[b-hebrew] (no subject)

Karl Randolph kwrandolph at email.com
Sun Sep 21 21:07:40 EDT 2003


That’s one of the passages where “yachid” is used but where the context does not necessarily call for the “only one” meaning. In fact, not one of the contexts necessarily calls for “only one”. This verse, in particular, argues against that reading in that Abraham had another son whom he loved, but who did not live with him. That is why a “theological” understanding is given this verse.

If yachad “to be together” is the root that yachid comes from, and other derivitives from that verb mean “together”, is it possible that yachid also has a meaning of togetherness instead of oneness? None of the contexts rules out that reading.

This is a question, but if it is correct, the translation for Gen. 22:2 would be, “And he said, take please your son, the one with you who you love, Isaac, …” My understanding of the culture is that the one who inherits the father, stays living with the father while the other sons go away to make their fortune in the world. Abraham sent his other sons away so that they would not compete with Isaac for the inheritance. Esau moved away from his brother Jacob. I’ve seen the same pattern with farmers even today.

Is it possible that yachid has the meaning of togetherness instead of “only one”?

Karl W. Randolph.

----- Original Message -----
From: Bill Rea <bsr15 at cantsl.canterbury.ac.nz>

> Karl wrote:-
> > When looking at the total uses of the word, it seems to emphasize the
> > “together with” more than any idea of oneness, making a theological
> > reading unnecessary.
> Perhaps I got hold of the wrong passage in Genesis. I thought it was
> Genesis 22:2 which the NASB translates as:-
> He said, "Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go
> to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of
> the mountains of which I will tell you."
> and you were questioning the traditional understanding of ``only son''
> when in fact Isaac is not the ``only son'' in a biological sense.
> If I've got the right passage can you give a English translation which
> you think is most consistent with the Hebrew. If I've got the wrong one
> can you tell me the right one. Either way I'll have another think about
> it.
> Bill Rea, Information Technology Dept., Canterbury  University
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