Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Hebrew Designative Preposition in Gen 1:1

There is an important and meaningful Hebrew preposition used in the first verse of the Bible.  This preposition distinctly modifies the noun Heaven and the noun Earth. Sadly, it has rarely if ever been translated in all the versions of the Bible.  Even the literal versions of the Bible as well as the Hebrew interlinear that I use omit this article. I just came across this article while studying my Hebrew grammar.  I knew it prior to this but no one ever clearly explained to me the meaning.

Now that I know what it means, I am disappointed that almost no translator in history has even bothered to convey it or add it to his notes.  It matters not that this preposition has no equivalent in the other languages.  Once the translator understands this Hebrew word concept, all he need do is create a new mode of uttering and tracing the concept using the idiom at his disposal. In short he must generate a new spoken word as well as traced word and note what it means. Or just leave the Aleph-Thao in and everyone should be taught what it means.  Maybe it would be too awkward but oh well.  If God and the sacred author used this article to convey meaning, its 'presence' trumps eloquence.  Perhaps if this preposition had always been translated it would be accustomed to seem eloquent.  

How could this Hebrew prepositive article just be skipped over in the most prominent verse of the entire Bible?  This word concept is crucial in this context.  

The Hebrew preposition is an Aleph-Thao (I have no Hebrew font on this blog).  The preposition is composed of the first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet.  What is its meaningful relation?

The baby understanding of this word concept is that it is used to introduce a semantically definite direct object.  This alone is enough to destroy any understanding of the Heaven and the Earth in Gen 1:1 as referring to a conceptual figure.  The Heaven of Gen 1:1 does not refer to a concept or figure of speech.  The Earth of Gen 1:1 does not refer to an object via figurative concept.  The Heaven refers to an object: that which has form.  God created this thing.  It is spatially separated, bound from its immediate surrounding.  In the case of Heaven it is disconnected from matter. It exists even prior to the main event described in Gen 1:1, and the self-same goes for the astronomical object called Earth.

But now lets get into the concept of this singular Hebrew preposition.  I take from The Hebrew Tongue Restored by the french man Olivet:


This is the designative preposition (Aleph-Tao), which I have mentioned as having no corresponding article. . .The movement which expresses this preposition with the nouns which it modifies, is that by which it puts them en rapport as governing or governed, as independent one of the other and participating in the same action. I name it designative, on account of the sign of signs, Thao, from which it is derived. It characterizes sympathy and reciprocity when it is taken substantively. Joined to a noun by a hyphen, it designates the substance proper and individual, the identity, the selfsameness, the seity, the thou-ness, if I may be permitted this word; that is to say, that which constitutes, that which implies something apart from me, a thing that is not me; in short, the presence of another substance. This important preposition, of which I cannot give the exact meaning, indicates the coincidence, the spontaneity of actions, the liaison, the ensemble and the dependence of things. (p. 116)

This incredible effort on his part is followed by an exact translation in English:

the-selfsameness-of-heaven and the-selfsameness-of-earth

The concept of this Hebrew preposition in context to God and the Heaven and the Earth can be taken in both meanings.  First, there is sympathy and reciprocity between God and the Heaven and the Earth.  This is established by the light event.  God created the Heaven and the Earth to be together in a mutual exchange; a harmony.  

Second, the Earth already consisted of a core, mantle and surface prior to the main event described in the third verse.  The Earth existed from core to surface, from inside to out prior to the main event. It was an essential object.  The Earth had a form.  It had all of its elements and molecules.  The Earth was on its own prior to God decisively choosing and performing His light concept with the Earth. Similar things can be said of the Heaven, but other than God living in the core, I do not know what the Heaven is made of.  I have never been there.    

What is fascinating about this writer, Fabre d'Olivet, is that in his subsequent section on Hebrew Tense, he, in spite of himself and custom, reveals the implications of this unique Hebrew preposition on the translation of Genesis 1:1-2:

One must first examine the intention of the writer, and the respective condition of things. Thus, to give an example, although, in the French and English word-forword translation, conforming to custom, I have rendered the verb bara, of the first verse of the Cosmogony of Moses, by he created, I have clearly felt that this verb signified there, he had created; as I have expressed it in the correct translation; for this antecedent nuance is irresistibly determined by the verb haitha it existed, in speaking of the earth an evident object of an anterior creation. (p. 191)   

Olivet explains that the two Hebrew tenses convey temporal continuity: from extreme past to present and from present to extreme future.  The context, or an inflection can restrict the action to some point on the conceptual timeline.  So now assimilating these concepts I could translate Gen 1:1-2 something like this:

In a beginning, God had created the form of Heaven and the form of Earth
And when the Earth existed as an astonishing-desert, etc. 
God said, "Let light happen."  And light happened.

