I am going over a couple of translations from scripture. I am starting with the sefaria.org Hebrew English transliteration version of Genesis 1, and I am working on several translations from Strong’s King James Version, Institute for Scripture Research, Orthodox Jewish Version, and Jubilee 2000 version possibly among others. It is probably good to find the closest to the original version as possible and the sefaria.org Genesis is probably closest to the origins of the ancient writings. Below, I post some scripture and write about the key topics and anything that ignites the flame of creativity when it comes to the godly book of the near east. I might also use commentary from Rashi to usher in more ideas.
Strong’s King James
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 2And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness [was] upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
Institute for Scripture Research
In the beginning Elohim created the heavens and the earth.
Orthodox Jewish Bible
In the beginning Elohim created hashomayim (the heavens, Himel) and haaretz (the earth). 2 And the earth was tohu vavohu (without form, and void); and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Ruach Elohim was hovering upon the face of the waters.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2And the earth was without order, and empty; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
When God began to create heaven and earth—
וְהָאָ֗רֶץ הָיְתָ֥ה תֹ֙הוּ֙ וָבֹ֔הוּ וְחֹ֖שֶׁךְ עַל־פְּנֵ֣י תְה֑וֹם וְר֣וּחַ אֱלֹהִ֔ים מְרַחֶ֖פֶת עַל־פְּנֵ֥י הַמָּֽיִם׃ the earth being unformed and void, with darkness over the surface of the deep and a wind from God sweeping over the water
There are five different versions of the Genesis 1:1 scripture posted above. In the Hebrew-English transliteration, it states that “God began to create heaven and earth.” Now this sparks my interest and curiosity. You might say that you are a novice to reading or understanding scripture because they are holy books given by, and I am compelled to say, the Creator. This first verse gives you the idea that there is God who made earth. But how does that work? You can be a novice and ask the question of how can God be formed out of nothing like he was always there, or what about the Big Bang theory in which a loud bang sounded and formed a universe. This will beg the question of whether or not the God of Genesis 1 in which “began to create heaven and earth” was created as well. And a universe is a whole other type of problem. Is there a universe? So while just reading this first verse, you take it as it is, in that “God began to create heaven and earth.” Based on the typical understanding of God, God is this supernatural being that has no creator and willed his existence into being as well as the heavens and the earth. You can argue that it is not good to believe in this supernatural God and so you must get a deeper understanding of the scriptures and the entire Tanach. Hopefully we will have a chance to go over the many realistic readings in the Bible.
The second part of Genesis 1:1 states that “the earth being unformed and void, with darkness over the surface of the deep and a wind from God sweeping over that water.” So the last part gives us the creating part of the earth and this second part states that the earth was “unformed and void.” Do you ever wonder what things would be like if it was just a few people surrounded by a vastness of nature and wildlife? Where would you begin if you had no knowledge of how to build a house or how to sustain the fields with the many different crops growing? That is what I am acknowledging here but you don’t have to take my word for it…in that it is possible that God was in that situation in which one would have to begin order and structure and goodwill. You might say that God was in existence and out and about somewhere…maybe God was given just that scenario I stated previously. God, alone without any structures or soda. What if God began creating the heavens and the earth by adding a way of life and structure and godliness to the world that he was in? Maybe God is in the earth passed what everyone seems to say is the end of the earth. If you do a search on Google for the word create, you will find three definitions. The following are the definitions taken from a search on Google:
- bring (something) into existence.
“he created a thirty-acre lake”
|synonyms:||produce, generate, bring into being, make, fabricate, fashion, build, construct; Moredesign, devise, originate, frame, develop, shape, form, forge
“she has created a work of stunning originality”
“the governments planned to create a free-trade zone”
- cause (something) to happen as a result of one’s actions.
“divorce only created problems for children”
|synonyms:||bring about, give rise to, lead to, result in, cause, breed, generate, engender, produce, make for, promote, foster, sow the seeds of, contribute to“regular socializing creates good team spirit”|
- (of an actor) originate (a role) by playing a character for the first time.
