., just as the imperfect consecutive represents an action whichis only beginning, becoming or still continuing, and hence in any case incomplete. The simplest view is to suppose, that the use of the perfect consecutive originated from those cases, in which it had to express the conclusion (or final consequence) of an action which was continued (or repeated) in past time (see the examples above), and that this use was afterwards extended to other cases, in which it had to represent the temporal or logical consequence of actions, &c., still in progress, and thus in the end a regular interchange of the two tenses became recognized.
  2. Also in Ezekiel 44:12 (where Stade, ZAW. v. 293, would read שֵֽׁרְתוּ‎ and וַיִּֽהְיוּ‎) the unusual tenses may have been intentionally chosen: because they continually ministered and so always became afresh...
  3. Driver, on this passage, rightly refers to 1 Samuel 2:19.
  4. Amos 4:7 would also come under this head, if וְהִמְטַרְתִּ֫י‎ is really intended, and the statement refers to the past; מָנַ֫עְתִּי‎ might, however, also be a perfect expressing positive assurance (§106m), and the passage would then come under s.
  5. That וְהָֽלְכָה‎, &c., are frequentatives (the maidservant used to go repeatedly and tell them) may be seen from יֵֽלֵכוּ‎ (necessarily an imperfect, since it is separated from וְ‎ by הֵם‎) and יֽוּכְלוּ‎; on the other hand in verse 18 וַיַּרְא‎ and וַיֵּֽלְכוּ‎ of actions which happened only once.
  6. On the various combinations with וָהָיָה‎ see König’s statistics in ZAW. xix. 272 ff.
  7. In a number of the examples of this kind the protasis is already loosely connected by means of והיה‎, and hence some of them had to be already mentioned above, under y, bb, ee.
  8. In 1 Samuel 24:19 a question appears to be expressed by the perfect consecutive, for if a man find his enemy, will he let him go well away? Probably, however, with Klostermann, וּמִי‎ should be read for וְכִי‎.
  9. In all these examples (not only in the frequentative perfects consecutive) the original idea of the perfect, which also underlies the perfect consecutive, comes out very distinctly. Genesis 44:29 (see above) implies in the mind of the speaker, If it ever shall have come to this, that ye have taken this one also, then ye have thereby brought me down to Sheol.
  10. Mayer Lambert, REJ. xxvi. 55, is probably right in pointing some of these forms as infin. abs. instead of perfects.
  11. In the whole of Qoheleth the imperfect consecutive occurs only in Ecclesiastes 1:17 and Ecclesiastes 4:17. Several of the perfects with וְ‎ can no doubt be explained as frequentatives, e.g. Ecclesiastes 1:13, Ecclesiastes 2:5, 5:18, compared with Ecclesiastes 6:2; but this is impossible in such passages as Ecclesiastes 9:14 ff. In Ezra, Driver reckons only six examples of the historical perfect with וְ‎, in Nehemiah only six, and in Esther six or seven.
  12. Stade in ZAW. v. 291 ff. and in Ausgeäwhlte akad. Reden, Giessen, 1899, p. 194 ff. and appendix p. 199, discusses, in connexion with 2 Kings 12:12, a number of critically questionable perfects with וְ‎. He considers that the whole section, 2 Kings 23:4 from וְנָשָׂא‎ to verse 5 inclusive, is to be regarded as a gloss, since the continuation of an imperfect consecutive by means of a perfect with וְ‎ never occurs in pre-exilic documents, except in places where it is due to corruption of the original text. The theory of frequentative perfects consecutive (even immediately after imperfects consecutive), which has been supported above, under f and g, by a large number of examples, is quite inconsistent with the character of the action in 2 Kings 23:5 וְהִשְׁבִּית‎, verse 8 וְנָתָץ‎, and verse 14 וְשִׁבַּר‎.
  13. Or does ונעל‎, as a frequentative, imply fastening with several bolts? It is, at all events, to be noticed, that in 2 Samuel 13:18 also ונעל‎ follows an imperfect consecutive.
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