Notes for Gen 1:1LEB

The translation assumes that the form translated "beginning" is in the absolute state rather than the construct ("in the beginning of," or "when Elohim created"). In other words, the clause in v. 1 is a main clause, v. 2 has three clauses that are descriptive and supply background information, and v. 3 begins the narrative sequence proper. The referent of the word "beginning" has to be defined from the context since there is no beginning or ending with Elohim.


'In the beginning'. The verse refers to the beginning of the world as we know it; it affirms that it is entirely the product of the creation of Elohim. But there are two ways that this verse can be interpreted: (1) It may be taken to refer to the original act of creation with the rest of the events on the days of creation completing it. This would mean that the disjunctive clauses of v. 2 break the sequence of the creative work of the first day. (2) It may be taken as a summary statement of what the chapter will record, that is, vv. 3–31 are about Elohim’s creating the world as we know it. If the first view is adopted, then we have a reference here to original creation; if the second view is taken, then Genesis itself does not account for the original creation of matter. To follow this view does not deny that the Tanakh teaches that Elohim created everything out of nothing John 1:3LEB – it simply says that Genesis is not making that affirmation. This second view presupposes the existence of pre-existent matter, when Elohim said, "Let there be light." The first view includes the description of the primordial state as part of the events of day one. The following narrative strongly favors the second view, for the "heavens/sky" did not exist prior to the second day of creation (see v. 8) and "earth/dry land" did not exist, at least as we know it, prior to the third day of creation see Gen 1:10LEB.


God. This frequently used Hebrew name for Elohim (אֱלֹהִים,’elohim ) is a plural form. When it refers to the one true Elohim, the singular verb is normally used, as here. The plural form indicates majesty; the name stresses Elohim’s sovereignty and incomparability – he is the "Elohim of gods."


The English verb "create" captures well the meaning of the Hebrew term in this context. The verb בָּרָא (bara’) always describes the divine activity of fashioning something new, fresh, and perfect. The verb does not necessarily describe creation out of nothing see, for example, Gen 1:27LEB, where it refers to the creation of man); it often stresses forming anew, reforming, renewing; Ps 51:10; Isa 43:15, 65:17LEB.


Or "the entire universe"; or "the sky and the dry land." This phrase is often interpreted as a merism, referring to the entire ordered universe, including the heavens and the earth and everything in them. The "heavens and the earth" were completed in seven days Gen 2:1LEB and are characterized by fixed laws; see Jer 33:25LEB. "Heavens" refers specifically to the sky, created on the second day (see v. 8), while "earth" refers specifically to the dry land, created on the third day; see Gen 1: 10LEB. Both are distinct from the sea/seas; see Exod 20:11LEB.


Notes for Gen 1:2LEB

The disjunctive clause (conjunction + subject + verb) at the beginning of v. 2 gives background information for the following narrative, explaining the state of things when "Elohim said…" (v. 3). Verse one is a title to the chapter, v. 2 provides information about the state of things when Elohim spoke, and v. 3 begins the narrative per se with the typical narrative construction (vav ו consecutive followed by the prefixed verbal form). (This literary structure is paralleled in the second portion of the book: Gen 2:4LEB provides the title or summary of what follows, Gen 2:5–6LEB use disjunctive clause structures to give background information for the following narrative, and 2:7 begins the narrative with the vav consecutive attached to a prefixed verbal form.) Some translate 1:2a "and the earth became," arguing that v. 1 describes the original creation of the earth, while v. 2 refers to a judgment that reduced it to a chaotic condition. Verses 3ff. then describe the re-creation of the earth. However, the disjunctive clause at the beginning of v. 2 cannot be translated as if it were relating the next event in a sequence. If v. 2 were sequential to v. 1, the author would have used the vav consecutive followed by a prefixed verbal form and the subject.


That is, what we now call "the earth." The creation of the earth as we know it is described in Gen 9–10LEB. Prior to this the substance which became the earth (= dry land) lay dormant under the water.


Traditional translations have followed a more literal rendering of "waste and void." The words describe a condition that is without form and empty. What we now know as "the earth" was actually an unfilled mass covered by water and darkness. Later תֹהוּ (tohu) and בֹּהוּ (bohu), when used in proximity, describe a situation resulting from judgment Isa 34:11; Jer 4:23LEB. Both prophets may be picturing judgment as the reversal of creation in which Elohim’s judgment causes the world to revert to its primordial condition. This later use of the terms has led some to conclude that Gen 1:2LEB presupposes the judgment of a prior world, but it is unsound method to read the later application of the imagery (in a context of judgment) back into Gen 1:2LEB.


