Communities

Writing
Writing
Codidact Meta
Codidact Meta
The Great Outdoors
The Great Outdoors
Photography & Video
Photography & Video
Scientific Speculation
Scientific Speculation
Cooking
Cooking
Electrical Engineering
Electrical Engineering
Judaism
Judaism
Languages & Linguistics
Languages & Linguistics
Software Development
Software Development
Mathematics
Mathematics
Christianity
Christianity
Code Golf
Code Golf
Music
Music
Physics
Physics
Linux Systems
Linux Systems
Power Users
Power Users
Tabletop RPGs
Tabletop RPGs

Dashboard
Notifications
Mark all as read
Q&A

Hiding in a tree or hiding among the trees?

+2
−0

As I was reading Beresheet 3:8 today ("וַיִּתְחַבֵּא הָאָדָם וְאִשְׁתּוֹ מִפְּנֵי ה' אֱלֹוקים בְּתוֹךְ עֵץ הַגָּן"), it suddenly occurred to me that though I had never thought about the term "בתוך עץ הגן" (inside/among the tree(s) of the garden), my mind probably usually understood it like it's translated into English: that Adam and Chavah hid among the trees, yet perhaps the term should be understood as singular, which means Adam and Chavah hid inside a tree (one of those trees that have a hole in them). As hiding places go, it seems to make more sense than just randomly running around the trees...

Is this interpretation even possible, grammar-wise? Are there any sources that suggest this interpretation?

Why does this post require moderator attention?
You might want to add some details to your flag.
Why should this post be closed?

1 comment thread

General comments (2 comments)

1 answer

You are accessing this answer with a direct link, so it's being shown above all other answers regardless of its score. You can return to the normal view.

+1
−0

Rav Hirsch does tranlate בְּתוֹךְ עֵץ הַגָּן as amongst the trees of the garden because he considers this the appropriate idiom required by the term וַיִּתְחַבֵּא. That is, it is not a matter of direct translation, but an idiom based on the meaning that the Garden was now treated as the singular Tree of Knowledge which encompassed the whole. While he translates it as hid themselves ... amongst his commentary explains that it is actually a matter of creeping away to lose themselves among all the other creatures of the Garden.

וַיִּתְחַבֵּא The man and woman crept away. They no longer stood upright before Hashem, לפני, but מפני, they feared His proximity. Now they felt all sorts of contrasts and differences themselves. They had already felt the first discord, their body being at variance with their spirit and had made aprons for themselves. At once now they feel themselves - no longer materng their senses, no longer pure in body and spirit - at variance with Hashem. They felt they had lost their worthy status of human beings and slunk away and hid themselves amongst the other creatures.

Thus the idiom of the tree while expressed in the singular in used to mean the entire corpus of the Garden as expressed by Tree of Knowledge which from being only one of the trees (and somewhere on the periphery) had now expanded (in their minds) to be the central focus and then to encompass the whole.

Why does this post require moderator attention?
You might want to add some details to your flag.

0 comment threads

Sign up to answer this question »

Like any library, this site offers tons of great information, but does not offer personalized, professional advice, and does not take the place of seeking such advice from your rabbi.

This community is part of the Codidact network. We have other communities too — take a look!

You can also join us in chat!

Want to advertise this community? Use our templates!