Gesenius' Hebrew Grammar/69. Verbs פ״י. First Class, or Verbs originally פ״ו

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Gesenius' Hebrew Grammar  (1909) 
Wilhelm Gesenius
edited and enlarged by Emil Kautzsch
, translated by Arthur Ernest Cowley
Verbs פ״י‎. First Class, or Verbs originally פ״ו

§69. Verbs פ״י. First Class, or Verbs originally פ״ו, e.g. יָשַׁב to dwell.
Brockelmann, Semit. Sprachwiss., p. 141 f.; Grundriss, p. 596 ff.

a Verbs which at present begin with Yôdh when without preformatives are divided into two classes according to their origin and consequent inflexion: (a) Verbs which (as still in Arabic and Ethiopic) originally began with Wāw, e.g. יָלַד to give birth to, Arab. and Eth. wălădă. In consequence of a phonetic change which prevails also with few exceptions in the noun, this Wāw in Hebrew and Aramaic always becomes a Yôdh, at least when it is the initial consonant; but after preformatives it either reappears, or is again changed into Yôdh, or, lastly, is altogether elided; (b) Verbs which (as in Arabic) originally began with Yôdh (called Verba cum Iod originario, see § 70). A few verbs again (some with original Yôdh, and some with original Wāw) form a special class, which in certain forms assimilates the Wāw or Yâdh to the following consonant on the analogy of the Nûn in verbs פ״ן (see § 71).

b With regard to verbs פ״ו (i.e. פ״י with original Wāw) it is to be noticed that—

1. In the imperfect, imperative and infinitive construct Qal there is a twofold inflexion, according as the Wāw is wholly rejected or only changed into Yôdh. The complete rejection (or elision) takes place regularly in eight verbs (see h) in the following manner:

A. Imperfect יֵשֵׁב, יֵדַע with an unchangeable[1] Ṣere in the first syllable and original ĭ in the second, which in the tone-syllable (according to § 27 c) becomes ē (thus יֵלֵד, יֵצֵא, יֵלֵךְ ;יֵרֵד, see x), or, under the influence of a guttural, with ă in the second (יֵדַע, יֵקַע, יֵחַד).

The tone-long ē of the second syllable is of course liable to be shortened or to become Še, e.g. וַיֵּ֫שֶׁב, יֵֽשְׁבוּ, &c.; in the same way ă becomes Še in such cases as יֵֽדְעוּ, &c., but is lengthened to Qameṣ in pause (יֵדָ֫עוּ) and before suffixes (יֵֽדָעֵם).

B. Imperative שֵׁב with aphaeresis of the Wāw and with tone-long ē, from ĭ, as in the imperfect.

C. Infinitive שֶׁ֫בֶת from original šibh, by addition of the feminine ending (ת) lengthened to a segholate form; as in verbs פ״ן (cf. § 66 b) this lengthening affords a certain compensation for loss of the initial consonant.

c Rem. Since the infinitives דֵּעָה, לֵדָה (see below, m) point to a ground-form diʿat, lidat, we must, with Philippi (ZDMG. xxxii. 42) and Barth (ibid. xli. 606), assign to שֶׁ֫בֶת, &c., the ground-form šibt (which, therefore, reappears in שִׁבְתִּי, &c.); the apparent ground-form šabt rests upon the law that the ĭ of the stem-syllable is changed into a whenever the syllable becomes doubly closed by the addition of the vowelless feminine ending. d In more than half the number of verbs פ״ו the original Wāw in the above-mentioned forms gives place to Yôdh, which, unless it suffers aphaeresis (see f), appears:—

in the imperatives יְצֹק, יְרַשׁ and infinitives יְסֹד, יְרֹא, as a strong consonant, but

in the imperfect יִירַשׁ, properly yiyrăš, merges with the preceding ĭ into î.

