SCRIPTURE LOGIC PUZZLE: Who was Nöãch’s eldest son?

A break from my Who Wrote Genesis series.

Genesis 5:32 lists Nöãch’s sons in the following order:  Shëm, Chäm and Yäpheth.  Tradition interprets that as their birth order.  But is it?

I started wondering about that because many translations translate Genesis 9:24 as Nöãch knowing what his youngest son (Chäm) had done to him.  If Scripture specifically identifies Chäm as Nöãch’s youngest son, then the list in Genesis 5:32 cannot be in birth order because Chäm is listed second.

And then, there’s Genesis 10:21, which most translations translate as “And also to Shem, the father of all the children of Eber, the older brother of Japheth, children were born.”  But a reference note in the New American Standard Bible includes an alternate translation of “or, the brother of Japheth the elder.”

Then I realized that several other translations translated Genesis 9:24 as “his younger son,’ instead of as “his youngest son.” So, that plays into it too.

So, I decided to study this question of who was Nöãch’s eldest son and what was the birth order of Nöãch’s sons.  In seeking the answer , I realized that Scripture did contain the information needed to determine their birth order and the correct translation choices, but we have to be Bereans and earnestly study the Scriptures in order to find the answer.

As I studied the matter, I realized that the question of who was Nöãch’s eldest son was a logic puzzle in Scripture.  I was a little surprised to find a logic puzzle in Scripture, but perhaps I should not have been.  After all, Isaiah 1:18 contains an invitation from YHWH @Élöhîm to His children:  “’Come now and let us reason together,’ says YHWH.”

Now, rather than tell you outright who Nöãch’s eldest son is, I’m presenting the logic puzzle for you to have the fun of solving.   A logic puzzle usually uses a list form to provide sufficient information to reason out validly the answer to the question asked.   The list of Bible verses below constitute the ‘clues’ providing the information needed to reason out the answer.

I use my translations from the Hebrew.  I also use a transliteration of the names from the Hebrew, instead of their English equivalents, just because I like the transliterated Hebrew names.

Scriptures:

  1. “Then Nöãch lived a son of 500 years ~ and Nöãch caused to bring forth Shëm, Chäm, and Yäpheth # ”  [Gen 5:32]
  2. “Now Nöãch [was] a son of 600 years ~ and the Flood became waters over the land # ” [Gen 7:6]
  3. “Now Chäm, the father of Kenaøan, saw the nakedness of his father ~ and he made [it] known to his two brothers outside”. . . . .  Then Nöãch woke from his wine ~ and he knew what he had done  to him –  “benô haqqätän” (his son the younger or the youngest) #  [Gen 9:22, 24]
  4. “and to Shëm were brought forth also ~ the father of all of the sons of ØËber, @áchî yepheth haggädhôl #  (the brother of Yepheth the elder, or, the elder brother of Yepheth) [Gen 10:21]
  5. “Shem [was] a son of a hundred years and he caused to bring forth @Arpakhshädh ~  two years after the Flood #  [Gen 11:10b]

Note on #4. Analysis of the Hebrew grammar and syntax of Genesis 10:21 shows that one can translate “@áchî yepheth haggädhôl” with EQUAL VALIDITY as either “the elder brother of Yepheth” or as “the brother of Yepheth the elder.”

Using the information in these verses, one can reason out who Nöãch’s eldest son was, and from there, what the birth order was of Nöãch’s sons.

The answer can be found here.

Have fun.

Grace and peace to you,

Dori

On the Generations of: Who Wrote Genesis? Part 3: The Proceedings of Nöãch

Continuing with presenting my hypothesis regarding who wrote Genesis.

The Third Section:  Genesis 5.1b to Genesis 6.9a

Here is the New American Standard Version’s translation of the opening and ending verses of the third section.  Again, other translations are much of a muchness.

In the day when God created man, He made him in the likeness of God.

These are the records of the generations of Noah.  Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time; Noah walked with God.

This is how the verses are formatted in the Masoretic text.

Gen 5.1b: beyôm berö@ @élöhîm @ädhäm bidhemûth @élöhîm øäsäh @öthô  #

Gen 6.9:   P q-m-w {} @ëlleh tôledhöth nöãch nöãch @îsh tsadîq tämîm häyäh bedhöröthâw ~ @eth->hä@ëlöhîm hithhallekh:->nöãch #

This is how I translate and format them.

When @Élöhîm brought into existence @ädhäm, in the likeness of @Élöhîm He fashioned him #

These [are] the proceedings of Nöãch.

