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Biblical Hebrew Linguistics
By Jeff A. Benner

Every language has its unique style of linguistics including its vocabulary, syntax (sentence structure) and morphology (work structure). This article will examine each verse from the second chapter of Genesis and breaking down and identifying each word within the verse. This exercise is designed to help those who are learning to Hebrew, but also to provide the novice with some insights into how the Hebrew language of the Bible works.


2:1    2:2    2:3    2:4    2:5    2:6    2:7    2:8    2:9    2:10    2:11    2:12    2:13    2:14    2:15    2:16    2:17    2:18    2:19    2:20    2:21    2:22    2:23    2:24    2:25   




Genesis 2:1
וַיְכֻלּוּ הַשָּׁמַיִם וְהָאָרֶץ וְכָל־צְבָאָם׃
And the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. (ASV)

וַיְכֻלּוּ (vai- khu-lu)

This base word is the verb כלה (kalah) meaning "to finish" or "complete." The prefix י (y) and the suffix ו identify the verb tense as imperfect - will finish - and the subject of the verb as third person, masculine, singular - they will finish. The prefix ו (v) means "and" and also reverses the tense of the verb – and they finished. Most verbs ending with the letter ה (h), drop this letter when conjugated. As we have seen in many examples, each verb identifies the tense of the verb (perfect or imperfect) but each verb also identifies its voice (active, passive or reflexive). An example of an active verb would be "they finished." A passive verb would be "they were finished." And a reflexive verb would be "they finished themselves." The "u" in the middle of the word identifies this verb as passive so it should be translated as "they were finished."


הַשָּׁמַיִם (ha-sha-ma-yim)

This is the word שמים (shamayim) meaning "skies." The prefix ה (ha) means "the" – "the skies."


וְהָאָרֶץ (ve-ha-a- rets)

This is the word ארץ (erets) meaning "land." The prefix ה (ha) means "the" and the prefix ו (ve) means "and" – "and the land."


וְכָל (ve-khol)

This is the word כל (kol) meaning "all." The prefix ו (ve) means "and" – "and all."


צְבָאָם (tse-va-am)

The base word is the noun צבא (tsava) which literally means "army." The suffix מ (m) is the third person masculine pronoun – "them." When combined this word means "armies of them" or "their armies."

Literal Translation
and the skies and the land and all their armies were finished.




Genesis 2:2
וַיְכַל אֱלֹהִים בַּיֹּום הַשְּׁבִיעִי מְלַאכְתֹּו אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה וַיִּשְׁבֹּת בַּיֹּום הַשְּׁבִיעִי מִכָּל־מְלַאכְתֹּו אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה׃
And on the seventh day God finished his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. (ASV)

וַיְכַל (vai-khal)

The base word is כלה (kalah) meaning "to finish." The prefix י (y) identifies the verb tense as imperfect - will finish - and the subject of the verb as third person, masculine, singular - he will finish. The prefix ו (v) means "and," but also reverses the tense of the verb – and he finished.


אֱלֹהִים (e-lo- heem)

This is the word/name of God – Elohiym, and is the subject of the previous verb.


בַּיֹּום; (ba- yom)

This is the word יום (yom) meaning "day" with the prefix ב (ba) meaning "in." Combined these mean "in the day."


הַשְּׁבִיעִי (hash-vee-ee)

This is the word שביעי (she-vee-ee) meaning "seventh" with the prefix ה (ha) meaning "the." This word and the previous one, are in the construct state and would then be translated as "in the seventh day."


מְלַאכְתֹּו (me-lakh-to)

The base word is מלאכה (melakhah) meaning "business. The suffix ו (v) is the third person, masculine, singular, possessive pronoun "of him." This word means "business of him" or "his business." When a pronoun suffix is added to the end of a noun that ends with the letter ה (h), the ה is replaced by the ת (t).


אֲשֶׁר (a-sher)

This word means "which" or "who."


עָשָׂה (a-sah)

This verb means "to do." This form of the verb does not include any prefixes or suffixes, which always identifies the subject of the verb as third person, masculine, singular and the tense of the verb as perfecthe did.


וַיִּשְׁבֹּת (vai-yish-bot)

The base word is שבת (shavat – the root of the noun shabbat/sabbath) meaning "to cease." The prefix י identifies the verb tense as imperfect - will cease - and the subject of the verb as third person, masculine, singular - he will cease. The prefix ו (v) means "and," but also reverses the tense of the verb – and he ceased.


בַּיֹּום (ba- yom)

This is the word יום (yom) meaning "day" with the prefix ב (ba) meaning "in." Combined these mean "in the day."


הַשְּׁבִיעִי (hash-vee-ee)

This is the word שביעי (she-vee-ee) meaning "seventh" with the prefix ה (ha) mean "the." This word and the previous one are in the construct state and would then be translated as "the seventh day."


מִכָּל (mi-kol)

This base word is כל (kol) meaning "all." The prefix מ (mi) means "from." Combined, this word means "from all."


מְלַאכְתֹּו (me-lakh-to)

The base word is מלאכה (melakhah) meaning "business. The suffix ו (v) is the third person, masculine, singular, possessive pronoun – "of him." This word means "business of him" or "his business." When a pronoun suffix is added to the end of a noun that ends with the letter ה , the ה is replaced by the ת (t).


אֲשֶׁר (a-sher)

This word means "which" or "who."


עָשָׂה (a-sah)

This verb means "to do." The form of the verb (no prefixes or suffixes) identifies the subject of the verb as third person, masculine, singular and the tense as perfect – he did.

Literal Translation
And Elohiym finished his business which he did in the seventh day, and he ceased from all his business which he did in the seventh day.

Note: This verse is an example Hebrew poetry where two different words, finished and ceased, are being used to convey one idea.





Genesis 2:3
וַיְבָרֶךְ אֱלֹהִים אֶת־יֹום הַשְּׁבִיעִי וַיְקַדֵּשׁ אֹתֹו כִּי בֹו שָׁבַת מִכָּל־מְלַאכְתֹּו אֲשֶׁר־בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים לַעֲשֹׂות׃
And God blessed the seventh day, and hallowed it; because that in it he rested from all his work which God had created and made. (ASV)

וַיְבָרֶךְ (vai- va-rekh)

The base word is the verb ברך (B-R-K). This verb literally means "kneel down to show respect to another." The prefix י identifies the verb tense as imperfect - will respect - and the subject of the verb as third person, masculine, singular - he will respect. The prefix ו (v) means "and" but also reverses the tense of the verb – and he respected.


אֱלֹהִים (e-lo- hiym)

This word literally means powerful ones (plural) but is often used in a singular sense as a name (usually translated as God). This is the subject (the "he") of the previous verb.


אֶת (et)

This word precedes the direct object of a verb.


יֹום (yom)

This word means "day."


הַשְּׁבִיעִי (hash-viy-iy)

The base word is the noun שביעי (sheviyiy) meaning seventh. The prefix ה (h) means "the." This word is combined with the previous word to form the phrase "the seventh day" which is the direct object of the previous verb.


וַיְקַדֵּשׁ (vai-qa-deysh)

The base word is the verb קדש (Q-D-Sh). This verb literally means "set apart for a special purpose." The prefix י (y) identifies the verb tense as imperfect - will set apart - and the subject of the verb as third person, masculine, singular - he will set apart. The prefix ו (v) means "and" but also reverses the tense of the verb – and he set apart.


אֹתֹו (o-to)

The base word is the word את (et) which precedes the direct object of the verb which, in this case is the suffix ו (v) meaning "him."


כִּי (kiy)

This word means "for" or "because."


בֹו (vo)

This is the prefix ב (b) meaning "in" and the suffix ו meaning "him." Combined, these mean "in him."


שָׁבַת (sha-vat)

This verb means "cease an activity." Because of the lack of any prefixes or suffixes the subject of the verb is third person, masculine singular, and the tense of the verb as perfect – he ceased.


מִכָּל (mi-kol)

The base word is כל (kol) meaning "all." The prefix מ (m) means "from." Combined, this means "from all."


מְלַאכְתֹּו (me-lakh-to)

This is the word מלאכה (me-la-khah) meaning "business." The suffix ו (v) means "of him." Combined, this word means "his business." When a suffix is added to a feminine noun ending with the letter ה (h), the ה (h) is changed to a ת (t).


אֲשֶׁר (a-sher)

This word means "which" or "who."


בָּרָא (ba-ra)

This verb means "fatten up" or "fill up." Because of the lack of any prefixes or suffixes the subject of the verb is third person, masculine singular, and the tense of the verb as perfect – he filled.


אֱלֹהִים (e-lo- hiym)

This word literally means powerful ones (plural) but is often used in the singular as a name (usually translated as God). This is the subject (the "he") of the previous verb.


לַעֲשֹׂות (la-a- sot)

The base word is the verb עשה (Ah-S-H) meaning "do." It is written in the infinitive form which simply describes the action without identifying the subject or the tense of the verb. The prefix ל (l) means "to." Combined, this word means "to do."

Literal Translation
And Elohiym respected the seventh day and he set him apart because in him he ceased from all his business which Elohiym filled up to do.




