Eternal Sunshine #96

January 2015

By Douglas Kent 911 Irene Drive, Mesquite, TX  75149

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Dr. Joel Hoffman’s book “And God Said”

Reviewed by Paul Milewski


The book (ISBN 978-0-312-56558-9) is a scholarly work on translation and deals mostly on translation from Hebrew to English.  I thought his discussion of the Ten Commandments, and especially what he asserts is a mistranslation of a Hebrew word into the English word “covet,” was particularly interesting, but that’s just me.  The book is a rigorous treatment of various problems of translating from one language to another that has general applicability outside of biblical scholarship and there is some explanation of the complexities of ancient Hebrew. 


Counting to Ten


But then disagreement sets in.  Exodus 20:2 reads, “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery” (NRSV).  Exodus 20:3 continues, “You shall have no other gods…”  (The end of the line is particularly difficult to translate, so we’re leaving it out for now.  It probably means “…other than Me.”)


Because 20:2 looks like a statement, not a commandment, most Protestants (but not most Lutherans) group 20:2 with the introduction in 20:1, and call Exodus 20:3 the first commandment.  So for most Protestants, the first commandment is the entirety of Exodus 20:3: “You shall have no other gods…”


Catholics (and most Lutherans), on the other hand, group 20:2 with 20:3 into one longer first commandment: “I am the Lord your God, you shall have no other gods…”  The Catholic first commandment, then, is an abridgement of Exodus 20:2 and all of 20:3.


On the third hand, Jews see two commandments, one in 20:2 and one in 20:3.  For Jews, the first commandment is the entirety of 20:2 (“I am the Lord your God…”).




Because Jews have completed the first commandment by the end of 20:2, Exodus 20:3 in its entirety forms the second commandment: “You shall have no other gods…”  The Jewish second commandment is thus the same as the Protestant first commandment and the second half of the Catholic first commandment.


Exodus 20:4 deals with what are commonly called “graven images.”  There’s some question as to what exactly the Hebrew means—the issue has been the source of more than a little bloodshed, as when Calvin used his understanding of the line to condemn Catholicism—and we’re not going to address the question here.  The point of Exodus 20:4, though, is not to make them.  Depending on whom you ask, the forbidden “them” may be idols, pictures, pictures, of people, carved images, etc.


For Protestants, that’s the second commandment:  “You shall not make…any graven images.”


Jews and Catholics, though, group Exodus 20:3 with 20:2 as an instance of how not to have other gods.  That is, one way not to have any other gods is not to create idols.


As we just saw, Jews have already used Exodus 20:3 for the second commandment.  Catholics, however, jump ahead to Exodus 20:7 to find the second commandment: “Do not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.”


Three Through Ten


Jews and Protestants agree that “Do not take the name of the Lord your God in vain” is one of the Ten Commandments, but, unlike Catholics, the Jews and Protestants have already counted to two by Exodus 20:7.  So for both of those groups, Exodus 20:7 is the third commandment.


From here to the tenth commandment, the Jewish/Protestant numbering is ahead by one compared with the Catholic numbering.  The Jewish/Protestant fourth commandment is about the Sabbath.  For Catholics, that’s the third commandment.


Similarly, the Jewish/Protestant fifth commandment is about honoring parents.  For Catholics, that’s the fourth commandment.


At this rate, the Catholics will run out of commandments, because the Jewish/Protestant tenth commandment, commonly translated as “do not covet…” is the Catholic ninth commandment.  (We’ll see below that it doesn’t really have anything to do with coveting.  It’s a major mistranslation.)  To get to ten, Catholics have two commandments about “coveting.”  The ninth commandment regards “your neighbor’s wife,” and the tenth, “your neighbor’s goods.”  [Pages 166-168]


Yet because the Ten Commandments are so widespread, the one appearance of the word is enough to make “covet” much more common than it otherwise might be, and most people have a sense that it means “desire,” “want,” “crave,” “lust,” etc.


The English word “covet” does mean that, but the original Hebrew does not.


