Gesenius' Hebrew Grammar/112. The Perfect with Wāw Consecutive

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Gesenius' Hebrew Grammar  (1909) 
Wilhelm Gesenius
edited and enlarged by Emil Kautzsch
, translated by Arthur Ernest Cowley
The Perfect with Wāw Consecutive

§112. The Perfect with Wāw Consecutive.

G. R. Berry, ‘Waw consecutive with the perfect in Hebrew,’ in Bibl. Lit., xxii. (1903), pp. 60–69.

112a 1. The perfect, like the imperfect (§ 111), is used with wāw consecutive (cf. §49a; on the external differentiation of the perfect consecutive by a change in the position of the tone, see §49h) to express actions, events, or states, which are to be attached to what precedes, in a more or less close relation, as its temporal or logical consequence. And as, according to §111a, the narrative which begins with a perfect, or its equivalent, is continued in the imperfect consecutive, so, vice versa, the perfect consecutive forms the regular continuation to a preceding imperfect, or its equivalent.

111b Rem. 1. This alternation of perfect and imperfect or their equivalents is a striking peculiarity of the consecutio temporum in Hebrew. It not only affords a certain compensation for the lack of forms for tenses and moods, but also gives to Hebrew style the charm of an expressive variety, an action conceived as being still in progress (imperfect, &c.), reaching afterwards in the perfect a calm and settled conclusion, in order to be again exhibited in movement in the imperfect, and vice versa.[1] The strict regularity of this alternation belongs indeed rather to the higher style, and even then it depends upon the view and intention of the speaker, whether he wishes the action, &c., to be regarded as the logical consequence of what has preceded, or as simply co-ordinate with it, and so in the same tense.

111c 2. A succession of any number of other perfects consecutive may be co-ordinated with a perfect consecutive (cf. e.g. Ez 1413, Am 519, Ru 33, four perfects in each case, Is 87 five, Ex 66f. eight). It is true, however, of the perfect (as conversely of the imperfect, §112c), that as soon as the Wāw is separated by any intervening word from the verb to which it belongs, an imperfect necessarily takes the place of the perfect, e.g. Gn 1212 when the Egyptians shall see thee, they shall say (וְאָֽמְרוּ), This is his wife: and they will kill me (וְהָֽרְנוּ אֹתִי) but thee they will save alive (וְאֹתָךְ יְהַיּוּ).

111d 2. The perfect consecutive, like the imperfect consecutive, always belongs to the period of time expressed by the preceding tense, or its equivalent, with which it is connected as the temporal or logical consequence. The particular cases may be classed under three heads: (a) the perfect consecutive in immediate dependence (see e), (b) in loose connexion (see x) with the preceding, and (c) the perfect consecutive at the beginning of the apodosis to other sentences, or their equivalents (see ff).

111e 3. The perfect consecutive in immediate dependence on the preceding tense, or its equivalent, serves

(a) As a frequentative tense to express past actions, &c., i.e. actions repeatedly brought to a conclusion in the past, and follows tenses, or their equivalents, representing actions which have continued or been repeated in the past:

(α) After a simple imperfect, e.g. Gn 26 אֵד יַֽעֲלֶה there went up a mist (again and again) from the earth, וְהִשְׁקָה and watered (as it were, and ever watered afresh), &c. This frequentative use of the perfect consecutive is equally evident after frequentative imperfects, Gn 210 (וְהָיָה and it became again every time; וַיְהִי would mean, and it became so once for all); 29:2f. (four perfects consecutive referring to actions repeated daily); Ex 337–11 יִקַּח he used to take at each new encampment the tent, וְנָטָה and to pitch it again every time without the camp; notice, amongst the numerous frequent. perff. consec., the imperf. in vv. 7, 8, 9, 11, always in a frequentative sense; 34:34f., Nu 919, 21 (among several simple imperfects), 10:17, Ju 219, 1 S 219 תַּֽעֲשֶׂה she used to make... וְהַֽעַלְתָה and brought it to him from year to year; 279 (וְלָקַח), 1 K 1428, 2 K 325, 1215 (in verses 16f. imperfects occur again). So also in dependent sentences, Gn 64 (וְיָֽלְדוּ as a continuation of יָבֹאוּ), Jb 3129.[2]

111f (β) After an imperfect consecutive, e.g. Ex 393 (Samaritan וקצצו), 1 S 57 (? see §112rr), 716, 2 S 152,5, 1613 and he threw stones at him, וְעִפַּר and east dust continually; 1216, 2 K 610, 1211, Jer 3715, Jb 15.

