Servicio Evangélico de Documentación e Información
línea sobre línea

||||||||||   Apartado 2002 - 08200 SABADELL (Barcelona) ESPAÑA | SPAIN   ||||||||

George V. Wigram


Source: Memorials of the Ministry of G. V. Wigram
Vol. II - Fifth Edition
Circulated in book form by
Bible Truth Publishers - P.O. Box 649 - ADDISON - IL 60101

set in Portable Document Format (*.PDF) [download PDF]
and in HTML Format (*.htm) by
SEDIN - P.O. Box 126 - 17244 Cassà de la Selva (Barcelona) SPAIN


THE tenses in Hebrew need fresh examination. Nothing but a careful study of them as they occur in the Bible can give a satisfactory solution to the difficulties and uncertainties which exist in many minds as to them.

In Hebrew verbs there are three moods—the Indicative, the Infinitive, and the Imperative— and, besides these, two participles. The indicative has two tenses, which I will call x and z for the present. The questions are, as to these (x and z), firstly, Do they carry in themselves a time of their own? or is the time which they express dependent upon the connection in which they stand?

Let us look at them, first, in Genesis, from chap. i. 1 to chap. ii. 3.

Chap. i. 1, 2: “In the beginning God xcreated the heavens and the earth. And the earth xwas without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”

The form marked x is called Preterite by the Hebraists.

Note this: “In the beginning,” here, does not mean ‘of creation;’1 for (Job xxxviii, 4-7) angels existed when the foundations of the earth were laid. Again, though it does refer to the commencement of the globe on which we are, it was not the commencement of ‘the earth as prepared for man.’ That begins in verse 3; and between the paragraphs (vv. 1, 2) and that beginning at verse 3, there is a gap, which is blank and void. Some geologists, in self-sufficient ignorance, who wish to find fault with Scripture, do not see either this, or that if the theories which they advocate are right, they must have been in the said gap; for the verses 1 and 2 describe a state not suited to much for which they demand a place. And the same is true of the paragraph which begins with verse 3; but there is the gap between the two, and Scripture, in saying nothing of it or its contents, leaves it a blank.

Paragraph 1 contains a narration, in which the origin of this globe (heaven and earth) is ascribed to God; the formless and void condition of it is named, and darkness being over the deep; but the Spirit of God also was moving on the face of the waters.

Thus, what first came into being, God xcreated; and darkness xwas, &c.; both these verbs are in the perfectly past time. The mind is thrown back to “the beginning,” and to what was originated there, and the state of it. ‘God created,’ and ‘what He created was,’ &c. Here the object seems to be to mark that the originator was God as Creator.

In paragraph 2 (beginning with verse 3), on the contrary, we get a series of actings connected in one, each acting a step towards a whole. Six days, and their characteristic marks put upon them by God; and then a seventh, a day of rest.

Between these two paragraphs, when they are compared together, there is contrast. They cannot be made into one and the same series. But there may have been a gap between them, undefined as to extent and what was in it. Nothing could more mark, to my mind, the perfectly past time expressed, as above, by x“created” and x“was,” and their isolateness as in paragraph 1. They are the first occurrences of the preterite form, and so are the more calculated to impress the mind; and the perfectly past time is stamped upon them by the context, and not only by the name given to them by the grammarians; so that I shall use p henceforth instead of x.

Paragraph 2. Verses 3-5: “And God zsaid, zlet there be light: and there zwas light. And God zsaw the light, that it was good: and God zdivided the light from the darkness. And God zcalled the light Day, and the darkness pHe called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.”2 (Heb., “And the evening zwas and the morning zwas, a first day.”)

Here we have six instances of z (called by the old grammarians future, and by the moderns present), then one p, and then in Hebrew two more occurrences of z—all translated alike, by a past (but which here, however, would sometimes be more like an imperfect than a proper perfect tense).

It might be translated differently, thus: ‘And God zsaith, Light zis, and there zis light. And God zsees the light, that it is good: and God zdivides the light from the darkness. And God zcalls the light Day, and the darkness pHe called Night. And evening zis and morning zis, a first day.’