In the second syllable imperfects of this form regularly have ă.

e (a) That the latter forms are derived from verbs with an original Wāw (not Yôdh) is shown partly by the inflexion of these verbs in Niphʿal, Hiphʿîl, and Hophʿal (where the original Wāw reappears throughout), and partly by the Arabic, in which verbs פ״ו likewise exhibit a twofold formation; cf. wălădă, imperf. yălĭdu, with elision of the Wāw, and wăǵĭlă, yauǵalu, with retention of the Wāw.

f (b) Sometimes both forms, the weaker and the stronger, occur in the same verb; cf. צַק 2 K 441 and יְצֹק pour, Ez 243 (cf. יִֽצְקוּ 1 K 1834 and the infin. צֶ֫קֶת Ex 3827); רֵשׁ take possession, Dt 121, 1 K 2115 (but cf. s), רָשׁ (in pause for רַשׁ) Dt 224.31; plur. רְשׁוּ Dt 18, 923, but also, with ־ָה paragogic, יְרָ֫שָׁה Dt 3323. In the imperfect יִיקַד Dt 3222 and יֵקַד Is 1016 it shall be kindled; וַיִּיקַר it was precious, 1 S 1830 and יֵקַר ψ 499 (cf. יֵיקַר ψ 7214).—The form וַֽיֱּחֶמוּ Gn 3039, for וַיֵּֽחֲמוּ, beside וַיֵּחַ֫מְנָה verse 38, is remarkable; cf. § 47 k.

g (c) On רַד Ju 1911 for י֖רַד and שׁוֹב Jer 4210 for the infinitive absolute יָשׁוֹב, cf. § 19 i.—But יְרַד Ju 513 (twice) is not intended by the Masora either as perfect (for יָרַד, which really should be restored) or as imperative of יָרַד, but as an apocopated imperfect Piʿēl from רָדָה (=יְרַדֶּה) to have dominion.

h (d) The eight verbs,[2] of which the initial consonant in the above-mentioned forms always suffers elision or aphaeresis, are יָלַד to bring forth, יָצָא to go forth, יָשַׁב to sit, to dwell, יָרַד to descend, also הָלַךְ to go (cf. below, x); and with ă in the second syllable of the imperfect, יָדַע to know, יָחַד to be united, יָקַע to be dislocated. Examples of the other formation (יִיוַשׁ, &c.) are יָעֵף to be wearied, יָעַץ to counsel, יָשֵׁן to sleep, יָרֵא (imperfect יִירָא, imperative יְרָא) to fear.

i 2. The original Wāw is retained as a firm consonant: (a) in the infinitive, imperative, and imperfect Niphʿal, being protected by the strengthening, e.g. הִוָּשֵׁב, יִוָּשֵׁב, which are consequently strong forms like הִקָּטֵל, יִקָּטֵל; (b) in the Hithpaʿel of some verbs, e.g. הִתְוַדַּע from יָדַע, הִתְוַכַּח from יָכַח, הִתְוַדָּה from יָדָה; otherwise a radical Wāw at the beginning of a word is now found only in a few nouns, e.g. וָלָד off spring from יָלַד to bear. At the end of a syllable Wāw with the homogeneous vowel ŭ coalesces into ǔ; so throughout Hophʿal, e.g. הוּשַׁב for hŭwšabh; but with a preceding a the Wāw is contracted into ô (וֹ); so in the perfect and participle Niphʿal and throughout Hiphʿîl, e.g. נוֹשַׁב from an original năwšăbh, הוֹשִׁיב from an original hăwšîbh.

k The first radical always appears as Yôdh in the perfect and participle Qal, יָשַׁב, &c., ישֵׁב, יָשׁוּב, even when וְ precedes, e.g. וְיָשַׁב (but וִיֽשַׁבְתֶּם, according to § 24 b), also throughout Piʿēl and Puʿal, e.g. יִחֵל to wait, יֻלַּד to be born, and in the imperfect and participle יְיַחֵל, מְיֻדָּע known (from יָדַע), and, as a rule, also in Hithpaʿel, e.g. הִתְיַלֵּד, הִתְיַצֵּב, הִתְיַחֵשׂ (as against הִתְוַדַּע, &c., with Wāw).

