Learning to Read Biblical Hebrew: An Introductory Grammar

By Robert Ray Ellis | Go to book overview

Lesson 25
WEAK VERBS: AYIN VAV, AYIN YOD,
AND DOUBLE AYIN; NUMBERS

25A WEAK VERBS: AYIN-VAV, AYIN-YOD, AND DOUBLE-AYIN

1. Ayin-vav and ayin-yod verbs
a. Ayin-vav and ayin-yod verbs are treated together in this section because they follow very similar patterns. These verbs have either a vav or yod as the middle root consonant, as in (“rise”) and (“set”). The middle vav or yod typically disappears or becomes a naturally-long vowel as they are inflected. Consequently, these weak verbs are also called “middle vowel” or “hollow” verbs.
b. The lexical form of ayin-vav and ayin-yod verbs is the infinitive, qal, construct, because this form retains the middle vav or yod. Other verbs employ perfect, qal, 3MS as the lexical form; however, this form in ayin-vav and ayin-yod verbs typically loses the middle consonant. For example, the lexical form for the root is the infinitive, qal, construct: , rather than the perfect, qal, 3MS, which is .
c. Some verbs have both an ayin-vav and an ayin-yod root, as with the verb (“[to] set”).
d. Most ayin-vav verbs follow the pattern of the very common verb (“[to] rise” or “stand”). Some exceptions do occur, as with two common ayin-vav stative verbs: (“[to] be ashamed”) and (“[to] die”).
e. Ayin-yod verbs also follow the pattern of in all conjugations and stems except in the qal stem in imperfect, imperative, and infinitive construct.
f. Major characteristics of ayin-vav and ayin-yod verbs in qal, nifal, hifil, and hofal
1. Disappearance of the middle vav or yod
a. Qal in perfect and active participle
1. The middle vav or yod typically disappears in perfect, qal, and in

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