111g Rem. The frequentative perfect consecutive is sometimes joined even with imperfects consecutive which simply express one single action or occurrence in the past; thus Ex 1826, 4031 f., 1 S 14, 2 S 151 f., 1 K 1427 (cf. verse 28); 1 K 184, 2 K 1210. For other examples of a loosely connected frequentative perfect consecutive, see below, dd.

111h (γ) After a perfect, Gn 373 (וְעָשָׂה לוֹ, i.e. as often as he needed a new garment)[3]; Gn 317, Nu 118, 1 S 1614, 2 K 34, ψ 226;[4] in interrogative sentences, 1 S 269 who has ever, &c.; ψ 8013, Jb 11,4, Ru 47.

111i (δ) After an infinitive, Am 111 עַל־רָדְפוֹ because he did pursue his brother, וְשִׁחֵת and (on each occasion) did east off all pity (then an imperfect consecutive); after an infinitive absolute, Jos 613, 2 S 1319, Jer 2314.

111k (ε) After a participle, Is 63 (וְקָרָא), &c., frequentative, as a continuation of עֹֽמְדִים, verse 2); 1 S 222, 2 S 1717.[5]

111l (ζ) After other equivalents of tenses, e.g. Gn 4722 the priests had a portion from Pharaoh, וְאָֽכְלוּ and did eat (year by year), &c.; 1 K 47.

111m (b) To express present actions, &c., as the temporal or logical consequence of actions or events which continue or are repeated in the present, especially such as have, according to experience, been at all times frequently repeated, and may be repeated at any time:

(α) After a simple imperfect, e.g. Gn 224 therefore a man leaves (יַֽעֲזֹב is accustomed to leave) ... וְדָבַק and cleaves, &c., here, as frequently elsewhere, clearly with the secondary idea of purpose, i.e. in order to cleave; Is 511 (if וְהָיָה is to be taken as a continuation of יַדְלִיקֵם); Is 2828, Jer 123, Ho 43, 77, ψ 906, Jb 149; also in dependent clauses, Lv 2018, Is 298,11 f., Am 519.

111n (β) After a participle, as the equivalent of a sentence representing a contingent action, &c., e.g. Ex 2112 מַכֵּה אִישׁ וָמֵת (instead of מַכֵּה there is in verse 20, &c. וְכִי יַכֶּה אִישׁ) if one smite a man and (so that) he die, &c., Ex 2116, Is 2915, Am 61, Hb 212.

111o (γ) After an infinitive absolute, Jer 79 f. will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery (simple infinitives absolute; cf. §113ee), וּבָאתֶם and then come and stand before me... and say, &c.; cf. below, u.

111p (c) To express future actions, &c., as the temporal or logical consequence of tenses, or their equivalents, which announce or require such future actions or events. Thus—

(α) After imperfects in the sense of a simple future, e.g. Am 93 f. מִשָּׁם אֲחַפֵּשׂ וּלְקַחְתִּים I will search and take them out thence, &c.; Gn 414, 4013, Ex 73, 1 S 1732, 2 K 511, Jb 86 f. (also with a change of subject, Gn 2712, Ju 616, &c.); and in interrogative sentences, Gn 399, Ex 27, 2 S 1218, 2 K 1410, Am 88, ψ 416; cf. also Ru 111; in sentences expressing a wish, 2 S 154; as well as in almost all kinds of dependent clauses. Also in conditional clauses after אִם־ Gn 329, Ex 195, 1 S 111, or כִּי Gn 3726, or הֵן Jer 31; in final clauses after לְמַ֫עַן Gn 1213, Nu 1540, Is 2813; after אֲשֶׁר Dt 225, or פֶּן־ Gn 322, 1919, 3212, Is 610, Am 56; in temporal clauses, Is 3215, Jer 1316; and in relative clauses, Gn 2414, Ju 112, 1 S 1726.

