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IN HIS OWN IMAGE AND LIKENESS

CULTURE AND HISTORY OF


THE ANCIENT NEAR EAST
EDITED BY

B. HALPERN, M. H. E. WEIPPERT
TH. P.J. VAN DEN HOUT, I. WINTER
VOLUME 15

IN HIS OWN IMAGE AND LIKENESS


Humanity, Divinity, and Monotheism
BY

W. RANDALL GARR

BRILL
LEIDEN BOSTON
2003

This book is printed on acid-free paper.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data


Garr, W. Randall.
In His own image and likeness ; humanity, divinity, and monotheism / by W. Randall Garr.
p. cm. (Culture and history of the ancient Near East, ISSN 1566-2055 ; v. 15)
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 90-04-12980-4
1. MonotheismHistory. 2. Man (Jewish theology) 3. Humanity. 4. Bible. O.T.
GenesisCriticism, interpretation, etc. I. Title. II. Series.
BL221.G37 2003
296.3'11--dc21
2002043738

ISSN 1566-2055
ISBN 90 04 12980 4
Copyright 2003 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, translated, stored
in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic,
mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written
permission from the publisher.
Authorization to photocopy items for internal or personal use is granted
by Koninklijke Brill provided that the appropriate fees are paid directly
to The Copyright Clearance Center, 222 Rosewood Drive,Suite 910
Danvers, MA 01923, USA.
Fees are subject to change.
printed in the netherlands

For Susan

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TABLE OF CONTENTS
Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ix
Note on Translations and Citations. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xi
Abbreviations and Symbols . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xiii
Preface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

.
. The Plural Pronouns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
.. Isolating Nonliteral . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
.. Interpretations of Nonliteral . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
.. and Gen : . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
.. The Pragmatic Character of the Clause . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
.. Form-Critical Analysis of the Clause . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. Gen : . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. Gods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
.. Gods in the Yahwist and Elohist Traditions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
.. Gods Elsewhere in the Hebrew Bible . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. Gen : . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

17
23
23
27
28
33
38
45
51
51
65
85

. -
. The Prepositions and . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
.. and . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. The Nouns and . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
.. and . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

95
96
104
111
117
118
132
165

.
. The Priestly Cosmogony . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
.. Exercising Creative Control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
.. Separation and Differentiation .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
.. Harmonic Order . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
.. Imposing Rule. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. Gods Victory over the Gods, and the Elevation of the
Human Race . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
.. The Gods and Their Demise . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
.. Gods Rule . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
.. Imitatio Dei et deorum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

179
181
183
186
191
201
202
212
219

Bibliography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 241
Indices
Text Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 279
Word Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 291
Author Index. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 293

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
It should have been clear to me from the beginning how difficult this
book would be. In its first incarnation, delivered at the University of
Toronto in the spring of , I presented a grammatical argument that
Gods first person plural pronouns in Gen : are referentially plural;
viz., that Ps God refers to other gods as he is about to create human
beings. A member of the audience then exposed the basic problem:
From all that is known of P, this tradition is strictly monotheistic and
does not recognize any god other than the one God (see .). It would
seem, then, that grammar and interpretation fundamentally conflict in
this instance and, I feared, that any new attempt to enter this longstanding debate was doomed. This project was trouble from the outset.
As it expanded scope, I called on colleagues, friends, and family to
help me navigate the terrain. Wallace Chafe, Carol Genetti, and especially Marianne Mithun coached me on linguistic issues. In Assyriological matters, I benefitted from the advice of Paul-Alain Beaulieu, Peter
Machinist, Erica Reiner, Piotr Steinkeller, and especially Benjamin Foster. When I got entangled in taxonomic categories, Newton Kalman
and Deborah Kaska patiently sorted out the mess. I thank them all.
I am indebted to a long list of Biblicists and non-Biblicists who
each showed me something new about a topic I thought I understood:
Yohanan Breuer, Marc Brettler, Rabbi Steven Cohen, Alan Cooper,
Barry Eichler, Richard Elliott Friedman, Gail Humphreys, Tikva Frymer-Kensky, Edward Greenstein, Jon Levenson, Jan Joosten, William
Nelson, Simon Parker, William Propp, and Jeffrey Tigay. So too, I thank
Mario Biagioli, Phyllis Bird, David Carr, Vincent DeCaen, Steven Fassberg, Michael Fox, Frank Gorman, Allan Grapard, Richard Hecht,
Aharon Maman, Elisha Qimron, John Revell, and Mark Smith.
This project made me unusually reliant on the generosity of others. James Barr, Judith Hadley, Karel Jongeling, Norbert Lohfink, Jeffrey Tigay, and Eerdmans Publishing Company graciously sent me
preprints or offprints of material not otherwise available to me. I am
grateful to the libraries and librarians of the Claremont School of
Theology, Ecole Biblique, Fuller Theological Seminary, Westmont Col-

lege, Yale Divinity School, and the Hebrew University/Jewish National


Library of Jerusalem. I am also a thankful beneficiary of the UCSB
Interlibrary Loan Office, which continues to fill my many, many requests with patience and despatch. Finally, I thank the Institute for
Advanced Studies at the Hebrew University and its outstanding staff
who, towards the end of this project, considerably lightened my work; I
offer special thanks to Annette Orrelle and Ohad Cohen.
I thank those who have invested so much time in this study. Baruch
Halpern followed it from its inception, read the manuscript carefully,
and was a speedy and truly supportive editor. John Huehnergard kindly
read the Mesopotamian portion of the manuscript and showed me
why Assyriology is not for the uninitiated. Rabbi Judy Shanks read
the entire manuscript, in an earlier form, annotated it copiously, and
reminded meagain and againthat repetition is not necessarily a
good thing. Ronald Hendel and Tremper Longman didnt need to read
the manuscript, however; they each heard about it, in numbing detail,
many times, and nonetheless remained enthusiastic, helpful, encouraging, and provocative. Laura Kalman deserves my greatest thanks. Not
only did she contribute the title (well, the first half). She was also unwavering: a happy, challenging, smiling, engaged, and supportive spouse
who, even now, still wants to hear more.

NOTE ON TRANSLATIONS AND CITATIONS


Unless otherwise noted, all translations are mine. The biblical text used
is that of BHS, whose versification is adopted here, and all translations
are built upon those of the NJPS and NRSV. Uncertain translations are
indicated in italics.
Assyriological citations follow Assyriological convention as represented by the CAD (see CAD R ixxxvii for a list of abbreviations).
When I knew of text editions more recent than those given in the CAD,
older references have been updated.
Because the secondary literature on Genesis is uncommonly vast, I
could not cite every bibliographical reference pertinent to any particular discussion. The references, then, are representative. I have also
selected among duplicate or multiple publications of a single work.
With books, I have consistently opted for an existing English translation and, when applicable, have provided the original date of publication between square brackets. In the cases of Genesis commentaries by
Delitzsch, Dillmann, and Gunkel, however, I have cited both the German and English versions. With unrevised, reprinted articles, I have
tried to cross-reference original publications (when reasonably accessible) with the later reprinted version; if multiple reprints exist, I have
selected the English language version or, in its absence, the most accessible reprinted version.

This page intentionally left blank

ABBREVIATIONS AND SYMBOLS


The following is a list of abbreviations and sigla not explained within
the text. For Assyriological abbreviations, see p. xi.
Scholarly Literature
AB
ABD
AT
AEPHE
AfO
AHw

AJSL
AJTP
ALASPM
AnBib
ANET 3
AnOr
AOAT
ARw
AS
ASOR
AsSt
ATANT
AuOr

The Anchor Bible


The Anchor Bible Dictionary. Edited by David Noel
Freedman et al. vols. New York: Doubleday,
gypten und Altes Testament
Annuaire de lcole pratique des Hautes tudes, IVe Section:
Sciences historiques et philologiques
Archiv fr Orientforschung
Akkadisches Handwrterbuch unter Benutzung des lexikalischen
Nachlasses von Bruno Meissner (). Edited by
Wolfram von Soden. vols. Wiesbaden: Otto
Harrassowitz,
The American Journal of Semitic Languages and Literatures
American Journal of Theology and Philosophy
Abhandlungen zur Literatur Alt-Syrien-Palstinas und
Mesopotamiens
Analecta Biblica
Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament. Edited
by James B. Pritchard. d ed. Princeton: Princeton
University Press,
Analecta Orientalia
Alter Orient und Altes Testament
Archiv fr Religionswissenschaft
Assyriological Studies
American Schools of Oriental Research
Asiatische Studien
Abhandlungen zur Theologie des Alten und Neuen
Testaments
Aula Orientalis


AUSS
AzTh
BA
BARev
BASOR
BASS
BBB
BDB
BEAT
BETL
BetM
BEvTh
BI
Bib
BIS
BiSe
BJRL
BJS
BKAT
BN
BRLAJ
BScR
BT
BTZ
BWANT
BZ
BZAW
CAD

Cath
CBET
CBOT
CBQ


Andrews University Seminary Studies
Arbeiten zur Theologie
Biblical Arch(a)eologist
The Biblical Archaeology Review
Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research
Beitrge zur Assyriologie und semitischen Sprachwissenschaft
Bonner Biblische Beitrge
Francis Brown, S. R. Driver, and Charles A. Briggs. A
Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament. Oxford:
Oxford University Press, []
Beitrge zur Erforschung des Alten Testaments und des
Antiken Judentums
Bibliotheca Ephemeridum Theologicarum Lovaniensium
Beit Mikra
Beitrge zur Evangelischen Theologie
Biblical Interpretation
Biblica
Biblical Interpretation Series
The Biblical Seminar
Bulletin of the John Rylands (University) Library (of) Manchester
Brown Judaic Studies
Biblischer Kommentar Altes Testament
Biblische Notizen
The Brill Reference Library of Ancient Judaism
Bibliothque de Sciences religieuses
The Bible Today
Berliner Theologische Zeitschrift
Beitrge zur Wissenschaft vom Alten und Neuen
Testament
Biblische Zeitschrift (neue Folge)
Beihefte zur Zeitschrift fr die alttestamentliche
Wissenschaft
The Assyrian Dictionary of the Oriental Institute of The
University of Chicago. Edited by Ignace J. Gelb et al.
Chicago/Glckstadt: Oriental Institute/J. J. Augustin,

Catholica
Contributions to Biblical Exegesis and Theology
Coniectanea Biblica, Old Testament Series
The Catholic Biblical Quarterly


CBQMS
CBSC
CILT
CRB
CRBS
CRRAI
CuW
DDD2

DJD
DNWSI
DS-NELL
EI
ErJ
ETL
ExAu
FAT
FRLANT
FV
GKB

GKC
GLECS
GvG

The Catholic Biblical Quarterly Monograph Series


The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges
Current Issues in Linguistic Theory
Cahiers de la Revue Biblique
Currents in Research: Biblical Studies
Compte rendu de la Rencontre Assyriologique
Internationale
Christentum und Wissenschaft
Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible. Edited by Karel
van der Toorn, Bob Becking, and Pieter W. van der
Horst. d ed. Leiden/Grand RapidsCambridge, U.K.:
Brill/Eerdmans,
Discoveries in the Judaean Desert. Oxford: Oxford
University Press,
J. Hoftijzer and K. Jongeling. Dictionary of the North-West
Semitic Inscriptions. pts. HdO //. Leiden: E. J. Brill,

Dutch Studies published by the Near Eastern Languages and


Literatures Foundation
Eretz-Israel
Eranos-Jahrbuch
Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses
Ex Auditu
Forschungen zum Alten Testament
Forschungen zur Religion und Literatur des Alten und
Neuen Testaments
Foi et Vie
G. Bergstrsser. Grammatik mit Benutzung der von E. Kautzsch
bearbeiteten . Auflage von Wilhelm Gesenius hebrischer
Grammatik. vols. Leipzig: F. C. W. Vogel/J. C. Hinrichs,

Gesenius Hebrew Grammar. Edited and enlarged by


E. Kautzsch. Revised by A. E. Cowley. d English ed.
Oxford: Oxford University Press,
Comptes-rendus du Groupe Linguistique dEtudes ChamitoSmitiques
Carl Brockelmann. Grundriss der vergleichenden Grammatik
der semitischen Sprachen. vols. Berlin: Reuther & Reichard,


HALOT

HBS
HBT
HdO
Hen
HKAT
HR
HS
HSM
HSoed
HSS
HTR
HUCA
IBT
ICC
IDB
IEJ
Int
Interp
IOS
IRT
JANES
JAOS
JBL
JBTh
JCS
JNES
JNSL
JQR
JRS
JSOT
JSOTS
JSS


The Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament. Edited
by Walter Baumgartner et al. Translated and edited by
M. E. J. Richardson, G. J. Jongeling-Vos, and L. J. De
Regt. vols. Leiden: E. J. Brill, []
Herders Biblische Studien
Horizons in Biblical Theology
Handbuch der Orientalistik
Henoch
(Gttinger) Handkommentar zum Alten Testament
History of Religions
Hebrew Studies
Harvard Semitic Monographs
Horae Soederblomianae
Harvard Semitic Studies
Harvard Theological Review
Hebrew Union College Annual
Interpreting Biblical Texts
The International Critical Commentary
The Interpreters Dictionary of the Bible. Edited by George
Arthur Buttrick. vols. Nashville/New York: Abingdon
Press,
Israel Exploration Journal
Interpretation. A Journal of Bible and Theology
Interpretation. A Bible Commentary for Teaching and
Preaching
Israel Oriental Studies
Issues in Religion and Theology
The Journal of the Ancient Near Eastern Society
Journal of the American Oriental Society
Journal of Biblical Literature
Jahrbuch fr Biblische Theologie
Journal of Cuneiform Studies
Journal of Near Eastern Studies
Journal of Northwest Semitic Languages
The Jewish Quarterly Review
Journal of Ritual Studies
Journal for the Study of the Old Testament
Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Supplement
Series
Journal of Semitic Studies


JTS
KAT
KeHAT
KHAT
KUSATU
LebZeug
LeDiv
Les
LouvSt
LT
MARI
MFOB
MUN
NCBC
NIBC
NZST
OBO
OBT
BS
OLA
Orien
OrSu
OTL
OTS
OTWSA
PLO
POS
QD
RA
RB
RHPR
RLA
RScR
RSO

The Journal of Theological Studies


Kommentar zum Alten Testament
Kurzgefasstes exegetisches Handbuch zum Alten
Testament
Kurzer Hand-Commentar zum Alten Testament
Kleine Untersuchungen zur Sprache des Alten Testaments und seiner
Umwelt
Lebendiges Zeugnis
Lectio Divina
Leshonenu
Louvain Studies
Linguistic Typology
MARI, Annales de Recherches Interdisciplinaires
Mlanges de la Facult orientale, Universit Saint-Joseph, Beyrouth
Mmoires de lUniversit de Neuchtel
The New Century Bible Commentary
New International Biblical Commentary
Neue Zeitschrift fr Systematische Theologie und Religionsphilosophie
Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis
Overtures to Biblical Theology
sterreichische Biblische Studien
Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta
Orientierung
Orientalia Suecana
The Old Testament Library
Oudtestamentische Studin
Die Ou-Testamentiese Werkgemeenskap in Suid-Afrika
Porta Linguarum Orientalium (neue Serie)
Pretoria Oriental Series
Questiones Disputatae
Revue dassyriologie et darchologie orientale
Revue Biblique
Revue dHistoire et de Philosophie Religieuses
Reallexikon der Assyriologie (und Vorderasiatischen Archologie).
Edited by Erich Ebeling et al. Berlin/Leipzig: Walter de
Gruyter,
Revue des sciences religieuses
Rivista degli studi orientali


RSP

RST
SBAB
SBB
SBLDS
SBLMS
SBLSP
SBS
SBT
ScEs
ScrB
ScrH
SEL
SHCANE
SHR
SJLA
SJOT
SOTSMS
ST
STAR
SubBi
TAPS
Tarb
TB
TD
TDNT

TDOT

ThAr
ThSt


Ras Shamra Parallels: The Texts from Ugarit and the Hebrew
Bible. Edited by Loren R. Fisher and Stan Rummel.
vols. AnOr . Rome: Pontificum Institutum Biblicum,

Regensburger Studien zur Theologie


Stuttgarter Biblische Aufsatzbnde
Stuttgarter Biblische Beitrge
Society of Biblical Literature Dissertation Series
Society of Biblical Literature Monograph Series
Society of Biblical Literature Seminar Papers Series
Stuttgarter Bibelstudien
Studies in Biblical Theology
Science et Esprit
Scripture Bulletin
Scripta Hierosolymitana
Studi epigrafici e linguistici sul Vicino Oriente antico
Studies in the History and Culture of the Ancient Near
East
Studies in the History of Religions (Supplements to
Numen)
Studies in Judaism in Late Antiquity
Scandinavian Journal of the Old Testament
Society for Old Testament Study Monograph Series
Studia Theologica
Studies in Theology and Religion
Subsidia Biblica
Transactions of the American Philosophical Society
Tarbiz
Theologische Bcherei
Theology Digest
Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. Edited by
Gerhard Kittel and Gerhard Friedrich. Translated
and edited by Geoffrey W. Bromiley. vols. Grand
Rapids/London: Eerdmans, []
Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament. Edited by
G. Johannes Botterweck et al. Translated by David
E. Green et al. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, [
]
Theologische Arbeiten
Theologische Studien


ThTo
TICP
TLOT
TLZ
TQ
TS
TSAJ
TWAT
TynB
TZ
UBL
UF
VT
VTS
WAW
WBC
WBTh
WC
WdF
WdM
WMANT
WPKG
WTJ
WuD
YNER
ZA
ZAH
ZAW
ZB
ZTK

Theology Today
Travaux de lInstitut catholique de Paris
Theological Lexicon of the Old Testament. Edited by Ernst Jenni
and Claus Westermann. Translated by Mark E. Biddle.
vols. Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson, []
Theologische Literaturzeitung
Theologische Quartalschrift
Theological Studies
Texte und Studien zum Antiken Judentum
Theologisches Wrterbuch zum Alten Testament. Edited by
G. Johannes Botterweck et al. vols. Stuttgart:
W. Kohlhammer,
Tyndale Bulletin
Theologische Zeitschrift
Ugaritisch-Biblische Literatur
Ugarit-Forschungen
Vetus Testamentum
Supplements to Vetus Testamentum
Writings from the Ancient World
Word Biblical Commentary
Weiner Beitrge zur Theologie
Westminster Commentaries
Weg der Forschung
Wrterbuch der Mythologie. Edited by Hans Wilhelm Haussig.
Stuttgart: Ernst Klett,
Wissenschaftliche Monographien zum Alten und Neuen
Testament
Wissenschaft und Praxis in Kirche und Gesellschaft
Westminster Theological Journal
Wort und Dienst
Yale Near Eastern Researches
Zeitschrift fr Assyriologie und Vorderasiatische Archologie
Zeitschrift fr Althebraistik
Zeitschrift fr die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft
Zrcher Bibelkommentare
Zeitschrift fr Theologie und Kirche

Texts, Versions, and Manuscripts


b.
BHS
HaE
KAI
Kenn.
KTU2

LXX
Meg.
NJPS
NRSV

Babylonian Talmud
Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia. Edited by K. Elliger and
W. Rudolph. th corrected ed. Stuttgart: Deutsche
Bibelgesellschaft,
Johannes Renz and Wolfgang Rllig. Handbuch
der althebrischen Epigraphik. vols. Darmstadt:
Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft,
H. Donner and W. Rllig. Kanaanische und aramische
Inschriften. Vol. : Texte. d ed. Wiesbaden: Otto
Harrassowitz,
Biblical manuscript collection of Benjamin Kennicott
(cited by MS number, as listed by De-Rossi, Variae Lectiones
Veteris Testamenti .lixxciv)
Manfred Dietrich, Oswald Loretz, and Joaqun
Sanmartn. The Cuneiform Alphabetic Texts from Ugarit,
Ras Ibn Hani and Other Places (KTU: second, enlarged edition).
ALASPM . Mnster: Ugarit-Verlag,
Septuagint
(Talmud) Tractate Megilla
Tanakh: A New Translation of The Holy Scriptures According to
the Traditional Hebrew Text. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication
Society,
New Revised Standard Version

Miscellaneous
ET
lit.
n.d.
n.p.
p.c.
s.v.
sc.
<
||
=
+

English translation
literally
no date
no place (of publication)
personal communication
sub voce
scilicet
derived from; based upon
(poetically) parallel to
identical, corresponds to; repeated, reprinted in
in conjunction with (of texts)

PREFACE
The book of Genesis begins with two distinct though interrelated narratives. The first is the Priestly cosmogony (Gen ::).1
In this first section, we are vouchsafed a sublime vision of the totality
of creation, portrayed with great synthetic power, which unifies into a
clear and comprehensible order all the endlessly changing categories
of existence; we perceive there, enthroned on high, the Idea that rises
above the accidental, the temporal and the finite, and depicts for us with
complete simplicity of expression the vast expanses of the universe to
their utmost limits. God reveals Himself as a transcendental Being
dwelling in His supernal abode.2

The second is the Yahwist story of the human race (Gen :b-:), a
more intense reflection upon the implications of creation for the destiny
of humanity.3
An interest conspicuously prominent in the entire narrative is the desire
to explain the origin of existing facts of human nature, existing customs and
institutions, especially those which were regarded as connected with the
loss by man of his primaeval innocence. Thus among the facts explained
are, for instance, in ch. ii. the distinction of the sexes, and the institution
of marriage, and in ch. iii. the gait and habits of the serpent, the
subject condition (in the ancient world) of woman, the pain of childbearing, and the toilsomeness of agriculture.4

The first narrative focuses on cosmogony; the second, on humanity.5


1 For this delimitation of the cosmogony, see Bernhard W. Anderson, A Stylistic
Study of the Priestly Creation Story, in Canon and Authority: Essays in Old Testament
Religion and Theology (ed. George W. Coats and Burke O. Long; Philadelphia: Fortress,
) (repr. as The Priestly Creation Story: A Stylistic Study, in From Creation
to New Creation: Old Testament Perspectives [OBT; Minneapolis: Fortress, ] ). See
also . with n. .
2 U. Cassuto, The Documentary Hypothesis and the Composition of the Pentateuch: Eight
Lectures (trans. Israel Abrahams; Jerusalem: Magnes, []) .
3 Walter Brueggemann, Genesis (Interp; Atlanta: John Knox, ) .
4 S. R. Driver, The Book of Genesis (th ed.; WC; London: Methuen, ) (italics
original).
5 Samuel E. Balentine, The Torahs Vision of Worship (OBT; Minneapolis: Fortress,
) .

.. The single most important topic linking these two narratives


is the creation of humankind. On the one hand, the two accounts
of human creation are distinct: Gen : summarizes this event with
punctuated yet parallelistic terseness, whereas Gen :b- dallies over
details.6 On the other hand, the two accounts are complementary.
To begin with, when man is referred to as one creature among many
be he even the highest of themand his genesis is mentioned only as
a link in the great chain of creative acts, the manner of his creation
is described, of course, only in general terms, in the simple phrase,
male and female He created them [Gen :]; but we are not told how they
were made. [W]e have only the indefinite statement that they were
created. Afterwards, when the Bible comes to elaborate the story of
mankinds origin, it explains in detail how man and woman were formed
respectively. This is a case of a general statement followed by a
detailed account, which is a customary literary device of the Torah.7

As a result, these two accounts of human creation live in uneasy


tension.8 Each of the two underlying sources has its own linguistic
character, compositional style, themes, and theological identity. Yet in
the final redacted text, Gen : serves a proleptic function;9 the Priestly
text foreshadows the Yahwist focus on human history. Gen : is a
quick preview within a Priestly, cosmogonic context of the story that
will unfold in the adjacent, Yahwist narrative.10
.. The creation of humankind, however, is far more than a conceptual bridge between two documentary sources. For the Yahwist, the
6 David M. Carr, Reading the Fractures of Genesis: Historical and Literary Approaches
(Louisville: Westminster John Knox, ) .
7 Cassuto, The Documentary Hypothesis (italics original). See also Phyllis A. Bird,
Genesis in der gegenwrtigen biblischen Forschung, JBTh (): (repr. as
Genesis in Modern Biblical Scholarship, in Missing Persons and Mistaken Identities:
Women and Gender in Ancient Israel [OBT; Minneapolis: Fortress Press, ] ).
8 Brueggemann, Genesis . See also James Barr, Ein Mann oder die Menschen?
Zur Anthropologie von Genesis , in Ebenbild GottesHerrscher ber die Welt. Studien
zu Wrde und Auftrag des Menschen (ed. Hans-Peter Mathys; Biblisch-Theologische Studien ; Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, ) ; and Balentine, The
Torahs Vision of Worship . Cf. Gordon J. Wenham, The Priority of P, VT
(): .
9 See Barr, Adam: Single Man, or All Humanity? in Hesed ve-Emet: Studies in Honor
of Ernest S. Frerichs (ed. Jodi Magness and Seymour Gitin; BJS ; Atlanta: Scholars
Press, ) ; and, in this context, Paul Beauchamp, Cration et fondation de la loi en
Gn , , a. Le don de la nourriture vgtale en Gn , s, in La Cration dans lOrient
ancien. Congrs de lACFEB, Lille () (ed. Fabien Blanquart and Louis Derousseaux;
LeDiv ; Paris: Cerf, ) .
10 For another example of this Priestly redactional character, see ....

unique importance of this event is self-evident; it is the very foundation


of the narrative. So too, the Priestly writer (P) assigns this event distinct,
supreme, and overriding significance.
Right from the start, human creation is for P an event sui generis.11
Then God said, Let us make humankind in
our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over
the fish of the sea, and over the birds of heaven, and over the beasts, and
over the whole earth, and over everything that moves on the earth. So
God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created it,
male and female he created them. (Gen :)

The creation of human life is an exception to the rule of creation by


divine fiat, as signaled by the replacement of the simple Hebrew
command (the jussive) with a personal, strongly expressed resolve (the
cohortative [see ..]).12 Whereas the earlier jussives expressed Gods
will with a third person, nonagentive verb form, the cohortative is
both first person and agentive. Unlike the jussives, too, the cohortative
does not itself create but prepares or introduces the creative act.13 With
justification, then, Wolff notes that the man and the woman in Gen.
I are created by Gods own personal decision (v. )a
decision unique in the Priestly documents whole creation account.14
Similarly, von Rad is justified to infer that God participates more
intimately and intensively in this than in the earlier works of creation.15
As the cohortative form suggests, Ps God anticipates a more active
role, greater control, and stronger personal involvement in the human
creation than in his previous seven creative acts.16

11 See Phyllis Trible, God and the Rhetoric of Sexuality (London: SCM, []) ;
and Edward M. Curtis, Image of God (OT), in ABD .a.
12 Nahum M. Sarna, Genesis (The JPS Torah Commentary; Philadelphia: Jewish
Publication Society, ) .
13 E.g., Hermann Gunkel, Genesis (th ed.; HKAT I/; Gttingen: Vandenhoeck
& Ruprecht, []) (= Genesis [trans. Mark E. Biddle; Mercer Library of
Biblical Studies; Macon: Mercer University Press, ] ); and, differently, Cassuto,
A Commentary on the Book of Genesis (trans. Israel Abrahams; pts.; Jerusalem: Magnes,
[]) ..
14 Hans Walter Wolff, Anthropology of the Old Testament (trans. Margaret Kohl; Philadelphia: Fortress, []) .
15 Gerhard von Rad, Genesis (trans. John H. Marks; rev. ed.; OTL; Philadelphia:
Westminster, ) .
16 Bird, Sexual Differentiation and Divine Image in the Genesis Creation Texts,
in Image of God and Gender Models in Judaeo-Christian Tradition (ed. Kari Elisabeth Brresen;
Oslo: Solum, ) .

Gods involvement also runs deeper. As P tells the story, this last creative act coincides with an extraordinary divine event. When God initiates human creation, God takes the opportunity to identify himself, for
the first time, in the self-referential first person. At the same time, Gods
identity is invested in this human creature and is represented by two
characteristics: a divine image and a divine likeness. Humanity resembles divinity through two inherent yet divine features.17 Of all Gods
creations, only humanity is envisioned as comparable to divinity.18
V. corroborates and executes this vision. Its first clause names the
creator, the human creature, and the divine image that God invests
in human beings (v. a). Overlapping with the first,19 the second
clause identifies the divine possessor of the image (v. a). The third
clause deletes reference to the image yet describes the human creature
as a constituent pair (v. b). V. therefore reiterates the unique
relationship between God and humanity, explains the relationship, and
tracks it from its source to its individual heirs.20
.. The interpretive details of Gen : are unclear at best.21
To be sure, the characteristics uniquely shared by creator and creature assert the incomparable nature of human beings and their special
relationship to God.22 But when its two nominal componentsimage
and likenessare queried, the assertion of incomparability is quickly
qualified. For example, what does the image of God signify, and how
does the human race reflect it?23 Or, what is a divine likeness, how
Bird, Male and Female He Created Them: Gen :b in the Context of the
Priestly Account of Creation, HTR (): n. (repr. in Missing Persons and
Mistaken Identities n. ).
18 Wolff, Anthropology of the Old Testament ; and Josef Scharbert, Der Mensch
als Ebenbild Gottes in der neueren Auslegung von Gen ,, in Weisheit GottesWeisheit
der Welt. Festschrift fr Joseph Kardinal Ratzinger zum . Geburtstag (ed. Walter Baier et al.;
vols.; St. Ottilien: EOS, ) ..
19 Paul Humbert, Die literarische Zweiheit des Priester-Codex in der Genesis.
(Kritische Untersuchung der These von von Rad), ZAW (): .
20 See Cassuto, Genesis ..
21 See Claus Westermann, Genesis (trans. John J. Scullion; vols.; Minneapolis:
Augsburg, []) .; or Wenham, Genesis ( vols.; WBC ;
Waco/Dallas: Word, ) ..
22 Sarna, Genesis . In addition to the references cited in n. , see D. J. A. Clines,
The Image of God in Man, TynB (): (repr. as Humanity as the Image
of God, in On the Way to the Postmodern: Old Testament Essays, [ vols.;
JSOTS ; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, ] .), quoted in part in
., below.
23 Jrgen Ebach, Die Erschaffung des Menschen als Bild Gottes. berlegungen zur
Anthropologie im Schpfungsbericht der Priesterschrift, WPKG (): .
17

does it compare to the divine image, and how is the likeness reflected
in humankind?24 The responses are often unsatisfying. Preuss finds that
very little distinction can be made between the two words.25 Sarnas
language is somewhat stronger: The two terms are used interchangeably and indiscriminately.26 Horst adds bravado.
[O]ne has to conclude that image and likeness are, like prototype
and original, essentially equivalent expressions.27 They do not seek to
describe two different sorts of relationship, but only a single one; the
second member of the word-pair does not seek to do more than in some
sense to define the first more closely and to reinforce it. That is to say,
it seeks so to limit and to fix the likeness and accord between God and
man that, in all circumstances, the uniqueness of God will be guarded.28

These statements, then, testify to the problem.


The image is problematic in its own right. For in most of its occurrences, image is a concrete noun. And as such, it refers to a repreSee Clines, TynB (): (= On the Way to the Postmodern .).
H. D. Preuss, c
 damah; e"c d emth, in TDOT .. Many others agree:
e.g., P. G. Duncker, Limmagine di Dio nelluomo (Gen. , .). Una somiglianza
fisica? Bib (): (repr. as Das Bild Gottes im Menschen [Gen. , .].
Eine physische hnlichkeit? in Der Mensch als Bild Gottes [ed. Leo Scheffczyk; WdF ;
Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, ] ); Walther Eichrodt, Theology
of the Old Testament (trans. J. A. Baker; vols.; OTL; Philadelphia: Westminster,
[]) .; Oswald Loretz, Die Gottebenbildlichkeit des Menschen (Schriften
des Deutschen Instituts fr wissenschaftliche Pdagogik; Munich: Ksel, ) ;
Werner H. Schmidt, Die Schpfungsgeschichte der Priesterschrift. Zur berlieferungsgeschichte von
Genesis ,,a und ,b-, (d ed.; WMANT ; Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener
Verlag, ) ; E. Jenni, dmh to be like, in TLOT .; Bruce Vawter, On
Genesis: A New Reading (Garden City, New York: Doubleday, ) ; Curtis, in ABD
.b; and Johnson T. K. Lim, Grace in the Midst of Judgment: Grappling with Genesis
(BZAW ; Berlin/New York: Walter de Gruyter, ) . See also Walter Gro,
Die Gottebenbildlichkeit des Menschen nach Gen ,. in der Diskussion des letzten
Jahrzehnts, BN (): (repr. in Studien zur Priesterschrift und zu alttestamentlichen
Gottesbildern [SBAB ; Stuttgart: Katholisches Bibelwerk, ] ).
26 Sarna, Genesis . See also J. Maxwell Miller, In the Image and Likeness of
God, JBL (): ; and, indirectly, Mayer Gruber, In the Image of God
What is It? in Hommage to Shmuel. Studies in the World of the Bible (ed. Zipora Talshir,
Shamir Yona, and Daniel Sivan; Jerusalem: Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Press/Bialik Institute, ) (in Hebrew).
27 See also Tryggve N. D. Mettinger, Abbild oder Urbild? Imago Dei in traditionsgeschichtlicher Sicht, ZAW (): .
28 Friedrich Horst, Face to Face: The Biblical Doctrine of the Image of God,
Int (): . See also Barr, The Image of God in GenesisSome Linguistic
and Historical Considerations, OTWSA (): ; von Rad, Genesis ; John F.
A. Sawyer, The Meaning of !$ "a (in the image of God) in Genesis ixi, JTS
(): ; and K. Seybold, "k k e; "k k em; 
# k
 ka aser, in TDOT ..
24

25

sentation of form, figure, or physical appearance (see ..). Thus if


the human race is created in the image of God, there is an unavoidable logical implication: God must also be material, physical, corporeal,
and, to a certain degree, humanoid (see also ..).29 Problematic, too,
is the intertextual implication of a concrete, human image.30 Indeed,
the very existence of such an image seems to violate the second commandment, which forbids idols and idolatry (Ex :; Dt :; see
also Dt :, and, within the Priestly tradition, Lev :, :).31
From a theological perspective, then, the image in Gen : may
be dangerous or, at least, tainted.32
Grammar compounds the problems. One grammatical difficulty lies
in the prepositions that govern image and likeness: in and like,
respectively. A minority of interpreters believe this differential marking sufficiently indicates an interpretive difference between the two
prepositional phrases.33 The majority disagrees. There is no particu29 E.g., Humbert, tudes sur le rcit du paradis et de la chute dans la Gense (MUN ;
Neuchtel: Universit de Neuchtel, ) ; Ludwig Koehler, Die Grundstelle
der Imago-Dei-Lehre, Genesis , , TZ (): (repr. in Der Mensch als Bild Gottes
); Otto Kaiser, Der Mensch, Gottes Ebenbild und Staathalter auf Erden, NZST
(): (repr. in Gottes und der Menschen Weisheit. Gesammelte Aufstze [BZAW ;
Berlin/New York: Walter de Gruyter, ] ); and Gruber, in Hommage to Shmuel
. See also Gunkel, Schpfung und Chaos in Urzeit und Endzeit. Eine religionsgeschichtliche
Untersuchung ber Gen und Ap Joh (d ed.; Gttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht,
[]) (repr. and abr. as The Influence of Babylonian Mythology upon the Biblical
Creation Story, in Creation in the Old Testament [ed. Bernhard W. Anderson; IRT ;
Philadelphia/London: Fortress/SPCK, ] ); and, differently, Jack Miles, God: A
Biography (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, ) .
30 See Gro, Gen ,.; ,: Statue oder Ebenbild Gottes? Aufgabe und Wrde
des Menschen nach dem hebrischen und dem griechischen Wortlaut, JBTh ():
.
31 Moshe Greenberg, The Decalogue Tradition Critically Examined, in The Ten
Commandments in History and Tradition (ed. Ben-Zion Segal and Gershon Levi; Jerusalem:
Magnes, []) (repr. in Studies in the Bible and Jewish Thought [JPS Scholar
of Distinction Series; Philadelphia/Jerusalem: Jewish Publication Society, ]
); Sarna, Exodus (The JPS Torah Commentary; Philadelphia/New York: Jewish
Publication Society, ) (on Ex :); and, in less detail, Anderson, Human
Dominion over Nature, in Biblical Studies in Contemporary Thought (ed. Miriam Ward;
Somerville, Mass.: Greeno, Hadden, ) (repr. in From Creation to New Creation
). Note also the harmonizing interpretation of Bernd Janowski, Stellvertretung. Alttestamentliche Studien zu einem theologischen Grundbegriff (SBS ; Stuttgart: Katholisches Bibelwerk, ) .
32 Mettinger, ZAW (): (belastet). See also Gruber, in Hommage to Shmuel
. Cf. Mark S. Smith, The Origins of Biblical Monotheism: Israels Polytheistic Background and
the Ugaritic Texts (Oxford: Oxford University Press, ) .
33 E.g., Clines, TynB (): (= On the Way to the Postmodern .); and

lar significance in the change of prepositions (in our image, according to our likeness). In [Gen] . they are exchanged without any difference in meaning.34 It is in accordance with the sense to render
both prepositions in the same way. Both the nouns and the prepositions are interchangeable ; one verb covers both phrases, and
; we have not two but one expression.35 Whereas the language
of Gen : differentiates two types of divine-human relationship, most
scholars abandon a grammatical analysis as futile.36 Early attempts to
distinguish between and have been given up.37
Another grammatical problem engenders an irritating theological
issue. Elsewhere in the Hebrew Bible, God usually refers to himself
as a singular entity (e.g., I).38 But in Gen :, when God introduces
and speaks of himself, he uses the first person plural pronoun. Moreover, this unconventional pronoun is repeated three times within a span
of four Hebrew words. The aggregate is impressive. If the plural is
Erich Zenger, Gottes Bogen in den Wolken. Untersuchungen zu Komposition und Theologie der
priesterschriftlichen Urgeschichte (d ed.; SBS ; Stuttgart: Katholisches Bibelwerk, )
n. . See also Friedrich Schwally, Die biblischen Schpfungsberichte, ARw
(): n. .
34 Von Rad, Genesis . See also Humbert, tudes sur le rcit du paradis ; Johann
Jakob Stamm, Die Gottebenbildlichkeit des Menschen im Alten Testament (ThSt ; Zollikon:
Evangelischer Verlag, ) ; Barr, OTWSA (): ; Mettinger, ZAW ():
; Bird, HTR (): n. (= Missing Persons and Mistaken Identities n. );
F. J. Stendebach, 
 s. elem, in TDOT .; and Jenni, Die Prposition Beth (Die
hebrischen Prpositionen ; Stuttgart: W. Kohlhammer, ) .
35 Westermann, Genesis .. See also Loretz, Die Gottebenbildlichkeit des Menschen ;
Odil Hannes Steck, Der Schpfungsbericht der Priesterschrift. Studien zur literarkritischen und
berlieferungsgeschichten Problematik von Genesis ,,a (d ed.; FRLANT ; Gttingen:
Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, ) n. ; Andreas Angerstorfer, Hebrisch dmwt
und aramisch dmw(t). Ein Sprachproblem der Imago-Dei-Lehre, BN ():
with n. ; and Bird, Bone of My Bone and Flesh of My Flesh, ThTo ():
. Similarly, August Dillmann, Die Genesis (th ed.; KeHAT ; Leipzig: S. Hirzel,
) (= Genesis [trans. Wm. B. Stevenson; vols.; Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, ]
.); Gunkel, Genesis4 (= ET ); H. Wildberger, 
 s. elem image, in TLOT
.; and Ernst-Joachim Waschke, Untersuchungen zum Menschenbild der Urgeschichte. Ein
Beitrag zur alttestamentlichen Theologie (ThAr ; Berlin: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, )
.
36 Note M. Vervenne: [T]he Priestly redactors do not really care about grammar (The Blood is the Life and the Life is the Blood: Blood as Symbol of Life and
Death in Biblical Tradition [Gen. ,], in Ritual and Sacrifice in the Ancient Near East:
Proceedings of the International Conference [ed. J. Quaegebeur; OLA ; Louvain:
Peeters, ] ).
37 Westermann, Genesis ..
38 Cf. the source-critical judgement of Israel Knohl, The Sanctuary of Silence: The
Priestly Torah and the Holiness School (Minneapolis: Fortress, ) .

here, it is here deliberately.39 On occasion, the response to this grammatical detail is strictly grammatical. The point at issue is one of
grammar alone, without a direct bearing on the meaning.40 But the
history of interpretation shows this tack to be naive, narrow-minded,
and absurd.41 The plural form itself implies, if not virtually guarantees,
that the divine referent is not singular. Obviously, there do seem to be
other divine beings in Genesis , to whom God proposes the creation of
humanity.42 But for many, this inference is not obvious. [I]t is impossible that P should have understood the plural in this way, not only
because he was not familiar with the idea of a heavenly court, but also
because of his insistence on the uniqueness of Yahweh, besides whom
there could be no other heavenly being. Angels or any sort of intermediary beings are found nowhere in P.43 Gods self-identification therefore presents an interpretive conundrum. Since Gods self-referential
expressions are plural, they imply a nonsingular referent and simultaneously subvert Ps theological conviction in strict monotheism.44
.. A conundrum indeed. In the beginning, the story of human creation in Gen : is a sublime, interlocking, and well-nigh poetic
39 Clines, TynB (): (= On the Way to the Postmodern .). See also, inter alios,
Walther Zimmerli, Old Testament Theology in Outline (trans. David E. Green; Edinburgh:
T. & T. Clark, []) ; and, esp., P. J. Harland, The Value of Human Life: A Study
of the Story of the Flood (Genesis ) (VTS ; Leiden: E. J. Brill, ) .
40 E. A. Speiser, Genesis (AB ; Garden City, New York: Doubleday, ) . Cf.
Anderson, God, Names of, in IDB ..
41 See the references in ch. n. .
42 Jon D. Levenson, Creation and the Persistence of Evil: The Jewish Drama of Divine
Omnipotence (Mythos; Princeton: Princeton University Press, []) . See also
Gunkel, Schpfung und Chaos2 (= idem, in Creation in the Old Testament ); Driver,
Genesis12 ; and Sarna, Genesis . Cf. Wildberger, Das Abbild Gottes. Gen. , ,
TZ (): (repr. in Jahwe und sein Volk. Gesammelte Aufstze zum Alten Testament. Zu
seinem . Geburtstag am . Januar [ed. Hans Heinrich Schmid and Odil Hannes
Steck; TB ; Munich: Chr. Kaiser, ] ).
43 Westermann, Genesis .. See also Stamm, Die Gottebenbildlichkeit des Menschen
; idem, Zur Frage der Imago Dei im Alten Testament, in Humanitt und Glaube.
Gedenkschrift fr Kurt Guggisberg (ed. Ulrich Neuenschwander and Rudolf Dellsperger;
Bern/Stuttgart: Paul Haupt, ) ; Schmidt, Die Schpfungsgeschichte2 ; Gerhard F. Hasel, The Meaning of Let Us in Gn :, AUSS (): ; Vawter,
On Genesis ; Gro, Die Gottebenbildlichkeit des Menschen im Kontext der Priesterschrift, TQ (): with n. (= Studien zur Priesterschrift und Gottesbildern
with n. ); and idem, BN (): (= Studien zur Priesterschrift und Gottesbildern
). For compromise positions, see Humbert, tudes sur le rcit du paradis ; and Patrick
D. Miller, Jr., Genesis : Studies in Structure & Theme (JSOTS ; Sheffield: JSOT, )
. See also . with n. .
44 See Zenger, Gottes Bogen in den Wolken2 n. .

statement:45 it describes the nature of humanity, the nature of God, and


the relationship between them; describes Gods great, personal involvement in human creation; and describes the human race as similar to
God. In the end, the descriptions disintegrate into an opaque, contrary,
and vexing morass. Interpretive clarity seems beyond reach. Despite a
very great amount of exegetical energy, the exegetical operation in
this instance might be termed the blood-out-of-a-stone process.46 That
is, [t]he only conclusion one can confidently reach about this notoriously difficult statement is that no absolutely certain interpretation is
presently possible.47 The texts initial, poetic grandeur has deteriorated
into a gaggle of intransigent problems.
Rehabilitation is in order. The interpretive stakes are too high, and
the characterological issues too important, not to try to re-integrate
the different components of the text into a meaningful whole. This reintegration will proceed as did its disintegration; the texts interpretation will be reconstructed from its several problem-laden details. The
investigation will therefore advance incrementally. First, it will analyze
the non-Priestly cases in which God deploys the first person plural pronoun (), discuss their implications in biblical contexts narrow (.)
and wide (.), and apply the results to identify the probable referent
of Gods first person plural pronouns in Gen : (). Second, it will
describe the divine-human relationship through a study of the prepositions () and the nouns that register the relationship in Gen :
and related Priestly texts (). Third, it will discuss the character of the
Priestly tradition as it is represented in the cosmogony; it will focus on
the themes and theological concepts that distinguish this tradition from
its source-critical antecedents as well as define its unique agenda ().
Fourth and finally, it will return to Ps story of human creation, the
relationship among its several participants, and its significance for an
interpretation of the Priestly tradition as a coherent whole ( ).
.. Because this study seeks coherence, it presumes that an underlying coherence to the text exists and, through a variety of critical methSee, e.g., on v. , Cassuto, Genesis .; Ronald S. Hendel, The Text of Genesis :
Textual Studies and Critical Edition (New York/Oxford: Oxford University Press, ) ;
and Smith, The Origins of Biblical Monotheism .
46 Barr, The Image of God in the Book of GenesisA Study of Terminology,
BJRL (): . See also idem, OTWSA (): .
47 Curtis, Man as the Image of God in Genesis in the Light of Ancient Near
Eastern Parallels (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Pennsylvania, ) n. . See
also Sawyer, JTS (): , attributing the exegetical difficulty to P.
45

ods, can be recovered.48 This presumption finds substantial support. On


a small scale, Ps creation story is hailed as comprehensive in its intention and design. As von Rad has rightly emphasized,49 only what
is essential is here; nothing is accidental or included merely because it
stood in the received tradition.50 On a grand scale, the
Priestly tradition is the most distinctive and self-conscious tradition
among those in the so-called documentary hypothesis. It is the most
easily recognizable. It prefers its own vocubulary [sic] and style and
projects its own scheme for understanding world history and the history
of Israel.51

The presumed coherence of P seems justified.


It is problematic, however, to retroject linguistic or theological coherence to the underlying Priestly source. Whereas earlier scholars celebrated source criticism and its results with enthusiastic confidence, both
the exuberance and confidence are now somewhat muted.52 The independence and continuity of the Priestly source have been questioned,53
and, unlike the scholarly mood of two generations ago, it is necessary to re-argue source-critical parameters.54 The integrity and unity
of the Priestly source have also been challenged, and its different strands
isolated.55 As a result, the older, expansive lists of Priestly material56
48 Cf. Edward L. Greenstein, Presenting Genesis , Constructively and Deconstructively, Prooftexts (): , .
49 Von Rad, Genesis . See also Clines, TynB (): (= On the Way to the
Postmodern .).
50 Bird, HTR (): (= Missing Persons and Mistaken Identities ).
51 Brueggemann, The Kerygma of the Priestly Writers, in idem and Wolff, The
Vitality of Old Testament Traditions (d ed.; Atlanta: John Knox, ) (repr., with slight
changes, from ZAW []: ). See also Joseph Blenkinsopp, The Pentateuch: An
Introduction to the First Five Books of the Bible (London: SCM, ) ; and, critically, Rolf
Rendtorff, Directions in Pentateuchal Studies, CRBS (): .
52 See, e.g., Brevard S. Childs, Introduction to the Old Testament as Scripture (Philadelphia:
Fortress, ) ; and Rendtorff, CRBS (): , .
53 Frank Moore Cross, Canaanite Myth and Hebrew Epic: Essays in the History and Religion
of Israel (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, ) .
54 So William H. C. Propp, The Priestly Source Recovered Intact? VT ():
. See also the cautionary remarks of Childs, Introduction to the Old Testament as
Scripture .
55 See, e.g., Carr, Reading the Fractures of Genesis .
56 As, e.g., by Anderson, Analytical Outline of the Pentateuch, in Martin Noth, A
History of Pentateuchal Traditions (Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, )
; or Norbert Lohfink, Die Priesterschrift und die Geschichte, in Congress Volume:
Gttingen, (ed. J. A. Emerton et al.; VTS ; Leiden: E. J. Brill, ) n. (repr.
as The Priestly Narrative and History, in Theology of the Pentateuch: Themes of the Priestly

can become minimal and limited.57 The specific textual identity of the
Priestly document is not presently certain.58
This uncertainty, though, does not doom the documentary hypothesis altogether but requires modification of its basic results.59 One modification is hermeneutically restorative. There is a general tendency
to retain the labels of the Yahwist, the Elohist and the Priestly work
only as broad traditions rather than as individual literary sources.60
Within this context, most scholars agree that the Yahwist (J) and Elohist (E) traditions not only antedate P, but that P probably knew and
utilized a combined JE tradition.61 The other modification is separative. There is a growing consensus that the Priestly tradition is a composite of internally distinct layers:62 an earlier Priestly source (P), as in
Narrative and Deuteronomy [trans. Linda M. Maloney; Minneapolis: Fortress, ]
n. ).
57 See Knohl, The Sanctuary of Silence .
58 Frank Crsemann, The Torah: Theology and Social History of Old Testament Law (trans.
Allan W. Mahnke; Minneapolis: Fortress, []) .
59 See Lester L. Grabbe, The Book of Leviticus, CRBS (): . Cf. Gary
A. Rendsburg, Biblical Literature As Politics: The Case of Genesis, in Religion and
Politics in the Ancient Near East (ed. Adele Berlin; Studies and Texts in Jewish History and
Culture; Bethesda: University of Maryland Press, ) .
60 Dennis T. Olson, The Death of the Old and the Birth of the New: The Framework of the
Book of Numbers and the Pentateuch (BJS ; Chico, Calif.: Scholars Press, ) (despite
his own evaluation).
61 E.g., Lohfink, in Congress Volume: Gttingen, n. (= Theology of the Pentateuch
n. ); J. A. Emerton, The Priestly Writer in Genesis, JTS (): , ;
Richard Elliott Friedman, Torah (Pentateuch), in ABD .; and, in this context,
Johannes C. de Moor, The Duality in God and Man: Gen. : as Ps Interpretation of the Yahwistic Creation Account, in Intertextuality in Ugarit and Israel. Papers
Read at the Tenth Joint Meeting (ed. idem; OTS ; Leiden: E. J. Brill, )
with n. . See also Cross, Traditional Narrative and the Reconstruction of Early
Israelite Institutions, in idem, From Epic to Canon: History and Literature in Ancient Israel
(Baltimore/London: Johns Hopkins University Press, ) ; idem, The Priestly
Tabernacle and the Temple of Solomon, in ibid. ; Rendtorff, CRBS (): ; and
Barr, in Ebenbild GottesHerrscher ber die Welt . Cf. Blenkinsopp, P and J in Genesis ::: An Alternative Hypothesis, in Fortunate the Eyes That See: Essays in Honor of
David Noel Freedman in Celebration of His Seventieth Birthday (ed. Astrid B. Beck et al.; Grand
Rapids/Cambridge, U.K.: Eerdmans, ) , esp. ; Philip R. Davies, Making It:
Creation and Contradiction in Genesis, in The Bible in Human Society: Essays in Honour
of John Rogerson (ed. M. Daniel Carroll R., David J. A. Clines, and Philip R. Davies;
JSOTS ; [Sheffield:] Sheffield Academic Press, ) ; and Wenham, VT
(): .
62 For a recent review, see Mark S. Smith and Elizabeth M. Bloch-Smith, The Pilgrimage Pattern in Exodus (JSOTS ; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, ) .
For an earlier statement, see Morton Smith, Palestinian Parties and Politics That Shaped the
Old Testament (New York/London: Columbia University Press, ) , n. .

Gen :;63 and a later Holiness stratum (H), as in Lev .64 A subsequent, Priestly redactive hand (RP) can also be detected where Priestly
and non-Priestly texts meet, as in Gen :a.65 Priestly genealogies (PT)
may represent still another developmental level, although their status as
source or redaction is not yet resolved.66 The entire Priestly tradition,
then, is an accretion of three or four constituent parts.67
An underlying heterogeneity can nonetheless be theologically coherent. In case of Ezekiel, for example, Zimmerli and others have demonstrated that heirs of a particular tradition can be theologically consistent
with their antecedent.68 The same may be said of the components of
the Priestly pentateuchal tradition. True, it is likely that H constitutes
an independent entity within P.69 Yet H is also a product of Priestly
circles.70
Notwithstanding differences between them,71 H is closer to P than to any
other part of the Old Testament. The content, language and theology
overlap to a considerable degree [which] suggests that the editors
perceived no basic incompatibility with the Priestly perspective. There
63 Cf. Howard N. Wallace, The Toledot of Adam, in Studies in the Pentateuch (ed. J.
A. Emerton; VTS ; Leiden: E. J. Brill, ) (on Gen :).
64 So, prominently, Knohl, The Sanctuary of Silence; and Jacob Milgrom, Leviticus (
vols.; AB B; New York: Doubleday, ) ., .. Cf. Crsemann, The Torah n. ; and Kent Sparks, A Comparative Study of the Biblical
Laws, ZAW (): n. .
65 E.g., Brian Peckham, Writing and Editing, in Fortunate the Eyes That See ;
and Carr, Reading the Fractures of Genesis with n. , . See also Blenkinsopp, in Fortunate See . Cf. Scharbert, Der Sinn der Toledot-Formel in der Priesterschrift, in WortGebotGlaube. Beitrge zur Theologie des Alten Testaments. Walther Eichrodt
zum . Geburtstag (ed. Hans Joachim Stoebe, Johann Jakob Stamm, and Ernst Jenni;
ATANT ; Zurich: Zwingli, ) with n. . It has also been alleged that the
redactional bridge may even include the second half of v. (Julian Morgenstern, The
Sources of the Creation StoryGenesis ::, AJSL []: , ; and Levenson, Creation and Evil n. . Cf. Wenham, VT []: ).
66 For a representative sample, see Sean E. McEvenue, The Narrative Style of the Priestly
Writer (AnBib ; Rome: Biblical Institute Press, ) n. ; Propp, VT ():
n. ; and Carr, Revisited: A Synchronic Analysis of Patterns in
Genesis as Part of the Torah, ZAW (): .
67 See Milgrom, Studies in Levitical Terminology (University of California Publications
Near Eastern Studies ; Berkeley: University of California Press, ) ..
68 See Childs, Retrospective Reading of the Old Testament Prophets, ZAW
(): . Note also Moshe Weinfeld, Deuteronomy and the Deuteronomic School (Oxford: Oxford University Press, ) n. .
69 Avi Hurvitz, A Linguistic Study of the Relationship between the Priestly Source and the Book
of Ezekiel: A New Approach to an Old Problem (CRB ; Paris: J. Gabalda, ) .
70 Knohl, The Sanctuary of Silence . See also Crsemann, The Torah .
71 For details, see the references in n. .

is sufficient continuity and unity of outlook to continue calling this body


of diverse texts the Priestly Writing, and to make it the subject of a
theological treatment.72

Similarly, the texts of PT are essential to P, providing its most basic


structure in Genesis.73 More than a structural device, however, Priestly writers were particularly interested in genealogiesin establishing
the connection of the generations and in emphasizing the bonds uniting
all Israelites.74 Even Gen :, whose composite nature has been
studied by Hinschberger75 and Wallace,76 is thoroughly harmonic with
P.77
The reflections of the P creation account could not be clearer. Gen.
: links the overall creation of Adam/humanity in Gods likeness to
Adams more specific passing on of this image to his descendants, and
it links Gods blessing humanity with Adams more specific manifestation
of this blessing in having a long line of children.78

The several layers constitute kindred parts of, as well as feed, a theologically common, Priestly tradition.79

72 Philip Peter Jenson, Graded Holiness: A Key to the Priestly Conception of the World
(JSOTS ; Sheffield: JSOT Press, ) . See also Milgrom, Leviticus .; and
Crsemann, The Torah .
73 Terence E. Fretheim, The Pentateuch (IBT; Nashville: Abingdon, ) . See
also Klaus Koch, Die Toledot-Formeln als Strukturprinzip des Buches Genesis, in
Recht und Ethos im Alten TestamentGestalt und Wirkung. Festschrift fr Horst Seebass zum .
Geburtstag (ed. Stefan Beyerle, Gnter Mayer, and Hans Strau; Neukirchen-Vluyn:
Neukirchener Verlag, ) .
74 Baruch A. Levine, Leviticus (The JPS Torah Commentary; Philadelphia: Jewish
Publication Society, ) xxvii. See also Speiser, Genesis xxiv; Anderson, in Biblical
Studies in Contemporary Thought (= From Creation to New Creation ); and, on H,
J. Joosten, People and Land in the Holiness Code: An Exegetical Study of the Ideational Framework
of the Law in Leviticus (VTS ; Leiden: E. J. Brill, ) .
75 Rgine Hinschberger, Image et ressemblance dans la tradition sacerdotale Gn
,; ,; ,b, RScR (): .
76 Wallace, in Studies in the Pentateuch, esp. .
77 Cf. Scharbert, in Weisheit GottesWeisheit der Welt .; and, tangentially, Carr,
Reading the Fractures of Genesis n. .
78 Carr, Reading the Fractures of Genesis (italics original). See also Robert R. Wilson,
Genealogy and History in the Biblical World (YNER ; New Haven/London: Yale University Press, ) ; Robert B. Robinson, Literary Functions of the Genealogies of
Genesis, CBQ (): ; and, differently, Westermann, Genesis ..
79 See, in this context, Weinfeld, Deuteronomy (AB ; New York: Doubleday, )
; and Smith and Bloch-Smith, The Pilgrimage Pattern in Exodus .

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GOD AND THE GODS

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THE PLURAL PRONOUNS
With few exceptions, the Israelite deity is a grammatically singular
entity. In J, for example, singular pronounswhether independent or
affixedregularly substitute for nominal designations of God. Js God,
then, is almost invariably represented by first (e.g., Gen :, :), second (e.g., :, :), and third person singular pronouns (e.g., :,
:). But this grammatical feature is not limited to J. Many passages
indicate that each pentateuchal tradition does the same: e.g., : (E),
Ex : (P), Dt : (D), or Ex : =Dt :. Regardless of documentary source or grammatical person, God is a singular pronominal
entity in Biblical Hebrew.
In four passages, though, God apparently identifies himself as we.
One text falls outside of the Pentateuch and is embedded in Isaiahs
prophetic commission.
Then I heard the voice of my Lord saying, Whom shall I send?
Who will go for us? And I said, Me. Send me. (Is :)

The other three are clustered in the primaeval history, Gen .


Then God said, Let us make humankind in
our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over
the fish of the sea, and over the birds of heaven, and over the beasts,
and over the whole earth, and over everything that moves on the earth.
(Gen : [P])
Then the Lord God said, Since the man has become like one of
us, knowing good and evil, no way then should he stretch out his hand,
take from the tree of life as well, and eat and live forever! (Gen :
[J])
The Lord came down to see the city and tower that the human beings
had built. The Lord said, Since they are one people, and they all have
one language, and this is only the beginning, nothing then that they
consider doing will be out of their reach. Lets let us go down
and confound their language there, so that they shall not understand one
anothers speech. (Gen : [J])

The divine we is attested in three different biblical traditions.

