Friday, August 3, 2007

Feminist Alert!

So, I think I have mentioned before that over the summer, on Thursdays, some of my fellow Hebrew students and I get together and read Hebrew.

No snickering.

We are working our way through Genesis and have stumbled across some rather interesting bits in terms of how things get translated...and this was yesterday's bit:

At the end of Genesis 3:16, God tells "the woman" (she hasn't been named yet) thusly, in the NRSV: "your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you."

Yeah, kinda makes you cringe. What do you do with that? Well, guess what -- there's another way to translate "over."

The Hebrew preposition used there ("b") can mean any number of things, including with. In fact, there is a whole 'nother preposition used often to mean "over." So why a different one here? I'd have to do a massive word study to find out if the preposition in 3:16 is elsewhere used to mean "over," and if so if that usage is rare, or whatever, which I don't have time to do these days...but maybe someday!

At any rate, here's the point: a perfectly responsible translation of Genesis 3:16 is this: "your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule with you."

Kinda changes things, doesn't it!?!

Surely someone has noticed this before...