Thursday, April 24, 2014

Bit at a time Bible Hebrew -- Genesis 1:15

Genesis 1:15
טו וְהָיוּ לִמְאוֹרֹת בִּרְקִיעַ הַשָּׁמַיִם לְהָאִיר עַל־הָאָרֶץ וַיְהִי־כֵן:
Transliteration: V’hayu l’m’orot birqia hashamaim l’hair al-ha-arets va-y’hi khen.
Translation:    They shall be for lights in the raqia of the heaven to shed light on the earth and it was so.
Letters in this lesson:
Vocabulary in this lesson:
to shed light
This word is an infinitive in Hebrew.  All infinitives have “l” in front of them. 
This infinitive is the causative binyan.  How do I know?  Two clues. 
One is the heh at the start.  This letter is in the infinitive of this binyan, and also in other forms of the verb in that binyan. 
The second sign is the yod in the middle.  That’s the real clue.
You’ve seen other forms of this same root.  M’orot is one of them, and you notice that it has a vav before the resh, not a yod.  M’orot is a noun.  In verse 3, lesson 10, you saw or which has all three root letters, aleph vav resh.  That’s also a noun.
What’s the difference between m’orot and or?  You might say that or is the qal form and m’orot is a causative form.  The mem at the start of m’orot is another sign of the causative binyan, in the present tense.  The difference is that in this verse, the m’orot shed light but in verse 3, the light simply existed.
Here is the present tense of le-hair.
Notice that the masculine singular is pronounced meir, and it is two syllables not one.
It is also a personal name.  Golda Meir was the first woman prime minister of Israel.  Rabbi Meir was a famous scholar 2000 years ago; all anonymous rulings in the Mishnah are credited to him.  On the other hand, all the rulings credited in his name, instead of anonymously, seem to have gone against him.  His name is only recorded in those incidents so that if somebody argues the same way he did, it could be pointed out that the argument has already been decided in the opposite way.

© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

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