Posts Tagged ‘Genesis; biblical studies’

The abstract of this article reads as follows:

Most English Bible translations render גשׁ־הלאה in Gen 19:9 with some variant of ‘Stand back!’ However, a very few interpreters recommend a translation along the lines of ‘Come closer!’ more in keeping with the typical gloss on נגשׁ. A detailed study of the syntax and semantics of both נגשׁ and הלאה, as well as constructions similar to גשׁ־הלאה demonstrates the strength of the minority suggestion.

The author engages the text of Genesis 19 at the point where it challenges the reader to decide whether the mob wants Lot to stand aside so they can do injury to his household or to ‘Come here!’ so the threatened damage can be inflicted upon Lot himself. Although Heard recognizes that the intended meaning is not beyond debate, he reconstructs semantic and contextual considerations in order to suggest that the more plausible reading urges continued movement along a trajectory already established, Lot’s movement being away from the confines of his house and towards the mob. In the course of his argument, he effectively refutes L. Bechtel’s discovery of a judicial element in the mob’s demand. According to Heard, the scene envisages mob violence—not conventional or vigilante justice—against Lot himself.


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