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LDS Old Testament Handout 03: Notes on the creation

LDS Old Testament Handout 03: Notes on the creation

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Published by Mike Parker
All Old Testament notes: http://www.scribd.com/collections/4343354
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Notes for this handout: http://www.scribd.com/doc/29505273
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All Old Testament notes: http://www.scribd.com/collections/4343354
Class website: http://bit.ly/ldsarc
Notes for this handout: http://www.scribd.com/doc/29505273
Slideshow for this handout: http://www.scribd.com/doc/29549340

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The Creation: A Parallel Comparison Chart

In the first account, the six days of creation follow a parallel pattern, with the first three days corresponding to the last three: DAY 1: Creation of light DAY 2: Creation of sea and sky DAY 3: Creation of dry land and plants

  

DAY 4: Creation of “lights” (the sun, moon, and stars) DAY 5: Creation of fish in the sea and birds in the sky

DAY 6: Creation of land animals and man, to whom the plants given for food Significant textual variants in JST/Moses and Abraham are noted in italics.

KJV Genesis

Moses (JST Genesis)

Abraham

Notes
JST/Moses changes the Genesis account into a first-person narrative and inserts Jesus Christ’s creative role into the creation story (John 1:10; D&C 76:24; 93:9). The Hebrew word for “God” is ’elohim, a plural noun that uses a singular verb. (Abr. uses the plural throughout.) The word “create” (bara) describes the divine act of fashioning. Abraham’s use of “organized and formed” captures the meaning well. The same word is used in Gen. 2:7 to describe the creation of man from preexisting materials. The word “heaven” here means sky (the visible heavens); “earth” means land (not “the planet earth” as we now understand it). The creation begins with a dark, shapeless, empty, watercovered mass: Chaos, or unorganized matter. “Moved” means hovered, as a bird broods her chicks (Abr. 4:2); the same word is translated “fluttereth” in Deut. 32:11. The Spirit of God was, in a sense, incubating the earth, preparing it for the creative acts which are to follow.

CREATION ACCOUNT #1—DAY 1: CREATION OF LIGHT 2:1 And it came to pass that the Lord spake unto Moses, saying: Behold, I reveal unto you concerning this heaven, and this earth; write the words which I speak. I am the Beginning and the End, the Almighty God; by mine Only Begotten I created these things; yea, 1:1 In the beginning God created in the beginning I created the the heaven and the earth. heaven, and the earth upon which thou standest. 1:2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. 2:2 And the earth was without form, and void; and I caused darkness to come up upon the face of the deep; and my Spirit moved upon the face of the water; for I am God.

4:1 And then the Lord said: Let us go down. And they went down at the beginning, and they, that is the Gods, organized and formed the heavens and the earth. 4:2 And the earth, after it was formed, was empty and desolate, because they had not formed anything but the earth; and darkness reigned upon the face of the deep, and the Spirit of the Gods was brooding upon the face of the waters.

© 2013, Mike Parker

Page 1

For personal use only. Not a Church publication.

KJV Genesis
1:3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. 1:4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

Moses (JST Genesis)
2:3 And I, God, said: Let there be light; and there was light. 2:4 And I, God, saw the light; and that light was good. And I, God, divided the light from the darkness.

Abraham
4:3 And they (the Gods) said: Let there be light; and there was light. 4:4 And they (the Gods) comprehended the light, for it was bright; and they divided the light, or caused it to be divided, from the darkness. 4:5 And the Gods called the light Day, and the darkness they called Night. And it came to pass that from the evening until morning they called night; and from the morning until the evening they called day; and this was the first, or the beginning, of that which they called day and night. 4:6 And the Gods also said: Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and it shall divide the waters from the waters.

