Gen 1:2 "was"/"became"

Bryan Rocine brocine at
Wed Sep 6 13:30:34 EDT 2000

Hi Lee, you wrote:
> Bryan Rocine wrote:
> > b.  But the earth had become tohu and bohu.
> >
> Dear Bryan,
> It is my understanding that HaYaH means "was," not
"became."  In order for HaYaH to
> mean "became" (in the transitive sense of a change of
attributes) doesn't it have to
> be followed by the prep. L? e.g. Gen. 2:7; 2:10; 48:19;
1Sa 4:9; Ex 4:3; Josh 7:5,
> etc.  Can you show examples otherwise?

It is a bit radical to think "the earth *had become* tohu
and bohu," isn't it?  I understand the rabbis to have
considered the Lord to be the Creator of universes!

Check out BDB section II on hyh, (p. 225) for lots of
examples of hyh meaning *become*.

If hyh means "was," is vehaarets haytah tohu vabohu simply a
paraphrase of vehaarets tohu vabohu?

Let me mention that there are two positions for the lamed in
a hyh + lamed construction, one prefixed to the "indirect
object" and one prefixed to the "direct object."
Schematically represented:

hyh meaning became / L+to or for whom / L+what

eg. 2 Sam 8:2 vatthi moab ledavid la`abadim
"And Moab became to David servants"

hyh may clearly mean *became* when the lamed is not present
on the "direct object" but is still present on the "indirect
object."  I *think* you mean only the lamed on the "direct
object."  So I believe the following should satisfy your
request for examples of hyh *without* lamed clearly meaning

eg. 1 Sam 16:21  vayehi lo nose' kelim
"And he became his armor bearer."

There are numerous other examples of a like kind.

There are indeed examples in which hyh clearly means
*became* that do not have lamed on either an "indirect
object" or a "direct object."

Gen 19:26, 21:20, 25:27, Exo 8:13, to name a few. Gen 19:26
goes like this:

vatthi netsib melax
"And she became a pillar of salt."


B. M. Rocine
Associate Pastor
Living Word Church
6101 Court St. Rd.
Syracuse, NY 13206

(office) 315-437-6744
(home) 315-479-8267

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