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Bob MacDonald

John - it won't surprise you that I concur 100% with your reading and your rationale. Thanks.

Martin Shields

Hi John,

Thanks for the post. I like your analysis of the balance between positive and negative across Gen 3:16 and 4:7. I'm going to think that through a little more.

Regarding Song 7:11, however, I don't think your case is as strong as you imply. As love poetry, Song uses language in unusual ways. Just look at Song 7:5 which uses אשר 'tie, bind, imprison', elsewhere almost always used of harsh captivity. The strength of language reflects the emotional force it expresses. This example could easily be multiplied in the context of the Song. So in 7:11 the first line is essentially an expression of ownership:

אני לדודי

So a loose paraphrase of the couplet could thus be "I belong to my beloved and he owns me." I think this fits well with the "alternate" understanding of תשוקה.

Finally, I know etymology has been abused and that it can lead us down the wrong path, but I think that for terms which are obscure it is sometimes useful to consider it as well. And I think תשוקה qualifies as sufficiently obscure to make it worthwhile considering the etymology which favours the "control" reading. Now if it didn't fit the contexts in which the word appears then I'd go with context over etymology, but if they all concur, perhaps it lends some weight to the overall argument?

Love is, after all, as strong as death!

Martin Shields.


I suggest this article for a suggestion that teshuqa was a continuation of the previous statements about the condition of woman.

In this analysis, the entire verse 16 is about things which are to woman's disadvantage. This also concurs with the LXX reading, that the woman is turned away towards man. This interpretation is also found in the Vulgate and DR, of course, and turns up in Calvin as part of woman's subjection.

On the other hand, I have also read Martin's excellent paper on this topic.


I dunno. I checked the link in the preview. Hmm. Gen. 3:16 Reconsidered by Irvin Busenitz


Gen. 3:16 Reconsidered by Irvin Busenitz



Thank you for your comments. Your dedication to understanding this passage is perfectly evident. Let me try to summarize our chief areas of disagreement. Keep in mind I have not read any extended treatment of yours of this passage. Your previous comments on my blog are my sole point of departure.

(1) You suggest that an appeal to etymology is appropriate. I say: it is never appropriate.

However, if you wish to demonstrate that the usage of a cognate of teshuqa in Arabic is similar to the usage of teshuqa in Hebrew, for example, that it co-occurs with similar terms, is used in similar contexts, and so on, then you have the beginnings of an argument.

However, a study of the usage of teshuqa in the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Mishnah, and later Hebrew literature ought to take precedence. The historical memory of the language should not be set aside without strong evidence to the contrary. Later usage is any case more probative than a parallel usage of a cognate - yet to be demonstrated - in Arabic.

On "The Use of Arabic in Biblical Hebrew Lexicography," one must start with John Kaltner's monograph of that title. His 14 guidelines must be followed. Otherwise, it is garbage in, garbage out.

(2) As I understand it, like NLT, you see a range of meanings for teshuqa which is quite different from teshuqa '(impellent) desire' of later Hebrew. "Desire to control" in Gen 3 and 4, and "ownership" in SS 7. On the face of it, your explanation of SS 7:10 sounds plausible enough, but only if the rest of SS is not ringing in one's ears (I happen to know this book backwards and forwards). Take 2:16, for example: "My love is mine, and I am his, who browses among the lilies." The lilies are a metaphorical stand-in for the girl's breasts, as I imagine you already know if you have spent time with this fabulous love poetry and its use of images. Read 2:16 in context, from 2:15 on. 3:1 and following is continuous in terms of theme. Ownership, even in a positive sense, is not the theme. How could it be in love poetry full of the seek-and-find trope? The theme is the sense of attachment and belonging desire creates. "I am his" in that sense. Take a look now at 6:1-3. Same story. Then note the continuation of MT 7:11 in the larger context of chapter 7. The goal of chapter 7 is not a sense of mutual ownership, per your understanding of 7:11. If that were the meaning of 7:11, the larger unit would have ended there. Instead, it continues. The goal of the passage is clearly lovemaking (7:13-14). Exactly what one would expect given teshuqa '(impellent) desire" in 7:11.

I imagine you have other reasons for preferring 'desire to control' in Genesis 3 and 4 to the traditional, vanilla-flavored 'desire.' Always fun, in any case, to posit a heretofore unimagined meaning for an ancient vocable. Most proposals of this kind, in the history of the field, are now forgotten. But guess what? A few of them are almost certainly right. We just don't know which ones. So keep at at, if you think it's worth the effort. My purpose here is not to dissuade you in your endeavor, bur rather, to act as a sounding board and a conversation partner.



Thanks for the bibliographical references. At this point, if you've read them, I would rather have you summarize the arguments in them you find persuasive, if any.

BTW, in the history of exegesis, beginning with the book of Jubilees in the so-called Intertestamental Period, it is possible to find negative attitudes toward sexual desire per se. The interpretation of which you speak, according to which teshuqa would be negative here, has an ancient pedigree. But that doesn't mean the author of Genesis intended it that way, as of course you know. The trouble with people who spend a lot of time looking at the history of exegesis is that they end up not caring what the text and its author intended to say, since a reconstruction of that, strictly speaking, is irrelevant to the study of the history of exegesis. Keep in mind, that the sensus literalis of Gen 3:16 understood in typical Renaissance - Reformed terms (ad fontes!) is my sole focus here.

