I am going to agree here (for the sake of argument) that God actually dictated EVERY word in the original Scriptures. I am even willing to agree (if you don’t mind) that God physically held the hands of those who COPIED the original manuscripts so they could do it without missing even a single punctuation… (See, I am willing to agree what most of you wouldn’t)!
(Pic courtesy: duonglinh.cdnvn)
But … (now, this is one big BUT!), since most Hebrew words have more than one meaning attached to it, how could those who translated from the copy-scripts decide which one of those words would have been the author’s original choice??? For example: the Hebrew word “Ruach” (translated as “Spirit”) can mean wind, breath, exhalation, life, anger, spirit: – air, blast, courage, mind, side, spiritual, tempest, vain, whirlwind…! With such variety of words at my disposal I could interpret Gen 1:2 – And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters, as: And the ‘anger’ of God moved over the face of the waters!! Or Gen 6:3 – And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man as: And the Lord said, My ‘air’ shall not always strive with man…!!
Some words like “alah” in Hebrew, found in Gen 2:6 and is translated as “went up”, can even have opposite meanings: ascend, climb up or fall! HENCE NO ONE – EXCEPT GOD HIMSELF AND THE ORIGINAL WRITERS – CAN AUTHORITATIVELY ESTABLISH THE TRANSLATOR’S CHOICE OF A WORD AS RIGHT OR WRONG!!!!! “What about the ‘context’?”, you may ask. Well, isnt the context also made up of the choice of more such words, isnt it?!!
Another example (not just to rub it in, but also to get you into a nice ‘groove’ before giving you the jolt!): Gen 2:1– Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. With the variety of meanings each Hebrew word provides, I am going to translate this verse differently: Thus the “lofty” “nations” were “destroyed”, and all their “army”. And the seventh “time” God made “clean riddance” of his “cattle” which he “had become”; and he “celebrated” on the seventh “day” “over” all his work which he had “bruised”…!!!! 😀 Why Not?!
Got it…?! So Lets Get Down to Business
On the basis of what I have shown above and the backing of what I have learnt over the past few years, I am going to translate the Creation Story mentioned in Genesis in a way that it brings out what I feel is more likely what had happened. This has nothing to do with Judaist teachings. Infact, even the Jews will be “jolted” to see this! What you are going to read below is radical in the light of both Jewish and Christian teachings. Some of it is probably brought out for the first time within this group!! How then do I insist on this being a truer interpretation? Because, as you will realise when you read through, it straightens out almost all of the grey areas – those previously unanswerable questions! Let me remind you, I have only chosen words and meanings available in the lexicons. So, here we go….!
Lets start with Gen 1:1 – It is translated into English as: In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. But in Hebrew it is: rê’shı̂yth – bârâ’ – ‘ĕlôhı̂ym – ‘êth – shâmayim – ‘êth – ‘erets. And with the available Hebrew meanings for each word, this is how I translate it:
Gen 1:1-The gods first chose their heavenly places and their nations.
I’ve given below a break-up of the Hebrew words and its available meanings for this verse so that you know how I arrived at this translation:
rê’shı̂yth – first, in place, time, order or rank (specifically a firstfruit): – beginning, chief (-est), first (-fruits, part, time), principal thing.
bârâ’ – (absolutely) to create; (qualified) to cut down (a wood), select, feed (as formative processes): – choose, create (creator), cut down, dispatch, do, make (fat).
‘ĕlôhı̂ym – gods in the ordinary sense; but specifically used (in the plural thus, especially with the article) of the supreme God; occasionally applied by way of deference to magistrates; and sometimes as a superlative: – angels, X exceeding, God (gods) (-dess, -ly), X (very) great, judges, X mighty.
‘êth – in the demonstrative sense of entity; properly self (but generally used to point out more definitely the object of a verb or preposition, even or namely): – (As such unrepresented in English.)
shâmayim – from an unused root meaning to be lofty; the sky (as aloft; the dual perhaps alluding to the visible arch in which the clouds move, as well as to the higher ether where the celestial bodies revolve): – air, X astrologer, heaven (-s).
‘êth – in the demonstrative sense of entity; properly self (but generally used to point out more definitely the object of a verb or preposition, even or namely) : – (As such unrepresented in English).
‘erets – From an unused root probably meaning to be firm; the earth (at large, or partitively a land): – X common, country, earth, field, ground, land, X nations, way, + wilderness, world.
