Genesis Chapters 1 & 2: An Exegesis

Cheryl Mason © September 2016

You may have heard about variant stories in Genesis before and you may have brushed them off as being heresy. This is because most people who believe the Bible, believe it to be infallible. There are others who believe the Bible is not infallible, but it is the divinely inspired Word of God. The Bible itself teaches that it is the Inspired Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16). Which raises the question…”What does divinely inspired mean?” One of the best explanations I found for ‘DivineInspiration’ was in a book called, Mikra (Scriptures). Mikra states, “Divine Inspiration stands behind human thought but does not replace it.” My understanding of this is that God allows man to interpret His commands but expects him not to add or take away from them. The potential to add or take away must be there, otherwise God would not have warned us not to do it (Deuteronomy 4:2; Revelation 22:19).

But in all sincerity, how many creation stories are there in the Book of Genesis ─ one or two? It is a question that has bothered me for a while. So, I figured it was time to organize my notes and do a study on Genesis. Only chapters one and two are relevant to this study as they relate to the order of creation.

Before I begin, I want to share a pearl of wisdom from Professor Lawrence Schiffman. I completed his course on The Hebrew Bible a few years ago and in one of his lectures he spoke of the Sacrificial Offering. He mentioned the Hebrew Scriptures speak both of boiling and roasting the Sacrifice. His comment was that if we are unclear as to which one was correct, we should include both. It is not our place to take passages out of the Bible because they contradict another. We could take the correct passages out and leave the incorrect ones in. It is for this reason, the ancient Scribes often left two versions of the same story in the text. I do not think any ANE Scholar would disagree with Schiffman’s assessment of ANE literature.

For serious scholars of the Bible, the difficulties in the text are evident. Some of these challenges can be resolved while others cannot. That is why we have whole schools of Christian Apologetics. Apologists who are dedicated to reconciling difficulties within the text and helping us come to terms with them. They fill whole books with their discoveries and lengthy explanations. Personally, I am not a Minimalists or a Maximalists. I am just honest enough to accept there are difficulties in the Hebrew Scriptures, but nothing that would make me lose my faith in God.

Although the average Christian confesses that the Hebrew Scriptures are infallible (The Word of God) they hold various interpretations of the creation story. In this article I will address some of the difficulties I encountered in the first chapters of Genesis and I will attempt to reconcile them. The topics I will be addressing are:

1) Do all Christians believe the earth is 6000 years old and does the word day mean a twenty-four-hour period or an unspecified period?

2) Why does chapter one use Elohim (God) and chapter two use YHWH Elohim (Lord God)?  I will briefly discuss The Documentary Hypothesis.

3) A common concern for scholars of Genesis is the Order of Creation; Chapter One differs to Chapter Two, I will explain how they are different.

4) Where is the Garden of Eden located? I’m 99 % sure I know where the Garden of Eden was, after years of looking I found a video by Professor Juris Zarins; he found Eden!

5) Finally, I’ll explain how scholars reckon Aetiology influenced the Text.

Genesis is a book of beginnings, the sun, moon, stars, the earth, and the beginning of life itself.  Plant life, bird life, animal life and lastly the beginning of humankind. But mostly Genesis is the birth of the relationship between God and human beings. Genesis means beginning in English, the word ‘beginning‘ is an interesting choice to use in this instance. It is interesting because of thousands of years ago; the Bible stated our universe had a beginning, but it was not until the Hubble telescope (Edwin Hubble 1889-1953) that science established there was a beginning. Before Hubble (1929) and the later Big Bang Theory, scientists believed the Universe was static, always there, with no beginning and no end. Unlike scientists who have the privilege of revising theories, or producing new ones, the Bible is constant and theoretically unchanged.

The English word ‘beginning‘ was adopted from the Hebrew word for Genesis which is Bereshith (pronounced as Bereisheet) which also means to begin. So let us begin:

1) Do all Christians believe the earth is 6000 years old and does the word day mean twenty-four hours or an unspecified period?

