Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Grouping the themes of Genesis 2

Previously I posted on the similarities that Doukhat identifies concerning Genesis 1 and 2, specifically the 9 times that the waw consecutive is used with an imperfect verb and the name of God: Elohim in Genesis 1 and Yahweh Elohim in Genesis 2. The frequency of this phrase in Genesis 1 is apparent as the days are clearly delineated. "And God said", is used over the 6 days in the frequency 1,1,2,1,1,3. Doukhat claims that this is the same frequency in the sections of Genesis 2. However the end of each section in Genesis 2 is not clearly delineated like Genesis 1. Below is the text from each pericope with discussion on the section divisions of Genesis 2 to follow.

Genesis 1

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.

Day 1
And God said, “Let there be light!” And there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good, and God caused there to be a separation between the light and between the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.

Day 2
And God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it cause a separation between the waters.” So God made the expanse, and he caused a separation between the waters which were under the expanse and between the waters which were over the expanse. And it was so.  And God called the expanse “heaven.” And there was evening, and there was morning, a second day.

Day 3
And God said, “Let the waters under heaven be gathered to one place, and let the dry ground appear.” And it was so. And God called the dry ground “earth,” and he called the collection of the waters “seas.” And God saw that it was good.

And God said, “Let the earth produce green plants that will bear seed—fruit trees bearing fruit in which there is seed—according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so. And the earth brought forth green plants bearing seed according to its kind, and trees bearing fruit in which there was seed according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, a third day.

Day 4
And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of heaven to separate day from night, and let them be as signs and for appointed times, and for days and years, and they shall be as lights in the expanse of heaven to give light on the earth.” And it was so. And God made two lights, the greater light to rule the day and the smaller light to rule the night, and the stars. And God placed them in the expanse of heaven to give light on the earth and to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, a fourth day.

Day 5
And God said, “Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly over the earth across the face of the expanse of heaven.  So God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kind, and every bird with wings according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let the birds multiply on the earth.”  And there was evening, and there was morning, a fifth day.

Day 6
And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kind: cattle and moving things, and wild animals according to their kind.” And it was so. So God made wild animals according to their kind and the cattle according to their kind, and every creeping thing of the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

And God said, “Let us make humankind in our image and according to our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of heaven, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every moving thing that moves upon the earth.”
So God created man in his image,
in the likeness of God he created him,
male and female he created them.
And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it, and rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of heaven, and over every animal that moves upon the earth.”

And God said, “Look—I am giving to you every plant that bears seed which is on the face of the whole earth, and every kind of tree that bears fruit. They shall be yours as food.” And to every kind of animal of the earth and to every bird of heaven, and to everything that moves upon the earth in which there is life I am giving every green plant as food.” And it was so. And God saw everything that he had made and, behold, it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning, a sixth day.

Day 7—Conclusion
And the heavens and the earth and all their array were finished. And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. And God blessed the seventh day, and he sanctified it, because on it he rested from all his work of creating that there was to do.

Genesis 2

In the day that Yahweh God made earth and heavens, and not any plant of the field was yet on the earth, and not any herb of the field had yet sprung up, because Yahweh God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was no man to cultivate the ground. And a mist would rise from the earth and water the whole face of the ground.

And Yahweh God formed the man of dust from the ground, and he blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.

And Yahweh God planted a garden in Eden in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed.

And Yahweh God caused to grow from the ground every tree that was pleasing to the sight and good for food. And the tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. And a river flowed out from Eden that watered the garden, and from there it divided and became four headwaters. The name of the first is the Pishon. It went around all the land of Havilah, where there is gold—the gold of that land is good; bdellium and onyx stones are there. And the name of the second is Gihon. It compasses all the land of Cush.  And the name of the third is Hiddekel. It flows east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.

And Yahweh God took the man and set him in the garden of Eden to cultivate it and to keep it.

And Yahweh God commanded the man, saying, “From every tree of the garden you may freely eat, but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall certainly die.”

And Yahweh God said, “it is not good that the man is alone. I will make for him a helper corresponding to him.”

And Yahweh God formed out of the ground every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and he brought each to the man to see what he would call it. And whatever the man called that living creature was its name. And the man gave names to all the livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to all the beasts of the field. But for the man there was not found a helper corresponding to him.

And Yahweh God caused to fall a deep sleep upon the man. While he slept, he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh where it had been.

And Yahweh God fashioned the rib which he had taken from the man into a woman and brought her to the man.

And the man said,
“This one, this time,
bone from my bones
and flesh from my flesh;
she shall be called ‘Woman,’
for from man she was taken.”
Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall cling to his wife, and they shall be as one flesh. And both of them were naked, the man and his wife, and they were not ashamed.

I am not certain that the conclusion  of Genesis 2 starts where Doukhan places it, nevertheless, the outline of the nine paragraphs is as follows,
  1. Make man
  2. Plant garden, put man in garden
  3. Grow trees (including the 2 trees)
  4. Place man in garden
  5. Command man about tree
  6. Man alone
  7. Create animals
  8. Take rib
  9. Make woman
If we are to group and separate these we have several options.

Item #1 is standalone. Items #2, #3 could go together, or both with #4 as they share the theme about the garden. Item #5 could group with #2, #3 and #4; or with #3 and #4; or with #4, or stand alone. Item #6 could be standalone, or with the following 3 items. Item #7 could go with #6, or standalone, or with #8 and #9. Item #8 goes with #9.

So there are potentially several groupings. However it is worth noting that item #2 specifies both the planting of the garden and the placing man in the garden. Items #3 and #4 are an expansion of #2; that is, item #3 is how the garden is made and item #4 reiterates putting the man in the garden and the reason for doing this. Thus Doukhan's grouping seems logical:
  1. Section 1 = item #1
  2. Section 2 = item #2
  3. Section 3 = items #3 and #4
If this is correct, then item #5 does not go with the previous items and is standalone. Which leaves us with options of grouping the other items thus,
  1. #6, #7, #8, #9; or
  2. #6, #7 | #8, #9; or
  3. #6 | #7 | #8, #9; or
  4. #6 | #7, #8, #9
Option 1 gives a total of 5 sections; options 2 and 4 give 6 sections, and option 3 gives 7 sections. Option 4 is Duckhan's claim. I do not currently see anything in the text which favours option 4 over the others, but it reads well. And it leaves us with grouping similar to Genesis 1. That is 6 sections and the use of waw consecutive imperfect with Yahweh God in a frequency of 1,1,2,1,1,3.

Next we will discuss the conclusion.

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