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Art. I.-Grammar of the Hebrew Language. By MOSES

STUART, Associate Professor of Sacred Literature in the Theological Institution, at Andover. Third Edition, 1828.

The Hebrew Language must always be an object of great interest to civilized nations, and still more to those who profess the Christian religion. In it have been preserved the oldest records which exist of the transactions of the human race, and the foundations of our faith. We rejoice to perceive that its study is extending in our country, and that works calculated to facilitate its acquisition, are already issuing from our press, one of these we propose to examine.

The limited space which we can allot to grammatical discussions, particularly when they relate to a language, which though highly important, is yet but little studied, will not permit us to review every part of the work before us. We shall, therefore, confine our observations to one important point, the construction and conjugation of the verbs.-In page 73: “$174. The usual conjugations of the verbs, are as follows: Active.

Passive and Reflective.
Form. Name.

Form. 1. Kal

? 2. Niphal


[blocks in formation]

.c& "התְקוֹמֵם Hithpolel

3 .קוֹמַם Polal

2 .קוֹמֵם Polel

“[$ 175.] Peculiar conjugations. The conjugations frequent only in certain classes of verbs, are, (a) 1 Poel 2 3 .

These conjugations are found in the class named Ayin doubled (VÝ) and very rarely appear in any other. They take the place of Piel, Pual, and Hithpael, as these appear in regular verbs ; see § 262.

*(6) In verbs Ayin Vav (14 § 269), forms similar in appearance are common substitutes for the regular Piel, Pual and Hithpael; viz: 1

. 2 . 3 ?.. The grammarians do not agree in the number of the conjugations; many, to whose opinion the author of the Grammar before us seems to adhere, constitute only seven as enumerated above; some admit eight, viz. beside these seven, one active which they name the quadriliteral conjugation, of which Hithpael is derived. Their objections to seven, as well as their reasons for eight, we suspect, are the following:

It is highly improbable that three out of seven conjugations shall be wanting in two important classes of numerous verbs yv and 10. It is at the same time incorrect to substitute for them, others in different irregular shapes and structure, whilst, these verbs are to be found : sometimes only in their original structure of Piel, Pual, and Hithpael (see table in the Appendix,) sometimes only in the quadriliteral forms, (see Appendix) and sometimes in both forms at once. which the author of our work exhibits as an example in his Paradigm, p. 208, is found in both forms, quadriliteral and common, (see Appendix.) Also the verb 017 represented by the author in bis Paradigm p. 210, is found both in common Piel, as 1992 (Ps. cxix. 28,) as well as in a quadriliteral form baix (Isa. xliv. 26,) and there exist even regular verbs in quadriliteral forms, as: (. ) (. ) (Job, xx. 26.) of verbs XD.

In the Appendix, we shall exhibit a table of all verbs in yý; it is unnecessary to draw up one of verbs W as they are plainly to be seen in all correct Lexicons. The small space allowed will only permit us to furnish the reader with one instance from the Bible, for every form in the table at the Appendix.

Ҥ 173, (b) In Hebrew grammar, the word conjugation is applied to different forms of the same verb, and corresponds in some degree with the term voice in Greek grammar, although it is employed in a much more extensive sense. The passive and middle voices, in Greek, exhibit the original idea of the verb under certain modifications, or with

סבב Even the verb

(.16 .Ezek . viii) מִשְׁתַּחֲוִיהֶם יְהנָך refer to הָרָה meaning like השתַּחֲוִיהֶם and Praeter מִשְׁתַּחום composed of the participle Kal

some additional shades of meaning. So the property of all the conjugations in Hebrew, is to vary the primary meaning of the verb, by uniting with it an accessory signification. The Hebrews were thus enabled to express, by means of their conjugations, all those various modifications and relations of verbs, which, in most other languages, are expressed either by composite verbs, or by several words.

(Note.) “The most convenient arrangement is, to make as many conjugations as there are forms of verbs, original and derived. These are presented to view in the following section.”

