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

Harold R. Holmyard III hholmyard at ont.com
Wed Dec 22 11:07:21 EST 2004

Dear Moshe,

>At 08:51 AM 12/22/2004 -0600, you wrote:
>>Dear Moshe,
>>>>Even if one does not take the use of mazriya( in Gen 1:11, 12 to 
>>>>imply that,
>>>>always, the one who does the hiphil zara(-ing supplies the zera(, Lev 12:2
>>>>still has the woman as the active agent of the zara(-ing, the "sowing," not
>>>>as a passive recipient of zera(.
>>>It is definitely a strange usage here, which is what the Rabbis 
>>>seem to have picked up on. I recall seeing an article (I think in 
>>>BR) about women having seed.
>>HH: Even if the ancient Jews did understand about women producing 
>>eggs, that is not chiefly what Lev 12:2 concerns, I think. It 
>>refers to a woman conceiving and bearing a child. Obviously a woman 
>>could produce eggs but not conceive; producing eggs does not 
>>automatically lead to giving birth. So the relevant point probably 
>>was, in in many other texts, that she conceived and bore. The 
>>Hiphil of ZR( here would seem to include the implanting of the male 
>>seed in the wall of the uterus.
>You can't have it both ways. In one verse argue it means normal 
>offspring and in another an offspring from a virgin birth.

HH: I was not arguing that in Genesis 3:15 there is a virgin birth. I 
said I was sympathetic to Doug's idea that in Lev 12:2 the verb could 
mean "conceive." I did not mean to take my sympathy all the way back 
to his argument about Gen 3:15. Sorry about the misunderstanding. I 
was convinced by other arguments, perhaps from you, that a woman in 
the OT could have "seed" in the sense of "descendants." I thought 
that was helpful information, because often the Gen 3:15 passage 
seems to be taken in isolation and viewed as strange because of the 
mention the woman only. The other data was a worthwhile corrective to 
that tendency.

				Harold Holmyard

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