[b-hebrew] Yom in Biblical and Rabbinic Texts

Peter Kirk peter at qaya.org
Wed Oct 26 11:34:36 EDT 2005

On 26/10/2005 15:57, Bryant J. Williams III wrote:

>Dear Peter, Yigal, et al,
>True, but understanding the word "day" in a non-literal sense also does
>not work - and is arguably already "adding elements that are not in the
>text" and "midrash, but certainly not a literal understanding of the
>text". There is no easy answer.
>The problem as I see it, (sorry, basketball official jargon, :))) ), YOM  causes
>us to want to eisegete our interpretation into the text to correspond with what
>our view of regarding the universe and creation-evolution. The word used with
>numbers to indicate a 24-hr period = evening and morning is quite clear. BUT we
>are not at liberty to translate via application. The straight dope is to render
>it as day. In other word, at this point is confusing application with
>interpretation = eisegesis. Beyond that is flat out wrong. The context is quite
>clear about that.

Thank you for the clarification. As a translator, I agree that YOM 
should be translated "day" in Genesis 1, although probably not in 2:4. 
If I were to interpret this for a congregation etc, I would need to go 
into what Yigal calls midrash, but that is the nature of preaching and 

For a similar reason Revelation is one of the easiest books in the Bible 
to translate - because all of the complex imagery has to be translated 
literally, and the interpretation can be left to others.

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

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