I have stayed away from this story in order not to enter many of the great distractions of our time. But it must eventually be done, so here it is, with all its story or so I hope.
Note a thing or two:
- The comma at the end of verse 4. Most consider this a closing of the prior story. I find it otherwise. And I find no convenient verb in the first half of verse 5. (I could be persuaded otherwise - but let's wait till we finish Genesis where this phrase is used as a marker dividing all the sections of the book.)
- Human (אדם) and ground (אדמה) are from the same root. I use human only once in this chapter to distinguish the undifferentiated earthling (האדם) from the man (אישׁ) and woman (אשׁה) after the trance and side-by-side operation.
- Help meet is a lovely invention (and tends wrongly to be used to put the female in a subordinate place), but meet has lost something in translation. So I used a phrase trying to catch something of the word when it is used elsewhere as a verb. It is used for making something clear or evident, or conspicuous, or it may be used simply as a preposition, before, in front of.
- Rib is nice, but too familiar. [rib is back - yea! and I will use it for the ark etc where it resolves another problem.] The word is from a root which can be glossed as halting. It is also a word used repeatedly in the construction of the tabernacle. It is never used again in the Bible as the word for the rib bone so it is a really misleading gloss in this story [without its corresponding use in Exodus]. (Yes Virginia, it is a story - get real. And my God, what a confrontational and brilliant gem of a story it is! You ought not to trivialize it, you who say you love the Bible.)
- I kept confrontation. The word is used twice in this chapter with quite different emphasis. See the music.
- Soul. Lovely word. I never use it. Kata Bob, Bob's Bible is soulless. But note that the same word is used for all the living that God created. And again here, the word is used of the earthling when Yahweh exhales and the one from the dust becomes alive to self. So each beast (verse 19) is also a self that has life. It's easy to observe the self-protection of all creatures. It does require that we open our eyes and unplug our ears.
- The last verse anticipates the confrontations to come. It could well be with the next chapter. The word for naked is a homonym of crafty (subtle), the word that will be used of the character of the snake. (You don't know about the snake? Soon...)
- Don't you just love those rivers? I failed to name the first, but translated the name, a word used for writhing in birth, or dancing.
- Poor earthling, I didn't give it a name. I haven't yet called to it.
- You will note the third person neuter singular. In the story, it is not yet differentiated as he and she. In other books, I sometimes use it as a personal pronoun of indeterminate gender.
- stitched up is a word (סגר) otherwise glossed as imprisoned. (I got a kick out of it.)
|אֵ֣לֶּה תוֹלְד֧וֹת הַשָּׁמַ֛יִם וְהָאָ֖רֶץ בְּהִבָּֽרְאָ֑ם |
בְּי֗וֹם עֲשׂ֛וֹת יְהוָ֥ה אֱלֹהִ֖ים אֶ֥רֶץ וְשָׁמָֽיִם
|4||B||These are the successions of the heavens and the earth when they were created, |
on the day Yahweh God constructed earth and heaven,
|וְכֹ֣ל ׀ שִׂ֣יחַ הַשָּׂדֶ֗ה טֶ֚רֶם יִֽהְיֶ֣ה בָאָ֔רֶץ וְכָל־עֵ֥שֶׂב הַשָּׂדֶ֖ה טֶ֣רֶם יִצְמָ֑ח |
כִּי֩ לֹ֨א הִמְטִ֜יר יְהוָ֤ה אֱלֹהִים֙ עַל־הָאָ֔רֶץ וְאָדָ֣ם אַ֔יִן לַֽעֲבֹ֖ד אֶת־הָֽאֲדָמָֽה
|5||and every shrub of the field, ere it was in the earth, and every herb of the field ere it grew. |
For Yahweh God had not made it rain on the earth and there was no human to serve the ground.
|וְאֵ֖ד יַֽעֲלֶ֣ה מִן־הָאָ֑רֶץ |
|6||And a humidity ascended from the earth, |
and gave drink to all the surface of the ground.
|וַיִּיצֶר֩ יְהוָ֨ה אֱלֹהִ֜ים אֶת־הָֽאָדָ֗ם עָפָר֙ מִן־הָ֣אֲדָמָ֔ה וַיִּפַּ֥ח בְּאַפָּ֖יו נִשְׁמַ֣ת חַיִּ֑ים |
וַֽיְהִ֥י הָֽאָדָ֖ם לְנֶ֥פֶשׁ חַיָּֽה
|7||And Yahweh God fashioned the earthing, dust from the ground, and exhaled into its nose the breath of life, |
and the earthling became alive to self.
