[b-hebrew] Genesis 8:22

Harold Holmyard hholmyard at ont.com
Fri Apr 28 18:48:33 EDT 2006


Dear Karl,

>Harold! Harold, Harold:
>  
>


Please stop this form of address. It is insulting.

>You're like a hound dog with a bone who won't let 
>go. When you're right, that tenaciousness is good, 
>but when you are wrong, ...s
>  
>


HH: I've given you good information. Comparing me to a dog does not 
honor me.

>First of all, we are not impressed with your 
>external sources.
>  
>


HH: Karl is not impressed. I found the sources to be good enough. The 
quotes were from Nature magazine, a good source.  One comment was drawn 
from a book on the topic of the moon written by a scientist. More quotes 
came from a knowledgeable web site devoted the the path of the sun and 
moon. The fact that these different sources agree that the moon affects 
the seasons on earth and also is a marker for them does not prove that 
MW(D means "season," but it shows that such a meaning for the word would 
not be inappropriate. The Jeremiah 8:7 passage shows that "season" is an 
acceptable translation for MW(D. Many Bible translations have "season" 
there:

The Complete Jewish Bible: Storks in the sky know their seasons; doves, 
swallows and cranes their migration times; but my people do not know the 
rulings of ADONAI!

NIV:  Even the stork in the sky knows her appointed seasons, and the 
dove, the swift and the thrush observe the time of their migration. But 
my people do not know the requirements of the LORD.

Amplified: [Even the migratory birds are punctual to their seasons.] 
Yes, the stork [excelling in the great height of her flight] in the 
heavens knows her appointed times [of migration], and the turtledove, 
the swallow, and the crane observe the time of their return. But My 
people do not know the law of the Lord [which the lower animals 
instinctively recognize in so far as it applies to them].

HCSB: Even the stork in the sky knows her seasons. The turtledove, 
swallow, and crane are aware of their migration, but My people do not 
know the requirements of the LORD.

NASB: Even the stork in the sky
             Knows her seasons;
            And the turtledove and the swift and the thrush
            Observe the time of their migration;
            But My people do not know
            The ordinance of the LORD.

>Secondly, MW(D is used many times in Tanakh for 
>appointed time and/or place. That an appointed time 
>may correspond to a season is coincidence, not part 
>of the word's definition. That you insist that it 
>is part of the word's definition goes against good 
>lexicographic practices.
>  
>


HH: Fine, the word technically means "appointed time," but when that 
time is the beginning of a season, it seems adequate to translate the 
word as "season." In English we can say "the time of migration" or the 
"season of migration." There is little difference. And since the moon 
does mark seasons, the idea is suitable in Ps 104:19 as well, although 
the moon was always used regularly to mark nighttime and months as well.

>Third, your use of poetry to insist on your 
>definition shows that your argument is weak, at 
>best.
>  
>

HH: I showed that the context of the poem makes the idea of a "new moon 
holiday" inappropriate since the word must be applicable to animals as 
well as humans. My reasoning was quite clear; I note that you do not 
respond to it except to dismiss it.

>There are times to argue for your view, and there 
>are times when having the last word doesn't work. I 
>have the fault of wanting the last word too often, 
>and it looks as if you have the same problem.
>  
>

HH: This is probably the last word you will hear from me. Your tone is 
condescending. You try to dismiss my good arguments as though I had a 
personal "problem."  Actually, my view on the verse is the majority 
opinion and has plenty of scholarly support.

NIV: The moon marks off the seasons, and the sun knows when to go down.

NLT: You made the moon to mark the seasons and the sun that knows when 
to set.

NRSV: You have made the moon to mark the seasons; the sun knows its time 
for setting.

NASB: He made the moon for the seasons; The sun knows the place of its 
setting.

CEV: You created the moon to tell us the seasons. The sun knows when to set,

ESV: He made the moon to mark the seasons; the sun knows its time for 
setting.

HCSB: He made the moon to mark the [a] seasons; the sun knows when to set.

Amplified: [The Lord] appointed the moon for the seasons; the sun knows 
[the exact time of] its setting.

NKJV: He appointed the moon for seasons; The sun knows its going down.

NCV: You made the moon to mark the seasons, and the sun always knows 
when to set.

The Message: The moon keeps track of the seasons, the sun is in charge 
of each day.

GOD'S WORD: He created the moon, which marks the seasons, and the sun, 
which knows when to set.

Good News: You created the moon to mark the months; the sun knows the 
time to set.



HH: I would be content with some compromising translation, though it 
runs against the trend of scholarship:

He made the moon for appointed times; the sun knows its setting.

HH: This would allow Yitzhak's idea without intruding on the natural 
scene of the animals together with man. The times are relevant for the 
animals too. These would be times that God appointed such as nighttime, 
the monthly cycles of the moon, larger patterns of summer and winter as 
signaled by the moon, and stable yearly cycles for the earth's rotations 
as affected by the moon.

Yours,
Harold Holmyard




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