The word “Elohiym”, according to the lexicon normally means “gods” – not “God”! Up until Gen 2:4, the word Elohiym is used without any accompanying title or article. As you can see above, Elohiym can also mean judge, angel, mighty men or gods. When used alone, it can NEVER refer to the Almighty God. For example: Exo 18:11 – Now I know that the LORD (yehôvâh) is greater than all other gods (‘ĕlôhı̂ym). Exo 12:12 – “and I will bring judgment on all the gods (‘ĕlôhı̂ym) of Egypt. I am the LORD (yehôvâh)”. Jos 22:22– The LORD (yehôvâh) God (‘êl) of gods (‘ĕlôhı̂ym).
If, as is commonly taught, the plurality of the word Elohiym refers to the Trinity of the Godhead, then Ex 18:11 should mean: Yehovah is greater than the Triune God! HENCE THE CLAIM THAT THE WORD “ELOHIYM”, BY ITS PLURALITY, REFERS TO THE “TRIUNE” GOD, IS SIMPLY ABSURD, TOTALLY NONSENSICAL AND AGAINST THE BASIC SENSE OF THE WORD! But, like in the verse below, when a specific title is used along with it, its meaning changes: Gen 2:4 – in the day that the LORD (yehôvâh) God (‘ĕlôhı̂ym) made the earth and the heavens… And this usage changes the creation story!
But, isn’t it unscriptural to consider that “gods”, and not “Yehovah” as being instrumental in the creation event in Gen 1? Firstly, you need to understand who the Scriptures refer to as “gods”. Just to help you in your thinking: HOW CAN GOD (YEHOVAH) BE A “GOD OF GODS” IF THERE REALLY ARE NO OTHER “GODS”??!! Its like claiming to be a “father” of many children without really having any children; Or a Director of a company which does not have any employees…!! God is not that cheap that He has to claim false titles for Himself. SO WHO ARE THESE “ELOHIYM” (GODS) WHOSE “EL” (GOD) IS “YEHOVAH” (ETERNAL ONE)? (I am writing about this in another write up, but for now read: “Deciphering G-O-D”, below).
Secondly, as you would have noted in my translation above, GEN 1:1 DOES NOT TALK ABOUT ANY CREATION ACTIVITY!!! It only talks about a selection process. Gods selected their lands! In this light, the Hindu belief that different planets are ruled by different gods does not seem farfetched. (Now, only if you keep reading you will understand it fully)!
Let me repeat:
Gen 1:1-The gods first chose their heavenly places and their nations.
2 -The land existed as desolate, devoid and dark for a long time because of a catastrophe. And the spirit gods shook over its face their semen.
(Oh, I know…! Just go to the lexicons and search out these words for yourselves. No spoon-feeding). Just as there are similarities between the Sanskrit and Hebrew languages, there are a lot of similarities between Jewish religious thoughts and Hinduism (things even Jewish teachers are not fully aware of!). According to some Hindu teachings, living beings were created when gods shook their semen onto the earth. The Hebrew word “mayim” used there for “water”, though commonly used to refer to drinking water, by euphemism can also mean – urine, semen: – + piss, wasting.
Since there is no reason to conclude that Gen 1 mentions about the first creation of the earth we now live in. But we could conclude that gods (elohyim), after first choosing their spaces, started their creation process in the places they selected for themselves. That way it is not hard to understand why intellectuals belonging to Hinduism can believe that Parashuram created Kerala by throwing his spade (Now, only if you keep reading you will understand it fully)!
3– And gods commanded light to come forth and light came forth.
This does not refer to any universal light, but is very clearly the light that came out of the darkness that covered the “land” (solar system?) at that time.
4 – The gods, they perceived that the light was truly precious: and so gods made a separation between the light and the darkness.
5 – The gods pronounced light as life and darkness as a misfortune. Came dusk and came dawn – the first time.
Please note: the Hebrew word “Yom”, translated as “day”, is mentioned only now (in vr 5), not before! In Hebrew, vr 5 ends as: hayah ereb hayah boqer yom echad. Since “Yom” also means a “process of time” or a period, the verse can be translated as: came dusk came dawn time first! The NIV is more accurate with its translation:“And there was evening, and there was morning–the first day”. Unlike the KJV, which translates it as: “And the evening and the morning were the first day”. The use of “were” is not there in the Hebrew text and is used there by KJV to give it a different meaning.
