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tion in himself. Contradiction is not possible until the ideal passes into reality by the creation of the world of spirits, when it becomes realized in Ahriman. Ahriman assumes an independent character, and, as the creator of darkness, possessing complete power, he opposes himself to Ormuzd the king of light, who remains in unity of existence with the Absolute Being. Evil is given to the world in the same way that good is, and the world itself is developed as a struggle between light and darkness. So also, in the Zend theory, man has to struggle against the attack of Ahriman : man is a creature of Ormuzd, and for this very reason he is the object of the hatred of Ahriman. This latter penetrates into his thoughts, endeavours with all the arts of seduction to turn him from his Creator; and man, who is destined to combat with Ahriman, and to restore by unity with his Creator the diminished splendour of Ormuzd", brings upon himself through sin the works of Ahriman, sickness, death, &c.

“ Very different is the religion of Jehovah, in which the world, and all that it contains, is represented as proceeding from God, who is absolute goodness. The world itself is created good by its divine Author, and God is only one, existing in unity both of being and nature. To Him therefore the origin of evil cannot be referred, and it must be attributed to the finite spirit. According to Zend ideas, the Parsee is always entangled in the path of life by nets of the Evil one, who seeks to draw down the combatant (man) into the realm of darkness, acquiring fresh power with every new sin, and pouring out the measure of misery

On the other hand, to the worshiper of Jehovah, the struggle [against sin] originates only with the man himself; it is caused by man, who mourns in the anxieties of life over his own sin, which estranges him from his God and brings upon him the curse and punishment of the Deity.

upon man.

1 Zendavesta, iii. 384. Appendix, i. 261.

“ Prayer and sacrifice proceed in both religions from this state of things; in the Persian mythology, they are resorted to in order to drive away the evil spirit and to secure the aid of the heavenly powers; in the Hebrew religion, it is under the pressure of affliction that man cries unto Jehovah and entreats the averted Deity for forgiveness of sins and reconciliation'. According to these different views, the circumstances narrated in the two myths have a different application. In the Zendavesta the serpent is the evil principle itself; in the Hebrew, on the contrary, it is a natural serpent, as is unquestionably manifest from chap. 3, ver. 1, 14. In the Persian religion, it is sinful and fatal to eat of the offered fruits, because they are the production of Ahriman ; in the Hebrew, the tree of knowledge is from God, and the sin consists in man's following his own will, and doing what is displeasing to God. Hence it must be clear, that the Hebrew myth differs internally and fundamentally from the Persian; that in the former the pure conception of the unity of Jehovah is developed, while in the latter the dualism of a good and an evil principle is prominently brought forward.

“ It is also worthy of remark, that this theory [of Paradise] remained long unnoticed among the Jews, although a notice of it is contained in the frequent mention of the tree of life in Proverbs (iii. 18; xi. 30; xii. 12, and xv. 4). A more decided reference is made to the myth for the first time in the book of Wisdom (in the Apocrypha) ii. 23, 24'. This late revival of the myth may be explained from the acquaintance obtained by the Israelites with the religion of the Parsees during the Babylonish exile; and the Persian influence is shown in the interpretation of the serpent as Satan, and in the incorporation of this idea into the religion of Jehovah?. Satan is also described as a serpent in the New Testaments, which is in accordance with the opinions of the later Jews4. Thus the old Hebrew form of the myth is brought nearer to the religion of the Parsees; but the Hebrew narrative cannot be derived from the Persian, on account of the fundamental difference in the character of the two myths; although such a derivation has been adopted by Hartmanns, Von Bohlen and Nork?, and the late origin of the Hebrew myth has been consequently inferred by these writers. But if this be the case, why does not Satan, whom the later form of the Hebrew religion admitted, appear already as an actor in this part of Genesis ?

1 Psalms li., cxxx. 39, &c.

“ After all, it must be allowed, that there is a very near connection between these Hebrew and Persian myths, and that both of them proceeded from one original legend, which had spread in different forms throughout the ancient East.”

Professor Tuch next reviews in detail the successive modes of interpreting the narrative of Paradise, which have been adopted by different critics : he observes, that

1 [“God created man to be immortal, and made him to be an image of his own eternity; nevertheless, through envy of the devil came death into the world, and they that do hold of his side do find it.”]

2 See Wisdom, ii. 23, 24, as above. 3 Rev. xii. 9; xx. 2. Joh. viii. 44. Rom. xv. 20. Compare 2 Cor. xi. 3. 4 Eisenmenger, N. Entd. Judenthum, i. 822.

Page, 32, &c. 6 Comment. on Genesis, p. 50 [p. 60 in this volume].

7 Page 90.


66 the

according to the historical explanation of Paradise, trees of life and of knowledge were regarded as real trees, to which the Deity had imparted marvellous powers; that God literally formed man from the dust, and created woman from the rib of the man; that the serpent actually spoke, and that the whole of creation, previously to the fall of man, was supposed to have had a different form from that which it afterwards received when under the curse of God. Thus the serpent was believed even by Josephus', to have been originally gifted with human speech and with feet. Persian ideas became also intermingled, even in the New Testament, with the account of the serpent, and Satan was either represented in the form of this reptile, which is not reconcileable with Gen. ïï. 14, or he was considered to have employed the serpent as his agent, and thus to have given to the serpent tribe its humiliating form. The older Jewish and Christian teachers, including Augustine, who was followed by the reformers, maintained the historical interpretation of this section of Genesis, and in modern times it has received the support of Hengstenberg and Tiele.”

Philo took the lead in the allegorical school?, but Professor Tuch properly remarks, that there are no limits to the play of fancy in this system of allegory, and that the meaning which is adopted is arbitrary, and depends entirely on the ethical and religious feelings of the interpreters. A portion however of the Church Fathers, Clemens Alexandrinus, Origen and Ambrosius, with the Jewish Rabbins, are referred to as the supporters of the allegorical mode of interpreting the account of Paradise. Jerusalem and Teller are described as advancing the following allegory, in order to explain this narrative :

1 Antiq. i. 1, 4.

2 According to Philo (De Opif. Mundi, i. 105), Paradise was regarded as figurative of innocence and the moral nature of man ; the tree of knowledge was the type of wisdom and understanding, and sensuality as the woman was supposed to influence reason, or the man, to submit to the dictates of the serpent, who represented the evil passions.

“The tree of knowledge is the divine law; the tree of life is happiness, which is connected with the fulfilment of the law. The serpent, with its power of speech, is the impulse of desire; the objections which the woman raises are symbolical representations of the feeble resistance of reason, and the actual taste of the forbidden fruit refers to the final yielding to temptation. The perception by man of his own nakedness, is the sense of shame on the commission of a sensual transgression; the concealment of man from the presence of God, and the voice of the Deity calling to him, represent the terrors of a bad conscience, which, after its first threatenings, seeks to relapse into tranquillity. The curse inflicted on the serpent signifies the lowering of man to the animal state, in consequence of a merely sensual life, which is viewed with abhorrence by reason when it awakens again.” In this manner the explanation is carried on throughout.


“Such arbitrary explanations of the narrative proved unsatisfactory, and we can easily conceive how critics became afterwards desirous to return to the historical interpretation, and to avoid its faults. But they started again with a limited view of the subject, considering that a real fact was narrated, which possessed little probability in its present form, and therefore required to be interpreted so that it might really have happened. Everything striking and unusual, it was thought, should be attributed

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