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In Genesis 3:13

Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”

The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

Does the Hebrew word actually say "deceived me"? or is it possible it says deceives or just deceived?

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1 Answer 1

It's a perfect, which is about the most definitive past "tense" you can get in Hebrew ("tense" isn't really an accurate general descriptor for how verbs work in Hebrew; language teachers tend to speak of "aspect" rather than "tense").

In any case, the perfect stands in prior relation to the other verb, "I ate," an imperfect which clearly refers to the past event of Eve's eating. So yes, "deceived" is definitely a better rendering than "deceives."

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Hi Tim. Looks like we were nearly-simultaneously answering different interpretations of Kate's question. I hadn't noticed that the title and the body had different foci. Oops. –  Gone Quiet May 31 '13 at 3:26

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