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

Harold R. Holmyard III hholmyard at ont.com
Wed Dec 22 16:07:24 EST 2004


Dear list,

Here is what Jacob Milgrom says about Lev 12:2:

at childbirth, tazria', literally, "produces seed." The Sam., 
followed by the Versions, reads tizzara' (niphal) "becomes pregnant, 
conceives." But the emendation is unnecessary. zera', normally 
"seed," can also stand for the fully grown fruit (Gen 1:11-12; 
Wessely 1846), which, in the case of the human seed, means 
"offspring" (e.g., Gen 3:15). The hiphil tazria' would then denote 
"produces offspring." Furthermore, the womb of the woman is 
associated with the womb of the earth. Human offspring, like the 
earth's vegetation, can reproduce (cf. Ibn Ezra). Alternatively, the 
hiphil may be considered to be a stative, but in the elative mode, 
otherwise known as an internal hiphil (GKC #53d), connoting the 
completion of an action, as in hiqrib tabo' "he was about to enter" 
(Gen 12:11), in other words, he had reached the border: ya'arikun 
yameka "that your days may be very long" (Exod 20:12), in other 
words, permanent, forever. The rendering here would, then, be "when a 
woman comes to term (i.e., at the completion of her pregnancy) and 
delivers a male" (D. N. Freedman). In either case, tazria' is apt. 
Yet the probability rests with the literal translation, "produces 
seed." The rabbis held that conception occurred when the woman's 
blood united with the male sperm. Moreover, many of the ancients 
(e.g., Galen; cf. Pruess 1978: 387-88) assumed that the menstrual 
blood contains the seed (i.e. ovum) that unites with the male seed 
(i.e. semen) to produce the human being. And the Aramaic translation 
ta'ade (Trs. Onq, Ps.-J.) is semantically related to words for youth, 
pubescence, and menstrual clothing (cf. Isa 64:5; Jer 2:32; esp. Ezek 
16:7), thus creating a semantic field around the basic meaning 
"[genital] seed."

HH: Our discussion involved agreement that the term could or should 
be translated "conceive." That is what Milgrom means by his literal 
translation "produce seed." He includes the male sperm in the 
process. Milgrom's discussion does vindicate Moshe's idea that 
"produce seed" is the idea, but also Doug's idea that the male sperm 
is assumed.

					Yours,
					Harold Holmyard





>On Wed, 22 Dec 2004 13:27:52 -0500 Jim West <jwest at highland.net> writes:
>>  At 01:18 PM 12/22/2004, you wrote:
>>
>>  >Paul, being a Roman citizen from Asia Minor, probably spoke Greek
>>  as his
>>  >mother toungue, and probably thought in Greek as well. Chances are
>>  that he
>>  >"imported" Greek expressions into his Hebrew or Aramaic, not the
>>  other way
>>  >around. Certainly, when writing Greek, he thought like a Greek.
>>  >
>>  >Yigal
>>
>>  Paul in 99% likelihood was not the author of Hebrews.  Whoever did
>>  write
>>  it, wrote excellent greek, excelled in the New Testament only by the
>>  author
>>  of 1 Peter.  Nonetheless you are correct in observing that when
>>  writing
>>  Greek one thinks in Greek and including a loan word or two from
>>  Hebrew or
>>  Aramaic doesn't change that fact any more than someone occasionally
>>
>>  inserting "vis-a-vis" makes them a fluent thinker in French.
>>
>>  Jim
>>
>>
>>  ++++++++++++++++++++
>>  Jim West, ThD
>>  Adjunct Professor of Biblical Studies
>>  Quartz Hill School of Theology
>____________
>
>Jim,
>
>I beg your pardon, but the likelihood that Paul was the author of Hebrews
>is approx. 0.001%
>
>george
>gfsomsel
>___________
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