l The beginner may recognize verbs פ״ו in the imperfect Qal partly by the Ṣere under the preformatives; in Niphʿal and Hiphʿîl by the Wāw (ו, וֹ) before the second radical. (The defective writing, as in הֹלִיד, is rare.) Verbs פ״ו have forms like (דַּע) שֵׁב, שֶׁ֫בֶת, in common with verbs פ״ן. Similarly Hophʿal has the same form as in verbs ע״ע and ע״וּ.

m Rem. 1. The infinitive Qal of the weaker form (שֶׁ֫בֵת, ground-form šibt, רֶ֫שֶׁת; cf. above, c) with suffixes is pointed as שִׁבְתִּי,[3] רִשְׁתּוֹ (the strong form only in לְיָרְשֵׁ֫נוּ Ju 1415). The masculine form is very rare, e.g. דֵּעַ to know, Jb 326.10, as also the feminine ending ־ָה, e.g. דֵּעָ֫ה[4] Ex 24, לֵדָ֫ה Is 373 (2 K 193); Jer 1321, Ho 911; מֵֽרְדָה2 to descend, Gn 463, where the change of the ē into vocal Še is to be explained, with König, from its position between the principal and secondary tone. From יָדַע, under the influence of the guttural, דַּ֫עַת is formed, with suff. דַּעְתִּי, &c.; but from יצא, צֵאת. From יָרַד there occurs in ψ 304 in Qe מִיָּרְדִי (the Keth. requires מִיּֽוֹרְדֵי) a very remarkable case of the strong form (for מֵֽרִדְתִּי). For לַת 1 S 419 (generally explained as a case of assimilation of ד to ת in the supposed ground-form ladt; according to Mayer Lambert pausal of לֵת=lidt, see above, c) read simply לֶ֫דֶת.

n Examples of the strong form of the infinitive are יְרֹא to fear, Jos 2225, with preposition לִיסֹד Is 5116 (but 2 Ch 317 according to Ben Naphtali לִיסֹּד, where the י is only retained orthographically, but is really assimilated to the ס; the reading of Ben Asher, לְיִסּוֹד, accepted by Baer, is meaningless); לִישׁוֹן Ec 511; לֵרֹא 1 S 1829 is irregular, but probably לִרֹא (for לִירֹא) is intended. With suff.. בְּיָסְדִי Jb 384, cf. Ju 1415, Ezr 312; with ת fem. יְכֹ֫לֶת to be able, Nu 1416. On יְב֫שֶׁת, which is likewise usually referred to this class, cf. the note on § 70 a. o 2. The imperative Qal frequently has the lengthening by ־ָה, e.g. שְׁבָה sit thou, רְדָה descend thou. From יָהַב to give, Arab. wăhăbă, only the imperative is used in Hebrew; it has the form הַב give, lengthened תָ֫בָה generally with the meaning age, go to, hence in Gn 113.4 even addressed to several persons (Gn 2921 הָבָ֫ה before א to avoid the hiatus); fem. הָבִי Ru 315, Milraʿ on the analogy of the plural הָב֫וּ (once in Jb 622 הָ֫בוּ before the tone-syllable; but cf. Dt 323), whilst, on the analogy of other imperatives Qal of verbs פ״ו, הֲבִי, הֲבוּ would be expected.—On דְּעֶה Pr 2414, cf. § 48 l.

p 3. The imperfect with ו elided takes ă in the second syllable, besides the cases mentioned above (under f), also in תֵּרַד Jer 1317 (cf. La 348) and in the pausal form יֵלַךְ Jb 2721, &c. (from הָלַךְ, see x); on יֵקַד Is 1016 see above, f. The ă in the second syllable, when followed by the afformative נָה (תֵּרַ֫דְנָה &c.), is in accordance with the law mentioned above (under c), by which ă takes the place of ĭ in a doubly closed syllable. Forms with ē in the second syllable shorten the ē to Seghôl, when the tone is drawn back (before a tone-syllable or after wāw consecutive), e.g. יֵֽשֶׁב־נָא Gn 4433; וַיֵּ֫רֶד, וַיּ֫שֶׁב; but ē is retained in an open syllable, even with Milʿel-tone, in יֵ֫צֵא Ex 1629, Ju 939, in both cases with nasog ʾaḥor, § 29 e. The pausal is either of the form וַיֵּשֵׁב Ru 41 or וַיֵּרַ֑ד ψ 1810; the 1st pers. sing., whether in or out of pause, is וָֽאֵרֵד, וָֽאֵלֵד &c., except וָֽאֵלַ֑ךְ Jb 1910, see x.—For יְיֵדָֽע ψ 1386 (cf. the note above, on b and the analogous cases in § 70 d) יֵידָֽע is intended.

