Removing the Tradition of Mythology from Our Translations in the Book of Genesis…
The Book of Genesis sets the tone for understanding all of scripture.
Answers exists in scripture that provide deeper understanding to our questions and resolve unanswered ambiguities that have existed for generations.
Understanding the Book of Genesis, the beginning of GODs sacred text, can promote biblical accuracy, restore spiritual insight and eliminate confusion as we study each and every book of scripture.
Case in Point: Adam was NOT a Farmer.
Despite the fact that this has been taught for generations, because of poor translations at our disposal, should we continue to misunderstand the original message? Is it possible that a blessing exists in the accuracy of a translation?
Is there something more important than ‘farming’ that I could learn and spiritually benefit from, that would cause me to advance spiritually in prayer, understanding, and my calling?
How much can one point of scripture make?
Let’s investigate Genesis 2:4-5
“These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens,
And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.”
REFRESHER From Previous Teachings:
At the outset of our journey together one of the most important concepts I communicated, is that Biblical Hebrew is a very meticulous language.
SECOND: The knowledge that GOD placed His Word above His Own Name is paramount in all your study of scripture. Psalm 138:2, Jeremiah 1:12, Mark 16:20, Rev 19:13.
Character is Key. Do we place our word above our own name? Can a person trust our word?
David taught us just how important it was to GOD that His people be able to trust His Word when he said… “I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness (chessed) and for thy truth (emet): for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.”
GOD’s Word is His Bond.
- Studying the Word is more important than Reading the Word.
- The study of scripture is a sacred duty of everyone who loves the LORD.
- Each student of scripture must possess and practice patience in order to study scripture.
- We don’t treat scripture like a fairy tale, a bible story, an ordinary book, or a common piece of literature.
- We (servants of GOD) honor scripture with our time, our presence, our interest, our patience, our dedication.
- By placing the study of scripture above our own time, and interest, etc., We are placing His Word above our own name, i.e., above our own self–interest.
- GOD is careful and deliberate in the selection and use of each Word He uses to communicate with us.
- Biblical Hebrew is a Rich and Meticulous Language. Levels of meaning exist.
- In English, words also have levels of meaning. Each level of meaning in a word is revealed in context to the overall message or statement.
- In Hebrew, context is consistent with and compliments the Word choice.
- In Hebrew, Key Words in the verse have to be researched and studied.
- Don’t take for granted that the given English translation of the word accurately conveys the original message of GOD in all cases.
- The English meanings of words have transitioned through time. In most cases, the meanings that we apply today, have no connection to the original meaning of the word.
- We will continue to revisit this point as often as it applies.
ADAM the Agrarian?
“… and there was not a man to till the ground.” Till is from a Hebrew word usually translated, “to work or service”.
- Remember, GOD has more than one way to say anything. His Word choices are meticulous.
- In the Language of GOD, there are 14+ ways to say, work or service.
- This means, GOD is not limited in forms of expression, He can be very specific, very precise in communicating what He wants to say to us.
- In English, it is common to lump our terms together. In the Biblical Language of Hebrew, GOD does not lump terms together.
GOD uses a specific word to express “occupational” forms of work (melakah, H4399), deeds of work (mah-a-say, H4639), providential work (4652, miph-la-ah), beam work (meh-qa-rey H4746), cunning or ingeniuos work (khe-shev, H2805), or work that produces an item or thing (mih-fal, H4659) etc, etc.
None of the above were chosen to express the type of Work GOD was looking for to take place in the earth. None of the above are connected with rain.
GOD is quite capable of producing rain in the earth. He does not need man in order to make it rain. The production of rain in the earth is a gift, a part of the creation process that man is given by GOD to participate in partnership.
Man’s partnership with GOD in the creation process, requires a form of ‘work or service’ that is expressed completely different than any of the above examples. Which leads us to two additional words we need to look at.
These two Hebrew words also appear in Genesis 2:5, teh-rem (before, H2962) and yitz-mah (grew, H6779) so that we can increase our understanding of the message.
teh-rem means, not yet, or before. yitz-mah means to sprout or spring up.
“And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.”
i.e., the plants and shrubs and herbs had not yet sprouted in the earth.
