Genesis 1 Verse 2

For Hebrew and Arabic, please read from the right to the left

When writing phonetically, letters which are put between brackets inside different brackets such as [walad(un)], it is to indicate vowels (niqud) are being used. When the vowels are at the very end of an Arabic word, this means that pronouncing it is usually optional.

א,ב והארץ, הייתה תוהו ובוהו, וחושך, עלפני תהום; ורוח אלוהים, מרחפת עלפני המים

English     עברית عربية 
1- And the earth (ground) והארץ و الارض
Phonic: [a:rd] – [a:rz] or [arth] depending on the region

Of Aramaic, Semitic origin – Same word is still used in Arabic.

Dictionary (Hebrew-Arabic):

land, country ; earth, world ; ארצה – to Israel ; ארצה! – down! (command to animal) ; הארץ – Israel (literally: the country) ; הארץ – ground

Root in Arabic:

Complex Verb ( مزيد )

Verb1 [a(a)r(a)d(a)] (p.tense), [y(a)a()r(a)d] (present + future) – doer: [a(a):r(i)d]: an insect =  to munch into something. e.g: wood. – noun: [a(a)r.d]

Verb2 [a(a)r(a)dd(a)] (p.tense), [y(u)r(i)dd(u)] (p+f) – noun: [e.r.d(a)d] for man; to slow down, to grow heavier/ into the land: to go / for sweat: pours down/

Verb3 [a(a)rr(a)d(a)](p.tense), y(u)a(a)rr(i)d(u)] (p+f)  noun [t(a)a()r(i):d]= For human to the land: to take care of it/ to the sauce: to make it better by adding things to it/ to the speach: make it politer/ to any thing in general : make it better, mend it, prepare it/

For the animal to the grass: to eat it

Subjectial verb (  نائب الفاعل ): [ur(i)d(a)](p.tense) [y(a)r(a)d](p+f) = a person: a disease where a person’s head shakes non deliberately.

Subject: [a(a)r(a)d]: Someone who grew for whatever reason unable to leave his/her seat or dwelling.

Noun1: singular [a(a)r()d]- plural [a(a)r(a)d(u)n]- [a(a)r()d(u)n]-[a(a)r(a):d(in)]this is the most common – [ur(u):d]

Planet Earth – the earth on the ground – land –

Noun2: singular [er(a)d], plural [ur(u)d] rug out of hair or wool.

Noun 3: singular [a(a)r(a)d(a)], plural [a(a)r(a)d(a)t] small yellow ant

Simple Verb

[r(a)dd(a)] (p.tense), [y(a)r(u)dd(u)] (p+f tenses) =  to bruise. The state of bruised: [m(a)r.d(u)d]

2- lived הייתה حيت
Phonic: [h(a)yt(a)]  or [h(a)y(i):t(a)]

Dictionary: The word comes from the verb: הָיָה  [h(a)y(a)] =It means to be, to exist ; to happen, to take place, to occur ; to become, to develop into/ Also to have


Verb 1 (past tense) [h(a)y(a)], (present/future tense) [y(a)hy(a)],  noun [h(a)y(a)t],  means to live, and life. It is the same Semitic word in both languages, although in this context, it is replaced by the two verbs have been ( كان) [kana] and is/ to become = ( صار) [sara] in Arabic.

Verb 2 [h(a)y(i)y(a)] (past) [y(a)hy(a)] – noun: [h(a)y(a):t] – the route; became visible/ a group of people: became more prosperous/

Verb 3 [p.p+f the same as above] – noun [h(a)y(a)a()] – to be shy, self controlled, reserved/ to shy away from something bad.

3- tohu 



Phonic: [t(u)h(u)]. 

Dictionary:  Chaos, emptiness, desolation, nothingness


It could be the imperative mood of verb stray, was used here with the plural pronoun you = انتم [ant(u)m]. The root of the verb is: past tense: [t(a):h(a)], present tense: [y(a)t(u)h(u)], noun [t(i):h] and [t(a)w(a)h(a)n].  Conjugation in imperative mood: (single, masculine you) [t(u)h], (single feminine you) [t(u)h(i)], for plural masculine or mixed gender [t(u)h(u)], for plural feminine only: [t(u)hn(a)].

The verb ‘stray’ in Arabic can mean both physical and mental loss and confusion. In spoken language, it means literally (get lost/be lost) but not in a derogative sense. The use of the imperative mood should not always imply real instruction being given literally.  In this context, it is rather a description of a state of loss and chaos that was allowed in a former time or from the beginning.   

4- and Boho

ו      בוהו

و بوهو

Phonic [b(u)h(u)]. 

Dictionary: desolation, emptiness; nothingness, chaos.


Could be the imperative mood of verb (باه) [b(a)h)a(] (past), [y(a)b(u)h(u)] (present+future) / Imperative: you singular [b(u)h], you pl: [b(u)h(u)]

Meaning: to become unwell, physically (thin) or mentally (agitated).

The imperative mood doesn’t always imply real instruction being given.  In this context, it could be describing a state characterised  by the lack of physical and mental wellbeing, perhaps due to the previous mentioned state of loss and chaos that was allowed in a former time or from the beginning.   

