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Bible Lexicons

Gesenius Hebrew Grammer

Part 63

§63. Verbs First Guttural, e.g. עָמַד‎ to stand.

In this class the deviations from the ordinary strong verb may be referred to the following cases:—

1. Instead of a simple Šewâ mobile, the initial guttural takes a compound Še (Ḥaṭeph, §10f, §22l). Thus the infinitives עֲמֹד‎, אֱכֹל‎ to eat, and the perfects, 2nd plur. masc. עֲמַדְתָּם‎, חֲפַצְתֶּם‎ from חָפֵץ‎ to be inclined, correspond to the forms קְטֹל‎ and קְטַלְתֶּם‎; also אֲכָלוֹ‎ to קְטָלוֹ‎, and so always with initial ־ֲ‎ before a suffix for an original ă, according to §22o.

2. When a preformative is placed before an initial guttural, either the two may form a closed syllable, or the vowel of the preformative is repeated as a Ḥaṭeph under the guttural. If the vowel of the preformative was originally a, two methods of formation may again be distinguished, according as this a remains or passes into Seghôl.

Examples: (a) of firmly closed syllables after the original vowel of the preformative (always with ō in the second syllable, except וַתַּעְגַּב‎ Ezekiel 23:5, תַּעְדֶה‎ &c. from עָדָה‎ to adorn oneself, and יַעְטֶה‎; but cf. e): יַחְמֹד‎, יַחְמֹל‎, יַהְשֹׁב‎, יַהְשֹׁךְ‎, יַעְקֹב‎ Jeremiah 9:3 (probably to distinguish it from the name יַֽעֲקֹב‎, just as in Jeremiah 10:19, &c., the participle fem. Niphʿal of חָלָה‎ is נַחְלָה‎ to distinguish it from נַֽחֲלָה‎), &c., and so generally in the imperfect Qal of stems beginning with ח‎, although sometimes parallel forms exist, which repeat the ă as a Ḥaṭeph, e.g. יַֽחֲשֹׁב‎, &c. The same form appears also in the imperfect Hiphʿîl יַחְסִיר‎, &c. Very rarely the original ă is retained in a closed syllable under the preformative נ‍‎ of the perfect Niphʿal: נַחְבֵּ֫אתָ‎ Genesis 31:27; cf. 1 Samuel 19:2, Joshua 2:16; also the infinitive absolute נַחְתּוֹם‎ Esther 8:8, נַעְתּוֹר‎ 1 Chronicles 5:20, and the participle fem. נַחְלָה‎ (see above), plur. נַעְתָּרוֹת‎ Proverbs 27:6. In these forms the original ă is commonly kept under the preformative and is followed by Ḥaṭeph-Pathaḥ; thus in the perfect of some verbs ל״ה‎, e.g. נַֽעֲשָׂה‎, &c.; in the infinitive absolute, נַֽהֲפוֹךְ‎ Esther 9:1; in the participle נַֽעֲרָץ‎, Psalms 89:8, &c.

(b) Of the corresponding Ḥaṭeph after the original vowel: יַֽחֲבשׁ‎ (but יֶחְבָּֽשׁ‎ Job 5:18 in pause), יֽחֲלֹם‎, יַֽעֲמֹד‎, יַֽהֲרֹס‎, and so almost always with ע‎ and often with ה‎ in the imperfects of Qal and Hiphʿîl; in Hophʿal, הָֽעֳמַד‎, יָֽעֳמַד‎; but cf. also הָחְבָּ֑אוּ‎ Isaiah 42:22, הָחְתֵּל‎ Ezekiel 16:4.