The first definition is “bring into existence.” The synonyms are stated above. You get an idea of a God that brought everything into existence such as the haaretz (earth) you stand on and the mountain you might climb tomorrow. But what do you do when you look and you only see clouds or the blue sky? Is there really something beyond this? Based on this definition, God brought the heaven and the earth into existence. But then, how are you?
The second definition states to “cause to happen as a result of one’s actions.” Based on this definition you can make an assumption or a conclusion that God might have been here (earth) and had to “create” or form the world in which we live in today. How else would we have Starbucks if it weren’t for the Corporation being created? Again, if you go by this definition, then as a result of God’s actions, justice and mercy are formed along with pyramids and Starbucks. It is as if you would never have the Devil’s Graveyard (12 Vile Vortices, which by the way is completely FAKE!?) if it wasn’t for God – at least I think that it is safe to say that there are some amazing anomalies throughout the world. You can really wonder about the ancient past of God based off of this definition. Don’t you wonder how the ancient past was and who is running or advising the people? God, then, would have to be the ruler who created and established the earth in how the world works today. The ancient past is a thing of the past and it is not like you can really get a good scene on how things worked back then. God must have established how things get run today.
The third definition begs for some kind of thought. You can really dive into this one and question your origins if you so desire. The definition is as follows: “originate by playing a character for the first time.” The character of the first verse of Genesis is God in which he “began to create heaven and earth” and while it was “unformed and void,” God, may I say, originated the earth.
Another important point here is that the earth was “void.” A definition from Google gives you the clearest interpretation of what void means in its context as the following:
- 2. completely empty.
“void spaces surround the tanks”
|synonyms:||empty, vacant, blank, bare, clear, free, unfilled, unoccupied, uninhabited|
So you understand here that the easiest way to interpret the word void within the context should mean completely empty or uninhabited. Let us now take a look at the next part of Genesis 1:2. The next part states that there was “darkness over the surface of the deep and a wind from God sweeping over the water.” There are a few definitions if you make a search on Google of the word deep and two definitions of the word darkness. Let us take darkness and attempt to put it into context.
Darkness can mean the partial or total absence of light and it can also mean wickedness or evil. In one of the next verses, Genesis 1:3, God says, “Let there be light,” וַיֹּ֥אמֶר אֱלֹהִ֖ים יְהִ֣י א֑וֹר וַֽיְהִי־אֽוֹר׃ God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. So you can take the automatic logic and conclude here that God created the light, but maybe, it can be referred to based off of the other definition. The next definition states that darkness can mean “wickedness or evil.” Going off of this definition, you can get an idea based upon the context of the verse and possibly the entire Bible that there was wickedness on the earth which God equated with “darkness” and further, he finally says to the earth or the world, “Let there be light.” You might ask what the ancient life of the first people on the earth was like or even a question such as what does God say about the ancient times that the Bible stories and prophets used their work from. Adding up this part of the verse are the lines “darkness over the face of the deep.” So what might the deep be…and there are several definitions. Let us take the first two definition from a search on Google.
extending far down from the top or surface.
“a deep gorge”
|synonyms:||cavernous, yawning, gaping, huge, extensive; Morebottomless, fathomless, unfathomable
“a deep ravine”
- extending or situated far in or down from the outer edge or surface.
“a deep alcove”
- (after a measurement and in questions) extending a specified distance from the top, surface, or outer edge.
“the well was 200 feet deep”
|synonyms:||in depth, downward, inward, in vertical extent“two inches deep”|
- as far up or down as a specified point.
“standing waist-deep in the river”
- in a specified number of ranks one behind another.
“they were standing three-deep at the bar”
- taking in or giving out a lot of air.
“she took a deep breath”
far back in the outfield.
“his first pitch was hit into deep left field”
very intense or extreme.