Genesis 2:4
אֵלֶּה תוֹלְדוֹת הַשָּׁמַיִם וְהָאָרֶץ בְּהִבָּרְאָם בְּיוֹם עֲשׂוֹת יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים אֶרֶץ וְשָׁמָיִם
These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that Jehovah God made earth and heaven. (ASV)

אֵלֶּה (ey-lah)

This word means "these."


תוֹלְדוֹת (tol- dot)

The word תולדה (tol-dah) literally means "birthing," the generation that proceeds out of the progenitor. This word is written in the plural, as indicated by the feminine plural suffix ות (ot). Because of the addition of this suffix, the letter ה (h) is dropped.


הַשָּׁמַיִם (ha-sha-ma-yim)

This is the word שמים (sha-ma-yim), meaning "skies", with the ה (h) prefix meaning "the."


וְהָאָרֶץ (ve-ha-a- rets)

This is the word ארץ (e-rets) meaning "land," with the ה (h) prefix meaning "the" and the ו (v) prefix meaning "and."


בְּהִבָּרְאָם (be-hi-bar-am)

The base word is the verb ברא (B-R-A) meaning "to fatten" or "to fill." The ה (hi) prefix identifies the verb as being in the niphal and imperative forms – be filled. The suffix ם (m) identifies the object of the verb as third person, masculine, plural – they were filled. The prefix ב is the preposition meaning "in" or "with" – with their being filled.


בְּיוֹם (be-yom)

This is the word יום (yom) meaning day with the prefix ב (b), the preposition meaning "in."


עֲשׂוֹת (a-sot)

This is the verb עשה (Ah-S-H) meaning "to do" or "to make" but it is written in the infinitive construct form and would be translated as "making."


יְהוָה (YHWH)

This is the name of God.


אֱלֹהִים (e-lo- hiym)

This word, which includes the masculine plural suffix ים (iym), can literally mean gods, judges or mighty ones, but it is used for "God." (Note: when two nouns are placed together, such as with the names YHWH and Elohiym, they are in the construct state which, in English, would have the word "of" placed between them.


אֶרֶץ (e-rets)

This word means land.


וְשָׁמָיִם (ve-sha-ma-yim)

This is the word שמים (sha-ma-yim), meaning "skies", with the ו (v) prefix meaning "and."

Literal Translation
These are the birthings of the skies and the land with their being filled in the day YHWH of Elohiym was making the land and the sky.




Genesis 2:5
וְכֹל שִׂיחַ הַשָּׂדֶה טֶרֶם יִהְיֶה בָאָרֶץ וְכָל עֵשֶׂב הַשָּׂדֶה טֶרֶם יִצְמָח כִּי לֹא הִמְטִיר יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים עַל הָאָרֶץ וְאָדָם אַיִן לַעֲבֹד אֶת הָאֲדָמָה
And no plant of the field was yet in the earth, and no herb of the field had yet sprung up; for Jehovah God had not caused it to rain upon the earth: and there was not a man to till the ground; (ASV)

וְכֹל (ve-khol)

This is the word כל (kol) meaning "all" with the prefix ו meaning "and" – and all.


שִׂיחַ (see-ahh)

This is a noun meaning shrub.


הַשָּׂדֶה (ha-sa- deh)

This is the noun שדה (sadey) meaning "field" with the prefix ה (h) meaning "the" – the field.


טֶרֶם (te-rem)

This word means "before" or "not yet."


יִהְיֶה (yeeh-yeh)

This is the verb היה (H.Y.H) meaning to "exist." The prefix י identifies the verb tense as imperfect - will exist - and the subject of the verb as third person, masculine, singular - he will exist.


בָאָרֶץ (va-a-rets)

This is the noun ארץ (erets) meaning "land" with the prefix ב (ba) meaning "in the" – in the land.


וְכָל (ve-khol)

This is the word כל (kol) meaning "all" with the prefix ו (v) meaning "and" – and all.


עֵשֶׂב (ey-sev)

This is a noun meaning herb.


הַשָּׂדֶה (ha-sa- deh)

This is the noun שדה (sadey) meaning "field" with the prefix ה (h) meaning "the" – the field.


טֶרֶם (te-rem)

This word means "before" or "not yet."


יִצְמָח (yeets-mahh)

This is the verb צמח (Ts.M.Hh) meaning to "sprout." The prefix י (y) identifies the verb tense as imperfect - will sprout - and the subject of the verb as third person, masculine, singular - he will sprout (the "he" being the "field").


כִּי (kee)

This word is a preposition meaning "because," "that," or "so."


לֹא (lo)

This word means "no" and is usually used to negate the proceeding verb.


הִמְטִיר (hee- teer)

This is the verb מטר (M.Th.R) meaning to "rain." The structure of the verb also identifies the verb tense as perfect – he rained. The prefix ה (hee) along with the י (ee) infix, identifies the verb as a hiphil (causative) verb – he made rain, or he caused to rain. But, the preceding word לא negates this verb – he did not cause it to rain.


יְהוָה (YHWH)

This is the four letter name often pronounced as "Yahweh."


אֱלֹהִים (e-lo- heem)

This word, which includes the masculine plural suffix ים (iym), can literally mean gods, judges or mighty ones, but it is used for "God." (Note: when two nouns are placed together, such as with the names YHWH and Elohiym, they are in the construct state which, in English, would have the word "of" placed between them.


עַל (al)

This word means "over" or "upon."


הָאָרֶץ (ha-a-rets)

This is the noun ארץ (erets) meaning "land." The prefix ה (h) means "the" – the land.


וְאָדָם (ve-a-dam)

This noun אדם (adam) means "human." The prefix ו (v) means "and" – and a human.


אַיִן (a-yeen)

This word means "without."


לַעֲבֹד (la-a-vod)

This is the verb עבד (Ah.B.D) meaning "serve" and is written in the infinitive form. The prefix ל (l) means "to" – to serve.


אֶת (et)

This word precedes the direct object of a verb.


הָאֲדָמָה (ha-a-da- mah)

This is the noun אדמה (adamah) meaning "ground." The prefix ה (h) means "the." Combined, this word means "the ground."

Literal Translation
And all the shrubs of the field, not yet existed in the land, and all the herbs of the field, not yet sprouted, because YHWH Elohiym did not cause it to rain upon the land, and was without a human to serve the ground.




Genesis 2:6
וְאֵד יַעֲלֶה מִן הָאָרֶץ וְהִשְׁקָה אֶת כָּל פְּנֵי הָאֲדָמָה
but there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground. (ASV)

וְאֵד (ve'eyd)

This word אד (eyd, a masculine noun) means a "mist" and the prefix ו (ve) means "and" – and a mist.


יַעֲלֶה (ya'a'leh)

The verb עלה (Ah.L.H) means to "go up." The prefix י (ya) identifies the subject of the verb (which is the word אד) as masculine singular (he), and the tense of the verb as imperfect (will) – he will go up.


מִן (meen)

This word means "from."


הָאָרֶץ (ha'a'rets)

This is the word ארץ (erets) meaning land, with the prefix ה (ha) meaning "the" – the land.


וְהִשְׁקָה (ve'hish'qah)

This is the verb שקה (Sh.Q.H) meaning to "drink." The prefix ה (hi) identifies the verb form as "causative" (to cause or make one drink). The written form of this verb identifies the subject of the verb as masculine singular (he) and the tense of the verb as pefect (did). The prefix ו (ve) means "and," but also reverses the tense of the verb to imperfect (will) – and he will cause to drink.


אֶת (et)

This word precedes the direct object (the next three words) of the verb.


כָּל (kol)

This word means "all."


פְּנֵי (pe'ney)

This is the word פנה (paneh) meaning "face," but is always written in the plural form – פנים (paniym). This word is in the construct state (face of...) and a plural noun drops the final mem (ם) when in the construct state.


הָאֲדָמָה (ha'a'da'mah)

This is the word אדמה (adamah) meaning ground, with the prefix ה (ha) meaning "the" – the ground.

Literal Translation
and a mist is going up from the land, and he (the mist) caused all the face of the ground to drink.




Genesis 2:7
וַיִּיצֶר יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים אֶת הָאָדָם עָפָר מִן הָאֲדָמָה וַיִּפַּח בְּאַפָּיו נִשְׁמַת חַיִּים וַיְהִי הָאָדָם לְנֶפֶשׁ חַיָּה
And Jehovah God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. (ASV)

וַיִּיצֶר (vai-yiy- tser)

The verb is יצר (Y.Ts.R) meaning to "press" in the sense of forming clay into a shape. The prefix י (y) identifies the verb tense as imperfect - will press - and the subject of the verb as third person, masculine, singular - he will press. The prefix ו (v) means "and" but also reverses the tense of the verb – and he pressed.


יְהוָה (YHWH)

This is the name Yahweh, and is the subject of the previous verb – YHWH pressed.


אֱלֹהִים (eh-lo- hiym)

This is the word frequently translated as "God" but literally means "Powers." While this is a plural word (as identified by the "iym" suffix), it is usually used in a singular context.


אֶת (et)

This word precedes and identifies the definite object of the previous verb.