The ă of the preformative before a guttural almost always (§22i, cf. §27p) becomes Seghôl (cf., however, q). This Seghôl again appears sometimes

(c) in a closed syllable, e.g. יֶחְבַּשׁ‎, יֶחְסַד‎, יֶעְתַּד‎, יֶאְשַׁם‎, always with ă in the second syllable, corresponding to the imperfects of verbs ע״ע‎, with original ĭ in the first and ă in the second syllable, §67n, and also to the imperfects of verbs ע״וּ‎, §72h; but cf. also יֶאְפֹּד‎, יֶאְסֹר‎, and יֶהְדֹּף‎; in Niph., e.g. נֶהְפַּךְ‎; נֶחְלוּ‎ Amos 6:6, &c.; in Hiph. הֶחְסִיר‎, הֶעְלִים‎ 2 Kings 4:7 &c.: sometimes

(d) followed by Ḥaṭeph-Seghôl, e.g. יֶֽחֱזַק‎, יֶֽאֱסֹף‎, יֶֽחֱשׂף‎, יֶעֱרַב‎ in imperfect Qal; הֶֽעֱמִיד‎ Hiphʿîl; נֶֽעֱנַשׁ‎ Niphʿal.

Rem. With regard to the above examples the following points may also be noted: (1) The forms with a firmly closed syllable (called the hard combination) frequently occur in the same verb with forms containing a loosely closed syllable (the soft combination). (2) In the 1st sing. imperfect Qal the preformative א‎ invariably takes Seghôl, whether in a firmly or loosely closed syllable, e.g. אֶֽחֱבשׁ‎ (with the cohortative אֶחְבְּשָׁה‎), אֶחְסָר‎ (in pause), &c. In Job 32:17 אַֽעֲנֶה‎ must unquestionably be Hiphʿîl, since elsewhere the pointing is always אֶֽעֱ׳‎. Cohortatives like אַֽהַרְגָה‎ Genesis 27:41 and אַחְדְּלָה‎ Job 16:6, are explained by the next remark. (3) The shifting of the tone towards the end frequently causes the Pathaḥ of the preformative to change into Seghôl, and vice versa, e.g. נַֽעֲשָׂה‎, but נֶֽעֶשְׂתָה‎ 3rd sing. fem.; יֶֽאֱסֹף‎, but תַּֽאַסְפִי‎; הֶֽעֱמִיד‎, but with wāw consecutive וְהַֽעֲמַדְתָּ֫‎, &c.; so וַיַּחְסְרוּ‎ Genesis 8:3 the plur. of וַיֶּחְסַר‎, cf. Genesis 11:8; and thus generally a change of the stronger Ḥaṭeph-Seghôl group (־ֶֽ־ֱ‎) into the lighter Ḥaṭeph-Pathaḥ group takes place whenever the tone is moved one place toward the end (cf. §27v).

3. When in forms like יַֽעֲמֹד‎, נֶֽעֱמַד‎, the vowel of the final syllable becomes a vocal Še in consequence of the addition of an afformative (וּ‎, ־ִי‎, ־ָה‎) or suffix, the compound Še of the guttural is changed into the corresponding short vowel, e.g. יַֽעֲמֹד‎, plur. יַֽעַמְדוּ‎ (ya-ʿa-me-dhû as an equivalent for yaʿ-me-dhû); נֶֽעֶזְבָה‎ she is forsaken. But even in these forms the hard combination frequently occurs, e.g. יַחְבְּלוּ‎ they take as a pledge (cf. in the sing. תַּחְבֹּל‎, also יַֽחֲבֹל‎); יֶחְזְקוּ‎ (also יֶֽחֶזְקוּ‎) they are strong. Cf. §22m and, in general, m, §28c.

4. In the infinitive, imperative, and imperfect Niphʿal, where the first radical should by rule be strengthened (הִקָּטֵל‎, יִקָּטֵל‎), the strengthening is always omitted, and the vowel of the preformative lengthened to Ṣere; יֵֽעָמֵד‎ for yiʿʿāmēd,[1] &c. Cf. §22c—For תֵּֽיעָשֶׂה‎ Exodus 25:31 (according to Dillmann, to prevent the pronunciation תַּֽעֲשֶׂה‎, which the LXX and Samaritan follow) read תֵּֽעָשֶׂה‎.

