[b-hebrew] watered ground & forming dust

Isaac Fried if at math.bu.edu
Tue Nov 10 16:05:15 EST 2009


Naama,

Ground sounds good. Compare the root עפר with the roots אפר,  
אבר, עבר, עור, פרר, ברר.

Isaac Fried
Boston University

On Nov 10, 2009, at 2:44 PM, Naama Zahavi-Ely wrote:

> Shalom!
>
> The problem is that you are dealing through English with something  
> for which there is no good English term.  I run into this problem  
> every year as I read the text of Genesis 1-3 with intermediate  
> Hebrew students.  "Afar," which is translated as "dust," is  
> actually not (dry, wind-blown) dust but rather earth/soil as  
> material -- that is, the collective term for particles of earth  
> that one can pick up and pinch between one's fingers.  It can be  
> dry or moist, and it can be formed.  I have not been able to find a  
> better English word -- every possibility I can think of has other  
> connotations that are misleading (ground?  earth?  soil?).
>
> I also agree with Yigal's reasoning -- you can't apply Aristotelian  
> logic to the Hebrew Bible (or for that matter to most usage of any  
> language).  But in this case, the argument is not necessary.
>
> Best wishes
>
> Naama Zahavi-Ely
> College of William and Mary
>
>> Message: 3
>> Date: Mon, 9 Nov 2009 17:59:46 -0700
>> From: Gerry Folbre <gfolbreiii at gmail.com>
>> Subject: [b-hebrew] watered ground & forming dust
>> To: B-Hebrew <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
>> Message-ID:
>> 	<a79631010911091659rf59c74ewaf2c29d1d0c10644 at mail.gmail.com>
>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
>>
>> I would like to discuss what I perceive as incongruent anomalies  
>> composed
>> within Gen. 2:6b & 2:7a.
>>
>> Gen. 2:6b ????? ???????????????? ...  {and irrigated [watered/made  
>> wet] the
>> whole face of the ground).
>>
>> Gen. 2:7a ... ????? ???? ????? ??????? ??? ????????  {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
>> vessel)?.
>>
>>
>>
>> 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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