Later in the series, I will interact with previous scholarship on this passage. But it's important not to begin with the secondary literature. One should begin with the primary evidence, and sort it out as best one can according to a strict methodology.

As far as LXX goes, the text is a crux. It does not obviously mean what you say it does. When a version's sense is as opaque as LXX Gen 3:16 is, one cannot base a lot on it, nor on the history of interpretation of the Fathers based on LXX.

The Vulgate is clearer. For the moment I will simply point out that Michael Marlowe online uses the Vulgate to argue that NLT at Genesis 3:16 is misbegotten. I need to re-examine the evidence, but I think Marlowe argues in the right direction, though I would argue along different lines.

I realize you may turn to LXX and the Vulgate because they are sources you are familiar with. However, the relevant sources in Jewish midrashic literature and in the piyyutim are legion and, in my view, likely to hew closer to the sense Gen 3:16 had in the beginning and for Jews up through the end of the Second Temple and beyond than is sometimes the case in LXX and Vulgate. The rabbinic sources are usually ignored by Christian Hebraists but for no just reason.

The volume recently edited by Michael D. Swartz and Joseph Yahalom entitled
"Avodah: An Anthology of Ancient Poetry for Yom Kippur" (2005) is incredibly interesting w.r.t. the subject matter at hand. The poetry is almost virgin territory in terms of research in the history of exegesis. Some of the key texts were practically unavailable before the publication of this volume. Read how the piyyutim contained in the volume conceptualize creation of Adam and Eve, the fall, redemption, and so on: it will blow your socks off.



The article I tried to link to was in support of your thesis. Anyway, I like what you are saying about the historical memory of the language. Thanks for your long and thoughtful response. I am already familiar with Rashi on this one, please don't assume that I am not, and I assume it is the most likely interpretation. I am basically with you on this.

But let me emphasize, I am not running a horse on this one. Martin's paper is also good.

What is interesting is that the Geneva Bible tries to split the difference between the Pagnini Latin (from Rashi) and the Vulgate with,

"and thy desire shalbe subiect to thine husbande, and he shall rule ouer thee." Geneva



Your point about Rashi is excellent. As a default, go with Rashi. He's not always right, of course, but even when he's wrong, he's brilliant.


I am hoping to photograph more of Pagnini's Bible in late october. There is one in Toronto. He is the one who made the change on this one and brought many other rabbinical readings into the Latin and from there into Coverdale, etc. I already have Genesis, but I will look up S of S and some other books. I would like to have the full OT eventually. It really is the most significant reformation Bible in my biased view.


A copy of Pagnini's Bible is an hour away from me, in the Golda Meir collection of the Univ of Wisconsin - Milwaukee. I'll have to take a look at it.

J. K. Gayle

You're making some helpful connections between the 3 passages (with a nod to Bob's cautions about the liberalness of the Song)! I think such intertextuality is important for many reasons, mostly hermeneutical. Suzanne is right to bring in the LXX for many reasons, not necessarily for the concordance with the Hebrew but absolutely because it opens up the NT interpretations.

My own thinking on this is that Mark's and Matthew's accounts of Satan's tempting Jesus parallel Genesis 3, and the two gospel writers put Greek (i.e., LXX) words in the devil's mouth as he quotes from Psalm 91. The Septuagint has novel allusions to demons and the dragon. See LXX psalm 90.6 for δαιμονίου μεσημβρινοῦ (mid-day Greek deity) and δράκοντα (the Dragon). Of course, the NT writers, especially the gospel writers in Greek speak very much of the contest with the demons/ deities. And John, in his apocalypse / revelation, sure makes clear that Satan's the dragon metaphorically speaking. So the last book of the Christian canon gets a tie back to the first, and even to Genesis 3.

J. K. Gayle

more for the bibliography:

HT Jane Stranz:

Martin Shields

Hi John,

I'll check out Kaltner's monograph, thanks for pointing it out.

(1) I think there remains a limited place for etymology. Consider the situation where you come across a hapax term for which more than one possible meaning could feasibly be posited. What if etymological considerations exclude some or all of the various meanings? At this point, I think I'd probably go with the etymology. Of course this is a very well tailored scenario and such a circumstance may never actually arise, but I am trying to load the dice here a little.

When it comes to תשוקה there are perhaps indications that things are a little confused early on. As you know, the LXX and some targums imply תשובה in Gen 3:15 or else (mis?) understood תשוקה to be a synonym of תשובה. The Vulgate only adds to the impression of uncertainty.

In light of this, in this particular instance, depending too heavily upon later usage may be problematical. If there are indications of problems understanding it early on, how much is later understanding influenced by an assumed meaning for the term in Genesis and Song? If so, it doesn't tell us a whole lot about the meaning of תשוקה except for how it was later understood.

What is also not clear is when the meaning "desire" can first be attested for תשוקה. BDB supports the "traditional" meaning by an appeal to a supposed Arabic cognate. It does look like Targ. Ps. Jon. understands the term this way, but are there any clear earlier attestations of this meaning? I can't find any references in the Mishnah, but there are a few in the Scrolls of which a number are in such fragmentary contexts that I wouldn't want to place too much weight on them, and the others I'd have to look at more closely.

