יז וַיֵּדַע קַיִן אֶת־אִשְׁתּוֹ וַתַּהַר וַתֵּלֶד אֶת־חֲנוֹךְ וַיְהִי בֹּנֶה עִיר וַיִּקְרָא שֵׁם הָעִיר כְּשֵׁם בְּנוֹ חֲנוֹךְ:
יח וַיִּוָּלֵד לַחֲנוֹךְ אֶת־עִירָד וְעִירָד יָלַד אֶת־מְחוּיָאֵל וּמְחִיָּיאֵל יָלַד אֶת־מְתוּשָׁאֵל וּמְתוּשָׁאֵל יָלַד אֶת־לָמֶךְ:
יט וַיִּקַּח־לוֹ לֶמֶךְ שְׁתֵּי נָשִׁים שֵׁם הָאַחַת עָדָה וְשֵׁם הַשֵּׁנִית צִלָּה:
כ וַתֵּלֶד עָדָה אֶת־יָבָל הוּא הָיָה אֲבִי ישֵׁב אֹהֶל וּמִקְנֶה:
Translation: Qain knew his wife and she got pregnant and birthed Chanokh and he turned out to build a city and named the city like the name of his son, Chanokh.
Irad was born to Chanokh and Irad sired M’chuyael and M’chiyael sired M’tushael and M’tushael sired Lemekh.
Lemekh took two wives, the name of the one was Adah and the name of the second was Tsilah.
Adah birthed Yaval, he was the first to live in tents and flocks.
Quick quiz: what tense is “knew” in this section.
Notice that the direct object form of Lemekh is Lamekh. It’s not that common but you probably noticed the change in vowels.
“Was born,” yivaled, is a nifal binyan, the passive of the paal or qal.
Notice that “sired” is not a causative binyan. It is the masculine singular of the paal or qal. You can never say that a man gave birth, you have to say “sired.”
Answer: The tense of “knew” is aorist. Remember that when Qain and Hevel were born, Torah used the past which has a pluperfect sense. Lemekh’s story, as I commented before, takes place in a breathless hurry.
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