Notes
The creative process is one of bringing order to chaos; the first act is separating light and darkness, creating a boundary between the two. In the scriptures, light is always good and of God, the antithesis of darkness and evil. “Good” in this context means suitable or conducive for th e creative purpose. Seven times during the creation naming or blessing follows the creative act (Gen. 1:5, 8, 10, 22, 28; 2:3, 23). Naming can be an indication of sovereignty (2 Kgs. 23:34). The Jewish day begins at sundown, hence day one started with the dark (“evening”), continued through the creation of light (“morning”), and ended with nightfall.

1:5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

2:5 And I, God, called the light Day; and the darkness, I called Night; and this I did by the word of my power, and it was done as I spake; and the evening and the morning were the first day.

CREATION ACCOUNT #1—DAY 2: CREATION OF SEA AND SKY 1:6 And God said, Let there be a 2:6 And again, I, God, said: Let firmament in the midst of the there be a firmament in the midst waters, and let it divide the waters of the water, and it was so, even as from the waters. I spake; and I said: Let it divide the waters from the waters; and it was done; 1:7 And God made the firmament, 2:7 And I, God, made the and divided the waters which were firmament and divided the waters, under the firmament from the yea, the great waters under the waters which were above the firmament from the waters which firmament: and it was so. were above the firmament, and it was so even as I spake. 1:8 And God called the firmament 2:8 And I, God, called the Heaven. And the evening and the firmament Heaven; and the morning were the second day. evening and the morning were the second day.

4:7 And the Gods ordered the expanse, so that it divided the waters which were under the expanse from the waters which were above the expanse; and it was so, even as they ordered. 4:8 And the Gods called the expanse, Heaven. And it came to pass that it was from evening until morning that they called night; and it came to pass that it was from morning until evening that they called day; and this was the second time that they called night and day.

The term “firmament” (or “expanse”) envisions something strong and shiny (Job 37:18 refers to the skies poured out like a molten mirror, and Dan. 12:3 and Ezek. 1:22 portray it as shiny). To the ancients the sky or atmosphere seemed like a glass or metallic dome. (See “Ancient Hebrew Cosmology” on p. 12.) This dome separated the waters below (oceans, or “great waters”—Moses 2:7; Abr. 4:10, 22) from the waters above (the source of clouds and rain). There were openings in the dome,—called “the windows of heaven”—through which God could cast down rain or other blessings (Gen. 7:11; 8:2; Mal. 3:10). Here again the word “heaven” means sky.

© 2013, Mike Parker

Page 2

For personal use only. Not a Church publication.

KJV Genesis

Moses (JST Genesis)

Abraham

Notes
In the beginning the water covered the whole earth (Gen. 1:2); now the water was to be restricted to an area to form the ocean. The picture is one of the dry land as an island with the sea surrounding it. Here again the word “Earth” means land.

CREATION ACCOUNT #1—DAY 3: CREATION OF DRY LAND AND PLANTS 1:9 And God said, Let the waters 2:9 And I, God, said: Let the waters 4:9 And the Gods ordered, saying: under the heaven be gathered under the heaven be gathered Let the waters under the heaven be together unto one place, and let together unto one place, and it was gathered together unto one place, the dry land appear: and it was so. so; and I, God, said: Let there be and let the earth come up dry; and dry land; and it was so. it was so as they ordered; 1:10 And God called the dry land 2:10 And I, God, called the dry land 4:10 And the Gods pronounced the Earth; and the gathering together Earth; and the gathering together dry land, Earth; and the gathering of the waters called he Seas: and of the waters, called I the Sea; and together of the waters, pronounced God saw that it was good. I, God, saw that all things which I they, Great Waters; and the Gods had made were good. saw that they were obeyed. 1:11 And God said, Let the earth 2:11 And I, God, said: Let the earth 4:11 And the Gods said: Let us bring forth grass, the herb yielding bring forth grass, the herb yielding prepare the earth to bring forth seed, and the fruit tree yielding seed, the fruit tree yielding fruit, grass; the herb yielding seed; the fruit after his kind, whose seed is in after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit tree yielding fruit, after his itself, upon the earth: and it was so. fruit, whose seed should be in itself kind, whose seed in itself yieldeth upon the earth, and it was so even its own likeness upon the earth; and as I spake. it was so, even as they ordered.

