Learn Hebrew Verbs (Part 2) ~ Lesson 2
Verb Moods
By Jeff A. Benner

Simple Mood

Hebrew verbs have three moods - simple, causative and intensive. The most common mood in Biblical Hebrew is the simple and refers to verbs of simple action. The three voices we learned in the previous lesson are in the simple mood. Each of these verb forms have a name.

Simple active - pa'al (Also called the Qal)
Simple passive - niphal
Simple reflexive - hitpa'el

Causative Mood

In the causative mood and active voice the subject of the verb causes the action of the verb - "Jacob caused him to cut a tree." In the causative mood and passive voice, the action is caused to be imparted on the subject of the verb - "Jacob was caused to be cut." Each of these verb forms also have a name.

Causative active - hiphil
Causative passive - hophal

Intensive Mood

The intensive mood intensifies the action of the verb. When the verb is used in the intensive it may be translated as "slashed." "Jacob slashed a tree" is intensive mood and active voice and "Jacob was slashed" is the intensive mood and passive voice.

Intensive active - pi'el
Intensive passive - pu'al

Verb Chart

All of the verb forms covered thus far are available on this PDF chart.

Again, do not let all of this discourage you, your objective at this point is to become familiar with the concepts and as you continue to work with the Hebrew text using the various resources available to you, you will become more comfortable with them.