What do the Hebrew verb tenses mean?

When accessing information about verbs throughout our Old Testament concordances, you'll find numerous references to Hebrew verb tenses such as Qal or Hiphil. The following list identifies each verb tense and it's part in speech via a comparative example in English using the the verb "to kill."

Simple
  • Qal (active) - he killed
  • Niphal (passive) - he was killed

    Intensive - giving force or emphasis; emphasizing
    [very in the very same man is an intensive adverb]
  • Piel (active) - he killed indeed! / he slaughtered
  • Pual (passive) - he was killed indeed! / he was slaughtered
  • Hithpael (reflexive) - he killed himself

    Causative - expressing causation, as certain verbs
    [fell is a causative verb meaning to cause to fall]
  • Hiphil (active) - he caused to kill
  • Hophal (passive) - he was caused to kill
  • For more information, please refer to the tense button for the specific verb which interests you to access more specific information.
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