Parasha #1

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Parashah #01: B’resheet (In the beginning)

Genesis 1:1 – 6:8

Additional Readings:
Isa. 42:5-43:10; Mat. 1:1-17; 19:3-9; Mar. 10:1-12; Luk. 3:23-38; Joh. 1:1-18; 1 Cor. 6:15-20; 15:35-58; Rom. 5:12-21; Eph. 5:21-32; Col. 1:14-17; 1 Tim. 2:11-15; Heb. 1:1-3; 3:7-4:11; 11:1-7; 2 Pet. 3:3-14; Rev. 21:1-5; 22:1-5

The first Parasha of the year is named “in the beginning”. The name for the Parasha is chosen according to one of the first main words for that Parasha giving meaning to the teaching of the day. Both this first Parasha in the yearly cycle of Torah readings and the first book of the Bible take their name from the first unique word in the text —B’resheet, which means in the beginning. In English, the book of B’resheet is called Genesis, title taken from the LXX version of the bible, a Greek translation made more than 200 years before the coming of our Lord and quoted by Him and all the apostles in the NT. This teaching as to do with the beginning of times, the following teaching will be about Noah.

  • In these first 6 chapters you have the whole story of the creation, of mankind and of the bible itself. For right from the beginning all was foretold (Isa. 46:9-10).

  • In these opening chapters of Genesis, certain significant words are plural in form, but are not easily identified when translated into English, or another language. In the English language to make a noun plural, we normally add ‘s’. In the Hebrew language, one primary way to form the plural is by adding 2 letters,’im’. This ending, ‘im’, is a normal plural form in Hebrew.

  • In this very first verse of Scripture, we have 2 words ending in ‘im’: the word for God, Elohim, and the word for heavens, shamaim.

  • Furthermore, Hebrew verbs also have a singular and plural form, which should agree with the nouns or pronouns to which they apply. Yet here (Gen. 1:1) we have an immediate conflict of grammar, because the Hebrew verb ‘created’ is singular in form while the word for God, as previously mentioned, is plural.

  • Here then is the mystery of the Triune God unfolded: In God there is both plurality and unity!

  • This is where we are first introduced with the notion of God, the fact that there is one. That word in English comes from the Anglo-Saxon and signified, not only the Divine Being, now commonly designated by the word, but also good. So from the founding fathers of the English language, God and good were correlative terms; and when they thought or spoke of Him, they were doubtless led from the word itself to consider Him as The Good Being, a fountain of infinite benevolence and beneficence towards His creatures.

  • As mentioned, ‘heaven’ is also plural; the bible clearly indicates that there is more than one heaven (2 Cor. 12:2).

  • 2 other words that also occur in Genesis are plural in form:

    1. The word life, ‘chaim’ as in Genesis 2:7. Here we read that God breathed into Adam the breath of “lives”. We find, as we go on throughout Scripture, that there are various forms of life: spiritual, mental, physical, mortal and immortal life. All these concepts are contained in seed form in this parasha and developed in subsequent unfolding of scripture.

    2. The word water, ‘maim’, is the other word found in plural form in Genesis 1:2. The bible indicates that there is more than one kind of water: natural water, living water (or water of life), the water above the heavens and the water under the heavens.

  • In Gen. 2:4 there is a specific wording about the ‘generations’ of the heavens and earth…this word ‘generations’ from the Hebrew is nearly always plural. (In the CJB it says ‘history’ when it should be ‘histories’). In the Greek it’s singular, genesis, and both speaks about generations or genealogy (Mat. 1:1).

  • We must ask ourselves ‘what are those generations?’ as this scripture is not speaking about generations of men but rather generations of the heavens and the earth. This would point toward there being more than one generation of the earth.

  • NOTE: The word ‘created’ appears in Gen. 1:1, in verse 21 on the 5th day and in verse 27 on the 6th day. Nowhere else in the 6 days of “creation” does it actually speak of creation (the word ‘made’ is not the same as ‘create’); CREATED in Hebrew means something appearing out of nowhere; MADE is something being put together out of something already in existence.