I see, as I judge, what led Hebrew rabbis astray sometimes, and what also misled Gentile translators into doing violence in the translation of the tenses, and moods too, here and elsewhere. The rabbis, on the one hand, made their observations on the text; and Gentile translators too soon turned to man-made grammars, and too little kept their minds in lively examination of the sacred text. On the other hand, while I admit that the idioms of the languages into which translators (whether Greek, or Latin, or English) sought to render that which was in the Hebrew did not readily admit the very forms of the Hebrew, this is all that I can as yet grant. And this, of course, raises a question as to the competency of the translators for their work, and is a proof of the need and the value of every such tentative paper as this. But if the mind of the respective translators rules in the LXX, in the Vulgate, in Jerome’s, and in the English versions, ere I dare to submerge the Hebrew idiom, &c., altogether, and go to sea without a compass as to moods and tenses, I would say, Let us look carefully to the Hebrew, and see what the facts of the case are.

I observe then, firstly, that the English gives the paragraph 2 as a historical record: “God said, . . . Let there be light, . . . light was;” &c. Now, this is just as if there had been no break after verse 2, and that the account given in verses 1 and 2 (paragraph 1), which was correctly so given, was being continued through paragraph 2.

On the contrary, the Hebrew, more like the gospels by far, seems to give a vividness to what begins in verse 3, because it brings us into the scene itself where God is presented as a living Person in present action, and this living Person’s actions and words characterize the whole paragraph onward.

I know, by their omission of Peh at the commencement of verse 3, that the rabbis did not see that a new paragraph began with verse 3; but any one that weighs the matter will see that it is the commencement of an entirely new paragraph. It has a vacuum before it occurs, sufficiently large for all the geologists, but it has no background; the vacuum is of most undefined space and occupation; on the other side of which is the origin of the globe and its chaos state, yet under the Spirit of God. If the various displays of creation of which the geologists speak occupied that gap, they all had ceased and passed, when the living God is seen as personally present, and introducing an entirely new and orderly system of things. He is in living display, and He says, speaks, sees, divides, calls, creates, makes, &c., and the very variety of His ways and actings is a proof of the same.

I have spoken of x, the first tense, a preterite, which will, I anticipate, be found by us to be always, in one way and sense or in another,3 a tense carrying its own time, and that a perfect. Apparent exceptions are not always real ones, and the uses too to which a tense may be put may have to be considered.

As to z, the second tense, called a future by the old, and a present by many grammarians, I have thought that in some cases, following a past, it might be to mark ‘and consequently thereon,’ or ‘after that past, now so and so.’ But here I may raise a question or two for examination and testing; viz., whether the great mistake has not flowed from this, that grammars and rules have been formed too hastily by man, after partial examination of the text, and too readily accredited? Again, does the second tense (z) possess, and carry with it any time of its own? or is it not rather dependent, or contingent, on its immediate context for the time it marks?

I am not at present aware of any occurrence in which it could be rendered correctly by a past time. Dependent upon the context, it may carry the present time or a future time, and does so, as I believe, constantly in Scripture.

To call x a preterite, and, in an initiatory sentence, to translate it by a present (as in Psalm i. 1), falsifies the text, and changes (in that case) the doctrine, connecting three verbs with men, and not with the Anointed. The translators, perhaps, thought that they were protected (in Genesis i. 3, in rendering what they called future tenses by past tenses) by what seemed to them the historic character of the narration, or for some reason which I do not know; but I cannot receive their doing so without proof of its correctness.

In Genesis i. 3 the living God is present, and ‘He will say,’ &c. (in the future), could not be said; He speaks as in present action, and the present tense alone can be used. I observe, as I pass, that the translators turn the indicative mood, future (as they would say), into an imperative mood, “Let there be light.” Thus likewise there are imperatives out of all number in the Psalms4 in English, where in Hebrew they are in the so-called future. The imperatives thus used in the Psalms turn the energy of hope into the sense of need—which, with a lesser faith, a believer would do—imploring God for help, instead of expressing the assurance of hope. There are eight imperatives in Genesis i., and the reason of their being used, and the effect on the sense, we shall see when we come to them.

Judging that z, instead of being a tense will a time of its own, is nothing of the kind, but dependent or contingent, as to the time which it marks, upon its connection and place in the clause, I have no hesitation in rendering it here, ‘God saith, Light is: and there is light; and He sees, and divides,’ &c. That is, the living God, in present action, is that which marks the time: this, and not, as some one has said, because it is always a present; for that it certainly is not. In the fourth day we see this. In verse 14 God speaks, first of what shall be, then of it as according with what was in purpose; and in verse 16 He, in action, creates what He had spoken of in verse 14 as about to be.

