Purpose: This is a preliminary study of the word ar'B' for students who wish to learn how to do word studies.

Preliminary Comments: Even though words may have various meanings one can determine the correct meaning by either the immediate or extended context.  The immediate context is the pericope  in which the word appears.  For ar'B' the immediate context would be Genesis 1:1-2:3.  Moses begins the story with the initial act of creation and then shows the resultant condition of the creation (formless and void).  He then pictures God as removing the initial chaos by six days of creative work in which He forms and fills the world.  He then concludes with God resting from his creative activity on the seventh day.

The extended context is progressively developed by the writer.  Stories are placed within larger stories until the author brings his work to its final conclusion.  In the mosaic literature it would be as follows:

1.    Genesis 1-11
2.    Genesis
3.    Mosaic Literature
Note the following concepts:
1.    A writer may assign to a word multiple meanings (polysemy).
2.    He may use the word in several types of contexts and in each of those he may use it in a different way.
3.    He may interrelate two types of contexts and use the word in the same or a similar way.
4.    He may play on two meanings of a word in one context.
A.    Identification
1.    Context: One does not begin a word study with a word, but usually he is studying a particular context and wishes to know what a word means in that context.
2.    Word: Not every word in a context is studied, but only the ones that are dominant.  The context hinges on these words.  Often the dominant words in the context are the verbals (verbs, participals, and infinitives).
3.    Problems
4.    Current Beliefs: The student should identify his current beliefs about what word means so that he challenge, strengthen,  or enhance them.  For example here are some things that I have heard people say about ar'B':
a.    The word means to create ex-nihilo (out of nothing).
b.    The word word is always used of divine activity.
c.    It means to create something conceptually new.
B.    Classification
1.    Type: Verbal
2.    Context: Genesis 1:1-2:3
C.    Location
Gen 1:1, 21, 27; 2:3f; 5:1f; 6:7
Exod 34:10
Num 16:30
Deut 4:32

Josh 17:15, 18
1 Sam 2:29
Ps 51:12; 89:13, 48; 102:19; 104:30; 148:5
Eccl 12:1
Isa 4:5; 40:26, 28; 41:20; 42:5; 43:1, 7, 15; 45:7f, 12, 18; 48:7; 54:16; 57:19; 65:17f
Jer 31:22
Ezek 21:24, 35; 23:47; 28:13, 15
Amos 4:13
Mal 2:10

D.    Organization
1.    Target Text --->
2.    Same Context --->
3.    Same Section --->
4.    Same Book --->
5.    Same Author --->
6.    Related Works --->
7.    Unrelated Works
E.    Analysis
1.    Same Book

Creation #1

a.    Gen. 1:1 
Formation qal perfect 3 masculine singular.
Subject/Actor Elohim
Object heavens and earth
Modifier in the beginning (temporal)
Comment This context upholds the idea that this is something new and of course it is a divine activity.
b.    Gen. 1:21
Formation qal 
waw consec imperfect 
3rd person masculine singular
Subject/Actor Elohim
Object the great sea monsters
every living creature
every winged bird
Modifier after their/its kind (2)

c.    Gen. 1:27

Gen. 2:3

Creation #2
Gen. 2:4
Genealogy #1
Gen. 5:1

Gen. 5:2

Gen. 6:7
B.    Other Books
Exod. 34:10

Num. 16:30

Deut. 4:32

II.    Other Authors:  When we move to another author in exegesis we should do so with caution. The questions that the student should keep before himself are:
(1)    Is it necessary to move beyond the original author to come to an understanding of the meaning of the word in question?
(2)    Is the context a similar type of context to our target text?
(3)    Is our writer familiar with or dependant upon our original author?
(4)    Has the language changed by the time of the new author?

A.    Historical Literature

Jos. 17:15
Jos. 17:18
1 Sam. 2:29

B.    Liturgical

Ps. 51:12

Ps. 89:13
Ps. 89:48

Ps. 102:19

Ps. 104:30

Ps. 148:5

C.    Wisdom

Eccl. 12:1

D.    Prophetic

Isa. 4:5

Isa. 40:26
Isa. 40:28

Isa. 41:20

Isa. 42:5

Isa. 43:1
Isa. 43:7
Isa. 43:15

Isa. 45:7
Isa. 45:8
Isa. 45:12
Isa. 45:18

Isa. 48:7

Isa. 54:16

Isa. 57:19

Isa. 65:17
Isa. 65:18

Jer. 31:22

Ezek. 21:24
Ezek. 21:35

Ezek. 23:47

Ezek. 28:13
Ezek. 28:15

Amos 4:13

Mal. 2:10




F.    Drawing Conclusions