Gesenius' Hebrew Grammar/63. Verbs First Guttural

Gesenius' Hebrew Grammar  (1909) 
Wilhelm Gesenius
edited and enlarged by Emil Kautzsch
, translated by Arthur Ernest Cowley
Verbs First Guttural

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

a 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, § 10 f, § 22 l). Thus the infinitives עֲמֹד, אֱכֹל to eat, and the perfects, 2nd plur. masc. עֲמַדְתֶּם, 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 § 22 o.

b 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.

c Examples: (a) of firmly closed syllables after the original vowel of the preformative (always with ō in the second syllable, except וַתַּעְגַּב Ez 235, תַּעְדֶה &c. from עָדָה to adorn oneself, and יַעְטֶה; but cf. e): יַחְמֹד, יַחְמֹל, יַהְשֹׁב, יַהְשֹׁךְ, יַעְקֹב Jer 93 (probably to distinguish it from the name יַֽעֲקֹב, just as in Jer 1019, &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 Gn 3127; cf. 1 S 192, Jos 216; also the infinitive absolute נַחְתּוֹם Est 88, נַעְתּוֹר 1 Ch 520, and the participle fem. נַחְלָה (see above), plur. נַעְתָּרוֹת Pr 276. 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 Est 91; in the participle נַֽעֲרָץ, ψ 898, &c.

d (b) Of the corresponding Ḥaṭeph after the original vowel: יַֽחֲבשׁ (but יֶחְבָּֽשׁ Jb 518 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 Is 4222, הָחְתֵּל Ez 164.

e The ă of the preformative before a guttural almost always (§ 22 i, cf. § 27 p) 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, § 67 n, and also to the imperfects of verbs ע״וּ, § 72 h; but cf. also יֶאְפֹּד, יֶאְסֹר, and יֶהְדֹּף; in Niph., e.g. נֶהְפַּךְ; נֶחְלוּ Am 66, &c.; in Hiph. הֶחְסִיר, הֶעְלִים 2 K 47 &c.: sometimes

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

f 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 Jb 3217 אַֽעֲנֶה must unquestionably be Hiphʿîl, since elsewhere the pointing is always אֶֽעֱ׳. Cohortatives like אַֽהַרְגָה Gn 2741 and אַחְדְּלָה Jb 166, 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 Gn 83 the plur. of וַיֶּחְסַר, cf. Gn 118; 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. § 27 v).

g 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. § 22 m and, in general, m, § 28 c.

h 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. § 22 c—For תֵּֽיעָשֶׂה Ex 2531 (according to Dillmann, to prevent the pronunciation תַּֽעֲשֶׂה, which the LXX and Samaritan follow) read תֵּֽעָשֶׂה.


I. On Qal.

i 1. In verbs פ״א the infinitive construct and imperative take Ḥaṭeph-Seghôl in the first syllable (according to § 22 o), e.g. אֱזֹר gird thou, Jb 383, אֱהַב love thou, Ho 31, אֱחֹז seize thou, Ex 44 (on אֵפוּ bake ye, Ex 1623, see § 76 d); אֱכֹל to eat; infinitive with a prefix לֶֽאֱחֹז, לֶֽאֱכֹל, כֶּֽאֱכֹל Is 524; לֶֽאֱהֹב Ec 38. Sometimes, however, Ḥaṭeph-Pathaḥ is found as well, e.g. infinitive אֲחֹז 1 K 66; בַּֽאֲכֹל הָאֵשׁ Nu 2610 (before a suffix אֲכָלְךָ, אֲמָרְךָ, אֲכָלְכֶם, אֲמָרְכֶם § 61 d); cf. Dt 720, 1223, Ez 258, ψ 1025, Pr 257 (אֲמָר־לְךָ), Jb 3418, always in close connexion with the following word. With a firmly closed syllable after ל cf. לַחְסוֹת Is 302; לַחְפֹּר Jos 22 f. (on Is 220, cf. § 84b n); לַחְתּוֹת Is 3014, Hag 216; לַחְשֹׁב Ex 314, &c.; לַעְזֹר 2 S 183 Qe, but also בֶּֽעְזׄר 1 Ch 1526.

k הֶֽחֳדַ֫לְתִּי Ju 99.11.13 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 § 100 n (cf. the similar pointing of the article, e.g. in הֶֽחֳדָשִׁים, § 35 k). For the accusative after חָדֵל, instead of the usual מִן, Jb 317 affords sufficient evidence.

