Friday, June 29, 2012

Genesis 1:1

The very first verse in the Bible is one of the most quoted verses of all. To many it is a very simple concept that does not need much thought in order to understand it. But the fact of the matter is that it is so simple because it has lost so much meaning and value when it was translated from Hebrew into the other languages. The result of this is that in every English Bible, this verse is not correctly translated.

The Hebrew language is filled with such a large amount of knowledge and wisdom that cannot be translated into any other language. Every single Hebrew word has a much deeper meaning than anyone could imagine.

In order to really understand the Word of the Almighty, one needs to examine each and every word in detail first. Once you can do this, then you can start seeing the true value of the Word of the Almighty and His true will. You will also start seeing many things that are simply just not in any English Bible at all. This is because it is impossible to translate.

Let us try and examine the very first verse of the entire Scriptures, but in the Hebrew, and let us see how much more we can learn, even from one small verse, by examining it in detail. You might even see truths that you have never seen before in your life. You must also keep in mind that in order to really understand the Hebrew, then you have to read it with a Hebrew mindset and with a Hebrew cultural understanding and not from a westernized mindset. This is because it was written in Hebrew and for the Hebrew people.

Let us first read Genesis1:1 together in the English King James Version Bible, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1 KJV). The idea that almost everyone gets from this verse  is that there was a single beginning of all time and that “God” (who is the only supreme being) created the universe from scratch in this time. Is there anything else that we can understand from this verse, even if we look at it in more detail? Well, I certainly cannot.

Now let us look at this exact same verse in the Hebrew text:
בראשׁית ברא אלהים את השׁמים ואת הארץ׃
 (B’reishit 1:1)
(b’reishit bara Elohim et hashamayim v’et ha’aretz)

Now we are going to analyze every single word and see what the meaning is of every word, and then put it all together again and then see what it really means.

The very first word (בראשׁית) b’reishit

“b’reishit” is a very interesting word, but has simply been translated as “In the beginning,” the word “b’reishit,” however, does not really mean “In the beginning.” Let me explain.

Firstly, we need to break up the word and find its root. Every single Hebrew word has a root word which gives it its particular meaning. The root word of “b’reishit” is the Hebrew word “reishit.” Now if you go throughout the Scriptures, you will notice that the word “reishit” is almost always translated as “first fruit.” This is because this is the meaning of this word and all other uses of this word comes from the concept of “first fruits”

The “beit” or “b’….” in front of the word “b’reishit” is a prefix which means “in” or “in a.” So far we can see that it means “in a first fruit.” Suddenly we can see a whole new concept from the very first word already. Let me explain what I mean.

What is needed for a first fruit? Does it just appear? Or does one need to work the ground, plant the seed, give the plant food and water, prune the plant and protect it from the elements, birds and insects? Only after all the effort of planting and looking after the plant so that it can grow into a tree, then only can it produce a first fruit.

Now there is also the Hebrew word “rosh” found in the word “reishit.” In fact, the word “rosh” is the root word of the word “reishit.” The meaning of “rosh” is head which can also be used for the concept of “top”, “beginning”, “start”, “summit” or even “chief”

So the proper meaning of the first word “b’reishit” is “in the head (start) of a first fruit

Now the question is, what preparations needed to be going on before Genesis 1:1 in order that it speaks of “a first fruit” instead of “the beginning”? Was the earth created out of nothing? Well, let us carry on reading to answer these questions.

The second word (ברא) bara

The Hebrew word “bara” is usually translated as “create” in the English translations. According to most theologians, the word “create” is understood to mean “to make something out of nothing.” This definition is an abstract concept with no concrete foundation and is therefore not a Hebrew concept.

In Genesis 2:7 it states that the Almighty “formed” man. The Hebrew word translated as “formed” is the verb rxy “yatsar” and is best understood as the process of pressing clay together to form an object such as a figurine. We can plainly see from this verse that man was made from something; however, in Genesis 1:27 we read, according to most translators, “God created man.” As we have discovered, man is made from something, therefore the word “create” in Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:27 cannot mean to make something out of nothing.

If the word “bara” does not mean “create” then what does it mean? By examining other passages where this word appears, we can begin to uncover its true meaning.

‘Why do you kick at My slaughtering and My offering which I have commanded in My Dwelling Place, and esteem your sons above Me, to make yourselves fat (bara) with the best of all the offerings of Yisra’ĕl My people? (1 Sam 2:29).

