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Notes on the text of the book of Genesis : with an appendix online

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dwelling in southern Arabia (Strabo, xvi. 4. 2). Their
capital was 2dl3aTa, cf. ver. 7. The name is preserved at the
present day.

.n"1'^ is uncertain. 'As the word means " ??ioon*' in Heb.,
Sab., and Geez, Bochart conjectured the JUla ^.u. " so?is
of the new moon" or Alilaei in northern Yemen; Michaelis,
the moon-coast and moon-mountain ^ v^JiJl Jl-c or J_^ in
eastern Hadramaut,' Di.

27. O^lin, Heb.-Sam. onnx, is unknown. The 'ASpa-
\urai of Ptolemy, or the Atramitae of Pliny, have been
suggested, but they probably belong to niD"ivn.

Sr^^, Heb.-Sam. ^rx, LXX, Ai^^X (Lagarde, k\^^\, so
Tisch.'s text), according to Arab tradition, was the old
name of the capital of Yemen, called, since the Ethiopic
occupation in the fifth century a. d.. Sand (*Uj-o). See
further, Di., p. 199.

Tv)y~\ is unknown. Vtrh^^s = ^ a palfii-bearing district'
(Arab. JiS ' a palm tree '). Bochart identified it with the
Minaei of Pliny and Strabo.



CHAP. lO, VERS. 27—29. 123

28. 7m^, I Chron. i, 22 bl'^V, so Heb.-Sam., Vulg.
' EbaV, LXX, r€/3dX and EiaX, is unknown. Swete's edition
of the LXX omits the word.

TS*^''!^ is unknown. Cf. the Sabaean innyD3N* = ' a
father is 'ANar,' Hal., Melanges, p. 86. D. H. IMuller,
Z.D.iM.G., xxxvii. 18.

^^2\I^ see ver. 7. 'The Sahaeans^ here as the descendants
of Joqtan, among the Arabs; in 25, 3, among the descendants
of Abraham and Keturah. There is no reason to assume that
there were three distinct Sabaean peoples as Kn. does. Cf.
Schrader, C.O.T., p. 103.

29. "^DlJ^ is mentioned, from Solomon's time onwards,
as the land whence the fleet of Hiram and Solomon, after a
three years' voyage, brought gold, precious stones, sandal-
wood, silver, ivory, apes, and peacocks (i Kings 9, 28. 10,
II. 22. 2 Chron. 8, 18. 9, 10), and whose gold became
proverbial as fine gold (Ps. 45, 10. Job 22, 24. 28, 16.
Is. 13, 12. I Chron. 29, 4). Its position has been disputed,
but as it is mentioned among the sons of Joqtan it must
perhaps be sought for in Arabia (cf. ver. 30), probably
on the southern or south-eastern coast. On the Arabian
coast, however, no suitable place with which Ophir can
be identified is at present known. Ophir has also been
identified with Supara on the coast of Malabar (Ptol. vii.
I. 6); with So/ala on the east coast of Africa, opposite
Madagascar, in the neighbourhood of which the ruins of
Zimbabye have been recently discovered; and with Abhira
on the coast of the Indus Delta. It has also been supposed
that Ophir must be located somewhere on the west coast of
Arabia, between Hi^az and Yemen, where much gold and
silver were found in former times ; so Sprenger and Riehm.
See further, Di., p. 200.



124 GENESIS,



nb^'in. Cf. ver. 7, and 2, 11. 'Assuming that there was
a n^^in in north-west Arabia, on the Persian Gulf (cf. 25, 18.
I Sam. 15, 7 \ and Gen. 2, 11), the XavKoToioi of Strabo (xvi.
4. 2) and Huwaila in Bahrein on the coast may be com-
pared (Niebuhr, Arab., p. 342)/ Di. G\2i?>Qr,Skizzen, ii. pp. 267,
325 f., 339 f., thinks that r\V\n here = the district of Yemama;
cf. Di., p. 200.

