Lange Commentary on the Holy Scriptures
Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.See Genesis 1:1 ff for the passage quote with footnotes for Genesis 2:1-3
12. Gen 2:1–3. The Divine Sabbath. Gen 2:1. Thus the heavens and the earth were finished.—A solemn retrospect introducing the sabbath of God.—And all their host.—A concrete denoting of the universe from the predominant terrestrial stand-point. The host has reference to the heaven, so far, at all events, as the stars are meant. As the host of the earth, however, denotes its inhabitants (Is. 34:2), so the thought, moreover, gives an intimation of the inhabitants of the heaven. “The passage in the book of Nehemiah (Gen 9:6) that treats of the creation supposes correctly that in the host of heaven (צְבַא) the angels are included.” Delitzsch. When he says farther: “The stars, according to the more ancient representation (Babylonian, Assyrian, Persian) are set forth as a host for battle, or that together with the angels they are assigned a portion in the conflict of light with darkness whose theatre is the earth created within the surrounding sphere of the luminous heavenly bodies,”—all such remarks may be taken as Parsic rather than purely Biblical.1
Gen 2:2. And on the seventh day God ended His work.—The difficulty that arises from the mention here of a completion of God’s work on the seventh day, as before it seemed to have been on the sixth, has given occasion to the Septuagint, the Syriac, and many exegetes to put the sixth day in place of the seventh. Others (Calvin, Drusius, etc.) have read וַיְכַל as pluperfect (had finished) contrary to the grammar. Knobel explains the word with Tuch and others: God let it come to an end on that day. Delitzsch in a similar manner. Richers wrongly places a completion of the creation on the seventh day. Kurtz speaks of a heptæmeron. It seems to us, however, that the rest of God does not denote a remaining inactive merely, or a doing nothing. The perfecting of the work on the seventh is likewise something positive: namely, that God celebrated His work (kept a holy day of solemn triumph over it) and blessed the sabbath. To celebrate, to bless, to consecrate, is the finishing sabbath-work—a living, active, priestly doing, and not merely a laying aside of action. “The Father worketh hitherto,” says Christ in relation to His healings on the sabbath (John 5:17). The doing of God in respect to the completed creation is of a festive kind (solemn, stately, holy), a directing of motion and of an unfolding of things now governed by law, in contrast with that work of God which was reflected in the pressure of a stormy development, and in the great revolutions and epochs of the earth’s formation. “His מְלָאכָה (His work) was the completion of a task which He had proposed.” Delitzsch. God rests2 now and triumphs in that last finish of His work, the paradisaical man; God’s great festival is reflected in Adam’s holy-day. In accordance with his supposition that the creative days were not numbered from evening to morning, but in the contrary order (which is opposed to the text), Delitzsch holds that not the evening of the sixth day, but the morning of the seventh, was the real beginning of the sabbath (p. 127). But the evening of the sixth day lies back before the sixth day, whilst of an evening and a morning of the seventh day there is no mention at all. Had we taken the creative days as periods generally, or the evenings as merely remissions of the creative activity, the question about the evening and the morning of the seventh day would have had no right sense. If we truly take the evenings as denoting creative crises, then may it be asked: did not a crisis follow upon the creation of Adam? and this may we find intimated (Gen 2:21) in the deep sleep of Adam. Still must we suppose that the completion of Adam’s creation took place towards the evening or decline of the sixth day.
Gen 2:3. And God blessed the seventh day.—The blessing of the seventh day may of itself denote primarily that it was appointed for rest and re-creation, “which is a blessing for the laboring man and beast (Exod. 20:10; Deut. 5:14).” But the earlier blessings say: Be ye fruitful and multiply, and to bless means to wish for, and to promise one infinite multiplications in the course of life, as to curse means to wish for one an infinite multiplication of evil—that is, to imprecate, or pray against him. The blessing of the sabbath must consist in this, that it gives birth to all the festivals (or rests) of God, and all the festivals of men—that it endlessly propagates itself as a heavenly nature above the self-propagating earthly nature, until it has become an everlasting sabbath. Its most distinct birth is the New Testament Sunday. But this Sunday must mediate the heavenly Sunday. “It makes it to be an inexhaustible fountain of re-creation” (or new life). Delitzsch.—And hallowed it.—To hallow is to take an Object out of its worldly relation, and to devote it to God. There is, indeed, nothing before us here of a worldly relation in a profane sense, and so far can the negative force here have no place in the hallowing. Without doubt, however, the contrast is this: he withdraws it from labor for the sake of the world, and establishes it as the festival for God. In six days’ work had God condescended and given Himself up to live for the world; on the sabbath, He ordains that the world must live for God. He blessed and hallowed it, because He rested therein—that is, He appointed His own rest, as a ground and rule for the rest of man, and of the creatures, on the seventh day (see Exod. 20:11; 31:17). “According to the author God made this appointment at the creation, but He leaves its execution to a time after Moses, when, in the desert of Sin, He practically leads Israel to the festival of the seventh day, and thereupon makes publication of the law of the sabbath on Sinai (Exod. 31:12; 35:1). There is nothing known of any observation of the sabbath before the time of Moses.” Knobel. This holds good only of the legal establishment of the sabbath, for the custom of keeping a day of rest was not confined to the Jews only. Concerning the name שַׁבָּת, which the creative account does not contain, see DELITZSCH, p. 130. Derivations: 1. From שַׁבְּתַי, an old name of Saturn; 2. from (שִׁבְעַת) שַׁבְעַת, the seventh day (Lactantius); 3. contracted from שַׁבֶּתֶת, the time of holy rest, which is the most likely.—Which He had created and made (marginal reading in English Bible: created to make). Grammatically the infinitive construct לַעֲשׂוֹת is rendered by the Latin faciendo. Still the explanation: which God being active (that is, by doing, or by an effort) had created, would be quite idle, were it not that one would find in the language the recognition of an antithesis to the doctrines of emanation, or generally, to the supposed heathenish pathological and fatalistic modes of creation. Delitzsch thus modifies the faciendo (or לַעֲשׂוֹת): the creating is fundamental, whilst the making, or the forming, is consequential. Then there would be denoted thereby the continuing of the divine activity beyond the time of the creative work.3 In respect to the four verses that follow, which Delitzsch, too, as well as Ewald and others, would make the subscription of the previous section, not the superscription of the one that follows (as Tuch, De Wette, and others), compare DELITZSCH, p. 133. Knobel says (p. 7): “The Elohist has a superscription before every principal section in Genesis, and so much the more must he have had such a superscription placed before his first narration.” Ilgen, Pott, and Schumann have rightly found the same (Gen 2:4) in the words: “these are the origines of the heaven and the earth,” etc. The word tholedoth, then, must have suffered a misplacement. According to Delitzsch it is a closing formula. We hold it to be the superscription to what follows, because the word tholedoth must otherwise have regularly preceded, and because our text regards the tholedoth, or generations of the heavens and the earth, as conditioned in its principles through the creation of the earth and the heavens—that is, the earth, and especially Adam as the principal4 point of view for the whole.
DOCTRINAL AND ETHICAL5
1. The contrast which is at once drawn between heaven and earth, and whose symbolical significance cannot be ignored, proves, in the first place, that the whole period before us, from Gen 1–12, is to be considered under the point of view of the history of primeval religion. Secondly, the constitution of man in the image of God, the history of Adam, of Abel, of the Sethites, etc.; and, further, the contrast openly appearing at the close of this section between the uniting and separating of the peoples on the one hand, and the budding theocracy on the other. Thirdly, all periods lying in the middle between these two extreme points. Within this section, which presents the contrast between the primeval religion and the patriarchal religion of Abraham, now appear individual contrasts: 1. The contrast between the paradise-world and the sin-world; 2. the contrast between the anomism of the human race before the flood, and the heathenism of man after the flood. And to these add the more special contrasts which are to be brought out by the separate sections.
The primitive religion is to be distinguished from the religion of Abraham by the following points: 1. In the primitive religion, the symbolical sign is first, and the word second; in the patriarchal religion, the word of God is first, and the symbolical sign is second. (See Gen. 12:1, 7.) 2. In the primitive religion the continuance of the living faith in God is sporadic. This, it is true, is in connection with genealogical relations (Seth, Noah, Shem), as the appearance of Melchisedek especially proves (comp. Heb. 7:3); and, as a gradually fading twilight, it goes on through the times until the days of Abraham, forming continually, as natural religion, the background of all the heathenism of humanity. The faith of Abraham, on the contrary, forms with the patriarchal religion a genealogical and historical sequence. The aurora of the morning in Abraham contrasts with the twilight of the evening in Melchisedek. Melchisedek looks, with the faithful of the heathen world, back to the lost Paradise; Abraham looks forward to the future city of God—his religion is the religion of the future. 3. The symbolical primitive religion is yet, in its exterior, overgrown with mythological heathendom. While it forms the bright side of the primal religious world, its dark side arises from the mythologizing of the symbols (Rom. 1:19–23). With the patriarchal religion, however, the contrast between the theocratic faith and heathendom has become fixed. 4. With the historic form of this contrast, it is at the same time conclusive that heathendom maintains its relative light side in the history of humanism, and the theocratic popular history its relative dark side, which increases to the rejection of the Messiah and the death on the cross. The material development of salvation among the Jews, and the formal development of the human form of salvation among the heathen (Greeks and Romans), are for each other, just as the evil tendencies of heathendom and Judaism unite with each other in the crucifying of Christ.
2. Within our division appears the beautiful contrast that the creation of the world is once represented in the genetic order as an ascending development of life, so that man seems the aim (τέλος) of all things; then, from Gen 2, 3, onward, in principial order, according to which man, as a divine idea, is the principle with which, and for which, the world, and especially Paradise, was created. The first view is universalistic, and hence Elohistic; the latter is theocratic, and hence Jehovistic.
3. The form of the account of the creation: religious symbolical chronicle; its source: a revealed word or image effected by the vision of a prophecy looking backwards (see Introduction). The objections of Delitzsch against the mediation of the knowledge of creation to men through divine revelation in human vision (see 79 sqq.), rest on a want of appreciation of the scriptural idea of vision, as already indicated. Delitzsch, with the more ancient catholic supernaturalism, explains our account from a divine teaching, which is defined as the interposing voice of the Spirit of God, and the guidance, through it, of man’s own spirit. To this ultra-supernaturalistic view of Delitzsch and Keil is opposed the rationalistic one of Hofmann, namely, that the account of the creation is the transposed impression in history which the world made on the first-created man reflecting on its origin. To the purely historical conception of a wonderfully preserved or regenerated (Delitzsch) tradition of revelation or legend, is contrasted the mythical conception in various forms, effected through the allegorical interpretation of Philo; which is followed by many church Fathers, and by Herder in his adoption of a parabolic hieroglyphic. a. Moral myth as a ground for the commandment of the sabbath (Paulus). b. Philosophical myth, especially the natural philosophical (Eichhorn and others). We have already shown in the Introduction why we cannot join in either the purely historical or the mythical view, but must insist on the specific of a religious symbolical history. The vision might be designated as intuition, in so far as we carry back the respective knowledge to the unfallen man.
4. In our section the world is represented according to its four different relations: 1. As creation; 2. as nature; 3. as cosmos; 4. as æon (see LANGE’S “Dogmatics,” p. 222 sqq.). The idea of creation is expressed by the word ברא, as well as by the going forth ten times of the Omnific Word of God. God said, “Let there be, and there was.” The account of nature, 1. through the great contrasts, separations, and combinations: heaven and earth, darkness and light, atmospheric waters and terrestrial waters, firmament and terra firma, land and water, sky and earth. 2. Through the designation of plants, that they should bear seed, each according to its kind. 3. Through the blessing on animals: be fruitful and multiply, and the distinction of various kinds of animals, as also finally the blessing on men. 4. Through the relation of the various creatures to the sphere of birth or life corresponding to them (especially water and earth), through their coming forth from these spheres at the creating word. Especially belong here the picturesque expressions: Thohu, Vabhohu.—תַּדְשֶׁא הָאָרֶץ דֶשֶׁא שֶׁרֶץ—עֵץ פְרִי עֹשֶׂה פְרִי—עֵשֶׂב מַזְרִיעַ זֶרַע—הָרֹמֵשׂ—פְרֹוּ וּרְבוּ—וְעוֹף יְעוֹפֵף—יִשְׁרְצוּ הַפַּיִם הָרֶמֶשׁ 5. The six days’ work itself.—The idea of the cosmos. It appears distinctly in all the solemn pauses of the creative work, as they are marked with the sevenfold repetition of the words: and God saw that it was good. The celebration of the sabbath also belongs here, as it points back to the beautiful completion of the universe.—But the idea of the æon appears with the fact that man is made the end and aim of all days of creation, by which it is clearly pronounced that he is the real principle in which the world and its origin is comprehended. The history of the earth is thus made the lifetime of humanity. Its profoundest principle of development and measure of time is the support of man.
5. The Creation.—On the dogmatic doctrine of the creation, see Hase, Hutter, HAHN: “Doctrine of Faith,” and LANGE’S “Positive Dogmatics.” Here comes especially into consideration 1. the relation of the doctrine of the creation to the Logos, John 1:1–3. The first verse of Genesis clearly forms the ground presupposed in that passage, God spake; through His word He created the world, says Genesis; His word is a personal divine life, says John, and the New Testament in general, especially Col. 1:15–19; Gen 2:3–9. According to Genesis everything is created through the idea of man in the image of God with a view to this man; according to the New Testament it is through the idea of Christ, who is the principal of humanity, with a view to Christ. As Adam was the principle of the creation, so is Christ the principle of humanity. Therefore it reads: “God hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world” (Eph. 1:4; comp. John 17:5). The creation is, in its most essential point, the production of the eternal God-Man in the eternal to-day. In man nature has passed beyond itself, from the relative, symbolical independence, to the perfected and real, to freedom; it has in him the mediator of its redemption, of its glorification. The beautiful cosmos, this unity of all varieties, which combines in it an endless complex of unities, to the production of external harmony and beauty, has, in Christ, the most beautiful of the children of men, its middle point, the centre of its ideal beauty. Finally, the first æon, which is fixed by the life of Adam, has for its core, its root, and its aim, the second æon fixed by Christ. 2. The relation to the Holy Ghost. The spirit is the living, self-impelling unity of spiritual life, the breath of the soul, as the wind forms the spirit of the earth, the vital, ever-active unity of its varieties. The Spirit of God hovering over the waters, is the divine, creative, living unity, which rules over the fermenting process of the Thohu Vabhohu; hence, as the peripheral principle of formation (at one with the central principle of formation, the Logos), it effectuates the separations and the combinations by which the formation of the earth is determined. In the New Testament, however, it appears in its personal strength, as the unity of all works of revelation of the Father and the Son, and as the absolute, spiritual principle of formation which effects the glorification of the world through the separation of the ungodly and the godly, and through the combination of everything godly in the church and the kingdom of God. 3. The relation of the creation to the Divine Being. In the creation, God appears as the creator, who calls forth things as out of nothing. But from the genesis out of the pure nothing, are distinguished the creative things as proceeding from the life or breath of the creator’s word, with which they come forth into existence (Ps. 104:30); and finally man stands complete with the features of divine affinity, proceeding from the thought of His heart, from His counsel, as created in His image, and intended to be His visible administrator on earth. In the New Testament, however, the paternal feature of the Divine Being has unvailed itself as a paternity, from which all paternity in heaven and on earth proceeds, but which, in the most special sense, refers to Christ, the image of the Divine Being. By the relation of the work of creation to the coming Christ, the whole creation becomes an advance representation, a symbol of Christ in a series of symbolical degrees, of which each represents in advance the next following one. Through the relation of Christ to the Father, the whole creation receives the mark of the human, especially of revelation, or of the wonderful (as denoted by the lion), of resignation, or of sacrifice (as denoted by the ox), and of the reflection of light, that is, the idea (as denoted by the eagle).6 But the spirit, as the unitary life of the revelation of the Father and of the Son, is reflected as creative wisdom in all creative movements of the world, and, indeed, in the fundamental forms of separation and combination, of centrifugal and centripetal force, of repelling and attracting operations.—The account of the creation, Gen. Gen 1, is not a dogma of the trinity of God; the completed creation, however, as a work of God and revelation, is a mirror of the trinity, and a prophecy of the revelation of its future (see LANGE’S “Positive Dogmatics,” p. 206 ff. 4. The relation of the creation to revelation. The most general sphere of the revelation of God, that which forms the basis of all future revelations, is the creation of heaven and earth as the objective revelation of God, which corresponds with the subjective revelation of God in his image, man. 5. The relation of the doctrine of the creation to the heathen and post-heathen view of the world. It denies polytheism, for the creator of all things appears as the only one, and if his name stands in the plural (Elohim), the element of truth in polytheism (in contrast to Judaism) is therewith recognized, namely, the variety of the revelation of the one God in the variety of his strength, works, and signs, and the variety of the impressions which he thereby produces.
It denies pantheism, for God distinguishes himself by his creation of the world; he creates the world through his conscious word, consequently freely, and stands in personal completion before his work and over it, so that the world is neither to be regarded as an emanation of his divine being, nor especially as a metamorphosis of the divine being, (the second form of it,) or, vice versa, God as the emanation of the world. But it emphasizes also the true in pantheism (in contrast to deism): the animating omnipresence and revelation of God in the world, with his creating word, with his spirit hovering over the formation of the world, with his image in the dispositions and destination of man. It denies dualism, for God appears as the creator of all things directly. He is also the originator of the Thohu Vabhohu of fermenting elements; he finds in the creation no blame, and, at the end of the sixth day, everything is very good. The true in dualism is, however, also retained (against fatalism), namely, the contrast between the materials and the formative power, between the natural degrees and the natural principles, between nature and spirit. But the doctrine of creation denies much more the antichristian polytheism, that is, atomism, even to its most modern form of materialism, as such materialism rejects not only the truth of the spirit, of personal life, of the Godhead, of the immortality of the soul, and of liberty, consequently all ethical principles, but also the physical principia of crystal formation, of the formation of plants and animals. It does this by making matter regarded as devoid of all visibility, and in so far thoroughly hypothetical and abstract, or rather the infinity of feigned abstract substances (with which the Thohu Vabhohu, as a living fermentation of appearing elements, is not to be confounded), the sole God-resembling factor of all phenomena of life, such phenomena consisting of two classes, of which the physical and abstract spiritual is to be in accordance with the play of matter, the ethical, on the contrary, a bare appearance, having no conceivable or comprehensible reality. The living God here stands in contrast with the multitude of these dark idols of a feigned deity, and he places opposite the subordinate elements of life the superordinate vital principles, which give the elements their cosmical form, whilst over all he places the ruler man, with his godlike, spiritual nature.
The only thing that endures as an element of truth in materialism is the infinite and subtle conformity to law that is found in material things, a fact which spiritualism nowadays far too much disregards. The doctrine of creation also denies with increased emphasis the intensified pantheism, i.e., the most modern pantheism as opposed to personality—the pantheism which makes everything proceed from an impersonal thought, in order to let everything again disappear through continual metamorphoses (morphologism) in impersonal thoughts; for the scriptural doctrine makes all thoughts of creation proceed from an unconditioned personality, pass through fixed forms, and culminate in a conditioned personality. The truth that lies in such self-deification is recognized in this, that all works of the absolute thinking are themselves thoughts. He has spoken thoughts which have become works of creation. Finally, it denies the dynamical dualism (or the dualism of power), i.e., that hierarchical absolutism which holds as evil not only the material world, but still more the entire realm of spirit and spiritual life regarded as something to be controlled with infinite care, and with the infinite art and power of an abstract authority; for it testifies for the word of God as immanent in the world, and thereby holds fast the element of truth in that hierarchism, according to which the spirit of God hovers over the waters, and man as the administrator of God is commanded, with reference to all animal life in the world: Rule over them, and make them subject to you.
At the very first verse and word of Genesis, it clearly steps over that impure sink of dualism beyond which the entire heathen and philosophical view of the world could never go. It does this, by contrasting God in his eternal self-perfection to the creation which arose with time. The doctrine of the creation is the first act of revelation and of faith in the history of the kingdom of God. It would lead too far, should we attempt to show how the three heathen errors of religion are ever present with each other, although at one time polytheism, at one time pantheism, and at another time dualism, prevails. We make this observation, however, to indicate thereby that we do not ignore the pantheistic basis of Gnosticism, even when it plays with polytheism, since we present it according to its prevailing characteristic as dualism. But not only are the coarse ground-forms of the ancient and modern darkening of the doctrine of the creation to be judged by the first chapter of Genesis, but also the more subtle, Christianly modified forms, as, on the one hand, they present themselves in Gnosticism, (with which we also reckon Manichæism and its later shoots, extending to our time: Priscillianism, Paulicianism, Bogomiles, Albigenses, dualistic theosophs of Jacob Böhm), and, on the other hand, in Ebionitism, as it has found its continuation in the later Monarchianism, and still more modern deism. The Gnostics ground their opposition to the Old Testament on a paganistic misinterpretation of the New, and thus they may be ranged according to their more or less hostile attitude to the Old Testament, and as representing various heathenish views of the world which, after the manner of old Palimpsests, placed one upon the other, appear through the overlying Christianity. Among such Palimpsests, on which a form of Christianity has been overwritten, may be reckoned the Samaritan (Simon Magus), Syrian (Saturninus, etc.), Alexandrian (Basilides), old-Egyptian (Ophiten), Hellenic (Karpocrates), Ponto-Asiatic (Marcion), and Persian Gnostics (Manes). Finally, in Mohammed, the Arabian Gnosticism and Ebionitism ran together, as the again broken forms of Subordinatianism and Monarchianism ran together in Arianism. Through the manifold modifications which Christian dualism experienced immediately, and especially in the course of time, one must not be led astray in respect to the Unity of the genus. Just so, pure Ebionitism, whose naked image is Jewish Talmudism (as it is to be recognized throughout by its oblique position to the New Testament and the New Testament elements in the Old), has passed through various mutations whose ground-thought remains the same: namely, a fatalistic, eternalized, ontological divorcement between God and the world, through the law of religion or nature, whether the form of the change be called deism, naturalism, or rationalism. And, finally, the mixed form of gnostic Ebionitism, which was prepared through the Alexandrian system of Philo, and whose naked image is the Jewish Kabbala, has remained unchanged, through all mutations, in its ground-thoughts, whether they appear as Montanism, Donatism, or pseudo-Dionysian, mediæval and modern ultra-supernaturalism, as inflexible baptismism, or yielding spiritualism. Together with the true difference between God and the world, the doctrine of creation expresses also the true combination between both, and finds the living mediation of this contrast in the man created in the image of God; whereas, dualism makes the difference a separation, while pantheism makes the combination a mixture, and the still observable, polytheistic reminiscence in Christendom vacillates, in its love of fables, between creature deification and creature demonizing.
6. The relation of the temporal creation to the eternity of God. It is quite as wrong to transfer gnostically the origin of the real world to the eternity of God, to fix the existence of God according to theogony by speaking of a becoming of God, or of an obscure basis in God (Böhm), or of an origin of the material contemporary with the self-affirmation of God (Rothe), as it is to declare, with scholastic super-naturalism, that God indeed might have left the world uncreated. Against the first view, there is the declaration that the world had a beginning, which, a little farther on, is fixed as the beginning of time. Against the latter, there is the declaration that God chose believing humanity from eternity in Christ, as it is also indicated in our text, by the decree of God at the creation of man, and by the image of God. The world rests therefore, as an actual and temporal world, on an eternal ideal ground.7 Its ideal preparation is eternal, but its genesis is temporal, for it is conditioned by the gradual growing, and the beautiful rhythm of growth is time.
7. In the significant number ten, the number of actual historical completion, the account is repeated: God said, Let there be, and there was. The speaking of God now certainly indicates the thinking of God, and it thence follows that all works of creation are thoughts of God (idealism). But it indicates also a will, making himself externally known, an active operation of God, and thence it follows that all the works of creation are deeds of God (realism). Both, however, thinking and operating, are one in the divine speaking, the primal source of all language, his personally making himself known, although we cannot bring up the thought of this speaking to the conception (personalism). Through creating, speaking, making, forming, the world is ever again and again denoted as the free deed of God.
8. Theological definitions of the creation. The creatio is distinguished as a single act and as a permanent fact. A third period is, however, at the same time pointed out, namely, the continuance of the doing in the deed, so that the world would not only fall to pieces, but would pass away, if God withdrew himself from it. The thought that he cannot withdraw from it in his love, should not be confounded with the untenable thought that he might not be able to withdraw from it in his omnipotence. The absolute dependence of the world on God is at all times the same (see Ps. 104:30; Col. 1:17; Heb. 1:3). On the relation of the creation to the trinity, compare Hase, HUTTER, p. 149, and LANGE’S “Positive Dogmatics,” p. 206 ff.—The expression, creation from nothing, is borrowed from the apocryphical word, 2 Macc. 7:28: ἐξ οὐκ ὄντων; comp. Heb. 11:3. It denies that an eternal material, or indeed that anything, was present as a (material) substratum of the creation. One can, however, misinterpret the expression by making the act of creation one of abstract will, absolved from any divine breath of life (Güntherianism). On determining the creatio ex nihilo we distinguish the nihil negativum, by denying the eternity of matter as substratum of the creation, and the nihil privativum, by assuming that God at first created matter as nihil privativum, then the forms in the hexaëmeron. This the modus creationis: first, matter; then, the form. This idea of a matter as something before form, does not correspond, however, to the idea of a quickening or life-giving activity in creation. With the beginning of creation there is immediately established the contrast of heaven and earth, i.e., different spheres, which as such are not mere matter; and with the Thohu Vabhohu of the first earth-form there is immediately established the constructive activity of the spirit of God. The demiurgic conception presupposes an eternal world-matter, whether regarded according to the Persian idea as evil, or according to the Greek as blind, heterogeneous, and antagonistic, or according to the Indian idea as magically mutable, which eternal world-matter must, in all cases, make the demiurgic formation a thing of mere arbitrary sport. The true idea of the work of creation lies between this and the theurgo-magical, according to which God had made the universe, in abstract positiveness, a pure material contrast of His divine being. This is a conception in which the creating word, the spirit of God hovering over the waters, the image of God, or even the omnipresence of God in the world, do not receive their just due. As the aim of the creation finally (finis creationis), there have been distinguished the highest or last aim, God’s glorification, and the intermediate aim, the welfare of his creatures and the happiness of man. But it must be observed that God glorifies himself in the happiness of men, and that the latter should find their happiness in contemplating the glory of God.
9. The Relation of the Mosaic Account of the Creation to the Mythological Legends of the Creation.—The cosmogonies of the heathen are confounded with their theogonies, as their gods with primeval man. See LÜCKEN: “The Traditions of the Human Race, or the Primitive Revelation of God among the Heathen,” Münster, 1856. “These cosmogonies are all very similar to each other. At first chaos is placed at the head as a disordered mass (chaos alone?). This chaos develops or forms itself into the world-egg. This egg, which plays a certain part in the cosmogonies, is only a conception called forth by the apparent form of the earth,8 so that the sky presents itself as the shell and the earth as the yolk of this great egg. With this shaping of chaos into a world-egg, or earth-sphere, arises then, according to the representation of these cosmogonies, the first being, the ‘first-born,’ or the first man. This first man originating with (out of) the world-egg, the father and founder of all life, is now, according to the popular conception, a giant-like being. As the present man, according to primitive conception, is a microcosm, so is that first being, in heathen conception, the macrocosm itself, originating all life in nature by developing from himself the various parts of the world-organism, heaven and earth, sun and moon, mountains and rivers. Now by dividing or killing this macrocosmic being, or by mingling its generating parts with earthly things (especially fertilizing water, as in the story of Chronos), the lower life of nature begins, and things can multiply in sexual division and separation. This is the whole nucleus of all cosmogonies. And we would here observe, how frequent it is in heathen conceptions that all primitive generating being is imagined under the form of a great world-animal (as an immense ox or goat, for example), and as such worshipped. Thus the first being of the Persians is the OX Abudad, and the Egyptians worshipped it as a goat under the name of Mendes.” Here, however, the following is to be observed: 1. Behind, beside, or over the chaos, or the disordered matter, usually stands a mysterious form of the highest divinity: Brahma among the Indians, Fimbultyr among the Teutons, Ormuzd among the Persians. 2. With the Hesiodic Gaia, which proceeds from chaos (i.e., from boundless empty space), there is also Eros; so in the Chinese legend the first macrocosmic man or giant (Panku) is formed with the earth. In like manner Brahma with the Indians, and Ymer with the Teutons, become, by the division of their limbs, the foundation of the world. 3. Matter is always fixed with the divinity, or the divinity with matter. But matter is coherent with God in the predominantly pantheistic systems of emanation. According to the Indo-Brahmic, Platonic, and Alexandrian system of emanation, matter emanates with the world from divinity; according to the Egyptian and mythologico-Grecian system, divinity emanates from the world, from chaos, or the ocean. According to the predominantly dualistic systems, the world arises from a mixture in the conflict between the emanations of the predominantly spiritual, light, good God, and the emanations of the predominantly material, dark, wicked God—sometimes in a decidedly hostile position of the two powers, as in the Persian mythology, sometimes in a more peaceful parallelism, as in the Slavonian. For the various cosmologies, compare the quoted work of LÜCKEN, p. 33; DELITZSCH, pp. 81, 83, and 609; HAHN: Compendium, p. 374, with reference to WUTTKE: “The Cosmogonies of the Heathen Nations before the Time of Jesus and the Apostles,” Hague, 1850. The Chaldean myth of the creation, as given by Berosus, is found in EUSEBIUS: “Chronicles,” i. p. 22; SYNCELLUS, i. p. 25; the Phenician myth as given by Sanchoniaton in EUSEBIUS: Præparatio Evangelica, i. p. 10; the Egyptian myth in DIODORUS SICULUS, i. 7 and 10; a Grecian myth in HESIOD’S Theogony, Gen 2:116 sqq.; the Indian myths in P. VON BOHLEN: “Ancient India,” i. p. 158; LASSEN: “Indian Antiquities,” iii. p. 387 (at the beginning of the code of Manu); the Zend myth in Avesta, the Etrurian myth in SUIDAS under Tyrrhenia (see the “Commentary” of KEIL and DELITZSCH, p. 8); the Scandinavian myth in the Edda, etc.
According to the older conceptions of the days of creation as combined with biblical chronology, one could speak of a date of the creation. Starke is satisfied with the correctness of the date: 23d of October, 4004 before Christ. Schröder makes the date the 1st or 17th of September, 4201, but adds; “The Son of Man knew not the day nor the hour when heaven and earth should pass away, but the child of man would know the year and the day when heaven and earth arose.” The autumn seems to have been chosen on account of the ripe fruits, without reflecting that on the entire earth it must ever be autumn somewhere.
10. The World as Nature. a. The Ancient View of the World, that of the Bible and of Modern Times.—The world-view of the ancients was based on appearance, according to which the earth formed a centre reposing under the moving, rolling starry world; this geocentric view received a scientific expression in the well-known Ptolemaic system. This system was abandoned in the time of the Reformation for the helio-centric system of Copernicus. But because the Bible, with respect to astronomical matters, speaks the language of common life, which is yet authorized in accordance with appearances (the sun rises, sets, etc.), it was supposed that the Copernican system contradicted the teaching of Holy Writ, and not only the papal council imagined that in its treatment of Galileo, but even Melancthon was of the same opinion, and to the present day such protests, even on the Protestant side, have not entirely died away (see the attacks on Dr. Franz in Sangerhausen in DIESTERWEG’S “Astronomy,” p. 104; also p. 20, especially p. 325). These prove how often a contracted Bible belief can injure more than profit the faith. The Copernican theory was especially supposed to be in contradiction with the passage in Jos. 10:12, 13. While men were torturing themselves with this difficulty springing from a blind adherence to the literal rendering, a much greater one was gradually stepping forth out of the background. The consequences of the Copernican system were developed, according to the discoveries of Herschel, in this wise: the sun among its planets is only a single star of heaven, and the earth is one of its smallest planets. Since now the fixed stars of heaven are nothing but suns, and these suns are all, according to the analogy of ours, surrounded by planetary groups, there appear to be countless numbers of planets, of which very many are larger than our earth. How shall we now retain the thought, that the earth is the sole scene of the revelation of God, as Holy Writ declares: the scene of the incarnation of God, and the centre of a reconciliation, dissolution, and glorification of the world, embracing heaven and earth.
The Hegelian philosophy sought at first to meet this difficulty in its own interest. In order to make the earth the sole arena of the evolutions of mind, which was to reach the full glory of its self-consciousness in the Hegelian system, the whole starry world was declared to be destitute of spirits and in the main spiritless—mere films of light, etc. (see LANGE’S “Positive Dogmatics,” p. 279). The effort was made to render this barren view agreeable to theology with the pretence that it was in accordance with the Bible, and favored the faith (“Land of Glory,” p. 12 ff.). Against this insinuation the author wrote the articles which are collected in the work: “The Land of Glory” (Meurs), Bielefeld, 1838, with reference to the work of PFAFF: “Man and the Stars.” The results of modern astronomy (according to Struve, Mädler, Schubert, etc.), viz., that the other planets of our solar system have not, in the first place, the same plastic consistency nor the same planetary relations as our earth, and secondly, that the stellar world is divided into a solar planetary region like our solar system, and a solar astral region (the world of double stars, of eternal sunshine), were applied to the biblical Christian view of the world as recognizing (in its conception of various places of discipline and punishment) a place beneath the world on the one hand, and a place above it on the other; consequently the contrast of a region of growing and a region of perfected life, of the church militant and the church triumphant, of the earthly and the heavenly, of the earthly-human and the angelic life. Above all, it was observed that with the doctrine of the ascension of Christ the existence of a land of glory, in contradistinction to the earthly sphere of day and night, birth and death, or the sphere of the creative, was settled. This work was followed by the work of KURTZ: “Bible and Astronomy,” 1st ed. 1842. In the meanwhile there sprung up a third representation of cosmology, which was again to fix the geocentric stand-point in a spiritual respect. This was mainly induced by A. von Schaden, but diligently prosecuted by Dr. EBRARD, recently in his work: “The Results of Natural Science,” Königsberg, 1861. With respect to our planetary system, the said work endeavors to prove that the earth is its teleological centre, and to that end, farther, that the other planets could be either not at all or only partly inhabitable; that they are only accretions to the planetary nature, having their places there simply on account of the earth; and that considered under any other point of view they could only appear as caricatures of the planetary nature.
Delitzsch (p. 614) is in general inclined to this view. He permits, however, a natural philosopher by profession (Prof. Franz Pfaff), to speak for him, who nevertheless acknowledges (after a severe criticism of the plant-family) that there may be imagined elsewhere such beings as are organized in correspondence to the prevailing relations on other heavenly bodies. But one cannot see how the conceptions in question can be called “creatures of fantasy.”
We consider the view of the pure unreality of the extra-earthly planetary world as neither cosmologically grounded, nor of wholesome tendency in aid of a biblical view of the world. As respects the first point, one must clearly distinguish between an inhabitability of the planets of our solar system for beings of our earthly organization, and a similar inhabitability for spiritual beings in general. If the earthly organization of man is to fix the measure for the habitableness of supra-terrene bodies, then must we also apply the analogy to the most beautiful and brilliant stellar-world. And what must become of the departed human souls, separated from their bodies? How shall there be found a native region for angelic spirits? But it would redound little to the glorification of the living God of Holy Writ to consider the whole planetary group of our sun, the earth alone excepted, as spiritless wastes. Whatever in this respect is true of the Hegelian system in general, in its relation to the stellar-world, is true of the said view in special reference to our planetary system.