(2) I don't think SS 7 is about "ownership" any more than SS 2. But I'm also not convinced that this language is entirely inappropriate in a poem expressing "the sense of attachment and belonging desire creates" in the same way that using אשר is also quite appropriate. After all, isn't "inappropriate" language sometimes the very thing that makes the text more interesting, since more is heard when you say something unexpected?

Of course I think "impellant desire" is somewhat different to simple "desire" and may better fit both the etymology and the contexts (depending upon exactly what you mean by the term). The problem with a simple unqualified "desire" in English is that it has tended to prompt all manner of wild speculation regarding the nature of the woman's desire for her husband (just read Leupold's explanation of the term).

In the end I'm quite in favour of idiosyncratic readings (within reason). Perhaps it comes from viewing things up-side down (living down-under here in Aus)? After all, I think ESV is right on Mal 2:16 and almost every other English translation has it wrong (although for very different reasons than Gen 3:16)! But this is all good stuff to think about, and so I thank you for giving me some thinking to do.

Martin Shields.


The LXX is essential for understanding the church fathers, just as the Vulgate and Pagnini are essential to understanding Calvin and Luther. There is little point pursuing what they wrote without pursuing the Bibles they read.

I can only chuckle at someone who cites Chrysostom on this verse along with the NASB version.

Robert Holmstedt


This is an interesting verse, indeed. I've had a draft article on this verse sitting in my hard drive for about 8 years (I doubt I'll ever get back to it).

Your analysis is partial and, in my opinion, not quite adequate. You don't at all deal with the word order, particularly in the first half of the verse. Why is the PP "to your husband" fronted?

The fronted PP in the second half makes great sense if just the positive of the second stich is being contrasted with the negative of first stich. And one could stretch the (what I identify as) Focus-fronting of the PP in first stich as anticipatory; that is, the first PP was fronted in anticipation of the contrast (induced by the Focus) set up with the second stich.

However, I suggest that the Focus-fronting of "to our husband" is due to a contrast with an item in the previous clause: "children". I think that the whole verse is about the disharmony within the central human relationship domain: the family. Thus, the woman will have to toil greatly in bearing children, but in spite of this effort, her attention will be directed to her husband (to the neglect of her children?), and in spite of this attention, her husband will respond with dominance.

The verse is not just about a dysfunctional husband-wife relationship; it's about a dysfunctional family. At least, that's what I take away from the verse when the word order variation is admitted into the equation.




Thanks for some very interesting observations. Gen 3:15, as you know, is considered to be a Protoevangelium in the tradition of the church. The beginnings of this understanding are evident in the New Testament.


Thank you for engaging here.

I don't know why for sure many of the versions at Gen 3:16 translate as they do. No one does, it seems to me. Thinking out loud, I wonder, perhaps a widespread exegetical tradition sought to desexualize the implication of teshuqah "(impellant) desire." That is just the kind of implication that naturally gets a number of people worked up. teshuqah understood more weakly as "response, inclination" may have been the intent in some of the older translations.

However, go take a look at Miqraot Gedolot (my next post on this passage). Jewish tradition knew full well what the word teshuqah means. There is really no evidence that the meaning had to be guessed at or divined, though once again, a strong desire (!) to reinterpret the word and passage along more "useful" lines is very evident.


Thanks for the reminder about the history of interpretation. We shan't forget Nicholas of Lyra either, and the fact that some Christian Hebraists were able to read Rashi and others directly. Others read him in Latin.


Hi Rob,

You raise some interesting questions. Since this verse is part of a larger unit that has a poetic cast, it makes it harder than it might otherwise be to interpret word-order as a vector of semantic information.

The possibility that word-order is determined or co-determined here by the structuring of the larger textual unit in terms of recurrent parallel alignments at the word-order level has to be considered. Typical analysis of fronting is unable to capture semantic information vectored by parallelisms of this kind. At least, I am not aware of information structure analysis that addresses recurrent parallel alignments at the word-order level across large textual units with methodological rigor.

If you know of research which has touched on this in an interesting way, I would love to know about it.

Robert Holmstedt


You wrote:
" Since this verse is part of a larger unit that has a poetic cast, it makes it harder than it might otherwise be to interpret word-order as a vector of semantic information."

I disagree entirely! I've not run across a bit of BH poetry yet that shows any different word order / Information Structure than prose. I've read quite a few of the psalms explicitly looking for such and, aside from obvious chiasm (by which I mean only ABC - CBA), it all fits the pattern I've laid out at SBL and in print (e.g. the Fox FS article on Proverbs).

Indeed, I set about my poetry reading to put a stop to the baseless claim "It's poetry, so the rules don't apply."




That's interesting. I like your strong, bold thesis. I may take your explanation of "the pattern" laid out in the Fox FS and test it against Genesis 3:14-19 in a forthcoming post.


I regret that I do not have sufficient time at the moment to respond properly to your carefully written and persuasively argued post. However, I must take exception with your implication that it is the "primary translation" is "t he only one most people will ever notice" and that footnotes are ignored.

This reflects the sort of anti-intellectual bias that too many people bring to Bible study -- the suggestion that one's translation is somehow inspired and thus translated the original meaning perfectly. To ignore an alternative interpretation flagged by the translators themselves is the height of folly -- a perfect example of quoting out of context (which your very post argues strongly against).

I must say I regard anyone who ignores the footnotes with contempt. As you know well, even the Masoretes in the best original text included "footnotes" [masorah] (pointing, tikkune soferim, mikra soferim, issur soferim, unusually written letters, spacing, etc.)

