...from the dust of the ground
The First Hebrew
by haRold Smith
a citizen of the Commonwealth
"Then YHVH said, 'Let us make humankind in our image , in the likeness of ourselves; and let them rule over the fish in the sea, the birds in the air, the animals, and over all the earth, and over every crawling creature that crawls on the earth'. So YHVH created humankind in his own image; in the image of YHVH he created him: male and female he created them." Genesis 1:26-27
"Then YHVH formed adam of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living nephesh . Genesis 2:7
YHVH doesn't make mistakes. So, when YaHoVeH (click on highlighted words to view content) chose to use the Hebrew language to reveal Himself, it wasn't an accident. The Hebrew language is the perfect vehicle to communicate what YHVH wants to share about Himself and His creation. What does this mean to us? It means that what YHVH says in Hebrew is usually much deeper than we initially observe. Hebrew fulfills a role that no other language can because it can be understood as both a picture language and a phonetic language. Our contemporary translations are based on the phonetic aspect of Hebrew, not the pictographs. Sometimes we need to look to the pictures to see what the language communicates. That leads us to ask a question about some crucial words for "man" and "woman." What we find will truly amaze you.
The tradition of man would seek to re-write history in order to uphold and to fit into its own artificial paradigm what it wants us to believe. The human race is not one - as much as that humanistic approach would like you to think it is. YHVH is the God of Israel - not of mankind (see the Whose Word Is It?). The story of the creation of Adam in Genesis 2 is NOT the story of the general creation of mankind. That general creation took place in Genesis 1 where we are given an "overview" of the creation of the heavens and the earth where "in the beginning" YHVH created "humankind" - many and in general, male and female (see One Covenant - A History for a more detailed explanation). How do we know this? By looking at the original Hebrew words used to describe each of the actions mentioned.
The Christian tradition of men that has been handed down to us as triune theology (Mark 7:13) has been superimposed upon the verse in Genesis 1:26 above that says, "...let US make man in OUR image" as evidence of the existence of Yeshua "from the beginning" to support the notion of a triune god. There just had to be more than one being present at the time those words were spoken to be able to use those words in this manner - right? Well, not exactly. The way the verse is actually written says something more, "And YHVH said, Let us make man in our image; according to our likeness". It is important that all of the text be included when searching for the Truth in the words. When a portion of scripture is pulled out of context and applied to what we have already made up our mind to about its meaning - it causes a serious problem trying to understand the original intent of the words. Words mean things. A closer look at the meaning of these words will supply us with a solid foundation from which to proceed.
De'mut (the Hebrew word translated "likeness") is a feminine noun. Tselem (the Hebrew word translated "image") is a masculine noun. A quick look through other places of this usage in the Hebrew text supports the idea that the Essence of YHVH incorporates both masculine (image) and feminine (likeness) characteristics. These words are not speaking of two separate entities, they are speaking of one entity, YaHoVeH, Who captures the characteristics of both genders in a single entity. It is only because of the replacement doctrine of the "Christian" religion that a dual Greek god theology is overlaid onto these Hebrew words, thus, changing their meaning. The evidence of a single entity is borne out in the subsequent verse 27 which says, "So YHVH created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them". Notice the personal pronouns in Genesis 1:27 ("His" and "He") are all SINGULAR, whereas in Genesis 1:26 they are all plural ("Us" and "Our"). In Genesis 1:27 only one individual is actually doing the creating - YHVH!