  • So let’s look more in details to the first two verses of today’s Parasha (Genesis 1:1-2). We are forced to the conclusion that there is a contrast between the condition of the earth in verse 1 and its condition as described in verse 2. As we read this parasha we find that every other creative act of God produced something perfect. It didn’t need to be improved on or repaired, for God is not an “experimenter”, He is the Creator. It becomes apparent, therefore, that the description of the earth given in verse 2 does not depict the earth in the state God originally created it, as described in verse 1. On the contrary, it is a description of the earth in a state into which it was plunged as a result of things that happened between verses 1 and 2. It could indicate that something cataclysmic happened, which changed the order and beauty of the earth that God originally brought forth, and, as a result, it became a formless void. The word translated in the verse “was unformed” could equally well be translated “became unformed”.

  • The words used in Hebrew which translate as “unformed and void” are ‘tohu va-bohu’. They correspond to the English ‘harum scarum’, the French ‘tohu bohu’ or the Russian ‘shiverit naviverit’. They’re all 2 rhyming words designed to go together, describing a disorderly or chaotic condition with a sense or feeling of the situation they describe.

  • Let’s examine the other places in the OT where these same words, ‘tohu and bohu’, are used. There are only 2 passages where these words are found together:

    1. Isa. 34:8-11 – this chapter depicts a future judgment of God against His people’s enemies, of whom Edom is the representative. This scripture indicates that at the close of this age there will be a terrible, desolating, permanent judgment of God upon the land of Edom (country East of the Dead Sea, maybe Jordan or Saudi Arabia). Edom will be judged in such a way as to be a perpetual monument of God’s judgment for all successive generations. Verse 11 contains the phrase ‘tohu va-bohu’ and it is a metaphor from the architect’s measuring line and plummet. With the former he measures horizontally, with the latter vertically. God’s judgment is summed up in this descriptive phrase: total desolation.

    2. Jer. 4:22-23 – this scripture gives a picture of pervasive rebellion and wickedness in Israel followed by a vision of judgement to come. We see here again that the words ‘tohu bohu’ are associated with desolation resulting from God’s judgement upon wickedness.

  • So in all Scripture there are only three places where these 2 words ‘tohu’ and ‘bohu’ occur together, twice they depict a fearful scene of desolation brought about by God’s judgement upon terrible wickedness. I personally think that Gen. 1:2 is in line with the 2 precedent scriptures, just without the detailed description of what the judgement was.

  • Now if we examine the scriptures where ‘tohu’ is used without ‘bohu’, we find that this word ‘tohu’ is used as a picture for desolation (Deu. 32:10; Job 6:18, 12:24; Psa. 107:4; Isa. 40:23, 41:29, 45:18). In every case, confusion or waste/wilderness is the outcome of God’s wrath and judgement.

  • The most decisive statement being made in Isaiah 45:18. The product of God’s creation was not ‘tohu’; that is not in a confused, disorderly condition. As we put this scripture describing God’s creation alongside Genesis 1:2 we see that the latter states that the earth was ‘tohu’, and the former says it wasn’t. The implication is clear: the earth described in Genesis 1:2 is not the condition in which it was originally created. God did not create an earth that was ‘tohu va-bohu’, but He created it to be inhabited. His aim was to make a blessed, pleasant, wonderful place for His creatures to dwell in.

  • So Genesis 1:1 was the first act of creation, then between the 2 first verses of Genesis something happened which forced God to pass judgement on His creation, and then as we read on there is a “re-creation”. Why don’t we have any info about what happened there? I think this is because the bible is primarily a revelation given to us as members of the Adamic race to tell us things that we need to know for our spiritual benefit. Other important facts are contained in this revelation, but they are really only like the frame around the picture. The picture itself being Adam and his descendants and God’s dealing with them. The other things that are revealed are not so much part of the picture as of the frame. To see the picture clearly we need to get the frame right, but the bible speaks primarily of Adam and his descendants.
    As we keep going we see that the histories of the heavens and the earth don’t stop there. As we carefully read and put side by side the 2 first chapters of Genesis we find that another judgement occurred with another “re-creation”.