This verse 14, “And [z first a present] ‘God saith,’ next there ’shall be’ lights [a future] in the firmament of the heavens,” &c.; and this was to be so because of something past. These lights (p) have been (or were*) for signs, &c.; and again, (p) they have been (or were5) for lights, and so (z) ‘it shall be;’ but not till verse 16 does His action appear: ‘And God zmakes them, &c., and zsets them, &c., and zsees that it is good, &c.’ (See also the same thing in verses 6-8.) In us, faith leads through difficulties to trust in God, stay on Him, and to hope. So life shows itself. And often the same voice that calls for help under trial will add, a little later, “He will help.” That is, when the soul is with God.

Beautiful English is not so good, if it gives us only an approximation to the original (and that not a close one), as a rougher and less polished English, which gives the original as nearly as possible as it stands. Moreover, the change in the mode of presenting the matter to be communicated is a serious change, and without warrant.

When I read from Genesis i. to ii. 3 in the English Bible, I am as one listening to a narration; when I read the same portion in Hebrew, I am as one in the presence of God, the living God in action. Psalm xxxiii. 6 is blessed; but Job xxxviii. 4-7 is more stirring and impressive. What, so to speak, would Job have given for the answer to it in our present portion! What the grace which has given it to us? Our authorized version, with its many words which have changed their meaning (some of them altogether) since it was written; with its many italic words, put in to make it like English; with its want of uniformity as to the use of the same word in English for the same word in the original (this last because of the king’s order, and with the view of showing the largeness of the English vocabulary, &c. &c.), is still (all that notwithstanding) a precious gift from God to the English people. But if it led the way, faith would follow on, through grace, to something better. Ezekiel xliii. 10, 11 may have a word for faith herein.

In verse 5 there is a remarkable change. “And God z‘calls’ the light Day, and the darkness p‘He called’ Night.” Why the change here from ‘calls’ to ‘called’—from a present to a past? It is the more marked because found in dealing with the two halves of one whole day.

Again, though less marked, yet in verse 10 a similar thing occurs: “z‘calls’ the dry land earth, and the gathering together of the waters pHe called.’”

And see also verse 27: “z‘creates’ the man in His own image, in the image of God p‘created’ He him; male and female p‘created’ He them.”

In each of these cases the Spirit of God, writing through Moses, changes (if I may so say) His own position for the moment. Writing at first as one personally present, and a present witness of a scene occurring, He uses language befitting that position; but changes it, as to that of one looking back to a scene that is past. Man does the same thing frequently. As to the ‘why’ of this here, and as to the rationale of it, I have, at present, nothing to say. The effect of the change I feel to be this, that it draws my mind to the fact of the series which makes up the whole. ‘And zHe calls the light Day, and the darkness pHe called Night. And evening zis and morning zis, a first day.’ But I could not say that this effect on the mind of the change from ‘calls’ to ‘called’ was the intention of the writer, so as to be worthy to be called one of the intentional uses of this or similar changes. That it is a mode of speech common to many languages is true. And these remarks apply in a great measure to the two other instances adduced.

On the second day, verses 6-8, I have nothing more to say, having referred above to the proof they afford that z has at times a future sense, and why (i.e. the proof of it here), as well as, at other times, a present tense. Being without a time of its own, it is dependent for the time it presents on the connection in which it stands.

On the third day, verses 9-13, I have noticed the change of tense in one place, and have nothing more to add.

On the fourth day, verses 14-19, the ’shall be’ and the ‘is’ of z, and why (i.e. the proof of it here), has been pointed out above (vv. 14, 15).

On the fifth day, verses 20-23. Here, after saying the things zare, &c., God z‘creates’ certain ones, and “which the waters pbrought forth,” are the expressions used. Then we first get the “imperative mood” used. They being in existence, through creatorial power, He commands them, by procreation, to “be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the seas,” and declares that “the fowl zshall multiply”—another future, with z, and not a present.

On the sixth day, verses 24-31, “God saith, The earth brings forth” (v. 24), and (v. 25) “God makes;” verse 26, “He saith, We will make Adam,” and “they shall have dominion”—futures, and not presents (see above for the why); verse 27, “created” (as above), and then “be fruitful, multiply. and replenish, and subdue it, and have dominion”—all imperatives, as marking God’s order for enlargement of the various species He had formed, &c.; and that it was not from the mud having a creatorial power in itself, or decomposition either, as some of old taught; or any other folly such as materialists, men learned as to things subjected to sense, have taught. But the power and the wisdom of the originator is that which settles the lines of extension, and, I may add, of maintenance and of protection. But Himself, acting still, though unseen, who at first originated, will in the end close Nature’s course.

