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The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
   

Bereishit - Genesis - Chapter 1

Bereishit - Genesis - Chapter 1

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Rashi's Commentary:

Chapter 1

1. In the beginning of God's creation of the heavens and the earth.   א. בְּרֵאשִׁית בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים אֵת הַשָּׁמַיִם וְאֵת הָאָרֶץ:
In the beginning: Said Rabbi Isaac: It was not necessary to begin the Torah except from “This month is to you,” (Exod. 12:2) which is the first commandment that the Israelites were commanded, (for the main purpose of the Torah is its commandments, and although several commandments are found in Genesis, e.g., circumcision and the prohibition of eating the thigh sinew, they could have been included together with the other commandments). Now for what reason did He commence with “In the beginning?” Because of [the verse] “The strength of His works He related to His people, to give them the inheritance of the nations” (Ps. 111:6). For if the nations of the world should say to Israel, “You are robbers, for you conquered by force the lands of the seven nations [of Canaan],” they will reply, "The entire earth belongs to the Holy One, blessed be He; He created it (this we learn from the story of the Creation) and gave it to whomever He deemed proper When He wished, He gave it to them, and when He wished, He took it away from them and gave it to us.   בראשית: אמר רבי יצחק לא היה צריך להתחיל [את] התורה אלא (שמות יב ב) מהחודש הזה לכם, שהיא מצוה ראשונה שנצטוו [בה] ישראל, ומה טעם פתח בבראשית, משום (תהלים קיא ו) כח מעשיו הגיד לעמו לתת להם נחלת גוים, שאם יאמרו אומות העולם לישראל לסטים אתם, שכבשתם ארצות שבעה גוים, הם אומרים להם כל הארץ של הקב"ה היא, הוא בראה ונתנה לאשר ישר בעיניו, ברצונו נתנה להם וברצונו נטלה מהם ונתנה לנו:
In the beginning of God’s creation of: Heb. בְּרֵאשִית בָּרָא. This verse calls for a midrashic interpretation [because according to its simple interpretation, the vowelization of the word בָּרָא, should be different, as Rashi explains further]. It teaches us that the sequence of the Creation as written is impossible, as is written immediately below] as our Rabbis stated (Letters of R. Akiva , letter “beth” ; Gen. Rabbah 1:6; Lev. Rabbah 36:4): [God created the world] for the sake of the Torah, which is called (Prov. 8:22): “the beginning of His way,” and for the sake of Israel, who are called (Jer. 2:3) “the first of His grain.” But if you wish to explain it according to its simple meaning, explain it thus: “At the beginning of the creation of heaven and earth, the earth was astonishing with emptiness, and darkness…and God said, ‘Let there be light.’” But Scripture did not come to teach the sequence of the Creation, to say that these came first, for if it came to teach this, it should have written:“At first (בָּרִאשׁוֹנָה) He created the heavens and the earth,” for there is no רֵאשִׁית in Scripture that is not connected to the following word, [i.e., in the construct state] like (ibid. 27:1):“In the beginning of (בְּרֵאשִית) the reign of Jehoiakim” ; (below 10:10)“the beginning of (רֵאשִׁית) his reign” ; (Deut. 18:4)“the first (רֵאשִׁית) of your corn.” Here too, you say בְּרֵאשִׁית בָּרָא אלֹהִים, like בְּרֵאשִׁית בְּרֹא, in the beginning of creating. And similar to this is,“At the beginning of the Lord’s speaking (דִּבֶּר) to Hosea,” (Hos. 1:2), i.e., at the beginning of the speaking (דִּבּוּרוֹ) of the Holy One, Blessed be He, to Hosea, “the Lord said to Hosea, etc.” Now if you say that it came to teach that these (i.e., heaven and earth) were created first, and that its meaning is: In the beginning of all, He created these-and that there are elliptical verses that omit one word, like (Job 3:10): “For [He] did not shut the doors of my [mother’s] womb,” and it does not explain who it was who shut [the womb]; and like (Isa. 8:4): “he will carry off the wealth of Damascus,” and it does not explain who will carry it off; and like (Amos 6:12): “or will one plow with cattle,” and it does not explain: “if a man will plow with cattle” ; and like (Isa. 46: 10): “telling the end from the beginning,” and it does not explain that [it means] telling the end of a matter from the beginning of a matter-if so, [if you say that Scripture indicates the order of creation] be astounded at yourself, for the water preceded, as it is written: “and the spirit of God hovered over the face of the water,” and Scripture did not yet disclose when the creation of water took place! From this you learn that the water preceded the earth. Moreover, the heavens were created from fire and water. Perforce, you must admit that Scripture did not teach us anything about the sequence of the earlier and the later [acts of creation].   