The Hebrew word translated “grass” literally does mean that (wild tall grass, not `the kind on your lawn), but almost certainly refers more generally to vegetation that includes many of the plants and trees. Just as God had previously divided light from darkness (Gen. 1:4), waters above from waters below (1:7), and seas from the land (1:9), he now divided plant life so that each type reproduced “after his kind,” creating order out of chaos.

1:12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

2:12 And the earth brought forth grass, every herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed should be in itself, after his kind; and I, God, saw that all things which I had made were good;

1:13 And the evening and the morning were the third day.

2:13 And the evening and the morning were the third day.

4:12 And the Gods organized the earth to bring forth grass from its own seed, and the herb to bring forth herb from its own seed, yielding seed after his kind; and the earth to bring forth the tree from its own seed, yielding fruit, whose seed could only bring forth the same in itself, after his kind; and the Gods saw that they were obeyed. 4:13 And it came to pass that they numbered the days; from the evening until the morning they called night; and it came to pass, from the morning until the evening they called day; and it was the third time.

© 2013, Mike Parker

Page 3

For personal use only. Not a Church publication.

KJV Genesis

Moses (JST Genesis)

Abraham

Notes
Most ancient civilizations believed the sun, moon, and other heavenly bodies were gods. The revealed creation accounts correct this by teaching these objects were created by God for the purposes of dividing day and night and marking out years and seasonal celebrations.

CREATION ACCOUNT #1—DAY 4: CREATION OF LIGHTS IN THE HEAVENS 1:14 And God said, Let there be 2:14 And I, God, said: Let there be 4:14 And the Gods organized the lights in the firmament of the lights in the firmament of the lights in the expanse of the heaven, heaven to divide the day from the heaven, to divide the day from the and caused them to divide the day night; and let them be for signs, night, and let them be for signs, from the night; and organized them and for seasons, and for days, and and for seasons, and for days, and to be for signs and for seasons, and years: for years; for days and for years; 1:15 And let them be for lights in 2:15 And let them be for lights in 4:15 And organized them to be for the firmament of the heaven to the firmament of the heaven to lights in the expanse of the heaven give light upon the earth: and it was give light upon the earth; and it was to give light upon the earth; and it so. so. was so. 1:16 And God made two great 2:16 And I, God, made two great 4:16 And the Gods organized the lights; the greater light to rule the lights; the greater light to rule the two great lights, the greater light to day, and the lesser light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the rule the day, and the lesser light to night: he made the stars also. night, and the greater light was the rule the night; with the lesser light sun, and the lesser light was the they set the stars also; moon; and the stars also were made even according to my word. 1:17 And God set them in the 2:17 And I, God, set them in the 4:17 And the Gods set them in the firmament of the heaven to give firmament of the heaven to give expanse of the heavens, to give light upon the earth, light upon the earth, light upon the earth, 1:18 And to rule over the day and 2:18 And the sun to rule over the and to rule over the day and over over the night, and to divide the day, and the moon to rule over the the night, and to cause to divide light from the darkness: and God night, and to divide the light from the light from the darkness. 4:18 saw that it was good. the darkness; and I, God, saw that And the Gods watched those things all things which I had made were which they had ordered until they good; obeyed. 1:19 And the evening and the 2:19 And the evening and the 4:19 And it came to pass that it was morning were the fourth day. morning were the fourth day. from evening until morning that it was night; and it came to pass that it was from morning until evening that it was day; and it was the fourth time. CREATION ACCOUNT #1—DAY 5: CREATION OF FISH AND BIRDS 1:20 And God said, Let the waters 2:20 And I, God, said: Let the bring forth abundantly the moving waters bring forth abundantly the creature that hath life, and fowl moving creature that hath life, and that may fly above the earth in the fowl which may fly above the earth open firmament of heaven. in the open firmament of heaven. 4:20 And the Gods said: Let us prepare the waters to bring forth abundantly the moving creatures that have life; and the fowl, that they may fly above the earth in the open expanse of heaven.
Page 4

On “firmament,” see the note at Gen. 1:6. Notice that, in the Hebrew cosmology, the sun and the moon are placed or set in the dome; they move through the firmament in the sky (just as they appear to do to the earthbound observer).