Scripture already told us that GOD had spoken the plants, herbs, seeds, etc. into existence (Genesis 1:11-13), but they had not yet sprouted in the earth (Gen 2:5). Let’s go back and review Genesis 1:11-13 again…
- 11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
- 12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
- 13 And the evening and the morning were the third day.
Gen 1:12 teaches us that herb yielding seed and the tree yielding fruit after its kind is present in the earth, and Genesis 2:5 further instructs us, that neither had sprouted, or grown up out of the ground quite yet, because… there was not a man to ’till’ the ground.
Everything is prepared, in place, but man has not yet ‘tilled’ the ground.
The command has been spoken into the earth, and the earth is awaiting the presence of man.
Now, here is the customary place where we get into our traditional mode of thinking as we were taught about scripture because we have learned that man needed to ‘cultivate’ the land.
We were not taught that man needed to till the land in order for it to rain. We are taught that man needed to till the ground in order to produce food.
But why would man need to produce his own food? Genesis 2:8-9 GOD planted a garden (eden) and He gave man what he needed for food.
…and there was not a man to till the ground.”
Why does man need to till/cultivate the ground?
lah’ ah-vode (to till, cultivate) et ha’ah’dah’mah (the ground)
Our translation, “to till or cultivate” is taken from the Hebrew word, avod (ah-vode, H5647).
avod appears 289 times in the torah.
Our leading definition in the Strong’s Concordance and the one we traditionally follow is a translation of; to work, to serve.
avod is also translated; to be slaves, held in bondage, to become slaves, laborers, or servants, to keep in bondage or compel.
It is not until we come to the end of our alphabetized list of potential translations, that we find the words; to worship (used 7x), or worshippers (used 6x).
Only 13 of 289 times, has it ever been translated meaning to worship, or be worshippers.
Exodus 10:26, the 3rd time la’ah-vode appears in scripture, the children of Israel are concerned that they take all necessary preparations, including the cattle, to serve the Lord. .
The 4th time we see the word la’avod in scripture, Numbers 3:7 it is when GOD tells Moses to bring the tribe of Levi before the tabernacle of the congregation ‘to do the service’ of the tabernacle.
and we have 27 more…Many Infallible Proofs – that ah’vode means worship.
This pattern continues in Numbers 3:8, 4:23, 4:24, 4:30, 4:47, 7:5, 8:11, 8:15, 8:19, 8:22, 16:9, 18:6, etc. etc. etc. (a total of 27 times conjugated la’avode).
In every case except the 1st two times we see la’avode in scripture (Gen 2:5, 3:23) we have taught and translated it in such a way, as to communicate to the world over, that ‘adam’ (man) was needed in order to till the ground, as if he was created to be a farmer of some sort.
That is not what this means…
aleph (A) veit (V) dalet (D) is the root of the Hebrew word, avodah (ahv-vode-dah, H5656) which appears 145 times in scripture. avodah means worship, service of the heart.
Our Strong’s translation says, avodah means labor, or service. This is marginally correct. It’s just not completely accurate.
Avodah is service of the heart, our labor of love toward GOD. To serve GOD with avodah is a spiritual labor of love. Service of the heart has nothing to do with manual labor. in a field. To translate these words in such a way is to make the meaning of our service and labor to GOD common. Plus, we miss the point.
Worse of all, we have taught the known world to read Genesis 2:5 to mean that man’s purpose was to work the land, plow the fields, harvest the crops. Noble secular work indeed. However, GOD had and has something more in mind for mankind.
Avodah is the ‘work’ of clinging to GOD through prayer and worship. Avodah is the hard work we do in service to GOD.
Our Work IS to Worship and to Pray…
Again, the narrow translation of both ‘avode and avodah’ misses the mark, which skews our understanding far too much from the actual truth.
Actually, if prayer was not such ‘work’, perhaps it would be far easier for us to comply. But the fact is, spiritual work is takes as much or more effort than physical work.
In fact, Genesis 2:15 “And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.” KJV.
To dress is translated from the Hebrew Word, avodah (5647). To keep, is from the Hebrew Word shamar (8104) meaning to guard and protect.
