[b-hebrew] Genesis 3:15 and order of ideas

Heard, Christopher Christopher.Heard at pepperdine.edu
Tue Dec 21 23:45:07 EST 2004

On 12/21/04 2:30 AM, "Trevor Peterson" <abuian at access4less.net> wrote:
> They're really more in parallel, so that if possible the actions could
> be taken as simultaneous. At least, the action is presented that way, so
> that the writer chooses not to give us a particular sequence for which
> happens first. And the structure makes sense, when you think about it,
> because clearly here the two actions are related to each other most
> significantly in terms of their similarity, not their chronology.

Indeed, the actions seem reciprocal to me. A human steps on a snake's head
and it bites, or a snake strikes and the human stomps on it. In a linear
text, you can't really create a "split screen" effect, but the parallel
lines is about as close to that as you can get.

By the way, I realize that the original question probably presupposed a
larger discussion about metaphysical or "spiritual" or "prophetic"
interpretations of the pronouncement, but a life of difficult subsistence
agriculture is the topic at hand, and should be the immediate context for
understanding the pronouncement (at least in the first instance).


R. Christopher Heard
Assistant Professor of Religion
Armstrong Fellow in Religion
Pepperdine University

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