[NOTE ON THE ASTRONOMICAL OBJECTION TO REVELATION.—The question of the planets’ inhabitability, especially in its religious and biblical bearings, has been very ably and scientifically discussed in a work entitled “The Plurality of Worlds” by Prof. WHEWELL of Oxford. The author maintains a view similar to that of Dr. Ebrard, that the earth is the advanced planet of the system, and that the most scientific evidence goes to show that the others (especially the largest, or those of least density) are in a rudimentary or inchoate state. The same may be true of all the visible bodies of the stellar spaces. The only reasoning against it is simply the question, why not, pourquoi non, as Montaigne employs it, without any inductive evidence. This author employs also the modern view in geology with great pertinence and force: Immense times without life or with only the lowest forms of life! If this is not inconsistent with the divine wisdom and goodness, then immense spaces without life, or with only the lowest forms of life, for a certain time, is no more inconsistent.
So far, however, as this presents a difficulty to revelation and Christianity, it is not due to modern science alone, or even mainly. The inhabitability of the planets, and the “plurality of worlds,” are as much a priori thoughts, that is, rising of themselves to the musing meditative mind, as they are the results of any scientific or inductive reasoning. In both cases, imagination is the chief power of the mind employed, though modern science has furnished it with its stronger stimulants. As such a priori or independent thought, the notion of a plurality, or even an infinity, of worlds, was very ancient. It was, however, larger than the modern notion, being rather a plurality of κοσμοὶ, or mundi (that is, total visible universes) than of worlds used, as the name is now used, of planetary or stellar bodies. It was the old question of the soul demanding a sufficient reason for the non-existence, the absence of which reason seemed to be itself a proof of the actual existence. Why not? If one world, why not two—three—more—numberless? See PLUTARCH: De Placitis Philosophorum, vol. v. p. 239, Leip. ed., where among other statements and arguments he quotes the saying of Metrodorus: ἄτοπον εἶναι ἐν μεγάλῳ πεδίῳ ἕνα στάχυν γενηθῆναι, καὶ ἑνα κόσμον ἐν τῷ ἀπείρῳ, “it is absurd (incredibly strange) that there should be but one head of wheat in a great plain, and no less so, that there should be but one cosmos in infinite space.” The other idea of the planets’ inhabitability appears also in the Greek poetry. See especially the fragment given by Proclus:
ἄλλην γαῖαν ἀπείρατον ἥντε σελήνην ἀθάνατοι κλῄζουσιν, ἐπιχθόνιοι δέ τε μήνην ἡ πόλλ’ ρὔρε’ ἔχει, πόλλ’ ἄστεα πολλὰ μέλαθρα.
Another land of vast extent,
Immortals call Selene, men, the moon,
A land of mountains, cities, palaces.
The Bible is charged with narrowness in its space conceptions, but how narrow is that science, or that philosophy, which while vaunting itself, perhaps, on its superior range of view, has no idea of any higher being than man, and sometimes would seem to reject any other conception of deity than that of a developed humanity, slowly becoming a god, an être suprême, to the nature still below. How glorious the Scripture doctrine appears in the contrast, as starting with an all-perfect personal being: Jehovah Tzebaoth, Jehovah of Hosts, with cherubim and seraphim, ἀρχαί, κυριότητες, living principles, ruling energies, angels, archangels, thrones, dominions, principalities, and powers. If not in space conceptions, yet how sublimely in the higher idea of ascending ranks of being do the Scriptures surpass the low and narrow views of Herbert, Comte, and Darwin. After a past eternity of progress, nature and the cosmos have just struggled up to man! This is the highest limit yet reached after a movement so immeasurably long, yea, endless in one direction; and that, too, not man as the Scripture represents him, a primus homo, an exalted being, so constituted by the inspiration that gave him birth, and signed him with the image of the eternal God, but man just rising above the ape, just emerging from that last growth of nature that preceded him in this interminable series of chance selections at last falling into some seeming order, and of random developments that never came from any preceding idea. Man as he now appears on earth, and whom Scripture pronounces a fallen being, the highest product of an endless time! Such is “the positive philosophy,” so boastful of its discoveries in width and space, but so exceedingly low and narrow in respect to the other and grander dimension! It discards theology and metaphysics as belonging to a still lower stage of this late-born child of nature, but alas for man if all the glory of his being, all his higher thinking, has already thus passed away! We may thank the Living God for giving to us an ideal world, as in itself a proof of something above nature, and of a higher actual even now in nature than our sense and our science ever have drawn, or may ever expect to draw, from it.
The objection to revelation to which Lange here alludes as drawn from the modern astronomy is itself simply anthropopathic. They who make it imagine Deity to be just such a one as themselves. If He has two worlds to take care of, it is incredible that His providence should be as particular, and His interest as near, as though He had but one to govern. Such a mode of thinking makes worth, too, and rank, wholly quantitative and numerical, banishing, in fact, all intrinsic quality, and intrinsic value, from the world of things and ideas. The bigger the universe in space, the less the worth in each part, as a part, and this without any distinction between the purely physical or material to which such a quantitative rule of inverse proportion might apply, and the moral and spiritual, which can never be measured by it.
The force of this objection comes from the fact of the imagination overpowering the reason. The lower though more vivid faculty impedes or silences for a time the higher. Reason teaches intuitively, or as derived from the very idea of God, that His care and providence towards any one rational and moral agent cannot be diminished by the number of other rational and moral agents, or be any less than it would be if such agent had been alone with Deity in the universe. The light and heat of the sun are the same whether the recipients are few or many. The case, therefore, may be thus stated: If a certain manifestation of the divine care for, and interest in, our world and race (namely, such as is revealed in the Bible) would not be incredible on the supposition of their being but one such world or race, then such credibility is not at all diminished by the discovery that there are others, few or many, to any extent conceivable. We must hold firmly to this as a pure rational judgment against the swaying imagination invading the reason, and even assuming to take its place. If the interest revealed by Christianity could be pronounced credible before the discoveries of astronomy (and this is assumed as the ground of the argument), then such measure is equally credible now, or we are convicted of judging God anthropopathically, however we may dignify the feeling with the name of an enlarged and liberal philosophy.
Besides, there is no end to the argument until it banishes all providence, all government, all divine interest conceivable in the cosmos—everything, in short, which distinguishes the divine idea from that of a wholly impersonal nature. On a certain scale of the universe the Old Testament becomes incredible. On a wider sweep Christianity, the old Christianity of the Church, can no longer be believed. The incarnation and the atonement must be thrown out; God could not have cared to that extent for this petty world. Turn the telescope, so as to enlarge the field, or, through its inverted lenses, behold the objects still farther off, and “liberal Christianity” disappears. Even that has too much of divine interest for the new view. Draw out the slide still farther, and the very latest and faintest “phase of faith” departs. Everything resembling a providence or care of any kind for the individual becomes incredible in this time and space ratio. Prayer is gone, and hope, and all remains of any fear or love of God. Farther on, and races are thrown out of the scale as well as individuals; even a general providence of any kind becomes an obsolete idea. Not only the earth but solar and stellar systems become infinitesimals, or quantities that may be neglected in the calculus that sums the series. There is no end to this. We have no right to limit it by the present size or power of our telescopes. The present visible worlds of astronomy may be no more—they probably are no more—to the whole, than a single leaf to the forests of the Orinoco. The false idea must be carried on until every conception of every relation of a personal deity to finite beings, of any rank, utterly disappears, and a view no better than blank atheism—yea, worse than atheism, for that does not mock us with any pretense of theism—takes the place of all moral fear as well as of all religion.
And this raises the farther question: If such be the diminishing effect on the religion, what must it be on the science and the philosophy? If human sins and human salvation become such small things when seen through this inverted glass, what becomes of all human knowledge, human genius, and human boasting of it? We do not find that the men who make these objections, as drawn from the magnitude of the universe, are more humble than others; but surely they ought to be so, after having thus shown their own moral and physical nothingness, and, along with it, the utter insignificance of their science.
In one aspect, his mere physical aspect, man is indeed insignificant. The Scripture does not hesitate to call him a worm. It pronounces all nations “vanity”—“the small dust of the balance,” unappreciable physically in the great cosmical scales—“less than nothing and emptiness.” Such is its view of man in one direction, whilst in the other his value is to be estimated by the incarnation of Christ, and the very fact that the Infinite One condescends to make a revelation of Himself to such a being.—T. L.]
The cosmology of the Bible is geocosmic in its practical point of view. After it has presented to us the creation of the heavens and the earth, it lets us conclude from the development of the earth the development of the heavens, namely in respect to the creation of light and of man. From the spirit-world of earth we are to conclude a spirit-world of heaven. But it superabundantly indicates a development of the earthly solar system parallel with the development of the earth (Gen 1:14). That heaven is an inhabited region, appears from many passages, e.g., Gen. 28:12; and also that this region is divided into a rich multitude of various departments. And the question is not only of heaven, but also of the heaven of heavens (1 Kings 8:27). Christ teaches us too: In My father’s house are many mansions (John 14:2). But finally the Holy Writ informs us clearly, that notwithstanding the changeability, and necessity for rejuvenation, of the entire universe (Ps. 102:27; Is. 51:6), there is yet a contrast between the regions of growth on this side, and of perfection on the other (Ezek. 1:21; 1 Pet. 1:4; 2 Pet. 3:13, etc.). In this respect the newest and purest astronomical view of the world corresponds entirely to this biblical distinction between the regions of growth here, and of perfection beyond. But the Bible also promises for the form of the world, even on this side, a new structure and perfection. Once all was night; but in the present order of things day and night alternate; in the future the new world shall be raised beyond the contrast of day and night (Rev. 21). Formerly all was sea; the present order consists in the contrast of land and sea; in the new world the sea shall be no more.
b. The Idea of Nature in the Bible. The Bible and the Investigation of Nature.—We have shown in passing that the Scriptures fully recognize the idea of nature, i.e., of the conditioned going forth of the fixed life of nature from a fundamental principle peculiarly belonging to it. Every creative word becomes the ideal dynamical basis of a real principle. At first appear the principles of the separation. The separation of heaven and earth has the more general signification of universe on the one side, and of a special world-sphere on the other as represented by the earth, of which we now speak. At the second separation (light and darkness) the co-operation of the spirit of God is brought out, i.e., of the creative formative activity of God; at the third separation (water and land) the co-operation of light is presupposed. The natural law set up by Harvey (see LANGE’S “Positive Dogmatics,” p. 259): omne vivum ex ovo, has been again brilliantly restored in modern times by the exact investigation of nature in opposition to the theory of generatio œquivoca, which natural philosophy had taught (see SOBERNHEIM: “Elements of General Physiology,” Berlin, 1844). In Delitzsch also the conception of the generatio œquivoca plays a part in the account of the creation (p. 111), because he has not sufficiently considered that the creative words, in the ideal they carry, form the foundation of the actual principles of nature.
From the last-quoted principle it appears as follows:
1. Every grade of nature is fixed by a corresponding principle of nature, the natural principle of the plant, etc.
2. By its unfolding, this principle brings to light the standard of its development as the natural law of its grade. The natural principle is the first, the natural law is the second.
3. By the new principle of the higher grade of nature, the natural law of the preceding grade is modified in accordance with the new and higher life. The plant modifies the natural law of gravity, the animal modifies the local attachment of the plant; in man the animal instinct is effaced.
4. With each new life-principle God creates a new thing. The creation of the new is however the most general idea of the miracle, as the announcement of what is new is the most general idea of prophecy. Consequently, each new natural principle is to the preceding surpassed grade of nature as a miracle. “The animal is a miracle for the vegetable world” (Hegel). From this relation of the new natural principles, as they form the new degrees of nature, it follows that all nature is a symbolical support and prophecy of the ethical miracle of the kingdom of God. For as the first man, Adam, miraculously changes the natural law of the animal world, that is, changes instinct into human freedom, thus does Christ, as the new man from heaven, as the completed life-principle and miracle, change the Adamic laws of life into fundamental laws of the kingdom of God. It is in accordance with his nature to perform miracles within the Adamic sphere (1 Cor. 15).
5. But what is true of the laws of nature, is also true of the matter of nature. Principle is the first thing in nature, law is the second, matter, as we know it, is the third. For through the intervention of a new and higher natural principle in the world by means of the creative word supporting it, the life of the preceding grade is reduced to the grade of matter. Thus by the appearance of the vegetable principle, the elementary world becomes matter for new formations; so, too, the animal reduces the vegetable world to the grade of material, and in like manner does man change the grade of the animal world. But the man from heaven makes from the elements of the Adamic world the matter for a new world. The materialists of our day have ridiculed the idea of a life-power which should be different from the supposed fundamental matter of the world. Instead of the life-power, there should have been opposed to them something more real: the life-principle. The life-principle is fundamentally distinguished in the contrast of plastic formative power and material substratum. They are both mutually established each with the other, but above them stands the principle. The materialist, therefore, as he explains everything from a force of matter, which no man has ever yet seen (see LANGE’S “Miscellaneous Writings,” 1st vol. p. 54), does not only deny the existence of the human soul and its ethical nature and highest causality, the Godhead, but he is also the antagonist of the genuine zoologist who believes in the reality of the animal principle, as he is of the genuine botanist who does not consider the vegetable formations a shadowy play of matter on the wall, and of the crystallographer who connects imponderable forces and polarity—yea, of the genuine chemist too, who has perceived that the relations of elective affinity in substances extend beyond the atomistic conceptions. May it not possibly be explained, that as the material side of the natural principle is formed by the creating word, so is the reference of the origin of matter to a pure thought of God something else than the reference to the difficult enigma of a creative matter; and experience proves that the coarser matter everywhere, as outside or precipitate, proceeds from finer formations. It is a radical contradiction that matter should generate spirit, and, nevertheless, be everywhere subjected to spirit, even to the disappearance of its original nature.
6. The ascending line of natural principles is an ascending line of acts of creation, with which the principles always the more strengthen, deepen, generalize, and individualize themselves, and with which, at the same time, new forms of the natural law and new combinations of substances appear.
7. The finished lower sphere of nature does not produce the newly appearing principle of the higher sphere, but it is, however, its maternal birth-place. And because the lower sphere prepares for the higher, in order to serve as its basis, it is full of indications of it, and becomes throughout a symbol which represents in advance the coming new world-form.
8. With respect to the development of the nature-principles into the realization of the conditioned self-generation of nature, we must distinguish the following kinds of development: a. The development of the world-creation in general; b. the development of our solar system; c. the spherical development of the earth; d. the gradual development of the individual life on earth; e. the natural development of the individuals themselves; f. the development of nature in the narrower and the broader sense, or 1. apart from human life, and 2. in connection with it.
a. The Development of the Creation of the World in general.—Through the analogy of the development of the earth, the Scripture permits us to infer also a development of heaven. The heavens are created (Gen. 1:1; 1 Chron. 17:26; Neh. 9:6; Ps. 33:6; 136:5; Prov. 3:19); the heavens grow old and pass away (Ps. 102:27; Is. 51:6); the heavens are renewed (2 Pet. 3:13; Rev. 21:5). Astronomy also teaches a continuous growth, and in the same way recognizes indications of passing away in the stellar world. But there is a difference between the various celestial regions. The old Jewish and Mahommedan tradition, and the Christian Apocryphas know seven heavens (the Koran, the Kabbala, the Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs). But the Hebrews admitted in general three heavens as in accordance with the Scripture (Paul also 2 Cor. 12:2–4; the third heaven the paradise): 1. The heaven of the air (the clouds, birds, changes of the atmosphere); 2. the heaven of the stellar world, the firmament; 3. the heaven in which God dwells with His angels, paradise. Of the latter heaven it must be observed that it is a symbolico-religious idea, and by no means excludes the stellar world (see LANGE’S work: “The Land of Glory”). The Scripture recognizes also the distinction between an earlier heavenly stellar world and the system to which this earth belongs, as we find it indicated in the fourth day’s work. When the earth was founded the morning-stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy (Job 38:7). Consequently before the foundations of the earth those morning-stars were there. Also the “Heaven of heavens,” as well as the ascension of Christ, point to a heavenly region which lies beyond the cosmical sphere of the world, to a region “of eternal sunshine.” See the above quotations.
b. The Development of our Solar System.—Although on the fourth day of the creation the whole stellar world is introduced into the circle of vision of the earth, nevertheless the cosmical completion of the system belonging to the earth is especially indicated. Special allusion is made to this system when the New Testament biblical eschatology treats of the end of the heavens and the earth, and their renewal (Joel 3:4; Matt. 24:29; 2 Pet. 3:10).
[NOTE ON THE SCRIPTURAL HEAVENS AND EARTH.—We think Dr. Lange carries too far what may be called the cosmological view of the Mosaic account. It either gives the writer too much science, or, in order to get a ground of interpretation independent of his conceptions, makes him to be a mere automatic medium—thus taking away the human, or that subjective truthfulness which is so precious in any view we may take of this narrative. Hence the tendency to regard the Bible heavens as the astronomical heavens of modern science, instead of the heavens of the earth, nearly connected with the earth, and in which the sun, moon, and stars appear as lights, whatever may be the near or remote causes of those appearances. See remarks in note on the Hebrew plural שָׁמַיִם, pp. 162, 163. The symbolic contrast of the heavens and the earth, with which Dr. Lange starts in the interpretation, has all the value he attaches to it; but it is not at all lost in what he might regard as the narrower view. The optical heavens, with the appearances in it, was all the writer knew, or was inspired to know, or describe. It was to him the cosmos. As this enlarges, by science, or otherwise, the conception of the heavens enlarges with it, but only as a conception. The idea remains as in the beginning. In keeping up this contrast, however, we are not to regard the scientific bodies discovered in the remoter spaces, as the heavens in distinction from our own home, as though the heavens were simply all that is off, and away from, the earth. The planet Mars is no more a heaven, or heavens, to us than we are a heavens to it. As knowledge lifts up the everlasting gates, the conception of the mundus enlarges to take in other earth-like bodies in space; but the old idea travels forth unchanged. The great symbolic contrast yet remains. The heavens, too, enlarge their scale, and the peculiar divine residence, once thought to be in the near sky just above us, is carried farther off, beyond the sky of clouds, beyond the sphere of the moon, the sun, the planets, the solar system. Science adds the stellar bodies; the heavens, the great symbolic, or rather symbolized, heavens, are still beyond, high over all, embracing all. “Who hast set Thy glory above the heavens,” עַל הַשָׁמַיִם (compare עַל as used Gen. 1:20; 19:23, שֶּׁמֶשׁ עַל-הָאָרֶץ); “Who stoopeth down to behold the things that are in the heavens (the lower heavens) and the earth,” Ps. 113:6. Solomon’s language, “The heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain Thee,” may, or may not, be surpassed in its local conception, but no science, it may be repeated, will ever transcend it in idea. Whatever the number of spheres, real or imaginary, the שְׁמֵי שָׁמַיִם, the heaven of heavens, is still the great heaven above them all.—T. L.]
c. The Spherical Development of the Earth, or the Six Days’ Work.—As was above indicated, the six days’ work have been represented in the sequence of a twofold ternary, in which is mirrored the significance of the number three. We construct these ternaries in the following manner: 1. Light and the lights; 2. water and air, and the animals of water and air; 3. the solid land and over it the vegetable world; the land-animals and over them man. As to the strict consistency of these days’ works, the most celebrated naturalists, as Cuvier, have expressly acknowledged it. Now we find these days’ works construed in the most manifold way; in part purely according to the Scriptures, in part purely according to natural science, and partly in distinct comparison, whereby the harmony between the Bible and natural science is contested or maintained.—Scriptural representations of the six days’ work. Here the 104th Psalm exceeds all. First day, Gen 2:1, 2; second day, Gen 2:3, 4; third day, Gen 2:5–18; fourth day, Gen 2:19, 20. The fifth day and the first half of the sixth are freely inlaid into the picture from the fourteenth verse. The sixth day also from Gen 2:14; but in Gen 2:23 man appears more distinctly in his rule. Here follows an accurate picture of the whole creation from Gen 2:24. The creation of the new world, which is the aim of the Apocalypse, passes also through a sevenfold stage. Here an accord in the order of the six days’ work is not to be misunderstood. 1. The seven congregations as the seven candlesticks of the earth, Christ in a figure of light in their midst, with seven stars in His hands—an allusion to the creation of light of the first day (Gen 1–3). 2. The seven seals. The council in heaven and the seven seals or decrees of sorrow on earth—an allusion to the creation of the firmament between the waters above (Gen 4:6, the “sea of glass”; comp. Gen 7:17) and the waters beneath (the blood of the lamb,9 Gen 7:14), Gen 4–7. The seven trumpets. Decrees of judgment on the earth preaching repentance (Gen 8:7) and on the sea (Gen 2:8)—allusion to the separation of land and sea (see also Gen 10:2), Gen 8–10:2. The seven thunders (voices of awaking whose speech had been sealed). The angel who had awakened the seven thunders, raises his hand to heaven and swears that hereafter time shall be no more.10 Episodes from the stage of the seven thunders: the swallowed scroll, the measuring of the temple of God, the two olive trees, the woman in heaven clothed with the sun, the moon under her feet, and a crown of twelve stars on her head—an allusion to the lights created to mark the seasons (Gen 10:3 to Gen 12:2). 5. The seven heads of the dragon. The (flying) dragon in heaven, the woman with eagles’ wings, and the beast out of the sea with seven heads, the earthly anti-Christ representative of the seven heads of the dragon—allusion to the birds of the heavens and the beasts of the sea (Gen 12:3–13:10). 6. The seven last plagues or vials of wrath. Introduction: the animal out of the earth, the number 666 (with reference to the significance of the number 6; perhaps also the sixth day); the lamb on Mount Sion, the image of God with the 144,000 virgins who bear on their foreheads the name of the lamb and the name of the father, i.e., are images of God; the announcement of the judgment, of the seven last plagues; the judgment on the earth; the whore, her counterpart the bride and her bridegroom, heroes and deliverers, judges of spirits and associates in the apostasy—allusion to the animals of the earth and to man created in the image of God, with the command: Rule over them and make them subject to you, Gen 13:11–19:21).11
7. The great Sabbath of God (Gen 20 and 21). It is, of course, understood that so original a creation as the Apocalypse could not be an allegorical copy of the six days’ work. In the Epistle of Barnabas (among the writings of the Patres apostolici) we find Gen 15 the incorrect literal interpretation of the passages Ps. 90:4 and 2 Pet. 3:8 (according to which a thousand years of earth should make one day of God, consequently six thousand years of history the great spiritual week of God which is to precede the divine millennium sabbath). This became later a standing presumption of the chiliastic computations. One of the first patristic representations of the hexaëmeron with polemical references to the heathen view of the world, we find in the apology of THEOPHILUS OF ANTIOCH: Ad Autolycum, lib. ii. cap. 12 sqq. Many others have followed these (see Introduction). Among the modern biblio-theological representations of the six days’ work, that of HERDER (“Oldest Record of the Human Race”) occupies a prominent place. It rejects all combinations of the scriptural text with natural science. It traces back the account to the teaching of God; but it arose by means of human observation of the rising sun, as in this the picture of creation is ever unrolled to the eyes of the observer. The representation itself he calls a hieroglyphe for the instruction of man in the great pictures of creation, as presented to his contemplation in the order of life, first work, then rest (the sabbath-law), and in the numbering of days (with reference to the week) as given to him in language, etc. He finds in the account the symbols of the first religion, natural science, morality, politics, chronology, writing, and language. In his poetic diction there is much that is beautiful; but the picture he gives us of the terror of the Orientals in respect to darkness and labor is very partial and exaggerated. The same may be said of many other things in his book. The ignoring of the reality of the six days’ work is rationalistic. The construction is as follows:
III. Terra firma.
VI. Creatures of earth.
In the spirit of Herder, but independent in its view, and determination of the individual parts, is the representation in F. A. KRUMMACHER’S “Paragraphs on Sacred History” (p. 22 ff.). The six days, as such, and in themselves understood, are to him divine days. ZAHN also falls back on Herder in animated representation (“History of the Kingdom of God,” p. 1 ff.). GRUBE’S delineation of the six days’ work is very comprehensive and full of meaning (“Features from Sacred History,” p. 11 ff.—Scientific representation of the six days’ work. On the historical development of the doctrine of the cosmos, see ALEX. VON HUMBOLDT, iii. p. 3 ff. STEFFENS: “Polemical Sheets for the Advancement of Speculative Physics.” Second number, on Geology, Berlin, 1835 (here are quoted, p. 6, the respective geological works of Cuvier, Boué, Brogniart, Elie de Beaumont, De la Beche, and Von Leonhard). MERLEKER: “Cosmography,” Leipzig, 1848, p. 3. There is also the historical part of LYELL’s “Principles of Geology,” and VOGT’S “Compendium of Geology” (Braunschweig, 1854, 2 vols.); REUSCH: “Bible and Nature,” p. 71.—Here belong QUENSTEDT: “Then and Now.” A popular treatise: HARTING: “The Antemundane Creations compared with the Present.” From the Dutch, Leipzig, Engelmann, 1859. See, moreover, the preliminary literature. We must distinguish those treatises which regard the Hexaëmeron of Moses, and those which do not. And further, we must distinguish the systems which assume the formation of the earth by radical revolutions in a steady sequence of new creations (Cuvier), and those which assume a gradual transformation with partial revolutions. Harting belongs to the latter. We must, however, certainly maintain that a seed or germ of creation (for the transformation) must have passed through the catastrophes out of the earlier stage into the later, analogous to the process at the flood, but transformed in a creative way during the metamorphosis of the earth. But the doctrine of the great catastrophes is not therewith excluded. In respect to those who deny the existence of any harmony between the Bible and natural science, it may be said, that a few theologians in Germany, with shallow scientific acquirements, have undertaken the work; such as BALLENSHEDT (in the notorious book: “The Primitive World”), Bretschneider, and Strauss. In England recently GOODWIN (in the Essays and Reviews). SCHLEIERMACHER has also in this respect expressed anxieties which prove that he was not well posted on the point (“Studies and Criticisms,” 1829, p. 489). Most recently has this assumed opposition become a special dogma of the Hegelian school of Tübingen, which has its main altar in Eastern Switzerland. On the side of natural science the harmony has been mainly contested by French authors; in Germany, by Vogt and Burmeister. On the side of the naturalists, who at the same time were scientifically learned and Bible-believing men, stand Copernicus, Kepler, Newton, Pascal, Haller, and Euler; at a later period the Frenchmen Cuvier, Brogniart, Deluc, Biot, Ampére; in Germany, Steffins, H. von Schubert, A. Wagner, and others. (See REUSCH, p. 63 ff.) To these add also the Bible-believing cosmologists—the Frenchmen Marcel de Serres, de Blainville, the Belgian Waterkeyn, and especially many Englishmen and North Americans (REUSCH, p. 67; see especially also DELITZSCH, p. 609). A significant position is taken by the already quoted work of BUCKLAND: “Geology and Mineralogy,” etc., as given by WERNER, in the German edition of the well-known “Bridgewater Treatises,” vol. v., with which compare the valuable criticism of it by W. HOFFMANN, in “Tholuck’s Literary Advertiser,” 1838, Number 44. “The conditions on which the great geologist treats with his timid brothers in the theological world are (according to W. Hoffmann) the following: 1. Geology has evidently proved that the surface of our planet has not been from eternity in its present condition, but has passed through a series of creative operations, which followed each other in long, fixed periods of time. 2. There is an exposition of natural phenomena which stands so little in contrast with the Mosaic history that it even throws light on dark parts of it, and thereby confirms it. 3. The authenticity of the Scriptural text must remain unscathed, but the exposition demands concessions from the literal expositor; the reader must make this, and indemnify himself therefor by the accession which geology supplies to natural theology. 4. The Bible does not aim to give solutions of geological and other questions of natural science. Else, God would have found it necessary to endow man with omniscience, because he was obliged, at the same time, to impart to him all degrees and kinds of human knowledge, if the revelation were not to remain an insufficient one.” In several points Hoffmann has corrected the author with a free and large survey, namely, in the endeavor of Buckland to transfer all the periods of the geologically determined earth-formation into the undefinable beginning before the first day of the creation, although to those geological periods the long biblical day-periods are still to be added. Hoffmann, on the contrary, alleges that then the eyes of the trilobites, for example, must have existed before the creation of light. The same is true of the first vegetable and animal world throughout. The same untenable view, however, that will transfer the geological periods, with their relation to each other, into the time of the Thohu Vabhohu, meets us also now in various forms. It is represented by Andreas Wagner and Kurtz (see, on the contrary, DELITZSCH, p. 112). The more defined combination of geological results and the biblical account appears in a form sometimes mainly scientific, and again mainly theological; but the two series cannot be strictly separated from each other. Reusch places here Marcel de Serres, Waterkeyn, Andreas Wagner, Wiseman, NICOLAS: “Philosophical Studies of Christendom,” SORIGNET (La Cosmogonie de la Bible devant les sciences perfectionées, Paris, 1854), Pianciani, KURTZ: “Bible and Astronomy,” Keerl and Westermeyer, whose work, in his view, is without scientific value. So also Mutzl, Michelis, Ebrard, and a series of Essays in the Periodicals: “Nature and Revelation” (Münster, 1855 ff.), and “The Catholic” (Mentz, 1858 sqq.). We also enumerate here, La Cosmogonie de la Révélation, par Godefoy, Paris, 1841, the previously quoted works of O. Reinsch, Fr. von Rougement, and Böhner (with respect to the cosmogonal theory of Kant and La Place). The newest commentary on Genesis, by Keil, shows no progress. Keil insists on regarding the account of creation as an historical record in the strictest sense; he opposes the division of the six days’ work according to ternaries, he sets the act of creation in excluding contrast with the idea of the natural process, boldly questions the evidence of the various periods of the creation, and contends that the days of the creation are simple earth-days. With this continued darkening of the present view of the state of the case, it is a small merit that the theosophic view of the Thohu Vabhohu seems sets aside (p. 16).
The six days’ works are above all things to be comprehended as six consecutive acts of creation, in which, every time, a new creation is placed as a new appearance of the cosmos. For the world is to be regarded throughout as being, in respect to its foundation, the act of God, or creation (in the stricter sense); according to its development, nature, whilst, according to its appearance, cosmos, and, according to the plastic life-principle lying at its base (the future of man and the God-Man), it is œon. The creation is, in the first place, and in general, represented as creation of heaven and earth; then the history of the earth is specially brought out with reference to its relation to heaven, and also to give an idea of the cosmical creation beyond the earth in our planetary system. The characteristic traits are the following:
The First Day.—The separation of darkness and light, i.e., of dark and light matter. We must here preserve the text from the terrifying pictures of darkness in Herder, and the conceptions of darkness, approaching dualism, of certain theologians of the present day. The Scripture speaks also of a “smiting of the sun” (Ps. 121:6; Jonah 4:8), and of a sacred obscurity, also of a beneficent shade, as Christendom recognizes a holy night; it knows also a higher unity of day and night (Revelation 20:21; see “The Land of Glory,” p. 150; NOVALIS: “Hymns to the Night”). Nothing is more dangerous to life than the commingling of physical and ethical darkness (see Isaiah 45). God did not make physical darkness in so far only as it is privative, mere absence of light, but he made it in so far as he made the earth, the darkness in general, and the order of life: day and night. With respect to light and its effects, comp. SCHUBERT: “Mirror of Nature,” p. 457 ff.; also F. A. KRUMMACHER’S poem: “The Light,” and MILTON’S “Salutation to Light.” The light is in the Scripture as an image of the Godhead, or of its indwelling (1 Tim. 6:16). It is God’s garment (Ps. 104:2), an image of the being and life of Christ and of its efficacy. Not without reason have some designated light as the first creature of God, and distinguished between latent light = material darkness, and free light-matter. Comp. what Hoffmann has observed, in his quoted criticism, about the visible creation proceeding from the invisible sphere of the creative powers, the imponderable substances dynamically regarded. (Comp. Heb. 11:3) The unity of the contrast of centripetal and centrifugal power (sympathy and antipathy), attraction (gravity) and repulsion (motion), warmth and light, appears to lie in something beyond the relative contrast of electricity, where warmth predominates, and that of magnetism, where light predominates (although in both one is set with the other); which remoter principle we may designate as a breath of life, whose material product is an inconceivably minute, fundamental form of the luminous world-body which is to spring from it, as the cell or the fundamental form of organic life, in an element of growing light, that is, which becomes light, or an ether, which as earth-matter has attractive power, and, as a medium of light, repulsive power. With respect to the evenings and the mornings, it is to be observed that Kurtz has also effaced their optical reality. By the evenings is meant the going out or departure of the separate visions. The permanent reproduction of the word, “Let there be light,” is not so much the rising of the sun, according to Herder, as rather the electric spark, the lightning proceeding from the dark thunder-cloud, the northern light of the long polar night, just as every meteoric revelation of the light-nature of the earth. For this is clearly intimated, that the earth, until its arrangement into cosmical dependence on the sun, found itself in a condition of self-illumination, like that towards which it ever strives to rise in the polar night. Physical darkness is undoubtedly made by the Scriptures an image of ethical darkness, for it is the comparatively imperfect. But we again distinguish the black night, which may be in measure illuminated by every spark; the gray night of mist, which is in positive opposition to the light, and the white night, or blinding light, by which the light is corrupted into the worst darkness, or the most evil night.
Second Day.—About the upper waters, see the Exegesis. The allusion they contain to the matter of the distant world-space, the space of heaven, is found also in mythology (see DELITZSCH, p. 614). But it is questionable whether, along with the upper waters, there is also presupposed here a world-matter out of which the lights are formed on the fourth day of creation (A. Guyot, with the addition of the mist theory of La Place; Fr. de Rougement, translated from Fabarius, p. 61, with distinct reference to our planetary system; Böhner, p. 158, a clear and instructive representation). But it is to be observed that the lights of the fourth day clearly refer to the light of the first day, consequently not to the upper waters of the second. The rakia, as firmament, indicates the boundary line behind which water, air, and æther, flow together. Consequently, this firmament indicates, at the same time, the boundary line between the centripetal and centrifugal force of matter, between its impulse to become earth, and its impulse to become light. But this is just what makes the rakia a symbol of the real heaven: it is the equator which spirits pass in their passage to the home in light. The second day is therefore the separation of the atmosphere and the element of liquid earth (dividing the substance of light and the substance of darkness), and probably still glowing hot. With the firmament, between the coldness of the æther and the warmth of the earth, as between light and gravity, are built the first formations of the earth as the vessel of its liquid nucleus; neither Plutonic nor Neptunian, because fire and water are not yet separated. For the contest between Plutonism and Neptunism, see DELITZSCH, p. 609. The contrast of both systems does not begin till the third day of the creation, with the separation of water and land. The beginning of the third day of creation (the evening) probably marks the period of the actual water-formation from the precipitates of the recent atmosphere, with which the entire new surface of the earth is overflowed. In the transition from light days, and rain-storms, and hurricanes, is mirrored the creation of the second day. The crystals and precious stones children of night. “On the second day God made nothing,” says Rougemont, “he only caused a separation.” But such a separation was a creation.