Darkness. The Hebrew word simply means "darkness," but in the Tanakh it has come to symbolize what opposes Elohim, such as judgment Exod 10:21LEB, death Ps 88:13LEB, oppression Isa 9:1LEB, the wicked 1 Sam 2:9LEB and in general, sin. In Isa 45:7LEB it parallels "evil." It is a fitting cover for the primeval waste, but it prepares the reader for the fact that Elohim is about to reveal himself through his works.


The Hebrew term תְּהוֹם (téhom, "deep") refers to the watery deep, the salty ocean – especially the primeval ocean that surrounds and underlies the earth; see Gen 7:11LEB.


The watery deep. In the Babylonian account of creation Marduk killed the goddess Tiamat (the salty sea) and used her carcass to create heaven and earth. The form of the Hebrew word for "deep" is distinct enough from the name "Tiamat" to deny direct borrowing; however, it is possible that there is a polemical stress here. Ancient Israel does not see the ocean as a powerful deity to be destroyed in creation, only a force of nature that can be controlled by Elohim.


The traditional rendering "Spirit of Elohim" is preserved here, as opposed to a translation like "wind from/breath of Elohim" (cf. NRSV) or "mighty wind" (cf. NEB), taking the word "Elohim" to represent the superlative. Elsewhere in the OT the phrase refers consistently to the divine spirit that empowers and energizes individuals; see Gen 41:38; Exod 31:3; 35:31; Num 24:2; 1 Sam 10:10; 11:6; 19:20, 23; Ezek 11:24; 2 Chr 15:1; 24:20LEB.


The Hebrew verb has been translated "hovering" or "moving" (as a bird over her young), Deut 32:11LEB. The Syriac cognate term means "to brood over; to incubate." How much of that sense might be attached here is hard to say, but the verb does depict the presence of the Spirit of Elohim moving about mysteriously over the waters, presumably preparing for the acts of creation to follow. If one reads "mighty wind" (cf. NEB) then the verse describes how the powerful wind begins to blow in preparation for the creative act described in vv. 9–10. (Elohim also used a wind to drive back the flood waters in Noah’s day). See Gen 8:1LEB.


The water. The text deliberately changes now from the term for the watery deep to the general word for water. The arena is now the life-giving water and not the chaotic abyss-like deep. The change may be merely stylistic, but it may also carry some significance. The deep carries with it the sense of the abyss, chaos, darkness – in short, that which is not good for life.


Notes for Gen 1:3


The prefixed verb form with the vav (ו) consecutive introduces the narrative sequence. Ten times in the chapter the decree of Elohim in creation will be so expressed. For the power of the divine word in creation, see Ps 33:9; John 1:1–3; 1 Cor 8:6; Col 1:16LEB.


Elohim said. By speaking, Elohim brings the world into existence. The efficacious nature of the word of the Yahweh is a prominent theme in this chapter. It introduces the Law, the words and instructions from the Yahweh that must be obeyed. The ten decrees of Elohim in this chapter anticipate the ten words in the Decalogue Exod 20:2–17LEB.


"Let there be" is the short jussive form of the verb "to be"; the following expression "and there was" is the short preterite form of the same verb. As such, יְהִי (yéhi) and וַיְהִי (vayéhi) form a profound wordplay to express both the calling into existence and the complete fulfillment of the divine word.


Light. The Hebrew word simply means "light," but it is used often in scripture to convey the ideas of salvation, joy, knowledge, righteousness, and life. In this context one cannot ignore those connotations, for it is the antithesis of the darkness. The first thing Elohim does is correct the darkness; without the light there is only chaos.


Notes for Gen 1:4LEB

Heb "And Elohim saw the light, that it was good." The verb "saw" in this passage carries the meaning "reflected on," "surveyed," "concluded," "noted." It is a description of reflection of the mind – it is Elohim’s opinion.


The Hebrew word טוֹב (tov) in this context signifies whatever enhances, promotes, produces, or is conducive for life. It is the light that Elohim considers "good," not the darkness. Whatever is conducive to life in Elohim’s creation is good, for Elohim himself is good, and that goodness is reflected in all of his works.


The verb "separate, divide" here explains how Elohim used the light to dispel the darkness. It did not do away with the darkness completely, but made a separation. The light came alongside the darkness, but they are mutually exclusive – a theme that will be developed in the Gospel of John 1:5LEB.


