Genesis 28-36 HCSB

Genesis 28-31

Two items. The stark contrast in using Yahweh and LORD now comes to the forefront.

Yahweh was standing there beside him, saying, “I am Yahweh, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your offspring the land that you are now sleeping on. (28:13)

When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he said, “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I did not know it.” (28:16)

In such close proximity to each other, yet not providing the reader the connection that Yahweh = LORD. This illustrates my continuing complaint with HCSB and the name of God.

The second item is more awkward than being wrong. The Hebrew word הִנֵּה, (hineh from root “see”) has the sense of drawing attention to what is said or done. Thus it is often translated “behold,” (NAS, ESV) or “remember” (GW), “what’s more” (NLT), “know” (NAB, NRSV) and even not translated (NIV 2011). NET offers this footnote:

Heb “Look, I [am] with you.” The clause is a nominal clause; the verb to be supplied could be present (as in the translation) or future, “Look, I [will be] with you”

For me, “look” is the least effective translation, almost a colloquial, to the point of being faddish. “Pay attention” seems to be more effective translation.

Again, HCSB offers a readable translation throughout this section.

Genesis 32-36

HCSB continues to alternate between the Hebrew name for a place and the translation. In 33:20 the translation is given in the text (“God, the God of Israel”), and the Hebrew name is given in the footnote (El-Elohe Israel). Notice the opposite in 32:30 with Peniel in the text and “face of God” in the footnote. We also see this switch in 35:7 where HCSB has “God of Bethel” and in the footnote “El-bethel.”

In 33:19 we read:

HCSB: He purchased a section of the field where he had pitched his tent from the sons of Hamor, Shechem’s father, for 100 qesitahs

NAS (ESV/NRSV/NET): He bought the piece of land where he had pitched his tent from the hand of the sons of Hamor, Shechem’s father, for one hundred pieces of money.

NIV 2011 (GW): For a hundred pieces of silver, he bought from the sons of Hamor, the father of Shechem, the plot of ground where he pitched his tent.

HCSB offers the least satisfactory solution. While the specific word is unknown in terms of equivalent money, HCSB does not help the English reader. It includes this footnote:

The value of this currency is unknown.

Unfortunately that explains what is going on, but still does not help the English reader.

Overall still a readable translation.

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  1. Pingback: Genesis 34. The rape of Dinah | Bummyla

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