Word for Word: Episode 24

הַמַּ֨יִם֙ אֲשֶׁר֙ מִתַּ֣חַת

The waters which were below

The conjunction, or relative pronoun, אֲשֶׁר (asher) is that, which or who, depending of the context. It points to what is related to the subject at hand.

The conditions involved were locations centered on earth, the planet. Of the multiple uses, here erets must mean the much smaller body that would become the home of mankind.

On this day the sky grows as the earth shrinks. The water below (Heb: מִתַּ֣חַת ) that covered a rocky world spinning at a rate close to what it would spin for the rest of its existence. Above the waters was an envelope of air with water vapor in the form of a fog.

The place called "below" is based on the root תַּחַת (tachath) with abbreviation מִן (min), where the {n} is absorbed. The result is a "prefix", the mem, which often indicates place.


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