Gen. 16:13 אַחֲרֵ֥י

Classical Hebrew morphology and syntax, aspect, linguistics, discourse analysis, and related topics
Forum rules
Members will observe the rules for respectful discourse at all times!
Please sign all posts with your first and last (family) name.
Post Reply
Mike Atnip
Posts: 40
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2022 9:12 am
Contact:

Gen. 16:13 אַחֲרֵ֥י

Post by Mike Atnip »

‏In Gen. 16:13 we have: וַתִּקְרָ֤א שֵׁם־יְהוָה֙ הַדֹּבֵ֣ר אֵלֶ֔יהָ אַתָּ֖ה אֵ֣ל רֳאִ֑י כִּ֣י אָֽמְרָ֗ה הֲגַ֥ם הֲלֹ֛ם רָאִ֖יתִי אַחֲרֵ֥י רֹאִֽי׃
A knotty verse, so I am probably acting the fool to suggest a somewhat novel way of looking at the word אַחֲרֵ֥י
Just after reading this verse and a lot of commentary on it, I was in Judges 19:23וַיֵּצֵ֣א אֲלֵיהֶ֗ם הָאִישׁ֙ בַּ֣עַל הַבַּ֔יִת וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֲלֵהֶ֔ם אַל־אַחַ֖י אַל־תָּרֵ֣עוּ נָ֑א אַ֠חֲרֵי אֲשֶׁר־בָּ֞א הָאִ֤ישׁ הַזֶּה֙ אַל־בֵּיתִ֔י אַֽל־תַּעֲשׂ֖וּ אֶת־הַנְּבָלָ֥ה הַזֹּֽאת׃
Here I noticed that word אַחֲרֵ֥י again and its context and the KJV translation (seeing that) and others (because, since, etc.)
So my mind goes back to Gen. 16:13, wondering if that same sense of "as a result of, because of, on account of." Or more literally using "after": "as a consequence/result that follows after"
Then some research found Gen. 41:39: וַיֹּ֤אמֶר פַּרְעֹה֙ אֶל־יוֹסֵ֔ף אַחֲרֵ֨י הוֹדִ֧יעַ אֱלֹהִ֛ים אוֹתְךָ֖ אֶת־כָּל־זֹ֑את אֵין־נָב֥וֹן וְחָכָ֖ם כָּמֽוֹךָ׃ The KJV has "forasmuch" as the translation for אַחֲרֵ֥י.
All of this leads me to wonder if Gen. 16:13 could be translated something like: "And she gave YHWH, who spoke to her, the name The Seeing God because she said, “Have I also looked at [him], as a result of him seeing me?” Now to make that more dynamic, and removing the question to make it a statement: "I have had a revelation of him as a result of him taking notice of me (and my need)."
To sum it up, she has "seen" God as a result of (אַחֲרֵ֥י) him "seeing" her.
Any thoughts? Off my rocker? :shock:
Mike Atnip
May I not debate presumptuously; may I not be silent impudently. May I learn beneficial speech; may I acquire discerning silence. -Ephrem the Syrian
User avatar
Jason Hare
Posts: 1924
Joined: Mon Sep 30, 2013 5:07 am
Location: Tel Aviv, Israel
Contact:

Re: Gen. 16:13 אַחֲרֵ֥י

Post by Jason Hare »

Have you checked the major lexica?
Jason Hare
Tel Aviv, Israel
The Hebrew Café
יוֹדֵ֣עַ צַ֭דִּיק נֶ֣פֶשׁ בְּהֶמְתּ֑וֹ וְֽרַחֲמֵ֥י רְ֝שָׁעִ֗ים אַכְזָרִֽי׃
ספר משלי י״ב, י׳
Mike Atnip
Posts: 40
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2022 9:12 am
Contact:

Re: Gen. 16:13 אַחֲרֵ֥י

Post by Mike Atnip »

In BDB, HALOT, DCH you find glosses like "behind, following, after, afterwards, subsequently." While most of the time this is speaking of physically (spatially) behind/after or temporally, I am suggesting the possibility of it being somewhat abstractly "behind/after/subsequently." One of those resources (cant find it now) mentioned that the culture of that day walked in a file (not so much side-by-side) when going places. The "another" was the person behind, following after.
So I am trying to make sense of the word here in Gen. 16:13, and an abstract sense of "subsequently following" (this follows as a result of that) makes sense to me. That doesn't make it legitimate, though. :-)
Mike Atnip
May I not debate presumptuously; may I not be silent impudently. May I learn beneficial speech; may I acquire discerning silence. -Ephrem the Syrian
User avatar
Max S-R
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2022 7:17 am

Re: Gen. 16:13 אַחֲרֵ֥י

Post by Max S-R »

Mike Atnip wrote: Wed Jul 26, 2023 4:13 pm All of this leads me to wonder if Gen. 16:13 could be translated something like: "And she gave YHWH, who spoke to her, the name The Seeing God because she said, “Have I also looked at [him], as a result of him seeing me?” Now to make that more dynamic, and removing the question to make it a statement: "I have had a revelation of him as a result of him taking notice of me (and my need)."
I don't find your interpretation to be altogether impossible. It seems to me like some causal relation underlies virtually every use of words like "after", in any language. It's also interesting that in your elaborated translation you mention a "revelation" because the Onqelos targum of this verse ends:
הברם הכה שרתי חזיא בתר דאתגלי לי
'..Verily, have I seen here a vestige after it had been revealed to me?'
Although this seems to be purely temporal in meaning.

I also can't help wondering how one would suffix this supposed gerundive רָאִי for the 1st person singular? Is it not possible that, like the אָחִי of Gen 4:9, the word rather means "my seeing"? So that we could translate: 'Truly, do I only now see after my seeing?' (That is, can one not look at something and nevertheless not see its true meaning?)
"I yam what I yam." - Popeye the Sailor Man
שְׁתֵה בַיּוֹם עֲדֵי יִפֶן וְשֶׁמֶשׁ
עֲלֵי כַסְפּוֹ יְצַפֶּה אֶת זְהָבוֹ

8-)
kwrandolph
Posts: 1572
Joined: Sun Sep 29, 2013 12:51 am

Re: Gen. 16:13 אַחֲרֵ֥י

Post by kwrandolph »

Mike: what you ask is a translation question, not necessarily one to understand Hebrew.

The concept of אחרי refers to an action that follows another as a result of that previous action. In English we don’t have a word that refers to that action. So how best to translate it? Each situation may call for a different word that best conveys the idea that the Hebrew expressed. In fact, in translation, there are times where we need to use completely different words than found in the original language in order to express the idea presented in the original language.

Translation ≠ understanding the original language. That’s why translation is not taken as evidence in discussions here.

Karl W. Randolph.
Post Reply