And mem often has to do with the idea of ‘fluid’, found it words like blood - ב ם dam, a
fluid, of which the name of Adam
ם is formed from a similar word
The second consonant of the word ‘what
– mah’ is the letter hey, a ‘man with arms raised’ and means: look, breath, reveal.
[ note: the ‘construct state’ of
waters - mayim is also ‘mi’. In its context, it is not the word mi
translated ‘who’, e.g. Gen 7:7, “... mi hammannul.” is “waters
of the deluge”. ]
In Egyptian hieroglyphs, was sounded in earlier Egypt as /m/ . The sound for was eventually replaced with /n/ in hieroglyphs. Although Egyptian vowel
association to consonants is largely lost, later Semitic language developed from hieroglyphs fits the ‘a’ vowel
well with ‘m’, thus the possibility of hieroglyphs with a ma sound relating to later Hebrew ‘mah
– what’ and ‘mayim – waters’. For vowels, later Hebrew Masoretic-era
text from about the 600 – 900’s A.D. ascribed Hebrew niqqud markings for vowels, thus better knowledge of vowel
associations was retained for the Hebrew Semitic language.
[ A paper
on Hieroglyphs gives some basic functions and a slight overview. ]
‘Waters’ - dual form –
‘Waters’ as the “unknowns’ or ‘whats’, not bodies of water, develop
in the creation storyline to become separated to two areas, first given in the Gen 1:1 summary heading as the two areas
of ‘heavens and the earth’. The phrase means ‘universe’, and is grammatically a
merism. Hebrew does not have a word for universe as does Greek with cosmos. The
introductory creation story heading at Gen. 1:1 - 2 has an abundance of meaning for the full creation story, for many good
reasons, the main of which is that the creation story has a ‘dual form’ progression. This twp-form
progression is common to other ancient cosmologies, especially many Egyptian forms.
[ Another essential word is the first verb
in the Bible, ‘bara’ – meaning to ‘separate a space’, not to ‘create’. See
Word roots – e.g., heavens
Similar or like-kind roots of words reveal
similar characteristics. In the Genesis creation story, a word developed from a common root in a word used
earlier not only has similar characteristics, but also shows that the later thing developed from the earlier.
In day two at verse 8, waters above the ‘firmament’, are ‘called’ ‘Heavens –
(right to left). The word is formed from mayim by the addition of one letter ‘shin’
ש to mayim.
In roots and the creation story, it is seen that the heavens (dual form plural) developed from first ‘waters
– unknowns’, dual form plural. The heavens ‘above’ will beget the earth in the
waters ‘below’. At Gen 1:8, and verses 9 - 10, heavenly waters beget the earth in waters at
the lower part of the firmament – Heavens; to next be ‘called’ the Earth and Seas. Anything
‘called’ is completed to the degree that it functions for its intended purpose, and is readied to be the support
for developing the next level of creation. The ‘upper’ [not ‘above’ the firmament]
part of the ‘firmament – Heavens’ are the ‘unknowns - waters’ that coalesced from primal matter
– to become stars, galaxies, and supernova, etc. The ‘shamayim – heavens’
[dual form] came from the mayim [dual form]. The earth developed from the heavens, especially
from the area named the ‘lower’ part of the firmament [not ‘under’ the firmament]. Hebrew
relates spacial things to the viewpoint of a person in their context, here, above and under – the resulting heaven above
and what became of it as the earth under the person. The need for retranslation of the creation story
and other Old Testament passages is long overdue, due to better knowledge of word values.
When formation of earth and seas were finished in creation day 3, water in the story is what we normally think, H2O,
and from whence the Proto-Sinaitic al-bet symbol mem /\/\/\ was itself humanly formed.
From day three, the creation story refers to such as ‘seas’, not waters, and ‘waters’ are henceforth
understood as such. This new Earth and Seas of the lower waters developed from the heavens, of the dual
form two ‘waters - unknowns’ presented in Gen. 1:1 – 2 as the heading to the story. “… the
heavens and the earth” are the two parts of the waters, developed in that order in the creation story. The
‘unknowns’ were formed to become ‘knowns’, the material surroundings to which people could fully relate
Other Biblical examples of both ‘mah – what’
and ‘mayim – waters’
Biblical verses contain words ‘firmament – raqiya’, and ‘heavenly
stretch – natah’, etc. Therein, they also use mah
for ‘nothing’, and also associate to such use of mah to ‘waters’.
