[107q] (3) In dependent clauses after final conjunctions (§165b), as אֲשֶׁר, Gn 117 (אֲשֶׁר לֹא יִשְׁמְעוּ that they may not understand); בַּֽעֲבוּר Gn 2130, 274, 19, Ex 914, &c.; לְמַ֫עַן אֲשֶׁר Nu 175; לְמַ֫עַן Dt 41, ψ 516, 786, and אֲשֶׁר יַעַ֫ן Ez 1212, in order that; לְבִלְתִּי that... not, Ex 2020, 2 S 1414; also after פֶּן־ that not, lest, Gn 322, 114, 1915, &c.; cf. also the instances introduced by וְלֹא in §109g.—In Lv 96 such an imperfect (or jussive? see the examples in §109f) is added to the expression of the command by an asyndeton, and in La 119 to the principal clause simply by וְ: while they sought them food וְיָשִׁ֫יבוּ אֶת־נַפְשָׁם to refresh their souls (cf. also La 326, it is good and let him hope, i.e. that he should hope); so after an interrogative clause, Ex 27. Finally also in a relative clause, ψ 328 בְּדֶ֫רֶךְ־זוּ תֵלֵךְ in the way which thou shouldst go.
[107r] (b) To express actions, &c., which are to be represented as possibly taking place or not taking place (sometimes corresponding to the potential of the classical languages, as also to our periphrases with can, may, should). More particularly such imperfects are used—
[107s] (1) In a permissive sense, e.g. Gn 216 of every tree of the garden (אָכֹל תֹּאכֵל) thou mayest freely eat (the opposite in verse 17); 3:2, 42:37, Lv 213, 22, Jb 213. In the 1st pers. ψ 58, 2218 (I may, or can, tell); in a negative sentence, e.g. ψ 55.
[107t] (2) In interrogative sentences, e.g. Pr 209 מִֽי־יֹאמַר quis dixerit? Cf. Gn 1717, 1814, 3143, 1 S 1112, 2 K 512 הֲלֹֽא־אֶרְחַץ בָּהֶם may I not wash in them? Is 3314, ψ 151, 243, Ec 55. So especially in a question expressing surprise after אֵיךְ, e.g. Gn 399 how then can I...? 44:34, Is 1911, ψ 1374, and even with regard to some point of time in the past, looking forward from which an event might have been expected to take place, e.g. Gn 437 הֲיָדוֹעַ נֵדַע could we in any wise know...? Cf. 2 S 333 (יָמוּת was Abner to die as a fool, i.e. was he destined to die...?), and so probably also Gn 3431 (should he deal...?). Very closely connected with this is the use of the imperfect—
[107u] (3) In a consecutive clause depending on an interrogative clause, e.g. Ex 311, who am I (כִּי אֵלֵךְ) that I should (ought, could) go? 16:7, Nu 1112, Ju 928, 1 S 1818, 2 K 813, Is 2916, Jb 611, 2115, similarly after אֲשֶׁר Gn 3818, Ex 52.
- But יַעַ֫ן אֲשֶׁר in a causal sense (because, since), e.g. Ju 220 (as אֲשֶׁר Gn 3427) is followed by the perfect. On Jos 424 see above, §74g.
- R.V. because he shall not see..]
- In 2 K 216 פֶּן־ occurs with the perf. in a vivid presentment of the time when the fear is realized and the remedy comes too late. (In 2 S 206, since a perfect consec. follows, read with Driver יִמְצָא.)
- By this, of course, is not meant that these finer distinctions were consciously present to the Hebrew mind. They are rather mere expedients for making intelligible to ourselves the full significance of the Semitic imperfect.