הָאָדָם (ha-a-dam)

This is the word אדם (adam) meaning "human" with the prefix ה (h) meaning "the."


עָפָר (a-phar)

This word means "dust" or "powder."


מִן (miyn)

This word means "from."


הָאֲדָמָה (ha-a-da- mah)

This is the word אדמה (adamah) meaning "ground" with the prefix ה (h) meaning "the."


וַיִּפַּח (vai-yi- phahh)

The verb is נפח (N.P.Hh) meaning to "blow." A root beginning with the letter נ (n) drops this letter from the word when it is conjugated. The prefix י (y) identifies the verb tense as imperfect - will blow - and the subject of the verb as third person, masculine, singular - he will blow. The prefix ו (v) means "and" but also reverses the tense of the verb – and he blew.


בְּאַפָּיו (be-a-pahv)

This base word is אף (aph) meaning nose, but is written in the plural form – אפים (aphiym), which means "nostrils." The suffix ו (v) means "of him" and because of this word is in the construct state (nostrils OF him) the ם (m) is dropped from the word אפים. The prefix ב (b) means "in." All combined, this word means "in his nostrils."


נִשְׁמַת (nish- mat)

This is the word נשמה (neshamah) meaning "breath." The word is in the construct state (breath of...) so the ה (H) is changed to ת (T).


חַיִּים (hhai-yim)

This is the word חי (hhai) meaning "living," but in the plural form, which means "life."


וַיְהִי (vai-hiy)

The verb is היה (H.Y.H) meaning to "exist." A root ending with the letter ה (H) drops this letter from the word when it is conjugated. The prefix י (y) identifies the verb tense as imperfect - will exist - and the subject of the verb as third person, masculine, singular - he will exist. The prefix ו (v) means "and" but also reverses the tense of the verb – and he existed.


הָאָדָם (ha-a-dam)

This is the word אדם (adam) meaning "human" with the prefix ה (h) meaning "the."


לְנֶפֶשׁ (le-ne- phesh)

This is the word נפש (nephesh) meaning "being" (the whole essence of a person), with the prefix ל (l) meaning "to" or "for."


חַיָּה (hhai-yah)

This is again, the word חי (hhai) meaning "living," but here being used as an adjective. The masculine form of this adjective is חי (hhai) while the feminine form is חיה (hhai-yah).

Literal Translation
And YHWH of Elohiym pressed into shape the human of dust from the ground, and he blew in his nostrils the breath of life, and the human existed for a living being.




Genesis 2:8
וַיִּטַּע יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים גַּן־בְּעֵדֶן מִקֶּדֶם וַיָּשֶׂם שָׁם אֶת־הָאָדָם אֲשֶׁר יָצָר׃
And Jehovah God planted a garden eastward, in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. (ASV)

וַיִּטַּע (vai-yi- ta)

The base word is the verb נטע (N.T.A) meaning "to plant." The prefix י (yud) identifies the verb tense as imperfect – will plant, and also identifies the subject of the verb as third person, masculine, singular – he will plant. The prefix ו (vav) means "and" but also reverses the tense of the verb from imperfect to perfect – and he planted. Also note that the letter נ (nun) is dropped once the verb is conjugated. This happens with any verb beginning with this letter.


יְהוָה (yhwh)

This is the Tetragramaton, the four letter name of God.


אֱלֹהִים (eh-lo- heem)

The base word is אלוה (e-lo-ah), which is commonly translated as "God" or "god," but more literally means "one of power and authority." The suffix ים (iym) is the masculine plural so this word means "gods" or "ones of power and authority." However, this plural noun is often used as a name for YHWH. Because this is being used as a name, it should be transliterated as "Elohiym" rather than translating it with the English word "God." This name/word is the subject of the verb ויטע (hayah) – and Elohiym planted.


גַּן (gan)

This noun means garden.


בְּעֵדֶן (be-ey- den)

The base word is עדן (eyden) meaning "delight" and is the place name Eden. The prefix ב (b) means "in" – in Eden.


מִקֶּדֶם (mee-qe- dem)

The base word is קדם (qedem) meaning "east" (but can also mean "ancient"). The prefix מ (m) means "from" – from [the] east, but means "eastward."


וַיָּשֶׂם (vai-ya- sem)

The base word is the verb שים (S.Y.M) meaning "to place." The prefix י (yud) identifies the verb tense as imperfect – will place, and also identifies the subject of the verb as third person, masculine, singular – he will place. The prefix ו (vav) means "and" but also reverses the tense of the verb from imperfect to perfect – and he placed. Also note that the letter י (yud) is dropped once the verb is conjugated, which frequently occurs. The name/word Elohiym is also the subject of this verb.


שָׁם (sham)

This word means "there."


אֶת (et)

This word precedes the definite object of the verb.


הָאָדָם (ha-a-dam)

The base word is אדם (adam) meaning "human." The prefix ה (h) means "the" – the human. This noun is the definite object of the verb וישם.


אֲשֶׁר (ah-sher)

This is the relative pronoun which can be translated as which, who or what.


יָצָר (ya-tsar)

This is the verb יצר (Y.Ts.R) meaning "to press into shape." Because the verb does not contain any prefixes or suffixes it identifies the verb tense as perfect – formed, and also identifies the subject of the verb as third person, masculine, singular – he pressed into shape.

Literal Translation
and YHWH Elohiym planted a garden eastward in Eden, and he placed the human there which he pressed into shape.




Genesis 2:9
וַיַּצְמַח יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים מִן הָאֲדָמָה כָּל עֵץ נֶחְמָד לְמַרְאֶה וְטוֹב לְמַאֲכָל וְעֵץ הַחַיִּים בְּתוֹךְ הַגָּן וְעֵץ הַדַּעַת טוֹב וָרָע
And out of the ground made Jehovah God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. (ASV)

וַיַּצְמַח (vai- yats-mahh)

The base word is the verb צמח (Ts.M.Hh) meaning "to spring up." The prefix י (yud) identifies the verb tense as imperfect – will spring up, and also identifies the subject of the verb as third person, masculine, singular – he will spring up. The prefix ו (vav) means "and" but also reverses the tense of the verb from imperfect to perfect – and he sprang up. In addition, the verb is written in the hiphil (causative) form so would be translated as "and he caused to spring up."


יְהוָה (YHWH)

This is the Tetragramaton, the four letter name of God.


אֱלֹהִים (eh-lo- heem)

The base word is אלוה (e-lo-ah), which is commonly translated as "God" or "god," but more literally means "one of power and authority." The suffix ים (iym) is the masculine plural so this word means "gods" or "ones of power and authority." However, this plural noun is often used as a name for YHWH. Because this is being used as a name, it should be transliterated as "Elohiym" rather than translating it with the English word "God." This name/word, as well as the name YHWH, is the subject of the previous verb – and YHWH the Elohiym caused to spring up.


מִן (meen)

This word means "from."


הָאֲדָמָה (ha-a-da- mah)

The base word is אדמה (adamah) meaning "ground." The prefix ה (h) means "the" – the ground.


כָּל (kol)

This word means "all" or "every."


עֵץ (eyts)

This word is a noun meaning "tree."


נֶחְמָד (nehh-mad)

The base word is the verb חמד (Hh.M.D) meaning "to crave." This verb is written in the participle form and would be a translated as "craving." The prefix נ (n) also identifies this verb as passive – "be a craving."


לְמַרְאֶה (le-mar- eh)

The base word is מראה (mar’eh) meaning "appearance." The prefix ל (l) means "to" or "for" – for appearance.


וְטוֹב (ve-tov)

The base word is טוב (tov) meaning "good." The prefix ו (v) means "and" – and good.


לְמַאֲכָל (le-ma-a- khol)

The base word is מאכל (ma’a’khol) meaning "food." The prefix ל (l) means "to" or "for" – for food.


וְעֵץ (ve-eyts)

The base word is עץ (eyts) meaning "tree." The prefix ו (v) means "and" – and a tree.


הַחַיִּים (ha-hhai- yeem)

The base word is חי (hhai) meaning "living," but the ים (yeem) is the masculine plural suffix, which changes the meaning to "life." The prefix ה (h) means "the." This word, with the previous one, is a compound phrase and would be translated as "the tree of life."


בְּתוֹךְ (be- tokh)

The base word is תוך (tokh) meaning "middle." The prefix ב (b) means "in" – in the middle.


הַגָּן (ha-gan)

The base word is גן (gan) meaning "garden." The prefix ה (h) means "the" – the garden.


וְעֵץ (ve-eyts)

The base word is עץ (eyts) meaning "tree." The prefix ו (v) means "and" – and a tree.


הַדַּעַת (ha-da- at)

The base word is דעת (da’at) meaning "experience." The prefix ה (h) means "the." This word, with the previous one, is a compound phrase and would be translated as "the tree of experience."


טוֹב (tov)

This word means "good."


וָרָע (va-ra)

The base word is רע (ra) meaning "bad." The prefix ו (v) means "and" – and bad.

Literal Translation
And YHWH the Elohiym caused to spring up from the ground every tree being a craving for appearance and good for food, and the tree of life was in the middle of the garden and the tree of experience of good and bad.




