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

On the Generations Of: Who Wrote Genesis? An Introduction

“Now, the phrase “@ëlleh thôlëdôth” occurring only five times and only in Genesis begs the question of why its usage was so limited, but I’ll address why I think this happened in another post .”

So, why do I think that Scripture uses “@ëlleh thôlëdôth” only five times?  Because I think that the phrase was used only for the five scrolls that were written before the time that Yaøáqöv went down to Mitsräyim (Egypt), telling the Story from the rehabilitation of the earth to the death of Yitschaq.  The sixth section that tells the stories of Yôsëph and Yehûdäh lacks this signature statement, but, since it ends the book of Genesis, I suspect that it too was a separate writing.

So, here’s the first part of the essay that I wrote discussing my research and conclusions.

Introduction

In studying YHWH’s Story over the past 20 years, as recorded in the Bible, I believe that Rûãch @Élöhîm (Spirit of God) has led me to the following conclusion:

Mösheh[1] was not the writer of Genesis, but rather he was the editor of Genesis.  He edited together writings handed down in the Line of the Promise over the millennia, three of which pre-dated the Flood.

By the time of Mösheh in Mitsräyim, the writings had probably been copied onto scrolls of vellum or papyrus, whatever their original format had been.  I think that Mösheh just copied them (maybe with some editorial clarifications and maybe not—those could have come later) onto a single scroll, which formed the first book of the Law and set the context for the Law.

I realize that I am probably not the first nor the only person to whom Rûãch @Élöhîm has pointed this out.  However, my research findings and conclusions are original and I’m going to write them up, even if others have already written up their similar research findings.  I’ve already started with my blog post in August, “On the Generations of: A Pattern Usage in Scripture.”  So, on with it.

To summarize “On the Generations of: A Pattern Usage in Scripture,” I concluded, based on my research and analysis, that the phrase “These are the proceedings (tôledôth) of X indicated the end of a section written by X, and that the phrase “Now/And these are the generations (tôledôth) of X” indicated the beginning of a genealogical list of the descendants of X.  The first phrase occurs only in Genesis and (I contend) functions as a transition end point between writings by different authors.

More Patterns

Now, in looking at these ending transition points in Genesis in the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia, which is the Masoretic text, I found other patterns within them.  I also concluded that whoever came up with the chapter and verse divisions for the Masoretic text (c. early 13th century[2]) apparently did not see the patterns that I see because the phrase “These are the proceedings of X” is not numbered as its own verse but rather is the first part of a longer verse.

Given these other patterns, I think that the rabbinical scholars should have separated “These are the proceedings of X” as a separate sentence from the rest of the verse, and probably started a new paragraph, if not a new chapter, for the rest of the verse.  I reiterate, these sentences are ending transition points between writings by different people.

I’ll point out the patterns as I discuss the six sections separately.  The Hebrew is from the Masoretic text found in the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia.  The Greek is from the Septuagint.  The English translation is my own.  The non-letter markings record how the Hebrew appears in the BHS.  For example, <> indicates a new line.

The six sections are:

Gen 1.1 – Gen 2.4a; an oral story written down verbatim

Gen 2.4b – Gen 5.1a; authored by @Ädhäm[3]

Gen 5.1b – Gen 6.9a; authored by Nöãch

Gen 6.9b – Gen 11.10a; authored by Shëm

Gen 11.10b – Gen 37.2a; authored by Yaøáqöv

Gen 37.2b – Gen 59.26; likely authors Yôsëph and Yehûdhäh

In my next post, I’ll look at Section 1, Gen 1.1 – Gen 2.4a.

Grace and peace to you,

Dori

[1] I use a transliteration of the Hebrew names just because I find the Hebrew names very interesting.  Also my transliteration system is my own, loosely based on the official one, but re-worked for use in MS Word; the diacritical marks weren’t available in MS Word in 1996 when I started my research (or, at least I didn’t know how to access them).

[2] http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/14682-verse-division, accessed 11/5/2016

[3] I use @ for aleph and ø for ayin. Half the time I could not tell the difference between the apostrophe and the reverse apostrophe due to bad eyesight. So, I found symbols that I could see and easily distinguish between.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s His Story

 

I’ve been trying to finish my essay on the structure of the book of Genesis, but I keep running into the need to explain why I disagree with the mainstream academic belief about who wrote down these stories first.  So, I’m going to address that briefly here.

During my studies, I have consistently run into the apparently hardcore and vast majority belief among Ancient Near East/Biblical scholars that Sumer and Egypt recorded the creation and flood stories first (c. 4,000 B.C. to 3,000 B.C.), and that the ancient Hebrews wrote down the creation and flood stories  (recounted in Genesis 1-11.10a) much later.  In listening to Dr. Michael Heiser, on his The Naked Bible Podcast[1], other videos and interviews, and in his book The Unseen Realm,[2] this scholars’ belief has come to the forefront again.

While I understand that this has been the belief of scholars for over a century, based on their understanding of the archeaological record, it has never sat well with me whenever and wherever I read it, especially from Ancient Near East scholars who hold that the Bible is the inspired Word of God. I just think that they are starting their understanding in the wrong place.

