Study Latin from the Bible: Genesis 2, verses 1-7

This post begins your study of the Latin language used in the second chapter of the Book of Genesis, or Liber Genesis, from the Biblia Sacra Vulgata (Stuttgartensia). You will find a link in the index where you can read this Bible online.

You will study verses 1-7 in this post.

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 1-7 read as follows:

1igitur perfecti sunt caeli et terra et omnis ornatus eorum

 

2conplevitque Deus die septimo opus suum quod fecerat et requievit die septimo ab universo opere quod patrarat

 

3et benedixit diei septimo et sanctificavit illum quia in ipso cessaverat ab omni opere suo quod creavit Deus ut faceret

 

4istae generationes caeli et terrae quando creatae sunt in die quo fecit Dominus Deus caelum et terram

 

5et omne virgultum agri antequam oreretur in terra omnemque herbam regionis priusquam germinaret non enim pluerat Dominus Deus super terram et homo non erat qui operaretur terram

 

6sed fons ascendebat e terra inrigans universam superficiem terrae

 

7formavit igitur Dominus Deus hominem de limo terrae et inspiravit in faciem eius spiraculum vitae et factus est homo in animam viventem

Genesis 2:1-7 (Vulgata Stuttgartensia)

Versus 1

igitur perfectī sunt (thus were accomplished) caelī et terra (the heavens and the earth) et omnis ornātus (and every ornament) eōrum (of them)

  • igitur, thus
  • perficere, to accomplish
  • caelus, caelī, m., heaven
  • terra, terrae, f., earth
  • omnis, omnis, omne, every
  • ornātus, ornātūs, m., ornament
  • eōrum, of them

Eōrum is the genitive of (they). Perfectī sunt is the masculine, third-person plural, perfect passive indicative of perficere (to accomplish).

terra perfecta est
caelī perfectī sunt
the earth was accomplished
the heavens were accomplished

Versus 2

conplēvitque Deus (and God completed) diē septimō (in the seventh day) opus suum (His work) quod fēcerat (that He had made) et requiēvit (and rested) diē septimō (in the seventh day) ab ūniversō opere (from all the work) quod patrārat (that He had performed)

  • conplēre, to complete
  • diēs, diēī, m., day
  • septimus, septima, septimum, seventh
  • opus, operis, n., work
  • facere, to make
  • requiēscere, to rest
  • ūniversus, ūniversa, ūniversum, all
  • patrāre, to perform

Conplēvit is the third-person singular, perfect active indicative of conplēre (to complete); conplēre is a variant of complēre. Fēcerat is the third-person singular, pluperfect active indicative of facere (to make). Requiēvit is the third-person singular, perfect active indicative of requiēscere (to rest). Patrārat is the third-person singular, pluperfect active indicative of patrāre (to perform); patrārat is a variant of patrāverat.

Diē septimō is the ablative of diēs septimus (seventh day). The ablative here renders the English in, on; diē septimō, then, means in the seventh day (or, more idiomatically, on the seventh day). You will recall the phrase in prīncipiō (in the beginning) from the first chapter of Genesis, where the ablative is also used; in the beginning can equally be expressed in Latin as prīncipiō, without the preposition in.

Opus suum (his work) is in the accusative here; its nominative form is the same. You have an example of the ablative in the phrase ab ūniversō opere (from all the work); the nominative of ūniversō opere is ūniversum opus.

Versus 3

et benedīxit (and God blessed) diēī septimō (the seventh day) et sanctificāvit illum (and sanctified it) quia in ipsō (for in it) cessāverat (He ceased) ab omnī opere suō (from all His work) quod creāvit Deus (that God created) ut faceret (to make it)

  • benedīcere, to bless
  • sanctificāre, to sanctify
  • illum, it
  • quia, for
  • cessāre, to cease
  • in ipsō, in it
  • creāre, to create

You have here two verbs that you encountered in the first chapter of Genesis: benedīxit, creāvit. You will recall the use of the dative following the verb benedīcere.

benedīxit eīs; benedīxit illīs
benedīxit diēī septimō
He blessed him; He blessed them
He blessed the seventh day

Sanctificāvit is the third-person singular, perfect active indicative of sanctificāre (to sanctify). Cessāverat is the third-person singular, pluperfect active indicative of cessāre (to cease). Faceret is the third-person singular, imperfect active subjunctive of facere (to make); you saw other examples of this conjugation following ut in praeesset and lūcērent.

Illum is the accusative of ille (it).

