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Bibil Identifier bibil:211172
Publication Type Journal article
Title (English, Long) Did the Gods Cause Abraham’s Wandering? An Examination of התעו אתי אלהים‬ in Genesis 20.13
Author Schmutzer, Andrew J.
Journal Journal for the Study of the Old Testament (Volume: 35, Issue: 2)
Year (Publication) 2010
Year (Original (1st Edition)) 2010
Year (Copyright) 2010
Year (Reference) 2010
Language English
Pages 149-166 Pages
Genre Original
Abstract In Gen. 20.11-13, ‭םיהלא‬ is ambiguously used with a plural verb in the Masoretic version of Gen. 20.13. ‭םיהלא‭ could refer to the true God or pagan ‘gods’. In this article, this unconventional grammatical feature is explored from multiple angles (e.g. morphology, grammar/syntax, history of interpretation) with sensitivity to the literary-theological movement of the narrative in its final form. Part and parcel of the history of interpretation involves how versions (the Samaritan Pentateuch, Targum Onkelos, and Septuagint Genesis) interpreted Gen. 20.13, shedding light on how this ambiguity may have been navigated by ancient interpreters. It is argued in this article that the Masoretic text’s plural causative ‭ועתה‬ with ‭םיהלא‬ makes ‘the gods’ an exegetically viable translation in this context. Some contemporary translations are evaluated and some recommendations are offered. This grammatical accommodation of Gen. 20.13 gains support from Abraham’s personal and political duress in which a powerful gentile king arraigns the patriarch who, in turn, contextualizes his message to a supposedly godless setting.
DOI 10.1177/0309089210390423
Keywords Thesaurus BiBIL : Bible (as a whole) : Bible Translation : Modern Translations : English
Pericopes Genesis 20,11-20,13
Terms אֱלֹהִים אלהים
Last modification 2017-10-27