.. In Gen :, however, the pronoun has produced a collision


between grammar and interpretation,1 for the plural pronoun soils
Ps pure orthodox belief in a single Israelite God (see .). One resolution has historical depth (see b. Meg. a). Genesis : has
proved an embarrassment to exegetes ever since the time of the Jewish scholars who were said to have produced for King Ptolemy the
corrected version let me.2 Moderns can achieve the same result
through interpretive sleight of hand. The plural pronoun may have one
of several semantic diagnoses: e.g., the plural of solidarity (fullness),3
self-deliberation,4 or self-exhortation.5 Or in Gen : at least, it may
1 For surveys, see S. R. Driver, The Book of Genesis (th ed.; WC; London: Methuen,
) ; D. J. A. Clines, The Image of God in Man, TynB (): (repr. as
Humanity as the Image of God, in On the Way to the Postmodern: Old Testament Essays,
[ vols.; JSOTS ; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, ] .
); and Claus Westermann, Genesis (trans. John J. Scullion; vols.; Minneapolis:
Augsburg, []) ..
2 Clines, TynB (): (= On the Way to the Postmodern .).
3 August Dillmann, Die Genesis (th ed.; KeHAT ; Leipzig: S. Hirzel, ) (=
Genesis [trans. Wm. B. Stevenson; vols.; Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, ] .); and
Gerhard F. Hasel, The Meaning of Let Us in Gn :, AUSS (): . In this
context, see also Wilhelm Caspari, Imago divina Gen I, in Reinhold-Seeberg-Festschrift
(ed. Wilhelm Koepp; vols.; Leipzig: A. Deichert/Werner Scholl, ) .; and
Odil Hannes Steck, Der Schpfungsbericht der Priesterschrift. Studien zur literarkritischen und
berlieferungsgeschichten Problematik von Genesis ,,a (d ed.; FRLANT ; Gttingen:
Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, ) .
4 Friedrich Horst, Face to Face: The Biblical Doctrine of the Image of God, Int
(): n. (repr. as Der Mensch als Ebenbild Gottes, in Gottes Recht. Gesammelte
Studien zum Recht im Alten Testament [ed. Hans Walter Wolff; TB ; Munich: Chr.
Kaiser, ] n. ); Westermann, Genesis .; Bruce Vawter, On Genesis: A New
Reading (Garden City, New York: Doubleday, ) ; Phyllis Trible, God and the Rhetoric
of Sexuality (London: SCM, []) ; Dale Patrick, The Rendering of God in the
Old Testament (OBT; Philadelphia: Fortress, ) with ; and P. J. Harland,
The Value of Human Life: A Study of the Story of the Flood (Genesis ) (VTS ; Leiden:
E. J. Brill, ) . For a correlative interpretation, see Menahem Kister, Let Us
Make a ManObservations on the Dynamics of Monotheism, in Issues in Talmudic
Research: Conference Commemorating the Fifth Anniversary of the Passing of Ephraim E. Urbach,
December (Publications of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Section
of Humanities; Jerusalem: Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, ) (in
Hebrew).
5 U. Cassuto, A Commentary on the Book of Genesis (trans. Israel Abrahams; pts.;
Jerusalem: Magnes, []) .; and, perhaps, Werner H.
Schmidt, Die Schpfungsgeschichte der Priesterschrift. Zur berlieferungsgeschichte von Genesis ,
,a und ,b-, (d ed.; WMANT ; Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, )
with n. . See also William P. Brown, Structure, Role, and Ideology in the Hebrew and
Greek Texts of Genesis :: (SBLDS ; Atlanta: Scholars Press, ) (on the Greek
version); and Manfred Weippert, Tier und Mensch in einer menschenarmen Welt.
Zum sog. dominium terrae in Genesis , in Ebenbild GottesHerrscher ber die Welt. Studien

allegedly serve a pragmatic function of distancing an otherwise direct


comparison between humanity and God.6 In any case, according to
this view, the plural form refers to a singular entity, God himself.7
The plural of majesty (pluralis maiestatis) is another variation of the
same interpretive theme.8 It also has an advantage over the other
readings of the plural pronoun. Whereas those earlier readings are not
otherwise found in Biblical Hebrew, the plural of majesty might be.9
It can possibly explain the singular referent of forms like God,
the Holy One (Hos :; Prv :, :),10 and especially
lord, master; Lord (e.g., in the Lord of lords [Dt :;
Ps :]). Apart from nouns, though, there are no certain attestations
zu Wrde und Auftrag des Menschen (ed. Hans-Peter Mathys; Biblisch-Theologische Studien ; Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, ) .
6 Paul Humbert, Trois notes sur Gense I, in Interpretationes ad Vetus Testamentum
pertinentes Sigmundo Mowinckel septuagenario missae (Oslo: Land og kirke, ) (repr.
in Opuscules dun hbrasant [MUN ; Neuchtel: Universit de Neuchtel, ] );
Walther Eichrodt, Theology of the Old Testament (trans. J. A. Baker; vols.; OTL; Philadelphia: Westminster, []) .; and Phyllis A. Bird, Male and
Female He Created Them: Gen :b in the Context of the Priestly Account of Creation, HTR (): n. (repr. in Missing Persons and Mistaken Identities: Women
and Gender in Ancient Israel [OBT; Minneapolis: Fortress, ] n. ). This distancing
strategy has been found elsewhere in the verse, too (see Ludwig Koehler, Die Grundstelle der Imago-Dei-Lehre, Genesis , , TZ []: [repr. in Der Mensch als Bild
Gottes (ed. Leo Scheffczyk; WdF ; Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft,
) ]; Gerhard von Rad, Genesis [trans. John H. Marks; rev. ed.; OTL; Philadelphia:
Westminster, ] ; Howard Eilberg-Schwartz, Gods Phallus and Other Problems for
Men and Monotheism [Boston: Beacon, ] ; Christoph Dohmen, Vom Gottesbild
zum Menschenbild. Aspekte der innerbiblischen Dynamik des Bilderverbotes, LebZeug
[]: ; and Walter Gro, Gen ,.; ,: Statue oder Ebenbild Gottes? Aufgabe und Wrde des Menschen nach dem hebrischen und dem griechischen Wortlaut, JBTh []: n. . Cf., esp., Clines, TynB []: [= On the Way to the
Postmodern .]; and Schmidt, Die Schpfungsgeschichte2 n. ).
7 Note, however, Tryggve N. D. Mettinger, Abbild oder Urbild? Imago Dei in
traditionsgeschichtlicher Sicht, ZAW (): .
8 See Yair Zoran, The Language of GreatnessThe Majestic Plural, BetM
(): (in Hebrew). See also Driver, Genesis12 .
9 Paul Joon, A Grammar of Biblical Hebrew (trans. and rev. T. Muraoka; vols.;
SubBi /III; Rome: Pontificio Istituto Biblico, ) d-e; Carl Brockelmann,
Hebrische Syntax (Neukirchen Kreis Moers: Buchhandlung des Erziehungsvereins, )
c; and Bruce K. Waltke and M. OConnor, An Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Syntax
(Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns, ) ... See also GKC g-i; and, differently,
Aaron Ember, The Pluralis Intensivus in Hebrew, AJSL (): .
10 H. Louis Ginsberg, The Israelian Heritage of Judaism (Texts and Studies of the Jewish
Theological Seminary of America ; New York: Jewish Theological Seminary of
America, ) . Cf. S. David Sperling, The Original Torah: The Political Intent of the
Bibles Writers (New York/London: New York University Press, ) (on Jos :).

of the majestic plural in pronouns.11 [T]he royal we was not part of


the vocabulary of kings or individual gods in the ancient Near East.12
It is also likely, in fact, that the plural of majesty is itself not a discrete
grammatical category but part of another, larger semantic class (see
..). It is improbable, then, that the plural pronouns in Gen :
should be interpreted as a plural of majesty.
Yet most commentators reject the idea that the plural pronouns
in Gen : refer to a singular entity. Instead, they accept the literal reading of the pronouns and judge the referent to be nonsingular. For some, the referent is dual; the pronouns may recall a divine
couple13 or allude to a binary sexual distinction within the godhead.14
For the majority, the referent is a true plural. [T]here do seem to
be other divine beings in Genesis , to whom God proposes the creation of humanity (see .). Let us create man should therefore
be regarded as a divine announcement to the heavenly court, drawing
the angelic hosts attention to the master stroke of creation, man.15
11 Victor Maag, Alttestamentliche Anthropogonie in ihrem Verhltnis zur altorientalischen Mythologie, AsSt (): (repr. in Kultur, Kulturkontakt und Religion.
Gesammelte Studien zur allgemeinen und alttestamentlichen Religionsgeschichte. Zum . Geburtstag
[ed. Hans Heinrich Schmid and Odil Hannes Steck; Gttingen/Zurich: Vandenhoeck
& Ruprecht, ] ); Clines, TynB (): (= On the Way to the Postmodern
.); and Hasel, AUSS (): . Cf. Norman Walker, Do Plural Nouns
of Majesty Exist in Hebrew? VT (): .
12 Jon D. Levenson, Creation and the Persistence of Evil: The Jewish Drama of Divine
Omnipotence (Mythos; Princeton: Princeton University Press, []) n. . See
also GKC n. ; Josef Scharbert, Der Mensch als Ebenbild Gottes in der neueren
Auslegung von Gen ,, in Weisheit GottesWeisheit der Welt. Festschrift fr Joseph Kardinal
Ratzinger zum . Geburtstag (ed. Walter Baier et al.; vols.; St. Ottilien: EOS, )
.; and Weippert, in Ebenbild GottesHerrscher ber die Welt .
13 P. A. H. de Boer, Fatherhood and Motherhood in Israelite and Judean Piety (Leiden: E.
J. Brill, ) .
14 Johannes C. de Moor, The Duality in God and Man: Gen. : as Ps
Interpretation of the Yahwistic Creation Account, in Intertextuality in Ugarit and Israel.
Papers Read at the Tenth Joint Meeting (ed. idem; OTS ; Leiden: E. J. Brill, )
. See also Eilberg-Schwartz, Gods Phallus .
15 Gordon J. Wenham, Genesis ( vols.; WBC ; Waco/Dallas: Word, )
.. In the same vein, note, inter alios, Oswald Loretz, Die Gottebenbildlichkeit des Menschen
(Schriften des Deutschen Instituts fr wissenschaftliche Pdagogik; Munich: Ksel,
) ; Patrick D. Miller, Jr., Genesis : Studies in Structure & Theme (JSOTS ;
Sheffield: JSOT, ) ; and Michael Fishbane, Text and Texture: Close Readings
of Selected Biblical Texts (New York: Schocken, ) . See also Hans Wildberger,
Das Abbild Gottes. Gen. , , TZ (): (repr. in Jahwe und sein Volk.
Gesammelte Aufstze zum Alten Testament. Zu seinem . Geburtstag am . Januar [ed. Hans
Heinrich Schmid and Odil Hannes Steck; TB ; Munich: Chr. Kaiser, ] );
Wildberger, 
 s. elem image, in TLOT .; Harry M. Orlinsky, ed., Notes on the

Despite the theological turmoil that it entails, this latter opinion remains the consensus.16
.. This opinion is also correct. But it has not advanced beyond educated opinion or speculation. Absent decisive evidence, corroboration,
and theological rationale, the consensus position has yet to instill confidence. Nonetheless, there is evidence that provides a credible basis for
interpreting the divine plurals of Gen : as references to Gods attendant beings. This evidence is linguistic in nature. It is a phenomenon
that appears in J, one of the sources of P and the Priestly tradition. Further, this linguistic phenomenon intersects with one instance of Gods
plural we (Gen :). The phenomenon is Js expression 
 .

New Translation of the Torah (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society of America, )


; Frank Moore Cross, Canaanite Myth and Hebrew Epic: Essays in the History and Religion of
Israel (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, ) n. ; Otto Kaiser, Der
Mensch, Gottes Ebenbild und Staathalter auf Erden, NZST (): (repr.
in Gottes und der Menschen Weisheit. Gesammelte Aufstze [BZAW ; Berlin/New York:
Walter de Gruyter, ] ); and Johnson T. K. Lim, Grace in the Midst of Judgment:
Grappling with Genesis (BZAW ; Berlin/New York: Walter de Gruyter, ) .
16 Mark S. Smith, The Origins of Biblical Monotheism: Israels Polytheistic Background and the
Ugaritic Texts (Oxford: Oxford University Press, ) ; and Gunnlaugur A. Jnsson,
The Image of God: Genesis : in a Century of Old Testament Research (rev. Michael
S. Cheney; trans. Lorraine Svendsen; CBOT ; Lund: Almqvist & Wiksell, )
. See also Terence E. Fretheim, Creator, Creature, and Co-Creation in Genesis
, in All Things New: Essays in Honor of Roy A. Harrisville (ed. Arland J. Hultgren, Donald
H. Juel, and Jack D. Kingsbury; Word & World Supplement Series ; St. Paul: Luther
Northwestern Theological Seminary, ) with n. . Cf. Willem A. M. Beuken,
The Human Person in the Vision of Genesis : A Synthesis of Contemporary
Insights, LouvSt (): .

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is an uncommon synonym of give in Biblical Hebrew (see,


especially, Jdg :) and, apart from the Yahwist tradition, is used only
in its literal meaning. In J, however, the verb has literal as well as
nonliteral meaning.1 Only J employs as an interjectional, pragmatic
particle.

.. Isolating Nonliteral
The imperative of is morphologically regular but phonologically
irregular. Like all imperatives, it is inflected for gender and number.
Like all inflected imperatives, the form participates in a sound change
that shifts the accent onto the ultima when that final syllable ends in a
monomorphemic, long-vocalic affix.2
He said, ! Present the wrap that you are wearing. (Ru :a)
Joseph said, e Give (me) your livestock, and I will give [the food] to
you in exchange for your livestock. (Gen :a [J])

But other verbs lose their penultimate vowel consequent to the accent
shift, as in K take! > !O take! ( Kgs :; Is :, :) and eO
take! does not. As Ru : and Gen : indicate, the verbs
penultimate, thematic vowel is retained and lengthened instead.3 More1 See Hermann Gunkel, Genesis (th ed.; HKAT I/; Gttingen: Vandenhoeck &
Ruprecht, []) (= Genesis [trans. Mark E. Biddle; Mercer Library of Biblical
Studies; Macon: Mercer University Press, ] ).
2 For this change, see A. Ungnad, Zum hebrischen Verbalsystem, BASS /
(): ; Chr. Sarauw, ber Akzent und Silbenbildung in den lteren semitischen Sprachen (Det
Kgl. Danske Videnskabernes Selskab, Historisk-filologiske Meddelelser /; Copenhagen: Ejnar Munksgaard, ) ; and J. Blau, Notes on Changes in Accent
in Early Hebrew, in Hayyim (Jefim) Schirmann Jubilee Volume (ed. Shraga Abramson
and Aaron Mirsky; Jerusalem: Schocken Institute for Jewish Research, )
(in Hebrew) (repr. in Studies in Hebrew Linguistics [Jerusalem: Magnes, ] [in
Hebrew]).
3 Sarauw, ber Akzent und Silbenbildung n. (continued from ); and E. J. Revell,
Stress Position in Hebrew Verb Forms with Vocalic Affix, JSS (): . See also
GKC o; and GKB c.

over, the long imperative of may be different still.


Jacob said to Laban,  Give me my wife. (Gen :a [J])
Saul said to the Lord God of Israel,
:a [emended after LXX])



Present Thummim! ( Sam

The difference may not yet arise in J, whose literal is phonologically identical to that of its other inflected imperatives.4 But after the
time of J, literal does not participate in the contextual accent shift;5
its accent clings to the penult.6 The inflected imperatives of are
phonologically exceptional in their vocalism and, on occasion, their
accent.
Js has two interpretations. In Gen :, where the form participates in the accent shift, it has a literal interpretation. Elsewhere, it
does not.7
They said to one another, Lets let us make bricks and burn them
well. They had brick for stone,
& and they had bitumen for mortar.
(Gen :)
Then they said, Lets let us build ourselves a city and a tower with
its top in heaven, and let us make ourselves a name, or else we will be
scattered over the surface of the whole earth. (Gen :)
When Judah saw her, he considered her a prostitute because she had
covered her face. He turned to her at the road and said, Lets,
please, I come to you, because he did not know that she was his
daughter-in-law. She then said, What will you give me for coming to
me? (Gen :)
4 Cf. Hans Bauer and Pontus Leander, Historische Grammatik der hebrischen Sprache des
Alten Testamentes (Halle a. S.: Max Niemeyer, ) f; and Paul Joon, A Grammar of
Biblical Hebrew (trans. and rev. T. Muraoka; vols.; SubBi /III; Rome: Pontificio
Istituto Biblico, ) , though the alleged phonological condition is special,
circumscribed, and implemented only irregularly.
5 For a typological parallel, see Paul J. Hopper and Elizabeth Closs Traugott, Grammaticalization (Cambridge Textbooks in Linguistics; Cambridge: Cambridge University
Press, ) .
6 Heinrich Ewald, Ausfhrliches Lehrbuch der hebrischen Sprache des Alten Bundes (th ed.;
Gttingen: Dieterich, ) a. See also Justus Olshausen, Lehrbuch der hebrischen
Sprache (Braunschweig: Friedrich Vieweg und Sohn, ) a; and Friedrich Eduard
Knig, Historisch-kritisches Lehrgebude der hebrischen Sprache ( pts.; Leipzig: J. C. Hinrichs,
) .b.
7 Yeshayahu Teshima, Come, Let Us Deal Shrewdly with Them, or They Will
Increase: Rashis Linguistic Evaluation of the Functions of and the Hithpael Stem,
BetM (): (in Hebrew); and, tangentially, Johannes F. Diehl, Steh auf,
setz dich und iImperative zwischen Begriffswort und Interjektion, in KUSATU
(): .

He said to his people, Look, the Israelite people are more numerous
and robust than us. Lets let us deal wisely with them, or else they
will increase and, in the event of war, they too will join our foes, fight
against us, and go up from the land. (Ex :)

Nonliteral is linguistically distinct from its literal counterpart.


Whereas literal governs an object, its nonliteral twin does not; the
latter always combines asyndetically with a finite verb form (see .).8
Its syntax also suggests that nonliteral is semantically weak.9 For
when it heads another, finite verb form, the two verbs together comprise a single discourse entity: they are coreferential, referring to one
and the same situation that, each time, is expressed by the second,
appositive active verb.10 Another distinctive feature of nonliteral
is its fossilized form. When its addressee is feminine and singular, the
form is not marked for these grammatical categories (Gen :); when
its addressee is masculine plural, it does not appear in the masculine
plural form (e.g., Gen :.; Ex :).11 In contrast to give!, nonliteral is characterized by a distinct set of phonological, semantic,
syntactic, discourse, and morphological features.
Yet another distinctive feature surfaces when nonliteral is compared with and .12 All three forms share a common morphology (the long imperative form), and they are said to share a common
pragmatic function (e.g., interjection).13 But nonliteral is also different from the other two converbs.14
Cf. Diehl, in KUSATU (): n. .
See GKC g-h, in conjunction with Hopper and Traugott, Grammaticalization
.
10 See Francis I. Andersen, The Sentence in Biblical Hebrew (Janua Linguarum, Series
Practica ; The Hague: Mouton, ) ; and F. W. Dobbs-Allsopp, Ingressive qwm
in Biblical Hebrew, ZAH (): . See also Roni Henkin, Come Well Go!
and Lets See!Imperatives in Indirect Commands, in Semitic and Cushitic Studies (ed.
Gideon Goldenberg and Shlomo Raz; Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, ) , .
11 GKC n. ; Mayer Lambert, Trait de grammaire hbraque (; repr., Hildesheim:
H. A. Gerstenberg, ) ; and Joon and Muraoka, A Grammar of Biblical Hebrew
e. See also Kimhi, (ed. Biesenthal and Lebrecht) a.
12 For the comparison, see, e.g., Yizhaq Mann, On the Use of Verbs of Exhortation, Les (): (in Hebrew); and Bruce K. Waltke and M. OConnor, An
Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Syntax (Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns, ) ..a. See
also GKC b; Irene Lande, Formelhafte Wendungen der Umgangssprache im Alten Testament (Leiden: E. J. Brill, ) ; and Wolfgang Schneider, Grammatik des biblischen
Hebrisch. Ein Lehrbuch (th ed.; Munich: Claudius, []) ...
13 W. J. Martin, Some Notes on the Imperative in the Semitic Languages, in Scritti
in onore di Giuseppe Furlani (RSO ; Rome: Giovani Bardi, ) .
14 For the linguistic category, see Balthasar Bickel, Converbs in Cross-Linguistic
8


Come, let us make our father drink wine, and let us
lie with him so that we keep the lineage alive through our father.
(Gen : [J])
So come, please, curse this people for me. (Num :aa [J]; see
also v. b)
Israel said to Joseph, Your brothers are pasturing at Shechem, no?
Come, I will send you to them. (Gen :a [J])

When the ark went out, Moses would say, Up, O Lord. May
your enemies be scattered and may your foes flee from before
you. (Num : [J]); see also
Jacob said to his father, I am Esau, your firstborn. I have done as you
told me. Now, please, sit and eat some of my game,
so that you may bless me. (Gen : [J])
Early in the morning, at the break of dawn, Samuel called to Saul on the
roof, Up! I want to send you off. ( Sam :a)

One difference is syntactic. Whereas nonliteral is restricted to


asyndetic combination, and are not. Another difference lies
in discourse genre.
His mother said to him, Your curse be on me, my son. Just obey me
and go get them for me. So he got them and brought
them to his mother. (Gen :a [J])
Eli said to Samuel, Go lie down. If he calls to you, you should
say, Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening. So
Samuel went and lay down in his place. ( Sam :)
Then the servant took ten of his lords camels and departed.
He up and went to Aram-naharaim, to the city of Nahor. (Gen :;
see also : [J])
So they made their father drink wine that night too; then the
younger up and lay with him. (Gen :a-b [J])

Nonliteral is restricted to direct speech; its execution is not reported in the ensuing narrative.15 Nonliteral functions as a purely interactional, pragmatic particle.16 It is dialect-specific, syntactically circumscribed, morphologically frozen, and nonreferential.

Perspective, LT (): .
15 Cf. Diehl, in KUSATU (): n. (on ).
16 Jill Snyder, *yhb in the Bible from a Grammaticization Perspective (masters
thesis, University of California, Santa Barbara, ) .

.. Interpretations of Nonliteral
Scholars have suggested a number of interpretations to explain the
function of nonliteral . Many, for example, rely on a formal cue.
Inasmuch as is derived from, and formally identical to, the long
imperative,17 the word is often explained as a directive.18 It may express
wish,19 advice,20 or permission.21 It may express invitation22 or encouragement.23 Or it may be a hortative particle.24 The force of nonliteral
may therefore be weak, mild, or strong.
Another interpretation begins with a formal association. In this case,
though, the association is a morphological comparison between
and the cohortative. Since these two forms also share the identical
ending,25 their common morphology may imply a common semantic component. Like the cohortative,26 is said to express desiderative meaning and register intent.27 Thereafter, though, the specifics of
this intentive particle are elusive. may serve an introductory func17 Ewald, Ausfhrliches Lehrbuch der hebrischen Sprache8 a; and Mann, Le
s ():
. See also B. Jacob, Das erste Buch der Tora. Genesis (Berlin: Schocken, ) .
18 For the imperative as the unmarked directive, see F. R. Palmer, Mood and Modality
(Cambridge Textbooks in Linguistics; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, )
. For various interpretations of the directive, see Geoffrey N. Leech, Principles of Pragmatics (Longman Linguistics Library ; London/New York: Longman, ) .
19 Knig, Historisch-kritisches Lehrgebude der hebrischen Sprache / g.
20 Sifre Deuteronomy (ed. Finkelstein) (on Dt :; citing Sam :). See also
Kimhi, a.
21 See Henkin, in Semitic and Cushitic Studies (on modern Hebrew ).
22 Rashi, on Gen : and Ex :. See also Teshima, BetM (): .
23 Mann, Le
s (): .
24 Waltke and OConnor, Biblical Hebrew Syntax ..c.
25 Franz Delitzsch, Neuer Commentar ber die Genesis (Leipzig: Drffling und Franke,
) (= A New Commentary on Genesis [trans. Sophia Taylor; vols.; ; repr.,
Minneapolis: Klock & Klock, ] .). For the alignment of  - in the cohortative
and long imperative, see Olshausen, Lehrbuch der hebrischen Sprache c; GKB f;
Harris Birkeland, Akzent und Vokalismus im Althebrischen (Skrifter utgitt av Det Norske
Videnskaps-Akademi i Oslo, II. Hist.-filos. Klasse, , no. ; Oslo: Jacob Dybwad,
) ; Blau, A Grammar of Biblical Hebrew (d ed.; PLO ; Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz,
) .; and Steven E. Fassberg, Studies in Biblical Syntax (Jerusalem: Magnes, )
(in Hebrew).
26 For the desiderative nature of the cohortative, see GKB a; Rudolf Meyer,
Hebrische Grammatik (Berlin/New York: Walter de Gruyter, []) .;
and Waltke and OConnor, Biblical Hebrew Syntax .b.
27 Joseph Derenbourg and Hartwig Derenbourg, Opuscules et traits dAbou l-Walid
Merwan ibn Djanah de Cordoue (Paris: Imprimerie Nationale, ) ; and Nahum
M. Sarna, Genesis (The JPS Torah Commentary; Philadelphia: Jewish Publication
Society, ) .

tion, preparing the addressee for the event expressed by the appositive
verb (e.g., Gen :).28 Or its function may be less referential, more
interactional, and affective (e.g., :).29 And if affective, may
reflect polite speech or its oppositeperemptory and crudely material
requests.30 Regardless of its specific value, though, these interpretations fundamentally agree that nonliteral is willful, manipulative,
and goal-oriented. is a suasive particle.
A final interpretation concedes this pragmatic point yet focuses on
the degree of speaker participation in the desired event.31 According
to this understanding, may imply the speakers involvement in a
future event (e.g., Ex :).32 To this extent, may also serve an affiliative function. It would reflect, promote, or establish solidarity between
speaker and addressee in an interactive conversational context.33
.. and Gen :
For the most part, nonliteral clauses are structurally consistent
(.). always heads its clause and is followed asyndetically by a
verb that expresses the clauses principal argument. Yet the form of
the main verb may vary. In Gen :. and Ex :, it is an explicitly cohortative plural verb form. In Gen : too, are commonly
interpreted as plural cohortatives;34 their final weak root structure virtually precludes a distinct cohortative form.35 Gen :, however, seems
to be different.
28 In addition to the classical references in nn. and , see Jacob, The Second
Book of the Bible: Exodus (trans. Walter Jacob and Yaakov Elman; Hoboken, New Jersey:
Ktav, []) ; and Claus Westermann, Genesis (trans. John J. Scullion; vols.;
Minneapolis: Augsburg, []) ..
29 See John Lyons, Semantics ( vols.; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,
[]) ., in conjunction with Thomas Holtgraves, Language Structure in
Social Interaction: Perceptions of Direct and Indirect Speech Acts and Interactants
Who Use Them, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (): . Mann,
however, contests this interpretation of Gen : (Les []: n. ).
30 Robert Alter, The Art of Biblical Narrative (New York: Basic Books, ) . Snyder,
however, does not find these two interpretations incompatible (*yhb in the Bible, ,
).
31 Snyder, *yhb in the Bible, .
32 Fassberg, Studies in Biblical Syntax .
33 Derenbourg and Derenbourg, Opuscules et traits dibn Djanah .
34 Delitzsch, Neuer Commentar ber die Genesis (= ET .); and Waltke and
OConnor, Biblical Hebrew Syntax n. .
35 GKB f. See also GKC l; and Joon and Muraoka, A Grammar of Biblical
Hebrew o.

He said, Lets, please, I come to you.

The principal verb of this clause is not plural; it is a first person


singular form. Also, the morphological status of this singular verb seems
uncertain; as in final weak roots, cohortative and imperfect forms are
frequently indistinguishable in final aleph roots.36 Of the five attestations
of nonliteral clauses, then, Gen : deviates from the norm.
... It is possible to specify the morphological category of in
Gen :. clauses are structurally bipartite and consist of two
related verb forms: , which originated as a long imperative (.);
and, usually, a following cohortative verb. In semantic terms, each verb
in a clause is usually volitional (desiderative). Moreover, the two
verbs usually exhibit modal congruence; viz., the constituents of combined desiderative clauses tend to contain verb forms that are grammatically identical or semantically related.37 When the imperative is
followed by a verb in the imperfect, the first person (singular and plural) will be cohortative in form, the second and third persons will be
jussive (e.g., Ex :; see also Gen :, : [J]).38 The combination
of desiderative clauses is not only semantically harmonic, but its constituent verbs may be morphologically harmonic as well.
The principle of modal congruence confirms the peculiar nature of
Gen :. For with the exception of Gen :, every nonliteral
clause abides by this combinatory expectation. A comparison between
Gen : and : also belies the notion that the morphological
interpretation of the final aleph verb is uncertain.39
Jacob said to Laban, Give me my wife for my time is up, so
that I may come to her. (Gen : [J])

Since the complementary clause has a marked cohortative (), and


the principal clause has a long imperative (), the two desiderative
clauses overtly participate in modal congruence. In a text whose structure is almost identical to that of Gen :, J uses the cohortative form
of the final aleph verb come. Another J text also deploys the long
imperative of this root ( bring [:; see also v. ]). Clearly, Js
36

n. .

For a discussion, see Joon and Muraoka, A Grammar of Biblical Hebrew b

37 Harry M. Orlinsky, On the Cohortative and Jussive After an Imperative or


Interjection in Biblical Hebrew, JQR (): , .
38 Idem, On the Commonly Proposed l
ek wenaabo r of I Kings , JBL
(): . Cf. Joon and Muraoka, A Grammar of Biblical Hebrew a n. .
39 See above with n. .

language includes morphologically explicit cohortatives and morphologically explicit long imperatives of final aleph roots. In contrast,
in Gen : is nothing other than its obvious grammatical form: the
imperfect.40
... In addition to its form, another feature distinguishes Gen :
from other nonliteral clauses. Its following constituent is not verbal.
It is the clitic .
The syntax of is not problematic. is always placed after the
expression to which it belongs41 and often coincides with postpositive
position. In fact, regularly displaces the constituent that would otherwise follow its head (compare Gen :a and :a, or Num :a and
Gen :, :a, :a [J]). Syntactically, postpositive is not unusual
in Gen :.
But this clitic may have grammatical and/or semantic repercussions.
For when is inserted between two verb forms that would otherwise
participate in modal congruence, the combined verbs do not necessarily appear in their expected forms.
The Lord said to Abram , Up! Walk about the land, its
length and its breadth, for I shall give it to you. (Gen : [J])
Now, O God,
(Ps :; cf. :)

judge the earth, for you own all the nations.

Jacob said to his father, I am Esau, your firstborn. I have done as you
told me. Now, please, sit and eat some of my game, so
that you may bless me. (Gen : [J])

In Gen : and Ps :, the collocated imperatives are formally and


modally identical: regular (short) and long imperatives, respectively.
But in Gen :, modal congruence is upset; when is introduced,
the initial verb is not replaced by the long imperative but remains
short. The principle of modal congruence is also violated in Gen :,
albeit in a different direction, where clause-initial is followed by an
imperfect rather than a cohortative. In both Gen : and :, then,
is associated with the violation of combinatory norms. When is
attached to the initial converb of a modal sequence, the short verb form
of either constituent may be selected over its usual, long derivative.

Cf. Orlinsky, JQR (): .


GKC b. See also Joon and Muraoka, A Grammar of Biblical Hebrew c. Cf.
Waltke and OConnor, Biblical Hebrew Syntax n. .
40

41

... Despite some structural variation in nonliteral clauses, the


interpretation of the lead particle is relatively consistent. expresses
speaker desire. This meaning is attributable to its inherently desiderative imperative morphology.42 It is also attributable to its ending, which
is shared with the long imperative as well as cohortative. , then,
is doubly desiderative. Nonliteral usually, and correctly, combines
with an appositive cohortative and participates in the modal congruence associated with combined clauses. By nature and combinatory
pattern, expresses speaker desire.
A semantic interpretation alone, however, does not fully account for
this particle. Though is desiderative, its specific function in context
is not obvious. It would seem, in fact, that a simple cohortative sufficiently expresses desiderative meaning without an introductory
not only in non-J texts (e.g., Dt :a; Sam :b; Is :) but also
in the J tradition (e.g., Gen :a; Ex :; Num :). From a semantic perspective, nonliteral is superfluous to the desiderative utterance.
A clue to interpreting lies in Gen :, where the one pragmatic term is followed by another, . For as the following minimal
pairs suggest, favors certain conversational contexts.43
But you should place upon them the same quota of bricks that they
have been making all along; you mustnt diminish it. For they are
slackers. Therefore they cry, Let us go sacrifice to our
God. (Ex : [J])
They said, The God of the Hebrews has befallen us. Let us
please go a three days journey into the wilderness to sacrifice to
the Lord our God, or else he will strike us with pestilence or sword.
(Ex : [J])
Then Judah said to Onan, Come to your brothers wife, and
perform the duty of her brother-in-law, and provide offspring for
your brother. (Gen : [J])
Sarai said to Abram, Look, please, the Lord has prevented me
from bearing children. Please, come to my maid. Maybe I can
build a family through her. And Abram heeded Sarai. (Gen : [J])

42 See Martin, in Scritti in onore di Giuseppe Furlani ; and J. C. L. Gibson, ed.,


Davidsons Introductory Hebrew Grammar ~ Syntax (th ed.; Edinburgh: T & T Clark, )
.
43 For the following, see Ahouva Shulman, The Particle  in Biblical Hebrew
Prose, HS (): .

Within each pair, the unmodified desiderative is a simple expression of


speaker will. When the desiderative takes the form of the imperative,
it asserts the speakers desire that the addressee perform the proposition expressed by the verb.44 When it takes the form of the plural
cohortative, it expresses the speakers desire that the speaker-inclusive
group perform the proposition expressed by the verb.45 In each case,
the unmodified desiderative presents speaker will, and implies its imposition, to manipulate the addressee.46 Pragmatically, these desideratives
are relatively bald directives.47 When appears, the conversational
context changes and becomes more elaborate.48 In the texts above, the
desiderative verbthe semantic core of the requestdoes not head the
speech but is embedded and bracketed. It is wedged between a pair of
compelling reasons that motivate, and justify, the proposal. Moreover,
the second of the two reasons is offered, twice, in negative, uncertain,
and even pessimistic terms. In the attempt to coopt their addressee,49
these characters explain themselves as well as speak with tentativeness,
uncertainty, and reluctance. advances the speakers goal, too. Affixed
to desiderative verb forms, is compatible with the surrounding conversational strategies that hedge and attenuate directives. Inasmuch as
communicates politeness, widely defined,50 it reinforces the other
strategies and mitigates the force of its utterance.
The interpersonal situation depicted in Gen : jibes with its pragmatic markers. There are two conversational participants, of whom the
superior speaker requests an action for himself, toward him or as a ser-

44 For a broader discussion, see Garr, Drivers Treatise and the Study of Hebrew:
Then and Now, in S. R. Driver, A Treatise on the Use of the Tenses in Hebrew and Some
Other Syntactical Questions (th ed.; ; repr., The Biblical Resources Series; Grand
Rapids/Cambridge, U.K.: Eerdmans, ) lxiiilxiv.
45 A. B. Davidson, Hebrew Syntax (d ed.; Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, []) .
46 See Hans-Peter Mller, Das Bedeutungspotential der Afformativkonjugation.
Zum sprachgeschichtlichen Hintergrund des Althebrischen, ZAH (): .
47 See Lyons, Semantics . (on the mand), in conjunction with Timothy Wilt, A
Sociolinguistic Analysis of na, VT (): .
48 Wilt, VT (): .
49 See Shulman, HS (): .
50 So Stephen A. Kaufman:  does mean please and related nuances in all of its
contexts (An Emphatic Plea for Please, in Let Your Colleagues Praise You: Studies in
Memory of Stanley Gevirtz [ed. Robert J. Ratner et al.; pts.; Maarav ; Rolling Hills
Estates, Calif.: Western Academic Press, ()] . [italics added]). See
also GKC n. ; and Wilt, VT (): . Cf. Fassberg, Studies in Biblical
Syntax .

vice to him.51 functions as a verbal lubricant, injected by the speaker


to avoid interpersonal friction and facilitate cooperative yet self-serving
behavior. Likewise, softens the coercive force of its principal verb.
The two terms, then, are pragmatically harmonic, as Tamar seems to
recognize (v. b). The request in Gen : is introduced, politely,
by a term that is nonliteral, nonreferential, desiderative, directive, and
hortative. is suasive and, like , mildly manipulative.52 It attempts
to impose speaker will over an addressee and move that addressee to
act as the speaker desires.53
.. The Pragmatic Character of the Clause
This examination has a specific purpose: to determine the referent
of Gods plural we in Gen : (J) and, thence, in Gen : (P). To
accomplish this goal, it will now be necessary to analyze clauses in
greater detail.
... As its association with already illustrates, nonliteral is
not pragmatically isolated but may be accompanied by other suasive
devices.
They said to one another, Lets let us make bricks and burn them
well. They had brick for stone, and they had bitumen for mortar. Then
they said, Lets let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top
in heaven, and let us make ourselves a name, or else we will be scattered
over the surface of the whole earth. (Gen :)
The Lord came down to see the city and tower that the human beings
had built. The Lord said, Since they are one people, and they all have
one language there, and this is only the beginning, nothing then that
they consider doing will be out of their reach. Lets let us go down
and confound their language there, so that they shall not understand one
anothers speech. (Gen :)
When Judah saw her, he considered her a prostitute because she had
covered her face. He turned to her at the road and said, Lets,
please, I come to you, because he did not know that she was his
daughter-in-law. She then said, What will you give me for coming to
me? (Gen :)

51
52
53

Shulman, HS (): n. with n. .


Adhortative, according to Hopper and Traugott, Grammaticalization .
See, indirectly, Joon and Muraoka, A Grammar of Biblical Hebrew b.


He said to his people, Look, the Israelite people are more numerous
and robust than us. Lets let us deal wisely with them, or else they
will increase and, in the event of war, they too will join our foes, fight
against us, and go up from the land. (Ex :)

For example, always co-occurs with a first person pronoun. One


time, this pronoun is singular (Gen :). Elsewhere, it is plural. It
often heads the appositive verb (let us [:a.a.a.a.a.a;
Ex :]). The plural pronoun may also appear in the clause preceding
(than us [Ex :b]), the clause following (we will be scattered
[Gen :b]; our foes against us [Ex :b]), or as an indirect,
benefactive component of the clause itself ([for] ourselves [for]
ourselves [Gen :a]).54 All told, there are fifteen tokens of the first
person pronoun in (close proximity to) the five nonliteral clauses:
one in the singular, and fourteen in the plural.
The significance of the plural pronoun is more than statistical. It
is strategic as well, for it implies an alliance or partnership between
speaker and addressee in the proposed event.55 In particular, the plural
form may connote equal involvement and participation by two different
parties.56
The Israelites said to him, We shall stay on the highway. And if
weI or my livestockdrink any of your water, I will pay for it. Its
but nothing. Id like to cross by foot. (Num : [J]); cf.

Jacob said to Simeon and to Levi, You have brought me trouble by


making me odious among the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites
and the Perizzites. Since my men are few in number,
should they gather against me and attack me, I and
my household will be destroyed. (Gen : [J])

In Gen :, Jacobs grammar indicates that his sons revenge is


focused on him. He equates his family with himself; states that the negative fallout of their action will affect him personally; and repeats, eight
times, that the loss will befall his grammatically singular self. Though
implicated in the aftermath, Jacobs family (my household) is only an
ancillary casualty. As its principal member, and as the singular subject
of the predicate implies, the disaster will be Jacobs above all (I [and
See also Snyder, *yhb in the Bible, (on Sam :).
The cohortatives are pragmatically inclusive, too (e.g., Wilt, VT []: ;
and Gerhard von Rad, Genesis (trans. John H. Marks; rev. ed.; OTL; Philadelphia:
Westminster, ) [on Gen :]).
56 Cf. Revell, The Designation of the Individual: Expressive Usage in Biblical Narrative (CBET
; Kampen: Kok Pharos, ) .
54

55

my household] will be destroyed).57 But in Num :, involvement is


shared. The leader may promise responsibility for the group (I will
pay) and try to minimize the imposition (Its but nothing) by restricting its scope to himself (I d like to cross by foot). Nevertheless, the
activity is clearly joint and involves multiple participants (We shall stay
And if we drink). Accordingly, the verb forms are plural and agree
with the sum of the compound subject (I and my livestock). The plural pronoun therefore implies inclusivity, a common enterprise, and a
common goal.58
It serves the same pragmatic function in the clause. The plural
pronoun expresses the inclusion and solidarity of all participants in
the event under discussion. For like the mildly manipulative particle
, the first person plural pronoun rhetorically attempts to prod the
addressee to act as the speaker desires. Implying that both speaker and
addressee share a common bond59 and, perhaps, a common objective
in the future activity, the speaker politely tries to coopt the addressee.
Pronoun and particle combine to enlist the addressees cooperation,
involvement, and participation.
... In some cases, a common bond is preestablished or preordained. It may result from a shared cultural trait and/or a common history. In Gen : for example, there is an original universal human
language,60 and the people have just experienced a migration whose
itinerary moves from the distant darkness of primeval time into the
clear light where history begins.61 Another common bond may be part
and parcel of a certain business arrangement,62 as in Gen :
where Judah believes Tamar to be a prostitute (v. ).63 Even though
57 For the interrelationship between character salience and grammar, see Robert
Ratner, The Feminine Takes Precedence Syntagm and Job ,, ZAW ():
; L. J. De Regt, Participants in Old Testament Texts and the Translator (Studia Semitica
Neerlandica ; Assen: Van Gorcum, ) ; and Revell, The Designation of the
Individual . Cf. Joon and Muraoka, A Grammar of Biblical Hebrew q.
58 See Wilhelm Caspari, Imago divina Gen I, in Reinhold-Seeberg-Festschrift (ed.
Wilhelm Koepp; vols.; Leipzig: A. Deichert/Werner Scholl, ) . n. ; and,
perhaps, Revell, The Designation of the Individual .
59 See, in a different context, Moshe Greenberg, Biblical Prose Prayer as a Window to the
Popular Religion of Ancient Israel (Berkeley: University of California Press, ) .
60 Sarna, Genesis . See also Westermann, Genesis ., in greater detail.
61 Westermann, Genesis ..
62 Gordon J. Wenham, Genesis ( vols.; WBC ; Waco/Dallas: Word, )
., in conjunction with Penelope Brown and Stephen C. Levinson, Politeness: Some
Universals in Language Usage (Studies in Interactional Sociolinguistics ; Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press, [/]) .
63 Westermann, Genesis ..

the inclusive pronoun we is absent, the participants share a common


circumstance and (prospective) relationship. In each case, a relationship
between speaker and addressee is presumed.
A relationship can also be forged, and a speaker may create a common bond by a variety of conversational techniques. For instance, a
powerful, socially superior, and often male speaker may create a bond
by relinquishing the verbal accoutrements of superiority and identifying himself with the addressee. The speaker would hope to erase the
inherent social distance between himself and an addressee, and effect
the notion of an intimate involvement of each party with one another.64
In this way, Pharaoh invokes an egalitarian yet fictional we to identify himself and his people as the interdependent object of the growing
Israelite threat (Ex :).65 Another technique for promoting a bond
between speaker and addressee is verbal explanation.66 By providing
the addressee with the rationale for a directive, a speaker allows the
addressee to believe that the directive and its execution are a mutual
decision.67 The explanation may be brief, as in the or else clause of
Gen :b (see also v. b). Conversely, it may be expansive and hyperbolic,68 as when Pharaoh tells the Egyptians that the Israelites number
presently and adversely affects the commonweal (Ex :b), is threatening to worsen (v. ba), and thereafter might pose a military and flight
risk (v. bb-).69 In each case, the manipulative strategy is successful.
... Just as clauses reflect and forge inclusivity, cooperation,
and mutual involvement, they also tend to promote a more general
and recurrent theme of solidarity, coherence, and unity. It appears in
Pharaohs speech, where his dense conversational moves achieve the
64 See Robin Lakoff, What You Can Do with Words: Politeness, Pragmatics &
Performatives, in Berkeley Studies in Syntax and Semantics (ed. Charles Fillmore, George
Lakoff, and Robin Lakoff; Berkeley: Department of Linguistics and Institute of Human
Learning, University of California, Berkeley, ) .XVI- (repr. in Proceedings of the
Texas Conference on Performatives, Presuppositions, and Implicatures [ed. Andy Rogers, Bob
Wall, and John P. Murphy; Arlington, Vir.: Center for Applied Linguistics, ] ).
65 Brevard S. Childs, The Book of Exodus (OTL; Philadelphia: Westminster, ) .
See also Teshima, BetM (): .
66 See Snyder, *yhb in the Bible, (on the association between and [addressee-oriented] justification).
67 For the strategy, see Brown and Levinson, Politeness with .
68 See ibid. .
69 See Jacob, Exodus ; or William H. C. Propp, Exodus (AB ; New York: Doubleday, ) ., in conjunction with Jon D. Levenson, Exodus and Liberation,
in idem, The Hebrew Bible, the Old Testament, and Historical Criticism: Jews and Christians in
Biblical Studies (Louisville: Westminster/John Knox, ) .

goal of consolidating public opinion under a single Pharaonic banner.


More explicitly, this theme is repeated in a narrative about the movement of the human race to a spot where they found a city:70 the entire
land had a single language (Gen :a.a.a; cf. v. b),71 and its people converged to a single place (v. ), conducted group-internal discussions
(v. aa),72 and proposed building a single city and tower (v. a) to avert
their dispersion throughout the land (v. b).73 Yet the theme of unity and
solidarity may have a narrow application. It can be sexual, as when
coitus is proposed and achieved by two individuals (:).74 Regardless, each episode includes mention of . For helps to construct
their common theme. It is a manipulative particle that fosters social
solidarity, camaraderie, and unity. proposes, and therefore encourages, interpersonal cooperation.75
... clauses are one among several suasive strategies deployed
to manipulate an addressee. They are initiated by the speaker, and they
feed a sense of inclusivity, common involvement, and even agreement
between the two principal, conversational participants. clauses are
goal- or result-oriented. They consistently yield a partnership or cooperative relationship. Within this wider context, then, nonliteral
facilitates the formation or maintenance of an alliance, between speaker
and addressee, to act in concert.
70 Ulrich Berges, Gen ,: Babel oder das Ende der Kommunikation, BN
(): ; and P. J. Harland, Vertical or Horizontal: The Sin of Babel, VT
(): . See also Lothar Ruppert, Machen wir uns ein Namen (Gen .).
Zur Anthropologie der vorpriesterschriftlichen Urgeschichte, in Der Weg zum Menschen.
Zur philosophischen und theologischen Anthropologie. Fr Alfons Deissler (ed. Rudolf Mosis and
Lothar Ruppert; Freiburg: Herder, ) (repr. in Studien zur Literaturgeschichte des Alten
Testaments [SBAB ; Stuttgart: Katholisches Bibelwerk, ] ).
71 Pierre Swiggers, Babel and the Confusion of Tongues (Genesis :), in
Mythos im Alten Testament und seiner Umwelt. Festschrift fr Hans-Peter Mller zum . Geburtstag (ed. Armin Lange, Hermann Lichtenberger, and Diethard Rmheld; BZAW ;
Berlin/New York: Walter de Gruyter, ) . See also Avraham Wolfensohn,
Come, Let Us Build Ourselves a City , BetM (): (in Hebrew).
72 Stephen Greenhalgh, Creative Partnership in Genesis, ScrB (): a.
73 Walther Zimmerli, .Mose ( vols.; d/st ed.; ZB.AT /; Zurich: Theologischer
Verlag, ) .; and Sarna, Genesis .
74 See, in this context, Baruch Halpern, What They Dont Know Wont Hurt
Them: Genesis , in Fortunate the Eyes That See: Essays in Honor of David Noel Freedman in
Celebration of His Seventieth Birthday (ed. Astrid B. Beck et al.; Grand Rapids/Cambridge,
U.K.: Eerdmans, ) n. .
75 For Janet Holmes, the term might reflect a more participatory decision-making
interactional style (Politeness Strategies in New Zealand Womens Speech, in New
Zealand Ways of Speaking English [ed. Allan Bell and Janet Holmes; Clevedon, Avon:


.. Form-Critical Analysis of the Clause

Complementary to their common linguistic structure, semantic content, and pragmatic character, clauses share a form-critical pattern.
This pattern has five invariable components which are distributed over
the clause and its narrative execution. One of these components
will also help limit the possible readings of Gods plural pronoun in
Gen :.
... Of its five components, the first three appear in the clause
itself.
i) When a biblical character utters a clause, its core argument is
always expressed by one of two verb forms. For the most part, the argument takes the form of a plural cohortative and expresses the speakers
commitment to bring about a desired future situation for the speakerinclusive group (..). In one case, the argument is a grammatical
imperfect which expresses the speakers affirmative, or near, certainty
about the stated situation (ibid.).76 Each time, then, the core argument
of the clause is grammatically modal: deontic (desiderative) or epistemic, respectively. Each verb form also has its own, conventional function: (self-) directive and (slightly qualified) assertion, respectively.77
ii) The second component of the clause pertains to the type
of situation expressed by the directive/assertive verb. Uncoincidentally,
each verb has the same semantic characteristics. Each verb expresses
a situation that is consciously initiated, such as make bricks or burn
(Gen :). Each is inherently dynamic, like come (:). And each
situation, like build or make (:), is controlled by an agent. The
core argument of the clause expresses an event.78
Ostensibly, the core argument of the clause in Ex : is not
an event. Certainly the root of expresses a state-like notion,
Multilingual Matters, ()] . See also E. Adelaide Hahn, Subjunctive and Optative:
Their Origin as Futures [New York: American Philological Association, ] ).
76 Garr, in Driver, A Treatise on the Use of the Tenses 4 liiiliv.
77 For the imperfect functioning as a directive, see Driver, ibid. with n. . Compare Anson F. Rainey, who overstates the degree of control expressed by the (paragogic)
imperfect (The Ancient Hebrew Prefix Conjugation in the Light of Amarnah Canaanite, HS []: ).
78 For the definition, see, e.g., Bernard Comrie, Aspect: An Introduction to the Study
of Verbal Aspect and Related Problems (Cambridge Textbooks in Linguistics; Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press, []) ; and Carlota S. Smith, The Parameter
of Aspect (d ed.; Studies in Linguistics and Philosophy ; Dordrecht: Kluwer, )
.

whether as a nominal entity or a property concept (adjective); it is relatively stable over time (i.e., nondynamic), and its root meaning demands
neither conscious initiation nor control.79 Its grammatical stem, however, suggests otherwise. For when a hithpael verb is derived from a
nominal, the stem often carries a semblative sensethat of acting like
its base:80 e.g., act like a prophet, act like (someone in) mourning, and act like (someone) rich. Denominative hithpaels require semantic agents and express dynamic events,81
albeit to different degrees. expresses an event as well. In fact,
since the directive is executed by imposing a supervisory structure and
inflicting physical hardship on the Israelites (Ex :a.a), the implicature of Pharaohs hithpael is thoroughly agentful. Pharaoh expresses his
desire that the people, himself included, act like with reason,
intelligence, prudence, and pragmatism.82 The act, whatever it be,83 is
willed, willful, and within the agents control.
iii) The agent of each event can be specified as another form-critical
element. Each time, the event expressed in each clause requires
the participation of two distinct parties: the speaker and an addressee.
The collaborative participation may be instigated conversationally, as
when Pharaoh includes himself and his people in his proposal of
(see Ex :b). Or the proposed event may itself require two separate
participants, as in Judahs overture to Tamar. It nevertheless requires
the cooperative involvement of the speaker as well as the addressee.
A similar, cooperative relationship between speaker and addressee
is present in Gen :. Admittedly, speaker and addressee are not
absolutely distinct in these verses, since they are all new arrivals on
the Shinar plain, and they virtually speak with one voice (vv. ).
But their numerical plurality entails an internally composite group, as
79 For a discussion, see Sandra A. Thompson, A Discourse Approach to the CrossLinguistic Category Adjective, in Explaining Language Universals (ed. John A. Hawkins;
Oxford: Basil Blackwell, ) (repr. in Linguistic Categorization [ed. Roberta
Corrigan, Fred Eckman, and Michael Noonan; CILT ; Amsterdam/Philadelphia:
John Benjamins, ] ).
80 GKB c. Cf., e.g., Waltke and OConnor, Biblical Hebrew Syntax ..
81 Cf. Robert R. Wilson, Prophecy and Society in Ancient Israel (Philadelphia: Fortress,
) (on ).
82 See August Dillmann, Die Bcher Exodus und Leviticus (ed. Victor Ryssel; d ed.;
KeHAT ; Leipzig: S. Hirzel, ) . For the ironic nature of the speech, see Childs,
Exodus .
83 Driver, The Book of Exodus (CBSC; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, )
.

indicated by the distributive phrase one to another (v. aa). When the
people speak to one another, they speak separately and exhaustively to
every single member of [the] group.84 In which case, the speaker and
addressee are, indeed, separate. Each time, a speaker bids to engage a
separate addressee jointly in cooperative behavior.
... Whereas three form-critical components of the clause
appear in direct speech, two do not. These latter elements appear,
directly or indirectly, when the clause is executed in the narrative.
iv) Although the clause should theoretically elicit a response of
consent or nonconsent, none is recorded. Only once does the addressee
verbally respond to the speakers prodding. But the response expresses
neither consent nor nonconsent; in this one instance, it consists of
commercial negotiation (Gen :b-a).
It is always possible, however, to infer the addressees response to
the clause. For the response can, as elsewhere, be implied in the
addressees responsive behavior.
When the troops came to the camp, the elders of Israel said, Why has
the Lord routed us today before the Philistines? Let us fetch from
Shiloh the ark of the covenant of the Lord. So the troops
despatched (men) to Shiloh and brought from there the ark of the
covenant of the Lord of hosts seated (on) the Cherubim. ( Sam :a)
Samuel said to the people, Come, let us go to Gilgal and there
renew kingship. So all the people went to Gilgal and made
Saul king there before the Lord in Gilgal. ( Sam :a); see also
Then muster yourself an army like the army you lost, horse for horse,
and chariot for chariot. Let us fight them in the plain; surely we
will overpower them. He heeded them and did accordingly. ( Kgs :)

Although a verbal response is not recorded in the text, it is unnecessary


from an interpretive viewpoint. When an addressee complies with the
speakers utterance, the compliance bespeaks consent. Likewise, the
successful execution of clauses implies, in each instance, that the
addressee consents to the speakers proposal for cooperation.
v) Because the proposition expressed in the clause is always executed, at least in part, the speaker is always successful at imposing his
own will over that of the addressee. The complying agent, however,
varies. In Gen :b, the agent is unidentified. The text merely states
R. L. Trask, A Dictionary of Grammatical Terms in Linguistics (London/New York:
Routledge, ) .
84

the outcome of the clause as an impersonal narrative fact: They


had brick for stone, and they had bitumen for mortar. In Ex :a, the
agent is ambiguous. The subject of may refer to Pharaohs people (see v. a)85 or to a collusion of the king and his subjects (see
Egypt in v. ).86 In Gen :b, the agent is identified as a generic
the human beings. And in Gen :b, both Tamar and
Judah willfully act to fulfill Judahs proposal, despite the acts grammatical representation. According to these passages, the identity of the
executing agent(s) may differ from text to text and situation to situation.
Yet beyond this small sample, another parameter may help identify
the party that executes a biblical directive, the party that constitutes the
last form-critical component of the clause.
In the letter he wrote, Deliver Uriah to the front of the fiercest battle
then turn away from him so that he may be struck and die.
So he assigned Uriah to the place where he knew were worthy men.
( Sam :.b)
David said to Achish, Please, if I have found favor in your eyes,
let them give me a place in one of the country towns, so that I may
live there. So Achish gave him Ziklag on that day. ( Sam :
a)
( ) Let there be given to us seven of his sons, and we will impale
them before the Lord . The king said, I will. ( Sam :)

As these examples indicate, the addressee of a directive and the subject


of its execution may be grammatically different. An imperative may be
addressed to a group, yet a single individual may be responsible for its
execution ( Sam :b). Similarly, when a jussive has an unspecified
and impersonal subject, the execution clause may name the person
responsible for its accomplishment ( Sam :a; Sam :b). In each
case, the individual acts as the groups leader. In each case, too, the
leader is a topical and principal character in the discourse context. A
directive may be executed by a leader who is salient in the narrative
and sufficiently empowered to act on the groups behalf.
A principal character can also execute a cohortative addressed to a
group.

85 Bruno Baentsch, Exodus-Leviticus-Numeri (HKAT I/; Gttingen: Vandenhoeck &


Ruprecht, ) .
86 Jacob, Exodus .


All of you approached me and said, Let us send men ahead of
us to explore the land for us and bring us back word about the route we
should take and the cities we will come to. The plan seemed good to
me, so I selected twelve of you, one for each tribe. (Dt :)
Then Saul said, Let us go down after the Philistines by night
and plunder them until the mornings light. We mustnt let a single
one of them survive. They said, Whatever seems good to you
do. But the priest said, Let us approach God here. So
Saul inquired of God, Should I go down after the Philistines? (
Sam :a); see also
Then David said to all his courtiers with him in Jerusalem,
Get up! We should flee, for there will be no escape for us from Absalom.
Go quickly, or he may soon overtake us, bring disaster on us, and
attack the city with the sword. So the king left, and all his
household in his charge. The king left, and all the people in
his charge. ( Sam :.a.a)

When the people express their desire to investigate the land and report
back information (cf. Num : [P]), Moses both approves (Dt :a)
and singlehandedly fulfills their wish (v. b; see also Num :.
[P]). When the priest proposes to consult God jointly with Saul (
Sam :b), Saul responds by seeking the oracle alone (v. a); at
the same time, the directive addressed to the troops and leader alike
(v. a; see also v. ab) is reformulated as a query about Sauls own,
personal mission (v. aa).87 Or, in the same vein, when David urges
his entourage to flee with him from Absalom ( Sam :), the ensuing
flight is described not as a communal activity but as that of the leader
accompanied by his subordinates (vv. a.a). In each case, the plural
directive is executedcompletely or principallyby a single, salient,
and leading character who assumes responsibility for the group. The
plural directive is not executed by the addressee.
... Js clause conforms to a single form-critical pattern. Aside
from its initial and identificatory particle, the clause has five components that are distributed between two discourse genres.
I. Beginning with direct speech, a speaker formulates:
(i) a directive or assertive utterance (represented by a cohortative or
imperfect, respectively)
See, in this context, P. Kyle McCarter, Jr., I Samuel (AB ; Garden City, New York:
Doubleday, ) .
87

(ii) which proposes an activity (event)


(iii) jointly and cooperatively, between the speaker and a referentially
distinct addressee.
II.Thereafter, the speakers proposal:
(iv) receives the tacit consent of the addressee and
(v) is executed by an agent, whether unidentified or identified and
salient (e.g., addressee, leader).
The clause is defined by these form-critical traits, in this order,
without omission.

