[b-hebrew] Directions with MIN

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Mon Apr 6 06:25:29 EDT 2009

Interesting question. I learn so much from questions like these.

I wonder if the difference may be between the motional and locative use of
the word?

On Sun, Apr 5, 2009 at 2:41 PM, Charles Grebe <cgrebe at briercrest.ca> wrote:

> When the preposition MIN is used with a direction like QEDEM (east) or
> TSAPHON (north), how do you know when it means "direction from" or
> "direction towards"?
> For example, in Genesis 13:11, MEQEDEM pretty much has to mean towards the
> east. After Lot chose the plain of the Jordan, he travelled east from the
> high country between Bethel and Ai (v. 3).

Is this a locative use, namely that Lot was traveling around “in the east”?

> See also Genesis 12:8 where Abram camps east of Bethel (or eastward from
> Bethel).

I understand this verse as purely locative.

> In Genesis 11:2, however, should MEQEDEM be understood to mean "from the
> east" or "to the east" or even "in the east", and more importantly, how do
> you determine which it is? There are examples of all of these in the English
> translations for this verse.

Is this verse also locative, in the same manner as Genesis 13:11 above?

> Thanks,
> Charles Grebe

I just did a quick analysis of MCPWN, and it seems to me from spot checking
that when it deals with an motion exiting from the place, e.g. Jeremiah
50:41, that it refers to “from the north”. But when it refers to something
happening in the north, such as camping, then it would be best translated as
“in the north”.

Any other ideas out there?

Karl W. Randolph.

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