I often get asked … “Are you an Old Earth Theorist or a Young Earth Theorist?” I am an Old Earth Theorist. I do not believe the heavens and the earth are only 6000 years old (our years), nor do I believe in the six days (our days) of creation as being literal days (twenty-four-hours). Instead I believe the six days are six periods of time. I hold this view, not because I do not have enough faith to believe in a God who can snap His fingers and call things into existence. But I agree with the Jewish Sources who say that days refer to periods of time; and scriptures like Psalm 90:4; 2 Peter 3:8 “A thousand years is like one-day,” etc., also confirm this.

Genesis chapters one and two are different in as much as they give us two variations of the same story. Chapter one says “days” (some presume a twenty-four-hour period), while Chapter two uses a Hebrew word, “Toledoth” (Genesis 2:4) which correctly translated means generations (periods of time). Out of the 39 times, Toledoth appears, it’s written as generations 38 times.  We know from scripture that a ‘generation‘ for a human being was considered 100 years in the Bible. Nowadays it is considerably less, it is a 25 years.  It is unclear what time-frame generations (Toledoth) means in the context of creation. There are other reasons also for my Old Earth Theory belief which I will mention later.

Rather than falling into just two categories, Old Earth and Young Earth, Christians, fall into four categories when it comes to the creation story. The first one being: they take Genesis literally, word for word and believe as God spoke, it was written by Moses. The others fall into one of the following categories: The Gap Theory, the Age Theory, and the Revelation Theory. The Gap Theory is old, it is based on the assumption that the earth was in a condition of being tohu v’vohu (Chaos) when Elohim (God) discovered it ─ Genesis 1:2 says exactly that. Isaiah (Isaiah 45:18) and (Jeremiah 4:23-27) state, Yahweh never created the earth tohu v’vohu (chaos).  Something happened to our universe/planet earth to turn it into chaos. John Philips who wrote an excellent commentary on Genesis mentions that Franz Delitzsch, an acclaimed Hebrew scholar holds to this view.

I do not think it is necessary to believe in a pre-creation, creation or the old earth being Satan’s domain etc., to believe in The Gap Theory. Tohu v’vohu could just mean that the planet was inhabitable, like other planets in our solar system, that may also display signs of trauma or collision. The Hebrew word (hayah/was) “And, the earth was” can be substituted for ‘became‘ or even ‘happened‘ interchangeably (Genesis 1:2). Whichever term we choose in this instance, it is irrelevant, because, Genesis states, the earth was already there, without form, void and covered in darkness. The Spirit of God hovered over this formless, void, darkness, and God spoke, “Let there be light.” Many people liken this to the light of the Sun, but it wasn’t. God is Light! The light came from Him. Both Isaiah (Isaiah 60:20) and Revelation (Revelation 21:23) mention the sun and moon will become obsolete when we are in the presence of God. The sun and the moon are only temporary lights.

The Age Theory is simply creation over periods (generations) of time; these eras are unknown to us, the secret things belong to God (Deuteronomy 29:29). There is a parallel to this in the Hebrew word Bereshit (beginning). The first letter (B/ב), going right to left appears closed to humans; we do not know what existed before that ─ it’s a principle communicated in Rabbinic Judaism. Which brings me to the Revelation Theory, this also is Rabbinic in its origins, and rather than God creating the heavens and earth in a six-day period, the Revelation of Creation presented to Moses over a six-day period. I asked my Hebrew teacher once about the variations in Genesis one and two, he told me; the first chapter was penned for a lay person and the second for the more discerning type. Perhaps there is some truth in that, but that sort of answer does nothing for my curiosity.

The reason why I resort to Jewish Sources for answers is that when it comes to Genesis, they have supplementary literature; like Bereshith Rabba, The Book of Jubilees (Little Genesis), The Talmud, etc. Theses texts are available to us also, and we should read them.

From a Christian perspective, I believe that when Jesus stated “I go to prepare a place for you” (John 14:3) He indicated to us that a period would pass. Heaven is still made-ready 2000 years later (our time), two days perhaps in His time-frame. But why not snap His fingers, create this place and return immediately? Also, from a Christian perspective, I have no issues with believing in a future re-start (Revelation 21) a brand new Heaven and Earth, so why should I have a problem in understanding a re-start from the past?

