Monday, September 7, 2009

In That Very Day - P

Friedman points out that the phrase "in that very day" (sometimes translated "in that selfsame day" or "in that same day") occurs 11 times on the Torah. Ten of these are in P, and the 11th is R, modeled after P. The Hebrew is "בְּעֶצֶם הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה" or "b'etzem ha-yom ha-zeh".

Here is the list:

Gen 7:13 - "In the selfsame day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah's wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark."

Gen 17:23 - "And Abraham took Ishmael his son, and all that were born in his house, and all that were bought with his money, every male among the men of Abraham's house, and circumcised the flesh of their foreskin in the selfsame day, as God had said unto him."

Gen 17:26 - "In the selfsame day was Abraham circumcised, and Ishmael his son."

Exod. 12:17 - "And ye shall observe the feast of unleavened bread; for in this selfsame day have I brought your hosts out of the land of Egypt . . . ."

Exod 12:41 - "And it came to pass at the end of four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the host of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt."

Exod 12:51 - "And it came to pass the selfsame day that the LORD did bring the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt by their hosts."

Lev 23:14 - "And ye shall eat neither bread, nor parched corn, nor fresh ears, until this selfsame day, until ye have brought the offering of your God; it is a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings."

Lev. 23:21 - [On Shavuot]: "And ye shall make proclamation on the selfsame day; there shall be a holy convocation unto you; ye shall do no manner of servile work . . . "

Lev 23:28 - [On Yom Kippur] "And ye shall do no manner of work in that same day; for it is a day of atonement, to make atonement for you before the LORD your God. "

Lev 23:28 - "For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from his people."

Deut 32:48 - "And the LORD spoke unto Moses that selfsame day, saying:" [continued in 32:49-50: 'Get thee up into this mountain of Abarim, unto mount Nebo, which is in the land of Moab, that is over against Jericho; and behold the land of Canaan, which I give unto the children of Israel for a possession; and die in the mount whither thou goest up, and be gathered unto thy people; as Aaron thy brother died in mount Hor, and was gathered unto his people.'] (Note: this is from R.)

This phrase arises in very different contexts, including narrative stories (Noah's flood, Abraham's circumcision, the exodus from Egypt, death of Moses) and the laws of holidays (Passover barley offering, Shavuot, Yom Kippur).

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