The idea of separation is critical to this chapter. Elohim separated light from darkness, upper water from lower water, day from night, etc. The verb is important to the Law in general. In Leviticus Elohim separates between clean and unclean, Set-apart and profane Lev 10:10, 11:47; 20:24LEB; in Exodus Elohim separates the Set-apart Place from the Most Set-apart Place Exod 26:33LEB. There is a preference for the light over the darkness, just as there will be a preference for the upper waters, the rain water which is conducive to life, over the sea water.


Notes for Gen 1:5LEB

Heb "he called to," meaning "he named."


Elohim called. Seven times in this chapter naming or blessing follows some act of creation. There is clearly a point being made beyond the obvious idea of naming. In the Babylonian creation story Enuma Elish, naming is equal to creating. In the Tanakh the act of naming, like creating, can be an indication of sovereignty 2 Kgs 23:34LEB. In this verse Elohim is sovereign even over the darkness.


Heb "and the darkness he called night." The words "he called" have not been repeated in the translation for stylistic reasons.


Another option is to translate, "Evening came, and then morning came." This formula closes the six days of creation. It seems to follow the Jewish order of reckoning time: from evening to morning. Day one started with the dark, continued through the creation of light, and ended with nightfall. Another alternative would be to translate, "There was night and then there was day, one day."


The first day. The exegetical evidence suggests the word "day" in this chapter refers to a literal twenty-four hour day. It is true that the word can refer to a longer period of time; Isa 61:2LEB, or the idiom in Gen 2:4LEB, "in the day," that is, "when"). But this chapter uses "day," "night," "morning," "evening," "years," and "seasons." Consistency would require sorting out how all these terms could be used to express ages. Also, when the Hebrew word יוֹם (yom) is used with a numerical adjective, it refers to a literal day. Furthermore, the instruction to keep the sabbath clearly favors this interpretation. One is to work for six days and then rest on the seventh, just as Elohim did when he worked at creation.


Notes for Gen 1:6LEB

The Hebrew word refers to an expanse of air pressure between the surface of the sea and the clouds, separating water below from water above. In v. 8 it is called "sky."


An expanse. In the poetic texts the writers envision, among other things, something rather strong and shiny, no doubt influencing the traditional translation "firmament" (cf. NRSV "dome"). Job 37:18LEB refers to the skies poured out like a molten mirror. Dan 12:3LEB and Ezek 1:22LEB portray it as shiny. The sky or atmosphere may have seemed like a glass dome. For a detailed study of the Hebrew conception of the heavens and sky, see L. I. J. Stadelmann, The Hebrew Conception of the World (AnBib), 37–60.


Notes for Gen 1:7LEB

This statement indicates that it happened the way Elohim designed it, underscoring the connection between word and event.


Notes for Gen 1:8LEB

Though the Hebrew word can mean "heaven," it refers in this context to "the sky."


Notes for Gen 1:9LEB

Let the water…be gathered to one place. In the beginning the water covered the whole earth; now the water was to be restricted to an area to form the ocean. The picture is one of the dry land as an island with the sea surrounding it. Again the sovereignty of Elohim is revealed. Whereas the pagans saw the sea as a force to be reckoned with, Elohim controls the boundaries of the sea. And in the judgment at the flood he will blur the boundaries so that chaos returns.


When the waters are collected to one place, dry land emerges above the surface of the receding water.


Notes for Gen 1:10LEB

Heb "earth," but here the term refers to the dry ground as opposed to the sea.


Notes for Gen 1:11LEB

The Hebrew construction employs a cognate accusative, where the nominal object ("vegetation") derives from the verbal root employed. It stresses the abundant productivity that Elohim created.


Vegetation. The Hebrew word translated "vegetation" (דֶּשֶׁא, deshe’) normally means "grass," but here it probably refers more generally to vegetation that includes many of the plants and trees. In the verse the plants and the trees are qualified as self-perpetuating with seeds, but not the word "vegetation," indicating it is the general term and the other two terms are sub-categories of it. Moreover, in vv. 29 and 30 the word vegetation/grass does not appear. The Samaritan Pentateuch adds an "and" before the fruit trees, indicating it saw the arrangement as bipartite (The Samaritan Pentateuch tends to eliminate asyndetic constructions).


After their kinds. The Hebrew word translated "kind" (מִין, min) indicates again that Elohim was concerned with defining and dividing time, space, and species. The point is that creation was with order, as opposed to chaos. And what Elohim created and distinguished with boundaries was not to be confused Lev 19:19; Deut 22:9–11LEB.