There are found verbs in the Bible composed first, of two different tenses in one conjugation; secondly, of two different conjugations in one signification; and thirdly, of two different roots and meanings.

To the first class belongs molino (Gen. svi. 11.) composed of Kal Praeter ņ7; and participle nyh and may in the last 737; (. )

? -Chaldean version is youud osanno, and consequently it is composed of two different roots 78704 and nne. To the second class belong -777? (Ps. vii. 6.) composed of Fut. Kal977 and Fut. Piel 977, the meaning of which may be—let the enemy he himself persecute and cause or make another persecute;"> -17593. (1 Chron. iii. 5.) composed of Praeter Niphal 19513

, and 175 as Praeter Pual; 100!? (Ezeck. xxiii. 48.) composed of Niphel and Hithpael, the Daghesch in the Vav supplies the wanting Tav, and that in the Samech is the mark of the conjugation; the same is with 720)? (Deut. xxi. 8.) the Daghesh in Kaph supplies the wanting of Tav and that in the Pe is the mark of the conjugation ; 151 (Isa. lix. 3.) composed of Ni

), (. . ) MX0.7 (Deut. xxvi. 4.) and composed of Hophal and Hithpael, the Daghesh in the Kuph in the first instance, as well as that in the Teth, in the second instance, are supplies for the wanting Tavs, the Shure of the He, in both instances, marks the conjugation Hapbal. To the third class may belong 1977579 (Jer. xv. 10.) composed of the root

, contemn, the He changed into Varma kind of calembourg

"$ 187, (a) Hithpael prefixes 7 to the Inf. form of Piel; e. g Inf. Pi. , . .

Levit . xiii . 55. ) as well as) הכבס ; גאלו and Pual ,נגְאֲלוּ phal

undergoes several mutations , when it הת b

) The characteristic) ]*

() comes before the Sibilants or the cognate letters. E. g.

"(1) Before a Sibilant, the changes places with it; as in the following examples; viz.

Kal ס*

Hithpa סבל


התכבל instead of הסתבל

השתגב הִתְטַגֶב

הִשְׁתַּתֵּר התשפר

הִצְטַדֶק הִתְצַדֶק



is not only transposed , but changed ת In the latter case

( y ) , the * ,This case

, however , is very unfrequent in Hebrew .ט into its cognate

“ (s), ,

. , , , though common in the cognate languages."

The changing place of the Tav refer almost to all classes of regular and irregular verbs, as

() ,


Inf. const.
Inf. const.


,Participle מתשאה Gen. xxiv

instead of) משתאה


1) משתגע מהשגע


xvi) תִשְׁתָּרֵר הִתְשָׂרֵר (.6

.IIaggai i) משׂתכר מִתְשׂכַּר


ii) בְּהִשְׁתַּבֵּךְ. בְּהִתְאַשפַךְ


xviii) וָאֶשְׁתַּמֵר ואתשמר


cvi) לְהִשְׁתַּבֵּחַ לְהִתשבח - (.19 .Sam


1) מִסְתַּתֵּר
- (.19


1) מהסתפח

lxxxiv) הסְתּוֹפֵף הָרְסוֹפֵף .Jer) וְהתְּשׁוֹטְטְנָה There is found one exception of this rule

Inf. const. Part.

. Inf. const. Inf. absal.

is found (צ) letters

The last rule of the change of the

() , צְטַבַּע ,

? (. xlix. 3.) probably to avoid the sound of three successive bard

(.(3) also in Chaldea, yaus", (Dan. iv. 30.)

" $ 176. Unusual Conjugations. Most of these are of very rare occurrence; and several of them occur not more than two or three times, in the whole Scriptures. They are as follows; viz:" (1) Hothpaal or Huthpaal

, 549777, Sopony, both passive forms of Hithpael. Comp. Pual in § 174. They are of very rare occurrence.

* (2) Pilel active, and Pulal passive, 35op Shop, (comp $ 175. 6. Note,) occurring only in five or six cases, in regular verbs.

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