Athetotheist wrote: ↑Fri Sep 29, 2023 11:48 pm here are three things that are too amazing for me, four that I do not understand: the way of an eagle in the sky, the way of a snake on a rock,
the way of a ship on the high seas, and the way of a man with an alma.
The common characteristic here is that the things described leave no trace. The way of a man with a virgin leaves a trace. The way of a man with a non-virgin doesn’t.
I have no idea what you’re suggesting. That sexual intercourse is being referred to as something that is too amazing?
After a snake crawls over a rock, there’s no trace that the snake was there.
After a ship passes over the sea and the waves die down, there’s no trace that the ship was there.
And when a man has been with a woman who has been with men before, there’s no trace of this latest man.
That’s what the author is getting at, and he uses the word alma.
And if there’s no trace, then wouldn’t in that case be a virgin? How does a “young woman” have any significance with not leaving a trace?
I still don’t get what you’re arguing for. Here’s the passage we are talking about:
“There are three things that are too amazing for me, four that I do not understand: the way of an eagle in the sky, the way of a snake on a rock,
the way of a ship on the high seas, and the way of a man with an alma.”
What is the “too amazing” in reference to “the way of a man with an alma”? Discovering she is not a virgin?
No, I’m trying to understand what you are claiming.
It’s not about the author’s “too amazing” literary device. It’s about all of the examples leaving no trace, which shows that the alma is not a virgin.
I don’t think the passage is referring to sexual activity between a man and a woman. Even if it is, wouldn’t a virgin be the one to leave no trace?
I think it’s about courtship.
This is a list of proverbs. Each saying stands independently. The maid in Prov 30:19 is not the same as the adulterer in Prov 30:20.
It’s a single saying. A single saying can span multiple verses.
It’s implied that verse 20 is a continuation from verse 19. The women in those verses have something important in common; they’ve both done something which has left no trace. And the woman in verse 20 is not innocent, so it’s implied that the woman in verse 19 isn’t innocent either.
Highly doubtful it’s a continuation. An alma is not an adulterous woman. Also, what is so amazing about a man with an adulterous woman?
As for verse 19 referring to courtship, courtship doesn’t entail anything being hidden.
Why is there a requirement for something to be hidden? Rather, the only description is that it is something amazing and mysterious.
A man comes to court a girl, everyone sees that she’s been courted and that’s all that happens.
I think another way to interpret the passage is how things travel and progress. Eagle traveling through the air, snake across rocks, ship in the sea, and a man and a maiden going through courtship.
No, though a saying can span multiple verses, each saying is in its own paragraph. Pro 30:18 and 19 is in one paragraph. Prov 30:20 is in another paragraph.
You can see it here with the paragraph markers:
There’s nothing amazing or mysterious about any of those actions in themselves. What would be an amazing mystery is how you’re supposed to know that they’ve happened when they leave no trace.
Again, there’s nothing stated explicitly about leaving no trace, so there’s no requirement it supposed to address it.
I think it’s a reasonable interpretation and much more reasonable than asserting a man with an adulterous is too wonderful to grasp.[Pro 30:18-19 ESV] 18 Three things are too wonderful for me; four I do not understand: 19 the way of an eagle in the sky, the way of a serpent on a rock, the way of a ship on the high seas, and the way of a man with a virgin.
The courtship between a man and an alma is a special time a couple goes through in order to reach the goal of marriage. Whereas you are impugning a negative light on it by claiming it’s a man with an adulterous, I’m interpreting it with a positive light, which the proverb alludes to since it’s amazing and wonderful.
Even if one interprets it with a sexual overtone, it is truly amazing a man can court a young woman and for her to remain a virgin.
From the link in my post, verses 18 and 19 has a single paragraph marker (¶ ).
Pro 30:18 ¶ Three things are too wonderful for me;
four I do not understand:
Pro 30:19 the way of an eagle in the sky,
the way of a serpent on a rock,
the way of a ship on the high seas,
and the way of a man with a virgin.
Pro 30:20 ¶ This is the way of an adulteress:
she eats and wipes her mouth
and says, “I have done no wrong.”
Are you saying that an alma can’t be an adulteress?
No, it doesn’t refer to an adulteress. As I pointed out before, alma means: virgin (4x), maid (2x), damsels (1x).
https://www.blueletterbible.org/lexicon … v/wlc/0-1/
There’s a whole section, beginning with verse 15 and running through verse 23, in which the “three-things-four-things” pattern is repeated.
Here’s Prov 30:15-17:[Pro 30:15-17 ESV] 15 The leech has two daughters: Give and Give. Three things are never satisfied; four never say, “Enough”:
16 Sheol, the barren womb, the land never satisfied with water, and the fire that never says, “Enough.”
17 The eye that mocks a father and scorns to obey a mother will be picked out by the ravens of the valley and eaten by the vultures.
How does verse 17 relate to 15-16?
Please provide any lexicon definition that shows alma can refer to an adulteress.
That’s a loaded challenge. The word alma means “young woman”. A young woman can be an adulteress, so “alma” doesn’t have to be translated as “adulteress” for the young woman to be an adulteress. It can be gathered from the context.
It could be possible, but is very unlikely since it’s not based on any lexicon definition, but on a highly suspect interpretation. And as I’ve evidenced, according to the ESV team, these are separate sayings.
How does verse 17 relate to 15-16?
Why are you focusing on 15-17 when I’m talking about 15-23?
Because you stated: “There’s a whole section, beginning with verse 15 and running through verse 23, in which the “three-things-four-things” pattern is repeated.”
You were implying Prov 30:15-17 is all related, but it is not. Likewise, Prov 30:18-20 is not all related.
It was indeed erroneous of Matthew, because Matthew refers to a virgin while Isaiah refers to a young pregnant woman who obviously isn’t a virgin.
What percentage of almas are not virgins? Since all references to alma in the Bible point to virgins, it would be the vast majority, if not all. The only exception is your Prov 30 reference, which I’ve argued is an erroneous interpretation.
Verse 15b introduces the first four things and verse 16 names them: the grave, the barren womb, the earth not satisfied with water and the fire which never says, “Enough!”
Verse 17 is commentary on the aforementioned rebellious generation. Then the cycle starts over.
Here’s Prov 30:15-17:
Pro 30:15 ¶ The leech has two daughters:
Give and Give.
Three things are never satisfied;
four never say, “Enough”:
Pro 30:16 Sheol, the barren womb,
the land never satisfied with water,
and the fire that never says, “Enough.”
Pro 30:17 ¶ The eye that mocks a father
and scorns to obey a mother
will be picked out by the ravens of the valley
and eaten by the vultures.
Prov 30:17 is not linked either by the ESV to verses 15-16. Each has its own paragraph marker.
Verses 15-16 is about not being satisfied. Verse 17 is about mocking and scorning parents.
There is also no commonality shared between those two sayings:
Verses 15-16: leech, daughters, give, satisfied, enough, sheol, womb, land, water, fire
Verse 17: eye, father, scorn, obey, mother, picked, ravens, valley, eaten, vultures
The paragraph markers are added there by interpretation. And the ESV, which is a widely used translation, has a lot of Biblical scholars represented:
You’re focusing on two verses of the nine-verse passage I indicated, cherrypicking individual words and ignoring the context.
You’re the one that brought up the other verses and implying Prov 30:15-17 is a single saying. As I’ve argued, it is not. Likewise, Prov 30:18-20 is not a single saying, but separate sayings.