Sunday, February 26, 2006

Come additional comments on Exodus 4:24 ff.


Our Bible class this morning (Feb. 26) continued discussion of the difficult passage in Exodus 4:24. We didn't get too far, but our teacher, Patrick, took us in the general direction suggested by the post by Andy on Feb. 20 (see below).

An interesting question was raised, however, by one of our members, Harry S. Harry was listening to the on-going discussion of the passage about circumcision and who the pronoun "him" referred to in the original Hebrew. We had several translations in class, each of which took a different view of this pronoun's antecedent. Harry said, "Well, that's all well and good, but what I want to know is: what did Zipporah mean when she said to Moses, 'Surely you are a bridegreeom of blood to me'? Look at these translations, 'bloody husband,' and so on. What does that phrase mean?"

We were running out of time at that point, and Patrick had to stop the class because the choir members were getting up in order to be robed-n-ready for the 10:45 a.m. service.

I think Harry has raised an interesting point. What did Zipporah have in mind there--if anything other than the accusation mentioned in Andy's post. I suspect Harry is thinking that there's something more going on than the British "bloody hell" kind of curse. The NIV translation (quoted above) suggests to me a ritual-driven accusation, such as, "You are my true husband, who drew blood on our wedding night. Now it's time again to be a man . . . . " Perhaps this has already been suggested by Andy's post.

Gene K. raised another intesting point, in reference to the euphemistic use of "foot" in the OT. Gene mentioned the story of Ruth and Boaz, specifically the part of the story when Ruth goes to Boaz when he's sleeping and was told by Naomi to lay down at his "feet." I'll never read that story again in the same way.

Anyway, our Bible class will return to Exodus 4 again next week, and the week after, and the week after that, and--. If any of you have any thoughts, please let me know. (Do it quickly; I'm afraid I'll die of old age before the class gets to it!)

Best wishes,
Mason Smith


Blogger Andrew Harnack said...

Mason, Thanks greatly for filling me in on what went on in yesterday's Scripture study. I surely wish I had been there (keeping quiet as usual :-). Collectively I think we're on to something, and I like Smilely inference that perhaps a bit of British slang has worked itself into the Torah--and a lot more is to be uncovered. Talk about intertextuality! I sure Gene is on to something too. That Boaz and Ruth business has got more than a wee bit of atmospheric musk floating around in the barn. Nothing like letting a man know he's a hunk to get him thinking. At any rate, you can be sure June and I will be there next Sunday. But after that, alas, we may again on the road to Austin, TX. June's borther, Gene, is ill, and we want to see him. Please include him in your prayers.

Monday, 27 February, 2006  

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