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Gen. 9:10b

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  • Gen. 9:10b

    Someone just raised some interesting questions re the end of Gen 9:10. This is just after the flood, and God has said that he has made a covenant with all living creatures:

    Gen. 9:10 וְאֵת כָּל-נֶפֶשׁ הַחַיָּה אֲשֶׁר אִתְּכֶם בָּעוֹף בַּבְּהֵמָה וּבְכָל-חַיַּת הָאָרֶץ אִתְּכֶם מִכֹּל יֹצְאֵי הַתֵּבָה לְכֹל חַיַּת הָאָרֶץ׃

    The end of the verse literally says "from all of the ones that came out of the ark to all of the animals of the earth". Here are my questions:

    What is the grammatical relation between these two prepositional phrases? I.e. is it saying "from A to B", as it appears, with the two prepositions ‏מִן-לְ‎ ? Or should the last phrase "to all the animals of the earth" be taken "disjunctively", as a sort of summary of vv. 9-10, as most translators take it? What are the grammatical rules or clues that help us to decide this question?

    If it should be taken as "from A to B", does this imply that the groups A and B are separate? I.e. is it saying that there were creatures on the ark, and that there were a separate group of animals on the earth that had not been in the ark? There is apparently a Jewish scholar who takes the verse this way to argue for a local (non-global) flood.

    If the last prepositional phrase should be taken as a summary statement to the effect that God made a covenant with all living creatures of the earth, why does it use the preposition "to" instead of the preposition "with", as was used earlier in vv. 9-10 for the various creatures that God made His covenant with?
    Last edited by Kbertsche; 04-08-2014, 06:32 PM.
    "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." Albert Einstein

  • #2
    Originally posted by Kbertsche View Post
    If the last prepositional phrase should be taken as a summary statement to the effect that God made a covenant with all living creatures of the earth, why does it use the preposition "to" instead of the preposition "with", as was used earlier in vv. 9-10 for the various creatures that God made His covenant with?
    From Gesenius' Hebrew Grammar, edited and enlarged by E. Kautzsch, second English edition revised in accordance with the twenty-eighth German edition (1909) by A. E. Cowley (GKC):
    143.c .... The suggestion of P. Haupt (Johns Hopkins University Circulars, xiii, no. 114 ; Baltimore, 1894) also deserves attention, that in passages like ..., and in Gn 9:10 ..., לְ is not the preposition, but an emphasizing particle, answering to the Arab. , surely; with כֹּל it is equivalent to in short. ....

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