CREATION OF THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH
Let us study here some scriptures in which the three words used in the Old Testament for "Create" "Form" "Make" are used and try to give their proper relations in these usages. The word for God in the Hebrew is "ELOHIM" and it is in the plural. There are three numbers in the Hebrew language, Singular, which means one, Dual, which means two, Plural, which means three or more. The word for God is in the plural, and this means at least three. The comments of the Rabbis concering this word all state it means three. Let me quote from Talmudical and Rabinnical comments with comments by a great learned Hebrew Christian.
ELOHIM. The Ancients understood that ELOHIM was in the plural as the following anecdote from the Talmud will show. "The Minem(the initial letter stands for believers in Jesus of Nazareth) asked Rabbi Simlu 'How many Gods created the World?' He answered, 'Go ask the first man'." (Talmud Beracoth 89), the Zohar explains the plural and the singular verb "BARA" in the following manner: "Elohim is composed of two words. EL and Him, i.e. "These are Gods." The plural is expressed as in "Remember thy Creator (plural 'BOR'EKA' the creators of thee). Here the word Create is used about the trinity doing the creating. Eccl. 12:1, The Cabbalists have an ingenious explanation why God is known in the creation chapters as "ELOHIM," which is the plural instead of "Jehovah," because the letters in "ELOHIM" have the same numerical value of both God and nature, which word in the Hebrew is "Chattabagh" He equals 5, Teth equals 9, Beth equals 2, and Ghayin equals 70. The sum is 86. Then in "ELOHIM," Aleph equals 1, Lamedh equals 30, He equals 5, Yodh equals 10, Mem equals 40. The sum is 86. So Nature is the Garment of God. It is that in which He appears and wherein He is veiled, so when we look at nature, we see Him and know Him in His vestured aspect; but this is not the body of God, and is only his garment, or what we see is not pantheistic, but He has presented His garment of instrumentation to the eyes of man. They and His garment are in time and space, and they will be folded up as a garment in the folding up of the universe and laid aside, in the dissolution of the Heavens and earth, when He has finished with this present creation. Then He will create a New Heaven and New Earth, wherein dwelleth Righteousness. These comments with some of my own are taken from the WORD STUDIES OF B. A. M. Schapiro.
Now why have I given this interpretation of God to begin this work? Because I wish the reader to understand that the whole Godhead, Father, Son, Spirit are the three agencies in the Creation, or to put it in plain speech the three persons who brought about the creation. Suppose we put it this way, even before we begin to discuss it much. "The GOD-FATHER planned the Creation and more properly the word "BARA" belongs to him in the intelligence of the Godhead. The SON-GOD patterned the Creation and the word "YATSAR" properly belongs to him, i.e. "Yatsar means to give form, shape." The word "ASAH" (some times transliterated in "ghasah") is properly of the SPIRIT-GOD and means thrust out into existence or really make. I think this definition will hold all through the Old and New Testament, but the Greek [is] not so careful of distinction in the terms as the Hebrew of the Old Testament. The Greek did not have the exactitude as the Hebrew, and the three words [in] the New Testament are "THEOS," God. "HUIOS," Son. "PNEUMA," Spirit. The New Testament states clear however the principle on which the Creation comes into existence.
The word "BARA" in relation to the Heavens and Earth. Genesis1:1. An exact translation runs [thus] "In beginning created God (ELOHIM), (and create there given as "BARA") the heavens and the Earth." The Trinity from this verse had the whole creation of Heavens and Earth in their power and activity. The word "beginning" is also a plural word, and is a feminine from head, chief, first. So at beginnings, i. e. of creation, the Triune God did three things: Create, give form to, and bring out into time and space. The three Hebrew words are included here in the original meaning of "Bara." This word applied to the trinity fills the three fold work of the creation. This work we will later bring forth from both Greek and Hebrew in the Old and New Testaments. Christians have not yet studied the creation enough, or rather they have gone to the scientists of the world to get their ideas of creation.
