[b-hebrew] watered ground & forming dust

Yigal Levin leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il
Tue Nov 10 00:45:47 EST 2009


I think that the problem is that you insist on using Aristotelian logic on an Ancient Near Eastern text. When the Bible says that God caused water to irrigate "all" of the land, the ancient readers understood that "all" means "all of the land that it would be appropriate to irrigate". The fact that the very next verse implies that there was still "dry dust" around is proof of this. 
The Bible is a work of literature, written (whether by God or man - it doesn't matter) according to the literary conventions that were expected by its intended audience. The Bible is NOT a scientific text in which you would expect precise wording.

Yigal Levin

-----Original Message-----
From: b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org [mailto:b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Gerry Folbre
Sent: Tuesday, November 10, 2009 3:00 AM
To: B-Hebrew
Subject: [b-hebrew] watered ground & forming dust

I would like to discuss what I perceive as incongruent anomalies composed
within Gen. 2:6b & 2:7a.

Gen. 2:6b והשׁקה את־כל־פני־האדמה׃ ...  {and irrigated [watered/made wet] the
whole face of the ground).

Gen. 2:7a ... וייצר יהוה אלהים את־האדם עפר מן־האדמה  {and it formed the
human archetype of dust from the ground ...)

Gen. 2:6b states that the entire face (surface) of the ground is irrigated.
But then Gen. 2:7a not only describes “dry, loose earth (or dust)” being
found upon the newly irrigated surface of the ground, Gen. 2:7a also
apparently stats that somehow this “dry, loose earth (dust)” can somehow be
“formed”.  However, “dust (dry, loose earth) from the ground” is not an
earthly substance that lends itself to being “formed {like a potter forms a

If there is anyone who may have some constructive insight into these
contextual anomalies, I look forward to discussing these subjects with you.

Gerry Folbre
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