  • In Gen. 1 there are 6 days presented:

    1. Light (day/night). The word ‘day’ in Hebrew is ‘Yom’; Day of atonement (Yom Kippur); Feast of trumpets (Yom Teruah) etc. Jesus himself said there are 12 hours of day/daylight (Joh. 11:9). The word ‘Yom’ always refers to daylight time which is why most fasts are only during the daylight; the only one that is a 24-hour fast is Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement).

    2. Separation of waters below from waters above.

    3. Water under the sky was gathered into one place and dry land appeared. Then the earth brought forth grass, trees etc.

    4. The lights in the sky appear to divide day from night. (Note: wasn’t day and night already separated on day 1?)

    5. The CREATION of animals/creatures. This is where dinosaurs come into the picture; the word ‘great whales’ (KJV) in the Hebrew means sea/land monster. This is the time before the flood; one characteristic of the time before the flood was that people lived a very long time; one characteristic of reptiles is that they grow until the day they die (think of the size of dinosaurs). After the flood the lifespan of people AND animals started to decrease. Reptiles are still around us but this information explains why we may find massive bones of larger creatures.

    6. God made the rest of the living creatures and CREATED mankind. (The bible says he created man but the Hebrew word is actually mankind). He created them male and female; mankind was the “species” and there were males and females within that species just as with animals e.g. dog is the species and they come either as males or females.

  • NOTE: when reading Genesis 2 remember to keep in mind the 6 days of “creation”, paying attention to the sequence and wording of events.

  • In Genesis 2:5 we see the land was without plants because it hadn’t rained yet. In the first chapter of genesis the time where the land appears without plants yet is day 3. So if you want to match Gen. 2 with Gen. 1, we should say Gen. 2 starts in day 3 where all the water had been moved aside and there was land. We can see a problem appearing here; in Gen. 1 there is no waiting for rain, the water has receded which means the land was gorged with water and the plants sprouted from it, whereas here God says differently, it says there was no rain therefore no plants, but a mist came and watered the whole earth, so suddenly instead of the water receding and going somewhere else, the whole earth was watered by a mist. So something caused the water to come up rather than moving away. The ground then became like mud (there were still no plants) and from there God created Adam. This is normally the end of day 6 but in Gen. 2 Adam is created before the plants.

So in Gen. 1 God made the plants and then man
In Gen. 2 God made Adam and then plants

  • Genesis 2:7 (KJV) – There is something important about Adam’s creation: first Adam’s body was made. Then God blew His spirit into man. So now man is Body and Spirit and the combination of the 2 is what made him a soul. So Adam, made in the image of the Godhead is triune too, 3 in 1: body (Yeshua), soul (Yahweh) and spirit (Holy Spirit).

  • After Adam is created, God made the plants grow in one specific area (Gan Eden) Greek word means paradise. Then He took Adam and put him in the garden (this shows he was formed somewhere else outside of the Garden of Eden). Adam was lonely so God made a helper and created the animals (again if we compare this to the 6 days of creation it is all out of sequence). Adam was still lonely so God created a woman (not a female as stated in Gen. 1)

So in Gen. 1 God created MAN – male and female

In Gen. 2 God created 1 man (Adam), then created everything else, and at the end He created a woman out of Adam.

  • Most people say Gen. 2 is a more in depth look at the creation from chapter 1, however, according to scripture it doesn’t line up, and we must not forget the scripture about the generations of the earth, which seems to show that there was an original creation that didn’t go well for whatever reason, which led God to do a re-creation. (This is where we hear about a pre-adamic race). When there was the flood with Noah, God gave a rainbow to say he would not do that again – that phrase he will not do this again in Hebrew is plural, meaning it had happened more than once before, as presented before.

