Thursday, October 29, 2009

(womanly) wordplay in Genesis 38

I was blogging elsewhere today, re-read the Septuagint translation of Genesis 38:9 and 10, and saw wordplay I'd overlooked.  Here's how it plays in my English.

What do you think?  Notice the Greek plays on Knowing as Birthing as Woman as Earth?  I've bolded for comparisons:

γνοὺς δὲ Αυναν ὅτι οὐκ αὐτῷ ἔσται τὸ σπέρμα ἐγίνετο ὅταν εἰσήρχετο πρὸς τὴν γυναῖκα τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ αὐτοῦ ἐξέχεεν ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν τοῦ μὴ δοῦναι σπέρμα τῷ ἀδελφῷ αὐτοῦ

9 But Onan had birthed knowledge that the sperm-semen seedwould not be born to him. So whenever he went in to his brother’sbirthing wombman he would waste it on the ground of birth, so as not to give the sperm-semen seed to his brother.

10 πονηρὸν δὲ ἐφάνη ἐναντίον τοῦ θεοῦ, ὅτι ἐποίησεν τοῦτο,
καὶ ἐθανάτωσεν καὶ τοῦτον

10 It was wicked, in fact, appearing in the face of God, this mess that was created,
and so he put him to death and so that was that.

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