HHI*' is unknown. Bochart compares the 'Iw^apTrai of
Ptol. vi. 7. 24 (which he emends to 'Ico/Sa/Sirai) on the coast
of the Indian Ocean; Hal^vy and Glaser the tribe lyrX"
mentioned in Sabaean inscriptions.

30. ^^l^^ is uncertain. Bochart, MoGCa, a seaport town
within the Bab-el-Mandeb ; Knobel, Bischa, in northern
Yemen ; Tuch and others, Mesene, a district at the head of
the Persian Gulf. The LXX read ^^^ (Mao-o-T?e), cf. 25, 14.
This is possibly the correct reading here, as NC'D in northern
Arabia would more probably be known to the Hebrews than
Mesene ; cf. Hal., Mel, p. 91 f.

□"Ipn "in n"^DD. Render, ^Towards Sephar, towards
the mountain of the east' TPi^'P^ "^n cannot be predicate of the
sentence on account of its position, nor in apposition to
niDD, because nothing is known of a mountain bearing this
name. "iStp is usually regarded as .U-U, either the Himyaritic
royal city Zaphar near Verirn, in Yemen, or the coast town
Zaphar, situated in eastern Hadramaut (Mahra), near Mirbdt,
called at the present time Is/or. It is not clear which Zaphar
is intended here. Di. thinks that the identification of "^2D is
still uncertain, but points out that it should probably be
sought for in southern Arabia, and must have been more or
less known to the Hebrews. Cf his Comm., p. 201.



' The reading in i Sam. 15, 7 is doubtful. Wei. reads dV^i, cf.
Sam., p, 97 ; Driver, Sam., ad loc.



CHAP. lO, VER. 30 — CHAP. II, VER. 2. 125

D"Tpn "^n. Hardly the Arabian hill country {Ncyd), as
this would only be suitable if ''pn nn could be subject to \T'i
Di'k^'ID. If it is dependant on nDX3 (Kn., Del., etc.), it must
be the name of a mountain range in the south, possibly the
so-called ' Itice?ise-moimtains' {T\^'y^T\ in, Ibn-Ezra on Gen. i,
11), between Hadramaut and Mahra.

11.

1. TT^*). The imperf. with waw conv. commencing the
narrative, the chapter being loosely connected with the pre-
ceding one; cf. Ges., § iii. 2; Dav., S,, § 51.

/-/ I

*\X\ HDU} y^Sn /3. ^The whole earth was ofie tongue!

The predicate in Hebrew, as in Arabic, is often a substan-
tive, where in our idiom an adj. is used, or some such phrase
as ' consists of' ' contains! This construction is commonly
used in designating the material out of which an object is
made, and in specifying weights or measures, etc.; but an
extension of this usage is also often found in Hebrew, ' when
terms other than material attributes are treated similarly;'
Dr., § 189. 2 ; Ewald, § 296 b; Ges., § 141. i. R. i; Dav., S.,
§ 29 e; M. R., § 125. R. a; cf. 2 Sam. 17, 3 iT.T Ti'^r^ ^3
Dli^K^; Job 3, 4 ydr\ \T Xin.-I nvn; Is. 27, 10, and often.

nDtr=lit. 'lip! then 'language;' so in Is. 19, 18 jyj3 nab';
33, 19 natt^ V^y; cf. Ez. 3, 5. P uses \\^7 in this sense,
10, 5. 20. 31 ; cf. Deut. 28, 49.

Q"^"T^^^ Q^"mi = lit. ' single words' i. e. ' the same ' or
' similar words! The use of Dnnj< in the phrase D"'nnN D"'D"'
27, 44. 29, 20. Dan. II, 20, meaning ^single,' i.e. ^ a few
days! is different from its use here.