People who do not know how to read should not have a Bible, and if NLT2 readers are incapable of moving their eyes to the bottom of the page, I suggest that they be required to attend fourth grade before they be allowed to read a work as challenging as the Bible.

It is perfectly legitimate to debate the meaning of a particular posek, but in absence of evidence excluding a particular interpretation, I think it is arrogant to suggest that in this case the NLT2 translators were anything less than the model of responsibility.



Thanks for your comments.

It's good to see you defending NLT2. That's a bit outside the box for you, but then, you are not easy to pigeonhole.

The fact is, whether it is a good thing or not, a Bible for the general public should not include in its main text idiosyncratic translation choices. Most people should not, but do ignore footnotes. Nor is the content of footnotes usually referred to in the context of preaching.

Based on those ineluctable realities, no wonder NEB became REB, and NLT1 became NLT2. I'm just pushing further in the same direction, toward NLT3.



I have also had a look at the NLT footnotes and feel that they position the NLT, more than many other translations, as a common Bible, by virtue of the footnotes. i don't necessarily like the first choice, that found in the text, but overall I have been impressed.


The fact is, whether it is a good thing or not, a Bible for the general public should not include in its main text idiosyncratic translation choices

John, I could not disagree with you more. My view: translators should include the best translation, not the least idiosyncratic (and I think that given your experiments with translation, you can hardly claim that the two notions are synonymous).

There is nothing special about a Bible in this choice -- the same argument to any translation of literature.

The Oral Torah, as you certainly know, continues to unfold. To speak of some major faith traditions: To avoid idiosyncratic choices means that Avram would never have knocked over his father's idols in Uz, nor left on his long journey. To avoid idiosyncratic choices means that Europe would still be following the Mystery cults, instead of a heretic Jew. To avoid idiosyncratic choices means that Luther would have decided to accept that bishopric after all.

Less rhetorically, if the mark of excellence is merely avoiding idiosyncrasies, there is certainly no need for more than one English translation per century or two.

As far as your (rather snide) remark about the evolution of the NEB to the REB -- let me point out that the REB has almost never referred to in the academic literature while the NEB is still regularly cited. Why? Because scholars appreciate the risk taking of the NEB. Does that make the NEB the best translation? Of course not, but it is certainly one worth reading (I cannot make that statement with equal force for the REB).

But your remarks are certainly unfounded in the case of the NLT2, as a quick glance at the earlier versions reveals. At Gen 3:16b the NLT1 swaps primary and footnoted interpretations. The LB has the "conventional" interpretation will reveal.

Now, to be clear, my point here is not to defend the NLT2's decision, but merely the "right" of the translators to put forth the translation they consider best, particularly when they have taken the trouble to document the alternative "conventional" interpretation. The translators obviously made the decision after deliberation.

Finally, if your goal is to omit "idiosyncratic" interpretations, may I suggest that you should remove quite a few posts from your blog?



I repeat, one cannot expect the footnotes in a Bible like NLT to be read, much less quoted, by most people. I seem to remember that you independently noted the very issue I raise on your blog. Have you removed that post from your site? Have you changed your mind?


It is not proper to compare a translation in a blog post to a Bible translation designed for use in worship. In the consulting I have done for a translation team, I did not push my idiosyncratic interpretations, even if I'm convicned they are right. I have greater resepct for tradition than that.

If any of my interpretations gain wide acceptance one day, I will be overjoyed to see them included in a translation for use in worship.

You misunderstood my point about NEB to REB. The former is much more fun from a scholar's point of view (we get to try to figure out what that mad-hat G. R. Driver was up to). But NEB is not appropriate for use in worship and devotional study. You are well aware, I imagine, that that is one reason REB came to be. No use pretending otherwise.


You missed my point too. The REB was a reactionary assault on the NEB. As far as worship is concerned, I won't say (I say worship is better in Greek, Latin, Slavonic, Ethiopic, or Hebrew, depending on your religion) but for devotional study (I don't know how "devotional study" is different from "study") the NEB is definitely better than the REB. I learn very little from the REB that I don't already know from the NRSV.

And, as I pointed out, the LB-NLT1-NLT2 evolution shows a slow, deliberate movement in the direction of what the translators considered the better translation (while clearly noting the ambiguity.) They weren't trying to be cute. They were trying to be better.

Why did Fox make his translation? Because he thought his translation would be better. Alter? The same reason. Now, I know that are some who like ketchup and frozen vegetables, because they "don't rock the boat." I respect the NLT2 (and least for this verse) for not being bound by those unwilling to consider a wide interpretation of textual meanings.



Wow, that's a quite a swipe at REB. You might want to back that up with analysis on your blog someday.

I have a much more positive opinion of REB than you do. I prefer it to NRSV in countless instances. Furthermore, I thought its superiority to NRSV in terms of diction and rhythm was well-known. REB has a further advantage, except in contexts in which horizontal inclusive language is a high priority (a relatively small demographic). For REB, the use of horizontally inclusive language was not a priority such that singulars were pluralized in instances where the singular might have more wisely been preserved, as is the case in NRSV.

Fox and Alter translate with other goals in mind. Both are interested in translating in a way that is transparent to the Hebrew. Even if that involves engaging in syntactic transliteration. This method of translation bears a family resemblance to the "essentially literal" approach. Alter, of course, is a magician with words, though the result is a bit spotty.