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GEN 11:7
The final example of nonliteral appears in Gen :. This text,
though, is different from the others. In the other clauses, the
subject of the core argument is referentially clear. But in Gen :,
the subject is referentially unclear, at least at first blush. The subject is
divine, yet its plural number, or internal composition, is not explained.
.. The structure of Gen : is familiar.

Lets let us go down and confound their language.

The utterance is introduced by nonliteral . The suasive particle


is followed asyndetically by a plural cohortative. A second, conjoined
cohortative follows the first.
.. The pragmatic context of Gen : is familiar as well. Like other
clauses, the speaker is encouraging the addressee to act as the
speaker desires.
The Lord came down to see the city and tower that the human beings
had built. The Lord said, Since they are one people, and they all have
one language, and this is only the beginning, nothing then that they consider doing will be out of their reach. Lets let us go down and confound
their language there, so that they shall not understand one anothers
speech. So the Lord scattered them from there over the surface of the
whole earth, and they stopped building the city. Accordingly it was called
Babel, because there the Lord confounded the language of the whole
earth and from there the Lord scattered them over the surface of the
whole earth. (Gen : [J])

The speakers encouragement is laced with affiliative and goal-oriented


strategies. The speech begins with incremental reasons that are intended to compel action (see .., ..): The first describes a present and
factual circumstance (v. ab); the second hints at an escalating trend in
the immediate future (v. a); and, judging the current situation to be
very dangerous, the third motivating reason states that the outcome of
this situation will be inevitable, immense, negative, and beyond control
(v. b).1 In aggregate, the reasons that God presents his addressee are
1

See Hermann Gunkel, Genesis (th ed.; HKAT I/; Gttingen: Vandenhoeck &

overwhelming and, perhaps even, hyperbolic (see also Ex :b).2 God


clearly implies that the fate and/or existence of the whole speakerinclusive group is at risk. His observations serve as a rallying cry; Js
God wants the addressee to join a cooperative effort () and respond
before their situation worsens.
.. In addition to structure and conversational strategy, the general situation depicted in Gen : and the other clauses may be
shared. The situation may be highly charged,3 as when Judah solicits
an illegitimate union with a prostitute and, at the same, shirks his legal
duty towards Tamar.4 The situation may be exigent, as in Pharaohs
accounts of the Israelite emergency.5 Or the narrative may present an
extraordinary event or milestone, as in the construction of an urban
enclave and its tower that reaches heaven.6 The other four attestations of nonliteral appear in situations that are unusual, urgent,
and momentous.7 Gen : is an emergency, too. Gods speech initiates a series of events that dissolve and quash the human achievements
recorded in vv. .
.. Gen : shares another theme with its congeners. A partnership
is formed from constituent parts (see ..). In Gen , the partnership
is sexual. In Ex , it is defensive and patriotic. In Gen :, it is defensive, arrogant, and pretentious (see also .). It is also the very problem that God himself confronts (v. a-b). The desire to displace God
and to scheme without reference to his declared will, prompts one
final judgment that will hobble mans attempts at cooperation once and
Ruprecht, []) (= Genesis [trans. Mark E. Biddle; Mercer Library of Biblical
Studies; Macon: Mercer University Press, ] ).
2 Some commentators, though, justify Gods explanation, proposal, and deed as a
response to human arrogance (e.g., Patrick D. Miller, Jr., Genesis : Studies in Structure
& Theme [JSOTS ; Sheffield: JSOT, ] ; and Nahum M. Sarna, Genesis [The
JPS Torah Commentary; Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, ] [on v. ].
Cf. Claus Westermann, Genesis [trans. John J. Scullion; vols.; Minneapolis: Augsburg,
()] .).
3 Cf. Westermann, Genesis ..
4 Bruce Vawter, On Genesis: A New Reading (Garden City, New York: Doubleday, )
. See also Gunkel, Genesis4 (= ET ).
5 John I. Durham, Exodus (WBC ; Waco: Word, ) .
6 See Gunkel, Genesis4 (= ET ), in conjunction with Gordon J. Wenham, Genesis
( vols.; WBC ; Waco/Dallas: Word, ) .. Cf. Gerhard von Rad, Genesis
(trans. John H. Marks; rev. ed.; OTL; Philadelphia: Westminster, ) .
7 Jill Snyder, *yhb in the Bible from a Grammaticization Perspective (masters
thesis, University of California, Santa Barbara, ) , . In this context, see also
Timothy Wilt, A Sociolinguistic Analysis of na, VT (): .

for all.8 The single human race and its unifying achievement prompt
an appropriate divine response; God and his addressee should form a
cooperative and cohesive entity (v. a, echoing v. aa) that, together,
fractures human communication (v. a-b).9 The plan, of course, succeeds. The one God, acting on behalf of himself and his addressee,
scatters the community far and wide (vv. a.b), arrests their cooperative activities (v. b), and achieves the goal of scrambling their language
(v. a). In Gen :, then, God proposes a divine alliance similar to the
human alliances that are formed elsewhere with the encouragement of
nonliteral . Yet there is an important difference. The divine alliance
is retaliatory. Gods partnership arises in response to human provocation. Whether that provocation be intentional (vv. ) or situational
and accidental (vv. ), the result is the same: God forms his alliance
in order to undo and punish the human community.10
.. To a certain extent, all five clauses share a common narrative perspective. In Gen , initiates improper and irresponsible
behavior that is eventually regretted by Judah himself (v. ). Pharaohs
begins a series of evil and ill-fated actions against the Israelites.
Similarly, the peoples clauses of Gen : are sinister in almost
every turn, from the construction style that they propose11 to the name
they wish to leave for posterity.12 From a canonical perspective, too, the
ultimate reason for the building projectthe prevention of spreading
throughout the world (v. b)violates Gods own design for the human
race.
8 Wenham, Genesis .. See also von Rad, Genesis ; and Lothar Ruppert,
Machen wir uns ein Namen (Gen .). Zur Anthropologie der vorpriesterschriftlichen Urgeschichte, in Der Weg zum Menschen. Zur philosophischen und theologischen
Anthropologie. Fr Alfons Deissler (ed. Rudolf Mosis and Lothar Ruppert; Freiburg: Herder,
) (repr. in Studien zur Literaturgeschichte des Alten Testaments [SBAB ; Stuttgart:
Katholisches Bibelwerk, ] ).
9 See U. Cassuto, A Commentary on the Book of Genesis (trans. Israel Abrahams; pts.;
Jerusalem: Magnes, []) ..
10 Michael Fishbane, Text and Texture: Close Readings of Selected Biblical Texts (New York:
Schocken, ) .
11 See August Dillmann, Die Genesis (th ed.; KeHAT ; Leipzig: S. Hirzel, )
(= Genesis [trans. Wm. B. Stevenson; vols.; Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, ] .);
and Franz Delitzsch, Neuer Commentar ber die Genesis (Leipzig: Drffling und Franke,
) (= A New Commentary on Genesis [trans. Sophia Taylor; vols.; ; repr.,
Minneapolis: Klock & Klock, ] .).
12 See Ernst-Joachim Waschke, Untersuchungen zum Menschenbild der Urgeschichte. Ein
Beitrag zur alttestamentlichen Theologie (ThAr ; Berlin: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, )
. For a detailed discussion, see Ruppert, in Der Weg zum Menschen (= Studien
Alten Testaments ).


[S]preading abroad is part of Gods plan for creation and the
fulfillment of the mandate of [Gen] :. Seen from this perspective,
the fear of scattering expressed in : is resistance to Gods purpose for
creation. The peoples do not wish to spread abroad. Thus the tower
and city are attempts at self-serving unity which resists Gods scattering
activity.13

In the same vein, Gods own in Gen : is retributive, announcing


the end of the project and this form of human disobedience. The contexts in which nonliteral appears are hardly neutral. Whether by
design or coincidence, does not instigate benign behavior. Nonliteral consistently foreshadows malevolent behavior, whether objectionable, nefarious, disobedient, or simply wrong. In each attestation,
spells trouble.
.. Yet another feature may place Gen : within the orbit of the
other clauses. This feature recurs in all texts where retains its
literal meaning. All seven cases where the elongated imperative hab is
used as a concrete verb meaning give exhibit a first person beneficiary
or recipient. In five of these, an explicit first person indirect object
(dative) pronoun, either ll to me [: (E); Jdg :] or llan to us
[Gen : (J); Pss :, :] immediately follows the verb.14 In the
other two cases, the indirect object is implied.15
Jacob said to Laban, Give me my wife for my time is up, so
that I may come to her. (Gen : [J])
Saul said to the Lord God of Israel,
:a [emended after LXX])

Present Thummim! ( Sam

Jacob tells Laban that Rachel is now his (my wife), and Saul requests
that he receive a divine oracle (cf. Sam :). Literal therefore
governs or implies a first person beneficiary or recipient.16
In nonliteral clauses, the speaker is likewise the semantic beneficiary. In Gen :, the beneficiary is an explicit first person indirect pronoun (Lets let us build ourselves a city). Elsewhere, it is implied. In
13 Walter Brueggemann, Genesis (Interp; Atlanta: John Knox, ) . See also
B. Gemser, God in Genesis, in idem et al., Studies on the Book of Genesis (OTS ;
Leiden: E. J. Brill, ) ; and P. J. Harland, Vertical or Horizontal: The Sin of
Babel, VT (): , .
14 Snyder, *yhb in the Bible, (with the examples extending to ).
15 Ibid. .
16 See, more generally, Steven E. Fassberg, Studies in Biblical Syntax (Jerusalem: Magnes, ) (in Hebrew); and idem, The Lengthened Imperative 
" J in Biblical
Hebrew, HS (): .

Gen :, the proposals are justified by speaker desire (v. a), speaker
aversion (v. b), and other latent benefits that the speakers would reap.
In Ex :, Pharaohs proposal is conversationally justified by the foreseeable harm that he and his people will suffer by inaction; by implication, they should expect to benefit by an effective response. In Gen ,
Judah enters into the relationship with Tamar in the hope of gratification (v. a), though he soon learns that she wants the relationship to
be mutually beneficial (v. b). Finally, the beneficiary of Gods utterance in Gen : can be inferred from the crisis that God intends to
avert. For if the peoples clauses have the effect of violating Gods
mandate for fruitfulness, number, and worldwide expansion (:; see
also :. [P]) (.), the beneficiary of Gods punitive and restorative
proposal is implicit: the speaker, God himself, and, as its plural formulation indicates, his addressee.
.. In light of the features shared between Gen : and Js four
other nonliteral clauses, it is hardly surprising that all five clauses
display the same form-critical components. Like the others, Gods verbal bid in Gen : is initiated by the suasive particle . Thereafter,
the clauses core argument is semantically desiderative, expressed by
marked cohortative verb forms ( [v. a]) (i). The cohortatives
propose a joint activity or event (ii) which, in the ensuing narrative, is
successfully executed. By inference, the addressee agrees to the proposal
(iv). And, finally, the proposal is executed by a single, salient agent, Yahweh (the Lord confounded [v. a]; see also vv. a.b) (v).
Form-critical considerations limit the options for determining the
third component of this clause, the referent(s) of Gods divine first
person plural. This third component requires that the subject of
be jointly and cooperatively involved in the proposed activity.
More importantly, though, the activity requires two different parties
involved in the cooperative endeavor (iii). The referent of the plural
pronoun, then, can not be singular or God himself (cf. .). Nor can
the referent be coreferential with the single divine speaker of the
clause. The form-critical model prescribes that Gods plural pronoun
include himself and at least one referentially distinct addressee. The
grammatical number of Gods we is nonsingular. It signals a (tactical)
partnership between God, the group leader, and at least one other
addressee, under (troubling) circumstances that are far from ordinary.

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GODS
Thus far, the discussion has provided contextualizing and background
information. In order to determine the referent of Gods we in Gen
: (P), it was necessary to explore one of Ps antecedents where God
also utters this self-inclusive plural pronoun (: [J]). Then, several linguistic tacks converged to indicate that Gods we in Gen : refers
to a nonsingular entity. A complementary analysis further described
some pragmatic constituents of Gen :, including its goal of forming a cooperative relationship, under unusual circumstances and with
ominous implications, between Yahweh and one or more gods. Finally,
this background discussion determined that God, in his role as group
leader, enacts the proposal that spurred the union of the divine team.
.. Gods in the Yahwist and Elohist Traditions
The discussion may now be expanded and extended. It will have a
wider methodological scope, including linguistic as well as nonlinguistic
evidence. It will concentrate on two pentateuchal traditions that underlie and antecede P: the Elohist and the Yahwist (see .). It will also
investigate the J tradition in greater detail, especially Gen : where
God again utters the self-inclusive first person plural pronoun and,
again, forms a cooperative relationship with his addressee. The following discussion, then, will establish a broader interpretive and historical rubric within which the divine we of Gen : can be evaluated.
... The two early pentateuchal traditions acknowledge the existence of Israelite angels.1 J and E often refer to them in the singular:
e.g., angel (e.g., Ex : [J]; Num : [E?]), the angel
(Gen : [E?]), angel of the Lord (e.g., : [J], : [E]),
angel of God; divine angel (: [E]), and

Julius Wellhausen, Prolegomenon to the History of Ancient Israel (trans. J. Sutherland


Black and Allan Menzies; ; repr., Gloucester, Mass.: Peter Smith, ) n. .
1

Gods angel (:; Ex :a [E]). They occasionally appear in the


plural: the angels (Gen :; see also v. [J]) and
angels of God; divine angels (: [E], : [J?]). And they
have gender; their members are grammatically masculine (e.g., Ex :a
[J]; Gen : [E]). The angels form a group whose individual members are male, bear a uniform generic label, and, thus, are somewhat
indistinct from one another.2
Hebrew terminology may also betray the general character or nature
of these beings. In all likelihood, is a nominal derivative of the
verbal root send.3 Its deverbal nominal pattern, *maqtal, connotes one
of several nonagentive relations to the situation expressed by the underlying verb. *maqtal may represent a semantic patient, as in food,
burden; oracle, or gift. It may express a (process-and-) effect,
as in journey, fear, and breaking camp; journey.4
Or it may represent an instrument, as in axe, sickle, and
perhaps strike, plague.5 From a semantic viewpoint, then, a
angel is not an independent agent but falls under anothers control.
Etymologically, it is an envoy.6
Angels have a close relationship with God in the J and E traditions.
The relationship is already implied by the grammatical form of
and related construct phrases, in which the angelic nomen regens
is dependent upon the divine nomen rectum. An angel is grammatically
controlled by God. Gods control has another grammatical expression,
too. The suffixes on my angel (Ex : [J], : [E?]) and
his angel (Gen :. [J]) can indicate a possessive relationship
between an angel and God. Angels belong to God.
Angels respond to God. He commissions and despatches them (e.g.,
Gen : [J]). They do Gods bidding, in speech (e.g., : [E?]; see
also Ex :a [J] as interpreted by v. b [E]) or in deed (e.g., Gen :
[J]; : [E?]).7 An angel acts on the authority it receives from God

Carol A. Newsom, Angels, in ABD .a.


BDB .
4 Cf. Paul Joon, A Grammar of Biblical Hebrew (trans. and rev. T. Muraoka; vols.;
SubBi /III; Rome: Pontificio Istituto Biblico, ) Ld.
5 So S. A. Meier, Angel I , in DDD 2 b.
6 T. H. Gaster, Angel, in IDB .a. Cf. Joon and Muraoka, A Grammar of Biblical
Hebrew Le n. ; and, with hesitation, Gerhard von Rad, _
"
 in the OT, in
TDNT ..
7 David Noel Freedman and B. E. Willoughby, _
"
 malak, in TDOT ..
2

(see : [J]).8 In the Yahwist and Elohist traditions, then, the angels
are Gods allies and colleagues: directed by God, controlled by God,
and subordinate to God.9
These subordinate colleagues perform a variety of functions. According to J and E, the angels serve: (a) to convey the mandates of God to
men [e.g., Gen : (E)]; (b) to harbinger special events [e.g., : (J)];
(c) to protect the faithful [e.g., : (J); Ex : (E?)] and execute
condign punishment on their adversaries [e.g., : (J), : (E?)]; and
(d) to serve as instruments of the divine displeasure against sinners and
recalcitrants within Israel itself [see Num : (J)].10 In each case,
angels represent God.11
Angels are also situationally specific. When they communicate and/
or enact Gods will, their addressee is uniformly human. In fact, their
presence in J and E is restricted to situations where the divine world
meets and interacts with the human. [W]hen God enters the apperception of man, the [] [] is introduced.12 Angels can therefore appear as contact between divinity and humanity grows direct.
They act as intermediaries between God, whom they represent, and
humankind, whom they address (see, in this context, Gen : [E]).
Corresponding to their mediating role, angels have characteristics
of both God and humankind (see Gen : [J]).13 On the one hand,
they resemble God. They speak from heaven (:, :. [E]) and
in dreams (e.g., : [E]). God empowers them to act in his stead (e.g.,
Ex : [J]). God and his angel may even be depicted as equivalent
(e.g., Gen : [E?]).14 On the other hand, angels resemble men.
They have the appearance of human males (e.g., : [J]).15 They
8 See Saul M. Olyan, A Thousand Thousands Served Him: Exegesis and the Naming of
Angels in Ancient Judaism (TSAJ ; Tbingen: J. C. B. Mohr [Paul Siebeck], ) .
9 August Dillmann, Die Genesis (th ed.; KeHAT ; Leipzig: S. Hirzel, ) (=
Genesis [trans. Wm. B. Stevenson; vols.; Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, ] .).
10 Gaster, in IDB .a. See also Newsom, in ABD ..
11 Cf. Claus Westermann, Genesis (trans. John J. Scullion; vols.; Minneapolis: Augsburg, []) ..
12 Von Rad, in TDNT ..
13 E.g., Nahum M. Sarna, Genesis (The JPS Torah Commentary; Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, ) .
14 E.g., Freedman and Willoughby, in TDOT .; and Newsom, in ABD .a.
See also Ephraim E. Urbach, The Sages: Their Concepts and Beliefs (trans. Israel Abrahams;
vols.; d enl. ed.; Jerusalem: Magnes, ) .; and, vigorously, von Rad, in TDNT
..
15 E.g., Ludwig Koehler, Old Testament Theology (trans. A. S. Todd; London: Lutterworth, []) .

have human mobility (Ex : [J], : [E?]), although they cover


superhuman distances (see Gen : [E]). They also eat (e.g., :
[J]) and accept other offers of hospitality (: [J]). Combined, the
attributes of angels reflect and participate in both worlds they traffic.
In a certain sense, they are hybrid: theomorphic as well as anthropomorphic. The J and E traditions depict the angels as a male, humanoid
theophany in certain divine-human settings.
... J also mentions divinities who belong to Gods
world16 and, like the angels, interact with the human. For the most part,
they have angel-like traits. They bridge the divine and human realms,
are grammatically masculine, and constitute a generic and internally
undifferentiated group. But, in the J tradition at least, they behave quite
differently from Gods cooperative, angelic delegates.17
The most detailed account is Gen : (J),18 which reports an intermarriage of divines and mortals.
When humankind began to multiply on the surface of the earth, and
daughters were born to them, the divinities saw the daughters of humankindthat they were beautiful (lit., good). So they took
themselves wives from all they chose. The Lord said, My spirit shall
not persist 19 in humankind forever; after all, they are flesh. Their time
should be one hundred and twenty years. At that time, and later too,
the Nephilim were on the earth, when the divinities would
come to the daughters of humankind, and they would bear them children. They were the warriors of old, men of fame. (Gen :)

As the story explains, the two marital parties are distinct in ancestry
and sex. Their ancestors are expressed lexically by their different nomina
recta: God, the gods (vv. .) and humankind (vv. .).
Their sexual distinction is expressed grammatically: sons and
16 Matitiahu Tsevat, God and the Gods in Assembly: An Interpretation of Psalm
, HUCA (): n. ; and J. Khlewein, a ben son, a bat daughter, in TLOT ..
17 See Lowell K. Handy, The Appearance of Pantheon in Judah, in The Triumph
of Elohim: From Yahwisms to Judaisms (ed. Diana Vikander Edelman; Grand Rapids/
Kampen: Eerdmans/Kok Pharos, []) .
18 For a source-critical discussion, see Marc Vervenne, All They Need is Love: Once
More Genesis ., in Words Remembered, Texts Renewed: Essays in Honour of John F.
A. Sawyer (ed. Jon Davies, Graham Harvey, and Wilfred G. E. Watson; JSOTS ;
Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, ) (despite his conclusion on ).
19 See Ronald S. Hendel, Of Demigods and the Deluge: Toward an Interpretation
of Genesis :, JBL (): with n. , perhaps in conjunction with Marc Zvi
Brettler, God is King: Understanding an Israelite Metaphor (JSOTS ; Sheffield: JSOT Press,
) .

daughters, respectively. But the gods and their future brides also have
much in common. They have explicit sexuality.20 They each represent
an entire species that is derived from (the name of) the male heading
the lineage.21 Moreover, each group is presumably known and identifiable; [t]he definite article points to a familiar and well-understood
term.22 The marriage, then, takes place between two generic yet antithetical species:23 male members of , and female members of
.24
Js view of this intermarriage is decidedly negative (see .).25 The
story unfolds quickly. The divinities notice the women (Gen :a),
eye them approvingly26 yet with lewd intentions (v. a),27 and take an
unspecified number of them as wives (v. b). Clearly, the divinities
instigate the liaison.28 No sin is imputed to mankind or to their daughters in these relations. The guilt is wholly on the side of the angels.29
20 Cf. David P. Wright, Holiness, Sex, and Death in the Garden of Eden, Bib
(): .
21 See James Barr, Ein Mann oder die Menschen? Zur Anthropologie von Genesis , in Ebenbild GottesHerrscher ber die Welt. Studien zu Wrde und Auftrag des Menschen (ed. Hans-Peter Mathys; Biblisch-Theologische Studien ; Neukirchen-Vluyn:
Neukirchener Verlag, ) (= One Man, or All Humanity? A Question in the
Anthropology of Genesis, in Recycling Biblical Figures: Papers Read at a Noster Colloquium
[ed. Athalya Brenner and Jan Willem van Henten; STAR ; Leiden: Deo, ]
), in conjunction with Edward L. Greenstein, Presenting Genesis , Constructively
and Deconstructively, Prooftexts (): .
22 Sarna, Genesis (on ).
23 Brevard S. Childs, Myth and Reality in the Old Testament (d ed.; SBT /; London:
SCM, ) , in conjunction with Patrick D. Miller, Jr., Genesis : Studies in Structure
& Theme (JSOTS ; Sheffield: JSOT, ) .
24 Ellen van Wolde, Words Become Worlds: Semantic Studies of Genesis (BIS ; Leiden:
E. J. Brill, ) .
25 Cf. P. J. Harland, The Value of Human Life: A Study of the Story of the Flood (Genesis )
(VTS ; Leiden: E. J. Brill, ) .
26 John Skinner, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on Genesis (d ed.; ICC; Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, ) (on Gen :), in conjunction with James L. Kugel, The
Adverbial Use of k .tb, JBL (): .
27 Dillmann, Genesis6 (= ET .); and Sarna, Genesis . Cf. von Rad, Genesis
(trans. John H. Marks; rev. ed.; OTL; Philadelphia: Westminster, ) .
28 Von Rad, Genesis . See also Marvin H. Pope, Mixed Marriage Metaphor
in Ezekiel , in Fortunate the Eyes That See: Essays in Honor of David Noel Freedman in
Celebration of His Seventieth Birthday (ed. Astrid B. Beck et al.; Grand Rapids/Cambridge,
U.K.: Eerdmans, ) .
29 Skinner, Genesis2 . See also Michael Fishbane, Text and Texture: Close Readings
of Selected Biblical Texts (New York: Schocken, ) ; and, esp., Greenstein, Prooftexts
(): . Cf. Gordon J. Wenham, Genesis ( vols.; WBC ; Waco/Dallas: Word,
) .; and Pope, in Fortunate the Eyes That See .

The intermarriage and its result are catastrophic. When they marry,
the grooms and the brides (con-) fuse categories which the Creator
had intended to be separate.30 They cross the border between heaven
and earth, and they violate the prototypical distinction between divine
and human.31 They produce offspring that are a colossal, powerful,
unnatural mongrel (v. ) and that, consequently, forebode the end of
the earth (vv. [J]).32 The union of the divine spirit and human
flesh33 doubly disrupts the natural order of the world.
Nevertheless the instigators, those divine colleagues belonging to
, are not punished.34 Instead, punishment is deflected. On one
side, it is deflected to the children (v. ). [T]he potential for offspring
reflecting the likeness of the gods in a new way emerges as a threat
to creation, order and blessing.35 The present threat, however, is also
self-destructive. As their name indicates, the Nephilim, the fallen
ones, are those who are doomed to die.36 The form of death is
not specified. They may die by demotion to mortal rank (see Ps :
[ you will die you will fall]). They may die by dint
of battle (see Num : [J] in conjunction with Dt :; see also
Jdg :, :),37 or by inherent defect (see stillborn).38 Yet die
they must. Notwithstanding their achievement of fame (Gen :b;
see also :a), the Nephilim come to a speedy and permanent end
(similarly, : [J]).39
Punishment is also deflected to humanity. When he withdraws his
spirit from them, Yahweh limits the breath of life that
30 Shemaryahu Talmon, The Biblical Understanding of Creation and the Human
Commitment, ExAu (): .
31 Cf. Harland, The Value of Human Life .
32 Hendel, JBL (): ; and Richard S. Hess, Nephilim, in ABD .a.
33 H. F. Beck, Nephilim, in IDB .a.
34 Fishbane, Text and Texture ; and, differently, Simon B. Parker, The Beginning
of the Reign of GodPsalm as Myth and Liturgy, RB (): . See also
Ernst-Joachim Waschke, Untersuchungen zum Menschenbild der Urgeschichte. Ein Beitrag zur
alttestamentlichen Theologie (ThAr ; Berlin: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, ) .
Cf. Sarna, Genesis .
35 Howard N. Wallace, The Toledot of Adam, in Studies in the Pentateuch (ed. J.
A. Emerton; VTS ; Leiden: E. J. Brill, ) .
36 Hess, in ABD .b.
37 See Hendel, JBL (): .
38 Skinner, Genesis2 . See also Anne Draffkorn Kilmer, The Mesopotamian
Counterparts of the Biblical Neplm, in Perspectives on Language and Text: Essays and Poems
in Honor of Francis I. Andersens Sixtieth Birthday, June , (ed. Edgar W. Conrad and
Edward G. Newing; Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns, ) n. .
39 See Frank Anthony Spina, Babel, in ABD .b.

he had shared of himself with all human beings (see Gen : [J]).40
Human life is now truncated;41 human life expectancy (:b) is limited
(v. a) to a fixed, quantified terminus.42 By implication, a shortened life
span also limits the potential for human reproduction and, canonically,
for realizing Gods mandate of Gen : (P). Yahweh preemptively
curbs the expansion of human population.43 Finally, the punishment of
humanity serves to separate the human and divine spheres a degree
more than they already were. When he withdraws his (divine)
spirit (see Kgs :a = Chr :a), Yahweh makes humans that
much more mortal (e.g., Sam :a; see also flesh in P) and that
much less godlike (see, e.g., Jer :a and Ps :b; see also the title
in Gen : [E]).44 Yahweh makes humanity more finite and
impermanent, iteratively, for complicity in the divine indiscretion.
Whether inflicted on the children or the species from which the
brides were chosen, the punishment for the cosmic transgression is
appropriate to the crime. The semidivine offspring are eliminated,
and human beings become more mortal and more distant from God.
They also become less capable of fulfilling Gods goal of overflowing
human fertility and abundance (Gen :). The crime violated fundamental boundaries and distinctions, and the punishment reinforces
these boundaries and distinctions. The punishment is a form of death
a form that restores and fortifies a boundary previously violated. In
Gen :, the merger of divine and human realms produces deadly
results.
There is a purpose in telling this story. The divine provocateurs
are spared retaliation, yet the human accomplices are not. Humanity
accrues ever more blame for violating the natural order. It is judged
to be evil in its entirety (Gen :a) and in its every scheming thought
(v. b; see also :ab [J]).45 The purpose of Js story, then, is transpar-

See Childs, Myth and Reality2 .


Hendel, JBL (): .
42 Sarna, Genesis . See also Ulrich Berges, Gen ,: Babel oder das Ende der
Kommunikation, BN (): .
43 Jack Miles, God: A Biography (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, ) . Cf. Vervenne, in Words Remembered, Texts Renewed .
44 See Bernd Janowski, Stellvertretung. Alttestamentliche Studien zu einem theologischen Grundbegriff (SBS ; Stuttgart: Katholisches Bibelwerk, ) , in conjunction with von
Rad, Genesis .
45 S. R. Driver, The Book of Genesis (th ed.; WC; London: Methuen, ) ; and
von Rad, Genesis .
40

41

ent. This is recorded as an example of human depravity.46 Its undoing requires a global solution: the extermination of human and faunal
life (:a; see also : [J]).47 The natural conclusion of Gen :,
according to the logic of the myth, is the delugethe destruction of
humanity and the concomitant annihilation of the disorder. The cosmic imbalance is resolved by a great destruction, out of which a new
order arises.48 All of humanity pays an insuperable price for participating in the divinities scheme.
... In addition to angels and divinities, J may obliquely refer to
gods in Gen :.
Then the Lord God said, Since the man has become like one of us,
knowing good and evil, no way then should he stretch out his hand, take
from the tree of life as well, and eat and live forever! So the Lord God
drove him out of the garden of Eden, to work the soil from which he was
taken. He expelled the man. (Gen :a)

As elsewhere, Js God employs a self-inclusive, first person plural pronoun in an appeal to an addressee which, together with himself, constitutes a nonsingular entity (.). The addressee is invoked in a setting
where divine and human realms meet. The setting is consistent with
the manifestation of angels (..). The addressee seems to be (part of)
Gods allied confederate.49
Conversational strategy supports this assessment. Gen : presumes,
or forges, a relationship between God and his addressee, in which the
whole group is said to be affected by the immediate situation (see
also .). Gen : also describes a palpable breach in a boundary
that God established between heaven and earth50a breach which is
viewed, at least by Js God, as evidence of cosmic disharmony between
46 Westermann, Handbook to the Old Testament (ed. and trans. Robert H. Boyd; Minneapolis: Augsburg, []) .
47 See Tikva Frymer-Kensky, The Atrahasis Epic and Its Significance for Our
Understanding of Genesis , BA (): b.
48 Hendel, JBL (): . Cf. Harland, The Value of Human Life .
49 Dillmann, Genesis6 (= ET .); U. Cassuto, A Commentary on the Book of Genesis
(trans. Israel Abrahams; pts.; Jerusalem: Magnes, []) .; and
E. A. Speiser, Genesis (AB ; Garden City, New York: Doubleday, ) . See also,
with marked confidence, I. Engnell, Knowledge and Life in the Creation Story, in
Wisdom in Israel and in the Ancient Near East Presented to Professor Harold Henry Rowley (ed.
M. Noth and D. Winton Thomas; VTS ; Leiden: E. J. Brill, ) n. .
50 E.g., Miller, Cosmology and World Order in the Old Testament: The Divine
Council as Cosmic-Political Symbol, HBT / (): (repr. in Israelite Religion and
Biblical Theology: Collected Essays [JSOTS ; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, ]
); and Harland, Vertical or Horizontal: The Sin of Babel, VT (): .

the human and divine precincts (see ..).51 To this extent, then,
Gen : shares interpretive indicia with Gen : and :.
Gen :a may be compared directly with :. Both episodes
blame humans for the incursion into divine space. Both stories result
in a type of human exile, whether eviction and expulsion from Eden
(:a.a) or obliteration from earth (: [J]; see also the prospective statements in :a and :b [J]).52 And both episodes place a new
limit on human longevity (:b, :).53 In this comparative context,
these texts also share two more important features. First, the confusion
within the cosmic order explicitly involves gods. Whether they oppose
or collaborate with God, gods are present in the melee. Second, Yahweh responds to the confusion by initiating and imposing corrective
measures, which in turn restore balance as well as control (see below).
In both narratives, then, Yahweh alone implements punishment (see
also :). [T]here is only one God who passes judgment and makes
decisions. The one God is recognized as holding sole title to the
breath of life, which He controls as He wills.54
Gen :a may also be compared with :.55 Gods speech
in both passages begins with the affirmative clitic (:a, :a).56
The clauses jointly introduce a present situation that can, and will,
endanger the divine speaker as well as his addressee. Each situation
is thoroughly unusual and exigent (see .); the language describing
each situation is correspondingly panicked (see .). Each time too,
the speaker attributes the threat to a human achievement that crosses
the boundary between divine and human jurisdictions (see .).57 Even
the achievement is similar; (a representative of) the human race forms
or will form a union in defiance of Gods will.58 Then, each episode

Driver, Genesis12 ; and Hendel, JBL (): .


The source-critical status of Gen : is uncertain. See Walther Zimmerli, .Mose
( vols.; d/st ed.; ZB.AT /; Zurich: Theologischer Verlag, ) .; and
Wallace, in Studies in the Pentateuch , arguing for its assignment to RP.
53 Bruce Vawter, On Genesis: A New Reading (Garden City, New York: Doubleday, )
, in conjunction with Sarna, Genesis .
54 Sarna, Genesis (on Gen :).
55 See Vawter, On Genesis ; and Waschke, Untersuchungen zum Menschenbild ,
.
56 For the function , see Cassuto, Genesis ..
57 See Miller, HBT / (): (= Israelite Religion and Biblical Theology ).
58 For Gen :, see, inter alios, Dillmann, Genesis6 (= ET .); and Skinner,
Genesis2 .
51

52

continues with a consequential clause introduced by ,59 in which


Yahweh predicts even more ominous problems in humans; in the case
of :b, humans may achieve potential immortality. Again, the situation is dire and unacceptable. And each time, God invokes us. Yahweh consulted with other members of the divine council when there
was a very serious human act of rebellion against Yahweh and his
addressee.60
There is also the topos of divine intervention that connects Gen
:a, :, :, as well as many other passages mentioning
Gods angels. In Gen , God deliberately (see ., ..) intervenes
to punish the human alliance, stop their building project, and effect
repairs. In Gen , God intervenes to expunge all sentient life, including
the semi- and nondivine traces of the heretical union. In Gen , God
thwarts the human affront to his balanced cosmic plan. Angels register Gods presence in a similar way; they specifically serve as Gods
representatives in different circumstances where the divine and human
realms meet. They are nothing save the perceptible intervention of the
God in events.61 Each time, God intercedes and takes control.
The beneficiary of such intervention is regularly divine. In Gen :,
where Yahweh launches a counteroffensive on behalf of a self-inclusive
plural party, Yahweh and his addressee categorically benefit from the
divine raid. The beneficiaries are the same in Gen :. As Js God
characterizes it, the human affront targets God as well as his addressee
(us); any counteraction would therefore benefit the two allied parties,
perhaps in equal measure. So, in both these cases, Yahweh seeks the
addressees consent to act in the corporate interest: in Gen :, by
bidding for cooperation in a joint venture that God wants to conduct;
and in :, by conversational implicature. Both times too, it is he who
executes the planpresumably after receiving their solicited consent.
Stated militarily, in Gen :a and : Yahweh rallies his troops,
gains their cooperation, and leads the battle on their common behalf.
BDB a; and Christo H. J. van der Merwe, Jackie A. Naud, and Jan H. Kroeze,
A Biblical Hebrew Reference Grammar (Biblical Languages: Hebrew ; Sheffield: Sheffield
Academic Press, ) ...
60 T. L. J. Mafico, The Divine Compound Name !$  and Israels Monotheistic Polytheism, JNSL (): . See also Moshe Weinfeld, God the Creator in
Gen I and in the Prophecy of Second Isaiah, Tarb (): (in Hebrew); and
idem, Deuteronomy and the Deuteronomic School (Oxford: Oxford University Press, ) .
61 Martin Buber, Moses (Oxford/London: Phaidon, ) . See also Horst Dietrich
Preuss, Old Testament Theology (trans. Leo G. Perdue; vols.; OTL; Louisville: Westminster John Knox, []) ..
59

But not in Gen :. The emergency depicted in this text is incompatible with divine consultation. Yahweh can not consult those who are
violating the cosmic order that he established. He can not productively
take counsel from those who defy him. Nor can he ally himself with
the human collaborators of ungodly corruption. Humankind will be an
object of Gods reductive and lethal force, as will the Nephilim. Absent
a cooperative partner in this instance, Yahweh acts unilaterally. He acts
on his own behalf. The gods themselves are not destroyed (see :),
though they desist from any further transgression of the divine-human
divide.
... The gods that appear in the J and E traditions are exclusively masculine and, on one occasion, sexually male. They are also
unnamed,62 having only generic descriptors like angels and divinities
(J). Nevertheless, for some interpreters, a goddess Asherah may appear
in the J tradition.63 Reed, for example, finds Asherah in Gen :.
It is said that Leahs maid Zilpah bore Jacob two sons, Gad and Asher.
This apparently pleased Leah who expressed her thanks to the two
deities, Gad and Asher, and named the sons for them. Verse may
be translated: Leah cried, With Asherahs help! for maidens must call
me happy! so she called his name Asher.64

But the Masoretic text (MT) does not support this claim.
Leah said, As my happiness,65 for the young women will
call me happy.66 So she named him Asher.

Reeds rejoinder: As the text now stands the word for asera is written
sry.67 Even so, this interpretation of appeals to an unattested
For named angelic classes, see Olyan, A Thousand Thousands Served Him .
For recent discussions of this goddess, see N. Wyatt, Asherah , in DDD2
; and Judith M. Hadley, The Cult of Asherah in Ancient Israel and Judah: Evidence
for a Hebrew Goddess (University of Cambridge Oriental Publications ; Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press, ).
64 William L. Reed, The Asherah in the Old Testament (Fort Worth: Texas Christian
University Press, ) . See also the more reserved discussion in ibid. .
65 For the grammar of this prepositional phrase, see Hans-Peter Mller, Das Beth
existentiae im Althebrischen, in Vom Alten Orient zum Alten Testament. Festschrift fr Wolfram Freiherrn von Soden zum . Geburtstag am . Juni (ed. Manfried Dietrich and
Oswald Loretz; AOAT ; Kevelaer/Neukirchen-Vluyn: Butzon & Bercker/Neukirchener Verlag, ) .
66 For the reading of the perfect, see Dillmann, Genesis6 (= ET .).
67 Reed, The Asherah . See also C. F. Burney, The Book of Judges (; repr., New
York: Ktav, ) .
62

63

form of Asherahs name.68 And the support that Reed finds in :,


where a divine name Gad in ( ) allegedly underlies the name
of the child there,69 is tenuous at best. In the mouth of Leah it [sc.
Gad] is simply an abstract noun, luck. 70 Textually and exegetically,
then, Gen : is hardly a compelling attestation of a goddess Asherah
in the Israelite realm.71
Nor is Ex : (J?).72
He [sc. the Lord] said, I hereby make a covenant. Observe what
I command you today. Look, I will drive out before you the Amorites,
the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites.
Beware that you not make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land
against which you come. Their altars you should tear down, their
pillars smash, and their asherim cut down. For you shall not
worship another god, because the Lordhaving the name Jealousis a
jealous God. (Ex :a.a.)

Despite the mention of another god in their discourse vicinity (v. a),
these asherim are concrete objects.73 Syntactically, they are aligned with
cultic objects, viz., altars and pillars in v. .74 Grammatically, they are
affected patients of a prototypically transitive verb .75 The plural

68 Cf. Alan Cooper and Marvin Pope, Divine Names and Epithets in the Ugaritic
Texts, in RSP .. For atrty in Ugaritic, see Jeffrey H. Tigay, You Shall Have No Other
Gods: Israelite Religion in the Light of Hebrew Inscriptions (HSS ; Atlanta: Scholars Press,
) n. .
69 Dillmann, Genesis6 (= ET .); and Skinner, Genesis2 . See also Westermann, Genesis ..
70 Sarna, Genesis .
71 See Christian Frevel, Aschera und der Ausschlielichkeitsanspruch YHWHs. Beitrge zu
literarischen, religionsgeschichtlichen und ikonographischen Aspekten der Ascheradiskussion ( vols.;
BBB /; Weinheim: Beltz Athenum, ) .; and, esp., Hadley, The Cult of
Asherah .
72 The traditional assignment of this passage to J is now disputed. See Mark S.
Smith, The Early History of God: Yahweh and the Other Deities in Ancient Israel (d ed.; The
Biblical Resources Series; Grand Rapids/Cambridge, U.K.: Eerdmans, ) ; and,
esp., John I. Durham, Exodus (WBC ; Waco: Word, ) .
73 E.g., Richard J. Pettey, Asherah: Goddess of Israel (American University Studies
VII/; New York: Peter Lang, ) .
74 See Benno Jacob, The Second Book of the Bible: Exodus (trans. Walter Jacob and
Yaakov Elman; Hoboken, New Jersey: Ktav, []) .
75 Pettey, Asherah . See also the lists in Frymer-Kensky, In the Wake of the Goddesses: Women, Culture, and the Biblical Transformation of Pagan Myth (New York: Fawcett
Columbine, ) n. ; and Hadley, The Cult of Asherah .

morphology,76 plural suffix,77 and possessive suffix78 of also suggest


that the basic noun represents a generic entity rather than a divine
name. Nor can refer here to an indigenous cultic item linked,
in any affiliate way, to Yahweh.79 The covenant formulary prohibits
different kinds of foreign allegiances, especially foreign worship (see v. ).
Ex : does not refer to a goddess Asherah, Israelite or otherwise, in
consort with God.
... A relatively consistent picture of the gods has emerged from
the J and E traditions. In the first place, J and E acknowledge gods
alongside God. They may be called angels, according to the role they
serve. Or they may be called , according to their generic
species or, perhaps, after their leader . In either case, these gods
exist as nonindividuated, masculine, and nameless beings. They are,
however, potentially countable, as Gen : plainly states.80 For when
Js God affirms that the man has become like one of us,
the partitive grammar and phraseology imply that the nonsingular us
includes multiple members that, at least en ensemble, have a common
divine identity. Second, gods appear only at times when the divine
and human worlds meet. Sometimes, the human side benefits from
the meeting. Frequently, it does not. In which case, the human race
is perceived as an untame, malevolent, and destructive opponent. It
must be subdued like any rival of Gods, and the resultant wound must
be healed. Third, when the gods respond to human malevolence, the
wickedness takes the form of transgression. In these instances, God
judges human behavior to have overstepped its intrinsic boundaries
and to have violated Gods created order. So God himself intervenes
and, alone, executes punishment. Fourth and finally, God can form
a cooperative relationship with gods, as when he deputizes angels to
communicate and/or act in his stead. God instigates and directs their
Steve A. Wiggins, A Reassessment of Asherah: A Study According to the Textual Sources
of the First Two Millennia B.C.E. (AOAT ; Kevelaer/Neukirchen-Vluyn: Butzon &
Bercker/Neukirchener Verlag, ) with .
77 See Haiim B. Rosn, On Some Nominal Morphological Categories in Biblical
Hebrew, in On the Dignity of Man: Oriental and Classical Studies in Honour of Frithiof Rundgren
(ed. Tryggve Kronholm et al.; OrSu ; Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell, ) .
78 Tigay, You Shall Have No Other Gods , esp. n. (on in epigraphic
sources).
79 Sarna, Exodus (The JPS Torah Commentary; Philadelphia/New York: Jewish
Publication Society, ) . Cf. Olyan, Asherah and the Cult of Yahweh in Israel (SBLMS
; Atlanta: Scholars Press, ) .
80 Gerald Cooke, The Sons of (the) God(s), ZAW (): .
76

behavior, and he can involve them in an affiliative and confederate


relationship. They are his colleagues who serve him, represent him, and
execute his will.
If they are not complicitous in the human transgression that prompts
their appearance, Js God forms an alliance with gods to repair the
breach. Through a number of conversational strategies, God reinforces
or establishes a sense of solidarity between himself and his addressee,
in order to convince the addressee to execute his will. One of these
strategies is the use of the first person plural pronoun, in which God
rhetorically conveys the notion that the (human) problem at hand
affects himself and his divine addressee jointly and equally. In both
of Js accounts, Gen :a and :, Yahweh solicits and tacitly
receives the consent of the divine addressee. In both accounts, the
human problem is also dispelled.
To a certain extent, the referent of Gods self-inclusive plural pronoun can now be specified. The earlier analysis suggested that the
plural pronoun is nonsingular, and that the pronoun refers either to
a divine pair or to a divine plurality (see .). At this juncture, the evidence disfavors the dual referent. It is unlikely, for example, that Gods
plural refers to an angelic addresseesingular or plural in number. For
when an angel enters into partnership with God, the angel performs
Gods work. Not so in Gen :a and :, where God executes
his own proposal. It is also unlikely that Gods plural refers to a female
addressee, since no goddessesnamed or unnamedare associated
with Yahweh in the J and E traditions. The likelihood falls to a masculine plural addressee whom God persuades to join his cause. Gods
inclusive and affiliative tactics further indicate that the plural addressee
is divine and, conversationally at least, involves the divine community.
In J, that divine community appears once as an unfettered and lawless
group that creates havoc in Gen :. Otherwise, it appears to collaborate with God. In Gen : and :, then, J depicts alliances between
Yahweh and a referentially distinct collective of subordinate divinities.
Gods circle includes gods.
But gods also entail, or implicate, two other parties that are intimately involved with them. One party is God himself. Whether they
act as consultants, envoys, or obstacles, gods do not appear without
God present or imminent. The other party is human. Whether angels,
divinities, or Gods consultative posse, gods materialize only when
human beings are salient or topical discourse entities. In J and E, gods
always implicate humans as well as God.

Far more striking, however, is the narrative or situational correlation


between nonangelic gods and humankind. For when gods appear as
divinities or under the guise of the first person plural pronoun, the
repercussion for humanity is devastating. When they appear, human
beingsor their prototypical representativealways represent a clear
and present danger to Gods order, Gods community, and God himself
(see ..). It is irrelevant whether human beings initiate (Gen :
a, :) or join the transgressive behavior (:). In either case,
they act in concert, violate Gods stipulations, and infringe on Gods
domain. From this perspective, human beings each time (help) create
the ominous, exigent, or invidious predicament that provokes Gods
punitive response. From another perspective, though, the very appearance of nonangelic gods entails a present or imminent human disaster
in the form of irreversible and abundant punishment. Gods spell horror
for human beings (see .).81
.. Gods Elsewhere in the Hebrew Bible
Nonforeign gods appear in many other biblical texts as well. Unsurprisingly, these latter texts tend to confirm the precedent set by J and E.
Unsurprisingly too, they complement J and E, and they provide much
additional information about the gods: their designations, their organization, their relationship to God and to humans, as well as their several
functions. They therefore present a detailed and holistic characterization of the gods. They also establish a wider context within which Ps
lone divine we can be evaluated (Gen :).
... Gods exist throughout much of the Hebrew Bible. There is
a considerable body of evidence to indicate that early Israel believed in
the existence and even the puissance of deities other than YHWH.82
As in J and E, they can be angelic: e.g., angel (e.g., Hos :),
angel of the Lord (e.g., Zec :), Gods angel

Cf. Bernard F. Batto, who labels Js gods functionless figures (Creation Theology in Genesis, in Creation in the Biblical Traditions [ed. Richard J. Clifford and John
J. Collins; CBQMS ; Washington, D.C.: Catholic Biblical Association of America,
] ); or, differently, Parker, Sons of (the) God(s) ()// , in DDD2
b.
82 Baruch Halpern, Brisker Pipes than Poetry: The Development of Israelite
Monotheism, in Judaic Perspectives on Ancient Israel (ed. Jacob Neusner, Baruch A. Levine,
and Ernest S. Frerichs; Philadelphia: Fortress, ) . See also ibid. .
81

(e.g., Jdg :), and his angels (e.g., Ps :). They may be
expressly divine: divinities (e.g., Job :), divinities (e.g., Pss :, :), gods (Ex :), and gods (e.g.,
Ps :). Or they can be identified by an intrinsic property: e.g.,
(divine) spirit ( Kgs :a = Chr :a).83 In these texts, the gods
terminologically resemble their J and E counterparts; they are a plural
entity whose members are relatively generic and indistinct.
Terminology also shows that gods can organize into groups.84 They
may form a gathering (Ps :) or assembly (:). They
may constitute a council (e.g., Jer :),85 or they may muster into
a army (e.g., Is :).86 Gods can form a variety of collectives.87
All of their designations, though, are referentially compatible. On the
one hand, like the grammatical structure of and , gods are
plural. They have internal composition, and they may even number in
the thousands (Dan :; see also Ps :).88 Further, if these gods follow the pattern of those in Gen :, they are also a countable plurality
(..). On the other hand, these divine beings may aggregate into
an undifferentiated or homogeneous group and, altogether, comprise a
mass totality (e.g., Zec :; Ps :). The many gods can coalesce
into unions, assemblies, companies, congregations, or squadrons.89

83 See, e.g., Rudolf Kittel, Die Bcher der Knige (HKAT I/; Gttingen: Vandenhoeck
& Ruprecht, ) . Cf., e.g., James A. Montgomery, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Books of Kings (ed. Henry Snyder Gehman; ICC; Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark,
[]) .
84 Oswald Loretz, Die Gottebenbildlichkeit des Menschen (Schriften des Deutschen Instituts fr wissenschaftliche Pdagogik; Munich: Ksel, ) ; E. Theodore Mullen,
Jr., The Divine Council in Canaanite and Early Hebrew Literature (HSM ; Chico, Calif.:
Scholars Press, ) ; and Newsom, in ABD ..
85 Heinz-Dieter Neef, Gottes himmlischer Thronrat. Hintergrund und Bedeutung von sd
YHWH im Alten Testament (AzTh ; Stuttgart: Calwer, ), esp. .
86 BDB a (ad .b); and, tentatively, H. Ringgren, 
 s. aba, in TDOT ..
87 See Brettler, God is King .
88 Although CS &
" X in Dt : has also been understood to register the gods
number (e.g., Newsom, in ABD .b), this interpretation is weak (see the discussions by Driver, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on Deuteronomy [d ed.; ICC; Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, ()] ; and A. D. H. Mayes, Deuteronomy [NCBC;
Grand Rapids/London: Eerdmans/Morgan & Scott, ()] ). Cf. Tigay:
Ribeboth-kodesh must be the name of a place , like all the terms parallel to it
(Deuteronomy [The JPS Torah Commentary; Philadelphia/Jerusalem: Jewish Publication
Society, ] ).
89 For ramifications, see Olyan, A Thousand Thousands Served Him .

... Biblical writers ascribe many attributes to nonforeign gods. Of


paramount, and predictable, importance is their divine and God-like
nature (e.g., Ps :). They are at least as old as creation (Job :)90
(see ..), and they are presumed to live forever (Ps :).91 Divinity renders them immortal (see ..). Moreover, they are holy (e.g.,
:.),92 sovereign (e.g., :), and masculine (see, esp., Kgs :a =
Chr :a).93
Israels gods have other God-like qualities, too. For example, they are
awesome (Jdg :), good ( Sam :),94 and wise (e.g., Job :).95
They are especially considered to be paragons of knowledge and
discernment,96 as the wise woman of Tekoa well knows.97
Your servant thought, Please, the word of my lord the king will act
as comfort. For like an angel of God, so is my lord the
kingunderstanding good and evil. My lord is as wise as the wisdom
of an angel of Godknowing everything on earth. (
Sam :a-b.b)
90 See, e.g., Miller, HBT / (): (= Israelite Religion and Biblical Theology );
and, by implication, Parker, in DDD2 b. Whether Is : and : demonstrate
that Yahweh created gods (Miller, HBT / []: n. [= Israelite Religion and
Biblical Theology n. ]; and J. J. M. Roberts, Isaiah, in The HarperCollins Study
Bible [ed. Wayne A. Meeks; (New York:) HarperCollins, ] ad Is :) is uncertain (see Westermann, Isaiah [trans. David M. G. Stalker; OTL; Philadelphia:
Westminster, ()] ; or, nodding to Miller and Roberts, R. N. Whybray,
Isaiah [NCBC; Grand Rapids/London: Eerdmans/Marshall, Morgan & Scott,
()] ).
91 See Hermann Gunkel, Die Psalmen (th ed.; HKAT II/; Gttingen: Vandenhoeck
& Ruprecht, ) .
92 Werner H. Schmidt, Knigtum Gottes in Ugarit und Israel. Zur Herkunft der Knigsprdikation Jahwes (d ed.; BZAW ; Berlin: Alfred Tpelmann, ) ; Mullen, The
Divine Council ; and, albeit on Hos :, Weinfeld, Feminine Features in the
Imagery of God in Israel: The Sacred Marriage and the Sacred Tree, VT ():
. See also C. J. Labuschagne, The Incomparability of Yahweh in the Old Testament (POS ;
Leiden: E. J. Brill, ) .
93 Cf. Kittel, Knige .
94 For this passage, note Karl Budde, Die Bcher Samuel (KHAT ; Tbingen/Leipzig:
J. C. B. Mohr [Paul Siebeck], ) ; and Hans Wilhelm Hertzberg, I & II Samuel
(trans. J. S. Bowden; OTL; Philadelphia: Westminster, []) with n. a. Cf.
P. Kyle McCarter, Jr., I Samuel (AB ; Garden City, New York: Doubleday, ) .
95 See von Rad, Old Testament Theology (trans. D. M. G. Stalker; vols.; New York:
Harper & Brothers/Harper & Row, []) ..
96 Newsom, in ABD .b (though only the first citation seems correct).
97 See Hans Joachim Stoebe, Das zweite Buch Samuelis (KAT /; Gtersloh: Gtersloher Verlagshaus, ) ; and Hertzberg, I & II Samuel . Cf. McCarter, II
Samuel (AB ; New York: Doubleday, ) ; and A. A. Anderson, Samuel (WBC ;
Dallas: Word, ) .

Davids wisdom and knowledge are shared only with the gods (see
Gen :.).
But the gods are not all equal. In one setting, a military setting, there
is evidence of differentiation.98
When Joshua was in Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing
opposite him with his sword drawn in his hand. Joshua went to him
and said to him, Do you belong to us or to our enemies? He said,
Negative. Rather, I am commander of the Lords army; I
have now arrived. Then Joshua fell face down to the ground, bowed,
and said to him, What is my lord saying to his servant? (Jos :)

There is a hierarchical distinction among the divine troops: Gods army


is led by a divine captain.99 Though he may look like a man (see below),
he is an angel,100 and he commands Gods forces.101 But, as the title
may also suggest, the army ultimately falls under the leadership
of God, the commander-in-chief.102 In like fashion, the (divine)
warriors103 are grammatically possessed by God (e.g., Is :; Jl :),104
who himself is the divine warrior par excellence (e.g., Ex :a).105
For the Lord your God is the God of Gods and the Lord of lords,
the great, the warrior, and the awesome God.
(Dt :a-b; see also Jer : and Neh :)

There is a tripartite division, then, in the military arm of the divine


world: Yahweh, his armys commander, and his soldiers, in rank order.
A final attribute of the gods can be gathered from another, deuteronomistic passage.
There appeared an angel of the Lord to the woman. The
woman came and told her husband, A man of God came to

E.g., Smith, The Early History of God 2 .


Brettler, God is King . Cf. Olyan, A Thousand Thousands Served Him .
100 Miller, HBT / (): (= Israelite Religion and Biblical Theology ).
101 See, in this context, Weinfeld, The Promise of the Land: The Inheritance of the Land of
Canaan by the Israelites (Berkeley: University of California Press, ) n. .
102 See Cooper, Ps :: Mythology and Exegesis, JBL (): n. ; and,
esp., Hans Walter Wolff, The Old Testament: A Guide to Its Writings (trans. Keith R. Crim;
Philadelphia: Fortress, []) . Cf. A. S. van der Woude, 
 s. aba army, in
TLOT ..
103 See Miller, The Divine Warrior in Early Israel (HSM ; Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard
University Press, ) , .
104 See Mullen, The Divine Council .
105 Brettler, God is King . See also Miller, The Divine Warrior ; and Mullen,
The Divine Council (on Dt :). Cf. Cooke, ZAW (): .
98

99

me. His appearance was like that of an angel of God, very


awesome. Then the angel of God again came to the
woman, while she was sitting in the field without Manoah her husband
with her. She said to him [sc. her husband], Look! The man
who came to me the (other) day has just appeared to me. Manoah up
and followed his wife. He came to the man and said to him, Are
you the man who spoke to my wife? He said, Yes.
Not again did the angel of the Lord appear to Manoah and
his wife. At that time, Manoah understood that he had been
an angel of the Lord. So Manoah said to his wife, We shall certainly die,
for a divine being have we seen. (Jdg :a.a.b.b-.)

On the one hand, the visitor is a deity. As an angel, he can be characterized as a god and project an awesome appearance. On the other
hand, the visitor is also a man106 and speaks with a human voice (see
also Dan :).107 Angels can be recognized as divine and/or human.
Like their predecessors in J and E (..), they are morphologically
(am-) bivalent, manifesting properties of the two worlds they straddle.
... Gods are subordinate to God. Their angelic title connotes
dependency (..). Their grammatical relation in construct phrases
and suffixed nouns suggest dependency or, more widely, taxonomic
assignment: e.g., and, perhaps, the sons of
God (Job :, :); and his sons (Dt : [emended after
QDeutq]);108 as well as council of the Lord (Jer :) and
council of God (Job :).109 Sometimes, gods are even characterized as subservient or servile personnel: e.g., his ministers
(Pss :, :) and his servants (Job :). Israels gods are
subordinate to God, belong to God, and are part of his divine species.
Gods gods perform many other functions as well, most of which
reflect their status vis--vis God himself.110 For example, they show
obedience to Yahweh.
Bless the Lord, O his angels, powerful warriors who
enact his utterance, obeying his utterance. Bless the Lord, all his hosts,
his ministers who perform his will. (Ps :)

See von Rad, Old Testament Theology .; and, in greater detail, Tsevat, HUCA
(): n. .
107 See John J. Collins, Daniel (Hermeneia; Minneapolis: Fortress, ) .
108 DJD ..
109 See Mullen, The Divine Council .
110 Brettler, God is King .
106

They bow down to him (e.g., :)111 and praise him (e.g., :; see
also QDeutq :).112 They tend to him (e.g., Kgs :; see also
Chr :) and applaud him with words (e.g., Job :). The particular
setting may vary, whether royal attendance (e.g., Ps :),113 warfare
(e.g., Zec :), or a courtroom (e.g., Dan :). Still, gods serve the
same basic role; they minister unto Yahweh, their God.114
... They serve another role too, vis--vis the human race.115
When the Supreme One allotted the nations, when he separated humankind, he set the boundaries of peoples according to the number of
divinities. For the Lords portion is his people, Jacob his own
allotment. (Dt : [emended after QDeutj])116

God worked the gods into his cosmic design, and he shared with them
jurisdiction over the worlds population.117
At that time, that is, at the beginning of all history he subordinated
one nation to each of the heavenly beings who had to take care of it,
like a guardian angel. He departed from this general arrangement in one
case alone: Israel was chosen by Yahweh for himself and subordinated
directly to himself. Thus it was in this way that God at the beginning
carried out the division of the world according to its nations. The
peculiarity of this passage is not the fact that it mentions yet other
heavenly beings beside Yahweh (this conception is not rare in the Old
Testament) but that it confers on them such an important place in the
government of the world.118

In fact, God tailored the parameters of human communities after the


gods, and he installed them in the administration of the world.119 The
111 See Norman C. Habel, The Book of Job (OTL; Philadelphia: Westminster, )
(on Job :).
112 Miller, HBT / (): (= Israelite Religion and Biblical Theology ).
113 See Heinrich Gro, Die Gottebenbildlichkeit des Menschen, in Lex Tua Veritas.
Festschrift fr Hubert Junker (ed. idem and Franz Muner; Trier: Paulinus, )
(on and ).
114 Mullen, The Divine Council (despite his evaluation).
115 Miller, HBT / (): (= Israelite Religion and Biblical Theology ).
116 DJD ., with supportive evidence. For discussions, see Urbach, The Sages 2 .;
and Tigay, Deuteronomy .
117 Tigay, Deuteronomy xiii. See also Preuss, Old Testament Theology ..
118 Von Rad, Deuteronomy (trans. Dorothea Barton; OTL; Philadelphia: Westminster,
[]) .
119 Rudolf Meyer, Die Bedeutung von Deuteronomium , f. (Q) fr die
Auslegung des Moseliedes, in Verbannung und Heimkehr. Beitrge zur Geschichte und Theologie
Israels im . und . Jahrhundert v. Chr. Wilhelm Rudolph zum . Geburtstage (ed. Arnulf
Kuschke; Tbingen: J. C. B. Mohr [Paul Siebeck], ) (repr. in Beitrge
zur Geschichte von Text und Sprache des Alten Testaments. Gesammelte Aufstze [ed. Waltraut

gods are permanent fixtures subordinate to Yahweh. Stated differently,


Yahweh validated the gods when he assigned them their task.
A task which, again, pertains to the human population. When God
made his divine assignments, he determined that the nations each have
a protector and patron.120 It is their duty to execute Gods will (see
Ps :) and, in this case, care for non-Israelites. In another case,
in their capacity as angels, they are also responsible for Gods faithful.
For his angels will he order for you, to protect you in all your
ways. On their hands they will carry you, so that you wont hit your foot
on a stone. (Ps :)

Yahweh intends that gods responsibly participate in the human world


and enact his plans equally for Israelites and non-Israelites.
Yahweh also intends that gods imitate him. Since he is the author
and guarantor of the norms of justice,121 Yahweh is the prototypical
agent of justice.
The Lord is king!122 Let the earth rejoice; let the numerous islands be
glad! Righteous and justice are the seat of his throne.
Heaven proclaims his righteousness, and all peoples see his glory.
(Ps :.b.)
Mighty king,

justice you love. You have established equity,


justice and righteousness have you performed in Jacob.
(Ps :); see also

For the Lord your God is the God of gods and the Lord of lords who
performs justice for the fatherless and the widow, and who loves
the stranger by providing him food and clothing. (Dt :a.)