Believe it or not, the word “bara” is translated as “fat” in the verse above and is the original concrete meaning of this word. What does it mean in Genesis 1:1 when it literally says, “Elohim fattened the heavens and the earth”? When an animal is chosen for the slaughter, it is placed in a pen and fed grain so that it can be fattened, or “filled up.” This idea of “filling up” is now more relevant to the next verse.

And the earth became formless and empty (unfilled)… (Genesis 1:2)

With a better understanding of the word bara we can now also see the meaning of Genesis 1:27. “And Elohiym filled (bara) the man with his image, with his image he filled (bara) him, male and female he filled (bara) them

The Hebrew word translated as “image” above is “tselem” meaning an outline of a shadow, a representation or image of the original. Once Elohim “formed” the man, he filled him up with a representation of Himself.

So the Hebrew word “bara” is more accurately translated as “fattened” or in this instance “filled”

The third word (אלהים) Elohim

This is a noun referring to the Almighty. This noun denotes the Almighty in His attribute of Justice, as Ruler, Lawgiver and Judge of this world. By using this Name exclusively in the narrative of “Creation”, the Torah indicates that Justice is the ideal state of this world, meaning that man should be treated exactly as he deserves, according to his deeds. However, because man is not virtuous enough to survive such harsh scrutiny, the Almighty added His attribute of Mercy to the story of “Creation” (Genesis 2:4), so that judgment would be tempered with mercy.

The root word for the noun “Elohim” is hla (Eloah) meaning "power." This word is used for anyone or anything which, has "power" and is often translated as "God" in the English Bibles. The suffix ~My at the end of the noun Myhla (Elohim) is a suffix which denotes a plural for masculine nouns. While English plurals convey quantity (more than one), Hebrew plurals convey quantity or quality (very large or great). The word Myhla can be translated as "mighty ones" (quantity) or "a great mighty one" (quality). The idea of "a great mighty one" is generally written in the English Bibles as "God" which is a perverse translation as the word “God” originates from pagan idolatry.

So the word “Elohim” refers to the Might and Power and Ruler attributes of the Almighty.

The fourth word (את) et

This word ta is used over 11,000 times (and never translated into English as there is no equivalent) to point to the direct object of the verb. It is a sign of the definite direct object, not translated in English but generally preceding and indicating the accusative. Basically it means that the word after this one is the subject of the sentence.

Many people falsely claim that because the Messiah said that he is the alef and the tav, the first and the last (Rev 22:13) that he created the heavens and the earth. They make these claims because of this very little word (et) found in this verse. It is spelled, "alef tav" and is the first and the last letter of the Hebrew language. It does not, in any way, mean that the Messiah created the heavens and the earth, which is not in line with the rest of the Scriptures

What we can say is that the heavens and the earth were created through the Words of the Almighty. It is even an indication of how we know that the original language of the world, and the language of the Almighty, is that of Hebrew. 

The fifth word (השׁמים) hashamayim

This is a very interesting word that is typically translated as “the heavens” which is not really wrong at all. Even though it is correctly translated as ‘heavens’ it has a much more descriptive meaning that explains what and where the heavens are.

The first letter “hey” is the prefix which means “the.” The next two letters (shin and mem) make up the root word “sham” which means “there” referring to the sky. The last two letters (yud and mem) “…iym” is the suffix which makes the word plural.

Now the interesting part of this word is that the Hebrew word “mayim,” which means “water” also appears in this word, which gives the meaning of “between the waters.”

Now this gives us a very different understanding of Revelation 22:1 which says, “And he showed me a river of water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of Elohim and of the Lamb

So the Hebrew word “shamayim” gives a meaning of “there between the waters” but is translated as “heavens” which is not incorrect. The Hebrew word just gives a better understanding of where the heavens are.
The sixth word (ואת) v’et

This word is the exact same word as the fourth word mentioned above. The only difference is that it has the prefix (extra letter in the beginning) “vav.” Now when the “vav” is added to a word as a prefix, it then mean “and.” Therefore, the word “v’et” is translated as “and” because of the “vav” in the beginning of the word.

The seventh word (Xrah) ha’aretz

The last word in this verse is the word “eretz” which means, land, ground, earth, world, country, field or nation. It always depends on the context of the sentence to which one it means at that time. In this verse it means Earth. The word eretz has the prefix “ha” in front of it which means “the” so the word “ha’aretz” means “the Earth.”


So the literal translation on Gen 1:1 is the following, “In the start of a first fruit the Mighty One filled the heavens and the earth

Does this not give us a very different story to the mainstream translations out there? For us to really understand the Word of the Almighty, we need to learn His language as it has a far deeper meanings of words than our other languages.

Just to leave you with a question that you can search for… what first fruit is being spoken of in Genesis 1:1?