The Center for
Messianic Learning 

Unapologetically Pro-Torah
Unashamedly Pro-Israel
Irrevocably Zionist
ב״ה
“… out of Tziyon will go forth Torah, the word of ADONAI from Yerushalayim.”
(Isaiah 2:3)

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Please read the Introductory Notes to this commentary.

For a glossary of unfamiliar terms, CLICK HERE. For assistance in
pronouncing Hebrew terms, a pronunciation guide is located HERE.

My short comments on the text are notated in “maroon pop-up text tipsMy comment is displayed like this.” which are accessed by “hovering” your mouse over the text or tapping your touch screen. [A few short comments look like this.] Longer comments are included in footnotes or links to other pages. Sometimes my paraphrase provides all the commentary needed to clarify the passage. I have added emphasis to some phrases simply to call them to your attention. Explanations of Greek and Hebrew words are from The NAS New Testament Greek Lexicon and The NAS Old Testament Hebrew Lexicon, respectively. In order to get the most from these pages, please follow all the hyperlinks, nearly all of which will open in a new tab or window.


The summary of the entire Torah is as simple as this:
Love what HaShem loves; hate what HaShem hates. All else is commentary.



The First Book of Moses,
Commonly Called

Genesis

Parashah[a] B'resheet
(In the Beginning, Gen. 1-6:8)
(Small Roman numerals in the text indicate each 'aliyah.)[b]

The brakah (blessing) to recite prior to reading the Parashah is here.

~ 1 ~

I. Parashah B'resheet (In the Beginning, Genesis 1-6:8)

A. Creation (1-31)

[i] In the beginning, Elohim[1a] created[1b] the heavens[1c] and the earth. The earth was formless and empty.[2a] Darkness was on the surface of the deep and the Spirit[2b] of Elohim was hovering[2c] over the surface of the waters.

Elohim said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.[3] Seeing that the light was good, Elohim separated the light from the darkness. Elohim called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” There was evening and there was morning, day one.[5]

Elohim said, “Let there be an expanse[6] between the waters to separate the waters from the waters.” Elohim made the expanse, and separated the waters which were beneath it from the waters which were above it; and it was so. Elohim called the expanse “sky.”[7] There was evening and there was morning, a second day.

Elohim said, “Let the waters under the sky be gathered together into one place, so that the the dry land may appear;” and it was so. 10 Elohim called the dry land “earth,” and the collection of waters he called “seas.” Elohim saw that it was good. 11 Elohim said, “Let the earth sprout vegitation[11a], seed-bearing herbs[11b], and fruit trees, each bearing fruit with seed according to its species”[11c]” and it was so. 12 The earth produced vegitation and seed-bearing plants according to their species, and trees bearing fruit with seed according to their species; and Elohim saw that it was good. 13 There was evening and there was morning, a third day.

[A: ii] 14 Elohim said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to distinguish between day and night, and to mark seasons, days, and years; 15 and let them serve as lights in the expanse of the sky[15] to shine upon the earth;” and it was so. 16 Elohim made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He also made the stars. 17 Elohim set them in the expanse of the sky to shine upon the earth, 18 and to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. Elohim saw that it was good. 19 There was evening and there was morning, a fourth day.

20 Elohim said, “Let the waters teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the sky.” 21 So Elohim created the large sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters teemed, according to their species, and every winged bird after its species. Elohim saw that it was good. 22 Elohim blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters of the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 23 There was evening and there was morning, a firth day.

[A: iii] 24 Elohim said, “Let the earth produce living creatures according to their species, livestock, creeping things, and wild animals of the earth accordiing to their species;” and it was so. 25 Elohim made the animals of the earth according to their species, and the livestock according to their species, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its species. Elohim saw that it was good.

26 Elohim said, “Let’s make man in Our image, after Our likeness,[26] to have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the sky, and over the livestock, and over all the earth itself, and over every creature that crawls upon the earth.” 27 Elohim created the man in his own image. In Elohim’s image He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Elohim blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it. Have dominion[28] over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the sky, and over every creature that moves on the earth.” 29 Elohim said, “Hinneh,[GN] I have given you every seed-bearing plant on the surface of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit contains seed. They will be your food. 30 To every animal of the earth, and to every bird of the sky, and to everything that creeps on the earth in which there is the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food;” and it was so.

