The French rabbinate differently translates both Biblical versions (Exodus 20: 5 and Deuteronomy 5: 9) of the second part of the Second Commandment1:
“… I am a jealous God who prosecutes the crime of fathers upon children as far as the third and fourth generations…” Exodus 20: 5
“…I am your God, a jealous God, who prosecutes the crime of fathers upon the third and fourth generations…” Deuteronomy 5: 9
For us, on leaving Egypt and considering the fact that Moses forbade circumcision his whole life long (cf. Joshua 5: 4), “the crime of fathers” can only be feminine and masculine sexual mutilation. That crime is logically prosecuted upon all still-alive generations of fathers. But confident of his translation of Exodus 20: 5 that institutes the aberrant notion of a familial responsibility to be prosecuted indefinitely, in his translation of the Book of Deuteronomy, the rabbinate crosses the terms “upon children” out.
Let us examine the Hebrew text given by the rabbinate, confining ourselves to the terms that vary:
Exodus 20: 5: עֲוֹן אָבֹת עַל בָּנִים עַל שִׁלֵּשִׁים וְעַל רִבֵּעִים
…the crime (עֲוֹן) of fathers (אָבֹת) upon (עַל) children (בָּנִים) upon (עַל) the third generation (שִׁלֵּשִׁים) and upon (וְעַל) (וְ means “and”) the fourth generation (רִבֵּעִים)
- Deuteronomy 5: 9: עֲוֹן אָבוֹת עַל בָּנִים וְעַל שִׁלֵּשִׁים וְעַל רִבֵּעִים
… the crime (עֲוֹן) of fathers (אָבֹת) upon (עַל) children (בָּנִים) and upon (וְעַל) the third generation (שִׁלֵּשִׁים) and upon (וְעַל) the fourth generation (רִבֵּעִים)…
The difference lies in the term “ו” (and) added, in the Book of Deuteronomy, between “children” and “the third generation”. That addition exists neither in the Dead Sea scroll 4Q412 nor in the Bible of Ptolemy (Louis Segond) It makes believe that the crime is indefinitely prosecuted upon descending generations “and” forbids considering “the crime of fathers upon children” as a periphrasis. But a change in the text of the Second Commandment has something aberrant, and that falsification is very awkward. The “ו” could have been added at the time of the discovery of the manuscript in the temple of Solomon at the return of Babylon, whereas circumcision had to be reinstated (it had been abandoned to make believe that the Jews had nothing to do with the Egyptians, like the other peoples of Palestine).
The silence made about the second generation assumes that children are the second and fathers the first. That is absurd; children are the first generation in all languages. Aware of that absurdity, the French Rabbinate’s translation crosses the terms “upon children and” out. The version of Exodus 20: 5 too does not mention the second generation. With reason; if one considers generations in the ascending sense, the second is not mentioned because the matter is the fathers whose crime is in question.
That material falsification is the proof of the intellectual falsification we expose. It validates our interpretation of the Second Commandment, moreover proven by the absurd by chapter 34 of the Book of the Exodus (cf. the third part of our article “’Thou shalt not circumcise.’, the hidden meaning of the Second Commandment”3).
1 La Bible. Paris : Les éditions Colbo ; 1999
2 Berthelot K. La bibliothèque de Qumrân. Paris : Editions du cerf ; 2014. Vol. 3a, p. 140-41.