Adam (man) was charged with the responsibility to worship, pray and protect (guard) the anointing, not cultivate a field.
Man’s First Work is to Pray
The need for prayer, praise and worship did not just mysteriously appear in the “New Testament.”
GOD established the need for prayer and worship in the beginning, as early as Genesis 2:5. But we did not see it or recognize because of our translations…
Living Bible Translation: “…or the Lord God hadn’t sent any rain; nor was there anyone to farm the soil.”
Good News Translation: “…because he had not sent any rain, and there was no one to cultivate the land.”
The Voice: “…because the Eternal God had not sent the rains to nourish the soil or anyone to tend it.”
Common English Bible: “…before any wild plants appeared on the earth, and before any field crops grew, because the Lord God hadn’t yet sent rain on the earth and there was still no human being to farm the fertile land.”
The Amplified Bible: “…no shrub or plant of the field was yet in the earth, and no herb of the field had yet sprouted, for the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the earth, and there was no man to cultivate the ground,”
The only way to compensate for a poor translation is study of the original Hebrew Wording.
Scripture was given to strengthen us spiritually.
We always talk about GOD desiring relationship, yet we teach that the first man was put here with farming in mind.
The 1st two times avode appears in scripture, we translate it as ‘cultivate/till’ and the next 25 times we translate it in context to what GOD is actually communicating about prayer and worship, the service of the heart.
If cultivating the land, was the primary objective, don’t you think that scripture would say more about our role as farmers, cultivators, tillers?
Instead, the entire work of scripture has always been and is, to build us up spiritually.
Instead, the entire work of scripture has always been and is, to build us up spiritually. Not to teach us how to “till” the literal soil.
Because of our neglectful translation, the majority of the world has the wrong concept embedded in their minds.
Rather than provide us with a spiritually mature teaching and translation, we have a prelude to a “bible story” which set us up for ‘lack of knowledge’.
Avode is not a common/secular form of work.
Our Work, Our Service is about Prayer and Worship. It was always about our spiritual work.
“…there was no man to worship in the earth.”
“…there was no one here to serve in prayer”
The translator’s forgot GOD was talking about the rain…
for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.”
Adam did not just decree and declare the name of all the animals, identifying the essence of each creature by name. Adam understood the essence of his own nature and his role to partner with GOD in creation, fulfilling his call to nourish the earth through prayer.
“But if it seems wrong in your opinion to serve the Lord, then choose today whom you will serve. Choose the gods whom your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you live. But my family and I will serve the Lord.” –Joshua 24:15
“Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and tell him: This is what the Lord says: Let my people go so that they can worship me.” –Exodus 8:1
Our work is prayer.
Although it will take some time to untangle this in the minds of the world, because we learned it wrong to begin with. But the rewards are well worth it.
My concern today is to untangle it for my students in this supplement to your teaching.
There are 13+ ways to say, ‘work’ in the Greek.
There are 17+ ways to say, ‘work’ in the Hebrew. They all do not mean, Worship”
The 1st Man (adam) understood his assignment to pray.
In like manner, prayer is our first responsibility. GOD spoke 10 utterances into the earth, created man in His image and likeness and waited for man to speak back to Him.
We are His only creation with the gift of speech and prayer is our instrument of communication with GOD.
Aren’t there some cases when avode (work/service) can be understood as just plain work or service?
NO. The type of “work/service” conveyed in the Hebrew word ‘avode’ is spiritual work. Ah-vode is prayer.
13 And the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigour: 14 and they made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in morter, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field: all their service, wherein they made them serve, was with rigour. –Exodus 1:13-14
Rigour in Hebrew is from the word perek. Which is telling us the the Egyptians were intentionally applying pressures onto the children of Israel in an attempt to break them into pieces. A diabolical form of breaking,
13 And the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigour: –Exodus 1:13
The world wants you to serve them like you are supposed to serve GOD. Although we are faithful to do all as unto the LORD… we know the difference.
Adam’s first prayer was for rain…
You can make it rain through the power of your prayers too!
At first the world is dark and empty of GOD’s light, but every believer occupies their share of the world right now, which they have to improve and illuminate.
