Beresheeth (Genesis) 1:1-6:8
In the beginning Elohim created the heavens and the earth.– Beresheeth (Genesis) 1:2
Sefer Torah or the scroll of Torah, consists of five distinct “books”, which were given by YaHuWaH to his servant Mosheh (who is called Mushah and Moses). The word Torah literally means instruction but is usually translated law. Through the study of the ancient scriptures we learn that Torah is truly eternal, we see righteous men carried out the obligations of the instructions given by Elohim before they were written in Sefer Torah. Today the word Torah is synonymous with these five “books.”
The Torah is largely a collection of commands, decrees and laws which are a layout of righteous governance. However beyond the concept of social and ceremonial law there is the heart of the Creator himself. Therefore the first book of Torah is called “Beresheeth” meaning “In the beginning” or “In the first”, in western culture this book is called “Genesis” which refers to origin. The Creator of the Universe gives us a glimpse into his power and authority by endowing us with the knowledge of our origin and the beginning of all that has been created for our world.
The Torah begins:בְּרֵאשִׁית בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים אֵת הַשָּׁמַיִם וְאֵת הָאָֽרֶץ beresheeth (in the beginning) bara (created) Elohim (the mighty one) eth (alef taw) ha’shamayim (the heavens) w’eth (and alef taw) ha’arets (the earth).
Before the words הַשָּׁמַיִם ha’shamayim (heavens) and הָאָֽרֶץ ha’arets (the earth) are mentioned, one small Hebrew (Ibri) word appears, which consists of both the first and last letters of the Alef-beit (alphabet) Alef and Taw, את. The Alef and Taw את display the range of 22 letters which the Creator would use in speaking all matters into existence. Therefore in the very beginning with Elohim we see Alef and Taw, the first and the last which is utilized to create the heavens and the earth. The Alef Taw is known as the Mashiach (Anointed One) who will bring the ultimate redemption.
In the first chapter of Beresheeth (Genesis) we only see the title אֱלֹהִים Elohim , Elohim refers to the justice and might of the Creator. Elohim essentially creates within a span of six yomim (days), uttering ten commands to bring all into existence. Each Hebrew (Ibrit) letter is not only a sound but is in fact an individual word and each letter has a numerical equivalent. Therefore in the Creation, Elohim strung letters (or numbers) together into sentences which are essentially double as mathematical equations.
Before we read of any speech from our Creator, we see the earth was desolate, formless and void and darkness covered the face of the great deep. Even at this time the ruwach (wind/spirit) of Elohim was hovering over the waters.
The very first creative utterance begins “Let light come to be”, this sentence and or formula brought into being the tangible created Or (light). In seeing that this light needed no improvement it was witnessed to be ki tob which literally means “for excellence.” Therefore Elohim made a distinguishing between the or (light) and choshek (darkness) and laid out the parameters for the first distinguishable measurement of time known as yom meaning day. The text relates to us W’yehi Ereb W’yehi Boqer Yom Echad which means there came to be evening and there came to be morning on the first or united day. It is important to note that time as we know is dependent upon the light, the sun rules the day, the moon rules the month, the sun, moon and stars give us our years etc. So therefore before the utterance of “Let there be light” there was no time, time after all is a created element.
The second cycle of evening and morning or simply put the second yom (day) would bring about the second great command or utterance “Let an expanse come to be in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” This expanse or “raqia” would separate the waters which are above and the waters below, after the great separation the expanse would be called “shamayim” which is translated heaven, sky or space. In fact this is referring to our personal atmospheric bubble. There are multiple levels of shamayim but the sky and our atmosphere is in fact one of those levels.
Upon the third yom Elohim said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it came to be so. The dry land was called arets (earth) and the waters were called yamim (seas).
The third day Elohim spoke saying “Let the earth bring forth grass, the plant that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth.” Of course it came to be so and Elohim saw that it was ki tob or for excellence.
The fourth day in like manner Elohim said ,“Let lights come to be in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and appointed times, and for days and years, and let them be for lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth.” The lights were collected in their proper places and appointed on day four though they were technically created on yom (day) one. We know this by the Hebrew (Ibri) word asah which means appoint. Elohim appointed the greater light, which is obviously the sun to rule the day and the lesser light, obviously the moon to rule the night and the stars. This too was seen as ki tob, for excellence.
After creating the proper conditions for life, Elohim commands on day five “Let the waters teem with shoals of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth on the face of the expanse of the heavens.” After witnessing that they too were ki tob, Elohim baruch (blessed) the animals that they may be fruitful and multiply exceedingly.