q The imperfect of the form יִירַשׁ is frequently (especially before afformatives) written defectively, in which case the î can always be recognized as a long vowel by the Metheg (see § 16 f), e.g. יִֽעֲפוּ Is 4030, יִֽגְעוּ Is 6523; and so always יִֽרְאוּ they fear, as distinguished from יִרְאוּ they see (imperf. Qal of רָאָה).—On וַיִּ֫ישֶׂם Gn 5026, 2433 Keth, and יִיסָךְ Ex 3032, see § 73 f.

r From יָכֹל to prevail, to be able, the imperfect Qal is יוּכַל, which can only have arisen through a depression of the vowel from יוֹכַל (ground-form yaukhal=yawkhal), to distinguish it, according to Qimḥi, from אוֹכַל, just as, according to § 47 b, אֶקְטֹל is differentiated from יִקְטֹל. Cf. the Arabic yauruʿu (yôruʿu) from waruʿa, yauǵalu (yôǵalu) from waǵila, as also the vulgar Arabic (among towns-people) yûṣal, &c., from waṣala. Others regard יוּכַל as an imperfect Hophʿal (he is enabled=he can), always used instead of the imperfect Qal; cf., however, § 53 u.—וַתּוּכָֽל occurs in Jer 35 as 2nd sing. fem. for וַתּוּכָֽלִי, according to König because the 2nd fem. had been sufficiently indicated previously.—Further יוֹרֶה or יֹרֶה is to be regarded with M. Lambert (REJ. xxxvii, no. 73) as impf. Qal (not Hiphʿil) of יָרָה to throw, shoot (the supposed impf. Qal וַנִּירָם Nu 2130 is critically very doubtful). This is shown especially by the passages in which the impf. יוֹרֶהּ is immediately preceded by the imperat. Qal (2 K 1317) or infin. Qal (ψ 645), or is followed by the participle Qal (2 Ch 3523; but in 2 S 1124 by the participle Hiphʿil).

s 4. The attenuation of ă to ĭ in the perfect (in a toneless, closed syllable) which is discussed in § 44 d (cf. § 64 f) occurs in verbs פ״ו in a few forms of יָלַד Nu 1112, Jer 227, ψ 27, &c. (always after יְ), as well as of יָרַשׁ, e.g. וִֽירִשְׁתֶּם, &c., Dt 41, 81, 1714, 191, 261, 313 (always after וִי for וְיְ). In both cases the attenuation might be explained from the tendency to assimilate the vowels, especially if the initial יְ was pronounced, as in Syriac, like i (§ 47 b). In the case of יָרַשׁ, however, a secondary form יַרֵשׁ (cf. § 44 d) is probably to be assumed, since in Arabic also the verb is wărĭṯă. The forms וִֽירֵשׁ֫וּךָ Ez 3612 and וִֽירֵשׁ֫וּהָ ψ 6936, &c., are most simply explained from the return of this ĭ.

t 5. As an exception, the imperfect Niphʿal sometimes has a י instead of the ו, e.g. וַיִּיָּ֫חֶל and he stayed, Gn 812 (unless the Piʿēl or וַיָּחֶל, as in ver. 10, is to be read), cf. Ex 1913; 1 S 138 Kethîbh.—The first person always has the form אִוָּשֵׁב, not אֶוָּשֵׁב, cf. § 51 p.—In the participle the plural נוּגֵי (from יָגָה, with depression of ô to û, cf. § 27 n) is found in Zp 318; cf. La 14. While in these cases some doubt may be felt as to the correctness of the Masoretic pointing, much more is this so in the perfect נוּלְּדוּ nulledhû, 1 Ch 35, 208, for נֽוֹלְדוּ which appears to be required by the wāw in the initial syllable.

