Thursday, August 27, 2015

Bit at a Time Bible Hebrew -- Genesis 4:13-16

Genesis 4:13-16
יג וַיֹּאמֶר קַיִן אֶל־יְהוָֹה גָּדוֹל עֲוֹנִי מִנְּשׂוֹא:
יד הֵן גֵּרַשְׁתָּ אֹתִי הַיּוֹם מֵעַל פְּנֵי הָאֲדָמָה וּמִפָּנֶיךָ אֶסָּתֵר וְהָיִיתִי נָע וָנָד בָּאָרֶץ וְהָיָה כָל־מֹצְאִי יַהַרְגֵנִי:
טו וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ יְהֹוָה לָכֵן כָּל־הֹרֵג קַיִן שִׁבְעָתַיִם יֻקָּם וַיָּשֶׂם יְהוָֹה לְקַיִן אוֹת לְבִלְתִּי הַכּוֹת־אֹתוֹ כָּל־מֹצְאוֹ:
טז וַיֵּצֵא קַיִן מִלִּפְנֵי יְהוָֹה וַיֵּשֶׁב בְּאֶרֶץ־נוֹד קִדְמַת־עֵדֶן:
Translation:  Qain said to ****  my sin is too great to bear.
You have pushed me out today from the surface of the earth and from your presence, I shall hide and be a trembler and wanderer in the land and it shall turn out that anyone who finds me will kill me.
**** said to him therefore anybody who kills Qain shall be established for seven pairs and **** set for Qain a sign so that nobody who found him would strike him.
Qain went out from before **** and settled in the land of Nod eastward of Eden.
                                                                                                              My sin
… than bearing
I shall hide, go in secret
Seven pairs
“Seven pairs” is shivataim.  It looks like a class of nouns in Hebrew that end in –aim and come in pairs.  Eynaim eyes, raglaim feet, aznaim ears.  Also shnataim two years; sh’vuaim two weeks; yomaim two days. 
But what is shivataim doing here?  That can only be understood in the context of the rest of the episode, as I discuss on the Fact-Checking post.
Also notice that the “sign of Qain” is set to protect him.
“Anyone who finds me” comes from Jewish law.  A killer could live in a city of refuge, but if he went outside he could be killed by the dead man’s closest relative, the goel ha-dam.  If there was no relative who qualified for this role, then “anybody who found” the killer outside the city of refuge could kill him.
© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights  Reserved

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