111q (β) After the jussive (or an imperfect in the sense of a jussive or optative) or cohortative, with the same or a different subject, e.g. Gn 114 f. יְהִי מְאֹרֹת... וְחָיוּ let there be lights... and let them be, &c.; Gn 244, 283, 3144, 1 K 12, 2213, Ru 27, 1 Ch 2211; after a jussive expressing an imprecation, ψ 10910.

111r (γ) After an imperative, also with the same or a different subject, e.g. 2 S 75 לֵךְ וְאָֽמַרְתָּ go and tell (that thou mayst tell), &c., and often, perf. consec. after לֵךְ (as also the perf. consec. of אָמַר and דִּבֶּר very frequently follows other imperatives); Gn 614, 817, 2743 f., 1 S 153, 18, 1 K 236, Jer 4826.

111s (δ) After perfects which express a definite expectation or assurance (cf. §106m and n), e.g. Gn 1720 הִנֵּה בֵּרַ֫כְתִּי אֹתוֹ וְהִפְרֵתִי אֹתוֹ behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, &c.; Is 211, 514; on Am 47 see above, note 3 on h; in an interrogative sentence, Ju 99, 1113.

111t (ε) After a participle, e.g. Gn 74 for yet seven days, אָֽנֹכִי מַמְטִיר and I will cause it to rain... וּמָחִ֫יתִי and I will (i.e. in order to) destroy, &c.; Jer 219; also with a different subject, Gn 2443 f. the maiden which cometh forth (הַיֹּצֵאת)... וְאָֽמַרְתִּי אֵלֶ֫יהָ to whom I shall say..., וְאָֽמְרָה and she (then) shall say, &c. This use of the perfect consecutive is especially frequent after a participle introduced by הִנֵּה, e.g. Gn 617 f.; with a different subject 1 K 2036, Am 614; after a complete noun-clause introduced by הִנֵּה (cf. § 140), Ex 313 behold, I come (i.e. if I shall come)... וְאָֽמַרְתִּי לָהֶם and shall say unto them..., וְאָֽמְרוּ and they (then) shall say, &c.; 1 S 148 ff., Is 714, 87 f., 39:6.

111u (ζ) After an infinitive absolute, whether the infinitive absolute serves to strengthen the finite verb (see §113t), e.g. Is 315, or is used as an emphatic substitute for a cohortative or imperfect (§ 113 dd and ee), e.g. Lv 26, Dt 116, Is 55, Ez 2346 f.

111v (η) After an infinitive construct governed by a preposition (for this change from the infinitive construction to the finite verb, cf. §114r), e.g. 1 S 108 עַד־בּוֹאִי אֵלֶ֫יךָ וְהֽוֹדַעְתִּי לְךָ till I come unto thee (prop. until my coming) and show thee, &c.; Gn 1825, 2745, Ju 618, Ez 3927; cf. 1 K 237, 42.

111w Rem. To the same class belong 1 S 1424, where the idea of time precedes, until it be evening and until I be avenged, &c., and Is 58, where the idea of place precedes, in both cases governed by עַד־.

