Reftagger

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Word for Word: Episode 30

תַּֽדְשֵׁ֤א הָאָ֨רֶץ֙ דֶּ֔שֶׁא

Let the land sprout sprouts

In commanding the soil, God calls out first to a barren land. The ground had no seed of its own, so God must have created the plants in the dirt and in full bloom. The grass filled the land, glistening under God's light as it entered the leading edge of the globe.

The word for the class of plant that came up is דֶּ֔שֶׁא (deshe) is from the verb דָּשָׁא (dasha) which means "to sprout, shoot, grow green". In the original text, the letters had no vowel points. This means the reader would use context and syntax to give the narrative life.

The sense of the phrase is that God told the land to become green with grass, and it did.

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