Thursday, July 30, 2015

Bit at a Time Bible Hebrew -- Genesis 4:5-8

Genesis 4:5-8
ה וְאֶל־קַיִן וְאֶל־מִנְחָתוֹ לֹא שָׁעָה וַיִּחַר לְקַיִן מְאֹד וַיִּפְּלוּ פָּנָיו:
ו וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָֹה אֶל־קָיִן לָמָּה חָרָה לָךְ וְלָמָּה נָפְלוּ פָנֶיךָ:
ז הֲלוֹא אִם־תֵּיטִיב שְׂאֵת וְאִם לֹא תֵיטִיב לַפֶּתַח חַטָּאת רֹבֵץ וְאֵלֶיךָ תְּשׁוּקָתוֹ וְאַתָּה תִּמְשָׁל־בּוֹ:
ח וַיֹּאמֶר קַיִן אֶל־הֶבֶל אָחִיו וַיְהִי בִּהְיוֹתָם בַּשָּׂדֶה וַיָּקָם קַיִן אֶל־הֶבֶל אָחִיו וַיַּהַרְגֵהוּ:
Translation:  To Qain and his minchah He did not turn and Qain became very angry and downcast.
**** said to Qain, why are you angry and why are you downcast.
Is it not [true] that if you cause good set and if you don’t cause good, sin lies before door desiring you; but you can control it.
Qain said to Hevel his brother…it turned out that when they were in the field Qain arose at Hevel his brother and killed him.
Notice that Gd doesn’t issue a commandment against killing Hevel.  He tries to teach Qain a general principle, that one’s life isn’t what happens at any given point in time but the sum of one’s life and the actions one takes.  And if one gives in to impulses of not doing right one time, it becomes easier to do what isn’t right the next time.
The word set is related to the swelling that allows a suspicion of leprosy.  The idea may be that one elevates oneself by doing right.
The word “lies” is rovets, related to an over-burdened ass lying down under its load.
The words “you can control it” often are translated as a commandment, but they aren’t.  They are the origin of the concept of free will.  Qain can control his impulses, the point is whether he does so or not. 
And finally, Qain does not “murder” Hevel, it uses harag not ratsach.  Qain kills Hevel but has no motive for it because Qain is angry with Gd, not Hevel.  Qain also has not demonstrated intent; “it turned out” suggests that this is the only incident when Qain attacked Hevel.  In the Fact-Checking posts I showed that there have to be multiple attacks in a relatively short period of time before anybody can be convicted of murder.  Using harag satisfies an audience used to that law that Qain is not a murderer.  Something happened that resulted in Hevel’s death, but it wasn’t willful murder.
                                                                                                         Get angry
Rise, bear with
Door, opening
Sin [offering]
Killed him
© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights  Reserved

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