Gen 1:2

L. J. Swain larry.swain at wmich.edu
Fri Aug 24 01:11:45 EDT 2001


I might suggest here "breath" drawing a parallel between this statement
of the "ruah" of God hovering over the water at the moment of creation,
as a parallel/contrast to Genesis 2:7, also supposing (as I think) that
the Priestly writer was aware of the Elohist's writing.

Larry Swain

Numberup at worldnet.att.net wrote:
> 
> Therefore, in his own translation , _The Five Books of Moses_
> (Schocken, 1995), Everett Fox translates Genesis 1:2 as
> "rushing-spirit of God hovering over the face of the waters."  His
> footnote reads: "Rushing-spirit: Others, 'wind.'  The Hebrew word ruah
> can mean bothe 'spirit' and 'wind.'"
> 
> Again, I would think that an English expression such as "active
> force," in the context, would be fitting.  It might not comprise the
> totality of meaning inherent in "ruach," but what single English word
> does?
> 
> Solomon Landers
> 
> Bearpecs at aol.com wrote:
> 
> > >From "People Today and the Jewish Bible:  From a Lecture Series"
> > Martin Buber (November 1926)
> > in:
> > _Scripture and Translation_
> > by Martin Buber and Franz Rosenzweig
> > translated by Lawrence Rosenwald with Everett Fox
> > Indian University Press, 1994
> >
> > pp. 15-16
> >
> > What, however, does ruah mean?  Opinion has been divided from the
> > beginning
> > betyween "wind" -- whether a wind from G-d or a wind called
> > "G-dwind" on the
> > basis of its force -- and "spirit" -- whether *the* spirit of G-d or
> > *a*
> > spirit of G-d.  Luther, keeping the quesiton always in motion, has
> > first
> > "wind" and then "spirit."  Both interpretations rest on the notion
> > that we
> > have to choose between them.  But we do not.  The dynamic meaning of
> > ruah,
> > which alone enables us to comprehend the passage -- a passage, by
> > the way,
> > which even radical source critics have judged "very old" (Gunkel)
> > and "very
> > ancient (Procksch) -- is the meaning of a "breathing," a "blowing,"
> > a
> > "surging," a "rushing."
> >  ...............................................
> 
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