31 Elohim looked upon everything that he had made, and it was very good indeed.[31a] There was evening and there was morning, a sixth day.[31b]

Chapter 2

____________

 a. The term parashah (Hebrew: פָּרָשָׁה Pārāšâ “portion”) means a section of a biblical book in the Masoretic Text of the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible). Before the addition of chapter and verse numbers as “bookmarks” to provide ease of reference for teaching purposes, the sages divided the Torah into 54 sections, or parashot, so that they could be read systematically in the synagogues in an annual reading cycle. We find this referenced in the Apostolic Writings, where the Shliachim (Emissaries or Apostles) are deciding how best to assimilate Gentiles into the Holy Community of Israel. It was decided that there were a few basic cultural imperatives that they must adhere to for the sake of harmonious co-existance in the Community, but to place a former pagan under the entire “yoke of Torah” all at once would be self-defeating. Instead it was decided that they be given a period of time in which to gradually learn torah, since from the earliest times, Moshe has had in every city those who proclaim him, with his words being read in the synagogues every Shabbat (Acts 15:21).

Parashot are not numbered, but instead have been given names that are based on either the first or another significant word near the beginning of the section that will remind the reader (or listener) of the passage being referred to.

The division of parashot found in the modern-day Torah scrolls of all Jewish communities is based upon the systematic list provided by Maimonides in Mishneh Torah, “Laws of Tefillin, Mezuzah and Torah Scrolls, chapter 8.” Maimonides based his division of the parashot for the Torah on the Aleppo Codex. The division of parashot for the books of Nevi'im and Ketuvim was never completely standardized in printed Hebrew bibles and handwritten scrolls, though important attempts were made to document it and create fixed rules. See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parashah. [RETURN]

 b. When the Torah is read in the synagogue, the Parashah (Torah portion) is divided into eight sections. Each section is called an 'aliyah (going up) and is read by a different member of the congregation who “goes up” to the bema to read. Sephardic and Ashkenazic Jews divide the parashot slightly differently, as indicated in the aliyah number indications. [RETURN]

1a. The Hebrew word most frequently rendered “God” is Elohim (~yhla), the plural of the Hebrew word Elohah (hhwla), and so I have rendered the word throughout my paraphrase of the Tanakh, primarily because I wish to emphasize the “plural oneness” of HaShem. Note that the word “Elohim” is a plural noun, but always takes a singular verb when referring to God. Some call this usage the “plural of majesty” as vane monarchs often refer to themselves in the plural. In Hebrew thought it is a plural intensive, or a plural that denotes magnitude or greatness, as in “very God” or “God of all gods.” Some point to this usage and claim that it “proves” the Trinity, but this is absolutely not the case and is grammatical nonsense. Read a more in-depth discussion HERE.  After “Elohim,” the Hebrew has the two letters “Aleph Tav” (ta, the first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet) as a “grammatical marker,” but see Isaiah 44:6: Thus says hwhy [YeHoVaH], Isra'el's King and Redeemer, hwhy [YeHoVaH]-Tzva'ot: “I am the first, and I am the last; besides me there is no God.” Compare this to the Greek phrase “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” (Rev. 22:13) [RETURN]

1b. Hebrew בָּרָ֣א, bara', to shape, fashion, or create, always with God as the subject. It is often taught that bara' means to create out of nothing. While it is true that God did create everything from nothing, that is not the meaning of the word, and so it may not be legitimately used to form the basis of a point of doctrine. The primitive root bara' has the basic meaning “to create.” It differs from עָשָׂה 'asah, “to fashion, accomplish” in that 'asah primarily emphasizes the shaping of an object or accomplishment of an objective, whereas bara' primarily emphasizes the initiation of something new. [RETURN]

