Classical Hebrew: past tense for habitual activity


Bahasa Melayu

Is it true that sometimes the UNconverted past tense is used to denote habitual activity in Biblical Hebrew? When this happens what is the tense? Past, present, or future?

Thank you
  • No, only the participle or prefix conjugation can be used to express habitual activity in Biblical Hebrew. E.g.

    הִנֵּ֧ה יְהֹוָ֛ה בּוֹקֵ֥ק הָאָ֖רֶץ וּבֽוֹלְקָ֑הּ וְעִוָּ֣ה פָנֶ֔יהָ וְהֵפִ֖יץ יֹשְׁבֶֽיהָ׃
    (ישעיהו כד א)

    Here the participle refers to a habitual activity in the past.
    Is there any reason for this question, like a verse you suspect means what you asked about, a textbook that hints it, or is it an arbitrary thought?
    It seems that the so-called past is not really a past tense at all. It refers to something that is complete. And the so-called present/future is not a tense either. It refers to something that is incomplete. So, to test this theory I'm wondering if there's any "past" that refers to an incomplete verb, e.g. a habitual activity.
    I believe that the question of tense/mood/aspect/modality etc. in biblical Hebrew was discussed in this forum more than once, and of course by so many scholars in so many articles and books. Starting yet another discussion is not necessarily the best approach.