Third Day.—Separation between land and water. In accordance with this, the development of fire, which brings forth the earth, and combines with water, to continue the formation of the earth. The first appearance of plants on points of earth in insular dispersion. Remains of the general flood: deserts, sandbanks. (Question, whether the plants throughout were created before coal, or whether coal is not mainly to be considered as pre-existing as a formative substance of the plants.)
Fourth Day.—The cosmical combination of the lights of heaven and the earth. Cosmico-atmospheric and chemical completion of the earth for the conditions of a higher life. Ecliptic. Beginning of the relations of the zones. Continued operation: the zones, the seasons, the periods. The metals children of light.
Fifth Day.—Animals of the water—birds. The conclusion of this period and the first half of the following; the main period of the strata-formation and the petrifactions, although this period begins with the end of the third day.
Sixth Day.—The catastrophe introducing this closes, with its completion not manifest before the appearance of man, or the cycle of the great general revolutions, and introduces the world which is intended to be Adam’s home. The natural law, in its central effect as a law of necessity, is abolished in the destination and freedom of man.
Seventh Day.—God reposes and rests in man. Man reposes and rests in God. God’s sabbath is reflected in the sabbath of the world. Just as the geology of the first day represents the cosmogony through the universality of light, so the firmament of the second day represents the heaven above and the earth beneath. Then the fourth day, in contrast to the third, points up again to the cosmos. On the fifth day of creation the birds of heaven must at least indicate the cosmical relation; on the sixth day man, the special representative of the spirit-world.
d. The Gradual Development of the Individual Life on Earth.—The idea of the natural life is the idea of a relative independence communicated by God to the world, which passes through the stages of symbolical independence to actual independence, or that freedom of man in which nature is abolished. We distinguish, accordingly, the following degrees of independence in an ascending line: 1. The element: or dependent self-existence to be annulled (through chemistry); 2. the chemical combination: or the mutual relation of the one element to the other, i.e., to its related opposite; 3. crystals: self-formation in forms and colors; 4. plants: self-production, reproduction; 5. animals: self-motion inwardly (self-perception), outwardly (motion in the narrower sense); 6. man: self-consciousness and power of self-control; 7. the power denoted points to the man from heaven, the God-man: or complete self-control in complete self-comprehension in the unity with God, nature, and humanity (see LANGE’S “Positive Dogmatics,” p. 247).
In respect to the classification, we remark, 1. That every lower grade reappears in all higher grades in a continually modified form; 2. that it is the coming grade as a symbol and actual prophecy; and 3. that it takes the lower place of a serving and supporting substance for the higher grade. In man all grades are combined and subordinated to spirit. As he is an image of God, so also is he an image of the earth; so also of the universe. Microcosm. The idea of the lower grade is not so to be understood as if the stamp of divine authority were wanting to it. 5. Every grade comprises again lower and higher formations; with the lowest it reverts to the preceding grade, but with the highest it presents, in its solemn pauses of formation, a preliminary or provisional completion which becomes the symbol of the completion of life in general. Through those relapsing or bastard-like formations arise the poisons, according to H. von Schubert and K. Snell (see LANGE’S “Dogmatics,” p. 266), which are an allegory of moral discord and relapse into sin. The completed types of a fixed grade of nature are, on the contrary, the precious stone, the palm, the rose, the eagle, the dove, the lamb, etc., becoming with their transient completion symbols of the highest life. The period which is peculiar to each grade, appears with it in full power; hence in the element, the obscure, enigmatical, apparently isolated existence; in chemistry, the whole irresistible power of physical elective affinities; in the crystal, the stately play of the sternest forms and the most beautiful colors; in the plant, the whole power of reproduction (through root, seed, and branch), and of growth high into space, and far into time; in the animal, the motion in all kinds and in all grades; in man, finally, the self-consciousness in that perfected intensity which makes it the most peculiar characteristic of his being. 7. The individual formation appears in every grade in greater power. Hence the elements have mostly lost themselves in chemical combinations, and these again submit to the most manifold separations. Hence crystals are mostly altered, arrested, or distorted through disturbing influences or checks, and seldom appear pure. Hence plants are capable of greater degeneracy in their kinds than animals, and the metamorphoses of the subordinate animals greater than those of the higher. This disposition to degeneracy and to variety has lately become an inducement to dispute the idea of fixed species, as we see it in the work of the English naturalist Darwin, on the origin of species in the animal and vegetable world by natural generation, translated into German by Bronn, Stuttgart, 1860. This work, doubtless, will only be able to induce more exact formulas as to the grade of the individuality of the species and the susceptibility of modification in their pure ground-types through antagonistic or favoring influences.
e. The Natural Development of the Individuals themselves.—It passes through a regular series of stages or metamorphoses in which the metamorphoses of growth to maturity, of the transition from one ground-form into another (analogous in the insect-world to the passing through various natural grades) are to be distinguished from a higher state of perfection. It has indeed been doubted whether from the beginning our nobler grains have not been distinguished from the wild species, and also the tame domestic animals from the wild. The Scripture seems to speak in this tone in the distinction appearing in the very beginning between cattle and wild animals, and farther on in the distinction of certain plants of Paradise (see DELITZSCH, p. 622 and Gen 2).
f. The Development of Nature at large.—1. Apart from man. That nature waits patiently for man appears from the fact that left to itself it grows wild, and in boundless luxuriance threatens to overwhelm and smother itself, as is proved by the primitive forests, the marshes, and the miasmas. 2. In reference to man. Nature is intended to develop itself in accord with man. It therefore sympathizes in his fall (Gen. 3:17 ff; 19:28; Deut. 28:15 ff; Is. 13:6 ff; Rom. 8:19 ff), and in his resurrection (Deut. 28:8; Ps. 77; Is. 35; 65:66; Rom. 8:21; 1 Cor. 15:45 ff; 2 Pet. 3:13; Rev. 20:21). See DE ROUGEMONT, pp. 2 and 3.
Therefore also has man in his individual form, and man in his totality, his natural side; and therefore it is that the most sublime idea of nature (for the idea of nature, see the quotation from Aristotle in LANGE’S “Dogmatics,” p. 258), or the idea of an inceptive founding, of a gradual development, and a final completion of animal life, does, for that very reason, present itself to us in the history of the kingdom of God, as the miraculous tree, which continues to grow from the beginning to the end of the world, with its crown reaching into eternity. And especially in the history of the God-Man, does it thus appear as a tree whose roots go back into the foundation of creation, and whose boughs, branches, blossoms, and fruits spread throughout the new humanity. The natural sciences have not yet attained to the greatness of the scriptural idea of nature.
Of the Relation of the Account of the Creation and of the Holy Writ in general to the Natural Sciences.—In this relation a fourfold collision may be conceived: 1. An incorrect exegesis of the Scripture may clash with an incorrect exegesis of nature (the investigation of nature is indeed only exegesis, and its teachings are to be distinguished from the objective facts themselves). 2. An incorrect scriptural exegesis can contradict the ground-text of the life of nature. 3. A false exegesis of nature can come in conflict with the text of the Scripture. The fourth case, that the sense of the Scripture itself, or the text of nature itself, might be in contradiction with each other, could only be imagined on the ground that Scripture and nature were not, both of them, books of revelation of the same God. The thorough, scientific, and theological investigation confirms more and more their harmony.—Pretended incongruities in the account of creation itself are: 1. Light before the lights or illuminating bodies. This is thoroughly removed (see Exegesis). 2. The earth proceeding from the water in contrast to Plutonism. This objection reposes on the misunderstanding of the waters Gen 2:2 and Gen 2:6, and exaggeration of the demands of Plutonism. 3. The firmament on the fourth day. See the Exegesis and the fundamental thoughts. 4. The days of creation: Also removed by the correct exposition which makes them peculiar days of God. When, however, naturalists fill their mouths with millions of years as a necessity for the formation of the earth, they fall into contradiction with the spirit and the laws of nature itself. It is a law of nature that the subordinate formations arise more rapidly than the higher ones. And further, that life in the glowing, warm moments of its origin, moves more rapidly than in its development. If man continued to grow in the same proportion as in the maternal womb, he would increase beyond the highest trees. 5. The relation between the heliocentric and the geocentric view, see above.—Pretended collisions between the scriptural miracles and nature. See “Bible-Work,” Matthew; “Life of Jesus,” ii. p. 258; “Philosophical Dogmatics,” p. 467. On the prophetic-symbolical parallel-miracles, see more particularly in the “Bible-Work,” Exodus.
11. The World as Cosmos.—The idea of the cosmos, i.e., of the regulated, unitary, beautiful appearance of the world, makes itself known, at first, through the sevenfold verdict: “God saw that it was good.” In this we must bear in mind that, with the good, the adjective טוֹב means also the appropriate, the agreeable, the beautiful. But when it is said for the seventh time, after the creation of man, and with enhanced emphasis: Behold everything was very good, there lies therein a reference to the fact that the great world, the macrocosmos, has reached in man, as the microcosmos, its living point of unity. A variety, however, which with its appearance rises into an ideal unity, forms the very idea of the beautiful. But here this idea is, at the same time, in its completeness, the idea of the good; for in man the finite world has reached its unending eternal aim. And then there is what may be called the poetical account of man affirming his appearance in that parallelism of phrases, Gen 2:27, of which it has been observed, it is the first example of religious poetry, as the song of Lamech, Gen 4:23, is the first example of secular. The solemnity of the cosmical appearance of the world is then again specially expressed in the delineation of the rest of God on the seventh day. The sabbath of God is the primitive picture of the human days of rest and festivity, in which the adorning of the world appears in the reflection of human adornment, and human worship endeavors to unite in itself all forms of the beautiful, of art, as it also unites with the most beautiful periods of the life of nature in the course of the year. The Holy Writ retains also this view of the world especially in the appreciation of the beautiful, even of female beauty, and in the reverence of the sublime and beautiful nature (Ps. 8:19 and 104; Is. 40, etc.), in the glorifying of the beautiful service of Jehovah (who Himself is adorned with light, Ps. 104), and in its own festal robes of beauty. It may be observed, in passing, that the Jewish Rabbinism has discovered strange reasons why, in the account of the second day, there does not also stand the expression: “He saw that it was good;” it was because, say they, on that day the apostate angels fell, because on it God created hell, or because the waters brought the flood over the world. It is generally assumed that the sentence of approbation of the firmament on the second day is comprised with that pronounced on the formation of the land on the third day, and on the firmament on the fourth. This is pursued farther in the preceding exegetical illustration.—It is known that the Grecian idea of beauty and of the cosmos is elevated far above that of the Chinese, satisfied as it is only with the delicately formed, the variegated, and the cheerful, and whilst it detests the shadows in the picture. Certain representations respecting the darkness and night in the treatment of the six days’ work remind us of the Chinese or Persian views; for instance, in Herder, Delitzsch, ROUGEMONT (p. 11), and in CHRISTIANUS (“Gospel of the Kingdom,” p. 5). In one respect, again, is there presented a similar difference between the Grecian and the scriptural idea of the cosmical. The former throws the obscure into the background, because it cannot resolve it into higher unities. For the Hebrew, that which is the ugly in a smaller unity is only the picturesque shadow in a general higher unity (see Ps. 104:20; 148:7, 8). The obscurity of the cosmos, originating with sin, is quite as well to be regarded subjectively, according to which the world meets the sinner in an uneasy threatening form (Ecclesiastes 1:8), as objectively, according to which the creature, as suffering, must, in reality, with fallen man, sigh for redemption (Rom. 8:19).
12. The World as Æon.—That the world also in its truest and most inward principle of life and development is comprised in man, appears already from the strong emphasis with which man is introduced in the first chapter of Genesis as end or aim of the creation, but still more from his principial position at the head of things, which is given to him in the second chapter. The idea of the æon is a development and a developing period of life placed with the power of life in the principle of life. The world as æon has also the principle of its life-power, its duration, form, and development in man. And thus is it explained that with the distinction of universal history into the history of the first and second man, or Adam and the Messiah, there is also distinguished a twofold æon. But it is in accordance with the idea of the æon, that the new æon of Christ can have principially begun with His appearance and redemptory act, whilst the old æon still externally continues. The life-development of the æon starts from the beginning and appears, at first, gradually, but not perfectly, until the close. Just so it is explained that the world in the course of its development depends on the bearing of man, and that the history of man is the history of the earthly cosmos. The sinless man and Paradise, Adam and the field burdened with the curse, the rain of the first race and the flood, Noah’s generation and the rainbow, the people of promise and the promised land, the renewal of humanity, through Christ, and the renewal of the earth, the judgment, and the end of the world, these are only the principal epochs of a chain of events which are expressed in the most manifold separate pictures and traits (see LANGE’S “Life of Jesus:” the Baptism of Jesus, the natural events at His death and ascension).
13. That the Scriptures neither know nor will know of pre-Adamites (see HAHN: “Compendium of Faith,” ii. p. 24), nor of various primitive aboriginal races, appears not only from Genesis 1 and 2, but also from the consistent presumption and assertion of the entire Holy Writ; for example, Matt. 19:4; Acts 17:26; 1 Cor. 15:47. Here we can bring out only the following points: 1. The original unity of the human race coincides with the doctrine of the unity of the fall of man in Adam, and the unity of the redemption in Christ. It also accords with the biblical and Christian idea of the unitary destination of the earth. 2. The autochthonic doctrine of the ancients stands in intimate connection with their polytheism; the special race of any certain land corresponds with the special gods of said land, as the speech of Paul in Athens clearly shows (Acts 17:25, 26). 3. The greatest naturalists have mostly declared themselves against the originality of different human races, see LANGE’S “Dogmatics,” p. 330; the greater part of the earlier defenders of said view belonged to the department of natural philosophy. With the distinction of the various ground-types, which are formed from the one human species, the most serious difficulties are banished, though not solely by reference to climatic relations; and so in regard to the alleged fruitfulness of sexual combinations among the various races, the proof of such fruitfulness is justly pronounced one of the strongest proofs of unity. 5. The autochthonic theory has never been able to harmonize itself in relation to the ground-forms to be presented; and it can also, 6. not deny the fact that the origin of the various types of men points back to a common home in Asia.
14. As to the doctrine of the original image, compare the dogmatic works. The following distinctions need special attention: 1. צֶלֶם and דְּמוּת, image and likeness. The Greek expositors referred the first to the dispositions of man, and the latter to his normal development; thus also the scholastics referred the former to the sum-total of the natural powers of man (reason, liberty), and the latter to his pious and moral nature. This distinction appears again in another form in the older Protestant dogmatics, when it distinguishes between an image that man has not lost by sin (Gen. 9:6; James 3:9), and such a one as he, in fact, has lost, although this Protestant distinction does not refer itself back to those words image and likeness. Image has already been made to refer to the similitude to God in man (the so-called μικρόθεος), likeness to man as microcosm in so far as he unites the whole world in himself and presents it in a reduced scale, because the world is a likeness of God on a grand scale (A. FELDHOFF: “Our Immortality,” Kempten, 1836). We maintain rather that the image designates the principle in accordance with, and with a view to which, man has been created—consequently, the dynamic-plastic idea of the God-Man (which view is supported by the fact that man, according to Gen. 3, wished arbitrarily to realize this idea). We maintain, therefore, that the image denotes the primitive image, as in Christ alone is it plainly so called,12 and comes in Him to its realized appearance. Therefore is it said in the image, that is, the determinable similitude of man in proportion to the image of Christ. The likeness, on the contrary, is the real appearance of the copied similitude, as it was peculiar to the first man in the condition of innocence from the beginning. The older Protestant dogmatics distinguished, as said (without reference to the words image and likeness), the substantial human affinity, to God, especially in spiritual powers, reason, etc., and the image in the narrower sense, the justitia originalis, the status integritatis with its separate attributes (especially impassibility, immortality). They laid the emphasis on the fact that the image in this stricter sense was lost. Thereby has this opinion, for its part, represented the glory of the first man in various ways as too much developed, whilst the Socinians, contrary to the nature of the spirit, would consider it as a mere abstract power (see LANGE’S “Positive Dogmatics,” p. 304). 2. To say nothing now of the Encratites and Severians, who denied to the female sex a share in the similitude, there may be farther noted the strange contrast between such as would find the image merely in the bodily appearance of man (The Audians, and lately Hofmann), or merely in his spiritual nature (Alexandrians, Augustine, Zwingli), since here the simple observation suffices, that the body of man is above all an image of his peculiar spiritual nature. In accordance with this the similitude can naturally be understood only of man in his totality. Its root is the spiritual nature or the divine affinity, its appearance is the bodily form in which man effects his dominion over nature, and although this does not fulfil the idea of his similitude, it certainly appears as the first and most common realization of it. Man is the administrator of God on earth. The similitude, i. e., the disposition and designation of man to the image, has remained to him; the image in its integrity (δόξα) he has lost. Still, an obscure outline of it, especially of the likeness, has remained to him, as is proved by the remains of the manifoldly evil administration of men on earth. The distorted image of the divine assumes various forms in sinful man, even to the image of evil spirits. One must make the distinction between the primitive image, Christ, and the copy, human nature, but not so as if the primitive image were the exclusive Godhead, or the copy pure creature. See also the article “Image” in HERZOG’S Real-Lexicon.
15. Man (אָדָם) indicates here collectively humanity according to its origin in the first human pair, or in the one man in general, who was certainly the universal primitive man and the individual Adam in one person. Adam, referring to Adamah; the red one, from the red earth taken. Or is it, in fact, as Starke maintains, the beautiful, the brilliant? It is true, אָדָם in Arabic may also mean to be beautiful, to shine, and Gesenius remarks: solent Arabes duplex genus hominum distinguere, alterum rubrum, quod nos album appellamus, alterum nigrum. If the earth had the name of Adam, Adamah, as might be inferred from the first appearance of the word in Gen 2:7, the conception of Adam had a good sense, as brilliant, beautiful, analogous to the commendatory appellations of man in other nations. But it is clear that Adam is named according to Adamah, Gen 2:7, and so Paul has comprehended him as the χοϊκός (1 Cor. 15:47). On the word Adam, comp. DELITZSCH, pp. 141 and 619. The Scripture indicates by this name that it is in unity with the wonderful fact, that man was created by God, though he went forth from the earth in the form of a natural growth under an “inspiration of the earth,” as Steffens expresses himself.
16. The Sabbath. The view set up by Schröder and Gerlach of the late origin of the sabbath in the giving of the law, finds a contrast in the exaggerated importance of the significance of the word sabbath in DELITZSCH (p. 131 ff.), where he says, “Sunday has a churchly solemnization, but the sabbath remains the blessed and hallowed day of days,” etc. The sense of these and similar words is not entirely clear, especially when one considers that under the days of creation Delitzsch does not understand real days but periods. Also the beautifully expressed parallel, in Delitzsch, of the creative Friday when everything was finished, and the Friday of the redemption, when Christ died with the words: “It is finished;” that is, the sabbath of creation and the day of rest of Christ in the grave, as bringing up with the resurrection of Christ the now prominent and deep significance of that first Sunday, when God said: “Let there be light.” For historical particulars, see WINER, article “Sabbath;” HENGSTENBERG: “The Day of the Lord.” See especially the article “Sabbath” by OEHLER in HERZOG’S “Real-Encyclopædia,” where the existence of a clearly marked pre-Mosaic solemnization of the sabbath among the Jews, and the analogous existence of a heathen, that is, an Egyptian weekly festival, is decidedly questioned. That the heathen nevertheless, from time immemorial, have known certain festive periods, appears from their mythological systems.
17. As significant figures, as signs of a future sacred symbol of numbers already appearing in our section, are to be observed the number two, appearing in the various contrasts (heaven and earth, etc.) as the number of nature or of life; the number three in the contrast of the two ternaries; the number four as number of the world in so far, as on the fourth day the cosmos in the whole was completed; the number six as the number of labor, and seven as the sacred number of the divine labor concluded and perfected in the solemn rest of God. The number seven appears besides in the sevenfold, solemn expression: God saw that it was good. But the number ten also is seen in the tenfold introduction of the creative word: “God spake: Let there be.”
18. The so-called anthropomorphisms of the present chapter: God spake, God saw, God made, God rested, form the foundation of the whole anthropomorphic and anthropopathic style of delineation in Sacred Writ. We must here observe that the anthropopathic expression may not be understood as literal-dogmatic (anthropopathists) neither as mythical (spiritualists), but as religio-symbolical, representing the divine ideal-doing under the figure of human action, not, however, in the sense as if human life, action, and image were the original that shadows itself in the similarities of divine action, but in the sense that the divine speaking, working, and resting form the foundation for the analogous, comparative doings of man (see “Bible-Work,” John); just as God’s day is the original image for the day of man, but not vice-versa.
19. The first chapter of Genesis clearly contains the germs of all fundamental doctrines of theology in the stricter sense, as well as of anthropology; that is, it is the basis for the doctrine of God (the first article of the apostolic Confession of Faith), of His attributes and His personality, of the world, of the religious and earthly-real side of the world; finally of man, his nature, dignity, and destiny. With the image of God, in which man is created, is also expressed the future of Christ, as it lay in its ideal destination in the divine counsel from eternity (see LANGE’S “Dogmatics,” p. 211). The possibility of sin is, moreover, alluded to in the words: Rule over them and make them subject to thee. It appears, however, more clearly in the second chapter.
HOMILETICAL AND PRACTICAL
(KLEIST: “Hymn to God;” GELLERT: “God is my Song;” KLOPSTOCK’S “Odes to Creation;” FR. AD. KRUMMACHER: “The Days of Creation”).—Homily on the six days’ work from Gen 1–2: 3. Point of view: The creation as a revelation of God: 1. His omnipotence (Let there be!); 2. His wisdom (means and end, the grades of nature and the image of God); 3. His goodness (the living beings and their movement and nourishment); His love (man).—The creation as a future of man (the preparation of the house of God for man and man for the house of God).—The creation as the advent of the God-Man: 1. The days’ works of God a prophecy of man; 2. the perfected man on the sabbath of God a prophecy of the God-Man.—The first creation a prefiguration of the second creation or the redemption.—The week of God: 1. God’s work in nature; 2. God’s rest in man.—The sabbath of God a prophecy of the divine Sunday.—The week of God in the history of the world.—The appointment of the whole course of the world as a work of God: 1. The Chiliastic error therein: the chronological computation, etc.; 2. the truth therein: the expectation of the divine period of rest (Rev. 20).—The world according to its various forms: 1. As creation; 2. as nature; 3. as cosmos; 4. as æon.—The work of God and the work of man. What is different, and what is common to both: a. The order; b. the constancy; c. the gradual progression; d. the aim.—The account of the creation contrasted with ancient and modern errors (see Doctrinal and Ethical).—The account of the creation in its truth and sublimity.—The basis of all the days’ works: Heaven and earth.—The contrast of heaven and earth running through the entire Holy Writ as a symbol of religion.—Heaven as the home of man whilst on the earth: 1. The sign of his origin; 2. the direction of his prayer; 3. the goal of his hope.—The first three days’ work as the preparation of the last three.—The word of God as the word of power in the creation.—The spirit of God as the formative strength of all God’s works.—Creation as a mirror of the Trinity.—The creation a revelation of life from God: 1. The foundations of life in the elementary world; 2. the symbolical phenomena of life in the animal world; 3. the reality and truth of fife in the human world.—The glory of the Lord in the work of creation: 1. The co-operation of all His qualities (omnipotence, omnipresence, omniscience, etc.); 2. the unity of all His attributes.—Separate Sections and Verses. Gen 2:1: In the beginning. The birth of the world also the birth of time. 1. The fact that the world and, time are inseparable; 2. the application: a. the operations in the world are bound to the order of time, b. time is given for labor. To-day, to-day!—The relation of worldly time to the eternity of God (Ps. 90:1).—The beginning of the Scriptures goes back to the beginning of the world, as the end of the Scriptures extends to the end of the world.—The outline of creation: Heaven and earth: 1. Heaven and earth in union; 2. earth for heaven; 3. heaven for earth.—The primary form of the earth and the creation of light a picture of the redemption: 1. The redemption of mankind in general, 2. of the individual man.—Waste and void the first form of the world.—Laying the foundations of the world (Eph. 1:4, and other passages).—The spirit of God the sculptor of all forms of life.—The word of God: Let there be: 1. How the growth of the world points back to the eternal existence of the word; 2. how the eternal word is the foundation for the growth of the world.—The word—let there be—in its echo through time as the word of the creation, of the redemption and glorification.—The first clearly defined creation: the light.—The significance of light; its physical and religious significance.—God’s survey of light.—Light a source of life: 1. Its good as existing in its ground; 2. its beauty as disclosed in its appearing.—The creation of light at the same time the creation of physical darkness (see Is. 45).—How carefully we must guard against the commingling of natural and spiritual darkness.—The natural darkness as it were a picture of the spiritual.—But also a picture of the “shadow of His wings.”—Evening and morning, or the great daily phenomenon of the alternation of time.—The creation of light a day’s work of God: 1. The first day’s work; 2. a whole day’s work; 3. a continuous day’s work; 4. a day’s work rich in its consequences.—The first day. Gen 2:6–8: The second day’s work, or the firmament of heaven.—The firmament in its changing phenomena a visible image of the invisible heaven.
Gen 2:9 and 10: Land and sea. The beauty of the land, the sublimity of the sea. The symbolical significance of the land: the firm institutions of God; of the sea: the wave-like life of nations.—The second day of God. Gen 2:9–13: The earth and the vegetable world. The green earth a child of hope.—The plant the prelude and symbol of all life (of animal, human, and spiritual).—The providence of God in the creation of the vegetable world before the creation of animals and man.—This providence a picture of the same providence with which he thought and commanded our salvation from eternity.—The storehouses of the earth supplied before the appearance of man, according to the Scriptures and natural science (coal, minerals, salts, etc.).—The third day. Gen 2:14–19: The creation of the heavenly lights for the earth.—The sun. The moon. Sun and moon (Ps. 8:19). The stellar world.—A glance of faith into the stellar world.—The office of the stars for the earth: 1. God’s sign for faith; 2. sacred signs for the festive periods of the solemnization of the faith; 3. spiritual watchers and guides for the spiritual life of man; 4. homes of life for creature-life.—The fourth day. Gen 2:20–23: The life of the fishes in the sea and the birds under the heaven a sign of the possibility of an endlessly diversified existence of spiritual beings.—The blessing of God on the animal world (in every climate and sea).—The fifth day. Gen 2:24 and 25: The animals of the earth as the forerunners of man: 1. The first signs and pictures of human life; 2. its most intimate assistants; 3. its first conditions.
Gen 2:26–31: The creation of man: 1. A decree of God; 2. an announcement of the image of God; 3. the last work of God.—The office of man: 1. God’s image in his power and perfection; 2. God’s likeness in his appearance.—The perfect fulfilment of this destiny.—The one divine similitude in the contrast of man and woman.—The blessing of God on man: 1. His future; 2. his calling; 3. his possessions and his sustenance.—The institution of marriage (see Gen 2).—The calling of man, throughout, a call to dominion: 1. In representing God; 2. in ruling over the beasts; 3. in the free self-control.—The purity of the first creation.—The verdict of God: Very good.
Gen 2:24–31 The sixth day.—The completion of the world, the sabbath of God.—The significance of the rest of God on the seventh day.—The sabbath of God, the sabbath of man: 1. Man a sabbath of God; 2. God the sabbath of man.—The contrast between struggling creation and joyful labor, also in the life of man.—The blessing of God on the sabbath.—The sabbath in its significance: 1. Its source in the heart of God, like the life of man (the bliss of God); 2. its signs: the solemn pauses (God saw that it was good), like the evening-rest, preludes of the Sunday; 3. its fruitfulness: the festivals of the Old Covenant, the Sunday of the New Covenant, the eternal sabbath-rest, and celebration of the Sunday in eternity.—The festal demeanor according to the pattern of God: 1. Reposing; 2. blessing; 3. hallowing.—The first completion of the world a presage of its final completion.
STARKE, Gen 2:1: The question what God did before the creation. He chose us (Eph. 1:4), He prepared for us the kingdom (Matt. 25:34), He gave us grace in Christ (2 Tim. 1:9), He made the decree of the creation.—Some understand by the beginning the Son of God (Col. 1:16; Rev. 1:8), at which also the Chaldaic translation aims by rendering it: in wisdom (comp. Wisdom of Solomon 9:4; Ps. 104:24; Prov. 8:22); but because the Son of God is nowhere13 absolutely called the beginning (see, however, Col. 1, ἀρχή), and Moses, besides, intends to describe the origin of the world, the first explanation is reasonably preferred to the second (namely, from the beginning of the creation).—Moses, with these words: in the beginning, overthrows all the reasons of the heathen philosophers and atheists with which they maintain the eternity of the world, or that it perchance has arisen from numberless atoms (see Rom. 1:19 and 20).—That the world is not eternal may be seen from the following passages: Ps. 90:2; Prov. 8:22, 24, 25; Is. 45:11, 12; comp. Gen 2:13; Matt. 13:35; 24:21; 25:34; Mark 10:6; 2 Tim. 1:9; 2 Pet. 3:4; John 17:24; Eph. 1:4; 1 Pet. 1:20.—The spirit of God (Ps. 33:6).
Gen 2:3: Of the speaking of God. Although God did not speak as we do, nevertheless the speaking of God was a real genuine speech, in a higher but also more appropriate sense than speaking is said of man. For as God really and properly, although not in a natural manner, generates like man, so also is it with divine speech.
Gen 2:5: God created light on a Sunday, and on that day the children of Israel passed through the Red Sea, etc.—God is a father of lights (James 1:17), of the external light, of the internal, natural light of reason, of the spiritual light of grace, and the eternal light in yonder world of glory.
Gen 2:11: The herbs not only a house of supply, but also a store for healing.—To this third day belong also the subterranean treasures, as precious stones, metals, and other minerals.
Gen 2:29: We cannot say that they had not the liberty of eating flesh. Whether they really used this or preferred to eat fruits and herbs, we can reasonably refer to its proper place.—(Gen 2:31: Since God could have created everything in a moment, no reasonable cause can be given why He preferred six days, unless we reflect that it had perhaps a reference to the six great changes in the church, to which will finally succeed the sabbath of the saints. Thus the first day is a prefiguration of the time from Adam to Noah, etc.)—A Christian can use the creatures, but he must not misuse them (1 Cor. 7:31) that they groan not against him (Rom. 8:19).—Gen 2:3: Discussion whether the first men were bound to respect the sabbath. On the contrary: 1. Every service of God connected with certain times and places had a view to man after the fall; 2. man in a state of innocence has served God at all times and in all places; the sabbath was first instituted in the wilderness: God gave the sabbath only to the Jews. Reasons for it: Appeal to the contents of our passage, etc.—The sabbath-day a favor of God.
SCHRÖDER to Gen 2:3: Then spake God, says Chrysostom, “let there be light,” and there was light, but now He has not spoken it, but Himself has become our light.—From Valerius Herberger: But it is much more that the Lord Jesus will finally transport us, after this temporal light, into the eternal light of heaven, where we shall see God in His light face to face, and praise Him in the everlasting heavenly light and glory.—From Luther: He utters not grammatical words, but real and material things. Thus sun, moon, heaven, earth, Peter, Paul, I and thou are scarcely to be reckoned words of God, yea, hardly a syllable and letter (?) in comparison to the entire creation.—From Michaelis: Moses endeavors in the whole history of the creation to present God not merely as almighty, but at the same time as perfect, wise, and good, Who considers all His works and has created the best world.
Gen 2:6–8: The conclusion of the first day’s work was an actual prophecy of the work of the second day of creation. It was on the basis of the light shining into and separating the moist chaos of the world, that God made the division.—From Calvin: We well know that torrents of rain arise in a natural manner, but the flood sufficiently proves how soon we can be overwhelmed by the violence of the clouds, if the cataracts of heaven are not stayed by the hand of God.—God named. The subsequent naming on the part of man is only the prophetic fulfilment of the naming of God here and elsewhere.
Gen 2:9–13: The first (rather the second) division (Gen 2:6–8) is followed by a second, both closely and intimately clinging to and antithetically conditioning each other, for which reason some would even reckon Gen 2:9 and 10 to the preceding day.—VALENTIN HERBERGER: Is it not a miracle? We take a handful of seed and strew them on one earth and soil, where they have the same food, sap, and care, nevertheless they do not commingle, but each produces its kind: the one white, the other yellow, the fruit sweet and sour, brown and black, red and green, fragrant and offensive, high and low. Thus we, though, like the seeds, buried in one consecrated ground (Sirach 40:1), will nevertheless at the day of judgment not be confounded with each other, but each will go forth in his flesh, yet incorruptible (1 Cor. 15:38).
Gen 2:14–19. From LUTHER: He maintains the same order as in the three preceding days, in that He first adorns the heavens with lights and stars, and afterwards the earth. Even the heathen philosopher Plato says, that eyes are especially given to men that, by the observation of the heavenly bodies and their movements, they may be to them as guides to the knowledge of God. It is by the heavenly bodies that men judge of the weather; by their help they find their way on the water and on the land. So, too, a star led the wise men to the manger, etc.—MICHAELIS: They (the stars) are the great and almost infallible clock of the world, ever moving at the same rate.—From LUTHER: Hereby is developed and shown to us the immortality of the soul, from the fact that, with the exception of man, no creature can understand the movement of the heavens, nor measure the heavenly bodies. The hog, the cow, and the dog cannot measure the water that they drink, but man measures the heavens and all their hosts. Therefore there shows itself here a spark of eternal life.—From CALVIN: “Moses paid more attention to us than to the stars, precisely as became a theologian.”—The true morning-star is Christ (Rev. 22:16), the sun of righteousness (Mal. 4:2).—The animals of the water are in marked contrast with the animals of the air. Water and air. The latter is as it were the embodied liquid light, the former embodied darkness; in its depths there is neither summer nor winter, it is the heavy melancholy element, whilst the air, light and cheerful, gives life and breath everywhere. The inhabitants of the former are opposed to those of the latter, the fish to the birds, as water and air, darkness and light. The fish is cold, stiff, mute; the bird warm, free, and full of melody. Yet not without reason were both created on one and the same day. They have many things in common, and are in structure and movement closely and intimately allied; the variegated scaly mail of the fish points to the colored feathery coat of the bird, and what the wings are to the latter, the fins are to the former. Water and air once lived together, and do so now; as the air descends into sea and earth, and vivifyingly penetrates the water, the latter, for its part, rises into the air, and mingles with the atmosphere to its remotest border.—That God blesses the animals, expresses the thought, that God creatively endows animals with the power of propagating their kind, and also points to the work of preserving the world. “Here we see what a blessing really means, namely, a powerful increase. When we bless we do nothing more than to wish good; but in God’s blessing there is a sound of increase, and it is immediately efficacious; so again, His curse is a withering, and its effect in like manner immediately consuming.” Luther.—Only the largest water-animals are introduced, because from them the greatness, omnipotence, and glory of the creator most clearly shine forth. The land-animals a product of the earth—with heads bent downwards.—Various views as to the time of the creation of the angels (p. 20).—The Redeemer rests
also through the seventh day in the grave.—In divinely solemn stillness lay the young world, a mirror of the Godhead, before the eyes of the still unfallen first human pair, as with Him they kept holy day, representing in their divine similitude the sabbath of God in the creation, and the sabbath of the creation in God, harmoniously joined in one.—Of a sabbath-law, there is nothing said in the text. Israel’s later sabbaths (as the whole law was to awaken a sense of sin) were reminding copies of this sabbath of God after the creation, and unfulfilled prophecies not only of the completion of the theocracy of the Old in the Christocracy of the New Covenant, but also of the final consummation of the present order of things, especially on the last great sabbath, etc.—The ancient allegorizing of the days of creation according to the periods of the kingdom of God (p. 23).—“Six days,” says Calvin, “the Lord occupied in the structure of the world, not as if He needed these periods, before whom a moment is a thousand years, but because He will bind us to the observing of each one of His works. He had the same object in His repose on the seventh day.” (Augustine had already expressed himself in the same way. There lies at the base of this an abstract comprehension of the divine omnipotence, and a great ignoring of the idea of nature. Luther’s conjecture: The fall occurred on the first day of creation, about noon.)
