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Verb Tense in the Peshitta Tanakh
I can't answer for the Peshitta, but I thought it would be worth mentioning that verb tense is a funny thing in Hebrew (compared to how we would think in English). Within Hebrew there isn't actually a past, present or future tense. Rather you have a completed action (perfect) or incompleted action (imperfect). The completed action / perfect is similar to our past tense and the incompleted action / imperfect is similar to our future tense. What makes it even more complicated though is that it switches when coupled with a vav (vav revsersive and vav conversive respectively). So in Genesis 1:7 for example, we read "vayya'as Elohim et ha-ra'qia - And God made the firmameant/expanse". The verb asa (make/do) in the first word is 3rd masculine singular imperfect which would usually be rendered as "he (Elohim) will do / make" but when you put the vav (and, but, then, etc.) in front, it is rendered in the English past tense (and he made / did).

Now, question for language scholars beyond my current comprehension: even though it is rendered in the Enlgish past tense, is there still a significance to the fact that the verb is imperfect as ScorpioSniper is alluding to?

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Re: Verb Tense in the Peshitta Tanakh - by Luc Lefebvre - 10-24-2012, 02:10 PM

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