Genesis 1:1

Hebrew Bible

1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was without shape and empty, and darkness was over the surface of the watery deep, but the Spirit of God was hovering11 over the surface of the water. 3 God said, “Let there be light.” And there was light! 4 God saw that the light was good, so God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day” and the darkness “night.” There was evening, and there was morning, marking the first day. 6 God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters and let it separate water from water.” 7 So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above it. It was so. 8 God called the expanse “sky.” There was evening, and there was morning, a second day.

Neofiti Genesis 1:1


1 From the beginning with wisdom the Memra of the Lord created and perfected the heavens and the earth. 2 And the earth was waste and unformed, desolate of man and beast, empty of plant cultivation and of trees, and darkness was spread over the face of the abyss; and a spirit of mercy from before the Lord was blowing over the surface of the waters. 3 And the Memra of the Lord said: “Let there be light” and there was light according to the decree of his Memra. 4 And it was manifest before the Lord that the light was good; and the Memra of the Lord separated the light from the darkness. 5 And the Memra of the Lord called the light daytime and the darkness he called night. And there was evening and there was morning: (in) the order of the work of creation, first day. 6 And the Memra of the Lord said: “Let there be the firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the lower waters from the upper waters. And the Lord created the firmament and separated the waters that were under the firmament from the waters that were above the firmament; and it was so according to his Memra. 7 And God created the separation, which separated the water below the line of separation and the water above the line of separation, and it was thus as his word.

 Notes and References

"... 'From the beginning with wisdom': double translation of the Hebrew text, as 'beginning' and 'wisdom.' For creation of the world / wisdom, compare Proverbs 8:22; 3:19; Wisdom of Solomon 9:9; Psalm 104:24. Rabbinic tradition, identifying wisdom and the Torah, speaks of God creating the world by the Torah; Beginning = Torah, Genesis Rabbah 1:4: “In the beginning by means of the Torah God created” ... “the Memra of the Lord”; the text of Neofiti has: “the son of the Lord,” which is due most probably to a late, even sixteenth-century, correction. However, in Christian tradition from earliest times the opening word of Genesis was understood to mean “in the Son”; see Jerome, Hebrew Quaest., in Genesis 1:1 ..."

McNamara, Martin Targum Neofiti 1, Genesis (p. 52) Liturgical Press, 1992

 User Comments

I find it interesting that "Memra" means "Word" meaning word of the Lord. 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

Anonymous, October 24, 2023, 11:18 pm

Do you have questions or comments about these texts? Please submit them here.