[b-hebrew] Genesis 8:22

Yitzhak Sapir yitzhaksapir at gmail.com
Thu Apr 27 05:08:54 EDT 2006

On 4/26/06, Harold Holmyard wrote:

> >An argument could be made based on Genesis 1:14,
> >when God created the sun, moon and stars, that
> >seasons were mentioned, but the Hebrew does not say
> >seasons (as in summer, fall, winter and spring)
> >rather just times, appointed celebrations, years
> >and other are mentioned. The implication that I
> >draw from that omission is that the seasons didn't
> >exist until after the flood. Before the flood, all
> >time was harvest time, after the flood, there was
> >a particular harvest time, before no winter, after
> >winter cut off vegetative growth, and so forth.

> HH: The word  MW(D ("time") clearly can refer to the seasons of
> nature.  In Jer 8:7 it refers to the migration season for birds. In Ps
> 104:19 it refers to nature's seasons:

Dear Harold,

I think you are mistranslating Psalm 104.  The word mw(d very often
refers to the full moon holiday.  This appears clearly from its use to
denote the special holidays such as Passover and Sukkoth.  Even
Shavuoth is included because the date given in the Bible falls on the
15th of the month when assuming a 12x30 or 4x91 calendar, and this
can be considered a further development from an original date in the
15th of a lunisolar calendar.  Moed also appears in conjuction with
the term Hodesh (new moon) and also Hag and Shabbat, the later
also probably a term for the full moon in certain cases.  In the case
of Psalm 104, this kind of interpretation is also very plausible.  In
fact, the moon is not usually associated with the seasonal calendar
(this is the role of the sun), so this interpretation of Psalm 104 is
probably more likely, and yours seems rather unlikely.

As for Jeremiah, I had considered the possibility that the terms in
Jer 8:7 refer to constellations.  The main argument is the joint
terms sws and (gwr, which appear jointly in places I consider to
be astrological contexts.  This example is a rebuke of astrology.
In Isaiah 38:14 it appears as part of a prayer following an
astrological sign (Isaiah 38:8).  I would also argue there are
reasons to read the Balaam inscription, where this term also
seems to appear, as an astrological document.  While these
considerations are not conclusive, the word "seasons" as the
translation of Jer 8:7 is not necessary, and the usual translation
"appointed times" is more reasonable in this case as well.

Yitzhak Sapir

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