Friday, June 25, 2010

Creation Of Living Things As Metaphor

Here God indicates that although he likes everything that he has made, mankind is his favorite creation; having made mankind in his own image, and giving mankind dominion over the planet.

Gen. 1:20
וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֱלֹהִ֔ים יִשְׁרְצ֣וּ הַמַּ֔יִם שֶׁ֖רֶץ נֶ֣פֶשׁ חַיָּ֑ה וְעֹוף֙ יְעֹופֵ֣ף עַל־ הָאָ֔רֶץ עַל־ פְּנֵ֖י רְקִ֥יעַ הַשָּׁמָֽיִם׃

And God said Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.

Gen. 1:21
וַיִּבְרָ֣א אֱלֹהִ֔ים אֶת־ הַתַּנִּינִ֖ם הַגְּדֹלִ֑ים וְאֵ֣ת כָּל־ נֶ֣פֶשׁ הַֽחַיָּ֣ה הָֽרֹמֶ֡שֶׂת אֲשֶׁר֩ שָׁרְצ֨וּ הַמַּ֜יִם לְמִֽינֵהֶ֗ם וְאֵ֨ת כָּל־ עֹ֤וף כָּנָף֙ לְמִינֵ֔הוּ וַיַּ֥רְא אֱלֹהִ֖ים כִּי־ טֹֽוב׃

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.

Gen. 1:22
וַיְבָ֧רֶךְ אֹתָ֛ם אֱלֹהִ֖ים לֵאמֹ֑ר פְּר֣וּ וּרְב֗וּ וּמִלְא֤וּ אֶת־ הַמַּ֙יִם֙ בַּיַּמִּ֔ים וְהָעֹ֖וף יִ֥רֶב בָּאָֽרֶץ׃

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

Gen. 1:23
וַֽיְהִי־ עֶ֥רֶב וַֽיְהִי־ בֹ֖קֶר יֹ֥ום חֲמִישִֽׁי׃

And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.

Gen. 1:24
וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֱלֹהִ֗ים תֹּוצֵ֨א הָאָ֜רֶץ נֶ֤פֶשׁ חַיָּה֙ לְמִינָ֔הּ בְּהֵמָ֥ה וָרֶ֛מֶשׂ וְחַֽיְתֹו־ אֶ֖רֶץ לְמִינָ֑הּ וַֽיְהִי־ כֵֽן׃

And God said Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth after his kind and it was so.

Gen. 1:25
וַיַּ֣עַשׂ אֱלֹהִים֩ אֶת־ חַיַּ֨ת הָאָ֜רֶץ לְמִינָ֗הּ וְאֶת־ הַבְּהֵמָה֙ לְמִינָ֔הּ וְאֵ֛ת כָּל־ רֶ֥מֶשׂ הָֽאֲדָמָ֖ה לְמִינֵ֑הוּ וַיַּ֥רְא אֱלֹהִ֖ים כִּי־ טֹֽוב׃

And God made the beast of the earth after his kind and cattle after their kind and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind and God saw that it was good.

Gen. 1:26
וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֱלֹהִ֔ים נַֽעֲשֶׂ֥ה אָדָ֛ם בְּצַלְמֵ֖נוּ כִּדְמוּתֵ֑נוּ וְיִרְדּוּ֩ בִדְגַ֨ת הַיָּ֜ם וּבְעֹ֣וף הַשָּׁמַ֗יִם וּבַבְּהֵמָה֙ וּבְכָל־ הָאָ֔רֶץ וּבְכָל־ הָרֶ֖מֶשׂ הָֽרֹמֵ֥שׂ עַל־ הָאָֽרֶץ׃

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.

Gen. 1:27
וַיִּבְרָ֨א אֱלֹהִ֤ים אֶת־ הָֽאָדָם֙ בְּצַלְמֹ֔ו בְּצֶ֥לֶם אֱלֹהִ֖ים בָּרָ֣א אֹתֹ֑ו זָכָ֥ר וּנְקֵבָ֖ה בָּרָ֥א אֹתָֽם׃

So God created man in his own image in the image of God created he him male and female created he them.