The second use of "BARA," translated Create, that I wish to use in connection with the Heavens and Earth is found in Isaiah 40:26, a translation of a part of the verse there is "Who created these---?" This question is put to Israel. The subject of the who here refers to the "Elohim," Triune God. In verse 28, "Did you not know, if you have not heard God of forever, Jehovah the one creating the ends of the earth---?" Here the name Jehovah is also used with the word "BARA." The Divine Patronymic of the Human race and also of Israel, Jehovah, is used with the word Bara and this word refers more often to prophecies concerning Christ than to the Godhead.
Another usage of "BARA" as create and properly so is found in Isaiah 42:5. "Thus saith the God (El, singular and not plural) Jehovah, the one creating the heavens, and the stretching them out, and the one separating the earth and the things coming out of her, the one giving breathing to the people upon her, and Spirit to those walking in (on) her." Here Jehovah as a singular God is declared as the one creating the Heavens and stretching out them and separating (literally beating away) the earth. A literal translation of this at the first of the verse is "Thus says the powerful one Jehovah--" The Hebrew word for power is the first part of "ELOHIM," which is "EL" and it is better rendered here as the UNITY of the God Head in all three persons instead as referring to the Christ Element of the Godhead. We all know that the Hebrew language is a rich mine of knowledge, into which we may dig untold wealth from the very fact that God used it for the whole of His old covenant with his people the Hebrews.
Another reference and this is practically all the verses in the Old Testament that have the word "BARA" as create in reference to the earth and the heavens. This reference in Isaiah 45:18. "For thus said Jehovah, the one creating the heavens, the God (ELOHIM) forming the earth and making her, the one giving her foundation not as emptiness (chaos), the one creating her for (rest) habitation, the one forming her, I (am) Jehovah and none other." Literally these are all the texts in the Old Testament which use the word "BARA," create, with the Heavens and the earth. Other words so translated come from other Hebrew words, which we shall take up later.
Now we come to the Hebrew word "YATSAR," which literally means, give form. Meanings of this word are found in the lexicons and some of our brethren and others say that it means to form from already existing material. This is practically true for it is used more with the Christ element in the creation rather than with the whole Godhead. This will be explained in the Greek words of the New Testament further. In Psalm 90:2, a word is used, which is not Yatsar. The word used there is a form of "HOOL," and the passage reads thus in translation. "In before (time when the mountains were begotten, and forming (Hool) the earth, from always unto always, thou (wast) God (singular "EL" here for God)." This word if figurative for forming and literally means to bear like the birth of children. Also the mountains here are said to be begotten, for the word used is that of begetting the mountains.
In Psalm 95:5 the word "YATSAR" is used concerning the dry (land). "To Him which is the sea [and] He made them, and the dry (land) He formed as to [His] hand." This word is used very few times in reference to the forming of the Earth and Heavens. Another use which we have already given in translation is found in Isaiah 45:18. Again let us translate here this verse, "For thus said Jehovah, the one creating the Heavens, the God forming (YATSAR) the Earth and making her, the one giving her foundation not as emptiness (chaos), the one creating her for (rest) habitation, the one forming (YATSAR) her, (am) Jehovah and none other." The word is used twice in this verse and seems to be used interchangeably with the other two words, "BARA" for create, "GHASAH" for make. Yet when we understand the premise of the beginning that the words primarily related to the three persons of the Godhead, we can understand why the three are here used in Isaiah 45:18.
In Amos 4:13 the word "YATSAR" is used again in connection with the mountains. A translation here of part of the verse will suffice. "For behold the out forming" (Yatsar) the mountains, the one creating spirit (wind) ------." Spoken hereof as "Elohim," the trinity of God. This word is here for a limited part of the earth, the mountains, and this is all the direct uses of the Hebrew word "Yatsar" used with the God person or any of the three persons of the Triune Godhead to signify that the Universe or any part of it received for in this direct way. The meanings of "yatsar" as a verb in the lexicons as shown above are as follows.
