The History of Hermeneutics: Jewish Interpretation

From Maccabean times to the end of the Herodian age (168 BC–10 AD), interpretation was highlighted by two sets of rabbis engaged in respectful debate.

During this period, the practice of substituting one letter for another and forming new words, as well as assigning numerical value to letters and words was in vogue. There was an obsession with trying to find some secret or hidden element in the words. An example of this technique is seen in Genesis 2:7.

Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

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Author: James W. Garrett

Keywords: Evil Inclination, Evil nature, Hara Yetser, Ha-ra Yetser, Hara Yetzer, Ha-ra Yetzer, Hara Yezer, Ha-ra Yezer, Intentional misspelling, Intentionally misspelled, Two jots, Two yodhs, Two yods, Yatsar, Yetsarim, Yetser ha ra, Yetser ra, Yetser tov, Yetzer, Yetzer ha ra, Yetzer Hara, Yetzer ra, Yezer ha ra, Yezer Hara

Bible reference(s): Genesis 2:7, Genesis 2:19

Source: Understanding Your Bible (Tulsa: Doulos Press, 2002), pp. 47-8.

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