Please can anyone give me an English translation (does not exist) of Shadal Gen.2,24.1?

על כן יעזב איש: על כן אינו משמש אלא על מה שעבר ועל מה שהוא עתה, ולכן על העתיד, לפיכך אין אלה דברי אדם, אלא דברי משה, מלבד כי אדם לא ידע עדיין אב ואם.

I can not translate.

  • 3
    FYI, an English translation does exist. See this question.
    – Oliver
    Sep 11, 2019 at 20:48
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    Flavio why did you pick the post voted -5 as your accepted answer? Clearly many community members don't think it is accurate.
    – Double AA
    Sep 12, 2019 at 0:30
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    ...Especially since you yourself say that you cannot translate, and the other answer cites a formal published translation of the work, and is highly upvoted. Sep 12, 2019 at 0:32

2 Answers 2


In short, he is suggesting that these words were written as an editorial comment by Moshe, as opposed to something that Adam said at the time. Here's a rough translation:

Therefore a man... "Al Ken" ("therefore") refers only to the past and the present, and "Lachen" refers to the future. Therefore, these are not the words of Adam, but the words of Moshe. This is in addition to the fact that Adam did not yet know of (the concept of?) mother and father.

As a support to my understanding, Daniel A Klein (here) translates it as follows:

Therefore it is (al ken) that one leaves – The term al ken always refers to past or present conditions, while the term lakhen [also translated "therefore"] refers to the future. Thus, these are not Adam's words but those of Moses, aside from the fact that Adam did not yet know the words "father" and "mother".

  • You make no distinction in regard to a married male (איש) and men or males (אנוש, זכר). You are also translating אדם as a proper name (Adam with a capital 'A'), which it is not here. It refers to mankind or human beings. אלה דברי אדם is an idiomatic expression meaning 'typical human language'. You may be correct in translating that 'lachen' (ולכן) refers to future (I'm not sure of that), although that word does not appear in the posuk from Bereshit at all. So it would be a superfluous comment from Shadal to this posuk. That is also problematic. Sep 11, 2019 at 22:02
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    @YaacovDeane Each of your assertions is incorrect or irrelevant. To go through them: 1. Ish vs. Enosh/Zachar is not something that changes the meaning of the translation here, even if Shadal does agree with that distinction. 2. You are simply incorrect. While Divrei Adam can mean 'typical human language', it does not here, based on the context, which is discussing who said this phrase. For example, contrast the commentary of Rasag here: Sep 11, 2019 at 23:14
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    @YaacovDeane (כה) על כן יעזוב, נאמרו בזה שני פירושים: • אלה הם דברי אדם, והם המשך ממה שאמר זאת הפעם. • ויש אומרים שהם דברי הכתוב רצוני לאמר דברי משה בשם השם, שמפני שנבראה מן הצלע של זר צריך אדם לישא אשה שאינה קרובתו, כגון אביו ואמו וכגון הבנות ואחות אביו ואחות אמו ואחיות... Sep 11, 2019 at 23:14
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    Interesting that Klein renders it as: the words "father" and "mother"
    – Alex
    Sep 11, 2019 at 23:49
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    @Ootsutsuki "Therefore..." there have been two interpretations given: 1. These are the words of Adam, a continuation of what he said [in the previous verse], "this is the time". 2. Others say that these are the words of the [narrator], i.e., the words of Moshe in the name of Hashem, that since she was created from the rib of a stranger, a person must marry a woman who is not related to him, [i.e., one should not marry] his father, mother, daughters and sisters... Dec 30, 2021 at 3:07

This is a comment about Hebrew grammar which translates roughly as:

Therefore (על כן) a husband will abandon: Therefore is not used except over what has occurred in the past (tense) and what is in the present (tense), and therefore (the usage of) על in future tense is thus not a typical human expression, rather the words of Moshe. Aside from (the fact that) man hasn't yet known (the concept of) father and mother...

That last phrase is actually related to what follows in the Shadal explaining the teaching of Moshe. I'm not so sure that Shadal applied the punctuation the way Sefaria has done it.

  • "therefore (the usage of) על in future tense is thus not only a typical human expression" Could you please explain how you got to that translation based on the Hebrew? Sep 11, 2019 at 21:18
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    I’m having a hard time understanding your translation. 1) Why do you assume that איש means husband? 2) What’s Shadal’s point? What’s the difference if it’s a typical human expression, and why does it being atypical show that Moses said it? 3) I don’t see how the words ולכן על העתיד לפיכך can be coherent according to your reading.
    – Alex
    Sep 11, 2019 at 22:55
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    @YaacovDeane איש אמו ואביו תיראו; כי יפתח איש בור; לא תונו איש את עמיתו; לא תגורו מפני איש; ואנכי איש חלק and dozens more clearly do not mean husband.
    – Alex
    Sep 11, 2019 at 23:45
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    @YaacovDeane Yaakov said אנכי איש חלק before he was ever married. As for the others, do you maintain that unmarried men are exempt from all such commandments?
    – Alex
    Sep 11, 2019 at 23:51
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    @YaacovDeane Why would Yaakov idiomatically refer to Eisav as a hairy husband when he could simply refer to him as a hairy man? And why would unmarried men not be exempt if the Torah says that a married man must do something?
    – Alex
    Sep 12, 2019 at 0:05

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