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 70 elders that Moses selected and their prophetic experience
And the Lord came down in a cloud, and spoke to him,
and took of the spirit that was upon him, and gave it to the seventy elders;
and it came to pass, that, when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied
[that day] but did not repeat...
Rashi translates the Biblical word
as coming from the Biblical root
to do more / extra / repeat.
. 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 active mode (Qal).
Advanced Rashi: Rashi also brings down the opinion of the Aramaic translation
that the word Yud-Samech-Pay-Vav, YaSaFoo means they did not cease to prophesy. The Aramaic
translation views the root of this word as Samech-Vav-Pay which means to end.
To study the possibility of the Aramaic translation based on an alternate 3 letter root
I used Moshe Silberman's Grammatical Konkordance.
Form 5586, with 14 subforms, has the punctuation, kamatz-kamatz-maalfoom. All 14 forms
refer to the past Qal and none of them use a 3 letter root with a middle letter vav
(1-vav-3). This justifys Rashi's first approach that the true root is Yud-Samech-Vav;
thus the verse means they did not have extra or more prophecy. We must therefore reject the Aramaic translation.
Rashi at times proves the Aramaic translation is grammatically incorrect and our observations are
consistent with this approach.