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
Moses order to execute the adulterers
And the Lord said to Moses, Take all the chiefs of the people, and hang them up before the Lord in the sun, that the fierce anger of the Lord may be turned away from Israel.
Rashi translates the Biblical word
as coming from the Biblical root
. 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 causative mode (Hifil).
Advanced Rashi: Several points should be made here.
First: The root Yud-Kuph-Ayin has 2 weak letters - the first
letter is a Yud and the last letter is an Ayin. Hence
the conjugation of this root may be truly said to be rare. Second: We
note that the cousin commentator, the Radak, classifies this root similarly
in his definitive work, Roots. Finally we note the contrast that
Yud-Kuph-Ayin means to hang while Kuph-Ayin-Ayin means
to dislodge. Many Yud-2-3 roots indicate potential
of the 2-3 root. In this case hanging would indicate an activity
that is potentially dislodging. Indeed, every hanging does
have the potential to dislodge. By reviewing a series of Yud-2-3 roots
we could show many other examples where the prefix Yud in a root indicates
potential. E.g. Yud-Kuph-Mem = to fulfill = the potential to
rise up; Yud-Cheth-Mem = arousal = potential to become hot; Yud-
Ayin-Tzade = advice = potential to become fruitful (Literally: potential
to become tree-like.. There are many more.