Is "ye" in singular or in plural In Gen 3:3? (or is there at all a difference in number in that pronoun in Hebrew?):

"But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die"

It looks like Eve is quoting here the words that God had spoken to only one human (Adam), that is, before Eve was made out of his rib. Thus, unless God had repeated that phrase one more time after Eve was brought to Adam, this pronoun must be in singular.

  • A Good Question, since God does not specifically address Eve. I wrote an answer about "dominion"see here which directly relates to Eve's 'curse'.
    – Tau
    Jan 20, 2015 at 12:02

2 Answers 2


Hebrew has four words for “you”: masculine singular, masculine plural, feminine singular, feminine plural. If you are addressing a group of people of both sexes you use the masculine plural. In this particular verse there are no pronouns as the person is indicated by the form of the verbs. All three verbs (eat, touch, die) are in the masculine plural form. In the original: ומפרי העץ אשר בתוך־הגן אמר אלהים לא תאכלו ממנו ולא תגעו בו פן־תמתון׃

  • While I recognize that this is simple grammar, citing an elementary grammar would improve this answer. We've discussed the site's requirement for showing work before.
    – Dan
    Jan 19, 2015 at 17:05
  • It is difficult to show work when no work is involved. This is a very elementary question. But I have now added the Hebrew text.
    – fdb
    Jan 19, 2015 at 17:47
  • 2
    @fdb: You could cite a reference grammar that demonstrates how a verb in 3mp is supposed to be conjugated (i.e., the ending).
    – user862
    Jan 19, 2015 at 19:46

Anyway, you can tell from the KJV, which uses thee/thou for singular and ye/you for plural, with, I think, 100% consistency.

  • Welcome to Stack Exchange, we are glad you are here. Please consider registering an account to fully take advantage of what this site has to offer. Also, check out the site tour and read up on how this site is a little different than other sites around the web. This is an OK answer, but would be greatly improved by citing a reference to back what you "think" is true.
    – ThaddeusB
    Dec 14, 2015 at 21:33

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