For maintenance, so far as food is concerned, the appointment was from Him. (vv. 29, 30.)

Verse 29. p“I have given to you” calls the attention, at least, to the change from creation to maintenance. In verse 31 God’s scrutiny of the quality of that of which He was the originator occurs: “And, behold, it is very good;” and to this too, in point of fact, attention is roused by another change of tense from z to p, “God zsees every thing that pHe made.”

Chap. ii. 1-3. Verse 2, “God zfinishes His work which pHe made,” another such change of tense; and “zHe rests from all His work which pHe made” is again another specimen of the same; and a third follows, “zsanctifies it: because that in it pHe rested from all His work which God pcreated to make.”


p and z above, but just before a verb, mark the two several tenses in Hebrew.

^ marks where an eth stands in the Hebrew.

The article is marked in Hebrew, where it occurs, by a capital T in the word The. The demonstrative article may be noticed, where it occurs, in notes. “The serpent,” chap. iii. 1, might better be “a certain serpent;” and Isaiah vii. 14, “a certain virgin,” &c. These are demonstrative pronouns.

ye denotes the article supplied in English to make sense.

Words in italics are supplementary, to help the English.

a above, but just before a word, marks a participle; b an infinitive; c an imperative.

h is at times the article, and at times a demonstrative pronoun, and at times an interrogation, equal to “?,” as in chap. iii. 11 and iv. 7, 9.


1. Genesis i. 3. “And Elohim,” &e. If the force of z is dependent as to time upon context, it would pretty nearly amount to a ‘then’ or a ‘now.’ “And then Elohim” (in Hebrew text), &c., would be “And consequently thereon Elohim,” &c. This ‘consequently thereon’ would be very indefinite as to the date or thing of which it was a consequence. The interval between that referred to and the sequence to it might be a night or ten thousand years; so that the gap referred to above is not affected by it. On the other hand, if Elohim speaks of what He knows to be existent, the verb z would be rendered by a present; or if, secondly, of what He means to exist afterwards, then it would be rendered in English by a future.

This ‘consequently thereon’ would thus make z, as tied to a past of old date, in some sense a past historically; and yet the series might be consecutive as to the action of each, as of the above verbs. Z’s (consequent upon a defined past) go on to the middle of verse 5, when another past (p) is introduced. Whether or not the p is introduced here to mark the close of Elohim’s actings in a first period may be considered. In such case the rest of the verse would be a break between the periods merely. On the other hand, it might be said, If so, would it not have been before morning—the close of the first day?

2. And then, verse 6, another series of such z’s (consequent upon a defined past) follows. What is that defined past? Query. verses 1 and 2, or p‘called’ in verse 5? If it be said, “No; but of ‘first day;’” that is a definite period indeed; but p‘called,’ verse 5, is twelve hours before the light which closed the first day. Yet a series does begin, verse 6, of such z’s, which runs on to ‘called seas,’ verse 10. ‘Seas’ in contrast here with ‘rain clouds;’ but it is in the third day, and not in the second.

3. A third series of such z’s begins in verse 10, and runs on to verse 14. The same and similar queries may be raised as before.

Again, a series of z’s runs on to verse 21: “He zcreates whales, &c., which the waters pbrought forth abundantly.” It may be that ‘creates’ and ‘brought forth abundantly’ are in contrast. But here the p neither marks a close of any series, or the commencement of another. Used at haphazard it could not be by God. Can it be that the use of p here is explained in its more immediate and private context? As in the contrast between ‘night’ and ‘day,’ between ‘seas’ and ‘rain clouds,’ so here (verse 21) between ‘whales, &c., created,’ and ‘the waters multiplying,’ &c. This is in the fifth day.

4. In the next series of z’s, which is in the sixth day, queries as before might be raised. And, query, from middle of 21 to 27, Is the narration according to the lapse of time in order in the occurrences? And notice the correspondence between 20, 21, and 24, 25.

Verse 27. “pHe created him in the image of God, male and female pcreated He them.” Then three z’s and five imperatives (which are future yet as to the time in which spoken). which give, therefore, a defined past, as date of departure, to what is consequent to the command. And then, verse 29, “Behold, pI have given.”