One verse is –
Job 26:7 He stretcheth
[ natah ] out the north over the empty place [tohu], (and) hangeth the earth upon
nothing [ beli-mah = ‘no-thing (be-li)’ - what
The Adam Clarke commentary states that in the Chaldee, in the last portion of the verse
reads “…. He lays the earth upon the waters, nothing sustaining
it.” Question: how does earth lay upon ‘nothing’ [English translation
from Hebrew], or upon waters [English translation from Chaldee], therein as an object free from something to sustain
It must be seriously considered how the Hebrew ‘beli-mah’ = ‘no-thing
- what’ relates to the Chaldee ‘waters, nothing’, specifically with the ‘mah
– what’ part being treated as ‘waters - mayim’, itself the dual form of ‘mah
- what’. Thus, in this verse, the “mayim - unknowns” -
‘what – is considered heavenly space and the ‘unknowns’ from which
the Earth and Seas developed in Gen 1. Biblical Genesis cosmogony should not follow a historically later
concoction which claims Hebrew cosmogony to have H2O fluid waters in hidden depths of the earth, or underneath it.
There are many additional comparative OT verses for creation and waters, including
NT verses showing the proper Hebrew usage of OT scripture by use of Greek. A NT verse on waters is given
in the following section.
A New Testament verse
uses the proper Greek for Hebrew meaning of waters.
3:5, “For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God
the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:”.
Although here I will not go into its extensive consideration, two words ‘dia & ‘ek
are in relation to ‘sunestosa’ and ‘hudatos’. The phrase “out of the water” (ἐξ
hudatos) refers to
the origin of the earth. It was formed “from,” or out of,
that ‘waters – unknowns’ mass. The phrase “in the water”
(δἰ ὕδατος di' hudatos) more properly means “through” or “by.” It was “through” or
“by means of” that vast mass of ‘waters – unknowns’ that the
earth was made as it was. The dual form of Hebrew ‘mayim
– waters’ is therein preserved [likely better understood here if having read the attached paper ‘Waters’].
The word standing in Greek: συνεστῶσα sunestōsa, when used in an intransitive sense as here, i.e.,
w/o a direct object, means -
“to stand with,” or “together;”
then topically, “to place together,”
- to constitute,
place, bring into existence - Robinson.
Margin notes of scribes, “consisting.”
συνεστῶσα - sunestōsa = cohering - Concordant Literal Version
It is material from the ‘waters – unknowns’, and ‘cohering’ as material. Hebrew is preserved in the NT.
It helps to ‘understand’ that which ‘stands under’.
Concepts travel over time; through
other languages –
Amarigna from the general locality of Eritrea [officially replaced by Southern Ethiopian Amaric in 1958], and Tigrigna
[improperly, Tigrinya] from the general area of Ethiopia, both seem to bring two ancient language groups together into one
region. Ethiopia - Amarigna is inland with ancient trade to Egypt via the head of the Nile River –
inland, with words common to Semitic languages flowing from Egypt. Tigrigna - Eritrea is coastal with words
which associate to the Arabian Peninsula and Hittite, etc., via Red Sea water trade routes. It also
has Egyptian influences. These joined inland and coastal areas seem to bring two ancient language groups
together into one region which are largely linguistically preserved due to lack of significant colonialism in their regional
The Sumerian "šamû" ("heaven")
is equivalent to the Amarigna and Tigrigna [A – T] word for "sky/heaven," "semay" (se-may)
– Note that in Tigrigna, the similar "may" (ma-y) means "water", though
in Amarigna used nearer the Red Sea - water is "whe" (w-he); and both are abundantly written in hieroglyphs.
The Amarigna "whe" has sound more similar to Hittite which is ‘Indo-European’, too,
as seen in - water = ‘ua-a-atar’ or ‘wa-a-tar’ or ‘wa-a-dar’ . Did
trade via inland Nile river and by coastal Red Sea bring two main ‘concept’ words for water geographically close
to each other?
Se-may ~ = sha-mayim [Heb] =
heavens; both with S prefixes to the root of water(s).
shows "semay" on page 602, column A, 2nd word down, although he mistakenly transcribes the word as "shadow."
