Reading Genesis

The work of reading Genesis has been slower than I expected.

At first is was a technical issue: the bible I read for solace and poetry (and the occasional fit of rage) makes for easy reading of familiar passages; it is less conducive to a cover-to-cover read-through.

I resolved this thanks to an online institution, Machon Mamre, that offers Bible downloads for interested parties. At first I worked with a Hebrew-only version, then went all out and dowloaded the fonts with the cantillation marks, and went for the parallel versions that showed both Aramaic and Hebrew.

It turns out that this gave me lots of clues about meaning.

Now, I do not speak Aramaic. If I were lost in a city where that’s the lingua franca, I’d probably have to stay lost. But I do read it. And the delightful structure of the Semitic language shone lights on words that were hard to understand, along the way. I even ended up adding notes about some of the translations to my initial list of fiber-related words.