Timshel, America

Of the many novels based on the biblical account of Cain and Abel, one of the most unforgettable and beautifully written is John Steinbeck's classic, East of Eden.  A compelling saga spanning three generations of two families living in the Salinas region of California, Steinbeck's story revolves around the central theme of timshel, a Hebrew word meaning "thou mayest."  In the book, Lee, a Chinese servant, relates his conclusion of the critical importance of this word from his intensive study of three different translations of Genesis 4, verse 7: The American Standard translation orders men to triumph over sin...The King James translation makes a promise in 'Thou shalt,' meaning that men will surely triumph over sin. But the Hebrew word, the word timshel-'Thou mayest'- that gives a choice. It might be the most important word in the world. That says the way is open. That throws it right back on a man. For if 'Thou mayest'-it is also true that 'Thou mayest not.' ...[T]here are...(Read Full Article)