Agents of Blood Vengeance, B)DM in Gen 9:6

c stirling bartholomew cc.constantine at worldnet.att.net
Sun Apr 15 17:04:54 EDT 2001


An off list response brought to my attention a need to clarify one point in
my question. 

on 4/14/01 2:57 PM, c stirling bartholomew wrote:

> Without trying to resolve this dispute, lets just explore a what-if path. If
> we were to follow J. Wevers' understanding of this text, then could we
> understand Y$FK as a "divine passive."

This wording is misleading. I am not really adopting Wevers' position on the
question of the agentive force of  B)DM in the MT since his argument is
very subtle, and his conclusion and V.P. Hamilton's do not have any impact
on my question. So this should read something more like

> If we read B)DM in some sense other than as the agent of retribution . . .

I don't want to be putting words into J. Wevers' or V.P. Hamilton's mouths
since I know that will get me into trouble. Wevers and Hamilton raised the
question about  B)DM being agentive, that is enough for my purpose. So lets
assume it is not agentive as a what-if scenario and proceed from there.

Clay

--  
Clayton Stirling Bartholomew
Three Tree Point
P.O. Box 255 Seahurst WA 98062

***Original question, ammeded****

on 4/14/01 2:57 PM, c stirling bartholomew wrote:

> While doing some background work on the subject of blood vengeance
> (not! capital punishment, not interested in that topic) . . . again, while
> researching the theme of blood vengeance I ran into an exegetical problem in
> Gen. 9:6. 
> 
> G. Wenham and U. Cassuto both take the traditional path on B)DM in Gen 9:6,
> making it function as the agent of the Y$FK. However the LXX throws an
> obstacle in our path reading: ANTI TOU hAIMATOS AUTOU EKCUQHSTAI. The agent
> of EKCUQHSTAI is not indicated in the LXX which leads J. Wevers* and  V.P.
> Hamilton (NICOT) and a few others  to raise questions about the traditional
> understanding of B)DM in Gen 9:6.
> 
> Without trying to resolve this dispute, lets just explore a what-if path. If
> we read B)DM in some sense other than as the agent of retribution, then could
> we understand Y$FK as a "divine passive." Do we have any other texts in the OT
> where there is direct speech from )LHYM using the first person, see Gen. 9:5
> )DR$, followed more or less immediately by a "divine passive?"
> 
> Again, I am not trying to resolve the agent/not-agent issue concerning B)DM
> in Gen 9:6, but rather to explore the implications of the alternative
> reading where the Y$FK has no specified agent. Would the agent automatically
> be assumed to be )LHYM? What other reasons might there be for leaving the
> agent unspecified in a case of blood vengeance? Could it be that )LHYM is
> not the direct agent but works His justice through secondary agents?
> 
> Anyway, that gives a flavor of the kind of questions I am exploring.
> 
> Clay




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