Exodus 3:1-3

Exodus 3:1

וּ

 

ו: so, then, and consecutive that so that so, then
particle, conjunction 

 

It is a common stylistic device to use the conjunction w to connect a new narrative to the previous one, and that is its function here.

מֹשֶׁה

 

מֹשֶׁה: Moses
noun, proper name 

הָיָה

 

היה: be, happen
verb, qal, affix, third person, masculine, singular 

רֹעֶה

 

רעה: graze
verb, qal, participle, masculine, singular 

 

h[,ro hy"h' The combination of the verb hyh in the affix form + a participle gives emphasis to action in the past. h[,ro being a participle, can be translated verbally, was shepherding or as the noun shepherd. Here the verbal form fits better because there is a DDO coming up as you can tell by the word ta, which follows. If you said And Moses was a shepherd, what would you do with !aco-ta,

Compare the translation of the participle here with awhi h['ro yKi (Gen.29:9)

אֶת־

 

אֵת:
particle, direct object 

 

This is a DDO but there is no definite article. You would expect to see !aOCh;-ta, But looking ahead to the next few words, you can see that !aco is the first part of a construct chain and the definiteness of the word(s) in the absolute makes the whole chain definite (5.2). Where do you think the chain ends?

צֹאן

 

צֹאן: small cattle, sheep and goats, flock, flocks
noun, common, feminine and masculine, singular 

יִתְרוֹ

 

יִתְרוֹ: Jethro
noun, proper name 

חֹתְנוֹ

 

חֹתְנוֹ: father in law

noun, common, masculine, singular, construct with third person, masculine, singular suffix 

כֹּהֵן

 

כֹּהֵן: priest
noun, common, masculine, singular 

מִדְיָן

 

מִדְיָן: Midian
noun, proper name 

וַ

 

ו: so, then, and consecutive that so that so, then
particle, conjunction 

יִּנְהַג

 

נהג: drive, conduct
verb, qal, prefix, third person, masculine, singular, vav-conv

 

When a clause with the verb hyh is followed by a clause with a vav-conversive, as is the case in this verse, it means that the two actions are going on at the same time. The second verb introduces the main action.

אֶת־

 

אֵת:
particle, direct object 

הַ

 

ה: the
particle, article 

צֹּאן

 

צֹאן: small cattle, sheep and goats, flock, flocks
noun, common, feminine and masculine, singular 

 

!aCoh;-ta, Notice that here the definite article is used because there is no other element to make the noun definite

אַחַר

 

אַחַר: after
particle, adverb 

הַ

 

ה: the
particle, article 

מִּדְבָּר

 

מִּדְבָּר: wilderness

noun, common, masculine, singular 

 

We generally translate this as wilderness. But it is a word which has shades of meaning peculiar to the geography and topography of Israel and its environs. It most often refers to large tracts of sparsely inhabited land used for pasturage. Some areas of wilderness actually supported cities; some were desolate. But the term is not meant to give an image of uninhabitable desert; there are other words for that.

וַ

 

ו: so, then, and consecutive that so that so, then
particle, conjunction 

יָּבֹא

 

בּוא: come in, come, go in, go
verb, qal, prefix, third person, masculine, singular, vav-conv

אֶל־

 

אֶל: motion to direction towards
particle, preposition 

הַר

 

הַר: mountain
noun, common, masculine, singular 

הָ

 

ה: the
particle, article 

אֱלֹהִים

 

אֱלֹהִים: God
noun, common, masculine, plural 

חֹרֵבָה

 

חֹרֵב: Horeb
noun, proper name, directional heh ending 

 

hb'rexo ~yhil{a/h' rh;-la, Notice that two different ways of expressing “direction toward” are used in this segment of the verse. The best way to put together the elements of  hb'rexo ~yhil{a/h' rh;-la, is to think of there being a comma between ~yhiÞl{a/h' and hb'rexo

Exodus 3:2

וַ

 

ו: so, then, and consecutive that so that so, then
particle, conjunction 

יֵּרָא

 

ראה: seeing
verb, niphal, prefix, third person, masculine, singular, vav-conv

 

According to the missing letter rule in Lesson 3.1 this verb looks as if it should be a 1st y

The “rules” are valuable and work most of the time but not here. ar'YEw: is the 3 m. sg. Nifal of har with vav conversive. We encountered this verb, stem, and form but without vav-conversive in Gen.22:14 ha,r>yI and discussed the Nifal prefix vowel pattern in that same chapter and verse with the verb rmea'yE But with vav conversive, there is often a shortened form for verbs with weak letters, and so all that is left is the characteristic Nifal prefix vowel pattern for a 3rd h verb is XX'|XE

מַלְאַךְ

 

מַלְאָךְ: angel
noun, common, masculine, singular, construct 

יְהוָֹה

 

יהוה: Yahweh
noun, proper name 

אֵלָיו

 

אֶל: motion to direction towards
particle, preposition with third person, masculine, singular suffix 

בְּ

 

בּ: in, with, through
particle, preposition 

לַבַּת־

 

bh;l;: flame
noun, common, feminine, singular, construct 

אֵשׁ

 

אֵשׁ: fire
noun, common, feminine and masculine, singular 

מִ‍

 

מִן: from
particle, preposition 

תּוֹךְ

 

תָּוֶךְ: midst
noun, common, masculine, singular, construct 

הַ

 

ה: the
particle, article 

סְּנֶה

 

סְנֶה: bush
noun, common, masculine, singular 

וַ

 

ו: so, then, and consecutive that so that so, then
particle, conjunction 

יַּרְא

 

ראה: seeing
verb, qal, prefix, third person, masculine, singular, vav-conv 

 

ar>Y:w: be sure you can distinguish this confidently from ar'YEw: at the beginning of the verse.