“she was in deep trouble”
|synonyms:||sound, heavy, intense“a deep sleep”|
Of course, as I paste the definitions from Google, it comes up with a list of synonymous definitions that go along with the first definition. Verrrry interesting. J The first definition is “extending far down from the top or surface.” Since I say that God must be King of the Heavens and the Earth, then you might be able to make the assumption that God is at the top and wickedness could have been “extending far down” to the bottom, or possibly the earth. You might be able to make the point that wickedness is from God and it is not just a thing that people have dealt with. Maybe the wickedness is at the top in the scripture here stating in other words “darkness (wickedness and evil) was over the face of the deep (on the earth and all around). This might make a lot of sense if you go by the definition of “extending a specified distance from the top, surface, or outer edge.” So even from the top, there seems to be this wickedness that set fire to the world. Since that could be the case, you pray to Hashem for blessings and goodness, right. Below is the next set of definitions:
noun: deep; noun: the deep
“denizens of the deep”
|synonyms:||sea, ocean; Moreinformaldrink, briny;
“creatures of the deep”
- a deep part of the sea.
plural noun: deeps
“the dark and menacing deeps”
|synonyms:||sea, ocean; Moreinformaldrink, briny;
“creatures of the deep”
far down or in; deeply.
In this first part of the second set of definitions of deep, you get the statement that deep means the sea. So if you take the most understandable form of this passage, “darkness over the face of the deep,” then you might assume exactly how it is stated with deep meaning the sea.
Finally in Genesis 1:3, God says, “Let there be light.” Nowww, what is the definitions for light. The first definition from a search on Googles states, “1. the natural agent that stimulates sight and makes things visible.” The easiest or most understandable way to read this scripture then is that God began to create the earth and it was dark and he willed the light of the world into existence. At least that is what most people would probably say, but I might add that it could possibly be given the explanation that would go with another definition of light. The second definition of light is “2. The understanding of a problem or mystery; enlightenment. “she saw light dawn on the woman’s face”” If you take the context of wickedness over the face of the deep (all around the earth), God steps in and says to give light to the world or to give understanding to a mystery or problem in which the problem might be the wickedness. You get enlightened when you get that understanding of the mystery. Finally, a third definition might give you the statement of “spiritual illumination by divine truth.” So this might make you think that the divine truth from God is the light of this world in that while there was darkness and wickedness all throughout the world, God created this great truth or light in order to illuminate the world or give understanding to the people.
The other definition for light is “a source of illumination.” What might the source of illumination be? At least there is Torah and Tanach to study.
So you understand here that the easiest way to interpret the word void, or reasonably the most understandable way, within the context should mean completely empty or uninhabited.
In this next part, I am working through the scripture Genesis 1:3-5. You might be able to make the case or the argument that this part explains that there is darkness and there is light, meaning that God willed for understanding and goodness in the world as much as there was also darkness in the world. I gave the scenario that in the first three verses of scripture there is a darkness that looms over the earth and possibly that which is above the people of earth. Moreover, God willed light into existence, thus giving understanding of the great mysteries, and furthermore, the way in which the world is. The previous verses that I posted on were from Genesis 1:1-3 where “When God began to create heaven and earth—וְהָאָ֗רֶץ הָיְתָ֥ה תֹ֙הוּ֙ וָבֹ֔הוּ וְחֹ֖שֶׁךְ עַל־פְּנֵ֣י תְה֑וֹם וְר֣וּחַ אֱלֹהִ֔ים מְרַחֶ֖פֶת עַל־פְּנֵ֥י הַמָּֽיִם׃ the earth being unformed and void, with darkness over the surface of the deep and a wind from God sweeping over the water.” In these verses, you get the absolute truth that the earth was void. You can question whether or not void could be interpreted as uninhabitated, etc. Now below this first paragraph I have posted Genesis 1:3-5 from Sefaria.org.
וַיֹּ֥אמֶר אֱלֹהִ֖ים יְהִ֣י א֑וֹר וַֽיְהִי־אֽוֹר׃ God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.
וַיַּ֧רְא אֱלֹהִ֛ים אֶת־הָא֖וֹר כִּי־ט֑וֹב וַיַּבְדֵּ֣ל אֱלֹהִ֔ים בֵּ֥ין הָא֖וֹר וּבֵ֥ין הַחֹֽשֶׁךְ׃ God saw that the light was good, and God separated the light from the darkness.
