A.    This is rare, but not unusually so.

B.    It is used of four types of situations (but to every rule there is an exception)

1.    Reflexive/Intensive: This is where someone does an action to himself or is emphasized he was the one who did it.  He took himself up to Jerusalem.

2.    Reciprocal: These are things that each member of a group is doing to other members of the group.  When a group fights itself it would mean that the members  fought each other.

3.    Middle: This is for one's own benefit or advantage.  I married myself a wife.  I did not marry myself, but married a wife for my own benefit.

4.    Iterative: When something is repeatedly or randomly done this form is used.  Often this usage appears with words that deal with walking or traveling in which case it means to walk about or back and forth.

C.    Examples:
1.    Genesis 3:8, "And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the afternoon; and both Adam and his wife hid themselves from the face of the Lord God in the midst of the trees of the garden. (ITERATIVE)

2.    Genesis 3:24, "So He drove (PIEL = intensive) the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed (HIPHIL - cause to stand) the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned (HITHPAEL = Iterative = the sword moved back and forth) every direction to guard the way to the tree of life.

3.    Genesis 6:6 And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. (Reflexive/Intensive)

D.    For a complete listing in the Old Testament of this form click HERE (the list opens in a separate window. When you have viewed or printed it, click Return at the bottom of that page to close that window and return here).
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