Gen 2:17: Dying thou shalt die

Bill Ross wross at
Sun Aug 20 15:59:35 EDT 2000

Yes, it is a legitimate translation. The infinitive absolute in Hebrew adds
often adds stress to the main verb, and often the stress is one of

Since posting my question I did some more meditation and noticed the

Gen 2:16 says "...eating you shall eat..."
Gen 2:17 says "...dying you shall die..."
Gen 22:17 says "...blessing I will bless you...multiplying I will multiply

Then in the book of Hebrews (New Testament) the writer cites this and refers
to it as an oath:

Hebrews 6:
13  For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no
greater, he sware by himself,
14  Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will
multiply thee.
15  And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.
16  For men verily swear by the greater: and an oath for confirmation is to
them an end of all strife.
17  Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise
the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: {confirmed.: Gr.
interposed himself by}
18  That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie,
we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold
upon the hope set before us:

So, is this construct intrinsically to be taken as an oath, as in "...I
swear that you will die..."?

Also, is the construct used elsewhere?

FYI, my original inquiry was in trying to resolve the apparent discrepancy

" the day that you eat of it, you shall surely die..."

and the subsequent indication that Eve would live to bear children, albeit
with pain, and Adam would live to sow and reap a garden, albeit with sweat
and thorns.

So now I turn to "in that day". What alternate readings might there be? How
does this all resolve coherently?

Bill Ross

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