Nöãch came to be a righteous man without blemish among his contemporaries ~ with the @Élöhîm Nöãch walked himself closely #

Genesis 5.1b

Gen 5.1b:    beyôm berö@ @élöhîm @ädhäm bidhemûth @élöhîm øäsäh @öthô  #

When @Élöhîm brought into existence @ädhäm, in the likeness of @Élöhîm He fashioned him #

This is a case where Gen 5.2 adds understanding to the opening of this section.  Here’s the Hebrew.

zäkhõr ûnepëväh berä@äm ~ wayevärekh: @öthäm wayyiqrä@ @eth->shemäm @ädhäm beyôm hibäre@äm  #

Here’s my translation into English.

Male and female He brought them into existence ~ then He blessed them, and He named their name ‘@ädhäm’ when He had created them  #

Now putting Gen 5.1b and 5.2 together and formatting them as Hebrew poetry (as much as possible in a blog), it reads like this:

When @Élöhîm brought into existence @ädhäm   in the likeness of 
                                               @Élöhîm He fashioned him #
               Male and female He brought them into existence ~
                               Then He blessed them 
         and He named their name ‘@ädhäm’      when He had created them #

I realize that nobody translates these verses as poetry but they sure read like poetry to me.  I see a chiastic parallel between the first and third phrases (third phrase enlarges on the first phrase but in reverse), and repetition bookends in the first and sixth phrases.  Even though they are divided as prose verses in the Masoretic text, I will continue to think of them as a poetic opening to this third section.

Now, in putting the three opening statements of Gen 1.1, Gen 2.4b, and Gen 5.1b in a list, I noticed some interesting things.

Gen 1.1:      In a beginning @Élöhîm brought into existence the heavens and the earth (the cosmos).
berë@shîth bärä@ @élöhîm @ëth hashshämayim we@ëth hä@ärets #

Gen 2.4b     When YHWH @Élöhîm fashioned land and sky (planet earth).
beyôm øásôth YHWH @élöhîm @erets weshämäyim  #

Gen 5.1b     When @Élöhîm brought into existence @ädhäm, in the likeness of @Élöhîm He fashioned him #
beyôm berö@ @élöhîm @ädhäm bidhemûth @élöhîm øäsäh @öthô  #

 

Once again, I would argue that the first phrase of the new section (Gen 5.1b) is a direct imitation of the opening statements of the first two sections (Gen 1.1 and Gen 2.4b).  Here’s the chart comparing Gen 1.1 and Gen 2.4b.  Attached is  Gen 5.1b in the same chart format.  All the opening statements use the same grammar and similar word choices.

Gen 1:1 Gen 2:4b
English Grammar Hebrew Hebrew Grammar English
in a beginning prep/indef noun berë@shîth beyôm prep/indef noun in a day (when)
created verb bärä@ øàsôth verb fashioned
@Élöhîm name @élöhîm YHWH @élöhîm name YHWH @élöhîm
the heavens definite noun @ëth hashshämayim @erets indef noun land
and the earth definite noun we@ëth hä@ärets weshämäyim # indef noun and sky
Gen 5:1b
Hebrew Grammar English
beyôm prep/indef noun in a day (when)
bärä@ verb created
@élöhîm name @Élöhîm
@ädhäm indefinite noun man

Another pattern I see in these three opening statements is time – action – actor – created thing.  They all follow that pattern with no variation.

Verse Time Action Actor Created Thing
Gen 1.1 In a beginning brought into existence @Élöhîm the cosmos
Gen 2.4b When fashioned YHWH @Elöhîm land and sky
Gen 5.1b When brought into existence @Élöhîm @ädhäm

I think that looking at the ‘bones’ of these sentences clearly demonstrates that Gen 2.4b and Gen 5.1b were written in imitation of Gen 1.1.  I think that this also bolsters my contention that these are three separate documents with three different immediate authors.

However, in looking at the three sentences within the structure of Genesis as a whole with Rûãch @Élöhîm as the Author, I see a shape in their content.

Gen 1.1:      In a beginning @Élöhîm brought into existence the heavens and the earth (the cosmos).

Gen 2.4b     When YHWH @Élöhîm fashioned land and sky (planet earth).

Gen 5.1b     When @Élöhîm brought into existence @ädhäm, in the likeness of @Élöhîm He fashioned him #

Gen 1.1 is a very broad brush stroke of @Élöhîm’s creative activity, starting at the very beginning and encompassing the entire cosmos.  @Élöhîm then tells the story of how He re-formed the earth and refilled it with life.

