|The following is a mystical translation
of the first few sections of the book of Genesis (Bereshit). Both
traditional and mystical Judaic sources were used in the translation of
this material in order to capture the transformative qualities of spirit
inherent in the original Hebrew text. These transformative and mystical
qualities include a transcendent quality of time (no past or future
tense) and a strict resistance to the naming of or the
anthropomorphization of the Divine. I have also sought the deeper
meaning of the text by translating proper names into their essential
meanings. For example, the Hebrew word for Eden means delight, so the
Garden of Eden is thus translated into the Garden of Delight.
Additionally, I have attempted to filter out the gender, cultural and
egoic biases present in some of the previous interpretations of the
the beginning there was Spirit. The
earth was empty and without form. Darkness
covered the face of the deep. Then
Spirit moved over the waters. And the Word was given: “Let there be
light…” And there was light. The
light was separated from the darkness.
The light was called day and the darkness was called night.
And there was evening and there was morning, one day.
Word was given: “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters,
dividing upper from lower.” The
firmament was called sky. And
there was evening and there was morning, a second day.
Word was given: “Let the waters beneath the sky be gathered together,
so that dry land may be seen.” The dry land was called earth, the
gathered waters were called ocean. And the Word was given: “Let the
earth put forth vegetation, plants yielding seed, and trees bearing
fruit with their seed within.” And the earth brought forth vegetation,
plants yielding seed and trees bearing fruit with their seed within. And
there was evening and there was morning, a third day.
Word was given: “Let there be luminaries in the firmament of the sky
to separate day from night. Let them be signs to mark the seasons, the
days and the years. Let them be luminaries in the sky to give light to
the earth.” And the stars and the two great luminaries were made: The
greater one to rule the day, the lesser one to rule the night. They were
set in the dome of the sky to give light to the earth, to hold sway over
day and night, and to separate the light from the dark.
And there was evening and there was morning, a fourth day.
word was given: “Let the oceans team with living creatures. Let the
birds fly above the earth, across the dome of heaven.” And the great
sea creatures were created, and every kind of living creature that teems
in the waters, and every kind of winged bird that graces the sky. And a
blessing was given: “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters of
the sea; and let birds abound on the earth.” And there was evening and
there was morning, a fifth day.
Word was given: “Let the earth bring forth every species of living
creature: Animals, reptiles and wild beasts.” And the various species
of animals, both wild and tame, and all that creeps upon the ground were
created. And the Word was given: “Let a Human Being be made in the
Divine image and likeness, and let them be custodians of the fish of the
sea, the birds of the air, over the animals, over all that creeps upon
the ground, and over the whole earth.” And human beings, male and
female, were created in the Divine image, in the very image of the
Source of Life.
Source of Life blessed them and the word was given them: “You shall be
fruitful and multiply. You will fill the earth and govern it. You will
be custodians over the fish of the sea and the birds of the sky and
every creature on earth. You have been given every seed-bearing plant
and tree on the face of the earth as your food. All the animals of the
field, every bird of the sky, and everything that walks the land, that
has in it a living soul, have been given every green plant as their
food. All of creation witnessed itself and beheld that it was good. And
there was evening and there was morning, a sixth day.
earth were completed. With the seventh day, the work of creation was
finished. All work ceased on the seventh day. The Source of Life blessed
the seventh day and declared it to be holy, for it was on this day that
the work of creation ceased and the being-ness of creation was set to
On the day
the human being was created a mist rose up from the earth and watered
the entire surface. The human being was formed out of the dust of the
ground. The breath of life was breathed into the being and thus it
became a living creature. Eden, the Garden of Delight, was planted in
the east and there the human being was placed. Every tree that is
pleasant to look upon and good to eat from grew out of the ground,
including the Tree of Life in the middle of the garden, and the Tree of
Knowledge of Love and Fear.
flowed out of the Well of Delight to water the Garden. From there it
divided and became four major rivers. The first river is the River of
Change (Pishon) and surrounds the entire Land of Bringing Forth (Havilah)
where gold, sapphires and precious stones are to be found. The second
river is the River of the Valley of Grace (Gihon), which surrounds the
Land of Blackness (Cush). The third river is the River of Strength
(Tigris), which flows to the east of the Land of Happiness (Assyria).