  • Looking at how Eve was created, the bible says a rib was taken from Adam. The word ‘rib’ in Hebrew, as in Greek, says ‘side’ which means God took more than just a rib (look at how Adam says she is bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh – Gen. 2:23) – if you look at the number or ribs of men they have the exact same number as the females, and both sides are the same, no ribs are missing. That would mean Eve was created with an extra rib and if that’s the case why didn’t their children have that extra rib? If Eve came out of the side of man, that means she was Adams ‘other half’ and therefore when 2 halves come together they become one (Gen. 2:24). In this scripture the words ‘one flesh’ could be translated as ‘one body’ or ‘one person’ from the Hebrew, from the Greek it goes one step further with the added possibilities to translate it as ‘one nature’ or ‘one living creature’. NOTE: this is not necessarily the truth but we should all do our research and see what we think about it

  • Many people say that women are the problem; it was Eve’s fault for taking the fruit and this is why women are suffering and can’t do anything; they are the “lesser vessel” and shouldn’t teach etc. In Rom. 5:12-21 – the one who seems to be the problem is in fact Adam (“one man’s offense”). NOTE: Grace was already present the moment the torah came in; it didn’t come in only when Jesus was here. Sin came to the earth through Adam, not Eve.

  • 1 Tim. 2:13-14 (KJV) – the word “in” in Greek means “came into” so it doesn’t mean the woman was in the wrong, it means the woman came into that transgression which Adam made – he transgressed before Eve. When Eve took the fruit she was deceived, and came into a transgression that was already operating because Adam had been given dominion/authority to rule over everything; it was his job to guard it and he failed to guard the woman given to him. He wasn’t deceived, he knew what he was doing; he let her fall, then took of the fruit himself, and then he blamed her and all condemnation came through that.

NOTE: Adam could possibly be an evil spirit

  • There is a Greek word missing in 1 Tim. 2:15‘the’ – “nevertheless the woman is delivered through THE childbearing providing she continue…” in Genesis we see that because of the transgression, both Adam and Eve were cursed. In Romans it says the curse on Adam was lifted through the coming of Jesus Christ. The curse which fell upon Eve was lifted through Mary – through the fact that she gave birth to Jesus (through THE childbearing) – Then the coming of Jesus redeemed man and mankind as a whole. Woman had 2 curses and Adam had only 1

  • 1 Tim. 2:11- 12 – talks about women not teaching and how they should remain silent/at peace (which means quiet not silent) – In this chapter

    1 Timothy 2 Paul says “therefore it is my wish…” this is a wish not a command; it’s a preference not an order. Paul addresses men praying not just in church but anywhere; he also talks about arguments which is the opposite of peace. So all that chapter is about peace, and not talking only of the church, but any involvement whatsoever – he started with the men and continues with the women on the same matter – everywhere else Paul says the women have a right to prophesy and speak. So what he is saying here is that if you women want to learn, do it quietly because in those times women were very uneducated which would cause them to be asking questions and being disruptive during the teachings.

  • In the Aramaic it doesn’t say man and woman in those verses; it says husband and wife which changes the meaning – “I do not permit a wife to teach her husband or exercise authority over him” (to lord over), she is to remain calm/quiet.

  • What does the word submitted really mean? we have to submit to all our leadership in church and in the world (peter speaks of this) Acts 4:1-19 – John and Peter were told by the authorities not to use the name of Jesus, and they remained calm yet apologised because they would not obey them in that. This is the perfect example of what submission is. It doesn’t mean obey no matter what, but rather be peaceful, do what is right and stand ready to be punished by the wicked when you stand for righteousness instead of their ungodly commands. Stand your ground in peace and not with argument. This goes in line with Gen. 2:18-23 – (I) (will make him an help) (meet for him) – this sentence is 3 words in Hebrew – help in Hebrew means one who helps; meet for him means opposite/counterpart – we could read this as “I, God, will make one who is to help you by being in opposition” – if the man was to do the wrong thing, it is the woman’s job to be in opposition; to be submitted, staying at peace but saying no regardless of what punishment may come e.g. sex before marriage – stand firm in what is right according to God’s commands. Wives are to be submitted to their husbands as they are to Yeshua, so long as their husbands’ requests are Godly