Gen 2.4b picks up on the re-formed earth by narrowing His creative activity down to planet earth.  YHWH @Élöhîm continues His Story with how He fashioned hä@ädhäm and his wife, how they broke the relationship that they had with Him and brought themselves to open shame, and the consequences of that action on their family.

Gen 5.1b picks up on the His creation of @ädhäm and then records the ten generations of @Ädhäm and his descendents through which the Line of the Promise ran.

So, the literary structure that Rûãch @Élöhîm used to this point is like a funnel: the opening starts broadly with the cosmos, the second ring narrows down to planet earth, and the third ring continues the narrowing down to @ädhäm.

I just find the structure interesting and beautifully balanced.

Section 02:  Author and Content

As I stated in Section 01, I think that the ending transition sentences function as signature statements, identifying the author.  Here the author is Nöãch.

These [are] the proceedings of Nöãch.  (Genesis 6.9a)

I think that the rest of 6.9 is the opening sentence of the proceedings of Shëm, which I will get into in Section 04.

Now, compared to the other proceedings, the proceedings of Nöãch are very short.  There’s only two sections:  the Genesis 5 genealogy and an explanation for why YHWH @Élöhîm sent the Flood but spared Nöãch (Gen 6.1-5).

I think it likely that the Line of the Promise had kept a generational record, not because they knew that they were the Line of the Promise, but because they just kept generational records.  So, Genesis 5 is the record of ten generations of Nöãch’s ancestry formatted using a generations formula.

I think it possible that Nöãch developed the list and formula from whatever generational records his fathers had kept, after @Élöhîm informed him that only he and his line would survive the coming Flood.  The records of other lines would not need preserving, although there are kings lists extant from the Sumerian culture of rulers from before the Flood.  For me, this begs the question of what documents/books Nöãch preserved on the ark, but that is not the topic of this post.

So, YHWH @Élöhîm included in His inspired Word only one genealogy out of the antediluvian world: the genealogy of Nöãch, from whom the Line of the Promise would now descend.

I have additional observations on the Genesis 5 genealogy that I think I will keep for a separate post because they get off topic.

Moving on to the only other section of the proceedings of Nöãch, the information about the fallen benê hä@élöhîm and their offspring.  I discussed in my post on Who Told the Story First?  my belief that, as the Storyteller of His Story, YHWH @Élöhîm inspired the writing down of the true events of His Story before the revisionist versions began popping up.

I contend that the Line of the Promise did not write down the true account in response to the revisionist versions that appeared after the Flood, but rather @Ädhäm and Nöãch wrote down the true stories first.  Since Nöãch lived for 350 years after the Flood, it’s possible that he wrote this section after the Flood as part of exhorting his sons to follow YHWH because of what happened to bring about the Flood judgment.

Also, I think that it predates Shem’s writings.  The opening sentences of Shëm’s account only reference the corruption and violence on the earth.  If the records already contained the specifics about the cause of the corruption and violence on the earth, then Shem would not need to repeat that information in setting the scene for his account of the Flood.

I think that the revisionist false stories came about as a result of a deliberate twisting of the truth.  I expect that the first revisionists knew perfectly well what they were doing.   In The Unseen Realm [1], Dr. Michael Heiser presents the view of many Near East Biblical scholars that Genesis 6.1-8 answers the stories about the apkallu (lesser gods, rebel Watchers) in the Sumerian tales point for point with the true record.  But I don’t see why the opposite could not be true: the Sumerian tales twist the true story point for point in their versions.

So, there we are.  Two different interpretations of the origins of the literature that has come down to us.  I don’t know that either one is empirically provable, given that speculation about the authors’ motivations is just that: speculation.  Still, I’ll stick with the idea that YHWH @Élöhîm as the Storyteller wrote His true story down first, and that fallen men, knowing the true story, made up corrupt versions of it in order to take the glory away from the true Creator God, YHWH, and transfer it to their own @élöhîm, the ones who were false to their charge by YHWH to rule the nations in His name (Psalm 82).

Again, I think that “These are the proceedings of Nöãch” is the signature statement ending this section.  The next section begins with the following statement:

Nöãch, a righteous man, was without blemish in his generations ~ with the @Élöhîm Nöãch walked himself closely #

So, on to the next section, Genesis 6.9b to 11.10a, the proceedings of Shëm.

