Genesis 1:1

Genesis 1:1

January 30, 2020 – Thursday

Genesis 1:1  NASV

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Genesis 1:1  NIV

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

Genesis 1:1  KJV

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

Genesis 1:1  ESV

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

Genesis 1:1  AMP

In the beginning God (Elohim) created [by forming from nothing] the heavens and the earth.

Genesis 1:1  EXB

In the beginning [or In the beginning when] God created [this Hebrew verb is used only when God is the one creating] the ·sky [heavens] and the earth.

Comments

Notice how identical the first four versions of Genesis 1:1 are with the exception of a comma added in two of them. It is only when we get to the Amplified and the Expanded Bibles that we see any real difference. In the AMP we are given the transliterated Hebrew word used for God – Elohim. Then according to the EXB we are made aware that word created used in all the versions is from a Hebrew verb used only when God is the one creating.

So we now know two new things about Genesis 1:1, the Hebrew word used for God is Elohim and the Hebrew word for created is used only when God is the one doing the creating. A quick look up in the BlueLetterBible.com shows us the transliterated Hebrew word for created is bara’. The Outline of Biblical Usage there tells us it is in the Qal form – Perfect – third person masculine singular meaning to create, shape, form – to shape, fashion, create (always with God as subject) confirming what the EXB told us.

Looking at the word for God Peter Pett says: “God” – the word is ‘elohim’ which is in the plural signifying three or more. It is the plural of El (or strictly eloah, which in the Bible is used in poetry), the Hebrew and Canaanite word for a divine or supernatural being. It can also be used of supernatural beings such as angels or other world beings or of the ‘gods’ of other nations, but there it is used with a plural verb. The plural here, however, which is used with a singular verb, is intensive indicating that God is greater than the norm. He is complex and great beyond description. The writer did not however think in terms of a trinity (as shown by its use with a singular verb), although we may see that as nascent within it.

While David Guzik provides the following: This is the ancient Hebrew word Elohim. Grammatically it is a plural word used as if it were singular. The verbs and pronouns used with Elohim should be in the plural, but when Elohim refers to the LORD God the verbs and pronouns are in the singular. Adam Clarke quoted Rabbi Simeon ben Joachi, commenting on the word Elohim: “Come and see the mystery of the word Elohim; there are three degrees, and each degree by itself alone, and yet notwithstanding they are all one, and joined together in one, and are not divided from each other.” Clarke adds: “He must be strangely prejudiced indeed who cannot see that the doctrine of a Trinity, and of a Trinity in unity, is expressed in the above words.” Fascinating to find the trinity in the first verse of the Bible depending on how we look at the Hebrew word Elohim.

Also fascinating is another word found in the first verse of the Bible אֵת which reading from right to left are Aleph and Tav, the first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet. The two letters here are considered untranslatable in Strong’s Concordance or translated as and in the Englishman’s Concordance. It is interesting to compare the two Hebrew letters to Jesus statement in Revelation 1:8a “I am the Alpha and the Omega.” Of course alpha and omega are the first and last letters in the Greek alphabet.  If Jesus had stated this in Hebrew He likely would have stated “I am the Aleph and the Tav” our two letters found in verse one of Genesis.

RileyD, nwJ
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton