Word for Word: Episode 52

וְהִנֵּה־טֹ֖וב מְאֹ֑ד

And behold--Very good

Having surveyed everything on earth, the Creator was satisfied with the work He had done. The inspired penman emphatically (הִנֵּה hinneh "behold") states that things went extremely well (מְאֹ֑ד m@`od "exceedingly" + טֹ֖וב towb "good").

The word הִנֵּה (behold) first appeared in verse 29. It is from the root  הֵן (hen) which appears in combination with prepositions or the article as the third person plural "they, those". Different vowel sounds changes hennah to hinneh, that is, from "those" to "those!".

Much has been written about "very good", but the word translated "very" (מְאֹ֑ד) has its roots in the word אוּד ('ood), a rake or poker for maximizing the heat of embers. With this in mind, m'a°d (my attempt at transliteration) runs the gambit of meanings, from "very" (137×) to "mightily" (2×). The idea carries with it strength or force.

The conclusion of the matter is that everything God made pleased Him greatly. Everything was working the way it was supposed to. Living beings had the gift of breath and nutrition from living plants, inside a protective atmosphere that received abundant energy from the sun.


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