Gesenius' Hebrew Grammar/64. Verbs Middle Guttural
1. When the guttural would stand at the beginning of a syllable with simple Šewâ, it necessarily takes a Ḥaṭeph, and almost always Ḥaṭeph-Pathaḥ, e.g. perfect שָֽׁחֲטוּ, imperfect יִשְׁחֲטוּ, imperative Niphʿal הִשָּֽׁחֲטוּ. In the imperative Qal, before the afformatives î and û, the original Pathaḥ is retained in the first syllable, and is followed by Ḥaṭeph-Pathaḥ, thus, זַֽעֲקִי, זַֽעֲקוּ, &c.; in אֶֽהֱבוּ the preference of the א for Seghôl (but cf. also יֹֽאחֱזוּךְ Jer 1321) has caused the change from ă to ĕ; in שִֽׁחֲדוּ Jb 622, even ĭ remains before a hard guttural.
So in the infinitive Qal fem., e.g. אַֽהֲבָה to love, דַּֽאֲבָה to pine; and in the infinitive with a suffix לְסַֽעֲדָהּ Is 96; the doubtful form שַֽׁחֲטָה Ho 52, is better explained as infinitive Piʿēl (= שַֽׁחֲתָה).
b 2. Since the preference of the gutturals for the a-sound has less influence on the following than on the preceding vowel, not only is Ḥolem retained after the middle guttural in the infinitive Qal שְׁחֹט (with the fem. ending and retraction and shortening of the o רָחְצָה and רָֽחֳקָה cf. § 45 b), but generally also the Ṣere in the imperfect Niphʿal and Piʿēl, e.g. יִלָּחֵם he fights, יְנַחֵם he comforts, and even the more feeble Seghôl after wāw consecutive in such forms as וַיִּלָּ֫חֶם, וַתִּפָּ֫עֶם Gn 418 (cf., however, וַיִּוָּעַ֫ץ 1 K 126, &c.). But in the imperative and imperfect Qal, the final syllable, through the influence of the guttural, mostly takes Pathaḥ, even in transitive verbs, e.g. שְׁחַט, יִשְׁחַט; זְעַק, יִזְעַק; בְּחַר, יִבְחַר; with suffixes (according to § 60 c), imperative בְּחָנֵ֫נִי, שְׁאָל֫וּנִי, imperfect יִגְאָלוּ֫הוּ.
c With ō in the imperative Qal, the only instances are נְעֹל 2 S 1317; אֱחֹז Ex 44, 2 S 221, fem. אֶֽחֳזִי Ru 315 (with the unusual repetition of the lost ō as Ḥaṭeph-Qameṣ; 2nd plur. masc. in pause אֱחֹ֑זוּ Neh 73; without the pause אֶֽחֱזוּ Ct 215); סְעָד־ Ju 198. Finally זֹֽעֲמָה for זָֽעֳמָה, Nu 237, is an example of the same kind, see § 63 p. Just as rare are the imperfects in ō of verbs middle guttural, as יִנְהֹם, יֶֽאֱחֹז, תִּמְעֹל Lv 515, Nu 527 (but וַיִּמְעַל 2 Ch 2616); cf. וַתִּשְׁחֳדִי Ez 1633; תִּפְעָל־ Jb 356. Also in the perfect Piʿēl, Pathaḥ occurs somewhat more frequently than in the strong verb, e.g. נִחַם to comfort (cf., however, כִּהֵן, כִּחֵד, כִּחֵשׁ, שִׁחֵת); but א and ע always have ē in 3rd sing.—On the infinitive with suffixes, cf. § 61 b.
d 3. In Piʿēl, Puʿal, and Hithpaʿēl, the Dageš forte being inadmissible in the middle radical, the preceding vowel, especially before ה, ח and ע, nevertheless, generally remains short, and the guttural is consequently to be regarded as, at least, virtually strengthened, cf. § 22 c; e.g. Piʿēl שִׂחַק, נִֽחֲלוּ Jos 141, וּבִֽעַרְתִּי 1 K 1410, נִהַג Ex 1013 (cf., however, אֵחַר Gn 3419; נֵהַ֫לְתָּ Ex 1513, but in the imperfect and participle יְנַהֵל, &c.; in verbs ל״ה, e.g. רֵעָה), infinitive שַׂחֵק, Puʿal רֻחַץ (but cf. דֹּחוּ ψ 3613 from דָּחָה, also the unusual position of the tone in בֹּ֫חַן Ez 2118, and in the perfect Hithpaʿēl הִתְרָחַ֫צְתִּי Jb 930); Hithpaʿēl perfect and imperative הִטַּֽהֲרוּ, &c.; in pause (see §§ 22 c, 27q, 29v, 54k) הִטֶּהָֽרוּ Nu 87, 2 Ch 3018; יִתְנֶחָם Nu 2319, &c.