“Bring forth abundantly” is the KJV English translation of the Hebrew cognate construction “swarm with swarms,” which emphasizes abundant fertility. The same term is used in Gen. 9:7 and Ex. 1:7 to describe human populations.

© 2013, Mike Parker

For personal use only. Not a Church publication.

KJV Genesis
1:21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

Moses (JST Genesis)
2:21 And I, God, created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind; and I, God, saw that all things which I had created were good.

Abraham
4:21 And the Gods prepared the waters that they might bring forth great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters were to bring forth abundantly after their kind; and every winged fowl after their kind. And the Gods saw that they would be obeyed, and that their plan was good. 4:22 And the Gods said: We will bless them, and cause them to be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas or great waters; and cause the fowl to multiply in the earth. 4:23 And it came to pass that it was from evening until morning that they called night; and it came to pass that it was from morning until evening that they called day; and it was the fifth time.

Notes
The Hebrew word translated “great whales” (tanninim) is used for any large sea creature; see Exod. 7:9 (“serpent”), and Isa. 27:1, Jer. 51:34, and Ezek. 29:3 (“dragon”).

1:22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.

2:22 And I, God, blessed them, saying: Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the sea; and let fowl multiply in the earth;

The word “blessed” means “to enrich; to endow,” and in this context probably refers to God’s giving the animals the capacity to reproduce. He then commands them to fulfill this blessing. The commands “be fruitful…multiply…fill” are emphasized in Hebrew by assonance: bara[kh]…parah…ravah.

1:23 And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.

2:23 And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.

CREATION ACCOUNT #1—DAY 6: CREATION OF LAND ANIMALS AND MAN 1:24 And God said, Let the earth 2:24 And I, God, said: Let the earth 4:24 And the Gods prepared the bring forth the living creature after bring forth the living creature after earth to bring forth the living his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, his kind, cattle, and creeping things, creature after his kind, cattle and and beast of the earth after his and beasts of the earth after their creeping things, and beasts of the kind: and it was so. kind, and it was so; earth after their kind; and it was so, as they had said. 1:25 And God made the beast of 2:25 And I, God, made the beasts of 4:25 And the Gods organized the the earth after his kind, and cattle the earth after their kind, and cattle earth to bring forth the beasts after after their kind, and every thing after their kind, and everything their kind, and cattle after their that creepeth upon the earth after which creepeth upon the earth kind, and every thing that creepeth his kind: and God saw that it was after his kind; and I, God, saw that upon the earth after its kind; and good. all these things were good. the Gods saw they would obey.

There are three groups of land animals here: the cattle or livestock (domesticated), things that creep or move close to the ground (such as reptiles and rodents), and wild (undomesticated) animals.

As with plants (Gen. 1:11) and water animals and birds (1:21), land animals reproduce “after their kind.” This is another example of order being created from chaos. For the first time, the Abraham text uses an active voice with regard to obedience: “they *the animals+ would obey,” which seems to indicate some level of agency.

© 2013, Mike Parker

Page 5

For personal use only. Not a Church publication.

KJV Genesis
1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

Moses (JST Genesis)
2:26 And I, God, said unto mine Only Begotten, which was with me from the beginning: Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and it was so. And I, God, said: Let them have dominion over the fishes of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 2:27 And I, God, created man in mine own image, in the image of mine Only Begotten created I him; male and female created I them. 2:28 And I, God, blessed them, and said unto them: Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. 2:29 And I, God, said unto man: Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree in the which shall be the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. 2:30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to everything that creepeth upon the earth, wherein I grant life, there shall be given every clean herb for meat; and it was so, even as I spake.

