[b-hebrew] Genesis 3:5 - and ye shall be as gods

Harold Holmyard hholmyard at ont.com
Fri Aug 18 00:05:43 EDT 2006

Dear Steven,

I will say this: if the construction were exactly 
like Dan says, one would expect the following 
punctuation in the KJV text:

Gen. 3:5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat 
thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye 
shall be as gods knowing good and evil.

HH: The KJV did not punctuate it that way but put 
in a comma after "gods." The comma makes "knowing" 
appear to refer back to "you will be." Look at the 
examples the NET translator of Genesis gave, and 
you will see that an attributive participle 
functions as an adjective closely modifying the 
word it goes with. It is "broken vessel," "oak 
whose leaf fadeth," "chased roe," "wandering 
bird," "chaff that passeth away," "watered 
garden," "man astonied," "burning fire," "drunken 
man," "a woman in her pangs," "silly dove," 
"firebrand plucked out of the burning."

HH: There is never a comma between the noun and 
its attributive adjective. When you insert a 
comma, that makes the participle separate from the 
   preceding noun and go back to the main verb, it 
seem to me. An attributive participle is one like: 
"the laughing boy," "a crying girl." It functions 
as an adjective modifying the noun it goes with. 
But when you insert a comma after 'God," in Gen 
3:5, it suggest that the participle is functioning 
predicatively, going back to "you will be."

HH: Below are the verses that the NET Bible gives 
in comparison with the construction in Gen 3:5.

Harold Holmyard

Psa. 31:12 I am forgotten as a dead man out of 
mind: I am like a broken vessel.
Is. 1:30 For ye shall be as an oak whose leaf 
fadeth, and as a garden that hath no water.
Is. 13:14 And it shall be as the chased roe, and 
as a sheep that no man taketh up: they shall every 
man turn to his own people, and flee every one 
into his own land.
Is. 16:2 For it shall be, that, as a wandering 
bird cast out of the nest, so the daughters of 
Moab shall be at the fords of Arnon.
Is. 29:5 Moreover the multitude of thy strangers 
shall be like small dust, and the multitude of the 
terrible ones shall be as chaff that passeth away: 
yea, it shall be at an instant suddenly.
Is. 58:11 And the LORD shall guide thee 
continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and 
make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a 
watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose 
waters fail not.
Jer. 14:9 Why shouldest thou be as a man astonied, 
as a mighty man that cannot save? yet thou, O 
LORD, art in the midst of us, and we are called by 
thy name; leave us not.
Jer. 20:9 Then I said, I will not make mention of 
him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word 
was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my 
bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I 
could not stay.
Jer. 23:9 Mine heart within me is broken because 
of the prophets; all my bones shake; I am like a 
drunken man, and like a man whom wine hath 
overcome, because of the LORD, and because of the 
words of his holiness.
Jer. 31:12 Therefore they shall come and sing in 
the height of Zion, and shall flow together to the 
goodness of the LORD, for wheat, and for wine, and 
for oil, and for the young of the flock and of the 
herd: and their soul shall be as a watered garden; 
and they shall not sorrow any more at all.
Jer. 48:41 Kerioth is taken, and the strong holds 
are surprised, and the mighty men’s hearts in Moab 
at that day shall be as the heart of a woman in 
her pangs.
Jer. 49:22 Behold, he shall come up and fly as the 
eagle, and spread his wings over Bozrah: and at 
that day shall the heart of the mighty men of Edom 
be as the heart of a woman in her pangs.
Hos. 7:11 Ephraim also is like a silly dove 
without heart: they call to Egypt, they go to 
Amos 4:11 I have overthrown some of you, as God 
overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and ye were as a 
firebrand plucked out of the burning: yet have ye 
not returned unto me, saith the LORD.

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list