2 p’s, ‘created,’ ‘created;’ 5 imperatives; A p, ‘have given;’

a defined time. a defined time. a defined time.

Verse 29, z‘it is’ or ’shall be;’ verse 30, z‘it is so;’ verse 31, z’sees’.

Verse 31, p‘made,’ a defined past; ‘evening zis,’ ‘morning zis.’

N.B.—Also the participles—their times of qualifying, inherent in that which they qualify; though the time of their being given dependent on God’s acting in giving.

Chapter ii. Verse 1, consequent on the six days’ creation, z‘are finished;’ verse 2, z‘ends,’ p‘made,’ z‘rests;’ p‘he made;’ verse 3, z‘blesses,’ z‘sanctifies it;’ p‘rested,’ p‘created.’

GENESIS i. 1-12—iv. 26.

SECTION 1. 1 In ye beginning Elohim pcreated^ The heavens and^ The earth: 2 and The earth pwas without form, and void; and darkness on ye face of ye deep. And ye Spirit of Elohim amoving on ye face of The waters.

3 And Elohim zsaith, light zis, and zthere is light. 4 And Elohim zsees ^The light, that it is good; and Elohim zdivides between The light and The darkness. 5 And Elohim zcalls The light day, and The darkness phe called night. And evening zis and morning zis, a first day.

6 And Elohim zsaith, zthere shall be a firmament in ye midst of The waters, and zit shall be adividing between waters and waters. 7 And Elohim zmakes ^The firmament, and zhe divides between The waters which are under The firmament, and The waters which are above The firmament; and zit is so. 8 And Elohim zcalls The firmament heavens. And evening zis and morning zis, a second day.

9 And Elohim zsaith, The waters under The heavens zshall be gathered together to one place, and The dry land zshall be seen, and so zit is; 10 and Elohim zcalls The dry land earth, and ye gathering together of The waters phe called seas, and Elohim zsees that it is good. 11 And Elohim zsaith, The earth zbrings forth grass, herb aseeding seed, and tree of fruit aproducing fruit after its kind, whose seed is in it, on The earth; and so zit is. 12 And The earth zbrings forth grass, herb aseeding seed after its kind, and tree aproducing fruit, whose seed is in it, after its kind; and Elohim zsees that it is good. 13 And evening zis and morning zis, a third day.

14 And Elohim zsaith, zthere shall be lights in ye firmament of The heavens, to bdivide between The day and The night; and pthey have been (or were) for signs and for seasons, and for days and years: 15 and pthey have been (or were) for lights in ye firmament of The heavens to give light on The earth, and so zit shall be.

16 And Elohim zmakes ^Those two The lights The great ones; ^That light that great one for ye rule of The day, and ^That light, That lesser (lit. little one) for ye rule of The night; ^The stars also. 17 And Elohim zsets ^them in ye firmament of The heavens to bgive light on The earth, and 18 bto rule over The day and over The night, and to bdivide between The light and The darkness, and Elohim zsees that it is good. 19 And evening zis and morning zis, a fourth day.

20 And Elohim zsaith, The waters zbring forth (or shall bring forth) abundantly ye creeping things of living being, and fowl zflies (or shall fly) over The earth in ye face of ye firmament of The heavens; 21 and Elohim zcreates ^great whales [The whales The great] and ^every living being aThat is creeping, which The waters pbrought forth abundantly, after their kind, and ^every winged fowl after its kind, and Elohim zsees that it is good. 22 And Elohim zblesses ^them, bsaying, cbe fruitful and cmultiply and cfill ^The waters in The seas, and The fowl zshall multiply on The earth. 23 And evening zis and morning zis, a fifth day.

24 And Elohim zsaith, The earth zbrings forth ye living being after its kind, cattle and reptile and its living creature of ye earth after its kind, and so zit is. 25 And Elohim zmakes ^ye living creature of The earth after its kind and ^The cattle after its kind and ^every reptile of The earth after its kind, and Elohim zsees that it is good.

26 And Elohim zsaith, zwe will make man (Adam) in our image, after our likeness, and zthey shall have dominion over ye fish of The sea, and over ye fowl of The heavens, and over The cattle, and over all The earth, and over every reptile aThat is creeping on The earth.

27 So Elohim zcreates The man (Adam) in his own image, in ye image of Elohim pcreated he ^him; male and female pcreated he ^them. 28 And Elohim zblesses ^them, and Elohim zsaith to them, cBe fruitful, and cmultiply, and creplenish ^The earth, and csubdue it; and chave dominion over ye fish of The sea, and over ye fowl of The heavens and over every living thing aThat is creeping on The earth.

29 And Elohim zsaith, behold pI have given to you ^every herb aseeding seed, which is on ye face of all The earth, and every tree, in which is ye fruit of a tree ayielding seed, to you zit is for food; 30 and to every living creature of The earth and to every fowl of The heavens and to every thing acreeping on The earth, wherein is living being, ^every green herb for food, and so zit is. 31 And Elohim zsees ^everything that phe made, and, behold, it is very good. And evening zis and morning zis, The sixth day.

Chap. ii. 1 And The heavens and The earth zbecome finished, and all their host. 2 And, on The 7th day Elohim zfinishes his work which phe made, and zhe rests on The seventh day from all his work which phe made.

3 And Elohim zblesses ^The seventh day, and zsanctifies it; because that in it phe rested from all his work which Elohim pcreated bto make.6

SECTION 2. 4 These are ye generations of The heavens and The earth in btheir being created, in ye day of bye making by (of) Jehovah Elohim of earth and heavens: 5 and of every plant of The field before zit is on earth, and of every herb of The field before zit grows; for Jehovah Elohim pcaused it not to rain on The earth, and man (Adam) there was none to btill ^The ground, 6 and a mist zgoes up from The earth and pwatered ^all ye face of The ground.

7 And Jehovah Elohim zforms ^The man (or, Adam) of dust from The ground, and zbreathes in his nostrils ye breath of life; and The man (or, Adam) zbecomes a living soul. 8 And Jehovah Elohim zplants a garden in Eden, eastward, and zputs there ^The man (Adam) whom phe formed. 9 And Jehovah Elohim zcauses to grow out of The ground every tree apleasant to sight, and good for food; and tree of The life in ye midst of The garden, and tree of The knowledge of good and evil.

10 And a river ais going out of Eden bto water ^The garden; and thence zit is parted, and pbecame four heads. 11 Ye name of The first Pishon; that is aThe one compassing ^all ye land of The Havilah, where there is The gold; 12 and gold of The land The that (or, of that very land) is good; there is The bdellium and a stone The onyx. 13 And ye name of The river The second is Gihon; that aThe one compassing ^all ye land of Cush. 14 And ye name of The river The third Hiddekel, that is aThe one going eastward of Assyria (or, Ashur), and The river The fourth that is Euphrates.

15 And Jehovah Elohim ztakes ^The man (or, Adam) and zputs him in ye garden of Eden, to btill it and to bkeep it. 16 And Jehovah Elohim zcommands The man (or, Adam), bsaying, Of every tree of The garden beating zthou shalt eat: 17 but of ye tree of The knowledge of good and evil, zthou shalt not eat of it; for in the day of bthy eating of it, bdying zthou wilt die. 18 And Jehovah Elohim zsaith, It is not good bye being of The man (Adam) alone, zI will make for him a helpmeet for him. 19 And Jehovah Elohim forms out of The ground every living creature of The field, and ^every fowl of The heavens, and zbrings to The man (Adam) to bsee what zhe calls it: and all that which The man zcalls ye living being, that is its name. 20 And The man zcalls names to The every cattle, and to ye fowl of The heavens, and to every living thing of The field; but for man (Adam) pthere was not found a help meet for him. 21 And Jehovah Elohim zcauses a deep sleep to fall on The man (Adam), and zhe sleeps; and zhe takes one of his ribs, and zhe closes up ye flesh instead of it: 22 and Jehovah Elohim zbuilds ^The rib which phe took out of The man (Adam) for a wife (isha), and zhe causes her to come to The man (Adam). 23 And The man (Adam) zsays, This (this time, now) is bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: for this zshe shall be called woman (isha), for out of man (ish) this pwas taken. 24 Therefore zshall a man (ish) leave ^his father and ^his mother, and Phas cleaved to his wife (isha); and pthey were one flesh. 35 And zthey two were naked, The man (Adam) and his wife (isha), and zare not ashamed.

SECTION 3. 1 And a certain serpent pwas subtle above every living creature of The field which Jehovah Elohim pmade, and zhe says to The woman (isha), It is good sure that Elohim psaid, Of every tree of The garden zye shall not eat. 2 And The woman (isha) zsays to The serpent, Of ye fruit of ye tree of The garden zwe eat. 3 And of ye fruit of The tree that is in ye midst of The garden Elohim psaid zye shall not eat of it, and zye shall not touch it, lest zye die. 4 And zsays The serpent to The woman, Not bdying zyou shall die. 5 For Elohim ais knowing that in ye day of byour eating of it your eyes pwere even opened, and pyou became as Elohim aknowing good and evil. 6 And The woman zsees that The tree is good for food, and that it is pleasant to The eyes, and The tree ato be desired to bmake wise, and zshe takes of its fruit and zeats, and zgives also to her husband with her, and zhe eats: 7 And zare opened ye eyes of them both, and zthey know that they are naked, and zthey sew leaf of fig and zthey make aprons for themselves. 8 And zthey hear ^ye voice of Jehovah Elohim awalking in The garden in ye wind-rise of The day; and The man (Adam) and his wife (ishah) zhide themselves from ye face of Jehovah Elohim in ye midst of ye trees of The garden. 9 And Jehovah Elohim zcalls to The man (Adam) and zsays to him, Where art thou? 10 And zhe says ^Thy voice pI heard in the garden, and zI fear, for naked am I, and zI hide myself. 11 And zhe says, Who ptold thee that naked art thou? Whether of The tree which pI commanded thee not bto eat of it phast thou eaten? 12 And The man (Adam) zsays, The woman (ishah) that pthou gavest to be with me, she pgave to me of The tree, and zI eat. 13 And Jehovah Elohim zsays to The woman (ishah), What this pthou hast done? and zsays The woman (ishah), The serpent pbeguiled me, and zI eat. 14 And Jehovah Elohim zsaith to The serpent, Because pthou hast done this, acursed art thou above all The cattle and above all living creature of The field; on thy belly zshalt thou go, and dust zshalt thou eat all ye days of thy life. 15 And zI put enmiy between thee and The woman (ishah), and between thy seed and her seed; he zshall bruise thee as to ye head, and thou zshalt bruise him as to ye heel. 16 To The woman (ishah) phe said, bMultiplying zI will multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow zthou shalt bring forth children, and to thy husband (ish) shall be thy desire, and he zshall rule over thee. 17 And to man (Adam) phe said, Because pthou hast hearkened to ye voice of thy wife (ishah), and zeatest of The tree which pI commanded thee, bsaying, zThou shalt not eat of it, acursed is The ground by reason of thee, in sorrow zshalt thou eat of it all ye days of thy life. 18 And thorns and thistles zshalt it cause to bud for thee, and pthou hast eaten ^the herb of The field. 19 In sweat of thy face zshalt thou eat bread till bthy returning to The ground, for out of it pwast thou taken; for dust thou art and to dust zthou returnest. 20 And The man (Adam) zcalls ye name of his wife (ishah) Living; for she pwas mother of all living. 21 And Jehovah Elohim zmakes for Adam and for his wife (ishah) coats of skin and zclothes them. 22 And Jehovah Elohim zsaith, Behold, The man (Adam) phas become as one of us to bknow good and evil; and now, lest zhe puts forth his hand, and phas taken also of ye tree of The life, and phas eaten and phas lived for ever; 23 and Jehovah Elohim zsends him forth from ye garden of Eden to btill ^The ground whence phe was taken. 24 And zhe drives ^The man out; and zhe makes to dwell eastward to ye garden of Eden ^The cherubim and ^ye flame of The sword aThat turns every way, to bkeep ^the way of ye tree of The life.

