This is a follow-up to my previous question:

In the following excerpt, does the term בְּזָדוֹן imply mutual consent, or simply a unilateral decision on the part of one of the two people involved, presumably the Israelite ?

אֲבָל יִשְׂרָאֵל הַבָּא עַל הַכּוּתִית ... כֵּיוָן שֶׁבָּא עַל הַכּוּתִית בְּזָדוֹן הֲרֵי זוֹ נֶהֱרֶגֶת מִפְּנֵי שֶׁבָּא לְיִשְׂרָאֵל תַּקָּלָה עַל יָדֶיהָ כִּבְהֵמָה

The term בְּזָדוֹן, in and of itself, relates to wilfulness or intent; the only question is whose, hence the ambiguity. The above-linked translation, for instance, seems to interpret it as relating primarily to the sentence's subject (יִשְׂרָאֵל).

Could someone with working knowledge of Hebrew lend me a helpful hand in hopefully solving this puzzling dilemma ?

1 Answer 1


The word זדון refers to the Jew in this statement. Grammatically, בזדון is an adverb modifying בא, and the actor of בא is the ישראל. The commentators who address this understand it this way as well.

Additionally, the statement compares intercourse with the Cuthi woman to intercourse with an animal: just as we don't speak about the willfulness of the animal, here too one would expect that זדון refer to ישראל. (I'm not suggesting that the comparison is appropriate, but just reading the statement in light of the comparison.)

  • I suspected as much as well, by comparison with other similar passages, mentioning the term intent(ion), which also seem to speak of the sinner's intention (in this case, the Jew, since Gentiles did not receive the Torah).
    – user18041
    Commented Nov 2, 2020 at 15:38

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