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Bible Lexicons

Gesenius Hebrew Grammer

Part 55

§55. Less Common Conjugations.

Of the less common conjugations (§39g) some may be classed with Piʿēl, others with Hiphʿîl. To the former belong those which arise from the lengthening of the vowel or the repetition of one or even two radicals, in fact, from an internal modification or development of the stem; to the latter belong those which are formed by prefixing a consonant, like the ה‎ of Hiphʿîl. Amongst the conjugations analogous to Piʿēl are included the passive forms distinguished by their vowels, as well as the reflexives with the prefix הִתְ‎, on the analogy of Hithpaʿēl.

The following conjugations are related to Piʿēl, as regards their inflexion and partly in their meaning:

1. Pôʿēl קוֹטֵל‎, passive Pôʿal קוֹטַל‎, reflexive Hithpôʿēl הִתְקוֹטֵל‎, corresponding to the Arabic conj. iii. qâtălă, pass. qûtĭlă, and conj. vi. reflexive tăqâtălă; imperfect יְקוֹטֵל‎, participle מְקוֹטֵל‎, imperfect passive יְקוֹטַל‎ &c. Hence it appears that in Hebrew the ô of the first syllable is in all the forms obscured from â, while the passive form is distinguished simply by the a-sound in the second syllable. In the strong verb these conjugations are rather rare. Examples: participle מְשֹֽׁפְטִי‎ mine adversary, who would contend with me, Job 9:15; טְלֽוֹשְׁנִי‎ (denominative from לָשׁוֹן‎ the tongue) slandering (as if intent on injuring with the tongue) Psalms 101:5 Keth. (The Qe requires מְלָשְׁנִי‎ melŏšnî as Nahum 1:3 וּגְדָול־‎); זֽׄרְמוּ‎ they have poured out, Psalms 77:18 (if not rather Puʿal); יוֹדַ֫עְתִּי‎ I have appointed, 1 Samuel 21:3 (unless הוֹדַ֫עְתִּי‎ should be read); יְסֹעֵר‎ Hosea 13:3; שֹׁרֵשׁ‎ to take root, passive שׁוֹרַשׁ‎, denominative from שֹׁ֫רֶשׁ‎ root (but שֵׁרֵשׁ‎ to root out); in Hithpôʿēl הִתְגּֽׄעֲשׁוּ‎ they shall be moved, Jeremiah 25:16; imperf. Jeremiah 46:8; from a verb ל״ה‎, שׁוֹשֵׂ֫תִי‎ Isaiah 10:13. The participle מִנֹּאָץ‎ Isaiah 52:5 is probably a forma mixta combining the readings מְנֹאָץ‎ and מִתְנֹאֵץ‎.

Poʿel proper (as distinguished from the corresponding conjugations of verbs ע״ע‎ §67l and ע״וּ‎ §72m, which take the place of the ordinary causative Piʿēl) expresses an aim or endeavour to perform the action, especially with hostile intent, and is hence called, by Ewald, the stem expressing aim (Zielstamm), endeavour (Suche-stamm) or attack (Angriffs-stamm); cf. the examples given above from Job 9:15, Psalms 101:5, and עוֹיֵן‎ 1 Samuel 18:9 Qe (probably for מְעוֹיֵן‎, cf. §52s; §55f: seeking to cast an evil eye).

With קוֹטֵל‎ is connected the formation of quadriliterals by the insertion of a consonant between the first and second radicals (§30p, § 56).

2. Paʿlēl, generally with the ă attenuated to ĭ=Piʿlēl[1] (Piʿlal), קִטְלֵל‎ and קִטְלַל‎; the ē in the final syllable also arises from ĭ, and this again from ă; passive Puʿlal קֻטְלַל‎, reflexive Hithpaʿlēl הִתְקַטְלֵל‎, like the Arabic conjugations ix. ʾiqtăllă and xi. ʾiqtâllă, the former used of permanent, the latter of accidental or changing conditions, e.g. of colours; cf. שַֽׁאֲנַן‎ to be at rest, רַֽעֲנַן‎ to be green, passive אֻמְלַל‎ to be withered, all of them found only in the perfect and with no corresponding Qal form. (For the barbarous form צִמְּתֻת֫וּנִי‎ Psalms 88:17 read צִמְתָֽתְנִי‎; for נִפְלַל‎ Ezekiel 28:23, which has manifestly arisen only from confusion with the following חלל‎, read נָפַל‎). These forms are more common in verbs ע״וּ‎, where they take the place of Piʿēl and Hithpaʿēl (§72m). Cf. also §75kk.

3. Peʿalʿal: קְטַלְטַל‎ with repetition of the last two radicals, used of movements repeated in quick succession; e.g. סְחַרְחַר‎ to go about quickly, to palpitate (of the heart) Psalms 38:11, from סָחַר‎ to go about; passive חֳמַרְמַר‎ to be in a ferment, to be heated, to be red, Job 16:16, Lamentations 1:20, Lamentations 2:11. Probably this is also the explanation of חֲצוֹצַר‎ (denom. from חֲצֽוֹצְרָה‎ a trumpet, but only in the participle, 1 Chronicles 15:24 &c. Keth.) for חֲצַרְצַר‎, by absorption of the first ר‎, lengthening of ă in the open syllable, and subsequent obscuring of ā to ô. On the other hand, for the meaningless אָֽהֲבוּ הֵב֫וּ‎ Hosea 4:18 (which could only be referred to this conjugation if it stood for אֲהַבְהֲבוּ‎) read אָֽהֲבוּ‎, and for the equally meaningless יָפְיָפִ֫יתָ‎ Psalms 45:3 read יָפִ֫יתָ‎. In both these cases a scribal error (dittography) has been perpetuated by the punctuation, which did not venture to alter the Kethîbh. On the employment of Peʿalʿal in the formation of nouns, cf. §84bn. Closely related to this form is—

