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

JimStinehart at aol.com JimStinehart at aol.com
Wed Aug 20 10:23:21 EDT 2008


George Athas:
 
1.  You wrote:  “[T]he 'core' meaning of NG( is 'to touch'…. In the case you 
have mentioned, there is 'touching' happening with 'great touchings'.”
 
I agree.
 
2.  You wrote:  “Yes, the 'core' meaning of NG( is 'to touch', but it is by 
no means the full extent of the semantic range.  …’Plague’ is perfectly 
acceptable within the semantic range.”
 
I agree.
 
3.  Yet “plague” nevertheless is not a good translation of NG( at Genesis 
12: 17, because that translation hides the connection to NG( at Genesis 32: 
25/26.  The linguistic point I have been trying to make on this thread is that 
YHWH interacts with each of Pharaoh and Jacob in a somewhat similar way, as shown 
by the same Hebrew verb NG( being used at Genesis 12: 17 and Genesis 32: 
25/26.
 
4.  You wrote:  “I know you'll probably produce an essay in reply to this….”
 
If anyone wants to read an “essay” of mine on the textual and historical 
meaning of Genesis 12: 17, see my response to Yigal Levin’s latest posting on 
this thread.  I am trying to show the intimate connection between NG( at Genesis 
12: 17 and NG( at Genesis 32: 25/26, so that people will realize that Abraham 
does not act in a cowardly or immoral fashion in Egypt.  Genesis 12: 18-19 is 
official Egyptian government propaganda that is largely false, rather than 
proving that Abraham acted in a cowardly and immoral fashion in Egypt.  To see 
that, one key is to understand that YHWH communicates with Pharaoh at Genesis 
12: 17 in roughly the same way as YHWH communicates with Jacob at Genesis 32: 
25/26.  That’s why it’s important how NG( is translated at Genesis 12: 17.  
 
5.  You wrote:  “So, to conclude, IT MEANS ‘PLAGUED’!”
 
 
But it’s the same Hebrew verb as is used regarding YHWH’s communication with 
Jacob at Genesis 32: 25/26.  In my opinion, that linguistic point is of 
critical importance in understanding the Patriarchal narratives.
 
Jim Stinehart
Evanston, Illinois




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