|וַיִּטַּ֞ע יְהוָ֧ה אֱלֹהִ֛ים גַּן־בְעֵ֖דֶן מִקֶּ֑דֶם |
וַיָּ֣שֶׂם שָׁ֔ם אֶת־הָֽאָדָ֖ם אֲשֶׁ֥ר יָצָֽר
|8||And Yahweh God planted a garden in Eden from confrontation, |
and he set up there the earthling that he fashioned.
|וַיַּצְמַ֞ח יְהוָ֤ה אֱלֹהִים֙ מִן־הָ֣אֲדָמָ֔ה כָּל־עֵ֛ץ נֶחְמָ֥ד לְמַרְאֶ֖ה וְט֣וֹב לְמַאֲכָ֑ל |
וְעֵ֤ץ הַֽחַיִּים֙ בְּת֣וֹךְ הַגָּ֔ן וְעֵ֕ץ הַדַּ֖עַת ט֥וֹב וָרָֽע
|9||And Yahweh God made grow from the ground every tree attractive to see and good to eat, |
and the tree of the living in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
|וְנָהָרּ֙ יֹצֵ֣א מֵעֵ֔דֶן לְהַשְׁק֖וֹת אֶת־הַגָּ֑ן |
וּמִשָּׁם֙ יִפָּרֵ֔ד וְהָיָ֖ה לְאַרְבָּעָ֥ה רָאשִֽׁים
|10||And a river goes out from Eden to irrigate the garden, |
and from there separates and becomes four headwaters.
|שֵׁ֥ם הָֽאֶחָ֖ד פִּישׁ֑וֹן |
ה֣וּא הַסֹּבֵ֗ב אֵ֚ת כָּל־אֶ֣רֶץ הַֽחֲוִילָ֔ה אֲשֶׁר־שָׁ֖ם הַזָּהָֽב
|11||f||The name of the first is Pishon. |
It surrounds all the land of the one who brings to birth where there is gold.
|וּֽזֲהַ֛ב הָאָ֥רֶץ הַהִ֖וא ט֑וֹב |
שָׁ֥ם הַבְּדֹ֖לַח וְאֶ֥בֶן הַשֹּֽׁהַם
|12||And the gold of that land is good. |
There is bdellium and onyx stone.
|וְשֵֽׁם־הַנָּהָ֥ר הַשֵּׁנִ֖י גִּיח֑וֹן |
ה֣וּא הַסּוֹבֵ֔ב אֵ֖ת כָּל־אֶ֥רֶץ כּֽוּשׁ
|13||And the name of the second river is Gihon. |
It surrounds all the land of Cush.
|וְשֵׁ֨ם הַנָּהָ֤ר הַשְּׁלִישִׁי֙ חִדֶּ֔קֶל ה֥וּא הַֽהֹלֵ֖ךְ קִדְמַ֣ת אַשּׁ֑וּר |
וְהַנָּהָ֥ר הָֽרְבִיעִ֖י ה֥וּא פְרָֽת
|14||And the name of the third river is Hidkel. It meanders east to Ashur. |
And the fourth river is Euphrates.
|וַיִּקַּ֛ח יְהוָ֥ה אֱלֹהִ֖ים אֶת־הָֽאָדָ֑ם |
וַיַּנִּחֵ֣הוּ בְגַן־עֵ֔דֶן לְעָבְדָ֖הּ וּלְשָׁמְרָֽהּ
|15||And Yahweh God took the earthling, |
and he allowed him into the garden of Eden to serve it and to keep it.
|וַיְצַו֙ יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהִ֔ים עַל־הָֽאָדָ֖ם לֵאמֹ֑ר |
מִכֹּ֥ל עֵֽץ־הַגָּ֖ן אָכֹ֥ל תֹּאכֵֽל
|16||And Yahweh God gave command to the earthling and said, |
From every tree of the garden, you eat as food.
|וּמֵעֵ֗ץ הַדַּ֙עַת֙ ט֣וֹב וָרָ֔ע לֹ֥א תֹאכַ֖ל מִמֶּ֑נּוּ |
כִּ֗י בְּי֛וֹם אֲכָלְךָ֥ מִמֶּ֖נּוּ מ֥וֹת תָּמֽוּת
|17||But from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you will not eat from it, |
for in the day of your eating from it, to die you will die.