111x 4. The very frequent use of the perfect consecutive in direct dependence upon other tenses (see above, d–v) explains how it finally obtained a kind of independent force—especially for the purpose of announcing future events—and might depend loosely on sentences to which it stood only in a wider sense in the relation of a temporal or logical consequence. Thus the perfect consecutive is used—

(a) To announce future events, &c., in loose connexion with a further announcement, e.g. Gn 4130 וְקָמוּ and two co-ordinate perfects consecutive, equivalent to but then shall arise, &c.; frequently so after הִנֵּה with a following substantive (1 S 98), or a participial clause (cf. the analogous instances above, under t), e.g. 1 S 231 behold, the days come, וְנָֽדַעְתִּי that I will cut off, &c.; Is 396, Am 42, 811, 913, and very often in Jeremiah; after an expression of time, Ex 174, Is 1025, 2917, Jer 5133, Ho 14. Further, when joined to a statement concerning present or past facts, especially when these contain the reason for the action, &c., expressed in the perfect consecutive; cf. Is 67 lo, this hath touched thy lips, וְסָר therefore thine iniquity shall be taken away, &c. (not copulative and it is taken away, since it is parallel with a simple imperfect), Gn 2011, 2622, Ju 133 (here in an adversative sense); Ho 814. In loose connexion with a noun-clause, a long succession of perfects consecutive occurs in Ex 66 ff. Also in Amos 526 וּנְשָׁאתֶם may be an announcement yea, ye shall take up; but cf. below, rr. 111y Rem. 1. Very frequently the announcement of a future event is attached by means of וְהָיָה[6] and it shall come to pass (cf. the analogous continuation in the past by means of וַיְהִי, § 111, 2), after which the event announced (sometimes after a long parenthesis) follows in one or more (co-ordinate) perfects consecutive, Gn 914, 1212 (וְהָיָה כִי=if, as in 46:33, Ex 110, 2226 and frequently), 1 K 1812, Is 143 f., Am 89; or in the imperfect, Gn 414, Is 22, 324, 43, 718, 21 ff. (cf. 29:8); or in the jussive, Lv 149. It very rarely happens that the verb which is thus loosely added, agrees in gender and number with the following subject, as in Nu 527, Jer 4216 וְהָֽיְתָה (before הַחֶ֫רֶב), and in Jer 4217 וְיִהְיוּ (before כָּל־הָֽאֲנָשִׁים).

111z 2. The jussive form וִיהִי occurs (in the sense described in y) instead of וְהָיָה in 1 S 105, 2 S 524 (1 Ch 1415), 1 K 145, Ru 34, although in the first three places a jussive is wholly inadmissible in the context, and even in Ru 34 (where an admonition follows) וְהָיָה would be expected (see below, bb). In 1 K 145 the form is a textual error, and the pointing should simply be וַיְהִי. In the other passages ויהי (always before an infinitive with a preposition) stands at the beginning of the sentence at an unusually long distance from the principal tone, and hence is certainly to be explained according to §109k, except that in 1 S 105, &c., the simply rhythmical jussive form takes the place, not of the full imperfect form, but (exceptionally) of the perfect consecutive.

111aa (b) To introduce a command or wish: Dt 1019 love ye therefore the stranger; 1 S 65, 2416, 1 K 26 (in Gn 4014 the precative perfect consecutive, as elsewhere the cohortative, jussive, and imperative, is strengthened by means of נָא). So, also, in loose connexion with participial and other noun-clauses (see above, x), Gn 4512 f., 1 K 22 f., Ru 33 f., 3:9.—In Gn 1711 the perfect consecutive (וּנְמַלְתֶּם and ye shall be circumcised, &c.) is used to explain a preceding command.

111bb Rem. As in the cases mentioned above under y, the connexion may be made by means of וְהָיָה. Thus with a following perfect consecutive, e.g. Gn 4633, 4724, Ju 420. Cf. also Gn 2414, where the real wish, at least as regards the sense, is contained in the next sentence.

111cc (c) To introduce a question, whether in loose connexion with another interrogative sentence (see above, p), e.g. Gn 2915 art thou my brother (equivalent to, Surely thou art), וַֽעֲבַדְתַּ֫נִי and shouldest thou then serve me for naught? or with a positive statement, e.g. Ex 55 (וְהִשְׁבַּתֶּם will ye then make them rest?); Nu 1610, 1 S 2511, and (if it is Mileraʿ) ψ 5021 (וְהֶֽהֱרַשְׁתִּי).