2. VD2 does not only mean ''to break up the camp' but
' to strike the tents and move onward on the journey!



126 GENESIS,



Qlp^. Not 'from the east,' but as 13, 11 ^ eastivards^
(cf, M. R., § 49. Rem. d. 12, 8), i. e. 'from the standpoint
of the author, in Palestine (29, i)/ Di.

r\)^p1, prop, 'a split' or 'cleft' but according to the
usage of the language, ' a plain lying in a broad valley' ' a
valley plain ; ' cf. the Syriac Jl^l^iis ' campus patejis! The dis-
tinction between geographical synonyms should be noted ; see
Stanley, Sinai and Palestine, App., § 5, where the niVpl men-
tioned in the O. T. are enumerated, and Sh., G., pp. 384, 654.

nVDtlJpi^n. Cf. on 10, 10.

3. "^ny^ ^« t!?''^^. ' 07te to the other! On this mode of
expressing the reciprocal relation, see Ges., § 139. i c ; M. R.,
§ 72. 3. Rem. a; cf. §94 c. Rem. a; Dav., S., §11. R. c.

nnn is properly imper. with n cohort. (Ges., § 48. 5 ;
Stade, § 592c) from the root 3n^ 'to give^ which, though
common in Aramaic and Arabic (v-*jij), is confined in Heb.
to the imper. sing, and plural, n^n sing, sometimes has the
force of an interjection, so here, ' up^ 'come on ;' A. V. 'go
to' so vers. 4. 7. Ex. i, 10. For the form, cf. Ges., § 69. 2.
Rem. 2. Other verbal forms used as interjections are UNi
' seeV r\':h 'comeV cf. Stade, § 380.

(122.^. 'Let us bake ;' the imperf. with n cohort., to
express the intention with greater energy; cf. Ges., §§ 48. 3,
108. I a; Dav., S., § 61 f.; M. R., § 9; Driver, § 49^.
The verb pi? is a denominative from nj^p.

D^^ITJ ' bricks* perhaps so called as being baked white by
the heat of the sun. The word occurs in Assyr. under the
form libittu, cstr. state libnat, Schrader, C.O.T., p. 106.

nO'^iZJT'. Dat. of the product; cf. 2, 22. Amos 5, 8, lit.
' into what is burnt,' i. e. ' bricks.' Render, ' A7id let us burn



CHAP. II, VERS. 3-6. 127

them info bricks.' The bricks here mentioned were different
from those made of a mixture of straw and clay, Ex. i, 14.

4. D'^Qtin 1irt^"^1. Render, ' With its top in the heavens:
The clause is a simple circumstantial one ; cf. 24, 10. 25, 26 ;
Dr., § 159 ; Ewald, § 341 a; Dav., ^., § 138 a ; so Is. 6, 6 ITni
nsvi; Zech. 2, 5 niD hir\ IT-ni. In Deut. i, 28 we have
the word Dny qualified by D^OC'a nniVl 'fortified in the
heavens' i.e. 'with high and lofty fortificaliojis ;' cf Dan.
4,8. 17.

DUJ yjl ntoVD, lit. 'let us make us a name^ i.e. 'let us
gain an honourahle name ;'' so Is. d'^., 12. Jer. 32, 20. p33 |D
refers to both halves of the first part of the verse. They
had a double object in view, to found a city, and gain for
themselves an honourable name ; the city being a common
place of assembly for all, and so a means of keeping them
together and preventing their being scattered over the earth.
Others connect pSJ fS closely with Dt^, and take that word
in the sense o^ ' 7?io7iu7nent' = Kxdh. l*-w, as in 2 Sam. 8, 13.
This however is doubtful, and here unsuitable.

VlD^ ID . LXX, 7rp6 Tov diaa-TrapTjuat. rjfxas, and Vulg. ' ante-
quam dividamurl apparently taking jS as though it were ""iQ?.

6. 'Behold one people [are they), and one latiguage have they
alt: The A.V. 'The people is one,' is scarcely correct, as
that would be rather nvr\ nnx. The R.V. renders, 'Behold
they are one people,' etc.

abnn is inf. cstr. Hifil of ^^TI, with the n pointed with
pathach instead of a composite sheva, on account of the
following guttural n ; cf Stade, § 80. 2 b ; Ges., § 67. Rem. 6 ;
Ewald, § 199a. So Esth. 6, 13 ni^nri; Is. 9, 3 nhnn.