I see Biblical scholars as looking first to man and the archealogical record for evidence of when and where these stories originated, and then trying to fit into that cultural context the Bible stories, which were not written in stone and lost for centuries in the sands of the Middle East, but rather preserved by YHWH @Élöhîm eventually on scrolls (whatever the original medium was) and handed down over the millennia in a family line/nation.  In their search for truth, I think that these scholars set aside the Storyteller and His telling of His Story, which He made sure never got lost.

I’ll repeat the premise that the Spirit has me working from:  YHWH @Élöhîm is the Storyteller telling His Story on the stage of the earth in the theatre of the universe in order to accomplish His intended through line.  Of course, He inspired hä@ädhäm (the man) to write down the foundational elements of His Story (Genesis 1-11.10a) BEFORE the rebellious nations started telling rip-off stories after the Tower of Babel and substituting their national ‘gods’ for the only true God.

“I am YHWH; that is My name; and I will not give My glory to another, nor My praise to engraved images.”  (Isaiah 42.8)

Unfortunately, at least it seems to me, the Biblical scholars just don’t get that.  The starting point of understanding is YHWH @Elöhîm, the Creator, and not hä@ädhäm, the creature.

The fear of YHWH is the beginning of wisdom; and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.  (Prov 9.10)

I think that this state of affairs grieves YHWH @Élöhîm.  It’s His Story and He went to a great deal of trouble to preserve it so that it would not get lost, but many of those studying His works are giving the glory and praise to the wrong storytellers based on man’s finite understanding and his exalting the archaeological record above all else.

I think that that’s very sad.

May the grace and peace of the Lord Jesus Christ be will you all.

Dori

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Footnotes

[1] Heiser, Dr. Michael S.  The Naked Bible Podcasthttp://www.nakedbiblepodcast.com (retrieved 8/19/2016)

[2] Heiser, Dr. Michael S.  The Unseen Realm.  Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.  2015, 413p.

On the Generations of: A Pattern Usage in Scripture

 

In the 1990s I read Dr. Henry Morris’ The Genesis Record[1].  He postulated that the repeating phrase “These are the generations of . . .” denoted authorship of the section preceding the phrase.  This was in contrast to the commonly held opinion that it serves as a introductory sentence to the subsequent section, as argued in the Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament[2] (TWOT) discussion of “tôlëdôth[3],” a derivative of  “yälad” [to bear, beget, bring forth] (#867).

Dr. Morris identified the authors as God, Adam, Noah, the sons of Noah, Shem, Terah, Ishmael, Isaac, Esau, and Jacob.  However,  in closely examining the phrase usage in Hebrew[4], I concluded that, while Dr. Morris had the right idea, he did not see that this pattern involved two distinct phrases:  one starting with the disjunctive waw (we – translated as ‘now’) and one starting with the demonstrative pronoun “zeh” (singular ‘this’) or @ëlleh (plural ‘these’).

The phrases are:

“These are the generations of” (@ëlleh thôlëdôth)

“Now these are the generations of” (we@ëlleh thôlëdôth).

I agree with Dr. Morris that “These are the generations of X” occurs at the end of a section and signifies authorship, but I think that “Now these are the generations of X” occurs at the beginning of a section and is a title statement introducing a genealogical list.

The TWOT #867 article comments about the meaning of the word ‘tôlëdôth.”

“The common translation as ‘generations’ does not convey the meaning of the word to modern readers.  The English word ‘generations’ is now limited almost entirely to two meanings:  (1) the act of producing something or the way it is produced; (2) an entire group of people living at the same period of time, or the average length of time that such a group of people live.  Neither of these meanings fits the usage of ‘tôlëdôth.’

As used in the OT, ‘tôlëdöth’ refers to what is produced or brought into being by someone, or follows therefrom.”

Thus, I would translate the first phrase as “These are the proceedings of . . . “ as a signature statement to indicate that the previous section was produced by the individual named.  And I would translate the second phrase as “Now these are the generations of . . .” as a title for a list of those descended from or brought forth from the named individual.

Verifying the pattern usage

I decided that the best way to verify this conclusion was to look at every instance of the usage of “these are/were” in the Old Testament.  I wanted to see whether its use without the “we” occurred more frequently at the end of a section and whether its use with a “we” occurred more frequently at the beginning of a section.

I set up a table to count when “these are/were” by itself and in combination with the “we.”  Using e-Sword to identify the verses, I ended up with a table seven pages long.  Therefore, I am only putting the summary count into this essay.

These are the proceed-ings  (end)

And these are the genera-tions (begg) And these are (begg) And these were (end) These are (begg) These are (end)

All these were (end)

4/1            3/2

8

67 7 34 102

20

The specific phrase “these are the tôledöth” occurs only 12 times in Scripture, with a 13th variant of “this is the book of the tôledöth.”  However, in the Septuagint,[5] I found this variant used for one of the 12 occurrances in the Masoretic.

The four instances of “these are the tôledôth” occurring without the “we” all occur in Genesis:

Gen 2.4a:      @ëlleh tôledôth hashshämayim wehä@ärets:  These are the proceedings of the heavens and the earth in their being brought into existence.

