Gesenius' Hebrew Grammar/73. Verbs middle i (vulgo ע״י)

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§73. Verbs middle i (vulgo ע״י), e.g. בִּין to discern. Paradigm N.

73a 1. These verbs agree, as regards their structure, exactly with verbs ע״וּ, and in contrast to them may be termed ע״י, or more correctly, ʿayin-î verbs, from the characteristic vowel of the impf., imper., and infin. constr. This distinction is justified in so far as it refers to a difference in the pronunciation of the imperfect and its kindred forms, the imperative and infin. constr.—the ע״וּ verbs having û lengthened from original ŭ and ע״י having î lengthened from original ĭ. In other respects verbs ע״י simply belong to the class of really monosyllabic stems, which, by a strengthening of their vocalic element, have been assimilated to the triliteral form[1] (§67a). In the perfect Qal the monosyllabic stem, as in ע״וּ, has ā lengthened from ă, thus: שָׁת he has set; infinitive שִׁית, infinitive absolute שׁוֹת, imperative שִׁית, imperfect יָשִׁית, jussive יָשֵׁת (§48g), imperfect consecutive וַיָ֫שֶׁת.—The perfect Qal of some verbs used to be treated as having a double set of forms, a regular series, and others like Hiphʿîl without the preformative, e.g. בִּין Dn 101; בִּינֹ֫תִי Dn 92, also בַּ֫נְתָּ ψ1392; רִיב֫וֹתָ thou strivest, Jb 3313, also רַ֫בְתָּ La 358. The above perfects (בִּין, רִיב, &c.) might no doubt be taken as forms middle ē (properly ĭ), the ĭ of which has been lengthened to î (like the ŭ lengthened to ŭ in the imperfect Qal of קוּם). It is more probable, however, that they are really shortened forms of Hiphʿîl. This is supported by the fact that, especially in the case of בִּין, the shortened forms are few and probably all late, while the corresponding unshortened forms with the same meaning are very numerous, e.g. perfect הֵבִין (but בִּין only in Dn 101), הֲבִֽינוֹתֶם, infinitive הָבִין (but infin. abs. בִּין only in Pr 231), imperative הָבֵן (only in Dn 923 וּבִין immediately before וְהָבֵן, also בִּ֫ינוּ three times, and בִּ֫ינָה ψ52), participle מֵבִין.[2] Elsewhere Hiphʿîl-forms are in use along with actual Qal-forms with the same meaning, thus: מֵרִיב (also רָב), מֵשִׂים placing (but only in Jb 420, which, with the critically untenable הָשִׂ֫ימִי Ez 2121, is the only instance of שׂוּם in Hiphʿîl), מֵגִיחַ breaking forth Ju 2033, with infin. Qal גִּיתוֹ; הַחִ֫ישׁוּ they rushed forth Ju 2037, with תָשׁ, חַ֫שְׁתּי; מֵצִיץ glancing, also in perfect צָץ; הֵקִיא he spat out, with imperat. Qal קְיוּ. As passives we find a few apparent imperfects Hophʿal, which are really (according to §53u) imperfects passive of Qal, e.g. יוּחַל Is 668 from חִיל to turn round, יוּשָׁר from שִׁיר to sing, יוּשַׁת from שִׁית to set.

73b 2. The above-mentioned Hiphʿîl-forms might equally well be derived from verbs ע״וּ; and the influence of the analogy of verbs ע״וּ is distinctly seen in the Niphʿal נָבוֹן (ground-form nabān), Pôlēl בּוֹנֵן, and Hithpôlēl הִתְבּוֹנֵן. The very close relation existing between verbs ע״י and ע״וּ is evident also from the fact that from some stems both forms occur side by side in Qal, thus from תִיל to turn round, imperative also ח֫וּלִי Mi 410; שִׂים to place, infinitive construct commonly שׂוּם (2 S 147 שׂים Qere), imperfect יָשִׂים, but Ex 411 יָשׂוּם. In other verbs one form is, at any rate, the more common, e.g. גִּיל to exult (גּוּל only Pr 2324 Kethîbh); from לוּן (perhaps denominative from לַ֫יִל) to spend the night, לָלוּן occurs six times as infinitive construct, לָלִין only in Gn 2423; but the imperative is always לִין, &c.—Of verbs ע״י the most common are שִׁית to set, רִיב to strive, דִּין to judge, שִׂישׂ to rejoice; cf. also perfect בָּל (middle Yôdh in Arabic) to comprehend, to measure, Is 4012; עִיט (as in Arabic and Syriac) to rush upon, and the denominative perfect קָץ (from קַ֫יִץ) to pass the summer, Is 186. On the other hand, וְדִיגוּם and they shall fish them, Jer 1616, generally explained as perfect Qal, denominative from דָּג fish, probably represents a denominative Piʿēl, וְדִיְגוּ.