Genesis 2:10
וְנָהָר יֹצֵא מֵעֵדֶן לְהַשְׁקֹות אֶת הַגָּן וּמִשָּׁם יִפָּרֵד וְהָיָה לְאַרְבָּעָה רָאשִׁים׃
And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became four heads. (ASV)

וְנָהָר (ve-na-har)

The word נהר (nahar), meaning a "river." and the prefix ו (ve) meaning "and" – and a river.


יֹצֵא (yo-tsey)

This is the verb יצא (Y.Ts.A) meaning "to go out," but is written in the participle form – going out.


מֵעֵדֶן (mey-ey- dehn)

This is the noun עדן (eyden) meaning "delight" and is the place name Eden. The prefix מ (m) means "from" – from Eden.


לְהַשְׁקֹות (le-hash-qot)

This is the verb שקה (Sh.Q.H) meaning to "drink," but written in the hiphil (causative) form. The prefix ל (l) means "to" – to cause to drink. A root ending with the letter ה (H) drops this letter from the word when it is conjugated.


אֶת (et)

This word precedes the direct object of the verb.


הַגָּן (ha-gan)

The noun גן means garden and is preceded by the prefix ה (h) meaning "the" - the garden.


וּמִשָּׁם (u-mi- sham)

This is the word שם (sham) meaning "there" and is preceded by the prefixes מ (m) meaning "from" and ו (v) meaning "and" - and from there.


יִפָּרֵד (yi-pa- reyd)

The verb פרד (P.R.D) means to "divide." The prefix י (Y) identifies the subject of the verb as masculine singular (he), and the tense of the verb as imperfect – he divides. The construct of this verb also identifies this verb as a niphil (passive) verb - he is divided.


וְהָיָה (ve-ha-yah)

The verb is היה (H.Y.H) meaning to "exist." This verb identifies the verb tense as perfect - existed - and the subject of the verb as third person, masculine, singular - he existed. The prefix ו (v) means "and" but also reverses the tense of the verb – and he will exist.


לְאַרְבָּעָה (le-ar-ba-ah)

The word is ארבעה (arba'ah) means "four." The prefix ל (l) means "to" – to four.


רָאשִׁים (ra- shiym)

This is the word ראש (rosh) meaning "head," but includes the ים (iym) masculine plural suffix – heads.

Literal Translation
And a river was going out from Eden to cause the garden to drink, and from there he is divided to four heads.




Genesis 2:11
שֵׁם הָאֶחָד פִּישֹׁון הוּא הַסֹּבֵב אֵת כָּל־אֶרֶץ הַחֲוִילָה אֲשֶׁר־שָׁם הַזָּהָב׃
The name of the first is Pishon: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold (ASV)

שֵׁם (shem)

This word means "name."


הָאֶחָד (ha-eh- hhad)

The base word is אחד (ehhad) meaning "one" with the prefix ה (ha) meaning "the" – the one.


פִּישֹׁון (pi- shon)

The name of the river is pishon.


הוּא (hu)

This is the masculine singular pronoun – "he." Hebrew only has a masculine and feminine pronoun; there is no neuter (it) like there is in English. Therefore the river, a masculine proper name, is referred to as a "he.


הַסֹּבֵב (ha-so- veyv)

The base word is the verb סבב (savav) meaning to go around. This verb is written in the participle form and would be translated as "going around." This verb is prefixed with the letter ה (ha) meaning "the" – the one going around.


אֵת (eyt)

This word precedes the definite object of the verb.


כָּל (kol)

This word means "all."


אֶרֶץ (eh-rets)

This word means "land."


הַחֲוִילָה (ha-hha-vi-lah)

This is the place name Hhavilah with the prefix ה (ha) meaning "the" – the Hhavilah.


אֲשֶׁר (a-sher)

This word means "who" or "what."


שָׁם (sham)

This word means "there."


הַזָּהָב (ha-za- hav)

The base word is the noun זהב (zahav) meaning "gold." This noun is prefixed with the letter ה (ha) meaning "the" – the gold.

Literal Translation
The name of the one is Pishon, he is going around all the land of the Hhavilah, which there is the gold.




Genesis 2:12
וּזֲהַב הָאָרֶץ הַהִוא טֹוב שָׁם הַבְּדֹלַח וְאֶבֶן הַשֹּׁהַם׃
and the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone. (ASV)

וּזֲהַב (u-za-hav)

This is the noun זהב (zahav) meaning "gold" and the prefix ו (ve) meaning "and" – and gold.


הָאָרֶץ (ha-a-rets)

This is the noun ארץ (erets) meaning "land" and the prefix ה (ha) meaning "the" – the land.


הַהִוא (ha-hi)

This is the pronoun היא (hi) meaning she (referring to the land, a feminine noun), but is written defectively as הוא. It is prefixed by the letter ה (ha) meaning "the." While this literally translates as "the she," it means "that," as in "that land."


טֹוב (tov)

This word is usually translated as "good" but more Hebraicly means "functional."


שָׁם (sham)

This word means "there."


הַבְּדֹלַח (hav-do-lahh)

This is the noun בדולח (bedolahh), probably meaning "amber," with the prefix ה (ha) meaning "the" – the amber.


וְאֶבֶן (ve-e-ven)

This is the noun אבן (even) meaning "stone" and the prefix ו (ve) meaning "and" – and a stone.


הַשֹּׁהַם (ha-sho- ham)

This is the noun שוהם (shoham), which is an unknown stone, possibly the onyx. It is prefixed with the letter ה (ha) meaning "the" – the shoham. This word and the previous one are joined together to mean "and the shoham stone."

Literal Translation
And [the] gold of that land [is] functional, there [is the] amber and the shoham stone.




Genesis 2:13
וְשֵׁם־הַנָּהָר הַשֵּׁנִי גִּיחֹון הוּא הַסֹּובֵב אֵת כָּל־אֶרֶץ כּוּשׁ
And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Cush. (ASV)

וְשֵׁם (ve-sheym)

The word שם (shem) means name and is prefixed with the letter ו (ve) meaning "and" – and [the] name.


הַנָּהָר (ve-na- har)

This is the word נהר (nahar) meaning a "river" and the prefix ה (ha) meaning "the" – the river.


הַשֵּׁנִי (ha-shey- niy)

This is the word שני (sheyniy) meaning "second" and the prefix ה (ha) meaning "the" – the second. This word and the previous word are a construct meaning "the second river."


גִּיחֹון (gi- hhon)

This is the name of the second river.


הוּא (hu)

This word means "he," in reference to the river. There is no "it" in Hebrew, so the masculine pronoun is used to refer to the river, a masculine noun in Hebrew.


הַסֹּובֵב (ha-so- veyv)

The base word is סבב (S-B-B), a verb meaning "to go around." The "o" and "ey" vowels placed inside this verb identify it as a participle – "going around." It is prefixed with the letter ה (ha) meaning "the" – the [one] going around.


אֵת (eyt)

This word precedes the definite object (which is the words כל ארץ) of the previous verb.


כָּל (kol)

This word means "all."


אֶרֶץ (e-rets)

This word means "land."


כּוּשׁ (kush)

This is the name of the region that the rivers flow around.

Literal Translation
And the name of the second river is Gihhon, he is the one going around all the land of Kush.




Genesis 2:14
וְשֵׁם הַנָּהָר הַשְּׁלִישִׁי חִדֶּקֶל הוּא הַהֹלֵךְ קִדְמַת אַשּׁוּר וְהַנָּהָר הָרְבִיעִי הוּא פְרָת׃
And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth in front of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates. (ASV)

וְשֵׁם (ve-sheym)

The base word is the noun שם (shem), meaning "name," with the prefix ו (ve) meaning "and" – and [the] name.


הַנָּהָר (ha-na- har)

The base word is the noun נהר (nahar), meaning a "river," with the prefix ה (ha) meaning "the" – the river.


הַשְּׁלִישִׁי (hash-liy-shiy)

The base word is שלישי (sh’liyshiy), meaning "third," with the prefix ה (ha) meaning "the" – the third. When two nouns, both with the prefix ה, are placed together, the second word is used as an adjective (Biblical Hebrew vocabulary does not make the distinction between nouns and adjectives). The literal translation of these two words is "the river the third," but would be translated as "the third river."


חִדֶּקֶל (hhi-de- qel)

This is the name of the river.


הוּא (hoo)

This is the masculine singular pronoun – "he."


הַהֹלֵךְ (ha-ho- leykh)

The base word is the verb הלך (halakh) meaning to "walk." It is written in the participle form (holeykh) and means "walking." It is prefixed with the ה (ha) meaning "the" – the [one] walking. Walking is used in Hebrew for anything that "moves," and since rivers cannot walk, it is understood as "moving" or "flowing."


קִדְמַת (qid-mat)

The base word is the noun קדמה (qidmah) meaning "east." Because this noun is written in the construct state (east of…), the ה is changed to a ת.


אַשּׁוּר (a- shur)

This is the name of the place where the river is located.


וְהַנָּהָר (ve-ha-na-har)

The base word is the noun נהר (nahar), meaning a "river," with the prefix ו (ve) meaning "and" and the prefix ה (ha) meaning "the" – and the river.


