God Created

Ain Soph – The Unknown God

Chapter 3

Fred Mayers

Continuing our notes on Gen. I, v. I, we will consider the meaning of “Creation.” God “created” (bara). The word “created” gives an excellent opportunity to explain some characteristics of the Hebrew language which are not very generally recognised, but which we shall find most useful to know.

In the first place, a few notes on “words,” “roots,” and “signs.” Hebrew shows a curious predilection for basic words of three consonants. This characteristic is so marked that grammarians considered these three – letter words as the “roots” of the language. Two letter words were thought to be “imperfect” or abbreviated, and words of more than three letters as “compounds,” etc. Quite obviously, however, the real “roots” of any language must have been monosyllabic. A bisyllabic word is always a combination of two roots, or at least of one root modified by the addition of a letter, or letters, with a “sign” value of their own. Really the foundation of Hebrew is the “letter,” and every letter is a “sign”; that is to say, each letter has a very definite significance of its own, and this significance of the letters (or “signs”) determines the meaning of the “roots.”

We will explain the meaning of a letter being a “sign” by a few examples, as in modern languages they have no “sign value” except such as is unconsciously retained in some ancient “root” which has survived in modern words. (There is an exception to the last paragraph. in English, when we signify numbers by Roman numerals: V=5; C=lOO; M=l,000, etc. But this usage is not quite parallel with the Hebrew usage as the numeral letters have no numerical significance in themselves. They are merely used because they happen to be the initial letters of the Latin names of the corresponding numbers.)

It will “kill two birds with one stone” if we take for our examples the three letters in the Hebrew word ‘Bara,” “he created.” We will take them in their natural alphabetical order

(1) “A” as a Sign. So far as is known, every existing language which has an alphabet basis – commences with “A” (ah). This in itself is significant it suggests that in early times

other languages than Hebrew must have had “Sign values.” “A” represents the simplest of all sounds – a mere audible out-breathing. It is the most common of all vowels, especially in old, primitive languages, Being always placed first in the alphabet, it becomes naturally symbolic of all that is “first. (Par, ex,: “I am Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last.”) As a “sign,” therefore, it denotes the “First Cause”; the origin; the starting point; the “1st person singular” in Hebrew grammar. As a numeral it is No. 1.

(2)”B” as a sign, is known as the “internal sign.” It signifies any internal activity ; interior ; inwardness. etc. It is very frequently used as a word in itself, especially as a prefix to other words, and then it means “in” or “within.” It was used in that way in the very first word of the Hebrew Bible which has already been explained.

(3) “R” is known as the “sign” of movement, motion, activity of any ‘kind. “R” is an example of the unconscious survival of “sign value” in modem languages which were referred to previously. One has only to recall some of the host of English words expressing motion of some kind in which it is the most “forceful’’ letter : “run” “rub,’’ “rip,’’ “mar,’’ “rage.’’ “current,” etc., ad lib., to get a “feeling’’ that it “comes naturally” to express movement.

If we now put together the three “signs” just explained to make the word “BRA,” they clearly express an “internal movement of the Spirit,” as Spirit is always the “First Cause,” the “Originator” of all activity. That is exactly the “idea” in the word “create,” properly understood. No one is more fully conscious of the real meaning of “creation” than the Artist, whether he or she be painter, poet or musician; or of the difference between “creating” and “producing” or “making.”

“Creation” is the starting point of all real “Art.” Every “work of Art” (and much else besides – an “invention,” for instance) starts in an “idea,” some “conception” formed in the mind and shaped by the Spirit. But the “creative idea” is not the “Work of Art.” That has to be produced afterwards, often in many stages, and with much patient labour. Many an Artist has laboured for years to “realise” outwardly, in concrete form, the spiritual conception which, once “created,” haunts his soul. Often he fails altogether, and seldom does he feel that he has fully succeeded. His work, as far as he has been able to carry it, may seem to the outsider, to be a “masterpiece.” but to the Artist himself, who holds in his soul the created prototype, it appears unsatisfying. Between the dream and the attempted realisation, he sees the difference between “Heaven” and “Earth,” That is why we pray: “Thy will be done in “earth” as it is in “heaven.”

God, having created His Idea, we are told, “looked upon it.” (The Hebrew word means to “consider anything with close attention”) and “knew that it was good.” – (Heb. “tob mod,” i.e., “good to the utmost.”) But for the fall realisation of that Idea He has worked and waited for countless ages and still works and waits. Nevertheless, in His case, “Will and Power” are one. “Hath He spoken and shall He not do it?” God cannot fail, but great indeed must be the Purpose that could be followed up with such infinite patience. – It is “The joy set before Hun an infinite, divine, eternal joy, which He will never abandon, or leave unrealised.

When we look around at the hideous sin which man has brought into God’s good world – Sin which seems during the last few years to have reached depths of wickedness never before even imagined – all this horror after Christian teaching has been at work for two thousand years – it is not easy to look ahead to the time when sin shall be overcome, and the “Kingdom of God” be realised. But let us remember that Night’s darkest hour is just before the dawn. There are two great forces at work, not only one – one for evil, and the other for good, and both have been growing in intensity. Evil has done its worst now. The day of resurrection of “Abel” dawns, and “Cain” will cease to be a “wanderer on the face of the earth.” We shall see later that even Cain was an instrument for the furtherance of the Divine Purpose. God has not failed and – will not fail.

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