The fourth river is the River That Makes Fruitful (Euphrates).
being was taken and placed in the Garden of Delight to work it and watch
over it. The human being was told, “You may eat from every tree of the
garden. But from the Tree of Knowledge of Love and Fear, you must not
eat, for from the moment you eat it, you will know death.”
was given: “It is not good for the human being to be alone. A
compatible helper must be found.” Every wild beast and every bird of
Heaven had been formed out of the ground. They now were brought forth to
be named by the human being. Whatever the human being called each living
thing would remain its name. The human being named every livestock
animal and bird of the sky, as well as all the wild beasts. A compatible
helper was not found.
being fell into a deep state of unconsciousness and began to sleep. One
of the human beings sides was taken and flesh closed in to take its
place. The two sides were formed into Man and Woman. The man and woman
said to each other, “Now we are bone from our bone and flesh from our
flesh. We shall be called man and woman because we are part of the
other. We shall be each others home and be united and become one
flesh.” The man and woman stood naked before each other without
Serpent of Sorcery was the cleverest of all the wild beasts that were
created. The serpent asked the woman, “Is it true that you may not eat
from any of the trees in the garden?” The woman replied, “We may eat
from the fruit of the trees of the garden. But the fruit of the tree
that is in the middle of the garden we may not eat or even touch for it
would bring death.”
serpent said to the woman, “You will certainly not die! In reality, on
the day you eat from the tree, your eyes will be opened, and you will
have great powers, knowing both love and fear.”
saw that the tree was good to eat and desirable to the eyes, and that
the tree was attractive as a means to gain knowledge. She took some of
its fruit and ate. She also gave some to the man, and he ate. The eyes
of both of them were opened, and they realized that they were naked.
They sewed together fig leaves, and made themselves garments to cover
the Voice of the Source of Life moving through the Garden on the wind of
the day. The man and woman hid themselves from the Source of Life among
the trees of the Garden. The Voice called to the man and woman and said,
“Where are you?”
heard Your Voice in the Garden,” replied the man and woman, “and we
were afraid because we felt naked, so we hid.” The Voice asked,
“Where did you get the idea of nakedness? Did you eat from the tree of
knowledge of love and fear?” The man replied, “The woman that is a
part of me gave me what I ate from the tree.” The Voice said to the
woman, “What is this that has been done?” The woman replied, “I
was seduced by the serpent of sorcery and I ate.”
said to the serpent, “Because of the eating of the fruit of knowledge,
you will feel cursed more than all the livestock and all the wild
beasts. On your belly you shall crawl, and illusion you shall eat, all
the days of your life. Fear and hatred has been planted between you and
woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. They will strike
you in the head, and you will strike at their heals.
woman it was said, “The knowledge of love and fear will greatly
increase your suffering and your pregnancy. It will be with anguish that
you will give birth to children and you will be dominated by your
To the man
it was said, “The knowledge of love and fear will cause the ground to
be hardened beneath you. You will derive food from it with anguish all
the days of your life. It will bring forth thorns and thistles to
confound and bewilder you; and you will eat the grass of the field. By
the sweat of your brow you will eat bread until you return to the ground
from which you were taken. You have become dust, and to dust you shall
was named Adam, because he was now of the earth and of blood. The woman
was named Eve, because she had become the mother of all life. The Source
of Life made shrouds of skin for Adam and Eve and clothed them.
the human being had tasted the knowledge of love and fear, they could
not remain in the Garden of Delight and taste the Tree of Eternal Life.
The knowledge of love and fear drove them out of the Garden of Delight,
to work the ground from which they had come. The veil of life and death
arose at the east of the Garden, along with the revolving sword of
creation and destruction, concealing the path of the Tree of Eternal
R. D. (1874). Hitchcock’s bible names dictionary. New York: A.
A. (1981). The living Torah: The five books of Moses and the Haftarot.
Hew York: Maznaim Publishing.
S. (1996). Genesis: A new translation of the classic biblical stories.
New York: HarperCollins.