Abraham
4:26 And the Gods took counsel among themselves and said: Let us go down and form man in our image, after our likeness; and we will give them dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 4:27 So the Gods went down to organize man in their own image, in the image of the Gods to form they him, male and female to form they them. 4:28 And the Gods said: We will bless them. And the Gods said: We will cause them to be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it, and to have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. 4:29 And the Gods said: Behold, we will give them every herb bearing seed that shall come upon the face of all the earth, and every tree which shall have fruit upon it; yea, the fruit of the tree yielding seed to them we will give it; it shall be for their meat. 4:30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, behold, we will give them life, and also we will give to them every green herb for meat, and all these things shall be thus organized.
Page 6

Notes
“Make” is a plural verb, implying that there are at least two individuals indicated in the Genesis story. This is explicit in both JST/Moses (“mine Only Begotten”) and Abraham (“the Gods”). In its ancient Israelite context the plural typically refers to God and his heavenly court (1 Kgs. 22:19 – 22; Job 1:6–12; 2:1–6; Isa. 6:1–8; see also Zech. 3:1–10). The implication is that these others share in God’s “image” and “likeness,” after which they can pattern mankind.

1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 1:28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. 1:29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

The Genesis passage is in poetic verse: So God created man in his own image. In the image of God created he him. Male and female created he them. Whose image is explicit in the JST/Moses account. On “blessed,” see note at Gen. 1:22. “Replenish” is better translated “fill”; the Hebrew word (mahlaw) does not carry the meaning of “re-fill” (i.e., the earth was filled, then emptied, and now needs to be refilled). The same word is correctly translated “fill” in Gen. 1:22. Mankind received dominion and stewardship over the land and animals (Gen. 1:28) and the plants (1:29). “Herb” means “plant.” “Meat” means “food.”

1:30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.

JST/Moses changes “green herb” to “clean herb,” which may indicate an anticipation of the Law given to Moses, specifically the dietary regulations (e.g., Lev. 19:19; Deut. 22:9–11).

© 2013, Mike Parker

For personal use only. Not a Church publication.

KJV Genesis
1:31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

Moses (JST Genesis)
2:31 And I, God, saw everything that I had made, and, behold, all things which I had made were very good; and the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

Abraham
4:31 And the Gods said: We will do everything that we have said, and organize them; and behold, they shall be very obedient. And it came to pass that it was from evening until morning they called night; and it came to pass that it was from morning until evening that they called day; and they numbered the sixth time. 5:1 And thus we will finish the heavens and the earth, and all the hosts of them. 5:2 And the Gods said among themselves: On the seventh time we will end our work, which we have counseled; and we will rest on the seventh time from all our work which we have counseled. 5:3 And the Gods concluded upon the seventh time, because that on the seventh time they would rest from all their works which they (the Gods) counseled among themselves to form; and sanctified it. And thus were their decisions at the time that they counseled among themselves to form the heavens and the earth. 5:4 And the Gods came down and formed these the generations of the heavens and of the earth, when they were formed in the day that the Gods formed the earth and the heavens,

Notes
God had previously pronounced his creations “good” (Gen. 1:4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25); with the creation complete, the whole is “very good.”

CREATION ACCOUNT #1—DAY 7: REST 2:1 Thus the heavens and the earth 3:1 Thus the heaven and the earth were finished, and all the host of were finished, and all the host of them. them. 2:2 And on the seventh day God 3:2 And on the seventh day I, God, ended his work which he had ended my work, and all things made; and he rested on the which I had made; and I rested on seventh day from all his work which the seventh day from all my work, he had made. and all things which I had made were finished, and I, God, saw that they were good; 2:3 And God blessed the seventh 3:3 And I, God, blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that day, and sanctified it; because that in it he had rested from all his work in it I had rested from all my work which God created and made. which I, God, had created and made.