The conjunction "and" is not in the Hebrew text, but has been supplied in the translation to clarify the relationship of the clauses.


Notes for Gen 1:14LEB

Let there be lights. Light itself was created before the light-bearers. The order would not seem strange to the ancient Hebrew mind that did not automatically link daylight with the sun (note that dawn and dusk appear to have light without the sun).


The language describing the cosmos, which reflects a prescientific view of the world, must be interpreted as phenomenal, describing what appears to be the case. The sun and the moon are not in the sky (below the clouds), but from the viewpoint of a person standing on the earth, they appear that way. Even today we use similar phenomenological expressions, such as "the sun is rising" or "the stars in the sky."


The text has "for signs and for seasons and for days and years." It seems likely from the meanings of the words involved that "signs" is the main idea, followed by two categories, "seasons" and "days and years." This is the simplest explanation, and one that matches Gen 11–13LEB. It could even be rendered "signs for the fixed seasons, that is Genexplicative vav (ו) days and years."


Let them be for signs. The point is that the sun and the moon were important to fix the days for the seasonal celebrations for the worshiping community.


Notes for Gen 1:16LEB

Two great lights. The text goes to great length to discuss the creation of these lights, suggesting that the subject was very important to the ancients. Since these "lights" were considered deities in the ancient world, the section serves as a strong polemic (see G. Hasel, "The Polemical Nature of the Genesis Cosmology," EvQ 46 1974: 81-102). The Book of Genesis is affirming they are created entities, not deities. To underscore this the text does not even give them names. If used here, the usual names for the sun and moon Shemesh and Yarih, respectively might have carried pagan connotations, so they are simply described as greater and lesser lights. Moreover, they serve in the capacity that Elohim gives them, which would not be the normal function the pagans ascribed to them. They merely divide, govern, and give light in Elohim’s creation.


Heb "and the stars." Now the term "stars" is added as a third object of the verb "made." Perhaps the language is phenomenological, meaning that the stars appeared in the sky from this time forward.


Notes for Gen 1:17LEB

Heb "them"; the referent (the lights mentioned in the preceding verses) has been specified in the translation for clarity.


Notes for Gen 1:18LEB

In days one to three there is a naming by Elohim; in days five and six there is a blessing by Elohim. But on day four there is neither. It could be a mere stylistic variation. But it could also be a deliberate design to avoid naming "sun" and "moon" or promoting them beyond what they are, things that Elohim made to serve in his creation.


Notes for Gen 1:20LEB

The Hebrew text again uses a cognate construction ("swarm with swarms") to emphasize the abundant fertility. The idea of the verb is one of swift movement back and forth, literally swarming. This verb is used in Exod 1:7LEB to describe the rapid growth of the Israelite population in bondage.


The Hebrew text uses the Polel form of the verb instead of the simple Qal; it stresses a swarming flight again to underscore the abundant fruitfulness.


Notes for Gen 1:21LEB

For the first time in the narrative proper the verb "create" (בָּרָא, bara’) appears. (It is used in the summary statement of v. 1.) The author wishes to underscore that these creatures – even the great ones – are part of Elohim’s perfect creation. The Hebrew term תַנִּינִם (tanninim) is used for snakes Exod 7:9LEB, crocodiles Ezek 29:3LEB, or other powerful animals Jer 51:34LEB. In Isa 27:1LEB the word is used to describe a mythological sea creature that symbolizes Elohim’s enemies.


Notes for Gen 1:22LEB

While the translation "blessed" has been retained here for the sake of simplicity, it would be most helpful to paraphrase it as "Elohim endowed them with fruitfulness" or something similar, for here it refers to Elohim’s giving the animals the capacity to reproduce. The expression "blessed" needs clarification in its different contexts, for it is one of the unifying themes of the Book of Genesis. The divine blessing occurs after works of creation and is intended to continue that work – the word of blessing guarantees success. The word means "to enrich; to endow," and the most visible evidence of that enrichment is productivity or fruitfulness. See C. Westermann, Blessing in the Bible and the Life of the Church (OBT).


The instruction Elohim gives to creation is properly a fuller expression of the statement just made ("Elohim blessed them"), that he enriched them with the ability to reproduce. It is not saying that these were rational creatures who heard and obeyed the word; rather, it stresses that fruitfulness in the animal world is a result of the divine decree and not of some pagan cultic ritual for fruitfulness. The repeated emphasis of "be fruitful – multiply – fill" adds to this abundance Elohim has given to life. The meaning is underscored by the similar sounds: בָּרָךְ (barakh) with בָּרָא (bara’), and פָּרָה (parah) with רָבָה (ravah).