Based on what I have presented so far, not all Christians believe in the Young Earth Theory and not all believe in just one Theory. Personally, I favour the Gap Theory and the Age Theory. I am always encouraged when I meet Christians who are free-thinkers and do not think that somehow God would be offended and send them to hell if they question how old the earth is. Even Augustine 1600 years ago said … “Will God be threatened is we ask about the origins of our universe or where humans came from?” Genesis was not meant to be a scientific book neither is it a history book, it is a spiritual book written in ancient times, using traditional concepts, ancient cosmology and poetry. It is composed in a language that very few people in the world speak.

Consider this: If God created heaven and earth 6000 years ago and on Day One, where did He and the Heavenly Host reside before that?

2) Why does chapter one use Elohim (God) and chapter two use YHWH Elohim (Lord God)?  I will also briefly discuss The Documentary Hypothesis:

It is no secret that God’s name in the Hebrew is different in Genesis chapter one than it is in chapter two. In chapter one God’s name is Elohim and in chapter two it is YHWH Elohim. But this Elohim, YHWH/YHWH Elohim variance is not just present in Genesis but throughout the entire Old Testament (the Hebrew Tanakh).

To understand these names further, I need to explain what each name means: Elohim is the generic masculine plural name for God in Hebrew. YHWH is also the name of God but translates more into the personal name for the God of the Israelites. YHWH is a Tetragrammaton. Because this is a very ancient name and pronounced at a time when vowels were absent in the Hebrew language, the original sound appears lost. Hence the Tetragrammaton. Rather than call God by the wrong name it is better to use the shortened version, or as the Jews do, do not call Him YHWH at all, call Him Adonai (Lord) instead. Having said that, most scholars accept that Yahweh is the correct pronunciation of His name; this is achieved by just adding the vowels A and E. The other reason for the abbreviation is because Jews consider God’s name too Holy to mention. They often substitute it with Adonai (Lord) instead. My apologies if I have offended any Jewish people by writing The Name.

A debate has continued for centuries regarding these names, which has led in part to one of the most significant, divisive hypotheses in Christendom. Note it is a hypothesis, it can never be a theory as it can never be proven. Julius Wellhausen, first introduced the Documentary Hypothesis in 1878, and it argues that Moses was not the only author of the Pentateuch (the first five books/The Torah), but four Sources contributed to the writing of the Text. And, depending on who they were, they used subtle differences to identify themselves. The four Sources being JEPD (Yahwist, Elohist, Priestly, Deuteronomy). The sources that are of interest to us in this study are J and E (The Yahwist and The Elohist Source). You may be wondering why ‘J’ if (he/the source) is called Yahwist, it’s because in the German Language J and Y were similar sounding, so words like Yahweh became Jehovah in the German and English rendering of the Bible translations. More information for this is on my video ─ The Letter J and Name Jesus.

Some of the other clues that suggest Moses did not write the Pentateuch are the locations mentioned, ages they were composed, e.g. Iron Age, Bronze Age, etc. mention of Kings, Rulers. From my perspective, this is not just an argument about whether Moses wrote the Pentateuch or not but rather whether he wrote all of it or just parts of it. To say that Moses did not write at all is to contradict the Bible. There are twelve verses at least in the Old and New Testaments that state Moses wrote! Some people argue writing didn’t even exist in Moses’s day, but that’s not true. Written Law Codes from before Moses, proves writing did exist, e.g. The Code of Hammurabi. But references like…“This man Moses was very humble (Numbers 12:3) a rather strange thing to say if you were writing about yourself; and Moses writing about his death and burial (Deuteronomy 34) perhaps leads us to believe that there were others who contributed to these manuscripts.

Wellhausen suggests the Sources also wrote at different times: J-Source in 950 BC in the Southern Kingdom of Judah; E-Source in 850 BC in the Northern Kingdom of Israel; D-Source, which is made up of fragments of J and E in 600 BC and P-Source (Priestly Source) in 500 BC during The Babylonian Exile.

The Documentary Hypothesis is not without its critics, and one of the best books I have read to date that attempts to dispute The Hypothesis is called The documentary hypothesis and the composition of the Pentateuch by Cassuto, U. Any serious scholar of this Hypothesis must read his book. Cassuto addresses each of the five pillars of the Documentary Hypothesis. The pillars being: variation in the name of the deity; different language and styles; contradictions; repetition and duplication; lastly, composite structure. He says that the generic name for God in Babylon was (ilu) which translated as El, also Eloah and Elohim. Elohim (generic God) is used in the Old Testament (Hebrew Tanakh) when referring to non-Israelites such as the Moabites, Ammonites, Ishmaelites, etc. Whereas YHWH or YHWH Elohim refers to Israel ─ the Patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and wherever else God is not generic but specific to Israel. That was a revelation to me!