73c Corresponding to verbs properly ע״ו, mentioned in §72gg, there are certain verbs ע״י with consonantal Yôdh, as אָיַב to hate, עָיֵף to faint, הָיָה to become, to be, חָיָה to live.

73d Rem. 1. In the perfect Qal 3rd fem. sing. וְלָ֫נֶה occurs once, Zc 54, for וְלָ֫נָה, with the weakening of the toneless ā to ĕ (as in the fem. participle זוּרֶה Is 595); cf. the analogous examples in §48l and §80i.—2nd sing. masc. שַׁתָּ֫ה ψ908, Qe (before ע; cf. §72s); 1st sing. once שַׁתִּ֫י ψ7328, milraʿ, without any apparent reason; 1st plur. וְלַ֫נּוּ Ju 1913 for lán-nû. The lengthened imperative has the tone on the ultima before gutturals, רִיבָ֫ה יהוה ψ351; see further, §72s.—Examples of the infinitive absolute are: רֹב litigando, Ju 1125, Jb 402; שׂוֹם Jer 4215; שֹׁת ponendo, Is 227. On the other hand, דִיב יָדִיב (for דֹב) Jer 5034, בִּין תָּבִין Pr 231, חול תחיל Ez 3016 Keth., are irregular and perhaps due to incorrect scriptio plena; for the last the Qe requires הוּל תָּחוּל, but read חוֹל; cf. §113x.

73e 2. The shortened imperfect usually has the form יָבֵן, יָשֵׂם, יָשֵׁת; more rarely, with the tone moved back, e.g. יָ֫רֶב לוֹ Ju 631, cf. Ex 231, אַל־תָּ֫שֶׁת 1 S 920. So with wāw consecutive וַיָ֫שֶׂם and he placed, וַיָ֫בֶן and he perceived; with a middle guttural וַיָ֫עַט בָּהֶם 1 S 2514 (see §72ee); with ר as 3rd radical, וַתָּ֫שַׁר Ju 51. As jussive of לִין, תָּלַ֫ן is found in Ju 1920 (in pause) and Jb 172, for תָּלֵן.—For אַל־תָּרוֹב Pr 330 Keth. (Qere תָּרִיב) read תָּרֵב.

73f 3. As participle active Qal לֵן spending the night, occurs once, Neh 1321; participle passive שִׂים Nu 2421, 1 S 924, Ob 14; feminine שׂוּמָה 2 S 1332, in the Qe, even according to the reading of the Oriental schools (see p. 38, note 2): the Kethîbh has שִׂימָה. A passive of Qal (cf. above, §52e and s, and §53u) from שִׂים may perhaps be seen in וַיִּ֫ישֶׂם Gn 5026 (also Gn 2433 Kethîbh ויישם, Qe וַיּוּשָׂם; the Samaritan in both places has ויושם), and also in יִיסָךְ Ex 3032, Samaritan יוסך. Against the explanation of ייסך as a Hophʿal-form from סוּךְ, Barth (Jubelschrift... Hildesheimer, Berlin, 1890, p. 151) rightly urges that the only example of a Hiphʿîl of סוּךְ is the doubtful וַיָ֫םֶךְ, which is probably an ĭ-imperfect of Qal.—The explanation of יישם, &c., as a passive of Qal arising from yiysam, &c. = yuysam (so Barth, ibid., note 1), is certainly also unconvincing, so that the correctness of the traditional reading is open to question.

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73g 4. In verbs ע״א the א always retains its censonantal value; these stems are, therefore, to be regarded as verbs middle Guttural (§ 64). An exception is יָנֵאץ Ec 125 if it be imperfect Hiphʿîl of נאץ (for יַנְאֵץ); but if the form has really been correctly transmitted, it should rather be referred to נָצַץ, and regarded as incorrectly written for יָנֵץ. On נָאווּ (from נַֽאֲוָה), which was formerly treated here as ע״א, see now §75x.

  1. That verbs ע״וּ and ע״י are developed from biliteral roots at a period before the differentiation of the Semitic languages is admitted even by Nöldeke (Beiträge zur sem. Sprachwiss., Strassburg, 1904, p. 34 ff.), although he contests the view that בִּינֹ֫תִי and רִיב֫וֹתָ are to be referred to Hiphʿîl with the preformative dropped.
  2. Since בנת ψ1392 might be intended for בִּנֹ֫תָ, there remains really no form of בין which must necessarily be explained as a Qal, except the ptcp. plur. בָּנִים Jer 497. Nevertheless it is highly probable that all the above instances of Hiphʿîl-forms, parallel with Qal-forms of the same meaning, are merely due to a secondary formation from the imperfects Qal יָבִין, יָשִׂים, &c., which were wrongly regarded as imperfects Hiphʿîl: so Barth, ZDMG. xliii. p. 190 f., and Nominalbildung, p. 119 f.