[b-hebrew] Question about Gen 1:1-2

Harold Holmyard hholmyard3 at earthlink.net
Thu Jul 23 14:06:12 EDT 2009


> Greetings to the group:
> I apologize if I have gotten anyone in trouble.  I did not mean to get into a discussion about the theology of the gap theory.  The reason I mentioned it was because I needed to explain why I wanted a correct translation of the Hebrew words for 'was' and 'became' and which one is correct in verse 2.  Sometimes it is unavoidable to separate discussion of language and theology because the understanding of true theology depends on correct understanding of the Hebrew language and the meaning that the text intended to convey.  Hope I have not offended anyone.

HH: Insofar as the Gap Theory is based on the usage of Hebrew words it 
seems an appropriate topic for discussion. The theory is partially a 
claim about what the Hebrew says. The best scholarship today does not 
think the Hebrew says what the Gap Theory claims it does.  As to the 
suggestion that the Hebrew verb always means "become," any Hebrew 
Lexicon should show that the verb can mean "be" or "become." I have 
three of the best lexicons (BDB, HAL, DCH), and they all say that. Here 
is one online Hebrew lexicon giving the meanings of the word:

to be, become, come to pass, exist, happen, fall out

   1. (Qal)
         1. to happen, fall out, occur, take place, come about, come to
         2. to come about, come to pass
         3. to come into being, become
         4. to arise, appear, come
         5. to become
         6. to become
         7. to become like
         8. to be instituted, be established
         9. to be
        10. to exist, be in existence
        11. to abide, remain, continue (with word of place or time)
        12. to stand, lie, be in, be at, be situated (with word of
        13. to accompany, be with
   2. (Niphal)
         1. to occur, come to pass, be done, be brought about
         2. to be done, be finished, be gone

Harold Holmyard

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