Genesis 1 & 2 (Peter, Ian, etc.)

Rodney K. Duke dukerk at
Wed Dec 8 18:22:27 EST 1999


Lee Martin wrote:

> I agree with most of your post, however, I see no reason to make Gen 2:4 =
> a conclusion.  It is a heading, just like it is everywhere else (cf. =
> Num. 3:1 where ToLeDoTH is introduced by words very similar to Gen. =
> 2:4).  The word ToLeDoTH means "progeny," either literal or figurative.  =
> Gen. 1 does not record the progeny of heaven and earth, it records the =
> creation of heaven and earth.  Gen 2:4ff records the progeny of heaven =
> and earth.  Then, Gen 5 records the progeny of Adam, Gen 6 records the =
> progeny of Noah, etc.  Just like Gen 2:4, the Toledoth Formulas in 5:1 =
> and 6:9 are followed by x-qatals used to provide setting.

Lee, et al

1) Not that my independent opinion means much, Lee, but I agree with you.  I did my own study of
the toledoth issue several years ago and came to the same conclusion, that toledoth means something
like "progeny" (I would translate _elleh toledoth_ loosely, "This is what became of...") and that
it fits every time then as an introductory phrase and not as a closing.

2) Re: Gen 1:1.  Although reshit is a construct 50 times out of 51 cases, the one "exception",
Isaiah 46:10, is important, because it shows that reshit can be used in the absolute with temporal
meaning.  That would mean that vs 1 could be treated as an independent clause, which is how the
ancient versions understood it (LXX, Vulgate, Aquila, Theodotion, Symmachus, Targum Onkelos; from
Waltke, p. 30 _Creation and Chaos_, who treats the issue quite thoroughly).

3)  The result is that the first and second "creation" accounts begin with the same literary style,
a feature which further supports the reading of 2:4 (the chiastic structure of 2:4 shows it to be a
literary unit) as an introduction to a new unit:
a) independent clause--summary introduction, 1:1 and 2:4
b) circumstantial clause(s)--offline constructions for scene setting, 1:2  and 2:5-6
c) wayyiqtol--introducing the mainline narrative action, 1:3 and 2:7
Rodney K. Duke
Dept. of Phil. & Rel., Appalachian State Univ., Boone, NC 28608
(O) 828-262-3091, (FAX) 828-262-6619, dukerk at

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