LISCO: Death is nothing in the creation. Everything lives, but in very manifold modification.—Man is created in the image of God, i. e., so that all divine glory shines forth in him in a reduced scale. He has a nature allied to God, and therein lies the possibility and capability of becoming ever more like God.—The whole human race is one great family. All are blood-relations.—The dominion of man over nature obtains, in progressive development and extension, by the arts and sciences, by investigation of nature’s laws, and by using its powers (of course, under the conditioning of life in the spirit through community with God).
GERLACH: The whole subsequent history is written only for men (i. e., according to the human stand-point); therefore sun, moon, and stars, the host of heaven (Gen 2:1), appear merely as lights in the firmament of heaven, and nothing is told us of the inhabitants of heaven, although even in this book the angels frequently appear, and the fall of some is already in Gen 3 presupposed, etc.—All things have had a beginning.—The world was to develop itself in the contrast of heaven and earth, which repeats itself on a small scale—on earth, in spirit and nature, and in man, in spirit and flesh.—It is self-evident, therefore, that God’s speaking is not the production of an audible sound, but the realization of His thoughts through an act of His will.—The “naming” is equivalent to determining something in accordance with its nature or its appearance. There is thereby indicated the power of God as ruling and thinking all things. (The naming here is not meant as a creative calling, but as an expression of the divine adaptation.)—The upper firmament from which descend light and warmth and fertilizing moisture, casting blessings on the earth, attracting with its wonderful moving and fixed lights the observation of the rudest man, and drawing forth the anticipation of, and longing for, a higher home than this earthly one, is, the visible pledge, yes, perhaps the distant gleam, of a heavenly world of light. It bears with it, therefore, a name which is the same with the kingdom, where in undimmed light “our Father in heaven” reveals Himself.—As originally everything was sea, thus in the glorified earth there will be no more sea.—It is absurd to suppose, because fruit-trees only are here spoken of, that the others, as thorns and thistles, did not appear until after the fall of man. (Only the fact that they at a later period burdened the field, is alluded to by Augustine as a punishment.) A very fitting distinction of a similitude of man, which cannot be lost, and of such a one as has been lost.—The reader must carefully guard against the Jewish fables which have also found their way among Christians, namely, that man was at first created as man and woman in one person, and afterwards both sexes were separated from it.—God rested, etc. Perfect rest and the greatest activity are one in Him (see John 5:17).—Whether a fixed observance of the seventh day was ordered with the revelation of the history of creation, or whether this was first given to the people of the law with the other laws, presents an obscure question, but the latter view is the more probable; in Genesis, at least, there is found no trace of the observance of the sabbath, and still less among heathen nations; the division of weeks, as found among some, might have been made according to the quarters of the moon. (The knowledge of the week, and the religious consecration of this knowledge, forms, indeed, the patriarchal religious basis of the sabbath-law, which no more came into the world abruptly than any other religious institution.)
Calwer Bible Exposition: The number seven, important through the whole Old Testament, reminds one of the year of jubilee and the rest of the sabbath which is allotted to the people of God above, whither Jesus has gone before to prepare a place for His own.—BUNSEN: The days of creation go from light to light, from one (outstreaming) of light to another. Man as the real creature of light is the last progressive step.—Fruits of trees “above the earth” in contrast with bulbous plants, which are included in the herbs (?).—Signs. Sun, moon, and stars; especially sun and moon are to be signs for three important points: for festive periods (new moons and sabbaths), for days of the month, and for the new year (beginning of the solar and lunar year).—The week has its natural basis in the approximate duration of the four phases or appearances of the moon’s disk, whose unity forms the first measure of time, or the month, according to the general view of all Shemites. Astronomically the number seven has in the ancient world, and especially among the Shemites, its representation in the seven planets, or wandering stars, according to the view of the senses (?): the moon, Mercury, Venus, the sun, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. Thence comes also the series of our week-days.—ARNDT (Christ in the Old Covenant): As long as there is a world there is an advent.—The birth of the world is the great moment of which it is declared: God said: Let there be light, and there was light.
[NOTE ON THE CREATION-SABBATH.—The question of the sabbath in all its aspects stands wholly clear from any difficulty as to the length of the creative days. We have already shown that there is not only a bare consistency but a beautiful scriptural harmony in the less being made a memorial of the greater. See Introd. to Gen. 1 pp. 135, 136. God’s great rest, or ceasing from His work of creation, commences with the first human consciousness following the inspiration that makes the primus homo. Then the heavens and the earth are finished. Nature and the world are complete in this crowning work, and the divine sabbath begins. This is blessed and hallowed. Time, as a part of nature, is now proceeding in its regular sun-divided order, and from this time a seventh returning part is also blessed and hallowed for man, as a season in which he is to rest from his works, and contemplate that now unceasing sabbath of God, which, from the very nature of the case, can have no such shorter recurring intervals. Hence the force of our Saviour’s words that the sabbath, the weekly solar sabbath, was made for man. They who contend that the divine sabbath is simply the first twenty-four hours after creation is finished, make it unmeaning, as predicated of God and His works. In this sense God no more rested on that solar day than on every one that follows until a new creative æon, or a new creative day, arises in the eternal counsels. Such a view destroys the beautiful analogy pervading the Scripture, by which the less is made the type of the greater, the earthly of the heavenly, the temporal of the eternal. It makes the earthly human sabbath a memorial of something just like itself, of one long-past solar day, of one single transient event, instead of being the constantly recurring witness of an æonian state, an eternal rest, ever present to God, and reserved for man in the unchanging timeless heavens.
But the question with which we are most concerned is in regard to the sabbath as established for man. Does this seventh day, or this seventh portion of time, which God blessed and hallowed, have thus an eternal and universal ground as a memorial of the creative work with its sevenfold division, or does it derive its sanction from a particular law made long after for a particular and peculiar people? The question must be determined by exegesis, and for this we have clear and decisive, if not extensive, grounds. It demands the close consideration of two short passages, and of a word or two in each. “And God blessed the seventh day,” Gen. 2:3. Which seventh day? one might ask, the greater or the less, the divine or the human, the æonian or the astronomical? Both, is the easy answer; both, as commencing at the same time, so far as the one connects with astronomical time; both, as the greater including the less; both, as being (the one as represented, the other as typically representing) the same in essence and idea. The attempt to make them one in scale, or in measure, as well as in idea, does in fact destroy that universality of aspect which comes from the recurring, moving type as representing the standing antitype. Take away this, and all that we can make out of the words, as they stand in Gen. 2:3, is that God blessed that one seventh day (be it long or short), or, on the narrower hypothesis, that one day of twenty-four hours which first followed His ceasing to create, and left it standing, sacred and alone, away back in the flow of time. But blessing the day means blessing it for some purpose: it is the expression of God’s love to it as a holy and beneficent thing among the things of time, as carrying ever with it something of God, some idea of the Blesser, and of the love and reverence due to Him as the fountain of all blessedness and of all blessed things. So the blessing upon man looks down through all the generations of man. No narrower idea of the blessing of the sabbath can be held without taking from the word all meaning. “And hallowed it, וַיְקַדֵּשׁ אֹתוֹ, and made it holy. This also is a very plain Hebrew word, especially in its Piel form, as any one may see by examining it with a concordance. We have given to the word unholy (the etymological opposite) too much the vague sense of wickedness in general, to allow of its fairly representing the opposite in idea. The holy throughout the Old Testament is opposed to the common, however lawful in itself it may be. To hallow is to make uncommon. To hallow a time is to make it a time when things which are common at other times, and peculiar to other times, should not be done, but the time so hallowed should be devoted to other and uncommon uses. Of course, things essential and necessary at all times are not included, or excluded, in such distinction. Neither will it hold of days or times that mere human authority thus devotes to any separate uses. Such devotion may be as partial, or as indefinite, as the authority chooses to make it. But when God hallows a time it is for Himself. Not simply whatever man does, but whatever he does for himself, or for his individual worldly interest, at other times, that must he not do on the times that God has hallowed for His own special remembrance; but he must, on the contrary, do other things which are more immediately connected with that special remembrance. Anything less than this as a general principle leaves the word to hallow or make holy, as used by God, and of God (unless specially limited to some partial application), an unmeaning utterance. It is the portion of time which the Creator of time keeps for Himself, out of the time He has given to man. It is elevating a portion of the human time to the standard, or in the direction at least, of God’s own eternal sabbath. There can be no hallowed time to God alone; there can be no hallowed time in itself irrespective of any agents in time. Therefore, the expression, He hallowed it, must be for men, for all men who were to be on the earth, or it is a mere blank. It is God’s day in which men should live specially for Him. It is sometimes said, we should live every day for God. If it be meant that there should be no special times in which we live to God as we do not, and cannot, at all times (when God permits us, in living for Him, to live also for ourselves), then is it a hyper-piety which becomes profanity in claiming to be above the need of a provision instituted by the divine wisdom and grace. Like to this is the plea, that, if there be a sabbath at all, it should be spent, not in religious acts, so called, but in the study and the contemplation of nature. This cavil has a high sound, but it would soon be abandoned, perhaps, by many that use it, if the contemplation of nature spoken of were what it ought to be, a contemplation of the very sabbath of God—nature itself being that holy pause in which God rests from His creative energies, that ineffable repose in which, though superintending and preserving, He provides for man through law that he can comprehend, and an executing Word that he can devoutly study.
If we had no other passage than this of Gen. 2:3, there would be no difficulty in deducing from it a precept for the universal observance of a sabbath, or seventh day, to be devoted to God, as holy time, by all of that race for whom the earth and its nature were specially prepared. The first men must have known it. The words “He hallowed it,” can have no meaning otherwise. They would be a blank unless in reference to some who were required to keep it holy. After the fall, the evil race of Cain, doubtless, soon utterly lost the knowledge. In the line of Seth it may have become greatly dimmed. Enoch, we cannot hesitate to believe, kept holy sabbath, or holy seventh day (whether the exact chronological seventh or not), until God took him to the holy rest above. It lingered with Noah and his family, if we may judge from the seven-day periods observed in the ark. Of the other patriarchs, in this respect, nothing is directly told us. They were devout men, unworldly men, confessing themselves pilgrims on earth, seeking a rest. Nothing is more probable, prima facie, than that such men, as we read of them in Genesis, and as the Apostle has described them to us, should have cherished an idea so in harmony with their unearthly pilgrim-life, even though coming to them from the faintest tradition. To object that the Bible, in its few brief memoranda of their lives, says nothing about their sabbath-keeping, any more than it tells us of their forms of prayer and modes of worship, is a worthless argument. The Holy Scripture never anticipates cavils; it never shows distrust of its own truthfulness by providing against objections—objections we may say that it could have avoided, and most certainly would have avoided, had it been an untruthful book made either by earlier or later compilers. The patriarchs may have lost the tradition of the sabbath; it may not have come to them over the great catastrophe of the flood; or they may have lost the chronological reckoning of it; but, in either case, it would not affect the verity of the great facts and announcements in Gen. 1 and 2, however, or by whatever species of inspiration, the first author of that account obtained his knowledge. For all who believe the Old Scriptures, as sanctioned by Christ and supported by the general biblical evidence, there it stands unimpaired by anything given or omitted in the subsequent history.
But there is another passage which shows conclusively that, through whatever channel it may have come, such a knowledge of the sabbath was in the world after the time of the patriarchs. The language of the fourth commandment (Exod. 20:8), to say nothing of Exod. 16:22–27, cannot be interpreted in any other way. Remember the sabbath-day, זָכוֹר אֶת יוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת. The force of the article is there, though omitted, in the Hebrew syntax, because of the specifying word that follows. It is just as though we should say in English: Remember sabbath-day. Take the precisely similar language, Mal. 3:22, זִכְרוּ תּוֹרַת משֶׁה: Remember the law of Moses, or, Remember Moses’ law. As well might one contend that this was the first promulgation of the Pentateuch, as that Exod. 20:8 was the first setting forth of the sabbatical institution. There was no call for such language had that been the case. It would have been in the style of the other commands: ‘Thou shalt have no other gods; Thou shalt not take the name, etc.; Thou shalt keep a sabbath, or rest,’ etc. We dwell not upon the distinct reference that follows to the creation-sabbath, and the perfect similarity of reason and of language. The artless introduction is enough to show that those to whom it was addressed are supposed to have known something of the ancient institution, however much its observance may have been neglected, or its reckoning, perhaps, been forgotten. The use of the word זְכוֹר (remember) would seem to point to some such danger of misreckoning, as though the Lawgiver meant to connect it back chronologically, by septennial successions, with the first sabbath, or the first day of the conscious human existence. Or he may have had in view future reckonings. The old law of a seventh day, or a seventh of time, being preserved as an immutable principle, there might have been a peculiar memorial reckoning for the Jewish people, as there afterwards was for the Christian church when the resurrection of Christ was taken for the initial day of reckoning, as being, in a most solemn sense, to the church, what the creative finishing had been to the world. So that, in this respect, the Christian seventh day may have been no more a substitution than the Jewish.
A seventh part of time is holy for man. God blessed it and hallowed it. Such is the deduction from the language of Gen. 2:3. There are other questions relating to the sabbath, its adaptation to the human physical constitution, and the change of reckoning as between the Jewish and Christian dispensations, but they would come more in place in commenting on some other parts of the sacred volume, to which they may be, therefore, referred. The religious aspect appears more in the universal hallowing in Genesis than in the more national establishment among the Jews, where mere rest from labor seems more prominent than religious worship, or that holy contemplation of the divine which is the living thought in the creative account, and which comes out again so emphatically in the Christian institution as more suggestive, than the Jewish, of the eternal rest. It is a great, though very common, mistake, that the Jewish aspect of the sabbath is the more severely religious, as compared with the Christian, which is sometimes claimed to be more free in this respect. Strict as the Jewish institution was, in its prohibitions of labor, it was in fact the less religious; it had less of holy contemplation; it had no worship prescribed to it; it was, in a word, more secular than the primitive or the Christian, as being enjoined more for secular ends, namely bodily rest and restoration for man and beast, and even for the land. These, indeed, are important ends still remaining. The connections between the sabbath and the physical constitution of man form a most valuable part of the general argument, but as they bear upon the biblical view as collateral confirmation rather than as connected with its direct sanctions, we would simply refer the reader to some of the more instructive works that have been written on this branch of the subject.
JAMES AUG. HESSEY: “Sunday, its Origin, History, and Present Obligation” (Bampton Lectures preached before the University of Oxford), London. 1860; JAMES GILFILLAN: “The Sabbath viewed in the Light of Reason, Revelation, and History, with Sketches of its Literature,” Edinburgh, 1862, republished by the N. Y. Sabbath Committee and the American Tract Society, New York, 1862; PHILIP SCHAFF: “The Anglo-American Sabbath (an Essay read before the National Sabbath Convention, Saratoga, Aug. 11, 1863), New York, 1863 (republished in English and in German by the American Tract Society); MARK HOPKINS: “The Sabbath and Free Institutions” (read before the same Convention), New York, 1863; ROBERT COX: “The Literature on the Sabbath-Question,” Edinburgh, 1865, 2 vols. On the practical aspects of the sabbath-question, comp. the Documents prepared and published by the N. Y. Sabbath Committee from 1857 to 1867.—T. L.]
1[We get the best order of senses in the root צָבָא and its cognate צָבָה, by regarding, as the primary, the idea of splendor, or glory, as it remains in the noun צְבִי. See its use, Is. 4:2, where it seems synonymous with כָבוֹד, Is. 13:19, and a number of other places. The secondary sense of host, orderly military array (comp. Canticles 6:10), comes very easily and naturally from it. Or we may say that along with the idea of hosts, as in the frequent יְהוָֹה צְבָאוֹת, Jehovah of hosts, it never loses the primary conception. “Thus the earth and the heavens were finished and all their glory,” or their glorious array. Compare the Syriac ܨܒܬܐ, decus, ornamentum, where the servile tau has become radical. The LXX. and Vulgate translators seem to have had something of this idea: πᾶς ὁ κόσμος αὐτῶν—omnis ornatus eorum. There is a grand significance in the Greek κόσμος and Latin mundus as thus used for the world or the array (artistic unity) of the worlds. צָבָא is the Hebrew for κόσμος, and thus there is a most sublime parallelism presented by its two expressions: יְהוָֹה צְבָאוֹת and מֶלֶךְ עֹלָמִים—Lord of the worlds in space, King of the worlds in time: βασιλεὺς τῶν αἰώνων, Ps. 145:13; Is. 26:4; 1 Tim. 1:17. The Hebrew far transcends the Greek.—T. L.]
2[“The Scriptures,” says Delitzsch in his comment on וַיִּשְׁבֹּת, p. 129, “do not hesitate to speak anthropopathically of God’s entrance into rest.” As far as the word שָׁבַת is concerned, there is no anthropathism here except as all human language, and all human conception, in respect to Deity, is necessarily such—that is, necessarily representing him in space and time. The primary sense of the word שָׁבַת is simply to cease, cease doing—as the LXX. render it, κατέπαυσε—not ἀνέπαυσε which carries the idea of recreation or refreshment after fatigue, like ἀναψύχω, or the Hebrew Niphal יִנָּפֵשׁ. When joined with this latter verb, as in Exod. 31:17, the whole language may be called anthropopathic, but the added word shows that the idea expressed by it is not in the first. If ceasing from creation, wholly or partially, implies mutability, it is no less implied in the emanation-theory, unless we suppose an emanation, or necessary creation, of every possible thing, everywhere, always, and of the highest degree—in other words, an unceasing and unvaried filling of infinite space and infinite time with infinite perfection of manifestation. But waiving all such inconceivable subtleties, it may be truly said that rest, of itself, is a higher and more perfect state than outward action—if we may speak of anything as higher and lower in respect to God. Rest is not inertia. Rest in physics is the equilibrium of power, and so the maximum of power (re-sto, re-sisto). Motion is the yielding, or letting out, of power, necessary, indeed, for its manifestation or patent effect, yet still a dispersing or spending of that static energy which was in the quiescence. Absolute rest in the kosmos (the bringing it into, or keeping it in, that state) would be the highest exercise of the divine might; but as it would preclude all sensation, and all sentiency, both of which are inseparable from change or motion of some kind, it would be an absence of all outward manifestation; that is, it would be non-phenomenal or non-appearing. So also rest is the highest power (activity) of mind or spirit, and thus its highest state. This is Aristotle’s dictum, Ethic. Nichomach. x. 8, 7: ἡ τελεία εὐδαιμονία θεωρητική τις ἐστὶν ἐνέργεια, “the perfect blessedness is a contemplative energy;” “so that (sec. 8) that energy of God which excels all in blessedness must be contemplative (or theoretical), and, of human things, that which is most akin to this must be most blessed” (εὐδαιμονικωτάτη). In this way, too, may we strive to obtain a conception of the sabbath or “rest of the saints.” The Scripture thought of this would seem to be as much opposed to torpor or inertia, on the one hand, as it is, on the other, to that busy doing which enters so much into some modern conceptions of the future life. They that believe have entered into rest. There can be no doubt, too, that the idea of holy contemplation, or sabbath-keeping in the festal sense of the word, on which Lange so much insists, enters into the idea of שָׁבַת here in Genesis, although derived, perhaps, from its subsequent use. In this sense, there is something of a sabbath whenever there come the words: and God saw (surveyed, contemplated), “saw that it was good.” It is a solemn pausing to behold the divine ideas in their outward appearing—not as a change in Deity, as though with him this took place at intervals, but as a presentation, for the time, of that constant, immutable aspect of the divine character as it comes forth at intervals for us. This eternal rest of God is the sun ever shining calmly above the clouds, yet now and then revealing itself through them as they break away over our changing world of nature and of time. It is such a timeless sabbath that is intended by Rabbi Simeon, as quoted by Raschi in his comment. on the words seventh day, Gen. 2:2. “Flesh and blood has need to add the common to the holy time (to reckon them by passing intervals) but to the Holy One, blessed be He, it is as the thread that binds the hair, and all days appear as one.” Compare it with the צְרוּר הַחַיִּים, “the bundle of life,” or lives, 1 Sam. 25:29, and which is so often referred to by the Rabbinical writers.—T. L.]
3[The simplest rendering of the Hebrew here would give the easiest and the plainest sense. It is that presented in our marginal reading, taking לַעֲשׂוֹת, not as a gerund (faciendo), but literally, as an infinitive of purpose: which God had created to make. It suggests nearly the distinction given by Delitzsch between the fundamental and that which follows—the ground-laying and the finishing, the material-gathering and the architectural arrangement of the structure. So the Vulgate: Quod Deus creavit ut faceret, and Onkelos: די ברא יי למעבד.—T. L.]
4[This word is not to be found in any English dictionary, but we are compelled to Latinize here, and form a word, from principium principia, to correspond to Lange’s word prinzipielle. Our “principal” is too vague, and used in too many senses, to answer the purpose.—T. L.]
5With respect to dogmatical literature on the account of the Creation, examine BRETSCHNEIDER: “Systematical Development of Dogmatic Ideas,” p. 450.
6[For this thought of Lange, which some might regard as pure fancy, there is an etymological ground in the Hebrew language. The words for light, and for the motions of light, have a close affinity to those for flying, compare עוף, volare, עופף, vibrare, עיפה rendered tenebræ, but which strictly means the earliest twilight or twinkling of the morning, and that beautiful word, עַפְעַפֵי שַׁחַר, palpebræ auroræ, Job 3:9;41:10—ἡμέρας βλέφαρον, Soph. Antig. 103, “the eye-lids,” the opening wing “of the morning.” Compare also נצא, volavit, Jer. 48:9, and נצץ, splenduit, micavit, shone, glistened, glimmered, נְץ, a flower, etc. It is something more than a mere poetical image when we speak of light as having wings, especially as the conception is applied to the faint gleaming, glimmering, fluttering, we may say, just waving up out of the darkness. How natural the order of the images: to fly, flutter, palpitate, vibrate, quiver, twinkle, glimmer, gleam, shine. Comp. Engl.: fly, Hare, flash; Latin: volo (volito), flo, flare, FLAMMA. So spiritually, idea and reflection support the same analogy. It may be the piercing eye of the eagle that represents the idea, but the other view has the best philological grounds.—T. L.]
7[We have placed this sentence in italics as containing a truth of vast importance, transcending all science on the one hand, and all theology that places itself in antagonism to science on the other. If it contains truth in respect to the world, then, a fortiori, is it true in respect to man, who is the final cause, or “the spiritual core of the world,” as Lange elsewhere styles him. There is an eternal ground for the world; much more is there an eternal ground for humanity (Adam-ity); beyond all, is there an eternal ground for the new humanity (Christ-ianity). “Chosen in Him before the foundation of the world.”—T. L.]
8 [This conception seems to be sanctioned by Lange, but there is no proof of it. Instead of being suggested by the figure of the mundus (which is not like an egg, or the earth like its yolk, unless we make very ancient the knowledge, or notion, of the earth’s sphericity), this so common feature of the old cosmogonies came most probably from the idea of a brooding, cherishing, life-producing power, represented in Genesis by the רוּחַ מְרַחֶפֶת, the throbbing, pulsating, moving spirit-from רָחַף, primary sense in Piel, palpitare, secondary sense, yet very ancient in the Syriac, to love warmly, or with the strongest affection. Hence in the Greek cosmogony the first thing born of this egg was ἔρως, the primitive love, which shows that the egg had nothing to do with the figure of the earth, either real or supposed. See the Birds of Aristophanes, 697, where the poet calls it ὑπηνέμιον, the egg produced without natural impregnation:
Ἐξ οὗ περιτελλομέναις ὥραις ἔβλαστεν Ἔρως ὁ ποθεινός,
From which sprang Love the all desired,—
only the Greeks, as usual, inverted the primitive idea, and made the generating cause itself the effect. Eros then produced the human race, etc. In other respects the heathen cosmogonies are very fairly given here by Lücken; but what a contrast do these monstrosities present to the pure, harmonious, monotheistic grandeur of the Bible account! If the Mosaic cosmogony was derived from the heathen, as is contended, how very strange it is, and counter to what takes place in all similar derivations, that the Hebrew mind (a very gross mind, they say) should have taken it in this impure and monstrously confused state, and refined it back to that chaste and sublime consistency which the Bible narrative, whatever may be thought of its absolute truth, may so justly claim.—T. L.]
9[Dr Lange’s fancy here seems altogether too exuberant. The parallelism with the Mosaic account in the 104th Psalm is too striking to be mistaken. It was doubtless, too, in the mind of the writer of the Apocalypse, as it is also evident in the beginning of the Gospel of John, but many of the resemblances here traced by Dr. Lange altogether fail to satisfy.—T. L.]
10[Dr. Lange’s rendering here is that of Luther, and is the same with our English translation. But there can be hardly a doubt of its being erroneous. It should be, “that there shall be no more delay”—that is, in what is to follow. See Bloomfield.—T. L.]
11[It may seem strange that Dr. Lange, while laying so much stress on these remoter, if not altogether fanciful, parallelisms with the creative account which he finds in the Apocalypse, should have overlooked the much more distinct reference in the beginning of the Gospel of John. Whether the principium there is the same with that in Genesis, may admit of discussion, but there can be no doubt of the parallelism, and the mention of light and life immediately following makes it unmistakable. It is a higher light, indeed, for “the darkness overtakes it not,” as it should be rendered. There is no night following that new and eternal day, and so there are no mornings and evenings to succeed. It is a new creation, and a new chronology, but this idea only makes more clear the reference to the old Mosaic creation and the Mosaic days.—T. L.]
12[Compare Heb. 1:3, where Christ is called “the express image,” which is a poor translation of the Greek χαρακτὴρ τῆς ὑποστάσεως, the impression, stamp, or image of the substance. Compare, also, Coloss. 1:15: εἰκὼν τοῦ Θεοῦ τοῦ ἀοράτου—“image of the invisible God.”—T. L.]
13[Unless it be Prov. 8:22, יְהוָֹה קָנָנִי רֵאשִׁית דַּרְכּוֹ, which can only be rendered “Jehovah possessed me, or begat me, the beginning of his way.” This probably was the ground of the translation in the Jerusalem Targum, and there would seem to be something in it, if we would in any way connect the creation of the world with the eternal beginning, as Lange does in respect to the creation of the church—chosen in Him, created in Him. The expressions seem parallel.—T. L.]
These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens,SECOND SECTION
Man—Paradise—the Paradisaical Pair and the Paradisaical Institutions,—Theocratic—Jehovistic.
A.—The Earth waiting for Man.
4These are the generations [genealogies]14 of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day [here the six days are one day] that the Lord God [not God Jehovah, much less God the Eternal. Israel’s God as God of all the world] made the earth and the heavens [the theocratic heavens are completed from the earth], 5And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew; for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man [Adam] to till the ground [adamah].
B.—The Creation of the Paradisaical Man.
6But there went up a mist from the earth [including the sea] and watered the whole face of the earth [the adamah or the land]. 7And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became15 a living soul.
C.—The Creation of Paradise.
8And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden [land of delight], and there he put the man whom he had formed: 9And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. 10And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted and became into four heads. 11The name of the first is Pison [spreading]; that is it which compasseth 12[winds through] the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. And the gold of that land is good [fine]; there is bdellium and the onyx stone. 13And the name of the second river is Gihon [gushing], the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia [Cush]. 14And the name of the third river is Hiddekel [swift-flowing]; that is it which goeth toward the East of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates.
D.—The Paradise Life.
15And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden, to dress it and to keep it. 16And the Lord God commanded the man saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat [אכל תאכל]. 17But of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it; for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die [מות תמום].
E.—Paradisaical Development and Institutions.
18And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a help meet for him [כנגדו, his contrast, reflected image, his other I]. 19And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air, and brought them unto Adam to see16 what he would call them; and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. 20And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found a help meet for him. 21And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept; and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof. 22And the rib which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman and brought her unto the man. 23And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman, because she was taken out of man [ischah, man-ess, because taken from isch, man]. 24Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife; and they shall be one flesh. 25And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL
1. The present section, Gen 2:4–25, is connected with the one that follows to the end of Gen 3, by the peculiar divine designation of Jehovah Elohim. It has also a still closer connection with Gen 4, inasmuch as the next toledoth, or generations, begin with Gen 5:1. That, however, Gen 2:25 is really a separate portion, appears from the strong contrast in which the history of the fall, Gen 3, stands to the history of Paradise, Gen 2. Keil denotes the whole division, even to the next toledoth (Gen 5:1), as the history of the heavens and the earth. Upon the completing of the creative work, Gen 1, there follows the commencing historical development of the world, with the history of the heavens and the earth in three sections: a. Of the primitive condition of man in Paradise (Gen 2:5–25); b. of the fall (Gen 3); c. of the breaking up of the one human race into two distinct and separately disposed races (Gen 4). It must be remarked, however, in the first place, that in Gen 2 there is not yet any proper beginning of historical development in the strict sense, and, secondly, that Gen 4:1–6:1–7 do evidently cohere in a definite unity presenting, as consequence of the history of the fall, 1. the unfolding of the line of Cain, 2. the unfolding of the line of Seth, and 3. the inter-folding of both lines to their mutual corruption. So far, therefore, does the history of the first world proceed under the religious point of view. But the generations of the heavens and the earth go on from the beginning of our present section to Gen 5. In respect to this, Keil rightly maintains that the phrase eleh tholedoth (these the generations) must be the superscription to what follows (Gen 2:33). The question arises: in what sense? On good ground does Keil insist that toledoth (a noun derived from the Hiphilהוליד, in the construct plural, and denoting properly the generations, or the posterity of any one) means not the historical origin of the one named in the genitive, but ever the history of the generations and the life that proceeds from him—or his series of descendants (we may add) as his own genesis still going on in his race. This word, therefore, in its relation to heaven and earth, cannot denote the original beginning of the heaven and the earth (Delitzsch thinks otherwise), but only the historical development of heaven and earth after they are finished. For the toledoth or “generations of Noah,” for example, do not denote his own birth and begetting, but his history and the begetting of his sons. From what has been said it follows, therefore, that the human history, from Gen 2 to the end of Gen 4, is not to be regarded as a history of the earth only, but also of the heavens. And in a mystical sense, truly, Paradise is heaven and earth together. Let us now keep specially in view the section of Jehovah Elohim, chs. 2 and 3. When we bear in mind that the name Jehovah Elohim occurs twenty times in this section in place of Elohim that had been used hitherto (the exceptions, Gen 3:1, 3, 5, are very characteristic), and that, besides this, it is found only once in the Pentateuch (Exod. 9:30), the significance of this connection becomes very clear. When once, however, the documentary unity of the Elohim and Jehovah sections is clearly entertained, this section becomes immediately a declaration that the Covenant-God of Israel, originally the Covenant-God of Adam in Paradise, is one with Elohim the God of all the world. Immediately, too, is there established the central stand-point of the theocratic spirit, according to which Jehovah is the God of all the world, and Adam, with his Paradise, is the microcosmic centre of all the world (in respect to the names Jehovah and Elohim, see KEIL, p. 35). As far as specially concerns our section, Gen 2, Knobel gives it the superscription: “The Creation, Narration Second.” It must be remarked, however, that here the genesis of the earth, in contrast with the generative series that follows, is presented according to the principle that determines the ordering of things; so that Adam, as such principle, stands at the head. (It is according to Aristotle’s proposition: the posterior in appearance, the prior in idea.) The representation must, indeed, give him a basis in an already existing earth; yet still for the paradisaical earth is it true that the earth is first through man. The paradisaical earth with its institutions, uniting as they do the contrast of heaven and earth, or rather of earth and heaven, is the fundamental idea of the second chapter. For an apprehension of this contrast, in part akin to and partly variant, see DELITZSCH, p. 138. From the very supposition of the earth as existing, it appears that the author presupposes still another representation of the creation, and that the present is only meant to give a supplement from another side. It is incorrect to say here, as Knobel does, that the origin of plants in general goes before the origin of man.
2. Gen 2:4. The construction of De Wette is to this effect: “At the time when God Jehovah made earth and heaven, there was no shrub of the field,” etc. Still harsher and more difficult is the construction of Bunsen: “At the time when God the Ever lasting made heaven and earth, and there was not yet any shrub of the field upon the earth, and no herb of the field had yet sprouted (for Jehovah God had not yet made it to rain upon the earth, etc.), then did God the Everlasting form man,” etc. Both of these are untenable and opposed to the simple expression of the text. (See also Delitzsch and Keil.) Gen 2:4 is indeed not altogether easy. On the day in which the Lord made the earth and the heavens, that is, on the one great day, in which here the hexaëmeron is included (with special reference, indeed, to its closing period), there commenced the history of the heavens and the earth in their becoming created—that is, in the same period in which they became created. Out of the paradisaical history: Earth and heaven, arose the converse history: Heaven and earth, in a religious sense, just as in a genetic sense there was the same order from the beginning.
