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Bible Lexicons

Gesenius Hebrew Grammer

Part 73

§73. Verbs middle i (vulgo ע״י‎), e.g. בִּין‎ to discern. Paradigm N.

1. These verbs agree, as regards their structure, exactly with verbs ע״וּ‎, and in contrast to them may be termed ע״י‎, or more correctly, ʿayin-î verbs, from the characteristic vowel of the impf., imper., and infin. constr. This distinction is justified in so far as it refers to a difference in the pronunciation of the imperfect and its kindred forms, the imperative and infin. constr.—the ע״וּ‎ verbs having û lengthened from original ŭ and ע״י‎ having î lengthened from original ĭ. In other respects verbs ע״י‎ simply belong to the class of really monosyllabic stems, which, by a strengthening of their vocalic element, have been assimilated to the triliteral form[1] (§67a). In the perfect Qal the monosyllabic stem, as in ע״וּ‎, has ā lengthened from ă, thus: שָׁת‎ he has set; infinitive שִׁית‎, infinitive absolute שׁוֹת‎, imperative שִׁית‎, imperfect יָשִׁית‎, jussive יָשֵׁת‎ (§48g), imperfect consecutive וַיָ֫שֶׁת‎.—The perfect Qal of some verbs used to be treated as having a double set of forms, a regular series, and others like Hiphʿîl without the preformative, e.g. בִּין‎ Daniel 10:1; בִּינֹ֫תִי‎ Daniel 9:2, also בַּ֫נְתָּ‎ Psalms 139:2; רִיב֫וֹתָ‎ thou strivest, Job 33:13, also רַ֫בְתָּ‎ Lamentations 3:58. The above perfects (בִּין‎, רִיב‎, &c.) might no doubt be taken as forms middle ē (properly ĭ), the ĭ of which has been lengthened to î (like the ŭ lengthened to ŭ in the imperfect Qal of קוּם‎). It is more probable, however, that they are really shortened forms of Hiphʿîl. This is supported by the fact that, especially in the case of בִּין‎, the shortened forms are few and probably all late, while the corresponding unshortened forms with the same meaning are very numerous, e.g. perfect הֵבִין‎ (but בִּין‎ only in Daniel 10:1), הֲבִֽינוֹתֶם‎, infinitive הָבִין‎ (but infin. abs. בִּין‎ only in Proverbs 23:1), imperative הָבֵן‎ (only in Daniel 9:23 וּבִין‎ immediately before וְהָבֵן‎, also בִּ֫ינוּ‎ three times, and בִּ֫ינָה‎ Psalms 5:2), participle מֵבִין‎.[2] Elsewhere Hiphʿîl-forms are in use along with actual Qal-forms with the same meaning, thus: מֵרִיב‎ (also רָב‎), מֵשִׂים‎ placing (but only in Job 4:20, which, with the critically untenable הָשִׂ֫ימִי‎ Ezekiel 21:21, is the only instance of שׂוּם‎ in Hiphʿîl), מֵגִיחַ‎ breaking forth Judges 20:33, with infin. Qal גִּיתוֹ‎; הַחִ֫ישׁוּ‎ they rushed forth Judges 20:37, with תָשׁ‎, חַ֫שְׁתּי‎; מֵצִיץ‎ glancing, also in perfect צָץ‎; הֵקִיא‎ he spat out, with imperat. Qal קְיוּ‎. As passives we find a few apparent imperfects Hophʿal, which are really (according to §53u) imperfects passive of Qal, e.g. יוּחַל‎ Isaiah 66:8 from חִיל‎ to turn round, יוּשָׁר‎ from שִׁיר‎ to sing, יוּשַׁת‎ from שִׁית‎ to set.

2. The above-mentioned Hiphʿîl-forms might equally well be derived from verbs ע״וּ‎; and the influence of the analogy of verbs ע״וּ‎ is distinctly seen in the Niphʿal נָבוֹן‎ (ground-form nabān), Pôlēl בּוֹנֵן‎, and Hithpôlēl הִתְבּוֹנֵן‎. The very close relation existing between verbs ע״י‎ and ע״וּ‎ is evident also from the fact that from some stems both forms occur side by side in Qal, thus from תִיל‎ to turn round, imperative also ח֫וּלִי‎ Micah 4:10; שִׂים‎ to place, infinitive construct commonly שׂוּם‎ (2 Samuel 14:7 שׂים‎ Qere), imperfect יָשִׂים‎, but Exodus 4:11 יָשׂוּם‎. In other verbs one form is, at any rate, the more common, e.g. גִּיל‎ to exult (גּוּל‎ only Proverbs 23:24 Kethîbh); from לוּן‎ (perhaps denominative from לַ֫יִל‎) to spend the night, לָלוּן‎ occurs six times as infinitive construct, לָלִין‎ only in Genesis 24:23; but the imperative is always לִין‎, &c.—Of verbs ע״י‎ the most common are שִׁית‎ to set, רִיב‎ to strive, דִּין‎ to judge, שִׂישׂ‎ to rejoice; cf. also perfect בָּל‎ (middle Yôdh in Arabic) to comprehend, to measure, Isaiah 40:12; עִיט‎ (as in Arabic and Syriac) to rush upon, and the denominative perfect קָץ‎ (from קַ֫יִץ‎) to pass the summer, Isaiah 18:6. On the other hand, וְדִיגוּם‎ and they shall fish them, Jeremiah 16:16, generally explained as perfect Qal, denominative from דָּג‎ fish, probably represents a denominative Piʿēl, וְדִיְגוּ‎.

