Word for Word: Episode 47

פְּר֣וּ וּרְב֗וּ וּמִלְא֤וּ

Be fruitful, multiply, and fill

The filling of the new world with life from the Creator would be hard, but necessary work. Though it could have been accomplished in a moment, God set in motion a process. The gift of life had been given, but the command meant it was by volition that the paired animals would obey. It is a built in urge in living things to "procreate", but soon the creatures would have to choose.

The first command is to be fruitful, פְּר֣וּ (paru) from פָּרָה (parah). On day three the fruit trees we're created bearing fruit (פְּרִי, peri)  a derivative of this verb.

The command to multiply is רְב֗וּ, rebu, the verb רָבָה (rabah, to become great, many, much or numerous). Each of these translations reflect the root meaning of increasing. The verb would become the honorary title of Rabbi, that is to say "great one".

Finally, the animals are told to "fill" their realm with descendants. The verb here is מָלָא, mä·lā', meaning to fill or be full of. Throughout its use, the fullness has many uses carrying the idea of fulfillment and even satisfaction.

From the choice of terms to the blessing via command, the account is meant to leave nothing to chance. The Creator is in total control of His creation.


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