Gen 6.9a:      @ëlleh tôledôth nöãch:      These are the proceedings of Nöãch

Gen 11.10a:  @ëlleh tôledôth shëm:       These are the proceedings of Shëm

Gen 37.2a:    @ëlleh tôledôth yaøáqöv: These are the proceedings of Yaøáqöv

The Masoretic variant is:

Gen 5.1a    zeh sëpher tôledöth @ädhäm: This is the book of the proceedings of @Ädhäm.

The Septuagint variant is:

Gen 2.4a       aúta ha bíblos géneseos ouranoû kaì gâs:  This is the book of proceedings of heaven and earth

Six of the eight instances of “and/now these are the tôledöth” occur in Genesis with the last two in Numbers and Ruth.

Gen 10.1a:    we@ëlleh tôledöth benê nöãch:   Now these are the generations of the sons of Nöãch

Gen 11.27a:  we@ëlleh tôledöth terach:  Now these are the generations of Terach

Gen 25.12a:  we@ëlleh tôledöth yishmäøë@l:  Now these are the generations of Yismäøë@l

Gen 25.19a:  we@ëlleh tôledöth yitschäq:  Now these are the generations of Yitschäq

Gen 36.1a:    we@ëlleh töledôth øësäw:  Now these are the generations of ØËsäw

Gen 36.9a:    we@ëlleh töledôth yaøáqöv:  Now these are the generations of Yaøáqöv

Num 3.1a:    we@ëlleh töledôth @ahárön wemösheh:  Now these are the generations of @Ahárön and Mösheh

Ruth 4.18:    we@ëlleh toledôth pärets:  Now these are the generations of Pärets

In looking at the contexts, all of the ‘we@ëlleh’ verses clearly occur at the beginning of a section introducing a list of descendants.  But I don’t think that the same holds true for the ‘@ëlleh’ verses.  My observation of the context is that these occur at the end of a section indicating the author of the preceding section.

The phrase “these are/were” followed by something other than “tôlëdôth” occurs 210 times in Scripture; only 3 of these usages do not involve a list of some kind.

Of the 136 occurring without the “we,” 34 (25%) occur at the beginning of a section and 102 (75%) occur at the end of a section.

Of the 74 occurring with the “we,” 67 (90.5%) occur at the beginning of a section and 7 (9.5%) at the end of a section.

The phrase at Genesis 5.1a inserts ‘sepher’ or ‘book of’ between @ëlleh and tôlëdôth, so I did not count it, but I think it belongs in this category as another ending statement.  The same holds true for the Septuagint’s translation of Genesis 2.4a.

The phrase “All these were” also came up in the search.  It’s not a phrase that I was analyzing, but it is interesting to note that, of the 20 times it is used, it occurs only at the end of a section and never at the beginning of one.  It is clearly a summary statement of what preceded it, which one would expect given the wording.

Thus, I contend that Scripture uses the phrase “these are/were” without the “we” most frequently as a summing up statement at the end of a section or list, while it uses that phrase with the “we” most frequently to introduce a list.  There are exceptions, of course, but overall, that is the usage in Scripture that I have observed.

And again, with respect to the specific phrase “these were/are the tôlëdôth,”—of which all instances without the “we” occur only in Genesis—I reiterate my contention that they occur at the end of a section, and that all instances with the “we” clearly occur at the beginning of a section.

Conclusion

So, based on the overall usage of the phrases “there are/were” and “and/now there are/were” in the Biblical text, I conclude that Dr. Morris was correct in observing that “@ëlleh thôlëdôth” (These are the proceedings of) is a signature statement at the end of a section identifying the author.  I also conclude that I am correct in observing that “we@ëlleh thôlëdôth” (Now these are the generations of) is an introductory statement to a geneaological list of the individual named.

Now, the phrase “@ëlleh thôlëdôth” occurring only five times and only in Genesis begs the question of why its usage was so limited, but I’ll address why I think that happened in another post.

May the grace and peace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

Dori

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Footnotes

[1] Morris, Henry. The Genesis Record. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1976.

[2] Harris, R. Laird, et. al.  Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament.  Chicago: Moody Bible Institute.  1980, 2v.  Article #867.

[3] The transliterated Hebrew and Greek words in this essay reflect my version of the official  transliteration systems.  Since, in the mid-1990s, I did not have access to word processing software that used the diacritical marks of the official transliteration systems, I developed a transliteration alphabet for both Hebrew and Greek using only the letters and symbols available in MS Word (or other word processing systems). This mostly affected the vowels.  However, in Hebrew, I decided to use the ‘@’ sign for the aleph and the ‘ø’ for the ayin because I was having difficulty distinguishing between the apostrophe and the reverse apostrophe in certain fonts.

[4] Using the Masoretic text of the Biblica Hebraica Stuttgartensia.

[5] Brenton, Sir Lancelot C.L.  The Septuagint with Apocrypha:  Greek and English.  London: Bagster & Sons.  1851 (2001, US: Hendrickson),  1138p, 248p.