Although, I was terribly excited by Cassuto’s arguments against pillars one and three, and after starting his book, I became convinced that I was going to have to abandon the Documentary Hypothesis, it all went downhill from there. His attacks against pillars two, four and five were not as convincing. Perhaps it was my lack of knowledge of Hebrew grammar that let me down, although I’m more literate in Hebrew than most, I still failed to grasp his arguments. And for me, he failed to annul the Documentary Hypothesis.

3) The order of creation – Similarities and Differences:

The Documentary Hypothesis states that J Source wrote Genesis chapter one and E Source wrote chapter two. It’s hard to read the two chapters’ side by side and fail to see there may be some truth to this argument. I’m sure there are those who will not agree, but be patient, if at the end of reading this you still believe there was just one author (Moses), that’s fine. If nothing else, you will understand the opposing point of view.

Genesis Chapter One: Order of Creation:

DayTaskReferenceMethod
Day 1Light and DarknessGenesis Ch.1:5Separation
Day 2Heaven and EarthGenesis Ch.1:7Separation
Day 3Land and Water

 

Vegetation

Genesis Ch.1:10

 

Genesis Ch.1:12

Separation

 

Filling

Day 4Sun, Moon & StarsGenesis Ch.1:16Filling
Day 5Sea Creatures and BirdsGenesis Ch.1:22Filling
Day 6Animals and HumansGenesis Ch.1:25-26Filling

Day One:

The Earth was without form and void, and darkness covered the face of the deep, and The Spirit of God hovered over the waters (Genesis 1:2). Elohim begins the first stage of creation with Light. He is that Light (Isaiah 45:18). Elohim separates Light from darkness (Genesis 1:5).

Day Two:

On day two the separation of the heavenly realm and the earthly realm occurs. An interesting word is used to describe the heavens and that word is, firmament. It’s translated from the Hebrew word raqiya which means expanse. Expanse would have been a better word to use in this instance. Ancient cosmology is evident here; old logic was that if water came down then, there must be water above. There is water above ─ we know clouds hold water, but they ancients didn’t know that, it’s obvious they believed some sort of firmament held the water.

Day Three:

Day three experienced the separation of Land and Sea. We know from chapter 1:2 there was already water on earth. After this separation, God filled the water with sea creatures and the earth with land creatures. On day three the dry land was filled with vegetation.

Day Four:

Whereas the first three days were predominantly about separation, day four is all about creating. The celestial bodies ─ The Sun, Moon, and Stars were made in this period. Since the ancients used the sun, moon, and stars to tell time, Rabbinic sources say that this is when time as we know it began. Genesis itself teaches that the sun, moon and stars are for signs, days and years (Genesis 1:14-19). Not forgetting Festivals, which meant day four was not only significant for practical reasons but also for spiritual ones.

Day Five:

On day five the water was filled with sea creatures and the land filled with birds (Genesis 1:21).

Day Six:

Day six appears to be a busy day both in Genesis chapters one and two. The land filled with cattle (Behamah), creeping things (Remes), beasts (ha-hayah) and then finally man and woman (Human). In chapter one man and woman were created in a single creation and not separately. God blessings them “Go forth and multiply” it would’ve been difficult for Adam (male human) to carry out that command on his own. Humans were given three instructions from God: Go forth and multiply; have dominion over the animals on land and sea and they could eat whatever they wanted; fruit, animals, birds, creeping things, basically everything that has life (Genesis 1:29-30).

I will finish chapter one with a quote from John Philips commentary on Genesis. In it, he quotes mathematician Peter Stoner: Stoner, explains that in Genesis One, there are thirteen steps in the creation process. And, that the chances of Moses (or whoever wrote it) getting them right without divine revelation is like one chance in 31 sextillions (31 plus 21 zeros). He claims a raffle with that many tickets would need eight million printing presses, producing 2000 tickets a minute, operating day and night for five million years. The chances of you getting that winning ticket are the same as Moses chances of accidentally writing Genesis Ch.1 and getting the steps correct. Despite whether you believe in a single author or multiple authors the fact remains that the information presented in Genesis One was ahead-of-its-time and the material was not common knowledge.

Genesis Chapter Two: Order of Creation:

DayTaskReferenceMethod
Day 7Shabbat (Rest)Genesis Ch.2:2 
Day

 

6

AdamGenesis Ch.2:7From Dust
Day?Vegetation (After Adam)Genesis Ch.2:5

 

 

 
Day?Beasts of the field, Birds

 

(After Adam)

Genesis Ch.2:19 
Day?Eve (After Adam)Genesis Ch.2:22Adam’s Rib

There are no specific days (except Shabbat/Day 7) and therefore no specific tasks attached to days in chapter two to make a thorough comparison. Instead, we are left to read between the lines and figure out what happened and when it happened. Chapter two for me appears coded, ambiguous perhaps to the untrained eye, but I see it fitting nicely into the religious ordinances of Ancient Israel and to several concepts within the Talmud.

These are the differences I see between the chapters, take a look and then I will explain why I think Chapter Two is uniquely Israelite.

genesis-1-and-2-pic
Cheryl Mason © 2016

When Genesis was composed (written as opposed to being an oral tradition) even if it was as late as 650 BC as Wellhausen suggests, it did not have chapters and verses. Therefore, Chapter One and Chapter Two is one story which starts at Day One and ends on Day Seven and from then on it is all about the “The Day” (Genesis 2:4) which proceeds to tell us about Adam (Adam’s Day/Day 6). That’s how I understand it. And, what I’m going to present may be too far-fetched for most to accept. But I’m going to come out with it nonetheless.

Chapter one is general in nature, the human is non-specific, he doesn’t have a name; his female counterpart created with him, they lived amongst the animals but had dominion over the animals. Their God was also non-specific, He is Elohim. It’s only when Elohim is attached to YHWH it means the God of Israel. In chapter one He (Elohim) Asas’s and Bara’s, He makes, produces and shapes Human. In chapter one Elohim ‘speaks’ and things happen. Human also has no particular dwelling, and he can go anywhere, eat anything, his environment is natural. Human (male and female) had no restrictions put them. There is no mention of Human having a Soul (Nephesh), the Soul is what gives us the ability to live eternally even when our physical body dies.

There is no disputing chapter two is unique to Israel. Two phrases define what’s about to come, and that is The Sabbath and The Day. Human has a name (Adam) after he receives the breath of YHWH. His female counterpart was not with him when he received his Soul (Nephesh), her Soul would come from him when she came forth from his side and when he (Adam) declared the two would become one flesh. Before receiving Nephesh, Adam accomplished certain tasks like naming the animals and tending the Garden. Adam also lived amongst the animals, but he didn’t just have dominion over them, he named them.

A different Hebrew word is present for the construction of Adam; it’s Yatsar. Yatsar has a purpose, it’s more than just being Asa and Bara, Adam was pre-ordained, moulded and formed. Yatsar is a verb; the root is tsa which means to-go-out. But out from what or whom did Adam go? One of the more interesting meanings of Yatsar relates to Israel as a people, e.g. Isaiah 44:21; I have formed (Yatsar) thou are my servant, O Israel. Does the author of Genesis chapter two see Adam as a type of Israel? Several Jewish people told me that Adam (chapter two) was a different species to Human (chapter one) and in fact, Adam was the first Jew.

Now you (Israel) are my sheep, the sheep of my pasture, you are Man (Adam). You Israel, the subject of the verse (Ezekiel 43:31) are called Man (Adam) and gentiles are not called Man (Adam). Gentiles are not an Adam! And the passage goes on to exclude ‘beasts’ and mentions them as non-Jews. (Talmud: Keritot, Chapter One vii.1 D&E). If this is the case it would make Jewish people very special indeed.