No, I don't think the REB's superiority to the NRSV is well known.

Do you know a single congregation that uses the REB? I know quite a few that use the NRSV.

Is the REB Oxford Study Bible in print in hardcover? It is not.

How many NRSV Study Bibles are in print in hardcover? I count 9 (but doubtlessly, I am missing some).

When was the last time you read a scholarly article that quoted the REB? I have never seen one (except articles about the REB itself.)

When was the last time you read a scholarly article that quoted the NRSV (or for that matter, the NEB or the RSV)? I have seen all three -- today!

Are there editions of the Book of Common Prayer with the NRSV? Yes there are.

Are there editions of the Book of Common Prayer with the REB? Not as far as I am aware of.

What translation does the Church of England use in its replacement for the Book of Common Prayer, Common Worship? The NRSV.

Does the NRSV have the imprimatur of the Catholic Church? Yes it does.

Does the REB have the imprimatur of the Catholic Church? Not it does not.

So, pray tell, on what basis do you claim that the superiority of the REB to the NRSV is "well known"?

PS: I love how your blog now generates a Firefox "potential cross-site scripting attack" when one attempts to post a comment here.



You point out many interesting facts. I'm not familiar enough with the world of Bible translation politics to know why REB, in terms of acceptance, flopped in a number of ways. Lots of skulduggery in Bible translation politics (the case of TNIV is a celebrated one).

You are right that I need to reword my original statement. Here goes. I think those who take the time to become familiar with it will agree that REB is superior to NRSV in terms of diction and rhythm.

Really, REB deserves to be better known. The REB fan club is small at the moment, but perhaps it will grow.


Have a look at El Shaddai's most recent post which compares REB and NEB among other things. I won't try to post a link.


I did, Suzanne, and posted a comment. I had forgotten how good NEB is in the New Testament. Perhaps this vindicates Iyov's comment to some degree.

I am more familiar with NEB OT, and its famous oddball translation choices foisted upon an apparently tremulous translation committee by the genius of Godfrey Rolles Driver.


Just wondering what you think of this synopsis (of one of the paper Suzanne posted):

"Lexical and etymological studies of the words of Gen 3:16b yield little help for interpreting the meaning of the woman's desire for man. Contextual evidence, however, indicates that the woman's desire for the man and his rule over her are not the punishment but the conditions in which the woman will suffer punishment. Although there are linguistic and thematic parallels between Gen 3:16b and Gen 4:7, contextual differences and interpretive problems indicate that Gen 4:7 cannot be used to interpret the meaning of “desire" in Gen 3:16. Cant 7:10[11] provides a better context for understanding the word. It may be concluded that, in spite of the Fall, the woman will have a longing for intimacy with man involving more than sexual intimacy."

This part,

"Contextual evidence, however, indicates that the woman's desire for the man and his rule over her are not the punishment but the conditions in which the woman will suffer punishment"

is what I'm interested in; this part,

"It may be concluded that, in spite of the Fall, the woman will have a longing for intimacy with man involving more than sexual intimacy"

I don't know too much about, except that I've read (and reread) your papers (thine analysis and Marlowe's) so that I wouldn't think that it does not include the sexual "appetite" aspect.

[Yes I did throw-back to old English with "thine". : )]



You are referring to an article by Irvin Busenitz that appears among the resources Tel Hildebrandt offers online.

While I do not accept Susan Foh's exegetical proposals such that teshuqah is taken to refer to the desire to dominate, I have no less difficulty with Busenitz's counter-proposals. For example, he claims that procreation is in view with teshuqah, but this is no less an exegetical stretch than Foh's proposals.

Furthermore, the key claim he wants to make, that "sin-corrupted" female submission and "sin-corrupted" male headship is a "natural" consequence of sin, not a consequence of divine judgment, creates in my view a false dichotomy and cannot be supported from the text.

Busenitz reads the Genesis text on the basis of a contemporary understanding of selected NT texts.

There is a time and a place for this, but first the text is best understood on its own terms.

I remained convinced that teshuqah in Gen 3 refers to the strong desire a woman has for a man, and is neither a consequence of sin nor of judgment, but a positive balanced by a negative, the negative of subjugation that a woman experiences at the hands of a man. By grace God allows the positive to continue, a positive that relates back to the original purposes, in which the man and woman are each other's counterparts, a positive despite sin and judgment which affect the life of both man and woman.

Pulp Fiction 4

I can’t say I know much of anything about the Hebrew language, but I find it interesting that you try to find one meaning for the same word in each passage, even though there are many English words that have more than one interpretation. It’s possible that in two of the passages it meant “longing”, and in the other it meant “desire to control”.

I could see it either way in Genesis 3:16 and Genesis 4:7. In a way, Eve had control over Adam when she got him to eat the forbidden fruit, and she may have wanted to continue that trend. Also, if “desire to control” is used in both instances, the idea of inverting positive and negative still makes sense, but a form of repetition also comes into play. Both lines of each couplet would refer to control, with the only change being which person is in control.

The “desire” in Song of Songs 7:10 makes a lot more sense as “longing”, but just as you said near the top of the post, just because it means that in one instance doesn’t mean it can’t meaning something else in another instance.