u 6. In the imperfect Piʿēl elision of the first radical (י) sometimes takes place after wāw consec. (as in the case of א, § 68 k), e.g. וַיַּגֶּה for וַיְיַגֶּה and he has grieved, La 333, וַיַּדּוּ for וַיְיַדּוּ and they have cast, verse 53, from ידה, which may also be a true verb פ״י (on the other hand, in יַדּוּ גוֹרָל they have east lots, Jo 43, Ob 11111, Na 310, a perfect Qal of יָדַד is required by the context; but as this, being a transitive perfect, ought to have the form יָֽדְדוּ according to § 67 a, perhaps we should read יִדּוּ). So from a verb פ״י, of the second class, וַיַּבְּשֵׁ֫הוּ for וַיְיַבְּשֵׁ֫הוּ and he made it dry, Na 14; cf. וַיַּשְּׁרֵם 2 Ch 3230 Qe (the Keth. points either to Piʿēl וַיְיַשְּׁרֵם or Hiphʿîl וַיַּיְשִׁרֵם).

v 7. The imperative Hiphʿîl, instead of the usual form הוֹשֵב, sometimes has î in the second syllable; הוֹצִיא Is 438; הוֹפִיעַ ψ 941 (before ה, hence probably a mere mistake for הוֹפִ֫יעָה). On the uncertainty of the tone in הוֹשִׁיעָה־נָּא see § 53 m. When closed by a guttural the second syllable generally has ă, as הוֹדַע, הוֹשַׁע, cf. also הֹקַר Pr 2517 (as in the infin. constr. הוֹכַח Jb 626; see § 65 f). On the other hand, î always appears when the syllable is open, thus הוֹשִׁ֫יבָה, הוֹשִׁ֫יבִי, and so also before suffixes (§ 61 g). הַיְצֵא Gn 817 Qe (Keth. הוֹצֵא, see § 70 b) is irregular.—The jussive and the imperfect consecutive Hiphʿîl when the tone is drawn back take Seghôl in the second syllable, as in Qal, e.g. י֫וֹסֶף that he may increase, Pr 15, before לֶ֫קַח; cf. Ex 1028 and Dt 326 after אַל־; וַיֹּ֫סֶף (תּ֫וֹסְףְּ Pr 306 is anomalous); in pause, however, also תּוֹסַף as jussive, Jb 4032 (usual jussive in pause יוֹשֵׁב, &c., which occurs even without the pause after wāw consecutive, Gn 4711, Jos 243, 2 S 84, &c.). With a final guttural יֹדַ֫ע and יוֹכַ֫ח (jussive) and וַיּוֹכַה &c.; with a final ר in pause וַתֹּתַֽר Ru 214: on וְישַֽׁעֲכֶם Is 354, cf. § 65 f).—On forms like יְהוֹשִׁיעַ, see § 53 q.

w In Hophʿal ô stands instead of וּ, in הוֹדַע (for הוּדַע) Lv 423.28, הֹגָה 2 S 2013, and perhaps in יוֹרֶא (for יוּרֶה) Pr 1125; but cf. Delitzsch on the passage.—Ptcp. מוּדַ֫עַת Is 125 Qere (מְיֻדַּ֫עַת Keth).—An infinitive Hophʿal with feminine ending occurs in הֻלֶּ֫דֶת Gn 4020, for הֻלֶ֫דֶת=הוּל׳; cf. above, t, on נוּלְּדוּ, and § 71 at the end.

