Monday, January 21, 2019

Word for Word: Episode 21

יֹ֥ום אֶחָֽד

Day One

Among certain scholars there is discussion over what all is included in day one (אֶחָֽד 'echad). Some put the beginning in verse 1. Others follow the formula "And God said..." I lean toward the latter position.

The length of each creation day does not necessarily have to be equal until life appears. Therefore, the gathering and organization of the raw material may be undated and "timeless". This could have close to instantaneous or limited by the laws of physics.

Furthermore, if the sphere of water was within time as we know it, it could have taken a decade or so to rotate before the second day began. This being miraculous in any account, God may have transcended the laws of physics. If this the case, the evidence is not in the text or nature.

Though God was everywhere, the account indicates a light and dark cycle, four days before the sun was there.

Today, three weeks in, is a good place to share the words we picked up since verse 2.

['amar] אָמַר to say, speak

[hayah] הָיָה to be, exist, become, happen

['owr] אוֹר light

[ra'ah] רָאָה to see, observe, consider

[tob] טוֹב pleasant, good, agreeable

[beyn] בֵּין between, out of, from

[badal] בָּדַל to divide, distinguish, separate

[qara'] קָרָא  to call, call out, recite, read, cry out, proclaim

[yom] יוֹם day(light), specified period of time; a rotational period

[layil] לַיִל night (darkness)

[`ereb] עֶרֶב evening, intermixed

[boqer] בֹּקֶר morning, dawn

['echod] אֶחָֽד one, first, (an)other

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Word for Word: Episode 20


And there was evening

In the process of creating the earth all the parts of the day were brought into existence at once.  Though things might seem flat, the earth, as created, was demonstrably a sphere. The light of day disappears gradually only when the globe turns away from the light source.

The two main divisions of the the day, in a general sense, were the daylight and the dark night. These two were separated, but there remains a diminishing light after the sunset. This period is called evening, or עֶ֥רֶב (`ereb).This is from the verbעָרַב (`arab), to braid or intermix. It is an apt word only partly conveyed by the English evening.

As our world rotated away from the now localized light of God's presence, the creation could mix cold waters with the energetic light-infused waters, moderating the temperature of the whole earth.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Word for Word: Episode 19

וַיִּקְרָ֨א אֱלֹהִ֤ים

And God named...

The verb  קָרָא (qara) means to address by naming. When God gives a name to something he defines its primary purpose or function. It is away to show sovereignty over that which is named.

לָאֹור֙ יֹ֔ום

Light is named Day

By declaration, Light was called upon to be a unit of time. In reference to the earth, the daylight would be that part in which the lightbearer would light the inhabitants. The word  יֹ֔ום (yom) does not denote an exact period of time, but rather the nature of that time.

וְלַחֹ֖שֶׁךְ קָ֣רָא לָ֑יְלָה

And the darkness He called Night

The naming of the darkness transformed chaos into a time for rest. The word לַיִל (layil) is a primitive one, but seems to have been derived from לוּל (lul), which means to fold back, that is, to turn around.

In the naming of the periodic darkness upon the earth, God leaves a clue to how He "separated" the darkness. It was by turning the surface away from the light, blocking it for a time.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Word for Word: Episode 18

וַיַּבְדֵּ֣ל אֱלֹהִ֔ים בֵּ֥ין הָאֹ֖ור וּבֵ֥ין הַחֹֽשֶׁךְ׃

And God separated the light from the darkness

Some things just cannot exist together. After filling the universe with light, God reintroduced darkness. Light destroys darkness, but it's full effect can be toxic. Since the earth was to be the home to plants and animals that ate plants (or at least the fruit and seeds), Light had to be dosed properly. Darkness had to exist for life to thrive.

Essentially, visible light is a small part of a wide spectrum of massless particles, or virtual particles existing in vibrations. Light reveals the substance hidden in a vast desert of "empty" space. These vibrations can be deadly at frequencies on higher than what we call violet, a dark blue color. On the other end, long invisible waves of light provide life sustaining heat beyond the red we see. Other benefits from these longer waves include radio waves that have been harnessed to carry information long distances.

But why introduce darkness? Too much of a good thing can be harmful. Even safe white light can tire out ones eyes. Plants especially need time to process the energy they absorb. It is in the darkness that many lifeforms rest, heal and grow strong.

The phrase וַיַּבְדֵּ֣ל ... בֵּ֥ין means "he distinguishes between". The verb is בָּדַל, meaning "separate, distinguish; divide". God begins creation by setting limits and definitions. Light and darkness are opposite from each other. It turns out that heaven and earth manage on different scales by somewhat different rules.

Light and other tiny particles are affected by heavenly large scale principles such as gravity, but when they are "by themselves" they cooperate by rules we can only discover by trace evidence left behind. 

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Word for Word: Episode 17

הָאֹ֖ור כִּי־טֹ֑וב

The light that is good

The light was everywhere. This is deemed to be good (טֹ֑וב), that is, pleasant. The state of the light is indicated by the conjunction כִּי, kiy, which is most often translated "that".

The creation of light had been by sound waves over the surface of the water in contact with God. This produced light everywhere at the same time. This wave motion would become the basis for everything to follow.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Word for Word: Episode 16

וַיַּ֧רְא אֱלֹהִ֛ים

And God saw

God did not need physical eyes to see, for night is as the day for Him. But we are told that He sees everything from the start It is part of His nature to be everywhere and see everything.

In the form used in this text the verb רָאָה (ra"ah) has lost its last letter due to vocalization. That happens a lot with vowels and "semi-vowels".

The verb for seeing used here is widely used in all sorts of applications. Suffice it to say, God sees everything and has perfect recollection.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Word for Word: Episode 15

יְהִ֣י אֹ֑ור וַֽיְהִי־אֹֽור

"Exist, Light!" And light happened.

The ability to make something happen is what defines free will. With God, there is no other determining factors. With mankind, our creativity is limited. The best analogy may be telling a story from memory. It may be true, or just imaginary.

The word אוֹר (aur) is light as it exists and will be set apart by the name "day". Because of this, it comes as a symbol for righteousness and holiness. At its inception it seems to have been the point at which electromagnetic energy reached the visible spectrum necessary for life on the earth. This event happened all across the surface of the "water universe".