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

Harold Holmyard hholmyard3 at earthlink.net
Fri Apr 13 11:11:04 EDT 2007

Dear David,
> Torah means revelation or instruction or teaching or schoolmaster. 

HH: The issue is not my need to know what Torah means. It is your need 
to define the meaning you are giving this word before you use it in a 
particular way. The word has several meanings. Many, many people would 
have assumed as I did that you were referring to the Mosaic law. 
Wikipedia's article on Torah says:

Torah (???????) is a Hebrew word meaning "teaching," "instruction," or 
"law". It refers primarily to the Five Books of Moses, also known as the 
Law of Moses (Torat Moshe ???????-??????) or the Pentateuch (Greek for 
"five containers," which refers to the scroll cases in which books were 
being kept).

HH: The website Judaism 101 says:

The  word "Torah" is a tricky one, because it can mean different things 
in different contexts. In its most limited sense, "Torah" refers to the 
Five Books of  Moses: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and  Deuteronomy.
> We know the one language (Beresheis 2:19) was Hebrew because Adam's 
> very name derives from Hebrew (adamah); the 2 names he gave to Eve 
> (Chava comes from chai/life) were Hebrew and only makes sense in 
> Hebrew. He also called her /isha /(woman) because she was taken from 
> the /ish /(man). (See Beresheis 2:23, 3:20 and Midrash Beresheis 
> Rabbah 38).

HH: Of course, this could be the Hebrew reproduction of whatever the 
wordplays were in the original language, if that language was different. 
There could be a man's name taken from the word for "ground," and a 
woman's name taken from the word for "life." There could be a name for 
the female that is related to a name for the male, just as English has 
"man" and "wo-man."
> While I agree we all have eternity written on our hearts, I 
> specifically refer to the fact that after Adam dropped the ball that 
> it was not until Mt. Sinai that a nation agreed to do Torah before 
> knowing what living Torah entailed. Avraham lived Torah because the 
> very aleph bet he spoke declare Hashem; Torah is within them.

HH: As far as we know, God did not give a body of law to any nation 
before he gave it to Israel. A point is made of this fact in the NT:

Rom. 5:12-14  Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, 
and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because 
all sinned --- for before the law was given, sin was in the world. But 
sin is not taken into account when there is no law. Nevertheless, death 
reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who 
did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the 
one to come.

Hh: Paul's point is that there was sin before the Mosaic law because 
there was death. It began with Adam who broke a specific command, but 
the rest of those who died did not have an explicit law by which to take 
account of their sins. Nonetheless we know there was sin because death 
is the result of sin, and they died.

Harold Holmyard

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