Biblical Hebrew: Does the participle express contemporaneity with the moment of speaking?


Hi. In Biblical Hebrew when you have a participle does it express contemporaneity with the moment of speaking?

In Judges 25:2 there is דַּבֵּר אֶל בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאָמַרְתָּ אֲלֵהֶם כִּי תָבֹאוּ אֶל הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר אֲנִי נֹתֵן לָכֶם וְשָׁבְתָה הָאָרֶץ שַׁבָּת לַיהוָה.

"Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye come into the land which I give you, then shall the land keep a sabbath unto the Lord."

Thanks, everyone.
  • Drink

    Senior Member
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    It does not necessarily. The participle is not marked for time. It can be past, present, or future, depending on context.

    Ali Smith

    Senior Member
    Urdu - Pakistan
    But then why does the author go out of his way to specify the past in the following:

    וּמֹשֶׁ֗ה הָיָ֥ה רֹעֶ֛ה אֶת־צֹ֛אן יִתְר֥וֹ חֹתְנ֖וֹ כֹּהֵ֣ן מִדְיָ֑ן וַיִּנְהַ֤ג אֶת־הַצֹּאן֙ אַחַ֣ר הַמִּדְבָּ֔ר וַיָּבֹ֛א אֶל־הַ֥ר הָאֱלֹהִ֖ים חֹרֵֽבָה׃
    (שמות ג א)

    Wouldn't וּמֹשֶׁ֗ה רֹעֶ֛ה אֶת־צֹ֛אן יִתְר֥וֹ have worked just as well?


    I think the participle in Biblical Hebrew always expresses a progressive meaning, but the tense must be gained from the context.