3. Gen 2:5 and 6. And every plant of the field.—The word כֹּל with the negative particle is equivalent to the German gar nichts, not at all. The Hebrew conjunction ו leaves it at first view undecided, whether the superscription goes on so as to take in the words, and every herb, etc. And yet, on that view, there would be a failure of any concluding sense. The most probable view, therefore, is that which regards the conjunction as merely a transition particle, and passes it over in the translation. According to Knobel and others this narration is actually at variance with that of Gen 1, as, for example, in its view of the dryness of the earth before the introduction of the plants, etc. (see Gen 2:22), and, therefore, we must conclude that it belongs to another narrator. In regard to this assumption of different documents, we may refer to the Introduction (for the modes of representation in the Jehovistic portions, see KNOBEL, p. 23; likewise the head Literature, p. 24). The designed unity of both representations appears from the manner and way in which, even according to Knobel, the second of these narrations, in many of its references, presupposes the first. The full explanation of this unity becomes obvious from the harmonic contrast which arises when the universal creation of the world is regarded from the ideal stand-point of the Jehovah belief (see John 17:5; Eph. 1:4). The author carries us back to the time of the hexaëmeron, when no herb of the field had yet grown. Nevertheless there is not meant by this the beginning of the third creative day, but the time of the sixth. The apparent contradiction, however, disappears, when we lay the emphasis upon the expression “of the field,” and by the herbs and plants of the field that are here meant, understand the nobler species of herbs that are the growth of culture. In opposition to Delitzsch, Keil correctly distinguishes between שדה and ארץ. Delitzsch has not sufficiently removed the difficulty that arises when we carry back the date of this to the time before vegetation existed. There would be (apparent) contradiction (he admits) between the two narratives, but not an inexplicable one—then it is no contradiction at all. It is the paradisaical plants, therefore; these did not yet exist; for they presuppose man. See other interpretations in LANGE’S “Positive Dogmatic,” p. 242. Keil connects our interpretation with that of Baumgarten: “By the being of the plant is denoted its growth and germination.” This is ever wont to follow very soon after the planting of the germ. By assuming, indeed, a certain emphasis on the verbs יהיה and יצמח, we may get the sense: the herbs of the field were not yet rightly grown, the plant was not yet come to its perfection of form or feature, because the conditions of culture were as yet wanting. But this thought connects itself more or less with that of plants produced by cultivation, which, as such, presuppose the existence of man.—Had not caused it to rain.—To the human cultivation of the world belong two distinct things: first the rain from heaven together with sunshine, and secondly the labor and care of man. Both conditions fail as yet, but now, for the first time, comes in the first mode of nurture. The fog-vapor that arose from the earth (ha-aretz, including the sea) waters the earth-soil (the adamah). It is rightly inferred from Gen 2:6 that the vapor which arose from the earth indicates the first rain. If it means that the mist then first arose from the earth, there would seem to be indicated thereby the form of rain, or, at all events, of some extraordinary fall of the dew. From this place, and from the history of the flood (especially the appearance of the rainbow), it was formerly inferred that until the time of the deluge no rain had actually fallen. But from the fact that the rainbow was first made a sign of the covenant for Noah, it does not at all follow that it had not actually existed before; just as little as it follows from the sign of the starry night which Abraham received (Gen. 15), that there had been no starry night before, or from the institution of the covenant-sign of circumcision, that circumcision had not earlier existed as a popular usage (two points which the Epistle of Barnabas has well distinguished, although the critics have partially failed in understanding it. Epistle of Barnabas ix.). A similar view must be taken of the previous natural history of the paschal lamb, of the dove, and of the eucharistic supper; they were ever earlier than the sacramental appointment. In fact, there is in this place no express mention made of rain proper, and it may well suggest here one of those heavy falls of dew that take place in the warmer climates. Our text may fairly mean, not that the rain was a mere elementary phenomenon, but that it belonged to the divinely ordered economy of human cultivation in its interchange with the labor of man. The most we can say is, that the watering of the soil was a precondition to the creation of man himself. Just as cultivation after this, so must also, primarily, the cultivator of the soil come into existence under the dew of heaven. Moreover, the earthly organization of man consists, in good part, of water. The words Adam and adamah are used here, as we may well believe, to denote a close relationship of kin. As Adam, however, is not simply from the earth (ha-aretz), so the adamah is not simply the theocratic earth-soil prepared by the God who created man. Adam is the man in his relation to the earth, and so is adamah the earth in its relation to man.
[NOTE ON THE SUMMARY OF THE FIRST CREATIVE ACCOUNT IN THE SECOND.—Knobel has to admit the internal evidence showing that this second account recognizes the first and is grounded upon it, thereby disproving the probability of a contrariety either intended or unseen. The attempt, however, of Lange, and of others cited, to reconcile the seeming difficulties, can hardly be regarded as giving full satisfaction. Another method, therefore, may be proposed, which we think is the one that would most obviously commend itself to the ordinary reader who believed in the absolute truthfulness of the account, and knew nothing of any documentary theory. The two narratives are a continuation of the same story. The second is by the same author as the first, or by one in perfect harmony with him, and evidently referring to all that had been previously said as the ground-work of what is now to be more particularly added respecting man, and which may be called the special subject of this second part. Hence the preparatory recapitulation, just as Xenophon in each book of the Anabasis presents a brief summary of the one preceding. This reference to the previous account thus commences: “These are the generations of the heavens and the earth”—that is, as has been already told. That תלדות refers to the creative growths, births, evolutions, or whatever else we might call them, would be the first and most obvious thought. When told that they mean the generations of Adam, as subsequently given, and this because “Paradise is heaven and earth together,” or “Adam with his Paradise is the microcosmic centre of the world,” we admit the justness and beauty of the thoughts, but find it difficult to be satisfied with the exposition. Again, whoever will examine the uses of אלה (these) in NOLDIUS’ “Concordance,” will find that it refers as often, and perhaps oftener, to what precedes than to what follows. The context alone determines, and here it decidedly points to the first chapter. There is, however, no difficulty in taking it both ways, as a subscription to the first passage, or as a superscription to the second, at the same time. That “the generations of the heavens and the earth” means the previous creative account, and not that which comes after, would seem to be decided by the words immediately added, בְּהִבָּרְאָם, “in their being created”—“in the day (that is, the time or period taken as a whole) of the Lord God’s making the earth and heavens.” To seek for mysteries here in the transposition of the words “earth and heavens,” would be like a similar search by the Jewish Masorites of something occult in the little (ה׳ זעירא) ה of the word בהבראם. Either the whole previous time is referred to, or, as is more probable, the earliest part of it, before not only man but vegetation also. Or, in the day, may mean, as some have thought, the first day, when the material of the earth and heavens had been created, but all was yet unformed. Now this seems to be very much what is meant by what follows in Gen 2:5 and 6. In the day when God made the earth and heavens; here the writer might have stopped, so far as his main design was concerned, and gone on immediately to give the intended more particular account of man; but he is led to enlarge his recapitulating summary by an addition that may be regarded either as parenthetical or exegetical—“the earth and heavens, and every shrub of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb before it grew,” etc. He puts the greatest and the smallest things together to denote totality. All was made before man. And then, to make the language more emphatic in the assertion of its being a divine work, and that it was before man, who is excluded from all agency in its production, it is further declared that this first appearance of the vegetable world was not, in its origin, an ordinary production of nature (such as growth produced by rain), and was wholly independent of human cultivation. It had not yet rained in the ordinary way, that is, the regular production and reproduction of the seasons had not yet taken place, and there was no man to till the ground. It was after this first supernatural vegetation that the irrigating processes commenced, when God made “a law for the rain (חֹק לַמָּטָר, legem pluviis, Job 28:26), and caused the mist to go up (the evaporation and condensation) that watered the whole face of the אדמה, the earth’s soil. This assertion of supernatural growths being premised as antecedent summary, the writer immediately proceeds to the main and direct subject of this second section: וַיִּיצֶר, and after this (as is demanded by the ו conversive denoting sequence of event) the Lord God formed man.”
The language is irregular and parenthetical, but artless and clear, at least in its general design. The terms employed are those that a writer with those primitive conceptions would use in impressing the idea of the supernatural. The first plants were made to grow without that help of rain and of human cultivation which they now require. A striking difference between this and the first account is that it is wholly unchronological, just as would be expected in a summary of a recapitulation. It is an introduction to man, as showing briefly what was done for him before he is brought into the world, and then what follows is wholly confined to him. Thus viewed, there is the strongest internal evidence that the two accounts are from one and the same author, who has neither desire nor motive to enlarge upon what he had previously said. It is the style of one who understands himself, and who has no fear of being misunderstood, or taken for another, by his reader.
Perhaps the best view of the whole case would be gained by making a fair paraphrase, which is only putting it into a more modern style of language and conception: ‘Such were the generations of the heavens and the earth in that early day when God made not only the great earth and heavens, but even the lowly shrub and plant—made them by His own divine word—made them when they yet were not (as Raschi gives the sense of טרם, without preceding causality) without the aid of rain—before the rain and before any human cultivation. For it was after this early day (ו in ואד being grammatically both illative and denoting sequence) that the mists began to go up (יעלה, the unconnected future form here denoting series, habit, or continuance, see Job 1:5; Judg. 14:10; Ps. 32:4), from which come the descending rains that now water the earth. And it was after all this that the Lord God made man, his body from the earth (from nature), his spirit from His own divine inspiration; and thus it was that man became a living soul.’
The אד or mist here that went up can mean nothing but the rain itself. It is the same process, and that the word is to be so regarded is evident from its use, Job 36:27: “For He maketh small the drops of water, when they pour down the rain of its vapor,” יזקו מטר לאדו. It may be a question whether כל שיח (Gen 2:4) is to be taken as the object of עשות, Gen 2:3, as it commonly is, or is to be regarded as connected with what follows, so as to be the subject of the verbal force that is in טרם. This word is not well rendered before, as though a thing could be before it was, unless in an ideal sense, which we cannot suppose to be the writer’s meaning here. The being in the earth was essential to its being a plant; otherwise it is but the idolon or imago of a plant, according to the crude and untenable view that would represent God as outwardly or mechanically making it and then putting it in the earth to be brought forth (see Introduction to the First Chapter, p.—). The word טרם, says Raschi, is equivalent to עד לא, until not, or, not yet, and contains averbal assertive force. So the Targum of Onkelos renders it, and the Syriac by a similar idiom, ܐܐܒܝܠ܂ܠܝ̣. It would then read: And as for the shrub, it (was) not yet in the earth, the herb had not yet begun to grow; thus giving to טֶרֶם the force of a negative verb, like אין, only with the idea of time. And then, with this negative force in טרם, the כל, according to the Hebrew idiom, makes a universal negative of the strongest kind, being equivalent to gar nichts, as Lange says—nothing at all. Thus the expression: every shrub was not, etc., which with us would be a particular or partial negative equivalent to not every, is the widest universal in the Hebrew: In the day of God’s making the earth and the heavens, when (as ו may well be rendered) there was not the least sign of shrub or plant growing in the earth. See LUD. DE DIEU: Critica Sacra, in loc.
This is, in the main, the view of Delitzsch, though he still seems to have some perplexities about the time. We get clear, however, of the difficulties of Lange and others. There is no need of bringing this vegetation down to the sixth day, and referring it to the growth of cultivated plants from the adamah. The language will not bear it. In like manner there is disposed of the explanation of some of the Jewish Rabbis, that the plants barely came to the surface on the third day, but for the want of rain did not come forth and reach their perfection until the sixth. Maimonides says justly, that this is against the positive declaration that the “earth did bring them forth” (Gen 1:12). In refuting it, however, he lays the emphasis on שדה, the field, in distinction from the earth generally, and so regards it as spoken of cultivated plants. But this seems forced, and there stands in the way of it the word שיח, which is especially used of uncultivated growths, as of the desert, Job 30:4, 7, or of the wild bushes in the wilderness of Beer-Sheba, Gen. 21:15.
See the attempts to reconcile the two accounts in Wordsworth, Murphy, and Jacobus. The trouble springs from the assuming of a chronology, and endeavoring to find it, when the chief feature of this second narrative, or of the summary that precedes it, is its wholly unchronological character. There is no time in it. The near and the remote are brought together: In the day when God made the heavens and the earth, from the firmament down to the shrub—or, when there was not a sign of a plant in the earth—made them by His divine word, before there was any rain (compare Prov. 8:24, באין מעינות נכבדי מים, when there were no fountains full of water), though afterwards “He made a law for the rain,” and the mists went up and descended to fertilize the earth, etc. This absence of rain was somewhere in this summed-up day of creation; its place, however, is not fixed in the series, and it is alluded to not for its own sake, but in connection with the plants as originating from a higher causality.—T. L.]
4. Gen 2:7. The Lord God formed man.—Knobel: “As the principal creation of the earth the author has him created before all his fellow-creatures.” This is incorrect, inasmuch as the representation evidently has in view no genealogical or chronological order. It only presents him as the chief divine thought, at the head of the Paradise-creation. “In respect to the mode of origin of the divine-formed man the first chapter says nothing; it only indicates that man is of a higher, and, at the same time, of an earthly nature, without being a product of the earth. But now, on the threshold of a history rising and revealing its purposes, there is need to know something more particular in respect to his mode of origin, so that, along with the fact of his existence, we may understand his established relation to God, to the surrounding vegetable and animal world, and to the earth in general.” Delitzsch. The spirit of the Old Testament, with all correctness, represents the nature of man, in respect to his bodily substance, as earthly; and just so does physiology determine. In the matter of his body man consists of earthly elements; in a wider sense he is out of the earth (Gen 18:27; Ps. 103:14), and at his death he goes back to his mother-earth (Gen 3:19, 23; Job 10:9; 34:15; Ps. 146:4; Ecclesiastes 3:20; 12:7). “According to the classical myth Prometheus formed the first man of earthy and watery material (Apollodorus, Ovid, Juvenal), and in the same manner Vulcan made the first woman (Pandora) out of earth (Hesiod). In other places the ancients represent man as generated out of the earth (PLATO in the Kritias, and others, Virgil) as well as the beasts.” Knobel. The name Adam does not denote precisely one taken from the earth (ארץ, γηγενής), but one formed from the adamah, the soil of cultivation in its paradisaical state; just as the Latin homo from humus, and the Greek χοϊκός from χοός, do not refer back to the earth-matter generally, but to the earth-soil as adapted to cultivation. This derivation from adamah is adopted by most (Kimchi, Rosenmüller, and others). On the contrary, others, after Josephus, derive the word from the verb אדם, to be red, with reference to the ruddy color of man, or the reddish soil of Palestine. Knobel, again, explains it, with Ludolf, from the Æthiopian אדם, to be pleasant, agreeable, according to which it would denote something of comely form.17 One Jewish Doctor, and after him Eichhorn and Richers, would make the word דם (Ezek. 19:10 = דמות) the etymological ground, and would, therefore, give it pre-eminently the meaning of image or likeness. The two first explanations are in so far one as the primitive contemplation saw the reflection of the reddish earth in the glow of the ruddy cheek or in the color of the blood. In this it must be maintained that the earthly lowliness of man, as thereby expressed, becomes modified by the superior excellence of the primitive paradisaical earth. First after the fall does it thus properly become the lowliness of this lower earth. As, therefore, in respect to one half, the lower descent of the outward human nature is expressed by the name Adam, so also, on the other side, there is the hidden nobleness of the adamah, and the destiny of man to draw the adamah along with it in its development to a higher life. In respect to the Greek word for man, ἄνθρωπος (= ὁ ἄνω ἀθρῶν, the upward looking), compare DELITZSCH, p. 141, and KNOBEL, p. 25. So also for the Indo-Germanic Mensch, in the Sanscrit manu (from mna, to think, related to manas, spirit), see the notes in DELITZSCH, p. 619. The translations of עפר, dust, also clay, soil (Lev. 14:42, 45; English Version, mortar), are exegetical; Vulgate: De limo terrœ; Luther: Out of the earth-clod; Symmachus and Theodolion: χοῦν ἀπὸ τῆς ἀδαμᾶ, God formed him out of the dust of the earth. The verb יצר must certainly have its emphatic distinction here from ברא and עשח. It denotes the curious structure of man according to his idea, as an act of the divine conscious wisdom (Ps. 139:13; Prov. 8:31).—And breathed into his nostrils.—“The inbreathing takes place through the nostrils; for this is the organ of the breath, but the breath itself is the expression and sign of the inward existing life. From the breath of God comes the life of man (Job 33:4; Is. 42:5), and the breath in the nostrils of man is the divine breathing (Job 27:3). In a similar manner does the Challaic myth make the creature to be formed of earthy matter and the divine blood; the blood is taken for the seat of life (see Gen 9:4).” Knobel. The expression evidently presents the formative agency of God in an anthropomorphic form. There is the mouth of God and the nostrils of the man as he comes into existence; it is as though He had waked him into life with a kiss (compare 1 Kings 17:21). It evidently means the impartation of the divine life, on which depends the divine kinsmanship of man (Acts 17:28, 29). נשמה (from נשם), breath, spirit, breath of the spirit, breath of man, life of the spirit, is more specific than רוח, more universal than נפש, but may be interchanged with both, as something that stands between them; yet only in relation to man. Here it evidently denotes something which is common both to God and man, something which goes forth from God and enters into man—God’s “breath of life,” that is, the spirit of God in its active self-motion, as in man it calls out the spiritual principle, the spirit of his life, but none the less as the spirit in its actual personality. The נשמה, or breath of God, has the predicate חיים (life or lives) from the adjective חַיָּה (Gen 1), in order to distinguish primarily the living subject, and, in the next place, the life itself. The life, in its most intensive sense, is the unity of the life in all living persons, and in any living thing;—it is the personality. נֶפֶשׁ (from נָפַשׁ, to breathe), the life’s breath, the soul of life, anima, ψυχή, the principle of the animal vitality, and, in this respect, the life itself; in a wider sense it is animus, the personal spiritual soul, the psychical affection, the man himself. In our text it denotes the man in his totality as living soul. In consequence of the formation of the human figure out of dust from the earth-soil, and the animation of this figure through the impartation of the life from God, does man become a living soul. For the psychology of the passage, see the Fundamental Ideas.
5. Gen 2:8. Planted a garden in Eden.—As Jehovah-God (farther on, Gen 2:15 and 16) is named as the establisher of the order of life, of natural science, or of the human knowledge of it (Gen 2:19), of marriage and the law of the family (Gen 2:21, 24), as the judge and founder of the religion of the promise and of the moral conflict on the earth, of the earthly state of sorrow and discipline (Gen 3:7), and, finally, as the immediate director of human chastity and the author of the human clothing (Gen 2:21), so also here, in the beginning, is He represented as the first Planter, the Founder of human culture, which is as yet identical with the human cultus or worship. Delitzsch transfers this planting to the time of the first vegetable creation (p. 146); but this is not agreeable to the sense of the text, which does not relate things chronologically, and presupposes the creation of man. In consequence of the previous preparation for the future of man in the bedewing of the earth, an Eden is already originated. The name Eden (enjoyment, pleasure, delight), as the region of Paradise, would denote, according to Delitzsch, a land determinate but no longer ascertainable by us; since the Assyrian Eden, he thinks, which is vocalized by the doubled segol and mentioned Is. 37:12, and the Cœlo-Syriac Eden mentioned Amos 15, are altogether different. But if the garden in Eden had its name from a determinate boundary and enclosure, and if the paradisaical streams went forth in all the world, then it becomes a very serious question whether the author had in view any distinct boundary of Eden itself, as any determinate land. It appears, at all events, to have been his intention to represent the whole paradisaical adamah as an Eden in respect to its nature and laying out, although he meant by it, primarily, the undetermined wide environs that surrounded man, whilst, at the same time, supposing a distinction between Eden and the earth generally. There is also the passage, Gen 4:16, which seems to presuppose a limitation of Eden to one determinate region; still it must be noticed, in the mean time, that the soil becomes cursed for man’s sake. According to the representation, it is a view that takes the form of three spheres: the earth, the Paradise, the garden. At all events, the best supposition in regard to man is that he was created in Eden, although by a new act of God he is early transferred to the centre of Eden, that is, of the Paradise. Besides this place, the name Eden occurs Gen 2:10 and 15; Gen 3:23; 4:16; 13:10; Joel 2:3; Ezek. 31:16, 18.—A garden, גַּן. The Septuagint translates it παράδεισος; the Vulgate: Paradisus. “Spiegel explains this word (Avesta, i. p. 293) according to the Zend: Païri daéza, is a heaping round, an enclosing, with which the Hebrew גן (properly, something covered or sheltered) well agrees. It is carried out of the Indo-Germanic into the Shemitic, and is found in the Hebrew, where it has the pronunciation פַרְדֵם (Par-dhes), Cantic. 4:13; Neh. 2:8; Ecclesiastes 2:5.” Knobel. An explanation, now set aside, is that which derives it from the Sanscrit paradîça (alien, foreign, wondrous land). The conceptions—Garden of Eden, Eden Garden, Garden of God—by reason of the symbolical significance of these expressions, play into each other. By the garden, according to Knobel, is to be understood “a garden of trees.” Thus much is clear, that the garden of the paradisaical nature was distinguished for its trees. The garden lay in the eastern district of the Eden region (מקדם); there is probably indicated along with this the stand-point of the reporter. The Eastern land is the home-land of humanity.—There He put the man.—As the creation of Eve is transferred to Paradise, it is as well not to lay stress upon the fact of Adam’s having been created outside of Paradise; the fundamental idea consists in this, that Adam was immediately transferred from his state of nature (or his universal relation to the adamah) into the state of culture, or his particular relation to Paradise. “Both facts are announced before in a summary way, but are unfolded in what follows; just as the facts summarily announced in the first verse of Gen 1 receive afterwards a wider explanation.” Delitzsch.
6. Gen 2:9–14. And out of the ground made the Lord to grow.—We must not regard this act as a chronological following of the preceding. Man finds himself well-cared for in Paradise by means of its abundance. This consists in fruit-trees of every kind. It may fairly be regarded here as an indication of the spirituality of the human enjoyment, that the lovely aspect of the trees is named first, then the good that is given along with it—that is, agreeable and healthsome food—but this spiritual side of the human enjoyment comes out, in its perfection, with the mention of the two trees that form a contrast in the midst of the garden; for, according to Gen 3:3, the tree of knowledge stands likewise in the midst of the garden. The significance and efficacy of the tree of life are more particularly given Gen 3:22; it could have procured for Adam the power of living on forever. That this efficacy is not to be regarded as something purely physical appears from the contrast of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, whose efficacy, again, on its own side, is not to be regarded as purely spiritual (see Gen 3:22). The spiritual side of the tree of life is also supposed Rev. 2:7; 22:2. It is, therefore, just a false contrast when Knobel tells us that “the narrator supposes in Paradise two trees, of which the fruits of the one strengthen the physical power of life and sustain the life itself, whilst that of the other arouses and advances the spiritual power, and thereby induces a higher knowledge.” (!) Truly, the garden appears a “region of wonder, on account of this tree not only, but as the place of God’s personal presence, the place of the vocal utterance of a spiritual voice by the serpent, and on account of the cherubim. The wonderful consists, in the first place, in this, that here is the region of innocence, of the integrity both of the human spirit and of the surrounding nature, and that, consequently, here the spiritual and the natural are embraced in perfect union; whilst therefore it is, that outward things become of typical and symbolical significance in their potential measure. It belongs now to the perfection of the garden, not merely that it is watered with its own Paradise rivers, but also, that by means of the four streams that go out from its one united stream it stands in close connection with the whole earth, and sends forth to it its own peculiar blessings. From the reading of the text: a stream went out, instead of, a stream goes out, Delitzsch finds proof that the author speaks of Paradise as of a thing purely past. Much rather, however, does he speak of Paradise after the fall, as of a place at least still existing, but closely shut up by means of the cherubim. That is, the representation is not now purely geographical; it is also, at the same time, throughout symbolic. According to our representation, the stream originates, not in Paradise itself, but outside of it, in the land of Eden; and so here, too, as in the case of Adam, must we distinguish between the origin in nature, and the destiny that was to have its development in culture. In Paradise itself, therefore, does this one stream, on its going out of the garden, divide itself into four (ראשים) flood-heads (not “rain-streams,” nor “brooks”), which as four rivers part themselves in all the world, the stream-heads become head-streams.—The name of the first is Pishon: The free-flowing (Fürst); the full-flowing (Gesenius). By the name Pishon has been understood 1. the Phasis, 2. the Phasis-Araxes of Xenophon, 3. the Bisynga or Fradatti (Buttmann), 4. the Indus (Schulthess), 5. the Ganges (Josephus, Eusebius, Bertheau), 6. the Hyphasis (Haneberg), 7. the Nile (the Midrash), 8. the Goschah (C. Ritter). See the Doctrinal and Ethical.—That is it which encompasses the whole land of Havilah.—According to Fürst, it is the same with circuit, region. (This is what Havilah probably signifies; according to Delitzsch it means sandy land.) The word סבב (primarily, to surround) may be interpreted of a circuitous flowing round, though it also occurs in the sense of surrounding on one side. The verb may also denote a winding passage through (Is. 23:16, סבי עיר, “Go round about through the city”), and here it may be better conceived of as a winding through than as an encompassing. We choose an expression that at the same time calls to mind a region of streams.—Where there is gold.—That is, especially or abundantly—the mother-country of gold, not only in respect to quantity, but also in respect to quality.—The gold of that land is good.—Besides its fine gold, Havilah is also famous for its spices, such as Bdolach (Num. 11:7), similar to manna, or according to Josephus Bdellion, and, similarly named (see Knobel), “an odoriferous and very costly gum, which is indigenous in India and Arabia, in Babylonia and Media, and especially in Bactriana. It must have been well known to the Hebrews.” To this is added, in the third place, the precious stone שֹׁהַם, schoham. According to most interpreters it is an onyx stone, sardonyx, or sardius, which belong together to the species chalcedon. The Targumists and others would understand by schoham the sea-green beryl. The onyx, on the contrary, has the color of the human finger-nails, and that is denoted by the name. With this agrees שֹׁהַם as “signifying something thin, delicate, pale” (Knobel). In respect to the geography, see further on.—The name of the second river is Gihon.—“According to Josephus, Ant. i. 1, 3, Kimchi, and others, also as might be inferred from the Septuagint translation of Jer. 2:18, Ben Lira 24, 27, there was understood by it the Nile, which flows through all the south-lands (כוש) that fell within the circuit of the narrator’s view” (Fürst). Under the Gihon, moreover, according to the Shemitic use of the word, there have been understood the Oxus, the Pyramus, and the Ganges. כוש, the dark-colored (?), is a proper name for the oldest son of Ham, the ancestor of the Æthiopians. Thence it is given to the south-land, especially Meroe, and, thereupon, to Æthiopia and the south-region generally. And yet under the like name may be understood a dark-colored people that dwelt in southern India, in Upper Egypt, and in South Arabia (Ktesias and Arrian). In like manner are there different geographical districts under this name (see FÜRST: Lexicon).—The name of the third river is Hiddekel.—The Tigris, the rushing, so named from its violent flowing. Dan. 10:4, it is called the great river—so also the Euphrates. The Zend form is tigra, tigr, tigira, swift, raging.18—Toward the east of Assyria (Lange: Before or in front of Assyria). The word קדמת before Assyria can also mean to the east, but as a preposition it has the more common sense before, frontward. The latter sense, taken freely, is here to be preferred; since the Tigris, in fact, forms the western boundary of Assyria. According to some, Assyria is to be taken here in a wider sense.—The fourth river is Euphrates.—The outbreaking, the violent. It is the greatest river of Western Asia, and, therefore, called the great river, or the river, without anything more. The origin of the Greek form Εὐφράτης is explained either from פְרָת = אֶפְרָת, or from the Persian Ifrat, Ufrat. For the different derivations, see Fürst.
7. Gen 2:15–17. Took the man and put him in the garden.—The author takes up again what is said in the 8th verse about the transfer of Adam to Paradise, but adds to it, at the same time, the purpose for which it was done, namely, to dress it and to keep it. According to Delitzsch man was created outside of Paradise; since he must first see the extra-paradisaical earth, in order that he might have a worthy estimation of the glory of Paradise, and of his own vocation as extending thence over the whole world. Such an assignment of a purpose is altogether too didactic. The garden is the place of the human vocation, and of the human enjoyment in its undivided unity. This enjoyment has two sides, to eat and to refrain. In like manner the vocation has two sides, to dress and to keep. The first thing is to dress it; for nature, which grows wild or rank without the care of man, becomes ennobled under the human hand (Delitzsch). Says the same writer, this work was as widely different from agriculture proper, as Paradise itself differed from the later cultivated land, but it was still work; “and work was so far from being unparadisaical, that, according to Gen 2:1–3, even the creation is regarded as a work of God.” We must distinguish, however, work in its narrower sense, as it stands under the burden of vanity (made subject to vanity, Rom. 8:20) from the paradisaical work, or activity. Even of the later Israel is it said: There is no toil in Zion.19 According to Delitzsch, the whole earth, from Paradise out, was to become a Paradise: “The garden is the most holy (or the holy of holies), Eden is the holy place, whilst the whole earth around is its porch and court.” The comparison is not wholly applicable; since where there are no spiritual orders, there could be no proper mention of court and sanctuary.—And to keep it.—The garden, as such, is uninclosed and unwalled; still must Adam watch and protect it. This is, in fact, a very significant addition, and seems to give a strong indication of danger as threatening man and Paradise from the side of an already existing power of evil (Delitzsch and others), although, even in that case, the guarding of the garden belonged to man’s vocation; since against the misuse of his freedom, he had only to take care of his own free will, and, with it, the possession and the integrity of Paradise. Knobel refers the care with which Adam was charged, to the task appointed him of guarding Paradise against the mischief of the wild beasts.—Of every tree of the garden.—Says Knobel: “The author clearly assumes that in the early period men lived alone from the fruit of trees, and at a later period first advanced to the use of herbs and grain (Gen 3:17), whilst the Elohist, in the very beginning, assigns both to men (Gen 1:29). According to the classical writers, such as Plato (Polit. 272), Strabo, and others, men in the beginning ate herbs, berries, bark, and fruit of trees, especially acorns; the raising of grain came in later.” That the paradisaical man did not eat herbs is nowhere said; but the fruit of the trees is prominently presented because of its symbolic relation to the two mysterious trees in the midst of the garden. The free enjoyment of all trees is strongly expressed by the intensive idiom, אָכֹל תֹּאכֵל. So much the more precise, therefore, is the limitation of the freedom.—But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.—According to Hoffmann and Richers, טוב ורע means good and bad simply. Delitzsch denies this, and rightly. “The good,” says he, “is obedience with its good, the bad is disobedience with its evil consequences. Here it must be remarked, that the conception of physical evil can be, at the most, only as a consequence of moral evil, and that, therefore, the ethical contrast is the main thing, though not to the exclusion of the physical side. The tree, in any case, was a tree that might produce this knowledge; that is, it was the tree of probation, through which Adam might come to a conscious distinction of good and evil, and, thereby, to a moral transition from the state of innocent simplicity into a state of conscious, religious virtue. Did he not sin, then he learned, in a normal way, to know the distinction between good and evil—the good as the actuality of believing obedience towards God, which was, at the same time, the maintaining of his own life in its self-command and freedom—the evil, as the possibility of an unbelieving and disobedient behavior towards God, which must have for its consequent, slavish desire and death. The opinion of Hilarius cannot be sustained (Spicilegium Solesmense, i. 162): Arbor futuri de se mendacii nomen accepit. For, ‘not to know good and evil,’ is the sign of the infantile childishness (Deut. 1:39) or of senile obtuseness (2 Sam. 19:36); the conscious free choice of the one or the other indicates the most mature period of life (or that of the so-named anni discretionis, Is. 7:15; Heb. 5:14). So to know good and evil, and to distinguish between them, is called the charisma or gift of a king (1 Kings 3:9), the wisdom of the angel (2 Sam. 14:17), and, in its higher exercise, of God Himself (Gen. 3:5, 22). By the tree of knowledge of good and evil man is to attain to a consciousness and to a confirmation of his freedom of choice, and, in fact (according to God’s purpose in his determination for good), to a freedom of power—that is, to a true freedom available for the choice of good or its opposite. It was designed to bring out the necessary self-determination of a creature choosing freely, either for or against God, either for the God-willed good or the possible evil—and so to make perfect its independence. The very idea of a free personal being carries with it the necessity that its relation to God be a relation of free love” (Delitzsch). It is an entire perversion of the meaning of this probation-tree to teach, as the Gnostic Ophites did, that, only through the eating of this tree, is man enabled to attain to his self-conscious free development, or, as Hegel and his school have taught in modern times, that sin is a necessary transition-point to good. The victory of Christ in the temptation shows us how it is for man to come to the knowledge of good and evil in a normal, and not in an abnormal, way. The knowledge of the distinction which Adam obtained in this way, was in him from the beginning, though dark and confused. Along with his freedom of choice, heretofore undeveloped, there was established, not only his capability of probation, but also his need of such probation. This probation does, indeed, suppose the previous existence of a divine νόμος, or law (DELITZSCH, p. 154); but we err when we confound this paradisaical νόμος with the law of Moses as it was given to sinners. Moreover, the Mosaic commands are not mere positive instructions; they are, to the extent of the ten commandments, moral laws of nature precisely adapted to the human state, but because of their having become foreign and objective to the consciousness of the sinner, they are, therefore, placed before him in the way of positive revelation. In the νόμοι, or institutions of Paradise, however, must the abiding laws of life constitute the ground of that revelation-form which is adapted to the commands. That is, in relation to the tree of probation, God could not have made it to be a tree of probation in the exercise merely of an arbitrary positiveness; there must lie in the tree itself an innate efficacy; and a natural speech, that may serve as a warning to man against its use. The sign-word of the tree (or the designating name) would, through the divine interpretation, become to man a positive paradisaical prohibition. Even granting, moreover, that the tree was not properly a poison-tree, still the explanation that belongs to it has been too lightly treated, since it might have led us upon the proper track; but that its tendency must have been to produce a change in the human spiritual frame, is a doctrine to be firmly held (see LANGE’S “Dogmatics,” p. 409). It becomes important as an elucidation of this mysterious fact, when we are told that the sin of Noah, the second head of our race, became manifest through the enjoyment of wine. To say nothing of the coarse conceptions of Böhme and others as lately taken in a mythical sense by Sörensen, we must decidedly protest against the theosophical dualistic representation of the probation-tree as we find it in Baumgarten (p. 43), and still later in Delitzsch. “When we remember,” says Delitzsch, “that the paradisaical vocation and destiny of man had for its aim the overcoming of evil that had intruded into the creation, we cannot wonder at there being a tree in Paradise itself, created indeed by God, but whose mysterious background was a dark ground of death and evil placed by God in ward; which tree, in order that man might not fall into the participation of evil, and thereby of death, is hedged around by the divine prohibition, not as by an arbitrary sentence, but as by a warning rather of holy love” (p. 155). We may not resort to the myths of the Thibetans, Hindus, etc. (p. 155), in support of an assertion of such a nature that, according to it, we cannot think of anything determinate or ordained, without setting forth under it, in opposition both to the Scriptures and to the monotheistic consciousness, a material evil (or an evil inherent in matter). According to Delitzsch, the tree actually carried in it “the power of death.” The question arises: What is meant by the threatening: “In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” Knobel holds the sense to be, that he should die immediately; because the infinitive absolute before the finite verb, he says, expresses the undoubted, the certain, the actual. But notwithstanding this, Adam must have lived quite a long time after the fall. In vain is it attempted to set aside this difficulty either by the rendering to become mortal (Targum, Symmachus, Hieronymus, and others), or by making it that introduction of pain and sorrow into life which goes before death in our conception of it (Calvin, Gerhard, and others). Still less, indeed, can we think of a death-penalty to be positively inflicted (Batav., Tuch, Ewald, and others). The nearest solution is overlooked, namely, that the expression must have, even here; an ideal symbolical force; in other words, that death here, corresponding to the biblical conception of death, must be taken primarily to mean a moral death which goes out of the soul, or heart, and through the soul-life, gradually fastens itself, in every part, upon the physical organism (LANGE’S “Dogmatics,” p. 471). The sign of becoming suddenly dead does not necessarily belong to the conception of death. It allows too of a long dying in the physical department. Hoffmann has not thought of this in that very strange exposition of his, which it is hardly worth while to cite. Knobel lays much stress upon it, that man, according to Gen 3:19, 22 (as he insists), was not created immortal. It is true, that after the fall the tree of life is named as the condition of permanent duration; but the possibility of falling into death, under the supposition of transgression and separation from the tree of life, is something quite different from what we embrace under the conception of mortality. Knobel, with Clericus and others, would refer the threatening, in the first place, to the hurtful, life-endangering power of the fruit, and supposes, therefore, that the strong expression: thou shalt immediately die, is to be understood in a pedagogical sense (or as a warning is given to children); and yet it would be rightly an announcement of death, since man, through his sin, throws from him the enjoyment of the tree of life. Let it be then a representation of the Hebrew mode of thinking; but the connection of the promise of long life to the observance of the divine commands throughout the Old Testament (KNOBEL, p. 33) is not a mere Hebraic representation; it is carried still farther in the New Testament in the words: Whosoever believeth on the Son hath everlasting life. And yet it must be perceived that already in the Old Testament, and so certainly here, the conception of life, as also the conception of death, hath its ethical and ideal ground; on account of which the tree of life is not to be thought of as having a merely physical efficacy. Rightly, too, has Keil, who is here in special opposition to Delitzsch, defended the spiritual propriety of the ethical conception.
