Sex in paradise? (was: Qatal, 1 Kings 11:1)
ronning at ilink.nis.za
Fri Feb 5 00:57:19 EST 1999
Peter_Kirk at SIL.ORG wrote:
> Do you really mean, John, that if the verb form says one thing and the
> context points in another direction, you ignore the verb form and
> follow the context?
I think it's a question of whether this would be the only
exception to the "rule," or whether there are other clear
examples of sequential X + qatal.
> Surely not! Now of course if the verb form is
> ambiguous, maybe - but is it?
I think it is. To Randall's examples I would add Gen 22:1 - not
quite the same since weha'elohim nissah 'eth Abraham is preceded
by a standard wayehi statement which necessitates a sequential
interpretation. (It came to pass after these things, God tested
Abraham). One might object that the wayehi statement is "needed"
to make this sequential but I would say it's not needed at all -
the reason for pointing to "after these things" is to remind us
that God has just gone out of his way to save Ishmael's life, and
now he's asking Abraham to kill Isaac! The interpretive question
simply why the departure from normal word order (here and Gen
4:1) - could it just be stylistic variation, or is there a reason
for emphasizing the subject? Note to Bryan - Gen 22:1 would seem
to formally correspond to your "series (2)" pattern mentioned in
an earlier note - would you say it fits the description you gave
for series (2)? I don't think it does because it's explicitly
> And then the context is hardly
> clear-cut, unless we presuppose (with early Christians and some today)
> that sex is evil.
I think it's clear-cut, presupposing (with Genesis 1) that sex is
part of God's good creation. See below.
> Obviously, if Cain was born, or even conceived, in Eden, he was
> affected by the Fall as were his parents.
I don't think it's obvious at all that Cain would be a liar and
murderer if he were conceived before the fall.
> But this is a theological
> issue which should not be allowed to determine our reading of the
Sorry, I think that's like saying we shouldn't bring in geography
when interpreting ambiguous grammar in an essay on geography.
After the flood, God said that the human heart is only evil from
his youth - how did he get that way, if not through Adam's sin,
which would not have affected Cain's nature if he were conceived
before the fall?
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