l Also in the other forms of the imperative the guttural not infrequently influences the vowel, causing a change of ĭ (on this ĭ cf. § 48 i) into Seghôl, e.g. אֶסְפָה gather thou, Nu 1116; עֶרְכָה set in order, Jb 335; חֶשְׂפִּי strip off, Is 472 (on this irregular Dageš cf. § 46 d), especially when the second radical is also a guttural, e.g. אֶֽהֱבוּ Am 515, ψ 3124; cf. Zc 819; אֶֽחֱזוּ Ct 215; cf. also in verbs ל״ה, עֱנוּ sing ye, Nu 2117, ψ 1477 (compared with עֲנוּ answer ye, 1 S 123) and אֱלִי Jo 18.—Pathaḥ occurs in חַבְלֵ֫הוּ hold him in pledge, Pr 2016, and probably also in ψ 914 (חַֽנְנֵ֫נִי).—As a pausal form for חָרְבִי (cf. the plur. Jer 212) we find in Is 4427 חֳרָ֑בִי (cf. the imperf. יֶֽחֱרַב) with the ŏ repeated in the form of a Ḥaṭeph-Qameṣ. For other examples of this kind, see § 10 h and § 46 e.

m 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 Pr 627, אֶעְשֶׂה ed. Mant., Ex 320). Even in the strong verb וַיֶּֽחֱזַק is found along with יֶחְזַק. Cf. also וַתַּעְגַּב Ez 235; וַיַּעְקְבֵנִי Gn 2736 (so Ben-Asher; but Ben-Naphtali וַיַּֽעַקְ׳); וַתַּחְלְקֵם Neh 922, and so always in the imperfect Qal of עָזַר with suffixes, Gn 4925, &c.—תְּאֵֽהֲבוּ Pr 122 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, § 93 t.—On יְחָבְרְךָ ψ 9420 for יַחְבָּרְךָ (according to Qimḥi, and others, rather Puʿal) cf. § 60 b.

n יַאְטֵם ψ 585 and יַעְרִם to deal subtilly, 1 S 2322, Pr 155, 1925, may be explained with Barth (ZDMG. 1889, p. 179) as i-imperfects (see above, § 47 i),—the latter for the purpose of distinction from the causative יַֽעֲרִים ψ 834.—Instead of the unintelligible form וַיֵּחָֽלְקֵם (so ed. Mant.; Baer and Ginsb. as in 243) 1 Ch 236 and וַיֶּֽחָ׳ 243 (partly analogous to תָּֽעָבְדֵם § 60 b) the Qal וַיַּחְלְקֵם is to be read. The form יִֽרַדֹּף ψ 76 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. § 64 h on יִֽצֲחַק, and § 69 x on תִּֽהֲלַךְ Ex 923, ψ 739). Pathaḥ has taken the place of Ḥaṭeph-Pathaḥ, but as a mere helping-vowel (as in שָׁמַעַתְּ § 28 e, 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.

o 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 וְהַֽעֲמַדְתָּ֫ Nu 36, 813, 2719; הֶֽעֱבַ֫רְתִּי, but וְהַֽעֲבַרְתִּ֫י Jer 1514, Ez 2037; even in the 3rd sing. וְהַֽאֲוִין ψ 772.—On the contrary ־ֶֽ־ֱ occurs instead of ־ַֽ־ֲ in the imperative Hiphʿil, Jer 498.30; and in the infinitive Jer 3132. The preformative of עתר in Hiphʿîl always takes a in a closed syllable: Ex 84 הַעְתִּ֫ירוּ; verse 5 אַעְתִּיר; also verse 25 and Jb 2227.

p 4. In the perfect Hiphʿîl ־ֶֽ־ֱ is sometimes changed into ־ֵֽ־ֲ, and in Hophʿal ־ֶֽ־ֳ into ־ֽׄ־ֲ (cf. § 23 h); הֵֽעֲבַ֫רְתָּ Jos 77, הֵֽעֲלָה Hb 115, הֹֽעֲלָה Ju 628, 2 Ch 2034, Na 28, 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 § 64 c. Something similar occurs in the formation of segholate nouns of the form qŏṭl; cf. § 93 q, and (on אֵמוּן &c. for אֱמוּן) § 84a q.—In the imperfect consecutive וַיַּֽחֲזֶק בּוֹ the tone is thrown back on to the first syllable. On the Hophʿal תָּֽעָבְדֵם Ex 205, &c., see § 60 b.

III. הָיָה and חָיָה.

q 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 Jos 213, and even without wāw consecutive, Ju 819). Initial ה always has Ḥaṭeph-Seghôl instead of vocal Še; הֱיֵה, הֱיוֹת, הֱיוֹתָם 1 S 257, הֱיִיתֶם (except הֲיִי be thou! fem. Gn 2460). The 2nd sing. fem. imperative of חָיָה is חֲיִי live thou, Ez 166; the infinitive, with suffix, חֲיוֹתָם Jos 58. After the prefixes וְ, בְ, כְ‍, לְ, מִ‍ (=מִן) both ה and ח retain the simple Šewâ (§ 28 b) 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. § 16 f, ε). The only exception is the 2nd sing. masc. of the imperative after wāw; וֶֽהְיֵה Gn 122, &c., וֶֽחְיֵה Gn 207.

  1. אֶֽעָנֶה Jb 197 (so even the Mantua ed.) is altogether abnormal: read אֵֽעָנֶה, with Baer, Ginsb.