וְ

 

ו: so, then, and consecutive that so that so, then
particle, conjunction 

הִנֵּה

 

הִנֵּה: lo! behold!;
particle, interjection 

הַ

 

ה: the
particle, article 

סְּנֶה

 

סְנֶה: bush
noun, common, masculine, singular 

בֹּעֵר

 

בּער: burn
verb, qal, participle, masculine, singular 

בָּ

 

בּ: in, with, through
particle, inseparable preposition with article 

אֵשׁ

 

אֵשׁ: fire
noun, common, feminine and masculine, singular 

וְ

 

ו: so, then, and consecutive that so that so, then
particle, conjunction 

הַ

 

ה: the
particle, article 

סְּנֶה

 

סְנֶה: bush
noun, common, masculine, singular 

אֵינֶנּוּ

 

אַיִן: whence, not, nothing
particle, adverb with third person, masculine, singular suffix 

 

!yae is the construct form of !yIa; [vocabulary word not to be confused with !yI[; and see Gen28:17]. The suffix is discussed in WNr,F.[;a] (Gen.28:22)

אֻכָּל

 

אכל: eat, devour
verb, truly qal passive, participle, masculine, singular 

 

The first thing to determine is whether the dagesh represents an assimilated letter or strengthening of the middle root letter. Or to ask the question another way, is the a part of the root or a prefix pronoun? There are roots for both possibilities, but would a 1 c. sg. subject make sense here?

There are few verbs in the Pual stem in the Hebrew Bible. Qibbuts  U under the first root letter and the dagesh forte in the middle root letter are sure signs of that stem. lK'au may be an irregular spelling of the Pual participle which should read lK'(aum. We shall read it as an archaic 3 m. sg. Qal passive affix form.

Exodus 3:3

וַ

 

ו: so, then, and consecutive that so that so, then
particle, conjunction 

יֹּאמֶר

 

אמר: utter, say
verb, qal, prefix, third person, masculine, singular, vav-conv

מֹשֶׁה

 

מֹשֶׁה: Moses
noun, proper name 

אָסֻרָה־

 

סור: turn aside
verb, qal, prefix, first person, common, singular 

נָּא

 

נָּא: I (we) pray, now
particle, interjection 

 

aN"-hr'sua' One clue to this form is aN" at the end of the phrase. It is seen with imperatives such as aN"-hq; (Gen.22:2) and imperative-like forms. In the word hr'su(a' the prefix pronoun a and the ending h " reinforce the cohortative pattern. (see hk'l.nE Gen.22:5). Removing these two letters leaves only two letters for the root. The vowel under the prefix pronoun is the indicator of the missing root letter (6.1a). In hollow verbs the vowel between the two strong letters indicates the missing root letter. Qibbuts U becomes W in the middle position. Of course a and h can be root letters, but when you see the possibility of a first person prefix pronoun h " at the end of a verb and aN" immediately following, you should be thinking “cohortative”.

וְ

 

ו: so, then, and consecutive that so that so, then
particle, conjunction 

אֶרְאֶה

 

ראה: seeing
verb, qal, prefix, first person, common, singular 

אֶת־

 

אֵת:
particle, direct object 

הַ

 

ה: the
particle, article 

מַּרְאֶה

 

מַרְאֶה: sight, appearance, vision
noun, common, masculine, singular 

 

ha,r>M;h;-ta, ha,r>a,w> If you look closely you will see that the consonants h a r are common to both words, which means that ha,r>a,w> and ha,r>M;h; probably come from the same root. First look at the verb. It is a safe assumption that it is a cohortative because of the link with the verb before it, although you don’t see the additional h at the end: 3rd h verbs don’t add an extra h in the cohortative.

What about the conjunction w> Can it be vav-conversive? (14.5a) Can it be vav-reversive? With a cohortative the conjunction  w> often serves to express intention, that I may…

A word about ha,r>M;h; Nouns which end in h need another component to make them feminine (14.2b). Does this one have it? (See also The Noun A.)

הַ

 

ה: the
particle, article 

גָּדֹל

 

גָּדוֹל: great
adjective, masculine, singular 

הַ

 

ה: the
particle, article 

זֶּה

 

זֶה: this, here
adjective, masculine, singular 

מַדּוּעַ

 

מַדּוּעַ: Why?
particle, adverb 

לֹא־

 

לֹא: not
particle, negative 

יִבְעַר

 

בּער: burn
verb, qal, prefix, third person, masculine, singular 

 

Although we usually translate prefix forms in the future, there are other possibilites. In this case the present is better. We must not forget that prefix form expresses incomplete action, not a specific tense.

הַ

 

ה: the
particle, article 

סְּנֶה

 

סְנֶה: bush
noun, common, masculine, singular