2:17 but 1 you must not eat 2 from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when 3 you eat from it you will surely die.” 4
18:10 One of them 5 said, “I will surely return 6 to you when the season comes round again, 7 and your wife Sarah will have a son!” 8 (Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, not far behind him. 9
22:17 I will indeed bless you, 10 and I will greatly multiply 11 your descendants 12 so that they will be as countless as the stars in the sky or the grains of sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession 13 of the strongholds 14 of their enemies.
31:15 Hasn’t he treated us like foreigners? He not only sold us, but completely wasted 15 the money paid for us! 16
46:4 I will go down with you to Egypt and I myself will certainly bring you back from there. 17 Joseph will close your eyes.” 18
1 tn The disjunctive clause here indicates contrast: “but from the tree of the knowledge….”
2 tn The negated imperfect verb form indicates prohibition, “you must not eat.”
3 tn Or “in the very day, as soon as.” If one understands the expression to have this more precise meaning, then the following narrative presents a problem, for the man does not die physically as soon as he eats from the tree. In this case one may argue that spiritual death is in view. If physical death is in view here, there are two options to explain the following narrative: (1) The following phrase “You will surely die” concerns mortality which ultimately results in death (a natural paraphrase would be, “You will become mortal”), or (2) God mercifully gave man a reprieve, allowing him to live longer than he deserved.
4 tn Heb “dying you will die.” The imperfect verb form here has the nuance of the specific future because it is introduced with the temporal clause, “when you eat…you will die.” That certainty is underscored with the infinitive absolute, “you will surely die.”
sn The Hebrew text (“dying you will die”) does not refer to two aspects of death (“dying spiritually, you will then die physically”). The construction simply emphasizes the certainty of death, however it is defined. Death is essentially separation. To die physically means separation from the land of the living, but not extinction. To die spiritually means to be separated from God. Both occur with sin, although the physical alienation is more gradual than instant, and the spiritual is immediate, although the effects of it continue the separation.
5 tn Heb “he”; the referent (one of the three men introduced in v. 2) has been specified in the translation for clarity. Some English translations have specified the referent as the
6 tn The Hebrew construction is emphatic, using the infinitive absolute with the imperfect tense.
sn I will surely return. If Abraham had not yet figured out who this was, this interchange would have made it clear. Otherwise, how would a return visit from this man mean Sarah would have a son?
7 tn Heb “as/when the time lives” or “revives,” possibly referring to the springtime.
8 tn Heb “and there will be (הִנֵּה, hinneh) a son for Sarah.”
10 tn The use of the infinitive absolute before the finite verbal form (either an imperfect or cohortative) emphasizes the certainty of the blessing.
11 tn Here too the infinitive absolute is used for emphasis before the following finite verb (either an imperfect or cohortative).
sn I will greatly multiply. The
12 tn The Hebrew term זֶרַע (zera’) occurring here and in v. 18 may mean “seed” (for planting), “offspring” (occasionally of animals, but usually of people), or “descendants” depending on the context.
13 tn Or “inherit.”
14 tn Heb “gate,” which here stands for a walled city. To break through the gate complex would be to conquer the city, for the gate complex was the main area of defense (hence the translation “stronghold”).
15 tn Heb “and he devoured, even devouring.” The infinitive absolute (following the finite verb here) is used for emphasis.
sn He sold us and…wasted our money. The precise nature of Rachel’s and Leah’s complaint is not entirely clear. Since Jacob had to work to pay for them, they probably mean that their father has cheated Jacob and therefore cheated them as well. See M. Burrows, “The Complaint of Laban’s Daughters,” JAOS 57 (1937): 250-76.
16 tn Heb “our money.” The word “money” is used figuratively here; it means the price paid for Leah and Rachel. A literal translation (“our money”) makes it sound as if Laban wasted money that belonged to Rachel and Leah, rather than the money paid for them.
17 tn Heb “and I, I will bring you up, also bringing up.” The independent personal pronoun before the first person imperfect verbal form draws attention to the speaker/subject, while the infinitive absolute after the imperfect strongly emphasizes the statement: “I myself will certainly bring you up.”
18 tn Heb “and Joseph will put his hand upon your eyes.” This is a promise of peaceful death in Egypt with Joseph present to close his eyes.