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Genesis is Untranslatable

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6/24/2018 8:52:13 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
One of the principle undertakings of mine own is learning the original Hebrew language, beginning with not the traditional Hebrew letters we have today, but the pictographic or paleo-Hebrew script upon and from which the block Hebrew (Aramaic) is based.

One of the first things I discovered is that these assemblies of pictographic depictions (or in other words, 'words') actually contain no English equivalents at all. In some cases, especially in Genesis, entire (English language) sentences are required to impart what a single Hebrew 'word' carries for its meaning.

There are some English words that accurately impart the "meaning" of pictographic assemblies in and of themselves, but these are few and far between. As such, the original Hebrew language (and indeed the Old Testament) is untranslatable into English without betraying much of what is intended to be imparted. What complicates this further is that traditional "accepted" translations of the Hebrew Old Testament were made by individuals who could not read into the language (for its meaning) and instead produce a surface "mechanical transliteration" by trying to associate English words with Hebrew ones where none actually exist.

For example the first sentence of the book of Genesis:
B'reshith bara Elohim et hashamayim ve'et ha'aretz

Is traditionally translated into English as:
"In the beginning GOD created the heavens and the earth."

But as I have discovered (and is likely unknown to many people wholly unfamiliar with the Hebrew language) this translation is not technically "wrong" but it is severely lacking in what it contains.

B'reshith has absolutely no English equivalent at all. The common rendering "In the beginning" betrays much of what this word implies. It is composed of the root reshith with a beit at the head of it. The root word reshith implies a coming into existence from a source beyond comprehension - like a water spring (or summit) coming from nowhere. The beit which stands at its head produces the concept of creation being a fountainhead:

"At the head of the summit..."
would be more accurate than "In the beginning..."

"was created..."

"(the powers of) the gods and goddesses"

et hashamayim
"the heavenly waters"

ve'et ha'aretz
"and the earth."

Though the translation "In the beginning GOD created the heavens and the earth." is not "wrong", it is lacking and clumsy. The translation provided here is only one of many possible translations that attempt to use the English language to impart the concept:

"At the head of the summit was created [by (the powers of) the Elohim] the heavenly waters and the earth."

What is being described is the very essence of creation being of the same quality of water: hashamayim. The Hebrew word mayim means "waters" and contains two mem (one normal one final) - the mem itself being the symbol for water.

As we read later, these waters at the fountainhead/summit of creation are divided by the Elohim: the "superior" waters from the "inferior" waters. It is important to note that Elohim is not singular: Elohim refers to the masculine and feminine qualities as/of gods/goddesses. The common translation GOD (singular masculine) is actually incorrect and extremely misleading. According to the original Hebrew, GOD did not make the heavens and the earth at all - it was Elohim (plural).

When water is understood to be, not physical water, but the very flowing essence of creation, it is through this lens that the rest of the Torah/Bible must be read. For example Noah and the flood are not talking about physical water - there was no global flood nor a physical man named Noah that built a physical ark to house physical animals. The "ark" is the human body itself (300 cubits refers to the letter shin which contains three levels/stories indicating the three "worlds" above Malkuth (human body)). The "flood" describes the chaos of the same creative waters found in early Genesis: "now the earth was formless and chaotic and darkness was upon the face of the deep..." until the spirit of the Elohim (ruach Elohim) moved upon the face of the (chaotic) waters. Later we read that the Egyptians were swept away by the same chaotic water which Moses temporarily divided (in the same manner the Elohim divides the superior and inferior waters) only to free the (good/pure) Israelites and destroy the (evil/impure) Egyptians.

Technically speaking, the Spirit of the Elohim (ruach Elohim) or the "Spirit of God" moving upon the chaos of the earth/waters and bringing light into being represents Abram - when an individual "walks with" the (spirit of the) Elohim, they essentially become the same archetype that Abram represents - to walk with the Elohim (powers) after learning how to manage the chaos of the waters which is represented by Noah which precedes him. This happens internally to the human soul and as such each individual has the potential/capability of becoming "like" the Elohim or "like" GOD - knowing good and evil by walking the same path as the patriarchs did (in the internal plains) in proper succession.

The beit (second letter of the Hebrew alphabet) is depicted in paleo-Hebrew as a top-down view of the floor plan of a tent which is divided into two sections: the opening (door) on the top left leading into the left section for the man which is divided by a wall and small opening leading into the section for the woman on the right. This home/dwelling for masculine/feminine is the pictograph that opens the entire Bible. Therefor "at the head" is understood as "a dwelling containing masculine and feminine" which is the same concept as Elohim: masculine and feminine contained within a mutual dwelling.

Such symbolism is only apparent upon the observation of the original language used by the Hebrews. As such Genesis is technically untranslatable into English or any other language - not in the sense that a "working" translation into a foreign language can not be produced, but in the sense that there exists not (and can never exist) a translation that wholly preserves the depth of what is imparted in the original Hebrew. The language of Hebrew (along with its understanding) and the text itself are inseparable - one can not know one without the other.
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