Versus 4

istae generātiōnēs (these are the generations) caelī et terrae (of the heaven and of the earth) quandō creātae sunt (when they were created) in diē quō (in the day that) fēcit Dominus Deus (the Lord God made) caelum et terram (the heaven and the earth)

  • istae, these
  • generātiō, generātiōnis, f., generation
  • quandō, when
  • quō, that
  • Dominus, Dominī, m., Lord

Istae is the plural of ista (this). Quō is the ablative of quī (that). You first encountered the conjugation fēcit in verse 7. Creātae sunt is the feminine, third-person plural, perfect passive indicative of creāre (to create).

homō creātus est
terra creāta est
the man was created
the earth was created

caelī creātī sunt
aquae creātae sunt
the heavens were created
the waters were created

Versus 5

et omne virgultum agrī (and every plant of the field) antequam orerētur in terrā (before it originated in the earth) omnemque herbam regionis (and every herb of the ground) priusquam germināret (before it germinated) nōn enim plūerat Dominus Deus (for the Lord God had not made it rain) super terram (upon the earth) et homō nōn erat (and there was not man) quī operārētur terram (who worked the earth)

  • virgultum, virgultī, n., plant
  • ager, agrī, m., field
  • antequam, before
  • orīrī, to originate
  • herba, herbae, f., herb
  • regiō, regiōnis, f., ground
  • priusquam, before
  • germināre, to germinate
  • nōn, not
  • enim, for
  • pluere, to make it rain
  • super, upon
  • homō, hominis, m., man
  • esse, to be
  • quī, who
  • operārī, to work

There are two deponent verbs here: orerētur is the third-person singular, imperfect active subjunctive of orīrī (to originate), and operārētur is the third-person singular, imperfect active subjunctive of operārī (to work).

operor, I work
operātur terram homō

the man works the earth

Germināret is the third-person singular, imperfect active subjunctive of germināre (to germinate). Plūerat is the third-person singular, pluperfect active indicative of pluere (to make it rain). Erat is the third-person singular, imperfect active indicative of esse (to be); nōn erat means there was not.

Versus 6

sed fōns ascendēbat (but a spring was ascending) ē terrā (from the earth) inrigāns ūniversam superficiem terrae (irrigating the entire surface of the earth)

  • sed, but
  • fōns, fontis, m., spring
  • ascendere, to ascend
  • ē, from
  • inrigāre, to irrigate
  • superficiēs, superficieī, f., surface

Ascendēbat is the third-person singular, imperfect active indicative of ascendere (to ascend). Inrigāns is the active present participle of inrigāre (to irrigate); inrigāre is a variant of irrigāre. Terrā, in ē terrā, is in the ablative.

Versus 7

fōrmāvit igitur Dominus Deus hominem (the Lord God thus formed man)  līmō terrae (from the mud of the earth) et īnspīrāvit in faciem eius (and breathed into his face) spīrāculum vītae (the breath of life) et factus est homō (and man was made) in animam vīventem (into a living soul)

  • fōrmāre, to form
  • dē, from
  • līmus, līmī, m., mud
  • īnspīrāre, to breathe
  • faciēs, faciēī, f., face
  • eius, his
  • spīrāculum, spīrāculī, n., breath
  • vīta, vītae, f., life
  • anima, animae, f., soul
  • vīvere, to live

Fōrmāvit is the third-person singular, perfect active indicative of fōrmāre (to form). Īnspīrāvit is the third-person singular, perfect active indicative of īnspīrāre (to breathe). Vīventem is the accusative of vīvēns, which is the active present participle of vīvere (to live).

You will recall that the use of the accusative after the Latin in conveys the sense of the English into (motion); the sense of the English in (location) is conveyed by the use of the ablative: in diē quō (ablative; verse 4); antequam orerētur in terrā (ablative; verse 5); īnspīrāvit in faciem eius (accusative; verse 7); factus est homō in animam vīventem (accusative; verse 7).

Eius is the genitive of is (he). You first encountered the noun faciēs in verse 2 of the first chapter: super faciem abyssī. Līmō, in dē līmō, is the ablative of līmus (mud).

Principle parts of verbs

  • ascendō, ascendere, ascendī, ascēnsum
  • benedīcō, benedīcere, benedīxī, benedictum
  • cessō, cessāre, cessāvī, cessātum
  • conpleō, conplēre, conplēvī, conplētum
  • creō, creāre, creāvī, creātum
  • faciō, facere, fēcī, factum
  • fōrmō, fōrmāre, fōrmāvī, fōrmātum
  • germinō, germināre, germināvī, germinātum
  • inrigō, inrigāre, inrigāvī, inrigātum
  • īnspīrō, īnspīrāre, īnspīrāvī, īnspīrātum
  • operor, operārī, operātum
  • orior, orīrī, ortum
  • patrō, patrāre, patrāvī, patrātum
  • perficiō, perficere, perfēcī, perfectum
  • pluit, pluere, plūvī / plūī
  • requiēscō, requiēscere, requiēvī, requiētum
  • sanctificō, sanctificāre, sanctificāvī, sanctificātum
  • sum, esse, fuī, futum
  • vīvō, vīvere, vīxī, vīctum