Thursday, July 17, 2014

Bit at a time Bible Hebrew -- Genesis 1:25

Genesis 1:25
כה וַיַּעַשׂ אֱלֹהִים אֶת־חַיַּת הָאָרֶץ לְמִינָהּ וְאֶת־הַבְּהֵמָה לְמִינָהּ וְאֵת כָּל־רֶמֶשׂ הָאֲדָמָה לְמִינֵהוּ וַיַּרְא אֱלֹהִים כִּי־טוֹב:
Transliteration: Va-yomer elohim totse ha-arets nefesh chayah l’minah b’hemah varemes v’chaito-erets l’minah va-y’hi khen.
Translation:    Gd said let the earth bring out living soul of its kind, domestic animal and creeper and wild animals of the earth of its kind and it was so.
Vocabulary in this lesson:
Domestic animal
Earth, dirt, land
I mentioned something before that I will use today’s vocabulary word for.  The gender – yes, you guessed it – is feminine.  When a feminine noun takes the construct, the heh at the end is replaced by tav.  You’ve seen that in the previous lesson – chayah  became chayat before the personal endings were added.
What I can point out with both these words is that when chayah became chayto, “wild animal” in the construct state, the second qamats which was under the yod turned into a shva.
The same is true for adamah.  The construct is not adamat, it’s admat. 
Similarly with ruach, there was a patach under the chet.  But the plural is ruchot, not ruachot.
You’re not ready to use these things in your own writing, not by a long stretch, but you have to recognize these features of feminine construct and plural nouns, and that they appear for possessives.
Hebrew makes a distinction between domestic and wild animals.  There’s an important legal reason for that.  Actually two.  The first one is that wild animals are always considered dangerous and anybody who doesn’t keep their wild animal locked up has to pay damages if it gets out and hurts somebody.  A behemah on the other hand is not considered dangerous unless it hurts somebody three days in a row, a different person each time, especially if one day it hurts an adult and another day it hurts a child.  Such an animal has to be put to death because it can’t live peaceably among people.  Its owner can also be executed because the second injury gave him notice to keep the animal locked up and he didn’t, so obviously he doesn’t care about the lives of others.
The second distinction is how one deals with the animal at death.  There are wild animals that can be eaten, like deer and gazelle.  When they are slaughtered kosher style, the blood has to be poured out of their bodies as much as possible, and covered with earth.  When you slaughter a cow or goat, however, the kashering process removes as much blood as possible, but it doesn’t have to be covered.  Then there’s the koi – but I digress.
© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

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