Genesis 2:4

From Peter Heavyside

Close examination of Genesis 2:4 reveals an internal chiastic structure, partly evident in English versions which, however, simultaneously obscure part of the chiasm that exists in the Hebrew. The following rendering of Genesis 2:4 (author’s translation), carefully following the Hebrew syntax, and shown together with the transliterated Hebrew, illustrates this:

A. these (are) (the) generations of the heavens and the earth
’lh twldwt hšmym wh’rs

B. in their creation

B’ in (the) day of making
bywm ʽśwt

A’ (by) the LORD God of earth and heavens
yhwh ’lhym ’rs wšmym

The infinitive construct forms of the Hebrew verbs “to create (br’)” and “to make (ʽśh)” found at the centrepiece of this chiasm are quite challenging to render in English. The translation offered should not be taken as a literal rendering of the Hebrew. Some of the significance of this chiastic structure is explore here:

One thought on “Genesis 2:4”

  1. Would you agree that there is chiasmus in Genesis 2:2-3?

    A) The seventh day God ended his work which he had made.
    B) He rested on the seventh day.
    C) God blessed the seventh day.
    C) God sanctified the seventh day.
    B) In it he had rested from all his work.
    A) Which God created and made.

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