God expects his divine representatives to follow suit.123


God takes his position in the assembly of God,
among the gods he executes justice. Judge the weak and
fatherless, vindicate the lowly and poor, provide escape for the weak and
needy, save (them) from the hand of the wicked! (Ps :.)

Bernhardt; BZAW ; Berlin/New York: Walter de Gruyter, ] ); Tsevat,


HUCA (): ; and, more generally, Miller, HBT / (): (=
Israelite Religion and Biblical Theology ).
120 Mayes, Deuteronomy . See also Meyer, in Verbannung und Heimkehr (= Beitrge
Alten Testaments ).
121 Tsevat, HUCA (): .
122 See ch. n. , below.
123 See Miller, HBT / (): (= Israelite Religion and Biblical Theology ).

God entrusts his gods with effecting justice, protecting the vulnerable,
and ensuring righteousness and equity in the world.124
Since gods serve an intermediary role, relative to both God and
humankind, they are intrinsically angelicin name (..), nature
(..), and function (..). They do Gods bidding in a divinehuman setting (see ..). The gods harbinger special events (e.g.,
Jdg :). They protect the faithful, either individually or collectively (e.g., Kgs : and Ps :, respectively). They execute
condign punishment on their adversaries (e.g., Ps :), and they
serve as instruments of the divine displeasure against sinners and
recalcitrants within Israel itself (e.g., Sam :; see also Chr
:). Gods angelic envoys therefore represent the benevolence and
malevolence of their dispatcher to their human addressee.125
Gods can serve a more general function, too. They convey Gods
message to humankind (e.g., Zec :). Occasionally, a god may interpret a divine communication (e.g., v. ).126 More often, gods merely
relay Gods message (e.g., Kgs :), simply and faithfully (cf. Job
:, :).127 Gods act as divine spokesmen.128
... Just as the text of Dt :+QDeutj : supports the notion
of angelic gods, it also supports the notion that gods can be more
than Gods subordinates. God and the gods constitute an internally
differentiated administrative agency.
When God organized the government of the world, He established two
tiers: at the top, He Himself, God of gods (elohei ha-elohim) and Lord
of lords (:), who reserved Israel for Himself, to govern personally;
below Him, angelic divine beings (benei elohim), to whom He allotted the other peoples. The conception is like that of a king or emperor
governing the capital or heartland of his realm personally and assigning
the provinces to subordinates.129
124 E.g., von Rad, Deuteronomy ; and Anderson, The Book of Psalms ( vols.; NCBC;
Grand Rapids/London: Eerdmans/Marshall, Morgan & Scott, ) ..
125 See Preuss, Old Testament Theology ..
126 Carol L. Meyers and Eric M. Meyers, Haggai, Zechariah (AB B; Garden City,
New York: Doubleday, ) .
127 See, however, Meier, in DDD 2 b.
128 Note, too, the formula discussed by Frank M. Cross, Jr., The Council of Yahweh
in Second Isaiah, JNES (): ; and supplemented by Christopher R. Seitz,
The Divine Council: Temporal Transition and New Prophecy in the Book of Isaiah,
JBL (): .
129 Tigay, Deuteronomy . See also Meyer, in Verbannung und Heimkehr (= Beitrge
Alten Testaments ); Halpern, The Baal (and the Asherah) in Seventh-Century
Judah: Yhwhs Retainers Retired, in Konsequente Traditionsgeschichte. Festschrift fr Klaus

God and the gods constitute a divine council. As the Bible describes it,
it is fundamentally a sociopolitical [symbol], expressing the activity of
divine government in political terms, that is, as having to do with the
affairs of the human world and the divine world.130 The organization
of the human race reflects that of all the divine beings.
The divine council is also a deliberative body. The gods can function
as an assembly which God can consult and where divine discussion
takes place (see, e.g., Job :).131
Then he [sc. Micaiah ben Imlah] said, Alright, hear the word of the
Lord! I saw the Lord seated on his throne, while all the
host of heaven were attending him to his right and to his left. The Lord
said, Who will entice Ahab so that he will go up and fall at Ramothgilead? One said this, another saying that, when a spirit came forward
and stood before the Lord. He [sc. the spirit] said, Me, let me entice
him. The Lord said to him, How? He said, I will go out and be a
lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. He [sc. the Lord] said, You
will entice (him) and prevail, too. Go out and do it. So the Lord did
put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these prophets of yours; the Lord
expressed disaster upon you. ( Kgs :; see also Chr :)

In this episode, Yahweh sits on his royal perch and confers with his
divine entourage. He formulates a plan and solicits a volunteer. The
divinities consult one another, after which one of their rank comes
forward. Yahweh questions whether the volunteer is prepared. But
after the divinity makes his case, Yahweh agrees and orders the plans
execution; it is executed as if from Yahweh himself.132
The relationship between Yahweh and the council, though, is not
always harmonic. God may accept their advice, as in Kgs :b=
Chr :b. Conversely, the gods may simply obey him (see Ps :
) or defer to him (see Gen :a, :). At other times, though,
the gods may defy him (e.g., Ps ) or challenge his seat at the head of
the council (see Is :). In which case, their disobedient offense is
Baltzer zum . Geburtstag (ed. Rdiger Bartelmus, Thomas Krger, and Helmut Utzschneider; OBO ; Freiburg/Gttingen: Universittsverlag/Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, ) ; and John Day, Yahweh and the Gods and Goddesses of Canaan (JSOTS ;
Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, ) . Cf. Whybray, The Heavenly Counsellor in
Isaiah xl : A Study of the Sources of the Theology of Deutero-Isaiah (SOTSMS ; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, ) .
130 Miller, HBT / (): (= Israelite Religion and Biblical Theology ). See also
Halpern, in Judaic Perspectives on Ancient Israel .
131 Newsom, in ABD .b.
132 Miller, HBT / (): (= Israelite Religion and Biblical Theology ).

quickly quashed (e.g., vv. .), even in the gods native courtroom setting (Ps :.) (see ..). As Gods advisory yet subordinate body,
gods should submit to, and accept, Gods will over them (see :).133
... Membership in the council is not restricted to divine beings.134
Kgs : shows, for example, that a prophet may view the proceedings of Gods court. Is shows that a prophet may also assume a
participatory role.
In the year of King Uzziahs death, I saw my Lord seated on a high
and lofty throne. Seraphim were attending him from above. One
would call to the other and say, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts,
filling the whole earth with his glory. Then I heard the voice of my
Lord saying, Whom shall I send? Who will go for us? I said, Me.
Send me. So he [sc. the Lord] said, Go and say to this people
(Is :a.a..a)

The deuteronomistic and Isaian texts begin alike.135 They are presented as eyewitness reports by a prophet of Yahweh. They describe
a royal scene where Yahweh, sitting on his throne, is attended by an
angelic retinue.136 They also depict Yahweh calling for divine consultation, asking for a volunteer, and directing the volunteer to execute his
plan of deception or admonition against (a segment of) his people. Yet
unlike Micaiah, Isaiah includes himself among the addressees.137 Isaiah answers Yahwehs call, volunteers himself, receives Gods approval,
serves as Gods envoy, and communicates his message. Isaiah is Yahwehs representative angel.138

See Cooke, ZAW (): .


Miller, The Divine Warrior .
135 For the relationship between Kgs and Is , see H. G. M. Williamson, The Book
Called Isaiah: Deutero-Isaiahs Role in Composition and Redaction (Oxford: Oxford University
Press, ) .
136 See Jonas C. Greenfield, Baals Throne and Isa. :, in Mlanges bibliques et orientaux en lhonneur de M. Mathias Delcor (ed. A. Caquot, S. Lgasse, and M. Tardieu;
AOAT ; Kevelaer/Neukirchen-Vluyn: Butzon & Bercker/Neukirchener Verlag,
) (repr. in Al Kanfei Yonah: Collected Studies of Jonas C. Greenfield on Semitic Philology
[ed. Shalom M. Paul, Michael E. Stone, and Avital Pinnick; vols.; Leiden/Jerusalem:
Brill/The Hebrew University Magnes Press, ] .), in conjunction with Cooke,
ZAW (): .
137 H. L. Ginsberg, The Supernatural in the Prophets with Special Reference to Isaiah (n.p.:
Hebrew Union College Press, ) ; and, similarly, Miller, Genesis .
138 Cf. James F. Ross, The Prophet as Yahwehs Messenger, in Israels Prophetic
Heritage: Essays in Honor of James Muilenburg (ed. Bernhard W. Anderson and Walter
Harrelson; London: SCM, ) .
133

134

In this angelic capacity, Isaiah can respond to Yahweh in a way that


was otherwise restricted to gods.139 Previously, when Yahweh appealed
to a self-inclusive plural, he was seeking the consent of a divine addressee to act on the corporate behalf (Gen :, :). In Is , Yahweh
still appeals to us (v. a); Yahweh still implies that he and his divine
company share a bond of common involvement, solidarity, or interest. Yet Isaiahs response is not illegitimate or hubristic; in fact, God
himself endorses and directs a prophetic go-between (see Hag :
). Isaiah is a credible respondent because he is a male intermediary
who represents and communicates Gods directives to Judah (see also
Mal :). Isaiah represents and reveals Gods will in the world, as a
(human and male) theophany of Gods presence and participation on
earth (..).
... Just as the goddess Asherah is thought to appear in the Yahwist
tradition (..), she is also spotted elsewhere in the Hebrew Bible.
By and large, the characteristics of Asherah derive from those of her
Ugaritic ancestor.140 There, Athirat is paired with the godhead El. El is
the divine father, and Athirat is the divine mother. They are clearly
represented as the parents of the gods.141 Both deities also have watery,
albeit separate, homes.142 In the Ugaritic texts, then, El and Athirat
make fitting consorts. In biblical texts, though, Els own salience has
diminished. Just as [t]here are cases where el refers to Yahweh
(e.g., Ex : [J]),143 Yahweh has become a principal successor to
Canaanite El.144 And for some, this Israelite successor also inherits

139 Cooke, ZAW (): ; Cross, Canaanite Myth and Hebrew Epic: Essays in the
History and Religion of Israel (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, ) ;
and Hans Wildberger, Isaiah (trans. Thomas H. Trapp; vols.; Minneapolis: Fortress,
[]) .. See also Williamson, The Book Called Isaiah .
140 See Day, Asherah in the Hebrew Bible and Northwest Semitic Literature, JBL
(): . For discussions of the Ugaritic goddess, see Pope, Atirat, in
WdM /.; J. C. de Moor, T
# asherah, in TDOT .; Wilfred G.
E. Watson, The Goddesses of Ugarit: A Survey, SEL (): ; and Wyatt, in
DDD2 .
141 Pope, El in the Ugaritic Texts (VTS ; Leiden: E. J. Brill, ) .
142 For Athirats marine title, see Dennis Pardee, Ugaritic Myths, in The Context of
Scripture (ed. William W. Hallo and K. Lawson Younger, Jr.; vols.; Leiden: E. J. Brill,
) . n. ; and Hadley, The Cult of Asherah .
143 W. Herrmann, El , in DDD 2 b. See also, inter alios, Cross,  el, in
TDOT .; and, differently, idem, Canaanite Myth and Hebrew Epic .
144 William G. Dever, Asherah, Consort of Yahweh? New Evidence from Kuntillet
Ajrd, BASOR (): b. See also Day, Yahweh Gods and Goddesses .

Els Canaanite consort.145 It is likely that Asherah and Yahweh were


considered consorts.146
The existence of an Israelite goddess Asherah might be anchored in
early biblical poetry.
His bow stayed steadily taut, the arms of his hands were invigorated by
the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob, there, the Shepherd, the Rock of
Israel, the God of your father who helps you, and Shaddai who blesses
you with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep stretched out
below, blessings of breasts and womb. (Gen :)

The phrase breasts and womb in v. b might be a title attributed


to a goddess. The strongest evidence supports Asherah as the
goddess evoked by the[se] female epithets.147 The evidence, though,
is not strong. Fertility does not belong exclusively to the domain of
goddesses. Yahwehs own domain includes fertility (e.g., Dt :).148
So too, v. specifically states that God provides these blessings, an
indication that God has already coopted the powers of the mothergoddess by the time of this poem.149 Gen : reflects Yahwehs own
character.150
Later biblical texts do not prove her existence within the Israelite
pantheon, either.
So gather all Israel with despatch to me [sc. Elijah] at Mount Carmel,
as well as the prophets of Baal (numbering) four hundred
and fifty and the prophets of Asherah (numbering) four
hundredfeeding at the table of Jezebel. ( Kgs :)
145

See Smith, The Early History of God 2 ; and Day, Yahweh Gods and Goddesses ,

146 Pettey, Asherah , as well as the conclusion drawn on . See also Handy, in The
Triumph of Elohim .
147 Smith, The Early History of God 2 . See also, tentatively, Harriet Lutzky, Shadday
as a Goddess Epithet, VT (): .
148 See Frymer-Kensky, In the Wake of the Goddesses .
149 Ibid. n. . See also Magne Sb, Divine Names and Epithets in Genesis :b-a: Some Methodological and Traditio-Historical Remarks, in History and
Traditions of Early Israel: Studies Presented to Eduard Nielsen, May th (ed. Andr Lemaire
and Benedikt Otzen; VTS ; Leiden: E. J. Brill, ]) with n. (repr. in
On the Way to Canon: Creative Tradition History in the Old Testament [JSOTS ; Sheffield:
Sheffield Academic Press, ] with n. ); and, on the associations of the divine
name El Shaddai, David Biale, The God with Breasts: El Shaddai in the Bible, HR
(): , as tempered by Wenham, Genesis ..
150 See, similarly, Richard C. Steiner, c and : Two Verbs Masquerading as
Nouns in Moses Blessing (Deuteronomy :, ), JBL (): (on
Dt :), as opposed to Nybergs attempt to recover Asherah amidst the difficult
(recently resurrected by Weinfeld, VT []: ).

This text shows that prophets of Baal and Asherah received royal support and, to this extent at least, were sanctioned religious figures in
ninth-century Israel.151 The rest of the chapter, though, challenges these
gods power. Baal is proven impotent.152 Asherahs representatives do
not even respond to the challenge.153 The contest demonstrates
conclusively that there is only one true God in Israel (v. )154 and,
by implication, that the other gods are ineffectual.155 In no way can
this story suggest that Asherah is paired with Yahweh.156 Further, the
referential interpretation of and in Kgs : can be questioned.157 The definite article on these nouns either renders a referentially unique entity generic or abstract;158 or the article signifies that
an underlying, common term is specific, identifiable, or known.159 Since
can be inflected for number and possessive suffixes, grammar supports the former reading. Similarly, the definite feminine plural form
expresses a mass (foreign) goddesses (Jdg :).160 It is uncertain, then,
whether Asherah per se appears in Kgs :.161 But if she does, her
role is adversarial to and incompatible with Yahweh.
The same issues surround in Kgs : and Kgs :.
Moreover, he removed Maacah his mother from the rank of queen
mother, because she had made an abominable image for Asherah.
Asa cut down her abominable image and burned (it) in the Wadi Kidron.
( Kgs :)
151 Robert R. Wilson, Prophecy and Society in Ancient Israel (Philadelphia: Fortress, )
; and idem, Kings, in The HarperCollins Study Bible ad loc.
152 See, in this context, Halpern, in Judaic Perspectives on Ancient Israel .
153 For interpretations of this latter point, see Kittel, Knige ; Frymer-Kensky, In the
Wake of the Goddesses ; and Hadley, The Cult of Asherah .
154 Wilson, in The HarperCollins Study Bible ad vv. .
155 Cf. Iain W. Provan, and Kings (NIBC ; Peabody, Mass./Carlisle, U.K.: Hendrickson/Paternoster, ) .
156 Cf. Pettey, Asherah .
157 Wiggins, A Reassessment of Asherah ; and Hadley, The Cult of Asherah .
158 GKC n. , in conjunction with Smith, The Early History of God 2 . See also
Hadley, The Cult of Asherah ; and, sympathetically, Halpern, in Konsequente Traditionsgeschichte , . Cf. Wiggins, A Reassessment of Asherah (on Kgs :).
159 Bruce K. Waltke and M. OConnor, An Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Syntax (Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns, ) .a, in conjunction with Wiggins, A Reassessment of
Asherah . Cf. Day, Yahweh Gods and Goddesses .
160 Cooper and Pope, in RSP .; McCarter, Aspects of the Religion of the Israelite
Monarchy: Biblical and Epigraphic Data, in Ancient Israelite Religion: Essays in Honor of
Frank Moore Cross (ed. Patrick D. Miller, Jr., Paul D. Hanson, and S. Dean McBride;
Philadelphia: Fortress, ) ; and Smith, The Early History of God 2 .
161 See also Frymer-Kensky, In the Wake of the Goddesses ; and Smith, The Early
History of God 2 , for complementary conclusions.


The king ordered Hilkiah the high priest, the priests of second rank,
and the guards of the threshold to bring out of the Lords temple all the
paraphernalia made for Baal, Asherah, and all the host of
heaven. He burned them outside Jerusalem in the fields of Kidron. (
Kgs :a-b; see also vv. .)

According to the Leningrad and Aleppo codices, is determined


in each instance162 and is, hence, referentially akin to in Kgs
:. Also like Kgs :, in these deuteronomistic passages is
anti-Yahwistic; her objects provoke apostasy and require destruction.
Thus if Kgs : and Kgs : refer to the goddess,163 which
is itself uncertain,164 they do not prove that Asherah is an affiliate of
Yahwehs.165 They do demonstrate, however, one-time royal patronage
of Asherahs cult (see Kgs :b). They demonstrate as well that the
official cult of Yahweh literally housed objects relating to Asherah.166
The association between Asherah and Yahweh recurs in epigraphic Hebrew texts. For example, a late eighth-century inscription from
Khirbet el-Qom seems to align Yahweh and his a/Asherah:
by Yahweh by his a/Asherah (:.; see also l. ).167 But,
without greater clarification of the texts reading and interpretation,168
only minimal comment can be offered. The text supports the point
that the asherah was an Israelite phenomenon169 that did not necessarily conflict with the cult of Yahweh.170 The texts from the ninth-century
site of Kuntillet Ajrud are more clear.171
I bless you
a/Asherah. (Pithos :)

by Yahweh of Samaria172 and by his

162 Likewise in Chr : (cf. Wiggins, A Reassessment of Asherah ). The vocalization in BHS is incorrect.
163 E.g., Pettey, Asherah (on Kgs :), (on Kgs :); and Diana V.
Edelman, introduction to The Triumph of Elohim .
164 See Wiggins, A Reassessment of Asherah .
165 Frymer-Kensky, In the Wake of the Goddesses .
166 See Pettey, Asherah .
167 For the text, see HaE . (Kom []:).
168 For discussions, see Tigay, You Shall Have No Other Gods ; Olyan, Asherah and
the Cult of Yahweh ; Wiggins, A Reassessment of Asherah ; and Hadley, The Cult
of Asherah .
169 Smith, The Early History of God 2 .
170 Frymer-Kensky, In the Wake of the Goddesses , ; and Hadley, The Cult of Asherah
.
171 For these texts, see HaE . (Pithoi [KAgr ():]).
172 For this translation, see Anson F. Rainey, Everything You Always Wanted to
Know about Deities and Demons, in Past Links: Studies in the Languages and Cultures of the
Ancient Near East (ed. Shlomo Izreel, Itamar Singer, and Ran Zadok; IOS ; Winona

I bless you [] by Yahw[eh ] and by his a/Asherah;


may he bless you, protect you, and be with my lord. (Pithos :)

For some, it is difficult to avoid the impression that a female being is


named here alongside Yahweh.173 For others, it is not so difficult. The
evidence of grammar, discourse, and ancient Near Eastern comparisons174 overwhelmingly favors the interpretation of as an object.175
Likewise, in most of its attestations, the biblical is a physical, cultic objectone that is planted (Dt :), made (e.g., Kgs :), or
erected (v. ).176 The epigraphic texts, then, do not prove an association
between Yahweh and a goddess Asherah.177 But they justify the conclusion that the asherah was once an acceptable and legitimate symbol of
Yahwehs cult in Judah and Israel.178
... Popular veneration of a goddess does not necessarily include
her in the Israelite pantheon, either. The Deuteronomist mentions that
the Israelites worshipped Astarte goddesses.
The Israelites continued doing what was evil to the Lord. They served
the Baalim and the Ashtarot, the gods of Aram,
Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns, ) , with indirect support from Pardee, [Review of
Cornelius, The Iconography of the Canaanite Gods Reshef and Baal], JNES (): a.
173 Erhard S. Gerstenberger, Yahweh the Patriarch: Ancient Images of God and Feminist
Theology (trans. Frederick J. Gaiser; Minneapolis: Fortress, []) . See also,
inter alios, Biale, HR (): ; Weinfeld, VT (): ; and Rainey, in Past
Links .
174 Tigay, You Shall Have No Other Gods ; and idem, A Second Temple Parallel
to the Blessings from Kuntillet Ajrud, IEJ (): . See also J. A. Emerton,
Yahweh and His Asherah: The Goddess or Her Symbol? VT (): .
175 See Andr Lemaire, Who or What Was Yahwehs Asherah? Startling New
Inscriptions from Two Different Sites Reopen the Debate about the Meaning of Asherah, BARev / (): ; Othmar Keel and Christoph Uehlinger, Gods, Goddesses,
and Images of God in Ancient Israel (trans. Thomas H. Trapp; Edinburgh: T & T Clark,
[]) , ; Hadley, The Cult of Asherah ; and Day, Yahweh Gods and
Goddesses .
176 E.g., Cooper and Pope, in RSP .; and McCarter, in Ancient Israelite Religion
. See also Frymer-Kensky, In the Wake of the Goddesses , .
177 Cf. Lutzky, VT (): ; and Day, The Religion of Israel, in Text in Context:
Essays by Members of the Society for Old Testament Study (ed. A. D. H. Mayes; Oxford/New
York: Oxford University Press, ) .
178 Lemaire, BARev / (): b; Olyan, Asherah and the Cult of Yahweh ; and
Frymer-Kensky, In the Wake of the Goddesses . See also G. H. Jones, and Kings
( vols.; NCBC; Grand Rapids/London: Eerdmans/Marshall, Morgan & Scott, )
.. The acceptability of the asherah ended with the Deuteronomist (e.g., Ginsberg,
The Israelian Heritage of Judaism [Texts and Studies of the Jewish Theological Seminary
of America ; New York: Jewish Theological Seminary of America, ] , ;
and Olyan, Asherah and the Cult of Yahweh , ).


the gods of Sidon, the gods of Moab. They abandoned the Lord and
did not serve him. (Jdg :; see also Sam :)

Jeremiah quotes Judean refugees in Egypt who worship the Queen of


Heaven.
We shall do absolutely everything that we utteredburning incense to
the Queen of Heaven and pouring libations to her, just as wewe, our
ancestors, our kings, and our officialshad done in the towns of Judah
and in the streets of Jerusalem. We had enough food, were well, and did
not experience calamity. (Jer :; see also vv. .)

But these goddesses hardly resemble the beings that constitute the
divine court or characterize Gods attendants. Ashtarot, for example,
is a deindividuated and generalized term for (foreign) goddesses.179 In
its nonreferential capacity, the Ashtarot is also replaced by another
generic term of similar origin: the Asherot (see, e.g., Jdg : vs. :).180
Though they may have been an Israelite phenomenon,181 their worship is evil and anti-Yahwistic. The Queen of Heaven182 also angers
God (see Jer :b). True, worship of the Queen of Heaven persisted in Israel (Judah) right to the end of the kingdom.183 Yet from a
biblical perspective, she is also a menacing competitor.184 [O]ne cannot combine the service of YHWH with that of the other gods; the
two are mutually exclusive.185 Under such a circumstance, God works
to remove the other divine being(s) from the Israelite sphere (see
Sam :). He does not form an alliance with them.

179 Delbert R. Hillers, Palmyrene Aramaic Inscriptions and the Bible, ZAH
(): . See also Halpern, in Konsequente Traditionsgeschichte .
180 See Olyan, Asherah and the Cult of Yahweh with n. ; and Wiggins, A Reassessment of Asherah .
181 Smith, The Early History of God 2 .
182 For her identity, see Hadley, The Queen of HeavenWho Is She? in Prophets
and Daniel (ed. Athalya Brenner; Feminist Companion to the Bible /; London/New
York: Sheffield Academic Press, ) .
183 Freedman, Who is like Thee among the Gods? The Religion of Early Israel, in
Ancient Israelite Religion (repr. in Divine Commitment and Human Obligation: Selected Writings of David Noel Freedman [ed. John R. Huddlestun; vols.; Grand Rapids/Cambridge,
U.K.: Eerdmans, ] .).
184 Mary Douglas, In the Wilderness: The Doctrine of Defilement in the Book of Numbers
(JSOTS ; Sheffield: JSOT Press, ) .
185 Jon D. Levenson, Sinai and Zion: An Entry into the Jewish Bible (New Voices in Biblical
Studies; Minneapolis: Winston, ) . See also, in this context, Hadley, in Prophets and
Daniel , .

... There can be little doubt that gods exist throughout much
of the Hebrew Bible, and that the evidence from the wider biblical
context corroborates and complements that of the J and E traditions.186
These divine beings have familiar, generic names such as angels and
divinities. They may be called gods. But, as in J, they also have a
familiar pronominal representation: the speaker-inclusive, first person
plural possessive suffix (Is :). These deities form a group that has
many anonymous members and, in conglomeration, form a masculine
plural entity.
The gods also form a collective. For J and E, the cohesive quality
of this company is somewhat vague. These traditions describe gods as
divine beings who (should) act as Gods emissaries in divine-human
settings, particularly ones prompted by human transgression. But in
Gen : and : at least, another defining constituent of the gods
appears: they act as a panel which God may convene, or whose counsel
he may solicit, when dealing with the affairs of his people. Since gods
share Gods jurisdiction of the human world, serve as his obedient servants and envoys, as well as apply themselves with wisdom and knowledge, they are the proper consultative agency for airing Gods plans
for his human creation. When Yahweh addresses them in Gen :
and :, he is appropriately seeking their advice. The gods are Yahwehs partners in ruling the world.
Gods divine affiliates have God-like characteristics. They are immortal, holy, masculine, and good. Led by an angelic captain (Jos :),
they are soldiers of Yahwehs army. Led by the divine king (Is :),187
they are his royal deputies. They are the members of the judicial
assembly of God under the direction of the divine judge (Ps ). They
are, correctly enough, () in rank, stature, and authorityto
Yahwehs ().188
Accordingly, they symbolize God. As angels, the gods represent,
communicate, and enact Gods will to the human community. As divinities, they implement Gods model of joint custody, oversight, and governance of the worlds nations. As gods, they are charged with practicing and maintaining social justice. The gods register Gods active presSee Olyan, A Thousand Thousands Served Him , in conjunction with Miller, HBT
/ (): (= Israelite Religion and Biblical Theology ).
187 See Preuss, Old Testament Theology ..
188 In addition to the survey in Westermann, Genesis ., see Cooke, ZAW ():
, in conjunction with Hendel, JBL (): n. . See also Tigay, Deuteronomy
.
186

ence on earth and among human beings. Gods, then, are more than
Yahwehs loyal, subordinate allies in the world. They are a theophany.
They represent and imitate God in several respects.
The different texts and traditions within the Hebrew Bible confirm
that the idea of the existence of divine beings other than Yahweh was
acceptable during much of the history of Yahwism.189 There seems
to be no inherent, or necessary, conflict between God and gods in
Israelite theology.190 The strongest testimony remains that which suggests Israels gods were understood to lie within YHWHs suite.191
Whether the proof text be Gen :, Dt :+QDeutj :, Is :,
or Ps :, the gods are real and important.192 But they are not
independent agents.193 They are, or should be, totally subject and subservient to the will of the one God worthy of the name.194
Although gods exist and are acknowledged in much of the Hebrew
Bible, Israel cannot worship them.195
When you look up to heaven and see the sun, the moon, as well as the
starsall the host of heavenyou must not feel driven to bow down to
them and serve themthings which the Lord your God has allotted to
all the peoples everywhere under heaven. Rather, the Lord took you
to become his allotted people, as is the case today. (Dt :)

God was responsible for assigning gods to the non-Israelite nations and
kept Israel for himself (see already Dt :+QDeutj :).196 These
Cooke, ZAW (): , in a somewhat different context.
Cf. Walter Brueggemann, Old Testament Theology as a Particular Conversation: Adjudication of Israels Socio-theological Alternatives, TD (): (repr.
in Old Testament Theology: Essays on Structure, Theme, and Text [ed. Patrick D. Miller; Minneapolis: Fortress, ] ).
191 Halpern, in Judaic Perspectives on Ancient Israel . See also Keel and Uehlinger, Gods,
Goddesses, and Images .
192 H. Wheeler Robinson, The Council of Yahweh, JTS (): ; and Tsevat,
HUCA (): .
193 Levenson, Creation and the Persistence of Evil: The Jewish Drama of Divine Omnipotence
(Mythos; Princeton: Princeton University Press, []) ; and Mullen, The Divine
Council .
194 Freedman, in Ancient Israelite Religion (= Divine Commitment and Human Obligation
.). See also Miller, The Divine Warrior .
195 Olyan, Asherah and the Cult of Yahweh . See also ibid. .
196 For the historical implications of Dt :, see Tigay, Deuteronomy . For wider
implications, see Schmidt, Erwgungen zur Geschichte der Ausschliesslichkeit des
alttestamentlichen Glaubens, in Congress Volume: Paris, (ed. J. A. Emerton; VTS ;
Leiden: E. J. Brill, ) ; and Peter Machinist, The Question of Distinctiveness
in Ancient Israel: An Essay, in Ah, Assyria Studies in Assyrian History and Ancient
Near Eastern Historiography Presented to Hayim Tadmor (ed. Mordechai Cogan and Israel
189

190

gods were not to be worshipped in Israel (see also Ex : =Dt :). In


fact, Israels very election precludes non-Yahwistic service, and Gods
own jealousy (see Ex :) virtually defines these other gods as potential rivals.197 Gods exist, but Israel must worship only Yahweh.198

Ephal; ScrH ; Jerusalem: Magnes, ) (repr. in Essential Papers on Israel


and the Ancient Near East [ed. Frederick E. Greenspahn; New York/London: New York
University Press, ] ).
197 Brueggemann, TD (): a (= Old Testament Theology ).
198 Levenson, Sinai and Zion . See also Labuschagne, The Incomparability of Yahweh
.

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GEN 1:26
Although Gen : may be an isolate within the Priestly tradition, it
shares much in common with non-Priestly texts. It shares linguistic
features that include the semantic, discourse, and pragmatic. It shares a
basic form-critical structure. And it may share an awareness that gods
exist in Gods realm. To this extent, Ps story of human creation is not
an isolate within a larger biblical context.
.. Form-critical analysis indicates that Gen : conforms to an
older, pre-Priestly model.
Then God said, Let us make humankind in
our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over
the fish of the sea, and over the birds of heaven, and over the beasts, and
over the whole earth, and over everything that moves on the earth. So
God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created it,
male and female he created them. (Gen :)

Such an analysis shows, in fact, that Gen : exhibits every formcritical component of Js nonliteral clause (see ..).
... To begin with, when Ps God proposes the creation of humankind, he opens his speech with (v. a). Technically, this form is
ambiguous; the imperfect and cohortative of final weak roots are usually not distinguished in the morphology but are expressed by the selfsame ending  -.1 The interpretation of , however, is clear enough.
Not only does the clause-initial position of the verb suggest the cohortative reading,2 but a comparison with the jussives that engaged other
acts of creation reinforces its desiderative sense. This speech therefore begins like that of Gen :, :., and Ex :, with a desiderative proposition. In form-critical terms, Gen : begin[s] with direct
speech, in which a speaker formulates (i) a directive or assertive
utterance (represented by a cohortative or imperfect, respectively).

See ., intro. with n. .


Alviero Niccacci, The Syntax of the Verb in Classical Hebrew Prose (trans. W. G.
E. Watson; JSOTS ; Sheffield: JSOT Press, []) , , by implication.
1

Gods speech replicates other elements of its form-critical model.


The first word of Gods speech, , is a highly transitive, dynamic,
and agentive verb. As a cohortative, then, it (ii) proposes an activity
(event).3 Further, on a simple reading at least, the subject of is
a nonsingular entity that includes the speaker. In this inclusive formulation, God suggests that he and his addressee are equally involved in
the situation expressed by . The activity or event is to be achieved
(iii) jointly and cooperatively, between the speaker and a referentially
distinct addressee.4
When the proposal is executed (v. ), two more features complete
the form-critical array. Gods desiderative proposal in v. effects its
execution. Though the addressees response is not recorded in the
text, the successful enactment of v. presumes that the speaker and
addressee are in agreement (see , intro.). The speaker therefore (iv)
receives the tacit consent of the addressee, and the proposal is then
executed. But the addressee does not join the speaker to achieve Gods
stated goal.5 Rather, the proposal is executed (v) by an agent,
whether unidentified or identified and salient (e.g., addressee, leader).
Indeed, in v. the agent is identified as well as salient. The agent is
God himself, who acts on their collective behalfon behalf of himself;
and on behalf of his addressee in v. a, whoever that may be.
... Gen : fulfills the form-critical requirements of a
clause. The passage has the five diagnostic components, and these components unfold in their standard order. From a form-critical perspective, then, Gen : is a Priestly version of Js nonliteral clause.
The suasive particle, however, is absent. It is absent, of course, because nonliteral is a dialect-specific term that does not appear
outside of the Yahwist tradition ( , intro.). Its absence, though, may
be exegetically significant as well. For in J, is consistently associated with situations that, from a narrative perspective, are insidious. Whether by conversational intent or conversational context,
3 See Marc Zvi Brettler, God is King: Understanding an Israelite Metaphor (JSOTS ;
Sheffield: JSOT Press, ) .
4 See, in this context, William P. Brown, Divine Act and the Art of Persuasion in
Genesis , in History and Interpretation: Essays in Honour of John H. Hayes (ed. M. Patrick
Graham, William P. Brown, and Jeffrey K. Kuan; JSOTS ; Sheffield: JSOT Press,
) , on the exhortative jussives in Gen .
5 See Heinrich Gro, Die Gottebenbildlichkeit des Menschen, in Lex Tua Veritas.
Festschrift fr Hubert Junker (ed. idem and Franz Muner; Trier: Paulinus, )
.

announces trouble ( .). Yet in Gen :, there is no sign of trouble. Nor is there any emergency or peril. The elimination of is
accompanied by a veritable purging of its situational ominousness. In
the hands of the Priestly writer, the negative tenor of the clause is
undone and neutralized.
... The form-critical comparison between Gen : and Js
clause has discourse implications. First, it suggests that Gods plural pronouns refer to a nonsingular entity that is composed of God
and a separate, distinct addressee ( ..). Second, the comparison suggests that Gods first person grammar is intended to be conversationally inclusive as well as affiliative (see ..). Third, it suggests that
Gods allied addressee is the same as in other such conversational and
deliberative contexts in the Hebrew Bible. God expresses his intention
in the context of a heavenly court.6 When he proposes to create the
human race, Ps God consults his team of divine advisors.7
But the form-critical comparison with the clause also suggests
that God needs more than consultation. He needs divine approval. So,
to achieve this goal, Ps God replicates the proven suasive strategies
of the Yahwist. In the first half of v. , Gods plural pronouns convey
camaraderie, solidarity, and the notion that all participants are included
and equally involved in the plan (..). The repetition of the pronoun
conveys the sense that Gods appeal to inclusion is both deliberate
(.) and crucial. God even presents the addressee with a single,
common objective (..). In the second half of v. , he goes a step
further. He appends a complement clause to his directive in which
he presents the goal8 and limitations9 of human creation, explains its
rationale (see ..), and gives his addressee sufficient information to
make a consensual decision. Ps God desires to enlist the approval,
6 Brevard S. Childs, Old Testament Theology in a Canonical Context (London: SCM,
) . See also . with n. .
7 See Terence E. Fretheim, Creator, Creature, and Co-Creation in Genesis ,
in All Things New: Essays in Honor of Roy A. Harrisville (ed. Arland J. Hultgren, Donald
H. Juel, and Jack D. Kingsbury; Word & World Supplement Series ; St. Paul: Luther
Northwestern Theological Seminary, ) ; and idem, The Pentateuch (IBT; Nashville:
Abingdon, ) .
8 Claus Westermann, Genesis (trans. John J. Scullion; vols.; Minneapolis: Augsburg,
[]) ..
9 Nahum M. Sarna, Genesis (The JPS Torah Commentary; Philadelphia: Jewish
Publication Society, ) ; and Walter Gro, Gen ,.; ,: Statue oder
Ebenbild Gottes? Aufgabe und Wrde des Menschen nach dem hebrischen und dem
griechischen Wortlaut, JBTh (): n. .

involvement, cooperation, and participation of gods in his proposal to


make humankind.10 Its execution in v. implies that his efforts are
successful (..).
.. The presence of gods in Gen : is consistent with non-P
evidence. It is consistent with the early Israelite belief in the existence
and even the puissance of deities other than YHWH (see ..). As
elsewhere, God explicitly acknowledges them (e.g., ..). They are a
plurality of undifferentiated beings who, in aggregate, form a collective
body ( .., ..). In P, the gods are invoked in a manner appropriate
to their anonymous, generic, and homogenous nature.
Gen : also recalls a morphological characteristic of gods. They
are hybrid. Angelic gods, for example, look like God, and they look
like men; the gods shape is intermediate between the two worlds they
connect (..). So too, the human creature of Gen : is expected
to share in the image and the likeness of the divine crew. As God
himself states, human beings are intended to represent divinity (v. a)
in the world which God has just created (v. b). At the very least,
the concrete, corporeal reality of human beings in a concrete, physical
world suggests that the representation implied in v. include a physical one (see ., ..). Human beings reflect and embody divinity. Ps
God not only intends that humankind imitate God (the divine speaker)
but also gods (the divine addressee). Imitatio Dei et deorum, human beings
will represent divine presence and participation on earth (see ..,
..).
.. The context in which P introduces the gods is telling. They arise
only during the prospect of human creation (Gen :a [ter]). Then
they disappear; after v. , Ps God speaks of himself with uniform
singularity (:, :.., etc.). Ps gods coincide only with human
creation. In a comparative context, though, there is no coincidence at
all. In J and other biblical traditions, angels appear only in situations
where the divine and human worlds meet and interact ( .., ..).
Divinities appear in similar settings (.., ..). And Gen :
follows suit.11 Not only do the divine and human realms intersect at this
moment. Gods proposal to create humanity is the very first moment
when these two realms can intersect. Moreover, human characterology
See, in this context, John van Seters, The Creation of Man and the Creation of
the King, ZAW (): .
11 See Patrick D. Miller, Jr., Genesis : Studies in Structure & Theme (JSOTS ;
Sheffield: JSOT, ) .
10

is specifically defined by its unique relationship to God and his gods


(.). According to the Priestly tradition, humanity is a self-evident
conjunction of the divine in the human world.
.. An objection, however, might be raised to the preceding analysis.
Rather than conform to a pattern reflected in its Yahwist and Isaian
analogues, the referent of Gods pronouns in P could be located in the
unique context of Gen :.
The creation of the human person involves male and female. The
imagery of the human in terms of the Divine in Genesis seems to
assume a divine couple, male and female, since the human person is
created in the image of the Divine, partaking of both maleness and
femaleness.12 [H]uman sexuality and love mirrors divine love.13

This reasoning would suggest, then, that maleness and femaleness


be ascribed to the Divine, whether in the form of a heterosexual
divine duo (i.e., God and Goddess) or a hermaphroditic deity (see
.). But, Trible rejoins, sexual differentiation of humankind is not
thereby a description of God.14 Brueggemann elaborates: Sexuality,
sexual identity, and sexual function do not belong to Gods person but
12 See N. Wyatt, The Theogony Motif in Ugarit and the Bible, in Ugarit and the
Bible: Proceedings of the International Symposium on Ugarit and the Bible (ed. George
J. Brooke, Adrian H. W. Curtis, and John F. Healey; UBL ; Mnster: Ugarit-Verlag,
) ; and Stephen D. Moore, Gigantic God: Yahwehs Body, JSOT ():
. See also G. W. Ahlstrm, Aspects of Syncretism in Israelite Religion (trans. Eric J. Sharpe;
HSoed ; Lund: C. W. K. Gleerup, ) ; and Horst Dietrich Preuss, Old Testament
Theology (trans. Leo G. Perdue; vols.; OTL; Louisville: Westminster John Knox,
[]) . n. . Cf. Mark S. Smith, Yahweh and Other Deities in
Ancient Israel: Observations on Old Problems and Recent Trends, in Ein Gott allein?
JHWH-Verehrung und biblischer Monotheismus im Kontext der israelitischen und altorientalischen
Religionsgeschichte (OBO ; Freiburg/Gttingen: Universittsverlag/Vandenhoeck &
Ruprecht, ) .
13 Smith, God Male and Female in the Old Testament: Yahweh and His Asherah, TS (): , esp. as specified in idem, Divine Form and Size in Ugaritic
and Pre-exilic Israelite Religion, ZAW (): . Cf. idem, TS ():
n. .
14 Phyllis Trible, God and the Rhetoric of Sexuality (London: SCM, []) . See
also P. G. Duncker, Limmagine di Dio nelluomo (Gen. , .). Una somiglianza
fisica? Bib (): (repr. as Das Bild Gottes im Menschen [Gen. , .]. Eine
physische hnlichkeit? in Der Mensch als Bild Gottes [ed. Leo Scheffczyk; WdF ;
Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, ] ); Phyllis A. Bird, Sexual
Differentiation and Divine Image in the Genesis Creation Texts, in Image of God and
Gender Models in Judaeo-Christian Tradition (ed. Kari Elisabeth Brresen; Oslo: Solum,
) ; F. J. Stendebach, 
 s. elem, in TDOT .; and, esp., Martin Buber, Moses
(Oxford/London: Phaidon, ) ; and Lothar Ruppert, Zur Anthropologie der
biblischen Urgeschichte, vornehmlich von Gen , Cath (): .

to Gods will for creation.15 There also is no compelling evidence that


the Israelite God had a consort, or that God worked in consort with
a particular goddess (see .., ..). God does not require a female
complement to create men and women (see ..). On the contrary,
God is a metaphorical and complete parent: father as well as mother
(e.g., Is :).16 It is unlikely, then, that human sexuality replicates
divine sexuality.17
.. The preferred referent of Gods self-inclusive plural pronouns in
Gen : remains the gods. These pronouns resemble the way that Yahweh asks his divine forum for an intermediary to speak to the people
on his behalf (Is :) (see ..). They are akin to Yahwehs manipulative gestures that invite gods to cooperate with his response to a human
threat (Gen :, :) (..). As in Gen :, :, and Is :, God
turns to his attendant deities when the divine and human worlds (are
about to) meet (.). They are invoked by collaborative convention;
they traditionally participate in formulating and/or executing Gods
will in the human realm ( .., ..). In Gen : too, they are
invoked because they can counsel God on his plan to effect a human
race and, perhaps, because they can help him execute that plan. Since
God proposes to make humanity as a representation of the divine collective, it is only appropriate, and polite, to seek their compliant input.
.. Nevertheless, this interpretive scenario has difficulties. It may
satisfy and be congruent with the immediate context of Gen :.
It may also be supported by grammatical, discourse, and pragmatic
characteristics of Gen :, :, and Is :. Yet it seems to violate
Priestly doctrine. For if Gen : refers to a plurality of gods, elsewhere
15 Walter Brueggemann, Genesis (Interp; Atlanta: John Knox, ) (italics original). In this context, see also Gerhard von Rad, Old Testament Theology (trans. D. M.
G. Stalker; vols.; New York: Harper & Brothers/Harper & Row, [
]) .; and Tikva Frymer-Kensky, In the Wake of the Goddesses: Women, Culture, and
the Biblical Transformation of Pagan Myth (New York: Fawcett Columbine, ) .
16 Preuss, Old Testament Theology .. See also Trible, God and the Rhetoric of Sexuality
; Erhard S. Gerstenberger, Yahweh the Patriarch: Ancient Images of God and Feminist
Theology (trans. Frederick J. Gaiser; Minneapolis: Fortress, []) , ; Walter
Vogels, The Human Person in the Image of God (Gn ,), ScEs (): ;
and Brettler, Incompatible Metaphors for YHWH in Isaiah , JSOT ():
.
17 See, e.g., Bird, Male and Female He Created Them: Gen :b in the Context
of the Priestly Account of Creation, HTR (): n. (repr. in Missing Persons
and Mistaken Identities: Women and Gender in Ancient Israel [OBT; Minneapolis: Fortress,
] n. ); and eadem, Genesis IIII as a Source for a Contemporary Theology
of Sexuality, ExAu (): (= Missing Persons and Mistaken Identities ).

P knows nothing of heavenly beings18 (see .). Unlike Js Yahweh,


Ps God does not confer with members of his court.19 Gen :, then,
would be the first and only instance [in P] in which God consults.20
This impasse has produced a variety of scholarly responses which
differ according to the psychological motivations attributed to P. For
example, some maintain that Ps faint allusion to the council is unconscious.21 In this case, it is a remnant of a common, ancient Near Eastern mythological motif that P has unknowingly preserved in a relatively unassimilated form.22 Others deem the reference to the council
deliberate. Its purpose in context, though, is disputed. It may be a
royal reminiscence of the divine court.23 Alternatively, it may char18 P. J. Harland, The Value of Human Life: A Study of the Story of the Flood (Genesis
) (VTS ; Leiden: E. J. Brill, ) . See also S. R. Driver, An Introduction to the
Literature of the Old Testament (th ed.; Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, []) ; Victor Maag, Alttestamentliche Anthropogonie in ihrem Verhltnis zur altorientalischen
Mythologie, AsSt (): (repr. in Kultur, Kulturkontakt und Religion. Gesammelte Studien
zur allgemeinen und alttestamentlichen Religionsgeschichte. Zum . Geburtstag [ed. Hans Heinrich
Schmid and Odil Hannes Steck; Gttingen/Zurich: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, ]
); Walther Eichrodt, Theology of the Old Testament (trans. J. A. Baker; vols.; OTL;
Philadelphia: Westminster, []) .; Baruch Halpern, Brisker
Pipes than Poetry: The Development of Israelite Monotheism, in Judaic Perspectives on
Ancient Israel (ed. Jacob Neusner, Baruch A. Levine, and Ernest S. Frerichs; Philadelphia:
Fortress, ) ; Stendebach, in TDOT .; Richard Elliott Friedman, Torah
(Pentateuch), in ABD .a, b; and Werner H. Schmidt, Monotheismus und
Erstes Gebot, TLZ (): .
19 See Schmidt, Erwgungen zur Geschichte der Ausschliesslichkeit des alttestamentlichen Glaubens, in Congress Volume: Paris, (ed. J. A. Emerton; VTS ; Leiden: E. J. Brill, ) n. ; and, in this context, Ruppert, Cath (): .
20 Stephen Greenhalgh, Creative Partnership in Genesis, ScrB (): a. See
also, sympathetically, U. Cassuto, A Commentary on the Book of Genesis (trans. Israel Abrahams; pts.; Jerusalem: Magnes, []) .; and Gerhard F. Hasel,
The Meaning of Let Us in Gn :, AUSS (): .
21 See, in this context, Jon D. Levenson, Exodus and Liberation, in idem, The
Hebrew Bible, the Old Testament, and Historical Criticism: Jews and Christians in Biblical Studies
(Louisville: Westminster/John Knox, ) .
22 E.g., Ernst-Joachim Waschke, Untersuchungen zum Menschenbild der Urgeschichte. Ein
Beitrag zur alttestamentlichen Theologie (ThAr ; Berlin: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, )
; and, esp., Bernd Janowski, Stellvertretung. Alttestamentliche Studien zu einem theologischen
Grundbegriff (SBS ; Stuttgart: Katholisches Bibelwerk, ) n. . Cf. Miller,
Genesis .
23 Brettler, God is King . See also Hans Wildberger, Das Abbild Gottes. Gen.
, , TZ (): (repr. in Jahwe und sein Volk. Gesammelte Aufstze zum Alten
Testament. Zu seinem . Geburtstag am . Januar [ed. Hans Heinrich Schmid and
Odil Hannes Steck; TB ; Munich: Chr. Kaiser, ] ); and Smith, The Origins
of Biblical Monotheism: Israels Polytheistic Background and the Ugaritic Texts (Oxford: Oxford
University Press, ) with .

acterize humanity as partaking, in some functional way, in the divine


(e.g., ., .).24 Yet a third contingent claims that Gods chosen
words in Gen :a are deliberately obscure; in this latter case, the plural pronouns ambiguate any intended comparison between humanity
and God (see .).25 The theological impasse of Gen : has therefore resulted in two competing and irreconcilable hypotheses. Either
the allusion to the divine council in Gen : is a historical and theological accident.26 Or it is an intentional component of Ps creation
story that specifies the relationship between humanity and God, defines
the nature of the human race, and perhaps even inaugurates Israelite
monotheism.

For an example, see Tryggve N. D. Mettinger, Abbild oder Urbild? Imago Dei
in traditionsgeschichtlicher Sicht, ZAW (): .
25 In addition to the references in ch. n. , see von Rad, Old Testament Theology
.; and Oswald Loretz, Die Gottebenbildlichkeit des Menschen (Schriften des Deutschen
Instituts fr wissenschaftliche Pdagogik; Munich: Ksel, ) .
26 Yet see Hans Walter Wolff, The Old Testament: A Guide to Its Writings (trans. Keith
R. Crim; Philadelphia: Fortress, []) , in conjunction with Burke O. Long,
Letting Rival Gods Be Rivals: Biblical Theology in a Postmodern Age, in Problems
in Biblical Theology: Essays in Honor of Rolf Knierim (ed. Henry T. C. Sun et al.; Grand
Rapids/Cambridge, U.K.: Eerdmans, ) .
24


THE DIVINE-HUMAN RELATIONSHIP

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THE PREPOSITIONS AND
The grammar of Gen :a is unusual (see .). At first, v. a conforms to grammatical expectation. The proposal to create humanity
is introduced by a desiderative predicate () and is then followed
by an undetermined direct object (). Thereafter, though, two different prepositional phrases appear in immediate succession. Neither
phrase is semantically or grammatically required. They each contain a
similative nominal yet are governed by a grammatically distinct prepositional head. They each present information rhetorically peripheral to
the sentential core. Hence, the differential marking of each nonobligatory phrase suggests that each phrase has distinct meaning, at least in
relation to one other.
Gen : is often adduced to prove the contrary (.).1
When Adam had lived one hundred and thirty years, he fathered (a son)
- -. (Gen :a [PT])
Then God said, Let us make humankind
[P])

- -.

(Gen :a

Like :a, :a is headed by a highly transitive verb of creation


(). The direct objectomitted as an obvious, generic, and contextually less salient entity than the fathering agent2is viable, newborn, and human. So too, the final constituents in :a are a pair
of nonobligatory prepositional phrases that recycle the same prepositions, similative nouns, and syntax as in :a. These two passages are
clearly similar, then, even though the prepositional phrases themselves

1 E.g., Josef Scharbert, Der Mensch als Ebenbild Gottes in der neueren Auslegung
von Gen ,, in Weisheit GottesWeisheit der Welt. Festschrift fr Joseph Kardinal Ratzinger
zum . Geburtstag (ed. Walter Baier et al.; vols.; St. Ottilien: EOS, ) ..
2 See J. C. L. Gibson, ed., Davidsons Introductory Hebrew Grammar ~ Syntax (th
ed.; Edinburgh: T & T Clark, ) , Rem. , in conjunction with GKC f.
Cf. Ronald S. Hendel, The Text of Genesis : Textual Studies and Critical Edition (New
York/Oxford: Oxford University Press, ) ; and, differently, Howard N. Wallace, The Toledot of Adam, in Studies in the Pentateuch (ed. J. A. Emerton; VTS ;
Leiden: E. J. Brill, ) .

are different. In fact, their similarity seems to outweigh their difference.


Note that, compared with :, the prepositions in and according to are reversed, suggesting their semantic interchangeability when
used with the nouns image and likeness.3 The two phrases are even
said to be wholly synonymous.
Both the nouns and the prepositions are interchangeable ; one verb
covers both phrases, and ; we have not two but one expression. [W]e have here one expression which further determines the
creation of humans. There is widespread agreement about this today.4

The comparison between Gen : and : thus tends to blur their


unique grammatical character. Any difference between the two prepositions seems irretrievable. As Curtis describes it, it is clear that the
interpretation of Gen : cannot be built on the meaning of the
prepositions.5
..
Of the two prepositions in Gen :a, is the less controversial. All
agree that it expresses correspondence6 or, more accurately, similarity.7
In verbless clauses, for example, it may liken a nominal to a quantity,
measure, or standard.8
Samuel took Saul and his attendant, brought them into the hall, and
gave them a place at the head of the guestscomprising
about thirty. ( Sam :)
Yet I destroyed the Amorite before them, whose height was like the
height of cedars, (as) strong as oaks. (Am :a)
3 Gordon J. Wenham, Genesis ( vols.; WBC ; Waco/Dallas: Word, )
.. See also Walter Vogels, The Human Person in the Image of God (Gn ,),
ScEs (): ; Lothar Ruppert, Zur Anthropologie der biblischen Urgeschichte,
vornehmlich von Gen , Cath (): ; and, by implication, Edward M. Curtis,
Image of God (OT), in ABD .b.
4 Claus Westermann, Genesis (trans. John J. Scullion; vols.; Minneapolis: Augsburg,
[]) .. See also the other references in Preface n. .
5 Curtis, Man as the Image of God in Genesis in the Light of Ancient Near
Eastern Parallels (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Pennsylvania, ) n. .
6 Bruce K. Waltke and M. OConnor, An Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Syntax (Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns, ) ..a.
7 Ernst Jenni, Die Prposition Beth (Die hebrischen Prpositionen ; Stuttgart: W.
Kohlhammer, ) . Cf. (e.g., GKC n. ).
8 For examples and discussion, see Jenni, Die Prposition Kaph (Die hebrischen
Prpositionen ; Stuttgart: W. Kohlhammer, ) .


The construction of the wheels
chariot wheel. ( Kgs :a)

was like the construction of a

The similative structure may be expanded by an adjectival or stative


predicate (see Am :ab).
Judah and Israel
Kgs :a)

were as numerous as the sand on the sea. (

When the layer of dew lifted, there, on the surface of the wilderness, was
a fine flaky substance, (as) fine as frost on the ground. (Ex :
[P])
Even darkness does not become too dark for you; night becomes
light as day. Darkness and light are alike. (Ps :); see
also
But he did not recognize him, because his hands were
hairy like those of Esau, his brother. (Gen :a [J])

Or the similative clause may include a prototypically stative verb.


For God knows that, when you eat of it, your eyes will be opened,
and you will be like gods, having knowledge of good and evil.
(Gen :; see also v. [J])

It was there we saw the Nephilim . We seemed to ourselves


like grasshoppers, and so we seemed to them. (Num : [P])
By the fury of the Lord of Hosts, the earth was scorched. The people
were like fire fuel: no one spared another. (Is :)
The number of the people of Israel shall be like the sand of the
sea, without measure and without number. (Hos :a)

serves the same function throughout. It [e]xpresses likeness,9 similitude, resemblance,10 or approximation.11
... This preposition also appears in transitive clauses, such as
those expressing transformation, replication, or (re-) production (see
Gen :a).

I will make your offspring


:a [J])

like the dust of the earth. (Gen

9 Ronald J. Williams, Hebrew Syntax: An Outline (d ed.; Toronto/Buffalo: University


of Toronto Press, ) (in part).
10 Paul Joon, A Grammar of Biblical Hebrew (trans. and rev. T. Muraoka; vols.;
SubBi /III; Rome: Pontificio Istituto Biblico, ) g. See also BDB b.
11 Williams, Hebrew Syntax 2 .


