bereshit and mereshit.

Paul Zellmer pzellmer at
Sun Mar 17 09:08:37 EST 2002


You claim that there is a second approach.  Yet, to make your "second"
approach work, even in your suggestions for the thought processes as
expressed in your two rough "translations," you feel constrained to treat
the waw at the beginning of the second verse as a "when".  This is not
making those clauses parallel with the BARA clause of the first, but
subordinate to it.  This is what you have not successfully demonstated is a
possibility, because you actually are treating vv 1-2 as a clause
subordinate to BR'$YT with three clauses marked only by waw as subordinate
to the first.  Can you please give cases where waw marks subordinate

As for requiring even the first, the BARA clause, as being subordinate to
the BR'$YT, may I draw a parallel which comes from one who is from one of
the traditions that came out of the Hebrew text?  I do so because it shows
that, at least for some who were of that tradition, a "hanging" construct
form (or a construct form with the absolute part missing) was seriously
considered as a clear possible option.  In the GNT, in John 1:1, we have the
Greek equivalent of BR'$YT with no completing thought.  If that did not give
pause to these following at least one of the traditional lines some 2000
years ago, who are we to say that doing this with Gen 1:1 should require the
BARA clause to be subordinate in this case?

So, yes, I too see two possibilities, but neither allow the clauses of v. 2
to be syntactically subordinate to verse 1.  I especially cannot see those
clauses as being directly subordinate to BR'$YT.

Paul Zellmer

(BTW, I also see the entire passage, Gen 1:1-2:3, as being an introduction
for the entire book, because it is not marked by TLDT that indicates the
other major divisions of the book.  Does that mean that all these clauses
must be a big, complex, subordinate grouping?  ;^>)

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Ian Hutchesson [mailto:mc2499 at]
> Sent: Sunday, March 17, 2002 8:07 AM
> To: Biblical Hebrew
> Subject: Re: bereshit and mereshit.

> As I have said, there are at least two approaches to the
> subordination by br'$yt. I see vv 1-2 as an introduction,
> though I have subordinated it to the first recorded act
> mentioned in the text. If I haven't put across the idea
> that we are dealing with an introduction, then it's a
> problem of my communicative skills on the matter.
> Ian

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