x 8. The verb הָלַךְ to go, also belongs in some respects to the פ״ו class, since it forms (as if from וָלַךְ) imperfect יֵלֵךְ, with wāw consecutive וַיֵּ֫לֶךְ (in pause וַיֵּלַֽךְ Gn 2461, &c.), 1st sing. וָֽאֵלֵךְ (but in Jb 1910 וָֽאֵלַ֑ךְֹ); infinitive construct לֶ֫כֶת with suff. לֶכְתִּי (Seghôl under the influence of the following palatal, as in נֶכְדִּי, cf. also נֶגְדִּי); imperative לֵךְ, לֶךְ־, in the lengthened form לְכָה (as an interjection referring even to a feminine, Gn 1932, or a plural, Gn 3144) and לְךָ (Nu 2313, Ju 1913, 2 Ch 2517); Hiph. הוֹלִיךְ (also in Ex 29 הוֹלִ֫יכִי 2nd fem. imperative is to be read for הֵילִ֫יכִי, which probably arose merely through confusion with the following הֵינִקִ֫הוּ); imperfect יוֹלִיךְ, but in the 1st sing. of the imperfect consecutive always וָֽאוֹלֵךְ Lv 2613, Am 210, &c. Rarely, and almost exclusively late or in poetry, the regular inflexions of הָלַךְ are also found: imperf. יַֽהֲלֹךְ (ψ 589, &c.; but תִּֽהֲלַךְ Ex 923, ψ 739; cf. § 64 a and h); אֶֽהֱלֹךְ Jb 1622, also Mêšaʿ inscription, line 14, אהלך; infin. הֲלֹךְ (Ex 319, Nu 2213 f.16,[5] Ec 68.9); imperative plur. הִלְכוּ Jer 5150. On the other hand, the perfect Qal is always הָלַךְ, participle הֹלֵךְ, infinitive absolute הָלוֹךְ, Niphʿal נֶֽהֱלַךְ, Piʿēl הִלֵּךְ, Hithpaʿēl הִתְהַלֵּךְ, so that a י never arrears unmistakably as the first radical. The usual explanation of the above forms is nevertheless based on a supposed obsolete יָלַךְ. It is, however, more correct to regard the apparent פ״ו forms of הלך with Praetorius (ZAW. ii. 310 ff.) as originating with the Hiphʿîl, of which the ground-form hahlîkh became hâlîkh, and this again, on the analogy of the imperfect Qal of verbs פ״א, hôlîkh. This hôlîkh being referred to a supposed haulîkh (properly hawlîkh) gave rise to new formations after the manner of verbs פ״ו.

  1. The e of the first syllable is really ê, not tone-long ē, since it is retained not merely before the tone, and in the counter-tone (e.g. וְיֵדָֽעֵם Ho 1410), but also in אֵדָֽעֲךָ Ex 3313.17. It is no objection to this view that the scriptio plena of this ê occurs (with the exception of יֵיקַר ψ 7214, elsewhere pointed יִיקַר) only in Mi 18 and Ez 359 Keth.; in ψ 1386 the Masora prefers to point יְיֵדָע.—Of the various explanations of the ê the most satisfactory is that of Philippi (ZDMG. xl. p. 653) that an original yălĭd, for example (see above), became yilid by assimilation of the vowel of the first syllable to that of the second; this then became yêlēd instead of yēlēd, in an attempt to raise the word again in this way (by writing ê instead of ē) to a triliteral form.
  2. A ninth יָסַף to add, is also to be included. In the Mêšaʿ-inscription, l. 21, the infinitive is written לספת (cf. יספתי, l. 29); hence read in Is 301 (Nu 3214, Dt 2918) סֶ֫פֶת for סְפוֹת. The 2nd plur. masc. imperative סְפוּ Is 291, Jer 721 corresponds to שְׁבוּ; thus in proof of a supposed סָפָה addere, there remains only אַסְפֶּה Dt 3223, for which, according to 2 S 128, read אֹסִ֫פָה.
  3. וְשַׁבְתִּי ψ 236 can hardly be intended for an infin. with suffix from יָשַׁב, but rather for a perf. consec. from שׁוּב; but read וְיָֽשַׁבְתִּי.
  4. The infinitives דֵּעָה and רְדָה belong to the source marked E (Dillmann’s B) in the modern criticism of the Pentateuch. The same document also has נְתֹן to give, for תֵּת; הֲלֹךְ to go, for לֶ֫כֶת; and עֲשׂה to make, for עֲשׂוֹת. See Dillmann, Die BB. Num., Deut., Jos., p. 618.
  5. Cf. above, m, note 2.