The 24 hour "evening and mornings" ???

Polycarp66 at Polycarp66 at
Tue Aug 29 02:37:02 EDT 2000

In a message dated 8/28/2000 4:45:38 PM Central Standard Time, 
badenhorst at writes:

There do appear some clues in the entire narrative structure that could mark
it as not being literal:

Foremost is the repetitions which occur in the text. They have a quality
comparable to good children's stories, which encourage memorization.

The second is the counting, which serves the same purpose, helping to
associate the different elements of the narrative to each other. Think of
counting songs like the Passover "Who knows the One?" with answer and
refrain repeating the elements.

It is within this framework that the refrain of "it was evening, it was
morning..." occurs.


You rightly point out the "counting" motif.  This is clearly a device by the 
P narrator to found the 7 day week in creation. In this context he portrays 
God himself as observing the Sabbath. It is because of this that the Jews 
were to observe it as well.  Likewise the "evening" and "morning" sequence 
were the order in which the day was calculated.  The whole is a contrast with 
the viewpoint of Enuma Elish where the creation of man is a consequence of 
the warfare between the gods (with Marduk being the victor).  Man was created 
from the blood of Kingu in order to be A SERVANT OF THE GODS as expiation of 
Kingu's action.  In contrast to this the six days of creative activity in Gen 
1 are a listing of the preparation of the world as a fit habitation for 
mankind.  Man is the final and crowning action of God's creation.  His first 
day on earth is then not one of SERVICE to his creator.  It is rather a day 
of rest and enjoyment.  You might say it was "a stroll in the park."


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