וַיִּקְרָ֨א אֱלֹהִ֤ים ׀ לָאוֹר֙ י֔וֹם וְלַחֹ֖שֶׁךְ קָ֣רָא לָ֑יְלָה וַֽיְהִי־עֶ֥רֶב וַֽיְהִי־בֹ֖קֶר י֥וֹם אֶחָֽד׃ (פ) God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, a first day.
Genesis 1:4 states “God saw that the light was good, and God separated the light from the darkness.” You might be able to make the case that God separated good from bad. Otherwise, how do you separate light from darkness. Obviously the sun is the main source of light and the luminaries give some shining at night. But can’t you just go with it and say that this is of God. You could say that since God saw that the light was good he “separated the light from the darkness,” or in other words separated the good out from the bad, and again willing goodness in when the earth was void and dark. It seems that you have God who gave us this beautiful Torah in a day times past and we are all in it together. Now let us look at the definition for good.
- to be desired or approved of.
“we live at peace with each other, which is good”
|synonyms:||healthy, fine, sound, tip-top, hale and hearty, fit, robust, sturdy, strong, vigorous More“the dogs are in good condition”
informalokay, OK, okey-dokey
“good, that’s settled”
- pleasing and welcome.
“she was pleased to hear good news about him”
- expressing approval.
“the play had good reviews”
The first definition here gives us that good is “desired and approved of.” Why wouldn’t you be able to say that the source of illumination is given…a source of understanding and truth (divine truth) is given to a world that was in darkness and a people that were wicked. The second definition is “having the qualities required for a particular role.” Don’t mind if the words and their definitions correspond to being an adjective or noun for now. Now let us take a look at verse 5.
Verse 5 states “God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, a first day.” To move ahead, Rabbi Rashi stated that the real translation of the part “a first day,” is actually stating “one day.” So why don’t you figure that one day might mean an era? Maybe God is still working on his creation and since we are somewhere in the 5000 year from creation, you figure he will rest in the 7000th year or 7th day. Maybe there will be a post on that.
“God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night” is exactly what verse 5 states. Why would day and night be in capital letters here? Here, day is always a noun and night is a noun. Here are the definitions for day which are below:
- a period of twenty-four hours as a unit of time, reckoned from one midnight to the next, corresponding to a rotation of the earth on its axis.
|synonyms:||a twenty-four-hour period, twenty-four hours“I stayed for a day” the part of a day when it is light; the time between sunrise and sunset.
“she sleeps all day and goes out at night”
a particular period of the past; an era
Since the most obvious answer is that day corresponds to 24 hours of time, God calls the Day light. You might reckon that when it is light out it is day time which is exactly what the next definition is stating. However, the definition below states that a day is “a particular period of the past; an era.” You have so many eras in history. You have the invention of the automobile and the invention of the locomotive as well as the founding of the United States. So what era are we in now? You might have God calling a particular era of the past as a time that was good since it is stated that the light was good and he then stated that the light was called Day, possibly an era of the past and ancient time of knowledge and wisdom and goodness. Now let us take a look at the darkness being called Night. What is the definition for Night below?
the period of darkness in each twenty-four hours; the time from sunset to sunrise.
“a moonless night”
|synonyms:||nighttime; Morehours of darkness, darkness, dark;
“they did all their dirty dealing during the night”
Let us just go with the first definition of night for now. The first definition is “the period of darkness in each twenty-four hours; the time from sunset to sunrise.” If you read this first part it has the word darkness and in the previous sections, darkness can sometimes be referred to as wickedness. You might have an era, a Day, that is filled with light and illumination in which God is saying that it was good whereas the era of darkness or wickedness might be an era without the great illumination and goodness. What were the dark ages after all or the days of the plague and crusades etc.? Seemed like it possibly could have been a wicked era. And so you hope that good things come and good things stay, right. You hope for messiah and an era of the knowledge of God with a temple in Judah where possibly fire could come from God like in the day of Elijah.
Also check out a youtube video that I created. I read and comment on Genesis 1-3 there. Or search Genesis 1-3 nicholas jakubowski on youtube and you should find it on my channel, Nicholas Jakubowski.