Notes for Gen 1:24LEB

There are three groups of land animals here: the cattle or livestock (mostly domesticated), things that creep or move close to the ground (such as reptiles or rodents), and the wild animals (all animals of the field). The three terms are general classifications without specific details.


Notes for Gen 1:26LED

The plural form of the verb has been the subject of much discussion through the years, and not surprisingly several suggestions have been put forward. Many Christian theologians interpret it as an early hint of plurality within the Godhead, but this view imposes later trinitarian concepts on the ancient text. Some have suggested the plural verb indicates majesty, but the plural of majesty is not used with verbs. C. Westermann (Genesis, 1:145) argues for a plural of "deliberation" here, but his proposed examples of this use 2 Sam 24:14; Isa 6:8LEB do not actually support his theory. In 2 Sam 24:14LEB David uses the plural as representative of all Israel, and in Isa 6:8LEB the Yahweh speaks on behalf of his heavenly court. In its ancient Israelite context the plural is most naturally understood as referring to Elohim and his heavenly court 1 Kgs 22:19–22; Job 1:6–12; 2:1–6; Isa 6:1–8LEB. (The most well-known members of this court are Elohim’s messengers, or angels. In Gen 3:5LEB the serpent may refer to this group as "gods/divine beings." See the note on the word "evil" in 3:5.) If this is the case, Elohim invites the heavenly court to participate in the creation of humankind (perhaps in the role of offering praise, see Job 38:7LEB, but he himself is the one who does the actual creative work (v. 27). Of course, this view does assume that the members of the heavenly court possess the divine "image" in some way. Since the image is closely associated with rulership, perhaps they share the divine image in that they, together with Elohim and under his royal authority, are the executive authority over the world.


The Hebrew word is אָדָם (’adam), which can sometimes refer to man, as opposed to woman. The term refers here to humankind, comprised of male and female. The singular is clearly collective (see the plural verb, "Genthat they may rule" in v. 26b) and the referent is defined specifically as "male and female" in v. 27. Usage elsewhere in Gen 1–11 supports this as well. In 5:2 we read: "Male and female he created them, and he blessed them and called their name ‘humankind’ (אָדָם)." The noun also refers to humankind in Gen 6:1, 5–7; 9:5–6LEB.


The two prepositions translated "in" and "according to" have overlapping fields of meaning and in this context seem to be virtually equivalent. In 5:3 they are reversed with the two words. The word צֶלֶם (tselem, "image") is used frequently of statues, models, and images – replicas (see D. J. A. Clines, "The Etymology of Hebrew selem," JNSL 3 1974: 19-25). The word דְּמוּת (démut, "likeness") is an abstract noun; its verbal root means "to be like; to resemble." In the Book of Genesis the two terms describe human beings who in some way reflect the form and the function of the creator. The form is more likely stressing the spiritual rather than the physical. The "image of Elohim" would be the Elohim-given mental and spiritual capacities that enable people to relate to Elohim and to serve him by ruling over the created order as his earthly vice-regents.


In our image, after our likeness. Similar language is used in the instructions for building the tabernacle. Moses was told to make it "according to the pattern" he was shown on the mount Exod 25:9, 10LEB. Was he shown a form, a replica, of the spiritual sanctuary in the heavenly places? In any case, what was produced on earth functioned as the heavenly sanctuary does, but with limitations.


Following the cohortative ("let us make"), the prefixed verb form with vav (ו) conjunctive indicates purpose/result Gen 19:20; 34:23; 2 Sam 3:21LEB. Elohim’s purpose in giving humankind his image is that they might rule the created order on behalf of the heavenly king and his royal court. So the divine image, however it is defined, gives humankind the capacity and/or authority to rule over creation.


The MT reads "earth"; the Syriac reads "wild animals" (cf. NRSV).


Notes for Gen 1:27LEB

The Hebrew text has the article prefixed to the noun (הָאָדָם, haadam). The article does not distinguish man from woman here ("the man" as opposed to "the woman"), but rather indicates previous reference (see v. 26, where the noun appears without the article). It has the same function as English "the aforementioned."


The third person suffix on the particle אֵת (’et) is singular here, but collective.


The distinction of "humankind" as "male" and "female" is another point of separation in Elohim’s creation. There is no possibility that the verse is teaching that humans were first androgynous (having both male and female physical characteristics) and afterward were separated. The mention of male and female prepares for the blessing to follow.