We should also note here that the words “ereb” and “boqer” specifically means “dusk” and “dawn” and not “day” and “night”. The verse below makes it clear: Gen 8:22 – While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day (yôm) and night (layil lêyl) shall not cease. So KJV has got its basics wrong here. I always used to wonder why “dusk” is mentioned as the start of a day in Genesis and not the “dawn”… now I know – its all just a big misinterpretation based on how Yom is translated!
In vr 5 the “dusk” follows the emergence of light and its separation from darkness, and then “dawn” follows dusk, after which a new time or day is born, in which a new work is done! In other words, AFTER an act of creation, there was dusk which was followed by dawn and then a new day and a new creation!!! So that gives us the freedom to conclude that the day starts at dawn, when the first rays of sun starts driving the night away – and that makes more sense! NOW, THE JEWS WILL BE SHATTERED TO KNOW THAT THE PHRASE USED THERE DOES NOT IN ANY WAY REFER TO THE START OF A NEW DAY AT DUSK!! The Jews and the Muslims count the start of the day at dusk, and Christians, most absurdly, count it from the middle of the night! But, interestingly, Hinduism counts the start of a day from the dawn!
From vr 1-4, we see the gods choosing their own spaces and then creating the light before starting off with their creational activities. From the way vr 5 ends (and with a good mix of some common sense) we can understand that THE FIRST DAY COMES ONLY AFTER THE CREATION OF THE LIGHT, BECAUSE HOW CAN THERE BE A “DAY” WITHOUT “LIGHT”?! Hence, the first day starts only in vr 5, AFTER the creation of light!
THIS CALLS FOR A RE-ARRANGEMENT OF THE CREATION TIMETABLE (!!!!):
– 1st Day (vr 5) – making of the firmament (vrs 6-8).
– 2nd Day (vr 8) – dry land and plants (vrs 9-12).
– 3rd Day (vr 13) – great and small lights in heaven for signs and seasons (vrs 14-18).
– 4th Day (vr 19) – fish and fowl emerge from water (vrs 20-22)*. Very Scientific!
– 5th Day (vr 23) – cattle and creatures emerge from the earth (24,25). Hinduism-like.
– 6th Day (vr ?) – man was designed (vrs 26-30).
– 7th Day (vr ?) – The day each creation was designated its role.
*This is how vrs 20-23 should have been translated: The gods commanded: let the waters bring out moving creatures that has life. And the waters brought forth fish and fowl in abundance. Those who know science would know how much more likelier it is for this to have happened this way than any other!
Except for after the creation of the firmament on the first day and the creation of ‘man’ on the 6th day (the first and the last creations mentioned in Ge 1), the word “good” is used to describe every creation. And each time, after the mention of “good”, we see the start of a new day and a new creation. Hence, it is surprising, that inspite of the use of the word “good” after the creation of cattle and creatures on the 5th day (vr 25), there is no mention of the start of another new day!
Gen 1:31 ends by saying: came dusk came dawn sixth day. Yet, we see Gen 2:2 starting with the mention of the activities of the 7th day. AND, UNLESS WE ACCEPT THAT THE FIRST “DAY” COULD EXIST EVEN BEFORE THE CREATION OF “LIGHT”, WE CANNOT FALL BACK TO THE OLD CREATION ORDER BASED ON WHICH WE ASSUME THAT GEN 1:31 TALKS ABOUT THE END OF 6TH DAY.
The solution: had the “hayah ereb hayah boqer” of vr 31 been mentioned at the end of vr 25 (keeping up with the order till then), and the one in vr 31 ended with “hayah ereb hayah boqer – yom shebiyiy (day seven)”, then the whole ‘schedule’ would have fallen right in place – with a lot more sense! Unless someone insists that God physically held the hands of every manuscript copiers and controlled their every thought while they were on it, I am willing to give some leeway for human error – deliberate or otherwise – to have crept in right from the first copy-writing to the final translation! As long as it is not a case of direct divine dictation at every stage – original writing, copy writing, and translation, there is bound to be mistakes. Haven’t you played “Chinese Whisper”?!
26 – And gods said, let us make a ruddy image that resembles us, to rule over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, beasts of the whole earth and every reptile that moves on the earth.
Reference Word used Heb Mean
– Gen 1:26 – “man” – adam – ruddy.
– Lam 4:7 – “ruddy” – adam – reddish.
– Songs 5:10 – “ruddy” – adom – rosy.
– 1Sam 17:42 – “ruddy” – admoniy – reddish.