Corresponding to verbs properly ע״ו‎, mentioned in §72gg, there are certain verbs ע״י‎ with consonantal Yôdh, as אָיַב‎ to hate, עָיֵף‎ to faint, הָיָה‎ to become, to be, חָיָה‎ to live.

Rem. 1. In the perfect Qal 3rd fem. sing. וְלָ֫נֶה‎ occurs once, Zechariah 5:4, for וְלָ֫נָה‎, with the weakening of the toneless ā to ĕ (as in the fem. participle זוּרֶה‎ Isaiah 59:5); cf. the analogous examples in §48l and §80i.—2nd sing. masc. שַׁתָּ֫ה‎ Psalms 90:8, Qe (before ע‎; cf. §72s); 1st sing. once שַׁתִּ֫י‎ Psalms 73:28, milraʿ, without any apparent reason; 1st plur. וְלַ֫נּוּ‎ Judges 19:13 for lán-nû. The lengthened imperative has the tone on the ultima before gutturals, רִיבָ֫ה יהוה‎ Psalms 35:1; see further, §72s.—Examples of the infinitive absolute are: רֹב‎ litigando, Judges 11:25, Job 40:2; שׂוֹם‎ Jeremiah 42:15; שֹׁת‎ ponendo, Isaiah 22:7. On the other hand, דִיב יָדִיב‎ (for דֹב‎) Jeremiah 50:34, בִּין תָּבִין‎ Proverbs 23:1, חול תחיל‎ Ezekiel 30:16 Keth., are irregular and perhaps due to incorrect scriptio plena; for the last the Qe requires הוּל תָּחוּל‎, but read חוֹל‎; cf. §113x.

2. The shortened imperfect usually has the form יָבֵן‎, יָשֵׂם‎, יָשֵׁת‎; more rarely, with the tone moved back, e.g. יָ֫רֶב לוֹ‎ Judges 6:31, cf. Exodus 23:1, אַל־תָּ֫שֶׁת‎ 1 Samuel 9:20. So with wāw consecutive וַיָ֫שֶׂם‎ and he placed, וַיָ֫בֶן‎ and he perceived; with a middle guttural וַיָ֫עַט בָּהֶם‎ 1 Samuel 25:14 (see §72ee); with ר‎ as 3rd radical, וַתָּ֫שַׁר‎ Judges 5:1. As jussive of לִין‎, תָּלַ֫ן‎ is found in Judges 19:20 (in pause) and Job 17:2, for תָּלֵן‎.—For אַל־תָּרוֹב‎ Proverbs 3:30 Keth. (Qere תָּרִיב‎) read תָּרֵב‎.

3. As participle active Qal לֵן‎ spending the night, occurs once, Nehemiah 13:21; participle passive שִׂים‎ Numbers 24:21, 1 Samuel 9:24, Obadiah 1:4; feminine שׂוּמָה‎ 2 Samuel 13:32, in the Qe, even according to the reading of the Oriental schools (see p. 38, note 2): the Kethîbh has שִׂימָה‎. A passive of Qal (cf. above, §52e and s, and §53u) from שִׂים‎ may perhaps be seen in וַיִּ֫ישֶׂם‎ Genesis 50:26 (also Genesis 24:33 Kethîbh ויישם‎, Qe וַיּוּשָׂם‎; the Samaritan in both places has ויושם‎), and also in יִיסָךְ‎ Exodus 30:32, Samaritan יוסך‎. Against the explanation of ייסך‎ as a Hophʿal-form from סוּךְ‎, Barth (Jubelschrift... Hildesheimer, Berlin, 1890, p. 151) rightly urges that the only example of a Hiphʿîl of סוּךְ‎ is the doubtful וַיָ֫םֶךְ‎, which is probably an ĭ-imperfect of Qal.—The explanation of יישם‎, &c., as a passive of Qal arising from yiysam, &c. = yuysam (so Barth, ibid., note 1), is certainly also unconvincing, so that the correctness of the traditional reading is open to question.

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4. In verbs ע״א‎ the א‎ always retains its censonantal value; these stems are, therefore, to be regarded as verbs middle Guttural (§ 64). An exception is יָנֵאץ‎ Ecclesiastes 12:5 if it be imperfect Hiphʿîl of נאץ‎ (for יַנְאֵץ‎); but if the form has really been correctly transmitted, it should rather be referred to נָצַץ‎, and regarded as incorrectly written for יָנֵץ‎. On נָאווּ‎ (from נַֽאֲוָה‎), which was formerly treated here as ע״א‎, see now §75x.

  1. That verbs ע״וּ‎ and ע״י‎ are developed from biliteral roots at a period before the differentiation of the Semitic languages is admitted even by Nöldeke (Beiträge zur sem. Sprachwiss., Strassburg, 1904, p. 34 ff.), although he contests the view that בִּינֹ֫תִי‎ and רִיב֫וֹתָ‎ are to be referred to Hiphʿîl with the preformative dropped.
  2. Since בנת‎ Psalms 139:2 might be intended for בִּנֹ֫תָ‎, there remains really no form of בין‎ which must necessarily be explained as a Qal, except the ptcp. plur. בָּנִים‎ Jeremiah 49:7. Nevertheless it is highly probable that all the above instances of Hiphʿîl-forms, parallel with Qal-forms of the same meaning, are merely due to a secondary formation from the imperfects Qal יָבִין‎, יָשִׂים‎, &c., which were wrongly regarded as imperfects Hiphʿîl: so Barth, ZDMG. xliii. p. 190 f., and Nominalbildung, p. 119 f.
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