This is because the word is followed by an umbrella, so he thinks the umbrella to be the actual word without having realized
the reality of the word. [Gebts 2 - overview basics by author - water – heaven]
Perhaps the bushy historic lingual
line of Germanic < early Greek < Proto-Sinaitic language should also be thought of as very influenced from Afro-Asia;
not mainly Asia. German ‘wasser’ = water, with its root ‘was’
= what. The what-water concept is preserved. Perhaps English ‘water’,
through its Germanic etymology, should be stated ‘whater’! Latin ‘aqua’
= water, with its root ‘ua’ is used with words of unknowns,
often in combination with ‘q’. Scandinavian languages [subset of North Germanic languages]
are comprised of Norwegian, Danish, and Swedish. They are similar in What/Water relations: Nor. hva/vann, Dan.
hvad/vand, Swed. vad/vatten.
‘Waters - What – unknowns’ with its conceptual
relationships travel through many languages. Many basic concepts are traceable from Egyptian hieroglyphs
through connected languages, found within roots of words and their sounds. When such is traced to Egypt,
amazingly, the Bible becomes more knowable, understandable, represents nature well, current to science; all of which informs
us well about the omniscient God. To understand the Bible well, it is essential to understand early historic
sourcing and their imprints upon civilization, including their imprints upon Hebrew.
Thus in a slight ‘overview – review’ given here, 1. - Latin of the Italic
languages - which included Romance languages derived from it, and 2. - Germanic languages - which likely have a bush of origins
rather than a more direct tree - but seemingly has its main diffusion from Greek; itself from a disseminated
language: are 1. + 2. - two main European language disseminations which serve as examples of ‘water
~ what = unknowns’ coming from a hieroglyphic concept – through Proto-Sinaitic – and onward to various languages.
Its etymology also interconnects with other Hebrew word values in Genesis creation accounts.
A small note on
other basic creation words shared with
early Egypt –
words tohu v’vohu at Gen 1:2 are often translated ‘without form and void’.
They, too, are crafted to identify the dual nature of the early universe and its creation process:
heavens leading to an earth. See the separate paper which addresses their dual nature and setting in the
creation story. They have direct connection with early Egyptian creation cosmogony, especially from the
cities of On and Memphis. The paper also addresses the proper exegesis of the two words in their other
Biblical passages. And in addition, tohu v’vohu in Gen 1:2 have common characteristics with
words ‘tehom – deep’ and ‘mayim – waters’
found in the same verse. Primary root and concept relatedness are common in the creation story.
To understand the creation story well, we must understand meanings of words from their origins, and their interconnections
which serve to reveal the process of the progressive story.
Most Genesis creation words are not isolated in their concepts to the few verses in
which they occur – as is wrongly considered the norm. Word meanings and interrelations of the creation
story interconnect storyline processes throughout its six creation days, including Genesis chapter 2. Biblical
exegesis becomes better simplified and more congruent. Egypt’s hieroglyphic provenance for many Semitic
languages and many concepts helps to guide understanding of the progression of creation well - and allows better translation.
Many common concepts
and words exist in the first and second creation accounts, at Gen 1:1 – 2:3 and Gen 2:4 – 25 respectively.
The second account is a more detailed account of creation day six, and as such, the second account especially affects
understanding of context and setting for day six in the first account, but also the better understanding of the context of
the whole first account.
 “The Ancient Hebrew Lexicon of the Bible,” Jeff A. Benner. ISBN 1-58939-776-2, page
 Merism < Greek, meros - "part", is
a single thing which is enumerated by several of its parts.
For example, ‘lock, stock, and barrel’ originally referred
to parts of a gun, and words searched ‘high and low’ – for everywhere.
The phrase, “the heavens and the earth” is the upper and lower waters of the firmament, the high and low
of the universe, and what a reader or hearer sees when looking up and looking down in relation to self.
Gen 1:1 is sometimes referred to as a hendiadys, but it is not. A
hendiadys is a Latinized form of the Greek phrase ἓν διὰ δυοῖν,
"one through two". It is a figure of speech used for emphasis,
using two words which similarly apply to each other. For example, at the hendiadys of Gen 23:4 when Abraham
asked the Hittites for permission to bury his wife in the land, he said two words for emphasis that similarly apply,
“I am a stranger and a sojourner with you: give me a
possession of a buryingplace with you, that I may bury my dead out of my sight.” Because
a hendiadys has similar elements, it can be adjectivally related. The example above can be rearranged to
a “sojourning stranger.”
The merism ‘heavens and earth’ does not have similar
elements, nor is it adjectivally interchangeable. Its elements are parts making up one thing; in
this case, the universe.