I. On Qal.

1. In verbs פ״א‎ the infinitive construct and imperative take Ḥaṭeph-Seghôl in the first syllable (according to §22o), e.g. אֱזֹר‎ gird thou, Job 38:3, אֱהַב‎ love thou, Hosea 3:1, אֱחֹז‎ seize thou, Exodus 4:4 (on אֵפוּ‎ bake ye, Exodus 16:23, see §76d); אֱכֹל‎ to eat; infinitive with a prefix לֶֽאֱחֹז‎, לֶֽאֱכֹל‎, כֶּֽאֱכֹל‎ Isaiah 5:24; לֶֽאֱהֹב‎ Ecclesiastes 3:8. Sometimes, however, Ḥaṭeph-Pathaḥ is found as well, e.g. infinitive אֲחֹז‎ 1 Kings 6:6; בַּֽאֲכֹל הָאֵשׁ‎ Numbers 26:10 (before a suffix אֲכָלְךָ‎, אֲמָרְךָ‎, אֲכָלְכֶם‎, אֲמָרְכֶם‎ §61d); cf. Deuteronomy 7:20, Deuteronomy 12:23, Ezekiel 25:8, Psalms 102:5, Proverbs 25:7 (אֲמָר־לְךָ‎), Job 34:18, always in close connexion with the following word. With a firmly closed syllable after ל‎ cf. לַחְסוֹת‎ Isaiah 30:2; לַחְפֹּר‎ Joshua 2:2 f. (on Isaiah 2:20, cf. §84bn); לַחְתּוֹת‎ Isaiah 30:14, Haggai 2:16; לַחְשֹׁב‎ Exodus 31:4, &c.; לַעְזֹר‎ 2 Samuel 18:3 Qe, but also בֶּֽעְזׄר‎ 1 Chronicles 15:26.

הֶֽחֳדַ֫לְתִּי‎ Judges 9:91113 is altogether anomalous, and only a few authorities give הֶֽחֱדַלְתִּי‎ (Hiphʿil), adopted by Moore in Haupt’s Bible. According to Qimḥi, Olshausen, and others, the Masora intended a perfect Hophʿal with syncope of the preformative after the ה‎ interrogative = הֶהָֽחֳדַ֫לְתִּי‎, or (according to Olshausen) with the omission of the ה‎ interrogative. But since the Hiphʿil and Hophʿal of חָדֵל‎ nowhere occur, it is difficult to believe that such was the intention of the Masora. We should expect the perfect Qal, הֶֽחָדַ֫לְתִּי‎. But the Qameṣ under the ה‎, falling between the tone and counter-tone, was naturally less emphasized than in חָדַ֫לְתִּי‎, without the ה‎ interrogative. Consequently it was weakened, not to simple Še, but to ־ֳ‎, in order to represent the sound of the Qameṣ (likewise pronounced as å) at least in a shortened form. The Seghôl of the ה‎ interrogative is explained, in any case, from §100n (cf. the similar pointing of the article, e.g. in הֶֽחֳדָשִׁים‎, §35k). For the accusative after חָדֵל‎, instead of the usual מִן‎, Job 3:17 affords sufficient evidence.

Also in the other forms of the imperative the guttural not infrequently influences the vowel, causing a change of ĭ (on this ĭ cf. §48i) into Seghôl, e.g. אֶסְפָה‎ gather thou, Numbers 11:16; עֶרְכָה‎ set in order, Job 33:5; חֶשְׂפִּי‎ strip off, Isaiah 47:2 (on this irregular Dageš cf. §46d), especially when the second radical is also a guttural, e.g. אֶֽהֱבוּ‎ Amos 5:15, Psalms 31:24; cf. Zechariah 8:19; אֶֽחֱזוּ‎ Song of Solomon 2:15; cf. also in verbs ל״ה‎, עֱנוּ‎ sing ye, Numbers 21:17, Psalms 147:7 (compared with עֲנוּ‎ answer ye, 1 Samuel 12:3) and אֱלִי‎ Joel 1:8.—Pathaḥ occurs in חַבְלֵ֫הוּ‎ hold him in pledge, Proverbs 20:16, and probably also in Psalms 9:14 (חַֽנְנֵ֫נִי‎).—As a pausal form for חָרְבִי‎ (cf. the plur. Jeremiah 2:12) we find in Isaiah 44:27 חֳרָ֑בִי‎ (cf. the imperf. יֶֽחֱרַב‎) with the ŏ repeated in the form of a Ḥaṭeph-Qameṣ. For other examples of this kind, see §10h and §46e.