The Hebrew word is chamad, and we know by now how to figure out what it means.  We look at how it is used.


The root Ch.M.D is a fairly common one in Hebrew, and, in addition to the simple verb form we see in the Ten Commandments, the root appears in a variety of other words.  But we know from Chapter 2 that using related words might lead us astray.


The first time the verb chamad appears in the Bible is in the Ten Commandments themselves.  All we know from there is that chamad is something not to be done.  It could be anything.


The next time we see the verb is in Exodus 34:24, and here we get a very clear sense of what the word means—or at least, what it does not mean.  Exodus 34:23 sets the stage by referring to the pilgrimage holidays (the Feast of Matzot, Feast of Weeks, and Feast of Booths) during each of which Jews—or, in Exodus 34:23, just the men—were to leave their homes and ascend to Jerusalem.  In that context, Exodus 34:24 promises that “…no one will chamad your land when you go up [to Jerusalem] three times a year.”


Clearly, the verse is meant to tell people that it’s OK to leave their land, that nothing bad will happen while they are gone.  A variety of meanings seem reasonable, but “covet” is not among them.  Surely, when the people left their land untended, they were not afraid that other people would simply desire it.  Other people could desire the land whether the landowners were around or not.  There is nothing about the temporary absence of the men that would make the land more desirable from afar.  [Pages 189-190]


But we do know that chamad basically means “take.”


The last commandment, therefore, should read, “Do not take your neighbor’s wife.”  We don’t know if the point is to “take with the intent to return” or “take and not plan to give back,” but either way the commandment is surely about taking, not about wanting.  Wanting may or may not be OK, but the Ten Commandments don’t address the issue.


This also solves another potential problem in the Ten Commandments and the way they are usually translated.  The Ten Commandments seem to define which actions are right and wrong.  Honoring parents is right.  Murdering, stealing, and falsely testifying are wrong.  Finally, taking your neighbor’s wife or his stuff is wrong.  With the usual translation, the Ten Commandments end with a quite clearly out-of-place prohibition against feeling a certain way.  We now know that the Ten Commandments take no position on how you feel, only on what you do.  [Page 193-194]

Octopus’s Garden

Issue Eighty-Eight, 1st December 2014


HELLO, good evening and welcome to Octopus’s Garden, the subzeen with its very own 7 x 7 Gunboat Diplomacy tournament. It is a subzeen to Jim Burgess’ The Abyssinian Prince, which is currently a subzeen to Douglas Kent's Eternal Sunshine. This may or may not continue to be the case for the foreseeable future. It's produced by Peter Sullivan, It's also available on the web at:



The second of our an annual (in game years!) summary of the latest state of play in the Octopus's Garden 7 x 7 Gunboat Diplomacy tournament.


Game 1 in the tournament is called “SCHYLER COLFAX”. Games in Octopus's Garden are all named after Vice Presidents of the United States. Colfax, as well as being one of the highest-scoring Vice Presidents in Scrabble, was Ulysses S. Grant's Veep from 1869 to 1873, as part of the Republican takeover after the discredited administration of Andrew Johnson. He started his political career as a Whig, before becoming loosely associated with the Know-Nothing Party (possibly the most honestly-named party in American political history). He then joined the Republican Party when the Whigs finally collapsed, in the run-up to the Civil War. He only served the one term as Vice President, becoming embroiled in a financial scandal around the First Transcontinental Railroad. Although he wanted to run for Vice President again, the Republican Party went with a different, less compromised, candidate, whom we'll talk about next time.


In the tournament as a whole, 1902 saw quite a lot of pain for various Austrias. I know that, in Regular Diplomacy, the general rule of thumb is that Austria in the early years usually has to diplome for their life. In Gunboat, of course, even this isn't an option. The other noticeable thing, for me as a British g.m, was the tendency for England players to snaffle up StP from Russia so quickly. Which is a comparative rarity; in the Diplomacy games I've run, at any rate.


