Gen 2:17: Dying thou shalt die

Liz Fried lizfried at umich.edu
Tue Aug 22 14:26:29 EDT 2000


> From: Thomas L. Thompson [mailto:tlt at teol.ku.dk]
>
>
> Dear Liz,
> The snake was absolutely right. That is the role he plays in the story.
Yay! Thanks for saying so.

My
> point was the quite limited one that Jubilees' efforts to lengthen the day
> gives us evidence to read Genesis 2,17 as implying that they would in fact
> die on that day.

Probably the author of Jubilees had the same problem modern exegetes do
and that Paul did: people don't like to see God as the liar. But if you see
the story as modeled after the Adapa story it is easy to understand God as
lying and the snake the one who is telling the truth.
>
> I also agree with you that the end of the story is patterned on the exile.
> How much of the story do you think implies that the garden is
> Jerusalem's or
> the temple's garden?
It certainly could be. Especially with the rivers. The rivers come from the
center, or navel, of the earth.

This association becomes nearly explicit in the tower
> of Babel story.
Yes. You're right.

Liz
>
> Thomas
> > -----Oprindelig meddelelse-----
> > Fra:	Liz Fried [SMTP:lizfried at umich.edu]
> > Sendt:	21. august 2000 19:06
> > Til:	Biblical Hebrew
> > Emne:	RE: Gen 2:17: Dying thou shalt die
> >
> > The point is that the snake was right,
> > not God. Their eyes were opened (3:7), and they did not die
> > on the day they ate it as God said they would (2:17).
> >
> > Liz Fried
> >
> > > -----Original Message-----
> > > From: Thomas L. Thompson [mailto:tlt at teol.ku.dk]
> > > Sent: Monday, August 21, 2000 11:43 AM
> > > To: Biblical Hebrew
> > > Subject: SV: Gen 2:17: Dying thou shalt die
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > > -----Oprindelig meddelelse-----
> > > > Fra:	Thomas L. Thompson
> > > > Sendt:	21. august 2000 17:38
> > > > Til:	'Dave Washburn'
> > > > Emne:	SV: Gen 2:17: Dying thou shalt die
> > > >
> > > > Jubilees might help in this. The story in Genesis ends with
> > > Adam living on
> > > > and becoming the father of children outside the garden.
> > > Jubilees addresses
> > > > itself to the implications of Yahweh's words, that Adam will die on
> > the
> > > > day he eats of the tree. The author finds a solution to the seeming
> > > > incoherence of 'you will surely die' by pointing out that in
> > > Yahweh's eyes
> > > > a thousand years is but a day. In God's eyes Adam does not live out
> > that
> > > > fateful day.
> > > > Thomas
> > > >
> > > > 	-----Oprindelig meddelelse-----
> > > > 	Fra:	Dave Washburn [SMTP:dwashbur at nyx.net]
> > > > 	Sendt:	21. august 2000 05:32
> > > > 	Til:	Biblical Hebrew
> > > > 	Emne:	Re: Gen 2:17: Dying thou shalt die
> > > >
> > > > 	Bill,
> > > > 	> <Bill>
> > > > 	> 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
> > > > 	;-)
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > 	Dave Washburn
> > > > 	http://www.nyx.net/~dwashbur
> > > > 	"Éist le glór Dé."
> > > >
> > > > 	---
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