Grace and peace to you,

Dori

[1] Heiser, Dr. Michael. The Unseen Realm.  Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.  2015, pp.102-103

On the Generations Of: Who Wrote Genesis? Part 2: The Book of the Proceedings of @Ädhäm

Continuing with presenting my hypothesis regarding who wrote Genesis.

The Second Section:  Genesis 2.4b to Genesis 5.1a

Here is the New American Standard Version’s translation of the opening and ending verses of the second section.  Again, other translations are much of a muchness.

These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made earth and heaven.  (Gen 2.4)

This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day when God created man, He made him in the likeness of God.

This is how the verses are formatted in the Masoretic text.

Gen 2.4:  @ëlleh thôledhôth hashshämayim wehä@ärets behibäre@äm  ~  (space)
(indent)  beyôm øásôth YHWH @élöhîm @erets weshämäyim  #

Gen 5.1:   zeh sëpher tôledhöth @ädhäm ~ beyôm berö@ @élöhîm @ädhäm bidhemûth @élöhîm øäsäh @öthô  #

This is how I translate and format them.

These [are] the proceedings of the heavens and the earth in their being brought into existence.

When YHWH @Élöhîm fashioned land and sky (planet earth).

This [is] the book of the proceedings of @Ädhäm.

When @Élöhîm brought into existence @ädhäm, in the likeness of @Élöhîm He fashioned him #

Genesis 2.4

Gen 2.4:  @ëlleh thôledhôth hashshämayim wehä@ärets behibäre@äm  ~  (space)
(indent)  beyôm øásôth YHWH @élöhîm @erets weshämäyim  #

 

As I stated in Section 01, I think that Genesis 2.4 should be split into two separate verses, with the first half functioning as the ending signature statement of Genesis One.  The second half is the opening statement for Section 02, the book of the proceedings of @Ädhäm.  However, in comparing Genesis 1.1 to what should have been Genesis 2.1 (instead of 2.4b), I noticed something very interesting.

The writer of Genesis 2.4b appears to have written the opening sentence of the story of how YHWH @Élöhîm fashioned the man and his wife (Genesis 2) in direct imitation of the opening sentence of the story of how @Élöhîm re-formed the earth and re-filled it with life (Genesis 1).

The chart below demonstrates the similarity in the word choices and construction of the two sentences in Hebrew.  Each sentence begins with a preposition attached to an indefinite noun followed by a 3mp verb, the subject, and a merismus[1].  The Gen 1.1 merismus is definite while the Gen 2.4b merismus is indefinite.

In English, Genesis 2.4b reads more like a title than a full sentence, while Genesis 1.1 translates as a full sentence.

[1] Merismus (rhetoric): A metonymic term to describe a type of synecdoche in which two parts of a thing, perhaps contrasting or complementary parts, are made to stand for the whole.  https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/merismus retrieved 12/04/2016

Gen 1:1 Gen 2:4b
English Grammar Hebrew Hebrew Grammar English
in a beginning prep/indef noun berë@shîth beyôm prep/indef noun in a day (when)
created verb bärä@ øàsôth verb fashioned
@Élöhîm name @élöhîm YHWH @élöhîm name YHWH @élöhîm
the heavens definite noun @ëth hashshämayim @erets indefinite noun land
and the earth definite noun we@ëth hä@ärets  # weshämäyim # indefinite noun and sky
‘@erets’ (earth, land) has two major meanings in the OT:  ‘earth’ in the cosmological sense and ‘land’ in the territorial, or a particular spot sense (TWOT 167)[1].  For Genesis Two, I translate it as ‘land’ because I think that ‘@erets  weshämäyim’ (land and sky) is a merismus meaning ‘the planet earth’, the same as the phrase ‘@ëth hashshämayim we@ëth hä@ärets’ (the heavens and the earth) in Genesis 1:1 is a merismus meaning ‘the cosmos.’
‘shämäyim’ (heavens, sky) also has two major meanings in the OT: ‘heavens’ referring to the physical heavens, all that is above the earth, in part or in whole, or heavens as an abode of God (TWOT 2407)[2].  For Genesis Two, I translate it as ‘sky’ as part of the merismus ‘land and sky,’ referring to ‘the planet earth.’

[1] Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament

[2] ibid

When I look at this in Hebrew, I see the writer of Genesis 2.4b deliberately imitating Genesis 1.1 in his grammatical structure and word choices.  I can see the very human reasoning of “if that’s the way that @Élöhîm starts His story, then that’s the way I should start my story.”

