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Bereshit

Genesis 1 - Bereshith

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Verse English Translation Jewish Transliterated text Jewish Bereshit Hebrew text Jewish Bereshit Hebrew text
1:1 In the beginning God created heaven and earth Bereshit bara Elohim et hashamayim ve'et ha'arets.
1:2 The earth was without form and empty, with darkness
on the face of the depths, but God's spirit
moved on the water's surface.
Veha'arets hayetah tohu vavohu vechoshech al-peney
tehom veruach Elohim merachefet al-peney hamayim.
1:3 God said, 'There shall be light,' and light came into existence. Vayomer Elohim yehi-or vayehi-or.
1:4 God saw that the light was good, and God divided
between the light and the darkness.
Vayar Elohim et-ha'or ki-tov vayavdel Elohim beyn
ha'or uveyn hachoshech.
1:5 God named the light 'Day,' and the darkness He named
'Night.' It was evening and it was morning, one day.
Vayikra Elohim la-or yom velachoshech kara laylah
vayehi-erev vayehi-voker yom echad.
1:6 God said, 'There shall be a sky in the middle of the
water, and it shall divide between water and water.'
Vayomer Elohim yehi rakia betoch hamayim vyhi
mavdil beyn mayim lamayim.

1:1 (alternate translation) In the beginning of God's creation of heaven and earth, the earth was without form and empty (Rashi).
Still others combine the first three verses: 'In the beginning of God's creation....when the earth was without form and empty....God said, 'Let there
be light. (Bereshith Rabbah).
1:2 (God's spirit) (God's wind)
1:6 (sky) Rakia in Hebrew, literally 'spread' or 'expanse.' Usually translated as 'firmament.'

1:7 God [thus] made the sky, and it separated the water
below the sky from the water above the sky.
It remained that way.
Vaya'as Elohim et-harakia vayavdel beyn hamayim
asher mitachat larakia uveyn hamayim asher me'al
larakia vayehi-chen.
1:8 God named the sky 'Heaven.' It was evening and it
was morning, a second day.
Vayikra Elohim la-rakia shamayim vayehi-erev
vayehi-voker yom sheni.

1:7 (it separated) or 'He divided' (Septuagint).
1:7 (It remained that way) Usually translated 'It was so.' or 'It happened.'

1:9 God said, 'The waters under the heaven shall be
gathered to one place, and dry land shall
be seen.' It happened.
Vayomer Elohim yikavu hamayim mitachat
hashamayim el-makom echad vetera'eh
hayabashah vayehi chen.
1:10 God named the dry land 'Earth,' and the gatherings
of water, He named 'Seas.' God saw that it was good.
Vayikra Elohim layabashah erets ulemikveh
hamayim kara yamim vayar Elohim ki-tov.
1:11 God said, 'The earth shall send forth vegetation.
Seedbearing plants and fruit trees that produce their
own kinds of fruits with seeds shall be on the earth.'
It happened.
Vayomer Elohim tadshe ha'arets deshe esev mazria
zera ets pri oseh peri lemino asher zar'o-vo
al-ha'arets vayehi-chen.
1:12 The earth sent forth vegetation, plants bearing
their own kinds of seeds, and trees producing
fruits containing their own kinds of seeds. God
saw that it was good.
Vatotse ha'arets deshe esev mazria zera leminehu
ve'ets oseh pri asher zar'o-vo leminehu
vayar Elohim ki-tov.
1:13 It was evening and it was morning, a third day. Vayehi-erev vayehi-voker yom shlishi.

1:12 (trees producing fruits...) or (specific species of trees that produce fruits with seeds.) See Genesis 1:21, 1:24.

1:14 God said, 'There shall be lights in the heavenly
sky to divide between day and night. They shall
serve as omens [and define] festivals,
days and years.
Vayomer Elohim yehi meorot birekia hashamayim
lehavdil beyn hayom uveyn halaylah vehayu
leotot ulemoadim uleyamim veshanim.
1:15 They shall be lights in the heavenly sky, to shine
on the earth.' It happened.
Vehayu li-meorot birekia hashamayim leha'ir
al-ha'arets vayehi-chen.
1:16 God [thus] made the two large lights, the greater
light to rule the day, and the smaller light
to rule the night. [He also made] the stars.
Vaya'as Elohim et-sheney hameorot hagdolim
et-hamaor hagadol le-memshelet hayom ve'et hamaor
hakaton le-memshelet halaylah ve'et hakochavim.

1:14 (heavenly sky) Literally 'the firmament of the heaven.'

