creatio ex nihilo

Harold R. Holmyard III hholmyard at
Sat Feb 3 08:34:35 EST 2001

Dear Jonathan,

You wrote:

> I too
>have always understood the verse the way you did, and maybe that is the
>correct interpretation, but in the 3rd line of the piyyut (medieval
>liturgical poem), we read: hu' sax wayyehxi, wetsivvah wenivra'u, "He spoke
>and it came to be, and he commanded and they were created", which is a
>reiteration of the Rabbinic doctrine of beria'ah bema'amar, "creation by the
>word", equivalent to creatio ex nihilo. Actually both hemistichs are taken
>from Psalm somewhere.

Psalm 33:6-9:

Psa. 33:6 By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host
of them by the breath of his mouth.
Psa. 33:7 He gathereth the waters of the sea together as an heap: he layeth
up the depth in storehouses.
Psa. 33:8 Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the
world stand in awe of him.
Psa. 33:9 For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.

				Harold Holmyard

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