Genesis 1:1 the fourth Hebrew word is never translated to English

Discussion in 'Biblical Issues Other Than Marriage & Family' started by Kevin, Feb 12, 2018.

  1. IshChayil

    IshChayil Esteemed Member Male

    Sorry I'm late to the party, lots going on lately.
    So את ʾet someone pointed out (I scanned quickly sorry not giving the credit) is the DDO "Definite Direct Object" marker.
    Some other Semitic languages have something similar, Aramaic has ית yat.
    It's a word which doesn't get translated. It basically tells the reader/hearer 2 things grammatically:
    1. The next word/phrase/logical unit is the Object of the verb.
    Jack hit a ball.
    In the above sentence ball is the object of the verb (the thing it is acting on) so that would be a candidate for the DDO in Hebrew.
    It won't get it, however because of rule #2
    2. The next word/phrase/logical unit is Definite. Definiteness means it is a clearly distinct object.
    In our example of Jack hit a ball, ball fails #2 test because it can be any old ball. We have not distinguished it as a specific ball.
    Now if I say "Jill's ball" now it's definite; it has an owner. There was some confusion I scanned in the post about the DDO being associated with "this/that/these" etc. This is because if I say: Jack hit this ball. the ball is now definite. We have distinguished which ball exactly we are talking about. The confusion gets more blurry if you hear sermons from a pastor who likes Greek but isn't big on Hebrew because often the Septuagint will bring across ideas of the DDO using demonstrative adjectives (words like "this/that/these/those", etc).
    The last way to make a word definite is to attach "the" to it. So finally we can say:
    Jack hit the ball. The ball is clearly definite because we specified it with "the".
    Also if you use a name, this makes the object definite.
    Jack hit Bernie (where Bernie is the name some kid gave to the ball [and drew a face on it]).

    So in the verse you guys mentioned from Genesis, we require the DDO, ʾet את, because "the heavens" and "the earth" are definite (they have the definite article attached to them, ancient הל but just ה ha by biblical times.
    So if we wanted to say "G-d created lands (visualize 'earths')" we would say:

    ברא אלוקים ארצות bārāʾ ʾelōqīm ʾārṣōt notice there is no את ʾet in that one.

    There are, some nice teachings relating to what @Verifyveritas76 pointed out that this is where the α alpha and ω omega stuff comes from. I like to share that when Yeshua says "I am the א ʾālef and the ת tāv, He is saying
    "I am that word which is EVERYWHERE in scripture but often unseen, not thought of, but essential for clarity."
  2. Ancient Paths

    Ancient Paths Well-Known Member Male

    Actually, Kevin, there are a number of studies demonstrating that the alef-tav occurances point to Yeshua. Search YouTube for William Sanford or Google Messianic Alef Tav Scriptures. He has done extensive research, has multiple works identifying every occurances and it's significance.

    Also, there is this: Enjoy.
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  3. Quartus

    Quartus Well-Known Member Male

    That would be a wonderful study.

    I understand elohim in Gen 1 to refer to the angels. In a word, it is the principle of "agency".

    Nebuchadnezzar was a great king. When the inspired word says he claimed to have built Babylon it doesn’t mean to say he didn’t get other people to do it for him. It means he told them what to do. (Dan 4:30).
    Nevertheless the results of the actions of the builders attached to Neb and he took the credit.
    There was no argument: G-d;s judgment was instantaneous. G-d himself agreed with the principle "While the word was in the king's mouth" (v31),

    Christ does not condemn agency but commends it:

    Luk 7:7 Wherefore neither thought I myself worthy to come unto thee: but say in a word, and my servant shall be healed.
    Luk 7:8 For I also am a man set under authority, having under me soldiers, and I say unto one, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.
    Luk 7:9 When Jesus heard these things, he marvelled at him, and turned him about, and said unto the people that followed him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.