בראשית ברא: אין המקרא הזה אומר אלא דרשני, כמו שדרשוהו רבותינו ז"ל בשביל התורה שנקראת (משלי ח כב) ראשית דרכו, ובשביל ישראל שנקראו (ירמיה ב ג) ראשית תבואתו. ואם באת לפרשו כפשוטו כך פרשהו בראשית בריאת שמים וארץ והארץ היתה תהו ובהו וחשך ויאמר א-להים יהי אור. ולא בא המקרא להורות סדר הבריאה לומר שאלו קדמו, שאם בא להורות כך, היה לו לכתוב בראשונה ברא את השמים וגו', שאין לך ראשית במקרא שאינו דבוק לתיבה של אחריו, כמו (שם כו א) בראשית ממלכות יהויקים, (בראשית י י) ראשית ממלכתו, (דברים יח ד) ראשית דגנך, אף כאן אתה אומר בראשית ברא א-להים וגו', כמו בראשית ברוא. ודומה לו (הושע א ב) תחלת דבר ה' בהושע, כלומר תחלת דבורו של הקב"ה בהושע, ויאמר ה' אל הושע וגו'. ואם תאמר להורות בא שאלו תחלה נבראו, ופירושו בראשית הכל ברא אלו, ויש לך מקראות שמקצרים לשונם וממעטים תיבה אחת, כמו (איוב ג י) כי לא סגר דלתי בטני, ולא פירש מי הסוגר, וכמו (ישעיה ח ד) ישא את חיל דמשק, ולא פירש מי ישאנו, וכמו (עמוס ו יב) אם יחרוש בבקרים, ולא פירש אם יחרוש אדם בבקרים, וכמו (ישעיה מו י) מגיד מראשית אחרית, ולא פירש מגיד מראשית דבר אחרית דבר. אם כן תמה על עצמך, שהרי המים קדמו, שהרי כתיב ורוח א-להים מרחפת על פני המים, ועדיין לא גלה המקרא בריית המים מתי היתה, הא למדת שקדמו המים לארץ. ועוד שהשמים מאש ומים נבראו, על כרחך לא לימד המקרא סדר המוקדמים והמאוחרים כלום:
God’s creation of the heavens and the earth: But it does not say “of the Lord’s creation of” (i.e., it should say “of the Lord God’s creation of” as below 2:4 “on the day that the Lord God made earth and heaven”) for in the beginning it was His intention to create it with the Divine Standard of Justice, but he perceived that the world would not endure; so He preceded it with the Divine Standard of Mercy, allying it with the Divine Standard of Justice, and that is the reason it is written:“on the day the Lord God made earth and heaven.”   ברא א-להים: ולא אמר ברא ה', שבתחלה עלה במחשבה לבראתו במדת הדין, ראה שאין העולם מתקיים, הקדים מדת רחמים ושתפה למדת הדין, היינו דכתיב (להלן ב ד) ביום עשות ה' א-להים ארץ ושמים:
2. Now the earth was astonishingly empty, and darkness was on the face of the deep, and the spirit of God was hovering over the face of the water.   ב. וְהָאָרֶץ הָיְתָה תֹהוּ וָבֹהוּ וְחשֶׁךְ עַל פְּנֵי תְהוֹם וְרוּחַ אֱלֹהִים מְרַחֶפֶת עַל פְּנֵי הַמָּיִם:
astonishingly empty: Heb. תֹהוּ וָבֹהוּ. The word תֹהוּ is an expression of astonishment and desolation, that a person wonders and is astonished at the emptiness therein.   תהו ובהו: תהו לשון תמה ושממון שאדם תוהא ומשתומם על בהו שבה:
astonishingly empty: Astordison in Old French; [étourdissement in modern French], astonishment. בֹהוּ an expression of emptiness and desolation. (This does not appear in all editions.)   תהו: אישטורדישו"ן בלע"ז [מבוכה]:
בֹהוּ: an expression of emptiness and desolation. (This does not appear in all editions.)   בהו: לשון רקות וצדו:
on the face of the deep: on the face of the waters which were on the earth.   על פני תהום: על פני המים שעל הארץ:
and the spirit of God was hovering: The Throne of Glory was suspended in the air and hovered over the face of the water with the breath of the mouth of the Holy One, blessed be He and with His word, like a dove, which hovers over the nest, acoveter in Old French, to cover, hover over.   ורוח א-להים מרחפת: כסא הכבוד עומד באויר ומרחף על פני המים ברוח פיו של הקב"ה ובמאמרו, כיונה המרחפת על הקן אקוביטי"ר בלע"ז [לכסות]:
3. And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light.   ג. וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים יְהִי אוֹר וַיְהִי אוֹר:
4. And God saw the light that it was good, and God separated between the light and between the darkness.   ד. וַיַּרְא אֱלֹהִים אֶת הָאוֹר כִּי טוֹב וַיַּבְדֵּל אֱלֹהִים בֵּין הָאוֹר וּבֵין הַחשֶׁךְ:
And God saw the light that it was good, and God separated: Here too, we need the words of the Aggadah: He saw it that it was not proper for the wicked to use it; so He separated it for the righteous in the future. According to its simple meaning, explain it as follows: He saw it that it was good, and it was unseemly that it [light] and darkness should serve in confusion; so He established for this one its boundary by day, and for that one its boundary by night.   וירא א-להים את האור כי טוב ויבדל: אף בזה אנו צריכים לדברי אגדה ראהו שאינו כדאי להשתמש בו רשעים והבדילו לצדיקים לעתיד לבא. ולפי פשוטו כך פרשהו ראהו כי טוב ואין נאה לו ולחשך שיהיו משתמשין בערבוביא, וקבע לזה תחומו ביום ולזה תחומו בלילה:
5. And God called the light day, and the darkness He called night, and it was evening and it was morning, one day.   ה. וַיִּקְרָא אֱלֹהִים | לָאוֹר יוֹם וְלַחשֶׁךְ קָרָא לָיְלָה וַיְהִי עֶרֶב וַיְהִי בֹקֶר יוֹם אֶחָד:
one day: According to the sequence of the language of the chapter, it should have been written, “the first day,” as it is written regarding the other days, “second, third, fourth.” Why did Scripture write“one” ? Because the Holy One, blessed be He, was the only one in His world, for the angels were not created until the second day. [i.e., יוֹם אֶחָד is understood as ‘the day of the only One’] So is it explained in Genesis Rabbah (3:8).   יום אחד: לפי סדר [לשון] הפרשה היה לו לכתוב יום ראשון, כמו שכתוב בשאר הימים שני, שלישי, רביעי. למה כתב אחד, לפי שהיה הקב"ה יחיד בעולמו שלא נבראו המלאכים עד יום שני, כך מפורש בבראשית רבה (ג ח):
6. And God said, "Let there be an expanse in the midst of the water, and let it be a separation between water and water."   ו. וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים יְהִי רָקִיעַ בְּתוֹךְ הַמָּיִם וִיהִי מַבְדִּיל בֵּין מַיִם לָמָיִם:
Let there be an expanse: Let the expanse be strengthened, for, although the heavens were created on the first day, they were still moist, and they solidified on the second [day] from the rebuke of the Holy One, blessed be He, when He said, “Let there be an expanse.” This is what Scripture says (Job 26:11): “The pillars of the heavens trembled” the entire first day, and on the second day: “They were astonished by His rebuke,” like a person who stands in astonishment because of the rebuke of the one who frightens him. [Genesis Rabbah 12:10]   יהי רקיע: יחזק הרקיע. שאף על פי שנבראו שמים ביום ראשון, עדיין לחים היו, וקרשו בשני מגערת הקב"ה באומרו יהי רקיע, וזהו שכתוב (איוב כו יא) עמודי שמים ירופפו כל יום ראשון. ובשני יתמהו מגערתו, כאדם שמשתומם ועומד מגערת המאיים עליו:
in the midst of the water: In the middle of the water (Targum), for there is a separation between the upper waters and the expanse, as there is between the expanse and the waters that are on the earth. Behold you have learned that they are suspended by the word of the King. — [Gen. Rabbah 4:3]   בתוך המים: באמצע המים, שיש הפרש בין מים העליונים לרקיע כמו בין הרקיע למים שעל הארץ, הא למדת שהם תלוים במאמרו של מלך:
7. And God made the expanse and it separated between the water that was below the expanse and the water that was above the expanse, and it was so.   ז. וַיַּעַשׂ אֱלֹהִים אֶת הָרָקִיעַ וַיַּבְדֵּל בֵּין הַמַּיִם אֲשֶׁר מִתַּחַת לָרָקִיעַ וּבֵין הַמַּיִם אֲשֶׁר מֵעַל לָרָקִיעַ וַיְהִי כֵן:
And God made the expanse: He fixed it upon its base, which is [what is meant by] “making” it; as [in the verse] (Deut. 21:12):“and she shall ‘do’ her nails,” וְעָשְׂתָה.   ויעש א-להים את הרקיע: תקנו על עמדו והיא עשייתו, כמו (דברים כא יב) ועשתה את צפרניה:
above the expanse: It does not say, “on the expanse,” but “above the expanse,” because they [the waters] are suspended in the air (Mid. Ps. 19:4). Now why does it not say, “that it was good” on the second day? Because the work involving the water was not completed until the third day, although He commenced it on the second day, and an unfinished thing is not in its fullness and its goodness; and on the third day, when He completed the work involving the water and He commenced and completed another work, He repeated therein“that it was good” twice (sic): once for the completion of the work of the second day and once for the completion of the work of that [third] day. — [Gen. Rabbah 4:6]   מעל לרקיע: על הרקיע לא נאמר אלא מעל לרקיע, לפי שהן תלוים באויר. ומפני מה לא נאמר כי טוב ביום שני, לפי שלא נגמרה מלאכת המים עד יום שלישי, והרי התחיל בה בשני, ודבר שלא נגמר אינו במילואו ובטובו, ובשלישי שנגמרה מלאכת המים והתחיל מלאכה אחרת וגמרה, כפל בו כי טוב שני פעמים, אחד לגמר מלאכת השני ואחד לגמר מלאכת היום:
8. And God called the expanse Heaven, and it was evening, and it was morning, a second day.   ח. וַיִּקְרָא אֱלֹהִים לָרָקִיעַ שָׁמָיִם וַיְהִי עֶרֶב וַיְהִי בֹקֶר יוֹם שֵׁנִי:
And God called the expanse heaven: Heb. שָׁמַיִם [This is a combination of the words מַיִם שָׂא, bear water (Gen. Rabbah 4:7); שָׁם מַיִם, there is water; אֵשׁ וּמַיִם, fire and water. He mingled them with one another and made the heavens from them (Chag. 12a).   ויקרא א-להים לרקיע שמים: שא מים, שם מים, אש ומים, שערבן זה בזה ועשה מהם שמים:
9. And God said, "Let the water that is beneath the heavens gather into one place, and let the dry land appear," and it was so.   ט. וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים יִקָּווּ הַמַּיִם מִתַּחַת הַשָּׁמַיִם אֶל מָקוֹם אֶחָד וְתֵרָאֶה הַיַּבָּשָׁה וַיְהִי כֵן:
Let the water…gather: They were spread out over the surface of the entire earth, and He gathered them in the ocean, [the Mediterranean], which is the largest of all the seas. — [from Pirkei d’Rabbi Eliezer, ch. 5; Gen. Rabbah 5:2]   יקוו המים: [שהיו] שטוחין על פני כל הארץ והקוום באוקינוס, הוא הים הגדול שבכל הימים:
10. And God called the dry land earth, and the gathering of the waters He called seas, and God saw that it was good.   י. וַיִּקְרָא אֱלֹהִים | לַיַּבָּשָׁה אֶרֶץ וּלְמִקְוֵה הַמַּיִם קָרָא יַמִּים וַיַּרְא אֱלֹהִים כִּי טוֹב:
He called seas: But is it not one sea? However, the flavor of a fish that comes up from the sea in Acre differs from the flavor of a fish that comes up from the sea in Spain. — [from Ekev 39]   קרא ימים: והלא ים אחד הוא, אלא אינו דומה טעם דג העולה [מן הים] בעכו לטעם דג העולה [מן הים] באספמיא:
11. And God said, "Let the earth sprout vegetation, seed yielding herbs and fruit trees producing fruit according to its kind in which its seed is found, on the earth," and it was so.   יא. וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים תַּדְשֵׁא הָאָרֶץ דֶּשֶׁא עֵשֶׂב מַזְרִיעַ זֶרַע עֵץ פְּרִי עֹשֶׂה פְּרִי לְמִינוֹ אֲשֶׁר זַרְעוֹ בוֹ עַל הָאָרֶץ וַיְהִי כֵן:
Let the earth sprout vegetation, seed yielding herbs: דֶּשֶׁא does not have the same meaning as עֵשֶׂב, and עֵשֶׂב does not have the same meaning as דֶּשֶׁא. And it would have been inappropriate for the Scriptural text to use the expression, תַּעֲשִׂיב הָאָרֶץ (let the earth bring forth herbs), for there are various species of דֶּשֶׁא, each one by itself which is called a particular עֵשֶׂב. And it would not be the correct term for the speaker to say, “such-and-such a דֶּשֶׁא,” because the term דֶּשֶׁא applies to the earth’s covering, when it is filled with vegetation.   תדשא הארץ דשא עשב: לא דשא לשון עשב ולא עשב לשון דשא, ולא היה לשון המקרא לומר תעשיב הארץ, שמיני דשאים מחולקין, כל אחד לעצמו נקרא עשב פלוני, ואין לשון למדבר לומר דשא פלוני, שלשון דשא הוא לבישת הארץ כשהיא מתמלאת בדשאים:
Let the earth sprout: Let it be filled and covered with a mantle of herbs. In Old French, דֶשֶׁא is called erbediz, herbage, all in a mixture, whereas each root individually is called עֵשֶׂב.   תדשא הארץ: תתמלא ותתכסה לבוש עשבים. בלשון לעז נקרא דשא אירבידי"ץ [מכלול העשבים] כולן בערבוביא, וכל שורש לעצמו נקרא עשב:
seed-yielding: That its seeds should grow in it from which to sow elsewhere.   מזריע זרע: שיגדל בו זרעו לזרוע ממנו במקום אחר:
fruit trees: That the taste of the tree should be like the taste of the fruit. It [the earth] did not do so, however, but“the earth gave forth, etc., trees producing fruit,” but the trees themselves were not fruit. Therefore, when man was cursed because of his iniquity, it [the earth] too was punished for its iniquity (and was cursed-not in all editions). - [from Gen. Rabbah 5:9]   עץ פרי: שיהא טעם העץ כטעם הפרי, והיא לא עשתה כן, אלא (פסוק יב) ותוצא הארץ עץ עושה פרי, ולא העץ פרי, לפיכך כשנתקלל אדם על עונו נפקדה גם היא על עונה ונתקללה:
in which its seed is found: These are the kernels of every fruit, from which the tree grows when it is planted.   אשר זרעו בו: הן גרעיני כל פרי, שמהן האילן צומח כשנוטעין אותן:
12. And the earth gave forth vegetation, seed yielding herbs according to its kind, and trees producing fruit, in which its seed is found, according to its kind, and God saw that it was good.   יב. וַתּוֹצֵא הָאָרֶץ דֶּשֶׁא עֵשֶׂב מַזְרִיעַ זֶרַע לְמִינֵהוּ וְעֵץ עֹשֶׂה פְּרִי אֲשֶׁר זַרְעוֹ בוֹ לְמִינֵהוּ וַיַּרְא אֱלֹהִים כִּי טוֹב:
And the earth gave forth, etc.: Even though לְמִינֵהוּ.“according to its kind,” was not said regarding the herbs when they were commanded [to grow], they heard that the trees were commanded thus, and they applied an a fortiori argument to themselves, [a קַל וָחוֹמֶר -from the minor to the major], as is explained in the Aggadah of Tractate Chullin (60a).   ותוצא הארץ וגו': אף על פי שלא נאמר למינהו בדשאין בציוייהן, שמעו שנצטוו האילנות על כך, ונשאו קל וחומר בעצמן, כמפורש באגדה בשחיטת חולין (חולין ס א):
13. And it was evening, and it was morning, a third day.   יג. וַיְהִי עֶרֶב וַיְהִי בֹקֶר יוֹם שְׁלִישִׁי:
14. And God said, "Let there be luminaries in the expanse of the heavens, to separate between the day and between the night, and they shall be for signs and for appointed seasons and for days and years.   יד. וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים יְהִי מְאֹרֹת בִּרְקִיעַ הַשָּׁמַיִם לְהַבְדִּיל בֵּין הַיּוֹם וּבֵין הַלָּיְלָה וְהָיוּ לְאֹתֹת וּלְמוֹעֲדִים וּלְיָמִים וְשָׁנִים:
Let there be luminaries, etc.: They were created on the first day, and on the fourth day, He commanded them to be suspended in the sky, and likewise, all the creations of heaven and earth were created on the first day, and each one was fixed in its proper place on the day that was decreed upon it. That is why it is written:“with the heavens (אֵת הַשָּׁמַיִם) to include their products,”and with the earth (וְאֵת הָאָרֶץ)," to include its products. — [Gen. Rabbah 1:14]   יהי מארת וגו': מיום ראשון נבראו, וברביעי צוה עליהם להתלות ברקיע, וכן כל תולדות שמים וארץ נבראו מיום ראשון, וכל אחד ואחד נקבע ביום שנגזר עליו, הוא שכתוב (פסוק א) את השמים, לרבות תולדותיהם, ואת הארץ, לרבות תולדותיה:
Let there be luminaries: Heb., יְהִי מְאֹרֹת It [the word, מְאֹרֹת is written without a“vav,” [thus, the word can be מְאֵרֹת meaning curses] because it [the fourth day] is a cursed day when children become ill with croup. This is what we learned (Ta’anith 27b): “on the fourth day [of the week], they [the men of the ma’amad] would fast so that children should not become ill with croup.”   יהי מארת: חסר וי"ו כתיב, על שהוא יום מארה ליפול אסכרה בתינוקות, הוא ששנינו ברביעי היו מתענים על אסכרה שלא תפול בתינוקות:
to separate between the day and between the night: (This happened) after the first light was hidden away, but during the seven (another reading: during the three) days of Creation, the primordial light and darkness served together, both by day and by night. — [Medrah Yelammedenu , as quoted in Yalkut Shim’oni] According to the Ramban and early editions of Rashi , it appears that the reading, “during the seven days of Creation,” is the authentic reading. Ramban , however quotes the Genesis Rabbah , which states that the original primordial light served only during the first three days, until the sun and the moon were suspended in the sky. After that, the primordial light was hidden away, as in Rashi to verse 4. Note also that several early manuscripts and printed editions of Rashi read: “but in the seven days of Creation, the primordial light and darkness served, this one by day and this one by night.” This is also the reading of Mizrachi , and it appears more accurate than our reading, because, in fact, the light and the darkness did not serve together, as Rashi explains in verse 4.]   להבדיל בין היום ובין הלילה: משנגנז האור הראשון, אבל בשבעת ימי בראשית שמשו האור והחושך הראשונים יחד בין ביום ובין בלילה:
and they shall be for signs: When the luminaries are eclipsed, it is an unfavorable omen for the world, as it is said (Jer. 10:2): “and from the signs of the heaven be not dismayed, etc.” When you perform the will of the Holy One, blessed be He, you need not fear retribution. — [from Succah 29a]   והיו לאותות: כשהמאורות לוקין סימן רע הוא לעולם, שנאמר (ירמיה י ב) מאותות השמים אל תחתו, בעשותכם רצון הקב"ה אין אתם צריכין לדאג מן הפורענות:
and for appointed seasons: This refers to the future, when the Israelites are destined to be commanded concerning the festivals and they [the festivals] are reckoned from the first phase of the moon. — [from Gen. Rabbah 6:1].   ולמועדים: על שם העתיד, שעתידים ישראל להצטוות על המועדות והם נמנים למולד הלבנה:
and for days: The sun serves for half a day, and the moon for half of it, so that you have a full day.   ולימים: שמוש החמה חצי יום ושמוש הלבנה חציו, הרי יום שלם:
and years: At the end of 365 days (other editions: and a 1/4 of a day) they complete their revolution through the twelve constellations of the zodiac, which serve them, and that constitutes a year. (Other editions read: and that is 365 and 1/4 days), and they return and start a second time to revolve on the sphere like their first revolution.   ושנים: לסוף שלש מאות ששים וחמשה ימים יגמרו מהלכת בשנים עשר מזלות המשרתים אותם והיא שנה. (וחוזרים ומתחילים פעם שניה לסבב בגלגל כמהלכן הראשון):
15. And they shall be for luminaries in the expanse of the heavens to shed light upon the earth." And it was so.   טו. וְהָיוּ לִמְאוֹרֹת בִּרְקִיעַ הַשָּׁמַיִם לְהָאִיר עַל הָאָרֶץ וַיְהִי כֵן:
And they shall be for luminaries: In addition, they will serve in this function, viz. to shed light upon the world.   והיו למאורות: עוד זאת ישמשו שיאירו לעולם:
16. And God made the two great luminaries: the great luminary to rule the day and the lesser luminary to rule the night, and the stars.   טז. וַיַּעַשׂ אֱלֹהִים אֶת שְׁנֵי הַמְּאֹרֹת הַגְּדֹלִים אֶת הַמָּאוֹר הַגָּדֹל לְמֶמְשֶׁלֶת הַיּוֹם וְאֶת הַמָּאוֹר הַקָּטֹן לְמֶמְשֶׁלֶת הַלַּיְלָה וְאֵת הַכּוֹכָבִים:
the two great luminaries: They were created equal, but the moon was made smaller because it brought charges and said, “It is impossible for two kings to use the same crown.” - [from Chullin 60b] Rashi (ad loc.) explains that this derash is based on the discrepancy of the two expressions, “the two great luminaries,” which intimates that the moon was a great luminary, and“the lesser luminary,” which intimates that the moon was smaller than the sun. To reconcile this difference, the Rabbis asserted that the moon was originally created equal to the sun, but, because of its complaint that the sun wielded the same power that it wielded, it was forced to relinquish that power.   המאורות הגדולים וגו': שוים נבראו, ונתמעטה הלבנה על שקטרגה ואמרה אי אפשר לשני מלכים שישתמשו בכתר אחד:
and the stars: Because He diminished the moon, He increased its hosts, to appease it. - [from Gen. Rabbah 46:4 and Chullin 60b] i.e., The stars serve as the entourage of the moon. When it comes out, they accompany it, and when it sets, they too set. [Gen. Rabbah ad loc.]   ואת הכוכבים: על ידי שמיעט את הלבנה, הרבה צבאיה להפיס דעתה: 