SECTION 4. 1 And The man (Adam) pknew ^Chavah his wife, and zshe conceives and zbears ^Cain, and zsays, pI have gotten a man (ish) ^from Jehovah. 2 And zshe repeats (adds) bto bear ^his brother ^Hehvel (Abel); and Abel zis afeeding (a feeder of) sheep, and Cain pwas atilling (a tiller of) ground. 3 And zit comes to pass at ye end of some days, and Cain zbrings of ye fruit of The ground an offering to Jehovah. 4 And Abel he also pbrought of ye firstlings of his sheep and of their fat, and Jehovah zhas respect to Abel and to his offering. 5 And to Cain and to his offering phe had not respect, and Cain zis very wrath, and his countenance (features) zfall (are lowering). 6 And zsaith Jehovah to Cain, Why is there wrath (phas wrath kindled in) to thee, and why phas thy countenance fallen? 7 Whether is there not, if zthou doest well acceptance (a rising up, taec]), and if zthou doest not well at The door a sin (offering) ais lying and to thee his desire, and thou zrulest (zor shalt rule) over him. 8 And Cain ztalks with (or to) Abel his brother; and zit comes to pass in btheir being in The field and zCain rises up against Abel his brother, and zslays him. 9 And Jehovah zsaith to Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And zhe says, pI have not known. aThe keeper of my brother am I? 10 And zhe says, What phast thou done? Voice of thy brother’s blood ais crying to me from The ground. 11 And now acursed art thou from The ground which phas opened ^its mouth to breceive ^ye blood of thy brother from thy hand. 12 when zthou tillest ^The ground, not zshall it repeat to give its strength to thee; a fugitive and a wanderer zshalt thou be on The earth. 13 And Cain zsays to Jehovah, My iniquity is greater than bto be forgiven. 14 Behold, pthou hast driven ^me out This day from off ye face of The ground, and from thy face zI shall be hid, and pI have become a fugitive and a wanderer on The earth, and pit has come to pass that any one afinding me zwilI slay me. 15 And Jehovah zsaith to him, therefore any one aslaying Cain zhe shall be avenged sevenfold; and Jehovah zsets a sign on Cain, that any one afinding him bmight not kill him. 16 And Cain zgoes out from ye presence of Jehovah, and zdwells in ye land of Nod, eastward of Eden.

17 And Cain zknows ^his wife; and zshe conceives, and zbears ^Enoch: and zhe becomes abuilder of a city, and zhe calls ye name of The city according to ye name of his son Chanoch (Enoch). 18 And zthere was born to Enoch ^Irad, and Irad pbegat ^Mehujael, and Mehujael pbegat ^Methusael, and Methusael pbegat ^Lamech. 19 And Lamech ztakes to him two wives; ye name of The one Adah, and ye name of The second Zillah. 20 And Adah zbears ^Jabal; he pwas father of ahim dwelling in tent and cattle. 21 And ye name of his brother was Jubal; he pwas father of all ahandling harp and organ. 22 And Zillah, she also pbare ^Tubal-cain aan instructer (improver) of every aworker in brass and iron; and ye sister of Tubal-cain was Naamah. And Lamech zsays to his wives, Adah and Zillah, chear my voice, ye wives of Lamech, chearken to my speech; for pI have slain an individual (ish) to my wounding, and a young man to my hurt; 24 for Cain zshall be avenged sevenfold and Lamech seventy and seven-fold.

25 And Adam zknows ^his wife again; and zshe bears a son, and zcalls ^his name Sheth: for Elohim phas set to me another seed instead of Abel, for Cain pslew him. 26 And to Sheth, to him also a son pwas born; and zhe calls ^his name Enosh. Then pbegan some (or, it was begun) to b call in the name of Jehovah.


1  This statement may be questioned, but it is left for the consideration of the reader.-Ed.

2  I give the quotation as found in the English autborized version, but mark the so-calIed tenses as they are in Hebrew—p for preterite, and z for the other.

3  God’s way of His own of writing and speaking—“ Abraham is the father of us all, (as it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before Him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were” (Rom. iv. 16, 17)—proves this. “Have made,” when Abraham had no children—what did that mean? It was God that spoke and wrote it, and all was according to His foregone counsel, and plan, and promise. To us, now that His counsels and plans from before the foundation of the world have been brought to light, with immortality by the gospel, all is simple in such a mode of speech; for all stands as “yea and Amen” in them.

4  See eight instances in four verses, Psalm xx. 1-4.

5  According to the purpose and plan proposed by God long before.

6  NOTE.—Reader, thus far we have met with about 12 instances of p, or preterites, in 34 verses; and they are interspersed in about 66 instances of z; which the Rabbis call a future, and many moderns a present tense. Read and consider the matter for yourself. That the writer or speaker in Hebrew, if be started with a p, was free to bring in another and start again, is indisputable. The circumstances under which he would do so and the effect or effects of so doing we have to weigh up and get light upon.

 Returns to the English Index

 To Home Page

© SEDIN 1999 for the Electronic Edition

To the Main Page

You can write to us at our mailing address:

Apartat 2002



English index

PDF documents
(classified by subjects)


Senyera catalana     Union Jack     drapeau     Flagge