"YATSAR." To form. To fashion. To make. To crate. To destine. To mold as a potter. To frame. (As metaphoric) To propose. To think. To imagine. With these definitions before us and none of them say anything about preexisting material or the lack of preexisting material we have this peculiar word before us now. In the New Testament we come to the conclusion that this element of the creation, that of giving form is the function of the Christ principle of the Godhead in the Creation. This will be later discussed as we take up the creation from the New Testament. As yet we have not taken up the noun and other uses of the words, but will do so when we have finished the verbal uses of the words.
The third word, "ASAH" or as it is sometimes transliterated, "GHASAH" is used three thousand and fifty two times directly as "MAKE." This is hundreds of times many more than either "Bara" or "Yatsar." This is the word in which we must get the true meaning of putting into existence, or really to bring into time and space. This word is used twentytwo times verbally about God or the Lord making heavens and earth. A few translations here to show that this word is used as reasonably as the other two in the same way, but primarily it refers to the work of the spirit, which meaning we shall draw from other passages.
A first use of it is Genesis 2:2, 3, 4. "And finished God in the day the seventh His work which He made, and He rested in the day the seventh from all His work which He made. And blessed God the day the seventh and sanctified it, for in it He rested from all His work which created God for to make." These three verses here use the plural word for God "ELOHIM." This is the whole Godhead of Father, Son, Holy Spirit. These verses use once the word "BARA" and the word "Ghasah" three times. They show a bit of distinction between the words, and this distinction will later be shown. In fact the word "Ghasah" is properly that action of the Spirit God as other scriptures show.
In Jeremiah 10:11-12 we have another use of this word "GHASAH," which is peculiar. "As this (thus) shall say unto them, 'The god which not served the heavens and the earth, they shall perish from the earth and from beneath these heavens. The one making earth is His power, He has made firm the world (universe) in His wisdom and in His understanding He stretched out the heavens." This verse is written in Chaldee. The forms of God and gods here is plural. This verse declared just one God, a Trinity did the making. Now in the Psalms nine times this word "GHASAH" is used and every time the word for God is "ELOHIM" or "Jehovah" or "EL" a poetic form for God. In 96:5, "For all gods of the peoples (are) empty ones, and Jehovah made the Heavens." In 104:24 "How many kinds, the things thou hast done Jehovah! In wisdom thou made them all. Filled the earth as to thy riches." 10:24; 115:15; 121:2; 124:8; 134:3; 136:5; 146:6; all in Psalms state that Jehovah as God or Elohim as God made the heavens and the earth. Two other uses of this are found in Proverbs 8:26. "Not yet He made the earth, and the places outside, and a head of the dusts of the world (literally a beginning of the dusts (elements) of the Universe). Then in Isaiah 37:16, "Jehovah of hosts, God of Israel, the one sitting (among) the cherubim, thou. He the God to thy separation, unto all the kingdoms of the earth. Thou made the Heavens."
As a noun connected with the Creation "BARA" is used in the following and translated Creator. In Ecclesiastes 12:1 the expressing there translated is, "Remember even thy creating one in days of thy youth, until which not shall come days of evil (misfortune) and the years approach, and thou shalt say, 'none of joy to me in them'." The word creator as translated in our Authorized Version here is in the plural participle used as a noun, so I translated it as "the ones creating thee." Participles in Hebrew are used in a noun sense just as they are used in every other language and are translated into plain nouns in our common English.
Another use of the participle is found in Isaiah 40:28. This use is singular here and still a noun use of the Hebrew participle of "BARA." "Did you not know, if you have not heard, that the forever God, Jehovah the one creating the ends of the earth." In this use both "ELOHIM" and "Jehovah" are used with the participle translated as creator, and which I have put the participle translation in it. There are three more uses of this verb in the passive voice. Genesis 2:4; Psalms 104:30; 148:5. These all, which I have translated and I have given every one from the verb "BARA" which translated "create," in the whole of the Old Testament. Not one of these passages state that God made or created the earth out of nothing. This matter will be discussed and explained later in the book.
