[b-hebrew] Gen 1 & Gen 2

Martin Shields enkidu at bigpond.net.au
Wed Oct 31 01:03:31 EDT 2007

On 31/10/2007, at 12:29 AM, K Randolph wrote:

> I have heard from lectures that there was an ancient literary style
> that went out of use about early to mid second millennium BC, the
> title and author were added to the end of a document, instead of at
> the front as is modern practice (since at least the first millennium
> BC to now).

While it is true that certain Akkadian scribal works included a  
colophon which noted the identity of the scribe, I believe there are  
important distinctions between the toledoth clauses in Genesis (and  
elsewhere, cf. Ruth 4:18) and the Akkadian colophons which make them  
unlikely to be valid precedents for understanding the function of  
these verses in Genesis. AFAIK the Akkadian colophons include explicit  
affirmation that the named scribe wrote the words (Genesis does not  
identify its author(s)). Furthermore, as George points out, there are  
some places where it simply makes no sense to read the toledoth as  
concluding a section (e.g. Gen 25:12, 19; 36:1, 9). The toledoth  
clauses are better linked to genealogical information, not authorial  
information, and are best understood to stand at the beginning of a  
section, not the end.

Martin Shields,
Sydney, Australia.

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