The way to brighten your share of the world is through learning from GOD’s example “and G‑d said” — speaking into the earth, fulfilling the word of GOD by studying torah and keeping His Commandments. By doing this, we each accomplish our purpose in and bring light into the world— the world becomes illuminated with the light of GOD’s Word.
The entrance of thy Word bringeth light!
- How Can This Teaching HELP Your Understanding?
- Through the power of prayer, adam became a partner in the creation process.
- The Earth and all that is in it, was created to respond to prayer.
- The earth had to loose its seed, fruit, plants and hidden riches, when adam (man) prayed and called forth rain.
- Adam did more than name the animals and give Eve her name, Adam his true essence as a man of GOD. He understood that his first assignment was prayer.
- Adam returned the spoken Word back to GOD.
- You now know the first prayer of Adam.
- You now know that initially, rain was a product of prayer and still can be a product of prayer (depending upon what you believe possible in prayer).
- Man must assist the world in it’s survival through the power of prayer.
Worship Released the Rain…
for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.”
There was not a man to worship in the earth… GOD awaits our partnership. Prayer, praise and worship releases the rain over all our situations, be it droughts in marriage, relationships, our communities, etc.
Rain is the sign of blessing.
The scriptures are replete with signs of blessing when the prophets called for rain.
Oftentimes we rebuke the rain. But, rain is the sign of blessing. Why rebuke the sign of blessing?
We often don’t see it, because it’s not taught, but rain was the initial sign of partnership between GOD and main. GOD gave adam (man) power over the elements, to cause it to rain.
GOD prepared the entire earth to receive the prayers of man and to respond with a living sign… to bring forth life, to grow, sprout and flourish. Don’t we want this?
I believe that we can still pray for rain, cause the earth to sprout, to grow and to flourish. I believe that we can still speak an end to drought and famine, in everything that concerns us, our bodies, our minds, our loved ones, our enemies…
Who can you nourish in the earth through prayer?
If you learned a new thing from this post or simply enjoyed the presentation of this message, don’t forget to like, follow, share and/or comment!
I hope you pray for rain,
This teaching is dedicated to Everyone facing a famine or drought in their lives. To everyone who needs the earth to bring forth blessings, to everyone that has seed buried in the earth and needs it to come forth and bear fruit, every promise near the surface that has not yet materialized, may the LORD GOD of Heaven come for my words in prayer and send you rain… Amen.
Posts Included in This Series on Prayer:
From Modern English to Biblical Hebrew: The Transition Phase
Keep All of the information/study techniques above in mind as you study and validate the information presented in this lesson (including past teachings).
GOD’s Biblical Language utilizes specific Word choices that differentiate the terms in such a precise manner as to be in agreement with the overall context of the verse. We do not need to infer meaning, because His Word choice is dynamic and specific and clear.
When information is translated into English we automatically apply our definitions. Which of course is a natural reaction. Without a concerted effort, we can get locked into a form of comfort and familiarity, a single-mindedness in our terms, because in this case, English is our first language.
The problem is, terms do not translate well in all cases, in any language. In Biblical Hebrew, we have to cross time, distance, grammatical, lexical and cultural, historical and social barriers between modern English and Biblical languages. Always keep this in mind.
Our challenge today and every day is to overcome these obstacles when applying ourselves to the study of scripture.
Cover Photo by: Pavel barysevich, Unsplash.com
- Cultivated Soil, photo by: Zbysiu Rodak, Unsplash.com
- Garden of trees photo by: Madison Nickel, Unsplash.com
- Cherry Blossom tree photo by: Hunt Han, Unsplash.com
Copyright 2019, Rev. S. Madison, torahisteaching.blog All Rights Reserved.
NEW Disclosure Added: I am of the belief that any and all teachings on scripture, especially those on prayer should receive prayer before passing them along to others. For this reason, I encourage everyone who reviews these teachings to saturate each one in prayer before sharing, distributing or reproducing them in any fashion.
Anything that we hope to learn and accomplish through the Word of GOD must be born out of a spirit of prayer. Prayer is the root of all our spiritual training. Study without prayer is futile. Without prayer, we learn nothing and we accomplish nothing.
May GOD always send you a confirming word.
GOD Bless You,
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