יז וּמֵעֵץ הַדַּעַת טוֹב וָרָע לֹא תֹאכַל מִמֶּנּוּ כִּי בְּיוֹם אֲכָלְךָ מִמֶּנּוּ מוֹת תָּמוּת:
Transliteration: u-me-ets ha-daat tov va-ra lo tokhal mi-menu ki b’-yom akhalkha mi-menu mot tamut.
Translation: From the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you will not eat of it for on the day of your eating from it MOT TAMUT.
Vocabulary in this lesson:
MOT TAMUT is the phrase I mentioned in the last lesson and I wanted to talk about it in detail so I left the last lesson short.
This is the one case where the adverbs don’t work, and that’s because the rest of Torah doesn’t allow the translation “definitely die.” There's a grammatical clue for that which I will discuss a year from now. I want to have you reading Hebrew really well before I discuss something I just learned in 2014.
The other contexts in which this phrase occurs all have to do with the death penalty in Jewish law. They include Exodus 21:15-17, Exodus 22:18, Exodus 31:14-15, Leviticus 20:2, Leviticus 20:10-13, Leviticus 20:15-16, Leviticus 20:27, Leviticus 21:9, Leviticus 24:16, Numbers 15:35, Deuteronomy 13:1-12, and Deuteronomy 22:20-21.
As I discuss on the Fact-Checking page, the death penalty cannot be inflicted in Jewish law without due process. That requires at least two witnesses to the transgression who stop the transgression, warn the people involved about what they’re attempting, get a verbal rejection of the advice, and see the crime go to completion.
So when this verse uses the same phrase, Jews throughout time would have gotten a clue that the rest of the story was going to proceed according to Jewish law.
You may understand it differently, but you should also be watching the results closely, and then you will have to ask yourself a couple of questions. Which I will point out when we get there.
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