Gen 2:4

Lee R. Martin lmartin at
Mon Aug 14 10:27:27 EDT 2000

Dear Tony,
The word BEYOM simply means "when." For a parallel to Gen. 2:4, see Num.
3:1, where all of God's speaking to Moses from Sinai is referred to as "in
the day God spoke to Moses from Sinai".  Thus Gen. 2:4 is not an attempt to
reduce creation to one day at all, but rather it means "when God had created
the heavens and the earth".  As far as I can determine, there is no other
Hebrew word meaning "when."
The question of authorship is not influenced by the word BEYOM.
Lee R. Martin

-----Original Message-----
From: Tony Costa <tmcos at>
To: Biblical Hebrew <b-hebrew at>
Date: Monday, August 14, 2000 7:41 AM
Subject: Gen 2:4

>Dear Friends,
>  I was wondering about Gen 2:4 in relation to Gen 1. Gen 1 gives the
>chronological sequence of the creation account as six days. Gen 2:4 makes
>reference to "in the day" (BYoM) that God created the heavens and the
>It seems to capsulize the whole creation into one day. I also noticed a
>number of translations render the phrase "In the day" as "at the time"
>(Goodspeed, Moffatt, Jerusalem Bible) Is the contrast between 6 days in Gen
>1 and the mention of "in the day" (singular) a result of the dual authorsip
>of Gen 1 as the work of the Elohist editor and the Gen 2:4 reference the
>work of the Priestly editor or simply an acceptable literary device? Any
>comments would be appreciated. Many thanks.
>                                           Tony Costa, B.A.
>                                           University of Toronto
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