2. The pronunciation (mentioned above, No. 2) of the imperfects in ă with Seghôl under the preformative in a firmly closed syllable (e.g. יֶחְדַּל‎, יֶחְכַּם‎) regularly gives way to the soft combination in verbs which are at the same time ל״ה‎, e.g. יֶֽחֱזֶה‎, יֶֽחֱצֶה‎ &c. (but cf. יֶהְגֶּה‎ &c., יַחְתֶּה‎ Proverbs 6:27, אֶעְשֶׂה‎ ed. Mant., Exodus 3:20). Even in the strong verb וַיֶּֽחֱזַק‎ is found along with יֶחְזַק‎. Cf. also וַתַּעְגַּב‎ Ezekiel 23:5; וַיַּעְקְבֵנִי‎ Genesis 27:36 (so Ben-Asher; but Ben-Naphtali וַיַּֽעַקְ׳‎); וַתַּחְלְקֵם‎ Nehemiah 9:22, and so always in the imperfect Qal of עָזַר‎ with suffixes, Genesis 49:25, &c.—תְּאֵֽהֲבוּ‎ Proverbs 1:22 is to be explained from the endeavour to avoid too great an accumulation of short sounds by the insertion of a long vowel, but it is a question whether we should not simply read תֵּֽאהֲבוּ‎ with Haupt in his Bible, Proverbs, p. 34, 1. 44 ff.; cf. the analogous instances under p, and such nouns as בְּאֵר‎, זְאֵב‎, §93t.—On יְחָבְרְךָ‎ Psalms 94:20 for יַחְבָּרְךָ‎ (according to Qimḥi, and others, rather Puʿal) cf. §60b.

יַאְטֵם‎ Psalms 58:5 and יַעְרִם‎ to deal subtilly, 1 Samuel 23:22, Proverbs 15:5, Proverbs 19:25, may be explained with Barth (ZDMG. 1889, p. 179) as i-imperfects (see above, §47i),—the latter for the purpose of distinction from the causative יַֽעֲרִים‎ Psalms 83:4.—Instead of the unintelligible form וַיֵּחָֽלְקֵם‎ (so ed. Mant.; Baer and Ginsb. as in Psalms 24:3) 1 Chronicles 23:6 and וַיֶּֽחָ׳‎ 1 Chronicles 24:3 (partly analogous to תָּֽעָבְדֵם‎ §60b) the Qal וַיַּחְלְקֵם‎ is to be read. The form יִֽרַדֹּף‎ Psalms 7:6 which is, according to Qimḥi (in Mikhlol; but in his Lexicon he explains it as Hithpaʿēl), a composite form of Qal (יִרְדֹּף‎) and Piʿēl (יְרַדֵּף‎), can only be understood as a development of יִֽרְדֹף‎ (cf. §64h on יִֽצֲחַק‎, and §69x on תִּֽהֲלַךְ‎ Exodus 9:23, Psalms 73:9). Pathaḥ has taken the place of Ḥaṭeph-Pathaḥ, but as a mere helping-vowel (as in שָׁמַעַתְּ‎ §28e, note 2) and without preventing the closing of the syllable. It is much simpler, however, to take it as a forma mixta, combining the readings יִרְדֹּף‎ (impf. Qal) and יְרַדֵּף‎ (impf. Piʿel).