Notes for Gen 1:28LEB

As in v. 22 the verb "bless" here means "to endow with the capacity to reproduce and be fruitful," as the following context indicates. As in v. 22, the statement directly precedes the instruction "be fruitful and multiply." The verb carries this same nuance in Gen 17:16LEB (where Elohim’s blessing of Sarai imparts to her the capacity to bear a child); Gen 48:16LEB (where Elohim’s blessing of Joseph’s sons is closely associated with their having numerous descendants); and Deut 7:13LEB (where Elohim’s blessing is associated with fertility in general, including numerous descendants). See also Gen 49:25LEB (where Jacob uses the noun derivative in referring to "blessings of the breast and womb," an obvious reference to fertility) and Gen 27:27LEB (where the verb is used of a field to which Elohim has given the capacity to produce vegetation).


Heb "and Elohim said." For stylistic reasons "Elohim" has not been repeated here in the translation.


Elsewhere the Hebrew verb translated "subdue" means "to enslave" 2 Chr 28:10; Neh 5:5; Jer 34:11, 16LEB, "to conquer," Num 32:22, 29; Josh 18:1; 2 Sam 8:11; 1 Chr 22:18; Zech 9:13; Mic 7:19LEB, and "to assault sexually" Esth 7:8LEB. None of these nuances adequately meets the demands of this context, for humankind is not viewed as having an adversarial relationship with the world. The general meaning of the verb appears to be "to bring under one’s control for one’s advantage." In Gen 1:28LEB one might paraphrase it as follows: "harness its potential and use its resources for your benefit." In an ancient Israelite context this would suggest cultivating its fields, mining its mineral riches, using its trees for construction, and domesticating its animals.


The several imperatives addressed to both males and females together (plural imperative forms) actually form two instructions: reproduce and rule. Elohim’s word is not merely a form of blessing, but is now addressed to them personally; this is a distinct emphasis with the creation of human beings. But with the blessing comes the ability to be fruitful and to rule. In procreation they will share in the divine work of creating human life and passing on the divine image Gen 5:1–3LEB; in ruling they will serve as Elohim’s vice-regents on earth. They together, the human race collectively, have the responsibility of seeing to the welfare of that which is put under them and the privilege of using it for their benefit.


Notes for Gen 1:29LEB

The text uses הִנֵּה (hinneh), often archaically translated "behold." It is often used to express the dramatic present, the immediacy of an event – "Look, this is what I am doing!"


G. J. Wenham (Genesis WBC, 1:34) points out that there is nothing in the passage that prohibits the man and the woman from eating meat. He suggests that eating meat came after the fall. Gen 9:3LEB may then ratify the postfall practice of eating meat rather than inaugurate the practice, as is often understood.


Notes for Gen 1:30LEB

The phrase "I give" is not in the Hebrew text but has been supplied in the translation for clarification.


Notes for Gen 1:31LEB

The Hebrew text again uses הִנֵּה (hinneh) for the sake of vividness. It is a particle that goes with the gesture of pointing, calling attention to something.


Heb "And the Yahweh Elohim caused a deep sleep to fall on the man."


Heb "and he slept." In the sequence the verb may be subordinated to the following verb to indicate a temporal clause ("while…").


Traditionally translated "rib," the Hebrew word actually means "side." The Hebrew text reads, "and he took one from his sides," which could be rendered "part of his sides." That idea may fit better the explanation by the man that the woman is his flesh and bone.


Heb "closed up the flesh under it."


This verb (the Hiphil of נָשָׁא, nasha) is used elsewhere of a king or god misleading his people into false confidence 2 Kgs 18:29; 2 Chr 32:15; Isa 36:14; 2 Kgs 19:10; Isa 37:10LEB, of an ally deceiving a partner Obad 7LEB, of Elohim deceiving his sinful people as a form of judgment Jer 4:10LEB, of false prophets instilling their audience with false hope Jer 29:8LEB, and of pride and false confidence producing self-deception Jer 37:9; 49:16; Obad 3LEB.


Hebrew word הֶבֶל (hevel), means "breath, vapor, vanity," foreshadowing Abel’s untimely and premature death.


Heb "and Abel was a shepherd of the flock, and Cain was a worker of the ground." The designations of the two occupations are expressed with active participles, רֹעֵה (roeh, "shepherd") and עֹבֵד (’oved, "worker"). Abel is occupied with sheep, whereas Cain is living under the curse, cultivating the ground.


The word "other" is not in the Hebrew text, but is supplied for stylistic reasons.