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Genesis 3:17, “within a lamenting one they eat…”

ו ל אדם אמר כי שמעת ל קול אשתך ו תאכל מן ה עץ אשר צויתיך ל אמר לא תאכל ממנו ארורה ה אדמה ב עבורך ב עצבון תאכלנה כל ימי חייך

And he has spoken to the Man, “Because you have heard the voice of the woman of yourself and you are eating of the tree, straightly I have charged you to speak: ‘She is not eating from himself. She who is cursed is the Ground [of Adam] in him who is crossed of yourself. Within the lamenting one they are eating, all the days of your living ones,

Genesis 3:17 RBT

Hebrew תאכל she is eating 

In Hebrew, the incomplete/imperfect tense conjugations for the second person masculine singular and the third person feminine singular forms of verbs often appear identical, both written and pronounced. Therefore, “תאכל” (ta’akhal) could represent either “you (masculine singular) eats” or “she eats” depending on the context.

Strong’s #5668, עבוּר abur.

If the word “עָבוּר” (avar) has a suffix such as “ך” (kha), indicating the second person singular masculine possessive (“your”), then it would become “עבורך” (avar’kha). This form would mean “your (masculine singular) one who has passed through” or “the one who has passed through belonging to you (masculine singular).”

Because of the prefix and suffix the scribal tradition interprets it as for the sake of, on account of, so that. The word is found always prefixed with the preposition in, i.e. “within your crossed one.”

Paragogic nun. Strong’s #6093, עִצָּבוֹן itstsabon. Afflicted one, lamenting one.

Hebrew תאכלנה. you/they are eating (fem). The suffix “נה” (pronounced as “-na”) in Biblical Hebrew is a feminine suffix. It can be either interpreted as “you are/she is eating her” which is the odd traditional interpretation i.e. “you are eating of it” or more properly as either third person feminine plural incomplete “they are eating”, or second person feminine plural incomplete “you all are eating.” Refer to the chart below.

For example:

  • רָאו (ra’u) means “they (masculine or mixed gender) see.”
  • ראונה (ra’unah) means “they (feminine) see.”

So, “נה” is added to verbs to match the gender of the subject when the subject is a group of females or a feminine noun.

What tradition did here was to take the suffix for “her” as “you are eating her.” It is not only strange to say “you are eating her” in terms of the Ground (hence why they add the words “of it”) but it deviates completely from the pattern of “eating from” used throughout this narrative.  The preposition מן (min “from out of” ) follows nearly every other instance of the verb “to eat” in the narrative.

Here are all the instances:

  • Genesis 2:16, “you are eating from” verb + prep
  • Genesis 2:17, “you are not eating from” verb + prep
  • Genesis 3:1, “you all are not eating from” verb + prep
  • Genesis 3:2, “you all are not eating from” verb + prep
  • Genesis 3:3, “you all are not eating from” verb + prep
  • Genesis 3:5, “your eating from” infinitive possesive verb + prep
  • Genesis 3:6  “and she ate.” verb no prep
  • Genesis 3:11 “he ate from” verb + prep
  • Genesis 3:14 “you are eating dust” verb + noun
  • Genesis 3:17 “you are eating from” verb + noun