II. On Hiphʿîl and Hophʿal.

3. The above-mentioned (f, 3) change of ־ֶֽ־ֱ‎ to ־ַֽ־ֲ‎ occurs in the perfect Hiphʿîl, especially when wāw consecutive precedes, and the tone is in consequence thrown forward upon the afformative, e.g. הֶֽעֱמַ֫דְתָּ‎, but וְהַֽעֲמַרְתָּ֫‎ Numbers 3:6, Numbers 8:13, Numbers 27:19; הֶֽעֱבַ֫רְתִּי‎, but וְהַֽעֲבַרְתִּ֫י‎ Jeremiah 15:14, Ezekiel 20:37; even in the 3rd sing. וְהַֽאֲוִין‎ Psalms 77:2.—On the contrary ־ֶֽ־ֱ‎ occurs instead of ־ַֽ־ֲ‎ in the imperative Hiphʿil, Jeremiah 49:830; and in the infinitive Jeremiah 31:32. The preformative of עתר‎ in Hiphʿîl always takes a in a closed syllable: Exodus 8:4 הַעְתִּ֫ירוּ‎; verse 5 אַעְתִּיר‎; also verse 25 and Job 22:27.

4. In the perfect Hiphʿîl ־ֶֽ־ֱ‎ is sometimes changed into ־ֵֽ־ֲ‎, and in Hophʿal ־ֶֽ־ֳ‎ into ־ֽׄ־ֲ‎ (cf. §23h); הֵֽעֲבַ֫רְתָּ‎ Joshua 7:7, הֵֽעֲלָה‎ Habakkuk 1:15, הֹֽעֲלָה‎ Judges 6:28, 2 Chronicles 20:34, Nahum 2:8, always before ע‎, and hence evidently with the intention of strengthening the countertone-syllable (הֵֽ‎ or הֹֽ‎) before the guttural. On a further case of this kind (זֹֽעֲמָה‎) see §64c. Something similar occurs in the formation of segholate nouns of the form qŏṭl; cf. §93q, and (on אֵמוּן‎ &c. for אֱמוּן‎) §84aq.—In the imperfect consecutive וַיַּֽחֲזֶק בּוֹ‎ the tone is thrown back on to the first syllable. On the Hophʿal תָּֽעָבְדֵם‎ Exodus 20:5, &c., see §60b.

III. הָיָה‎ and חָיָה‎.

5. In the verbs הָיָה‎ to be, and חָיָה‎ to live, the guttural hardly ever affects the addition of preformatives; thus imperfect Qal יִֽהְיֶה‎ and יִֽחְיֶה‎, Niphʿal נִֽהְיָה‎); but in the perfect Hiphʿîl הֶֽחֱיָה‎ (2nd plur. וְהַֽחֲיִתֶם‎ Joshua 2:13, and even without wāw consecutive, Judges 8:19). Initial ה‎ always has Ḥaṭeph-Seghôl instead of vocal Še; הֱיֵה‎, הֱיוֹת‎, הֱיוֹתָם‎ 1 Samuel 25:7, הֱיִיתֶם‎ (except הֲיִי‎ be thou! fem. Genesis 24:60). The 2nd sing. fem. imperative of חָיָה‎ is חֲיִי‎ live thou, Ezekiel 16:6; the infinitive, with suffix, חֲיוֹתָם‎ Joshua 5:8. After the prefixes וְ‎, בְ‎, כְ‍‎, לְ‎, מִ‍‎ (=מִן‎) both ה‎ and ח‎ retain the simple Šewâ (§28b) and the prefix takes ĭ, as elsewhere before strong consonants with Še; hence in the perfect Qal וִֽהְיִיתֶם‎, imperative וִֽהְיוּ‎, infinitive לֽהְיוֹת‎, בִּֽהְיוֹת‎ &c. (cf. §16f, ε). The only exception is the 2nd sing. masc. of the imperative after wāw; וֶֽהְיֵה‎ Genesis 12:2, &c., וֶֽחְיֵה‎ Genesis 20:7.

  1. אֶֽעָנֶה‎ Job 19:7 (so even the Mantua ed.) is altogether abnormal: read אֵֽעָנֶה‎, with Baer, Ginsb.
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