[b-hebrew] A Puzzle - find the catchword

Yitzhak Sapir yitzhaksapir at gmail.com
Mon Nov 13 02:50:29 EST 2006

On 11/12/06, Chris and Nel wrote:
> Deut 24 in verse 16.  Where is the catchword that relates an apparently
> inconsistent or out of place clause to the whole subject just gone before?
> This is not my idea but Ehud Ben Zvi's. I presume it is the word: BeCHeTow
> (his sin).  What is even more baffling, (pull out hair moment) is that he
> says that this incongruent statement has been inserted here probably as a
> response to Exodus 22:20-23.  What is he talking about for goodness
> sake??????????????????????????????

Dear Chris,

I think you're right.  I have no idea what Ben Zvi book you're referring to.
However, the word "baxɛ+)o" connects this verse with the preceding
paragraph.  As Bryan notes, both the preceding and following paragraphs
deal with treatment of foreigners, poor and orphans.  This verse could
refer to any sin, as a general policy of not killing someone for their
parent's sin.  This verse is not inconsistent with Exodus 22:20-23.  But
Exodus 22:20-23 seems to suggest and emphasize that it is the wives
and children who are being punished for their father's sin by their father
being killed and they themselves being made into widows and orphans.
Deuteronomy responds by placing it in the proper context: No one is
dying or punished for someone else's sin, each person is punished for
their own sin, where "sin" -- the key word -- is elaborated by the final
words of the preceding verse: if you oppress a foreigner, he will call
upon God and you will carry a "sin."   Only because of this keyword is
this verse connected to the previous section and seen as an elaboration
and clarification of Exodus 22:20-23.

Yitzhak Sapir

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