Plowing through History from the Aleph to the Tav
The Living Words: Creation
The first verse of Genesis begins, according to most modern translations, "In the beginning God created." According to most theologians, the word "create" is understood to mean "to make something out of nothing." This definition is an abstract concept with no concrete foundation and is therefore not a Hebraic concept. To discover the original meaning of the Hebrew behind this English word, we will need to take a close look at the Hebrew word ברא bara [H:1254], the word behind the English word "create."
Believe it or not, the word bara is translated as "fat" in the verse above and is the original concrete meaning of this word. What does it mean in Genesis 1:1 when it literally says, "God fattened the heavens and the earth"? When an animal is chosen for the slaughter, it is placed in a pen and fed grain so that it can be fattened, or "filled up." This idea of "filling up" is now more relevant to the next verse.
With a better understanding of the word bara we can now see the meaning of Genesis 1:27.
The Hebrew word translated as "image" above is צלם tselem [H:6754] meaning an outline of a shadow, a representation or image of the original. Once God "formed" the man, he filled him up with a representation of himself, and according to this verse, his image is "male" and "female." We are comfortable calling God a "he" and assigning masculine attributes to him but the fact is, he is male and female, not in appearance, but in function. In a previous section, we caught a glimpse of his feminine characteristics with the word shaddai.
|The Living Words (Book)|
A study of Hebrew words in the Old and New Testament from their original Hebraic perspective.
|The Living Words (Article)|
About the excerpts from Mr. Benner's book "The Living Words."
|The Living Words: Command (Article)|
Excerpt from Mr. Benner's Book "The Living Words" and examining the Hebrew word for command.
|The Living Words: Boy (Article)|
Excerpt from Mr. Benner's Book "The Living Words" and examining the Hebrew word for boy.
|The Living Words: Pray (Article)|
Excerpt from Mr. Benner's Book "The Living Words" and examining the Hebrew word for pray.