He made the breastpiece of skilled work like the work of
the ephod. (Ex :a [P])

I will break your mighty pride, and I will make your heaven
like iron and your earth like copper. (Lev : [H])

In each passage, the verb governs a direct object which, in turn, is


likened to another nominal. Each time too, it is the direct object which
serves as the base of the comparison; the other nominal, marked with
, represents the comparative standard.12 Moreover, and more importantly, the two parts of the comparison are semantically and referentially distinct. In the comparison between your heaven and iron
(Lev :b), the likened items have different meanings; they are also
referentially discrete. Likewise, your earth and copper (v. b), your
offspring (lit., seed) and the dust of the earth (Gen :a), or the
breastpiece and the work of the ephod (Ex :a)the nominals that
constitute the comparison are semantically different and referentially
unrelated.13 They are not synonymous or identical. It is incorrect, then,
to assert that the preposition can express identity14 or exact
equality.15 It expresses a similarity or approximation between otherwise dissimilar and nonidentical entities.16
This interpretation is supported by another comparative structure, in
which heads both halves of the comparison (see Ps :b).17
By no means should you do the likes of thisputting the innocent to
death together with the guilty! The innocent and the guilty
would then be alike. By no means! Does the Judge of the whole earth not
perform justice? (Gen : [J])
Cf. ibid. (on Nah :).
See Jenni, Die Prposition Kaph .
14 So HALOT .b; Williams, Hebrew Syntax 2 ; and, on Gen :, P. J. Harland,
The Value of Human Life: A Study of the Story of the Flood (Genesis ) (VTS ; Leiden: E.
J. Brill, ) .
15 BDB a (ad .a). See also G. del Olmo Lete, The Monoconsonantal Lexical
Series in Semitic, AuOr (): .
16 See Jenni, Die Prposition Kaph ; and idem, Die Prposition Beth . See also idem,
Pleonastische Ausdrcke fr Vergleichbarkeit (Ps ,; ,), in Neue Wege der Psalmenforschung. Fr Walter Beyerlin (d ed.; HBS ; Freiburg: Herder, [])
(repr. in Studien zur Sprachwelt des Alten Testaments [ed. Beat Huwyler and Klaus Seybold; Stuttgart: W. Kohlhammer, ] ); Christoph Dohmen, Die Statue von
Tell Fecherye und die Gottebenbildlichkeit des Menschen. Ein Beitrag zur Bilderterminologie, BN (): ; and Hendel, Tangled Plots in Genesis, in Fortunate the
Eyes That See: Essays in Honor of David Noel Freedman in Celebration of His Seventieth Birthday
(ed. Astrid B. Beck et al.; Grand Rapids/Cambridge, U.K.: Eerdmans, ) .
17 For lists, see BDB (ad ); and Jenni, Die Prposition Kaph .
12

13

You must not be partial in justice: small and great alike should
you give a hearing. (Dt :a)
It will befall laity and priest alike, slave and master
alike, maid and mistress alike, buyer and seller
alike, lender and borrower alike, creditor
and debtor alike. (Is :); see also
Judah approached him and said, Please, my lord, may your servant
speak a word into my lords ears, and may you not be angry with your
servant; for you and Pharaoh are alike. (Gen : [J])

Whereas X k-Y forms a unilateral comparison, k-X k-Y signifies a


reciprocal comparison: X is comparable to Y to the same extent as Y
is comparable to X, for X and Y are comparable to one another.18 The
extent is also complete: X and Y are thoroughly similar.19 But X and
Y are not identical.20 The formula k-X k-Y is used [f]or connecting
different things, as being, in a certain manner, exactly similar in order
to express our as so.21 The likened entities are different, whether
as conceptually polar opposites (e.g., Dt :), physically unique entities (Gen :), or both (e.g., Is :). In each case, the two nominal
halves of the reciprocal comparison are distinct yet interconnected with
a preposition that registers likeness, similitude, or approximation
(see ., intro.). Like its nonreduplicated counterpart, then, the reduplicated preposition expresses an approximation, similarity, or analogy
between semantically different and referentially distinct entities.22
... A related function of (the morpheme underlying) can be
discerned from cognate evidence in other Semitic languages. Biblical
Aramaic is one.23
18 See Jenni, Die Prposition Kaph . Cf., e.g., Jeffrey H. Tigay, Deuteronomy (The
JPS Torah Commentary; Philadelphia/Jerusalem: Jewish Publication Society, )
n. .
19 BDB a (ad ).
20 Cf. Waltke and OConnor, Biblical Hebrew Syntax ..b.
21 Heinrich Ewald, Syntax of the Hebrew Language of the Old Testament (trans. James
Kennedy; Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, []) (italics original) (= Ausfhrliches
Lehrbuch der hebrischen Sprache des Alten Bundes [th ed.; Gttingen: Dieterich, ]
a.).
22 See n. .
23 For comparative evidence, see Jacob Barth, Die Pronominalbildung in den semitischen
Sprachen (; repr., Hildesheim: Georg Olms, ) , k-r; del Olmo Lete, AuOr
(): ; Edward Lipinski,

Semitic Languages: Outline of a Comparative Grammar


(OLA ; Louvain: Peeters, ) .; and K. Jongeling, The Hebrew Particle
, DS-NELL (): .


ms. sg.

this

that

fm. sg.

this

that

pl.

these o
these

those

This dialect builds two sets of demonstratives from a single suppletive


base.24 The basic forms, preserved in and , constitute the near
demonstrative. As the paradigm shows, these basic forms also combine with another near deictic (*n),25 yielding the semantically harmonic
demonstratives and perhaps26 . The other set of demonstratives
is derived from the first. The basic near demonstrative is transformed
into a far demonstrative with the addition of *k.27 The result is compound forms such as (ms. and fm.), , and the complex that
as well. This derivational process applies consistently: Biblical Aramaic
distal deictics are composed of proximate forms and a postpositive element *k.28 *k marks distance.29
Amharic may furnish another example of nonsimilative *k. For as
Hetzron explains, this cognate of expresses more than comparison.30
This preposition indicates origin, departure (from), the element which
is surpassed by, or surpasses, another (more/less than). It is used with
verbs of disrupting continuity such as cut, fold etc., prefixed to the
place-object where discontinuity is created by the action of the verb. It
can also be a static locative in the sense of within the confines of , when
being in a given place hides, delimits, distinguishes the subject. It is also
used for leaning against something. Finally, in an apparent contradic24 For the singular, see del Olmo Lete, AuOr (): . For the plural, see
Barth, Die Pronominalbildung .
25 GvG d.
26 For an alternative, see Garr, Dialect Geography of Syria-Palestine, B.C.E.
(Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, ) .
27 GvG v; and Lipinski,

Semitic Languages .. See also Takamitsu Muraoka


and Bezalel Porten, A Grammar of Egyptian Aramaic (HdO /; Leiden: Brill, )
cd.
28 See Barth, Die Pronominalbildung k.
29 See del Olmo Lete, AuOr (): ; and, on -(k)ku in Geez, Wolf Leslau,
Comparative Dictionary of Geez (Classical Ethiopic): Geez-English/English-Geez (Wiesbaden:
Otto Harrassowitz, ) a.
30 For its comparative function, see, e.g., Marcel Cohen, Trait de langue amharique
(Abyssinie) (Travaux et mmoires de lInstitut dethnologie de lUniversit de Paris ;
Paris: Institut dethnologie, ) ; Robert Hetzron, Toward an Amharic CaseGrammar, Studies in African Linguistics (): ; and Leslau, Reference Grammar of
Amharic (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, ) .

tion with the ablative meaning, it may designate a place reached.31


It is also used in the inherent negative senses of be missing from, stay
away from, stop doing something.32

This description leads to a conclusion that may apply, albeit indirectly,


to Hebrew .33
The common denominator of all these uses is that the complement
marked by k- constitutes a boundary of some kind. Crossing a boundary in either direction, leaving the confines of a place or entering them,
or even staying within them, all require k-. In the comparative, the element compared to is supposed to contain a definite amount or degree
of the attribute compared, and passing that amount or degree in either
direction is the essence of the comparative (but not of asas!). Disrupting continuity means creating a boundary. Absence from indicates
the confines of the area within which something is not found. Stop
doing is setting a boundary, a limit to an action.34

Accordingly, Amharic k/k signals conceptual and/or physical boundedness. It further entails the notions of separation and (relative) distinction. Semantically and pragmatically, then, Amharic k/k is related to
the (Hebrew) similative preposition and the (Aramaic) distal element
*k. In each language, *k can serve a separative function.
... There are occasional reflexes of this separative *k in Biblical
Hebrew. It appears, for example, in (< *k).35
He wiped out all existence on the surface of the groundfrom human
beings to beasts, creeping things, and birds of heaven; they were wiped
out from the earth. Only Noah remained, and those with
him in the ark. (Gen : [J])
Every creeping thing that lives shall be yours for food.
must not eat flesh with its own blood in it. (Gen :a. [P])

But you

31 See, e.g., Mandaic ka here and related Aramaic forms. In this context, see also
Leslau, Hebrew Cognates in Amharic (Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz, ) (s.v. k) (=
idem, Ethiopic and South Arabic Contributions to the Hebrew Lexicon [University of California
Publications in Semitic Philology ; Berkeley/Los Angeles: University of California
Press, ] [s.v. ]).
32 Hetzron, Studies in African Linguistics (): . See also Cohen, Trait de langue
amharique ; and Leslau, Reference Grammar of Amharic .
33 Cf. Hetzron, Studies in African Linguistics (): n. .
34 Ibid. . Cf. Leslau, Reference Grammar of Amharic ..
35 For the derivation, Friedrich Bttcher, Ausfhrliches Lehrbuch der hebrischen Sprache
(ed. Ferdinand Mhlau; vols.; Leipzig: Johann Ambrosius Barth, ) .
n. . Cf. Frank R. Blake, The Interrogative Particle in Hebrew, AJSL ():
.


(Ephron answered Abraham,) No, my lord, listen to me. I give you the
field, and I give you the cave thats in itin the presence of my people,
I give it to you. Bury your dead. Abraham spoke to Ephron in
earshot of the people of the land, But, if you, would that, listen to
me! I give the price of the field. Accept (it) from me, since I want to bury
my dead there. (Gen :. [P])
When the men of the place asked about his wife, he said, She is my sister. Abimelek summoned Isaac and said, On the contrary, she is
actually your wife! So why did you say, She is my sister? (Gen :a.a
[J])
After Isaac had finished blessing Jacob, Jacob had just left the presence of Isaac his father, when Esau his brother came from his hunt.
(Gen : [J])
You will be groping at noon just as a blind man gropes in darkness. You
shall not have your ways succeed. You shall rather be extorted and
robbed all the time, without any one to provide relief. (Dt :)
He said, Good. I shall make a covenant with you. Just one thing I ask
of you: you shall not see me (again) unless you bring Michal, daughter of
Saul, when you come to see me. ( Sam :)

As these texts indicate, is pragmatically pliant.36 It can mark an


exception (Gen :),37 exclusion (:),38 contrast (:), or antithesis
(Dt :).39 It can introduce a counterproposal (Gen :).40 also
implies that its utterance will run counter to expectation,41 whether
it be a correction (:a) or a reengagement of demands after an
agreement has been reached ( Sam :). Yet these many readings

36 For discussions, see C. H. J. van der Merwe, Old Hebrew Particles and the
Interpretation of Old Testament Texts, JSOT (): , summarizing idem,
The Old Hebrew particles ak and raq (in Genesis to Kings), in Text, Methode und
Grammatik. Wolfgang Richter zum . Geburtstag (ed. Walter Gross, Hubert Irsigler, and
Theodor Seidl; St. Ottilien: EOS, ) , esp. ; and Jongeling, DS-NELL
(): .
37 David J. A. Clines, ed., The Dictionary of Classical Hebrew (Sheffield: Sheffield
Academic Press, ) ..
38 Francis I. Andersen, The Sentence in Biblical Hebrew (Janua Linguarum, Series
Practica ; The Hague: Mouton, ) . Cf. Harland, The Value of Human Life
.
39 N. H. Snaith, The Meaning of the Hebrew _, VT (): . Cf. van
der Merwe, in Text, Methode und Grammatik n. .
40 See van der Merwe, in Text, Methode und Grammatik (..).
41 E. J. Revell, The System of the Verb in Standard Biblical Prose, HUCA
(): ; and, somewhat differently, Waltke and OConnor, Biblical Hebrew Syntax
..d.

can be subsumed under a single functional category. marks an


adversative relationship;42 it signifies that the following discourse is,
in some way, related or responsive to the preceding context yet, at
the same time, unexpected, contrary, or divergent. Like its underlying
separative morpheme, marks disjunction.43
Another reflex of the separative *k appears in subordinate clauses.
Many temporal statements are formed with a prep[osition] and infin[itive construct]. When is expressed by "a, "k with infin.44
You shall not see me (again) unless you bring Michal, daughter of Saul,
when you come to see me. ( Sam :bb-)
You shall order the priests who carry the ark of the covenant,
When you come to the edge of the Jordan waters, you should stand
in the Jordan. (Jos :)
Rehoboam, son of Solomon, reigned in Judah. Rehoboam was forty-one
years old when he became king, and he reigned seventeen years
in Jerusalem. ( Kgs :a-ba)
When he became king, he struck down the whole house of
Jeroboam; he left not a single soul belonging to Jeroboam until he
destroyed it. ( Kgs :a); see also
So Micaiah told them all the words that he had heard when
Baruch read the scroll in earshot of the people. (Jer :)
So when Jehudi read three or four columns, he would tear it
[sc. the scroll] up with a scribes knife and throw (it) in the fire in the
brazier. (Jer :a)

Although each pair of temporal clauses may be translated alike


(when), these minimal pairs are nonetheless different. When the infinitive is governed by , its clause depicts a situation that is contemporaneous ( Sam :b),45 coeval ( Kgs :a),46 or otherwise temporally proximate to the main event (Jer :a).47 When it is governed by , however, there is greater temporal separation between

Cf. BDB b (ad ).


For the restrictive reading of this term, see BDB b (ad ); and Jongeling, DSNELL (): , .
44 Davidson and Gibson, Hebrew Grammar ~ Syntax , a (italics original). For
lists, see Jenni, Die Prposition Beth ; and idem, Die Prposition Kaph ,
respectively.
45 See Joon and Muraoka, A Grammar of Biblical Hebrew l.
46 BDB a (ad V.).
47 Waltke and OConnor, Biblical Hebrew Syntax ..b. See also ibid. ..c.
42

43

clauses;48 in these examples, the situation expressed by the dependent


clause is either initiated ( Kgs :a) or completed (Jer :a; see
also Jos :) prior to that of the independent clause.49 The differential marking therefore expresses a differential relationship:50 prefixed
expresses greater connection, whereas prefixed expresses greater
division, between temporal and principal clauses (see also Kgs :
and Ez :).51 From this perspective, Hebrew is functionally similar to
Amharic k/k as well as the Aramaic distal deictic *k; it registers a temporal disjunction or separation between related situations. In Hebrew,
the similative preposition can have a separative force.52
..
Just as has its own semantic and pragmatic character, so does the
other preposition in Gen :a. This preposition, , is a locative. It
marks the location in or at a point ([Jdg :]), on a surface ([Gen
:]), within an area ([Dt :]), and amid a domain ([Ps :]).53
It conveys the idea of being or moving within some definite region.54
The locative preposition also has a temporal application,55 for it can
mark an actual time in, at, or when ([Prv :; Pss :, :]);56
in other words, it expresses relative proximity between the situations
represented in the subordinate and main clauses ( ..). Finally, has
nonlocative interpretations.57 But, as the following section will argue,
these latter readings are secondary. They echo the fundamental locative
sense of the preposition.
... One nonlocative interpretation appears in verb-object constructions whose object is potentially construed in one of several gram48 Jenni, Die Prposition Beth . See also, in part, Joon and Muraoka, A Grammar of
Biblical Hebrew m.
49 See Douglas M. Gropp, Progress and Cohesion in Biblical Hebrew Narrative:
The Function of ke-/be- + the Infinitive Construct, in Discourse Analysis of Biblical
Literature: What It Is and What It Offers (ed. Walter R. Bodine; Semeia Studies; Atlanta:
Scholars Press, ) , on the successive relationship.
50 Cf. William L. Holladay, Jeremiah ( vols.; Hermeneia; Philadelphia/Minneapolis:
Fortress, ) . n. a (on Jer :).
51 See Jenni, Die Prposition Beth , .
52 See above with n. .
53 Waltke and OConnor, Biblical Hebrew Syntax ..b (italics original).
54 GKC h.
55 Williams, Hebrew Syntax 2 .
56 Waltke and OConnor, Biblical Hebrew Syntax ..c (italics original).
57 See Jenni, Die Prposition Beth .

matical relations. The object may be either unmarked or marked; its


relation to the verb may be direct, indirect, or oblique.
But he said, It is not the sound of a mighty response, nor the sound of a
weak response. (It is) the sound of intense singing58 I
hear. (Ex : [J])
When Joshua heard the shouting sound of the
people, he said to Moses, A sound of war is in the camp. (Ex : [J])

To the man he said, Because - you listened to the voice


of your wife and ate of the tree (about) which I commanded you, You
must not eat of it, cursed is the ground because of you. In pain, you will
eat of it all the days of your life. (Gen : [J])
God heard the boys cry, and an angel of God
(or: divine angel) called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, Whats
wrong, Hagar? Dont be afraid, for God has
noted the boys cry where he is. For I shall make him into a great
nation. (Gen :.b [E])

Afterwards, Moses and Aaron came and said to Pharaoh, Thus says the
Lord God of Israel, Let my people go so that they may make a festival
for me in the wilderness. Pharaoh said, Who is the Lord that
- I should heed him by letting Israel go? I do not know the Lord.
Moreover, I will not let Israel go. (Ex : [J])

These passages illustrate typical semantic and pragmatic characteristics of differential object marking. The direct object, for instance, has
a predictable interpretation. Whether it is marked or unmarked, the
simplest reading of the direct object takes the nominal to be the object
of involuntary perception (Ex :).59 As a perceived object, it also
has sufficient salience or referentiality to be (re-) deployed in the discourse as an entity with literal content (Gen :; Ex :,
respectively). The nondirect object is more nuanced and pragmatically
explicit. It can affect the grammatical subject.60 For example, when the
object is indirect ( ), the effect on the subject is variable: though
the content of the indirect object often influences the subjects behavCf. Robert M. Good, Exodus :, in Love & Death in the Ancient Near East: Essays
in Honor of Marvin H. Pope (ed. John H. Marks and Robert M. Good; Guilford, Conn.:
Four Quarters, ) .
59 H. Cazelles,
sm ql et sm b ql, GLECS (): ; Augustinus Kurt
Fenz, Auf Jahwehs Stimme hren. Eine biblische Begriffsuntersuchung (WBTh ; Vienna: Herder,
) ; Jenni, Die Prposition Beth ; and U. Rterswrden, 
 sema,
 sama, 
e" semah, in TWAT ..
60 See Rterswrden, in TWAT ..
58

ior (Gen :; see also, inter alia, Kgs :), a positive response is not
inevitable (e.g., Ex :, : [J]). When the object is oblique, the objects
effect is stronger. An allative object ( ) suggests compliance (e.g.,
Gen : [J]) or another well-meaning response by the subject (:
). A locative object ( ), though, affects the subject intimately.61
When this object refers to divine speech, the verb-object combination
regularly communicates obedience (e.g., : [J]) or responsible, dutiful
conduct (e.g., Sam :).62 From a negative viewpoint, the idiom can
also imply submission or capitulation (e.g., Ex :).63 The connection
between subject and object, then, is greatest when the object is grammatically oblique and governed by the locative preposition.
The themes of intimacy, proximity, as well as participation recur in
other combinations of verb and locative object.
The Lord smelled the pleasing smell, and the
Lord said to himself, I shall not curse the ground ever again because
of humankind. (Gen :aa [J])
I will make your cities a ruin and decimate your sanctuaries.
- I will not smell your pleasing smell. (Lev : [H])

Lot looked up and saw the whole plain of the


Jordanthat all of it was well-watered. (Gen :a [J])
At that time, Moses grew up. He went out to his brethren -
and looked at their burdens. He saw an Egyptian striking one of his
Hebrew brethren. (Ex : [J]); see also
Joshua, and all the battle troops (with him), initiated the march to Ai.
Joshua chose thirty thousand men,
worthy warriors, and despatched them at night. (Jos :)
A man of God came to Eli and said to him, Thus says the Lord, Did
I reveal myself to the house of your father choosing it out
of all the tribes of Israel as my priest, to go up on my altar, to burn
incense, to carry an ephod before me? ( Sam :a)
For it is him the Lord your God has chosen out of all your
tribes, to attend (and) minister in the name of the Lordhim and
his children, for all time. (Dt :)
61 Peter Weimar, Die Berufung des Mose. Literaturwissenschaftliche Analyse von Exodus ,
, (OBO ; Freiburg/Gttingen: Universittsverlag/Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, )
. See also Jenni, Die Prposition Beth .
62 Cazelles, GLECS (): ; and Baruch A. Levine, An Essay on Prophetic Attitudes toward Temple and Cult in Biblical Israel, in Minh. ah le-Nah. um: Biblical
and Other Studies Presented to Nahum M. Sarna in Honour of His th Birthday (ed. Marc
Brettler and Michael Fishbane; JSOTS ; Sheffield: JSOT Press, ) .
63 See Benno Jacob, The Second Book of the Bible: Exodus (trans. Walter Jacob and
Yaakov Elman; Hoboken, New Jersey: Ktav, []) .

The first two pairs of verb-object combinations resemble those built


around . The grammatical objects are dependent upon verbs of
perception, and the grammatical relation of these objects alternates
between direct and oblique. The interpretation of their respective verb
phrases follows suit. The direct object specifies an entity perceived as a
matter of sensual fact (Gen :).64 This object is also emotionally neutral; it may (:) or may not (:) provoke a visceral response in the
verbs subject. The oblique object in these two pairs, however, is neither
neutral nor matter-of-fact.65 This object may affect the subject strongly
(Lev :),66 even provoking a violent reaction (Ex :).67 The third
set of passages, though, suggests a slightly different yet complementary
analysis of the differential grammatical relation. As in the previous sample, the verbs basic semantic content is preserved when it governs a
direct object, whether marked or unmarked; means choose, select
(Jos :; Sam :a, respectively).68 Yet when the object is marked
as oblique and locative, the construction maintains the literal meaning
of the verb and implies commitment to, or preference for, the chosen entity (Dt :).69 In contrast to a direct object, then, a marked
locative object can signify the subjects heightened, personal investment
(see :). In these texts, objective implies subject-object connectedness or interaction, especially a greater involvement and participation
by the subject in the object.70
... The locative preposition can have a more physical reading,
too. For example, can introduce the object after transitive verbs,
which denote touching, striking, reaching to something.71

Jenni, Die Prposition Beth .


See ibid. .
66 See, e.g., Philip J. Budd, Leviticus (NCBC; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, ) , in
conjunction with Levine, Leviticus (The JPS Torah Commentary; Philadelphia: Jewish
Publication Society, ) ; or Jacob Milgrom, Leviticus ( vols.; AB B; New York:
Doubleday, ) ..
67 See Jenni, Die Prposition Beth , in conjunction with Menahem Z. Kaddari,
.
- as an Expression of Empathy in Biblical Hebrew, in Israel Yeivin Festschrift
(Language Studies ; Jerusalem: Magnes, ) .
68 H. Wildberger, bhr to choose, in TLOT ..
.
69 Cf. Jenni, Die Prposition Beth .
70 GKC k, m. See also Joon, Notes de lexicographie hbraque, MFOB
(): (summarized in idem and Muraoka, A Grammar of Biblical Hebrew c);
and Naomi G. Cohen, : An Enthusiastic Prophetic Formula, ZAW
(): .
71 GKC k (italics original). See also BDB a (ad II..a).
64

65


The angel of the Lord extended the tip of the staff in his hand
and touched the meat and unleavened bread. (Jdg :a)

Then Benaiah son of Jehoiada went up,


cuted him. ( Kgs :a)

struck him, and exe-

For the man who told me, Look! Saul is dead, believed he was a herald
of good news. But I grabbed him and killed him in Ziklagfor
giving me the good news. ( Sam :); see also
No evil will happen to you, nor stroke
(Ps :)

touch your tent.

Even though these locative objects may be interpreted as were their


predecessors, implying the subjects participation and involvement in
the object, the literal meaning of these verbs suggests otherwise. These
verbs are each tactile expressions of various kinds and degrees; they
each express contact.72 Hence the locative object need not be interpreted metaphorically, as involvement or participation. Instead, the
marking signals nonmetaphorical, physical closeness and contiguity,73
according to which the proximity between subject and object is tangible and real. These verbs and their locative object therefore form a
harmonic combination; semantically, grammatically, and pragmatically,
they register palpable proximity.
... Other interpretations of the preposition include, but are
not confined to, categorical proximity. For instance, can introduce
a standard, whether concrete or abstract, according to which an action
is performed, or an item measured or manufactured (beth normae).74
Take a census of the whole Israelite assembly, according to their clans
(and) their ancestral houses, - by the number of names, every male,
per head. (Num :; cf. : [P])
The length of each curtain shall be thirty - cubits, and the width
shall be four - cubits per curtainone measurement for eleven
curtains. (Ex : [P])

72 Jenni, Die Prposition Beth ; and idem, Schlagen in .Sam , und in


den historischen Bchern, in Avraham Malamat Volume (ed. S. Ahituv
and B. A. Levine;
.
EI ; Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society, ) * (repr. in Studien Alten Testaments ).
73 BDB a (ad II).
74 August Dillmann, Die Genesis (th ed.; KeHAT ; Leipzig: S. Hirzel, ) (=
Genesis [trans. Wm. B. Stevenson; vols.; Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, ] .); and
BDB b (ad III.). For a diagnostic presentation, see also Jenni, Die Prposition Beth
(with examples on ).

It cannot be poured on anyones body, - nor according to the


same proportions should you make the likes of it. It is holy (and) it shall
be holy to you. (Ex :; see also v. [P])
I shall present the punishment to them, and they shall punish you -
by their punishments. (Ez :b)
See that you make them - according to the model75 that you are
shown on the mountain. (Ex : [P])

It can characterize a nominal head and specify its form, function, or


other attribute76 (beth essentiae).77
I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
(Ex :a [P])

as El Shaddai.

You will speak to the Levites and say to them, When you receive from
the Israelites the tithe that I have given you from them - as your
allotment, (Num :a [P])

75 For the translation, see Victor (Avigdor) Hurowitz, I Have Built You an Exalted
House: Temple Building in the Bible in Light of Mesopotamian and Northwest Semitic Writings
(JSOTS ; JSOT/ASOR Monograph Series ; Sheffield: JSOT Press, ) . See
also Angelika Berlejung, Die Theologie der Bilder. Herstellung und Einweihung von Kultbildern in
Mesopotamien und die alttestamentliche Bilderpolemik (OBO ; Freiburg/Gttingen: Universittsverlag/Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, ) , .
76 For this description, see Garr, The Grammar and Interpretation of Exodus :,
JBL (): ; and Jenni, Die Prposition Beth . Despite the renewed efforts
of J. H. Charlesworth (The Beth Essentiae and the Permissive Meaning of the Hiphil
[Aphel], in Of Scribes and Scrolls: Studies on the Hebrew Bible, Intertestamental Judaism,
and Christian Origins Presented to John Strugnell on the Occasion of His Sixtieth Birthday [ed.
Harold W. Attridge, John J. Collins, and Thomas H. Tobin; College Theology Society Resources in Religion ; Lanham: University Press of America, ] ) and
Hans-Peter Mller (Das Beth existentiae im Althebrischen, in Vom Alten Orient zum
Alten Testament. Festschrift fr Wolfram Freiherrn von Soden zum . Geburtstag am . Juni
[ed. Manfried Dietrich and Oswald Loretz; AOAT ; Kevelaer/Neukirchen-Vluyn:
Butzon & Bercker/Neukirchener Verlag, ] , esp. ), the predicative reading of the beth still does not exist (see C. F. Whitley, Some Functions of
the Hebrew Particles beth and lamedh, JQR []: ; and Jenni, Die Prposition
Beth ).
77 Wildberger, Das Abbild Gottes. Gen. , , TZ (): (repr. in
Jahwe und sein Volk. Gesammelte Aufstze zum Alten Testament. Zu seinem . Geburtstag am .
Januar [ed. Hans Heinrich Schmid and Odil Hannes Steck; TB ; Munich: Chr.
Kaiser, ] ); Manfred Weippert, Tier und Mensch in einer menschenarmen
Welt. Zum sog. dominium terrae in Genesis , in Ebenbild GottesHerrscher ber die Welt.
Studien zu Wrde und Auftrag des Menschen (ed. Hans-Peter Mathys; Biblisch-Theologische
Studien ; Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, ) ; and Gro and Jenni,
cited in ch. n. , below.


I have filled him with the spirit of God- - - expertise, ability, and knowledge in every kind of workmanship. (Ex :; see
also : [P])78

Likewise, this preposition can specify the parts of which a whole


consists (esp. in P) (partitive beth).79
Then all flesh that moved on the earth perished- - -
birds, beasts, animals, and everything that swarmed on the
earth, and all humankind. (Gen :; see also :, : [P])
-

For whoever eats what is leavened, that person shall be cut off from the
assembly of Israel- - whether stranger or citizen of the land.
(Ex :b [P])
They took all the spoil and all the booty-
beast. (Num : [H])

human and

These apparently heterogeneous interpretations are interrelated. Each


time, the locative preposition places a restriction on its coreferential
head;80 it narrows the scope of the head to a limited sphere.81 It may
limit an activity to a preestablished criterion, or an object to an accepted measure (beth normae).82 It may limit an entity to one or more particular characteristics (beth essentiae).83 Or it may limit the scope of a noun
to particular inherent parts (partitive beth). Each time, the nominal
governed by and its discourse antecedent are coreferential; both
the head and dependent nominal refer to a single entity. In terms
of referential proximity, then, the locative prepositional phrase and its
head are practically inseparable.
78 Jenni, Die Prposition Beth . See also Dillmann, Die Bcher Exodus und Leviticus (ed.
Victor Ryssel; d ed.; KeHAT ; Leipzig: S. Hirzel, ) . Cf. Bruno Baentsch,
Exodus-Leviticus-Numeri (HKAT I/; Gttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, ) .
79 BDB b (ad I..c). See also Dillmann, Genesis6 (= ET .); and GKC i.
Cf. the partitive (on which see GKC n. ).
80 This limitative function is related to the primary, locative meaning of the preposition. Since the preposition implies the idea of being or moving within some definite
region (see ., intro.), implies limitation. It can designate a specific spacial location
(in). It can also restrict the locus of a particular area (within) or entity (e.g., consisting
of ). The locative preposition, then, indicates (restricted) localization (see Jenni, Die Prposition Beth ; and C. H. J. van der Merwe, Jackie A. Naud, and Jan H. Kroeze,
A Biblical Hebrew Reference Grammar [Biblical Languages: Hebrew ; Sheffield: Sheffield
Academic Press, ] ..).
81 See, e.g., Williams, Hebrew Syntax 2 ; and Waltke and OConnor, Biblical Hebrew
Syntax ..e, on the beth of specification.
82 See Friedrich Eduard Knig, Historisch-kritisches Lehrgebude der hebrischen Sprache (
pts.; Leipzig: J. C. Hinrichs, ) / r.
83 See Charlesworth, in Of Scribes and Scrolls .


.. and

and are clearly different. On the one hand, is a similativeseparative preposition. It expresses approximation, likeness, or similarity (..). It also indicates relative separation, distance, and distinction
between likened entities (..). marks similarity as well as separation. By implication, the likened nominals in this construction are not
coreferential (see ..). On the other hand, is a locative-proximate
preposition. It expresses location (with-) in a realm, whether spacial or
nonspacial (., intro.). It also entails proximity of different kinds: viz.,
physical or emotional (..), coextensive, parallel, and even coincident or coterminous ( ..). Accordingly, in certain constructions, the
locative preposition signals coreferentiality. The prepositions and
each have their own semantic content, interpretive reading, discourse
effect, and function.
... Nevertheless, on occasion these two prepositions seem to be
interchangeable (see ..).

He who blasphemes the name of the Lord shall be put to a certain death.
The whole assembly shall be sure to stone him; - - stranger
and citizen alike, when he blasphemes the name, he will be put to death.
(Lev : [H]; see also v. ; Jos :)
Any person who consumes what has died or what was torn by animals
- - citizen as well as strangershall clean his clothes, wash
in water, and be unclean until evening. Then, he shall be clean.
(Lev : [H])
I will surely gather Jacob, all of you. I will surely collect the remnant of Israel. I will place them together - like sheep of Bozrah.
(Mic :a)
Present according to (each of) your tribes wise, discerning, and knowing
men, and I shall place them - as your heads. (Dt :); see also
May your word please be - like one of theirs; speak favorably. (
Kgs :b; see also Chr :b)
For the word (came) to me - as the word of the Lord, You shall not
eat bread or drink water there. You shall not go back by the route that
you took. ( Kgs :)

These textual pairs, however, do not prove synonymity. Lev :,


for example, focuses on the difference between potential offenders.
Whether the offender belongs to one or the other of two exclusive
categories, the difference is irrelevant to the punitive consequence.84
84

See Joon and Muraoka, A Grammar of Biblical Hebrew i.

Lev :, though, specifies the internal composition of any (offending)


person (see Ex : [P]).85 It does not contrast one constituent group
with another; rather, it identifies the parts that together comprise the
whole. Similar distinctions are registered in the other minimal pairs.
Mic : compares truly separate entities, Jacob and sheep; Dt :
presumes that the men, in their particular functional capacity, are
leaders.86 Or in Kgs :, the messenger hopes that Micaiahs own
speech will conform to that already spoken by the prophets, whereas
the man of God in Kgs : claims that the word represents a
divine communication (see also v. a). These pairs, then, do not demonstrate that the prepositions and are interchangeable, substitutable,
or synonymous. Instead, they demonstrate that marks a comparison
between two distinct entities, and that specifies the members, function, or content of a coreferential head.
... But in Gen :a, there are two prepositional phrases that
qualify a single antecedent. The first is governed by , and its successor
is governed by . Other texts reveal the same syntactic and grammatical pattern, too.
Their cereal offerings and libations for the bulls, rams, and lambs -
by number as prescribed. (Num : [H?], etc.)

Benjamin had begun to strike them dead, - -


Israelite men (numbering) about thirty. (Jdg :b); see also
You will be left - a fewthough you had been numerous -
like the stars of heavenbecause you did not obey the Lord
your God. (Dt :)
For my days waste away - as smoke, and my bones
hearth are scorched. (Ps :; see also :)

87

like a

In Num :, the complex nominal phrase is initially limited to a


quantitative measure (beth normae; see also vv. )88 and then judged
to conform to the imposed regulatory ruling. In Jdg :, the casualties are identified as members of a particular group (partitive beth)89

85 See Alfred Bertholet, Leviticus (KHAT ; Tbingen/Leipzig: J. C. B. Mohr [Paul


Siebeck], ) ; and Baentsch, Exodus-Leviticus-Numeri .
86 See Harland, The Value of Human Life .
87 Cf. Aleppo codex (); and W. M. L. de Wette, Commentar ber die Psalmen (ed.
Gustav Baur; th ed.; Breslau: Herrmann Kelsch, ) .
88 So, e.g., Jenni, Die Prposition Beth .
89 See BDB b (on Sam :), in conjunction with Jenni, Die Prposition Beth .

and then assigned an approximate number. In Dt :, the prepositional phrases appear in separate yet parallel clauses; the Israelite
addressee (you) is characterized as a future pittance (beth essentiae)
which, in the past, was as innumerable as the heavenly bodies. In
each case, the two prepositional phrases express a double characterization of their head. The one marked with presents a measure, constituent, attribute, or form (see Ps :); its nominal core is coreferential with its antecedent. In contrast, when a nominal is governed by
, the nominal core of the phrase is not coreferential with its head;
the similative phrase only approximates or resembles the head in a certain way. The two prepositions, then, each effectively serve a deictic
function: marks a proximate, and a distal, qualification of a shared
antecedent.
... Gen :a adopts this pattern as well. Once Gods quoted
speech begins with a transitive predicate and an unmarked direct object, two prepositional phrases immediately follow. The former is
marked with the locative-proximate , while the latter is marked with
the similative-separative . So too, like all the preceding examples, the
proximate phrase leads the distal qualifier: - -. The same
is true for Gen :: - -.90 The coreferential phrase comes
first; the noncoreferential comparison comes afterwards (cf. .). The
two prepositional phrases present different yet aligned characterizations
of their head.
The syntactic relationship between - and - in Gen :a
offers confirmation that these two phrases jointly qualify their antecedent. They stand side by side91 in asyndetic combination. In the
Septuagint and Samaritan versions, they do not; they each supply
a conjunction between the two phrases92 and thus suggest that the
phrases are potentially unrelated constituents.93 In the MT, though, the

Vogels, ScEs (): . See also Tryggve N. D. Mettinger, Abbild oder


Urbild? Imago Dei in traditionsgeschichtlicher Sicht, ZAW (): ; and
Willem A. M. Beuken, The Human Person in the Vision of Genesis : A Synthesis
of Contemporary Insights, LouvSt (): .
91 Waltke and OConnor, Biblical Hebrew Syntax .a (on Ex :).
92 See William P. Brown, Structure, Role, and Ideology in the Hebrew and Greek Texts of
Genesis :: (SBLDS ; Atlanta: Scholars Press, ) n. .
93 Cf. Walter Gro, Gen ,.; ,: Statue oder Ebenbild Gottes? Aufgabe und
Wrde des Menschen nach dem hebrischen und dem griechischen Wortlaut, JBTh
(): .
90

two phrases are not formally connected; they are simply juxtaposed.94
Further, they have a common referent.95 Their two similative nouns
represent some measure of semantic overlap.96 Also, these phrases are
arguably, albeitly grossly, almost in the same case.97 In combination,
then, the prepositional phrases resemble an appositive structure. They
reflect a bipartite qualification of a single head.98
A preliminary reading of the prepositional phrases in Gen :a is
now possible (cf. ...). When Ps God addresses his councillors,
among other things he seeks their support to create a human race
that will represent the divine community; God wishes that humanity correlate with both divine branches, God and his gods. God also
specifies two similative characteristics or attributes of the human creature: one proximate (image),99 and the other distal (likeness).100 In
one respect, then, humanity will intimately participate in divinity; to
a limited degree, the two parties will be close and almost inseparable.
In another respect, humanity and divinity will be separate and distinct;
human beings will be similar and dissimilar to the divine crew.101 In

94 See Dillmann, Genesis6 (= ET .); and Phyllis A. Bird, Male and Female
He Created Them: Gen :b in the Context of the Priestly Account of Creation,
HTR (): n. (repr. in Missing Persons and Mistaken Identities: Women and Gender
in Ancient Israel [OBT; Minneapolis: Fortress, ] n. ).
95 Waltke and OConnor, Biblical Hebrew Syntax .c.
96 Andersen, The Sentence in Biblical Hebrew ; and, on Gen :, Ruppert, Cath
(): .
97 Joon and Muraoka, A Grammar of Biblical Hebrew a. See also GKC a;
and, on Gen :, Weippert, in Ebenbild GottesHerrscher ber die Welt .
98 See Jenni, in Neue Wege der Psalmenforschung (= Studien Alten Testaments
).
99 See Wilhelm Caspari, Imago divina Gen I, in Reinhold-Seeberg-Festschrift (ed.
Wilhelm Koepp; vols.; Leipzig: A. Deichert/Werner Scholl, ) .. See also
Clines: to be human and to be the image of God are not separable (The Image of
God in Man, TynB []: [repr. as Humanity as the Image of God, in On the
Way to the Postmodern: Old Testament Essays, ( vols.; JSOTS ; Sheffield:
Sheffield Academic Press, ) .]).
100 See, perhaps, Karl Ludwig Schmidt, Homo Imago Dei im Alten und Neuen
Testament, ErJ (): (repr. in Der Mensch als Bild Gottes [ed. Leo Scheffczyk;
WdF ; Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, ] ).
101 See, e.g., Julian Morgenstern, The Sources of the Creation StoryGenesis :
:, AJSL (): ; Pierre Bordreuil, lombre dlohim. Le thme de
lombre protectrice dans lAncien Orient et ses rapports avec LImago Dei, RHPR
(): (in part); and, somewhat differently, Walther Zimmerli, Old Testament
Theology in Outline (trans. David E. Green; Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, [])
.

sum, Gen :a is tantamount to a double comparison (see ..) or


double-barreled relationship between humanity and the gods: in two
similar ways, the human creature will be very much like, yet somewhat
unlike, God and the gods.

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THE NOUNS AND
image and likeness are strangely suitable characterizations
of the divine-human relationship in Gen . They are semantically alike;
the nouns are each representational terms that express similative content (see .). They imply, or seem to imply, two foci of comparison
between the divine and human spheres. Ostensibly, humanity is envisioned to be, and created as, a token of divine presence and participation in the world (., .). The nouns suggest that, in two respects at
least, humanity will resemble, replicate, or mimic God and his divine
community. Humanity, then, is (like) a theophany.
The crux lies in the nature of this theophany. According to some
scholars, the theophany is not physical.

The parallel terms image (s. elem) and likeness (demt) suggest
noncorporeal resemblance and representation.1

Others argue that the theophany is concrete.


[M]indful of the huge volume of writing about the phrase translated
as in our image, according to our likeness I can see only overinterpretation, inspired by the presence of a theological agenda, which
in many cases appears reluctant to allow that the god has a shape that
is the same as a human one and wishes to allegorize the image and
likeness in some way. But whenever in the books of the Hebrew Bible
there is a reference to the body of the deity, the deity is described as
having a human form, as do the great majority of heavenly beings.
And so: the reason that humans are shaped the way they are is because
the creating god happened to be that shape too.2

1 Phyllis A. Bird, Bone of My Bone and Flesh of My Flesh, ThTo ():


.
2 Philip R. Davies, Making It: Creation and Contradiction in Genesis, in The
Bible in Human Society: Essays in Honour of John Rogerson (ed. M. Daniel Carroll R., David
J. A. Clines, and Philip R. Davies; JSOTS ; [Sheffield:] Sheffield Academic Press,
) . See also Clines, The Image of God in Man, TynB (): (repr.
as Humanity as the Image of God, in On the Way to the Postmodern: Old Testament
Essays, [ vols.; JSOTS ; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, ]
.).

The dispute is not easily adjudicated. Each interpretation finds textual


support (see ..). Nor must these interpretations be mutually exclusive.3 The crux therefore persists.
What is there in man that is somehow analogous with God? Is it the
immortal soul or the physical fact that men can stand upright? Is it
that man rules over nature, or that he exists in two sexes destined for
communion? For such questions there is no answer to be found.4

..
likeness appears twenty-five times in the Hebrew Bible. Most
attestations are found in Priestly writings, whether they be attributed
to P (Gen :), PT (Gen :.), or Ezekiel (:a.b.....a.b.
b., :, :..., :). The remaining few are scattered
throughout a variety of sources: the deuteronomistic history ( Kgs
:), first Isaiah (:), second Isaiah (:), Psalms (:), Daniel
(:), and Chronicles ( Chr :).
... The interpretation of likeness varies considerably in nonPriestly writings. It may, for example, refer to a physical entity.5

King Ahaz sent Uriah the priest a likeness of the altar


and a model6 of its whole construction. ( Kgs :b);7 see also
She saw men etched on the wall, ( ) images of
Chaldeans etched in vermillion, having belts girded to their waists, flowing turbans on their heads, all of them with the appearance of officers
a likeness of Babylonians whose homeland was Chaldea.
(Ez :b-)8
3 See Jeffrey H. Tigay, The Image of God and the Flood: Some New Developments, in . Studies in Jewish Education and Judaica in Honor of Louis Newman
(ed. Alexander M. Shapiro and Burton I. Cohen; New York: Ktav, ) ; and,
differently, U. Cassuto, A Commentary on the Book of Genesis (trans. Israel Abrahams;
pts.; Jerusalem: Magnes, []) .. See also Morton Smith, On the
Shape of God and the Humanity of Gentiles, in Religions in Antiquity: Essays in Memory
of Erwin Ramsdell Goodenough (ed. Jacob Neusner; SHR ; Leiden: E. J. Brill, )
(repr. in Studies in the Cult of Yahweh [ed. Shaye J. D. Cohen; vols.; Leiden: E. J. Brill,
] .), quoted by Tigay, in n. .
4 James Barr, The Image of God in GenesisSome Linguistic and Historical
Considerations, OTWSA (): .
5 Note Paul Humbert, tudes sur le rcit du paradis et de la chute dans la Gense (MUN ;
Neuchtel: Universit de Neuchtel, ) .
6 See ch. n. , above.
7 Note H. D. Preuss, c
 damah; e"c d emth, in TDOT ..
8 See, in this context, Moshe Greenberg, Ezekiel (AB ; Garden City, New York:
Doubleday, ) ..

Since the likeness of the Babylonians can be seen (v. a), and altars
likeness cum facsimile guide Uriahs building project ( Kgs :), these
representational likenesses must be two-9 or three-dimensional.10 Similarly, the likeness can be real yet referentially unspecific or inexact.11
To whom can you liken God? What
him? (Is :)12

likeness can you compare to

Something like oxen was beneath it, set all around it, each
measuring ten cubits, encircling the sea around. ( Chr :a);13 see also

Then, someone human touched my lips. I opened my


mouth to speak and said to the one standing opposite me, My Lord.
Because of the vision (Dan :; cf. v. )14

It can even be nonreferential and express relative similarity or resemblance.


Listen! A tumult on the mountains like a great troop. Listen!
An uproar of kingdoms, nations assembling. (Is :a-b)15

In which case, can combine with and form a semantically empty


extension of the comparative preposition.16

9 E.g., James A. Montgomery, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Books of Kings
(ed. Henry Snyder Gehman; ICC; Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, []) (ad
Kgs :b); and E. Jenni, dmh to be like, in TLOT ..
10 See Preuss, in TDOT ..
11 See Jon D. Levenson, Sinai and Zion: An Entry into the Jewish Bible (New Voices in
Biblical Studies; Minneapolis: Winston, ) .
12 Note, esp., Jenni, in TLOT .. Cf. Wilhelm Caspari, Imago divina Gen I,
in Reinhold-Seeberg-Festschrift (ed. Wilhelm Koepp; vols.; Leipzig: A. Deichert/Werner
Scholl, ) ..
13 Preuss, in TDOT ., in conjunction with H. G. M. Williamson, and
Chronicles (NCBC; Grand Rapids/London: Eerdmans/Marshall, Morgan & Scott, )
.
14 See the discussion by John Day, Gods Conflict with the Dragon and the Sea: Echoes of
a Canaanite Myth in the Old Testament (University of Cambridge Oriental Publications ;
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, ) .
15 In addition to the references in n. , see the competing opinions of Caspari,
in Reinhold-Seeberg-Festschrift .; Edward M. Curtis, Image of God (OT), in ABD
.b; and Otto Kaiser, Isaiah (trans. R. A. Wilson; OTL; Philadelphia: Westminster, []) n. d (on which, cf. Brevard S. Childs, Isaiah [OTL; Louisville:
Westminster John Knox, ] n. a).
16 Jenni, Pleonastische Ausdrcke fr Vergleichbarkeit (Ps ,; ,), in Neue Wege
der Psalmenforschung. Fr Walter Beyerlin (d ed.; HBS ; Freiburg: Herder, [])
(repr. in Studien zur Sprachwelt des Alten Testaments [ed. Beat Huwyler and Klaus Seybold;
Stuttgart: W. Kohlhammer, ] ). See also BDB a (ad ). For ballast variants,
see Wilfred G. E. Watson, Classical Hebrew Poetry: A Guide to Its Techniques (d corrected


Their venom is like a snakes,
that stops its ear. (Ps :)17

like a deaf viper

All told, is semantically and referentially elastic in non-Priestly


texts; its interpretation runs the gamut from physical replica to metaphorical comparison.
Ps use of in Gen : can be set within this context. In fact,
these non-Priestly readings have each been applied to the Priestly text
already. It is claimed, for instance, that is semantically and functionally void in the creation story; as in Ps :, may be a pleonastic component of the similative prepositional phrase (i.e., like [like]
us).18 The majority of interpreters, though, do not follow this lead.
They either find that expresses nonreferential, abstract similitude
(i.e., likeness).19 Or, more often, they impute a degree of objective
physicality to (i.e., copy20 or statue21). Ps own might therefore entail corporeality22 or another kind of physical resemblance.23
ed.; JSOTS ; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, ) , esp. on ballast
prepositions.
17 Jenni, in Neue Wege der Psalmenforschung (= Studien Alten Testaments
); and, with exegetical explanation, Mitchell Dahood, Psalms ( vols.; AB A;
Garden City, New York: Doubleday, ) ..
18 E.g., Jenni, Die Prposition Kaph (Die hebrischen Prpositionen ; Stuttgart: W.
Kohlhammer, ) .
19 See Walter Gro, Die Gottebenbildlichkeit des Menschen nach Gen ,. in
der Diskussion des letzten Jahrzehnts, BN (): (repr. in Studien zur Priesterschrift
und zu alttestamentlichen Gottesbildern [SBAB ; Stuttgart: Katholisches Bibelwerk, ]
); P. J. Harland, The Value of Human Life: A Study of the Story of the Flood (Genesis )
(VTS ; Leiden: E. J. Brill, ) ; and Preuss, in TDOT ., in light of Jennis
discussion of Is : in TLOT .. See also Sigmund Mowinckel, Urmensch und
Knigsideologie, ST (): .
20 See Caspari, in Reinhold-Seeberg-Festschrift ..
21 E.g., Andreas Angerstorfer, Hebrisch dmwt und aramisch dmw(t). Ein Sprachproblem der Imago-Dei-Lehre, BN (): ; Jean-Georges Heintz, Lhomme
cr limage de Dieu (Gense ,): pierre de touche de linterprtation biblique,
FV / (): ; and Norbert Lohfink, Die Gottesstatue. Kreatur und Kunst
nach Genesis , in idem, Im Schatten deiner Flgel. Groe Bibeltexte neu erschlossen (d ed.;
Freiburg: Herder, []) . Cf. Harland, The Value of Human Life .
22 See Hermann Gunkel, Genesis (th ed.; HKAT I/; Gttingen: Vandenhoeck
& Ruprecht, []) (= Genesis [trans. Mark E. Biddle; Mercer Library of
Biblical Studies; Macon: Mercer University Press, ] ), in conjunction with
Humbert, tudes sur le rcit du paradis ; or Angelika Berlejung, Die Theologie der Bilder.
Herstellung und Einweihung von Kultbildern in Mesopotamien und die alttestamentliche Bilderpolemik
(OBO ; Freiburg/Gttingen: Universittsverlag/Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, )
. Cf. Walther Eichrodt, Theology of the Old Testament (trans. J. A. Baker; vols.;
OTL; Philadelphia: Westminster, []) ..
23 Tigay, He Begot a Son in His Likeness after His Image (Genesis :), in

The debate over Gen : remains unsolved. The different non-Priestly


readings of yield thoroughly equivocal results for its Priestly counterpart.
... The discovery of an Old Aramaic inscription from Tell Fakhariyeh rekindled the inquiry into .24 This text mentions likeness
twice, using terminology that is cognate to the Hebrew: the likeness (l. ) and () this likeness (l. ). This likeness refers
to the statue on which the inscription is written. But also alternates with another term whose biblical cognate likewise appears in
Gen : and :: () the image of Had-yiti (l. ) and
his image (l. ). And it too refers to the inscribed statue. To a great
extent, then, likeness and image are similar at Fakhariyeh (see also
: s. almu image [Aram. l. , Akk. l. ] and : s. almu [ll.
and , respectively]). They are concrete nouns; they are coreferential;
and they ultimately refer to the governor, Had-yiti, named in the text
(see ll. .).
The likeness of Had-yiti is physical and representational. It is
a portrait-like object that is placed in the temple in front of the
(representation of the) god Hadad (l. ; see also l. ). It is a donation
( [l. ]) that the governor erected ( [l. ]) on behalf of himself,
his family, and his people (ll. ). It is a work ( [l. ]) which can
be inscribed (l. ), erased (l. ), and reinscribed (l. ). It is also subject
to deterioration and restoration (l. ). The likeness of Had-yiti clearly
refers to the statue.
Likeness also refers to a functional quality of the statue. The two
sections that mention likeness share a common purpose. In one, Hadyiti appeals to Hadads established and laudatory reputation (ll. );
he lobbies the god to grant him the contents of his prayer (ll. ).
In the other section, Had-yiti briefly repeats his requests of Hadad
(ll. ). In both sections, Hadad is asked to accept (l. ) or favor
(ll. ) the petitioners supplication. They are explicitly suasive in
nature, and they each close with the grounds on which the supplication
is made (ll. .). The likeness of the Fakhariyeh inscription, then,

Tehillah le-Moshe: Biblical and Judaic Studies in Honor of Moshe Greenberg (ed. Mordechai
Cogan, Barry L. Eichler, and Jeffrey H. Tigay; Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns, )
(on Gen :).
24 For the following, see Garr, Image and Likeness in the Inscription from Tell
Fakhariyeh, IEJ (): .

is associated with baldly petitionary language. It is a physical token of


piety offered in tribute to Hadad.25
... Of its several first-millennium attestations, appears most
often in the book of Ezekiel. Its appearance there is hardly a surprise.
Ezekiel is a priest (Ez :). He has deep roots in the priestly traditions
of the Jerusalemite establishment. The prophets priestly background is
clearly reflected in his language, which has close ties with the Holiness
Code and with other Jerusalemite literature.26 Ezekiel and the
Priestly tradition on which he draws27 are closely related to each other,
both in the topics discussed and in the phraseology used.28 , with
its historical foundation in P(T), is a case in point.
is a constituent feature of the prophets vision of God.29
In the thirtieth year, in the fourth (month), on the fifth day of the month
heaven opened, and I saw an awesome vision30 of God. I looked,
when a stormy wind came from the north: a large cloud, flashing fire,
brightness around it; out of it, something like amber, out of the fire. And
out of it, a likeness of four creatures, and this was their
appearance: they had a human likeness, though each one had
four faces and each of them had four wings. (Ez :.)

Once he introduces the celestial, supernatural vision that will consume


his attention, Ezekiel describes what he seesthe self-revelation of
the God who invested Ezekiel with his prophetic commission.31 God
25 See, in this context, James L. Kugel, Topics in the History of the Spirituality of
the Psalms, in Jewish Spirituality: From the Bible through the Middle Ages (ed. Arthur Green;
World Spirituality ; New York: Crossroad, ) .
26 Robert R. Wilson, Prophecy and Society in Ancient Israel (Philadelphia: Fortress, )
. See also Joseph Blenkinsopp, A History of Prophecy in Israel (rev. and enl. ed.;
Louisville: Westminster John Knox, ) .
27 For discussion, see Avi Hurvitz, A Linguistic Study of the Relationship between the Priestly
Source and the Book of Ezekiel: A New Approach to an Old Problem (CRB ; Paris: J. Gabalda,
), esp. the conclusion on ; and, briefly, William H. C. Propp, The Priestly
Source Recovered Intact? VT (): . Cf., inter alios, Georg Fohrer, Die
Hauptprobleme des Buches Ezechiel (BZAW ; Berlin: Alfred Tpelmann, ) .
28 Johan Lust, Exodus , and Ezekiel, in Studies in the Book of Exodus: Redaction
ReceptionInterpretation (ed. Marc Vervenne; BETL ; Louvain: University Press/Peeters, ) .
29 See Preuss, in TDOT .; and John F. Kutsko, Will the Real selem elohm Please
.
Stand Up? The Image of God in the Book of Ezekiel, in Society of Biblical Literature
Seminar Papers ( pts.; SBLSP ; Atlanta: Scholars Press, ) ..
30 See Greenberg, Ezekiel ., in conjunction with the analysis in .., below (on
).
31 Leslie C. Allen, The Structure and Intention of Ezekiel I, VT (): (his
own evaluation, notwithstanding).

reveals himself to Ezekiel as an other-worldly mixture of humanoid yet


animal-like features, each part of which is qualified as a .32 From
the beginning, Ezekiels signals a theophany.33
The distribution of in Ezekiel confirms this theophanic interpretation. For with a single exception (Ez :), the referent of is
always a representation or representative of God. First comes a group
of ten attestations, culminating in the prophets realization of all he had
witnessed.
It was the appearance of the likeness of the Lords glory.
When I saw (it), I fell on my face, and I heard a voice speaking. (Ez
:a-b)
next appears at the head of Ezekiels temple vision, where it is
supported by other language reminiscent of chapter .

I looked, when there was a likeness, something like the


appearance of fire: from the appearance of its loins down was fire, and
from its loins up was something like a gleaming appearance, something
like amber. (Ez :)

Finally, reappears four more times in the same vision, when the
prophet describes Gods throne and cherubic attendants.
I looked when, on the dome above the heads of the Cherubim, there
was something like a sapphire stone. Something like the appearance of
a thrones likeness appeared above them. Their appearance: the likeness of one applied to the four of them. (They
were) each the creature that I saw beneath the God of Israel at the river
Chebar. I knew that they were Cherubim. Each had four faces, and each
had four wings and the likeness of human hands beneath
their wings. And the likeness of their faces: they were the
faces that I saw on the river Chebartheir appearance and themselves.
(Ez :.a.a)
is therefore a feature of Gods self-disclosure in its different manifestations, all of which rely on the depiction of chapter . Ezekiels
implicates God, his divine presence, his royal seat, and his thronebearers.34
32 Cf. Pierre Bordreuil, lombre dlohim. Le thme de lombre protectrice
dans lAncien Orient et ses rapports avec LImago Dei, RHPR (): (on the
Cherubim).
33 Barr, The Image of God in the Book of GenesisA Study of Terminology,
BJRL (): . See also Johann Jakob Stamm, Die Gottebenbildlichkeit des Menschen im
Alten Testament (ThSt ; Zollikon: Evangelischer Verlag, ) .
34 Cf. in P (...). For Ezekiels rejection of the older, Priestly term, see

But Ezekiels is not simply a divine symbol. It is formal as well.


The quoted passages already show that is the object of visual
perception (e.g., Ez :). It has an appearance (:), can qualify an
appearance (e.g., :), or can resemble an entity that has an appearance (e.g., :). In a related manner, can be grammatically possessed by terms which themselves express physical objects or visually
real matter: throne (e.g., :), creatures (e.g., :), a human (e.g.,
:), face (e.g., :), or Gods own presence (:). In one instance,
seems to be identified with a daunting sparkling firmament (:;
see also :). The theophany represented by Ezekiels has form,
whether two- or three-dimensional.
It occupies space. In chapter , for example, the theophany has two
parts (see v. ). One is its lower section which contains the strange
multiform creatures (vv. .). The other is its upper section
wherein God and his throne are located (vv. ). Thus YHWH
dwells in heaven, his majesty covers the heavens and fills the earth.35
Ezekiel represents God in heaven and on earth.
The representation is strikingly heterogeneous, too.36 The theophany,
and its , are anthropomorphic as well as zoomorphic (e.g., Ez :).
It is alive, and it is mechanical (see v. ). It is even assigned masculine
as well as feminine gender (e.g., v. ; see Gen :b, :a).37 Formally
and grammatically, then, Ezekiels representation of God is a hybrid
composition.38
Nevertheless, the theophany is a functional unity. Its different lower
components each symbolize a type of preeminence, superiority, and
even majesty (Ez :).39 The lion is proverbially the fiercest of beasts
; the eagle the most imposing of birds. The bull is the most valued of domestic animals. Men, of course, ruled them all (Gen :;

J. Maxwell Miller, In the Image and Likeness of God, JBL (): ; and
Kutsko, in SBL Seminar Papers .. For Ezekiels preference for , see
Kutsko, ibid. .
35 Greenberg, Ezekiel ..
36 See ibid. (on the phrase ).
37 See Walther Zimmerli, Ezekiel (trans. Ronald E. Clements, James D. Martin, et
al.; vols.; Hermeneia; Philadelphia: Fortress, []) ., ; and
Greenberg, Ezekiel ..
38 Eichrodt, Theology of the Old Testament .. See also, in sympathetic fashion,
Christoph Dohmen, Vom Gottesbild zum Menschenbild. Aspekte der innerbiblischen
Dynamik des Bilderverbotes, LebZeug (): .
39 Greenberg, Ezekiel .. The following quotations are Greenbergs as well.