Current supply centre counts in each game are as follows:



Game 1

Game 2

Game 3

Game 4

Game 5

Game 6

Game 7

Player A

Tur: 7

Ger: 5

Rus: 4

Eng: 4

Ita: 5

Aus: 1

Fra: 5

Player B

Aus: 1

Tur: 5

Ger: 6

Rus: 6

Eng: 6

Fra: 6

Ita: 4

Player C

Fra: 5

Aus: 5

Tur: 6

Ger: 6

Rus: 5

Ita: 6

Eng: 4

Player D

Ita: 6

Fra: 5

Aus: 5

Tur: 5

Ger: 5

Eng: 4

Rus: 6

Player E

Eng: 5

Ita: 4

Fra: 5

Aus: 4

Tur: 4

Rus: 7

Ger: 6

Player F

Rus: 4

Eng: 6

Ita: 4

Fra: 4

Aus: 3

Ger: 5

Tur: 4

Player G

Ger: 6

Rus: 4

Eng: 4

Ita: 4

Fra: 5

Tur: 4

Aus: 5





1 (Por)

1 (Swe)

1 (Swe)











Full details of all seven games, for those interested, are in the three issues of that wholly remarkable zeen, C'est Magnifique, which can be found at:


We had a slight hiatus over the summer, due to one resignation and one near drop-out. However, my plea for stand-bys had an excellent response, and we now have a couple of stand-bys, er, standing by in case of any further problems with the player roster. Which, I hasten to add, I'm not expecting.


That was Octopus's Garden #88, Startling Press production 382.

Eternal Sunshine Game Section


Acquire Game #2 - “Juliet” – Eternal Sunshine

Players: Tom Howell, Mark Firth, Andy Bate, Richard Weiss, Hank Alme


Turn 8

Hank plays 7-E.


Turn 9

Tom plays 8-E, merging Luxor into Continental.  Tom gets a $6,000 bonus and Andy gets $3,000.  Tom sells 2 Luxor and keeps 5.  Andy keeps his share.  Tom buys 3 Festival.


Mark plays 5-B, merging Worldwide into Tower.  Andy gets a $4,000 bonus and Mark gets $2,000.  Mark sells 2 Worldwide and keeps 3.  Andy trades his 6 Worldwide for 3 Tower.  Richard sells his 4 Worldwide.  Tom keeps his Worldwide share.  Mark buys 3 Festival.


Andy plays 12-H and founds Luxor.  He gets one free Luxor, and buys 2 Festival and one Imperial.


Richard plays 8-D.  He buys 2 Imperial and 1 Luxor.


Hank plays 8-I.

















Diplomacy “Jerusalem” 2012A, F 13

England (John Biehljerbil “of” F Barents Sea Supports A St Petersburg,

 A Burgundy - Munich (*Fails*), A Finland Hold, F Gulf of Lyon Supports A Tuscany – Piedmont,

 F Gulf of Bothnia - Baltic Sea (*Bounce*), A Kiel Hold, A Marseilles Supports A Tuscany – Piedmont,

 F North Africa Supports F Western Mediterranean, F North Sea – Denmark, F Norwegian Sea – Norway,

 A Ruhr Supports A Kiel, A St Petersburg Hold, A Tuscany – Piedmont,

 F Western Mediterranean Supports F Gulf of Lyon.

Italy (Mark Firth – mark.r.firth “of” F Tunis Supports F Tyrrhenian Sea,

 F Tyrrhenian Sea Supports F Tunis.

Russia (Richard Weiss – richardweiss “of” F Livonia - Baltic Sea (*Bounce*),

 A Moscow Supports A Warsaw - Livonia (*Fails*), A Prussia – Berlin, A Ukraine Unordered,

 A Warsaw - Livonia (*Fails*).

