[b-hebrew] Tolodoth and literary structure
J.Read-2 at sms.ed.ac.uk
Sat May 16 04:25:47 EDT 2009
Genesis 2:4 seems to be the greatest evidence that your theory just
doesn't work. We find the same construct relationship in Genesis 2:4
and yet if we were to follow the 'formula' then that would make the
author of the initial creation account the skies and the land. Also,
one great item of evidence that prevents Genesis 2:4 from being linked
with the preceding creation account is the use of the name YHWH, whish
is consistently not used in the creation account from Genesis 1:1-2:3
but begins to be used consistently from Genesis 2:4 onwards linking
Genesis 2:4 with the following events rather than the preceding.
Obviously, 'generations', doesn't work as a unified translation
because, as you have observed, in a number of places there are no
generations lists placed after the formula. Your 'document' hypothesis
just doesn't work consistently unless we are to propose that the land
and the skies composed the first document. I would like you to read
the accounts again and consider a third possibility. I would like you
to consider the 'history' hypothesis. That is to say that what comes
after Genesis 2:4 is the history of what happened after the skies and
the land were created.
From Genesis 5:1 onwards is the history of what happened of
significance after Adam.
Genesis 6:9 begins the history of what happened from Noah onwards
Genesis 10:1 begins the history of what happeded of signifance in
Shem, Ham and Japheth's lineage
As Yhwh's chosen people are to be in Shem's lineage Genesis 11:10
begins the history of what happened from Shem onwards.
As Yhwh's covenant is to be made in Terah's lineage Genesis 11:27
begins the history of what happened from Terah onwards.
Genesis 25:12 begins the history of what happened in Ishmael's
lineage. This ends quite quickly. Ishmael is not the father of Yhwh's
covenant people. We saw this happed in Shem, Ham and Japheth's history
as well. We are starting to notice a pattern here.
Genesis 25:19 starts the history of what happened in Isaac's lineage.
Genesis 36:9 begins the history of Esau's lineage. Again this is short
and cuts off quite quickly just like Shem's, Ham's and Japheth's
history. Esau is not the father of Yhwh's covenant people. We aren't
that interested in the rest of his history. It's just interesting for
us, as Isrealites, because it helps us to understand where the
neighbouring nations came from. This is emphasised in the formula by
calling Esau 'the father of Edom, the hilly place.'
Genesis 37:2 gets us back on track and starts the history of Jacob. Or
might I just as well say 'the history of Isreal'? A minimalist
interpretation of this could take the history to the end of Genesis. A
broader interpretation of this could take us through the entire Torah,
through Joshua, and Judges, into Samuel and Kings where at a certain
point it ceases to be the history of Isreal and becomes the history of
Judah (one of Isreal's 12 sons). If you are Christian this history
culminates in the Gospels with the arrival of the son of David. If not
then you are still waiting for him and that history continues.
Conclusion, the histories from Genesis 10:1, 25:12 and 36:9 are
intentionally brief and cut off at a certain point. They are given to
us as useful information which help us to understand where the
surrounding nations came from. All the other histories are purposeful
and keep us on track to the seed that would crush the serpent's head
underfoot as promised by Yhwh in Genesis 3:15
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