128 GENESIS,



1^1 D Tnri nf1 = lit. 'and this is their begifitiing to do,' i.e.
' merely the commencement of their plan.'

"^!^!l^ = lit. 'will be cut off' i.e. 'they will not be debarred
from it ;' so once besides, Job 42, 2 noTO *]DD IVT vh*

^^■^■^ is a lightened form of l^t^ from D^T ; so ^733, ver. 7,
for npnj ; cf. 9, 19, and Ges., § 67. Rem. 11; Stade, § 521 a, /S,
who explains the form in question as formed after the analogy
of the third pers. pi. perf., instead of ^^^ or ^W ; cf. Ewald,
§ 193 c.

7. nT'33. See note on ver. 6; and on the first pers. pi.,
see on i, 26. The word was probably chosen with reference
to the name z^?*

1U?h^, expressing the result rather than the aim, = 'j^^ that^'
not ^ that;' cf. Ex. 20, 26. Deut. 4, 10. 40. In Gen. 3, 22,
we have |S introducing the negative final clause; see Ges.,
§165. 2; M.R., § 164b; Ewald, §337 b. 2; Dav., ^., §149.

inyi riEZto ly^t^. Cf. on ver. 3. yDB'^not merely 'to
hear,' but 'to understand^ as in Deut. 28, 49. Is. 33, 19.

8. n^HT' ibirT'l . After verbs of ' ceasing' ' hastening'
etc., two constructions are usually possible; either the inf.
cstr. with 7 as here, or the inf. cstr. alone ; cf. Ges., § 120. i ;
Ewald, § 285. i; Dav., S., § 82 1. With i^in, J?p may be used,
see Ex. 23, 5. i Kings 15, 21.

9. ^"^p p v'y. * There/ore they called its name Babel I i.e.
* they^ people called'. On the so-called impersonal use of the
third pers. perf. masc. sing. (=N"^.i5n Nni^)^ cf. Ges., § 144. 3 a;
M.R., § 123. 2 ; Dav., S., § 108 and R. i.

753, according to the etymology given in the text, is from
\hl. hl1 must then be regarded as contracted from i'^ps ;



CHAP. II, VERS. 7-9. 129

cf. p^i^^i? from p5?i^^i?; bmv for b)b)V; see Ewald, § 158 c;
Stade, § 124 a; cf. also the Syriac )i^:a 'con/uswn of speech;'
Arab. J^_ This is the Hebrew explanation of the name.
For the Babylonian it had another meaning, which is probably
the correct one. Some (Eich,, Winer) derive it from Bdd
Bel, Jj> (_)b ' gatel i.e. 'court of Bel ;' following the ancients,
see Steph. of Byzant.; compare the Aramaic and Talmudic
|lS.^s, NOn^'^^/e"/ also the names of the Talmud Tracts
N^p S*nn ' the front gate ;' Xinn N3n 'the back gate ;' N33
NTV^ 'the middle gate ;' others, from i?nn = i?n nU, so Tuch,
comparing for the contraction mn^J'yi, Josh. 21, 27=71^3
nnniJ'y 'Temple of Ashtoreth' and the Phoen. iny3=nny ni
'Temple of 'Athor ;' Inscr. Melitensis, 5, 1. 4 ; Schroder,
Phoen. Gramm., p. 235; cf. p. 108 (see, however, C.I.S., i.
p. 163); and the Syriac .o>?)k^=yOM l^rs; see further, Tuch,
p. 221. The name as given on the Assyrian inscriptions is
Bd5-Il = 'Gate of God,' or (later) Bdb-Ildni = ' Gate of the
Gods' which is certainly the most probable meaning; cf.
Schrader, C.O.T, p. 112 ff.; Del., Par., p. 212 ff.; so most
moderns.