הָרְבִיעִי (har-viy-iy)

The base word is רביעי (r’viyiy), meaning "fourth," with the prefix ה (ha) meaning "the" – the fourth.


הוּא (hu)

This is the masculine singular pronoun – "he."


פְרָת (p-rat)

This is the name of the river.

Literal Translation
And [the] name of the third river [is] Hhideqel, he walks east of Ashur, and the fourth river, he is P'rat.




Genesis 2:15
וַיִּקַּח יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים אֶת־הָאָדָם וַיַּנִּחֵהוּ בְגַן־עֵדֶן לְעָבְדָהּ וּלְשָׁמְרָהּ׃
And Jehovah God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. (ASV)

וַיִּקַּח (vai-yi- qahh)

The base word is the verb לקח (L.Q.Hh) meaning "to take." The prefix י (yud) identifies the verb tense as imperfect – will take, and also identifies the subject of the verb as third person, masculine, singular – he will take. The prefix ו (vav) means "and" but also reverses the tense of the verb from imperfect to perfect – and he took. Also note that the letter ל (lamed) is dropped once the verb is conjugated, but this is the only verb that drops this letter.


יְהוָה (YHWH)

This is the Tetragramaton, the four letter name of God.


אֱלֹהִים (eh-lo- heem)

The base word is אלוה (e-lo-ah), which is commonly translated as "God" or "god," but more literally means "one of power and authority." The suffix ים (eem) is the masculine plural, so this word means "gods" or "ones of power and authority." However, this plural noun is often used as a name for YHWH. Because this is being used as a name, it should be transliterated as "Elohiym" rather than translating it with the English word "God." This name/word is the subject of the verb ויקח (vai-yi-qahh) – and YHWH Elohiym took.


אֶת (et)

This word precedes the definite object of the verb.


הָאָדָם (ha-a-dam)

The base word is אדם (adam) meaning "human." The prefix ה means "the" – the human. This noun is the definite object of the verb ויקח (vai-yi-qahh).


וַיַּנִּחֵהוּ (vai-ya-nee-hhey-hu)

The base word is the verb נוח (N.W.Hh) meaning "to rest" or "settle down." The prefix י (yud) identifies the verb tense as imperfect – will rest, and also identifies the subject of the verb as third person, masculine, singular – he will rest. The prefix ו (vav) means "and" but also reverses the tense of the verb from imperfect to perfect – and he rested. This verb is also written in the hiphil (causative) form (identified by the "ee" vowel sound after the letter nun) – and he caused to rest. The suffix הו (hu) identifies the object of the verb as masculine singular – and he caused him to rest.


בְגַן (ve-gan)

The word גן (gan) is a garden, meaning a "river," and the prefix ו (ve) means "and" – and a river.


עֵדֶן (ey-den)

This is the name of the garden (Eden).


לְעָבְדָהּ (le-av-dah)

The base word is the verb עבד (Ah.B.D) meaning "to serve" and is written in the infinitive – serve. The prefix ל (L) means "to" – to serve. The suffix ה (ah) identifies the object of the verb as feminine – to serve her (the "her" is the garden, a feminine word).


וּלְשָׁמְרָהּ (ul-sham-rah)

The base word is the verb שמר (Sh.M.R) meaning "to guard" and is written in the infinitive – guard. The prefix ל (L) means "to" – to guard. The prefix ו (u) means "and" – and to guard. The suffix ה (ah) identifies the object of the verb as feminine – and to guard her (again, the "her" is the garden, a feminine word).

Literal Translation
And YHWH Elohiym took the man and he caused him to rest in the garden of Eden to serve her and to guard her.




Genesis 2:16
וַיְצַו יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים עַל־הָאָדָם לֵאמֹר מִכֹּל עֵץ־הַגָּן אָכֹל תֹּאכֵל׃
And Jehovah God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: (ASV)

וַיְצַו (vai-tsav)

The base word is the verb צוה (Ts.V.H) meaning to "direct" or "give direction." The prefix י (yud) identifies the verb tense as imperfect – will direct, and also identifies the subject of the verb as third person, masculine, singular – he will direct. The prefix ו (vav) means "and" but also reverses the tense of the verb from imperfect to perfect – and he directed. Also note that the letter ה (hey) is dropped once the verb is conjugated.


יְהוָה (YHWH)

This is the Tetragramaton, the four letter name of God.


אֱלֹהִים (eh-lo- heem)

The base word is אלוה (e-lo-ah), which is commonly translated as "God" or "god," but more literally means "one of power and authority." The suffix ים (eem) is the masculine plural, so this word means "gods" or "ones of power and authority." However, this plural noun is often used as a name for YHWH. Because this is being used as a name, it should be transliterated as "Elohiym" rather than translating it with the English word "God." The phrase "YHWH Elohim" is the subject of the previous verb – and YHWH Elohiym directed.


עַל (al)

This word means "on" or "upon."


הָאָדָם (ha-a-dam)

The base word is אדם (adam) meaning "human." The prefix ה (ha) means "the" – the human.


לֵאמֹר (ley-mor)

The base word is the verb אמר (A.M.R) meaning to "say." It is prefixed with the ל (ley) meaning "to" – to say, but is better translated into English as "saying."


מִכֹּל (mee-kol)

The base word is כל (kol) meaning "all." The prefix מ (mi) means "from." Combined, this means "from all."


עֵץ (eyts)

This word is a noun meaning "tree" or "trees."


הַגָּן (ha-gan)

The word גן (gan) is a garden and is prefixed with the letter ה (ha) meaning "the" – the garden.


אָכֹל (a-khol)

This is a verb meaning "eat."


תֹּאכֵל (to-kheyl)

The base word is the verb אכל (A.K.L) meaning to "eat." The prefix ת (to) identifies the verb tense as imperfect – will eat, and also identifies the subject of the verb as second person, masculine, singular – you will eat. This verb is a repeat of the previous verb, which is a grammatical tool to provide emphasis; therefore these two verbs would be translated as "you may certainly eat."

Literal Translation
And YHWH Elohim directed the human saying, from all the trees of the garden you may certainly eat.




Genesis 2:17
וּמֵעֵץ הַדַּעַת טֹוב וָרָע לֹא תֹאכַל מִמֶּנּוּ כִּי בְּיֹום אֲכָלְךָ מִמֶּנּוּ מֹות תָּמוּת׃
but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. (ASV)

וּמֵעֵץ (u-mey-eyts)

The base word is עץ (eyts) meaning a "tree" and is prefixed with the letters ו (u) meaning "and" and מ (m) meaning "from"–and from [the] tree.


הַדַּעַת (ha-da- at)

The base word is דעת (da’at) meaning "knowledge" and is prefixed with the letter ה (h) meaning "the"–the knowledge.


טֹוב (tov)

This word means "function" (though often translated as "good").


וָרָע (va-ra)

The base word is רע (ra) meaning "dysfunction" (though often translated as "bad" or "evil") and is prefixed with the letter ו (va) meaning "and"–and dysfunction.


לֹא (lo)

This word means "not" and often precedes a verb, negating the action of that verb.


תֹאכַל (to-khal)

The base word is the verb אכל (A.K.L) meaning "to eat." It is prefixed with the letter ת (t), which identifies the tense of the verb as imperfect–will eat, and the subject of the verb as 2nd person, masculine, singular–you will eat. Because of the word לא (lo), which precedes this verb, the action is negated–you will not eat.


מִמֶּנּוּ (mi-me- nu)

The base word is ממ (mim), which means "from" and is suffixed with the letters נו (nu), which can mean "him" or "us," the context will help to determine which meaning is being used. In this case it is "him"–from him.


כִּי (kiy)

This word means "for" or "because."


בְּיֹום (be-yom)

The base word is יום (yom) meaning "day" and is prefixed with the letter ב (b) meaning "in"–in [the] day.


אֲכָלְךָ (a-khal- kha)

The base word is the verb אכל (A.K.L) meaning "to eat." It is suffixed with the letter ך (ka), which identifies the tense of the verb as perfect–eat or ate, and the subject of the verb as 2nd person, masculine, singular–you eat or you ate.


מִמֶּנּוּ (mi-me- nu)

The base word is ממ (mim), which means "from" and is suffixed with the letters נו (nu), which can mean "him" or "us," the context will help to determine which meaning is being used. In this case it is "him"–from him.


מֹות (mot)

This is an infinitive verb (simple action with no tense or subject) meaning "die."


תָּמוּת (ta-mut)

The base word is the verb מות (M.W.T) meaning "to die." It is prefixed with the letter ת (t), which identifies the tense of the verb as imperfect–will die, and the subject of the verb as 2nd person, masculine, singular–you will die. This verb is used twice, a common means of emphasizing the action of the verb–you will surely die.

Literal Translation
And from the tree of the knowledge of function and dysfunction you will not eat, because in the day you eat from him you will surely die.




Genesis 2:18
וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים לֹא טֹוב הֱיֹות הָאָדָם לְבַדֹּו אֶעֱשֶׂהּ לֹּו עֵזֶר כְּנֶגְדֹּו׃
And Jehovah God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a help meet for him. (ASV)

וַיֹּאמֶר (vai-yo- mer)

This verb root is אמר (A.M.R) meaning "say." The prefix י (y) identifies the subject of the verb as third person, masculine singular and the tense of the verb as imperfect - he will say. The prefix ו (v) means "and," but also reverse the tense of the verb – and he will say.