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  • Balshanut
    top-notch Biblical Hebrew and Semitics blog by Peter Bekins, Ph. D. student, Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati OH, faculty member, Wright State University (archive)
  • Believing is Knowing
    Comments on things like prophecy, predestination, and reward and punishment from an orthodox Jewish perspective, by David Guttmann
  • Ben Byerly's Blog
    thoughts on the Bible, Africa, Kenya, aid, and social justice, by Ben Byerly, a PhD candidate at Africa International University (AIU), in Nairobi, Kenya working on “The Hopes of Israel and the Ends of Acts” (Luke’s narrative defense of Paul to Diaspora Judeans in Acts 16-20)
  • Berit Olam
    by a thoughtful Matt Morgan, Berkeley CA resident, grad student in Old Testament at Regent University, Vancouver BC (archive)
  • Better Bibles Blog
    Discussion of translation problems and review of English Bible translations by Wayne Leman, Iver Larsen, Mike Sangrey, and others
  • Bibbia Blog
    A Bible blog in Italian and English by former students of the PIB and PUG
  • Bible Background research and commentary
    by Craig Keener, professor of New Testament, Asbury Theological Seminary
  • Bible Design & Binding
    J. Mark Bertrand's place
  • BiblePlaces Blog
    a spotlight on the historical geography of the Holy Land, by Todd Bolen, formerly, Assistant Professor at the Israel Bible Extension campus of The Master's College, Santa Clarita CA
  • Biblicalia
    The riches of orthodoxy brought online by Kevin Edgecomb, a seminarian at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology (Brookline MA)
  • Biblische Ausbildung
    by Stephen L. Cook, professor of Old Testament / Hebrew Bible at Virginia Theological Seminary
  • C. Orthodoxy
    Christian, Contemporary, Conscientious… or Just Confused, by Ken Brown, a very thoughtful blog (archive). Ken is currently a Dr. Theol. student at Georg-August-Universität in Göttingen, part of The Sofja-Kovalevskaja Research Group studying early Jewish Monotheism. His dissertation will focus on the presentation of God in Job.
  • Catholic Bibles
    a thoughtful blog about Bible translations by Timothy, who has a degree in sacred theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome (Angelicum) and teaches theology in a Catholic high school in Michigan
  • Chrisendom
    irreverent blog with a focus on the New Testament, by Chris Tilling, New Testament Tutor for St Mellitus College and St Paul's Theological Centre, London
  • Claude Mariottini
    a perspective on the Old Testament and current events by a professor of Old Testament at Northern Baptist Theological Seminary, Chicagoland, Illinois
  • Codex: Biblical Studies Blogspot
    by Tyler Williams, a scholar of the Hebrew Bible and cognate literature, now Assistant Professor of Theology at The King's University College in Edmonton, Alberta (archive)
  • Colours of Scripture
    reflections on theology, philosophy, and literature, by Benjamin Smith, afflicted with scriptural synaesthesia, and located in London, England
  • Complegalitarian
    A team blog that discusses right ways and wrong ways Scripture might help in the social construction of gender (old archive only; more recent archive, unfortunately, no longer publicly available)
  • Connected Christianity
    a place to explore what it might be like if Christians finally got the head, heart, and hands of their faith re-connected (archive)
  • Conversational Theology
    Smart and delightful comment by Ros Clarke, a Ph.D. student at the University of the Highlands and Islands, at the (virtual) Highland Theological College (archive)
  • Daily Hebrew
    For students of biblical Hebrew and the ancient Near East, by Chip Hardy, a doctoral student at the University of Chicago
  • Daniel O. McClellan
    a fine blog by the same, who is pursuing a master of arts degree in biblical studies at Trinity Western University just outside of Vancouver, BC.
  • Davar Akher
    Looking for alternative explanations: comments on things Jewish and beyond, by Simon Holloway, a PhD student in Classical Hebrew and Biblical Studies at The University of Sydney, Australia
  • Deinde
    News and Discussion by Danny Zacharias
  • Discipulus scripturae
    Nathan Stitt's place
  • Dr. Claude Mariottini
    balanced comment by a professor of Old Testament at Northern Baptist Seminary, Lombard IL
  • Dr. Platypus
    insightful comment by Darrell Pursiful, editor at Smyth & Helwys Publishing, on the New Testament faculty of Mercer University
  • Dust
    A diary of Bob MacDonald's journey through the Psalms and other holy places in the Hebrew Bible
  • Eclexia
    The heart and mind of this Bible and theology blogger sing in unison
  • Eat, Drink, and be Merry
    The journey of a grad student with a love for ancient languages at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary (archive)
  • Elizaphanian
    Rev Sam tussles with God, and limps away
  • Emerging from Babel
    Stephen investigates the potential of narrative and rhetorical criticism as a tool for expounding scripture
  • Evangelical Textual Criticism
    A group blog on NT and OT text-critical matters
  • Evedyahu
    excellent comment by Cristian Rata, Lecturer in Old Testament of Torch Trinity Graduate School of Theology, Seoul, Korea
  • Exegetica Digita
    discussion of Logos high-end syntax and discourse tools – running searches, providing the downloads (search files) and talking about what can be done and why it might matter for exegesis, by Mike Heiser
  • Exegetisk Teologi
    careful exegetical comment by Stefan Green (in Swedish)
  • Exploring Our Matrix
