Allen Roy wrote, in small part:
AR: No continuity of action? 7:11 says, "were ... broken up, ... =
were opened." We find that "were" is to exist, be, become. 7:11 then =
becomes "to exist ... to cleave, ... to exist to open wide." Thus to =
cleave is to exist and to open wide is to exist, or to exist cleaving =
and to exist opening. This implies continuity, not just a single event =
on one day. In 8:2, "were closed" is "to exist to shut up." Thus, to =
shut up is to exist. or to be in the state of being shut. This implies =
the continuity of being shut up. Therefore, to say that the breaking up
continued until the action ceased is entirely acceptable.
I find it difficult to believe that anyone would take the English verb
form over the Hebrew _niph`al_, which has no auxiliary, and then confuse
the auxiliary which is needed to form the passive voice in English with
the sense of "to be" as a main verb. Consider: I have recently been to
Gordon College. Anyone who parses that as "I possess existence recently
to Gordon College" either doesn't understand English or is doing
something preposterous like GBS's "ghoti" spelling of "fish". A
reasonable translation of 7:11 is: ". . . all the fountains of the great
deep burst forth . . ." There is no possible construction of the Hebrew
as specifying existence. And one must have a doctrinaire blindness to
suggest it for the English passive voice auxiliary verb.
By the way, if the point were that the action was continuous, the verb
form of choice would be the past progressive passive: "were being broken"
or a more complex pattern, since the day is doubly specified: ". . . on
the seventeenth day of the month, on that very day, all the fountains of
the deep began to be broken up . . ." But there are no rational grounds
for such a translation.
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