[b-hebrew] 6-Month "Year" vs. Biblical Hebrew

JimStinehart at aol.com JimStinehart at aol.com
Thu Oct 25 17:24:26 EDT 2007


 
George Athas: 
As an expert in Biblical Hebrew, might I ask you to comment specifically  on 
the particular language of Genesis 41: 1 concerning the description of the  
amount of time Joseph was in an Egyptian jail?  I believe that the literal 
wording  is: 
"two years of days" 
This odd phrase is often translated as: 
"two full years" 
Thus JPS1917 translates this sentence as follows: 
"And it came to pass at the end  of two full years, that Pharaoh dreamed:  
and, behold, he stood by the river."  Genesis 41: 1 
On my view, where all ages of people are set forth in terms of 6-month  
"years" in this text, this odd phrasing is deliberately designed to alert us to  
the fact that periods of time in Egypt, where there never was any 6-month "year" 
 concept, will be set forth in the text in terms of regular, 12-month years.  
(This, despite the fact that all ages of  persons will continue to be set 
forth in terms of 6-month "years", on my  controversial view.)  This is the  very 
first reference to a period of years in Egypt in the Patriarchal  narratives. 
1.  How odd do you consider  the phrase "two years of days" to be at Genesis 
41: 1? 
2.  Would it make sense that  this odd phrasing is deliberately designed to 
let us know that periods of years  in Egypt will be set forth in terms of 
regular, 12-month years, whereas ages of  all persons, including Joseph's stated 
age at Genesis 41: 46, will continue, as  always, to be set forth in terms of 
6-month "years"? 
3.  What I am really asking  is a linguistic question, that is not dependent 
on whether you give any  substantial credence to my controversial theory of 
the ages of people in the  Patriarchal narratives.  How odd and  awkward, in 
Biblical Hebrew, is the phrase "two years of days" at Genesis 41:  1? 
Any help you (or anyone else) can give me on this linguistic matter would  be 
greatly appreciated. 
Jim Stinehart 
Evanston, Illinois



************************************** See what's new at http://www.aol.com



More information about the b-hebrew mailing list