the Hebrew text, there are three equivocal words in addition
= elohim which is translated by us as the Shining
Reading from right to left, in the Hebrew
manner, these equivocations are:
Ø usually transliterated as bara with three principal
= 'to create'; but, strangely, this meaning is only used
with the term elohim (or its equivalent) as the subject;
= 'to clear ground' (for agriculture) including 'felling
= 'fatten oneself' Ø a meaning which cannot be ignored because,
in paronomastic terms, it could have associations with both
(i) and (ii).
can also be transliterated as bera'a, which can
mean 'to look with pleasure [or approval] upon'.
latter use is clearly illustrated in Psalm 59:10, part of
which Holladay translates as "God shall let me look with
pleasure on my enemies defeated".
the Shining Onesmay have 'created', in the sense
of producing something new Ø of an agricultural nature;
or they may have 'felled timber and cleared ground' for
agricultural purposes; or they may, in time, have 'fattened
themselves' on their produce - after an initial lean period
in the land in which they were about to settle; and they
may have 'looked with pleasure' upon the chosen area.
we can take note of the cleverness of the use of paronomasia
in a developing Middle Eastern language. The text may well
have been intended to indicate all four meanings by the
use of one word.
Ø is transliterated as ha 'shemim which has achieved
a popular meaning of the 'the heavens', or 'the air', or
'the sky'. It is the plural of shem which is another
ancient word, like el. It has a widespread, geographical
association with 'plants' and 'agriculture' (and it occurs
in the name of the leader of the Watchers, Shem-jaza, who
was recorded as being a teacher of horticulture).
Sumerian, it was closely associated with li = 'cultivation'
and had a similar ancient pictogram of a plant in a pot
In the later, Semitic Akkadian, it was used for 'grass'
or 'pasture'. The Akkadian sham urqitumeant'green
'shemim ,therefore, carries the implications of both
'heights' and 'plants'; and we believe that it was a term
used, originally, for the 'cultivated Highlands' Ø or, alternatively,
for the 'Highland pastures'. After the destruction of Kharsag,
as the language changed, it became the 'Highlands', then
the 'Heights', and finally the 'Heavens'.
Ø is transliterated as arez meaning 'ground', 'land'
or 'territory'. In the context of its opposition to shemim,
it should have meant 'low ground' or the 'Lowlands'.
the above explanation we can now lay out our preferred alternative
translation for the opening verse of the Book of Genesis
beside the commonly accepted version of the Jerusalem
the Beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
the Beginning, the Shining Ones looked (down)
with pleasure upon the Highland pastures and the Lowlands.
page GEN 1:2