Ps :). Above them is the dividing firmament (Ez :; see Gen :


), and above it is the heavenly, enthroned God (vv. ). That is to
say, the most lordly of creatures are merely the bearers of the Lord of
lords who,40 himself, dominates in royal majesty. Ezekiels vision, then,
ultimately represents Gods supreme rulea world under the unitary
control and aegis of God.
... is a logical focus for comparing Ezekiel and the earlier
phases of the Priestly tradition. At this point, Blenkinsopp remarks,
we might recall the creation of humanity in Gen :. There
humanity (adam) is created in the likeness (demut) of God. Here God
appears in the likeness of humanity (demut kemareh adam) [Ez :].
Humanity is in Gods image, God is in humanitys imagea mysterious connaturality.41 Smith might agree.
The word d emt, image, in Ez , is most pertinent to the interpretation of human creation in P. Gen achieves exactly the opposite effect
as Ez ,. Whereas Ez , conveys the prophets vision of God in the
likeness of the human person, the P writers vision of the human person
is in the likeness of God. Rather than reducing God to human terms
(as in Ez , ), Gen , magnifies the human person in divine
terms. Some manner of anthropomorphism is nonetheless implicit in
Gen ,, although how the human person is in the divine image and
likeness is left unexpressed.42

Either way, God and humanity are morphologically similar.


Although the attestations of in the early Priestly tradition are
few, they are restricted to one recurrent context.
Then God said, Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness. (Gen :a [P])

40 Cf. Eichrodt, Ezekiel (trans. Cosslett Quin; OTL; Philadelphia: Westminster,


[]) (on Ez :).
41 Blenkinsopp, Ezekiel (Interp; Louisville: John Knox, ) .
42 Mark S. Smith, Divine Form and Size in Ugaritic and Pre-exilic Israelite Religion, ZAW (): . See also idem, The Early History of God: Yahweh
and the Other Deities in Ancient Israel (d ed.; The Biblical Resources Series; Grand
Rapids/Cambridge, U.K.: Eerdmans, ) ; Mythology and Myth-making in
Ugaritic and Israelite Literatures, in Ugarit and the Bible: Proceedings of the International
Symposium on Ugarit and the Bible (ed. George J. Brooke, Adrian H. W. Curtis, and
John F. Healey; UBL ; Mnster: Ugarit-Verlag, ) , ; The Origins of Biblical
Monotheism: Israels Polytheistic Background and the Ugaritic Texts (Oxford: Oxford University
Press, ) , ; and, with Elizabeth M. Bloch-Smith, The Pilgrimage Pattern in Exodus
(JSOTS ; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, ) .


This is the genealogical record of Adam: When God created humankind,
in the likeness of God he made it, male and female he
created them. He blessed them and named them Humankind when
they were created.When Adam had lived one hundred and thirty
years, he fathered (a son) in his likeness, according to his image,
and he named him Seth. (Gen : [PT])

is uniformly associated with human genealogy.43 It first appears


when God proposes the creation of the human race; Ps God wants
human beings to have like that of the gods (Gen :a). It next
appears when this creative act is recapitulated (:), in a summary that
also serves to bridge the creation of the human species () and the
creation of Adams individual lineage.44 Then, appears for a third
time on the occasion of Seths birth (v. ).
The genealogical nuance of is more than contextual. In PT,
it is explicit.45 is included under the heading of or, more
specifically, I (Gen :a). At first, God takes the initiative (see
also :a [RP]): he makes the human race, its first male (Adam), and its
first female (:, :b-a).46 Next, Adam continues the process and produces a son.47 And, by implication, is involved in I there

43 Henri Cazelles, Selem et demt en Gn ,, in La vie de la Parole. De lAncien


.
au Nouveau Testament. tudes dexgse et dhermneutique bibliques offertes Pierre Grelot (Paris:
Descle, ) . See also Dohmen, Die Statue von Tell Fecherye und die Gottebenbildlichkeit des Menschen. Ein Beitrag zur Bilderterminologie, BN (): ; and
Walter Vogels, The Human Person in the Image of God (Gn ,), ScEs ():
.
44 Werner H. Schmidt, Die Schpfungsgeschichte der Priesterschrift. Zur berlieferungsgeschichte von Genesis ,,a und ,b-, (d ed.; WMANT ; Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, ) n. ; Ernst-Joachim Waschke, Untersuchungen zum Menschenbild der
Urgeschichte. Ein Beitrag zur alttestamentlichen Theologie (ThAr ; Berlin: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, ) ; Shemaryahu Talmon, The Biblical Understanding of Creation
and the Human Commitment, ExAu (): ; and Richard S. Hess, Splitting the
Adam: The Usage of adam in Genesis IV, in Studies in the Pentateuch (ed. J. A. Emerton;
VTS ; Leiden: E. J. Brill, ) . See also Gerhard von Rad, Genesis (trans. John
H. Marks; rev. ed.; OTL; Philadelphia: Westminster, ) ; and Bird, Sexual Differentiation and Divine Image in the Genesis Creation Texts, in Image of God and Gender Models in Judaeo-Christian Tradition (ed. Kari Elisabeth Brresen; Oslo: Solum, )
. Cf. Julius Boehmer, Wieviel Menschen sind am letzten Tage des Hexamerons
geschaffen worden, ZAW (): .
45 See Clines, TynB (): n. (= On the Way to the Postmodern . n. ).
46 See Levenson, The Death and Resurrection of the Beloved Son: The Transformation of Child
Sacrifice in Judaism and Christianity (New Haven/London: Yale University Press, ) .
47 See, in this context, Jeremy Cohen, Be Fertile and Increase, Fill the Earth and Master
It: The Ancient and Medieval Career of a Biblical Text (Ithaca/London: Cornell University
Press, ) .

after, in perpetuum;48 is automatically involved in matters regarding


the origination, derivation, and development of human beings.49 Just
as Gods is intimately involved in the birth of Adam/humanity,
Adams is intimately involved in the birth of Seth (see .), ad infinitum.
According to P(T), human offspring participate in () the of their
(pro-) creator. [D]emut points to the likeness children have to their
parents through birth.50 Yet it also points to the likeness humans
have to God through creation.51 God and Adam each create I
in a manner that is appropriate to their nature. God creates the
human race (Gen :b.a); Adam fathers a son (v. a);52 and, afterwards, likeness is a mechanical, genealogical, and self-perpetuating
inheritance. The word suggests a likeness between the role of God
as creator and the human role as pro-creator;53 and once God creates humankind, is transmitted not through repeated acts of God
but through procreation (Gen :).54 Hence, the likeness shared by
48 See Humbert, tudes sur le rcit du paradis ; P. G. Duncker, Limmagine di Dio
nelluomo (Gen. , .). Una somiglianza fisica? Bib (): (repr. as Das Bild
Gottes im Menschen [Gen. , .]. Eine physische hnlichkeit? in Der Mensch als Bild
Gottes [ed. Leo Scheffczyk; WdF ; Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft,
] ); and, on the larger point, Bird, Male and Female He Created Them:
Gen :b in the Context of the Priestly Account of Creation, HTR ():
(repr. in Missing Persons and Mistaken Identities: Women and Gender in Ancient Israel [OBT;
Minneapolis: Fortress, ] ).
49 For this dynamic characterization of , see Frans Breukelman, Das Buch
Genesis als das Buch der Adams, des Menschenseine Analyse der Komposition des Buches, in Strenfriedels Zeddelkasten. Geschenkpapier zum . Geburtstag von FriedrichWilhelm Marquardt (Berlin: Alektor, ) .
50 Vogels, ScEs (): . See also Caspari, in Reinhold-Seeberg-Festschrift .;
Duncker, Bib (): (= idem, in Der Mensch als Bild Gottes ); Lothar Ruppert,
Zur Anthropologie der biblischen Urgeschichte, vornehmlich von Gen , Cath
(): ; and Tigay, in Tehillah le-Moshe .
51 Vogels, ScEs (): . See also Jrgen Ebach, Die Erschaffung des Menschen als Bild Gottes. berlegungen zur Anthropologie im Schpfungsbericht der
Priesterschrift, WPKG (): ; and Cazelles, in La vie de la Parole .
52 Angerstorfer, BN (): . For the application of birthing terminology to
God, see Humbert, Yahv Dieu Gniteur? (Les verbes yalad et h.l avec Yahv comme
sujet. Image ou ralit?), AsSt / (): , in conjunction with Tikva
Frymer-Kensky, In the Wake of the Goddesses: Women, Culture, and the Biblical Transformation of
Pagan Myth (New York: Fawcett Columbine, ) , n. .
53 Vogels, ScEs (): . See also Rgine Hinschberger, Image et ressemblance dans la tradition sacerdotale Gn ,; ,; ,b, RScR (): ;
and, indirectly, Stamm, Die Imago-Lehre von Karl Barth und die alttestamentliche
Wissenschaft, in Antwort. Karl Barth zum siebzigsten Geburtstag am . Mai (Zollikon/Zurich: Evangelischer Verlag, ) (repr. in Der Mensch als Bild Gottes ).
54 Bird, HTR (): n. (= Missing Persons and Mistaken Identities n. ),

divine creator and human procreator is homological.55 Adam successfully replicates Gods first act of human creation56 and, in this respect,
imitates God.57
Although likeness belongs to gods (Gen :a), God (:b), and
human beings (v. a), the early Priestly tradition elaborates only on its
human nature.
When God created humankind, in the likeness of God he
made it, male and female he created them. (Gen :b-a [PT])

The sense as well as syntax suggest that human is expressed


sexually. As Childs explains, adam is the generic Hebrew term for
human being which consists of both male and female species.58 No
differentiation is made between male and female in terms of temporal
priority or function. Their creation occurs simultaneously.59 Andersen
offers a more grammatical reading: The third clause is a nice instance
repeated in eadem, in Image of God and Gender Models n. . See also Humbert, tudes
sur le rcit du paradis ; Johannes C. de Moor, The Duality in God and Man: Gen.
: as Ps Interpretation of the Yahwistic Creation Account, in Intertextuality in
Ugarit and Israel. Papers Read at the Tenth Joint Meeting (ed. idem; OTS ; Leiden:
E. J. Brill, ) ; and, perhaps, Cassuto, Genesis ..
55 See Jack Miles, God: A Biography (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, ) ; and,
differently, Hinschberger, RScR (): with n. . Cf. Zimmerli, .Mose ( vols.;
d/st ed.; ZB.AT /; Zurich: Theologischer Verlag, ) ..
56 See Bird, HTR (): with n. (= Missing Persons and Mistaken Identities
with n. ).
57 Cf. Tigay, in Tehillah le-Moshe .
58 See also, inter alios, Phyllis Trible, God and the Rhetoric of Sexuality (London: SCM,
[]) ; Bird, HTR (): with n. (= Missing Persons and Mistaken
Identities with n. ), repeated in eadem, in Image of God and Gender Models ,
n. ; Hess, in Studies in the Pentateuch ; and, esp., Claus Westermann, Genesis (trans. John
J. Scullion; vols.; Minneapolis: Augsburg, []) ..
59 Childs, Old Testament Theology in a Canonical Context (London: SCM, ) (on
Gen :). See also Ludwig Koehler, Old Testament Theology (trans. A. S. Todd; London:
Lutterworth, []) ; Humbert, Trois notes sur Gense I, in Interpretationes ad
Vetus Testamentum pertinentes Sigmundo Mowinckel septuagenario missae (Oslo: Land og kirke,
) (repr. in Opuscules dun hbrasant [MUN ; Neuchtel: Universit de Neuchtel,
] ); and Victor Maag, Alttestamentliche Anthropogonie in ihrem Verhltnis
zur altorientalischen Mythologie, AsSt (): (repr. in Kultur, Kulturkontakt und
Religion. Gesammelte Studien zur allgemeinen und alttestamentlichen Religionsgeschichte. Zum .
Geburtstag [ed. Hans Heinrich Schmid and Odil Hannes Steck; Gttingen/Zurich:
Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, ] ). Cf., inter alios, Barr, Adam: Single Man, or All
Humanity? in Hesed ve-Emet: Studies in Honor of Ernest S. Frerichs (ed. Jodi Magness
and Seymour Gitin; BJS ; Atlanta: Scholars Press, ) ; and idem, Was
Everything That God Created Really Good? A Question in the First Verse of the
Bible, in God in the Fray: A Tribute to Walter Brueggemann (ed. Tod Linafelt and Timothy
K. Beal; Minneapolis: Fortress, ) with n. .

of specifying apposition, in apposition with the preceding sentence.60


In particular, the phrase male and female specifies the two sexually
differentiated categories61 included within the scope of the antecedent,
collective pronoun it.62 is part of the mix, too. For among human
beings at least, and its genealogical transmission require the joint
involvement and joint participation of both gendered segments of the
population, male and female. Human presumes heterosexuality.
In the Priestly tradition, heterosexuality has a definite purpose. P
declares that sex, as differentiation and union, is intended for procreation.63
God blessed them and God said to them,
fruitful, be numerous, and fill the earth. (Gen :aa)

Be

In the beginning, after God creates humankind, the population is small.


According to the Priestly tradition, it is not a single person. Gen :b
and :a already state that, at this early stage, humankind consists
of a heterosexual pair.64 The addressee of Gods speech in :a is
60 Francis I. Andersen, The Sentence in Biblical Hebrew (Janua Linguarum, Series
Practica ; The Hague: Mouton, ) (on Gen : and, secondarily, :),
followed by Gordon J. Wenham, Genesis ( vols.; WBC ; Waco/Dallas: Word,
) . n. .a-a.
61 See Mayer I. Gruber, Women in the Cult According to the Priestly Code, in
Judaic Perspectives on Ancient Israel (ed. Jacob Neusner, Baruch A. Levine, and Ernest
S. Frerichs; Philadelphia: Fortress, ) n. (repr. in The Motherhood of God and
Other Studies [South Florida Studies in the History of Judaism ; Atlanta: Scholars
Press, ] n. ). See also Bird, Genesis IIII as a Source for a Contemporary
Theology of Sexuality, ExAu (): (= Missing Persons and Mistaken Identities
); and Lohfink, Macht euch die Erde untertan? Orien (): n. (repr. as
Subdue the Earth? [Genesis :], in Theology of the Pentateuch: Themes of the Priestly
Narrative and Deuteronomy [trans. Linda M. Maloney; Minneapolis: Fortress, ] n. ).
62 August Dillmann, Die Genesis (th ed.; KeHAT ; Leipzig: S. Hirzel, )
(= Genesis [trans. Wm. B. Stevenson; vols.; Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, ] .);
and Schmidt, Die Schpfungsgeschichte2 n. . See also Hinschberger, RScR ():
; Gro, Gen ,.; ,: Statue oder Ebenbild Gottes? Aufgabe und Wrde des
Menschen nach dem hebrischen und dem griechischen Wortlaut, JBTh (): ;
and, very differently, Friedrich Schwally, Die biblischen Schpfungsberichte, ARw
(): .
63 Bird, in Image of God and Gender Models . See also eadem, HTR ():
(= Missing Persons and Mistaken Identities ); eadem, ExAu (): (= Missing Persons
and Mistaken Identities ); and Josef Scharbert, Der Mensch als Ebenbild Gottes in
der neueren Auslegung von Gen ,, in Weisheit GottesWeisheit der Welt. Festschrift fr
Joseph Kardinal Ratzinger zum . Geburtstag (ed. Walter Baier et al.; vols.; St. Ottilien:
EOS, ) ..
64 Barr, One Man, or All Humanity? A Question in the Anthropology of Genesis,
in Recycling Biblical Figures: Papers Read at a Noster Colloquium (ed. Athalya Brenner

grammatically nonsingular. A minimal biological pair is also necessary


to realize the content of his speech.65 After is established as a
human characteristic, it endures through the collaborative effort of the
sexes.
Despite this biological prerequisite, the Priestly tradition does not
credit each parent with an equal role in producing descendants. Only
half of the reproductive pair is conspicuous and salient.
When Adam had lived one hundred and thirty years, he fathered (a son)
in his likeness. (Gen :aa [PT])

Like other ancient Near Eastern writers,66 the Priestly school downplays
the female role in human reproduction (see, esp., :. [P]).67 Women
may not be completely absent from the process,68 yet the principal and
active parent is male.69 Adam, then, is the first Priestly parent: it is he
who heads the first human genealogy (:a); and he alone controls the
reproductive verb (father). Throughout P(T) too, males generally head
the genealogical lineage as well as control the verbs of reproduction.
Human fertility and propagation are largely carried along male lines.
Androcentricity does not, however, compel the Priestly tradition to
record every male descendant of the human race. Beginning in the second generation, P and PT are selective. Whereas the Yahwist assigns
Adam three sons, of whom two receive extensive attention (e.g., Gen
:), the Priestly tradition recognizes only one. Moreover, the omissions are deliberate.
When P faced the problem of tracing the transmission of the divine
image and the blessing from Adam to Noah, the Yahwists narrative
presented him with three possibilities. First, he could have traced the
blessing through Adams son Abel. This possibility was ruled out, however, by the narrative in : that recounts Abels early death. A secand Jan Willem van Henten; STAR ; Leiden: Deo, ) , . Cf. Boehmer, ZAW
(): ; and Lohfink, Im Schatten deiner Flgel .
65 Bird, ThTo (): , in conjunction with de Moor, in Intertextuality in Ugarit
and Israel . See also Gunkel, Genesis4 (= ET ); and Cassuto, Genesis ..
66 Frymer-Kensky, In the Wake of the Goddesses .
67 Bird, HTR (): n. (= Missing Persons and Mistaken Identities n. ; and
eadem, in Image of God and Gender Models n. ); and Howard Eilberg-Schwartz, Gods
Phallus and Other Problems for Men and Monotheism (Boston: Beacon, ) . See also
Stefan Schreiner, Partner in Gottes SchpfungswerkZur rabbinischen Auslegung
von Gen ,, Judaica (): .
68 Andreas Kunz, Die Vorstellung von Zeugung und Schwangerschaft im antiken
Israel, ZAW (): .
69 Ibid. .

ond option was to trace the blessing through Adams firstborn son, Cain.
This option was rejected for theological reasons, for J clearly connects
the Cainite line with the growth of evil. According to J, Cain is cursed
(:). Only Seth remained as the genealogical link through whom
the blessing could have been transmitted.70

Of Adams three male children, then, only Seth is not blemished by


J. Born after the time of Abels murder and Cains punishment,71 Seth
is an innocent. For J, his birth marks a new, God-given opportunity to
reinstate the line of Adam (v. b).72 For P, the opportunity is greater
still. It allows P to eliminate the elder two brothers altogether. Seth
becomes the only viable candidate through whom humanity can develop and thrive. Seth now replaces his brothers wholesale. P, in other
words, tried to supplant the Cainite with a Sethite genealogy.73 As P
depicts it, the lineage of Adam is linear (see ...).74
... The sparse attestation of in the early exemplars of the
Priestly tradition is outweighed by the drift and focus of the evidence.
This evidence first confirms that likeness is a similative noun.
Outside of P(T), it refers to representations of several types. It may be
physical, formal, and portrait-like. It may be nonliteral and abstract.
Or it may have a performative and functional component. Whatever its
degree of similitude, though, likeness in P(T) is a property of divinity as
well as humanity.
Within these parameters, though, the grammar of Gen : and :.
disfavors a concrete reading of likeness. True, likeness may refer to
a (quasi-) anthropomorphic entity. It is also true that, among human
beings, likeness is expressed physiologically, in sexual differentiation
or sexual complementation.75 So too, there is no doubt that God as
well as the gods have anthropomorphic features in the Hebrew Bible
(.., .., intro.). But a formal interpretation of likeness cannot
be reconciled with the grammar of the Priestly texts. One text, Gen :,
70 Wilson, Genealogy and History in the Biblical World (YNER ; New Haven/London:
Yale University Press, ) . See also, inter alios, S. R. Driver, The Book of Genesis
(th ed.; WC; London: Methuen, ) ; and, briefly, Dillmann, Genesis6 (=
ET .).
71 See Cassuto, Genesis ..
72 For the connotation of seed in v. b, see Dillmann, Genesis6 (= ET .);
Driver, Genesis12 ; and Wenham, Genesis ..
73 Levenson, The Death and Resurrection of the Beloved Son .
74 See, in this context, Wilson, Genealogy and History in the Biblical World with n. ,
.
75 See above with n. .

states that humankind intimately participates in the likeness of God.


Another text, Gen :, states that humankind will not participate
intimately in the gods likeness but, instead, will have a somewhat
separate relationship. If likeness is a physical feature, humanity would
share in Gods corporeality but not in the gods corporeality, even
though God and the gods have the same (degree of) corporeality. This
inferential paradox renders a strictly physical interpretation of
unlikely in P(T).
Inasmuch as likeness is a genealogical trait that connects humankind and divinity, especially the procreative role of (hu)mankind and the
creative role of God, these two parties betray a homological function.
Stated generally, human beings imitate God in this respect, representing God in the world. To the extent that they imitiate God in
perpetuity, they register his everlasting presence in the world. They are,
then, a theophany. Specifically, Adam, Seth, and his descendants share
the God-given ability/capability to generate and populate the
world with human beings.76 More God-like than godlike (..), they
engender, produce, and sustain human life.
..
In addition to , the early Priestly tradition records a second point
of contact between divine and human realms. It too is a similative trait.
And like , it also belongs to gods (Gen :), God (e.g., :a), and
human beings (e.g., :a). This trait is called image.
Appearing in Biblical Hebrew as well as Biblical Aramaic, has a
wider distribution than . In Biblical Hebrew, its attestations number seventeen. The majority, nine, lie in Priestly writings: P (Gen
:.a.a, :77), PT (:a), H (Num :),78 and Ezekiel (:,
Cazelles, in La vie de la Parole , in conjunction with Dohmen, BN ():
.
77 For the source-critical assignment of :, see Odil Hannes Steck, Der Mensch
und die Todesstrafe. Exegetisches zur bersetzung der Prposition Beth in Gen ,a,
in Veritas Hebraica. Alttestamentliche Studien Ernst Jenni gewidmet zum . Geburtstag (TZ /
; Basel: Friedrich Reinhardt, ) . Cf. Howard N. Wallace, The Toledot
of Adam, in Studies in the Pentateuch (ed. J. A. Emerton; VTS ; Leiden: E. J. Brill,
) .
78 For this source-critical assignment, see Israel Knohl, The Sanctuary of Silence: The
Priestly Torah and the Holiness School (Minneapolis: Fortress, ) . See also Jacob
Milgrom, Numbers (The JPS Torah Commentary; Philadelphia/New York: Jewish Publication Society, ) (on ). Cf. Moshe Weinfeld, The Promise of the Land: The
76

:, :). The rest are randomly scattered in the deuteronomistic


history ( Sam :a [bis].; Kgs :; see also Chr :), Psalms
(:, :),79 and Amos (:). In Biblical Aramaic, image accrews
another seventeen attestations, whether in the form 
" (Dan :,
:.), 
 (:.....), or (:..., :.a.b.).
... Apart from P(T), has multiple interpretations in the Bible.
It can, for example, refer to an object that exists in the real world.80
You will dispossess all the inhabitants of the land from before you,
destroy all their figured objects, destroying all their
molten images and demolishing all their high places. (Num : [H])
They said, What is the reparation that we should make to him? They
said, The number of the Philistine lordsfive golden tumors and five
golden mice. ( ) You
should make images of your tumors and your mice that are destroying
the land, and give glory to the God of Israel. They put the ark of the
Lord on the cart, with the chest, the golden mice, and
the images of their tumors. ( Sam :a.a.);81 see also
You, O king, were looking, when there appeared one great
image. That image was huge and its brilliance excessive. (It) was
standing in front of you, and its appearance was frightening.
The image: its head was of fine gold, its breast and arms of silver, and its
middle and thighs of bronze. (Dan :)

An image can have characteristics like any concrete entity. It can have
size, shape, color, material composition, and value. It can have number,
whether singular or plural. It can be fabricated (see Sam :) or
destroyed, too (see Num :).
You took your beautiful things, (made) of my gold and silver that I had
given you, and you made yourself male images and
whored around with them. (Ez :)82
Then all the people of the land came to the temple of Baal. They tore
it down, his altars and his images smashed up, and killed
Inheritance of the Land of Canaan by the Israelites (Berkeley: University of California Press,
) .
79 See the discussion by Westermann, Genesis .. Cf. HALOT ..
80 E.g., Vogels, ScEs (): .
81 , too, may have a concrete meaning in v. (e.g., Baruch A. Levine, In the
Presence of the Lord: A Study of Cult and Some Cultic Terms in Ancient Israel [SJLA ; Leiden:
E. J. Brill, ] ; and Adrian Schenker, Once Again, The Expiatory Sacrifices,
JBL []: . Cf. Milgrom, Leviticus [ vols.; AB B; New York: Doubleday,
] .).
82 For discussion, see Greenberg, Ezekiel ..


Mattan, the priest of Baal, in front of the altars. ( Kgs :a; see also
Chr :); see also
King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, sixty cubits high
(and) six cubits wide. He erected it in the plain of Dura in the province
of Babylon. (Dan :)
You were looking when a stone was cut out, not with hands, hit
the image on its feet of iron and clay, and crushed them. (Dan :)

Yet can be nonconcrete83 or abstract.84


Look, you have made my days handbreadths; my longevity is as nothing
before you. Only as an image does a man go about. Only (as)
a breath one buzzes about, amassing yet not knowing who collects them.
(Ps :a.)85
How they become ruined in an instant, completely swept away by terrors. Like a dream after waking, O Lord, when rousing you despise
their image. (Ps :); see also
Then Nebuchadnezzar was filled with rage at Shadrach, Meshach, and
Abed-nego, and the image of his face changed. (Dan :a)86

Or, like (see ..), image need not conform to one or the other
of these referential extremes. It can simply be an imprint.
She saw men etched on the wall, ( ) images of
Chaldeans etched in vermillion, a likeness of Babylonians whose homeland was Chaldea. (Ez :b.b)

The interpretations of are therefore varied. It may refer to a threedimensional object in the round (image, idol/statue, model), something two-dimensional yet physical (sketch, drawing), or a nonphysical, nondimensional, and metaphorical nonentity (impermanence,
mortality). Regardless of formal degree, signifies a representation,
copy, or facsimile.
Th. Nldeke, " und 
 , ZAW (): . Cf. Harland, The Value of
Human Life .
84 See John F. A. Sawyer, The Image of God, the Wisdom of Serpents and the
Knowledge of Good and Evil, in A Walk in the Garden: Biblical, Iconographical and Literary
Images of Eden (ed. Paul Morris and Deborah Sawyer; JSOTS ; Sheffield: JSOT
Press, ) .
85 See A. F. Kirkpatrick, ed., The Book of Psalms (CBSC; Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press, ) ; and, esp., W. O. E. Oesterley, The Psalms (London: S.P.C.K.,
[]) . See also Michael V. Fox, A Time to Tear Down and a Time to Build Up: A
Rereading of Ecclesiastes (Grand Rapids/Cambridge, U.K.: Eerdmans, ) (on ).
86 Following NJPS and NRSV, the syntax of the original has been altered for greater
clarity.
83

The referents of a biblical image are limited. The referent may be


human (e.g., Ez :; Pss :, :) and, on occasion, sovereign
( Sam :.; see also Dan : as interpreted by vv. a).
Alternatively, the referent is divine or cultic (e.g., Num :; Am :;
see also, perhaps, Dan :.87). In one instance, however, the cultic
image has at least one human, biological feature (Ez :). The
biblical image tends to represent a man, a god, or a cultic object.
Within this context, the image also tends to be associated with cultic
expression (e.g., Sam :; Ez :; Am :; Dan ). In Sam ,
for example, the image is an object by which plagues, symbolized by
their animal carriers, are magically banished from the community.88 In
Dan , it is an object which constitutes idolatry.89
Let it be known to you, O king, that we will not serve your god
nor bow to the golden image that you erected. (Dan :a-b)

Whether it represents Nebuchadnezzar himself or his god,90 the three


speakers refuse to treat the statue as an object of religious piety and
worship. The texts agree, then, that the image is a manufactured
representational surrogate in a cultic domain.91 It acts as an instrument
which conveys power.92 In this setting, s. elem is thus more than image
: in it, that which is depicted is itself present.93
The Hebrew Bible does not offer a single evaluation of the image. It
offers several. Most are negative (see Dan :); the image is often
mocked, vilified, denounced, or rejected.
Out of their beautiful adornments, in which they took pride,
they made their abominable images, their despicable
things. Therefore, I will transform them into an unclean thing of theirs.
(Ez :); see also

87 On the latter text, see Andr Lacocque, The Book of Daniel (trans. David Pellauer;
rev. English ed.; Atlanta: John Knox, ) ; or John J. Collins, Daniel (Hermeneia;
Minneapolis: Fortress, ) a. Cf., inter alios, R. H. Charles, A Critical and Exegetical
Commentary on the Book of Daniel (Oxford: Oxford University Press, ) .
88 For this interpretation of Sam :, see Levine, In the Presence of the Lord ;
P. Kyle McCarter, Jr., I Samuel (AB ; Garden City, New York: Doubleday, ) ;
and Ralph W. Klein, Samuel (WBC ; Waco: Word, ) .
89 Paul L. Redditt, Daniel (NCBC; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, ) .
90 See the references in n. , above.
91 Berlejung, Die Theologie der Bilder .
92 E.g., Bordreuil, RHPR (): ; and Berlejung, Die Theologie der Bilder
n. .
93 H. Wildberger, 
 s. elem image, in TLOT ..


You will carry off Sikkuth your king, and Kiyyun,94 your images,
your astral deity, (which) you have made for yourselves.95 I shall take you
into exile beyond Damascus, said the Lord, whose name is God of Hosts.
(Am :)

It is embedded among negative terms, negative themes and characterizations, and life-threatening situations (Pss :, :). Moreover,
it may incite a strong physical-emotional reaction, provoking comparisons with sexual desire and its gratification with an unsanctioned partner (Ez :, :).96 But the image does not elicit universal condemnation. The replicas (images) that the Philistines fabricate seem to
be an appropriate and acceptable offering in their context ( Sam :
.).97 More importantly, by all accounts the Priestly image of God is a
distinctly positive characteristic.98 Rather than voicing a unified opinion
about the image, then, biblical writers seem to voice several, whether
negative, neutral, or positive.
... Images are not restricted to the biblical text. As Wildberger
convincingly demonstrates,99 the image has a deep ancient Near Eastern background. Therein, the Mesopotamian sector has proven the
94 For the vocalization of these divine names, see, inter alios, R. Borger, Amos ,,

Apostelgeschichte , und Surpu


II, , ZAW (): ; and Shalom M. Paul,
Amos (Hermeneia; Minneapolis: Fortress, ) b. Cf. Stanley Gevirtz, A New Look
at an Old Crux: Amos , JBL (): .
95 On this latter phrase, see Schmidt, Die deuteronomistische Redaktion des Amosbuches. Zu den theologischen Unterschieden zwischen den Prophetwort und seiner
Sammler, ZAW (): . Cf. Weinfeld, The Worship of Molech and of the
Queen of Heaven and Its Background, UF (): .
96 For this definition of , see Greenberg, The Decalogue Tradition Critically
Examined, in The Ten Commandments in History and Tradition (ed. Ben-Zion Segal and
Gershon Levi; Jerusalem: Magnes, []) n. (repr. in Studies in the Bible
and Jewish Thought [JPS Scholar of Distinction Series; Philadelphia/Jerusalem: Jewish
Publication Society, ] n. ); and David Carr, Gender and the Shaping of
Desire in the Song of Songs and Its Interpretation, JBL (): n. .
97 Barr, BJRL (): .
98 For a review of the classical literature, see Menahem Kister, Let Us Make a
ManObservations on the Dynamics of Monotheism, in Issues in Talmudic Research:
Conference Commemorating the Fifth Anniversary of the Passing of Ephraim E. Urbach, December (Publications of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Section of
Humanities; Jerusalem: Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, ) (in
Hebrew). For modern statements, see Clines, TynB (): (= On the Way to the
Postmodern .); Bird, ExAu (): (= Missing Persons and Mistaken Identities ); or
Vogels, ScEs (): .
99 Wildberger, Das Abbild Gottes. Gen. , , TZ (): ,
(repr. in Jahwe und sein Volk. Gesammelte Aufstze zum Alten Testament. Zu seinem .
Geburtstag am . Januar [ed. Hans Heinrich Schmid and Odil Hannes Steck;
TB ; Munich: Chr. Kaiser, ] ).

most fruitful.100 Not only is the Akkadian expression, s. almu image, perfectly cognate to its later, Hebrew relative. S. lm and s. almu also share
a number of functional equivalences101 which have been comprehensively studied from many different perspectives, including the formal,
social, political, and cultic.102 Further, the discovery of an Assyrian-like
image at Fakhariyeh suggests a route along which the eastern image
may have traveled west.103 The s. almu provides an unusually compelling
and detailed correlate to the biblical image.104
.... The Mesopotamian image can be generally defined by the
verbs that control it. Highly transitive verbs like ban make, manufacture or epesu make identify the image as a three-dimensional
set up, and zaqapu
object. Verbs such as kunnu (D) erect, suzuzzu (S)
erect, plant also show that the image can be free-standing. Other
verbs, however, suggest that the image is not always three-dimensional: esequ draw, es.eru draw, and sa.taru inscribe. In these latter
cases, the image is two-dimensional. Its degree of objecthood notwithstanding, in the vast majority of its attestations s. almu can refer to any
representation, whether in relief, in the round, or painted.105
Textual and glyptic evidence indicate that the image can represent
its referent in a number of ways. The image can depict the refer-

100 Some, however, favor an Egyptian prototype (e.g., Boyo Ockinga, Die Gottebenbildlichkeit im Alten gypten und im Alten Testament [AT ; Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz,
], esp. ; Erich Zenger, Gottes Bogen in den Wolken. Untersuchungen zu Komposition und Theologie der priesterschriftlichen Urgeschichte [d ed.; SBS ; Stuttgart: Katholisches Bibelwerk, ] ; Kaiser, Der Mensch, Gottes Ebenbild und Staathalter
auf Erden, NZST []: [repr. in Gottes und der Menschen Weisheit. Gesammelte Aufstze (BZAW ; Berlin/New York: Walter de Gruyter, ) ]; and
Dohmen, LebZeug (): . See also Weinfeld, God the Creator in Gen I and
in the Prophecy of Second Isaiah, Tarb []: [in Hebrew]).
101 Kutsko, in SBL Seminar Papers ..
102 See, among others, J. Renger, Kultbild. A. Philologisch, in RLA .;
Thorkild Jacobsen, The Graven Image, in Ancient Israelite Religion: Essays in Honor of
Frank Moore Cross (ed. Patrick D. Miller, Jr., Paul D. Hanson, and S. Dean McBride;
Philadelphia: Fortress, ) ; William W. Hallo, Texts, Statues and the Cult
of the Divine King, in Congress Volume: Jerusalem, (ed. J. A. Emerton; VTS ;
Leiden: E. J. Brill, ) ; and Irene J. Winter, Idols of the King: Royal Images
as Recipients of Ritual Action in Ancient Mesopotamia, JRS / (): .
103 See, obliquely, Hinschberger, RScR (): . Cf. F. J. Stendebach, 

s. elem, in TDOT ..
104 See Angerstorfer, Ebenbild eines Gottes in babylonischen und assyrischen Keilschrifttexten, BN (): .
105 Winter, JRS / (): with n. . See also Bird, HTR (): (= Missing Persons and Mistaken Identities ); and Renger, in RLA .b.

ents likeness (tamslu)106 and/or appearance; self (bunnann);107 it can


be generally representational or more detailed and portrait-like.108 It
can portray the referent in the performance of an act that reflects the
referents role as well as the objects function in situ.109 The image
may bear insignia (simatu) that identify the referent,110 or it can bear
a (divine) symbol (kakku weapon)111 that effectively specifies the referent.112 Finally, s. almu may be followed by a descriptive, defining, and
s beli rab the image of the great
identifying genitive (e.g., s. alam dSama
113

Lord Samas [BBSt iv ]). The image, then, need not copy its
referent exactly.114 It uses signature elementsthat is, selected significant
characteristicsto signal salient aspects of its intended referent.115
Whether symbolic, pictorial, or literal, these elements are sufficient to
identify the referent.116
.... The referents themselves vary. For instance, s. almu can have
an astral referent,117 when its appositive head118 or genitive nominal119
carries the determinative . It can have a priestly referent, either

See, e.g., OIP vi (cited in CAD S. b).


See, e.g., AKA i , ii (cited in CAD S. b).
108 Berlejung, Die Theologie der Bilder . For examples, see YOS i (cited
in CAD S ); and Weidner, AfO obv. . Note too the translation of
AKA ii in CAD E a.
109 For examples, see TCL (cited in CAD S a), Streck, Asb. iv and ;
.
and OIP : (cited in ibid. b). See also ..., below.
110 For examples, see BBSt :, iii (cited in CAD S a) as well as the expression
.
kma simatsu representing in the appropriate way (KAV rev. [cited in CAD
E a]). See also Renger, in RLA .a.
111 For the lexical equivalence of salmu and kakku, see CAD K b.
.
112 Hallo, Cult Statue and Divine Image: A Preliminary Study, in Scripture in
Context II: More Essays on the Comparative Method (ed. William W. Hallo, James C. Moyer,
and Leo G. Perdue; Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns, ) ; and Curtis, Images in
Mesopotamia and the Bible: A Comparative Study, in The Bible in the Light of Cuneiform
Literature: Scripture in Context III (ed. William W. Hallo, Bruce William Jones, and Gerald
L. Mattingly; Ancient Near Eastern Texts and Studies ; Lewiston: Edwin Mellen,
) .
113 For similar examples, see Layard :, :; AKA i ; and Streck,
Asb. :ff., L ff. (cited in CAD S. ).
114 Curtis, in The Bible Cuneiform Literature , ; and, differently, Winter, JRS
/ (): . See also Renger, in RLA .a.
115 Winter, [Review of Spycket, La statuaire du proche-orient ancien], JCS (): ,
in conjunction with eadem, JRS / (): n. .
116 Renger, in RLA ..
117 E.g., CAD S b; and AHw (ad a).
.
118 See Weidner, AfO obv. .., rev. . (cited in CAD S b).
.
119 SAA rev. (partially broken).
106

107

male (asipu exorcist)120 or female (entu high priestess).121 The referent


can even be a private individual122 or (mythological) creature.123 Far
more frequently, however, the referent of the image is royal or divine.
The royal s. almu may be followed by an overt expression of royalty,
such as sarru king,124 sarrutu majesty,125 mar redti heir apparent,126
or a kings own name.127 The divine referent is expressed by similar
dependent expressions, such as the descriptive ilanu (rabtu) (great)
gods,128 a divine name,129 or a combination of the two (see above).
Of the several possible entities represented in an image130inanimate,
animate, human, or divinethe greatest number are royal or divine.
These several categories are not entirely distinct. In its astral sense,
for example, the image is associated with a recurrent theme. One
text compares the astral image (s. alamka your constellation) to the rank
of the supreme god, Anu (ana paras. dAnu[ti] is in the highest divine
order) (KAR :). The same text states that control of a constellation lies with the gods (itti il) (ll. ). Another text characterizes a
constellation as the lordly god of heaven (dAnum sarru Anu the king)
(RAcc :). These astral images, then, are described in heavenly131
and, to a lesser extent, royal terms.132
Though fewer in number, nonroyal human referents of image can
follow the same pattern. On one image of a temple official, the
decedent situates himself vis--vis two superior, powerful entities: the
gods, among whom he worships Nabu and Marduk (palih dNab u
d
Marduk); and his lord the king, to whom he pays homage (karib sarrsu
belsu) (BBSt :). Another inscription resembles the first, despite its
Bt Mesiri ii , discussed and translated in ..., below.
YOS i (cited in CAD S. b).
122 E.g., KAR i (cited in CAD S a). See also BBSt , , quoted below.
.
123 Borger, Esarh. : and En El v (cited in CAD S ); as well as Lambert,
.
BWL :, esp. according to the interpretation of AHw a (ad d).
124 E.g., SAA rev. , rev. (cited in CAD S b).
.
125 For examples, see above, n. .
126 Borger, Esarh. rev. (cited in CAD S a).
.
127 E.g., SAA rev. and TCL (cited in CAD S ).
.
128 E.g., Unger, Bel-Harran-beli-usser ; Streck, Asb. iv ; and OIP :
(cited in CAD S. b).
129 See the passages cited in CAD S (ad a..a).
.
130 Curtis, in The Bible Cuneiform Literature .
131 As Baruch Halpern characterizes it, the astral image is precisely the picture of a
god or gods engraved in the sky (p.c.).
132 Cf. Ernst F. Weidner, Eine Beschreibung des Sternenhimmels aus Assur, AfO
(): , followed by E. A. Speiser, Note on Amos :, BASOR (): .
120

121

broken condition. For accompanying a depiction of a woman and her


brother standing before the king,133 the text identifies the portrait of
(s. alam) each participant (ibid. Face A ., Face B ); the brother, in
particular, is characterized as a landowner (belu) whose domain is godgiven (nadin d[ ]) (Face A ). A third exemplar is the monument of
(s. alam) an Assyrian field marshall (turtanu) and the generals several titles
that it lists (RIMA A...). Like the others, this image also
has clear royal associations. Grayson explains: The elaborate titulary
si-ilu.134
which [the field marshall] bears here is also attested for Sam
These nonroyal human images, then, index royal leitmotifs, sometimes
in conjunction with divine ones as well.
.... The similative image may be more than a plastic representation. Already in the late third millennium, in fact, the image has a
functional component which is described in the inscriptions that adorn
the icons of Gudea and Ur-Ningirsu.
These texts tell us that each statue was dedicated to a particular deity
in the Mesopotamian pantheon. They also state that the statue was
intended to be placed in a temple or shrine, provided with messages
to be communicated to the god through direct discourse. Each was to be
the recipient of regular offerings.135

The royal image can appear in explicitly cultic settings. And in these
settings, its physical presence serves a ceremonial role. It represents
a votive as well as commemorative object in the temple. Thus in its
functional capacity, the image substitutes for the king himself. To this
extent, the representational image is replacive; it can function as the
referents surrogate.
The replacive image can serve a homeopathic purpose in magical
rituals.136 In exorcisms especially, [v]ery often figurines (s. almu) in clay,
in dough, in wax, in tallow, or in wood were used. This had the
advantage of being able to represent, more or less accurately, either
an enemy to whom one wanted to pass on the evil one suffered, or
another carrier who could even be the bearer of the evil himself, if
needed.137 A bond would be formed between image and referent,
133
134
135

L. W. King, BBSt with n. .


A. Kirk Grayson, RIMA ..
Winter, JRS / (): . See also Hallo, in Congress Volume: Jerusalem,

136 Curtis, in The Bible Cuneiform Literature ; and Berlejung, Die Theologie der Bilder
.
137 Jean Bottro, The Substitute King and His Fate, in idem, Mesopotamia: Writing,

either by contact, or by resemblance, with a frequent combination


of the two,138 by which a malady is transferred to the image and,
thereafter, eliminated. Thus the image, which can occasionally be a
human being (puhu),139 is ritually identified with, and substitutes for, the
actual patient.140
When an image represents a deity, the distinction between representation and referent may disappear.141 A divine image may be completely transformed into its referent through the performance of ritual.142 Before the ritual, the image is an inanimate object.
s. alam!143 ann This image without its mouth opened cannot smell incense,
cannot eat food, nor drink water. (STT :)144

Consequent to the ritual, it is fundamentally altered.


[A]t the time ilu ibban the god was created, s. almu ellu the pure image was
fully formed. (STT :; cf. R iii )

In the course of the ritual, the image becomes a god. Like magical
figurines, the divine image assumes the identity of its referent. It too is
a surrogate, representing the god incarnate.145
.... The divine referent of divine images poses a formidable theological problem. On the one hand, the image is a representational
artifact that is fabricated from (in-) organic materials146 and manufacReasoning, and the Gods (trans. Zainab Bahrani and Marc Van De Mieroop; Chicago/
London: University of Chicago Press, []) .
138 Ibid.
139 For the possible identification of the image and puhu substitute, see TuL :.

140 For examples, see CAD S a (ad d.).


.
141 See Berlejung, Die Theologie der Bilder .
142 E.g., A. Leo Oppenheim, Ancient Mesopotamia: Portrait of a Dead Civilization (compl.
Erica Reiner; rev. ed.; Chicago/London: University of Chicago Press, ) ; Jacobsen, in Ancient Israelite Religion ; and Winter, JRS / (): . See also Hallo,
in Scripture in Context II .
For detailed discussion and relevant texts, see Berlejung, Die Theologie der Bilder
; and Christopher Walker and Michael B. Dick, The Induction of the Cult Image
in Ancient Mesopotamia: The Mesopotamian ms p Ritual, in Born in Heaven, Made on
Earth: The Making of the Cult Image in the Ancient Near East (ed. Michael B. Dick; Winona
Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns, ) . Unless otherwise noted, translations relating to
the mouth-opening ritual are derived from the latter study.
143 For the reading, see Walker and Dick, in Born in Heaven, Made on Earth n. .
144 See also Erica Reiner, Astral Magic in Babylonia (TAPS /; Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, ) n. .
145 W. G. Lambert, [Review of Gssmann, Das Era-Epos], AfO (): a;
and Renger, in RLA .a.
146 E.g., Winter, JRS / (): n. ; and Reiner, Astral Magic in Babylonia .

tured by workmen.147 On the other hand, it represents a living thing148


which can, inter alia, see149 and eat.150 The image constitutes an intrinsic
dilemma.151 It is a material object and a transcendent god, inert as well
as alive, lifeless as well as potent and vital.152
The transformation is effected by ritual (see above). Without this
ritual, the statue was only a dead product of human artisans.153 But
with this ritual, the once-lifeless image becomes an animate entity.
Through a collaboration of divine and human creative forces,154 the
ritual transubstantiates the material image and brings it to life.155 The
image is thereby born.156
The incantation, Statue born in a pure place, the incantation, Statue
is born in heaven. (BM :; see also l. ); see also
Bel , Beltiyya, Mandanuthe great godskenis immalduma ceremoniously (lit., truly) born in the Esarra, the temple of their father (Assur).
(Borger, Esarh. rev. ), in comparison with
Bel and Beltiyyathe loving godswere, according to their command,
[ib banma created in Assur; in E. kenis immaldu they were truly born.
(Borger, Esarh. rev. )157

And once born as a living thing, the image requires the necessary
care and feeding to sustain it.158 When the image attains life, it be-

147 E.g., BBSt iv , as translated by Jacobsen (in Ancient Israelite Religion ) and
Walker and Dick (in Born in Heaven, Made on Earth ).
148 RIME E... v. (cited by Winter, JRS / []: ). See also Curtis, in
The Bible Cuneiform Literature .
149 BM : (see Walker and Dick, in Born in Heaven, Made on Earth ).
150 Lambert, Donations of Food and Drink to the Gods in Ancient Mesopotamia,
in Ritual and Sacrifice in the Ancient Near East: Proceedings of the International Conference
(ed. J. Quaegebeur; OLA ; Louvain: Peeters, ) .
151 Cf. David H. Aaron, Biblical Ambiguities: Metaphor, Semantics and Divine Image (BRLAJ
; Leiden: Brill, ) .
152 See Jacobsen, in Ancient Israelite Religion .
153 Walker and Dick, in Born in Heaven, Made on Earth .
154 See, e.g., STT :. (ibid. , n. ).
155 Jacobsen, in Ancient Israelite Religion . Cf. Aaron, Biblical Ambiguities , .
156 See, e.g., Agns Spycket, Les statues de culte dans les textes msopotamiens des origines la
re
I dynastie de Babylone (CRB ; Paris: J. Gabalda, ) ; Renger, in RLA .b,
b; Winter, JRS / (): ; and, in greater detail, Walker and Dick, in Born in
Heaven, Made on Earth .
157 Translated after Borger, ad loc.
158 Oppenheim, Ancient Mesopotamia2 .

comes the vehicle through which the referent is manifest. More than a
representation, then, the similative image becomes its referent.159
The idiom expressing this transformation, a birth, has suggestive
implications. One is genealogical.160 Because it is born, the image
is not a strictly manufactured product.161 Instead, it is a ritually induced
descendant of its referent. In a certain sense, the image is the referents
child.162 The other implication is performative. Just as image embodies
the power of its referent,163 it also exercises this power, albeit symbolically.164 Through ritual, [t]he image was empowered to speak, or
to see, or to act, through various culturally-subscribed channels on
behalf of its referent.165 The image born inherits as well as expresses
the authority, efficacy, and sanctity of its source, much like Anus son
Nudimmud in the Enuma Elish.166
Lahmu and Lahamu were brought forth
Anshar and Kishar were formed, greater than they
Anu was their heir, of his fathers the rival.
Anshar made Anu, his offspring, his equal (umassilma).
Anu begot his likeness Nudimmud (tamslasu ulid dNudimmud),
Nudimmud was the dominator of his ancestors;
Profound in wisdom, acute of sense, mighty in strength,
Mightier by far than his grandfather, Anshar,
He has no rival among the gods his brothers. (i )
Curtis, in The Bible Cuneiform Literature ; and Winter, JRS / (): .
See Barbara Nevling Porter, Gods Statues as a Tool of Assyrian Political Policy: Esarhaddons Return of Marduk to Babylon, in Religious Transformations and SocioPolitical Change: Eastern Europe and Latin America (ed. Luther Martin; Religion and Society ; Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter, ) .
161 For different possible readings of ban relevant to this context, see CAD B (N).
162 See Johannes Hehn, Zum Terminus Bild Gottes, in Festschrift Eduard Sachau
zum siebzigsten Geburtstage (ed. Gotthold Weil; Berlin: Georg Reimer, ) . See also
Lambert, The Seed of Kingship, in Le palais et la royaut (Archologie et Civilisation) (ed.
Paul Garelli; CRRAI ; Paris: Paul Geuthner, ) , in conjunction with
Hallo, The Birth of Kings, in Love & Death in the Ancient Near East: Essays in Honor
of Marvin H. Pope (ed. John H. Marks and Robert M. Good; Guilford, Conn.: Four
Quarters, ) a, on the Mesopotamian royal epithets the (lasting) seed of kingship
and the seed of the gods.
163 For examples, see RA i (cited in CAD D a), STT : (cited in CAD
K a), and KAH rev. (cited in CAD S. a).
164 See, in this context, Bird, HTR (): (= Missing Persons and Mistaken Identities
).
165 Winter, JRS / (): .
166 The translation combines those of Benjamin R. Foster (Before the Muses: An Anthology of Akkadian Literature [ vols.; d ed.; Bethesda: CDL, ] .) and E. A.
Speiser (Akkadian Myths and Epics, in ANET 3 a).
159

160

Like an image himself,167 Nudimmud is the genealogical heir and expression of Anus unrivaled prowess; he represents the strength of his
divine birth-father.168
.... The representational image serves social functions, too. It
is not only the vessel that embodies the referent. It embodies the
referent in a world populated by human beings. The image is a
residence for the referent within a community.169 Stated differently, the
Mesopotamian image exists, resides, and functions in the real world.
The divine image is a case in point. It serves an expressive purpose:
to communicate divine presence in its real-world setting. The statue
represents an active and hospitable divine presence in the community.170 For example, it may symbolize divine protection and guardianship for the community.171 In a ritual context, the statue can express
and, to a lesser extent, provide public access to divine power.172 The
statue, then, is the vehicle through which a god resides in the community, maintains a presence, receives worship and prayer, and can
actively participate in society.173 In other words, the divine image represents a theophany.174
Although the expressive divine image can take the form of an object
that is manufactured, animated, and born, it can also take the form of
a human being. The human image may be a priest (see ...).
167 Jacobsen claims, in fact, that Nudimmuds own name signifies image-maker
(The Treasures of Darkness: A History of Mesopotamian Religion [New Haven/London: Yale
University Press, ] ; see also Walker and Dick, in Born in Heaven, Made on
Earth n. ). But the reading of as s. almu is a late phenomenon and, thus,
etymologically unlikely. The standard interpretation avoids this problem altogether.
For as D. O. Edzard proposes, Nudimmud is composed of three Sumerian elements:
nominalizing nu-, dm create, and mud beget (i.e., the one who creates [and]
begets) (Sumerische Komposita mit dem Nominalprfix nu-, ZA []:
; see also Bottro, LEpope de la cration ou les hauts-faits de Marduk et son
sacre, AEPHE []: [repr. in Mythes et rites de Babylone (Paris: Honor
Champion, ) ]). Alternatively, Piotr Steinkeller suggests that the name derives
from nu man; the one who, dm make, and mud blood, tissue (i.e., the one who
makes blood or tissue and who therefore creates life) (p.c.).
168 For an analogous biblical interpretation of Gen :, see Tigay, in Tehillah le-Moshe
.
169 Lambert, AfO (): a.
170 Jacobsen, in Ancient Israelite Religion .
171 For the political symbolism of the image, see, e.g., Lambert, AfO ():
b; and Porter, in Religious Transformations and Socio-Political Change .
172 Bird, HTR (): (= Missing Persons and Mistaken Identities ), in conjunction with Porter, in Religious Transformations and Socio-Political Change .
173 Renger, in RLA .b.
174 Jacobsen, in Ancient Israelite Religion .

The incantation is the incantation of Marduk; asipu s. alam dMarduk the


exorcist is the image of Marduk. (Bt Mesiri ii )175

More often, it is a royal figure.


O king of the world, s. alam dMarduk atta you are the image of Marduk:
when you are angry with your servants, we suffer the anger of the king
our lord, but we also experience the mercy of the king. (SAA rev.
)176

Who (now) stays in the dark much longer than Sama


s, the king of the
gods; stays in the dark a whole day and night, and again two days? The

s su is the very image of Sama


s.
king, the lord of the world, s. almu sa dSama
He (should) keep in the dark for only half a day! (SAA obv.
rev. )

The interpretation, though, is the same nonetheless. The first text


identifies the exorcists spell as Marduks own. Likewise, the exorcist
represents Marduk, the preeminent exorcist among the gods.177 The
priest is thus the instrument and expression of Marduk and his efficacy.
In the second text, the royal addressee is also compared to Marduk and,
particularly, to divine anger and mercy.178 Consequently, the writer and
those like him are as dependent on the king as they are on a deity.179
The third text reminds the king of his solar status and encourages him
to emulate his divine prototype. He should not remain indoors for
days on end, but like the Sun, whose image he is, come out of the
dark.180 In each text, then, the image is a human being, of significant
status, who acts as the conduit through which the authority and power
of a divine patron is realized.181 But in the third text, the image also
imposes a divine charge. It requires the king to behave in a manner

Cited and adapted from CAD S. b.


See also Oppenheim, Divination and Celestial Observation in the Last Assyrian
Empire, Centaurus (): .
177 Tigay, in . See also Hehn, in Festschrift Eduard Sachau .
178 William L. Moran, apud Bird, HTR (): n. (= Missing Persons and
Mistaken Identities n. ).
179 See Oppenheim, Centaurus (): ; and, more positively, Tigay, in
.
180 Bird, HTR (): n. (= Missing Persons and Mistaken Identities n. ).
181 See, in this context, F. W. Geers and T. Jacobsen, apud Henri Frankfort, Kingship
and the Gods: A Study of Ancient Near Eastern Religion as the Integration of Society & Nature
(Chicago/London: University of Chicago Press, []) n. (on s. illu shadow
and mussulu likeness in SAA rev. ); as well as Bird, HTR (): n.
(= Missing Persons and Mistaken Identities n. ).
175

176

befitting a god. The human image expresses as well as abides by its


divine referent.
The Tukulti-Ninurta epic illustrates yet another dimension of the
image.182
By the fate of Nudimmud,183 his [sc. Tukulti-Ninurtas] form is that of the
gods flesh,
By fiat of the lord of lands, he was successfully cast from the womb of the
gods.
suma s. alam dEnlil dar It is he who is the eternal image of Enlil, attentive
to the peoples voice, the counsel of the land.
Because the lord of lands appointed him to lead the troops, he praised
him with his very lips,
Enlil raised him like a birth-father, after his firstborn son. (i/A obv.
)184

In this text, the king has divine attributes: e.g., divine form (l. ),
favor (ll. .), and parents (l. ).185 His role is god-given (l. ),
yet it is directed at the people (ll. ). He is a leader (l. ) unrivaled (ll. ), although, like other features, his greatness is not
intrinsic but conferred (l. ). The king also reciprocates the favor by
paying allegiance to the one who empowered him to administer his
flock (ll. ). Tukulti-Ninurta, then, does not merely embody divine
attributes of power, authority, and jurisdiction (the image).186 By virtue
of divine investment, he represents and executes these attributes. He
effectively holds a position intermediate between the divine and human
spheres.
In this position, a king performs two distinct yet interconnected roles.
One is related to divinity.187
Asur ki Assur is king, Silulu
is the vice-regent of Asur ki Assur. (RIMA
.
A...:)

Cf. Angerstorfer, BN (): , .


For suggested etymologies, see n. .
184 The translation is adapted from Foster, Before the Muses2 ., in conjunction
with Lambert, Three Unpublished Fragments of the Tukulti-Ninurta Epic, AfO
(): ; and Peter Machinist, Literature as Politics: The Tukulti-Ninurta Epic
and the Bible, CBQ (): .
185 On the latter, genealogical feature, see Angerstorfer, BN (): ; and
..., above.
186 See Machinist, CBQ (): n. .
187 All translations of RIMA texts follow those of the editor.
182

183

Erisum, vice-regent of Asur Assur, son of Ilu-summa, vice-regent of dAsur


Assur, built for Asur Assur, his lord, the temple area of Assur. (RIMA
A...:); see also

Salim-ahum,
vice-regent of Asur ki Assur, son of Puzur-Assur, vice-regent
ki
of Asur Assur: dAsur Assur requested of him a temple and he built forever
a temple (RIMA A...:)

As Old Assyrian inscriptions indicate (ca. B.C.E.), Assur


alone was king (sarru). Whether Assur refers to the god (dAsur) or the
city (Asur ki), Assur was one divine entity. And inasmuch as Ashur is
king, a man ruled the city as Assurs representative or vicar (issakku =
).188 The rulers other role is related to his own community.
When Nebuchadnezzar, the pious and noble prince, offspring of Babylon, a man belonging to kings, qardu valiant vicar (and) governor of
Babylon, the sun god of his land, who makes his people prosper, protects boundaries sar knati a true king who renders a just verdict, a
valiant hero whose strength prepares for warfare. (BBSt i )189

As this text states, the Babylonian king can bear two titles. One characterizes him in relation to his city and his gods: affiliative, subsidiary,
and dependent. The other characterizes him in relation to his people:
supreme, effective, defensive, commanding, and sovereign. As a divine
descendant, Nebuchadnezzar is vicar or vice-regent (); as a deity
(l. ) of enormous power, he is king (sarru).
This double royal office also has a judicial application, as in the case
of Hammurabi (ca. B.C.E.).190
At that time, Anu and Enlil named me to promote the welfare of the
peopleme, Hammurabi, the pious prince, who worships the gods
to make justice prevail in the land, to destroy the wicked and the evil,

to prevent the strong from wronging the weak, to rise like Sama
s over
humankind, to illuminate the land. (CH i )

When he is introduced, the king is portrayed as a devout subordinate


of the gods: He offers them deference (worship), his title is secondary to
188 Mogens Trolle Larsen, The City and Its King: On the Old Assyrian Notion of
Kingship, in Le palais et la royaut (italics original). See also ibid. ; and, in greater
detail, idem, The Old Assyrian City-State and Its Colonies (Mesopotamia ; Copenhagen:
Akademisk Forlag, ) .
189 Translation adapted from Foster, Before the Muses2 ..
190 The following translations of the Code of Hammurabi are adapted from those
of Theophile J. Meek, The Code of Hammurapi, in ANET 3 ; and Martha
T. Roth, Law Collections from Mesopotamia and Asia Minor (d ed.; WAW ; Atlanta:
Scholars Press, ) . The lineation follows Roth.

theirs (prince), and they grant him legal jurisdiction over the people.
At the same time, he solely exercises this sovereign and protective
authority over the people like a god. Like an image, Hammurabi
embodies and enacts divine attributes.
I wrote my precious words on my stela and erected it before s. almya the
statue of me, sar msarim the king of justice, to administer the law of the
land, to render verdicts of the land, to provide justice for the wronged.
(CH xlvii )
Let any wronged man who has a case come before s. almya the statue of
me, sar msarim the king of justice, let him read my inscribed stela, and let
him hear my precious words, and may my stela show him the case. (CH
xlviii ); see also

I am Hammurabi, sar msarim the king of justice, whom Sama


s has
granted the truth. (CH xlviii )

Not only is Hammurabi characterized as the king of justice,191 his concrete and public display of legal authority is too (s. almya sar msarim).
The person and image of Hammurabi are equivalent.192 They each
represent justice: Hammurabi proper represents (personifies) divine justice on earth; and his image represents (communicates), through the
power of words, royal justice in the public domain. The image of
Hammurabi expresses his god-given authority (to act) as king of justice.
In addition to the judicial arena, the kings dual role extends to the
cult.
Erisum, vice-regent of the god Assur, son of Ilu-summa, vice-regent of
Assur, built for Assur, his lord, for his life and the life of his city, the
temple (and) all the temple area for Assur. (RIMA A...:; see
also :, :, , etc.)

