creatio ex nihilo

Jonathan D. Safren yon_saf at
Sat Feb 3 08:54:39 EST 2001

Thanks, Harold. It's the first verse and the last verse of the four you
Jonathan D. Safren
Dept. of Biblical Studies
Beit Berl College
44905 Israel
----- Original Message -----
From: "Harold R. Holmyard III" <hholmyard at>
To: "Biblical Hebrew" <b-hebrew at>
Sent: Saturday, February 03, 2001 3:34 PM
Subject: creatio ex nihilo

> 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
> >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
> >word", equivalent to creatio ex nihilo. Actually both hemistichs are
> >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
> 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.
> Yours,
> Harold Holmyard
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