Rashbam may be alluding to the possibility of the world being eternal; even so, however, it is created. In either case the earth, the upper heavens, and the waters existed, i.e., were created, before the light.
Rashbam is, thus, of the opinion that the day begins and ends in the morning.
This phrase is added based on Rashbam's understanding of v. 4 -- that God looked at all that God had created on each day and found it beautiful. Similarly below.
Ling. alt.: Let the earth bring forth vegetation, each grass reproducing.
Ling. alt.: The earth brought forth vegetation, grasses with seed.
Ling. alt.: sources of light.
Hebrew, reqi`a ha-shamayim. Rashbam probably means the realm of the spheres which is above the sky yet below the upper heavens. By the latter, Rashbam probably means the outermost (diurnal) sphere or the realm of the angels; either would be correct. On the spheres, see the commentary of Ibn Ezra to v. 5.
This seems to be the import of the passages cited by Rashbam: 2 Kings 20:9; Joel 3:3; and Jer. 10:2.
Rashbam notes that this is based on the 29 1/2 day cycle of the moon.
Rashbam notes that the twenty-four hour day is calculated from one appearance of the stars to another.
On Leviathan, see Is. 27:1; Ps. 74:14, 104:26; Job 3:8, 40:25; and the rabbinic understanding in Rashi. On the snakes, see Is. 14:29, 27:1.
Hebrew, ha-merkava, refers to the rabbinic understanding of Ezekiel, chapter one.
Rashbam notes that the rabbis understood it as a standard practice for the Torah to make a general statement followed by a more explicit one.
The original of Rashbam's Genesis commentary has been lost here. The text used is supplied by Rosin from other places in Rashbam's commentaries or from sources which quote Rashbam.
Supplied by Rosin from the sources.
The last phrase is Blumenthal's guess of the Rashbam's interpretation.
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