ז וַיַּעַשׂ אֱלֹהִים אֶת־הָרָקִיעַ וַיַּבְדֵּל בֵּין הַמַּיִם אֲשֶׁר מִתַּחַת לָרָקִיעַ וּבֵין הַמַּיִם אֲשֶׁר מֵעַל לָרָקִיעַ וַיְהִי־כֵן:
Translation: Gd must have made the raqia for it separated the water that is under the raqia from the water that is above the raqia; it must have been so.
This verse has the other occurrence of va-yavdel that I was talking about.
Look at the phrase after ha-maim beginning with asher. There is no verb from here to the end of the verse, until you get to the certainty epistemic at the end. Nevertheless, I have “is” in the translation.
Hebrew is one of those languages that does not need to express “be” when it is not in imperfect or perfect aspect. The progressive aspect of hayah is extremely rare in Torah; I can think of one occurrence off the top of my head. It might occur some more times in the rest of Tannakh.
Since this is an aspectual language, not a tense language, you can see that you don’t need to say “be” except in imperfect aspect, to emphasize that meaning, or perfect aspect, to emphasize that meaning. Russian, another aspectual language, also almost never uses “be” in this type of equational sentence. And it should be no surprise at all that Arabic leaves a verb out of equational sentences.
Notice that I used only two posts to go through this verse. I told you this would happen.© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved