Post Reply 
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Discussion of Genesis
10-04-2017, 01:41 AM
Post: #1
Discussion of Genesis
As there are many translations, I would like to take Genesis 1: 1 and discuss the unity of these and/or other translations.

Hebrew: אבְּרֵאשִׁ֖ית בָּרָ֣א אֱלֹהִ֑ים אֵ֥ת הַשָּׁמַ֖יִם וְאֵ֥ת הָאָֽרֶץ:
English: 1In the beginning of God's creation of the heavens and the earth.

K.J.V: In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth
1611 KJV: exact same spelling, but Heaven and Earth were capitalized.

Why would some translations pluralize heaven to make it heavens. Words have a way of meaning different things in different eras I wonder if there was ever a change in the meaning of this or any word in Hebrew. I have heard that the capitalization was added later.

When read with the rest of the chapter, the King James version seems to flow better. When now was placed before the earth in other versions it seems to break the unity of the two verses. While the rest of the verse (2) flows in both versions.

בוְהָאָ֗רֶץ הָֽיְתָ֥ה תֹ֨הוּ֙ וָבֹ֔הוּ וְח֖שֶׁךְ עַל־פְּנֵ֣י תְה֑וֹם וְר֣וּחַ אֱלֹהִ֔ים מְרַחֶ֖פֶת עַל־פְּנֵ֥י הַמָּֽיִם:
2Now the earth was astonishingly empty, and darkness was on the face of the deep, and the spirit of God was hovering over the face of the water.

Any thoughts on this? I would like to thank Yefet for his reference to this Hebrew scriptures.[/size]
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
10-04-2017, 10:58 AM
Post: #2
RE: Discussion of Genesis
(10-04-2017 01:41 AM)Brother Gerald Wrote:  Why would some translations pluralize heaven to make it heavens.

שָּׁמַ֖יִם has a plural suffix, but the singular root is never used in the Bible. It's like the word "pants" in English. There is a singular noun "pant," but nobody uses it. If I say "I like my pants," it's ambiguous whether I mean just what I have on or all of them in my wardrobe. Similarly, "heaven" and "heavens" both represent the same word in the Hebrew Bible.

It's Strong's number 8064, if you want to look it up.

(10-04-2017 01:41 AM)Brother Gerald Wrote:  I have heard that the capitalization was added later.

Capitalization rules for English were still in flux. Nouns in the 1611 seem to be capitalized according to importance, but inconsistently. For example, "Earth" is capitalized in 1:11, but not in 1:12, even though they both obviously refer to the same thing in context. Spelling and capitalization have been adjusted through the years for consistency.

(10-04-2017 01:41 AM)Brother Gerald Wrote:  When read with the rest of the chapter, the King James version seems to flow better. When now was placed before the earth in other versions it seems to break the unity of the two verses. While the rest of the verse (2) flows in both versions.

It's just editorial style. The vav-conjunctive prefix can pretty much be translated "and" every time and be accurate, but that makes for awkward English. Most of the time when you see "and," "but," "now," "then," "thus," "so," or any other word used as a conjunction, it represents the same thing in Hebrew. The KJV uses "now" at the beginning of 3:1 ("Now the serpent was...") presumably because it sounds better than starting the thought with "and."
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
10-04-2017, 04:43 PM
Post: #3
RE: Discussion of Genesis
Although הַשָּׁמַיִם sometimes refers to Heaven, the abode of God (examples: Gen. 28:12,17 and Gen. 49:25) it almost always refers to the sky. This can be clearly seen in Genesis 1.

Quote:Genesis 1 (Chabad.org)

1 In the beginning of God's creation of the heavens and the earth..

[…]
6 And God said, "Let there be an expanse in the midst of the water, and let it be a separation between water and water."

7 And God made the expanse and it separated between the water that was below the expanse and the water that was above the expanse, and it was so.

8 And God called the expanse Heaven, and it was evening, and it was morning, a second day.

9 And God said, "Let the water that is beneath the heavens gather into one place, and let the dry land appear," and it was so.

[…]
14 And God said, "Let there be luminaries in the expanse of the heavens, to separate between the day and between the night, and they shall be for signs and for appointed seasons and for days and years.

15 And they shall be for luminaries in the expanse of the heavens to shed light upon the earth." And it was so.

16 And God made the two great luminaries: the great luminary to rule the day and the lesser luminary to rule the night, and the stars.

17 And God placed them in the expanse of the heavens to shed light upon the earth.

[…]
20 And God said, "Let the waters swarm a swarming of living creatures, and let fowl fly over the earth, across the expanse of the heavens." And God said, "Let the waters swarm a swarming of living creatures, and let fowl fly over the earth, across the expanse of the heavens."

The firmament was the space under the waters that were divided above. It contains the sun, the moon and the stars. It is also where birds fly. That is, the heaven(s) is the sky. In Genesis 1, הַשָּׁמַיִם is not Heaven, the abode of God. Verse 1 talks about the creation of heaven and earth and the chapter gives extensive details on the creation of the earth and the heavens, yet refers entirely to material things. The word ‘heaven(s)’ refers to the sky and what is in it throughout Genesis 1. Whether a translation uses the singular or the plural does not affect that meaning. As Difflugia pointed out, the Hebrew is always plural.


BTW the use of שָׁמָיִם without the definite article ה in verse 8 is because it is being used as a proper noun, i.e., a name. In Hebrew, the definite article is always used for definite things except for names.

And here I sit so patiently waiting to find out what price
You have to pay to get out of going through all these things twice
Dylan
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
10-04-2017, 11:55 PM (This post was last modified: 10-05-2017 12:00 AM by Brother Gerald.)
Post: #4
RE: Discussion of Genesis
(10-04-2017 10:58 AM)Difflugia Wrote:  
(10-04-2017 01:41 AM)Brother Gerald Wrote:  Why would some translations pluralize heaven to make it heavens.

שָּׁמַ֖יִם has a plural suffix, but the singular root is never used in the Bible. It's like the word "pants" in English. There is a singular noun "pant," but nobody uses it. If I say "I like my pants," it's ambiguous whether I mean just what I have on or all of them in my wardrobe. Similarly, "heaven" and "heavens" both represent the same word in the Hebrew Bible.

It's Strong's number 8064, if you want to look it up.

(10-04-2017 01:41 AM)Brother Gerald Wrote:  I have heard that the capitalization was added later.

Capitalization rules for English were still in flux. Nouns in the 1611 seem to be capitalized according to importance, but inconsistently. For example, "Earth" is capitalized in 1:11, but not in 1:12, even though they both obviously refer to the same thing in context. Spelling and capitalization have been adjusted through the years for consistency.

(10-04-2017 01:41 AM)Brother Gerald Wrote:  When read with the rest of the chapter, the King James version seems to flow better. When now was placed before the earth in other versions it seems to break the unity of the two verses. While the rest of the verse (2) flows in both versions.

It's just editorial style. The vav-conjunctive prefix can pretty much be translated "and" every time and be accurate, but that makes for awkward English. Most of the time when you see "and," "but," "now," "then," "thus," "so," or any other word used as a conjunction, it represents the same thing in Hebrew. The KJV uses "now" at the beginning of 3:1 ("Now the serpent was...") presumably because it sounds better than starting the thought with "and."

Thank you. This is very informative.
(10-04-2017 04:43 PM)Imprecise Interrupt Wrote:  Although הַשָּׁמַיִם sometimes refers to Heaven, the abode of God (examples: Gen. 28:12,17 and Gen. 49:25) it almost always refers to the sky. This can be clearly seen in Genesis 1.

Quote:Genesis 1 (Chabad.org)

1 In the beginning of God's creation of the heavens and the earth..

[…]
6 And God said, "Let there be an expanse in the midst of the water, and let it be a separation between water and water."

7 And God made the expanse and it separated between the water that was below the expanse and the water that was above the expanse, and it was so.

8 And God called the expanse Heaven, and it was evening, and it was morning, a second day.

9 And God said, "Let the water that is beneath the heavens gather into one place, and let the dry land appear," and it was so.

[…]
14 And God said, "Let there be luminaries in the expanse of the heavens, to separate between the day and between the night, and they shall be for signs and for appointed seasons and for days and years.

15 And they shall be for luminaries in the expanse of the heavens to shed light upon the earth." And it was so.

16 And God made the two great luminaries: the great luminary to rule the day and the lesser luminary to rule the night, and the stars.

17 And God placed them in the expanse of the heavens to shed light upon the earth.

[…]
20 And God said, "Let the waters swarm a swarming of living creatures, and let fowl fly over the earth, across the expanse of the heavens." And God said, "Let the waters swarm a swarming of living creatures, and let fowl fly over the earth, across the expanse of the heavens."

The firmament was the space under the waters that were divided above. It contains the sun, the moon and the stars. It is also where birds fly. That is, the heaven(s) is the sky. In Genesis 1, הַשָּׁמַיִם is not Heaven, the abode of God. Verse 1 talks about the creation of heaven and earth and the chapter gives extensive details on the creation of the earth and the heavens, yet refers entirely to material things. The word ‘heaven(s)’ refers to the sky and what is in it throughout Genesis 1. Whether a translation uses the singular or the plural does not affect that meaning. As Difflugia pointed out, the Hebrew is always plural.


BTW the use of שָׁמָיִם without the definite article ה in verse 8 is because it is being used as a proper noun, i.e., a name. In Hebrew, the definite article is always used for definite things except for names.
Thanks, this is also very informative.
So according to the mindset of the translator, it could read in the Beginning God created the Heaven and the Earth, or the Heavens and the Earth. Is this right?
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
10-05-2017, 08:13 AM
Post: #5
RE: Discussion of Genesis
(10-04-2017 11:55 PM)Brother Gerald Wrote:  
(10-04-2017 04:43 PM)Imprecise Interrupt Wrote:  Although הַשָּׁמַיִם sometimes refers to Heaven, the abode of God (examples: Gen. 28:12,17 and Gen. 49:25) it almost always refers to the sky. This can be clearly seen in Genesis 1.

Quote:Genesis 1 (Chabad.org)

1 In the beginning of God's creation of the heavens and the earth..

[…]
6 And God said, "Let there be an expanse in the midst of the water, and let it be a separation between water and water."

7 And God made the expanse and it separated between the water that was below the expanse and the water that was above the expanse, and it was so.

8 And God called the expanse Heaven, and it was evening, and it was morning, a second day.

9 And God said, "Let the water that is beneath the heavens gather into one place, and let the dry land appear," and it was so.

[…]
14 And God said, "Let there be luminaries in the expanse of the heavens, to separate between the day and between the night, and they shall be for signs and for appointed seasons and for days and years.

15 And they shall be for luminaries in the expanse of the heavens to shed light upon the earth." And it was so.

16 And God made the two great luminaries: the great luminary to rule the day and the lesser luminary to rule the night, and the stars.

17 And God placed them in the expanse of the heavens to shed light upon the earth.

[…]
20 And God said, "Let the waters swarm a swarming of living creatures, and let fowl fly over the earth, across the expanse of the heavens." And God said, "Let the waters swarm a swarming of living creatures, and let fowl fly over the earth, across the expanse of the heavens."

The firmament was the space under the waters that were divided above. It contains the sun, the moon and the stars. It is also where birds fly. That is, the heaven(s) is the sky. In Genesis 1, הַשָּׁמַיִם is not Heaven, the abode of God. Verse 1 talks about the creation of heaven and earth and the chapter gives extensive details on the creation of the earth and the heavens, yet refers entirely to material things. The word ‘heaven(s)’ refers to the sky and what is in it throughout Genesis 1. Whether a translation uses the singular or the plural does not affect that meaning. As Difflugia pointed out, the Hebrew is always plural.


BTW the use of שָׁמָיִם without the definite article ה in verse 8 is because it is being used as a proper noun, i.e., a name. In Hebrew, the definite article is always used for definite things except for names.
Thanks, this is also very informative.
So according to the mindset of the translator, it could read in the Beginning God created the Heaven and the Earth, or the Heavens and the Earth. Is this right?

It seems to me that as far as Genesis 1 goes the best translation into English would be ‘the heavens’, plural, lower case. This happens to be the literal translation (except for verse 8) but the real point is that the intended reference is the sky as seen from the ground. Sun, moon, stars, birds – they are all ‘in the sky’. ‘Heaven’ (singular, capitalized, no article) would definitely give the wrong impression. It is not the abode of God being referenced and nothing about when that Heaven was created can be inferred.

And here I sit so patiently waiting to find out what price
You have to pay to get out of going through all these things twice
Dylan
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
10-05-2017, 09:21 AM
Post: #6
RE: Discussion of Genesis
(10-04-2017 04:43 PM)Imprecise Interrupt Wrote:  BTW the use of שָׁמָיִם without the definite article ה in verse 8 is because it is being used as a proper noun, i.e., a name. In Hebrew, the definite article is always used for definite things except for names.

With that in mind, how should וְחֹשֶׁךְ עַל-פְּנֵי תְהוֹם in verse 2 be translated? I've read that "tehom" is an intentional reference to the Babylonian Tiamat (i.e. God Himself created from the primordial chaos in contrast to the chaos itself being a creative force). In this clause of verse 2, none of the nouns appear to have an article, which starts to make the comparison look even more pointed and intentional ("...and Darkness was upon Tehom's face..."). Am I looking at that correctly?
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
10-05-2017, 12:28 PM (This post was last modified: 10-05-2017 12:37 PM by Brother Gerald.)
Post: #7
RE: Discussion of Genesis
(10-05-2017 08:13 AM)Imprecise Interrupt Wrote:  
(10-04-2017 11:55 PM)Brother Gerald Wrote:  
(10-04-2017 04:43 PM)Imprecise Interrupt Wrote:  Although הַשָּׁמַיִם sometimes refers to Heaven, the abode of God (examples: Gen. 28:12,17 and Gen. 49:25) it almost always refers to the sky. This can be clearly seen in Genesis 1.

Quote:Genesis 1 (Chabad.org)

1 In the beginning of God's creation of the heavens and the earth..

[…]
6 And God said, "Let there be an expanse in the midst of the water, and let it be a separation between water and water."

7 And God made the expanse and it separated between the water that was below the expanse and the water that was above the expanse, and it was so.

8 And God called the expanse Heaven, and it was evening, and it was morning, a second day.

9 And God said, "Let the water that is beneath the heavens gather into one place, and let the dry land appear," and it was so.

[…]
14 And God said, "Let there be luminaries in the expanse of the heavens, to separate between the day and between the night, and they shall be for signs and for appointed seasons and for days and years.

15 And they shall be for luminaries in the expanse of the heavens to shed light upon the earth." And it was so.

16 And God made the two great luminaries: the great luminary to rule the day and the lesser luminary to rule the night, and the stars.

17 And God placed them in the expanse of the heavens to shed light upon the earth.

[…]
20 And God said, "Let the waters swarm a swarming of living creatures, and let fowl fly over the earth, across the expanse of the heavens." And God said, "Let the waters swarm a swarming of living creatures, and let fowl fly over the earth, across the expanse of the heavens."

The firmament was the space under the waters that were divided above. It contains the sun, the moon and the stars. It is also where birds fly. That is, the heaven(s) is the sky. In Genesis 1, הַשָּׁמַיִם is not Heaven, the abode of God. Verse 1 talks about the creation of heaven and earth and the chapter gives extensive details on the creation of the earth and the heavens, yet refers entirely to material things. The word ‘heaven(s)’ refers to the sky and what is in it throughout Genesis 1. Whether a translation uses the singular or the plural does not affect that meaning. As Difflugia pointed out, the Hebrew is always plural.


BTW the use of שָׁמָיִם without the definite article ה in verse 8 is because it is being used as a proper noun, i.e., a name. In Hebrew, the definite article is always used for definite things except for names.
Thanks, this is also very informative.
So according to the mindset of the translator, it could read in the Beginning God created the Heaven and the Earth, or the Heavens and the Earth. Is this right?

It seems to me that as far as Genesis 1 goes the best translation into English would be ‘the heavens’, plural, lower case. This happens to be the literal translation (except for verse 8) but the real point is that the intended reference is the sky as seen from the ground. Sun, moon, stars, birds – they are all ‘in the sky’. ‘Heaven’ (singular, capitalized, no article) would definitely give the wrong impression. It is not the abode of God being referenced and nothing about when that Heaven was created can be inferred.

So would singular (heaven) without capitalization? Would that mean heaven would be a definite article? The definite article would be considered the opposite of a noun in English if I have it right, then with John Doe meaning some unknown person, the sentence I saw a squirrel being chased by a john doe. Would john doe or John Doe be correct, would john doe be a definite article? I'm trying to be sure I understand the definite article correctly. thanks.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
10-05-2017, 01:38 PM
Post: #8
RE: Discussion of Genesis
(10-05-2017 12:28 PM)Brother Gerald Wrote:  So would singular heaven without capitalization? The definite article would be considered the opposite of a noun in English if I have it right, then with John Doe meaning some unknown person, the sentence I saw a squirrel being chased by a john doe. Would john doe or John Doe be correct with john doe being a definite article. I'm trying to be sure I understand the definite article correctly. thanks.

In English, "the" is a definite article. It's "definite" because it marks the following noun as a specific, though unnamed thing.

An indefinite article like "a" or "an," on the other hand, signifies one of a group of things.

Hebrew doesn't have an indefinite article, so nouns have either a definite article or no article.

In your squirrel sentence, both nouns have an indefinite article. Let's change the sentence a little, thus: "John Doe is chasing the squirrel." Squirrel is marked by a definite article, so it means a specific, but unnamed squirrel.

Removing the definite object gives "John Doe is chasing squirrel." My understanding (though I've been wrong about several Hebrew things, lately) is that because Hebrew has no indefinite article, it could either mean "John Doe is chasing (a) squirrel" or "John Doe is chasing (something named) Squirrel."
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
10-05-2017, 02:46 PM
Post: #9
RE: Discussion of Genesis
(10-05-2017 01:38 PM)Difflugia Wrote:  
(10-05-2017 12:28 PM)Brother Gerald Wrote:  So would singular heaven without capitalization? The definite article would be considered the opposite of a noun in English if I have it right, then with John Doe meaning some unknown person, the sentence I saw a squirrel being chased by a john doe. Would john doe or John Doe be correct with john doe being a definite article. I'm trying to be sure I understand the definite article correctly. thanks.

In English, "the" is a definite article. It's "definite" because it marks the following noun as a specific, though unnamed thing.

An indefinite article like "a" or "an," on the other hand, signifies one of a group of things.

Hebrew doesn't have an indefinite article, so nouns have either a definite article or no article.

In your squirrel sentence, both nouns have an indefinite article. Let's change the sentence a little, thus: "John Doe is chasing the squirrel." Squirrel is marked by a definite article, so it means a specific, but unnamed squirrel.

Removing the definite object gives "John Doe is chasing squirrel." My understanding (though I've been wrong about several Hebrew things, lately) is that because Hebrew has no indefinite article, it could either mean "John Doe is chasing (a) squirrel" or "John Doe is chasing (something named) Squirrel."

What he said. Wink

And here I sit so patiently waiting to find out what price
You have to pay to get out of going through all these things twice
Dylan
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
10-05-2017, 02:52 PM
Post: #10
RE: Discussion of Genesis
(10-05-2017 01:38 PM)Difflugia Wrote:  
(10-05-2017 12:28 PM)Brother Gerald Wrote:  So would singular heaven without capitalization? The definite article would be considered the opposite of a noun in English if I have it right, then with John Doe meaning some unknown person, the sentence I saw a squirrel being chased by a john doe. Would john doe or John Doe be correct with john doe being a definite article. I'm trying to be sure I understand the definite article correctly. thanks.

In English, "the" is a definite article. It's "definite" because it marks the following noun as a specific, though unnamed thing.

An indefinite article like "a" or "an," on the other hand, signifies one of a group of things.

Hebrew doesn't have an indefinite article, so nouns have either a definite article or no article.

In your squirrel sentence, both nouns have an indefinite article. Let's change the sentence a little, thus: "John Doe is chasing the squirrel." Squirrel is marked by a definite article, so it means a specific, but unnamed squirrel.

Removing the definite object gives "John Doe is chasing squirrel." My understanding (though I've been wrong about several Hebrew things, lately) is that because Hebrew has no indefinite article, it could either mean "John Doe is chasing (a) squirrel" or "John Doe is chasing (something named) Squirrel."

Very interesting thanks! According to what you say here, and with the complex Hebrew, it could take a long time with a lot of study (to use Yefet's wording on this) before a person would detect the full meaning of a sentence unless they were above average sharp. And that because of the complexity of the Hebrew language. This is all good to know. So if the sentence was in English, Jane saw John chasing squirrels, the way it would be worded in Hebrew it could mean Jane saw John chasing a squirrel or it could mean she saw him chasing squirrels? or is it worded so the definite article would be a, thus denoting singular or plural?
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply 




User(s) browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)