    Insightful reflections by James McGrath, ass't. professor of religion, Butler University
  • Faith Matters
    Mark Alter's place
  • Ferrell's Travel Blog
    comments of biblical studies, archaeology, history, and photography by a tour guide of Bible lands and professor emeritus of the Biblical Studies department at Florida College, Temple Terrace (FL)
  • Fors Clavigera
    James K. A. Smith, professor of philosophy at Calvin College, thinks out loud.
  • Friar's Fires
    an insightful blog by a pastor with a background in journalism, one of three he pens
  • Gentle Wisdom
    A fearless take on issues roiling Christendom today, by Peter Kirk, a Bible translator
  • Giluy Milta B‘alma
    by Ezra Chwat and Avraham David of the Institute of Microfilmed Hebrew Manuscripts, Jewish National and Hebrew University Library, Jerusalem
  • He is Sufficient
    insightful comment on Bible translations, eschatology, and more, by Elshaddai Edwards
  • Higgaion
    by Chris Heard, Professor of Religion, Pepperdine University
  • Idle Musings of a Bookseller
    by James Spinti of Eisenbrauns
  • if i were a bell, i'd ring
    Tim Ricchiuiti’s place
  • Imaginary Grace
    Smooth, witty commentary by Angela Erisman (archive). Angela Erisman is a member of the theology faculty at Xavier University
  • James' Thoughts and Musings
    by James Pate, a doctoral student at HUC-JIR Cincinnati
  • Jewish Philosophy Place
    by Zachary (Zak) Braiterman, who teaches modern Jewish thought and philosophy in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University
  • kata ta biblia
    by Patrick George McCollough, M. Div. student, Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena CA
  • Ketuvim
    Learned reflection from the keyboard of Jim Getz
  • Kilbabo
    Ben Johnson’s insightful blog
  • Kruse Kronicle - contemplating the intersection of work, the global economy, and Christian mission
    top quality content brought to readers by Michael W. Kruse
  • Larry Hurtado's blog
    emeritus professor of New Testament Language, Literature & Theology, University of Edinburgh
  • Law, Prophets, and Writings
    thoughtful blogging by William R. (Rusty) Osborne, Assistant Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies as College of the Ozarks and managing editor for Journal for the Evangelical Study of the Old Testament
  • Lingamish
    delightful fare by David Ker, Bible translator, who also lingalilngas.
  • Looney Fundamentalist
    a scientist who loves off-putting labels
  • Menachem Mendel
    A feisty blog on rabbinic literature and other Judaica by Michael Pitkowsky, Rabbinics Curriculum Coordinator at the Academy for Jewish Religion and adjunct instructor at Jewish Theological Seminary (New York)
  • mu-pàd-da
    scholarly blog by C. Jay Crisostomo, grad student in ANE studies at ?
  • Narrative and Ontology
    Astoundingly thoughtful comment from Phil Sumpter, a Ph.D. student in Bible, resident in Bonn, Germany
  • New Epistles
    by Kevin Sam, M. Div. student at the Lutheran Theological Seminary, Saskatoon SK
  • NT Weblog
    Mark Goodacre's blog, professor of New Testament, Duke University
  • Observatório Bíblico
    wide-ranging blog by Airton José da Silva, Professor de Bíblia Hebraica/Antigo Testamento na Faculdade de Teologia do CEARP de Ribeirão Preto, Brasile (in Portuguese)
  • Observatório Bíblico
    Blog sobre estudos acadêmicos da Bíblia, para Airton José da Silva, Professor de Bíblia Hebraica / Antigo Testamento na Faculdade de Teologia do CEARP de Ribeirão Preto, SP.
  • Occasional Publications
    excellent blogging by Daniel Driver, Brevard Childs' scholar extraordinaire
  • old testament passion
    Great stuff from Anthony Loke, a Methodist pastor and Old Testament lecturer in the Seminari Theoloji, Malaysia
  • Old Testament Pseudepigrapha Blog
    A weblog created for a course on the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, by James Davila (archive)
  • On the Main Line
    Mississippi Fred MacDowell's musings on Hebraica and Judaica. With a name like that you can't go wrong.
  • p.ost an evangelical theology for the age to come
    seeking to retell the biblical story in the difficult transition from the centre to the margins following the collapse of Western Christendom, by Andrew Perriman, independent New Testament scholar, currently located in Dubai
  • PaleoJudaica
    by James Davila, professor of Early Jewish Studies at the University of St. Andrews, St Andrews, Scotland. Judaism and the Bible in the news; tidbits about ancient Judaism and its context
  • Pastoral Epistles
    by Rick Brannan and friends, a conceptually unique Bible blog
  • Pen and Parchment
    Michael Patton and company don't just think outside the box. They are tearing down its walls.
  • Pisteuomen
    by Michael Halcomb, pastor-scholar from the Bluegrass State
  • Pseudo-Polymath
    by Mark Olson, an Orthodox view on things
  • Purging my soul . . . one blog at a time
    great theoblog by Sam Nunnally
  • Qumranica
    weblog for a course on the Dead Sea Scrolls at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, taught by James R. Davila (archive)
  • Ralph the Sacred River
    by Edward Cook, a superb Aramaist
  • Random Bloggings
    by Calvin Park, M. Div. student at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, South Hamilton MA
  • Resident aliens
    reflections of one not at home in this world
  • Revelation is Real
    Strong-minded comment from Tony Siew, lecturer at Trinity Theological College, Singapore
  • Ricoblog
    by Rick Brannan, it's the baby pictures I like the most
  • Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth
    Nick Norelli's fabulous blog on Bible and theology
