Genesis 2:16

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Re: Genesis 2:16

Postby SteveMiller » Thu May 09, 2019 10:03 pm

Saro Fedele wrote:Thanks (@ Steve Miller) for your comments on the post I've sent. The fact you reply me comforts me, because this indicates my English was enough clear to express what I want to tell.

You're very welcome, Saro, and thank you for your posts. I hope to hear more from you on this discussion list.

Saro Fedele wrote:In English language (in Italian, too) we use - very often - some adverbial forms to match the semantic range of the 'certainty' mood, as in the phrase 'Don't you be going to work? - Surely I will go." (in Italian, an uncommon - though correct - structure that is is similar to the Hebrew phenomenon we expatiate on. In fact, we say 'Certamente andrò' [= 'Surely I will go'], but also 'Andrò, andrò' [= 'I will go, I will go']. This last manner to speak is semantically equivalent to the first cited - 'Surely I will go'. I'm not sure if English language possesses a similar manner to express 'certainty'.)

In English I don't think we express certainty by repeating a verb. We repeat an adjective, like "he's a bad, bad man", meaning "he's a very bad man." One place where I hear a verb repeated, is when a baseball player hits a long fly ball, then the announcer says, "going, going, gone" for a home run; or "going, going, foul" for a long foul ball, or "going, going, caught" for a long fly that is caught for an out. The meaning there isn't certainty, but that the ball is going for a long time in the air.

Saro Fedele wrote:So, we may try to insert some adverbial 'certainty'-related forms inside each of those passages you cited (I will use the translation you quoted).
Lev 7:18 & 19:7: "And if any of the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace-offering be actually eaten on the third day..."
Lev 10:18: Here the adverbial form 'certainly' is mentioned yet in the translation you quoted.
1 Sam 14:30: "How much more, if the people had eaten really to-day of the spoil...!"
2 Sam 19:42: "Have we actually eaten anything which came from the king..."
Joe 2:26: "And ye surely shall eat, and be satisfied."

It seems to me that in this manner these TaNaKh passages acquire a plain and consistent sense, besides to consent to maintain the logical principle I've cited ('A given, single linguistic phenomenon ideally matches with a given single meaning').

John Goldingay's translation mostly agrees with you.
He translates Gen 2:16 From every tree in the garden you may definitely eat
And then v17 as "definitely die".
1Sam 14:30 actually eaten
2Sam 19:42 actually eaten
Joe 2:26 eat and eat (It's a different construct, but I prefer your translation here because there is no "and" between the 2 "eat"'s)

Lev 19:6 It's to be eaten on the day you sacrifice it, or the next day.
What is left until the 3rd day is to be burned in fire.
7 If it's actually eaten on the 3rd day, it will be an objectionable thing. It won't find acceptance.
Lev 7:17 but what is left of the flesh of the sacrifice is to be burned in fire on the 3rd day.
18 If any of the flesh of his well-being sacrifice is eaten at all on the 3rd day, the one who presents it won't find acceptance.

Notice how Goldingay tried to translate the term consistently, but felt that would not be the meaning for Lev 7:18.
Yet he translated the very similar Lev 19:6 as "actually eaten".

I too was struggling with both verses in Lev to try to apply the meaning of certainty.
The thought is not that the person unambiguously ate of the sacrifice on the 3rd day, but that he did it at all.

"Actually" in English can mean "done in fact" as opposed to "thought about doing it" or "said he was going to do it".
"Actually" can also mean that it is surprising, contrary to expectation, as in "He actually thought I would agree to his plan."

I think the "surprising" meaning of "actually" fits in both Lev verses. God said in the the preceding verses to burn what remains on the 3rd day. If a person actually disobeys what God just said, then here are the consequences.

So it seems that all the meanings of this construct can be covered by the meaning of certainty or actually.
Sincerely yours,
Steve Miller
Honesty is the best policy. - George Washington (1732-99)

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