As this early text shows, the kings cultic duties are directed at two
audiences: the gods and the people. In accordance with the ideology
of the royal inscriptions from all periods it is the ruler who is personally
responsible for the building of the temples of the citys gods, and by
doing this properly he ensures the welfare and wellbeing of his city.193
When the king makes an offering to the gods, the beneficiary includes
his people.
Roth, Law Collections2 n. . Cf. G. R. Driver and John C. Miles, eds. and
trans., The Babylonian Laws ( vols.; Oxford: Oxford University Press, ) ..
192 See, in this context, Hehn, in Festschrift Eduard Sachau .
193 Larsen, The Old Assyrian City-State and Its Colonies .
191

To Nergal, his lord, Salmaneser,


appointee of Enlil, vice-regent of Assur,
has dedicated (this mace head) for his life, the well-being of his seed,
(and) the well-being of his land. (RIMA A...:); see also
si-Adad,
Adad-narari, appointee of Enlil, vice-regent of Assur, son of Sam
(re-) built from top to bottom the temple of Nabu, his lord, which is
within Nineveh, for his life (and) the well-being of his seed and his land.
(RIMA A...:)

The king represents and negotiates for his own interests as well as those
of his land. As human king and divine stepchild, he can interact with,
and mediate, the two worlds he straddles.
The kings dual role in the Mesopotamian cult, and society generally,
has left its mark on iconography.194 Each has its own representation.
One is iconographically subservient. The king is portrayed standing
(izuzzu) or, in like fashion, his royal statue is installed upright (suzuzzu
195 As a pious scion of the gods (vicar, vice-regent), the king dis[S]).
plays respect. The icon may serve a performative role and represent the
supplicant in search of divine favor, or it may function as a votive donation to a god. In either case, the statues deferential pose indicates the
kings religious devotion.196 The other royal pose is lordly and sovereign
(king). The king sits (enthroned) (asabu). The king (s statue) commands
respect as a manifestation of divinity and as a holy entity.197 To the
extent that the king participates in divine status, the seated royal figure functions as an object of religious devotion. The two iconographic
positions of the royal statue, then, again reflect its dual cultic role. It is
both votive and commemorative. It gives as well as receives tribute and
worship.198 Stated differently, the king (s image) represents stewardship:
a ruler of the people who represents them to the gods, and a deputy of
the gods who represents them to their people.
... In addition to a Mesopotamian reflex, the image is attested
in early Aramaic-speaking communities. It is mentioned in the Nerab
inscriptions of the early seventh century, and it appears in the older,
ninth-century bilingual from Tell Fakhariyeh.199 It is therefore attested
in Syria-Palestine, during the biblical period, in extra-biblical sources.
For the following, see Winter, JRS / (): .
For Akkadian examples of standing before (a god), see AHw a (ad I..a).
196 See, in this context, Koehler, Old Testament Theology .
197 See Hallo, in Congress Volume: Jerusalem, .
198 Winter, JRS / (): .
199 For another attestation in a broken, eighth-century text, see Javier Teixidor, Un
object lgende aramenne provenant de Meskn-Emar, RA (): (= Joseph
194

195

.... appears in both funerary inscriptions discovered at


Nerab in northern Syria.200

This is his image. (KAI :)

see also ll. )

This is his image and his sarcophagus.201 (KAI :;

The inscriptions and their stelae commemorate a deceased priest ().


One text establishes the decedents piety (KAI :) and the benefits
he reaped (ll. .). Its accompanying relief accords with the text. It
depicts the priest sitting, in the act of offering a libation before an
altar while [f]acing him from behind the altar stands an attendant,
holding a fan.202 The other text differentiates between the decedents
bas-relief image and his burial place. But like the companion Nerab
inscription, this text is contextualized by a relief which represents
the priest with hands raised and joined in prayer.203 The two
monuments, then, suggest a single interpretation of . At Nerab
at least, the image is a pictorial representation of a ranking priest
ministering to his deity.204 It commemorates, in bas-relief form, the piety
as well as status of a priest.
.... refers to a similar sculpted object from Tell Fakhariyeh
(see ..).
The image of Had-yiti, king of Guzana and of Sikanu and
of Azaranu. (ll. )

Before Hadad, resident of Sikanu, lord of the Habur, he placed


his image. (ll. )
A. Fitzmyer and Stephen A. Kaufman, An Aramaic Bibliography [Baltimore/London:
Johns Hopkins University Press, ] . [B..]).
200 For bibliography, see Fitzmyer and Kaufman, An Aramaic Bibliography . (B..).
201 For a discussion of the latter term, see DNWSI . (s.v. rsh) and the references
.
therein (esp. Kaufman, The Akkadian Influences on Aramaic [AS ; Chicago/London:
University of Chicago Press, ] with n. ).
202 G. A. Cooke, A Text-Book of North-Semitic Inscriptions: Moabite, Hebrew, Phoenician,
Aramaic, Nabataean, Palmyrene, Jewish (Oxford: Oxford University Press, ) , followed almost verbatim by John C. L. Gibson, Textbook of Syrian Semitic Inscriptions ( vols.;
Oxford: Oxford University Press, ) ..
203 Cooke, A Text-Book of North-Semitic Inscriptions , followed by Gibson, Textbook of
Syrian Semitic Inscriptions ..
204 See Franz Rosenthal, Canaanite and Aramaic Inscriptions, in ANET 3 b.
Cf. stela, which refers to the object itself. Nonetheless, and may be
governed by the same transitive verb in Old Aramaic (see Bukan as compared with
KAI :) (Michael Sokoloff, The Old Aramaic Inscription from Bukan: A Revised
Interpretation, IEJ []: ).

It is a representational term that, like its complement likeness,


signifies the portrait-like statue bearing the rulers inscription.
As the inscription itself indicates, image and likeness are nevertheless distinct.

(ll. )
(l. )

The two representational nouns each introduce a different section of


the text. The first section, the Weihinschrift (ll. ), is headed by likeness. Since the section functions as a prayer (l. ), this representational
noun is an appropriate choice; likeness describes the statue as a votive
offering to Hadad. Also appropriate to the supplicative purpose is the
simple, unassuming manner by which the petitioner is identified; he
has a name like anyone else. The second section, the Kommemorativinschrift (ll. ), begins differently. Headed by image, it continues with
an elaborate characterization of the dedicant: first, his name; then, his
executive title; and third, the several separate districts over which he
alone rules. Had-yiti is a king seated on a throne (see l. ; see also
l. ), and his image is explicitly royal and sovereign.
Another attribute is repeatedly ascribed to the king in the Kommemorativinschrift. In a word, it is power. Had-yiti claims sufficient power to
control the food supply (ll. .). He commands the power to arrest the
life cycle (ll. ) and facilitate an epidemic (l. ). He can even direct
the gods to enact his will (ll. ; see also ll. and ). According to
his inscription, king Had-yiti has authority and power tantamount to
a gods.
The representational term image suits its context. It is an artistic
representation of the dedicant, dressed in traditional garb, and placed
in a temple.205 It defines the dedicant as a royal figure, and it describes
the awesome ways that he can use his terrific power. Thus the image
of Had-Yiti, with its trappings of sovereignty, power, and preeminent
status, fulfills its self-promoting goal. It depicts the ruler in a cultic
setting in godlike terms, commemorating his capacity to exercise virtual
omnipotence.

205 See Gruber, In the Image of GodWhat is It? in Hommage to Shmuel. Studies
in the World of the Bible (ed. Zipora Talshir, Shamir Yona, and Daniel Sivan; Jerusalem:
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Press/Bialik Institute, ) (in Hebrew).

... There are two features that immediately distinguish the image
of P(T) from its congeners in biblical and nonbiblical traditions. One is
historical.
Then God said, Let us make humankind in our image.
So God created humankind in his image, in
the image of God he created it, male and female he created them.
(Gen : [P])
Whoever sheds the blood of a human being, by a human being shall
his blood be shed; for in the image of God did he make
humankind. (Gen : [P]); see also
When Adam had lived one hundred and thirty years, he fathered (a son)
in his likeness, according to his image, and he named him Seth.
(Gen : [PT])

In the early Priestly tradition, the image is restricted to the earliest


period of human history. It crops up in the first generation of human
beings (:), recurs in the second (:), and surfaces one last time in
the tenth generation (:). Its third attestation, though, is not altogether
new; it cross-references Gen : and, at the same time, brings that earlier event to bear upon the current situation. The first, historical feature
that distinguishes the early Priestly image, then, is its primaeval setting
or, specifically, its roots in the first two generations of humankind. The
second is its referential scope.
The idea of presenting a human person as the image of God is not
unique to the Bible. The statement that every human person is created
in the image of God remains therefore a real exception.206
206 Vogels, ScEs (): (italics added). See also, inter alios, Samuel E. Loewenstamm, Man as Image and Son of God, Tarb (): (in Hebrew) (repr. as
Beloved is Man in that He Was Created in the Image, in Comparative Studies in Biblical and Ancient Literatures [AOAT ; Kevelaer/Neukirchen-Vluyn: Butzon & Bercker/
Neukirchener Verlag, ] ); Bernhard W. Anderson, Human Dominion over
Nature, in Biblical Studies in Contemporary Thought (ed. Miriam Ward; Somerville, Mass.:
Greeno, Hadden, ) (repr. in From Creation to New Creation: Old Testament Perspectives [OBT: Minneapolis: Fortress, ] ); Stamm, Zur Frage der Imago Dei
im Alten Testament, in Humanitt und Glaube. Gedenkschrift fr Kurt Guggisberg (ed. Ulrich
Neuenschwander and Rudolf Dellsperger; Bern/Stuttgart: Paul Haupt, ) ; Levenson, Creation and the Persistence of Evil: The Jewish Drama of Divine Omnipotence (Mythos;
Princeton: Princeton University Press, []) ; Nahum M. Sarna, Genesis
(The JPS Torah Commentary; Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, ) ; John
van Seters, The Creation of Man and the Creation of the King, ZAW (): ;
Bird, in Image of God and Gender Models n. ; Preuss, Old Testament Theology (trans. Leo
G. Perdue; vols.; OTL; Louisville: Westminster John Knox, [])
.; Angerstorfer, BN (): ; and Willem A. M. Beuken, The Human Person

Every person descended from Seth (:) is created in the image of God
(see ..). Inherent in the human race from its very inception, the
early history of the image demonstrates that it is perdurable as well.
In fact, the very sequence of Gen :, :, and : suggests
that the character of the divine image in man holds equally in all
generations; even after the Fall and the Flood it continues to endure.
In spite of all that may be said concerning the sin of man, it
nevertheless by no means infringes directly upon the divine image which
is in him.207

The image of God is primordial, innate, as well as an inalienable


legacy.
.... Alongside its distinctive features, the Priestly image shares
features with its extra-biblical cognates. For example, it is associated
with verbs of creation, procreation, or production. In the early Priestly
tradition, the image is an oblique dependent of create (Gen :a),
father (:a), and make (:a, :b) (see ). In Mesopotamian
texts, s. almu can express a highly affected patient of ban make, manufacture, epesu make, and especially aladu be born (N) (...). In
each textual group, then, image is (compatible with) a product of
creation, generation, or progeneration. It is (compatible with) an inert
creation or human creature.
The image of the early Priestly tradition shares other formal traits
with its ancient Near Eastern cognates. Like the s. almu and , the
biblical image is, intuitively at least, a representation in the
round (...; see also ...). Inasmuch as it qualifies human
creation, it qualifies an entity that exists in the world; it is corporeal,
free-standing, visible, and similative (..). To this extent, the image
resembles the statuesque, having sculptural as well as representational
properties (see also ...).208 It has other identifying characteristics,
in the Vision of Genesis : A Synthesis of Contemporary Insights, LouvSt ():
. Cf. Weinfeld, Tarb (): ; and, on the Mesopotamian model, Hallo, in
Love & Death in the Ancient Near East .
207 Friedrich Horst, Face to Face: The Biblical Doctrine of the Image of God, Int
(): . See also, inter alios, Scharbert, in Weisheit GottesWeisheit der Welt .;
Wallace, in Studies in the Pentateuch ; Sawyer, in A Walk in the Garden ; and Harland,
The Value of Human Life , .
208 For different yet referentially compatible interpretations of this image, see
Stamm, Die Gottebenbildlichkeit des Menschen ; Manfred Weippert, Tier und Mensch
in einer menschenarmen Welt. Zum sog. dominium terrae in Genesis , in Ebenbild
GottesHerrscher ber die Welt. Studien zu Wrde und Auftrag des Menschen (ed. Hans-Peter
Mathys; Biblisch-Theologische Studien ; Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag,

too. This image is anthropomorphic, both as a species (e.g., Gen :b)


and as individuals (:). It has sexuality, encoded as male and female
(:b, :a).209 It is born, viable, vital, and living (e.g., :).210 It is also
quintessentially identifiable by its generic designation (e.g., :a) or
proper name (e.g., :b). In the early Priestly tradition, then, the image
accords with a formal entity that has a cluster of identifying signature
elements.
The referents and representatives of the image recall ancient Near
Eastern precedents. The grammatical possessor of the image in P(T)
varies among three parties: the gods, as registered in plural suffix of
our image (Gen :a); God, as in his image (v. a; see also
in v. a and :b); and Adam (:a). As elsewhere in the ancient Near
East, then, the referential source of the image is divine or human (see
...). The representation itself, however, is always the same. In most
texts, it is humanity (:, :b). In one, it is Adams son Seth (:).
Therefore, the image of P(T) is represented consistently and only in
human form (see ...).
Unlike the comparative evidence, though, the semantic relationship between referent and representation is also consistent in the early
Priestly tradition. The gods will make the human race (Gen :a);
God creates the human race (:, :); and Adam fathers Seth (:).
Whenever image is mentioned in P(T), its referent is the originator of
the human representation. Each time, the referent is the (pro-) creative
agent, and the representationthe image of the referentis the created, human creature.211 In effect, then, the referent of P(T)s image is
a parent of the child (see ..).212
.... In the ancient Near East, however, the image not only
has a formal referential interpretation. It can also have one or more
nonformal interpretations. Formal similitude aside, the image can
imitate, embody, and symbolize its referent. The image can have a

) ; and Gruber, in Hommage to Shmuel .


209 See Hans Walter Wolff, Anthropology of the Old Testament (trans. Margaret Kohl;
Philadelphia: Fortress, []) ; and Angerstorfer, BN (): .
210 See Smith, ZAW (): .
211 See Hehn, in Festschrift Eduard Sachau .
212 See Oswald Loretz, Die Gottebenbildlichkeit des Menschen (Schriften des Deutschen
Instituts fr wissenschaftliche Pdagogik; Munich: Ksel, ) ; and, indirectly,
Anderson, in Biblical Studies in Contemporary Thought (= From Creation to New Creation
). See also Stamm, in Antwort. Karl Barth (= idem, in Der Mensch als
Bild Gottes ).

functional component, serving to express its divine or human referent


in its particular setting.213
A nonformal interpretation of the image is suggested, at least in
part, by the context of its first attestation.
Then God said, Let us make humankind in our image ;
and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds
of heaven, and over the beasts, and over the whole earth, and over
everything that moves on the earth. (Gen :)

Absent the genealogical and (pro-) creative likeness, the verse speaks of
a particular role that the human race will play.214 God envisions and/or
intends that humankind exercise mighty control over the earth and
the many creatures that inhabit it.215 In the idiom of v. b (- ),
humankind will both rule and dominate with an enormous power.216
God therefore characterizes the image in terms which are harmonic

See Harland, The Value of Human Life .


See Zimmerli, Old Testament Theology in Outline (trans. David E. Green; Edinburgh:
T. & T. Clark, []) ; Bordreuil, RHPR (): ; and Bird, HTR
(): (= Missing Persons and Mistaken Identities ). Cf. Clines, TynB (): (=
On the Way to the Postmodern .); and Vogels, ScEs (): .
215 Driver, Genesis12 ; H.-J. Zobell, @T radah, @T II radah II, AT radad, in TWAT
.; and Bernd Janowski, Stellvertretung. Alttestamentliche Studien zu einem theologischen
Grundbegriff (SBS ; Stuttgart: Katholisches Bibelwerk, ) . See also Harland,
The Value of Human Life . Cf. the grammatical objections of Takamitsu Muraoka,
The Alleged Final Function of the Biblical Hebrew Syntagm <waw + a Volitive Verb
Form>, in Narrative Syntax and the Hebrew Bible: Papers of the Tilburg Conference
(ed. Ellen van Wolde; BIS ; Leiden: Brill, ) ; the exegetical objections
of Humbert, tudes sur le rcit du paradis , ; and Barr, Man and NatureThe
Ecological Controversy and the Old Testament, BJRL (): ; or, combining
the two, perhaps Steck, Der Schpfungsbericht der Priesterschrift. Studien zur literarkritischen und
berlieferungsgeschichten Problematik von Genesis ,,a (d ed.; FRLANT ; Gttingen:
Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, ) n. .
216 Bird, HTR (): with n. (= Missing Persons and Mistaken Identities with
n. ); Steck, Der Schpfungsbericht 2 n. ; and Gro, JBTh (): . See also
Weippert, in Ebenbild GottesHerrscher ber die Welt . Cf. Barr, BJRL ():
; Manfred Grg, Alles hast Du gelegt unter seine Fe. Beobachtungen zu Ps ,b
im Vergleich mit Gen ,, in Freude an der Weisung des Herrn. Beitrge zur Theologie der
Psalmen. Festgabe zum . Geburtstag von Heinrich Gro (ed. Ernst Haag and Frank-Lothar
Hossfeld; SBB ; Stuttgart: Katholisches Bibelwerk, ) (repr. in Studien zur
biblisch-gyptischen Religionsgeschichte [SBAB ; Stuttgart: Katholisches Bibelwerk, ]
); or, in the extreme, Ian Hart, Genesis :: as a Prologue to the Book of
Genesis, TynB (): . For the reading of the prepositional complement, see
Christo H. J. van der Merwe, Jackie A. Naud, and Jan H. Kroeze, A Biblical Hebrew
Reference Grammar (Biblical Languages: Hebrew ; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press,
) .. (iii).
213

214

with its non-biblical correlates; as image, the human race will embody
and assert the power of its referent over the natural world.217
itself is an evocative verb.218 One nuance bears upon mastery,
especially as an expression of victory or punishment.
But if you do not listen to (and obey) me and not perform all these
commandments, I will set my face against you: you will be struck
down before your enemies, your foes will have dominion over you,
and you will flee though no one pursues you. (Lev :. [H])
Oracle of the Lord to my lord, Sit at my right hand while I make your
enemies your footstool. The Lord sends your mighty scepter from Zion;
have dominion over your enemies! (Ps :)

implies a relationship between victor and vanquished.219 Another


nuance bears upon the identity of the victorious party.

For he [sc. Solomon] held dominion over the whole region west of
the Euphrates from Tiphsah to Gazaover all the kings of the region
west of the Euphrates. He had peace around all his borders. ( Kgs :)
O God, give the king your judgements, the kings son your righteousness.
May he have dominion from sea to sea, from the river to the ends
of the earth. May the desert-dwellers kneel before him, and his enemies
lick the dust. (Ps :.)

That party is often royal;220 can express the power that a king
wields over his subjects (see also Is :).221 In this sense, it is a royal
prerogative (see also Kgs :, :; Chr :). For the reading of
217 Arnold B. Ehrlich, Randglossen zur hebraschen Bibel ( vols.; Leipzig: J. C. Hinrichs,
) .; Cazelles, in La vie de la Parole ; Schmidt, Die Schpfungsgeschichte2
; and Steck, Der Schpfungsbericht 2 .
218 For recent discussions, see Udo Rterswrden, Dominium terrae. Studien zur Genese
einer alttestamentlichen Vorstellung (BZAW ; Berlin/New York: Walter de Gruyter, )
; and Heike Baranzke and Hedwig Lamberty-Zielinski, Lynn White und das
dominium terrae (Gen ,b). Ein Beitrag zu einer doppelten Wirkungsgeschichte, BN
(): .
219 See David T. Williams, Fill the Earth and Subdue It (Gn :): Dominion to
Exploit and Pollute? Scriptura (): .
220 E.g., Wildberger, TZ (): (= Jahwe und sein Volk ); Janowski, Herrschaft ber die Tiere. Gen , und die Semantik von , in Biblische Theologie
und gesellschaftlicher Wandel. Fr Norbert Lohfink SJ (ed. Georg Braulik, Walter Gro, and
Sean McEvenue; Freiburg: Herder, ) (repr. in Die rettende Gerechtigkeit. Beitrge zur
Theologie des Alten Testaments [Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, ] ); and
Rterswrden, Dominium terrae .
221 Bruce Vawter, On Genesis: A New Reading (Garden City, New York: Doubleday,
) . Cf. Janowski, in Biblische Theologie und gesellschaftlicher Wandel n. (=
Die rettende Gerechtigkeit n. ); and, differently, James Limburg, Who Cares for the
Earth? Psalm Eight and the Environment, in All Things New: Essays in Honor of Roy

in Gen :, then, these two nuances suggest that humankind is


empowered to hold dominion over the world and rule its inhabitants as
a king.222 Through its image, the human race will master the world as
a majestic, executive, and triumphant power.223
These passages suggest yet another nuance of dominate and, by
implication, the image. In Ps , for instance,

[t]he psalmist asks from God a world-wide kingdom for the Davidic king
[and] links the rule of the earthly King with the universal rule of
God. It is only as Yahwehs representative that the King has a claim to
dominion over the world.224

Likewise in Ps ,
God calls upon the king to occupy the place of honour at his right hand.
By this his kingship is authorized by God; the earthly ruler is shown to
be the viceregent of God, and his office is proved to function in virtue of
the divine will. The king is therefore backed up by the effective power
of God.225

The same is true of Solomon as well (see Kgs :). The source,
authority, and legitimation of a kings rule lie with God.226 Conversely,
failure to obey Yahweh may turn rulership over to ones enemies (Lev
:). Regardless, dominion is an expression of God (see also :
[H] and Ez :). In Gen , it is too. God expressly gives dominion to
the human race (Gen :b). Through its image, the human race will
A. Harrisville (ed. Arland J. Hultgren, Donald H. Juel, and Jack D. Kingsbury; Word
& World Supplement Series ; St. Paul: Luther Northwestern Theological Seminary,
) with n. ; or Terence E. Fretheim, The Pentateuch (IBT; Nashville: Abingdon,
) .
222 Wolff, Anthropology of the Old Testament ; Bird, HTR (): (= Missing
Persons and Mistaken Identities ); Sarna, Genesis ; and, esp., Gro, JBTh (): .
Cf. Zobell, in TWAT ..
223 E.g., von Rad, Old Testament Theology (trans. D. M. G. Stalker; vols.; New York:
Harper & Brothers/Harper & Row, []) .; Clines, TynB
(): (= On the Way to the Postmodern .); and Wildberger, in TLOT ..
See also Zenger, Gottes Bogen in den Wolken2 n. .
224 A. A. Anderson, The Book of Psalms ( vols.; NCBC; Grand Rapids/London:
Eerdmans/Marshall, Morgan & Scott, ) ..
225 Artur Weiser, The Psalms (trans. Herbert Hartwell; OTL; Philadelphia: Westminster, []) .
226 See, in this context, J. J. M. Roberts, The Divine King and the Human Community in Isaiahs Vision of the Future, in The Quest for the Kingdom of God: Studies in Honor
of George E. Mendenhall (ed. H. B. Huffmon, F. A. Spina, and A. R. W. Green; Winona
Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns, ) (repr. in The Bible and the Ancient Near East [Winona
Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns, ] ).

ultimately represent divine rule.227 The human race will be the vessel,
or personification, of divine lordship on earth.228 For P, [e]ach human
person is, as it were, a king or a queen.229
Dominating rulership also has its attendant duties, as Ps illustrates.
O God, give the king your judgements, the kings son your righteousness.
May he judge your people with righteousness, and your lowly with
justice. For he saves the needy who cry out, and the lowly who have
no helper. He takes pity on the weak and the needy, and he saves the
lives of the needy. From oppression and violence, he redeems them; their
life (lit., blood) is precious to him. (Ps :.)

On the one hand, dominion by the king entitles him to receive obedience and tribute (vv. ). On the other, the king is clearly responsible for upholding justice. It was his commission to judge the people
in righteousness. As the one who defended the divine will for justice
against men of violence, the king was to carry out the office of judge.230
And as such, the Israelite king is not unlike his Mesopotamian counterpart (...);231 they each (should) represent divine justice on earth (see
..).232
.... The royal duty to champion divine justice, as it applies to
the image, is clearest in Gen . There, in the description of the new
world-order,233 the Priestly writer elaborates on the topic of human
power (vv. ). Its first section discusses [m]ans power over the
227 Zimmerli, .Mose3 .; and Kaiser, NZST (): (= Gottes und der
Menschen Weisheit ).
228 Hinschberger, RScR (): ; Levenson, Creation and Evil ; and, by
implication, Clines, TynB (): (= On the Way to the Postmodern .). In this
context, see also Hallo, in Congress Volume: Jerusalem, with n. .
229 Vogels, ScEs (): . See also Klein, The Message of P, in Die Botschaft
und die Boten: Festschrift fr Hans Walter Wolff zum . Geburtstag (ed. Jrg Jeremias and
Lothar Perlitt; Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, ) ; and Thomas Podella,
Das Lichtkleid JHWHs. Untersuchungen zur Gestalthaftigkeit Gottes im Alten Testament und seiner
altorientalischen Umwelt (FAT ; Tbingen: J. C. B. Mohr [Paul Siebeck], )
, followed by Janowski, Stellvertretung n. . Cf. Bird, HTR (): (= Missing
Persons and Mistaken Identities ), repeated in eadem, in Image of God and Gender Models ;
or, differently, Barr, Ein Mann oder die Menschen? Zur Anthropologie von Genesis ,
in Ebenbild GottesHerrscher ber die Welt (moderating Boehmer, ZAW []: ).
230 Hans-Joachim Kraus, Theology of the Psalms (trans. Keith Crim; Minneapolis: Augsburg, []) .
231 See Weinfeld, Social Justice in Ancient Israel and in the Ancient Near East (Jerusalem/
Minneapolis: Magnes/Fortress, ) .
232 Levenson, Sinai and Zion .
233 John Skinner, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on Genesis (d ed.; ICC; Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, ) .

animal kingdom (vv. ).234 The second includes a statement about


the brotherly relation existing between all men,235 with considerable
attention to the breach of that relation through the use of deadly power
(vv. ). The Priestly writer therefore addresses two issues of human
mastery (image).
In comparison with Gen , Ps God expands and restricts the power
that humankind can exercise in the world. All animal life will fall under
human control (Gen :a; cf. :) (see .),236 and all green plant life
will too (:b; cf. :).237 But this increased power is also tempered.238
Every creeping thing that lives shall be yours for food. But you must
not eat flesh with its own blood in it. (:a.)

God asserts that animals cannot be eaten alive, nor can their blood be
consumed.239 All the more,240 human bloodshed is prohibited.
But I shall require a reckoning for your own life-blood. From every
animal I shall require a reckoning for it; and from a human being, from
each ones fellow (human being), I shall require a reckoning for human
life. Whoever sheds the blood of a human being, by a human being shall
his blood be shed; for in the image of God did he make
humankind. (Gen :)

Whensoever an act of bloodshed is committed against a human being,


the perpetrator is to be punished in kind.241 The expanded power
of human beings to take life is now checked; God legislates a death
Sarna, Genesis .
Franz Delitzsch, A New Commentary on Genesis (trans. Sophia Taylor; vols.; ;
repr., Minneapolis: Klock & Klock, ) ..
236 Wenham, Genesis .; and, in greater detail, Scharbert, in Weisheit GottesWeisheit
der Welt ..
237 See Michael Fishbane, Biblical Interpretation in Ancient Israel (Oxford: Oxford University Press, []) .
238 In addition to the references in ch. n. , see Delitzsch, Neuer Commentar ber die
Genesis (Leipzig: Drffling und Franke, ) (= ET .); Zimmerli, .Mose3 .;
and Horst Seebass, Genesis ( vols.; Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag,
) .. See also Janowski, in Biblische Theologie und gesellschaftlicher Wandel (=
Die rettende Gerechtigkeit ).
239 E.g., Skinner, Genesis2 ; and Sarna, Genesis . For discussion, see Dillmann,
Genesis6 (= ET .); and Westermann, Genesis ..
240 For the connection, see Tigay, in n. ; and, differently, M. Vervenne, The Blood is the Life and the Life is the Blood: Blood as Symbol of Life
and Death in Biblical Tradition (Gen. ,), in Ritual and Sacrifice in the Ancient Near East:
Proceedings of the International Conference (ed. J. Quaegebeur; OLA ; Louvain:
Peeters, ) . In this context, see also B. Kedar-Kopfstein, c dam, in TDOT
..
241 See Harland, The Value of Human Life .
234

235

penalty for homicide.242 At this point in time, then, God permits humanity to rule over nature but within legal limits;243 humanity can not
violate blood laws or, especially, take human life.244
As all commentators agree, the talionic punishment of human bloodshed (Gen :a) is motivated, justified, legitimated, and/or explained in
the subordinate clause (v. b).245 The specific interpretation of that
clause, however, is disputed. For some, v. b empowers and authorizes
a human agent of punishment (- [v. a]) who will share punitive
responsibility with God himself (I [v. (ter)]).
The additional phrase by man, appearing in the emphatic position at
the beginning of the second clause, stresses that the punishment is to be
executed by man.246 Because man is made in the divine image, he is to
punish murder. In other words, the divine image implies a functional
similarity of man to God as governor and executor of justice in the
world.247

This shared role would also be appropriate to the crime; the idea that
humans are created in the image of God confers supreme value
on human life and makes taking it an offense not only against the
victim and his family, but also against God Himself.248 Others opt for
a different interpretation, focusing on the punishment rather than its
executor. In this latter case, v. b explains the death penalty itself.249
Murder is the supreme and capital crime because the dignity, sanctity,
and inviolability of human life all derive from the fact that every human
being bears the stamp of the divine Maker. The murderer may be put
242 Bordreuil, RHPR (): , in conjunction with Harland, The Value of Human
Life .
243 See Jenni, Philologische und linguistische Probleme bei den hebrischen Prpositionen, in idem, Studien Alten Testaments , in conjunction with Harland, The Value
of Human Life .
244 Humbert, in Interpretationes Mowinckel (= Opuscules dun hbrasant ).
245 Cf. Ulrich Wller, Zur bersetzung von k in Gen and , ZAW ():
.
246 See also Sarna, Genesis ; Harland, The Value of Human Life ; and, esp., Steck,
in Veritas Hebraica .
247 Tigay, in (italics original). See also von Rad, Genesis ; Miles,
God: A Biography ; and, in nuce, Edwin Firmage, Genesis and the Priestly Agenda,
JSOT (): . Cf. Westermann, Genesis ..
248 Tigay, Deuteronomy (The JPS Torah Commentary; Philadelphia/Jerusalem: Jewish
Publication Society, ) . See also Clines, TynB (): n. (= On the
Way to the Postmodern . n. ), following Humbert, tudes sur le rcit du paradis ;
and, by inference, Frymer-Kensky, The Atrahasis Epic and Its Significance for Our
Understanding of Genesis , BA (): b.
249 Driver, Genesis12 ; and Cassuto, Genesis ..

to death because his unspeakable act effaces the divine image in his
victim and within himself as well, so that his own life forfeits its claim
to inviolability.250

Either way,251 any attempt to obliterate humanity constitutes, for P, an


attempt to obliterate God.252
Whereas these interpretations emphasize the punitive aspect of Gen
:, there is a restorative and regulatory aspect as well which, Gunkel
argues, develops organically from earlier episodes in Ps story of human
history.253 The first episode occurs in Gen : God creates the human
race in his own image (v. ), and he blesses it with the ability to multiply and control the natural world (vv. ). At that time, everything
was very good (v. a) (cf. ...). The second episode veritably
repeals the first.254
The earth became corrupt () before God, and the earth was filled
with violence (). God saw how very corrupt () the earth was, for
all flesh had corrupted () its255 way on earth. God said to Noah, I
have resolved to end all flesh, because the earth is filled with violence
() because of them. I (will) hereby destroy () them with the earth.
(Gen : [P])

As the Priestly writer describes it, the prediluvian world is antithetical


to that of Gen :256 instead of being filled with a bountiful population
(:a), it is filled with violence (:b.a); and instead of judging it
very good (:a), God judges it (self-)257 destructive.258 Gods destruc250 Sarna, Genesis . See also Milgrom, Leviticus .; or Jenni, in Studien Alten
Testaments , for similar exegetical reasoning.
251 See Steck, in Veritas Hebraica .
252 Westermann, Genesis ..
253 Gunkel, Genesis4 (= ET ).
254 For the pivotal nature of Gen : in this respect, see, Cassuto, Genesis .;
Sarna, Genesis ; and Carr, Revisited: A Synchronic Analysis of
Patterns in Genesis as Part of the Torah, ZAW (): n. .
255 For this interpretation of the suffix, see Donald B. Sharp, A Biblical Foundation
for an Environmental Theology: A New Perspective on Genesis : and :,
ScEs (): ; and Seebass, Genesis ..
256 Harland, The Value of Human Life . See also Carr, Reading the Fractures of Genesis:
Historical and Literary Approaches (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, ) .
257 For this reading of the verb, see GKB d; and Mayer Lambert, Trait de
grammaire hbraque (; repr., Hildesheim: H. A. Gerstenberg, ) , illustrated
by Gen : [J].
258 See Martin A. Klopfenstein, Und siehe, es war sehr gut! (Genesis ,). Worin
besteht die Gte der Schpfung nach dem ersten Kapitel der hebrischen Bibel?
in Ebenbild GottesHerrscher ber die Welt , in conjunction with Westermann, Genesis
..

tive response, then, is appropriately talionic (:b).259 Yet in the third


and final episode of Gen , divine retaliation is rejected and is replaced
with regenerative promise. Ps God repeats his original blessing (:a)
of multiplicity and global expanse (:b); later, he even augments it (v. ).
So too, human control over the natural world is reestablished, broadened, and, coincidentally, tempered (vv. .).
There are several reasons to restrain human dominion. Each draws
an analogy between divine and human behavior. One draws on the
correlation between vv. b and , where God and humankind are
to execute their own punishments for the crime of homicide; though
the responsibility for countering violence is shared, it is nevertheless
commensurate to the agent. Another reason lies in the new restrictions
placed on the execution of lethal power, human (vv. .) as well as
divine (v. ); God promises not to exterminate sentient life and destroy
the world, and humans are likewise forbidden from taking anothers life
or, in the case of animals, extending slaughter beyond the need for food.
A third reason for restraining the human exercise of power lies in Ps
restorative vision of the world. In it, Ps God restores and reinvigorates
the world, renewing his old blessing of infinite and boundless fertility
(Gen :. < :a).260 He collaterally rescinds his earlier promise of
destruction (:b) by offering a covenant and promise not to destroy
the world again.
I hereby establish my covenant with you and your offspring after you.
I shall maintain my covenant with you. Never again shall all flesh be
cut off by flood waters; never again shall there be a flood to destroy the
earth. (Gen :. [P])

Accordingly, God offers Noah and his descendants a much-expanded


version of the preservative, life-ensuring measure that he offered before
the flood (:a [P]). And herein lies the third reason for Gods postdiluvian restraint of human power: just as that antediluvian offer required
Noahs collaboration (: [P]; see also : [J]), so does its postdiluvian
counterpart. From this perspective, Gen :b implies that because ()
Patrick D. Miller, Jr., Genesis : Studies in Structure & Theme (JSOTS ; Sheffield:
JSOT, ) ; and, differently, Zimmerli, .Mose3 ..
260 Cf. the text-critical remarks of Halpern, What They Dont Know Wont Hurt
Them: Genesis , in Fortunate the Eyes That See: Essays in Honor of David Noel Freedman in Celebration of His Seventieth Birthday (ed. Astrid B. Beck et al.; Grand Rapids/
Cambridge, U.K.: Eerdmans, ) with n. ; and Ronald S. Hendel, The Text of
Genesis : Textual Studies and Critical Edition (New York/Oxford: Oxford University
Press, ) , on which cf. Vervenne, in Ritual and Sacrifice in the Ancient Near East .
259

God made the human race in the image of God, humanity shares in
Gods own authority to punish lawlessness and, thus, curb and counteract violence.261 From this perspective, the divine image is the vehicle
through which humanity is legally empowered to police itself.262 But
the postdiluvian context also demonstrates that, absent protective safeguards, power simply destroys.263 Therefore Gen :b also implies that,
because () God made the human race in his image, the human community shares Gods own sovereign responsibility not to extinguish the
very vehicle that expresses his presence on earth.264 The image, then,
includes the divine authority to punish, correct, and protect the self and
community alike.265 Because God made it in his image, the human race
is a sovereign power, legal guardian, and executor of justice.
.... These interpretations of the biblical image (of God) are
compatible with its parallels elsewhere in the ancient Near East. The
realistic, concrete meaning which first offers itself in our biblical expression certainly is not to be denied.266 To a limited degree (..),
the anthropomorphic human race shares in the anthropomorphism
of God and the gods (cf. ...).267 In addition,268 the human race
intimately represents performative aspects of God and the gods in the
world: viz., divine power, dominion, and justice. The human race, then,
is comparable to a statue which a king puts in a conquered land to
signify his real, though not his physical, presence there.269 For in the
Bible, the image of God reflected in human persons is after the manner of a king who establishes statues of himself to assert his sovereign
rule where the king himself cannot be present.270 Like a statue, the

See Tigay, in .
E.g., Hinschberger, RScR (): ; and Sarna, Genesis (on v. ab).
263 Frymer-Kensky, BA (): .
264 Von Rad, Genesis , in conjunction with Harland, The Value of Human Life .
265 See Humbert, tudes sur le rcit du paradis .
266 Horst, Int (): .
267 See de Moor, in Intertextuality in Ugarit and Israel ; and, less robustly, Dohmen,
LebZeug (): .
268 See Anderson, in Biblical Studies in Contemporary Thought (= From Creation to
New Creation ).
269 Clines, TynB (): (= On the Way to the Postmodern .). See also Cazelles,
in La vie de la Parole . Cf. Sawyer, The Meaning of !$ "a (in the image of
God) in Genesis ixi, JTS (): .
270 Walter Brueggemann, Genesis (Interp; Atlanta: John Knox, ) . For the
classical formulation of this analogy, see von Rad, Genesis , based upon idem, Vom
Menschenbild des Alten Testaments, in idem et al., Der alte und der neue Mensch. Aufstze
261

262

human racei.e., the Sethite lineage of the human racesymbolizes


and represents an active, palpable divine presence on earth.271 It represents a theophany (see , intro.).
Nevertheless, there is no evidence that the image (of God) is either
cultic or idolatrous in nature (cf. .).272 It is not included among the
many terms that express an unqualified and prohibited icon.273
You shall not make yourself an idol or any
form that is in heaven above, or on earth below, or in the waters under
the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them. (Ex :a;
see also Dt :a and, with expansions, :a); see also
You shall not make yourselves nongods or erect yourselves idols or stelae to bow down upon.
(Lev :a [H])

Do not turn to
yourselves molten gods. (Lev :a [H])

nongods or make

Neither the second commandment nor Priestly texts specifically label


image taboo (see also Lev : [H]).274 In fact, when imagery is
condemned in a Priestly text, the judgement is contingent on something else. In Num : (H) and Ez :, for example, the image
is explicitly classified as forbidden paraphernalia: all
their molten images and their abominable images,
their despicable things, respectively.275 Idolatry is not an intrinsic feature
of the image.
Just as the image (of God) is not forbidden per se,276 it does not violate the stipulations of the second commandment. The central issue
zur theologischen Anthropologie (BEvTh ; Munich: Evangelischer Verlag Albert Lempp,
) , which, in turn, is traceable to Caspari, in Reinhold-Seeberg-Festschrift ..
271 Sarna, Genesis . See also Clines, TynB (): (= On the Way to the Postmodern
.).
272 See Berlejung, Die Theologie der Bilder .
273 Scharbert, in Weisheit GottesWeisheit der Welt .. For a list of terms, see Curtis,
Man as the Image of God in Genesis in the Light of Ancient Near Eastern Parallels
(Ph.D. dissertation, University of Pennsylvania, ) ; or, in brief, Weinfeld,
The Promise of the Land .
274 Schmidt, ZAW (): n. ; Scharbert, in Weisheit GottesWeisheit der Welt
. n. ; and Dohmen, LebZeug (): .
275 See Dohmen, q

 massek, in TDOT .; and Harland, The Value of Human
Life .
276 Anders Hultgrd, Man as Symbol of God, in Religious Symbols and Their Functions
Based on Papers Read at the Symposium on Religious Symbols and Their Functions (ed.
Haralds Biezais; Uppsala: Almqvist & Wiksell, ) .

of this commandment is the nature of legitimate worship.277 It bars


gestural deference () as well as performative submission () to
a divine facsimile.278 It clearly bars the idolatrous behavior described
in Dan , and it condemns the description in Ez :. The commandment also precludes Israelites from manufacturing () an item
that provokes such behavior. But the commandment does not apply to
Gen :, :, or :. P(T) mentions no obeisance or veneration to
be offered to this image. Nor is the issue of manufacturing an image
relevant to P(T): this image per se is not manmade. Rather, (a member of) the Sethite human race is created with an attribute that intimately participates in divinity yet only approximates that of ones own
father (see ..). Thus, the second commandment is inapplicable to
the image (of God). The image of P(T) is neither an object of worship
nor a potential replacement of God.279
.. and
Among the many interpretations ascribed to likeness and image
in the early Priestly tradition, several can be dismissed offhand. For
instance, it is hardly true that [t]he two terms are used interchangeably and indiscriminately, as Sarna claims (.). It is incorrect to conclude that [t]hey do not seek to describe two different sorts of relationship, but only a single one: in Gen :, neither does the second member of the word-pair seek to do more than in some sense
to define the first more closely and to reinforce it (ibid.); nor does
that second member (likeness) mitigate, weaken, attenuate, or limit
the force of the first (image).280 It is certainly erroneous to assert that

Childs, The Book of Exodus (OTL; Philadelphia: Westminster, ) .


Tigay, Deuteronomy ; and, in related manner, Greenberg, in The Ten Commandments
(= Studies in the Bible and Jewish Thought ).
279 Brian B. Schmidt, The Aniconic Tradition: On Reading Images and Viewing Texts, in The Triumph of Elohim: From Yahwisms to Judaisms (ed. Diana Vikander
Edelman; Grand Rapids/Kampen: Eerdmans/Kok Pharos, []) . See also
Preuss, Old Testament Theology .; Kutsko, in SBL Seminar Papers .; and, from
different perspectives, Barr, BJRL (): ; and Brueggemann, The Crisis and
Promise of Presence in Israel, HBT (): (repr. in Old Testament Theology: Essays
on Structure, Theme, and Text [ed. Patrick D. Miller; Minneapolis: Fortress, ] ). Cf.
Wallace, in Studies in the Pentateuch .
280 Beuken, LouvSt (): ; and, differently, I. Engnell, Knowledge and Life
in the Creation Story, in Wisdom in Israel and in the Ancient Near East Presented to Professor
Harold Henry Rowley (ed. M. Noth and D. Winton Thomas; VTS ; Leiden: E. J. Brill,
277

278

either term by itself lacks specific content.281 Finally, it is mistaken


to agree with Westermann who recognizes the essentially synonymous
meaning of the two phrases in Gen :.282 As the preceding analyses
argue, the two terms are different. In combination or separately, each
nominal phrase expresses and implies a very different characterization
of the human race.
... Likeness and image, however, do share a basic semantic
content and imply a basic comparison between humanity and divinity. They are both similative nouns; they both express multiple degrees
of referential similitude, including the physical. In the early Priestly tradition, both nouns never appear as grammatically independent entities;
rather, they are uniformly possessed, in canonical and historical order,
by gods (Gen :), God (:, :; see also :), and a human being
(:). Both nouns are dependent in another way, too. To the degree
that these nouns exist in the world of P(T), they are always embodied in human form. From this perspective, humanity ultimately represents and/or resembles divinity. Inasmuch as likeness and image
entail physicality in context, they also register a generic morphological similarity between humanity and divinity ( .., ...). P and PT
imply that humankind is theomorphic.283
... The relationship between humanity and divinity is mediated
by the prepositions governing the two similative nouns. In one respect,
the relationship is stable whenever likeness and/or image are involved. Each time, the owner of likeness and/or image is said to
be capable of producing human fruit (see .., ...). In Gen :a,
the gods (our image, our likeness) are invited to make human beings;
in :, God (e.g., his image) creates humanity (see also :b and :);
and similarly in : (his likeness, his image), Adam sires Seth. Each
) . Cf., inter alios, Julian Morgenstern, The Sources of the Creation Story
Genesis ::, AJSL (): ; Heinrich Gro, Die Gottebenbildlichkeit des
Menschen, in Lex Tua Veritas. Festschrift fr Hubert Junker (ed. idem and Franz
Muner; Trier: Paulinus, ) ; Karl Ludwig Schmidt, Homo Imago Dei im Alten
und Neuen Testament, ErJ (): (repr. in Der Mensch als Bild Gottes ); and
Preuss, Old Testament Theology ..
281 Cf. Bird, HTR (): (= Missing Persons and Mistaken Identities ), on
image. Likewise eadem, ThTo (): ; and in Image of God and Gender Models
.
282 Cf. eadem, HTR (): n. (= Missing Persons and Mistaken Identities
n. ); and in Image of God and Gender Models n. .
283 See von Rad, Old Testament Theology .; Zimmerli, Old Testament Theology in
Outline ; and Gro, JBTh (): .

time, the grammatical possessor is the agent that brings a human


patient into existence. In another respect, though, the relationship between humanity and divinity clearly varies in these texts. As the relational preposition that governs likeness and image changes from passage to passage, the grammatical variation suggests, if not expresses, a
variable relationship between these two parties (see ).
.... One relationshipthe one characterized by likenessis
initially governed by .
-
-
-

(Gen :a)
(Gen :b)
(Gen :a)

When God proposes the collaborative project of making humankind,


he notes that the relationship between humanity and divinity will be
approximate and distal (). But this relationship quickly changes; it
becomes closer, proximate, and intimate (). And once the change
occurs, it is replicated in the lineal relationship between the first Priestly
father and son ().
But the change in the divine-human relationship need not indicate
that the relationship itself has changed over time. Another factor is at
work. In the beginning, God proposes that humankind resemble the
likeness of the divine agents that control the creative verb (-
). Yet when the proposal is enacted, it is accomplished by the
group leader; he controls the creative verb, and it is his likeness that
humankind comes to share ( -) (see also .., below).
The relationship between humanity and divinity, then, varies with the
identity of the agent whose likeness is compared to the human creature
(see ...). As the divine agent changes, so does the ownership of
likeness as well as the specific relationship between humanity and
divinity.
Insofar as humanity and divinity share the (cap-) ability to generate
and populate the world with human beings ( ..), they do so
differently. Relative to one another, the likeness of gods and human
beings is comparable, alike yet unlike, and somewhat separate. The
likeness of God and human beings, however, is very much alike,
shared, and practically inseparable. In the same measure, too, Seth
shares this intimate relationship with Adam and, by inference, God. To
the extent or degree that Adam, Seth, and his (male) descendants create
human life, human beings are more God-like than godlike, reflecting
God but not the gods. In other words, human likeness is homological

with Gods (-) but distinct from the gods (-): imitatio Dei, not
imitatio deorum.
.... Inverse to likeness, the other component of the divinehuman relationshipimageis first qualified by the locative-proximate preposition in P(T) and, only in its last attestation, is encoded
with its similative-separative counterpart .
-
-
-
-

(Gen :a)
(Gen :a)
(Gen :a; see also :b)

(Gen :a)

But like likeness, this distribution of and is also sensitive to the


agent of (pro-) creation in each context. When the agent is divine,
whether God or the gods, the divine-human relationship does not vary;
according to the grammar, the human creation intimately partakes in
divine lordliness, sovereign power over the world, and the responsibility to police itself vigilantly (see ..). From this perspective, then,
human image is homological with Gods (e.g., -) and the gods
(e.g., -): imitatio Dei et imitatio deorum. Nevertheless, this intimate
or homological relationship does not hold between one human generation and the next. As Gen :a states, the relationship between
father and son is a bit separate, distinct, and different in this respect.
Whereas humankind imitates, represents, and embodies the divine feature of image, human offspring do not. The image of procreator and
progeny are comparable but only comparable; they are neither identical, shared, nor transmitted perfectly in the genealogical chain.
.... If the similative-separative preposition marks a comparative relationship between referentially separate entities, the locativeproximate preposition in Gen :, :., and :b has greater interpretive leeway: e.g., the partitive beth, the beth normae, and the beth essentiae (..). In the latter case, though, the reading of the preposition
is correlative with the reading of its dependent noun. Specifically, the
strong functional dimension of both likeness and image disfavors any
reading that requires these nouns to be exclusively concrete. It thus
disfavors an interpretation of the preposition as the partitive beth; the
preposition does not specify a part or parts of which the whole consists.
The functional dimension of both similative nouns also disfavors the
characterization beth normae.284 Instead of being made according to the
284

Cf. Eichrodt, Theology of the Old Testament . with n. ; Barr, OTWSA ():

image of God (i.e. the image being a standard of measurement i.e.


beth as the origin of the mould), [man] is created to be the image of
God.285 The most apt interpretation remains the consensus opinion
that the preposition represents the beth essentiae.286 It accommodates concrete readings of likeness and image,287 and it agrees with the several
functional readings of these nouns as well.288 It also agrees with the
interpretive force of Gen :, :., :b, which register the character (-istics) that humankind will manifest throughout time. The beth
essentiae makes good sense whether likeness and/or image specifies
the form, function, property, or other attribute of its head: e.g., human
anthropomorphism, self-perpetuation, dominion, or law as a limited
representation and embodiment of divinity. This proximate beth essentiae
signals that the human race will imitate God and the gods in the ways
expressed by likeness and image.
... The early Priestly tradition ascribes two special characteristics
to the human race. One is genealogical.
[I]f humans are made in the likeness of God, it seems reasonable to
say that they are understood as creators. This is, in part, made clear by
the blessing that they be fruitful and multiply. It would seem that
they are being called upon to be participants in the process of creation.289

Participants in the process begun by God, these Sethite creators are


genealogy-producing co-creators. The other characteristic has associations with royal power. As he has the government of the inferior creatures, he is, as it were, Gods representative, or viceroy, upon earth.290
For God
; and the reference to Dillmann in ch. n. . See also Bird, HTR (): n.
(= Missing Persons and Mistaken Identities n. ); Heintz, FV / (): ; de Moor,
The First Human Being a Male? A Response to Professor Barr, in Recycling Biblical
Figures ; and, with greater nuance, Caspari, in Reinhold-Seeberg-Festschrift ..
285 Harland, The Value of Human Life . See also Beuken, LouvSt (): .
286 Cf. Scharbert, in Weisheit GottesWeisheit der Welt .; and, in greater detail, Barr,
BJRL (): ; and, esp., idem, OTWSA (): . For responses, see Gro, Die
Gottebenbildlichkeit des Menschen im Kontext der Priesterschrift, TQ ():
(repr. in Studien zur Priesterschrift und Gottesbildern ); Jenni, Die Prposition
Beth (Die hebrischen Prpositionen ; Stuttgart: W. Kohlhammer, ) , ; and
idem, Studien Alten Testaments .
287 Preuss, Old Testament Theology ., albeit with hesitations.
288 Hehn, in Festschrift Eduard Sachau n. .
289 Frank H. Gorman, Jr., The Ideology of Ritual: Space, Time and Status in the Priestly
Theology (JSOTS ; Sheffield: JSOT Press, ) .
290 Matthew Henrys Commentary on the Whole Bible (; repr., vols., Marshallton, Del.:
National Foundation for Christian Education, n.d.) .b (ad III.).


has appointed humanity to be his viceroy, the highest ranking commoner,
as it were, ruling with the authority of the king. The human race is
YHWHs plenipotentiary, his stand-in.291

Together, these characteristics confirm the notion that the lineage of


Sethite men is a theophany, attesting to an active and twofold divine
presence on earth. But they also conspire to suggest a third, synthetic
characteristic ascribed by P(T) to the Sethite division of humankind.
They suggest that, just as image is transmitted through procreation,292
Sethites perpetuate and retain the royal power through reproductive
means. Together, likeness and image suggest that Sethite humanity
represents a type of God-like, dynastic rule.293 As such, it may be heir
to the divine throne (see ..), claiming a divine right to assume and
exercise authority.
.... Once they are attributed to humankind, the early Priestly
tradition tracks the descent of likeness and image through time. Each
feature has its own diagnostic signposts. Likeness, for example, has
several (..). It has the lexical expression . It is subsumed under
and entailed by the genealogical rubric .294 It is also explicated by
Gods promissory blessing that human beings be fruitful, be numerous,
and fill the earth (e.g., Gen :a).295 These signposts, which cross the
source-critical boundary between P and PT, chart the delineation of
likeness from inception to realization.
Image has a complementary set of tokens that mark its descent
through time. It too has lexical expression, . Like , it is also
explicated in context by Ps God; humanity will have dominion over
the fish of the sea, and over the birds of heaven, and over the beasts,
and over the whole earth, and over everything that moves on the
earth (Gen :b) (...). There is another explication in v. as

Levenson, Creation and Evil , on Ps . See also Schmidt, Die Schpfungsgeschichte2 .


292 E.g., von Rad, Old Testament Theology .. See also Zimmerli, .Mose3 .; and,
by inference, Gro, TQ (): (= Studien zur Priesterschrift und Gottesbildern ).
293 See Weinfeld, Deuteronomy and the Deuteronomic School (Oxford: Oxford University
Press, ) (= idem, The Promise of the Land ); and, obliquely, Talmon, ExAu
(): . See also Blenkinsopp, The Structure of P, CBQ (): ; and
the Mesopotamian epithet mentioned in n. , above. Cf. Rainer Albertz, A History of
Israelite Religion in the Old Testament Period (trans. John Bowden; vols.; OTL; Louisville:
Westminster John Knox, []) . with n. .
294 In addition to the references in n. , see Klein, in Die Botschaft und die Boten .
295 See Westermann, Genesis . and, with a view to Mesopotamian king lists, .
291

well.296 For after the material concerning likeness has been excised, the
remainder is consistent with the thematic contours of image.
God blessed them and God said to them, and conquer
it [sc. the earth] and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over
the birds of heaven, and over every thing that moves on the earth.
(Gen :)

V. b recalls v. b and the issue of imposed mastery;297 it baldly


directs298 all of humanity to rule over marine, aviary, and terrestrial
life.299 V. ab is similar. is a harsh300 term that empowers, in
this case, human beings to control, occupy, and subjugate a vast area301
by an exercise of mighty force.302 The image entitles humankind to
achieve decisive victory over the entire natural world. Stated differently,
humankind will act like a victorious king over a conquered land (see
...).303

296 Ruppert, Cath (): . See also Hans-Winfried Jngling, Macht euch die
Erde untertan (Gen ,). Der geschaffene Mensch und die Schpfung, in Macht euch
die Erde untertan? Schpfungsglaube und Umweltkrise (ed. Philipp Schmitz; Wrzburg: Echter
Verlag, ) .
297 See Morgenstern, AJSL (): .
298 For this reading of the imperative, see . with n. and .. with n. .
For other readings, see Caspari, in Reinhold-Seeberg-Festschrift .; Brueggemann, The
Kerygma of the Priestly Writers, ZAW (): (repr. in The Vitality of Old Testament Traditions [d ed.; Atlanta: John Knox, ] ); or Christopher Wright Mitchell,
The Meaning of BRK To Bless in the Old Testament (SBLDS ; Atlanta: Scholars
Press, ) ; or Westermann, Bedeutung und Funktion des Imperativs in den
Geschichtsbchern des Alten Testaments, in Der Weg zum Menschen. Zur philosophischen
und theologischen Anthropologie. Fr Alfons Deissler (ed. Rudolf Mosis and Lothar Ruppert;
Freiburg: Herder, ) .
299 Cf. Lohfink, Orien (): b (= Theology of the Pentateuch ); and Bird, ExAu
(): (= Missing Persons and Mistaken Identities ).
300 Gunkel, Genesis (ET) (German stark [idem, Genesis4 ]). See also Jngling,
in Macht euch die Erde untertan? n. ; and Sawyer, in A Walk in the Garden .
301 Bird, HTR (): with n. (= Missing Persons and Mistaken Identities with
n. ), in conjunction with Wolff, Anthropology of the Old Testament .
302 S. Wagner, k
 kabas; k
 kebes; "!k kibsan, in TDOT .; Paul Beauchamp,
Cration et fondation de la loi en Gn , , a. Le don de la nourriture vgtale en
Gn , s, in La Cration dans lOrient ancien. Congrs de lACFEB, Lille () (ed. Fabien
Blanquart and Louis Derousseaux; LeDiv ; Paris: Cerf, ) ; Sharp, ScEs
(): ; and Weippert, in Ebenbild GottesHerrscher ber die Welt . See also HansPeter Mller, Der Welt- und Kulturentstehungsmythos des Philon Byblios und die
biblische Urgeschichte, ZAW (): n. . Cf. Barr, BJRL (): ; and
Zobell, in TWAT ..
303 See Lohfink, Orien (): (= Theology of the Pentateuch ).

