Friday, April 25, 2008
Two Creations - Two Yuds
Starting in Abraham chapter three, verse 22, God shows Abraham the pre-existence with the spirits of men. Abraham is then shown the spiritual creation and the planning of the physical creation, as ordered by God. The above spans from Abraham 3:22 through 5:5. This process was seven periods long, in the likeness (or pattern) of what was going to take place in the physical creation. At the end of these seven periods there was still no physical creation, as the scripture states there was no “rain upon the earth” because there was no earth yet, and God had not yet “formed a man.”
Then in the remainder of the Book of Abraham, Adam’s spirit is placed into a body, and then he is introduced into the Garden of Eden
Which means we have a more detailed description of the spiritual creation and planning. This is a pattern that the physical creation would follow. Then when describing the physical creation the description is truncated, we just jump to the point where Adam is in the garden. And we see that Adam and all the children of Adam will be created before the end of the sixth (physical) creative period. (LINK)
The doctrine of two creations, a spiritual and a physical, is well established in LDS theology. Supporting this doctrine is the Book of Abraham. Genesis is less clear, at least in the English.
However, as Rashi points out, that when describing the one creation the Hebrew word וַיִּצֶר (“Yasar” - with one Yud - the first creation) is used. “Yasar” is rendered “formed” in our King James version. The letter “Yud” (י) is a symbol of creation. When man is described as being placed on the earth, the word has a spelling of וַיִּיצֶר (with two Yuds). This alternative spelling signals that this is a second creation (the physical). A point that is overlooked in English, but pointed to in the Hebrew. And of course this is all clarified in the Book of Abraham. (Rashi on Gen 2.)
Thanks to Kerry Shirts and Prof. Hamblin for directing me to Rashi's commentary.