[b-hebrew] Re: Kadeshah & Zonah in Genesis 32 + More

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Wed Jul 14 18:05:11 EDT 2004

On 14/07/2004 21:22, david.kimbrough at charter.net wrote:

>I have to disagree.
>1) The earliest that Genesis 32 could have been written was during the exodus by Moses.  This means the conversations of the Adullamite with the unspecified individuals occurred hundreds of years prior, at the ealiest.  It seems unlikely that Genesis 32 is a verbatim transcript of the conversations.

I did not say that this was a verbatim transcript. It may have been. But 
the difference of perspective and vocabulary may have been an authorial 
construct (and may have reflected distinctions in the author's own 
period rather than in the patriarchal period, but that's a different 
issue). After all, a good novelist as well as a good reporter will put 
different vocabulary on the lips of different participants in a story 
e.g. "terrorist" or "freedom fighter".

>2) I do not see why the Adullamite and the folks he was speaking with would understand the Hebrew word ?kadeshah? but not the Hebrew word ?zonah?.  

I guess both sides understood both words, but then both sides understand 
both "terrorist" and "freedom fighter" although they differ on who they 
might accept its reference to.

>3) The Hebrew sentence seems pretty clear that there is a ?because? (ky) connecting ?He thought she was a whore? and ?her face was covered?.
As you said elsewhere, this is not the point. He didn't recognise his 
daughter-in-law, although he probably would have done if she had not 
been veiled, and for some reason which is not entirely clear he took her 
as a common prostitute.

Elsewhere you wrote:

>HOWEVER, *my* point is that the use of a kadeshah in Genesis 38 does seems (I am not saying this is proven) to have some more honor, or was at least less embrassing, than using a zonah.  That would seem to explain why the Adullamite was out looking for a kadeshah to redeem Judah signet, braclet, and staff, rather than a zonah.

I suspect that the point here is that qadesha was seen at least by the 
Adullamite as less embarrassing, perhaps almost a euphemism. It was more 
polite, perhaps, to look for a qadesha than for a zona. But Judah did 
not accept any such euphemism as offering any excuse for Tamar being a 

Peter Kirk
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)

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