Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub

2 whole host. And God finished his work, which he had

made, on the seventh day, and he rested on the seventh

day from the whole of his work, which he had made. 3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it, be

cause on it he had rested from the whole of his work which he had created and made.

ideas to include “the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and seas, and all things that are therein.”

Verse 2.—The Septuagint and Samaritan versions have substituted in the first instance hashshishsh for hashshebi'i, (the seventh) in order that it might not appear that the Creator continued his work into the seventh day. This is followed in overscrupulous translations: Ilger says, “ He declared his work finished," and others, “He had finished,” in the pluperfect sense: but the Hebrew has not this?, and the aorist with Vav conversive is here absolutely used as the perfect tense; the language is not quite precise, but the meaning is similar to Exodus xx. 11.

Verse 3.- Bàrà' la'asdth ['created to make,' or 'created and made'] is the completion of the verb by another?, and the same construction as vaydabbér lé'mòr, or higdil la'asdth, Joel ii. 20; 'amalti la'asdth, Eccles. ii. 11, which is best resolved by the simple conjunction [and] into two ideas; for the pato noiñoal of the Septuagint, and “ Quod opus recens formaverat,” as Maurer has it, adds an accessory idea.—God blesses the day and sanctifies it as a blessed day, in opposition to the accursed day in Job iii. 1; and the consecration of the seventh day is the point upon which the whole narrative really turns, as well as the systematic division of creation into days of labour ; so that in fact it appears as if the [first] cosmogony itself had been only described in order to give importance to the sabbath. An interpolation of this arrangement including the division of the whole into six days, which Gabler and Ziegler seek to establish, would deprive the narration of its chief point of support :-compare also Exodus xx. 11; xxxi. 17, and the conformity with the Zendavesta already noticed. We cannot however agree with Hensler and Frayssinous', to assign longer periods to the single acts of creation, although Genesis would then completely coincide with the Zend representation, but we must strictly adhere to the natural days of the text. Hug maintains the inadmissible and unfounded hypothesis, that this description of the creation was meant to form an opposition to the popular belief of the Egyptians, who dedicated each day to a particular deity, and similar intentions have been frequently imagined in the Levitical laws. In the objections which Philo raisess to the creation by days, we must not forget that this philosophical and allegorical critic scarcely adheres to Judaism, and that his views can be as little adduced to oppose the simple words of the text, as those of Origen and the more modern advocates of an allegorical interpretation of the cosmogony.

1 Ewald, Krit. Gram., p. 543.

3 Ewald, Krit. Gram., & 539.

| Défense du Christianisme. Paris, 1825.

De Opere Sex Dierum Comment. Freiburg, 1821. 3 De Allegoria, Leg. i. 122. Pf.

22

SECTION II.

CHAPTER II, 4-III, 24.

SECOND COSMOGONY, AND EXPULSION OF MAN FROM

PARADISE.

The earth is here represented without plants and herbs, because it has not yet rained, but a mist arises and waters the ground. Jehovah forms man of the dust of the earth, breathes into him the breath of life, causes fruit-trees of every kind to grow up in a lovely garden, the situation of which is described, and places in it the newly created man to tend and cultivate it; warning him at the same time not to eat of the tree of knowledge.

Then the world of animals is created and brought to the man [and named by him], but no helpmate is thus found for him: he then sinks into a deep sleep, during which the woman is formed from his rib, and is made a companion for him. The woman, deceived by the serpent, tastes with her husband of the forbidden fruit: both become conscious that they are naked, make for themselves aprons of leaves, and hide themselves from the presence of Jehovah. In punishment for their disobedience pains and labour are assigned to them, and they are both driven by Jehovah out of Paradise.

That these chapters form a closely-connected whole, has been acknowledged by all interpreters; and the intention of this section, which is surrounded with difficulties of all kinds, has in general been rightly estimated. The object of the narrator is to point out geographically the districts first inhabited by the human race, to show how mankind came to full maturity, and how at this first step of civilization inevitable difficulties arose, which had been unknown to the golden age. With this general view he connects special details, which, in forming an estimate of the whole, are to be regarded as important accessory objects; for it was here his purpose to show how man properly bears the name of an earthly being, 'Adam, because he was formed of the earth, and how he had been created with the faculty of speech, since he had invented and given the names of things: the intimate connection between man and woman is likewise explained, as well as the dependency of the weaker sex.

Thus far reflection is certainly manifest in the principal views, and the train of thought cannot be misunderstood; but the motives are forced and are wrought out in a legendary manner; the ideas of the Deity are in the highest degree sensuous, and the lofty dignity and simplicity of the first chapter are entirely lost?. At the same time the views of the author are in all particulars so different from those of the first section, as to make him appear to have written without any connection with that chapter. In the first chapter, the Deity himself names the created works; whereas in the second, man gives to them their names; in the former, man was created after God's image, but here he is formed anew and of clay; in the former, the birds and animals are created by the command of God, here they are formed also of the ground; in the former, trees and herbs spring forth at the creative word,-here, rain and dew are first required; and it seems in fact as if the first myth of creation had been composed near some overflowing river, where, after the subsidence of the water, vegetation suddenly shoots forth; and the second myth had been written in a sterile country, whose fertility is dependent upon rain and dew. In the first section, the universe arises by gradual development, but here the instantaneous creation of the whole is indicated in the brief superscription, chap. ii. 4; and the first section as far as this verse might be taken away, without affecting the internal connection and completeness of the second portion. Supposing then that we were inclined to regard this latter section as a supplement to the first, still the peculiarities of this supplement are too important to be placed to the account of one and the same author. The unprejudiced reader, as Wineri observes, cannot but perceive that there are two cosmogonies; and the attempts to unite them, made by Rink?, by Rosenmüller (in his Scholia), and even by Ewald, however acute and learned the essay of the last, have necessarily proved forced and unsatisfactory. Ewald indeed has himself retracted his attempt as untenable having been led to it only by a feeling of just indignation at the dismembering of Genesis; but it is due to our esteem for this eminent critic, not to pass by his former reasons altogether unnoticed, as they are on record and have been cited by others. The principal argument is, that the second narrative dwells the longest on man and his abode in the garden of Eden; and consequently that the history of man may here follow in proper orders; but

1 See Hartmann, Pentat. p. 190; Winer, Realwört. Adam.

1 Winer's Realwörterbuch (Dictionary), under the word Erde, p. 396.

2 Ueber die Einheit der Mos. Schöpfungsberichte (On the Unity of the Mosaic account of the Creation). Heidelb. 1822.

3 Ewald, Compos. der Genes., p. 192.

« FöregåendeFortsätt »