Genesis 18:3 "from upon"

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Kenneth Greifer
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Genesis 18:3 "from upon"

Postby Kenneth Greifer » Sun Jul 15, 2018 11:34 pm

Abraham said to G-d not to go away "from upon Your servant" in Genesis 18:3. Is "from upon" unusual in this quote? Do people go "from upon " other people or does it mean that He could have been seeing G-d in a vision besides seeing the angels?
Kenneth Greifer

Kenneth Greifer
Posts: 169
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2015 3:05 pm

Re: Genesis 18:3 "from upon"

Postby Kenneth Greifer » Mon Jul 16, 2018 7:20 am

I just realized that Exodus 18:13 says the people "stood on" Moses, so I guess "on" can mean next to also, so "from upon" מעל can mean "from next to" in Genesis 18:3.
Kenneth Greifer

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Re: Genesis 18:3 "from upon"

Postby Saboi » Mon Jul 16, 2018 10:38 am

Gen 18:3 - And said my Lord if perhaps they find favour in thy sight, thou will not pass away thy child.
Lee Mcgee

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Re: Genesis 18:3 "from upon"

Postby S_Walch » Thu Jul 19, 2018 11:16 am

Hi Kenneth - I'm guessing you're referring to the preposition על in these two verses?

Gen 18:3:
וַיֹּאמַ֑ר אֲדֹנָ֗י אִם־נָ֨א מָצָ֤אתִי חֵן֙ בְּעֵינֶ֔יךָ אַל־נָ֥א תַעֲבֹ֖ר מֵעַ֥ל עַבְדֶּֽךָ

Exod 18:13:
וַיְהִי֙ מִֽמָּחֳרָ֔ת וַיֵּ֥שֶׁב מֹשֶׁ֖ה לִשְׁפֹּ֣ט אֶת־הָעָ֑ם וַיַּעֲמֹ֤ד הָעָם֙ עַל־מֹשֶׁ֔ה מִן־הַבֹּ֖קֶר עַד־הָעָֽרֶב

Whilst על certainly means 'on' or 'upon', it has such a wide variety of uses that context will determine the meaning of the preposition, which is not to dissimilar to the Greek επι, which whilst meaning an ultra-literal 'upon' has more than enough different uses in context for that not to be the understanding.

For the Genesis verse, I wouldn't disassociate it from the other preposition -מ and have them used together to just mean 'by'; for the Exodus verse, understanding it as meaning 'before' would be more than fine.
Ste Walch

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Re: Genesis 18:3 "from upon"

Postby SteveMiller » Mon Aug 13, 2018 10:19 pm

על has the meaning of being a burden on.
In Gen 18:3, Abraham tells the Lord that Abraham wants to give him hospitality, which is a burden Abraham wants to bear.

In Exo 18:13 The people stood as a burden upon Moses from morning until evening.
Sincerely yours,
Steve Miller
Honesty is the best policy. - George Washington (1732-99)

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