[b-hebrew] Gen 1:1-3 (was "Gen 1:2- And the earth . . .")
Harold R. Holmyard III
hholmyard at ont.com
Fri Apr 14 20:07:55 EDT 2006
Please let me share this passage that suggests a parallel with Gen 1:1:
>A completely different viewpoint, but imho a very legitimate one
>(there's been a nice controversy about this on this forum before) is
>to reanalyse the syntax of Gen 1,1-3.
>I don't think we should go over the entire discussion, but I'll just
>give here a translation that represents the syntactic viewpoint of
>Rashi, Ibn Ezra, the Stone Chumash, quite a few scholars I know in
>Leiden, Alter's translation, etc.
>"In the beginning of God's creating the heavens and the earth - when
>the earth was astonishingly empty, with darkness upon the surface of
>the deep, and the Divine Presence hovered upon the surface of the
>waters - God said, "Let there be light," and there was light.
HH: The real question with the traditional reading ("In the beginning
God created the heavens and the earth") is the absence of a definite
article with "in" followed by "beginning": BR)$YT. It is not so
much the use of the perfect verb that follows. However, there seems
to be a good parallel for R)$YT being definite with a prefixed
anarthrous (having no article) preposition in Isa 46:10, although the
preposition is "from" rather than "in." Let me give the a couple of
translations and then a transliteration of the first part of the
verse, followed by a more literal rendering of that part:
NIV Is. 46:10 I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient
times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I
will do all that I please.
KJV Is. 46:10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient
times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall
stand, and I will do all my pleasure:
Isa 46:10a MGYD MR)$YT )XRYT WMQDM )$R L)-N(&W
Isa 46:10a Declaring from (the) beginning (the) end and from ancient
time what has not happened.
HH: The Hebrew seems to be able to understand a certain definiteness
to R)$YT with a prefixed, anarthrous preposition. Couldn't this be
applicable to Genesis 1:1 and the use of BR)$YT there?
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