Thursday, December 11, 2014

Bit at a Time Biblical Hebrew -- Genesis 2:9

Genesis 2:9
ט וַיַּצְמַח יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהִים מִן־הָאֲדָמָה כָּל־עֵץ נֶחְמָד לְמַרְאֶה וְטוֹב לְמַאֲכָל וְעֵץ הַחַיִּים בְּתוֹךְ הַגָּן וְעֵץ הַדַּעַת טוֹב וָרָע:
Transliteration: Va-yitsmach **** elohim min-ha-adamah kal-ets nechmad l’mareh v-tov l’maakhal v-ets ha-chaim b’tokh ha-gan v-ets ha-daat tov vara.
Translation:    **** Gd made sprout from the earth every pleasant tree to look at and good for food and the tree of live in the midst of the garden and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
Vocabulary in this lesson:
To view, for looking at
For food
In the middle of
Evil, bad
Notice the difference between “to view” and “for food.”  This emphasizes that the prefix l can mean either “to” or “for.”  I could have said “for eating” and because the Bible uses lots of parallel phrases, that might be preferable.  But it sounds strange in English because you might think it meant eating the twigs and branches and all, when we would normally only eat the fruit.  OK cinnamon is different because then we use the bark but you get my point.
The only way you won’t know how to pronounce “life” right off the bat is if you’ve never seen Fiddler on the Roof.  L’chaim is a toast meaning “to life”. 
Notice that va-ra has a kamats under the vav and not a shva.  You can’t use a shva because of the resh and you can’t use a patach.  That’s just one of those pesky spelling rules in Hebrew.

© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights  Reserved

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