8. To Gen 2:18–25. It is not good that the man should be alone.—Keil: “As the creation of man is introduced by a divine decree, so the creation of woman is preceded by God’s declaration: It is not good, etc.” On the supposition that the second chapter, like the first, presents the genesis of man in a generic chronological series, as we find it in Delitzsch, there arises a difficulty in respect to the second. Then must man have existed so long a time before the creation of the trees of Paradise that he must have died of hunger; since he would have had around him only a plant-producing district, and would have existed then for himself alone as the one only completed being; just as the body, too, of this man would have been something first completed, and then the soul imparted to this body from without. Without doubt, however, this genetic chronological conception of the second chapter is a misapprehension of its antithetical and complementary relation to the first. It is not good that man, etc. What can this mean after it had been so often said in the first chapter, He saw that it was good? The expression does not denote a condition positively bad, but rather an incompleteness of being, whose continuance would eventually pass over from the negative not good, or a manifest want, into the positive not good, or a hurtful impropriety. It must be observed that this point of time lies between the last preceding declaration respecting God on the fifth day: and He saw that it was good, and the final judgment very good, at the close of the sixth. According to Knobel the sense would be this: Jehovah shows that a solitary existence is not good for man; He determines upon the creation of some being that may correspond to him, and forms first the beasts for the purpose of seeing whether they would satisfy the human want. (!) To this conception the text is throughout opposed, and especially in the words: I will make a help for him (כְּנֶגְדּוֹ) as his opposite (his converse), not merely his like (Delitzsch). The exposition of Delitzsch: He needed such a one that when he had it before him he might recognize himself, obliterates the peculiar point of the expression. It allows, too, of its application to the relation of one man to another. The opposite (or converse) here spoken of, depends not upon any if, or casual condition. What is meant by this obliteration becomes evident farther on. The primary thing (he seems to think) is to provide a help for man in his vocation-destiny; but then there comes also into view the possibility that he may transgress the command of God, and die the death, in which case the aim of the creation would be rendered vain. How suspicious this! the making the motive for the creation of the woman to be this future possible eventuality—especially since Eve herself it is who realizes that possibility. Moreover, Delitzsch means that Adam would then, as the second seduced, have been rather the object of the divine compassion (but Eve, the first seduced, what of her!), and finally leaves us to conclude that it does not mean: I will make one like to him that he may propagate his race. But see Gen 1:28, where the theosophic deriving of the propagation of the race from the eventuality of the fall is clear, and without reserve, and forever cut off. When there is given to כְּנֶגֶד the sense to be conformable, or correspondent (see Knobel), it does not bring out the emphasis of the word, in this place, according to the original import of the root נגד; although, on the other side, the sensual meaning, anteriora, i. e., pudenda (Schultens, and others), can only be regarded as a coarse exaggeration of the expression.
Gen 2:19. And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field.—Obviously does the representation that follows serve as an introduction to the representation of the creation of the woman; that is, the order observed in mentioning the creating of the beasts is determined by a motive not at all chronological, but looking only to the fact itself. But in what could this motive lie? In bringing the beasts before him, was there something of a purpose in the Creator to awaken in man a consciousness of the need of some help of kindred birth to himself? This is the supposition of Michaelis and Rosenmüller. Delitzsch and Keil have something of the same thought (p. 48). On the other hand, it is the supposition of Jacob Böhme and other theosophists that from looking at the beasts in pairs, there was awakened a sinful desire in the as yet androgynic Adam. These wild phantasies (Myst. Mag. p. 116) have yet been able to influence the latest representations of the paradisaical relations. Böhme’s views of the sexual relations are perfectly abominable. It has been maintained that in the first chapter the creation of the stars is laid on the fourth creative day for the purpose of counteracting the heathen star-worship; since the stars, or heavenly bodies, are brought in as conditioned by the preceding creations, especially that of light. In analogy with this view, and in opposition to the animal-worship of the heathen-world, would the passage before us represent the beasts as creations subordinate to man: in the first place, because man had to give them names, and, secondly, because among them all he found nothing of like birth with himself, to say nothing of any superiority. At all events, for the Oriental mind, the passage presents a very significant elevation of the woman, as human, over the lower animal-world, and her equality of birth with the man. It is no real difference, as Knobel holds it is, that here the Creator forms the beasts out of the ground, whilst in the first chapter they come forth (and yet in consequence of the creative word) from the earth. Creating and forming are just different points of view of the same conception. The apparent difference proceeds partly from this, that here we have the more definite, namely the forming of the beasts out of the earth. The beasts of the field; taken here in the comprehensive sense—the wild and the tame.—And every fowl of the air (the heavens).—The fish of the sea and the reptiles are passed over. Keil finds the ground of it in this, that both classes, the beasts of the field and the birds of heaven, are like men in being formed out of the earth, and, therefore, stand to him in nearer relation than the water-animals and the reptiles. But the earthy matter is found also in the two last, although it may not be without meaning that both the classes here preferred were formed out of the adamah. More to the purpose is the second ground mentioned by Keil, that “God brought the beasts to Adam to show him the creatures that had been ordained to his service.” At all events, the domestic animals are of these two classes. It is specially to be considered, moreover, that in these beasts there is already a more distinct pairing, which is a symbol of human marriage; especially is this the case with the birds. Still the main purpose set forth is: to see how he would name them. With the intuitive knowledge of the beasts there follows the naming of them; for speech is the thought outwardly realized20 (on the essential connection of thinking and speaking, see KEIL, p. 47); and with the naming commences the dominion. Consequently the first science to which God introduces man is the science of nature; his first speech, to which he is led for the mention of zoological properties, is the naming of the animals. That this his naming was an actual calling out, and that the assigned domestic animals followed his call, lies included, as matter of fact, in the very representation itself. From this centre spreads out the knowledge of man over all nature.
Gen 2:20. And the man gave names.—Here the cattle have the first place in the selection, because their place, in the future, is next to man.—But for Adam.—We do not translate for man, since the principal thing here is the care for the individual man, for Adam. The new knowledge satisfied his need but not his heart.
Gen 2:21. A deep sleep to fall.—תַּרְדֵּמָה, a deep sleep, in which the consciousness of the outer world, and of his own inward life, is wholly gone. “Sleep, in and of itself, is ordained for the divinely created human nature, and is as necessary for man, as a creature of earth, as the change of day and night for the universal earthly nature. But this deep sleep is different from natural sleep, and God causes it to fall upon man in the day-time, in order that out of him. he might create the woman.” Keil. Thereto the remark of Ziegler: “Everything out of which some new thing is to come, sinks down before the event into such a deep sleep,” In fact, this preparation for a new being suggests to our minds the preceding creative evening. In Job 4:13, תרדמה denotes a deep sleep in which a dream-vision (a clairvoyant or seeing dream) unfolds itself. On this account, probably, have some interpreters thought that here also there was intended an ecstasy or vision.—And took one of his ribs.—According to Böhme, man had lost the magical propagation (of which he was capable by means of his androgynic nature), through his longing in sleep (the forty-days’ sleep of the temptation) for the sexual contrast, and that the woman proceeded from him not in consequence of a creative act, but by means of the divine fiat remaining in Adam; because God saw that now he must have the object of his desire, since he could no more propagate himself magically. The confident theosophist here becomes Moses’ tutor (p. 111). According to Hoffmann, God must have made the woman not out of parts of man’s breast, but out of his abdomen, where there might be found a portion of the body capable of being lost. Keil strives in a manner worthy of acknowledgment to express himself fairly in respect to these fantasies (p. 49). As in themselves they wrong not only the scriptural text, hermeneutics, and reason, but also the moral feeling, so are they still more strange through their combination with the consequences of the fall. On the other hand, Delitzsch finds something of an ideal human in the manner and way of the woman’s creation (p. 160). Still as to the further formation, or restoration of Adam, it is not perhaps to be understood that “he closed the cavity that was made by putting flesh in the place of the rib that was taken away,” but rather, with De Wette, “he closed the flesh in its place.” In respect to the literal conception, the question must still arise, Whence could such flesh have been taken? But it is just this filling from without, by which that vacuity, or that want, which was ordained to man, is removed. Delitzsch lays stress upon this, that Adam must have been already complete as man before Eve was taken from him. But thereby the symbolical side of the representation is marred. So far as the fact is concerned, it is satisfied by recognizing that the sexual contrast is first called into being in the way of the unfolding of the first human form. This fact, on its physical side, is ever reflected in the child-world. Delitzsch presents the view that the outward form of Adam was not double-sexed. “To speak generally, it was without sex. In its most refined nature Adam had the sexual contrast in himself. With its going forth from the unity of his personality, there necessarily connected itself that configuration which was demanded for the then commencing sexual life.” The expression: he built (בנה), indicates the farther maternal appointment of the woman (from בנה, to build, comes בן, ben, a son). In respect to the wide-spread view of antiquity concerning the sexual unity of man, see KNOBEL, p. 35.
Gen 2:22. And brought her unto the man.—“In the passage above we recognize God as the first teacher of language; here he appears as the first bridesman; speech is, in some respects, emblematical of the divine, and so, too, is marriage.” Delitzsch.
Gen 2:23. This is now.—Literally: this once, or this time. In contrast with the long missing of his help, he finds at last his desire realized. She it is—or this is it. The demonstrative pronoun זֹאת not only expresses, by its threefold repetition, the joyful appropriation of Adam, but also serves as a specific feminine indication. He immediately recognizes the fact that she is formed out of his being, out of his solidity (his bone), out of his sensibility (his flesh), and yet his counterpart; therefore, in correspondence with the fact of her derivation from him, and her belonging to him, does he give her the name maness (woman, as the old Latin has it, vira from vir). It is not exactly certain that the woman was taken from The heart-side: nevertheless it is a probable interpretation of this symbolically significant narration. At all events is she taken out of his breast, and not out of the lower part of his body. According to Knobel it is, because she stands by his side (Ps. 45:10) and is his attendant, his companion, and his helper. The Hebrew readily expresses the conception of attendance through such phrases as at hand, by the side (Job 15:23; 18:12), שמר עלע, to be a companion, a friend (Jer. 20:10).
Gen 2:24. Therefore shall a man.—The question arises whether this is something farther said, and to be understood as Adam’s speech, or whether it is the remark of the narrator. In Matt. 19:5, Christ cites this language as the word of God. That, however, makes no difference; since Adam may utter the word of God derived from the divine fact, as well as the narrator. It seems to favor the idea of the narrator’s speaking, that he so often inserts his remarks with an עַל־כֵּן (wherefore; Gen 10:9; see Delitzsch). On this account Keil decides that it is the language of the narrator, especially since it is spoken of father and mother. Delitzsch, however, insists that the words must be taken as a prophetic or divining expression of Adam himself. The word must evidently have the significance of a moral life-ordering for all humanity—a meaning which results from this expression maness, or woman. It is, therefore, most closely connected with what precedes, and suits better here the mouth of Adam than that of the narrator. With the latter it would have been merely a historical remark, with which, moreover, the future tense would not have been consistent. In the mouth of Adam it is a law of life for all human time, and, indeed, of such a nature that it expresses, at the same time, a feeling of self-denial in that he gives to his children, in the conclusion of marriage, a free departure from the ancestral home. It is evident that here all the fundamental laws of the marriage-life are indicated. 1. The foundation of the same, the sexual affinity; 2. the freedom of choice (as this avails also for the wife in relation to the recognition of the man, and the free departure from father and mother); 3. the monogamic form of marriage and its original indissolubility. They become one flesh—an expression which does indeed include the sexual connection, but, as something lying beyond all that, it expresses the essential unity and higher wholeness of man in man and wife. 4. The relativity of the departure from father and mother; the first relation is not taken away by the second, but only made subordinate to it; it supposes the relations to be normal.
Gen 2:25. And they were both naked.—“In this view, that the first men went naked, all other antiquity agrees with the Hebrews, e. g., PLATO: Politicus, 272; DIOD. SIC. i. 8.” Knobel. Expositions of this condition of nakedness entirely opposed to each other are found in Knobel and Delitzsch. “They had, therefore, in the beginning, no feeling of shame, and none of that moral insight to the beginning of which such feeling of shame belongs. After the entrance of the latter they made themselves aprons to cover their shame (Gen 3:7), and at a later period they were furnished with clothing from the skins of beasts. People wholly uncultivated go perfectly naked, those that are somewhat cultivated have partial coverings, whilst those who have a complete civilization go wholly clothed.” Knobel. On the other hand, Delitzsch: “Their bodies were the clothing of their inner glory, and this glory (rightly understood) was the clothing of their nakedness.” And, finally, Keil, with a more apt conception of the case: “Their bodies were made holy through the spirit that animated them. Shame first came in with sin, which took away the normal relation of the spirit to the body, begat an inclination and a desire in conflict with the soul, and turned the holy order of God into sinful enticement and the lust of the flesh.” In the view of Knobel, Grecian art must be accounted a coarser thing than many a crude mythological representation. Put as the first men must be distinguished from mere naked savages, so also are they not to be regarded, according to a Jewish Midrash cited by Delitzsch, as something transparent or luminous “which the clouds of glory must have overshadowed.” Nakedness is here the expression of perfect innocence, which, in its ingenuousness, elevates the body into the spiritual personality as ruled by it, whilst, on the contrary, the feeling of shame enters with the consciousness of opposition between spirit and sensual corporeity, whilst shame itself comes in with the presentiment and the actual feeling of guilt.
[NOTE ON THE TIME-SUCCESSIONS OF THE SIXTH DAY AND OF THE EDEN-LIFE.—This second account, in its latter part, appears to be an enlargement, or magnified picture, of the sixth day. Taking it in its intrinsic character, or apart from any outside difficulties of science, it strongly suggests two thoughts: First, its pictorial aspect, on which we have already dwelt (Introd. to Gen. 1 p. 153), and, secondly, that the events here narrated, or painted, could not have been regarded by the narrator himself as all taking place, in their consequential nexus, within the time of a few solar hours, or the latter half of one solar day. He could not so have told the story had such a view been constantly present to his own mind. The consistency of impression would be utterly destroyed by the rapidity. Here is a consecution of events growing regularly out of each other, each one preparing the way for what follows. Here are formations, growths, seeming natures, conditions of life, wants growing out of such conditions, adaptations to such wants, preparations for such adaptations, a course of discipline for man, a development of knowledge and of language out of such discipline, the means for such development, a strange state of humanity called a trance or deep sleep, a wondrous change in the previous human nature arising out of it—all most briefly sketched, but all there, in coherent continuity. Besides this, there is the preparation of a part of the earth for the new inhabitants, a state of conscious innocence without shame, implying some course of life, longer or shorter, to give the representation any moral significance—the ordaining a law indicating some course of life according to it, a divine intercourse and teaching, a probation, a temptation, and a fall into sin. All of this, at least down to the making of Paradise, was on the sixth day, and the rest in consecutive series with it. Now did this chain of events, or the greater part of them, take place in the afternoon of one solar day? It is not a sufficient answer to say that God’s almighty power might have caused such a rapid shifting of scene. It is a question of style, of consistency, of descriptive impression. It might have been so; but then the aspect given of causation, of series, of adaptation, would be but a show, a seeming. It would be an appearance of a causation without that consistent nexus that makes it easily conceivable; it would be a seeming succession without that proportion of antecedent and consequent which we find it difficult to separate from it; events, great events, growing out of each other—so treated—and yet without any real growth, or that proportional gradualness without which growth has no true meaning. There would seem to be a new formation, or a re-formation of the animal races brought into the picture—or if it refers to the old, a modification of them for the instruction and discipline of man. They are to be the means of developing his powers of knowledge and of speech. Through their unlikeness to himself and their unfitness for rational human intercourse, there is awakened in him the desire for higher society. And then that most mysterious trance-state of being, in which there is vailed from him, as now from all science, that ineffable transformation out of which comes the duality of our human nature. The fact is told us according to the easiest conception, but it was a trance-vision to Adam, and we have no reason to suppose that his narrating descendant had the knowledge of it in any revelation more objective than was given to his ancestor. Adam had longed for some one like himself, inspired from above, and lifted out of the surrounding animality, yet sharing with him the earthly nature. The language ascribed to him shows the vehemence of his desire, the deferring of his hope, and the patience of his waiting: זאֹת הַפַּעַם, diesmal, this now, ipsa tandem—there is an intense significance in this small Hebrew particle—come at last, bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh. Three times does he repeat this feminine זאת (see DELITZSCH, p. 161). Bone of my bone:—can we doubt as to the origin of the peculiar symbolism in which the narrative is clothed? His want was satisfied, and the vivid picture of his dream becomes the language, the only possible language, perhaps, of a divine work which no merely human speech could adequately set forth—one of the deep mysteries of God, itself shadowing forth the still deeper mysteries of the Incarnation and the Church.
Similar suggestions of time present themselves in what is said of the planting of Paradise: And the Lord God caused to grow, etc. Did the great trees grow in the same time with the herb and the flower? Confine it all to a few hours and the difference is as nothing; yet growth, without proportion according to the natures or products grown, is in itself both conceptionless to the sense and idealess to the reason. We may conceive it, however, from a picture, or a vision, and such a mode of representation, therefore, as appearing in the style, is one of the strongest critical arguments for the vision-theory of the creative revelation. It is perfectly consistent, too, for in the subjective delineation time is given in perspective. But the grouping shows that the great things represented could not have been thus, unless the picture itself be but a phantasy, or phantasmagoria, not supernatural or contranatural merely, but wholly unnatural, according to any conceptions our human faculties can form of time, succession, cause, and effect. Great truths, great facts, ineffable truths, ineffable facts, are doubtless set forth. We do not abate one iota of their greatness, their wonderfulness, by supposing such a mode of representation. It is not an accommodation to a rude and early age, but the best language for every age. How trifling the conceit that our science could have furnished any better! Her field is induction, and, by this creeping process, though she may travel far relatively, she can never ascend to the great facts of origin that belong to the supernatural plane. Her language will ever be more or less incorrect; and, therefore, a divine revelation cannot use it, since such use would be an endorsement of its absolute verity. The simpler and more universal language of the Scripture may be inadequate, as all language must be; it may fall short; but it points in the right direction. Though giving us only the great steps in the process, it secures that essential faith in the transcendent divine working, which science—our science, or the science of ages hence—might only be in danger, to say the least, of darkening. It saves us from those trifling things commonly called reconciliations of revelation with science, and which the next science is almost sure to unreconcile. It does so by placing the mind on a wholly different plane, giving us simple though grand conceptions as the vehicle of great ideas and great facts of origin in themselves no more accessible to the most cultivated than to the lowliest minds. There is an awful sublimity in this Mosaic account of the origin of the world and man, and that, too, whether we regard it as inspired Scripture or the grandest picture ever conceived by human genius. To those who cannot, or who do not, thus appreciate it, it matters little what mode of interpretation is adopted—whether it be one of the so-called reconciliations, or the crude dogmatism that calls itself literal because it chooses to take on the narrowest scale a language so suggestive of vast times and ineffable causalities.—T. L.]
DOCTRINAL AND ETHICAL
1. In respect to the opposition between this section and the preceding, see the Exegetical and Critical Notes of the former. It must be very clear that in the present section the chronological order stands in the background, whilst, on the contrary, the symbolical presents itself in a more significant degree.
2. The present section is distinguished by the name Jehovah-Elohim: The meaning is, that Jehovah, the Covenant-God of His people, is also the God of all worlds, the Lord of all creatures, who made Adam for His first Covenant-child, and appointed him His vicegerent in this dominion. Adam is the princeps, and so the ideal prius of the creaturely world. This point, of the Covenant of God with Adam, appears in Cocceius as the foundation of the federal theology. With Schleiermacher, again, it is modified into the representation of a religiousness overlying the contrast of sin and mercy.
3. Nature presupposes man, if it would be prevented from running wild. Only in man, through him, and with him, can it find its glorious transformation. Therefore was man also, in his integrity, the presupposing of nature in her integrity; his religious and moral destiny is the condition of her higher destiny, his cultus the foundation of her culture. In pure nature, moreover, are the nobler plants as well as the nobler animals to be regarded as in a special sense an appurtenance of man; in a special measure, therefore, are they conditioned in their being and well-being, by his being and well-being. Whatever, too, there might have been before man, it was still as though it were not, so long as it found not in him its cosmical destiny. It was all an enigma; the solution was first to be found in man.
4. The moistening of the earth’s soil before the creation of man points to the share of the waters in the creaturely formations (and sustenance), especially the human. Through the observation of this came Thales by his system.
5. The creation of man. It is rightly regarded as an entirely new creative act,21 and, indeed, as the very highest. And yet it is a falsely literal view of the anthropomorphic and symbolical representation, when in this act of God we are led to regard the earthly nature as wholly passive. Rather does this act, in its truest realization, presuppose the highest excitation and effort of the earth—we may even say with Steffens, its animation. The representation has for its leading fundamental idea: Man the prime thing of the earthly creation; not that it can or ought to be carried out into its philosophical consequences, for then man must have been introduced before the earth-soil, and the formation of his body must have been before the creation of his soul. On this account we are not authorized to assign separately the formation of the body and of the soul to two acts following each other in a temporal series—as was held in some respects by the Gnostic Saturninus.
6. The anthropological, physiological, and psychological ideas of the passage. Compare the writings before cited: Von Roos, Zeller, Beck, Delitzsch, Von Rudolf, and others. Before all things does the passage affirm that man became an indissoluble, that is, a creatively established, unity—a living soul proceeding out of the contrast, or the duality, of the dust of the earth, on the one side, and the divine breath of life on the other (נשמה), and that these were the substances out of which he was formed. He is, in his one total appearing, a living soul; that is, the body too, in this human constitution, is only a special ground-form of the whole man, as the divine breath of life, on its side, is the ground-principle of the whole man. Spirit and body are joined together with the soul. These three are mutually inseparable, and they together make the individualized unity of man. To this extent may we deny that man consists alone of body and soul. He is always, and at any moment, body, soul, and spirit; though the outer form of the body may, by death, be loosed from its life, and the spirit, by sin, may sink into a latent state (see 1 Cor. 15:44; LANGE’S “Dogmatics,” p. 1243). As man, in respect to his inner life, is not divided into feeling, intelligence, and will, but is present in each of these ground-forms as the entire man, so also is he ever the entire man in respect to his outer or concrete life; as body he is related to his earthly appearing, and to the sphere of such appearing; as spirit, in the relation of his principial unity to his unitary ground, he is related to God and divine things; as soul, or essential form and life, he is related to the world of souls and the life of the whole universe. Man is a one with himself: individuality in his singleness, personality in his universalness, subjectivity in the mode and way of mediating between his singleness and his universal relation. And so far is the passage atomic, as it represents man as becoming a living soul (monade) through the highest and most intensive creative act of God.
In reference to the essential elements and relations of human life, however, it is predominantly dichotomic, as other places of Holy Writ (Ecclesiastes 12:7; Matt. 10:28) distinctly represent.
Concerning the relation of the corporeity of man to the earthly nature, compare SCHUBERT’S “History of the Soul,” § 10. The constituents of the animal body: Calcareous earth (bone), nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen, oxygen gas, iron (in the blood), sulphur, phosphorus (in the nerves), silica (in the teeth), and, combined with this, fluoric acid.
In respect to the spiritual nature of man as akin to God, compare Gen. 3:6; Matt. 22:32; Jer. 31:3; Luke 15:11; John 1:49; Acts 17:28, 29; Rom. 8:16; 2 Pet. 1:4; Rev. 1:6; 2:17, and other places.—Delitzsch disputes against the supposition that there is in man an uncreated divine (p. 144); for the word וִיברא, Gen 1:27, embraces, he says, the essential being of the entire man. Of the man, certainly, as a whole, but is it so especially of his spiritual nature? Is man, moreover, as an eternal individual thought of God, by virtue of his election in Christ, a thought in some way created? We cannot say that God has created the thought of his love. The older theology was very much afraid of the idea of emanation. If God imparted anything to man from his own being, it meant either that God must have given away some of His own being, or that something still of His being could have sinned in man. We must, by all means, avoid both representations as we must generally do in respect to every emanation-view. But does there follow from this the pure creatureliness of the human spirit—that is, of its God-likeness (or that in it called divine, or which is supposed to have come from God)? Or is it only, as Delitzsch says, the πνοὴ of the πνεῦμα (the breathing of the Spirit)? Still it is a πνεῦμα, a human spirit. And certainly this needs the spirit of God for its well-being—for its own life (see 1 Cor. 2:14; Jude 19). The mere existence of the human soul does not fail from the fact of its unspiritualness (the want of the higher spirituality, or its sensuality). Delitzsch touches upon the true relation when he says, “a creative word, although of a divine being, is not the Logos clothed with the eternal being of the Father.” Yet still does the decree concerning humanity embrace in Christ the individual elect. Between the emanation-representations, on the one side, and the pure creatureliness on the other, lies the conception of the free impartation of life in the mystery of the quickening: life from life, light from light, spirit from spirit. Man may be begotten of God by the seed of the new birth, which is the word of God; and when we take this as the basis of our belief that he can receive the Holy Spirit, we cannot deny that original state of man which corresponds to it.
But the passage contains already the germ of a trichotomy-body, soul, and spirit, which impliedly pervades the Holy Scripture, and is most expressly set forth 1 Thess. 5:23; Heb. 4:12 (see LANGE’S “Dogmatics,” p. 307). A similar trichotomy, as is well known, is found in the writings of the Platonists, and so, too, in connection with biblical doctrines and Platonic ideas, among the oldest church-fathers. This continued, until through the heresy of Apollinaris, the trichotomy became suspected, and in the following time of the middle ages, gave place to the more popular dichotomy. In modern times, again, in connection with a deeper study of psychology, trichotomic views presented themselves. It must herewith be remarked that the dichotomy, when simply held, is no more in contradiction to the trichotomy, than those dual places of Holy Scripture in which only God and His Logos, or the Wisdom, or the Angel of the Lord, are named, contain a contradiction of the trinity. The triad just as easily holds together for a dual (soul and spirit being taken as one) as for a monad. Or rather, the monad resolves itself over all, first into a duality, then into a triad.
That the spirit is the principle and the form of unity in man—his derivation from God, and his relation to God—is declared in Ecclesiastes 12:7. It is God who has given the spirit. In like manner does the same text of the Preacher say that the body is the finishing and the form of appearing for man, showing his descent from the earth, and his relation to the earthly sphere. But that the soul is the form of being in man, the configuration and the form of life, his descent from and his reciprocal relation to the whole world, is declared in the very expression “living soul.”
The נשמת חיים (breath of lives), as the divine principle of all life, imparted to man an individual divine principle of life, and in consequence thereof it became, in the whole, a living soul, and in the vitality, or vitalizing, a conscious self-revealing soul. Man, as related to the eternal and the divine, is spirit; man, as related to the universe, is soul; man, as related to the earth, or to any particular world-sphere wherein he dwells, is body. Concerning the relation of the psychological system of Delitzsch to the conception of Von Rudloff, see “Notice of Remarkable Writings,” in the German Periodical, edited by Von Hollenberg, No. 3, 1859.
For the various defective and marring statements respecting the triune form of man’s being, see LANGE’S “Dogmatics,” p. 307. Gnosticism refuses to regard the corporeity as belonging to the essential being of man (so, too, the Book of Wisdom, Gen 9:15). Hegelianism regards the soul as only the band that connects body and spirit. Later psychologists and theologians (Heinroth, Hoffmann, and others) have denied to man, in himself, a spirit-being; he has spirit, they say, only so far as the spirit of God enlightens him. Beck speaks of a spiritual power, at least, as belonging to the human soul. It must be held fast, however, that man could not receive the spirit of God if he was not himself a spiritual being (“were not the eye adapted to the sun,” etc.). It is, at all events, a supposition of the Scripture, that since the fall the spiritual nature is bound in the natural man, and does not come to its actuality (see Jude Gen 2:10; LANGE’S “Dogmatics,” p. 311). In relation, however, to the body of man, we must distinguish between his σῶμα, the organism, and his flesh σάρξ, the material merely, the filling out of his appearance. In relation to his soul, we must distinguish between soul as the animal principle of life, and as conscious form of being. In relation to his spirit, we must distinguish between his spiritual nature and the element of the spiritual in which the individual spirit lives, and which enters into it.
7. For the doctrine of the divine image, see the remarks on the first chapter. For what belongs specially to the immortality of man, see the title Literature as above given. We must distinguish, however, a threefold conception of immortality: 1. The paradisaical immortality of Adam; 2. the ontological immortality of human nature; 3. the religious ethical immortality which is shared by man through his communion with God—the life in its deeper significance, or the eternal life. As to what concerns the immortality of Adam, the Scripture supposes that he could avoid death under the condition of continued normal rectitude in the strength of his communion with God, or that he might fall into death through an abnormal conduct conformable to his connection with the earth. But the Scripture does not suppose that man could have remained immortal without objective conditionings for the eternal renewal of his life. These conditionings are embraced in the symbol of the tree of life (see below). There is, too, the further disclosure, that man, in the case of the confirmation of his innocence, must undergo a metamorphosis resembling death, and yet not death, in order that he might pass out of his first physical state of existence, where there is yet a possibility of his dying, into a second spiritual state of existence which is raised above the sphere of death. This appears from the translation of Enoch, in connection with the long enduring of the Macrobii (the early long-living antediluvian patriarchs), from the translation of Elias, and, above all, from the glorified form of Christ after his resurrection. It appears, too, from the passage, 2 Cor. 5:2, 3 (see LANGE’S “Dogmatics,” p. 318), and from the doctrine of the apostles respecting the transformation of Christians who should be living at the end of the world (1 Cor. 15). The form of death that proceeds from sin had opposed itself to this tendency of man to transformation—had changed and subverted it. In respect to the various ecclesiastical views of the original immortality, compare WINER: “Comparative Representation,” p. 49. 2. The ontological immortality of man. At the bottom of the wide-spread prejudgment that the Mosaic books, as also the Old Testament generally in its first periods, did not teach the doctrine of a personal immortality, lie the following misunderstandings: 1. In various ways was the ontological supposition of the imperishable continuance of man which pervades the whole Old Testament (namely, in the doctrines of Sheol, of the Rephaim in Sheol, of the conscious condition, and in the expressions for life, in Sheol), confounded with the doctrine of the ethical eternal life. This has also occurred to one of the latest writers on the subject before us (H. SCHULTZ: “The Presuppositions of the Christian Doctrine of Immortality,” Göttingen, 1861). As we must distinguish, however, between the conceptions of the physical and the ethical life in the Scriptures (a life without God no life, but death), and between the conceptions of the physical and the ethical death (a death without the sting of conscious guilt no death), so also must we distinguish between the conceptions of the physical and the ethical immortality. Although the Scripture does not acknowledge the physical, without the ethical, as the true immortality, still it denotes it as continuous individual existence with the two attributes of consciousness and imperishability (Is. 66:24; Rev. 14:11). 2. The pathetic and poetical expressions for the mournful condition in Sheol have been regarded purely as dogmas, without calling to mind that there are praises of the rest in Sheol of a directly opposite character (as in Job 3), and that, in like manner, the dogma of the perfect nothingness of the present worldly life may be deduced from many of the songs of the Church. 3. The fact has been overlooked that the immortality of the soul is just as distinctly a supposition of the Old Testament as the existence of God, and that on this account neither article is expressly taught, but only appears in language on occasions which call it out, and then wholly as something thus presupposed. 4. No distinction has been made between the first germ-form which is peculiar to this doctrine, as it is to most others in the earlier books of the Old Testament, and its later development; and, therefore, too, has there been no distinction made between the ramifying ontological definitives (such as Sheol, Rephaim, appearings of the dead, awakenings of the dead, questionings of the dead), the ethical definitives (such as covenant with God, confidence in God) and the synthetic, out of which the doctrine of the resurrection gradually came forth (such as the tree of life, the translations of Enoch and Elijah, together with the doctrine of the resurrection that prevailed in the prophetic period). Still less has it been considered how gradually Sheol came to be regarded as a place of life, how gradually the shades come to form two divisions, those that are enjoying the holy rest, and those that are the subjects of penal suffering—how gradually faith in the living God becomes faith in that eternal life which consists in communion with him (Ps. 16), and how gradually the resurrection comes to its most definite form (2 Macc. 7). The decisive word, as Christ interprets it, Matt. 22:32, is the designation which God gives to Himself, Exod. 3:6. Its meaning is that the doctrine of covenants made with the pious by a personal God contains in itself the supposition of their own personal imperishable nature. For an explanation of this point it must be observed: 1. That the abode in Sheol is to be regarded primarily as the continuance of the death-doom incurred by sin. Just as death, the wages of sin according to Paul, or the birth of sin according to James, begins in this world with sin (the inner death according to John), with mortality and sickness, so does it also continue on in the other world under the relative ideas of nakedness, imprisonment, restlessness—in a word, under the intensified form of a penal or disciplinary relation to a future redemption. Therefore it is that even in the pious of the Old Testament, the condition beyond the grave is reflected in this world-consciousness, presenting itself in a form for the most part gloomy, sad, trembling, and terrific. 2. It must be kept in mind that Moses had to establish the theocratic belief of the Jews in direct contrast with heathenism, and especially the heathenism of the Egyptians, from the midst of whom they came, and was therefore led to give the strongest and most significant emphasis to the present life; because the Egyptian religion was most specifically a worship having relation to the state beyond the grave—that is, to death. 3. Add to this that it was in entire correspondence with the disciplinary degrees by which Israel was to be educated that Moses should represent the retribution as being principally in this world, and, indeed, as impending every moment, like something that followed close upon every step of human conduct. In entire conformity to truth did he direct the people in this first step of belief in retribution; for, in fact, retribution is an immediate (or ever-impending) thing. Everywhere, however, the hope of a future life gleams out of his doctrines and his institutions. The promise of long life was the outward hull of the promise of eternal life; the symbolic death-offering was the emblem of hopeful resignation to God in death; and how shall piety in death find its reward otherwise than in the time beyond the grave? Above all, it was the covenant of God that furnished the richest guaranty (Exod. 3:6).
