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Bible Lexicons

Gesenius Hebrew Grammer

Part 38

§38. General View.

Verbal stems are either original or derived. They are usually divided into—

(a) Verbal stems proper (primitive verbs), which exhibit the stem without any addition, e.g. מָלַךְ‎ he has reigned.

(b) Verbal derivatives, i.e. secondary verbal stems, derived from the pure stem (letter a), e.g. קִדַּשׁ‎ to sanctify, הִתְקַדֵּשׁ‎ to sanctify oneself, from קָדַשׁ‎ to be holy. These are usually called conjugations (§ 39).

(c) Denominatives,[1] i.e. verbs derived from nouns (like the Latin causari, praedari, and Eng. to skin, to stone), or even from particles (see d, end) either in a primitive or derivative form, e.g. אָהַל‎, Qal and Piʿēl, to pitch a tent, from אֹ֫הֶל‎ tent; הִשְׁרִישׁ‎ and שֹׁרֵשׁ‎ to take root, and שֵׁרֵשׁ‎ to root out, from שֹׁרֶשׁ‎ root (§52h).

This does not exclude the possibility that, for nouns, from which denominative verbs are derived, the corresponding (original) verbal stem may still be found either in Hebrew or in the dialects. The meaning, however, is sufficient to show that the denominatives have come from the noun, not from the verbal stem, e.g. לְבֵנָה‎ a brick (verbal stem לבן‎ to be white), denomin. לָבַן‎ to make bricks; דָּג‎ a fish (verbal stem דָּגָה‎ to be prolific), denomin. דּוּג‎ to fish; חָרַף‎ to winter (from חֹ֫רֶף‎ autumn, winter, stem חָרַף‎ to pluck); קוּץ‎ to pass the summer (from קַ֫יִץ‎ summer, stem קִיץ‎ to be hot).

On ‘Semitic verbs derived from particles’ see P. Haupt in the Amer. Journ. of Sem. Lang., xxii (1906), 257 ff.

  1. Cf. W. J. Gerber, Die hebr. Verbs denom., insbes. im theol. Sprachgebr. des A.T., Lpz. 1896.
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