1:17 God placed them in the heavenly sky to shine on
the earth,
Vayiten otam Elohim birekia hashamayim leha'ir
al-ha'arets.
1:18 to rule by day and by night, and to divide between
the light and the darkness. God saw that it
was good.
Velimshol bayom uvalaylah ulehavdil beyn ha'or
uveyn hachoshech vayar Elohim ki-tov.
1:19 It was evening and it was morning, a fourth day. Vayehi-erev vayehi-voker yom revi'i.
1:20 God said, 'The water shall teem with swarms of
living creatures. Flying creatures shall fly over
the land, on the face of the heavenly sky.'
Vayomer Elohim yishretsu hamayim sherets
nefesh chayah ve'of yeofef al-ha'arets al-peney
rekia hashamayim.
1:21 God [thus] created the great sea monsters, along
with every particular species of living thing
that crawls, with which the waters teem, and every
particular species of winged flying creature.
God saw that it was good.
Vayivra Elohim et-hataninim hagedolim ve'et kol
nefesh hachayah haromeset asher shartsu hamayim
le-minehem ve'et kol-of kanaf leminehu
vayar Elohim ki-tov.
1:22 God blessed them, saying, 'Be fruitful and become
many, and fill the waters of the seas. Let the
flying creatures multiply on the land.'
Vayevarech otam Elohim lemor peru urevu umil'u
et-hamayim bayamim veha'of yirev ba'arets.
1:23 It was evening and it was morning, a fifth day. Vayehi-erev vayehi-voker yom chamishi.

1:21 (sea monsters) or 'whales,' or 'dragons.' Taninim in Hebrew;. The Midrash states that it alludes to a pair of particularly great sea creatures, the Leviathan and its mate.

1:24 God said, 'The earth shall bring forth particular
species of living creatures, particular
species of livestock, land animals, and beasts
of the earth.' It happened.
Vayomer Elohim totse ha'arets nefesh chayah
leminah behemah varemes vechayeto-erets
leminah vayehi-chen.
1:25 God [thus] made particular species of beasts of
the earth, particular species of livestock,
and particular species of animals that walk
the land. God saw that it was good.
Vaya'as Elohim et chayat ha'arets leminah ve'et
habehemah leminah ve'et kol-remes ha'adamah
leminehu vayar Elohim ki-tov.

1:24 (land animals) (Ramban). Others translate this as 'creeping things.' Remes in Hebrew.

1:26 God said, 'Let us make man with our image and
likeness. Let him dominate the fish of the
sea, the birds of the sky, the livestock
animals, and all the earth - and every land
animal that walks the earth.'
Vayomer Elohim na'aseh adam betsalmenu
kidemutenu veyirdu bidegat hayam uve'of
hashamayim uvabehemah uvechol-ha'arets
uvechol-haremes haromes al-ha'arets.
1:27 God [thus] created man with His image. In
the image of God, He created him, male and
female He created them.
Vayivra Elohim et-ha'adam betsalmo betselem
Elohim bara oto zachar unekevah bara otam.

1:26 (Let us) God was speaking to all the forces of creation that He had brought into existence (cf. Targum Yonathan; Ramban). Now that all the ingredients of creation had essentially been completed, all would participate in the creation of man, the crown of creation. Others interpret 'we' in the majestic sense, and translate the verse, 'I will make man in My image' (Emunoth veDeyoth 2:9; Ibn Ezra).
1:26 (with our image and likeness) Man is thus a microcosm of all the forces of creation. A major part of the Kabbalah deals with explaining exactly how this is so (see Nefesh HaChaim 1:1). Moreover, of all creation, only man resembles God in having free will (Maimonides, Yad, Teshuvah 5:1). Others explain 'image' and 'likeness' here to refer to a sort of conceptual archetype, model, or blueprint that God had previously made for man (Rashi). This 'model' is seen as the primeval man' (Adam Kadmon).

1:28 God blessed them. God said to them, 'Be fertile
and become many. Fill the land and conquer
it. Dominate the fish of the sea, the birds
of the sky, and every beast that walks the land.
Vayevarech otam Elohim vayomer lahem Elohim peru
urevu umil'u et-ha'arets vechiveshuha uredu
bidegat hayam uve'of hashamayim uvechol-chayah
haromeset al-ha'arets.

1:28 (Be fertile...) Some say that this is a commandment (cf. Chinukh), while others maintain that it is a blessing (see Tosafoth, Yevamoth 65b, s.v. VeLo; Maharsha, Sanhedrin 59b, s.v. VeHarey).

1:29 God said, 'Behold, I have given you every
seedbearing plant on the face of the earth,
and every tree that has seedbearing fruit. It
shall be to you for food.
Vayomer Elohim hineh natati lachem et-chol-esev
zorea zera asher al-peney kol-ha'arets
ve'et-kol-ha'ets asher-bo feri-ets zorea
zara lachem yihyeh le-ochlah.
1:30 For every beast of the field, every bird of the
sky, and everything that walks the land, that has
in it a living soul, all plant vegetation shall be
food.' It remained that way.
Ulechol-chayat ha'arets ulechol-of hashamayim
ulechol romes al-ha'arets asher-bo nefesh
chayah et-kol-yerek esev le'ochlah
vayehi-chen.
1:31 God saw all that he had made, and behold, it was
very good. It was evening and it was
morning, the sixth day.
Vayar Elohim et-kol-asher asah vehineh-tov me'od
vayehi-erev vayehi-voker yom hashishi.

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Also, see:
Literal Translation of the Bible
Romanized Bible Text
Transliteration of Hebrew
History of the Bible Septuagint and early Manuscripts
Translating the Bible
Jewish Genesis - Bereshit. A simpler presentation of Bereshit/Genesis 1

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