To explain the variant of plural pronouns in Genesis 1:26 and the singular pronouns in Genesis 1:27, Trinitarians say, "In Genesis 1:27 we only see singular pronouns used because the mystery of the Triune God is being revealed; that is, God is letting us know that even though He is three, He is also three-in-one." To bolster this leap of illogical fallacy, Trinitarian scholars point out the word for "God" in both verses is "Elohim". They assert "Elohim" is a plural word in the Hebrew, indicating more than one person. Therefore when Elohim says, "Let Us make..." it is the evidence of three (plural) persons of the Trinity speaking as one person." While it is true elohim is a plural word in the Hebrew, it is not used to indicate plurality in number when constructed together with singular nouns or pronouns. Elohim is known in Hebrew grammar as A PLURAL OF MAJESTY. It is derived from the Hebrew verb "el" meaning, "strength," and thus elohim amplifies the meaning of strength (el). In Hebrew, the literal rendering of elohim would read, "the strongest strength" or even, "the strongest of the strong." The word itself is plural (the singular is eloah) and it is sometimes translated as "gods" (when referring to a plurality of false gods). When it refers to the One True God of Israel, elohim (plural) is correctly translated as "God" (singular). The proof is found in Deuteronomy 4:35 which says, literally, "Yahoveh IS elohim." And the famous Shema says, "Yahoveh our elohim, Yahoveh is one." Again, we have the singular Yahoveh coupled with the plural elohim, and this time in a verse that is crystal clear that there is only one God. His name's plural form indicates His sovereign supremacy, His matchless might, and His exceeding eminence. To introduce a polytheistic concept of the Trinity into the monotheistic Hebrew scripture by twisting the meaning of elohim is disingenuous to the integrity of the words.
The general Hebrew word translated as "made" in English is 'asah denoting something "produced", as a "work". This is the same connotation given to the Hebrew word translated "created" in English, bara', used in conjunction with the rest of what is "created" in Genesis 1. However, there is a different word used in Genesis 2 for Adam - yatsar, which means to "fashion or form with a purpose". This is the same word found in Isaiah 43:21 proclaiming Israel to be "the people I formed (yatsar) for Myself" - for a purpose. That purpose was to be a Light to the Nations to attract the other nations into becoming members of YHVH's Kingdom. The Hebrew word translated "praise" in this verse comes from the root word halal meaning "to flash forth light, to shine."
...gan edan - the garden of delight
The Hebrew word for male in general is zakar. This is also the same Hebrew word used in Genesis 9:15 for the word remember. To "mark or to remember" in Hebrew is much more than a mere mental assent. It involves action; to remember is to act on behalf of someone or something. Zakar is used in the Ten Commandments in regard to the Sabbath: "Remember the Sabbath day". This commandment is not telling us to "think about" or "recall" the Sabbath; it is telling us to DO something - and that something is to enter into REST. Therefore, being male is the very same (in Hebrew) as "remembering" or "acting on behalf of". When we see these seemingly unrelated ideas together in this manner, the Hebrew mindset starts emerging. While we are used to the Greek mindset and worldview that describes the appearance of a noun, the Hebrew's focus is always on FUNCTION. Thus, a man is called male (zakar) for one reason in Hebrew. His designed function is to remember who YHVH is, what YHVH requires, and then act on this knowledge. Likewise, he is the one that ACTS on behalf of his wife and children. A "male" passes his knowledge of the Creator through his visible service to his children and they receive the "name" of their father. In a restored state, the male remembers the commandments of YHVH; that is, he keeps and guards the Word of YHVH. But, from creation, there was no male found who would serve YHVH by remembering to keep His Words. Thus, the need to "form" another who would productively serve Him - the first Hebrew named Adam who came from the ground of worship. The woman of Adam, not of "mankind", came from Adam also with a specific purpose.
If all the created women are taken from the bones of the males of created mankind; then, why does it say "this is now bone of my bones" in Genesis 2:23? The phrase "this is now" is an attempt at an English translation of the Hebrew phrase "zot hapa'am." The word zot does mean "this" but the word hapa'am is a little more difficult. This is the Hebrew word pa'am prefixed by the "ha" meaning "the." The word pa'am is literally a repetitive beat such as from a drum. It can also mean a stroke of time or to repeat something such as seen in Genesis 33:3; "He himself went on before them, bowing himself to the ground seven times (pa'am)." Using this understanding of the word, Genesis 2:23 should be translated as, "This time is bone from my bones" and is implying that the previous times were not "bone from my bones." Three verses prior to this it states "The man gave names to all cattle, and to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for the man there was not found a helper fit for him." In this context, the "prior times" were unsuccessful in finding a helper for Adam among those already created, but with Eve - this time it worked.
