Gen 1:1. Kermess

Lee R. Martin lmartin at
Sat Sep 2 12:58:45 EDT 2000

Ian Hutchesson wrote:

> Dear Lee,
> You wrote:
> >V. 1 is the "beginning" of creation and vv. 3ff are the
> >continuation of creation,
> I don't know how you come to the idea of "continuation of creation". We
> have a "this is what is to be described" v1, then a "these are the
> circumstances" v2, and finally the acts described.

I am still seeing the parallel with Jer.28:1 where God spoke to Jeremiah at the
"beginning" of  Zedekiah's reign (He had already been reigning 4 years). Therefore the
beginning of creation, may mean that God had already created the heaven and earth in
its initial state, with more creative work to follow.  This reading may not be correct
(Gen. 1:1-2 may just be a heading, as you say, with no grammatical connection to v.3)
but I would at least like to know if you understand what I am saying in making this
comparison to Jeremiah.

Back to the heading idea.  It seems to me that vv 1-2 are connected grammatically to v
3, because the preposition B in BeReSHiT would be unnecessary in genuine heading (a
non-sentence). E.g., Hosea 1:2 is a genuine heading.  I certainly haven't checked
every occurrence of  the prep. B, but normally, when B (or any other prep) is used as
a temporal indicator, it suggests a dependent clause that it then followed by a main
clause with a finite verb.  In this case, the main clause with finite verb comes in v.
3.  Thus, vv. 1-3 comprise one complete sentence.
A few examples will suffice (I am just scanning through Genesis):
Gen. 3:19; 7:11; 7:13; 8:14; 14:5; 17:26; 40:13

Lee R. Martin
Pastor, Prospect Church of God, Cleveland, Tennessee
Instructor in Hebrew and Old Testament
Church of God Theological Seminary

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