The Hebrew word translated “host” (tsaba) refers to any large assembly, particularly a group assembled for battle. In this case it refers to the plants, animals, heavenly bodies, and other creations filling the sky and land. The word tsaba was sometimes rendered by the KJV translators “Sabaoth” (Rom. 9:29; James 5:4; also D&C 87:7; 88:2; 95:7; 98:2), which should not be confused with “Sabbath.” The Hebrew word shabbat, from which we get our English “Sabbath,” means “to cease,” or, in this context, “to rest.” The Hebrew word translated “sanctified” (qiddesh) means “to make something holy; to set something apart; to distinguish it.” The wording of Gen. 2:3 seems to indicate that the commandment to keep the Sabbath day holy (Ex. 16:23–30; 20:8–11) came first, and the revelation on the creation sequence that came later explained why the Sabbath was holy.

CREATION ACCOUNT #2—THE CREATION OF EARTH AND MAN 2:4 These are the generations of 3:4 And now, behold, I say unto the heavens and of the earth when you, that these are the generations they were created, in the day that of the heaven and of the earth, the LORD God made the earth and when they were created, in the day the heavens, that I, the Lord God, made the heaven and the earth,

The opening phrase “these are the generations” seems to indicate the beginning of a new section of the text. (Compare Gen. 5:1; 6:9; 10:1; 11:10; 11:27; 25:12; 25:19; 36:1; 36:9; 37:2; Ex. 1:1; Deut. 1:1.) Most Biblical scholars believe that the creation accounts in Gen. 1:1–2:3 and 2:4– 3:24 are from two different textual traditions—the Priestly

© 2013, Mike Parker

Page 7

For personal use only. Not a Church publication.

KJV Genesis
2:5 And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.

Moses (JST Genesis)
3:5 And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew. For I, the Lord God, created all things, of which I have spoken, spiritually, before they were naturally upon the face of the earth. For I, the Lord God, had not caused it to rain upon the face of the earth. And I, the Lord God, had created all the children of men; and not yet a man to till the ground; for in heaven created I them; and there was not yet flesh upon the earth, neither in the water, neither in the air; 3:6 But I, the Lord God, spake, and there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground. 3:7 And I, the Lord God, formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul, the first flesh upon the earth, the first man also; nevertheless, all things were before created; but spiritually were they created and made according to my word.

Abraham
5:5 According to all that which they had said concerning every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew; for the Gods had not caused it to rain upon the earth when they counseled to do them, and had not formed a man to till the ground.

Notes
(P) Source and the Jahwist (J) Source—that were combined at some later date. (Note that Gen. 2:5 indicates that man has not yet been created, even though Gen. 1:27–31 explicitly states that God has already created man. The Abraham text reconciles this in 5:3–4 by making the former account a plan and the latter the carrying out of that plan.) In the Old Testament, “LORD” in capitals indicates the name “Jehovah” (Heb. yhwh) in the original text. Most modern translators follow the Jewish custom of replacing this word with adonai (“lord”), out of respect for the divine name. This is the first appearance of yhwh in the Genesis text. JST/Moses does not capitalize “Lord,” and Abraham 5 does not contain the word at all. The JST/Moses account differentiates between a “spiritual” and a “natural” creation in Moses 3:5, 7. “Mist” is better translated “springs *of water+.”

2:6 But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground. 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

5:6 But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground. 5:7 And the Gods formed man from the dust of the ground, and took his spirit (that is, the man's spirit), and put it into him; and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul.

The creation of man described in these accounts is allegorical; see Moses 6:59 and Brigham Young’s comments in Journal of Discourses 2:6, 3:319, 7:285, and 11:122. Human life is described here as consisting of a body (made from soil from the ground) and spirit (given by God). Together they are “a living soul” (Heb. nefesh). Compare D&C 88:15; see also Moses 3:9 and 3:19.

CREATION ACCOUNT #2—THE GARDEN OF EDEN 2:8 And the LORD God planted a 3:8 And I, the Lord God, planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there garden eastward in Eden, and there he put the man whom he had I put the man whom I had formed. formed.