e The complete omission of the strengthening, and a consequent lengthening of the preceding vowel, occurs invariably only with ר (כָּרַּת Ez 164 is an exception; כֹּרָ֑תָה also occurs, Ju 628), e g. בֵּרַךְ (in pause בֵּרֵךְ), imperfect יְבָרֵךְ, Puʿal בֹּרַךְ. Before א it occurs regularly in the stems בֵּאֵר, גֵּאֵל, מֵאֵן, פֵּאֵר, and in the Hithpaʿēl of באשׁ, ראה, and שׁאה; on the other hand, א is virtually strengthened in the perfects, נִאֵף (once in the imperfect, Jer 2923) to commit adultery, נִאֵץ to despise (in the participle, Nu 1423, Is 6014, Jer 2317; according to Baer, but not ed. Mant., or Ginsb., even in the imperfect יְנַאֵץ ψ 7410), נִאֵר to abhor La 27 (also נֵאַ֫רְתָּה ψ 8940) and שִׁאֵל ψ 10910; moreover, in the infinitive יַאֵשׁ Ec 220, according to the best reading. On the Mappîq in the Puʿal רֻאִ֫וּ Jb 3321, cf. § 14 d.
f Rem. 1. In the verb שָׁאַל to ask, to beg, some forms of the perfect Qal appear to be based upon a secondary form middle e, which is Ṣere when the vowel of the א stands in an open syllable, cf. שְׁאֵֽלְךָ Gn 3218, Ju 420; שְׁאֵל֫וּנִי ψ 1373; but in a closed syllable, even without a suffix, שְׁאֶלְתֶּם 1 S 1213, 255, Jb 2129; שְׁאִלְתִּ֫יהוּ Ju 136, 1 S 120. Cf., however, similar cases of attenuation of an original ă, § 69 s, and especially § 44 d. In the first three examples, if explained on that analogy, the ĭ attenuated from ă would have been lengthened to ē (before the tone); in the next three ĭ would have been modified to ĕ. Also in the Hiphʿil-form הִשְׁאִלְתִּ֫יהוּ 1 S 128 the אִ is merely attenuated from אַ.
g 2. In Piʿēl and Hithpaʿēl the lengthening of the vowel before the guttural causes the tone to be thrown back upon the penultima, and consequently the Ṣere of the ultima to be shortened to Seghôl. Thus (a) before monosyllables, according to § 29 e, e.g. לְשָׁ֫רֶת שָׁם to minister there, Dt 1712, even in the case of a guttural which is virtually strengthened, Gn 3914, Jb 818 (see § 29 g). (b) after wāw consecutive, e.g. רַיְבָ֫רֶךְ and he blessed, Gn 122 and frequently, וַיְגָ֫רֶשׁ and he drove out, Ex 1011, וַתִּתפָּ֫עֶם Dn 21. h 3. The following are a few rarer anomalies; in the imperfect Qal יִֽצֲחַק Gn 216 (elsewhere תִּצְחַק, &c., in pause יִצְחָק, cf. § 10 g (c) and § 63 n); וָֽאֵחַר Gn 325 (for וָאֶֽאֱחַר); in the perfect Piʿēl אֶֽחֱרוּ Ju 528 (perhaps primarily for אִֽחֲרוּ; according to Gn 3419 אֵֽחֲרוּ would be expected), and similarly יֶחֱֽמַ֫תְנִי ψ 517 for יִחֲֽמַ֫תְנִי; in the imperative Piʿēl קָרַב Ez 3717 (cf. above, § 52 n); finally, in the imperative Hiphʿîl הַרְחַק Jb 1321 and הַמְעַד ψ 6924, in both cases probably influenced by the closing consonant, and by the preference for Pathaḥ in pause (according to § 29 q); without the pause הַרְחֵק Pr 424, &c.; but also הַנְחַת Jo 411.
i 4. As infinitive Hithpaʿēl with a suffix we find הִתְיַחְשָׂם Ezr 81, &c., with a firmly closed syllable, also the participle מִתְיַחְשִׂים Neh 764; Baer, however, reads in all these cases, on good authority, הִתְיַֽחֲשָׂם &c.—The quite meaningless Kethîbh ונאשאר Ez 98 (for which the Qerê requires the equally unintelligible וְנֵֽשֲׁאַר) evidently combines two different readings, viz. וְנִשְׁאָר (part. Niph.) and וָֽאֶשָּׁאֵר (imperf. consec.); cf. König, Lehrgebäude, i. p. 266 f.—In יְתָֽאֳרֵ֫הוּ Is 4413 (also יְתָֽאֲרֵ֫הוּ in the same verse) an imperfect Pôʿēl appears to be intended by the Masora with an irregular shortening of the ô for יְתֹֽאֲר׳; cf. § 55 b מְלָשְׁנִי ψ 1015 Qerê; on the other hand Qimḥi, with whom Delitzsch agrees, explains the form as Piʿēl, with an irregular ־ֳ for ־ֲ, as in the reading אֲלַקֳּטָה Ru 22.7; cf. § 10 h.
5. A few examples in which א, as middle radical, entirely loses its consonantal value and quiesces in a vowel, will be found in § 73 g.
- Hophʿal, which is not exhibited in the paradigm, follows the analogy of Qal; Hiphʿîl is regular.
- Also Ju 195 (where Qimḥi would read seʿād), read seʿŏd, and on the use of the conjunctive accent (here Darga) as a substitute for Metheg, at. § 9 u (c) and § 16 b.
- בֹּ֫חַן is explained by Abulwalîd as the 3rd pers. perfect Puʿal, but by Qimḥi as a noun.