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Genssis 1:1-5 by Valerie Bridgeman

"Whenever I teach Hebrew language, I always give students Genesis 1:1-6 to read before they know much more than the alef bet and how to form sounds in the language.
I choose this passage because I’m assured that it is one part of the biblical text students have heard or read. And the Hebrew is fairly simple and rhythmic. It almost sings. And it certainly dances. This year, while teaching it, students came to the words usually translated “the spirit moved across the face of the deep” or “the wind swept across the face of the waters.” The word translated “moved” or “swept” is merahepet, a piel feminine participle, which could just as well be translated “fluttered” or “shimmied.” Students decided that the spirit of God (another way to translate ruach), danced over the face of the deep. Creation was a joyful party full of cosmic sound and motion of what could be. I liked that. It became our theme for the semester. It reminded me of James Weldon Johnson’s stylistic poem, “The Creation.”
And God stepped out on space,
And he looked around and said:
I’m lonely—
I’ll make me a world.1
Genesis 1 is a dance between divine desire and creative possibilities..." [Read Full Commentary]




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