[b-hebrew] Genesis 1:5

CS Bartholomew jacksonpollock at earthlink.net
Thu Jul 24 17:02:20 EDT 2003

On 7/24/03 11:16 AM, "waldo slusher" <waldoslusher at yahoo.com> wrote:

> A recent article I read indicates that the phrase at
> the end of this verse, "day one", by virtue of the
> fact that "one" lacks the definite article, makes it a
> Cardinal number. ...
> Is this grammatical point open to dispute ...

Very much open to dispute. U.Cassuto, G.Wenham, G.Bush, J.W. Wevers, KEIL &
DELITZSCH, Waltke &  O'Connor all dispute it.

>From K&D
...  )xd (one ), like EIS and unus,  is used at the commencement of a
numerical series for the ordinal primus  (cf. Gen. 2:11; 4:19; 8:5, 15) ...

J.W. Wevers (Notes on the Greek Text of Genesis, p.3) points out that the
LXX preserves the distinction EIS (cardinal) in Gen. 1:5 and DEUTERA
(ordinal) in Gen. 1:8  but that Aquila read )xd in Gen. 1:5 as PRWTH. Wevers
implies that Aquila got it right.

George Bush suggests that )xd in Gen. 1:5 functions to set apart this day as
somehow distinct from other days. In support for this he cites Daniel (!!)
8:3 )yl )xd "a certain ram, i.e. a ram of peculiar description ... "  This
is suggestion worth consideration but the procedure of using Daniel (and
Ezekiel) as models for an idiom in Genesis might bother some people. Keep in
mind that Bush was published in the mid 19th century.

U.Cassuto cites some rabbinic exegesis which is somewhat too subtle for this
guy from Seattle. Perhaps someone else can comment on it.

Anyway, the grammatical point is open to dispute.

Clay Bartholomew 

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