1c. In Hebrew thought there are three heavens. The first heaven is earth’s atmosphere. The second heaven is the entire created universe beyond our atmosphere. The third heaven is outside of our space/time continuum, where HaShem dwells. [RETURN]

2a. Unformed and empty. Hebrew וָבֹ֔הוּ תֹ֙הוּ֙, tohu v'bohu. Tohu, unformed, denotes a total state of confusion and lack of order; a condition of utter chaos; bohu indicates a void or emptiness, a total waste. [RETURN]

2b. Spirit: Hebrew רוּחַ, Ruach is the same word for breath or wind. In valid Trinitarian theology there are absolutely not three separate Gods, as some would understand it, but rather there is one, and only one, absolutely indivisible and eternally unchangeable God as declared in the Shema (Deut. 6:4) Who, from our extremely limited understanding, appears to function or manifest as three primary “Persons” — the Father (haAbba), the Son (haBen), and the Holy Spirit (Ruach haKodesh). HaAbba is all the fullness of HaShem invisible; HaBen is all the fullness of HaShem manifested; Ruach HaKodesh is all the fullness of HaShem acting immediately upon creation. Thus, what the Father decrees, the Son declares, and the Spirit executes. (MORE HERE) [RETURN]

2c. The picture here is of a mother bird flying stationary above a nest full of chicks. Many think that when Yeshua walked on the surface of the sea of Galilee, He was reenacting the time when, as pure spirit, He hovered over the primordial oceans of the newly-formed and featureless earth. [RETURN]

 3. HaAbba (the Father) decreed that there would be light, HaBen (the Son, also called the Word) declared (spoke) the Father’s decree, and Ruach HaKodesh (the Spirit) brought light into being from nothing through the power of the Son’s spoken Word. [RETURN]

 5. The phrase translated “first day” can also be rendered as “one day” or “day one.” Note that in the creation account, “day one” begins with evening followed by morning. Thus in the Hebrew method of time reckoning, the day begins and ends at sunset. Since the Torah clearly states that this day and the five which immediately follow all begin with evening followed by morning, we can safely assume that “day” refers to a single 24-hour day. In the phrase, “The earth was unformed and empty” in verse 2, the word “was” (הָיָה, hayah can also be translated as “became,” leaving the possibility of a vast expanse of time between verse 1 and verse 2. This accommodates the so-called “Gap Theory” of creation. I do not personally subscribe to the Gap Theory, but you are certainly welcome to disagree with me. [RETURN]

 6. Expanse: Hebrew רָקִ֖יעַ, raqiya', an extended solid surface, a support, base, or firmament. This suggests that originally there was a solid enclosure of ice around the entire planet literally separating the waters below it from the waters above it. It is theorized that much of the water from the Flood of Genesis 7 came from this shell of ice suddenly melting. The fact that it is now known that cosmic radiation is the leading cause of aging supports the idea that because this shell of ice was very effective at filtering out radiation, people typically lived 600 years or longer before the flood. Since reptiles continue growing during their entire life span, this may also explain how reptiles grew extremely large before the flood. Consider how large a Komodo dragon, for example, might grow if it lived to be 500 or 600 years old. [RETURN]

 7. Sky or heavens: Hebrew שָׁמַ֫יִם, shamayim. [RETURN]

11a. Hebrew דֶּ֫שֶׁא, deshe; grass, new grass, green herb, (non-edible) vegetation. [RETURN]

11b. Herb: Hebrew עֵ֫שֶׂב, edible herbs, vegetables, edible plants. [RETURN]

11c. After their kind מִין, min, species. I have rendered this phrase as “according to its/their species” throughout. This debunks the theory of evolution. God ordained that each life form reproduces within its own particular species. Although new species or sub-species (variations on the original species) may develop from environmental conditions, science has yet to produce a single iota of evidence that one species has ever transformed into another.

Groups of living organisms belong in the same created 'kind' if they have descended from the same ancestral gene pool. This does not preclude new species because this represents a partitioning of the original gene pool. Information is lost or conserved not gained. A new species could arise when a population is isolated and inbreeding occurs. By this definition a new species is not a new 'kind' but a further partitioning of an existing 'kind'. [https://biblehub.com/parallel/genesis/1-11.htm, accessed 9 August 2020] [RETURN]

15. This does not mean that God created the sun, moon, and stars after He created the plants. It does mean, however, that He specifically ordained that humanity should use them to tell time and to distinguish the seasons [that is, the Moadim, or Appointed Times of YeHoVaH], and years. [RETURN]

26. What does it mean to be created in the image and likeness of God? This cannot possibly mean that God is a bipedal humanoid. God is invisible (1Tim.10), but He is able to take any form He desires: a burning bush, a humanoid (the Angel of hwhy [YeHoVaH], Yeshua), a pillar of fire, a pillar of smoke, etc. So His “image and likeness” cannot be referring to visible, physical attributes. But God is sentient; He has intellect, will, and emotion. Mankind is sentient: we have intellect, will, and emotion. God is tri-partite: He exists invisibly as the Father; He manifest visibly and physically as the Son; His Spirit interacts directly with His creation. Man is tri-partite: we exist invisibly as mind, will, and emotion; we exist visibly in a physical body of muscle, bone, and blood; we exist spiritually as that part of us which interacts directly with our Creator. For a simple example, GO HERE. [RETURN]

28. Dominion, Hebrew רדה, radah, is to have dominion, rule, subjugate. Adam was  created to rule over the earth and everything in it. [RETURN]

31a. After each phase of creation, HaShem declared that it was good, but after He created humanity, He declared that it was very good. [RETURN]

31b. Nuclear physicist Gerald L. Schroeder, Ph.D., has demonstrated in The Hidden Face of God: Science Reveals the Ultimate Truth (May 9, 2002) how by using Einstein’s Theory of Relativity he has calculated that when viewed from the point of creation looking outward (God’s perspective) the Bible’s six days of creation are identical to the 14 billion years since the “Big Bang” as viewed from earth looking back toward the center of the universe.

“We look at the universe, and say, ‘How old is the universe? Looking back in time, the universe is approximately 14 billion years old.’ That’s our view of time and those years went by. But what is the Bible’s view of those billions of years looking forward from the beginning? How does it see time? …

“We look back in time, and measure of the universe to be 14 billion years old. But as every scientist knows, when we say the universe is 14 billion years old, there’s another half of the sentence that we rarely bother to state. The universe is 14 billion years old as measured from the time-space coordinates of the earth, that is, from our current position in the universe.

“The key is that from the creation of the universe to the creation of the soul of Adam, the Bible looks forward in time, from time-space coordinates when the universe was vastly smaller than it is today. Since then, the universe has expanded out. Space stretches, and that stretching of space totally changes the perception of time. …

“Today, we look back in time and we see approximately 14 billion years of history and those years went by. But how would they be perceived from the Bible’s perspective of time? Looking forward from when the universe was very small – billions of times smaller – the Bible teaches that six days passed. In truth, they both are correct. … The biblical text shows us (and the Talmud confirms) that the soul of Adam was created five and a half days after the big bang creation. That is a half day before the termination of the sixth day. At that moment the cosmic calendar ceases and an earth based calendar starts. How would we see those days stretched by a million million? Five and a half days times a million million, gives us five and a half million million days. Dividing that by 365 days in a year, comes out to be 15 billion years. NASA gives a value of just under 14 billion years. Considering the many approximations, and that the Bible works with only six periods of time, the agreement to within a few percent is extraordinary. The universe is billions of years old but from the biblical perspective those billions of years compress into five and a half, 24 hour days.”

The calculations are also explaned on his website, geraldschroeder.com/wordpress/?page_id=53, last accessed 09 Autust 2020. [RETURN]

 

Originally posted on Sunday, 09 August 2020

Page last updated on Monday, 18 January 2021 12:17 PM
(Updates are generally minor formatting or editorial changes.
Major content changes are identified as "Revisions”)

Anxiously awaiting Mashiach’s return
ANXIOUSLY WATCHING FOR MASHIACH’S RETURN,
SPEEDILY AND IN OUR DAY. MARANA, TA!