According to ElWasit Dictionary and The Almani online dictionary, there are two main derivatives of this verb, one of which is still in current use especially in colloquial language, and the other is literary and fairly ancient.

1- Positive meaning:

a- First derivative: past tense of [‘ba.ha] present tense [ya ’boo.hoo] noun [bayhan]//And also the complex verb [ta nab.baha], [ya tan’]// mean he suddenly became knowledgeable about or conscious and aware of something.  The doer (and adjective) is [bahi] (colloquial) which means good. The doer from complex verb is [nabih] means smart, clever. 

b- Second derivative: past tense [baha], present [ya ‘boohoo], noun 1 [el-bah] means joyful, happy, enthusiastic, active. noun2 [el-bah] means sexual relationship/ sexual activity.

c- Third derivative: This verb is different at the root and only bears a slight similarity with verb [baha]. Past tense [‘bahawa], present [‘yab.hoo], became beautiful. Noun1 [baha:] is beauty. Noun2: bahw: a fancy waiting room in a mansion house. Noun3: [el-‘baha], a fancy courtyard in a big house or a mansion.  / The complex version of this verb: past tense [ta ‘baha], present tense [yata ‘baha], means to boast with one’s beauty or talent, etc.

2- Negative meaning:

a- First derivative: past tense [‘baha], present [ya’boohoo], noun[bawahan] –

Meaning 1: became, confused, agitated.

Meaning 2 became thin and not well.

===> [Boohoo] then came in the form of an imperative mood addressing a group of beings, not to give instruction, but to describe the state of confusion, agitation of mind and mal-nutrition they were in. 

===> [Toho wa bohoo] then is not a meaningless or ambiguous phrase, but a full, complex sentence, made out of two clauses, reunited together via the linking word ו (و), that is ‘and’. Although the two instructions could make two separate simple sentences, they are said/read together most likely because of their rhyming effect which called [sajaa:]; a rhymed prose . A literature based on [sajaa:] in the Semitic culture is a language that inspires trust and is perceived to be full of wisdom and truth. This is why proverbs generally are made to rhyme.  Please note that Sajaa: is different from poetry. The Koran for example boasts to be written in sajaa and it is in effect based on that form: but it is by no mean a poetry book, and calling it so would be inaccurate. This offence comes from a subconscious belief that sajaa was the language of the far past that preceded the Hebrews and most of the other great civilisations, whereas poetry was the language of the ‘then’, of emotions, pleasure, romance and of pride and power struggle.

The sentence (which is now regarded as a phrase), best describes the state that the Jews were in during their forty years wander in the desert, after they left Egypt.

5- and Darkness

ו   חושך

و الظلام

Phonic: [khushikh]  (خوشيخ)


Noun:  ( חושך ) darkness, gloom, murk

Verb: ( לחשוך  )  to withhold; spare; stop, refrain; save

Meaningful Syllables:

1-  ושך  [v.shakh] or [wasakh]. Through the omission of the first letter  ח. This syllable now has various meanings:

Hebrew meaning: to withdraw

Arabic Semitic meaning: dirt

The two meanings are linked together, with one being the cause and the other being the reaction. Coming cross dirt can cause the reaction of 


2-חוּשׁ [khoosh] [خوش ]

A- Formal Definition: Formally, it is known to mean a sense of; instinct, talent, feeling.  As a verb (literary) to hurry, to make haste, to feel, to sense ; to feel pain in

B- Linguistic Investigation:

חוּשׁ (the root of the word חושך ), when in its verbal form, being conjugated with various pronouns, we see the Semitic root and thus the original meaning.

Verb חוּשׁ [khoosh] in the present tense. When conjugated with the pronoun she, we see the original Semitic root. The verb [khashia] – still

used in Arabic.

Verb (خشي) [kh(a)sh(i)a] (past tense), (يخشى) [y(a)] (present/future tense), noun خشية [kh(i)shy(a)].

Meaning: to feel a great fear, especially before doing something which may result to a negative outcome. Colloquial Arabic-Egyptian, to become

timid, shy, embarrassed. Antonym: to dare.

The last letter {R} was added to verb [kh(a)sh(i)a](to fear), to contribute to the noun ‘darkness’  (חושך).   

The link between the verb ‘to fear’ and between the noun ‘darkness’, the second being the result of the first. What is strange though that despite the unity of the root of verb ‘to fear’ [kh(a)sh(i)a] between Hebrew and Arabic, this unity disappears when it comes to the noun darkness. Each language evolves separately from the other at the stage where the word darkness was being conceived. The ancient Hebrews saw darkness as something they feared and so, they derived it from the verb to fear, whereas other Semitic languages in more advanced times, saw that it was linked to spiritual

darkness, which is connected with injustice and unfairness. So, they created the noun darkness, based on this concept: the root verb is ظلم in the past tense [dhalama] which means treating someone unfairly, the present tense is يظلم [yadhlom], then we find two nouns, with one meaning unfairness ظلم

الظلم [dolm – el-dholm] and the other  ظلام [dhalam]  meaning darkness.

