Gen 1:1. Kermess

Liz Fried lizfried at
Sat Sep 2 23:36:58 EDT 2000

> Liz Fried wrote:
> > Dear Lee,
> > This whole accession year is the bereshit of his reign.  Jer.
> 28:1 may be a
> > conflation of two texts, or the scribe's eye may have jumped or
> something. It is
> > best to emmend with the LXX.--
> Dear Liz,
> I am aware of the possible emendations.  I probably should have
> used Jer. 26:1 or 27:1
> or 49:34, where these problems do not exist, and where the text
> is translated "Soon
> after X began to reign" by the TEV and "early in the reign" by
> the NIV.  I hope you
> are you suggesting that when the text says "At the beginning of
> the reign of
> Zedekiah..." it means either "before he reigned" or "at the exact
> moment he began to
> reign"?  I think not.  If the whole accession year is the
> "beginning" then my point
> still stands.  If  Zedekiah had reigned 5 minutes before God
> spoke to Jeremiah, then
> "beginning" does necessarily not mean what many take it to mean
> in Gen. 1. So why
> shouldn't we translate Gen. 1:1 as: "*Soon after* God
> created/began to create the
> heavens and the earth, the earth was formless and void and
> darkness was on the face of
> the deep, and the spirit of God was moving ..."?  I cannot see
> how it means "*Before*
> God began to create the heavens and the earth, the earth was
> formless and void ...."
> as many seem to be taking it.

Dear Lee,
Bereshit in construct indicates that bara is not a finite verb, since you
cannot have
a construct with a finite verb. Bara should be repointed to baro.
But it is not the word bereshit so much which conveys the meaning
"before God began to create." It is the fact that the second clause
(vs 2) is SVO. That conveys the information that vs 2 is to be translated
in the pluperfect (tho Dave may have other information). As I have been
SVO in a narrative indicates that the action in SVO preceeded the action of
the main
verb in the vayiqtol.
Here, the phrase in the pluperfect is an adverbial modifier (as someone
pointed out).
 It conveys the information "time when."
At the time when God began creating the heaven and the earth the earth had
tohu v bohu.... And God said,...
"And God said" is vayiqtol, it is the first verb in the vayiqtol in fact, so
it is the first
verb which moves the narrative sequence along. All the preceeding set the

I hope this helps.


> 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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