17. And God placed them in the expanse of the heavens to shed light upon the earth.   יז. וַיִּתֵּן אֹתָם אֱלֹהִים בִּרְקִיעַ הַשָּׁמָיִם לְהָאִיר עַל הָאָרֶץ:
18. And to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate between the light and between the darkness, and God saw that it was good.   יח. וְלִמְשֹׁל בַּיּוֹם וּבַלַּיְלָה וּלֲהַבְדִּיל בֵּין הָאוֹר וּבֵין הַחשֶׁךְ וַיַּרְא אֱלֹהִים כִּי טוֹב:
19. And it was evening, and it was morning, a fourth day.   יט. וַיְהִי עֶרֶב וַיְהִי בֹקֶר יוֹם רְבִיעִי:
20. And God said, "Let the waters swarm a swarming of living creatures, and let fowl fly over the earth, across the expanse of the heavens."   כ. וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים יִשְׁרְצוּ הַמַּיִם שֶׁרֶץ נֶפֶשׁ חַיָּה וְעוֹף יְעוֹפֵף עַל הָאָרֶץ עַל פְּנֵי רְקִיעַ הַשָּׁמָיִם:
living creatures: That there should be life in them.   נפש חיה: שיש בה חיות:
a swarming: Heb. שֶׁרֶץ. Every living thing that is not much higher than the earth is שֶׁרֶץ; among the winged creatures, such as flies; among the insects, such as ants, beetles, and worms; and among the [larger] creatures, such as the weasel, the mouse, the lizard, and their like, and so [among] the fishes. [Note that in most early editions and mss., the reading is וְכָל הַדָּגִים, and all the fishes (and not וְכֵן הַדגָּים).]   שרץ: כל דבר חי שאינו גבוה מן הארץ קרוי שרץ, בעוף כגון זבובים, בשקצים כגון נמלים וחיפושין ותולעים, ובבריות כגון חולד ועכבר וחומט וכיוצא בהם, וכל הדגים:
21. And God created the great sea monsters, and every living creature that crawls, with which the waters swarmed, according to their kind, and every winged fowl, according to its kind, and God saw that it was good.   כא. וַיִּבְרָא אֱלֹהִים אֶת הַתַּנִּינִם הַגְּדֹלִים וְאֵת כָּל נֶפֶשׁ הַחַיָּה | הָרֹמֶשֶׂת אֲשֶׁר שָׁרְצוּ הַמַּיִם לְמִינֵהֶם וְאֵת כָּל עוֹף כָּנָף לְמִינֵהוּ וַיַּרְא אֱלֹהִים כִּי טוֹב:
the…sea monsters: The great fish in the sea, and in the words of the Aggadah (B.B. 74b), this refers to the Leviathan and its mate, for He created them male and female, and He slew the female and salted her away for the righteous in the future, for if they would propagate, the world could not exist because of them. הַתַּנִינִם is written. [I.e., the final “yud,” which denotes the plural, is missing, hence the implication that the Leviathan did not remain two, but that its number was reduced to one.]- [from Gen. Rabbah 7:4, Midrash Chaseroth V’Yetheroth, Batei Midrashoth, vol 2, p. 225].   התנינים: דגים גדולים שבים. ובדברי אגדה הוא לויתן ובן זוגו שבראם זכר ונקבה והרג את הנקבה ומלחה לצדיקים לעתיד לבא, שאם יפרו וירבו לא יתקיים העולם בפניהם:
living creature: a creature in which there is life.   נפש החיה: שיש בה חיות:
22. And God blessed them, saying, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters of the seas, and let the fowl multiply upon the earth."   כב. וַיְבָרֶךְ אֹתָם אֱלֹהִים לֵאמֹר פְּרוּ וּרְבוּ וּמִלְאוּ אֶת הַמַּיִם בַּיַּמִּים וְהָעוֹף יִרֶב בָּאָרֶץ:
And…blessed them: Because [people] decimate them and hunt them and eat them, they required a blessing; and the beasts also required a blessing, but because the serpent was destined to be cursed, He did not bless them, lest he [the serpent] be included. — [from Gen. Rabbah 11:3, Midrash Tadshe 1]   ויברך אותם: לפי שמחסרים אותן וצדין מהם ואוכלין אותם הוצרכו לברכה. ואף החיות הוצרכו לברכה, אלא מפני הנחש שעתיד לקללה, לכך לא ברכן, שלא יהא הוא בכלל:
Be fruitful: [The word פְּרוּ is derived from פְּרִי, fruit, meaning produce fruits.   פרו: לשון פרי, כלומר עשו פירות:
and multiply: If He had said only, “Be fruitful,” one would beget one and no more.“And multiply” was therefore said so that one could beget many.   ורבו: אם לא אמר אלא פרו היה אחד מוליד אחד ולא יותר, ובא ורבו שאחד מוליד הרבה:
23. And it was evening, and it was morning, a fifth day.   כג. וַיְהִי עֶרֶב וַיְהִי בֹקֶר יוֹם חֲמִישִׁי:
24. And God said, "Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kind, cattle and creeping things and the beasts of the earth according to their kind," and it was so.   כד. וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים תּוֹצֵא הָאָרֶץ נֶפֶשׁ חַיָּה לְמִינָהּ בְּהֵמָה וָרֶמֶשׂ וְחַיְתוֹ אֶרֶץ לְמִינָהּ וַיְהִי כֵן:
Let the earth bring forth: That is what I explained [verse 14] that everything was created on the first [day], and they required only to be brought forth. — [from Tanchuma Buber, Bereishith 1]   תוצא הארץ: הוא שפירשתי (פסוק יד) שהכל נברא מיום ראשון ולא הוצרכו אלא להוציאם:
living creatures: which have life. (See above, verse 20.)   נפש חיה: שיש בה חיות:
and creeping things: These are the creeping things, which are low and crawl upon the earth and appear as if they are dragging along, because their movement is not discernible. Every expression of רֶמֶשׁ or שֶׁרֶץ [is translated] in our language [Old French] as conmovres , crawling creatures.   ורמש: הם שרצים שהם נמוכים ורומשים על הארץ, נראים כאלו נגררים, שאין הלוכן ניכר. כל לשון רמש ושרץ בלשוננו קונמובר"יש בלע"ז [רוחשים]:
25. And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kind and the cattle according to their kind, and all the creeping things of the ground according to their kind, and God saw that it was good.   כה. וַיַּעַשׂ אֱלֹהִים אֶת חַיַּת הָאָרֶץ לְמִינָהּ וְאֶת הַבְּהֵמָה לְמִינָהּ וְאֵת כָּל רֶמֶשׂ הָאֲדָמָה לְמִינֵהוּ וַיַּרְא אֱלֹהִים כִּי טוֹב:
And… made: He fixed them in their complete form, and in their full stature. — [from Rosh Hashanah 11a, Chullin 60a]   ויעש: תקנם בצביונם ובקומתן:
26. And God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness, and they shall rule over the fish of the sea and over the fowl of the heaven and over the animals and over all the earth and over all the creeping things that creep upon the earth."   כו. וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים נַעֲשֶׂה אָדָם בְּצַלְמֵנוּ כִּדְמוּתֵנוּ וְיִרְדּוּ בִדְגַת הַיָּם וּבְעוֹף הַשָּׁמַיִם וּבַבְּהֵמָה וּבְכָל הָאָרֶץ וּבְכָל הָרֶמֶשׂ הָרֹמֵשׂ עַל הָאָרֶץ:
Let us make man: From here we learn the humility of the Holy One, blessed be He. Since man was created in the likeness of the angels, and they would envy him, He consulted them. And when He judges kings, He consults with His Heavenly household, for so we find regarding Ahab, that Micah said to him, (I Kings 22:19): “I saw the Lord seated on His throne, and all the host of heaven were standing by Him, on His right and on His left.” Now do “left” or “right” apply to Him ?! But rather, [the passage means that] these [angels] were standing on the right to defend, and these [angels] were standing on the left to prosecute. Likewise, (Dan. 4:14): “By the decree of the destructive angels is the matter, and by the word of the holy ones is the edict.” Here too, He took counsel with His heavenly household. He said to them, “Among the heavenly beings, there are some in My likeness. If there are none in My likeness among the earthly beings, there will be envy among the creatures of the Creation. ” - [from Tanchuma, Shemoth 18; Gen. Rabbah 8:11, 14:13]   נעשה אדם: ענותנותו של הקב"ה למדנו מכאן, לפי שהאדם בדמות המלאכים ויתקנאו בו לפיכך נמלך בהם, וכשהוא דן את המלכים הוא נמלך בפמליא שלו, שכן מצינו באחאב שאמר לו מיכה (מלכים א' כב יט) ראיתי את ה' יושב על כסאו וכל צבא השמים עומד עליו מימינו ומשמאלו, וכי יש ימין ושמאל לפניו, אלא אלו מימינים לזכות ואלו משמאילין לחובה. וכן (דניאל ד יד) בגזרת עירין פתגמא ובמאמר קדישין שאלתא, אף כאן בפמליא שלו נמלך ונטל רשות, אמר להם יש בעליונים כדמותי, אם אין בתחתונים כדמותי, הרי יש קנאה במעשה בראשית:
Let us make man: Even though they [the angels] did not assist Him in His creation, and there is an opportunity for the heretics to rebel (to misconstrue the plural as a basis for their heresies), Scripture did not hesitate to teach proper conduct and the trait of humility, that a great person should consult with and receive permission from a smaller one. Had it been written: “I shall make man,” we would not have learned that He was speaking with His tribunal, but to Himself. And the refutation to the heretics is written alongside it [i. e., in the following verse:]“And God created (וַיִּבְרָא) ,” and it does not say,“and they created וַיִּבְרְאוּ.” - [from Gen. Rabbah 8:9]   נעשה אדם: אף על פי שלא סייעוהו ביצירתו ויש מקום למינים לרדות, לא נמנע הכתוב מללמד דרך ארץ ומדת ענוה שיהא הגדול נמלך ונוטל רשות מן הקטן. ואם כתב אעשה אדם לא למדנו שיהא מדבר עם בית דינו אלא עם עצמו, ותשובת המינים כתב בצדו ויברא א-להים את האדם, ולא כתב ויבראו:
in our image: in our form.   בצלמנו: בדפוס שלנו:
after our likeness: to understand and to discern.   כדמותנו: להבין ולהשכיל:
and they shall rule over the fish: Heb. וְיִרְדּוּ This expression contains both the meaning of ruling and the meaning of subservience. If he merits, he rules over the beasts and over the cattle. If he does not merit, he becomes subservient to them, and the beast rules over him. — [from Gen. Rabbah 8:12]   וירדו בדגת הים: יש בלשון הזה לשון רידוי ולשון ירידה, זכה רודה בחיות ובבהמות, לא זכה נעשה ירוד לפניהם והחיה מושלת בו:
27. And God created man in His image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.   כז. וַיִּבְרָא אֱלֹהִים | אֶת הָאָדָם בְּצַלְמוֹ בְּצֶלֶם אֱלֹהִים בָּרָא אֹתוֹ זָכָר וּנְקֵבָה בָּרָא אֹתָם:
And God created man in His image: In the form that was made for him, for everything [else] was created with a command, whereas he [man] was created with the hands (of God), as it is written (Ps. 139:5): “and You placed Your hand upon me.” Man was made with a die, like a coin, which is made by means of a die, which is called coin in Old French. And so Scripture states (Job 38:14): “The die changes like clay.” - [from Letters of Rabbi Akiva , second version; Mid. Ps. 139:5; Sanh. 38a]   ויברא א-להים את האדם בצלמו: בדפוס העשוי לו, שהכל נברא במאמר והוא נברא בידים, שנאמר (תהלים קלט ה) ותשת עלי כפכה, נעשה בחותם כמטבע העשויה על ידי רושם שקורין קוי"ן בלע"ז [מטבע] וכן הוא אומר (איוב לח יד) תתהפך כחומר חותם:
in the image of God He created him: It explains to you that the image that was prepared for him was the image of the likeness of his Creator. — [from B.B. 58a]   בצלם א-להים ברא אותו: פירש לך שאותו צלם המתוקן לו צלם דיוקן יצורו הוא:
male and female He created them: Yet further (2:21) Scripture states: “And He took one of his ribs, etc.” The Midrash Aggadah (Gen. Rabbah 8:1, Ber. 61a, Eruvin 18a) explains that He originally created him with two faces, and afterwards, He divided him. The simple meaning of the verse is that here Scripture informs you that they were both created on the sixth [day], but it does not explain to you how they were created, and it explains [that] to you elsewhere. — [from Baraitha of the Thirty Two Methods , Method 13]   זכר ונקבה ברא אותם: ולהלן הוא אומר (בראשית ב כא) ויקח אחת מצלעותיו וגו', מדרש אגדה שבראו שני פרצופין בבריאה ראשונה ואחר כך חלקו. ופשוטו של מקרא, כאן הודיעך שנבראו שניהם בששי ולא פירש לך כיצד ברייתן ופירש לך במקום אחר:
28. And God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and rule over the fish of the sea and over the fowl of the sky and over all the beasts that tread upon the earth. "   כח. וַיְבָרֶךְ אֹתָם אֱלֹהִים וַיֹּאמֶר לָהֶם אֱלֹהִים פְּרוּ וּרְבוּ וּמִלְאוּ אֶת הָאָרֶץ וְכִבְשֻׁהָ וּרְדוּ בִּדְגַת הַיָּם וּבְעוֹף הַשָּׁמַיִם וּבְכָל חַיָּה הָרֹמֶשֶׂת עַל הָאָרֶץ:
and subdue it: The“vav” [in וְכִבְשֻׁהָ is missing, [allowing the word to be read וְכִבְשָׁה, the masculine singular imperative] to teach you that the male subdues the female that she should not be a gadabout (Gen. Rabbah 8:12), and it is also meant to teach you that the man, whose way it is to subdue, is commanded to propagate, but not the woman (Yev. Yev. 65b).   וכבשה: חסר וי"ו, ללמדך שהזכר כובש את הנקבה שלא תהא יצאנית, ועוד ללמדך שהאיש שדרכו לכבוש מצווה על פריה ורביה ולא האשה:
29. And God said, "Behold, I have given you every seed bearing herb, which is upon the surface of the entire earth, and every tree that has seed bearing fruit; it will be yours for food.   כט. וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים הִנֵּה נָתַתִּי לָכֶם אֶת כָּל עֵשֶׂב | זֹרֵעַ זֶרַע אֲשֶׁר עַל פְּנֵי כָל הָאָרֶץ וְאֶת כָּל הָעֵץ אֲשֶׁר בּוֹ פְרִי עֵץ זֹרֵעַ זָרַע לָכֶם יִהְיֶה לְאָכְלָה:
30. And to all the beasts of the earth and to all the fowl of the heavens, and to everything that moves upon the earth, in which there is a living spirit, every green herb to eat," and it was so.   ל. וּלְכָל חַיַּת הָאָרֶץ וּלְכָל עוֹף הַשָּׁמַיִם וּלְכֹל | רוֹמֵשׂ עַל הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר בּוֹ נֶפֶשׁ חַיָּה אֶת כָּל יֶרֶק עֵשֶׂב לְאָכְלָה וַיְהִי כֵן:
it will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth: He equated cattle and the beasts to them [to man] regarding the food [that they were permitted to eat]. He did not permit Adam and his wife to kill a creature and to eat its flesh; only every green herb they were all permitted to eat equally. When the sons of Noah came, He permitted them to eat flesh, as it is said (below 9:3): “Every creeping thing that is alive, etc.” Like the green herbs, which I permitted to the first man, I have given you everything. — [from Sanh. 59b]   לכם יהיה לאכלה. ולכל חית הארץ: השוה להם הכתוב בהמות וחיות למאכל, ולא הרשה לאדם ולאשתו להמית בריה ולאכול בשר, אך כל ירק עשב יאכלו יחד כלם, וכשבאו בני נח התיר להם בשר, שנאמר (להלן ט ג) כל רמש אשר הוא חי וגו' כירק עשב שהתרתי לאדם הראשון, נתתי לכם את כל:
31. And God saw all that He had made, and behold it was very good, and it was evening and it was morning, the sixth day.   לא. וַיַּרְא אֱלֹהִים אֶת כָּל אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה וְהִנֵּה טוֹב מְאֹד וַיְהִי עֶרֶב וַיְהִי בֹקֶר יוֹם הַשִּׁשִּׁי:
the sixth day: Scripture added a “hey” on the sixth [day], at the completion of the Creation, to tell us that He stipulated with them, [“you were created] on the condition that Israel accept the Five Books of the Torah.” [The numerical value of the “hey” is five.] (Tanchuma Bereishith 1). Another explanation for “the sixth day” : They [the works of creation] were all suspended until the “sixth day,” referring to the sixth day of Sivan, which was prepared for the giving of the Torah (Shab. 88a). [The“hey” is the definite article, alluding to the well-known sixth day, the sixth day of Sivan, when the Torah was given (ad loc.).]   יום הששי: הוסיף ה' בששי בגמר מעשה בראשית, לומר שהתנה עמהם על מנת שיקבלו עליהם ישראל חמשה חומשי תורה. דבר אחר יום הששי כולם תלוים ועומדים עד יום הששי, הוא ששי בסיון המוכן למתן תורה:
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