Friday, June 05, 2015

Genesis 3:22 (Jeff Benner)

Duncan writes:

"Benner's note on 3:22:-

The Hebrew phrase וּנֶמִׁמַדַחאְַּכ can be translated as 'like one of us' (referring to the Elohiym, a plural word) or 'like one of him' (referring to the serpent). Compare with the words of the serpent in verse 5."

REPLY from EDGAR: Since this information does not immediately deal with aposiopesis, I started a new thread. My questions would be

1) What is the grammatical basis for rendering 3:22 with "like one of him"?

2) Why would the knowledge of good and evil be attributed to the serpent?

Gen 3:5 attributes this special knowledge to God.

Elohim could refer to the one God although it has the plural suffix.


Duncan said...

He usually does not make an observation without a reason.

gensis 3:2 "like one of him" - Google Search

I am not agreeing with him but it needs investigation. I will try to find out more.

Duncan said...

From Benners second edition translation.

4 and the serpent said to the woman, you will not surely die, 5 given that Elohiym knows that in the day you eat from him, then your eyes will be opened up and you will exist like Elohiym, knowing function and dysfunction,

22 and Yhwh the Elohiym said, though the human had existed like one of us, knowing function and dysfunction, and now otherwise, he will send his hand and he will take also from the tree of life, and he will eat and he will live to a distant time,

Edgar Foster said...


I now see why someone might render it "of him" rather than "of us," although it doesn't necessarily follow that the "him" in question would be the serpent. See

Compare the Targum reading on Gen 3:22.

Thanks for doing work on this passage, and I acknowledge that you might not agree with Benner on this issue.

Matt13weedhacker said...

2nd Samuel 14:17 King James Bible

“...Then thine handmaid said, The word of my lord the king shall now be comfortable: for ( as an angel of God ), so is my lord the king - to discern good and bad - therefore the LORD thy God will be with thee...”

Edgar Foster said...

Interesting use of the language "discern[ing] good and bad" or "to discern good and evil" (NASB). While the expressions appear similar, undoubtedly two different meanings are intended. Gen 3:22 apparently deals with a person deciding for himself/herself what is good or evil whereas the verse in Samuel reminds us of Heb 5:13-14, which speaks about distinguishing good and bad (evil), in a proper way. Some ancients also understood the "him" of 3:22 (although this way of understanding the text is likely a misreading) to be Adam. However, it's likely best to read the verse "one of us."