Most people are aware that Hebrew verbs
come from three-letter roots. Each root is
conjugated in the 8 dimensions of
person, gender,plurality, tense, activity,
modality, direct-object, and prepositional connective. For example
the root Shin Mem Resh means to watch.
The conjugations Shin-Mem-Resh-Tauv-Yud
and Nun-Shin-Mem-Resh-Nun-Vav mean
I watched and we were watched respectively.
The rules for Hebrew grammar are carefully described
in many modern books and are well known. Rashi will sometimes comment when a verse is using a rare conjugation
of an odd grammatical form.
When presenting grammatical Rashis my favorite
reference is the appendix in volume 5 of the Ibn Shoshan
dictionary. This very short appendix lists most
the taking of the wilderness census
And they assembled all the congregation together on the first day of the second month, and they showed their genealogies by families, by the house of their fathers,
according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, by their polls.
Rashi translates the Biblical word
as coming from the Biblical root
to give birth
. We have conveniently embedded the Rashi translation in the
translation of the verse. The conjugation rule governing this Biblical
word may be found by using tables
in the Ibn Shoshan dictionary for the interactive mode (HiTPael).
In the interactive (Hitpael) mode, this root means show ones genealogy.
The actual Rashi comment is They brought their certificates of genealogical descent.
The Radack translates this conjugation like Rashi and adds the explanatory comment
The interactive form means they showed who gave birth to them.