The first occurrence of the Hebrew word neqebah, the general word for female, is found in Genesis 1:27. But, YHVH's chosen word for "woman" in the garden is found in Genesis 2:18 ("I will make him a help-mate" - an 'ezer). This is YHVH's word, not Adam's. The word consists of the consonants A-Z-R which display a Paleo-Hebrew picture of "first cut from a person", "strength cut from the highest" or even "the first weapon (of defense) of the person." Does this sound like the commonly portrayed role of an 'ezer? This is the same word YHVH applies to Himself in relation to Israel (Psalm 115:9). In the garden, the woman is certainly the first cut from the man. In fact, she is taken directly from him. And the role of the 'ezer is to protect, help, provide and nourish. Certainly this is the biblical view of strength and defense. What YHVH had in mind is not subservience or patriarchal hierarchy. His choice of 'ezer indicates that this woman is the man's first line of defense, an equal partner in the journey of life. The 'ezer is YHVH's gift to the husband within His Family. She is built that way.
But, 'ezer isn't the only word for the woman found in the garden. There is Adam's choice, ish-sha, found in Genesis 2:22. In Paleo-Hebrew pictography, this doubled consonant paints a picture of the woman as consumer and destroyer, a very powerful combination. But there is another picture here. This pictograph also means "what comes out of the strong consumer." Remember that in the account of Genesis 1, the man and woman were simply "created" together along with the rest of creation. The woman of the garden, however, comes out of Adam. The second picture makes visible what the text confirms: "She shall be called woman because she was taken out of man." Adam recognizes her essential equality and unique similarity in his choice of word. He also acknowledges the dangerous bliss resident in this perfectly suited partner.
So far, so good. YHVH has a word picture that paints the divinely ordered role of the woman of the garden. Adam has a word picture that displays her vital connection to him. But there is still one more word. It occurs in Genesis 3:20 when Adam finally gives his wife a proper name. That name is chavvah, not Eve. This reveals an even more interesting picture. This pictograph is "what comes from the place of work." What does this mean? It means that woman of the garden is the vehicle through which all "living" come - all those who work. Thus, her name literally means "the mother (source) of all living." Once again the picture paints what the words say. This is her legacy. Since Hebrew views work and worship as one and the same, the name chavvah means the woman brings to life all those who worship - all those who give themselves to the Source of Life, YHVH. Not all of mankind because, as Light and darkness cannot abide in the same space at the same time, whatever is apart from the Source of Life is dead. The Hebrew perspective is that a homo-sapien does not become human without the Breath of Life.
The first occurrence of the Hebrew word arum (translated "naked" in Genesis 2:25) expresses mutual transparency and innocence. The man and the woman are naked and not ashamed. However, Adam's response in Genesis 3:10 shifts the subject from plural to singular. Adam does not include the woman in his statement despite the fact that she is in the same condition. Now Adam is alone. His fall from uninhibited enjoyment of His Father's Presence is accompanied by a singular myopia. His world is no longer communal. Now he is self-consciously aware of his individual condition. His consciousness has turned inward. He is naked and afraid, not "we" are naked. The first effect of disobedience is division. Sin shifts the perspective from "we" to "me." Failure to keep the first great commandment automatically results in failure to keep the second. Adam is afraid because Adam is psychically alone. He has broken faith with YHVH and that results in breaking faith with his 'ezer kenegdo.
The Paleo-Hebrew pictograph for male is the combination of weapon, open hand and person. Perhaps the imagery tells us that a man can be either friend or foe. His nature is to provide and defend. The woman is the final source of life in the house. She continues the legacy. These roles are part of the Hebrew design for YHVH's Hebrew Family. A man and woman in compliance with YHVH's Words become part of His Family to bring about YHVH's redemptive plan together - which is the mystery of echad, (Hebrew for being "one") as the Hebrew apostle Sha'ul describes in Ephesians 5:31-32. Together they are given the assignment to multiply, steward and oversee that part of the earth they occupy. Together they are to bring YHVH's image to bear on the rest of creation. Together they are His regents.
|"Blessed are they that do his commandments (who wash their robes in righteous behavior), that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city." Revelation 22:14|
Part One, A History
Part Two, What's New?
Part Three, Fulfillment
Part Four, the First Hebrew Scriptural Evidence
Part Five, the Flaming Sword
Please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. While not claiming to have all the answers, it would be an honor to partake with you of what the Spirit is uncovering.