111dd (d) To introduce actions frequently repeated hence analogous to the numerous examples of a frequentative perfect consecutive, above, under e), e.g. 1 S 13 (וְעָלָה of annual festival journeys); 13:21 (where, however, the text appears radically corrupt); 27:9 (וְהִכָּה, i.e. every time, therefore continued by means of וְלֹא יְחַיֶּה); 1 K 57 (וְכִלְכְּלוּ, parallel with a simple imperfect); 9:25, Jer 254, Ho 1211, Dn 84.—In Jb 14 f. a series of frequentative perfects consecutive is interrupted by an imperfect consecutive, while a simple imperfect (as the modus rei repetitae) forms the conclusion. In Jer 617 a similar perfect is expressly marked, by placing the tone on the final syllable (according to §49h), as parallel with the real perfects consecutive.

111ee Rem. The loose connexion of tempora frequentativa by וְהָיָה (cf. the Rem. on y and bb) is also very common in this sense; thus with a following perfect consecutive, Gn 3041 f. (but in verse 42a, where the verb is separated from the Wāw by an insertion, we find לֹא יָשִׂים he used not to put them in, according to §107e); Gn 389, Ex 1711, 337 ff. (see above, e), Nu 219, Ju 63, 1930, 1 S 1623 (followed by five perfects consecutive); 2 S 155; with a following imperfect (as the modus rei repetitae), Ju 219, 2 S 1426.—In Ju 125 f. והיה, contrary to what would be expected, is continued by means of the imperfect consecutive, and in 1 S 1322 by וְלֹא with the perfect (instead of the imperfect).

111ff 5. Further, the perfect consecutive is very frequently employed with a certain emphasis to introduce the apodosis after sentences (or their equivalents) which contain a condition, a reason, or a statement of time. Such an apodosis, as in the cases already treated, may represent either future events, or commands and wishes, or even events which have been often repeated in the past. Thus—

(a) The perfect consecutive occurs in the apodosis to conditional sentences[7] (§159g, o, s):

(α) After אִם with the imperfect, e.g. 2 K 74b אִם־יְמִיתֻ֫נוּ וָמָֽתְנוּ if they kill us, (well then) we shall but die; here the perfect consecutive is used obviously with greater emphasis than the imperfect (נִחְיֶה) which immediately precedes; Gn 1826, 248, 41, 32:9, Nu 3015, Ju 420, 1 S 111, 206, 1 K 314, Na 312, Ec 411.

111gg (β) After אִם with the perfect (in the sense of a futurum exactum), Nu 527, 2 K 520, 74a, Is 44 f.; as precative apodosis after אִם־נָא with the perf. preteritum, Gn 3310; as a frequentative perfect consecutive, to represent past events in the apodosis after אִם with a perfect, Gn 389, Nu 219, Ju 63, Jb 74; after אִם with imperfect, Gn 318.

111hh (γ) After כִּי (in case, suppose that) with the imperfect, Gn 1212, Ex 1816, Ju 1317, Is 587, Ez 1413.[8] Frequentative with reference to the past, after כִּי with frequentative perfect, Ju 218, Jb 713f. 111ii (δ) After אֲשֶׁר with the imperfect, Gn 449 אֲשֶׁר יִמָּצֵא אִתּוֹ... וָמֵת with whomsoever... it be found, let him die; with the perfect, Ex 2113 and if a man lie not in wait, &c.; Ju 112.

111kk (ε) Very frequently after a perfect consecutive (one or more) containing the condition, e.g. Gn 4429 וְהֽוֹרַדְתֶּם... וּלְקַחְתֶּם גַּם־אֶת־זֶה and if ye take (or shall have taken) this one also... ye shall bring down, &c.; cf. Gn 3313, 4238, 444, 22, 47:30, Nu 3012, Ru 29, and probably also Ez 3928.—Also frequentative in reference to the past, e.g. 1 S 1734 f.... וּבָא הָֽאֲרִי וְיָצָ֫אתִי and when there came (as sometimes happened) a lion... I went out, &c.; Ex 3310, Nu 1017 ff., 1 K 1810, Jer 209 (the perfects consecutive being regularly continued in the apodosis by וְלֹא with an imperfect[9]).