Unlike Human in chapter one, Adam lives in an Eden, the Garden of God. Here again, we have the Framework for the religion of Ancient Israel. The Shabbat, Eden, The Tree of Life, Kosher food, Gender roles, man/woman, Adam and Eve formed (Yatsar) and had the breath (Nephesh) of YHWH. Eden is both physical and spiritual. It’s in Eden (Paradise) that YHWH Elohim walks and talks with Adam (Genesis 3: 8). The trees in Eden are both physical and spiritual at the same time: The Tree of Life; Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Adam and Eve ate their food from the Garden of God, and whereas Human could eat whatever he wanted, we see the first food restrictions.

My hope is that I am wrong in interpreting the text in this way, and I would like a nothing more than an Orthodox, Ultra-orthodox or Kabbalist Jewish scholar to tell me that I’m wrong. But somehow I feel that won’t be happening anytime soon. Judaism teaches there are two souls and two creations. And, that Lilith, the first wife of Adam, was too much his equal, created at the same time as him, she became evil and now roams the earth as a seducing evil spirit. Adam’s second wife, the re-built one (Eve) was much more of a helper to him.

I will go one step further and say that Talmudic tradition also teaches Adam himself was (Yatsar-to-go-out) from Human. Human being akin to cattle and wild-beasts, which is pretty much the rest of humanity (non-Jewish) people. When read in this light Genesis appears to support Evolution. Which is why I’m wary of this interpretation of the text.

I do not believe in Evolution, and I know most Christians don’t. Like most Christians I believe Adam and Eve were the first humans created in the image of God (Elohim) the God of the Bible and Adam and Eve are the ancestors of all humans, one race.

Which brings me to my last point: Is both Genesis chapters one and two the inspired word of God? Yes, I believe they are. I have no doubt about that; Genesis Chapter one is for sure and chapter two lays the foundation for the fall of man through sin and disobedience. It’s also where we find the Soul of man that is the breath of YHWH Elohim, without it, man cannot have eternal life. We learn of Eden and the Tree of Life. A promise that carries through into the last book of the New Testament, Revelation. And, most importantly, Genesis chapter two emphasises the union of Adam and Eve, as man and wife, we know it as marriage. But at the same time I believe Chapter Two can be interpreted and used by Rabbinic Judaism to claim the Jewish people are collectively Adam (Nephesh hahaya – living soul) and that Genesis chapter two is the history of Jewish people and not the history of all human beings.

4) Where is the Garden of Eden?

There is a myriad of articles, videos, and books on the whereabouts of the Garden of Eden. I truly believe the video link below will reveal where Eden was located.

Professor Juris Zarins was conducting historical biblical research when he was working at Missouri State University. One of his research topics was to find Eden. The Bible gives the location as having four rivers: Tigris, Euphrates, Pishon and the Gihon (Genesis Ch.2). The Tigris and the Euphrates we all know, flow through Turkey and Syria, but nobody knew where the Pishon and Gihon were. Professor Zarins was able to acquire LandSAT images from NASA and using this data; he found that where the Tigris and Euphrates rivers met there were two extant rivers not visible to the human eye but clearly visible from space. So, there you have it! The Garden of Eden was located in the Persian Gulf. He claims that Eden was a metaphor for when man chose to go his own way and eat the food of this world; they gave up their hunter gathers status and became farmers. He coincides this event with the sea levels rising because of melting glaciers about 6000 years ago.

Start at 4:30 if you don’t to listen to the whole video.

Consider this: How to make a 100 % environmentally friendly human?

You will need 58 pounds of oxygen, fifty quarts of water, two ounces of salt, three pounds of calcium, twenty-four pounds of carbon, a dash of chlorine, a little phosphorus, fat (?), iron, sulphur and a bit of glycerine. (Philips, page 49).

Sorry, I do not have the recipe 🙂

5) How scholars believe Aetiology influenced Genesis Ch.2

It was in my university class on Myths and Legends that I became exposed to the word Aetiology. I must admit I didn’t know the meaning of the word and had to look it up in a dictionary. Aetiology means the causation of an ancient myth or legend, in other words giving reasons for why it happened and how it happened, etc. Why does a woman have pain in childbirth? Or, why does a snake crawl on its belly? Since the professors considered Genesis a Myth, it was lumped together with every other conceivable ancient myth and treated as an equal. As a Christian, I found studying Genesis in that way rather challenging, because I didn’t question the Bible at that stage and felt guilty for being in the class.

