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Bible Lexicons

Gesenius Hebrew Grammer

Part 70

§70. Verbs פ״י‎. Second Class, or Verbs properly פ״י‎, e.g. יָטַב‎ to be good. Paradigm L.
Brockelmann, Semit. Sprachwiss., p. 143 ff.; Grundriss, p. 603 ff.

Verbs properly פ״י‎ differ from verbs פ״ו‎ in the following points:

1. In Qal the initial Yôdh never suffers aphaeresis or elision; hence the infinitive has the form יְבשׁ‎,[1] the imperfect יִיטַב‎, יִיקַץ‎, יִינַק‎. (in pause יִינָק‎.), also written יִטַב‎, &c.; and so always with a tone-bearing ă in the second syllable, even after wāw consec., e.g. וַיִּיקַ֫ץ‎, except וַיִּ֫יקֶץ‎ Genesis 9:24, and וַיִּ֫יצֶר‎ Genesis 2:719, unless יָצַר‎ is to be included among verbs פ״ו‎ (cf. נוֹצַר‎ Isaiah 43:10).

2. In Hiphʿîl the original form הַיְטִיב‎ is regularly contracted to הֵיטִיב‎ (rarely written הֵטִיב‎, הֵיטִב‎, &c.); imperfect יֵיטִיב‎, וַיֵּ֫יטֶב‎. Instances of the uncontracted form are יַיְשִׁ֫רוּ‎ Proverbs 4:25, according to Barth (see above, §67p), an example of an i-imperfect of Qal, since the Hiphʿîl is otherwise always causative; הַיְשַׁר‎ (imperative) Psalms 5:9 Qe (the Keth. requires הושׁר‎ according to the form of verbs פ״ו‎; cf. Isaiah 45:2, אושׁר‎ Keth., אֲיַשֵּׁר‎ Qe), cf. Genesis 8:17 Qe; מַיְמִינִים‎ 1 Chronicles 12:2, to be explained as a denominative from יָמִין‎; אַיְסִירֵם‎ Hosea 7:12 (§24f, note), but perhaps the punctuation here is only intended to suggest another reading אֲיַסְּרֵם‎. Rem. 1. The only verbs of this kind are: יָטַב‎ to be good (only in the imperfect Qal and in Hiphʿîl; in the perfect Qal טוֹב‎, a verb ע״וּ‎, is used instead), יָנַק‎ to suck, יָקַץ‎ to awake, יָצַר‎ to form (but see above, a), יָלַל‎ only in Hiphʿîl הֵילִיל‎ to bewail, יָשַׁר‎ to be straight, right, also יָבֵשׁ‎ (Arabic yăbĭsă) to be dry (but Hiphʿîl הוֹבִישׁ‎ 2 Samuel 19:6, on the analogy of verbs פ״ו‎; on Isaiah 30:5, cf. §72x), and the Hiphʿîl הֵימִין‎ (denominative from יָמִין‎), infin. לְהֵמִין‎ 2 Samuel 14:19 to go to the right.

2. In some examples of the imperfect Hiphʿîl the preformative has been subsequently added to the contracted form: יְיֵטִיב‎ Job 24:21; יְיֵלִיל‎ Isaiah 15:23, Isaiah 16:7; אֲיֵלִיל‎ Jeremiah 48:31; plur. יְיֵלִ֫ילוּ‎ Hosea 7:14, cf. Isaiah 65:14. Qimḥi and others explain the above forms from a phonetic interchange of Yôdh and He, arising from the unsyncopated forms יְהֵילִיל‎, &c. (cf. Isaiah 52:5). It is, perhaps, more correct to suppose that the regular forms (יֵיטִיב‎, יֵילִיל‎) were originally intended, but that in the later pronunciation the syllable was broken up in order to restore artificially the preformative which had become merged in the first radical.

Isolated anomalies are: perfect Hiphʿîl וְהֵיטִֽבֹתִי‎ Ezekiel 36:11 with separating vowel (for הֵיטַ֫בְתִּי‎) on the analogy of verbs ע״וּ‎; imperfect יֵיטֵיב‎ for יֵיטִיב‎ 1 Kings 1:47; תֵּֽיטְבִי‎ (imperfect Qal for תִּיטְבִי‎) Nahum 3:8; וַתְּנִיקֵ֫הוּ‎ imperfect Hiphʿîl Exodus 2:9, either an error for וַתֵּֽינִק׳‎, or an irregular shortening of the first syllable, caused by the forward movement of the tone. Similarly, the Hiphʿîl הֵקִיץ‎ (from קוּץ‎) is always used instead of הֵיקִיץ‎ from יָקַץ‎; hence also הֲקִיצ֫וֹתָ‎, הֱקִיצֹ֫תִי‎, imperat. הָקִ֫יצָה‎, infin. הָקִיץ‎.—On וַיַּבְּשֵׁ֫הוּ‎ Nahum 1:4, see §69u).

  1. This may be inferred from בִּיבשׁ‎ (=בִּיְ׳‎) Isaiah 27:11, which with its fem. יְב֫שֶׁת‎ Genesis 8:7, is the only example of an infinitive construct Qal of these verbs. No example of the imperative Qal is found: consequently the forms יְטַב‎, &c. (in Paradigm L of the earlier editions of this Grammar), are only inferred from the imperfect.
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