To me, this is confirmation that Genesis 2.4 should be split into two sentences, one ending the first story in Genesis and the other beginning the second story.

Section 02:  Author and Content

As I stated in Section 01, I think that the ending transition sentences function as signature statements, identifying the author.  Here the author is @Ädhäm.

This [is] the book of the proceedings of @Ädhäm.  (Genesis 5.1a)

I think that, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, @Ädhäm wrote down his personal account of the stories that most directly concerned him and his sons, stories that told the beginning of the corruption of mankind and the swift-following consequences of his and Chäwwäh’s disobedience in the lives of their sons.

I would title the stories as follows:

  • How YHWH @Élöhîm fashioned hä@ädhäm and his wife (Gen 2)
  • How hä@ädhäm and his wife brought themselves to open shame (Gen 3)
  • A Tale of Twin Brothers (Gen 4)
  • The descendents of Qayin
  • The replacement for Hëvël: Shëth

These are stories foundational to understanding why YHWH sent His uniquely generated Son, Jesus Christ, to redeem His creature @ädhäm.  I contend that they are true stories, a genuine record of the creation of the race of @ädhäm and the beginning of the Line of the Promise, as YHWH gave it in Genesis 3, the Promise that one day Someone would come to restore the relationship broken at the tree.

To recap, I think that Möshëh did not write Genesis as an original document, but rather the Spirit directed him to edit together writings that had been handed down in the Line of the Promise from before the Flood to his day.  He may have added in some editorial comments and clarifications for his day.  Those writings are identified in the Genesis text by the signature statements ending each section.

  • The book of the proceedings of the heavens and the earth (Gen 2.4a)
  • The book of the proceedings of @Ädhäm (Gen 5.1a)
  • The proceedings of Nöãch (Gen 6.9a) [includes genealogical table]
  • The proceedings of Shëm (Gen 11.10a) [includes genealogical tables]
  • The proceedings of Yaøáqöv (Gen 37.2a) (includes genealogical tables)
  • End of Genesis with no signature statement recorded (Gen 50.26)

 

Following the signature statement, “This is the book of the proceedings of @Ädhäm,” the next “book” begins with an introductory statement:

When @Élöhîm brought into existence @ädhäm, in the likeness of @Élöhîm He fashioned him #  (Gen 5.1b)

So, on to the next section, Genesis 5.1b to 6.9a, the proceedings of Nöãch.

Grace and peace to you,

Dori

 

On the Generations Of: Who Wrote Genesis? Part I: Genesis One

In my previous  November post, I presented an introduction to the my hypothesis regarding who wrote Genesis. Prior to that, in a July post, I discussed my theory regarding the patterns I saw in the usage of the phrase “the generations of . . .”  The July essay serves as the foundation for this series of essays on the six writings that I believe Möshëh edited together to form the book of Genesis.

The First Section:  Genesis 1.1 to Genesis 2.4a

Here is the New American Standard Version’s translation of the opening and ending verses of the story in Genesis One.  Other translations are much of a muchness.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  (Gen 1.1)

These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made earth and heaven.  (Gen 2.4)

This is how the verses are formatted in the Masoretic text.

Gen 1.1:  berë@shîth bärä@ @élöhîm @ëth hashshämayim we@ëth hä@ärets #

Gen 2.4: @ëlleh thôledhôth hashshämayim wehä@ärets behibäre@äm ~ (space)
(indent)  beyôm øásôth YHWH @élöhîm @erets weshämäyim  #

This is how I translate them.

In a beginning @Élöhîm brought into existence the heavens and the earth (the cosmos).

These [are] the proceedings of the heavens and the earth when they were brought into existence.

When YHWH @Élöhîm fashioned land and sky (planet earth).

Genesis 1.1

Gen 1.1:  berë@shîth bärä@ @élöhîm @ëth hashshämayim we@ëth hä@ärets #

In a literary analysis that I did of Genesis One, I concluded that Genesis One is an oral story that was written down verbatim and told around the campfires for generations.  Within that context, I think that Genesis 1.1 was the Ancient Near East equivalent of the current practice of dimming the lights to let the audience know that this particular story was about to begin.

The need to capture the audience’s attention before beginning a live pestorytellerrformance has
never changed down through the millennia of storytelling, whether by a storyteller or by actors on a stage or projected on a screen.  I strongly suspect that the storyteller would have stated Genesis 1.1 in a loud booming voice in order to quiet the conversations around the campfire and grab the attention of the audience.  This one short sentence effectively introduces the main character, @Élöhîm, and focuses the audience’s attention on the theme of creation.

