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Which OT book has the least imperative verbs?

I attended an Accordance bible software training seminar yesterday. It was really long (from 9am to 10pm), but I did learn a lot and realized how powerful Accordance can be.

Besides learning cool tricks, I found something interesting. I searched for all the imperative verbs within the Old Testament. Then I opened up the hits graph and the table bar chart for the average number of hits for each book and this is what I got (click on image to blow it up):

Joel has the highest average number of imperatives, but that makes sense, because it is such a short book. Next in line is Psalms, and it makes sense, because we are often instructed to “Praise the Lord.” What surprised me most is Leviticus having the least average number of imperative verbs in the entire Old Testament canon. What? Leviticus? Least imperatives? I have always thought of Leviticus as full of instructions and commandments from the Lord.

Interesting, huh? I don’t know what to make of this yet, but if you have any thoughts, please drop a note below.

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2 Responses

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  1. Wayne Park says

    Maybe cuz the instructions / commandments are not direct address, i.e., “(You) do this” but rather prohibitions – don’t do this… but then again I can see how that would still be an imperative. never mind. back to square one. good question.

    • Anson says

      Aha….. upon further investigation, I realized that the common Hebrew construction in the book of Leviticus is: “Speak to the sons of Israel…… if/when…… you shall……”
      Only the first word “dabber” (speak) is in the imperative, and all the following verbs are in imperfect, meaning “you will” or “you shall”.

      So there’s actually nothing significant here =P

      Now I know why we need to go beyond first year Hebrew…….