[b-hebrew] Genesis 3:15 "bruise"

George F Somsel gfsomsel at juno.com
Wed Dec 22 11:49:55 EST 2004

On Wed, 22 Dec 2004 16:34:10 +0100 "Sesamo m." <sesamox at hotmail.com>
> The word for "bruise", shu&#770;ph,  is translated in a different way 
> in 
> other translations:
> "From now on, you and the woman will be enemies, and your offspring 
> and her 
> offspring will be enemies. He will crush your head, and you will 
> strike his 
> heel." (New Living Translation)
> "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy 
> seed and 
> her seed; he shall crush thy head, and thou shalt crush his heel." 
> (Darby)
> I'm not a native English speaker, but If I'm not wrong, there is a 
> big 
> difference between "bruise" and "crush". Which is the real meaning 
> (or 
> meanings) in Hebrew?

You are correct to note that in both cases it seems to be the same word. 
BDB connects it with the idea "rub off, away, grind."  The TWOT has 

What, though, is meant by “bruising” or “crushing”? That such would
describe the action of a man with a snake is obvious but would it equally
describe the thrust of a snake’s bite at a man’s heel? The LXX translates
both uses of šûp in Gen 3:15 with tereo “to watch, guard.” The Vulgate,
on the other hand, uses two different verbs. To describe what the woman’s
seed would do to the serpent it uses the verb conterere “to crush.” To
describe what the serpent would do to the woman’s seed, it uses the verb
insidiari “to lie in wait.” This along with other factors has led several
commentators to connect the first šûp with another Hebrew verb ša?ap II,
“to trample under foot” and the second šûp with Hebrew ša?ap I, “to gasp,
pant after.” 

I doubt that there is really any difference at all.


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