ports himself in imagination into the future that he describes the future event as if it had been already seen or heard by him, e.g. Is 513 therefore my people are gone into captivity (גָּלָה); 91 ff., 1028, 119 (after כִּי, as frequently elsewhere); 197, Jb 520, 2 Ch 2037. Not infrequently the imperfect interchanges with such perfects either in the parallel member or further on in the narrative.
[106o] (c) To express actions or facts, which are meant to be indicated as existing in the future in a completed state (futurum exactum), e.g. Is 44 אִם רָחַץ when he has washed away=when he shall have washed away (an imperfect follows in the co-ordinate sentence; cf. the conditional sentences in §107x); Is 611 (after עַד אֲשֶׁר אִם, as in Gn 2815, Nu 3217; also 2 S 1713 after עַד אֲשֶׁד, Gn 2419 after עַד אִם and elsewhere frequently after temporal conjunctions); Mi 52 (יָלָ֑דָה); Gn 4314 כַּֽאֲשֶׁר שָׁכֹ֫לְתִּי שָׁכָֽלְתִּי וַֽאֲנִי and I—if I am bereaved (orbus fuero), I am bereaved, an expression of despairing resignation. Cf. Pr 2315, Est 416.
[106p] 4. To express actions and facts, whose accomplishment in the past is to be represented, not as actual, but only as possible (generally corresponding to the Latin imperfect or pluperfect subjunctive), e.g. Gn 3142 except the God of my father... had been with me, surely now hadst thou sent me away empty (שִׁלַּחְתָּ֑נִי); Gn 4310, Ex 915 (שָׁלַ֫חְתִּי I had almost put forth, &c.); Nu 2233, Ju 1323, 1418, 1 S 1313 (הֵכִּין); 2 K 1319; so frequently after כִּמְעַט easily, almost, Gn 2610, Is 19 (where כִּמְעַט is probably to be connected with the word after it), ψ 732, 9417, 11987, Pr 514. Cf. also Jb 313, 2310 (בְּחָנַ֫נִי), Ru 112 (if I should think, &c.; cf. 2 K 74); in the apodosis of a conditional sentence, 1 S 2534.—So also to express an unfulfilled desire, Nu 142 לוּ מַ֫תְנוּ would that we had died...! (לוּ with the imperfect would mean would that we might die! 1 S 1430). Finally, also in a question indicating astonishment, Gn 217 מִי מִלֵּל who would have said...? quis dixerit? ψ 7311.
[107a] The imperfect, as opposed to the perfect, represents actions, events, or states which are regarded by the speaker at any moment as still continuing, or in process of accomplishment, or even as just taking place. In the last case, its occurrence may be represented as certainly imminent, or merely as conceived in the mind of the speaker, or simply as desired, and therefore only contingent (the modal use of the imperfect).
- Cf. the literature cited above, p. 309, note 2.