Gen 2:17: Dying thou shalt die

Steve Doel steve.doel at
Mon Aug 21 08:56:42 EDT 2000

Bill wrote:
<< 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?
 * does the construct appear elsewhere in Scripture?
 * does anyone respectable champion another reading?

Bill, the infinitive absolute often stands immediately before the finite
verb in order to strengthen the verbal idea. For other examples (in Genesis)
featuring the 2ms of the finite verb, compare 2:16; 2:17; 15:3; 20:7. For
further "You shall surely die" examples, try Gen 20:7; 1 Sam 22:16; 1 Ki
2:37; Ez 33:14....

Steve Doel

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