Genesis 2:4. "These the stories of the Heavens and the Earth in their being caused to be created, in a day of making Jehovah God Earth and Heavens." The word create here is from the Hiphil participle of "BARA" and the word make is from the participle of "GHASH." This case says nothing about being made out of nothing. I should like to have the authority of the men who state that and were they got it. They have taken it from legend and from other men. The Hebrew Language does not so state it.
Psalms 104:30. "Thou will send forth thy spirit, they will be created, and thou hast renewed the faces of the ground." This shows that the power of the creation is in the Spirit. There are four such scriptures in the Old Testament. This one, Psalms 33:6, Job 26:13, and Job 33:4. All these will be translated in exact wording later in the book. Another statement of this wonder called Creation will be good here. All plans for the Creation were made in the God-Father intelligence and this amounted to the "BARA" word of creation, and all patterns for the Creation were found in the Son-God, and this amounted to the "YATSAR" word of the creation, and all force and power of the creation were found in the SPIRIT-GOD, and this amounts to the "GHASAH" word of the Creation.
In Psalms 148:5. "Praise the name of Jehovah, for he commanded and they were created." The Hebrew runs exactly with our English translation here. These are all the uses of the word "BARA," create, in the Old Testament and they are every one so translated as create. The primary word means to cut, form, fashion, principally in the intelligence of the Godhead, as before given in definition elsewhere. Twice the word "BARA" is translated as make in the Old Testament, but it does not deal with the Creation of Heavens and Earth, once it states about a new thing and the other time about man. Now we come to the second word Yatsar in its noun and participle and passive uses.
There are very few instances of the use of the word "YATSAR" in the participle and noun uses, I think only two uses in the whole of the Old Testament. Once in Isaiah 54:17, which refers to weapons which cannot be made against God, or literally formed against God. The other use is in Jeremiah 51:19. he is called the former of everything. "-----For He is the one forming the all----." Also twice in Isaiah 45:18, the participle is used, this verse has already been translated, as, "----the one forming the earth, -------I the one forming her---." Both words are used in the verse.
There are very few uses also of the word "Ghasah," make, as participle or noun or passive uses in the Old Testament. In Isaiah 22:11 both words make and form in their respective Hebrew are used. "---And ye did not respect the one making her and the one forming her----." "GHASAH" and "YATSAR" are both used here. In Jeremiah 32:2 we also have both words in the same use as, "Thus said Jehovah the one making her, Jehovah the one forming her to give her founding, Jehovah is the name." In Isaiah 44:24 both words are used together as, "Thus said Jehovah, the one redeeming thee, and the one forming thee from the womb, I Jehovah am the one making all, the one stretching out the heavens to the separation, and beating out the earth from with me." These are nearly all the uses of these two words in connection with the creation of the Heavens and the Earth. This last verse will be used in connection with Hebrews 11:3 to illustrate a great scientific truth, which modern science has almost discovered in the last decade. We are now through with the three words used in the Creation activity of the Trinity, and this leads us further into the study, which is of extreme weight as found in the Inspired record of God in the Hebrew Old Testament and the Greek New Testament. It is there we must go, if we rid ourselves of the traditional and legendary ideal that mankind have had for thousands of years, and which are borrowed from the Hamitic and Japhetic Philosophies that have been long as these two races have existed just after the flood. True science has come face to face with the truth, that the human race has not been on this earth but very little over six thousand years and certainly not as long as ten thousand years. However much the Evolutionists may declare long stretches of time, they have not been able to prove the existence of mankind back very long behind the historic records that man has left. All the traces of men have been left within the historic background that he has built for himself.
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