The First Words of the Bible and the Hebrew Language

The Hebrew language is full of secrets and insights. Come learn them with us!

By Aviel Schneider | | Topics: Hebrew
Photo: Public domain

The first verse in the Bible reads: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” In Hebrew, the verse sounds like this:

“Bereshit Bara Elohim et HaShamaim Ve’et Ha’Aretz” – בְּרֵאשִׁית בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים אֵת הַשָּׁמַיִם וְאֵת הָאָרֶץ

This verse consists of seven simple words in the Hebrew Bible text, which we still use today in everyday colloquial Hebrew. Like the word Bereshit for beginning, although in the word Bereshit we also find the word for “head” – Rosh – because the head is the beginning of our body. Bara for created. Elohim for God, whereby Elohim in itself is a plural. The word Shamaim for Heaven, which contains the word for water – Maim. For heaven and air are made of water. In the colloquial language, Aretz is the land, but in the first Bible verse and the following ones this word means the earth, world or planet.

For God created the earth in six days, or did God only create the Promised Land in six days? By the way, there are interesting Bible interpretations regarding this. Also the et after Elohim. Et is written with the first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet, that is Alef (א) and Tav (ת). As such, one can also read this as: “In the beginning God created Alef and Tav, the beginning and the end”.

The Hebrew language is full of mysteries and valuable insights, many of which are not immediately recognizable when we first read the Bible. Often, it’s only on the 100th reading that the full meaning becomes clear.

In order to get closer to this knowledge, we are pleased to introduce Hebrew language lessons live from Jerusalem!

It is true that after one semester you will not yet be able to read the Bible in Hebrew, but you will get to know Hebrew words that will move you to new insights while reading Scripture.

This course is an opportunity to not only take your first steps in the Hebrew language, but also be in contact with us and other readers and friends.

Reserve your place here today!



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