[b-hebrew] Dying, you will die Gen 2:17

Isaac Fried if at math.bu.edu
Thu Apr 5 13:38:39 EDT 2007

Scott and All,

I must say that I find the addition in the translation of 'surely'  
troubling. Surely God does not need to amplify his forewarnings by  
the use of "surely". God is not the principal of GAN-EDEN high  
school, emphatically warning a misbehaving student that unless he  
rectifies his behavior and refrains from sucking smoke out of the rod  
of pleasure he will SURELY find himself over the wrong side of the gate.

The terminology of Infinitive Absolute is opaque and  gives no hint  
of its function. As I have said in the past on this Forum, I consider  
the Hebrew word as consisting of a root plus personal pronouns (and  
auxiliary prefixed prepositions), which in my opinion is the essence  
of Hebrew grammar. In order not to garble the root, the internally  
inserted pronouns (the 'infixes') are reduced to the bare vowels U  
(O), I (E), which are the core of the universal pronouns HU), HI).

In Isaiah 22:13 "HAROG BAQAR", HAROG = HAR-HO-G, from the root HRG  
(related to XRG and XRQ), 'kill', and HO) = HU) referring to a  
general, unspecified, actor pulling off the act of slaying (notice  
the subtle difference between HAROG and the QAL passive participle  
HARUG = HAR-HU-G). This is exactly the function in English of the  
suffix 'ing' in 'slaying'. Surely the BAQAR, 'ox', did not die  
unaided; someone intently caused its expiration by some brutal means.  
In the jussive form HAROG!, the inserted personal pronoun stands for  
the person being commanded to perform the act.

As an example of a succession of cognates derived from the same root  
consider the random GADOL TIGDAL constructed out of the strong  
(stable, complete), root GDL, 'grow'. In this GAD-HO-L the personal  
pronoun HO) = HU) refers to the the addressee, predicted, or wished,  
to be in the state of GDL. How will he get there? By virtue of TIGDAL  
= TI-GDAL, where TI is the personal pronoun AT-HI), referring once  
more to the predicated listener. Hence the English translation of  
GADOL TIGDAL is "big you will become", or "big you will grow".

Just think about it; it is nothing short of a miracle that ADAM and  
EVE understood at all what MUT means, considering the lack of a  
precedent and their being denied accesses to BDB.

In conclusion, MOT is a state (lying on the back with closed eyes, an  
idle pulse, a drained brain and a departed spirit), while TAMUT = ATA- 
MUT is how you (ATA) will get there.

Notice the conceptual affinity of MUT with a TAV and MUT with a TETH.

Isaac Fried, Boston University

On Apr 4, 2007, at 12:29 AM, Scott McAliley wrote:

> I was reading through some archives addressing the infinitive  
> absolute in
> Genesis 2:17, trying to find some answers to questions that only  
> Hebrew
> students and experts could answer(I am neither of these, by the  
> way).  And I
> am hoping that someone can give me some insight.
> Thanks,
> Scott McAliley
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