« FöregåendeFortsätt »
that in general, a more extended detail of the events which happened in the six days of creation might have · been expected. In adopting this view, the expression of the history of the heaven and the earth causes a difficulty, and, as Rosenmüller admits, we must in this single case arbitrarily consider the words 'E'lleh tholědoth (these generations], which are elsewhere always only introductory', as the conclusion of the preceding picture; for the conjecture of Ilgen, that they may properly belong to the very beginning of the first chapter, is quite too hazardous, and without any ground of support. Besides nothing is gained by the transposition of this title, which is by some objected to on account of the distinctive name of God, Jehovah Elohim, contained in it, which appears to be here used with great consistency; and the contradictions of the second narrative remain, notwithstanding every attempt at explanation; such for instance, among others, as that the creation by God's command did not exclude the natural rain from being the fructifying cause of the growth of plants? Here in truth, in opposition to the first chapter, no plants as yet existed upon the earth, nor any man to cultivate the soil : the woman had first to be created from the rib, although both male and female were already created, blessed, and placed as lords over the creation. This therefore renders it necessary, in endeavouring to unite these accounts, to do violence not only to the ideas, but also to the language and its natural construction. Rosenmüller3 is obliged to adopt a pluperfect which does not exist in Hebrew; and even the union
1 See Gen. v. 1 ; vi. 9; x. 1; xxv. 12, &c.
Rosenmüller on chap. ii. ver. 6. 3 Rosenmüller, ii. 19.
which Schumann poorly attempts to effect between the two narratives, is so loose and artificial, that, whilst all hypotheses on this subject exhaust themselves in vain speculation, we cannot purposely shut our eyes to the existence of two different narratives?. In addition to the general tenour of the whole, the name Jehovàh 'Elohim, which occurs here most frequently, also leads to this conclusion; and if anywhere the names applied to God in Genesis have the power of determining the limits of the documents, it is above all in this striking combination, which is very rare except in this narrative. Exodus ix. 30 is the only other place in the Pentateuch in which the name occurs; where, in opposition to the Egyptian gods, it appears to indicate that Jehovah is the God of these gods, and is exalted above them. We meet with the same high title also in 2 Samuel, vii. 22; for David, after extolling the works of God, with the title of Lord God, adds these words :“Wherefore thou art great, O Lord God [Jehovah Elohim]: for there is none like thee, neither is there any
God [Elohim] beside thee.” The passage in Jonah iv. 6 is also significant: Jehovah calls Jonah to the prophetic service; Jonah flees from his presence, and his God is distinguished from the gods of the mariners: the gods of Nineveh are then called Elohim; and thus the contrast is carried on, until Jehovah Elohim causes a gourd to grow up to shelter Jonah, which is withered by the Elohim, and finally Jehovah appears as the God of mercy and forbearance.
If in the above-cited passages Jehovah is made superior to the Elohim, the correcting hand of the Israelites at a later period is here remarkable; and the author certainly intends, as Schumann has remarked, to show by the contrast of the names that Jehovah is greater than the Elohim; but not, as Rosenmüller thinks, that he is also the same who had just before been mentioned as the Creator of the world. The meaning is undoubtedly therefore God of the gods ; only that there is a grammatical difficulty, because we can hardly translate the words, Jehovah of gods, and the combination Jehovah of hosts [Lord of Sabaoth] probably should be corrected into Jehovah, God of hosts; in which way Hartmann fills up the phrase before us. In Psalm lxxx. 8, we have the very expression God of hosts: moreover 2 Samuel vii. 26, is to be translated, “Jehovah, God of hosts, is the God of Israel”; but the passage, 1 Kings xviii. 21, which is here wrongly adduced as a parallel, runs thus,—“If Jehovah is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.” In the translation of this passage of Genesis, we understand that the words God Jehovah are simply in apposition, which opinion many recent critics have also adopted. We may also state that we shall not be able to form a satisfactory judgement respecting the origin of the whole myth, and the time of its composition, until we come to its conclusion.