111ll Rem. The perfect consecutive may be used also in the protasis to express a condition when the employment of the perfect consecutive in the apodosis has become impossible, owing to an emphatic word having to stand before it; thus in Ez 1414 on account of הֵ֫מָּה; 33:4 on account of דָּמוֹ.—In 1 S 1452 the imperfect consecutive, contrary to what might be expected, stands in the apodosis, and when Saul saw any... valiant man, he took him unto him, where וַיַּֽאַסְפֵ֫הוּ suggests the special case, rather than a repeated occurrence; cf. 2 S 152. Conversely, in 1 S 216 (וַיֹּאמֶֹר perhaps a mere mistake for וְאָמַר), 17:35 b an imperfect consecutive stands in the protasis.

111mm (ζ) After various equivalents of sentences, which contain a condition; thus, after a substantive standing absolutely, or a participle (a casus pendens), Gn 1714 וְעָרֵל זָכָר... וְנִכְרְתָה וג׳ and the uncircumcised male (in case such an one be found), he shall be cut off, &c.; cf. Gn 3032, Ex 1215, 2 S 1410, Is 613, and (after an infinitive with a preposition) 2 S 714; in a wider sense also Ex 421, 919, 1244, Is 94, 565.

111nn (b) The perfect consecutive serves as the apodosis to causal clauses; thus e.g. after יַ֫עַן כִּי with the perfect, Is 316 f.; after יַ֫עַן אֲשֶׁר with perfect, 1 K 2028; after עֵ֫קֶב with perfect, Nu 1424; also after what are equivalent to causal clauses, e.g. ψ 2511 (לְמַ֫עַן שִׁמְךָ... וְסָֽלַחְתָּ for thy name’s sake... pardon...); Is 3729 after יַ֫עַן with an infinitive.

111oo (c) The perfect consecutive occurs as the apodosis to temporal clauses or their equivalents, e.g. 1 S 215 בְּטֶ֫רֶם יַקְטִרוּן אֶת־הַחֵ֫לֶב נַ֫עַר הַכֹּהֵן... וּבָא before they burnt the fat, the priest’s servant came (used to come), &c., hence a frequentative perfect consecutive relating to the past, as in Ex 119; also after participial clauses (§116w), e.g. 1 S 213 f. כָּל־אִישׁ זֹבֵחַ זֶ֫בַח... וּבָא when(ever) any man offered sacrifice, then came, &c. (so Ju 1930, 2 S 2012), with a frequentative perfect consecutive. The perfect consecutive is very frequently used to announce future actions or events after simple expressions of time of any kind; thus Gn 35, Ex 3234 (after בְּיוֹם with the infinitive), cf. also such examples as Gn 4431, Ju 162, Jos 610, 1 S 122, 1623 (numerous frequentative perfects consecutive after the infinitive with a preposition; so 2 S 155, see above, ee); 1 S 2018, 2 S 1426, 1510, Is 185; moreover, Ex 174, Is 1025, 2917, 3726; even after single disconnected words, e.g. Ex 166 עֶ֫רֶב וִֽידַעְתֶּם at even (when it becomes evening) then ye shall know; cf. verse 7, Lv 716, 1 K 1331, Pr 2427.

111pp 6. Finally there still remains a number of passages which cannot be classed with any of those hitherto mentioned. Of these, some are due to the influence of Aramaic modes of expression, while in others the text is evidently corrupt.[10] In a few instances we can do no more than merely call attention to the incorrectness of the expression. (We are not of course concerned here with the cases—usually occurring in dependent clauses—in which a 2nd pers. perf. with Wāw copulative is simply co-ordinate with what precedes, as in Gn 286, and probably Nu 2115, Dt 332.)