WE HAVE TO NOTE A VERY IMPORTANT POINT HERE: IT IS NOT CLAIMED ANYWHERE IN THE CREATION STORY OF GEN 1 THAT THE CREATION OF “MAN” MENTIONED IN VR 26 IS THE FIRST EVER CREATION OF A MAN – OR THE LAST!!
27 – So gods designed a ruddy image in their resemblance. The image gods designed in their resemblance, were divided into male and female selves.
According to some ancient beliefs, gods consist of both the sexes. Those who know biology knows that it is possible for both the sexes to be present in one body. Hence a person who is a bisexual is considered to have a god-like, dual spirited soul (not necessarily “body”). Here we see that when gods created human beings, they separated the sexes and gave them a different body.
28 – And gods blessed the images and said: O gods! Take up authority on thyself and completely subdue the nations. Rule over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air and every living being that moves on the earth.
The ruddy beings were given ‘complete’ authority to rule over “the nations” and “every living being that moves”, which would include the non-ruddy human beings – the black race (who probably survived the previous “catastrophe”, after which this new creation process started). No wonder excavations keep throwing up human bones that are ages old! And life in Africa is said to have been the oldest! This explains Cain’s fear of being attacked and the special protection he got from God! It also explains what Cain meant when he said to Yehovah that he will be hidden from His face.
This also explains why Yehovah was upset with the SONS of gods (Elohyim) mingling with the daughters of ‘men’ (Adam, whom He created).The “Sons of God” in Gen 6 and Job 1 are literally sons of gods – the human representation of Elohiym – the ruddy beings. Compare with Job 38:7. According to Gen 6:4, giants were already there and children born to sons of gods and daughters of men were also mighty men from eternity past (or, from the previous life)…!!
1– Thus the heaven and the earth were completed with all its people.
2 – And the seventh day the gods finished deputing all that they had made.
3 – And gods congratulated each other on the seventh day and dedicated it for celebration because of all the work they had planned and executed.
Here we see that the gods are done with their creations and they celebrate their achievement by giving themselves a “weekly off” and a ‘party’!
The 2nd Creation Story!
Ge 2:4 – This is the detail of the heavens and the earth as they were created when Yehovah Elohim created them.
This verse draws a line between the creation acts of the gods (Elohim) in Gen 1 and that of Yehovah God. It doesn’t mean that what the gods created was destroyed by Yehovah. The gods created the ‘ruddy’ men – the whites, but Yehovah moulded man from the clay of the ground – the brownish men. Compare it with Gen 6:6,7- Yehovah repented that He made men on the earth and He (Yehovah) vowed to destroy the men He had made (vr7) – not the whole world!
FROM GEN 2:4, YEHOVAH ELOHIYM COMES INTO THE PICTURE AND A DIFFERENT CREATION STORY BEGINS. Here is a comparison of both the creations (Gen 1 & Gen 2:4):
1) Gen 1 – Creation by Elohyim
Gen 2 – Creation by Yehovah Elohyim
2) Gen 1 – Elohyim designed male and female images
Gen 2 – Yehovah moulded a male out of the ground
3) Gen 1 – Human images designed after the creation of plants
Gen 2 – Man moulded before the creation of plants (vr5)*
4) Gen 1 – Animals created before man
Gen 2 – Animals created out of the ground after the creation of man.
5) Gen 1 – Elohyim designed men in their likeness and they were living beings (Ge 1:27)
Gen 2 – Yehovah moulds man out of the ground and gives him life by breathing into him (Ge 2:7).
*In Ge 2:5, we see an empty, dry earth – with no rain and no man to work on it – when Yehovah created Adam! (6 – There came up fog over the earth and moistened the whole soil). But in Ge 1, we see an earth already teeming with life when Elohyim made their images!
Verses where different names of “GOD” first appear:
Ge 1:1 – In the beginning Elohim created; 26 – Then Elohim said, “Let us make man…”
Ge 2:4 – When the Yehovah Elohim made the earth and the heavens
Ge 12:1 – The Lord Yehovah had said to Abram
Ge 15:1 – After this the word of Yehovah came to Abram in a vision….
Vr 2 – But Abram said, Adonay Yehovih
Vr 7 – He also said to him, I am the Yehovah who brought you out of Ur
Ge 17:1 – When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, I am EL Shaddai
Almost none of the major world religions have given a first name for the Only Almighty God. “Om” in Hinduism just means “an all-encompassing one” who is both the creator and the destroyer. The word “Shaddai” in Hebrew also means “the nurturer and the destroyer”. Even the name “Yehovah”, is not a Noun! It is an amalgamation of the first letters of a sentence (read more below).
