I've been practising my Japanese by reading the bible. And I came across a usage of 結ばれ that I don't quite understand. More specifically, it's the first sentence of Genesis 4:1 from the "Living Japanese Bible".


Which is, in the English "New International Version" is

Adam made love to his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain.

What is 結ばれ doing here? I get that the use of the stem means it's acting similar to 結ばれて, but I don't get what exactly it's to mean in this context.

Is it saying Adam made love to her, then she gave birth to Cain? Or is it saying they're married, then by saying she gave birth, imply that Adam did her?

Btw, sorry if I'm getting 結ぶ all wrong here.

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    But in older English translations you'll even find "Adam was joined to his wife Eve and she bore Cain." – A.Ellett Aug 4 '17 at 20:03
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    I see... so this is an example of the Japanese bible being as stupidly vague as the one? – Tirous Aug 4 '17 at 20:05
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    What do you think is vague in there? I think it's very clear. Perhaps we're just less prudish these days and want people to be explicit, but then that just seems to make the text a bit profane. "joined" is a bit poetic sounding and yet very clear (given that it says "bore Cain") about its meaning. And I believe the same probably applies to the Japanese. I don't about the Hebrew, but I suspect that "joined" is closer to the meaning in Hebrew or at least the Latin from which the earlier Bibles would have been translated into Japanese. – A.Ellett Aug 4 '17 at 20:07
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    Usually 結ばれる implies to be married. – user4092 Aug 5 '17 at 0:49

You are correct, it is the stem of 結ばれる, and since it's the passive voice, it means "was joined to/with". And yes, that's a way of specifically saying "he lay with", not just "was married to".

After that, Adam was joined with his wife Eve, and (then) Eve gave birth to Cain.

  • Ya, but what is it saying? "joined" as in marriage, or f**king, or what? I don't get it... :( – Tirous Aug 4 '17 at 20:03
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    @Tirous "joined" means to have intercourse in English too. – A.Ellett Aug 4 '17 at 20:03
  • OOH... now I get it... ありがとう!(I'm an idiot...) – Tirous Aug 4 '17 at 20:10
  • I don't know how "to be joined" feels like, but does this answer mean 結ばれる has some sexual connotation? I feel 結ばれる is just another graceful way to say "to marry" (as in 「シンデレラは王子様と結ばれ、幸せに暮らしました」) . – naruto Aug 4 '17 at 22:12
  • @naruto I think outside of reading the Bible (or some 19th century poetry), to use "joined" to mean a sexual act would probably be completely lost or just sound plain strange. – A.Ellett Aug 5 '17 at 18:05

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