Gen. 1:28
וַיְבָ֣רֶךְ אֹתָם֮ אֱלֹהִים֒ וַיֹּ֨אמֶר לָהֶ֜ם אֱלֹהִ֗ים פְּר֥וּ וּרְב֛וּ וּמִלְא֥וּ אֶת־ הָאָ֖רֶץ וְכִבְשֻׁ֑הָ וּרְד֞וּ בִּדְגַ֤ת הַיָּם֙ וּבְעֹ֣וף הַשָּׁמַ֔יִם וּבְכָל־ חַיָּ֖ה הָֽרֹמֶ֥שֶׂת עַל־ הָאָֽרֶץ׃

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.

Notice how in terms of human evolution, sealife came first, and then the animals, and then humanity. The Bible in fact seems consistent with evolutionary thought.

Here is a webpage that looks into the Day-Age creationism idea and synthesizes the Bible and science much better than I can. Here is another and yet another from the same website.


Ahavah Gayle said...

The question is, is God here referring to the homo- classes of beings in general or to homo sapiens sapiens specifically. You could argue it either way, but it could be inferred that chapter one deals with the predecessors of homo sapiens sapiens and chapter two really is the start of intelligent mankind.

I agree the outline of these verses is remarkably scientifically accurate, especially considering some other creation myths floating around in the bronze age. And when you consider other religious and cultural philosophies, flying (i.e. "ascending") is generally thought of as the highest level of development - whereas the Tanakh clearly puts them back where they belong on the evolutionary chain. Oral/pre-historic order here backs up science and they were hardly scientists who wrote it. It strains credulity to believe it was completely by chance.

SJ said...

I think it's safe to assume the Bible is talking about the evolution of modern humans because it's meant for us.

Gen. 1 talking about pre-modern humans and Gen. 2 talking about modern humans is also a possibility.

Cora said...

The humans that were created could have been Australopithecus Afarensis in your opinion and Adam would have been the first Homo Sapien? (the second 'sapien' has been dropped for some time)

Interesting hypothesis.

Question: if God is male (and very clearly not female) and there isn't any other diety out there, how did he know to make a female?

He clearly doesn't have a mate, so why did he make mates for all living things?

SJ said...

Well, God does not need to reproduce. I think it's a fair guess to say that God realized his creations would need to reproduce. XD

Cora said...

But how would he know that without knowing it in his own life? Why not make creations that are asexual and just clone themselves or something? There's plenty of other options.

SJ said...

God is omniscient.

Garnel Ironheart said...

Hang on Cora, since when is God either male or femal? He is neither, being beyond any limitations like gender and colour. He is referred to as "He" simply because in English calling Him an It would sound non-specific and a touch disrespectful

Cora said...

Hi, Garnel :)

I say "clearly" because of the countless conversations I have had with his followers that claim up and down he's a he.

One person did say that that "It" is really more like, so why not say She instead? Isn't the same thing?

But then I am back to my original question: if this god has no gender, why did he/she create gender? Humans were created in his/her image, so we were created with there has to be a gender, right?

SJ said...

God is beyond physicality so gender does not apply to him.

I think people call him he because we like to think of God as someone strong ... I apologize if this offends, but it's typically thought of as a masculine quality.

Shalmo said...

"I agree the outline of these verses is remarkably scientifically accurate, especially considering some other creation myths floating around in the bronze age."

If the order of creation is coming directly from the myth of , then clearly it would it was the babylonians who had it remarkably correct.

In all seriousness, there are hindu creation accounts I have read that contain this order of creation as well. The Vedas are also seen as amazining scientifically accurate by some. Genesis and its source, Enuma Elish, are hardly unique in this category