[IDEA OF A FUTURE LIFE IN THE OLD TESTAMENT.—The doctrine of a future life is in the Old Testament as well as in the New, but in a different manner. In the latter it is for all who read, declared undeniedly, if not dogmatically; in the former it is for the devout and believing. There is thrown over it a vail of holy reserve, making it all the more impressive when the truth is seen through it. But for this the Sadducee had no eyes. He could not find texts declaring it preceptively as he found the law laid down for marrying a brother’s widow. He came to our Saviour with his puzzle, and doubtless deemed it unanswerable. The course taken by Christ, Matt. 22:29, is very remarkable, and it is astonishing how little weight it seems to have had with writers of the Warburton school. He does not meet the caviller with the texts we would have expected. He does not cite such passages as Ps. 17:15: “I shall be satisfied when I awake in thy likeness;” or Ps. 16: “Thou wilt not leave my soul in Sheol;” or Ps. 73:24: “Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel and afterward receive me to glory;” or Is. 26:19, where a resurrection seems to be spoken of; or Dan. 12:2, where it is expressly declared. The Sadducee would probably have been prepared with some explanations of these, such as are now offered by the modern rationalist. Instead of them our Saviour quotes one of the most common passages in the Old Testament: I am the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob. The Sadducee had heard it read hundreds of times in the synagogue, but saw nothing in it about a future life. It may have been to him, in other respects, a favorite passage; for though called infidels in modern times they were the strictest of Jews, glorying strongly in their ancient patriarchal descent. “I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob:” this they were familiar with; but Christ’s appendix was as startling to them as it was conclusive: He is not the God of the dead but of the living. God’s covenant with man proves His immortality. He does not deal thus with beings of a day. He does not thus solemnly declare Himself the God of things non-existent. Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, are still present realities, not living in their children, simply, but rather their children living in them. The divine care of a chosen people thus continued from generation to generation implies a continued being in the individuals that compose it, and without which the whole series would have no more spiritual value than any linked succession in the animal or vegetable world. They still “live unto Him.”
Let the reader test this by endeavoring to fix in his mind the idea that the Old Testament writers all regarded themselves as beings destined soon to depart into nothingness—in other words, that they were all sheer animal materialists. Let him carry along this impression, and keep it constantly present in reading the Psalms, the Prophets, or even the Book of Proverbs. What a discord will arise between it and many of their vivid utterances, even though there is nothing in them, dogmatically or didactively, about a future life. Did men who believe in no hereafter ever talk so? “Whom have I in heaven but Thee, and there is none in all the earth that I desire beside Thee: Flesh and heart fail, but Thou art the strength (the rock) of my soul: Thy favor is life: Thy loving-kindness is more than life: My soul faints for Thee, the living God: For with Thee is the fountain of life, and in Thy light do we see light: Thou art our dwelling-place in all generations: Doubtless Thou art our Father even though Abraham be ignorant of us and Israel acknowledge us not; Thou, Oh Lord, art our Father and our Redeemer: Art Thou not from everlasting, Jehovah, my God, my Holy One? we shall not die.” Or take that oft-repeated Hebrew oath: As the Lord liveth and as thy soul liveth; what meaning in such a connection of terms? How does all this lofty language immediately collapse at the presence of the low materializing idea! Even the language of their despondency shows how far they were from the satisfied animal or earthly state of soul: Shall dust praise Thee? Shall Thy loving kindness be declared in the grave, or Thy righteousness in the land of oblivion? It was bidding farewell to God, not to earth, it was losing the idea of the everlasting covenant and its everlasting author, that imparted the deepest gloom to their seasons of scepticism. It was in just such travail of the spirit that the hope was born within them. This was the subjective mode of its revelation; and, thus regarded, the very texts which the Sadducee, ancient or modern, would quote in favor of his denial, testify to a true spirituality—to a state of soul most opposite to his own. And this style of language is not confined to the devotional or prophetical Scriptures. It gleams out in expressions interspersed among the historical details of the Jewish home-life. What a people, says Rabbi Tanchum (citing the words of Abigail, 1 Sam. 25:29), where even the women speak so sublimely, and beyond even the philosophers of other nations, about souls bound up in the bundle of life (or lives, צרור החיים). See POCOCKE’S “Notes to Porta Mosis,” p. 93. It may be very easy for the rationalizing interpreter to put another face on such a passage as this, but it may be only because in his case, as in that of the Sadducee of old, there is a vail upon his heart in the reading of the Old Covenant.
Such an expanding spiritual sense (in distinction from the merely fanciful or the cabalistical) is for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear; and, thus regarded, it may be said that the future life of the Old Testament, even with this vail thrown over it, has far more of moral power than the Greek Hades, or any spirit-world mythology of other ancient nations whom the rationalist would represent as surpassing the Jews in this respect. The latter were doubtless far behind the Greeks in distinctness of conception and locality; but this was because God did not mean to leave His people to their fancies. He gave them, and especially the pious among them, the spirit of the doctrine, but so kept it in holy reserve that they could not turn it into fables.—T. L.]
8. From the circumstance of its not being said that the woman was inspired by the breath of God, Delitzsch is inclined to follow, with Tertullian, the so-called traducian theory, or the generic propagation of the human soul. This argument, however, de silentio, proves nothing; since Adam, in relation to Eve, also is the type of the creation of humanity. And so we adhere to this: The body of man proceeds from propagation (traducianism), the soul is created (creationism), the spirit is pre-existent as the idea of God.
9. Paradise.—See the article “Eden” in WINER, and the literary catalogue there given. See also HERZOG’S “Real-Encyclopedia.” Paradise (Hebrew, גַּן; Septuagint, παράδεισος, that is, a walling or fencing round, a place enclosed as a garden), like all facts in Genesis, especially of its earlier history, was, on the one side, an actuality, on the other a symbol; and the latter, indeed, in a special degree. In favor of its actuality there is, first, the fundamental thought: there was a home of the human race; secondly, the territory of this home, the region in which the Euphrates and the Tigris had their sources, or Western Asia as appears probable from other reasons; thirdly, the mention of the well-known rivers Phrat (Euphrates) and Hiddekel (Tigris), together with other features. In favor of the clear symbolical significance of Paradise there is the figure of the one stream that afterwards divided itself into four different streams running out from thence into the world, as also the inclosure of the garden, and especially the two trees with their wonderful significance. The theological views respecting Paradise embrace two extremes: whilst some would regard it as extending over all the earth (Ephraim the Syrian; and a multitude of Such extravagant opinions as cited by CALMET: Comment. litter. in Genesin, p. 81), others, on the other side, would reduce it to one common section so appropriated as to have a commensurate influence upon the first men. Between these lies the sound view of the church, which supposes for the pure a pure sphere of nature, for the care-needing a motherly bosom of nature, for the innocent a heavenly, peaceful, holy region, for the child-like a garden with its fruits (see LANGE’S “Dogmatics,” p. 396). The exegetical views respecting the passage divide themselves into the historical, the allegorical, and the mythical. The historical views, again, fall into two classes: those that maintain the possibility of yet determining the region of Paradise, and such as suppose the configuration of the earth to have been so changed by the flood that the place of union of the four rivers cannot now be pointed out. Both assume a significant change of the earth, especially since the fall of Adam, or the beginning of the human race. The allegorical views divide themselves into the Gnostic or the theosophic-allegorical (Philo, Jacob Böhm, and others), and into the
mystic-allegorical (Swedenborg and others). The mythical views may be divided into the predominantly theological or philosophical, or the predominantly geographical. First Class: a. Calvin, Huetius, Bochart, and others: Paradise, they say, lay in the district in which the Euphrates and the Tigris unite (Schat al Arab); the Pishon and the Gihon are the two principal mouths of Schat al Arab. b. Hopkinson: Paradise was the region of Babylon; the two canals of the Euphrates form half of the number of the four rivers, c. Rask: The same region probably, only let there be added to the two well-known streams the two subordinate streams of the Schat al Arab. d. Harduin: Galilee, e. Hasse: Paradise lay in East Prussia. Second Class: Change in the course of the rivers. Clericus, and others: Paradise lay in Syria (Kohlreif and others: Damascus). Third Class: PHILO: De Mundi Opificio; JACOB BÖHM: Mysterium Magnum. Fourth Class: See the article “Swedenborg” in HERZOG’S “Real-Encyclopedia.” Fifth Class: The mythico-theological, or strictly mythological, view, which makes it the story of the four world-rivers that come from the hills of heaven, and wander over the earth (Von Bohlen and others). Sixth Class: The mythico-geographical. Sickler, Buttmann, Bertheau: “Geographical Views that form the Ground of the Description of the Situation of Paradise,” Göttingen, 1848. Winer distinguishes a literal view (Hengstenberg, Tiele, Baumgarten), a half-literal, which attempts to separate the distribution of the streams from the matter of fact contained (Less, Cramer, Werner, and others), an allegorical (Von Gerstenberg), and a hieroglyphical, not very distinguishable (J. G. Rosenmüller and others), p. 290, wherein he protests against the conjectures of Hüllmann and Ballenstedt.
According to Verbrugge, Jahn, and others, the one Paradise-stream may be understood of a region abounding in streams. We suppose that the stream has a most special symbolical importance, and denotes, generally, the well-ground of the Paradise-earth. With this, however, there is easily connected the historical view of Reland and Calmet. According to this, Pishon denotes the Phasis which rises in the Moschian mountains, stands in connection with the gold-land of Colchis so famed in antiquity (Colchis = Chavila), and flows into the Black Sea; Gihon is the Aras or Araxes (the Phasis of Xenophon, גִּיחַ, to break forth = ἀράττω), which likewise rises in Armenia, and flows into the Caspian Sea. But Cush is the land of the Kossæans, which Strabo and Diodorus place in the neighborhood of Media and the Caspian Sea. According to this, Armenia would have been the territory of the ancient Paradise. Knobel also had first presented the grounds (p. 28), which are in favor of Armenia, out of which, moreover, the postdiluvian men proceeded. On this account have Reland, Link, Von Lengerke, Kurtz, Bunsen, and others, supposed it to be Armenia. It is objected, however, to this: 1. That the names Havila and Cush, in other places, belong to the South. The name Havila, it may be said generally, is not geographically determined; but the name Cush, together with the Cushites, can just as well be extended from the north to the south as that of the Normans (see KURTZ: “History of the Old Testament,” p. 59). 2. No Armenian district can be summarily denoted as the native land of gold, bdellium, and the onyx. In regard to the gold, however, Colchis presents no difficulty. Just as little are the bdellium and the onyx to be denied of this district, since it evidently has something symbolical. Objection 3d: It is said that the cherubim are not to be found in Armenia: but where on the earth was the home of these? And then, too, must many indications point to a more northern highland. But the places commonly cited for this purpose, Ps. 48:3; Is. 48:13, prove nothing, and Ezek. 28:13 is a pure ideal painting. Moreover, the analogies of the Albordi, the Medo-Persian mountains of God, and the Indian mountains Meru, appear to be merely reflexes of the Paradise-story; and the same may be said of the Chinese mountain-tract Kuenlun. In other respects the analogies and combinations collected by Knobel are communications of great interest. Keil states a reason why the Cyrus (now the Kur) should be put in place of the Phasis (p. 42); it is the fact that the rising of the Phasis lies beyond Armenia. This reason would be decisive, if we had to insist upon the pure literalness of the origin of the Paradise rivers. He holds, in like manner, that the Gihon is the Araxes: the sundering of the four streams he explains by changes in the earth’s surface, yet not alone through the flood (Note, p. 44). Finally, according to Delitzsch, the Pison must relate to the Indus and its river territory to India, whilst the Gihon is the Nile (pp. 149, 620). Afterwards he came to regard the combination of Bunsen as having a good degree of probability (p. 150), and then he represents the mutually opposing difficulties by the concluding alternative: We must either acknowledge the incomprehensibility of the narration, or accommodate ourselves with the admission that the certain knowledge of the four rivers has been lost in the disappearance of Paradise itself.—The actual and symbolical importance of Paradise. The garden in Eden. Historical. The heavenly earth-bloom which surrounded the new-born man, who is to be regarded, indeed, as full-grown, and yet childlike and inexperienced. The point of the earth’s congeniality, wherein the divine earth-culture is in unity with the earthly nature—when the fruit-trees are of the noblest quality, the grain grows wild, the beasts attach themselves to men in the domestic state, whilst there is allotted to men an abundance of simple food (fruit of trees, the nourishment of children) to be procured by an easy labor of the body, and a thoughtful care on the part of the mind.—Symbolical significance of Paradise. The general correspondence between the pure, peaceful, serene, and blessed man, and the pure, peaceful, serene, and blessed world of God or the inward communion with God, and, corresponding to it, the outward, sensible presence of God in the surroundings of humanity. In its more special significance: 1. The heavenly disposition of the earth, the rich paradisaical soil; 2. the objective paradisaical aspects of the earth, as the subjective in the contemplation of children and of men attuned to a festal life; 3. the promised land, the consecration of the earth through the salvation; 4. the kingdom of glory above (Luke 23:43; 2 Cor. 12:4); 5. the earth glorified for its union, at some future time, with the heavens (2 Pet. 3:13; Rev. 20).—The vocation in Paradise. Historical: The serene, free activity of the child in contrast with the necessity and the pains of labor proper. The true keeping of entrusted good against a damage yet unforeseen, especially through self-keeping in contrast with the later anxious watching. Symbolical: The calling of the pious and blessed, according to its positive and negative sides. A holy office of labor, a holy office of defence, and, through both, a holy ministry of instruction.—The Paradise-rivers: 1. Historical (see above). 2. Symbolic. The four world-streams in their high significance, as the streams of life and blessing that flow conditionally from the paradisaical home of man.—The trees in the garden. Historical: The abundance that surrounded the first man still simple and conformable to his childlike degree; food both lovely to the eye and ennobling in its efficacy. Symbolical: The riches of the pious and their freedom from want (Ps. 23).—The two trees in the midst of the garden. Historical: Nature in its centre endowed with a wonderful power of health, as also with intoxicating gifts of dangerous efficacy, which, through an enjoyment rash or immoderate (or, in general, having only the form of nourishment), exert a destructive influence, and both alike represented there by a central vegetable formation, whether it be tree or bush. Symbolical: The tree of life: The power of health and life in nature, which, in connection with the word of God, rises to a fountain of everlasting life in Christ soteriologically, and to be the nourishment of everlasting life in Christ sacramentally.—The tree of knowledge of good and evil. Nature as the tree of probation every way, namely in excessive, in dangerous, and in forbidden means of enjoyment.—The paradisaical command. Historical: The warning, inviting, and dissuading signs of God in the productions of nature themselves, and the transformation of the signs into miraculous words for the ear through the present spirit of God. The mention of all the trees in the garden is in so far a command as the arbitrary abstinence from permitted enjoyment has for its consequence the inclination to forbidden enjoyment. There is also a reminder in it that he has no need of the forbidden enjoyment. Symbolical: The revealed will of God, in general, not a constraint nor an abridgment, but only a healthful barrier for the sake of freedom and happiness.—The beasts brought before Adam in Paradise. Historical: Original sympathy between the animal and the human worlds. Symbolical: The destiny of man, to learn to understand, through the gospel, the sighing of the creature, or to have, in general, a right knowledge of the animal-world and of nature, and how rightly to use them.—The naming of the beasts. Historical: First exercise of the human spirit—and especially of speech. Symbolical: The religious and scientific development of man through nature.—Human speech. Historical: Hereditary disposition taking root in the very life of the spirit and its plastic organization, awakened through the most excited contemplations of childhood—such as that of life in the beast. Symbolical: Man’s first prophecy of nature, a presage of his destiny to know and predict perfectly the law and gospel of nature.—The creation of woman. Historical: The formation of the human pair falls in the period of the physiological creation of the man. Not after the manner of ready-made or at once completed being, but in the way of becoming, does the one developing human form become perfected in the contrast of one man and woman. Man, as a personality, is not conditioned through sexual completion or integration; and man and wife are not, somehow, only two halves which make one whole in a personal sense, but perhaps in a social. The wife, however, is just as much whole man as the man himself. She proceeds not only from the substance of the man, but also from his trance-vision in that deathlike sleep into which he had been cast by God. In respect to substance, as formed from one of man’s ribs, she comprehends less than Adam; in respect to form she is a creation of secondary power in the region of paradise. God brings Eve to Adam. Marriage is instituted by God, not only in respect to the divine creation of its contrast, but also in respect to the divine guidance of the individual choice. Man must not anticipate the decision of God, but neither is he to reject the destined one whom God brings before him—the one who through a divine revelation, as it were, and a divine consideration, is marked out for him as his counterpart.—Adam’s salutation and blessing. Symbolical: The first of all high and sacred songs of love. Marriage the principle of the family state, superordinate to all other domestic relations. Marriage in contrast with the sins of sodomy and fornication—in contrast with incest (leaving father and mother, etc.)—in contrast with an arbitrary and sinful taking and forsaking. (The paradisaical indissolubility of marriage is conditioned upon its paradisaical infallibility.) Duties to father and mother receive an emphasis from the fact that they are measured by the law of love. The greatness and the limit of the parental right. It extends to, but not into, the marriage state.—The nakedness of the first human beings. Symbolical: The childlike simplicity, the freedom, beauty, and majesty of innocence.
[EXCURSUS ON THE PARADISE RIVERS.—The search for the Gihon and the Pishon in the north is attended with the greatest difficulties. Chief among them is the necessity it involves of finding another Cush in the same direction. The language of the writer gives the impression of a territory of great comparative extent, and that could not easily be misunderstood by a reader familiar with, the geographical terms employed. הוא הסובב כל ארץ כוש: that is, the river that goes round the whole land of Cush—clear round it—a wide and notable circuit. The sense of winding or meandering through cannot be got from the verb, and the references to Is. 23:16, and Other places (סבו ציון ,סבי עיר, Ps. 48:13: Go round about the city—round about Zion), do not support it. The ancient view that the Gihon was the Nile, and Pishon the Indus, though having difficulties of another kind, is more near to what would seem to be the general idea of the passage: four great rivers (waters rather) prominent in the earth, and having their courses, in some way, connected with Eden. Even if the Nile and the Indus are not the rivers, it is more easy to see how they came to be anciently, and almost universally, so regarded, than to find anything corresponding to this graphic representation in the region north of the Euphrates and the Hiddekel or Tigris. One thing is clear on the very face of the account: the writer himself had no difficulty, and thought of none for the reader. He is certainly not speaking of things supposed to be obliterated by the deluge, but of places recognized, however vaguely, in the knowledge of the day. To this assumed knowledge the picture is presented, though with that inadequacy of conception, and that generality or undefinedness of language, which necessarily marked the first geographical notions of mankind. It was very much as an early Greek writer would have done, in a similar case, who had nothing else to go by but the map of Eratosthenes, or the still older one of Hecatæus. This does not at all detract from the inspiration of the account, whether we adopt the vision-theory, or some more objective mode of raising the conceptions in the narrator’s mind. In either case such conceptions would be shaped by his supposed knowledge, as this would also be the ground of presentation to other minds. The picture which St. John had of the Euphrates, in his apocalyptic vision, was doubtless according to the geographical ideas, more or less correct, which he had previously possessed of that river. Geographical language has undergone a great change. Everything now, and for a long time, has been so precisely defined that we need to get out of our modern conceptions to be in a condition to understand satisfactorily the most ancient modes of dividing and describing the earth. The nomenclature has become greatly enlarged and varied. We have rivers, lakes, seas (the Greeks in Homer’s time called these two last by one name, λίμνη), oceans, friths, arms of the sea, gulfs, bays, sounds, etc. In the earliest times they were not fixed, and we cannot be always certain, therefore, that a general name like נָהָר, a flood or flowing water, presented just that limited conception in every case that we now invariably connect with river, flumen, ποταμὸς, etc. For examples of the wide sense of נהר, see such passages as Ps. 93:3: The floods lift up their voice, נהרות, lift up their dashing waves, דכים; Ps. 66:6, it is joined with יָם, and most obviously used of the Red Sea; see also Ps. 89:26. So Hab. 3:8, where בנהרים and בים are spoken of in the same way; comp. Is. 48:18. We deduce, too, this wide primitive sense from its employment in metaphors where there is to be denoted width, enlargement, fulness: Peace like a river, כנהר, Is. 66:12, like a flood; so Is. 59:19, enemy come in like a flood. Beyond the floods of Cush, Is. 18:1; the same expression, Zeph. 3:10. See especially Jonah 2:4: נהר יסבבני, the flood went round me (the deep sea); compare with this Homer’s ὠκεανοῦ ῥέεθρα, streams of ocean, Iliad xiv. 245. So it seems to be used, not so much of a river, in the limited sense, as of any great water, in such passages as Job 22:16, Ps. 46:5. In Ps. 24:2 it denotes the floods of chaos, the old Tehom rabbah, or “great deep,” and is put in direct parallelism with ימים: For He hath founded it upon the seas, and built it upon the floods, על נהרות. See the same word used in the same way, Ezek. 31:15.
Thus the נָהָר, or great water, in the passage before us, Gen. 2:10. In the Eden territory itself it might have had the form of a lake—an idea, in fact, which the whole aspect of the account greatly favors. It was certainly not a spring or fountain-head to four commencing streams, but rather a reservoir in which all were joined, whether as flowing in or flowing out. From thence they were parted, or began to be parted (יִפָּרֵד, see remark on יעלה and references, p. 202) into four ראשים. This is rendered heads in our version, and so the Vulgate, in quatuor capita. But they both mislead in their literalness; the Hebrew ראש never having, like our word, the sense of fountain-head or spring; the Shemitic tongues called the remote upper part of a stream a foot or a finger rather than a head. It became four principal waters or floods, four arms (brachia) or great branches. Two of these were rivers within the modern limits of the term, but very great rivers; so that one comes afterwards to be almost constantly called נהר with the article as a proper name—the great river, the sea or flood. See Gen. 15:18; 31:21; Num. 22:5; Deut. 1:7; 11:24; Josh. 24:2, 3, 14, 15; 2 Sam. 10:16; Neh. 2:7; Is. 7:20; 11:15; 27:12 and others. From such a use as this, perhaps, came the more common secondary or specific application of נהר to rivers proper. The other two, probably, presented a different appearance. Beyond the bounds of the Eden territory they may have become friths, or arms of the sea, or two diverging shores of a great water soon losing sight of each other, yet each still keeping the name נהר as more applicable, in fact, to them (if we may judge from its primary sense) than to the streams on the north.
Such a view may not, at first, seem in harmony with our preconceptions, but there are considerations to be mentioned which, on closer examination, will more and more divest it of any strange or forced appearance. In the first place, two of these נהרים are determined, and we may regard them as furnishing the necessary data for the determination of the others according to some sense once clearly recognized. They are waters in close and even immediate connection with the Euphrates and the Tigris, not at their obscure sources, or springs, where they could not be recognized as נהרים, but where they both appear as parting from a common junction in the Eden-land. The two well-known branches are north of this junction; we must, therefore, look for the others on the south, and the region first to be examined in our search for Eden is that in which the Euphrates and the Tigris come together. This was near the head of the Persian Gulf, where most of the ancient authorities agreed in fixing it, and to which place also there points a concurrence of Arabian and Persian tradition. Here Calvin and Bochart find it. But where, then, are the two southern נהרים, one of which goes round the land of Havilah, the land of gold (India, says the Jerusalem Targum), and the other goes round the whole land of Cush, that is, Southern Arabia (see Gen. 10:7; 1 Kings 10:1; HOMER: Odyss. i. 20)? The branches of the Schat al Arab, which completes the junction of the Euphrates and the Tigris, fall altogether short of this graphic description. We might regard this delta as the remains of the ancient confluence in Eden, but it will not answer for Pishon and Gihon. The key to the difficulty, we think, will suggest itself, if the reader will keep in mind the view here taken of נהר, and carry it with him in a steady contemplation of all the waters that meet in this region of the earth. An ancient map, such as that of Ptolemy or Strabo, or the still earlier one of Hecatæus, would be best for this purpose; but the simplest delineation could hardly fail to awake the thought that in the general contour of the system of waters presented by these two mighty streams as they come down from the north, and the two diverging seas, or shores of seas, that, parting just below their junction, sweep round the land of India on the one side, and Arabia on the other, we have the data that determine for us the location of the ancient Eden-land. It suggests, too, the origin of the general language, and of this special naming. Knowledge has not yet introduced geographical distinctions; the internal wastes of seas and their connections are unknown; the pioneers or travellers on either diverging shore simply recognize them as two great waters, two mighty נהרים, and they name them according to their most visible characteristics and directions. Hence the earliest representation, which is afterwards enlarged and becomes a fixed tradition. One is the broad-spreading Pishon, trending far away to the eastern land of gold and diamonds, the other is the deep-flowing Gihon (compare the favorite epithet of HOMER’S “Ocean-River,” βαθυῤῥόου ’Ωκεανοῖο, Odyss. xi. 13; Iliad xiv. 311), surging far round to the south and the west. Observe, too, the contrast they present to the other names, the fertilizing Euphrates (פרה), and the swift-darting Hiddekel or Tigris. The inland and maritime features could hardly have been distinguished by more significant epithets.22
But such an opinion should be fortified by historical argument, and this, we think, is found in a fact of Greek archæology, having much interest for its own sake, but to which sufficient attention has not been given in its bearing on the names, and the primitive significance, of these neharim. Homer calls Oceanus a river. It had been so called, doubtless, long before his time. He connects with it, indeed, much wild mythology, but that does not affect the fact, nor the interest, of such a naming. Whence came it? It is not a sufficient explanation to call it poetical. All early conceivings of nature were poetical in this sense of vastness and wonder. The great unknown of things was full of it, and the wonderful was ever divine. Hence HOMER’S divine ether, divine fire, divine sea (αἰθέρος ἐκ δίης–θεσπιδαὲς πῦρ–εἰς ἅλα δῖαν, Iliad xvi. 365; xii. 177; Odyss. v. 261—compare הַרְרֵי אֵל, montes Dei, Ps. 36:7). But Homer, though a poet, speaks here in the most matter-of-fact style. He believes in Oceanus as he believes in the Peneus and the Eurotas. Ulysses navigates this ocean-river in a black ship; he sails along its one shore until he leaves it and enters the κῦμα θαλάσσης, the swell of the inland sea, Odyss. x. 639; xi. 1. Homer’s poetry makes him none the less a good witness for the most ancient geographical ideas, and to this purpose does the prosaic Strabo speak in quoting him: “Homer,” he says, “not only calls the great ocean a river (ποταμὸν καὶ ποταμοῖο ῥόον), but gives the same name to a part of it; otherwise he would have (absurdly) represented Ulysses as going out of the ocean into the ocean.” See STRABO: lib. i. 75; also lib. i. 3; ii. 3, 5; ii. 18, where he speaks of the four great sinuses which were regarded as inlets from the ocean-stream, the Caspian and the Pontus on the north and the Persian and Arabian sinus on the south. See, also, how he speaks in other places of the Northern Oceanus, and its supposed connections. It is worthy of note, too, how Homer’s frequent ῥόος, and Strabo’s use of it in his remarks upon him, corresponds to the primary sense of the Hebrew נהר, as a full, majestic flowing rather than a gliding or rapid running stream, like rivus or amnis. It would take up too much space to cite other passages from the Greek poets, Herodotus, etc., where similar language is used. One reference, however, may be made to PINDAR: Pyth. Carm. iv. 250,
ἔν τ’ ὠκεανοῦ πελάγεσσι πόντῳ τ’ ἐρυθρῷ;
because in it this river Oceanus is directly connected with the Persian Gulf. Jason is represented as returning “by the channels of Oceanus and the Erythrian or Red Sea,” by which name the Greeks denominated not the Egyptian but the Persian sinus. JOSEPHUS names it in the same way, Ant. lib. i. ch. i. 3, where he says “the Euphrates and the Tigris go down into the Red Sea, whilst Gihon (Geon, as he calls it) runs through Egypt, the Greeks calling it the Nile.” He seems to have regarded the Egyptian river as in some way connected with the Scripture Gihon on the unknown South.
This usus loquendi may be explained by supposing that the sons of Javan, Elisa and Tarshish, Kittim and Rodanim, carried it with them from the old
home-land in the east, and applied it in their pioneering among the friths and sounds of the Mediterranean. The Egyptians, or sons of Ham, had it in the same way; and this makes simple and natural what otherwise might seem forced or far-fetched, in such an interpretation of the earliest geographical language. This idea, too, of a great Oceanus river with its one far-stretching continuity of shore winding round an extensive portion of the earth, must have had its origin in the east, and in that region of it where two such vast shores met each other, and, at the same time, some great inland water. It would never have come from any aspect of things presented to the first migrations in the Mediterranean with its many islands, sinuses, friths, and sounds, ever breaking up such continuity, and seldom affording a view in which land does not show itself, however distantly, in some direction. Hence it was that this part of the earth got the name of “the isles of the sea,” so frequent in Scripture. As such, it became opposed to the continent or main eastern land of Asia; the two together making up the world, or orbis terrarum, and thus presented in the parallelism of Ps. 97:1:
Jehovah reigns, let the earth (the land) rejoice,
Let the many isles be glad.
If we suppose that the Phœnicians in their earliest voyages carried with them this idea of the Ocean-river, they must have had it from some more primitive source, and this is the more easily understood if we adopt the tradition mentioned by Strabo, lib. i. ch. ii. 35, that the Phœnicians, in distinction from the Sidonians, came to the Mediterranean from the neighborhood of the Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf.
The roving Greek imagination, as usual, carried the thing farther than the no less vivid but more sober Shemitic. They prolonged the course of the Ocean-river, not only round the Arabian, but also the Western or African Æthiopia (see HOM.: Odyss. i. 23; Iliad i. 423; PIND.: Pyth. iv. 26; HEROD, iv. 42), and so clear round Africa itself as they conceived it to be. On the other hand, the eastern flood turned north, and encompassed the boreal regions, and so the idea became complete of a ποταμός, or ῥόος, that encircled the earth, according to the Orphic or Homeric description:
’Ωκεανός τε πέριξ ἐνὶ ὕδασι γαῖαν ἑλίσσων.
The idea appears in all the old representations of the world down to the map of Ptolemy, and in this point of view it is not extravagant to regard the scriptural account of the Paradise-streams as the seed from which it all grew. Once loosed from its sober scriptural moorings and become a myth, there was no limit to the fancy. It was transferred to every great and unknown sea, and the legend of Jason, the old ocean circumnavigator, arose from the desire ever manifested by the Greeks to give to every world-idea that came to them a national aspect. Hence it took so many traditional forms. Pindar, as we have seen, makes him return home by the way of the Persian Gulf and Æthiopia; Appollonius Rhodius brings him back by the Ister, or Danube, and a branch, or break-off, of the ocean-stream (ἀπορρὼξ ’Ωκεανοῖο; see Argonautica iv. 283, 637), into the Ionian, and so, round again, into the dangerous Libyan Sea; whilst the writer of the other Argonautica (falsely ascribed to Orpheus) gets him somehow into the boreal regions, making him return by the German Ocean and ’Ιέρνη, the most ancient name for Ireland. See also the treatise De Mundo, falsely ascribed to Aristotle (ARIST.: Opera, Leip. iv. sect. 3d). So again. Strabo tells us (lib. i. ch. ii. 10) that Homer transferred some things from the Pontus, such as the Symplagades and the Aæan isle of Circe, to the voyage of Ulysses—that sea having been anciently regarded as another Oceanus. It may be said, too, that when the primitive idea began to float away into the boundless and unknown, Cush went with it, passing over into Eastern Africa, the land of the Habessenians (Abyssinians), ارض اكبسة, as the Judaico-Arabic translator (Arabs Erpenianus) renders this very name כוש in the place before us, Gen. 2:13. Æthiopia is afterwards carried still farther south and west, and the name is sometimes given to what was obscurely known of Western and Central Africa, or the land of the Niger and Senegal. Thus it becomes a word for the remote and unknown regions of the South,23 as Tarshish is used for the distant West. In this way, we think, it is employed Zeph. 3:10, and Is. 18:1, the land of the shadow of wings, ארץ צלצל כנפים (so the Syriac renders it, ܐܪܐܥܐ ܪܛܠܐܐ ܪܒܵܐ), terra umbrœ alarum, that is, as Abulwalid explains it, whose wings or sides are shaded (obscure or unknown)—the land כוש מעבר לנהרי, beyond the floods of Cush. The thought gives force and vividness to the passage Ps. 68:32: Even Cush shall stretch forth (תריץ, cause to run swiftly or eagerly) her hands unto God. The two lands of Cush, “the one at the rising (the Arabian Cush) and the other at the setting sun” (the African), were distinguished in Homer’s day, and it is not difficult to see how the African Æthiopians came from the Arabian, or Sabæan, Cush, by crossing the lower narrow part of the Red Sea (one of the windings of the Gihon), instead of being derived from the Egyptians above, that is, from Mizraim, the younger brother of Cush. In thus regarding the Red Sea as a continuation of the Gihon, as in fact it was, if our view be correct, we may understand how the Nile may have become connected with the name, and afterwards been taken for the Gihon itself.
The Indian Ocean in the most ancient times was the widest extent of water known. It was, too, nearer the primitive birth-place of man in the East, and, therefore, known before the Mediterranean. Even after men became acquainted with the latter, it was, in comparison with the older water, but a λίμνη, or a θάλασσα, an irregular broken mass of bays and islands instead of one long continuous flow. Here, therefore, in this earlier region of the Indian and Persian seas should we naturally look for the origin of that name Okeanos which it is so difficult to deduce from the Greek. This is what Diodorus Siculus does, Lib. i. 19, in what he says of the journey of Osiris to India. The derivation of Okeanos from ὠκὺς νάω, as we find it in some of our lexicons, is wholly untenable, since νάω denotes only the trickling flow of a fountain, and ὠκύς never enters into any of the many epithets of ocean used by the poets, which it could hardly have avoided doing had it belonged to the radical idea of the name. ’Ωκεανός is βαθύῤῥοος, βαθυκύμων, βαθυδίνης, εὔρροος, etc., but never ὠκύῤῥοος. Besides, the ω has every appearance of a prefix, being either α privative (turned into ω), as Suidas holds to accommodate it to an absurd derivation of his own, or, as is far more likely, the article lengthened—the kean, or keon. The etymology which traces it to ogyges, ogen, ὠγῆνος (if there ever was such a word in Greek) has as little support in any traceable significance, as in any tenable phonetic ground. A word meaning ancient could never have been a primitive name, although, inversely, such a name as Okeanos, when its primitive significance had been lost, might be used for the old and the unknown. We may disregard, in the same way, what is said of the Coptic oukame and the Arabic kamus. The true explanation of this name will, we think, suggest itself in a careful consideration of four things: 1. The obvious fact that the ω is a prefix, as Suidas regards it, and that it must, therefore, be the article; 2. what Josephus says when he calls Gihon γεων, Geon, as mentioned in the scriptural description of this great encompassing water; 3. the graphic nature of the Scripture language as suggesting an idea held and emotionally conceived by the writer and his first readers; 4. the part of the world in which, even according to Greek historians, the name Okeanos had its origin. In the light of these considerations there is no extravagance in saying that ̔Ω-κεαν-ος is ὁ Γι-ὁν–ὁ Γεων–ὁ Κεων–ὁ Κεαν.24 In other words, it is the old full-flowing Gihon that was connected with the Eden-territory, and whose long winding shore went round that laud of Cush in the neighborhood of which the name was first found. This is in perfect accordance with the usage of the root גיח, or גוח, wherever it occurs. It does not denote turbulence (an angry river). That notion has come from the effort to connect the Gihon with the Araxes (Greek: ἀράττω). It denotes, rather, force and fulness (see Job 37:8), like the βαθύῤῥοος, which is such a favorite epithet for ’Ωκεανός, and hence stateliness, as in the Aramaic, where it is used of a soldier or an army issuing forth to battle. So Pishon, the spreading (redundans), the wide-flowing, εὐρύπορος, from פוש, dispergere—a fluvio redundante, Ges.; comp. Hab. 1:8; Mal. 3:20 or 4:2; Jer. 50:11. The image is wholly lost in the Phasis, or any other stream in the mountains of Armenia, where some have so earnestly sought to find it.
