Disclaimer: There are A LOT of pieces to this I don't understand, which is making it very difficult to ask: I would appreciate your suggestions!

1. Question :

Genesis 6:3 -... My Spirit will not Verb Phrase?? for / among Man forever.

אמֶר יְהֹוָה לֹא יָדוֹן רוּחִי בָאָדָם לְעֹלָם.

In Genesis 6:3, What will the "Spirit of the Lord" not do? A.) Plead FOR Man, forever; B.) Remain WITH man forever; C.) Fight AGAINST Man forever; D.) etc ...

2. Hebrew Questions:

Note: It would help to either affirm or correct these assumptions in order to correctly understand the verse:

  1. "לָנֶ֥צַח" may differ from "לְעוֹלָ֣ם" in the sense that A.) "לְעוֹלָ֣ם" sometimes seems to carry a sense of "timelessness, always"; where B.) "לָנֶ֥צַח" may carry a sense of "without: limit, boundary, or border", (Job 34:36); - "Have you rejected us, unconditionally, without exception, forever(לָנֶ֑צַח)? (Psalms 74:1);

  2. The Hebrew Verbs, "לֹֽא־ יָד֨וֹן" and "אַל תָּרִוב" both seem to have positive meanings too, either: A.) To Contend; B.) Or Plead;

    Prov. 3:30 - Do not quarrel [תָּרִ֣יב] with anyone without cause, if he did you no harm.

    Isaiah 1:17 Learn to do good, seek justice, strengthen the robbed, perform justice for the orphan, plead [רִיבוּ] the case of the widow.

    Isaiah 57:16 - For I will not contend [אָרִ֔יב] forever, neither will I be wroth to eternity ....

    Jeremiah 22:16 - He judged [דִּין] the cause of the poor and needy, then it was good. Is not that the knowledge of Me? says the Lord, (also Gen. 30:6, Jer. 30:13).

  3. For the Hebrew, "יָד֨וֹן", the Septuagint uses, "καταμείνῃ" - which means to "Remain With".

  4. בָֽאָדָם֙ could mean "For Man", Gen. 6:3, Qoh. 2:24, Psalms 68:18, etc).

3. Re-Statement:

If בָֽאָדָם֙ in Gen. 6:3 could mean "For Man", why couldn't Gen 6:3 be rendered:

  1. My Spirit will not always plead for Man?
  2. My Spirit will not always contend for Man?
  3. ... There are limits to how much My Spirit will plead for man?
  4. Remain with man ....

How does Gen. 6:3 fit into its context, to know how to properly interpret it?

  • לנצח is a positive eternity, לעולם is a negative "not... ad eternum"
    – kouty
    Commented Mar 29, 2016 at 4:36
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    לנצח is a positive eternity, לעולם is a negative "not... ad eternum" Job:אָבִי יִבָּחֵן אִיּוֹב עַד נֶצַח עַל תְּשֻׁבֹת בְּאַנְשֵׁי אָוֶן the meaning is negative but the verbis not a negation "יבחן" see Rashi. "ידון" interchange "ב" and "את". it is not always the same meaning. (similar be/et, see mishna BK 3, 8). The Septuagint is as Onkelos. Rashi says that ב is "for". Your 4 possibilities are: 3 & 4 --> not literal. 1 & 2 literal. it is not contradictory but a choice in the technic, how to translate. A translator should privilege or fidelity to meaning or to proximity with the text.
    – kouty
    Commented Mar 29, 2016 at 4:58
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    here Onkelos differ from Yonatan
    – kouty
    Commented Mar 29, 2016 at 5:12
  • 1
    See Ibn Ezra, one of his commentaries is that Yadon is an other word, nadan= sheath
    – kouty
    Commented Mar 29, 2016 at 6:24
  • 1
    Yonathan reffers to the topic of the mishna דּוֹר הַמַּבּוּל אֵין לָהֶם חֵלֶק לָעוֹלָם הַבָּא וְאֵין עוֹמְדִין בַּדִּין in Chapter Chelek in Sanhedrin
    – kouty
    Commented Mar 29, 2016 at 6:27


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