Turkey (Geoff Kemp - ggeoff510 “of” F Aegean Sea – Greece, A Bohemia Supports A Munich,

 A Bulgaria – Serbia, A Constantinople – Bulgaria, F Ionian Sea Supports F Tunis, A Munich Hold,

 F Naples Supports F Tyrrhenian Sea, F Piedmont Hold (*Disbanded*), A Rome Supports A Venice – Tuscany,

 A Silesia Supports A Munich, A Trieste – Venice, A Tyrolia Supports F Piedmont, A Venice - Tuscany.


E/I/R/T Draw Fails.  Now Proposed – E/I/R/T, E/R/T, E/T, Concession to E.

Please vote.  NVR=No.

F 13 Deadline is January 27th at 7:00am my time


Supply Center Chart


England:          Belgium, Brest, Denmark, Edinburgh, Holland, Kiel, Liverpool,

                        London, Marseilles, Norway, Paris, Portugal, St Petersburg, Sweden=14, Even

Italy:                Spain, Tunis=2, Even

Russia:             Berlin, Moscow, Rumania, Sevastopol, Warsaw=5, Even

Turkey:            Ankara, Budapest, Bulgaria, Constantinople, Greece, Munich, Naples,

                        Rome, Serbia, Smyrna, Trieste, Venice, Vienna=13, Build 1




Anon: Vote yes on something, Lord Whitehall of the tighty whighteys.


Praetor – GM: A misunderstanding… “Praetor” is me, up here, talking to “Scrivener”, my ethereally inked quill pen down here. Every season I tell it to call the game one thing and every season it writes ‘Jeruslaem’ [see?!].


Except this time I copied it, hah!


Italy – all: Happy New Year, everyone.


London (Oct 31, 1913): The British Government has dispatched a Senior Civil Servant, Sir Ian Lost, to Moscow with the expectation that the Russian Government might throw off the baleful and maliferous influence of the alledged Monk 'Ricardo Belovich', a creature of dubious origin but much heinous power over the Czarina. Sir Ian Lost declared, upon leaving with the Northern Reserve fleet, "His Majesty has entrusted me with a mission to the Czar to throw off the Yoke of the Heathen Turk from the heart of Christian Europe."


London (Nov 1,1913): The Pagan Press announces the Germanic New Year today. May the Eternal Sunshine shed its warming rays throughout the coming Fallow Time till Dionysus and Persephone garb the world in new fucundity.


Comox (Dec 29, 2014): Just about missed the Deadline here (Shades of Dip Games past). Yikes! Also, due to Eternal Darkness (no illustration of the game positions) from the Gnome Dugald Kanticus, I had to open up the old board of diplomacy to examine the few move options I presently have (Shades of Dip Games  present). Had a chuckle doing that - thankx for that unexpected Xmas gift Doug ( now, what to expect from Shades of Dip Games future?).













Diplomacy “Walkerdine” 2012D, W 08/S 09

France (Jim Burgess – jfburgess “of” Plays 1 Short..F Aegean Sea Convoys

 A St Petersburg – Constantinople, A Burgundy Hold, F Eastern Mediterranean – Smyrna, A Edinburgh Hold,

 F English Channel Convoys A St Petersburg – Constantinople, F Greece Hold,

 F Ionian Sea Convoys A St Petersburg – Constantinople, A London Hold,

 F Mid-Atlantic Ocean Convoys A St Petersburg – Constantinople,

 F North Atlantic Ocean Convoys A St Petersburg – Constantinople,

 F Norwegian Sea Convoys A St Petersburg – Constantinople, A Trieste Supports A Venice,

 F Tyrrhenian Sea Convoys A St Petersburg – Constantinople, A Venice Supports A Trieste,

 F Western Mediterranean Convoys A St Petersburg - Constantinople.

Germany (Steve Cooley – tmssteve “of” Build A Berlin..A Ankara Supports

 F Eastern Mediterranean – Smyrna, F Barents Sea Convoys A St Petersburg – Constantinople, A Berlin – Prussia,

 A Budapest Supports A Serbia, A Bulgaria Supports A St Petersburg – Constantinople,

 F Denmark Supports F North Sea, A Kiel Supports A Munich, A Munich Supports A Tyrolia,

 F North Sea Supports F English Channel, A Norway Hold, A Serbia Supports A Bulgaria, A Sevastopol – Armenia,

 A St Petersburg – Constantinople, A Tyrolia Supports A Vienna, A Vienna Supports A Tyrolia.

