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Adam & Eve: The Whole Story Doesn't Make Sense - until now
Rabbi Fohrman speaks about the word "arom" and its meanings in his book titled "The Beast That Crouches At The Door".

There is a whole Chapter titled - The Naked Truth.

I'll have to re-read it to see if I can provide his prospective on it.
Thanks, searchinmyroots. I looked up Rabbi Fohrman's book chapter and revised my post. Makes more sense now, I hope!
(10-14-2020, 04:35 PM)robrecht Wrote: I definitely like this midrashic interpretation, ImAHebrew. I'm also certainly no expert, but years ago I did study Hebrew for a few years and thus I'm always looking for occasions to look at it again to maintain or regain something of what I learned and hopefully learn a little more. 

In Genesis 2,25, the narrator says that the human and his wife were עֲרוּמִּ֔ים (ꜥᵃrûmmim), which is usually translated here as 'naked', but that translation might be suspect. It is the plural of what the serpent is described as in 3,1, the very next verse: עָר֔וּם (ꜥārûm, clever, crafty, cunning, prudent)). Later on, when the human and his wife realize they are naked, a slightly different word is used in 3,7, which definitely means naked: עֵֽירֻמִּ֖ם (ꜥērummim, naked plural. Subsequently in 3,10.11 this same word is used in the singular when the human and God also both say that he was עֵירֹ֥ם (ꜥêrōm, naked singular).

The Hebrew words in 2,25 & 3,1 certainly look similar to the words used in 3,7.10.11, but I don't think they are really the same word. However the author does seem to be using a word play between the similarity of the slightly different words for 'crafty' and 'naked'. Perhaps a copyist changed the word in 2,25 while already thinking of the word in 3,1. Another copyist in the Dead Sea Scrolls may have made the opposite mistake in writing [ער[ום (ꜥārûm) in 3,11 (1Q1 f2:1).

Perhaps Jason will come along to teach us more!

I don't feel comfortable teaching about nudity. Wink

The two words were used in the contrasting verses in a playful way. It was intentional, IMHO. In modern Hebrew, we have eliminated the "cunning" meaning and changed the word to עַרְמוּמִי ʿarmûmî in order to avoid the confusion. ערום is used only in reference to nudity/nakedness.
The Hebrew Language Academy (האקדמיה ללשון העברית) gives three entries:

עָרוּם ʿārûm [עֲרוּמָה ʿărûmâ] - cunning, crafty
עָרוֹם ʿārôm [עֲרֻמָּה ʿărummâ] - naked, nude
עֵירוֹם ʿêrôm [עֵֽירֻמָּה ʿêrummâ] - naked, nude; nudity

The last form is often used also as a noun, especially in the phrase בְּעֵרוֹם bəʿērôm, which is far more common to express the idea of having no clothes on.

The biblical text used the first term for the serpent and the second for Adam and Eve, and the third term is often used as a noun instead of an adjective (it can be either).
Thank you, Jason. I'm encouraged that you also think this is a purposeful word-play, but I still have a few questions if you have the time and patience:

Quote:The biblical text used the first term for the serpent and the second for Adam and Eve ...

At first, I thought the Massoretes understood Gen 2,25: עֲרוּמִּ֔ים as the first term (of the Hebrew Language Academy) being used for Adam and Eve.

But the Massoretes also seem to have vocalized עֲרֻמָּ֔ה with a kubutz in Hosea 2,5 and עֲרוּמִּ֣ים with a shuruq in Job 22,6 so that seemed to indicate that they thought this first term could also mean 'naked'.

And I notice that the second term (Hebrew Language Academy) uses a kubutz followed by the doubling of the mem in the feminine:

Quote:עָרוֹם ʿārôm [עֲרֻמָּה ʿărummâ] - naked, nude

So I'm guessing that this same kubutz followed by the doubling of the mem may also appear in the plural of the second term. Is that correct? These similarities in the vocalization of the feminine and plural of the second term with the first term seem to indicate that the first and second terms (of the Hebrew Language Academy) are clearly very closely related words, perhaps even the same word with a wide range of meanings.

Another question on this point:

Quote:The biblical text used the first term for the serpent and the second for Adam and Eve ...

So, regardless of whether or not Gen 2,25 uses the first or the second term for Adam and Eve, we still must recognize that 'Adam and God both use the third term (עֵירֹ֥ם) in Gen 3,10.11 for 'naked'. Any thoughts on how the third term is related to the first and second terms? Same root? If so, where do the yod and tzere come from? 

Regardless of the origin of the the yod and tzere, this third term might carry a more pejorative meaning in this narrative context.

Sorry if this is too many questions. Thanks for your patience!!!

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