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

Bryant J. Williams III bjwvmw at com-pair.net
Wed Aug 20 12:53:21 EDT 2008


Dear Jim,

The English word "plagued" may also have the figurative use of "one who is
continually afflicted with trouble, harassment, etc." This corresponds to the
usage of "The Ten Plagues of Egypt." Those plagues did not include The Plague
(Bubonic, Pneumonic) which plagued Europe for several centuries during the
Middle Ages through the 19th Century.

What Abraham did is clearly WRONG! He lied. In fact, he did it a second time
with Abimelech of the Philistines! In both instances he claimed that Sarah was
his sister. That was only a half-truth (half-sister) since she was also his
wife. Although Abraham is clearly a man of faith, this does not mean that he did
not have moments of unfaithfulness. The Patriarchal Narratives clearly show
God's faithfulness in spite of the Patriarchs' sinful actions. I do agree with
you that the Late Date theory of the writing of the Pentateuch is clearly wrong,
but written ca. 1445-1405 BC. BUT that is not a matter for this forum! We must
stick to what the text says PERIOD!

How God "touched" Pharaoh versus how He "touched" Jacob is clearly different.
Jacob's was clearly a literal touch to the hip-joint between the thigh and
abdomen. The "touching" or "plaguing" that afflicted Pharaoh was entirely
different in that it affected his entire household (harem?).

Furthermore, I always remind myself that when the covenant of chapter 15 is made
with Abraham it was God who walked between the carcasses NOT Abraham, because
Abraham was asleep. Thus, God is holding Himself responsible for the keeping of
the covenant.

En Xristwi,

Rev. Bryant J. Williams III

----- Original Message ----- 
From: <JimStinehart at aol.com>
To: <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Wednesday, August 20, 2008 7:23 AM
Subject: [b-hebrew] Was Pharaoh "Touched" or "Plagued" by God at Genesis 12:17?


>
> 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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