The nearest Semitic Arabic use to this word is in the North African;dialect. The colloquial word   ( مِسْتَخْوِشْ )  [mistakhwish] when talking about the heart, means to dread something.

6 – over – on top of



1-  על  [a:la] (sound sound in Arabic).   Over – upon, on top of; in front of; to, than
7- the abyss



2- Phonic:  فنى) – פני) – based on the Hebrew modern pronunciation of the letter פ, the word sounds similar to the English word ‘penny’ (certain coins).

penny        – פֶּנִי 

face ; surface ; appearance ; image ; aspect ; “heads” (of a coin)

There is a similarity between the Hebrew and English word  (פֶּנִי)[penny] in both pronunciation and meaning. This leaves us to wander about the origin of the word in English. The way ‘penny’ is used in English nowadays conveys one of the many meanings the Hebrew word has, some of which refers to the surface and the nothingness (the equivalent of the verb to clear off, to vacate, etc: פָּנָה [panah].

This specific meaning is found in the Arabic word [fana] ( فنى ) which means desolation, annihilation, the abyss. In describing warriors, poets used to use the complex verb [ta.’fana] to describe them doing their best at killing each other. From this, derived another meaning for the verb [yata.’fana], which is to do your best in general.

The root verb [fana] [y(a)fn(a)] = to wither and die.

  The phrase ( עלפני ) together could mean on the face of the nothingness.

8- Loss / abyss 


تاهوا / الهاوية

Phonic: [téhom].

Dictionary: 1- abyss, chasm, bottom, gulf, abysm, great depth.             

ת = The vowel isn’t added. (ta)   –   ה = (h) –   ו = letter w – (va) and the vowel (o) –                ם = (m)

Meaningful syllables:      

1-   תה = téh = to lose his way.         

  tֹ(é)hu  = תֹּהוּ (flowery) In Hebrew:  emptiness, desolation, nothingness


In Arabic: The same word [téhu] is derived from the root verb: [tahah]  means to lose his way, to go astray, to wonder over the face of the earth, literally or metaphorically.

2-תָּהָה verb  to wonder, to be amazed, to be dumbfounded ; to ponder, to reflect (for a group of people: té-hu and té-hun).


==>[téhu] past tense, conjugated with the pronoun (them), = go astray.

The other possibility is that [ta:hum] used to be the noun from the verb taha, rather than the present noun: tawahan or teeh.              

n.b: The words  תהום [téhum] and תוהו [toohoo] are more closely connected than formally recognised.


9- and wind – and spirit


و روح

Phonic: [ruach] – [  غاخ ]

Dictionary:  1-wind, breeze ; (literary) soul ; spirit, essence

2- air; direction; ghost, fantom, genie, hobgoblin, imp, incubus, jinn, jinni , kobold, phantom, shade, sprite, bogey, bogy; mind

3-space, gap ; (typography, printing) spacing

4-to be common, to be widespread, to be accepted


In Arabic רוח [reeh]  is also pronounced the same [reeh].  It is a noun derived from the root verb: [r(a)h(a)], [y(a)r(u)h(u)] = to go and/or became lost.

Noun [r(a)y(a)h]. [r(i)y(a)h] plural –  means wind/s.

Book: Lisan El-Arab for Ibn Mandur, puts the word [r(u)h] = Spirit as an alternation to the word [r(i):h] = wind. He finds  in El-Hadith an indication that the word [r(u)h] is the origin and that the letter (و) [waw]  (a sign for plurality), could also be replaced by the letter (ي) [y].

In modern day language, the word [r(i):h] means wind and the letter [r(u)h] means spirit.

10- God



See Chapter 1 Verse 1 for more details
11-To hover, to float


حام، حلّق

Phonics: [m(i)r(a)’kh(i)f(i)t] = [ميرخيفٍتْ]

1-   verb פיעל  to hover, to float (in the air)

2- רַחֶפֶת – hovercraft

3- מְרַחֵף – daydream, absent minded.

The Hebrew root for the verb רחפ means to soar high.

The root word רחפ [rikhif] is the equivalent of the verb  رخف [r(a)kh(a)f(a)] in Arabic (rekhef) in colloquial language, which means to loosen something. e.g: a knot or a belt. 

  [khaffa], means to become light in weight or to act unwisely. خَفَّ، يخف،

12- over – on top of


على الفنى

See rows number 6 and 7 for more details
13- And of sea / of water

ה(the)   מים

و من اليم  الماء / مائيبحري

Phonic: ה (the)   מ of –  ים   (yamm)

Dictionary:   sea, water, main; big lake

 ocean, sea ; (biblical) West ; abundance, plethora, profusion


ים [yam] = [yam] in Arabic, means sea and ocean.

Root verb: [amm(a)], [yaomm(a)] Noun [om] means mother, [amm(a)], to lead, especially in prayer. Verb [amm(a)] also means to aim for. As a noun, [am] also means As. In colloquial language, the noun [om] is replaced by the noun [yom] (yomma)/ the word yomm could also be used to mean mother.