Many world religions have this concept of gods having appeared in different forms (avatars), but none of these gods are considered THE ultimate, all-powerful God. But many times such avatars are referred to as God almighty more because of whom they represent.
In that sense, the saying that God is one and everyone calls on Him with different names, makes some sense. Because everyone who believes in a God believes that there is ONE Almighty God who is above all other gods (including Hindus who worship the ONE Almighty God through His different avatars! Thus, Hinduism is NOT a polytheist religion!!!).
IF WE BELIEVE THAT THERE IS ONLY ONE ALMIGHTY GOD THEN HOW CAN WE BE WORRIED ABOUT SOMEONE ELSE BELIEVING IN ANOTHER ALMIGHTY GOD?! AND IF THAT OTHER PERSON ALSO BELIEVES THAT THERE IS ONLY ONE ALMIGHTY GOD THEN HOW CAN BOTH BE TALKING ABOUT DIFFERENT GODS??!!
EL of EL-ohim
We have to keep in mind that EL (God) is a title and Shaddai (Almighty) is the adjective given to the title – THEY ARE NOT NAMES! Likewise, YHWH (Yehovah), though used commonly as a noun (introduced so by Moses) is in reality, a Tetragrammaton. As I had revealed in one of my previous write-ups, “I am that I am” (of Ex 3:14) is NOT revealed there as God’s name! God was revealing His state of being. As a verb it means “to be” or “to exist”, and so the sentence can mean “I am my own cause” or “I self-exist”. Thus the word YHWH actually means “the eternally self-existent One”. So, we have an Almighty (Shaddai) God (EL), who is Eternally Existent (YHWH – YeHoVaH ).
Then there is Elohim (gods). EL means “God” and EL-ohim means “gods”. So there’s no way both EL and Elohim means the same – one is singular and the other plural. EL cannot be Elohim also because Yehovah is said to be the EL (God) of Elohim (gods): Joshua 22:22 – אלאלהיםיהוה – Yehovah, EL of Elohim (Self-existent, God of gods). As I said, just like how I cannot claim to be a king of a kingdom without having a kingdom in the first place, God cannot claim to be the God of gods if there are no gods, in the first place. So, who does this Elohim (gods) refer to?
Let me introduce to you the bad ones first. There are naughty, disobedient, and even wicked gods (Elohim). Righteous men who lead an exemplary life are elevated to be righteous or holy Elohim. As inheritors of god-like image, they are given the responsibility to spread godly knowledge to likely candidates (like with Enoch). Similarly, wicked men through their wicked influences are elevated to being revered as gods by men. And they go about causing trouble in God’s creations, leading them to rebellion and destruction. The first of whom is said to be Nimrod – grandson of Noah.
Deu 32:17 – They sacrificed unto devils, not to God (Eloha); to gods (Elohim) whom they knew not, to new gods (Elohim) that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not.
God here is talking about evil men (devils) who are elevated to be wicked Elohim, and are worshipped by men. The later part of the verse also means that the patriarchs of Israel feared other Elohim…!! Now, eat that! (The verses below will help you in digesting it…!!!):
EL-ohim of Fathers
Ge 5:24 – Enoch moved along with gods (Elohim) – and he was unsearchable because Elohyim took (lâqach) him away. Enoch had a constant relation with gods and he got his wisdom from them. He was so liked by Elohyim that they carried him away without letting him pass through the process of physical death. For us, lesser mortals, we too can hope for a carrying away – after death, as sons of Korah wrote: Psa 49:15 – But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive (lâqach) me.
I believe that Enoch was elevated to being an Elohim. So can human beings become gods? Psa 82:6– I have said, Ye are gods (‘ĕlôhı̂ym); and all of you are children of the most High. 7 But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes. Also Isa 41:23…!!!
(Pic source: http://pastorpaulallen.blogspot.in)
You will also be pleased to know this: Gen 32:28 – And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God (Elohim) and with men, and hast prevailed. 30 – And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God (Elohim) face to face, and my life is preserved. Here, Jacob is not fighting with the Almighty Yehovah but with an Elohyim! But, if you insist that Elohyim by its plurality refers to the Triune God and that Jacob was not fighting any ‘god’, then it should mean that Jacob was fighting God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, all at the same time and all three together could not defeat a cowardly, hairless man, inspite of fighting with him the whole night!!!!! (You wont get me to believe that nonsense. I can assure you that!!).