4. Pilpēl (pass. Pŏlpal), with a strengthening of the two essential radicals in stems ע״ע‎, ע״וּ‎, and ע״י‎, e.g. גִּלְגֵּל‎ to roll, from גַּל‎=גָּלַל‎; reflexive הִתְגַּלְגֵּל‎ to roll oneself down; כִּלְכֵּל‎ from כּוּל‎, passive כָּלְכַּל‎; cf. also טֵאטֵא‎ (so Baer and Ginsb. after Qimḥi; others טִאטֵא‎) Isaiah 14:23, and with ă in both syllables owing to the influence of ר‎, קַרְקַר‎ from קוּר‎ Numbers 24:17 (cf. however, in the parallel passage, Jeremiah 48:45 קָדְקֹד‎) and Isaiah 22:5, in the participle; שִׂגְשֵׂג‎ Isaiah 17:11 to hedge in, acc. to others make to grow. Probably to this form also belongs יְלַעְלְעוּ‎, the emended reading of Job 39:30 instead of the impossible יְעַלְעוּ‎; also סַאסְּאָה‎ Isaiah 27:8, if that form is to be referred to an infinitive סַאְסֵא‎; perhaps also שִׁשֵּׁא‎ Ezekiel 39:2 for שׁאשׁא‎. This form also commonly expresses rapidly repeated movement, which all languages incline to indicate by a repetition of the sound,[2] e.g. צִפְצֵף‎ to chirp; cf. in the Lexicon the nouns derived from גָּרַר‎, עוּף‎, and צָלַל‎.

As Hithpalpel we find יִשְׁתַּקְשְׁקוּן‎ Nahum 2:5; וַתִּתְחַלְחַל‎ Esther 4:4; וַיִּתְמַרְמַר‎ Daniel 8:7, Daniel 11:11. Of the same form is אֶדַּדֶּה‎ Isaiah 38:15, if contracted from אֶתְדַּוְדֶּה‎ or אתדידה‎ from the root דו‎ or די‎), and also הִתְמַהְמְהוּ‎ tarry ye, Isaiah 29:9 (but read probably הִתַּמְּהוּ‎), וַיִּתְמַהְמָהּ‎ (in pause) Genesis 19:16, &c., if it is to be derived from מָהַהּ‎, and not Hithpaʿel from מַהְמַהּ‎.

Only examples more or less doubtful can be adduced of—

5. Tiphʿēl (properly Taphʿēl[3]): תִּקְטֵל‎, with ת‎ prefixed, cf. תִּרְגַּ֫לְתִּי‎ to teach to walk, to lead (denominative from רֶ֫גֶל‎) Hosea 11:3; from a stem ל״ה‎, the imperfect יְרַֽחֲרֶה‎ to contend with, Jeremiah 12:5; participle, Jeremiah 22:15 (from חָרָה‎ to be hot, eager). Similarly in Aramaic, תַּרְגֵּם‎ to interpret, whence also in Hebrew the passive participle מְתֻרְגָּם‎ Ezra 4:7.

6. Šaphʿēl: שַׁקְטֵל‎, frequent in Syriac, e.g. שַׁלְהֵב‎ from להב‎ to flame; whence in Hebrew שַׁלְהֶ֫בֶת‎ flame. Perhaps of the same form is שַׁבְּלוּל‎ a snail (unless it be from the stem שׁבל‎), and שְׁקַעֲרוּרֹת‎, cf. §85, No. 50. This conjugation is perhaps the original of Hiphʿîl, in which case the ה‎, by a phonetic change which may be exemplified elsewhere, is weakened from a sibilant.

* *

Forms of which only isolated examples occur are:—

7. קִטְלַט‎, passive קֻטְלַט‎; as מְחֻסְפָּס‎, Exodus 16:14, from חָסַף‎, חָשַׂף‎ to peel, to scale.

8. קַטְקַל‎, in זַרְזִיף‎, from זָרַף‎.

9. נִתְקַטֵּל‎ (regularly in Mishnic Hebrew[4]) a form compounded of Niphʿal and Hithpaʿēl; as וְנִוַּסְּרוּ‎ for וְנִתְוַסְּרוּ‎ that they may be taught, Ezekiel 23:48; נִכַּפֵּר‎ probably an error for הִתְכַּפֵּר‎, Deuteronomy 21:8. On נִשְׁתָּֽוָה‎ Proverbs 27:15, see §75x.

  1. Cf. Wolfensohn, ‘The Piʿlel in Hebrew,’ Amer. Journ. of Or. Studies, xxvii (1907), p. 303 ff.
  2. Cf. Lat. tinnio, tintinno, our tick-tack, ding-dong, and the German wirrwarr, klingklang. The repetition of the radical in verbs ע״ע‎ also produces this effect; as in לָקַק‎ to lick, דָּקַק‎ to pound, טָפֵף‎. The same thing is expressed also by diminutive forms, as in Latin by the termination -illo, e.g. cantillo, in German by -eln, -ern, e.g. flimmern, trillern, tröpfeln, to trickle.
  3. The existence of a Taphʿēl is contested on good grounds by Barth, Nominalbildung, p. 279.
  4. [See Segal, Mišnaic Hebrew, Oxf. 1909, p. 30 ff.]
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