However, the sentence structure of Genesis 1.1 is more a part of the discussion of the first sentence of Section 2 than it is part of the discussion of the ending transition point of Section 1.  So, I’ll leave further discussion of it until later.

Genesis 2.4

Gen 2.4:  @ëlleh thôledhôth hashshämayim wehä@ärets behibäre@äm ~ (space)
(indent)  beyôm øásôth YHWH @élöhîm @erets weshämäyim  #

This is the first of the five ending transition statements that I see in Genesis.  In terms of its formatting, it looks to me like the scribe(s) creating the verse divisions in the Masoretic text thought that the two halves of the verse did not form a complete sentence, and therefore separated the two halves of verse 4 by putting the second half on a new line and indenting it.  Also, the silluq (~) indicates a pause when the verse is read out loud.  So, the oral tradition preserves a separation between the two halves of the verse as well as the written tradition.

However, the Septuagint version reads:

This is the book of the generation of heaven and earth, when they were made, in the day in which the Lord God made the heaven and the earth.

<> {} HAútay hay biblos genéste­­­os ouranoû kaì gâys, hóte egéneto, hây haymérai epoíayse Kúrios ho Theòs tòn ouranòn kaì tàyn gâyn,

So, the Septuagint translators did not indicate a separation within the verse.  Yet, I think that the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia preserves a more accurate rendition of the verse by splitting it into two sections.

I agree with the Masoretic text that Genesis 2.4 is not one sentence, but no English translation I’ve found reflects the formatting in the Masoretic text.  They all translate it as one sentence.  But, again, I don’t think that it is one sentence.  Combining the Septuagint and Masoretic texts, I think that verse 4 should be translated and formatted as follows:

This is the book of the proceedings of the heavens and the earth in their being brought into existence #

(Indent)  When YHWH @Élöhîm fashioned land and sky #

My take is that this first transition statement represents the end of one story, Genesis One, or How @Élöhîm re-formed and re-filled the earth, and the beginning of the next story, Genesis Two, or How YHWH @Élöhîm created hä@ädhäm and his ishshäh (wife).  Since they are two separate stories, they might very well have been on separate scrolls, especially since the ending verses for each of these stories uses the phrase “This is the book of the proceedings of . . .”.

Genesis One:  Author and Scribe

Now I also call these transition statements, “signature statements,” because I think that they give the name of the author of the section, except in Genesis One.  As I stated earlier, based on my literary analysis of the text of Genesis One, I concluded that Genesis One is an oral story that was written down verbatim.  It works beautifully as an oral story, but it’s actually a little boring as a written story because of the repetition that an oral story needs to keep its listeners engaged.

So, who told the story first?  Did YHWH Himself as the Angel of YHWH tell @Ädhäm and Chäwwäh (Eve) this story, just sitting around in the Garden of ØËdën in the evening shooting the breeze?  Or, was it perhaps angels teaching them about the world in which they lived?  I rather like the idea of YHWH Himself telling the story, but there’s no way to know that from the text.

So, I speculate that the signature statement gives no human author because the author wasn’t human.  The answer to who told the story of Genesis One first is one that we’ll have to wait for until we get to heaven.

Who wrote the story down?  I think that @Ädhäm is the most logical candidate for the scribe.  He was the first to hear the story.  He might even have been directed to write it down.  In terms of whether or not he was literate and able to do so, I see no reason why @Ädhäm would not have learned to read and write during his 930-year long life.  I expect that the angels would have taught him how to do so.  Both Jubilees and Josephus appear to take it for granted that men could read and write from very early on.  I would think that literacy became a necessity after the population started growing and moving out of ØËdhën, scattering across the globe.  But again, this is information that we’ll have wait on until we get to heaven to hear the answer.

Thus, I think that Genesis One is the first of the pre-Flood books, recording the story of how @Élöhîm re-formed the earth and re-filled it with life, as it lay a wasteland and empty of life under the cover of darkness.  I think that the story and the Hebrew record of it predate the similar Ancient Near East stories and their records, which inaccurately re-told the creation story and incorporated the @élöhîm of the Ancient Near East nations as the “gods” who created the earth and all life on it, including man, instead of giving credit to the @Él ØÉlyön (God Most High), YHWH the Creator.

So, on to the next section, Genesis 2:4b to 5.1a, the book of the proceedings of @Ädhäm.

Grace and peace to you,

Dori