God and the Order of Creation: The Deeper Hebrew Meaning of the First Verse of the Bible (Part II)

Some of the comments I received about yesterday’s post pointed out that it seemed like I ‘stopped in the middle’ and there should have been a continuation to that post…so here is the ‘second part’ if you will.

Yesterday’s focus was on the FIRST part of the first verse of the Bible and today we will talk about the SECOND part and its strong affinity to the first part. Here is the opening verse of the Bible:

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1)

As a reminder, the original Hebrew word for ‘in the beginning’ is ‘Bereshit.’ {בראשית} This Hebrew word is composed of TWO parts: the prefix ‘Be’ {ב} which means ‘in’, ‘at’ or ‘on’ and its role is to clarify this is a DEFINITE term. And the other part is ‘Reshit’ {ראשית} which means ‘beginning’ but also ‘origin’, ‘source’ and ‘firstly.’

The word ‘Reshit’ derived from the Hebrew root ‘R-A-Sh’ {ר-א-ש} which literally means ‘head’ and can be found in the name of the Jewish New Year – ‘ROSH Ha-Shanah’ {ראש השנה} – that literally means ‘the HEAD of the year’ as well as in the Hebrew term ‘Rosh Chodesh’ {ראש החודש} which is the ‘New Moon’ and literally means the HEAD of the month.’ Also, this is the case with the Hebrew name for Sunday, which is called in Hebrew ‘Yom Reshon’ {יום ראשון} and its Hebrew meaning is ‘the FIRST day.’

It is important to understand the deeper layer of this Hebrew word (‘Bereshit’) because of the continuation of this verse which is (God created) ‘the heavens and the earth.’

If you will take a closer look at the first chapter of Genesis, or more accurately only a few verses later, you will see: 

“And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. And God called the expanse Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day. And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. God called the dry land Earth.” (Genesis 1:8-11)

In other words, how can it be that ‘in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth’ but only a few verses later it is said that God created the heavens and the earth NOW….?

Well, the answer lies within the deeper meaning of the Hebrew word ‘Bereshit’ which can be understood as both ‘in the beginning’ or ‘firstly.’ That means this Hebrew word refers to the FIRST part of the Creation which includes all the cosmic infrastructure of the world such as the light and mainly the heavens and the earth, while the second part of the creation deals with all the items that were created in order to fill the ‘heavens and the earth’ as implied in the FIRST verse of the second chapter – which was ORIGINALLY the ENDING verse of the first chapter – that clarifies there were TWO parts:

“Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them” (Genesis 2:1)

Hope this explanation has provided valuable insight from the original Hebrew about the ORDER of Creation and the word ‘Bereshit’ – ‘in the beginning.’