In the following verses, 10-32, we have a genealogical
table carrying on the history of the patriarchs from Shem
to Abram — the founder of the house of Israel — and his
two brothers Nahor and Haran. This table is in many
respects very similar to the one found in chap. 5. In both
ten generations are given, Abram closing the list here, and
Noah in chap. 5. In both lists the ages of the persons men-
tioned are considerably higher than those usually reached.
Here, as well as chap. 5, we find the length of each person's
life reckoned, both from his own birth to the birth of his first
son, and from that event to his death. The LXX and the
Samaritan deviate in their methods of reckoning the years

K



130



GENESIS,



here, as well as in the earlier chapter, as may be seen from
the following table taken from Dillmann, p. 209.



Hebrew Text.


LXX Text.


Samaritan Text.








!2


V






4)

hi


u










eS"






r


^^^
^ ^








Shem


100


500


600


100


500


600


100


500


600


Arpachshad


35


403


438


135


400

(430)


535

(565)


135


303


438


Kainan . . .


...


...


...


130


330


460


...






Shelach ...


30


403


433


130


330


460


130


303


433


Eber


34


430


464


134


270

(370)


404

(504^


134


270


404


Peleg ...


30


209


239


130


209


339


130


109


239


Reu


32


207


239


132


207


339


132


107


239


Serug


30


200


230


130


200


330


130


100


230


Nahor ...


29


119


148


179

(79)


125
(129)


304

(208)


79


69


148


Terach ...


70


(135)


(205)


70


(135)


(205)


70


(75)


(145)



In both chapters the Hebrew text has most probably
preserved the more correct lists, though the Samaritan is
perhaps the most consistent of the three tables. The Sa-
maritan list never allows the son to live to a greater age than
the father; so the numbers, e.g. in the cases of Terach and
Eber, have to be lowered in order to carry out this rule.
With the single exception of Terach, the Sam. text increases
the number of years before the birth of the first son, and in
all cases, except that of Shem, decreases the number of
years which each person lived after the birth of the first son.



CHAP. II, VERS. 12-28. 131

The Sam. text in the third column agrees with the Hebrew,
with the exception of the cases of Eber and Terach. The
LXX text, having a large number of variants, is more or less
uncertain. Like the Sam. text, seventy years seem to have
been the limit before which no children were begotten, and
with the exception of Shem, — where all three texts are the
same, and Nahor, where one hundred and fifty years ace
added, with a variant, seventy-nine, — the LXX add one
hundred years to the number each person lived before the
birth of the first son. In the second column the readings
are uncertain, but sometimes the numbers are lower than the
corresponding numbers in the Heb. text. In the third
column, the LXX have always higher numbers than the
Hebrew, except in the cases of Shem, of Eber (reading doubt-
ful, variant 504) and Terach ; the LXX in the latter case
agreeing with the Heb. text. The years of Kainan s life are
only given in the LXX text.

The object of this table, as of that in chap. 5, was pro-
bably twofold, to give some account of the period from the
flood to Abram's birth, a period treated as uneventful, and to
draw attention to the gradual decline in the number of years
reached by each patriarch.

12. On the proper names in this chap., of. Di. and Del.^

28. nin ^2D h^. ' Coram eo,' i.e. so that he witnessed
it, 'during his life-time ;' compare Num. 3, 4. Deut. 21, 16
(Kn.).

^"ito "^1^^ occurs again ver. 31. 15, 7. Neh. 9, 7, but
not elsewhere. It is not quite clear whether "Ti5< is to be
regarded as a proper name or as an appellative = ' district!
The LXX have x^P^ "^^^ XaXdaloiv (Acts 7, 4 (< yns Xa\8aicou),
Xo>pa possibly having arisen from a reading nin (but the

K 2



132 GENESIS,



article is against this), unless we suppose that the reading
X



Online LibraryG. J SpurrellNotes on the text of the book of Genesis : with an appendix → online text (page 14 of 35)