Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Hebrew Study of Genesis 1:1-2

I am studying Genesis 1:1-2 for one of the chapters in my book.

"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And 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." KJV

I'm trying to study further the phrase MOVED UPON at the end of verse 2. What does this mean exactly? Why move over the waters, why hover? Was he waiting, thinking, planning, resting? How long was he there?

Sorry, my brain just thinks like this. And I'm no biblical scholar or master of Hebrew studies so thought I would ask for some input.

I found a post by Jeff A. Benner (anyone know anything about him?) on Hebrew translations titled, "The Poetry of Genesis Chapter One," and he said that actually verse 2 is restating verse 1, implying that they are not separate chronological events but instead saying the same thing in a different way. He went on to explain that the word "and" in Hebrew is not used as we would use it (to combine multiple, separate and individual things) but to link two statements as one. So, according to Him, verse 2 is just expanding God's initial creating of the heaven and earth in verse 1. He has a quick reference Hebrew dictionary that looks like something I might want. Anyone have it already or another tool you think I might like?

I often visit biblestudytools.com for studying Greek or Hebrew translations. For the word move in verse 2, it gives two other scriptures that use the same word with the same Hebrew meaning.

"As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taken them, beareth them on her wings" Deuteronomy 32:11, and

"Mine heart within me is broken because of the prophets; all my bones shake; I am like a drunken man, and like a man whom wine hath overcome, because of the Lord and because of the words of His holiness" Jeremiah 23:9.

Considering these two verses and the implied meaning of the word in study, I can see the Spirit of God moving over the waters, hovering, shaking, fluttering, with us on His mind. He had a plan of creation which included us and His thoughts about us were about to manifest into existence.

I have some ideas (and personal opinions, of course) but wanted to hear yours first. 
What are your thoughts?

2 friends had this to say:

Maria I. Morgan said...

Interesting thoughts and word study, Shelly. Can't say I'm familiar with Jeff Benner or the quick reference Hebrew dictionary. But I like the thought of the Holy Spirit hovering, fluttering, in anticipation of the creation of man. Look forward to checking back to see what further info you find on this topic! God bless!

Kathryn Ross said...

Hi Shelly - so good of you to visit me over at The Writer's Reverie. I had to come visit you, too, and am excited to see that you are studying one of my very favorite verses - Genesis 1:1-2!
I'm e-mailing you with a couple of gems I've used in my teaching on the subject.

Miss Kathy