1 See also Stähelin, Kritische Untersuch. über die Genesis (Critical Examination of Genesis), p. 20.
[CHAPTER II.) 4 This is the history of the heaven and of the earth, when they were created.
When God Jehovah created earth and heaven, there were as yet no plants of the field upon the earth, and no herb of the field had yet sprung up, for God Jehovah had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and no man
Verse 4.—Tholědoth (history] originally signified 'a register of births,' 'genealogy,' and thence general history, as here, in Genesis xxv. 19; xxxvii. 2, and with the later Jews, who use the the words Tholědoth Jeshi, &c., without reference to genealogy. The genealogical study probably first arose under the later kings; for we find the formula ’élleh tholědoth (these generations] most frequently in Genesis, and next in Chronicles. The small h in hib-bùré'àm (they were created], infin. niph. as passive, shows the variation bibro’àm as Kal,—"When he created them,” not Hophal bihobro'àm as Rosenmüller, where the h would remain.
Verse 5.—The section begins with běyom [in the day) verse 4, as in a similar construction chap. v. ver. 1, meaning a general idea of time, or when, with which is connected chap. v. ver. 5, ukol, “then,' and so on; compare chap. iii. ver.5; xix. 4.-Siàch is not a 'tree,' as Schumann supposes, but invariably means' plants, shrubs, and especially hedges, which are tended by man. With this ‘éseb [herbs] would here agree, which undoubtedly includes corn, as
humann conceives; compare chap. i. ver. 11; iii. 18. There was no man existing to cultivate the soil, 'adàmàh: it is well known that Gusset, Dedieu and Hasse seek to trace here the origin of agriculture, which is however indicated in chap. iii. ver. 17, and follows after the expulsion from Eden.—The aorist with terem ['not as yet'] expresses existence in the past, and kol [every] by reason of the negation terem is to be interpreted 'any,'--" there was not yet any herb of the field,” &c.
i Genes. xxi. 15; Job xxx. 4.
6 was there to till the ground. But a mist rose up from
the earth, and watered the whole surface of the ground. 7 And God Jehovah formed man from the dust of the
earth, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life: thus man became a living being.
Verse 6.-éd is here rendered by the LXX. anyi (fountain); but in Job xxxvi. 27, 'édo (its vapour) is rendered vepén (cloud): the fuller form is 'éyd. It signifies in the Aramæan ‘rising vapour,' * thick mist,' and thus seems to be in its outward form a later word; and the more so here, as the physical creation of the vapours and rain forms a contrast to the older and poetical representation of an upper sea.
The aorist here shows the incipient action, which is completed in hishk'à, the mist' watered'.
Verse 7.–Vayyıçer, 'formed,' is a form similar to vayyıkéç, ix. 24, vayydsom, xxiv. 33 ; 1. 26, according to the meaning,
as a potter forms out of earth,” the substance being in the accusative'. In a similar manner Brahma rounds the world-egg in his lap?, and Prometheus forms the earth-born, for whom the divine spark is first stolen from heaven, of clay. According to the Hebrew view also, the principle of life, nishmath chayyım or rùach“, is the divine breath, which however is dissipated with the destruction of the body and loses its proper existence. The distinction between a veŪua and Yuxn (soul and life), as with the Hindoos the breath of God (Brahmâtma) and the breath of life (jivátma) is in no way implied here, least of all in nefesh, 'a being,' which is also applied to animals (and in Leviticus to dead bodies].
Verses 8–15.-These verses contain the description of Paradise, -one of the most difficult problems of mythical geography, though not exactly to be called a geographical fiction ; for no ancient poet invents the locality of his poem, but embellishes with mythical features what is obscurely known. Accordingly we may here hope to attain some degree of clearness by examining on every
1 Psalm xciv. 9, 20.
2 Bhartrih. Sent. ii. 93.