Here’s what you learned in Genesis 1:2.
- You learned the common prefixes; ת (ta) and מ (ma). These sounds in front of a word is an indication that a phrase may begin with one of these prefixes.
- You learned the common suffixes; ת(t), ה(uh), י(ee), and ם (m). Words ending with these sounds may be suffixes.
- We learned 11 new Hebrew words; חשך, על, פנ, הי, תהו, הו, תהום, הום, רוח, רחפ, and מים
- We learned about modifiers in the basic Hebrew sentence structure. Verse 2 is written in passive voice. That is, the focus of the sentence is what is being done rather than the one causing or doing it.
It’s the equivalent of saying, “the car went fast” instead of “the man drove the car fast.”
“The car went fast”, tells us it’s a fast car. While “the man drove the car fast” says that the man is a fast driver. In English, we’d choose how to phrase the statement depending on the point we are trying to communicate. The same is done in Hebrew.
What (the Earth) | What did it do (existed)| How (a waste and in disaster, dark upon the face of the sea) | What (wind)| What kind of wind (powerful ones) |what did they do (fluttered)|Where (upon the face of the waters)
Note: Unlike verse one, the nouns in these sentences precede the verbs because the focus isn’t on who is causing these actions (i.e. the man driving the car) but the object of the actions (i.e. the speed of the car being driven). This verse is intended to describe the conditions of the Earth at the beginning of time, rather than the cause of these conditions.
- Recognizing these differences help us to grasp the ideas presented in scripture and to understand what each author wanted us to know.
- In case you haven’t already noticed… When we see pronouns such as he, she, they, them, him, her, etc. it is referring to the masculine are feminine person, place, or thing that comes before or after it, depending on the sentence structure. i.e. “And the
Earth,exists she/her existence…” The “she or her” being referred to is the Earth, which is the feminine noun that comes before this verb.
Can you say this verse?
והארץ היתה תהו ובהו וחשך על פני תהום ורוח אלהים מרחפת על פני המים <-
Try It! WaHaErets Hayeetah Tahu
Note: As we move forward through this chapter, many of the words we are learning will be used repeatedly. Try to recognize the words, fixes, and structural concepts that you have already seen and see if you can remember what they mean as you learn new verses.
Did You Know?
Did you know that the Hebrew language only has about 500 root words?
You’ve already learned about 14 of them just by Learning the first two verses of the bible!
You’ve Got This 😊
The next three verses will be all about the light being spoken into the existing darkness.