Finally, another example of how “be” is weird in every language. I showed all the different ways of using va-y’hi. Now remember all those verses that had v’hayah or v’hayu in them (using the perfect aspect). Here’s how they work.
They have a sequential aspect to them, like natatah. The idea is “from then on.” For example, Leviticus 27:33:
לֹ֧א יְבַקֵּר בֵּין־טוֹב לָרַע וְלֹא יְמִירֶנּוּ וְאִם־הָמֵר יְמִירֶנּוּ וְהָיָה־הוּא וּתְמוּרָתוֹ יִהְיֶה־קֹּדֶשׁ לֹא יִגָּאֵל:
When somebody vows a specific beast for sacrifice and then tries to substitute a different beast, from then on both become permanently the property of the Temple.
It has some special forms. V’hayah b’ means “from then on at” plus some time expression..
וְהָיָה בְּכָל־יַחֵם הַצֹּאן הַמְקֻשָּׁרוֹת וְשָׂם יַעֲקֹב אֶת־הַמַּקְלוֹת לְעֵינֵי הַצֹּאן בָּרְהָטִים לְיַחֲמֶנָּה בַּמַּקְלוֹת:
“From then on whenever the m’qusharot sheep came into heat, Yaaqov set up the rods…”
V’hayah im, “then if”. Deuteronomy 8:19 says
וְהָיָה אִם־שָׁכֹחַ תִּשְׁכַּח אֶת־יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהֶיךָ וְהָלַכְתָּ אַחֲרֵי אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים וַעֲבַדְתָּם וְהִשְׁתַּחֲוִיתָ לָהֶם הַעִדֹתִי בָכֶם הַיּוֹם כִּי אָבֹד תֹּאבֵדוּן:
“From now on if you actually do forget **** your Gd, such that you walk after other gods and serve them and bow to them [this entire clause is oblique modality], I witness against you today that you will be destroyed.”
V’hayah k’ means “then when” or “then as soon as…”. See Deuteronomy 20:2.
וְהָיָה כְּקָרָבְכֶם אֶל־הַמִּלְחָמָה וְנִגַּשׁ הַכֹּהֵן וְדִבֶּר אֶל־הָעָם:
“As soon as you approach battle.” Now, you don’t want to do this where your enemy can see men melt from your ranks, but you can’t be sure how fast he’s approaching, so you have to do this fast as soon as you drop your backpacks to attack or defend against attack.
V’hayah l’ means “become.” See Deuteronomy 15:17.
וְלָקַחְתָּ אֶת־הַמַּרְצֵעַ וְנָתַתָּה בְאָזְנוֹ וּבַדֶּלֶת וְהָיָה לְךָ עֶבֶד עוֹלָם וְאַף לַאֲמָתְךָ תַּעֲשֶׂה־כֵּן:
“Then he becomes your olam servant.”
Torah uses v’hayah, a perfect aspect, because we’re talking about something that would have to go to completion. Yaaqov had only one time a year when he could set up the rods: in autumn, when the sheep had weaned their lambs was the only time they came into heat.
So I’ve pretty much beaten that subject to death and we have one more modal morphology to go.
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