(a) The influence of the Aramaic construction of the perfect with וְ as the narrative tense, instead of the Hebrew imperfect consecutive (cf. Kautzsch, Gramm. des Bibl.-Aram., §71b), is certainly to be traced in Qoheleth, and sporadically in other very late books,[11] perhaps also in a few passages in the hooks of Kings, which are open to the suspicion of being due to later interpolation; so probably 1 K 1232 וְהֶֽעֱמִידִ; 2 K 111 Keth. וראתה; 14:14 וְלָקַח (in the parallel passage, 2 Ch 2524, the word is wanting); 2 K 234 וְנַשָׂא, &c.; verse 10 וְטִמֵּא, &c.; verse 12 וְהִשְׁלִיךְ, &c.; verse 15 וְשָׂרַף, &c.[12] Cf. also Ez 372, 7, 10.

111qq (b) The text is certainly corrupt in Is 406 (read with the LXX and Vulgate וָאֹֽמַר); Jer 3828, where the narrative breaks off in the middle of the sentence; 40:3 (וְהָיָה, &c., wanting in the LXX); also in Ju 713 וְנָפַל הָאֹהֶל is altogether redundant; in 1 S 313 read, with Klostermann, the 2nd sing. masc. instead of והגדתי; in 1 K 2112 וְהשִׁ֫יבוּ is, no doubt, incorrectly repeated from verse 9, where it is an imperative.

112rr Of other questionable instances, (α) the following, at any rate, may also be explained as frequentatives, Gn 2125, 4923, Ex 3638, 3828, 393, 1 S 57, 1720, 2411 (but even so וְאָֽמְרוּ would be expected); 2 K 2312, Is 2826 (parallel with an imperfect); Am 526 (unless it is rather, yea, ye shall take up; see above, x); ψ 263, Ezr 836.

112ss (β) A longer or constant continuance in a past state is perhaps represented by the perfect with וְ (as a variety of the frequentative perfect with וְ), in Gn 156, 345, Nu 2120, Jos 912, 223b, Is 2214, Jer 39. But the unusual perfects consec. in Jos 153–11, 16:2–8 (ultimately parallel with an imperf. as in 17:9, 18:20), 18:12–21, 19:11–14.22.26–29.34, are without doubt rightly explained by Bennett (SBOT., Joshua, p. 23) as originally containing the directions either of God to Joshua or of Joshua to the people; cf. the evident trace of this in 15:4b. A redactor transformed the directions into a description but left the perfects consec., which are to be explained as in aa. In the same way וְהָיוּ Ex 3629 is most simply explained as repeated from 26:25.

112tt (γ) The following are due to errors in the text, or to incorrect modes of expression: Ex 3629 f., Ju 323,[13] 16:18 (read וַיַּֽעֲלוּ), 1 S 419, 1738, 2 S 165, 1918 f. (read צָֽלְחוּ and וַיַּֽעַבְרוּ), 1 K 311 (where ושאלת is, no doubt intentionally, assimilated to the four other perfects); 13:3, 20:21; 2 K 147 (where, with Stade, וְאֶת־הַסֶּ֫לַע תּפַשׁ should be read); 14:14, 18:4 (where, at any rate, וְשִׁבַּר might be taken as a frequentative, but not וכרת, &c.; evidently the perfects are co-ordinated only in form with הוּא הֵסִיר); 18:36, 21:15, 24:14, Jer 3715 (where וְהִכּוּ, but not וְנָֽתְנוּ, might be frequentative); Ez 97 (omit וְיָֽצְאוּ with Stade, and read וְהַכּוּ); 20:22 (והשבתי Milʿêl before an imperfect consecutive); Am 74 (וְאָכְלָה after an imperfect consecutive); Jb 1612.

112uu Finally, in 1 S 112, 109, 1748, 2520, 2 S 616, 2 K 315, Jer 3711, Am 72 וַיְהִי is to be read throughout instead of וְהָיָה, but in Gn 385 וְהִיא with the LXX.