The difficulty of finding any other place for Eden but the neighborhood of the Persian Gulf is shown in the labored effort to transfer the famed Cush of the Scriptures, or the “land beyond the floods of Cush” (the terra obumbrata, or “land of the shadow of wings,” Is. 18:1, with its expanding bounds), to the Caucasian tribe of the Cossæans (κοσσαῖοι) barely mentioned by Diodorus and Strabo along with the Mardi, the Uxii, the Elymaei, and other predatory hordes of like insignificance who inhabited the sterile plains near the Caspian lake. If we studiously compare Is. 18:1 and Zeph. 3:10 with Gen. 2:13, the inference can hardly be avoided that כוש מעבר לנהרי, “beyond the floods of Cush,” can mean nothing more nor less than beyond the encompassing Gihon, הנהר הסובב את כל ארץ כוש, “the flood or water that goes round the whole land of Cush.” In truth, what other floods or water can it mean? Such a description would never have been lost, and must be supposed to have been in the mind of every subsequent writer, prophet, or historian, that refers to a land so surrounded. A like studious contemplation will convince us that Ps. 68:32; Is. 18:1, and Zeph. 3:10, are all one prophecy, the gathering of God’s chosen, His suppliant people, פוצי עתרי בת, as Zephaniah calls them, dispersed to the remotest regions of the earth—beyond the floods of Cush, beyond the Gihon, even from the remoter Æthiopia, just as “Tarshish and the isles,” Ps. 72:10, are used to indicate remoteness in the other direction.
It only remains to fortify what has been said by adverting to the fact that this mode of speech (that is, calling the sea a river, or a stream, and, inversely, a great river a sea) remained in the Hebrew down to its latest use as a living language. We may refer to Is. 19:5, where the Nile is called both ים and נהר in the same verse; Is. 27:1, the leviathan or crocodile, בים, in the sea; Is. 21:1, the burthen of the desert of the sea, supposed to mean Babylon on the Euphrates; Job 41:23, where the Nile is indicated; Nah. 3:8, the same; see also Ezek. 32:2, ZeGen 10:11, and others, and compare Koran Surat xx. 39, where, in the same manner, the Arabic اليم (הים) is given as a name to the river, when it is said that Moses was cast into the sea, and the sea cast him, with the ark, upon the shore. See also LUD. DE DIEU: Critica Sacra, 555, and BOCHART: Hierozoican, vol. ii. 789, where he cites Pliny as calling the shore of the Nile not ripam, but litus, a name usually given to the shore of the sea. Compare, moreover, the long note on the oceanic streams of Western Asia in RAWLINSON’S Herodotus, Appendix, vol. i. p. 446. The usage still exists in the Oriental languages. To this day البى, the sea, is applied in Arabic not only to the Nile, but to any great flumen, or wide-flowing water; and they speak of the shore of such a river as they would of the shore of the sea. If the account in Genesis had been originally given in the Arabic language, whether in its oldest or latest forms, there can hardly be a doubt that it would have been expressed in similar terms. The word بى would have been alike applicable to the great inland rivers and the two long winding oceanic shores.
Nor is such usage so strange as it might at first seem to our stricter occidental logic. Rigorously defined as inland streams, our greatest and our smallest rivers have the same specific appellation. To the eye, too, that views them merely as traced upon the map, they all appear as single lines. To the actual sight, however, and to the emotion, the case is quite different. These refuse the logic that would place the Amazon and the Tweed in the same category. Such mighty sea-like flowings as the St. Lawrence and the Mississippi claim more affinity to the Atlantic and the oceanic Gulf-stream than to the canal-like Mohawk, or to the mountain-torrent of the Housatonic. From the actual and the emotional, thus regarded, arose this early language which is still continued, in the East, in its application to such rivers as the Euphrates, the Indus, and the Nile. In the same manner, in our North-American Indian tongues, is the term “great water,” like the Hebrew הנהר הגדול, used not only of an arm of the sea, or of the great lakes, but even of such rivers as the Ohio and the Missouri. Such a mode of speech is, in fact, one of the striking evidences of the subjective truthfulness of this early scriptural account. It represents an actual, though perhaps indefinite, knowledge, and the emotional naming that grows naturally out of it. It shows that it is not itself a myth, though, doubtless, the seed of myths that afterwards came out of it. Legends, historical or geographical, are the result of a later process. They do not belong to the most primitive ages, occupied, as they must be, with the greatness and novelty of the real as it lies before the sense. The mythical succeeds. It betrays a semi-philosophizing spirit, a disposition to create an ideal by carrying the actual beyond its ascertained or supposed bounds, or to make some primitive knowledge, or event, the representative of a wide unknown. In this early story of the Eden-streams there is the seed of the Egyptian and the Greek oceanic legends. Its sober truthful character, like that of the modest Hebrew chronology, is shown by its matter-of-fact limitation, and its evident appeal to existing observation. The mythical spirit would have carried the Pishon and the Gihon not only round Havilah and the whole land of Cush, but, as it afterwards did, round the whole earth known or unknown. This Eden account, too, may be regarded as the beginning of geography. We need only trace the successive delineations of the earth, from the earliest map of Hecatæus down to that of Ptolemy and the modern charts of the world, to have the thought suggested that their ever-widening scales were simply expansions from this primitive central sketch.—T. L.]
HOMILETICAL AND PRACTICAL
In relation to the whole section.—God’s government of men in the beginning.—His covenant with Adam. 1. His gift and blessings: a. The soil of the earth prepared for man; b. the hand of God the instrument of his formation; c. the breath of God, his innermost life; d. Paradise his home, the wide earth his country; e. the abundance of Paradise his food; f. the beasts his school for the study of form, and his attendant service; g. the wife his helper. 2. The commands laid upon him in Paradise: a. To dress the garden and to keep it; b. to beware of the tree of knowledge of good and evil; c. to give names to the beasts (that is, contemplate, recognize,25 and distinguish the nature of things); d. to keep holy the society of marriage.—The glory of God as displayed in the first paradisaical world (His power, wisdom, goodness, love).—The creation of man: 1. So grand the preparation made for him (Gen 2:4–6); 2. so wonderfully and richly grounded (Gen 2:7), so carefully established (Gen 2:8–18), and so gloriously completed (Gen 2:19–25).—The appearing of man upon the earth as the revelation of its destiny: 1. The presentation of its fundamental idea, of its purport, its aim; 2. the perfection of its structure; 3. the solving of its enigma; 4. the consecration of its being; 5. the bond of its connection with heaven; 6. the beginning of its transformation from a state of pure nature to a paradisaical spirit-world.—Man and nature. Man: 1. The elevation of nature; 2. the exaltation of nature, and at the same time, 3. the pupil of nature.—The first transformation of nature through the entrance of the first man a prognostic of its second transformation through the second man, the one from heaven (1 Cor. 15).—The history of Adam a history of the heaven and the earth.—The reflected splendor of the glory of the first humanity in the glory of Paradise.—The inward connection and reciprocity between man and nature: 1. His innocence, its beauty and its peace; 2. his fall, its ruin or subjection to the “law of vanity;” 3. his resurrection, its hope of renewed glory.—The man and his wife as the crowning work of creation.—The bridal of Adam a presignal of the marriage supper of the Lamb (Rev. 19:7).—The old as well as the new world prepared for a marriage chamber.
The First Section (Gen 2:4–6).—The earth waiting for man, a figure of the humanity waiting for the God-Man.
The Second Section (Gen 2:7).—The creation of man. 1. The formation of man the work of God’s master-hand; 2. the nature of man: akin to the earth and akin to God, or at the same time earthly and divine; 3. the character of man as a unit, a living soul.—Man in his unity, in his duality,—in his threefold nature.—The original human dust of the earth in the splendor of heaven.
The Third Section (Gen 2:8–14).—Paradise.—Paradise: 1. As a fact in the earth, the bloom of the earth, the home of the first man; 2. as an emblem, of the paradisaical disposition of the earth, of its paradisaical power, namely for children and in festal contemplation, of its paradisaical prefiguration, as of the new paradise in the other world and in this.
The Fourth Section (Gen 2:15–18).—The first man in Paradise. His relation to the earth-world, to Paradise, to the vegetable world, to the animal world, to Eve.—The Paradise-life, moreover, not an unrestricted state: 1. Limitation of action: the calling (to dress and keep); 2. limitation of enjoyment (not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil); 3. limitations in the treatment of nature and especially of the beasts (no enclosing); 4. limitations on human society (regulation of marriage and domestic life).—The restrictions upon life the measure and the development of freedom. The ground features of the paradisaical life: heavenly innocence, festal work, pure enjoyment, clear knowledge, quiet waiting (the deep sleep), inward love and greeting, unconstrained and childlike being.—Single verses and themes. Gen 2:4. The history of the heaven and the earth in the history of man.—The rich significance of the name Jehovah-Elohim: 1. Jehovah is Elohim; 2. Elohim is Jehovah (analogous to the New Testament in respect to the name Jesus Christ, that is, Jesus is Christ, Christ is Jesus).
Gen 2:6. The world without man a desert; the world everywhere incomplete until man comes (the child of the election). The first dewy rain and its blessing a presignal for all times (children yet believe that they grow from the rain).
Gen 2:7. The creation of man as, 1. a divine forming; 2. a divine inbreathing (so goes the ideal before the life, art before the realization, the shadow or the type before the truth).—The descent of man, his earthly descent (Adam from adamah); his divine descent (a soul from God’s breath of life).—The original harmony and unity of the earthly and heavenly nature of man. How we ought to be on our guard against those suspicions of matter, of the body, and of the sense-nature, which claim to be profound, and yet are not taught in the Scriptures.—Why the church has always held dualism to be spiritually dangerous. Man, in his being an exaltation of the dust, a humility of the spirit. The nature of man a type of his destiny: 1. To build the dust into form; 2. to reveal the inspiration of God in his life. The lowliness and the sublimity of the first man Adam without father and mother, a foreshowing of the wonderful descent of Christ.—Paradise (Gen 2:8–14, see number 9 of the Doctrinal, etc.). Paradise at the beginning of the world, and Paradise at the end (the tree of life in the beginning and the tree of life at the end, Rev. 22).—The rivers of Paradise, figures of the spiritual life that, proceeding from Paradise, spreads through the world. Gold, spices, and precious stones according to their higher paradisaical appointment, or the riches of the earth an emblem of the higher heavenly riches.—The calling of Adam (Gen 2:15): In the first chapter he is appointed ruler of the earth. This divides itself here into two aspects, 1. to dress, 2. to keep. The calling of Adam a type of our calling. The entrusted goods (spiritual talents, outward goods of culture, spiritual goods): First to dress it, that is, to increase, ennoble; second to keep it, that is, to guard it against injury and loss.
Gen 2:16. In Adam’s life, calling and enjoyment are united; therefore are they both paradisaical; so in a still higher degree are calling and enjoyment united in the life of Jesus (John 4:34).
Gen 2:17. The paradisaical freedom not without limitation. Outward restraint educates to a free self-restraint. As God binds Himself in His love to man, so also should man bind himself in love to God and to obedience. “For it is the self-limitation that first shows the master.” Freedom and limitation, right and duty, inseparably united. The tree of probation, 1. a fact (a hurtful enjoyment of nature, as explained from God’s spirit and word); 2. an emblem of all natural enjoyment that is hurtful and destructive. According to God’s will, the tree was primarily only a tree of probation; it first became a tree of temptation by the coming of the serpent. The threatening of death is indirectly a promise of imperishable life. Death is the wages of sin.—The animal world. How the right treatment of these rests upon the right knowledge and naming of them. Peace in the paradisaical nature (all the animals are brought before Adam).
Gen 2:18, etc. It is not good that man should be alone. God’s judgment respecting the unmarried state, 1. as universal, 2. as conditional.—How all the riches of nature leave man still alone in the failure of kindred society. Man alone, in the midst of all the beasts, with all his knowledge. The true helper of man, 1. As his image; 2. as his counterpart (his antithetical complement).—The marriage of man, how grounded, 1. on the judgment of God; 2. on the solitary state of man; 3. on his deep sleep (trance-vision, see Job 4:13); 4. on the divine creating of the woman out of the side of the man; 5. on God’s bringing Eve to him; 6. on the love-greeting of Adam; 7. on its rich and noble destiny.
Gen 2:25. The clothing of innocence: 1. The purest, 2. the fairest, 3. the most substantial. The infinite contrast between innocence and coarseness. The nobility of marriage: communion of the spirit, the consecration of the sexual association.
STARKE (Gen 2:7): Out of the dust of the earth, which by moistening with water is capable of an easy moulding. How thoughtless the conduct of men, who adorn their body made from earth and to earth again returning, whilst losing all care of their immortal souls!
Gen 2:15. Even in a state of innocence man must work, and not go idle. 1. He must be ever active like God; 2. he must have joy in the work of his hands, as God has (Gen. 1:31); 3. he must have opportunity to show, as God does, wisdom, power, and goodness to the creatures committed to him.
Gen 2:17. This is the covenant which God established with Adam. On the one side was God, and on the other side Adam, who in his own person represented the whole human race.—See that thou dost immediately choose the best way, and hold fast to the tree of life which is Christ. Taste this fruit, so shalt thou become well.—God the first lawgiver.
Gen 2:20. Is the question asked what language did Adam employ in this transaction? the most probable answer is that it was the Hebrew.
Gen 2:21. Since at the present day a man has twelve ribs on each side, some have supposed that Adam must originally have had thirteen ribs on one side. It is, however, more probable that God must have given him another in place of the one he took away.
Gen 2:22. LUTHER: Therefore stands fast this consolation against all the teaching of the devil, namely, that the marriage state is a divine state, that is, ordained of God Himself. As Adam gave names to the beasts, so also did he name his wife, and that, too, after himself: “maness“ (woman); on this ground is the custom to be defended whereby a wife lays aside the paternal name, and takes that of the husband.
Gen 2:24. Some would deduce from this merely a prohibition of incest with father and mother.(!) Others would derive from it a proof that in contracting marriage children need not trouble themselves about the approbation of their parents. As this, however, is clearly opposed both to divine and human commands (it is still more opposed to the divine command, we may add, when parents force their children to a marriage) so is it, on this account, the more strongly indicated that the man as well as the wife, go forth from the father’s house and commence a family of their own. To this we may add that with the vocation of marriage, the childlike dependence must also cease, though the filial obligations of love, reverence, and care, do still remain. Col. 3:19; Eph. 5:25; Matt. 19:4; 1 Cor. 7:2.
BURMANN: The rest of God in the week is a type of the heavy week and labor of our Mediator Jesus Christ, who in the hard toil of His soul was wearied even unto death for our salvation, and, finally, on this seventh day, entered into his rest (Isaiah 53:11). So are then here also created a new heaven and earth, and creatures, namely, new men; a new light of the Gospel, new fruits of righteousness, new water welling up to everlasting life.—Wherein does Paradise agree with heaven?—And, therefore, is the family state established as the fountain-head and origin of all human society.
SCHRÖDER: Moses makes the primeval history of the microcosm follow the history of the macrocosm.—The hints already obscurely given here and there in the first section (comp. Gen 22:21) in relation to the fall, assume a more distinct form in the second, as though it were designed as a prologue to that world-historical tragedy which begins with chapter 3.—The hypothesis of the so-called Pre-Adamites, that is, of men who lived before Adam, is clearly and distinctly excluded by the remark at the end of Gen 2:5, that before Adam there was no man to till the ground. As a proof to the contrary there is also 1 Cor. 15:45, and Acts 17:26.—The body of man appears, therefore, as a fine artistic structure of God.—“Stand in awe, oh man! for upon each of thy consecrated members was the finger of God!” Herder.—As Isaiah says: Thou art our father, Thou art our potter, and we are Thy clay (Is. 64). Luther.—The spirit of life comes to the human soul as a gift from God immediately received into the human frame (Gen 1:26, 27). The soul of the beast, at God’s command, has its origin in that breath of God which pervades the elements of nature (Gen 1:2, 20, 24).—Only as inspired by God does the soul live its true life, its human life; only by means of a vitalizing communion with the divine spirit has it true independence, and a blessed continuance.
Gen 2:8–15. The whole earth as “very good“ was created to be a garden of God. But the Father, out of His abundant goodness to His human child, plants in this garden a little garden more peculiarly His own—a little Paradise in the greater.—God planted: The image is grounded on that of a human gardener (John 15:1; Isaiah 5).—Elsewhere the Scripture gives the name Paradise to the abode of the blest, when we, perhaps, would say “to be in heaven” (Luke 23:43; 2 Cor. 12:4; Rev. 2:7).—A garden: And what could have been a fairer place for the planting of our race? “The schools of wisdom in the East are usually gardens, blooming places by the side of rivers.” Herder. “Moses expressly tells us, how this garden was gloriously filled by the Lord with fruit-trees of every kind, that the appetite of man might have no excuse.” Calvin.—“The description of the fruit of the trees: Captivating to the sight and good for food, is not without its purpose; it shows that inclination and the proof of sense in respect to food and drink should be guides to men.” Herder.—Among the trees of Paradise two enigmatical names strike us. Both belong to the same place; both are found in the middle of the garden.
Gen 2:17. The God of the covenant is called Jehovah-Elohim. A covenant requires two sides.—Dying, death, the sense of these words he can only anticipate, according as their contrast with the sense of the tree of life grows more clear. At the moment of the fall began the death of man. Death waxes stronger with us until it outgrows life, and conquers it.
Gen 2:20. In his wedded wife man receives what no help or friendship, however fair it might be, could otherwise have given him.—One heart and one soul.—Man gives names to the beasts.—As the son of God he discerns his father’s footsteps, that is, the divine ideas in the things created.
Gen 2:21–25. The becoming many out of one. This is the way of God.
Roos: The sleep of Adam.
RAMBACH: God acts like a painter or a sculptor who draws a curtain before him when he is working upon an excellent picture or an artistic statue.—Adam’s eyes are veiled that God’s love may unveil itself. The old writers noted six examples in the Scriptures where a miraculous work follows sleep: 1. The case of Adam, 2. of Elias (1 Kings 19), 3. of Jonah (Gen 1), 4. of Christ (Matt. 8), 5. of Peter (Acts 12), 6. of Eutyches (Acts 20). “Moreover, the Son of God is become weak that He might have His members strong.” Calvin. (Eph. 5:25; Col. 3:19).—The wife is from a rib; she is taken from near man’s heart. As in man there appears an image of the Creator, so does the wife present an image of His providence. The man was created without; the wife was created in Paradise. Her place is by the fireside and in the nursery, but nevertheless most true it is that the world is ruled, in a most peculiar manner, from the mother’s bosom.
God builded. (Gen 2:22.) “Designedly does Moses use the expression to build, that he may teach us how in the person of the wife the human race finally becomes perfected; whereas before it was like to a building only begun. Others refer it to the domestic economy, as though Moses meant to say, that at that time the right ordering of the family state became complete—a view which does not deviate much from the first interpretation.” Calvin.—“It is worthy of note that what Moses adds: and brought her to him, is an elegant description of the espousal, or the marriage presentation. For Adam does not rashly follow his liking, but waits for God, who brings her to him; as Christ also says: what God hath joined let not man put asunder.” Luther.
Gen 2:23. “Love here makes the first poet, lawgiver, and prophet. It is the song of songs proceeding from the mouth of Adam.” Herder.—Adam makes himself known to his wife, in that he gives her a name in the very act of declaring her origin. With their name the beasts become the property of Adam; with her name does the wife become his own (Is. 43:1; Ps. 147:4). He names himself man; the relation to woman causes man now to become a man, in a peculiar sense. Through marriage the circuits of human love are made wider (Eph. 5:25; 1 Cor. 7:3, 39; Matt. 19:6, 9).—In the Scriptures, idolatry and the denial of God are called fornication and adultery. The hieroglyphs of the anti-Mosaic law of marriage have been renewed by Christ in their full splendor. To the Gospel does humanity owe the restoration of its original worth. In our old German speech the word marriage is the stem-word of all law, fidelity, order, religion, covenant; not so in the new.—Naked. In the nobler class of men the bodily formation still reveals itself through its spirituality.
LISCO: The development of individuals, and of the whole race, is grounded on society. The monastic solitariness is not the will of God (Eccl. 4:9). If man would reach his destiny, he needs help in the sphere of the bodily as well as that of the spiritual. The root of all other society is that marriage state, established by God, out of which are evolved the three relations of the family, the church, and the state; in like manner, on account of their root (is it merely on this account?) are they divine institutions. All determinations of God have for their aim the highest good of man; but how greatly, through sin, are the blessings of communion, the advantages of society, perverted into mischief! This peace between man and beast belongs also to the prophetic Paradise (Is. 11:6). Before the fall nakedness was moral, modest, chaste; after the fall it becomes indecorous, a remembrance of the fall, an enkindling of sin.
GERLACH: In the Hebrew writings, the first man is called simply Adam, that is, man; for man is just as much the designation of the human race as it is the proper name of the first man. In the first man there was contained the whole human race, which on that account is called children of Adam (sons of man) or Adam (man) simply (just as it is with the names Israel, Edom, Moab, Ammon).—Adam from adamah. Nature must be ruled by one like herself, but who, nevertheless, belongs to a higher order, even as humanity has for its lord a God-Man.—The breath, the condition of the bodily life, is an emblem of the divine life which is breathed into man.—Just as heaven and earth were originally created as a contrast whose two sides must more and more interpenetrate each other, so also in man is there the body from the dust, and the spirit from God.—Man must not be simply a living soul; he must also have a life-making spirit, even as the second Adam possessed it, and all believers receive it from Christ (1 Cor. 15:47).—As being from the dust, man belongs to the earth, and, therefore, to corruptibility; like the other animals which die in respect to their individual being and only live on as creations, he has a natural life; as far as that was concerned he could die, but through the spirit derived from God was he related to Him as an imperishable personality, and, therefore, also could he keep from dying (there was given to him the possibility not to die); for even the dust in its relation to him, as also the earth itself, was created for a higher life of glory.—Garden-work in a mild climate is the easiest and the most appropriate for the childhood of humanity. In this may the active powers exercise themselves for the more severe employments of agricultural labor. The oldest known fruit-trees, the domestic animals, and the grain, were the portion that remained to him out of this original time.—For the tree of knowledge, etc. To know good and evil is the conscious freedom of the will (Is. 7:16; 1 Cor. 8:3).—No want (for he lived in abundance), no enticement of the sense merely (for that arose first after the fall (Gen 3:6), could mislead him to transgress the command, but only his self-exaltation, his striving after a false self-sufficiency and independence.—In a way of childlike feeling does Luther regard the tree of knowledge (standing as it did in the midst of the garden) as the church of the yet innocent man.—“This tree of the knowledge of good and evil has become Adam’s altar and pulpit, in which he ought to have learned the obedience he owed to God, to have known God’s word and will, and to have thanked Him for it; and so, if Adam had not fallen, this tree would have become like to a common temple and cathedral.” Therefore must we be on our guard against every view that would represent the tree as proceeding from the devil’s kingdom, or as being hurtful in itself.
Calwer Manual: The body from the dust of the earth, the spirit inbreathed by God: Thus man belongs to two worlds, the earth and heaven; he is akin to the least of all created things and to the highest, the uncreated, from whose efflux is his spirit.—The work in Paradise: There for them was their desire and joy, which afterwards becomes a burden, care, and toil.—The forbidden fruit. God only forbids us that which brings to us danger and hurt, and that is often in the proportion of one to many things allowed and right, and which is useful and healthful to us.—The threatening of death. Not a sudden dying like an immediately accomplished fact, but, thou wilt become subject to death; it means, to become mortal. With us, too, is death only the end of dying, which last begins often long before. That the man was created before the woman, and that, therefore, a precedence is adjudged to him, is clear from 1 Tim. 2:13.
Gen 2:19: God the Creator is also man’s first schoolmaster. It is also indicated in this place that before the fall the animal world had been more confiding and dependent on man than it is now, and that it gladly yielded itself to his dominion; whilst now, in part, it stands to him in a hostile attitude (Rom. 8:19, 20).—Not all marriages are from God, decided in heaven, but all can become sharers in its blessings if they seek it.
BUNSEN: There follows now the representation of the thought of creation, in connection with Paradise and the fall, in contrast with what precedes as the work of creation in its chronological progress. There man was necessarily the last thing, here he is necessarily the first. For God as eternal reason can only think Himself (or He must ever be essentially His own thought), and, therefore, in creation He can only think His image, the conscious finite spirit. What lies between is the mediation of the eternal with the finite. This second history of creation is neither addition nor complement to the one preceding; it is not, to say the least, its repetition. It is the figurative representation of creation as proceeding outward from the central point of the everlasting idea (the doctrine of the fall that follows this [in Bunsen] is Platonising and Gnostical).
14[Gen 2:4.—תלדות. Rendered by Lange genealogies. More properly generations in the primary sense, and without any reference to time, like דֹּר, or γενεά. Births, Greek: γενέσεις, whence the name of the book in the Septuagint. It is directly applied to births, or successions (one thing, or event, proceeding from another), in nature, and this may be regarded as primary. For example, see Ps. 104:2, הרים יֻלָּדוּ, before the mountains were born, generated.—T. L.]
15[Gen 2:7.—Lange renders: “und so ward der Mensch eine lebendige Seele.” Luther has alfo. The Hebrew has simply ויהי, which we render: and man became, like the Vulgate and LXX.; but the verb seems to have an emphasis, which Lange rightly aims to give, and so man became, etc.: in this special manner, namely by the divine inspiration directly; since the animals also are called נפש היה, living soul, though their life comes mediately through the general life of nature or the רוח אלהים, as mentioned Gen 1. 2. See Ps. 104:29.—T. L.]
16[Gen 2:19.—לִרְאוֹת, to see. Lange: “um zu sehen.” Some of the Jewish commentators raise the question whether this has for its subject God or Adam. If the latter, then לראות has the sense of judging, determining, which it will well bear.—T. L.]
17 [Why should we go to the remote Æthiopic here, and take a secondary sense of a secondary, when the primary derivation seems to lie right before us in the Hebrew: אדם from אדמה, man from the earth, whether homo be from humus or not. The reasoning of Gesenius will not bear close examination. “There must have been a name for man,” he says, “much earlier (multo antiquior) than the tradition of the Mosaic cosmogony.” As far, however, as we can learn anything of the first history of the race, from whatever source derived (biblical, heathen, or mythological), cosmogonies, or notions about cosmogonies, belonged to the earliest human thinking, and might as well have furnished the ground of the most popular names as anything else. The question, however, is not about “a name” for man (any name), but this name Adam which seems the established one in the Hebrew books. What more natural origin than the traditional could there have been, even without deriving it from a cosmogony? Names ever have a reason for them, though that reason, in many cases, may be lost or undiscoverable. They are given from that fact or quality which most impresses us in the thing named. Man is ever returning to the earth, and this might easily suggest the name, and the idea, too, that in some way he also came out of the earth: “Who am but dust and ashes,” עפר ואפר, Gen. 18:27; Job 30:19; Ps. 103:14. Homo and humus certainly suggest each other, and the etymology is not wholly impaired by the n in the genitive. Those names are most impressive and likely to be most ancient that are taken from the sorrowful aspect of humanity. Such is the case with that other Hebrew appellation for man, אֱנוֹשׁ, weak, sick, afflicted. Compare it with Homer’s βροτοὶ (mortales), which he seems so fond of using, and in similar connections of thought. איש, although having the more exalting sense when in contrast with אדם (see Ps. 49:3; Is. 2:9; 5:15), is clearly allied to אנש (the n lost or compensated by the long vowel). The plural אנשים, the n in the Arabic انسان and in the Arabic name for woman انثى = אשה, show this beyond a doubt. The first name for man, or the more common one, would not ho from strength, or from a ruddy color. These do not distinguish him, at least, to the emotions. They are not such as would affect the soul, like his sorrowful return to the earth. Afterwards, when he forgot himself in his pride, and began to boast, he might call himself (גִּבּוֹר) גֶּבֶר, vir, ἀνήρ—hero, strong one—but these names are not the primitive ones. Least of all would be think of calling himself anmuthig according to Knobel’s notion, that is, pleasant, agreeable, handsome one. Certainly not, if his primitive condition were that which the “higher criticism,” in spite of history as well as of revelation, is determined it shall be. The squalid dweller in the cave, surrounded by wolves, and bones, and stone-axes, and hardly distinguishable from his beastly companions, would be the last one to be called, or who would think of calling himself, the agreeable one, according to this derivation for which the rationalists go to the Æthiopic.
The same thought of depression, lowliness, and dependence, may be traced, if we mistake not, in the Greek ἄνθρωπος as contrasted with the later ἀνήρ. The etymology favored by Lange, ὁ ἄνω ἀθρῶν, is untenable. So we may say of the kindred one sometimes given, ἄνω τρέπων ὄμμα, turning the eye upward, to denote the proud commanding look (comp. OVID: Metam. lib. 1:85). It is not only unphilological, but also too artificial for a common name, though it might do for a poetical epithet. It would rather seem to come directly from τρέφω, to feed, nourish, bring up. The alpha is probably an article, as contracted in ὥ ’νθρωπος, or ἄνθρωπος with the rough aspirate and the nun euphonic. Ἄνθρωπος, man, a nursling, a foundling, a child of earth and nature. So from the same verb is θρέμμα, often used for the feeble young of animals, and so applied, especially by the comic poets, to a feeble, worthless man. In this way we account for what otherwise seems strange, the contemptuous use of ἄνθρωπος as distinguished from ἀνήρ; as ὦ ἄνθρωπε, Oh fellow, Oh poor creature!
The higher we ascend in language, the more numerous, in all departments, as well as the more impressive, do we find names derived from this sense of human frailty. It is the wailing cry called out of man by a feeling of the contrast between his hopes and his apparently dark earthly destiny—between his ideal and his actual, his young vigorous life and the certainty of the death that awaits him. “Who am but dust and ashes!” Notwithstanding what Gesenius would maintain in respect to its improbability, this style of naming belongs to the earliest patriarchal speech. Whether it was before or after any cosmogonical traditions (a question on which Gesenius and Knobel would seem to lay so much stress), it certainly points to an older idea as its origin; and what more likely to have been such than the Scripture favored derivation on which we have been dwelling?—T. L.]
18[There would seem, at first view, but a faint resemblance between hiddekel and Tigris. There can be but little doubt, however, of their etymological connection. The ח in חדקל may be the article hardened, or it may be part of the syllable הד (sharp, swift) in composition. The remainder דקל and Tigris have cognate letters—DKL, TGR. The intermediate or transition form is seen in the Aramaic ܕܓܠܬ; Arabic, دجلة; Diglath, DGL. The Zend TGR is the same word.—T. L.]
19[The reference here would seem to be to Num. 23:21, which the German Version gives: “Keine Mühe in Jacob, und keine Arbeit in Israel; no toil in Jacob, no labor in Israel,” instead of our more correct Version: “no iniquity in Jacob, no perverseness in Israel.”—T. L.]
20[For a very able and a very full discussion of this primitive naming—the philosophy and the theology of it—see KAULEN’S Sprachverwirrung, pp. 90–106.—T. L.]
21[This is doubtless true of that decisive act of God (whether the inspiration, or the image, or both) that in a moment constituted the first man, and the species homo, which, a moment before, was not. But this does not exclude the idea that the human physical was connected with the previous nature, or natures, and was brought out of them. That is, it was made from the earth in the widest signification of the term. That it was not a mere plastic shaping, or outward mechanical structure, is implied in what Lange says just below in respect to the non-passivity of the earth. There are immense difficulties connected with the idea of an outward Promethean image, a dead organization which, although having the appearance, is really no organization at all in the strict sense of the word, any more than the marble statue or the waxen image. No one supposes that the making of the human body was an immediate making de nihilo. It was made from earth, and this earth already had. its nature according to its varieties of carbon, nitrogen, etc., and these, as natures, connected with other natures, entered into the human body. If it is not a creation de nihilo, which is expressly contrary to the language of the account, we must suppose a connection with nature to a certain extent. What difficulty or danger, then, in giving to-the phrase “from the earth,” the widest sense consistent with the idea of man’s having an earthly as well as a heavenly origin? It is this latter idea, and the higher psychology connected with it, that furnishes to the faith its shield against all mere theories of development that may proceed, with weaker or stronger evidence, from a naturalizing science. From the one thus first inspired, and constituted homo, came all humanity—the one humanity, as a transmission of that one inspiration and that one spiritual image (see Remarks, Introduction to the First Chapter of Genesis, p. 156). Even on this view, however, the human body did not precede the human soul, as Lange observes in what follows; since, whatever may have been the precedent causation, it was not a human body, any more than it was a human soul, before that decisive man-creating, man-constituting act which made the species, or the specific character, of both.—T. L.]
22 [The annexed figure would present the outline appearance of the supposed Eden-region, with its four great waters, or neharim, as given by the modern maps:
23Our English version of Is. 18:1 mars the passage by its rendering of the interjection הוֹי: “Woe to the land, etc.” It should be Ho, as in Is. 55:1, היי כל צמא: “Ho, every one that thirsteth.” Whether it is a particle of threatening, of lamentation, or of invitation, depends entirely on the context. Here it is a call to the far-off: Ho, to the land of the shadow of wings—the land of the expanded wings—beyond the floods of Cush—beyond the Gihon, that ancient river that went round the whole land of Æthiopia. Ho, to the remotest Cush!—T. L.]
24[The Greeks never allow the h, either as aspirate of as guttural, to stand in the middle or at the end of a word, either native or derived. Such a word, therefore, as Gihon, Kihon, or Kehan, would necessarily become Geon, as we have it in Josephus, κεων, or κεαν. Just so the Hebrew גי חינם, Ge-hinnom, Gehenna, becomes γέεννα; יוֹחָנָן, Johanan, Iohan, becomes Ιωαν, ’Ιωάννης. In roots, too, allied to the Shemitic, they have κ for γ, as Hebrew: גלל—Greek: κυλ–κυλίω, κυλίνδω; Hebrew:גלגל—Greek:κύκλος. The article having become constant as a prefix in ὁ-κεανος, and lengthened because of its emphasis, shows the former particularity of the name, and at the same time its celebrity: The Gihon, the Kehan, the κεαν, the Ocean-river.—T. L.]
25[Gen. 2:19: To see what he would call them, לראות מה יקרא. As this is commonly read and understood, לראות, to see, is referred to God. It corresponds, however, better with the context, and the view that Lange takes of it, to refer it to Adam in the sense of judging—the sight of the mind—an easily derived secondary sense, appearing in other places in the use of this common verb, and becoming, in fact, predominant in the Rabbinical Hebrew. It is simply the transfer that takes place in the Greek ειδ -οιδ (to see, to know), and perhaps in most languages: that Adam might see (judge), what he would call them. It denotes an intuition or an intuitive judgment—the first calling out of his faculties in the observation of things. It is no objection to the other sense that it is anthropopathic, although it would seem to represent something like curiosity on the part of Deity. The view taken, however, which is equally correct, lexically and grammatically, makes it the beginning of the first development of language in the perception of some intuitive fitness between names and things named.—T. L.]