The correct relation between the Heaven and the Earth is that God connects Heaven and Earth by the effusion of the Spirit and establishes a unique relation between the two objects in the light event.  In Gen 1:1 the Heaven and the Earth are not a figurative concept referring to the universe. They are not a merism.  This is a terrible and sloppy misconception. They are two distinct objects brought together by God in the light event.  God lives in Heaven. It is implied that God is miraculously acting upon the Earth from the Heaven.  God, from Heaven manifests Himself by sending a miraculous 'signal' to this object called Earth via the Spirit.  God from Heaven lights up the Earth. God stimulated the face of the Earth like the Sun stimulates your face. God miraculously transfigured the face of the Earth which had already existed for countless years.  

I have not mentioned this on the blog yet but nowhere in the third verse does it convey that God created or made light.  The sacred author simply writes:  And light happened. He does not write: And God made light, or And God created light.  People read this into the text because they do not understand what light is.  Light refers to a concept, a dynamic relation between objects (atoms) via an invisible mediator.  The physical mediator of light phenomenon had already existed for tens, hundreds, maybe even a thousand billions of years prior to the main event described in the story of Genesis One.  Light existed as soon as the network of atoms existed.  Light is just atoms quantum jumping, sending EM torsion signals to all other atoms of the network via a rope like entity connecting all atoms. The EM torsion signals physically affect the receiving atoms, inducing motion.  This is the model of the light event described in Genesis One, only the jumping atom is God and the receiving atom is the Earth and the Mediator between the two is the Spirit.  The light of Genesis 1:3 is a miraculous phenomenon consummated by God through the missive Spirit.  

The Earth existed billions of years prior to the main event.  It was a clearly defined and delineated and demarcated object, bound from its immediate surrounding, maybe among a first generation astronomical objects formed from within the network of atoms of our galaxy.  The Aleph-Tao article conveys the truth that the Earth had already been created, "in a beginning".  I think Earth was a star which at the time of the main event was a cinder of what was once a star.  It was a dark star.  A black dwarf.  And when it was this, then God lit it up the surface which was like a desert and had a froze over water supply.  When God initiated the light-event the surface broke out: it jumped, making the atmosphere. The underlying meaning of the Divine word concept; light; is that God initiated a singular manifestation, a dynamic relation with the Earth via the Spirit which culminated in the miraculous creation and motion of Adam and Eve.  The light-event is the symphony of God orchestrated from Heaven to the Earth.  It is one of God's greatest works where He shows forth such great purpose and prowess.
       
Genesis One is not a statement of creation ex nihilo.  God created the Earth as a definite astronomical object long before God initiated the transfiguration of its face in the awesome light event. Matter, the network of atoms, already existed when God created the Earth. God had created the Earth from the network of atoms prior to the main event.  Earth's core, its stable base, was gradually forged by stellar nucleosynthesis prior to the main event. Subsequent to fusion the Earth shed its outer layers, formed molecules and settled into a dark desert-like water-world not unlike more than a few observed planets and moons.  This all prior to the main-event.  

And God had created the Heaven from nothing prior to the main event.  In truth the first thing God did in context to creation was create the very object that He placed Himself in.  God lives in the Heaven.  Then he created the angels and matter.  Then he created the Earth from within the network of atoms.  Then after the Earth had naturally transitioned as a definite astronomical object for billions of years, when it was a dark star:  God initiated a singular relationship with it by sending forth the Spirit and transfiguring its face in the light event. No other astronomical object has ever or will ever receive the Divine miraculous signal.  Earth is elect.  This is why we will never find living entities on any other planet.    

The Hebrew verb bara takes on the meaning 'to make something from nothing' and 'to make something from something' in Gen 1:1. The Heaven is made from nothing.  The Earth is made from pre-existing matter. All these circular debates over the years as the the meaning of the Hebrew 'bara' in context to Gen 1:1 are nullified just by understanding that the Heaven and the Earth are two defined objects.  They have form.  They have essence.  God and the sacred author made this clear via the Aleph-Thao article, they placed in front of the noun Heaven and the noun Earth.  God decisively chose his concept of the Heaven and the Earth into existence long before the main event of Genesis One. The main event sealed the Earth with God's love and election.  It established a harmony between the Heaven and the Earth.  And in the end the plan is realized fully when God not only lives in the Heaven but he also lives on the Earth. God does not live on Mars or any other astronomical object. God lives on Earth.

Whether or not you agree with my little old school interpretation is up to you.  But one thing is indisputable:  

Our millions of artificial concepts have adulterated this Sacred Text. It is so simple yet so profound.  The manner in which God did his awesome work and the manner in which He conveyed His work is astonishingly lucid, direct, straightforward, clear-cut.  It was effortlessly beautiful.                     

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