Gen 2:17: Dying thou shalt die
dwashbur at nyx.net
Sun Aug 20 23:31:39 EDT 2000
> The literal of Gen 2:17 seems to be:
> ...dying thou shalt die...
> which is generally translated "thou shalt surely die"
> * is this a fairly certain translation? could it be taken unidiomatically?
I'm not sure what you mean by "unidiomatically" since it's a
common Hebrew idiom; "going you shall go," "dying you shall die,"
"loving you shall love" etc. It's a Hebrew way of emphasizing the
sureness of something: "this will most definitely happen" or "you
will most certainly do this." We see a similar construction in
Jonah 1 where the sailors "feared a great fear." As my first-year
Hebrew teacher said so many many years ago, "feared a fear" is
emphatic enough, but when you add "great" it probably means
some of them had to go change their underwear. Using cognate
forms like this was a "normal" (whatever that word means) way that
Hebrew strengthened the force of something like "die."
> * does the construct appear elsewhere in Scripture?
All over the place.
> * does anyone respectable champion another reading?
Not that I am aware of. No one unrespectable that I've seen either
"Éist le glór Dé."
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