    So as far as I can see, an appreciation of agency does not lessen the power of G-d.
    Rather, I feel the fact that he has 'ministering spirits' (Heb 1:13-14) to do his bidding (instead of doing things himself) enhances his greatness.
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  4. rockfox

    rockfox Well-Known Member Male

    Why would that be necessary to use in this verse? What does that imply?
  5. Kevin

    Kevin Esteemed Member Male

    @IshChayil I'm confused on your explanation.

    אֶת־ in Exodus 18:20

    And thou shalt teach them et hachukkim and hatorot, and shalt show them et haderech wherein they must walk, and hama’aseh that they must do.

    It would read

    And thou shalt teach them et the statues and the laws, and shalt show them et the way where in they must walk, and the work they must do.

    וְהִזְהַרְתָּ֣ה And you shall teach
    אֶתְהֶ֔ם them
    אֶת־ et
    הַחֻקִּ֖ים the statutes
    וְאֶת־ and
    הַתּוֹרֹ֑ת the laws
    וְהוֹדַעְתָּ֣ and shall show
    לָהֶ֗ם to them
    אֶת־ et
    הַדֶּ֙רֶךְ֙ the way
    יֵ֣לְכוּ they must walk
    בָ֔הּ in
    וְאֶת־ and
    הַֽמַּעֲשֶׂ֖ה the work
    אֲשֶׁ֥ר that
    יַעֲשֽׂוּן׃ they must do

    the way

    And in Numbers 21:3

    And Hashem paid heed to the kol Yisroel, and delivered up et the Kena’ani; and they utterly destroyed them and their cities; and the place was named Chormah (Utter Destruction).

    And the G-d heeded the voice of Israel and gave over et the Canaanites, and they devoted them and their cities to destruction. So the name of the place was called Hormah.

    אֶת־ הַֽכְּנַעֲנִ֔י

    et the Canaanites, has the and is a name so according to your explanationאֶת־ wouldn't be need.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
  6. Kevin

    Kevin Esteemed Member Male

    the heavens

    the earth

    בְּרֵאשִׁית, בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים, אֵת הַשָּׁמַיִם, וְאֵת הָאָרֶץ

    In the beginning G-d created et the heavens and the earth.

    Once again it has the to make it defenitive so according to your explanation אֶת־ wouldn't be needed.

    Am I missing something?
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
  7. Shibboleth

    Shibboleth Esteemed Member Male

    I think Ish was stating that et was needed precisely because it is already definite, the et doesn't make it definite (that's what the he is for). That is, et is need when the following word is a definite object. I have a hunch that this marker might be needed to distinguish it from a definite noun in a genitive construct, but I'm exceeding what I know.

    Note that in Exodus 18:20, despite the interlinear, all four nouns appear to be definite (statutes, law, way, and work) since they are all preceded by a He.

    You're also still missing the compounded wa'et ("and et"): וְאֶת

    So you should have:
    (et) (the statutes) (and et) (the laws),
    (et) (the heavens) (and et) (the earth).
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  8. Kevin

    Kevin Esteemed Member Male

    Ok that makes sense. Ish just had what he said needed and doesnt need et switched, but then that still leaves the question about the ones that aren't defenitive objects that are preceded by et in other parts of scripture.

    Thank you, I'll fix that. Although I would like to point wa'et is translated. I'm trying to find the need to have an untranslatable definitive maker to declare that a definitive object is definitive.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
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  9. Kevin

    Kevin Esteemed Member Male

    I found this in my Hebrew text and on a several websites about the hebrew language.

    In Hebrew, adding “the” to a noun is called Yidua (יידוע). In Hebrew(like in English) there is only one definite article: the letter “ה” (hey)in Hebrew, added to the noun, pronounced as “Ha”. There are no indefinite articles.
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  10. Kevin

    Kevin Esteemed Member Male

    Joshua 23:15

    עֲלֵיכֶ֗ם on
    אֵ֚ת et
    כָּל־ all
    הַדָּבָ֣ר things
    הָרָ֔ע evil
    עַד־ until
    הַשְׁמִיד֣וֹ he has destroyed
    אוֹתְכֶ֗ם you
    מֵ֠עַל from off
    הָאֲדָמָ֤ה the land
    הַטּוֹבָה֙ good
    הַזֹּ֔את this
    אֲשֶׁר֙ that
    נָתַ֣ן has given
    לָכֶ֔ם to

    In English all is sometimes a definitive noun but not always.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
  11. Shibboleth

    Shibboleth Esteemed Member Male

    "Things" has a he in front, so...