On the sixth yom He declared “Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: livestock and creeping creatures and beasts of the earth, according to its kind.” Upon this very special moment in time, Elohim does not speak man into existence but rather declares “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the heavens, and over the livestock, and over all the earth and over all the creeping creatures that creep on the earth.” However we see that Elohim created Adam from the dust of the ground by his own hands and breathed into him the nishama (breath) of chayah (life). Adam therefore is made of two elements, one that comes from this world and another which comes from the Creator himself, namely the nishama (breath) of life.
By the seventh yom, consisting of evening and morning, we see that Elohim rested from his work. The Hebrew (Ibrit) wording is literally y’shabbat meaning he rested or literally he Shabbat which is the literal word that is translated Sabbath. Contrary to popular western belief, the Shabbat was instituted in the beginning. On this day Elohim baruch (blessed) and made qodesh (set apart) the Shabbat.
Beresheeth 2:4 These are the births of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that YaHuWaH Elohim made earth and heavens.
It is not until we reach chapter two verse four that we see the proper name of the Elohim of creation. Here is identified by the four Hebrew (Ibrit) letters which are often called the Tetragrammaton, they consist of the letters Yod, Heh, Waw, Heh. This is the covenant Name, which appears nearly 7,000 times in the whole collection of TaNaKh (aka “Old Testament.) I believe this slow introduction into the Name, is done not in chapter one but chapter two to give us a reverence for the Name and character of the Creator. Elohim, is not a name rather it is a role or title which depicts the Creator as supreme Judge. YaHuWaH the personal Name of the Creator, depicts his compassion.
The first chapter or section of Beresheeth gives us an overview of creation, while the second chapter goes back and fills in the details. YaHuWaH formed the man, Adam from the dust, breathed into him, made him a “living soul” and then created a garden known as Gan Eden to be a perfect habitat for the man he created. Adam was to serve and protect Gan Eden. In this garden were all types of plants and trees but the most important was the Tree of Life which was in the middle of the garden. All trees and herbs were to bring forth food for Adam with the exception of one tree, known as the Tree of the knowledge of “good” and evil.
Beresheeth (Genesis) 2:16 And YaHuWaH Elohim commanded the man, saying, “Eat of every tree of the garden, 17 but do not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for in the day that you eat of it you shall certainly die.”
Adam was also given the unique responsibility to name all the creatures of the earth. The creatures all had their respective counterparts, made male and female. However Adam did not have a female counterpart.
Beresheeth (Genesis) 2:21 So YaHuWaH Elohim caused a deep sleep to fall on the man, and he slept. And He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. 22And the rib which YaHuWaH Elohim had taken from the man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. 23 And the man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. This one is called ‘woman,’ because she was taken out of man.”
Adam called the woman “Ishah” because she was taken from man or “Ish.” The word Ish in Hebrew meaning man is related to the word Esh meaning fire. The only thing that separates the two words are the letter yod. The only difference between Ish and Ishah is that Ish contains a yod, and Ishah contains a heh. Together yod and heh give us Yah, the short form of YaHuWaH found in such phrases as “HalleluYah.” This relates to us that YaHuWaH wanted the dynamic relationship of man and woman through marriage to reflect his own character.
Ish (Man) = אִישׁ
Ishah (Woman) = אִשָּׁה
Yah = יָהּ
The most subtle and crafty of all the beasts was known as Nachash often called “the serpent.” The Nachash was a serpentine creature with legs, very similar to the concept of a dragon. Nachash also means whisperer, which gives us insight to the craftiness of this beast, apparently Nachash was endowed with the gift of speech. In his craftiness Nachash approached the woman and questioned her “Is it true that Elohim has said, ‘Do not eat of every tree of the garden?” the woman replied, “We are to eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden, but of the fruit of the tree which is in he midst of the garden, Elohim has said, ‘Do not eat of it, nor touch it, lest you die. ” In fact YaHuWaH had only commanded not to eat of the tree, it is believed by many that because the woman added the command not to touch the fruit that when she touched it and realized she didn’t die, it caused her to question the command all together. The Nachash tempted the woman with the promise of being like Elohim, this was the beginning of man’s fall. The woman saw the fruit that it could be consumed and was desirable to bring wisdom so she caved into the temptation and ate the fruit also giving it to her husband who likewise ate. From the consumption of the fruit, their eyes were opened and they both realized they were naked. To cover their nakedness they sewed fig leaves to cover their loins.
