[b-hebrew] Was Pharaoh "Touched" or "Plagued" by God at Genesis 12: 17?

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Mon Aug 18 13:16:46 EDT 2008


On Mon, Aug 18, 2008 at 7:35 AM, <JimStinehart at aol.com> wrote:

> Was Pharaoh "Touched" or "Plagued" by God at Genesis 12: 17?
> 1.  Q:  How did Pharaoh know that it was time to return Sarah to Abraham?
> A:  God "touched" Pharaoh at Genesis 12: 17.  The traditional English
> translation that God "plagued" Pharaoh is unwarranted, as
> nun-gimel-ayin/naga
> simply means "touch".

OK, far enough.

The meaning of נגע NG( when looking at all its uses in the Bible is "to
reach out to touch, used for all touching from soft caresses to a hard blow
intended to injure or kill, also for sexual contact". As such, that is not
the same meaning as used in English.

Genesis doesn't give us the details of how God "touched" pharaoh, other than
that it was great, and given the term's broad uses, "plague" fits the

Usually I skip your missives unread, but because I suspected that in this
one you made a lexicographic error, a suspicion that was correct, I read as
far as I preserved above.

Karl W. Randolph.

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