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

 

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