יְהוָה (YHWH)

This is the name often pronounced as Jehovah and Yahweh, but literally means "he exists."


אֱלֹהִים (eh-lo- hiym)

The base word is אלוה (e-lo-ah), which is commonly translated as "God" or "god," but more literally means "one of power and authority." The suffix ים (eem) is the masculine plural, so this word means "gods" or "ones of power and authority." However, this plural noun is often used as a name for YHWH. Because this is being used as a name, it should be transliterated as "Elohiym" rather than translating it with the English word "God." The phrase "YHWH Elohim" is the subject of the previous verb – and YHWH Elohiym directed.


לֹא (lo)

This word means "not."


טֹוב (tov)

This word means "functional," but is often translated as "good."


הֱיֹות (hey-yot)

This verb root is היה (H.Y.H) and is written in the infinitive form-"exist."


הָאָדָם (ha-a-dam)

This base word is אדם (adam) meaning "man." The prefix ה (ha) means "the" – the man.


לְבַדֹּו (le-va- do)

This base word is בד (bad) meaning a "stick." The prefix ל (le) means "to" and the suffix ו (o) means "his." – to his stick. This is an Ancient Hebrew idiom mean "by himself."


אֶעֱשֶׂהּ (e-e- seh)

This verb root is עשה (Ah.S.H) meaning "do" or "make." The prefix א (e) identifies the subject of the verb as first person singular and the tense of the verb as imperfect - I will make.


לֹּו (lo)

This is the prefix ל (l) meaning a "to" or "for" and the suffix ו (o) meaning "him" – for him.


עֵזֶר (ey-zer)

This is a word meaning "helper."


כְּנֶגְדֹּו (ke-neg-do)

This base word is the noun נגד (negad) meaning "face to face," but can be used in a wide sense including, to be in front or to be opposite. The prefix כ (ke) means "like" and the suffix ו (o) means "his" – like his opposite.

Literal Translation
And YHWH Elohiym said, it is not functional for the man to exist by himself, I will make for him a helper like his opposite.




Genesis 2:19
וַיִּצֶר יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים מִן־הָאֲדָמָה כָּל־חַיַּת הַשָּׂדֶה וְאֵת כָּל־עֹוף הַשָּׁמַיִם וַיָּבֵא אֶל־הָאָדָם לִרְאֹות מַה־יִּקְרָא־לֹו וְכֹל אֲשֶׁר יִקְרָא־לֹו הָאָדָם נֶפֶשׁ חַיָּה הוּא שְׁמֹו׃
And out of the ground Jehovah God formed every beast of the field, and every bird of the heavens; and brought them unto the man to see what he would call them: and whatsoever the man called every living creature, that was the name thereof. (ASV)

וַיִּצֶר (vai-yi- tser)

This verb root is יצר (Y.Ts.R) meaning "form." The prefix י (y) identifies the subject of the verb as third person, masculine singular and the tense of the verb as imperfect - he will form. The prefix ו (v) means "and," but also reverses the tense of the verb – and he formed.


יְהוָה (YHVH)

This is the name of God, often pronounced as Jehovah and Yahweh, but literally means "he exists."


אֱלֹהִים (eh-lo- heem)

The base word is אלוה (e-lo-ah), which is commonly translated as "God" or "god," but more literally means "one of power and authority." The suffix ים (eem) is the masculine plural, so this word means "gods" or "ones of power and authority." However, this plural noun is often used as a name for YHWH. Because this is being used as a name, it should be transliterated as "Elohiym" rather than translating it with the English word "God." The phrase "YHWH Elohim" is the subject of the previous verb – and YHWH Elohiym formed.


מִן (meen)

This word means "from."


הָאֲדָמָה (ha-a-da- mah)

The base word is אדמה (adamah) meaning "ground" and is prefixed by the ה (ha) meaning "the" - the ground.


כָּל (kol)

This word means "all."


חַיַּת (hai-yat)

This is the feminine noun חיה (hhai’yah), derived from the masculine noun חי (hhai), both words meaning "living." This word is written in the construct state so the ה (ah) is changed to ת (at).


הַשָּׂדֶה (ha-sa- deh)

This is the noun שדה (sadey) meaning "field" with the prefix ה meaning "the" – the field.


וְאֵת (ve-eyt)

This is the word את (eyt) which identifies the definite object of the preceding verb ויצר (vai-yi-tser) and is prefixed with the ו meaning "and."


כָּל (kol)

This word means "all."


עֹוף (oph)

This word, derived from the verbal root of the same spelling that means "to fly," is a noun meaning a "flyer." This word is usually used for birds, but is sometimes used for flying insects.


הַשָּׁמַיִם (ha-sha-ma-yeem)

The base word is שמים (shamayim) meaning "sky" with the prefix ה (ha) meaning "the"- the sky.


וַיָּבֵא (vai-ya- vey)

This verb root is בוא (B.O.A) meaning "come." The prefix י (y) identifies the subject of the verb as third person, masculine singular and the tense of the verb as imperfect - he will come. The prefix ו (v) means "and," but also reverses the tense of the verb – and he came.


אֶל (el)

This word means "to."


הָאָדָם (ha-a-dam)

This base word is אדם (adam) meaning "man." The prefix ה (ha) means "the" – the man.


לִרְאֹות (leer- ot)

This verb root is ראה (R.A.H) meaning "see." The ות (ot) suffix identifies this verb as being in the infinitive – see. The prefix ל (l) means "to" – to see.


מַה (mah)

This word means "what."


יִּקְרָא (yiq- ra)

This verb root is קרא (Q.R.A) meaning "call." The prefix י (y) identifies the subject of the verb as third person, masculine singular and the tense of the verb as imperfect - he will call.


לֹו (lo)

This is the prefix ל (l) meaning a "to" or "for" and the suffix ו (o) meaning "him" – for him.


וְכֹל (ve-khol)

The word כל (khol) means "all." The prefix ו (ve) means "and."


אֲשֶׁר (a-sher)

A word meaning "which," "who," or "what."


יִקְרָא (yiq-ra)

This verb root is קרא (Q.R.A) meaning "call." The prefix י (y) identifies the subject of the verb as third person, masculine singular and the tense of the verb as imperfect - he will call.


לֹו (lo)

This is the prefix ל (l) meaning a "to" or "for" and the suffix ו (o) meaning "him" – for him.


הָאָדָם (ha-a-dam)

This base word is אדם (adam) meaning "man." The prefix ה (ha) means "the" – the man. This word is the subject of the previous verb, the "he" in "he will call."


נֶפֶשׁ (ne-phesh)

This is the word נפש (nephesh) meaning "being" (the whole essence of a person).


חַיָּה (hhai-yah)

This is the feminine noun חיה (hhai’yah), derived from the masculine noun חי (hhai), both words meaning "living." However, in the phrase נפש חיה (nephesh hhai’yah) this word is being used as an adjective.


הוּא (hu)

This word means "he," but is also used for "that."


שְׁמֹו (sh-mo)

The base word is שם (shem) meaning "name" or "title." It is suffixed with the possessive pronoun ו (o) meaning "his."

Literal Translation
And YHVH Elohiym formed from the ground all the living ones of the field, and all the flyers of the sky, and he came to the man to see what he will call to them*, and all which the man will call to them*, the living beings, that was their* name.

*The grammar of the Hebrew identifies the creatures in the masculine singular, hence the use of the masculine singular pronouns he and him. But the context is speaking about many creatures. Therefore, in English the masculine plural pronouns "them" and "their" are used.





Genesis 2:20
וַיִּקְרָא הָאָדָם שֵׁמֹות לְכָל־הַבְּהֵמָה וּלְעֹוף הַשָּׁמַיִם וּלְכֹל חַיַּת הַשָּׂדֶה וּלְאָדָם לֹא־מָצָא עֵזֶר כְּנֶגְדֹּו׃
And the man gave names to all cattle, and to the birds of the heavens, and to every beast of the field; but for man there was not found a help meet for him. (ASV)

וַיִּקְרָא (vai- yi-qra)

This verb root is קרא (Q.R.A) meaning "call out" The prefix י (y) identifies the subject of the verb as third person, masculine singular and the tense of the verb as imperfect - he will call. The prefix ו (v) means "and," but also reverses the tense of the verb – and he called.


הָאָדָם (ha-a-dam)

The base word is אדם (adam) meaning "human." The prefix ה means "the" – the human.


שֵׁמֹות (she-mot)

The base word is the noun שם (shem) meaning "name." The ות (ot) is the feminine plural suffix - "names."


לְכָל (le-khol)

The base word is כל (kol) meaning "all." The prefix ל (le) means to - "to all."


הַבְּהֵמָה (ha-be-hey-mah)

The base word is בהמה behemah meaning "livestock." The prefix ה (ha) means "the" - "the livestock."


וּלְעֹוף (ul-oph)

The base word is עוף (oph) meaning "flyer" (usually a bird). The prefix ל (l) means "to" or "for" - "to/for the flyer." The prefix ו (u) means "and" - "and to/for the flyer."


הַשָּׁמַיִם (ha-sha-ma-yim)

This is the word שמים (shamayim) meaning "skies." The prefix ה means "the" – "the skies."


וּלְכֹל (ul-khol)

The base word is כל (kol) meaning "all." The prefix ל (le) means to - "to all." The prefix ו (u) means and - "and to all."


הַשָּׂדֶה (ha-sa- deh)

This is the noun שדה (sadey) meaning "field" with the prefix ה (ha) meaning "the" – the field.


וּלְאָדָם (ul-a- dam)

The base word is the noun אדם (adam) meaning "human." The prefix ל (l) means "to" or "for" - "to/for the human." The prefix ו means "and" – "and to/for the human."


לֹא (lo)

This is the Hebrew word meaning "no" or "not." This word is often placed before a verb to place the action of that verb in the negative.


מָצָא (ma-tsa)

The base word is מצא (M.Ts.A), a verb meaning "to find." The lack of any prefixes or suffixes identifies the tense of the verb as perfect - found and the subject of the verb as masculine singular - "he found." The previous word negates the action of the verb – "he did not find."


עֵזֶר (ey-zer)

This is a word meaning "helper."


כְּנֶגְדֹּו (ke-neg-do)

The base word is the noun נגד (negad) meaning "face to face," but can be used in a wide sense including, to be in front or to be opposite. The prefix כ (ke) means "like" and the suffix ו (o) means "his" – like his opposite.

Literal Translation
And the human called out to all of the livestock and to the flyers of the skies and to all the living ones of the field, and he did not find a helper like his opposite.




Genesis 2:21
וַיַּפֵּל יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים תַּרְדֵּמָה עַל הָאָדָם וַיִּישָׁן וַיִּקַּח אַחַת מִצַּלְעֹתָיו וַיִּסְגֹּר בָּשָׂר תַּחְתֶּנָּה׃
And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; (ASV)

וַיַּפֵּל (vai-yah- peyl)

The base word is נפל (naphal) meaning "to fall". When a verb begins with the letter נ (n), the נ is dropped from the word when conjugated. The prefix י (y) identifies the subject of the verb as third person, masculine, singular and the tense of the verb as imperfect-"he fall." The prefix ו (v) means "and" but also reverses the tense of the verb from imperfect to perfect-"and he fell." The "ey" vowel between the P and L identify the verb as a hiphil (causative) verb-"and he caused to fall."


יְהוָה (YHWH)

This is the Tetragramaton, the four letter name of the God of the Hebrews, usually pronounced Yahweh. There are many theories as to the origin and meaning of this name but most likely comes from the verb HWH (hawah) meaning to exist. The yud added to the beginning identifies the object of the verb as first person, masculine, singular, imperfect tense or "he exists".


אֱלֹהִים (eh-lo- hiym)

The base word is אלוה (e-lo-ah), which is commonly translated as "God" or "god," but more literally means "one of power and authority." The suffix ים (iym) is the masculine plural so this word means "gods" or "ones of power and authority." However, this plural noun is often used as a name for YHWH. Because this is being used as a name, it should be transliterated as "Elohiym" rather than translating it with the English word "God." YHWH Elohiym is the subject of previous verb, the "he" in "he caused to fall."


תַּרְדֵּמָה (tar-dey-mah)

This is a noun meaning "trance," a state of partly suspended animation or inability to function. A deep sleep or unconsciousness. This is the object (what was caused to be fallen) of the previous verb.


עַל (al)

This word means "over" or "upon."


הָאָדָם (ha-ah-dam)

The base word is אדם (adam) meaning "human." The prefix ה means "the" – the human.


וַיִּישָׁן (vai-yiy-shan)

The verb is ישן (Y.Sh.N) meaning to "sleep." The prefix י identifies the verb tense as imperfect - will sleep - and the subject of the verb as third person, masculine, singular - he will sleep. The prefix ו means "and" but also reverses the tense of the verb – and he slept.


וַיִּקַּח (vai-yi- qahh)

The base word is the verb לקח (L.Q.Hh) meaning "to take." The prefix י (yud) identifies the verb tense as imperfect – will take, and also identifies the subject of the verb as third person, masculine, singular – he will take. The prefix ו (vav) means "and" but also reverses the tense of the verb from imperfect to perfect – and he took. Also note that the letter ל (lamed) is dropped once the verb is conjugated, but this is the only verb that drops this letter.


אַחַת (ah-hhat)

This word is commonly translated as "one" but, the idea of "one" is an individual, single entity. This word actually means "a unit" or "unified", a combined entity. We think of "one tree" as a single entity but, in the Ancient Hebrew mind it is a unit of many parts; roots, trunk, branches and leaves.


מִצַּלְעֹתָיו (mi-tsal-o-taw)

The base word is the feminine noun צלעה (tseylah) meaning "rib," or anything "rib" shapped such as a ridge. The prefix מ means "from" – from a rib. This word includes the feminine plural suffix ת (ot)-"from the ribs." The suffix יו (aw) is the third person, singular possessive pronoun-"from his ribs."


וַיִּסְגֹּר (vai-yis-gor)

The base word is the verb סגר (S.G.R) meaning "shut" or "close." The prefix י (yud) identifies the verb tense as imperfect – will close, and also identifies the subject of the verb as third person, masculine, singular – he will close. The prefix ו (vav) means "and" but also reverses the tense of the verb from imperfect to perfect – and he closed.


בָּשָׂר (ba-sar)

This feminine noun means "flesh."


תַּחְתֶּנָּה (tahh-teh-nah)

The base word is the preposition תחת (tahhat) meaning "under," with the feminine singular possessive suffix נה (nah) meaning "her."

Literal Translation
And YHWH Elohiym caused a trance to fall upon the human, and he slept, and he took one from his ribs and he closed the flesh under her.




Genesis 2:22
וַיִּבֶן יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים אֶת הַצֵּלָע אֲשֶׁר לָקַח מִן הָאָדָם לְאִשָּׁה וַיְבִאֶהָ אֶל הָאָדָם׃
And the rib, which Jehovah God had taken from the man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. (ASV)

וַיִּבֶן (vai-yi- ven)

This verb root is בנה (B.N.H) meaning "build." When a verb ending with the letter ה (h) is conjugated, the ה (h) is dropped. The prefix י (y) identifies the subject of the verb as third person, masculine singular and the tense of the verb as imperfect - he will build. The prefix ו (v) means "and," but also reverses the tense of the verb – and he built.


יְהוָה (YHWH)

This is the Tetragrammaton, the four letter name of the God of the Hebrews, usually pronounced Yahweh. There are many theories as to the origin and meaning of this name but most likely comes from the verb הוה (hawah) meaning to exist. The yud added to the beginning identifies the object of the verb as first person, masculine, singular, imperfect tense or "he exists".


אֱלֹהִים (eh-lo- heem)

The base word is אלוה (e-lo-ah), which is commonly translated as "God" or "god," but more literally means "one of power and authority." The suffix ים (iym) is the masculine plural so this word means "gods" or "ones of power and authority." However, this plural noun is often used as a name for YHWH. Because this is being used as a name, it should be transliterated as "Elohiym" rather than translating it with the English word "God." The phrase "Yhwh Elohiym" may be translated as "Yahweh the Elohiym" or "Yahweh of the Elohiym" (Compare this phrase with "Yahweh Tseva'ot" in Psalms 24:10, where it is translated as "Yahweh of hosts"). Yhwh Elohiym is the subject of the previous verb, the one doing the building.


אֶת (et)

This word precedes the definite object of a verb telling us that the next word is what is receiving the action of the previous verb, the object of the verb. This word is a grammatical tool used in Biblical Hebrew and has no equivalent in English and is therefore never translated.


הַצֵּלָע (ha-tsey- la)

The base word is צלע (tsela), which is a rib or ribbed shaped object such as the ridge of a hill. The prefix ה means "the" – the rib. This is the object of the previous verb, what was built.


אֲשֶׁר (a-sher)

This is a common Hebrew word meaning "which" or "who".


לָקַח (la-qahh)

This verb means "to take," and as it is written without any prefixes or suffixes, it identifies the subject of the verb as masculine singular and the tense of the verb as perfect - he took.


מִן (meen)

This word means "from."


הָאָדָם (ha-a-dam)

The base word is אדם (adam) meaning "human." The prefix ה means "the" – the human.


לְאִשָּׁה (le-ee- shah)

The word אשה (ishah) means "woman." The prefix ל (le) means "to" or "for" - to the woman.


וַיְבִאֶהָ (vai-vi-e-ah)

This verb root is בוא (B.O.A) meaning "come," but the letter ו (o) is dropped when conjugated. The prefix י (y) identifies the subject of the verb as third person, masculine singular and the tense of the verb as imperfect - he will come. The prefix ו (v) means "and," but also reverses the tense of the verb – and he came. The "i" vowel between the beyt and aleph identifies the form of this verb as hiphil, or causative - and he made come (or "and he brought"). The suffix ה (ah) identifies the object of the verb as third person feminine singular - and he brought her.


