Biblical Aramaic Passive Stems

Emmanuel Mastey*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Perfect verbs in the Passive-Qal (qetil) and Hufal (huqtal or hoqtal) stems are attested in both Biblical (BA) and Middle Aramaic. This paper contests the claim of BA grammars that the Hufal imperfect is unattested in BA. Moreover, some scholars have doubted the authenticity of the Masoretic vocalisation of some Hufal and Passive-Qal occurrences, postulating that the Hufal preformative vowel was changed from a to u under the influence of the Hebrew Hufal. This paper discusses the most problematic occurrences from morphological, syntactic, and contextual viewpoints, and concludes that the Masoretic vocalisation of the forms in question is generally reliable. Lastly, a form that was mistakenly identified as a disguised Passive-Qal form is shown to be a Qal (active) form. It appears that the marking of human direct objects by lamed accusativi in BA has fewer exceptions than previously thought.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-27
Number of pages19
JournalAramaic Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2022


  • Biblical Aramaic


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