  1. It is difficult to give a proper explanation of this phenomenon (according to §49a, note, to be found only in the Canaanitish group of languages), when we have given up the theory of a special wāw conversivum in the unscientific sense mentioned in §49b, note, at the end, and if we accept the fact that the perfect and imperfect consecutive cannot possibly be used in a way which contradicts their fundamental character as described in §§ 106 and 107. In other words, even the perfect consecutive originally represents a finally completed action, &c., just as the imperfect consecutive represents an action whichis only beginning, becoming or still continuing, and hence in any case incomplete. The simplest view is to suppose, that the use of the perfect consecutive originated from those cases, in which it had to express the conclusion (or final consequence) of an action which was continued (or repeated) in past time (see the examples above), and that this use was afterwards extended to other cases, in which it had to represent the temporal or logical consequence of actions, &c., still in progress, and thus in the end a regular interchange of the two tenses became recognized.
  2. Also in Ez 4412 (where Stade, ZAW. v. 293, would read שֵֽׁרְתוּ and וַיִּֽהְיוּ) the unusual tenses may have been intentionally chosen: because they continually ministered and so always became afresh...
  3. Driver, on this passage, rightly refers to 1 S 219.
  4. Am 47 would also come under this head, if וְהִמְטַרְתִּ֫י is really intended, and the statement refers to the past; מָנַ֫עְתִּי might, however, also be a perfect expressing positive assurance (§106m), and the passage would then come under s.
  5. That וְהָֽלְכָה, &c., are frequentatives (the maidservant used to go repeatedly and tell them) may be seen from יֵֽלֵכוּ (necessarily an imperfect, since it is separated from וְ by הֵם) and יֽוּכְלוּ; on the other hand in verse 18 וַיַּרְא and וַיֵּֽלְכוּ of actions which happened only once.
  6. On the various combinations with וָהָיָה see König’s statistics in ZAW. xix. 272 ff.
  7. In a number of the examples of this kind the protasis is already loosely connected by means of והיה, and hence some of them had to be already mentioned above, under y, bb, ee.
  8. In 1 S 2419 a question appears to be expressed by the perfect consecutive, for if a man find his enemy, will he let him go well away? Probably, however, with Klostermann, וּמִי should be read for וְכִי.
  9. In all these examples (not only in the frequentative perfects consecutive) the original idea of the perfect, which also underlies the perfect consecutive, comes out very distinctly. Gn 4429 (see above) implies in the mind of the speaker, If it ever shall have come to this, that ye have taken this one also, then ye have thereby brought me down to Sheol.
  10. Mayer Lambert, REJ. xxvi. 55, is probably right in pointing some of these forms as infin. abs. instead of perfects.
  11. In the whole of Qoheleth the imperfect consecutive occurs only in 117 and 41,7. Several of the perfects with וְ can no doubt be explained as frequentatives, e.g. 113, 25, 5:18, compared with 62; but this is impossible in such passages as 914 ff. In Ezra, Driver reckons only six examples of the historical perfect with וְ, in Nehemiah only six, and in Esther six or seven.
  12. Stade in ZAW. v. 291 ff. and in Ausgeäwhlte akad. Reden, Giessen, 1899, p. 194 ff. and appendix p. 199, discusses, in connexion with 2 K 1212, a number of critically questionable perfects with וְ. He considers that the whole section, 2 K 234 from וְנָשָׂא to verse 5 inclusive, is to be regarded as a gloss, since the continuation of an imperfect consecutive by means of a perfect with וְ never occurs in pre-exilic documents, except in places where it is due to corruption of the original text. The theory of frequentative perfects consecutive (even immediately after imperfects consecutive), which has been supported above, under f and g, by a large number of examples, is quite inconsistent with the character of the action in 2 K 235 וְהִשְׁבִּית, verse 8 וְנָתָץ, and verse 14 וְשִׁבַּר.
  13. Or does ונעל, as a frequentative, imply fastening with several bolts? It is, at all events, to be noticed, that in 2 S 1318 also ונעל follows an imperfect consecutive.