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18. Qal Imperative, Cohortative, and Jussive

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Part One: (Sections 18.1-18.8) This chapter is concerned with the study of the so-called "Volitional Conjugations" (Imperative, Cohortative and Jussive). You must be able to produce in Hebrew the four forms of the Qal Imperative paradigm as presented in the chart in 18.3. Be certain that you fully understand each of the explanatory comments on the forms of this paradigm as presented in 18.4. In 18.8, we study selected weak verb types in the Qal Imperative. These are Imperative forms which do not lose a consonant of the verbal root.

Part Two: (Sections 18.9-18.18) Section 18.9 will be a challenging block of material in the grammar. Here we consider the spelling of Qal Imperative verbs in the various weak verb classes in which one of the verbal root consonants is lost. It helps that this material is for recognition only (you will not be asked to produce any of these paradigms in Hebrew) but it is still a challenge. Carefully study the text at the beginning of 18.9 and then work on the recognition of each form in each weak verb paradigm. Be certain that you understand which consonant is lost in each weak verb type. The Qal Imperative forms of Biconsonantal verbs are studied in 18.10, followed be doubly weak verbs in 18.11. Be able to recognize the Imperative forms of these weak verb classes as well.

Chapter Overview

Listen to Miles' Chapter Overview


Overheads (PowerPointPDF)

Chapter Material

  1. Read pages 81-85 in English Grammar to Ace Biblical Hebrew.

  2. Read this chapter from beginning to end, but do not study it carefully until you have listened to the lecture. Note: although the chapter should be learned in two parts, there is only one lecture.

  3. Listen to Gary's full lecture

  4. Study every section of the chapter carefully. It is very important to note that you are not accountable to produce these weak verb Imperatives in Hebrew. These forms are for recognition only. You will be required to produce in Hebrew only the Qal Imperative strong verb paradigm. Also, be certain that you understand how a Cohortative translates. Remember, that its two forms are for recognition only. The Qal Jussive is a particularly important verbal form in Hebrew for reasons that will be explained in the lecture. Study this conjugation with care and be able to recognize its forms, especially the so-called "short" forms that are presented in the chart in 18.14. Lastly, section 18.16 details a number of frequent and important verbal sequences which involve the volitional conjugations. Study the text and examples carefully.

  5. Listen to the vocabulary (Biblical examples)


Please complete the following exercises:

PART ONE (18a):

  1. Parsing: 1-19 on pp. 135-136

  2. Translations: 1-9 on p. 136

  3. Bible Translations: 4,5,10 on pp. 137-138

  4. [An exercise for inflecting strong Imperative verbs is given on pp. 139-140 but is it not required, though it would be helpful practice for quizzes.]

PART TWO (18b and 18c):

  1. Parsing: 1-10 on p. 141 and 1-15 on pp. 149-150

  2. Translations: 1-3,5,6 on p. 142

  3. Bible Translations: 2,6,12 on pp. 143-145, and 1,2,3,7,13 on pp. 152-154

Throughout this second half of Beginning Hebrew, each assignment will include Bible translations that have been taken from the Old Testament without any changes. It will be important for you to become familiar with the use of a standard lexicon so that you can translate these texts and identify grammatical froms which you have not yet encountered in our study of grammar. The lexicon will be an essential tool for your work in this class.

In the Workbook (Exercise 12b on pp. 63-66), we have provided a breif introduction to the use of a standard lexicon. Our recommendation for a lexicon is W.L. Holladay, "A Concise Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament" (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1988). We provide a fuller treatmen of Hebrew lexicons in Chapter 36 of the grammar.

Frequently asked questions

  1. Is there an easy way to spot the Imperatival conjugation?

  2. Why does the Hebrew add ה ָ to 2ms Imperatives?


  1. Exercise three (page 137)

  2. Exercise five (page 142)

  3. Exercise two (page 143)

Correct your homework with the answer key


  1. The most frequent volitional conjugation is the _______________. This conjugation always reflects the _______ person.

  2. True or False. To form the Imperative conjugation, simply remove the Imperfect preformative from the four 2nd person forms.

  3. How is the Cohortative conjugation formed from the Imperfect?

  4. Since there is no negation of the Imperative conjugation, how is a negative command expressed?

  5. The נָא particle frequently occurs with all three volitional conjugations. How should it be translated?

  6. Do you understand what is meant by a "volitional" conjugation?

  7. Have you acheived full mastery of the strong verb paradigm as presented in 18.3? Are you able to produce the full paradigm with several strong verbs? Practice the production of this paradigm with five of more other strong verbs that you have had earlier (see, for example, the vocabulary of chapters 12 and 13 for other strong verbs).

  8. Are you familiar with the apperance of the alternate 2ms Imperative form (18.4.3)?

  9. Do you understand that Hebrew does not negate an Imperative verb to produce a negation or negative command (18.5)?

  10. Are you able to recognize (in the Hebrew) the Imperative forms of the various weak verbs studied in 18.8?

  11. During the first part of chapter 18, make sure to learn the verbs that are presented in the formal vocabulary section (18.18).

  12. In the various weak verb paradigms that are given in 18.9, do you understand which root consonant has been lost?

  13. Would you agree that the recognition of Imperative forms in the three classes of Biconsonantal verbs is easy? If not, you're missing something.

  14. Have you seriously studied 18.12? This section will be helpful on your quizzes and exams.

  15. Do you understand that the Imperative forms are restricted to second person (singular and plural); the Cohortative forms are restrictes to first person (singular and plural) and the Jussive forms are (for the moment) relegated to third person (singular and plural)?

  16. Have you given sufficient study to the so-called "short" Jussive forms that are presented in 18.14? These forms will loom larger later in the grammar.

  17. Have you studied the Biblical examples for the three verbal sequences presented in 18.16?

  18. Be reminded that the vocabulary for this chapter (18.18) needs to be memorized before moving on.


Quiz (answers)

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