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

Harold R. Holmyard III hholmyard at ont.com
Wed Dec 22 10:08:56 EST 2004


Dear Chris,

>I cannot find any demonstrable instance in the Tanakh of zara( taking a
>masculine noun or pronoun as its subject and meaning "to impregnate." Can
>someone point me to attestations that I have overlooked?

HH: What follows is not the Tanakh, and the 
grammar of the passage is debated (the KJV 
thought that Sarah conceived seed), but the best 
interpretation of Heb 11:11 follows the path of 
the NIV:

Heb. 11:11 ¶ By faith Abraham, even though he was 
past age - and Sarah herself was barren - was 
enabled to become a father because he considered 
him faithful who had made the promise.

HH: A literal translation of "become a father" is 
"for a laying down of seed." That is what seems 
to reduce the credibility of the KJV 
interpretation:

Heb. 11:11 Through faith also Sara herself 
received strength to conceive seed, and was 
delivered of a child when she was past age, 
because she judged him faithful who had promised.

HH: It is BAGD that notes the meaning of KATABOLH 
can be a technical term for the sowing of the 
seed, for begetting (TOU SPERMATOS [EIS GHN H 
MAHTPAN] "of the seed [in earth or womb]." BAGD 
says that if this understanding is correct, the 
term could not apply to Sarah in Heb 11:11, but 
only of Abraham. Of course the verb KATABALLW can 
mean "throw down."

				 Yours,
				 Harold Holmyard



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