5:8 And the Gods planted a garden, eastward in Eden, and there they put the man, whose spirit they had put into the body which they had formed

The text assumes that the garden is “eastward” from the perspective of the land of Israel, particularly since the rivers in the area (Gen. 2:11–14) are identified as the rivers in those eastern regions. Joseph Smith’s revelations indicate that Adam spent his final mortal years in what is now the

© 2013, Mike Parker

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KJV Genesis
2:9 And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

Moses (JST Genesis)
3:9 And out of the ground made I, the Lord God, to grow every tree, naturally, that is pleasant to the sight of man; and man could behold it. And it became also a living soul. For it was spiritual in the day that I created it; for it remaineth in the sphere in which I, God, created it, yea, even all things which I prepared for the use of man; and man saw that it was good for food. And I, the Lord God, planted the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and also the tree of knowledge of good and evil. 3:10 And I, the Lord God, caused a river to go out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads. 3:11 And I, the Lord God, called the name of the first Pison, and it compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where I, the Lord God, created much gold; 3:12 And the gold of that land was good, and there was bdellium and the onyx stone. 3:13 And the name of the second river was called Gihon; the same that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia. 3:14 And the name of the third river was Hiddekel; that which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river was the Euphrates.

Abraham
5:9 And out of the ground made the Gods to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food; the tree of life, also, in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

Notes
American Midwest (D&C 107:53; 116:1). The name “Eden” (eden) means pleasure in Hebrew. Moses 3:9 notes that plants, in addition to men, also have spirits and are therefore souls (see also Moses 3:19). Lehi gives us more information about the purpose of the tree of life in 2 Ne. 2:14–16.

2:10 And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads. 2:11 The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; 2:12 And the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone. 2:13 And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia. 2:14 And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates.

5:10 There was a river running out of Eden, to water the garden, and from thence it was parted and became into four heads.

The geographical construct here is a single river flowing from the garden, and from thence parting into four major rivers: The Pishon, the Gihon, the Tigris (Hiddekel), and the Euphrates. The latter two run through modern-day Iraq. Ethiopia is south of Egypt in the Horn of Africa. The location of Havilah is unknown; the author may be referring to Arabia near the Persian Gulf. The geography doesn’t work, however: The Tigris and Euphrates don’t come anywhere near Ethiopia. The description probably reflects the mythological geographical understanding of the Israelites in their pre-cartographic world. Abraham’s account omits the names of the rivers.

CREATION ACCOUNT #2—THE TREE OF KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL 2:15 And the LORD God took the 3:15 And I, the Lord God, took the 5:11 And the Gods took the man man, and put him into the garden man, and put him into the Garden and put him in the Garden of Eden, of Eden to dress it and to keep it. of Eden, to dress it, and to keep it. to dress it and to keep it.
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KJV Genesis
2:16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

Moses (JST Genesis)
3:16 And I, the Lord God, commanded the man, saying: Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat, 3:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it, nevertheless, thou mayest choose for thyself, for it is given unto thee; but, remember that I forbid it, for in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

Abraham
5:12 And the Gods commanded the man, saying: Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat, 5:13 But of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it; for in the time that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die.

Notes
This is the first time that the verb “to command” (Heb. tsavah) appears. The first commandment given was obedience; God created Adam and Eve and then tested them “to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them” (Abr. 3:25). JST/Moses adds choice and agency to the text. When Adam and Eve partook of the fruit, they did not physically die “in *that+ day.” Their death was spiritual; their mortality was prolonged to give them the opportunity to repent to learn to be obedient (2 Ne. 2:21; Alma 12:24; 42:4). Abraham’s creation account—and the mention of measurement of time in this verse—is an extension of the astronomical instructions he received as he prepared to go into Egypt (Abr. 3:1–18).

