Gen 1:1 "When God began to create"?

Harold R. Holmyard III hholmyard at ont.com
Wed Aug 30 18:26:30 EDT 2000


Dear Liz,

You wrote:

>I'd like to point out (tho no one has disputed this as yet) that the land
>and sea were already there prior to the beginning of God's creative
>activity.
>The phrase "veha(aretz hayita tohu ve bohu" is in the pluperfect.
>In narrative Hebrew, if the verb comes before the subject (VSO), the
>narration is moved along. If the subject comes first (SVO), then the action
>of that clause comes *before*
>the action of the main clause. This was pointed out by Rashi and also
>Gesenius.
>The Hebrew Bible does not have creatio ex nihilo.

This is not necessarily true. The SVO pattern regularly introduces a
circumstantial clause which gives information supplementary to the
narrative line. The circumstances can be those which exist at the time of
the accompanying verbs in clauses of the VSO pattern. So Gen 1:2 can give
the circumstance prevailing after the action of Gen 1:1.

				Yours,
				Harold Holmyard





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