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אֶֽל־הָאִשָּׁ֣ה אָמַ֗ר הַרְבָּ֤ה אַרְבֶּה֙ עִצְּבוֹנֵ֣ךְ וְהֵֽרֹנֵ֔ךְ בְּעֶ֖צֶב תֵּֽלְדִ֣י בָנִ֑ים וְאֶל־אִישֵׁךְ֙ תְּשׁ֣וּקָתֵ֔ךְ וְה֖וּא יִמְשָׁל־בָּֽךְ׃

In attempting to study Genesis 3:16, I can't understand why this Hebrew יִמְשָׁל־בָּֽךְ at the end of the verse means "rule her" or "rule you," depending on translation, when I haven't been able to find a literal translation of בָּֽךְ that indicates a personal pronoun.

Please explain the Hebrew rules that indicate why that word, which I found to be translated as "in, at, to, on, among, with, towards, according to, by, because of," is being used as a personal pronoun.

Or, is one of the previous Hebrew words in that verse actually what indicates what is ruled by the man? I realize Hebrew doesn't follow the order I would recognize.

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  • Where is this translated "her"?
    – Susan
    Aug 15 '16 at 10:12
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    Sorry, Susan, I was looking at a commentary, not a translation.
    – F. Mires
    Aug 16 '16 at 0:58
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בָּךְ is a combination of two morphemes:

  • the preposition ב which has the meaning of 'in, with, by, among, upon, on, in spite of, according to' and probably more. Here the translators have decided that in this contextual it gives the full verb phrase יִמְשָׁל־בָּֽ the meaning of 'will rule over'
  • the feminine second person singular suffix ךְ (Technically the suffix includes a vowel which gets added to the preceding consonant, but I couldn't get it to display correctly here.)
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    Just a slight clarification on the first bullet, which I'm sure you already recognize: the preposition ב here is the way that משל takes its object, or complement if you prefer. It doesn't mean "to rule over" itself; it's just necessary to introduce the complement and therefore complete the semantics of משל (= "to rule [over]").
    – Susan
    Aug 15 '16 at 10:12

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