At the sound of YaHuWaH walking in the garden they both hid. YaHuWaH called out “Where are you Adam,” though he already knew the events which transpired. In this way YaHuWaH reacts much like a loving Father who has caught his son doing wrong. Adam immediately blames the woman that YaHuWaH had given him, in so doing he basically blamed YaHuWaH. The woman blamed the serpent and in the same way basically blamed YaHuWaH as well. YaHuWaH cursed the serpent to be lower than all beasts and to crawl on it’s belly and loose it’s limbs, eating dust all the days of it’s life. YaHuWaH put enmity between the serpent and the woman, that the serpent should bite at her heel yet her seed will crush his head. This is an obvious reference to the Messiah who would come in the future. YaHuWaH added sorrow to the woman when she births children, that there should be great pain and suffering, he also appointed Adam as her ruler. YaHuWaH cursed the ground due to Adam’s sin, that thorns and thistles should grow and that he should work hard all the days of his life to provide for his family. Due to their disobedience eventually they would die and return to the dust they were taken from. However YaHuWaH loved them insomuch that he covered their nakedness with skins before exiling them from Gan Eden. YaHuWaH placed Cherubim which are spiritual beings to guard the way to the Tree of Life, that Adam would not again eat of the tree lest he forever be lost to sin and destruction.
Adam named his wife Hawwah, meaning “mother of all living.” Adam knew his wife and she conceived their firstborn Qayin and again she conceived and brought forth Hebel. Qayin tilled the ground, while Hebel was a shepherd.
Beresheeth 4:3 And it came to be, in the course of time, that Qayin brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to YaHuWaH. 4And Hebel also brought of the first- born of his flock and of their fat. And YaHuWaH looked to Hebel and his offering, 5but He did not look to Qayin and his offering. And Qayin was very wroth, and his face fell.
YaHuWaH responded to Qayin that he would be accepted, if he does well. However Qayin was outraged and later rose up against his brother to slay him. Thus Qayin was the firstborn and first murderer on the earth.
Beresheeth 4:9And YaHuWaH said to Qayin, “Where is Hebel your brother?” And he said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s guard?” 10And He said, “What have you done?The voice of your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the ground.11“And now you are cursed from the earth, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand.
Qayin was cursed to be a fugitive and a wonderer all the days of his life. He was exiled from the very presence of YaHuWaH and dwelt in the land of Nod. There he built a city and had children with his wife. The Torah gives us details concerning his progeny and hints at Qayin being killed by his ancestor Lamek. However all of Qayin’s descendants would be wiped out by the great flood that comes later just as Hebel’s possible offspring were wiped out at his death.
Adam knew his wife again and she bore him Sheth who would take the place of the firstborn Qayin. Adam also had other sons and daughters after Sheth. Sheth brought forth Enosh as firstborn, Enosh brought forth Qeynan as his firstborn. Qeynan brought forth Mahalal’el his firstborn who brought forth Yered his firstborn, who father Hanock which was his firstborn. Hanock the seventh man from Adam through the line of Sheth was found to be so righteous that YaHuWaH took him from the earth before he died. Hanok’s firstborn was Methushelah whose firstborn was Lamek. Lamek’s firstborn son was Noach (Noah) whose name means to calm or rest.
(The above timeline shows the lives of the Patriarch’s from Adam to Israel)
Beresheeth 5:29and called his name Noah, saying, “This one does comfort us concerning our work and the toil of our hands, because of the ground which YaHuWaH has cursed.”
It came to be after men had spread on the earth and many daughters and been brought forth that Beni Elohim lusted for the daughters of men. Beni Elohim refers to the Messengers (Malakim) who are often called by the Grecko term “angels.” Many but not all Beni Elohim took wives of the daughters of men. Due to the disgusting matters man had entangled himself in and the evils of heart, YaHuWaH cut the days of man’s life down to one hundred and twenty years.
Beresheeth (Genesis)6:4The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of Elohim came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, the men of name. 5And YaHuWaH saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And YaHuWaH was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.
The word Nephilim is in the plural and means “fallen ones.” These were the giants of old, those men of name which all pagan civilizations worship and adore. The Greeks called them “demigods” half man and half mighty one. Mythologies of ancient civilizations all have stories of mighty ones coming down to trick man and take their women for their own purposes. This concept goes back to the time of Noach when the Beni Elohim fell from their original office to take human wives and further their fallen race, the Nephilim. We will learn about the Nephilim further in the Torah.
The Torah Portion Beresheeth reveals many things to us about our current state of affairs. Humanity has inherited a knowledge of good and evil through the fall of Adam and Hawwah. We are in need of redemption so that we may partake of the tree of life. The message of redemption can be found in the first ten names from Adam through Sheth.
5. Mahalalel……………………….The Blessed Elohim
6. Yared……………………………..Shall come down
8. Methuselah……………………..His death shall bring
9. Lamech…………………………..The despairing
The message is clear, we need redemption and only Messiah (Mashyach) Yahuwshuwa can provide the blood the speaks greater things than that of Hebel (Abel).