Typically, the aetiology principle applied to Genesis chapters two and three more so than it did in chapter one. Nevertheless, there is enough material in chapter two to understand aetiology. I mentioned earlier that a different Hebrew word was used in the creation of Adam then there was in the creation of human. This other word describes a more active God participating in the process, doing things, rather than just speaking. Adam came from the dust, YHWH breathes into his nostrils, he makes Eve from the rib of Adam, etc., etc. The connection that scholars make between Genesis and other ancient creation myths is that they all provided examples of how a man was made.

The Gilgamesh Saga for instance and Greek mythology have their versions of creation. Ea (male) an Akkadian god, female in Sumerian she is known as Enki. By the way these gods MORPH, okay! So, Enki is also Ishtar. As the culture changed and the new civilizations merged and evolved the gods changed accordingly. There’s always been a Queen of heaven so to speak; it’s just her name that changes. The Sabbath itself is Queen according to Kabbalah. Back to Ea, she came from an Ear, because she was supposedly brilliant and in ancient time the ear was the seat of intelligence as was the kidneys, so Ea came from an Ear. Aphrodite came from the foam of Uranus; he was the epitome of masculinity, his genitals were chopped off and thrown into the Aegean Sea, and it was so potent that it foamed up all over the place and she was brought forth, so she is a goddess of love.

There are many more examples, but I think you get the idea. So when it comes to Genesis chapter 2, where Adam stems from dust, which by the way has all the components of the human body, for example, the 59 elements in the earth’s crust are also present in the human body. There is plenty online if you want to pursue that topic further, knock yourself out. The scripture also says, from dust thou art and unto dust, thou shalt return, so we 100% environmentally friendly, we break down completely. I think being made from dust is somehow more plausible than being from an ear or the foaming sperm of a dismembered penis.

I hope I have answered the questions, I set out to answer. I’ve always been fascinated by the book of Genesis, especially the creation story. I believe chapter one because it lists creation as a process, step by step, and as Peter Stoner mentioned it would have been difficult to make that stuff up without some divine revelation. I believe chapter two, because it brought Adam into a personal space with YHWH Elohim, into His garden, eating His food and living amongst His animals. Chapter two should be what every human aspires to, our ultimate goal should be to reside in His presence forever! And, this time obeying His rules.

The end:


References:

Albright, William Foxwell and Theodore J Lewis. Archaeology And The Religion Of Israel. Louisville, Ky.: Westminster John Knox Press, 2006.

“Ancienthebrew.Org”. Ancienthebrew.Org, 2016. http://ancienthebrew.org.

Cassuto, Umberto. The Documentary Hypothesis And The Composition Of The Pentateuch. Jerusalem: Magnes Press, Hebrew University, 1961.

Gladden, Washington. Who Wrote The Bible?. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1891.

Hinson, Todd. Documentary Hypothesis: An Examination Of The JEDP Theory, 2010.

History Channel: Mysteries Of The Garden Of Eden (Part Two). Video, 2008. https://youtu.be/4-5Fmi-lDKY.

Mulder, M. J. Mikra. Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson Publishers, 2004.

Phillips, John. Exploring Genesis. Grand Rapids, Minn.: Kregel Publications, 2001.

Plant, I. M. Myth In The Ancient World. Edgecliff, N.S.W.: Jane Curry Publishing, 2012.

Provan, Iain W, V. Philips Long, and Tremper Longman. A Biblical History Of Israel. Louisville, Ky.: Westminster John Knox Press, 2003.

Schiffman, Lawrence H. The Hebrew Bible. Prince Frederick, MD: Recorded Books, 2008.

The New King James Bible. Nashville: T. Nelson, 1979.

Walton, John H. The Lost World Of Genesis One. Downers Grove, Ill.: IVP Academic, 2009.

Weitzman, Yechiel. The Ishmaelite Exile. Jerusalem: Jerusalem Publications, 2006.


2 Comments on “Genesis Chapters 1 & 2: An Exegesis

  1. Pingback: Genesis Ch. 1 and 2: An Exegesis | Cheryl Mason

  2. Pingback: The Book of Jasher ─ Part One: Adam to Nimrod the Mighty Hunter. | Cheryl Mason

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: