Study Latin from the Bible: Genesis 1, verses 20-31

In this post, you will study the Latin that appears in verses 20-31 of the first chapter of Liber Genesis (Book of Genesis), from the Biblia Sacra Vulgata (Stuttgartensia). These verses cover the fifth and sixth days of creation. This post also completes your study of the first chapter.

In all the posts pertaining to the Latin Bible, I have, to the best of my knowledge and ability, translated the verses literally into English, whilst simultaneously striving to produce an intelligible wording. I have often preferred to use Latin derivatives in English, except when the choice of a derivative would have unduly obscured the translation. In any case, the translation is provided as an educational tool above all else.

The principal parts of the verbs that appear in these verses are listed at the end of this post, for your reference.

Verses 20-31 read as follows:

20dixit etiam Deus producant aquae reptile animae viventis et volatile super terram sub firmamento caeli

 

21creavitque Deus cete grandia et omnem animam viventem atque motabilem quam produxerant aquae in species suas et omne volatile secundum genus suum et vidit Deus quod esset bonum

 

22benedixitque eis dicens crescite et multiplicamini et replete aquas maris avesque multiplicentur super terram

 

23et factum est vespere et mane dies quintus

 

24dixit quoque Deus producat terra animam viventem in genere suo iumenta et reptilia et bestias terrae secundum species suas factumque est ita

 

25et fecit Deus bestias terrae iuxta species suas et iumenta et omne reptile terrae in genere suo et vidit Deus quod esset bonum

 

26et ait faciamus hominem ad imaginem et similitudinem nostram et praesit piscibus maris et volatilibus caeli et bestiis universaeque terrae omnique reptili quod movetur in terra

 

27et creavit Deus hominem ad imaginem suam ad imaginem Dei creavit illum masculum et feminam creavit eos

 

28benedixitque illis Deus et ait crescite et multiplicamini et replete terram et subicite eam et dominamini piscibus maris et volatilibus caeli et universis animantibus quae moventur super terram

 

29dixitque Deus ecce dedi vobis omnem herbam adferentem semen super terram et universa ligna quae habent in semet ipsis sementem generis sui ut sint vobis in escam

 

30et cunctis animantibus terrae omnique volucri caeli et universis quae moventur in terra et in quibus est anima vivens ut habeant ad vescendum et factum est ita

 

31viditque Deus cuncta quae fecit et erant valde bona et factum est vespere et mane dies sextus

Genesis 1:20-31 (Vulgata Stuttgartensia)

Versus 20

dīxit etiam Deus (God also said) prōdūcant aquae (let the waters produce) reptile animae vīventis (the reptile of living soul) et volātile (and the fowl) super terram sub firmāmentō caelī (above the earth under the firmament of the heaven)

  • etiam, also
  • prōdūcere, to produce
  • reptile, reptilis, n., reptile
  • volātile, volātilis, n., fowl
  • anima, animae, f., soul; creature
  • vīvere, to live

Prōdūcant is the third-person plural, present active subjunctive of prōdūcere (to produce). Vīventis is the genitive of vīvēns, which is the active present participle of vīvere (to live).

Reptile (reptile) and volātile (fowl) are both used here in the accusative; they are neuter nouns.

Versus 21

creāvitque Deus (and God created) cēte grandia (the great whales) et omnem animam vīventem atque mōtābilem (and every living and moving creature) quam prōdūxerant aquae (that the waters had produced) in speciēs suās (into their kinds) et omne volātile (and every fowl) secundum genus suum (according to its kind) et vīdit Deus quod esset bonum (and God saw that it was good)

  • cētus, cētī, m., whale
  • grandis, grandis, grande, great
  • omnis, omnis, omne, every
  • mōtābilis, mōtābilis, mōtābile, moving

The neuter cēte is an irregular plural of cētus.

The phrase omnem animam vīventem used in this verse is the accusative of omnis anima vīvēns (every living creature). Similarly, the phrase omnem animam mōtābilem is the accusative of omnis anima mōtābilis (every moving creature). Also found in the accusative here is the phrase omne volātile (every fowl); its nominative form is the same.

Prōdūxerant is the third-person plural, pluperfect active indicative of prōdūcere (to produce).

prōdūxērunt aquae
prōdūxerant aquae
the waters produced
the waters had produced

You encountered the feminine noun speciēs in verse 12, in the phrase secundum speciem suam. You encountered the neuter noun genus in verses 11 and 12, in the phrase iūxtā genus suum. In the current verse, you have secundum genus suum.

Versus 22

benedīxitque eīs (and He blessed them) dīcēns (saying) crēscite et multiplicāminī (increase and be multiplied) et replēte aquās maris (and fill the waters of the sea) avēsque multiplicentur super terram (and let the birds be multiplied upon the earth)

  • benedīcere, to bless
  • eīs, them
  • crēscere, to increase
  • multiplicāre, to multiply
  • replēre, to fill
  • avis, avis, f., bird

Benedīxit is the third-person singular, perfect active indicative of benedīcere (to bless). Following this verb is eīs, which is the dative of (they).

Dīcēns is the active present participle of dīcere (to say).

Crēscite is the second-person plural, present active imperative of crēscere (to increase). Multiplicāminī is the second-person plural, present passive imperative of multiplicāre (to multiply). Replēte is the second-person plural, present active imperative of replēre (to fill).

crēsce!, crēscite!
replē!, replēte!
multiplicāre!, multiplicāminī!

Multiplicentur is the third-person plural, present passive subjunctive of multiplicāre (to multiply).

multiplicantur
multiplicentur
they are multiplied
let them be multiplied

Maris is the genitive of mare (sea). You encountered this noun in its accusative plural form maria in verse 10. Avēs is the plural of avis (bird).

Versus 23

et factum est vespere et māne (and it was done evening and morning) diēs quīntus (fifth day)

  • quīntus, quīnta, quīntum, fifth

You have now encountered the form factumque est in verses 5 and 13, and the form et factum est in verses 8, 19 and 23.

Versus 24

dīxit quoque Deus (God also said) prōdūcat terra (let the earth produce) animam vīventem in genere suō (the living creature in its kind) iūmenta et reptilia et bēstiās terrae (cattle and reptiles and beasts of the earth) secundum speciēs suās (according to their kinds) factumque est ita (and it was done so)

  • iūmentum, iūmentī, n., cattle

Prōdūcat is the third-person singular, present active subjunctive of prōdūcere (to produce). Genere, in the phrase in genere suō, is the ablative of genus.

genus suum
in genere suō

You have now encountered the phrases secundum speciem suam (verse 12), iūxtā genus suum (verses 11 and 12), secundum genus suum (verse 21) and in genere suō (verse 24). In verse 24, you also find the plural form secundum speciēs suās; in the following verse (verse 25), you find the plural form iūxtā speciēs suās.

The plural of the nominative reptile is reptilia; as used in the current verse, reptilia is in the accusative. Similarly, the plural of the nominative iūmentum is iūmenta; as used in the current verse, iūmenta is in the accusative.

Versus 25

et fēcit Deus (and God made) bēstiās terrae (the beasts of the earth) iūxtā speciēs suās (after their kinds) et iūmenta et omne reptile terrae (and cattle and every reptile of the earth) in genere suō (in its kind) et vīdit Deus quod esset bonum (and God saw that it was good)

This verse does not present any usages that have not already been examined.

Versus 26

et āit (and He said) faciāmus hominem (let Us make man) ad imāginem et similitūdinem nostram (to Our image and similitude) et praesit (and let him rule) piscibus maris (the fishes of the sea) et volātilibus caelī (and the fowls of the heaven) et bēstiīs (and the beasts) ūniversaeque terrae (and the entire earth) omnīque reptilī (and every reptile) quod movētur in terrā (that moves upon the earth)

  • homō, hominis, m., man
  • imāgō, imāginis, f., image
  • similitūdō, similitūdinis, f., similitude
  • noster, nostra, nostrum, our
  • piscis, piscis, m., fish
  • ūniversus, ūniversa, ūniversum, entire

Faciāmus is the first-person plural, present active subjunctive of facere (to make). Praesit is the third-person singular, present active subjunctive of praeesse (to rule). Movētur is the third-person singular, present passive indicative of movēre (to move).

Hominem is the accusative of homō (man).

From verse 16, you will recall that the dative diēī and noctī were used after the verb praeesse in the following text: fēcitque Deus duo magna luminaria luminare māius ut praeesset diēī et luminare minus ut praeesset noctī et stēllās. In the current verse, you have more examples of nouns and adjectives in the dative, following this same verb: the plural piscibus, volātilibus, bēstiīs, and the singular universae terrae, omnī reptilī.

bēstia, f., beast
bēstiīs praeest homō
man rules the beasts

reptile, n., reptile
reptilibus praeest homō
man rules the reptiles

piscis, m., fish
piscibus praeest homō
man rules the fishes

volātile, n., fowl
volātilibus praeest homō

man rules the fowls

Versus 27

et creāvit Deus hominem (and God created man) ad imāginem suam (to His image) ad imāginem Deī creāvit illum (to the image of God He created him) masculum et fēminam creāvit eōs (male and female He created them)

  • illum, him
  • masculus, masculī, m., male
  • fēmina, fēminae, f., female
  • eōs, them

Illum is the accusative of ille (he). Eōs is the accusative of (they).

Versus 28

benedīxitque illīs Deus (and God blessed them) et āit (and said) crēscite et multiplicāminī (increase and be multiplied) et replēte terram (and fill the earth) et subicite eam (and subdue it) et domināminī piscibus maris (and dominate the fishes of the sea) et volātilibus caelī (and the fowls of the heaven) et ūniversīs animantibus (and all the creatures) quae moventur super terram (that move upon the earth)

  • illīs, them
  • subicere, to subdue
  • eam, it
  • dominārī, to dominate
  • animāns, animantis, n., creature

Subicite is the second-person plural, imperative present of subicere (to subdue). Domināminī is the second-person plural, imperative present of dominārī (to dominate); piscibus, volātilibus and animantibus are all in the dative following this verb. The verb dominārī is deponent; it has an active sense despite being conjugated in the passive voice.

dominor, I dominate
dominātur piscibus homō
man dominates the fishes

Illīs, which follows the verb benedīcere here, is the dative of illī (they). Eam is the accusative of ea (it).

Versus 29

dīxitque Deus (and God said) ecce (behold) dedī vōbīs (I have given to you) omnem herbam adferentem sēmen (every herb bearing seed) super terram (upon the earth) et ūniversa ligna (and all the trees) quae habent in sēmet ipsīs (that have in themselves) sēmentem generis suī (seeding of its kind) ut sint vōbīs in ēscam (so that they be to you for food)

  • ecce, behold
  • dare, to give
  • vōbīs, to you
  • in sēmet ipsīs, in themselves
  • ēsca, ēscae, f., food

This verse contains nouns already encountered in verses 11 and 12: herba, sēmen, lignum, sēmentis, genus. Adferentem, which is the accusative of the present participle adferēns, also appears in verse 12.

Dedī is the first-person singular, perfect active indicative of dare (to give). Habent is the third-person plural, present active indicative of habēre (to have). Sint is the third-person plural, present active subjunctive of esse (to be).

Vōbīs is the dative of vōs (you). Ēscam, in the phrase in ēscam, is the accusative of ēsca (food).

Versus 30

et cūnctīs animantibus terrae (and to all the creatures of the earth) omnīque volucrī caelī (and to every fowl of the heaven) et ūniversīs quae moventur in terrā (and to all that move upon the earth) et in quibus est anima vivēns (and in which there is a living soul) ut habeant ad vescendum (so that they have to feed upon) et factum est ita (and it was done so)

  • cūnctus, cūncta, cūnctum, all
  • volucris, volucris, f., fowl
  • vescī, to feed upon

You have encountered a number of different terms now to refer to birds, fowl: volātile, avis, volucris. Vescī is a deponent verb; vescor, I eat, I feed. Habeant is the third-person plural, present active subjunctive of habēre (to have).

Versus 31

vīditque Deus (and God saw) cūncta quae fēcit (all the things that He made) et erant valdē bona (and they were very good) et factum est vespere et māne (and it was done evening and morning) diēs sextus (sixth day)

  • valdē, very
  • sextus, sexta, sextum, sixth

You have now encountered the form factumque est in verses 5 and 13, and the form et factum est in verses 8, 19, 23 and 31.

Principle parts of verbs

  • adferō, adferre, attulī, allātum
  • āiō, āiere
  • benedīcō, benedīcere, benedīxī, benedictum
  • creō, creāre, creāvī, creātum
  • crēscō, crēscere, crēvī, crētum
  • dīcō, dīcere, dīxī, dictum
  • dō, dare, dedī, datum
  • dominor, dominārī, dominātum
  • faciō, facere, fēcī, factum
  • habeō, habēre, habuī, habitum
  • moveō, movēre, mōvī, mōtum
  • multiplicō, multiplicāre, multiplicāvī, multiplicātum
  • praesum, praeesse, praefuī, praefutum
  • prōdūcō, prōdūcere, prōdūxī, prōductum
  • repleō, replēre, replēvī, replētum
  • subiciō, subicere, subiēcī, subiectum
  • sum, esse, fuī, futum
  • vescor, vescī
  • videō, vidēre, vīdī, vīsum
  • vīvō, vīvere, vīxī, vīctum