Peter Kirk Peter_Kirk at
Sun Mar 17 15:23:32 EST 2002

Ezekiel 20:5, NRSV: "On the day when I chose Israel, I swore to the
offspring...". These translators have taken only the first clause as
dependent on BYOM and the following clauses as main clauses. So, at
least according to one respected translation team, there is no chain of
coordinated clauses governed by b-noun. I accept that the waw is
anomalous, and that according to this model Gen 1:1-2 could be
translated with verse 1 subordinate to verse 2: "At the beginning of God
creating the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void..."
with a new sentence starting at verse 3. Actually this is close to NRSV.
But this is different from what you have been arguing for, the
subordination of verse 2 to bereshit.

Ezekiel 24:25: This is irrelevant as there is only one clause here.

OK, maybe I misunderstood your original goalposts. But wherever they
used to be, they are in the wrong place now.

Peter Kirk

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Ian Hutchesson [mailto:mc2499 at]
> Sent: 17 March 2002 16:13
> To: Biblical Hebrew
> Subject: Re: bereshit
> >No, Ian, my silence does not imply consent. You may well be right
> >the first creative act was "Let there be light!". The problem is that
> >that begs the question of the origin of the formless earth and
> What makes you think they need, or the writer thought
> they had, origins?
> >I accept that if you look at verse 1 alone bereshit could mean what
> >say, but in my opinion that causes so many problems when the context
> >widened that an alternative understanding has to be preferred.
> I've seen nothing to suggest this.
> >Ecclesiastes 12:3 is an interesting case, but differs from Genesis
> >in that there is a relative pronoun she-.
> Whoops. Too much in a hurry. Try, with the same aim,
> ie to show the government of complex subordination:
> Eze 20:5
> bywm  bxry by$r'l
>      w'$' ydy lzr` byt y`qb
>      w'wd` lhm b'rc mcrym
>      w'$' ydy lhm l'mr 'ny yhwh 'lhykm
> Eze 24:25
> bywm qxty mhm 't-m`wzm m$w$ tp'rtm
>               't mxmd `ynyhm
>              w't-m$h np$m bnyhm wbnwtyhm
> (And I'm running out.)
> >You might be able to argue
> >that there is an implicit or elided relative pronoun in Genesis 1:1,
> >which would at least regularise the syntax.
> Naaah. I don't think that would be justifiable.
> >You seem to have moved the goalposts by demanding that a parallel
> >be not just b- plus a syntactically absolute noun but that it must
> >be semantically unqualified. But barishona is used in this sense,
> >absolute and unqualified e.g. Gen 13:4.
> I said this on 14/03/02:
> >>You know that there are no examples of unqualified r'$yt
> >>and the writers show a preference for using r'$wn for an
> >>unqualified statement regarding a beginning.
> The only problem with my statement is that I didn't specify
> b- here, which has been a criterion from the start.
> I don't think I have moved the goalposts.
> Ian

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