Turkey (Civil Disorder): Remove A Armenia..F Constantinople U.


Deadline for F 09 is January 27th at 7am my time
















Black Press Gunboat, “Fred Noonan”, 2013Arb32, W 10/S 11

France: F Barents Sea Unordered, A Burgundy Unordered, F Edinburgh Unordered,

 F English Channel Unordered (*Dislodged*, retreat to Brest or Wales or Mid-Atlantic Ocean or OTB),

 F Irish Sea Unordered, F Norway Unordered, A Picardy Unordered, F Western Mediterranean Unordered.

Germany: Build A Kiel.. F Belgium - English Channel, A Kiel – Ruhr, A London Hold, A Munich – Tyrolia,

 F North Sea Supports F Belgium - English Channel, A Ruhr – Belgium, A Silesia – Munich,

 F Sweden - Norway (*Fails*), A Venice - Trieste.

Italy: Civil Disorder.  F Apulia U, A Budapest U, A Vienna U.

Russia: A St Petersburg – Moscow, A Warsaw Supports A St Petersburg - Moscow.

Turkey: Plays 1 Short.. F Bulgaria(ec) Unordered, A Galicia Unordered, A Greece Unordered,

 F Ionian Sea Unordered, A Moscow Unordered (*Dislodged*, retreat to Ukraine or Livonia or OTB),

 F Rome Unordered, F Rumania Unordered, A Serbia Unordered, A Sevastopol Unordered, F Tunis Unordered,

 F Tyrrhenian Sea Unordered.


All Draw Proposals Fail

Now Proposed – G/T, F/G/T.  Pleave vote, NVR=No.

If either France or Turkey fail to submit orders they will go into CD.

Deadline for F 11 Will Be January 27th at 7am My Time




Russia - Germany: Thanks for any support given.


Russia - SWISS OBSERVER: Well of course Press sucks, this game sucks!












Woolworth II-D “Coney Island” 2013Bcb19, W 08/S 09

Balkans (Secret): A Pic-Bre, A Par S A Pic-Bre, A Bur-Pic, A Swi-Bur, F Tri S A Alb, A Ser S A Alb, A Alb S A Ser.

England (Secret): Bld F Lon..F Lon S F Bre-Eng, F Bre-Eng, F Nao S F Eng-Iri.
Italy (Secret): F Bas S F Mao-Bob, F Mad S F Wms-Mao, A Gas-Bre, A Tus-Pie, A Ven S A Tus-Pie, F Wms-Mao,

 F Tys-Gol. 

Russia (Jim Burgess - jfburgess “of” Build F Stp(nc), A Mos..A Mos-Stp, F Stp(NC)-Lap,

 F Gob S A Den-Swe, A Den-Swe, F Bal S A Den-Swe, A Kie-Den, F Nth-Edi, F Hel-Nth, A Ruh-Hol,

 A Bel S A Ruh-Hol, A Sev H.

Scandinavia (Geoff Kemp - ggeoff510 “of” Ret F Nth-Edi..F Edi U, F Wao S F Nao, F Eng-Iri,

 F Swe H(Dis-ret Fin, Nwy, Ska, OTB).

Turkey (Hugh Polleyhapolley “of” F Ion S F Ems-Aeg, A Rum S A Bul, A Bul S A Rum,

 F Mao-Bob, F Hao S F Wms-Mao, F Ems-Aeg, A Mor H.


Deadline for F 09 is January 27th at 7am My Time




BALKANS to RUSSIA: Go, men, go!


JIM-BOB to GEOFF: Glad to see you back in action!  Hope the recovery continues apace!












General Deadline for the Next Issue of Eternal Sunshine:  January 27th, 2015 at 7:00am my time.   Hope to See You Then!