The root רפא, "heal", is used in various places in Tanach, sometimes in binyan paal and sometimes in binyan piel. I wonder what the difference is between these. Does any Tanach commentator, or the like, comment on the difference — in Tanach (i.e., ignore l'shon chazal) — between these two verbs?
I thought (based on a couple of examples) that when God is the agent, the verb is in paal, and that when a person is the agent, the verb's in piel. But that's not the case; for example:
- B'reshis 20:17: וַיִּרְפָּא אֱלֹקִים אֶת אֲבִימֶלֶךְ: God is the agent, and the verb is in paal.
- B'reshis 50:2: וַיְצַו יוֹסֵף אֶת עֲבָדָיו אֶת הָרֹפְאִים לַחֲנֹט אֶת אָבִיו: People are the agents, and the verb is in paal.
- Sh'mos 21:19: רַק שִׁבְתּוֹ יִתֵּן וְרַפֹּא יְרַפֵּא: A person is the agent, and the verb is in piel.
- Ⅱ M'lachim 2:21: רִפִּאתִי לַמַּיִם הָאֵלֶּה: God is the agent, and verb is in piel.