|וַיֹּ֙אמֶר֙ יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהִ֔ים לֹא־ט֛וֹב הֱי֥וֹת הָֽאָדָ֖ם לְבַדּ֑וֹ |
אֶֽעֱשֶׂהּ־לּ֥וֹ עֵ֖זֶר כְּנֶגְדּֽוֹ
|18||And Yahweh God said, It is not good that the earthling is itself alone. |
I will construct its help as conspicuous to it.
|וַיִּצֶר֩ יְהוָ֨ה אֱלֹהִ֜ים מִן־הָֽאֲדָמָ֗ה כָּל־חַיַּ֤ת הַשָּׂדֶה֙ וְאֵת֙ כָּל־ע֣וֹף הַשָּׁמַ֔יִם וַיָּבֵא֙ אֶל־הָ֣אָדָ֔ם לִרְא֖וֹת מַה־יִּקְרָא־ל֑וֹ |
וְכֹל֩ אֲשֶׁ֨ר יִקְרָא־ל֧וֹ הָֽאָדָ֛ם נֶ֥פֶשׁ חַיָּ֖ה ה֥וּא שְׁמֽוֹ
|19||And Yahweh God fashioned from the ground every living thing of the field and all the fowl of the heavens and had them come to the earthling to see what it would call to it. |
And all that the earthling called to it, the self that has life, it was its name.
|וַיִּקְרָ֨א הָֽאָדָ֜ם שֵׁמ֗וֹת לְכָל־הַבְּהֵמָה֙ וּלְע֣וֹף הַשָּׁמַ֔יִם וּלְכֹ֖ל חַיַּ֣ת הַשָּׂדֶ֑ה |
וּלְאָדָ֕ם לֹֽא־מָצָ֥א עֵ֖זֶר כְּנֶגְדּֽוֹ
|20||And the earthling called the names of all the cattle and of the fowl of the heavens and to all the living of the field, |
but for the earthling was not found help as conspicuous to it.
|וַיַּפֵּל֩ יְהוָ֨ה אֱלֹהִ֧ים ׀ תַּרְדֵּמָ֛ה עַל־הָאָדָ֖ם וַיִּישָׁ֑ן |
וַיִּקַּ֗ח אַחַת֙ מִצַּלְעֹתָ֔יו וַיִּסְגֹּ֥ר בָּשָׂ֖ר תַּחְתֶּֽנָּה
|21||And Yahweh God made a trance fall on the earthling and it slept, |
and he took one from its ribs and he stitched up the flesh under it.
|וַיִּבֶן֩ יְהוָ֨ה אֱלֹהִ֧ים ׀ אֶֽת־הַצֵּלָ֛ע אֲשֶׁר־לָקַ֥ח מִן־הָֽאָדָ֖ם לְאִשָּׁ֑ה |
|22||And Yahweh God built the rib that he took from the earthling into woman and he had her come to the earthling.||3c||4A||23|
|וַיֹּאמֶר֮ הָֽאָדָם֒ זֹ֣את הַפַּ֗עַם עֶ֚צֶם מֵֽעֲצָמַ֔י וּבָשָׂ֖ר מִבְּשָׂרִ֑י |
לְזֹאת֙ יִקָּרֵ֣א אִשָּׁ֔ה כִּ֥י מֵאִ֖ישׁ לֻֽקֳחָה־זֹּֽאת
|23||And the earthling said, this pulse is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh, |
to this one he called, Woman, for from man this one was taken.
|עַל־כֵּן֙ יַֽעֲזָב־אִ֔ישׁ אֶת־אָבִ֖יו וְאֶת־אִמּ֑וֹ |
וְדָבַ֣ק בְּאִשְׁתּ֔וֹ וְהָי֖וּ לְבָשָׂ֥ר אֶחָֽד
|24||Therefore a man will forsake his father and his mother, |
and stay close to his woman and let them be of one flesh.
|וַיִּֽהְי֤וּ שְׁנֵיהֶם֙ עֲרוּמִּ֔ים הָֽאָדָ֖ם וְאִשְׁתּ֑וֹ |
|25||And the two of them were naked, the earthling and his woman, |
and they were not ashamed.