  • Through Adam and Eve, we have the first breaking of God’s laws/commands, and the bigger sin was on Adam. Eve was deceived and didn’t know what she was doing, however, Adam was aware. Adam was meant to be Eve’s keeper (that is to intercede for her to the Lord and to teach her till she becomes to the fullness of whom she is meant to be (Gal. 3:28). The punishment is then given to mankind:

    1. the woman will have pain in childbirth, her husband will become her whole (need of approval) and he shall (not will) rule over her, that last part was not a commandment but a prophecy concerning what was coming. As we saw before all this was broken through the childbearing of Yeshua. So armed with the truth a woman should be able to be freed of these 3 elements of the curse;

    2. the man is made to labour hard to be able to feed himself and those under his care. Working the ground is not part of the curse, that part was part of the instructions given to Adam earlier on (Gen. 2:15), no now the curse given was that it would be awfully hard (that curse was broken through the coming of Noah in (Gen. 5:29). Also we are told that Adam got sent back to where he was taken from to cultivate the ground (Gen. 3:23).

  • The second sin was when Cain killed Abel – Cain was meant to be his keeper; it’s the same sin as the first but it gets worse with each generation. We are told there that Cain was cursed: whatever he would try to grow or produce from the ground would not come about. And therefore he would have to wander the earth, get the food from where it grows, never being able to produce for himself. This was due to bloodshed (if you can grow things, that when you look after some plants they just die, no matter what, it could be that you have such a curse over your life: that the blood of a family member was shed by another one at some stage). It’s quite interesting to read the story from the LXX perspective instead of the Masoretic text (Gen. 4:3-15). There we find that Cain was not wroth but sorrowful due to God rejecting his offering. Also we are clearly told that Cain offering was right but that he sinned because he didn’t divide it properly, when the details concerning Abel’s sacrifice, with the mention of the fat shows that he divided it properly. What is properly here? I would say that God had already instructed His people about the ways of bringing sacrifices, as He did again during the times of Moses. Also there is no mention of sin lying at the door. God is very clear to say that Cain had sinned. And as we read about the murder of Abel, we can’t really link it to the sacrifice part. All the rest of the story is very different too, Cain doesn’t say that he can’t bear God’s punishment but, that he can’t be forgiven and his guilt is too great. Also there is no talk from Cain about becoming a fugitive, but instead he speaks about being in constant groaning (deep sorrow/depression) and trembling (fear, terror). So both emotions result from being cut off from God.

  • From that moment on God stops speaking to men/women – he only starts speaking again through the line of Seth.

  • It’s interesting to note here that Cain went on to establish a city named after his son Enoch, who is different to the Enoch in Seth line. One was evil, the other one good. Also for Cain to ask for a mark for not to be killed meant that there was quite a bit of people on the earth already, after he was able to get a wife.

  • Gen. 6:4-5 talks about Nephilim and that all the people on the earth were wicked; meaning that their hearts were turned away from God and His instructions. We see that again in the world today; so many people’s hearts are turned toward all the things of this world; they are happily living in sin, and very few people know or want to follow the instructions of God. This lines up with the new testament scriptures that tell us things will be just like they were in the days of Noah and Lot (Mat. 24:37-39 & Luke 17:26-30)

  • Gen. 6:5-7 – Here we see that God was wiping out everything. When we look at previous occasions in the bible like Sodom and Gomorrah, God destroyed the evil people and the land they were in, but left everywhere else untouched; however, here God destroyed the entire land as well as all humans and creatures in it apart from Noah and his family.

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