The meaning of vav-consecutive + stative prefix conjugation verbs

Sharjeel72

Member
English
Hi, when you have a vav-consecutive followed by a stative prefix conjugation verb, what is the meaning?

In Isaiah there is ויגבה יהוה צבאות במשפט והאל הקדוש נקדש בצדקה

What does this verb mean? Surely not that God was not high before and then he became high...? Clearly God does not change his state over time, does he?

Thanks, everyone.
 
  • Abaye

    Senior Member
    Hebrew
    It's a usual case of waw consecutive and also usual biblical poetic structure: וַיִּשַּׁח אָדָם... וַיִּגְבַּהּ השם.
     

    Haskol

    Member
    Hebrew, English - US/Canada
    What does this verb mean? Surely not that God was not high before and then he became high...? Clearly God does not change his state over time, does he?
    I would not recommend mixing in theological views with textual or linguistic analysis. People of the past didn't necessarily have the same theological views that readers today have and even in cases where they might, these are poetic texts and they have wide poetic license to use flowery language and emotional imagery.

    In this case, yes, it means "and he rose" and "he became holy".
     

    Sharjeel72

    Member
    English
    I would not recommend mixing in theological views with textual or linguistic analysis. People of the past didn't necessarily have the same theological views that readers today have and even in cases where they might, these are poetic texts and they have wide poetic license to use flowery language and emotional imagery.

    In this case, yes, it means "and he rose" and "he became holy".
    Thank you Haskol, your perspective is fresh to me. I wasn't cognizant of the broader context. I hope this will help me in my further readings as well. Stay blessed.
     

    Ali Smith

    Senior Member
    Urdu - Pakistan
    לָכֵ֗ן הִרְחִ֤יבָה שְּׁאוֹל֙ נַפְשָׁ֔הּ וּפָעֲרָ֥ה פִ֖יהָ לִבְלִי־חֹ֑ק וְיָרַ֨ד הֲדָרָ֧הּ וַהֲמוֹנָ֛הּ וּשְׁאוֹנָ֖הּ וְעָלֵ֥ז בָּֽהּ׃
    וַיִּשַּׁ֥ח אָדָ֖ם וַיִּשְׁפַּל־אִ֑ישׁ וְעֵינֵ֥י גְבֹהִ֖ים תִּשְׁפַּֽלְנָה׃
    וַיִּגְבַּ֛הּ יְהֹוָ֥ה צְבָא֖וֹת בַּמִּשְׁפָּ֑ט וְהָאֵל֙ הַקָּד֔וֹשׁ נִקְדָּ֖שׁ בִּצְדָקָֽה׃
    וְרָע֥וּ כְבָשִׂ֖ים כְּדׇבְרָ֑ם וְחׇרְב֥וֹת מֵחִ֖ים גָּרִ֥ים יֹאכֵֽלוּ׃

    (ישעיהו ה יד-יז)

    14 Therefore the nether-world hath enlarged her desire, and opened her mouth without measure; and down goeth their glory, and their tumult, and their uproar, and he that rejoiceth among them.
    15 And man is bowed down, and man is humbled, and the eyes of the lofty are humbled;
    16 But the LORD of hosts is exalted through justice, and God the Holy One is sanctified through righteousness.
    17 Then shall the lambs feed as in their pasture, and the waste places of the fat ones shall wanderers eat.

    My dictionary says:

    Nif'al שׁחח means 'be obliged to keep low, be obliged to cower; be prostrated, humbled'
    Qal שׁפל means 'to be (become) humiliated, abased
    Qal גבה means 'to be exalted'

    What is interesting is we have three stative verbs and all of them are waw-retentive + PC (prefix conjugation). The question is: why would the author use waw-retentives? Did Y----- become exalted after man became humbled and abased?
     

    Drink

    Senior Member
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    In general, the vav-consecutive does not specifically impart any active meaning on stative verbs. The wayyiqtol form could easily have a stative meaning of "and he was X".

    In this specific case, the meanings are certainly still stative. However, it's important to note that the tenses are being used in an unusual way here (perhaps this is poetic language). Pay close attention to every verb in the passage you cite, and you'll see how it's unusual.
     

    Ali Smith

    Senior Member
    Urdu - Pakistan
    Waw-conversive always marks sequentiality, doesn’t it?
    While waw-retentive can mark sequentiality, this is most often the case in prose narrative, and not necessarily so in poetry. I think that the use of waw preposed to these verbs is foremost for the purpose of marking aspect, but that still leaves the question of why the author did not use waw-conj.+perfective, for which I have no answer.

    לָכֵ֗ן הִרְחִ֤יבָה שְּׁאוֹל֙ נַפְשָׁ֔הּ וּפָעֲרָ֥ה פִ֖יהָ לִבְלִי־חֹ֑ק וְיָרַ֨ד הֲדָרָ֧הּ וַהֲמוֹנָ֛הּ וּשְׁאוֹנָ֖הּ וְעָלֵ֥ז בָּֽהּ׃
    וַיִּשַּׁ֥ח אָדָ֖ם וַיִּשְׁפַּל־אִ֑ישׁ וְעֵינֵ֥י גְבֹהִ֖ים תִּשְׁפַּֽלְנָה׃
    וַיִּגְבַּ֛הּ יְהֹוָ֥ה צְבָא֖וֹת בַּמִּשְׁפָּ֑ט וְהָאֵל֙ הַקָּד֔וֹשׁ נִקְדָּ֖שׁ בִּצְדָקָֽה׃
    וְרָע֥וּ כְבָשִׂ֖ים כְּדׇבְרָ֑ם וְחׇרְב֥וֹת מֵחִ֖ים גָּרִ֥ים יֹאכֵֽלוּ׃
     

    Drink

    Senior Member
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    I think that the use of waw preposed to these verbs is foremost for the purpose of marking aspect,
    You are a beginner who is just learning Hebrew. It makes no sense for you to have such confidence in these theories you've developed.
     

    JAN SHAR

    Member
    pashto
    Ali, are you arguing that the first two verbs in vs. 15 reflect state rather than event?
    ‘Man1 is low1, man2 is low2’—what is the rhetorical function of the following marked imperfective? simply a state not marked for perfectivity??
    Vs. 16 certainly shows parallelism of w-retentive of a stative verb with a Niphal, but there the latter is a participle.
    I confess that I’m not quite sure how to work out the functional value of the forms in vs. 15, but I have not given the problem a lot of thought.
     
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