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  12. Kevin

    Kevin Esteemed Member Male

    But it is not the noun preceded by et, exemption to the rule? there's others that don't have he in front I'll check to see if the following noun does.
  13. Shibboleth

    Shibboleth Esteemed Member Male

    AFAICT, "all" is just an adjective here, that quantifies the noun, "things". In this case, it's even hyphenated to it.

    Just like "the red ball" has a word intervening between "the" and "ball".
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  14. Kevin

    Kevin Esteemed Member Male

    1 Samuel 12:3

    הִנְנִ֣י behold
    עֲנ֣וּ here I witness
    בִי֩ in
    נֶ֨גֶד against me before
    וְנֶ֣גֶד and before
    מְשִׁיח֗וֹ his anointed
    אֶת־ et
    שׁוֹר֩ ׀ ox
    מִ֨י Whose
    לָקַ֜חְתִּי have I taken
    וַחֲמ֧וֹר and donkey
    מִ֣י or whose
    לָקַ֗חְתִּי have I taken
    וְאֶת־ and
    מִ֤י whom
    עָשַׁ֙קְתִּי֙ have I defrauded
    אֶת־ et
    מִ֣י whom
    רַצּ֔וֹתִי have I oppressed
    וּמִיַּד־ or of whose hand
    מִי֙ or from whose
    לָקַ֣חְתִּי have I received
    כֹ֔פֶר bribe
    וְאַעְלִ֥ים and to blind
    עֵינַ֖י my eyes
    בּ֑וֹ in
    וְאָשִׁ֖יב therewith? and I will restore
    לָכֶֽם׃ to

    Yeah I just read that all is always an adjective in Hebrew. This is helping me with my Hebrew at least.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2018 at 10:10 AM
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  15. Shibboleth

    Shibboleth Esteemed Member Male

    Not sure about this verse, so just guessing here... Might be a word-order thing (the objects are coming before the verb), or maybe a poetic thing. With "whom" it might also be to distinguish it from "whose", since both words occur multiple times, and both are spelled mem-yod.
  16. Kevin

    Kevin Esteemed Member Male

    Neither are definitive though and both are pronouns. If found about 80 more like this one. I should have been writing them down instead of keeping a tally and I still have to go back and check those to make sure there wasn't an adjective between et and the noun.
  17. Shibboleth

    Shibboleth Esteemed Member Male

    Another speculation: maybe ox could be considered definite because it belongs to the following "whose". Ha- isn't the only way to make a noun definite.

    An ox -- the one belonging to whom -- have I taken?
  18. Kevin

    Kevin Esteemed Member Male

    Behold, here I am: witness against me before L-rd, and before his anointed: whose ox have I taken? And whose donkey have I taken? or whom have I defrauded? whom have I oppressed? or of whose hand have I received any bribe to blind my eyes with? and I will restore it to you.

    The next verse

    And they said, you have not defrauded us, nor oppressed us, neither have you taken anything of any man's hand.

    So he's taking to a crowd about any possible donkey or ox. Not anyone in specific about a specific ox or donkey and there's no he to make it definitive.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2018 at 10:11 AM
  19. Shibboleth

    Shibboleth Esteemed Member Male

    Right, but sometimes pronouns can act funny with respect to their referents. I just found this page, which confirms mi (who?) is an example of a definite pronoun that requires et, in addition to nouns with ha- and proper nouns. See their example sentence "Who did you take?"
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  20. Shibboleth

    Shibboleth Esteemed Member Male

    I also found this page, which describes the use of et as a form of personal pronoun (in the objective case).
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