Now I, Abraham, saw that it was after the Lord's time, which was after the time of Kolob; for as yet the Gods had not appointed unto Adam his reckoning. CREATION ACCOUNT #2—NAMING THE ANIMALS 2:18 And the LORD God said, It is not 3:18 And I, the Lord God, said unto good that the man should be alone; mine Only Begotten, that it was not I will make him an help meet for good that the man should be alone; him. wherefore, I will make an help meet for him. 2:19 And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. 3:19 And out of the ground I, the Lord God, formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and commanded that they should come unto Adam, to see what he would call them; and they were also living souls; for I, God, breathed into them the breath of life, and commanded that whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that should be the name thereof. 3:20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but as for Adam, there was not found an help meet for him. 5:14 And the Gods said: Let us make an help meet for the man, for it is not good that the man should be alone, therefore we will form an help meet for him. 5:20 And out of the ground the Gods formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air, and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them; and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that should be the name thereof.

2:20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.

5:21 And Adam gave names to all cattle, to the fowl of the air, to every beast of the field; and for Adam, there was found an help meet for him.

“Help meet” in Hebrew is literally “a helper according to the opposite of him.” The term does not suggest a subordinate role; rather it seems to express the idea of an “indispensable companion”: The woman would supply what the man was lacking and logically it would follow that the man would supply what she was lacking. Note that in the J Source creation account, the animals were created after the man was created. This is the first appearance of the proper name Adam in the English text. The Hebrew word (’adam) literally means “mankind,” and is a play on words from the word for “ground” (adamah), from which man was created. (See also “Adam” interpreted as “many” in Moses 1:34.) The Hebrew word ’adam is translated “man” in Gen. 1:26, 27; 2:5, 7, 8, 15, 16, 18. The choice of rendering it “man” or “Adam” depends on the context. Abraham’s account puts naming of the animals after the creation of the woman (note the verse sequence change, and the dropping of “not” from Abr. 5:21).

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KJV Genesis

Moses (JST Genesis)

Abraham
5:15 And the Gods caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam; and he slept, and they took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in the stead thereof; 5:16 And of the rib which the Gods had taken from man, formed they a woman, and brought her unto the man. 5:17 And Adam said: This was bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; now she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of man;

Notes
Just as with the account of Adam’s creation (Gen. 2:7), “the story of the rib, of course, is figurative” (Spencer W. Kimball, Ensign, March 1976, p. 71). The Hebrew text does not mention a rib specifically, but literally reads, “and he took one from his sides.” That idea fits better with Adam’s explanation that the woman is his flesh and bone (Gen. 2:23).

CREATION ACCOUNT #2—THE CREATION OF WOMAN 2:21 And the LORD God caused a 3:21 And I, the Lord God, caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and deep sleep to fall upon Adam; and he slept: and he took one of his he slept, and I took one of his ribs ribs, and closed up the flesh instead and closed up the flesh in the stead thereof; thereof; 2:22 And the rib, which the LORD 3:22 And the rib which I, the Lord God had taken from man, made he God, had taken from man, made I a a woman, and brought her unto the woman, and brought her unto the man. man. 2:23 And Adam said, This is now 3:23 And Adam said: This I know bone of my bones, and flesh of my now is bone of my bones, and flesh flesh: she shall be called Woman, of my flesh; she shall be called because she was taken out of Man. Woman, because she was taken out of man.

2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. 2:25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

3:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife; and they shall be one flesh. 3:25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

5:18 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife, and they shall be one flesh. 5:19 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

The Hebrew words for “man” (ish) and “woman” (ishshah) appear similar, although they derive from completely different roots. But that is the way the writer understood the words, so he used it as an explanation of the origin of woman’s name. (This is an example of folk etymology.) This passage is in poetic verse: This [one] is now [at last] bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh. She shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. “Therefore” is an editorial comment meaning “that is why”; the creation story explains why men and women are to be united: It is in similitude of the first man and first woman. In the Old Testament nakedness conveys vulnerability, shame, exploitation, and exposure. But in the garden, Adam and Eve are innocent; there is no fear of exploitation, no sense of vulnerability.

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Ancient Hebrew Cosmology

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