  • SansBlogue
    by Tim Bulkeley, lecturer in Old Testament, Carey Baptist College (New Zealand). His Hypertext Commentary on Amos is an interesting experiment
  • Ancient Near Eastern Languages
    texts and files to help people learn some ancient languages in self study, by Mike Heiser
  • Midrash, etc.
    A fine Hebrew-to-English blog on Midrash, by Carl Kinbar, Director of the New School for Jewish Studies and a facultm member at MJTI School of Jewish Studies.
  • Phil Lembo what I'm thinking
    a recovering lawyer, now in IT, with a passion for a faith worth living
  • Roses and Razorwire
    a top-notch Levantine archaeology blog, by Owen Chesnut, a doctoral student at Andrews University (MI)
  • Scripture & Theology
    a communal weblog dedicated to the intersection of biblical interpretation and the articulation of church doctrine, by Daniel Driver, Phil Sumpter, and others
  • Scripture Zealot
    by Jeff Contrast
  • Serving the Word
    incisive comment on the Hebrew Bible and related ancient matters, with special attention to problems of philology and linguistic anthropology, by Seth L. Sanders, Assistant Professor in the Religion Department of Trinity College, Hartford, CT
  • Singing in the Reign
    NT blog by Michael Barber (JP University) and Brad Pitre (Our Lady Holy Cross)
  • Stay Curious
    excellent comment on Hebrew Bible and Hebrew language topics, by Karyn Traphagen, graduate, Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia PA (archive)
  • Sufficiency
    A personal take on the faith delivered to the saints, by Bob MacDonald, whose parallel blog on the Psalms in Hebrew is a colorful and innovative experiment
  • The Sundry Times
    Gary Zimmerli's place, with comment on Bible translations and church renewal
  • Sunestauromai: living the crucified life
    by a scholar-pastor based in the Grand Canyon National Park
  • ta biblia
    blog dedicated to the New Testament and the history of Christian origins, by Giovanni Bazzana
  • Targuman
    by Christian Brady, targum specialist extraordinaire, and dean of Schreyer Honors College, Penn State University
  • Targuman
    on biblical and rabbinic literature, Christian theology, gadgetry, photography, and the odd comic, by Christian Brady, associate professor of ancient Hebrew and Jewish literature and dean of the Schreyer Honors College at Penn State
  • The Biblia Hebraica Blog
    a blog about Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, the history of the Ancient Near East and the classical world, Syro-Palestinian archaeology, early Judaism, early Christianity, New Testament interpretation, English Bible translations, biblical theology, religion and culture, philosophy, science fiction, and anything else relevant to the study of the Bible, by Douglas Magnum, PhD candidate, University of the Free State, South Africa
  • The Forbidden Gospels Blog
    by April DeConick, Professor of Biblical Studies, Rice University
  • The Naked Bible
    by Mike Heiser, academic editor at Logos Bible Software
  • The Reformed Reader
    by Andrew Compton, Ph.D. student in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures (focus on Hebrew and Semitic Languages) at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
  • The Sacred Page
    a blog written by three Catholic Ph.D.s who are professors of Scripture and Theology: Michael Barber, Brant Pitre and John Bergsma
  • The Talmud Blog
    a group blog on Talmud News, Reviews, Culture, Currents, and Criticism
  • Theological German
    a site for reading and discussing theological German, by Mark Alter
  • theoutwardquest
    seeking spirituality as an outward, not an inward quest, by David Corder
  • This Lamp
    Incisive comment on Bible translations in the archives, by Rick Mansfield
  • Thoughts on Antiquity
    By Chris Weimer and friends, posts of interest on ancient Greek and Roman topics (archive). Chris is a graduate student at the City University of New York in Classics
  • Threads from Henry's Web
    Wide-ranging comment by Henry Neufeld, educator, publisher, and author
  • Tête-à-Tête-Tête
    smart commentary by "smijer," a Unitarian-Universalist
  • Undeception
    A great blog by Mike Douglas, a graduate student in biblical studies
  • What I Learned From Aristotle
    the Judaica posts are informative (archive)
  • Bouncing into Graceland
    a delightful blog on biblical and theological themes, by Esteban Vázquez (archive)
  • Weblog
    by Justin Anthony Knapp, a fearless Wikipedian (archive)
  • Writing in the Dust
    A collection of quotes by Wesley Hill, a doctoral student in New Testament studies at Durham University (UK), and a Christian who seeks the charism of chastity
  • גֵּר־וְתוֹשָׁב
    by David Miller, Associate Professor of New Testament and Early Judaism, Briercrest College & Seminary, Caronport, Saskatchewan, Canada
  • ואל-תמכר
    Buy truth and do not sell: wisdom, instruction, and understanding - a blog by Mitchell Powell, student of life at the intersection of Christ, Christianity, and Christendom
  • משלי אדם
    exploring wisdom literature, religion, and other academic pursuits, by Adam Couturier, M.A. in Old Testament/Hebrew Bible (graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary)

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  • Ancient Hebrew Poetry is a weblog of John F. Hobbins. Opinions expressed herein do not reflect those of his professional affiliations. Unless otherwise indicated, the contents of Ancient Hebrew Poetry, including all text, images, and other media, are original and licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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