אֶל (el)

This word is a preposition meaning "to" or "toward".


הָאָדָם (ha-a-dam)

The base word is אדם (adam) meaning "human." The prefix ה means "the" – the human.

Literal Translation
And Yahweh Elohiym built the rib, which he took from the human, for a woman, and he brought her to the human.




Genesis 2:23
וַיֹּאמֶר הָאָדָם זֹאת הַפַּעַם עֶצֶם מֵעֲצָמַי וּבָשָׂר מִבְּשָׂרִי לְזֹאת יִקָּרֵא אִשָּׁה כִּי מֵאִישׁ לֻקֳחָה־זֹּאת׃
And the man said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. (ASV)

וַיֹּאמֶר (vai-yo-mer)

This is one of the most common Hebrew words in the Hebrew Bible. The base word is אמר (amar) meaning to speak or say. The prefixes to this verb are identical to the word above. This word means "and he said".


הָאָדָם (ha-a-dam)

The base word is אדם (adam) meaning "human." The prefix ה means "the" – the human.


זֹאת (zot)

This word means "this."


הַפַּעַם (ha-pa-am)

The base word is פעם (pa'am), meaning "time" in the sense of the regular and rythmic beating of time. The prefix ה means "the" – the time.


עֶצֶם (e-tsem)

This word means "bone."


מֵעֲצָמַי (mey-a- tsa-mai)

The base word is עצם (etsem), a noun meaning "bone." The prefix מ (m) means "from" - from bone. The suffix י (ai) is the first person possessive - from my bone, but also identifies the noun as plural - from my bones.


וּבָשָׂר (u-va-sar)

The base word is בשר (basar), a noun meaning "flesh." The prefix ו (u) means "and" – and flesh.


מִבְּשָׂרִי (mi-be-sa-riy)

The base word is בשר (basar), a noun meaning "flesh." The prefix מ (m) means "from" - from flesh. The suffix י (iy) is the first person possessive - from my flesh.


לְזֹאת (le-zot)

The base word is זות (zot), meaning "this." The prefix ל (l) means "to" or "for" – for this (in context this could be translated as "because of this).


יִקָּרֵא (yi-qa-rey)

This verb root is קרא (Q.R.A) meaning "call." The prefix י (y) identifies the subject of the verb as third person, masculine singular and the tense of the verb as passive imperfect - he will be called.


אִשָּׁה (i-shah)

This word means "woman" and is the feminine form of the masculine noun איש (iysh) meaning "man."


כִּי (kiy)

This word means "for" or "because" and is used to explain what came previously.


מֵאִישׁ (may-iysh)

The base word is איש (iysh), meaning "man." The prefix מ (m) means "from" – from man.


לֻקֳחָה (lu-qa-hhah)

This base word is the verb לקח (L.Q.Hh) meaning a "take." The addition of the "u" vowel makes the verb perfect passive tense – was taken. The suffix ה (ah) identifies the subject of the verb as feminine – she was taken.


זֹּאת (zot)

This word means "this."

Literal Translation
And the man said, "This is the time, bone from my bones and flesh from my flesh, because of this he will be called 'woman,' because from man this was taken.




Genesis 2:24
עַל־כֵּן יַעֲזָב־אִישׁ אֶת־אָבִיו וְאֶת־אִמֹּו וְדָבַק בְּאִשְׁתֹּו וְהָיוּ לְבָשָׂר אֶחָד׃
Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. (ASV)

עַל (al)

A common word meaning "upon", "on" or "above".


כֵּן (keyn)

The original meaning of this word is a base as a firm support and is used to mean "so" and is the Modern Hebrew word for "yes" in the sense of "it is so" or "it will be firm". When the words על כן are used to together they mean "upon so" or "therefore".


יַעֲזָב (ya-a-zav)

The verb עזב means "to leave". The י prefixed to the verb identifies the verb as masculine, singular, imperfect tense. The perfect tense means completed action and is similar to our past tense. This verb is translated as "he will leave" where the "he" is the subject of the verb.


אִישׁ (iysh)

This word means "man" and is the subject of the verb. In Hebrew the subject of the verb follows the verb rather than precede it as is done in English.


אֶת (et)

Another word we have looked at before which indicates that a direct object of the verb follows.


אָבִיו (a-vav)

The word אב means "father". The suffix יו, pronounced "av", is the pronoun "him". Combined these mean "father of him" or "his father". Normally the suffix ו (v), pronounced "o", is used for the pronoun but do to grammatical reasons the suffix יו is used.


וְאֶת (v-et)

The prefix ו means "and" and again we have the word את.


אִמֹּו (iy-mo)

The word אם means "mother" and the suffix ו means "him". When combined they mean "mother of him" or "his mother".


וְדָבַק (v-da-vaq)

The verb דבק means "to adhere" and is identified as masculine, singular, imperfect tense. The imperfect tense means incomplete action and is similar to the English present or future tense. When the ו is prefixed to a verb it means "and" but also reverses the tense of the verb. Therefore, the word דבק means "he adhered" but, ודבק means "and he will adhere".


בְּאִשְׁתֹּו (b-iysh-to)

The prefix to this word is ב meaning "in" or "with". The suffix to this word is ו (v), the pronoun meaning "him". The root word is אשה, pronounced "iyshah" (but the original spelling of this word is אישה ) and means "woman". This is the same word as the one above, איש meaning "man", but written in the feminine form by adding the ה (h). Wherever a feminine word ending with the ה (h) is used in the construct state, the ה is changed to a ת (t). The full meaning of this word is "in woman of him" or "in his woman". There is no Biblical Hebrew word for "wife" instead it is "his woman", "my woman", etc.


וְהָיוּ (v-hay-u)

The root word here is היה meaning "to exist" and is commonly translated with the English verb "to be" or one of its conjugations such as is, was, are, etc. The verb היו (hay-u) identifies the verb as masculine, plural, perfect tense and would be translated as "they were". Even though the subject of the verb is "masculine plural" it is referring to the man and his woman. When a plural is of both genders the masculine takes precedence. Because the ו (v) is prefixed, the tense is reversed to imperfect and is therefore translated as "they will be". You may also notice that the last letter, ה (h), from the root היה is missing. When a verb root ending with a ה (h)is conjugated, the ה (h) is dropped.


לְבָשָׂר (l-va- sar)

The prefix ל means "to" or "for" and the word בשר means "flesh" and is idiomatically used for a "person".


אֶחָד (e-hhad)

This word is commonly translated as "one" but, the idea of "one" is an individual, single entity. This word actually means "a unit" or "unified", a combined entity. We think of "one tree" as a single entity but, in the Ancient Hebrew mind it is a unit of many parts; roots, trunk, branches and leaves.

Literal Translation
Therefore, a man will leave his father and his mother and he will adhere to his woman and they will become a unified person




Genesis 2:25
וַיִּהְיוּ שְׁנֵיהֶם עֲרוּמִּים הָאָדָם וְאִשְׁתֹּו וְלֹא יִתְבֹּשָׁשׁוּ
And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed. (ASV)

וַיִּהְיוּ (vai- yih-yu)

The verb is היה (H.Y.H) meaning to "exist." A root ending with the letter ה (H) drops this letter from the word when it is conjugated. The prefix י and the suffix ו identifies the verb tense as imperfect - will exist - and the subject of the verb as third person, masculine, plural - they will exist. The prefix ו means "and" but also reverses the tense of the verb – and they existed.


שְׁנֵיהֶם (she- ney-hem)

The base word is שנים (sheh-nah-yim) meaning "two." The suffix הם (hem) is the third person plural possessive pronoun "them" (the final ם is dropped from the plural suffix when a pronoun is suffixed to the plural noun). This word means "two of them."


עֲרוּמִּים (a-ru-meem)

The base word is the word ערום (arum) meaning "naked." As this word is being used an adjective to describe two persons (the man and his woman), the dual plural suffix ים (iym) is added as a suffix.


הָאָדָם (ha-a-dam)

The base word is אדם (adam) meaning "human." The prefix ה means "the" – the human.


וְאִשְׁתֹּו (ve-ish-to)

The base word is the noun אשה (ee-shah) meaning "woman." The suffix ו (o) is the masculine possessive pronoun meaning "his" (When a feminine noun, ending with the letter ה (h), is suffixed with a pronoun, the ה (h) is dropped). The prefix ו (ve) means "and." When combined, this word means "and his woman" (There is no Biblical Hebrew word for "wife," instead, "his woman" is used).


וְלֹא (ve-lo)

The prefix ו (ve) means "and" and the word לא (lo) means "no" or "not."


יִתְבֹּשָׁשׁוּ (yit-bo- sha-shu)

The base word is the verb בוש (but written as בשש) meaning "to be ashamed." The prefix י and the suffix ו identifies the subject of the verb (the man and his woman) as plural – they were not ashamed. The prefix הת (heet, but the ה (h) is dropped because of the י prefix) identifies the verb form as hitpa'el, the reflexive form of the verb - "they themselves were ashamed." Because this verb is preceded by the negative participle (not) this will be translated as "they themselves were not ashamed."

Literal Translation
And the two of them existed naked, the human and his woman, and they themselves were not ashamed.






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