.... On the one hand, likeness and image are intertwined in


the early Priestly tradition. They are juxtaposed when God proposes
the last creative act (Gen :a). In explicated form, they are juxtaposed and integrated in Gods primordial speech to the first humans
(v. ).304 And, in a syntactic order that replicates Gen :, they are
juxtaposed again when Adams son Seth is born (:a). It would appear,
then, that image is transmitted along with likeness;305 image is an
inherent feature of the human race, given by God at creation and
perpetuated as a genealogical legacy.306 On the other hand, the early
Priestly tradition does not explicitly note that these two features pass in
tandem down through every generation. For example, when God creates humankind in Gen :, image is mentioned (bis) but likeness is
not.307 Conversely, when the same event is recounted in :, likeness is
mentioned but image is not.308 Both features are nonetheless inherited
by humanity/Adam, as Gen :a states. Whereas likeness and image
descend along genealogical lines, the early Priestly tradition furnishes
only sporadic confirmation of their trajectory.
Though sporadic, the Priestly indices of likeness and image are
sufficient.309 They yield a skeletal map of these two features, especially
at critical points in (human, genealogical) history. Gen : is the
prototype. As its heading alone implies, a new and significant
development is at hand.310 Gen : marks an entirely new episode in
biblical historiography; the early Priestly tradition constructs a strictly
linear genealogy for Adam and substitutes it for the older, segmented
one of J (..). Absent any Priestly siblings, Seth is the only heir of
Adam. Seth is therefore the only heir to Gods original blessing of

304 Waschke, Untersuchungen zum Menschenbild . See also Bird, HTR (): (=
Missing Persons and Mistaken Identities ); and Hinschberger, RScR (): .
305 See Loretz, Die Gottebenbildlichkeit des Menschen ; Lohfink, Die Priesterschrift
und die Geschichte, in Congress Volume: Gttingen, (ed. J. A. Emerton et al.; VTS ;
Leiden: E. J. Brill, ) (= Theology of the Pentateuch ); Wilson, Genealogy and
History in the Biblical World ; and Sarna, Genesis .
306 See Humbert, in Interpretationes Mowinckel (= Opuscules dun hbrasant ).
Cf. Horst, Int (): (repr. as Der Mensch als Ebenbild Gottes, in Gottes Recht.
Gesammelte Studien zum Recht im Alten Testament [ed. Hans Walter Wolff; TB ; Munich:
Chr. Kaiser, ] ); and Harland, The Value of Human Life , .
307 Vogels, ScEs (): .
308 Note Zimmerli, .Mose3 ..
309 See Sarna, Genesis (on Priestly genealogies).
310 Ibid. (on Gen :). See also Scharbert, Der Sinn der Toledot-Formel in der
Priesterschrift, in WortGebotGlaube. Beitrge zur Theologie des Alten Testaments. Walther

abundant offspring (:aa) and royal domination over the natural


world (vv. b.ab-b). By Priestly fiat, these human legacies are funneled through Adams youngest child, Seth.
Thereafter, likeness and image develop along a predictable and
unremarkable path, until the next critical genealogical (Gen :a.
[PT]) and historical juncture.311 At this postdiluvian point, God reasserts that image belongs to the human community (esp., : [P]).
Moreover, God re-issues his primordial blessing of (vv. .; see
also : [P]) and, in a harmonic move, indirectly guarantees that Noah
and his sons will have offspring (lit., seed) thereafter (lit., after you)
(:).312 Gods speech literally indicates that, unlike much else in the
world, likeness and image survive the flood (.., intro.).
Of Noahs three sons, the early Priestly tradition favors Shem.313
His lineage alone is genealogically productive (Gen : [PT]). His
lineage is also the only one in which P recognizes likeness and image.
For eight generations after Shem, Terahs genealogy splits into three
branches, of which only Abrams is effectively designated as rightful
heir.314
The designation is partly familiar and partly new. Like the survivors
of the flood, God promises that Abram will be very very numerous
(Gen :b [P]), Abraham will be very very fruitful (v. a), and that
the patriarch will have offspring thereafter (vv. a.b....b; see
also v. a) and, perhaps, offspring everlasting (v. a; see also v. b). Yet
unlike his ancestors, Abraham is told that he will be transformed
into nations, and kings will come forth from you (Gen :a-b;
see also vv. b.b [P]).

In plain yet complementary political terms, Ps God assures Abraham


that his line will attain nationhood and be self-governed (or: -governing)
under the aegis of royal and sovereign leaders.315 Image entails kingship of a domain.

Eichrodt zum . Geburtstag (ed. Hans Joachim Stoebe, Johann Jakob Stamm, and Ernst
Jenni; ATANT ; Zurich: Zwingli, ) , .
311 For the unusual nature of Gen : within the Priestly genealogical tradition,
see Carr, ZAW (): .
312 Note Bird, in Image of God and Gender Models n. .
313 Scharbert, in WortGebotGlaube .
314 See Ruppert, Cath (): . Cf. Gro, JBTh (): .
315 See Ronald E. Clements, b gy, in TDOT .; and A. R. Hulst, /b
am/gy people, in TLOT ..

With the advent of Abra(ha)m, another new factor comes to the


fore. At this time, Ps God becomes more involved in implementing
his promises of Gen :.
For a father to a multitude of nations I make you. I shall
make you very very fruitful, and I shall make you into nations.
(Gen :ba [P]); cf.
Be fruitful, be numerous, and fill the earth. (Gen :aa;
see also :. [P])

God assumes personal responsibility for fulfilling his promises of likeness and image; his role is active, deliberate, agentive, and causal
(I).316 But his involvement may be greater still. Despite Sarais infertility and the seemingly insuperable obstacle that it poses against realizing
Gods promises (: [J]; see also :a [P]), God remedies the situation
himself.317
I shall bless her [sc. Sarah]. In fact, I will give you [sc.
Abraham] a son from her. I shall bless her, and she will become
nations; kings of peoples will come from her. (Gen : [P])

God intervenes. He reverses biological nature and singlehandedly


transforms Sarah into Abrahams procreative partner (see also :b [P]).318 The promise of image can now be achieved. Through his
deliberate intervention, then, Ps God effectively chooses that Abraham
and Sarah (Princess)319 will head a dynastic line of royal rulers.320 God
ensures that both blessings of Gen : will be maintained, and ultimately fulfilled, through the son of Abraham and his legal wife.
.... The early Priestly tradition presents a consistent picture of
human likeness and image. An ever-narrowing branch of male descendants from Seth share the (cap-) ability to reproduce, proliferate,
See Zimmerli, .Mose ..
Levenson, The Death and Resurrection of the Beloved Son , . See also
Frymer-Kensky, In the Wake of the Goddesses ; S. McEvenue, Word and Fulfillment:
A Stylistic Feature of the Priestly Writer, Semitics (): ; and David Biale, The
God with Breasts: El Shaddai in the Bible, HR (): .
318 See Miles, God: A Biography ; and Klopfenstein, in Ebenbild GottesHerrscher ber
die Welt .
319 Note Sarna, Genesis .
320 Gary A. Rendsburg, Biblical Literature As Politics: The Case of Genesis, in
Religion and Politics in the Ancient Near East (ed. Adele Berlin; Studies and Texts in
Jewish History and Culture; Bethesda: University of Maryland Press, ) ; and
Brueggemann, Genesis .
316

317

and maintain an ever-lasting human genealogy.321 They are depicted


as co-creators of the world. The same branch also holds royal power
to rule the worlds creatures, control the land, and regulate human
behavior by administering justice. These same descendants of Seth
are depicted as co-regents of the earths domain, co-participants in its
maintenance, and co-executors of justice.322 In the former respect, as
co-creators, Sethite men are God-like. In the latter respect, as executive co-regents, they are God-like and godlike, enacting the rule (of
law) that God and his sovereign community hold over the world. Likeness and image, then, are perpetual and complementary characteristics of Sethite humanity. They characterize the human race as a
(Priestly) theophany.323 There is only one legitimate representative of
God: man.324
Although humankind may be presented as Gods representative on
earth, the degree of representation is qualified and limited. The degree
to which human beings imitate Gods capacity to generate is
restricted. As Levenson argues, Gods creative activity takes precedence.
The priority of God and the lateness of the creation of human beings
make the term cocreator or partner in creation inaccurate. In fact,
the verb translated in Genesis : as create (bara) occurs nowhere in
the Hebrew Bible with a subject other than God. It is, however, still
appropriate to speak of a certain subordinate role that humanity is to
play in the cosmogonic process.325

The beth essentiae in Gen :. warrants the same conclusion. God is


creator maior; humankind is creator minor. Likewise, the degree to which
human beings imitate divine dominion is limited. God is Dominus; the
gods are domini; and humankind is dominus, just a bit less than a
god in their sovereignty over the rest of creation.326 But unlike
321 See Peter R. Ackroyd, Exile and Restoration: A Study of Hebrew Thought of the Sixth
Century B.C. (OTL; Philadelphia: Westminster, ) .
322 Gorman, The Ideology of Ritual ; and idem, Priestly Rituals of Founding: Time,
Space, and Status, in History and Interpretation: Essays in Honour of John H. Hayes (ed.
M. Patrick Graham, William P. Brown, and Jeffrey K. Kuan; JSOTS ; Sheffield:
JSOT Press, ) .
323 See S. Dean McBride Jr., Divine Protocol: Genesis :: as Prologue to the
Pentateuch, in God Who Creates: Essays in Honor of W. Sibley Towner (ed. William P. Brown
and S. Dean McBride Jr.; Grand Rapids/Cambridge, U.K.: Eerdmans, ) .
324 Harland, The Value of Human Life , citing Wildberger: Es gibt nur ein legitimes
Bild, durch das Gott sich in der Welt manifestiert, and das ist der Mensch (TZ
[]: [= Jahwe und sein Volk ]) (italics original).
325 Levenson, Creation and Evil .
326 Ibid. (on Ps ). See also Harland, The Value of Human Life .

its (re-) productive counterpart, the royal image is not shared equally
by all; among its heirs, a father embodies and represents this divine
trait with greater fidelity, authenticity, and genuineness than does a son
(see ...). An inalienable feature of humanity, image is nonetheless
represented differentially between generations.
The manner in which likeness and image are tracked in the early
Priestly tradition suggests one last conclusion, too. The Priestly authors
carefully plot these features as they descend through human history. A
feature may be communicated in the narrative (e.g., Gen :, :). It
may be expressed or implied at the editorial level (e.g., :). Likeness
and/or image may appear in Gods speech, in several different ways
explicitly (e.g., :a), descriptively (e.g., :), or inferentially (e.g., :,
:b). These characterological features may even be indexed by Gods
willful and active role in bringing them to fulfillment (e.g., :b
a). Though the signs are minimal, they are adequate to delineate the
specific route along which likeness and image travel. The signs serve
to identify, or designate, the heirs to divine likeness and divine image,
according to the early Priestly tradition. They are Priestly markers that
single out one lineage to be the legitimate representative of God in
the world. In other words, these markers indicate and isolate the one
community chosen to imitate God and the gods in the natural world.


CREATING THE WORLD

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THE PRIESTLY COSMOGONY
The Priestly cosmogony not only establishes a physical environment. It
establishes a paradigm.1
The Bible begins with the account of the Priestly Code of the creation of
the world. In the beginning is chaos; darkness, water, brooding spirit.
The primal stuff contains in itself all beings, as yet undistinguished: from
it proceeds step by step the ordered world; by a process of unmixing.
[C]haos being given, all the rest is spun out of it: all that follows is
reflection, systematic construction.2

For Wellhausen, the paradigm is complex. It acknowledges a world,


if we may call it that, just before the cosmogony began3 (primal
stuff; chaos). It presents an emblematic creative method (unmixing which proceeds step by step). It also recognizes a creative result
that is antithetical to its original state (the ordered world originating
from primal stuff as yet undistinguished).
The primordial state of the world is graphically described in Gen
:.4
The earth was unformed and void; darkness was upon
the surface of the deep; and Gods wind was fluttering
over the surface of the water. (Gen :)

1 E.g., Philip Peter Jenson, Graded Holiness: A Key to the Priestly Conception of the World
(JSOTS ; Sheffield: JSOT Press, ) ; and Rainer Albertz, A History of
Israelite Religion in the Old Testament Period (trans. John Bowden; vols.; OTL; Louisville:
Westminster John Knox, []) .. See also Smith, quoted in ..,
below.
2 Julius Wellhausen, Prolegomenon to the History of Ancient Israel (trans. J. Sutherland
Black and Allan Menzies; ; repr., Gloucester, Mass.: Peter Smith, )
.
3 Jon D. Levenson, Creation and the Persistence of Evil: The Jewish Drama of Divine
Omnipotence (Mythos; Princeton: Princeton University Press, []) .
4 Hermann Gunkel, Genesis (th ed.; HKAT I/; Gttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, []) (= Genesis [trans. Mark E. Biddle; Mercer Library of Biblical
Studies; Macon: Mercer University Press, ] ); and Nahum M. Sarna, Genesis
(The JPS Torah Commentary; Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, ) .

Backgrounded by syntax5 and located prior to creation by verbal morphology,6 this verse depicts the original stuff of the world.7 Before creation, there was the earth, not as we know it now8 but the unformed
material from which the earth was to be fashioned a chaotic mass,
without order or life.9 Absent of light (v. ), there was darkness.10 There
was a primaeval ocean with abyssal and seamless water.11 There was
also God, or some manifestation of God,12 expressed as Gods wind.
In the very beginning, there were representatives of chaos as well as a
representative of God.13
5 Harry M. Orlinsky, The Plain Meaning of Genesis :, BA (): b;
Gordon J. Wenham, Genesis ( vols.; WBC ; Waco/Dallas: Word, ) .;
and Hans Rechenmacher, Gott und das Chaos. Ein Beitrag zum Verstndnis von
Gen ,, ZAW (): .
6 Franz Delitzsch, Neuer Commentar ber die Genesis (Leipzig: Drffling und Franke,
) (= A New Commentary on Genesis [trans. Sophia Taylor; vols.; ; repr.,
Minneapolis: Klock & Klock, ] .), also quoted in Claus Westermann, Genesis
(trans. John J. Scullion; vols.; Minneapolis: Augsburg, []) .;
and Francis I. Andersen, The Sentence in Biblical Hebrew (Janua Linguarum, Series Practica ; The Hague: Mouton, ) . See also Ziony Zevit, The Anterior Construction in Classical Hebrew (SBLMS ; Atlanta: Scholars Press, ) . Cf. Odil
Hannes Steck, Der Schpfungsbericht der Priesterschrift. Studien zur literarkritischen und berlieferungsgeschichten Problematik von Genesis ,,a (d ed.; FRLANT ; Gttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, ) .
7 Christian Streibert, Schpfung bei Deuterojesaja und in der Priesterschrift. Eine vergleichende
Untersuchung zu Inhalt und Funktion schpfungstheologischer Aussagen in exilisch-nachexilischer Zeit
(BEAT ; Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, ) ; Horst Seebass, Genesis ( vols.;
Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, ) .; Peter Weimar, Chaos
und Kosmos. Gen , als Schlssel einer alteren Fassung der priesterschriftlichen
Schpfungserzhlung, in Mythos im Alten Testament und seiner Umwelt. Festschrift fr HansPeter Mller zum . Geburtstag (ed. Armin Lange, Hermann Lichtenberger, and Diethard
Rmheld; BZAW ; Berlin/New York: Walter de Gruyter, ) ; and, differently,
Walter Gro, Gen ,.; ,: Statue oder Ebenbild Gottes? Aufgabe und Wrde des
Menschen nach dem hebrischen und dem griechischen Wortlaut, JBTh (): .
8 S. R. Driver, The Book of Genesis (th ed.; WC; London: Methuen, ) .
9 U. Cassuto, A Commentary on the Book of Genesis (trans. Israel Abrahams; pts.;
Jerusalem: Magnes, []) ..
10 Gunkel, Schpfung und Chaos in Urzeit und Endzeit. Eine religionsgeschichtliche Untersuchung ber Gen und Ap Joh (d ed.; Gttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht,
[]) (repr. and abr. as The Influence of Babylonian Mythology upon the Biblical Creation Story, in Creation in the Old Testament [ed. Bernhard W. Anderson; IRT ;
Philadelphia/London: Fortress/SPCK, ] ).
11 Gerhard von Rad, Genesis (trans. John H. Marks; rev. ed.; OTL; Philadelphia:
Westminster, ) .
12 Wenham, Genesis ..
13 See Rechenmacher, ZAW (): ; Eduard Knig, Die Genesis (Gtersloh:
C. Bertelsmann, ) ; and Nic. H. Ridderbos, Genesis i und , in B. Gemser
et al., Studies on the Book of Genesis (OTS ; Leiden: E. J. Brill, ) .

God and chaos are different in Gen :. The tokens of chaos constitute the preexisting stuff and state of the world; the description is
relatively static. Gods wind, however, is dynamic. It moves; it is somewhat separate from its opposing deep; and it engages the deep as if
in a face-to-face confrontation.14 It even serves an anticipatory function in context. Gods wind foreshadows the agent and onset of the first
creative act (v. )15 and all creative acts thereafter.16 It announces God
and his active role in establishing a paradigmatic world from a primal
environment of chaotic indistinction.
.. Exercising Creative Control
The commencement of the first creative act marks a transformation of
Gods activity in the world. Inasmuch as
God creates by a word, He works consciously and deliberately. Things
do not emanate from Him unconsciously, nor are they produced by a
mere act of thought but by an act of will, of which the concrete
word is the outward expression. Each stage in His creative work is the
realization of a deliberately formed purpose.17

Unlike Gen :, Gods role in the world is now transparently willful,


agentive, and interventionist.
Gods control of the world is registered often in the Priestly cosmogony. He exclusively governs the verb create (Gen :. [ter];
see also v. , :). He governs other highly transitive verbs too, such as
make (vv. ..; see also v. ), divide, separate (v. ),18
and give (vv. .). From a semantic perspective, God is the
controlling agent throughout the cosmogony. Not only does he produce
14 Robert Luyster, Wind and Water: Cosmogonic Symbolism in the Old Testament, ZAW (): .
15 William P. Brown, Structure, Role, and Ideology in the Hebrew and Greek Texts of Genesis :: (SBLDS ; Atlanta: Scholars Press, ) ; and Weimar, in Mythos im Alten
Testament und seiner Umwelt .
16 See Albertz and Westermann, e rah spirit, in TLOT .. Cf. von Rad,
.
Genesis ; and, more broadly, Walther Zimmerli, .Mose ( vols.; d/st ed.; ZB.AT /
; Zurich: Theologischer Verlag, ) ..
17 Driver, Genesis12 (italics original), citing August Dillmann, Die Genesis (th ed.;
KeHAT ; Leipzig: S. Hirzel, ) (= Genesis [trans. Wm. B. Stevenson; vols.;
Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, ] ..
18 For the subject of in Gen :, see Ronald S. Hendel, The Text of Genesis :
Textual Studies and Critical Edition (New York/Oxford: Oxford University Press, ) ;
and, esp., the discussion by Brown, Structure, Role, and Ideology (on co-agents of
creation).

(), assign, and provide (), when he creates by divine fiat (see
.) the divine word is itself sufficient to effect what it states (e.g.,
v. ).19 Gods speech effects creation. Likewise, Gods act of naming created entities (vv. a.a.a), including humankind (:b [PT]), expresses
the authority which the one who gives the name exerts over the one
who is named.20 A demonstration of the power to direct the creation toward its proper function (vv. .b; see also v. ), naming
exerts control.21
After the cosmos has been created, Priestly references to creation per
se are limited to two.
This is the genealogy
when they were created. (Gen :a [RP])

of heaven and earth

I This is the genealogical record of Adam:


When God created humankind, in the likeness of God he made it,
male and female he created them. (Gen :a [PT]; see also :a)22

In one, God creates the world. In the other, he creates the human
race. The common verb suggests that the two events are related. They
are also assigned a common Priestly denomination; refers to the
creation of cosmic domain and the (pro-) creation of human life.23 God
19 Christopher Wright Mitchell, The Meaning of BRK To Bless in the Old Testament
(SBLDS ; Atlanta: Scholars Press, ) . See also von Rad, Genesis ; Zimmerli, .Mose3 .; and Sarna, Genesis . Cf. Westermann, Genesis ..
20 Otto Eissfeldt, Renaming in the Old Testament, in Words and Meanings: Essays
Presented to David Winton Thomas (ed. Peter R. Ackroyd and Barnabas Lindars; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, ) . See also Bernard W. Anderson, The
Earth is the Lords: An Essay on the Biblical Doctrine of Creation, in Is God a Creationist? The Religious Case against Creation-Science (ed. Roland Mushat Frye; New York:
Charles Scribners Sons, ) (repr. as The Earth is the Lords, in From
Creation to New Creation: Old Testament Perspectives [OBT; Minneapolis: Fortress, ]
); and Alexander A. Di Lella, Genesis :: A Formal Introduction to Ps Creation Account, in Mlanges bibliques et orientaux en lhonneur de M. Mathias Delcor (ed.
A. Caquot, S. Lgasse, and M. Tardieu; AOAT ; Kevelaer/Neukirchen-Vluyn: Butzon & Bercker/Neukirchener Verlag, ) . Cf. Terence E. Fretheim, Creator,
Creature, and Co-Creation in Genesis , in All Things New: Essays in Honor of Roy
A. Harrisville (ed. Arland J. Hultgren, Donald H. Juel, and Jack D. Kingsbury; Word
& World Supplement Series ; St. Paul: Luther Northwestern Theological Seminary,
) with n. .
21 Baruch Halpern, The New Names of Isaiah :: Jeremiahs Reception in the
Restoration and the Politics of Third Isaiah, JBL (): . In this context, see
also Shemaryahu Talmon, The Biblical Understanding of Creation and the Human
Commitment, ExAu (): .
22 See ch. n. .
23 E.g., Josef Scharbert, Der Sinn der Toledot-Formel in der Priesterschrift, in

controls creation, and God effects in its two capacities. According to these texts, then, the construction of the world and the construction of human lineage are analogous, if not kindred or correlative,
creative Priestly events.24
.. Separation and Differentiation
Originating as an undistinguished mass, the world progressively develops into an ordered cosmos by the systematic application of Gods creative power. In Wellhausens terms, the world is constituted by a process of unmixing.25
God said, Let the waters under heaven be collected to one place,26 and
the dry land will appear.27 And it was so. (Gen :)

In this particular case, two entities emerge out of one.28


This creative principle finds explicit expression in the Priestly cosmogony. It characterizes a divine activity.

God divided between the light and the darkness. (Gen :b)

It also asserts the purpose of a created entity.


God said, Let there be luminaries in the dome of heaven to
divide between day and night. God set them in the dome of heaven
to shine over the earth and to divide between the light and
the darkness. (Gen :a.a; see also vv. )

WortGebotGlaube. Beitrge zur Theologie des Alten Testaments. Walther Eichrodt zum .
Geburtstag (ed. Hans Joachim Stoebe, Johann Jakob Stamm, and Ernst Jenni; ATANT
; Zurich: Zwingli, ) ; and, differently, Joseph Blenkinsopp, The Structure of
P, CBQ (): n. .
24 B. Jacob, Das erste Buch der Tora. Genesis (Berlin: Schocken, ) . The placement of the genealogical formula draws a closer relationship between creation and
human/Israelite history: when the former closes (Gen :a), it inaugurates the latter
which, itself, does not end (ibid. ).
25 See also Luyster, ZAW (): .
26 For text-critical analyses of in v. a, see Hendel, The Text of Genesis
; and David Noel Freedman, Notes on Genesis, ZAW (): (repr. in
Divine Commitment and Human Obligation: Selected Writings of David Noel Freedman [ed. John
R. Huddlestun; vols.; Grand Rapids/Cambridge, U.K.: Eerdmans, ] .).
27 For , see Brown, Structure, Role, and Ideology n. .
28 Zimmerli, .Mose3 .; James Barr, Was Everything That God Created Really
Good? A Question in the First Verse of the Bible, in God in the Fray: A Tribute to Walter
Brueggemann (ed. Tod Linafelt and Timothy K. Beal; Minneapolis: Fortress, ) ;
and, in this context, Seebass, Genesis ..

Within the six days of creation, in fact, this expression recurs more
often than create and as often as make. Separation, or rather differentiation, is the second modality of creation in the Priestly text.29
In a related move, Ps God places limitations on his creation.
God said, Let the earth make vegetation: seed-producing plants; fruit
trees making fruit according to their kind, with their seed in it,
over the earth. And it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation: seedproducing plants according to their kind, and trees making fruit
with their seed in it according to their kind. (Gen :a)
God created the great sea monsters, and every living thing that moves
with which the waters swarm according to their kind, and every
winged bird according to its kind. (Gen :a-b)
God made the earths wild animals according to their kind, and
the beasts according to their kind, and everything that moves on
the ground according to its kind. (Gen :a; see also v. a)

The limitation is registered by kind. It is a classificatory term which,


like any taxon, is a category that subsumes an observable set of characteristics shared among certain entities (see Lev : [H]).30 By nature,
it also distinguishes one taxonomic aggregate from another.31 So too,
the distributive preposition governing each token of kind suggests categorical separateness and, by implication, limitation. God creates floral
and faunal life according to internally coherent categories that are, at
the same time, externally distinctive and discrete. Thus does God make
new life (e.g., Gen :a), and thus does he ensure that life will be reproduced and sustained in perpetuum (vv. a).32 God provides that all
29 Sarna, Genesis . See also Phyllis Trible, God and the Rhetoric of Sexuality (London:
SCM, []) ; Robert Alter, The Art of Biblical Narrative (New York: Basic Books,
) ; Yizhaq (Iziq) Peleg, In the Beginning, God Created the Heavens and the
Earth, BetM (): (in Hebrew); Barr, in God in the Fray ; and, in greater
detail, Levenson, Creation and Evil .
30 Paul Beauchamp, Cration et sparation. tude exgtique du chapitre premier de la Gense
(BScR; Aubier Montaigne/Delachaux & Niestl: Cerf/Descle De Brouwer, ) ;
and Brown, Structure, Role, and Ideology .
31 See Delitzsch, Neuer Commentar ber die Genesis (= ET .); and Talmon, ExAu
(): .
32 See Henri Cazelles, Myn= espce, race ou ressemblance? in Mmorial du cinquantenaire [de lcole des langues orientales anciennes de lInstitut catholique de Paris]
(TICP ; Paris: Bloud & Gay, ) . See also Beauchamp, Cration et sparation ; and Phyllis A. Bird, Male and Female He Created Them: Gen :b in the
Context of the Priestly Account of Creation, HTR (): (repr. in Missing Persons and Mistaken Identities: Women and Gender in Ancient Israel [OBT; Minneapolis: Fortress,
] ).

nonhuman life,33 with one exception (see ..), replicate according


to its kind and only according to its own kind. Kind ensures delimitation.34
There are further examples of cosmogonic delimitation, separation,
and division. Historical time,35 which is officially inaugurated with the
creation of light, is articulated into equal measured units. The first
six units are each delimited by Priestly formula: an initial, divine announcement; and a final, synoptic, daily tally.36 Therein, each unit is
divided into two parts: evening and morning.37 The hexadic conglomerate also is divided into two equal parts that each comprise four acts
of creation.38 Therein too, the third day of each triadic half is subdivided, containing a pair of creative acts.39 But perhaps the most conspicuous example of chronometric separation is the seventh day. It symbolizes a terminus (Gen :.a [ ]); it indexes Gods prior
accomplishments (vv. a.b.b [
]); and it represents a summary cessation from all activity
33 Because human beings are themselves a unique class of population, they are
neither created nor classified according to kind. Unlike birds, for example, they do
not include varieties of different though taxonomically related breeding populations
which can be individually identified and labeled (see Lev : [P]) (cf. Werner
H. Schmidt, Die Schpfungsgeschichte der Priesterschrift. Zur berlieferungsgeschichte von Genesis ,,a und ,b-, [d ed.; WMANT ; Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag,
] n. ; and Andreas Angerstorfer, Hebrisch dmwt und aramisch dmw[t]. Ein
Sprachproblem der Imago-Dei-Lehre, BN []: ). Rather, human beings constitute a single population and therefore a single reproductive class (see the references
in n. , above; and differently, Sarna, Genesis ).
34 See Gunkel, Genesis4 (= ET ).
35 Westermann, Genesis .; and Frank H. Gorman, Jr., Priestly Rituals of Founding: Time, Space, and Status, in History and Interpretation: Essays in Honour of John
H. Hayes (ed. M. Patrick Graham, William P. Brown, and Jeffrey K. Kuan; JSOTS ;
Sheffield: JSOT Press, ) n. . See also Walter Vogels, The Cultic and Civil
Calendars of the Fourth Day of Creation (Gen ,b), SJOT (): n. , for a
longer view.
36 See also Priestly monthly designations (Driver, An Introduction to the Literature of the
Old Testament [th ed.; Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, ()] n. []).
37 For the order of these temporal units, see Driver, Genesis12 ; and Levenson,
Creation and Evil .
38 For discussions, see Anderson, A Stylistic Study of the Priestly Creation Story,
in Canon and Authority: Essays in Old Testament Religion and Theology (ed. George W. Coats
and Burke O. Long; Philadelphia: Fortress, ) , esp. the chart on (repr. as
The Priestly Creation Story: A Stylistic Study, in From Creation to New Creation ,
, respectively); Bernard F. Batto, Slaying the Dragon: Mythmaking in the Biblical Tradition
(Louisville: Westminster/John Knox, ) ; and, in brief, Sarna, Genesis .
39 In addition to the references in the preceding note, see Dillmann, Genesis6 (=
ET .); and Levenson, Creation and Evil .

(vv. b.b [-
dence, then, is consistent.

]).

The evi-

[A] state of separation and so of order are basic to [the worlds] existence. The world is conceived of as something divided and ordered
and comprehensible only in this framework. Separation is itself
creation.40

.. Harmonic Order
Gods creative power produces order, and it comprises order, too. As
Wellhausen states so evenhandedly, the ordered world proceeds
step by step; order effects order. Sarna, however, emphasizes the process. The systematic progression from chaos to cosmos unfolds in an
orderly and harmonious manner.41 In either case, Delitzsch provides
the classic exposition.
The Hexameron of the account of creation as now extant falls into two
groups of three days, so arranged that the days works of the second
group accord with the corresponding ones of the first. On the first day
light was created, on the fourth the heavenly light-giving bodies; on the
second day the vault of heaven dividing the waters from the waters, on
the fifth the birds of heaven and the animals of the waters; on the third
day, after the appearance of the dry land, the vegetable world; on the
sixth land animals, to fill the dry land now provided with herbage for
their nourishment, and man, in whom the whole animal creation reaches
its climax.42

The world of internal dependency is therefore founded on order, although this orderly and harmonious manner is not named. Instead,
[t]he marvelous order of creation, in which every creature, celestial
and terrestrial, plays a role in a harmonious whole, receives the Cosmic
Artists imprimatur: very good ([Gen] :).43

Westermann, Genesis .. See also Jeremy Cohen, Be Fertile and Increase, Fill the
Earth and Master It: The Ancient and Medieval Career of a Biblical Text (Ithaca/London:
Cornell University Press, ) (on covenantal epochs).
41 Sarna, Genesis . See also Paul Humbert, Trois notes sur Gense I, in Interpretationes ad Vetus Testamentum pertinentes Sigmundo Mowinckel septuagenario missae (Oslo: Land
og kirke, ) (repr. in Opuscules dun hbrasant [MUN ; Neuchtel: Universit de
Neuchtel, ] ).
42 Delitzsch, A New Commentary on Genesis .. See also, in brief, Dillmann, Genesis6
(= ET .); and, later, Gunkel, Genesis4 (= ET ); and Cassuto, Genesis ..
43 Anderson, Relation between the Human and Nonhuman Creation in the Bibli40

Under the rubric of this very good, orderly, and harmonious world
is the provision that God makes for terrestrial life.
God said, I hereby give you [sc. human beings] every seed-bearing plant
that is upon the surface of the whole earth, and every tree that has seedbearing fruit. It shall be yours for food. (I give) all the earths animals,
and all birds of heaven, as well as every thing that moves on the earth
in which there is living breathall green plants for food. And it was so.
(Gen :)

For each life-form created on the sixth day, whether animal or human,
God assigns vegetarian foodstuffs. He determines that animals will
consume one category of flora: green vegetation. At the same time,
he determines that human beings will consume another: seed-bearing
plants and fruit trees. By divine decree, then, animal and human consumers will share the earths floral resources in relatively distinct ways,44
neither of which completely exhausts the food supply. By implication,
animals and human beings will not directly compete for survival; God
safeguards the turf, and sanctity, of each.45
As the Priestly writer depicts it, God institutes paradisiacal peace
and ecological balance among the worlds living creatures.46
The Creator did not desire war and the thirst for blood, but peace
among His creatures. By the use of the phrase ! in ver. ,
[P] gives it distinctly to be understood that he actually assumed the
maintenance of this peace of God as existing during the earliest age.
Accordingly, ver. f. were intended in especial to give to mankind the
divine and fundamental law with respect to the life of the creatures,
and therewith, at the same time, a characterisation of their original
condition.47

cal Primeval History, in idem, From Creation to New Creation (repr., with corrections,
from AJTP []: ).
44 Dillmann, Genesis6 (= ET .); and John Skinner, A Critical and Exegetical
Commentary on Genesis (d ed.; ICC; Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, ) .
45 See Steck, Der Schpfungsbericht 2 , in conjunction with Hans-Winfried Jngling,
Macht euch die Erde untertan (Gen ,). Der geschaffene Mensch und die Schpfung, in Macht euch die Erde untertan? Schpfungsglaube und Umweltkrise (ed. Philipp Schmitz;
Wrzburg: Echter Verlag, ) ; and Beauchamp, Cration et fondation de la loi en
Gn , , a. Le don de la nourriture vgtale en Gn , s, in La Cration dans lOrient
ancien. Congrs de lACFEB, Lille () (ed. Fabien Blanquart and Louis Derousseaux;
LeDiv ; Paris: Cerf, ) .
46 Von Rad, Genesis . But note the qualification argued by Gro, JBTh ():
.
47 Dillmann, Genesis ..

But Gods plan is eventually corrupted.48 The breaking of this peace of


God in creation makes its first appearance with the degeneration of the
creatures at the end of the antediluvian period.49
When this degeneration occurs, the Priestly writer records a stark
counterexample of Gods original plan (...). P explains that, in the
wake of Gen : (J), the entire world is damaged: God saw how
very corrupt the earth was, for all flesh had corrupted its way on earth
(v. ). Corruption is widespread. The ecosystem of Gen has broken
down,50 including the environment (earth) and all living creatures
created on the sixth day (all flesh).51 The cause of the corruption
is clear; the highly transitive clause in v. b implies that all living
things willfully and intentionally produced the current degraded mess.52
The target of their behavior is also clear enough. It was corrupt

"
! [v. a], i.e. so as to become an abomination to God,
and to call forth His judicial interposition.53 It is this same God, of
course, who had created all flesh and thereby designated the way

48 See also Norbert Lohfink, Der Schpfergott und der Bestand von Himmel und
Erde. Das Alte Testament zum Zusammenhang von Schpfung und Heil, in Gnter
Altner et al., Sind wir noch zu retten? Schpfungsglaube und Verantwortung fr unsere Erde
(Regensburg: Friedrich Pustet, ) (repr. as God the Creator and the Stability
of Heaven and Earth: The Old Testament on the Connection between Creation and
Salvation, in Theology of the Pentateuch: Themes of the Priestly Narrative and Deuteronomy
[trans. Linda M. Maloney; Minneapolis: Fortress, ] ).
49 Dillmann, Genesis ..
50 Eric E. Elnes, Creation and Tabernacle: The Priestly Writers Environmentalism, HBT (): ; and Martin A. Klopfenstein, Und siehe, es war sehr
gut! (Genesis ,). Worin besteht die Gte der Schpfung nach dem ersten Kapitel der
hebrischen Bibel? in Ebenbild GottesHerrscher ber die Welt. Studien zu Wrde und Auftrag
des Menschen (ed. Hans-Peter Mathys; Biblische-Theologische Studien ; NeukirchenVluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, ) .
51 For the inclusive reading of all flesh, see Jacob, Genesis ; Lohfink, Die Schichten des Pentateuch und der Krieg, in Ernst Haag et al., Gewalt und Gewaltlosigkeit im
Alten Testament (ed. Norbert Lohfink; QD ; Freiburg: Herder, ) with n. (repr.
as The Strata of the Pentateuch and the Question of War, in Theology of the Pentateuch
with n. ); and P. J. Harland, The Value of Human Life: A Study of the Story of the Flood
(Genesis ) (VTS ; Leiden: E. J. Brill, ) . See also Gen : (P), translated in
.., above.
52 See Harland, The Value of Human Life . See also Ernst Wrthwein, Chaos
und Schpfung im mythischen Denken und in der biblischen Urgeschichte, in Zeit
und Geschichte. Dankesgabe an Rudolf Bultmann zum . Geburtstag (ed. Erich Dinkler and
Hartwig Thyen; Tbingen: J. C. B. Mohr [Paul Siebeck], ) (repr. in Wort und
Existenz. Studien zum Alten Testament [Gttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, ] ).
53 Delitzsch, A New Commentary on Genesis .. See also Jacob, Genesis .

that each creature should act on earth. The world of Gen represents
a perversion of its harmonic beginnings54 as well as an assault on God.55
Whereas Ps God deems the cosmos very good, this new world is
not. Gen : clearly demonstrates that it is filled with violence
(vv. . [P]). When the gods took women as wives, they violated an
absolute boundary56 and committed a crime against God.57 When the
gods took themselves wives from all they chose (v. b), they implicitly
chose not to limit their matrimonial pool; they exercised no self-control
over a growing female population (see v. a).58 That is to say, the gods
successfully exercised their superior power over the women;59 h. amas
refers predominantly to the arrogant disregard for the sanctity and
inviolability of human life.60 Criminal, destructive, injurious, unjust,
and abusive, the violence mentioned in Gen is an evil act harming
the world that God created.61
54 See Israel Knohl, The Sanctuary of Silence: The Priestly Torah and the Holiness School
(Minneapolis: Fortress, ) n. ; Harland, The Value of Human Life ; and the
references in ch. n. , above.
55 Lohfink, Die Ursnden in der priesterlichen Geschichtserzhlung, in Die Zeit
Jesu. Festschrift fr Heinrich Schlier (ed. Gnther Bornkamm and Karl Rahner; Freiburg:
Herder, ) (repr. as Original Sins in the Priestly Historical Narrative, in
Theology of the Pentateuch ).
56 See Jeffrey H. Tigay, The Image of God and the Flood: Some New Developments, in . Studies in Jewish Education and Judaica in Honor of Louis Newman
(ed. Alexander M. Shapiro and Burton I. Cohen; New York: Ktav, ) n. , in
conjunction with H. Haag, 
 chamas, in TDOT ..
57 See H. J. Stoebe, 
 h. amas violence, in TLOT .. See also Haag, in TDOT
..
58 See S. D. Snyman, Violence in Amos , and ,, ETL (): (on
Am :), in conjunction with Harland, The Value of Human Life . Cf. Marc Vervenne,
All They Need is Love: Once More Genesis ., in Words Remembered, Texts Renewed:
Essays in Honour of John F. A. Sawyer (ed. Jon Davies, Graham Harvey, and Wilfred G.
E. Watson; JSOTS ; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, ) .
59 Note Ernst-Joachim Waschke, Untersuchungen zum Menschenbild der Urgeschichte. Ein
Beitrag zur alttestamentlichen Theologie (ThAr ; Berlin: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, )
. Cf. Wenham and Pope, cited in ch. n. .
60 Sarna, Genesis (on Gen :). In this context, see also Lohfink, in Die Zeit Jesu
(= Theology of the Pentateuch ); Wenham, Genesis .; and, differently, Haag, in
TDOT .; and Moshe Weinfeld, Social Justice in Ancient Israel and in the Ancient Near
East (Jerusalem/Minneapolis: Magnes/Fortress, ) .
61 Tikva Frymer-Kensky, The Atrahasis Epic and Its Significance for Our Understanding of Genesis , BA (): , in conjunction with Lohfink, in Die Zeit
Jesu n. (= Theology of the Pentateuch n. ). See also Michael Fishbane, Text and
Texture: Close Readings of Selected Biblical Texts (New York: Schocken, ) (comparing
Gen : and :). Cf. Bruce Vawter, On Genesis: A New Reading (Garden City, New York:
Doubleday, ) .

The Priestly writer acknowledges that the cosmos of Gen has


changed in other ways, too. Indeed, after the flood, Ps God concedes
the violence in the world.62
There will be fear and terror of you [sc. Noah and his sons] upon all the
earths animals and upon all birds of heaven, over everything that moves
on the ground, and over all the fish of the sea; into your hand shall
they be given. But I shall require a reckoning for your own life-blood.
From every animal I shall require a reckoning for it. (Gen :.a)

God plainly notes that the natural relationships between created


beings are in desperate disorder.63 The once-harmonic relationship
between the human population and animals has disintegrated into
warlike hostility:64 human beings (will continue to) terrorize animate
life, while animals (will continue to) attack people.65 Likewise, relations
within the human community have deteriorated; bloodshed and homicide (will continue to) exist.66
But I shall require a reckoning for your own life-blood. From a human
being, from each ones fellow (human being), I shall require a reckoning
for human life. Whoever sheds the blood of a human being, by a human
being shall his blood be shed. (Gen :a.b-a)

Violence is now entrenched in the world, but it is neither unrestrained


nor unremedied (see ...). Among other things, God assigns the
postdiluvian survivors the responsibility to protect the community and
punish violent offenses. It is a legal responsibility inherent in the human
design; because God made humankind in the image of God (v. b <
:), human beings bear the inalienable duty to maintain and restore
62 Beauchamp, in La Cration dans lOrient ancien ; and Harland, The Value of Human
Life .
63 Von Rad, Old Testament Theology (trans. D. M. G. Stalker; vols.; New York:
Harper & Brothers/Harper & Row, []) ..
64 E.g., Lohfink, in Gewalt und Gewaltlosigkeit with n. (= Theology of the Pentateuch
with n. ); Wenham, Genesis .; Gro, JBTh (): ; and, in greater detail,
Waschke, Untersuchungen zum Menschenbild . See also, sympathetically, Bernd Janowski,
Stellvertretung. Alttestamentliche Studien zu einem theologischen Grundbegriff (SBS ; Stuttgart:
Katholisches Bibelwerk, ) .
65 Lohfink, in Gewalt und Gewaltlosigkeit (= Theology of the Pentateuch ).
66 For antediluvian background, see idem, Die Priesterschrift und die Geschichte,
in Congress Volume: Gttingen, (ed. J. A. Emerton et al.; VTS ; Leiden: E. J. Brill,
) (repr. as The Priestly Narrative and History, in Theology of the Pentateuch
); and Tigay, in . For a Priestly effort to mitigate this background, see
Levenson, The Death and Resurrection of the Beloved Son: The Transformation of Child Sacrifice in
Judaism and Christianity (New Haven/London: Yale University Press, ) .

the world as God first constructed it. Created in the image of God,
humankind must mobilize against outbreaks of violence in the world.67
Gods very good cosmos of Gen is the antithesis of its subsequent
degeneration. True, the cosmogony provides a reflection of an orderly,
harmonious creation.68 True, Ps cosmos is a pure and perfect age69
that is regulated by principles of justice and righteousness.70 But it
also exemplifies a world devoid of corruption and violence. Order and
separation are instituted and maintained. The many components of
the cosmos neither conflict nor collide; they are interdependent and
mutually beneficial. The relationship among the different forms of animate life is nonadversarial and noncontentious. Each occupies a distinct zone, and there is no competition for space.71 Even human governance of the animals was certainly intended as something altogether
nonviolent, as is evident from the fact that both humans and animals
are restricted to vegetable food.72 The very good cosmos is very much
nonhostile.
.. Imposing Rule
Within the harmonic order that Ps God forges in creation, he also
establishes rule. For example, he makes
the two great luminariesthe greater luminary to rule the
day, and the lesser luminary to rule the nightand the
stars. God set them in the dome of heaven to shine over the earth
and to rule over the day and the night. (Gen :a)

He also creates humankind in the image of God, with the mandate


to dominate animate life (v. b; see also v. b) and wield control
over the natural world (v. ab; see also v. bb) (see ...). The

67 For the antymony of violence and image of God, see Harland, The Value of
Human Life ; and Janowski, Stellvertretung .
68 Fishbane, Text and Texture .
69 Brown, Structure, Role, and Ideology .
70 Knohl, The Sanctuary of Silence . See also Robert B. Coote and David Robert
Ord, In the Beginning: Creation and the Priestly History (Minneapolis: Fortress, ) .
71 Since the insects and fauna created on the sixth day are not blessed with reproductive abundance (cf. Gen :), the human population has unfettered license to fill
the earth (v. ) (Jacob, Genesis ; and Beauchamp, in La Cration dans lOrient ancien
. Cf. Zimmerli, .Mose3 .; and Jngling, cited in n. , above).
72 Lohfink, Theology of the Pentateuch , , respectively.

affirmation of sovereign rule and governance initiates, terminates, and


characterizes the second phase of creation.73
... The Priestly characterization of human rule also poses a potential problem. In brief, v. f. contradicts v. b.74 On the one hand,
God makes human behavior reflect the world that he had created;
relative to the co-occupants of the world as well as their food supply,
human beings will behave without hostility, violence, abuse, or aggression (.).75 On the other hand, God authorizes humankind to have
dominion over the natural world () and conquer the earth ().
The Priestly terms hardly express peaceful intent. Both of the words
used in other places refer exclusively to a domination against the
will of those who are subordinate, including the use of force.76 According to the Priestly writer, humankind will rule the environment with
formidable and nearly unqualified force that is, nevertheless, circumscribed and limited.77 However imperious, the power of human rule
must not cross the boundary that separates it from violence.
... This view of human rule has a divine precedent in the cosmogony. For on three separate occasions, the Priestly writer narrates
versions of a general story in the ancient Near East, which describes
the creation of the world and the establishment of cosmic order as
a consequence of a gods defeat of the sea. The sea embodies chaos;
its defeat and containment constitute order.78 The Priestly exemplars,
though, abide by a different standard. There are no battle scenes,79 nor
73 See Beauchamp, Cration et sparation , followed by Tryggve N. D. Mettinger,
Abbild oder Urbild? Imago Dei in traditionsgeschichtlicher Sicht, ZAW ():
; Angerstorfer, BN (): ; and esp. Vogels, SJOT (): , among
others. Their assymmetrical division of the six days of creation, however, is incorrect
(see .).
74 Westermann, Genesis . (characterizing Richard Kraetzschmar, Die Bundesvorstellung im Alten Testament in ihrer geschichtlichen Entwickelung [Marburg: N. G. Elwert, ]
).
75 See Beauchamp, in La Cration dans lOrient ancien .
76 Frank Crsemann, The Torah: Theology and Social History of Old Testament Law (trans.
Allan W. Mahnke; Minneapolis: Fortress, []) n. . See also Scharbert,
Der Mensch als Ebenbild Gottes in der neueren Auslegung von Gen ,, in Weisheit
GottesWeisheit der Welt. Festschrift fr Joseph Kardinal Ratzinger zum . Geburtstag (ed.
Walter Baier et al.; vols.; St. Ottilien: EOS, ) ..
77 Jngling, in Macht euch die Erde untertan? .
78 Levenson, Sinai and Zion: An Entry into the Jewish Bible (New Voices in Biblical
Studies; Minneapolis: Winston, ) .
79 John Day, Gods Conflict with the Dragon and the Sea: Echoes of a Canaanite Myth
in the Old Testament (University of Cambridge Oriental Publications ; Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press, ) , ; and Fishbane, Five Stages of Jewish Myth

does conflict erupt.80 The Priestly narrative eliminated war from the
story it tells, with paradigmatic intent, of the beginning of the world.81
Yet as Ps God makes the transition from chaos to cosmos, the whiff of
battle is not all that far distant.82
Gods first confrontation with an aquatic foe occurs in a now-familiar
setting (see , intro.), prior to the creative act of v. .
The earth was unformed and void; darkness was upon the surface of
the deep; and Gods wind was fluttering over the surface of the
water. God said, Let there be light. And there was light. (Gen :)

At this time, Gods dynamic wind encounters an uncreated preexisting


watery deep.83 It is a figure of chaos and, like the sea, has an ancient
Near Eastern background. For even apart from its attestation elsewhere
in the Hebrew Bible,84 the deep has undeniable mythological associations in Ugaritic and Mesopotamian literatures:85 at Ugarit, it can

and Mythmaking, in idem, The Exegetical Imagination: On Jewish Thought and Theology
(Cambridge, Mass./London: Harvard University Press, ) . See also Talmon,
ExAu (): .
80 See Mark S. Smith and Elizabeth M. Bloch-Smith, The Pilgrimage Pattern in Exodus
(JSOTS ; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, ) . See also Fishbane, Text
and Texture ; and, sermonically, Susan Niditch, Oral World and Written Word: Ancient
Israelite Literature (Library of Ancient Israel; Louisville: Westminster John Knox, )
.
81 Lohfink, Theology of the Pentateuch . See also idem, in Gewalt und Gewaltlosigkeit
(= Theology of the Pentateuch ).
82 J. C. L. Gibson, The Kingship of Yahweh against Its Canaanite Background,
in Ugarit and the Bible: Proceedings of the International Symposium on Ugarit and the Bible
(ed. George J. Brooke, Adrian H. W. Curtis, and John F. Healey; UBL ; Mnster: Ugarit-Verlag, ) . Cf. Smith, distancing the battle farther away (The Origins
of Biblical Monotheism: Israels Polytheistic Background and the Ugaritic Texts [Oxford: Oxford
University Press, ] ); or McBride, denying it altogether (Divine Protocol: Genesis :: as Prologue to the Pentateuch, in God Who Creates: Essays in Honor of W. Sibley Towner [ed. William P. Brown and S. Dean McBride Jr.; Grand Rapids/Cambridge,
U.K.: Eerdmans, ] n. ).
83 E.g., Brevard S. Childs, Myth and Reality in the Old Testament (d ed.; SBT /;
London: SCM, ) ; and Westermann, Genesis .. See also Wellhausen,
Prolegomenon ; and Gunkel, Schpfung und Chaos2 (= idem, in Creation in the Old
Testament ).
84 See Cassuto, The Israelite Epic, in idem, Biblical and Oriental Studies (trans. Israel
Abrahams; vols., Jerusalem: Magnes, []) .; and Waschke, "z
t ehm, in TWAT .. Cf. Westermann, "z t ehm flood, in TLOT .
.
85 See David Toshio Tsumura, The Earth and the Waters in Genesis and : A Linguistic
Investigation (JSOTS ; Sheffield: JSOT Press, ) .

designate the oceanic abode of El (thmtm);86 in Mesopotamia, it is best


known as the proto-goddess Tiamat. The Priestly deep combines both
nonbiblical reflexes; is a Northwest Semitic locution87 that is strikingly similar to Tiamat as portrayed in the Enuma Elish.88 In both stories, Tiamat/ is primaeval and ancestral to the created world (i ;
Gen :). In both stories, it constitutes Wellhausens primal stuff as
yet undistinguished that is eventually, and necessarily, split to form the
celestial and terrestrial worlds (iv ; Gen :, respectively).89
In both texts too, neither Tiamat nor is destroyed. It is instead
transformed by a masterful deity that proceeds step by step to construct the ordered world. But is not Tiamat. The Priestly deep
is not a deity but a concrete token of chaos. It is water (v. b). Compared with Tiamat, it has been not only neutralized but demythologized and even depersonalized.90 God is not Marduk, either. God does
not engage the deep in battle.91 God does not commit violence. For the
86 For the relationship between primordial water and cosmogony, see Levenson, Sinai
and Zion .
87 Day, Gods Conflict , ; Brown, Structure, Role, and Ideology n. ; and Roberto
Ouro, The Earth of Genesis :: Abiotic or Chaotic? AUSS (): .
88 See, e.g., Batto, Creation Theology in Genesis, in Creation in the Biblical Traditions
(ed. Richard J. Clifford and John J. Collins; CBQMS ; Washington, D.C.: Catholic
Biblical Association of America, ) ; and, esp., Levenson, Creation and ... Evil.
In this context, see also I. Engnell, Knowledge and Life in the Creation Story, in
Wisdom in Israel and in the Ancient Near East Presented to Professor Harold Henry Rowley (ed.
M. Noth and D. Winton Thomas; VTS ; Leiden: E. J. Brill, ) . Cf. Weinfeld,
God the Creator in Gen I and in the Prophecy of Second Isaiah, Tarb ():
(in Hebrew); and Lowell K. Handy, Tiamat, in ABD .a.
89 Gunkel, Schpfung und Chaos 2 (= idem, in Creation in the Old Testament ). Cf. W.
G. Lambert, A New Look at the Babylonian Background of Genesis, JTS ():
(repr. in I Studied Inscriptions from before the Flood: Ancient Near Eastern, Literary,
and Linguistic Approaches to Genesis [ed. Richard S. Hess and David Toshio Tsumura;
Sources for Biblical and Theological Study ; Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns, ]
).
90 Levenson, Creation and Evil . See also, inter alios, Delitzsch, Neuer Commentar
ber die Genesis (= ET ); Childs, Myth and Reality2 ; Zimmerli, Old Testament
Theology in Outline (trans. David E. Green; Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, []) ;
and Day, Gods Conflict , . Cf. Luyster, ZAW (): ; and, differently,
David H. Aaron, Biblical Ambiguities: Metaphor, Semantics and Divine Image (BRLAJ ;
Leiden: Brill, ) .
91 Horst Dietrich Preuss, Old Testament Theology (trans. Leo G. Perdue; vols.; OTL;
Louisville: Westminster John Knox, []) .; Manfred Grg,
Chaos und Chaosmchte im Alten Testament, BN (): ; and Niditch, Oral World and Written Word . Cf. S. Lee, Power Not Novelty: The Connotations
of in the Hebrew Bible, in Understanding Poets and Prophets: Essays in Honour of George
Wishart Anderson (ed. A. Graeme Auld; JSOTS ; Sheffield: JSOT Press, ) n. .

moment at least (see ..), God contains the deep against outburst.92
Without fanfare, he imposes the force of rule over this potential counteragent, placing it under his control.93
Whereas Gods first theomachy lacks bloodshed, the second lacks a
confrontation.
God said, Let the waters swarm with swarms of living things, and birds
fly over the earth across the surface of heavens dome. God created
the great sea monsters, and every living thing that moves
with which the waters swarm according to their kind, and every winged
bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. Then God
blessed them, Be fruitful, be numerous, and fill the waters in the seas,
and let the birds become numerous on earth. (Gen :)

The sea monsters, like the deep, are attested in biblical and non-biblical
literature alike. In the Ugaritic texts, tunnanu (tnn) (the) dragon is a
mythological being included among the vanquished marine and serpentine enemies of Baal:94 viz., Yamm (Sea) || Nahar (River) and
the crooked serpent || the seven-headed sultan (KTU2 . iii
). When Baal defeats this aquatic deity, he contains (lit., binds) it
(cf. KTU2 .:).95 In the Hebrew Bible, () the Dragon is comparably troublesome.96 It is always under attack. In the past, the monster was pierced by Yahweh (Is :);97 so too, sea monsters heads
were smashed long ago (Ps :) (see below).98 In the future as
well, Yahweh will kill the Dragon in the sea (Is :; see also Ez :,
:).99 Whether in the Ugaritic or biblical texts, it represents a once-

92 Weimar, in Mythos im Alten Testament und seiner Umwelt ; and, differently, Grg,
BN (): .
93 See Christian Brning, Lobet den Herrn, ihr Seeungeheuer und all ihr Tiefen!
Seeungeheuer in der Bibel, ZAW (): (on Ps :).
94 Cf. Dennis Pardee, Ugaritic Myths, in The Context of Scripture (ed. William
W. Hallo and K. Lawson Younger, Jr.; vols.; Leiden: E. J. Brill, ) .
n. .
95 For a summary of opinions on this Ugaritic verb, see Wayne T. Pitard, The
Binding of Yamm: A New Edition of the Ugaritic Text KTU ., JNES ():
.
96 Fishbane, Text and Texture ; and, esp., Edward L. Greenstein, Presenting Genesis , Constructively and Deconstructively, Prooftexts (): .
97 Note Bernhard Duhm, Das Buch Jesaia (d ed.; HKAT III/; Gttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, ) .
98 Levenson, Creation and Evil , .
99 See Hans Wildberger, Isaiah (trans. Thomas H. Trapp; vols.; Minneapolis:
Fortress, []) .; and, on Ez , Theodore J. Lewis, CT .
and Ezekiel : Lion-Dragon Myths, JAOS (): .

vital, marine opponent of the active head god whose continuing life
threatens the gods life and the worlds order. It symbolizes chaos.100
Yet in the Priestly cosmogony, the sea monsters are not destroyed.
They are created.101 Like all of Gods other creatures and creations,
these monsters are the intended result of Gods creative activity in
the world.102 They are also included in the approbative formula of
v. b.
It is as though the Torah said, in effect: Far be it from any one to suppose
that the sea monsters were mythological beings opposed to God or in
revolt against Him; they were as natural as the rest of the creatures,
and were formed in their proper time and in their proper place by the
word of the Creator, in order that they might fulfil His will like the other
created beings.103

In Priestly hands, they are stripped of their primaeval autonomy. But


in other ways, the sea monsters are unlike Gods creatures. They are
the only life form created as a plurality of distinct entities and not
as a taxonomic species.104 By inference, they are ascribed fractured
identity. Further, Ps God does not create them according to their
kind. Hence, they are deprived of the (cap-) ability to reproduce,
perhaps forever (see .; cf. Gen :). All told, then, the Priestly writer
pointedly tames this representative of uncreated evil. Without a hint of
violence, Ps God quiets these potential enemies of God before they
undo (him and) his cosmos. He places them under his creative control
and subsumes them within the structure of his created order (see also
vv. ba.ba).105
There may be one more instance in which Ps God engages an olden
divine nemesis. This nemesis is Yamm (Sea). In the Ugaritic texts, he
is the aquatic enemy of Baal who tries, unsuccessfully, to prevent Baals

E.g., NJPS ad Is : n. b.
Levenson, Creation and Evil .
102 Talmon, ExAu (): ; and Brning, ZAW (): . See also Zimmerli,
Old Testament Theology in Outline ; and, somewhat differently, Day, Gods Conflict .
103 Cassuto, Genesis .. See also, in greater length, idem, Biblical and Oriental Studies .; and, briefly, Zimmerli, .Mose3 .; and Schmidt, Die Schpfungsgeschichte2
.
104 Cassuto, Genesis .. Hence, the reference to the tannnm in Genesis : is
hardly generic (cf. Smith, The Origins of Biblical Monotheism ).
105 In addition to the references in nn. , see Day, Leviathan, in ABD .b
(on Pss :, :).
100

101

rise to kingship.106 In the Hebrew Bible, Yamms legacy has been found
in a number of texts,107 of which Ps is perhaps the most transparent.
God, my king from of old, agent of salvation amidst the earth, it was
you who burst with your might the sea, who smashed the heads of
the sea monsters over the waters. It was you who crushed the heads of
Leviathan, who presented him as food for the denizens of the desert. It was
you who split the springs and wadis; you who dried up the ever-flowing
rivers. (Ps :)

This text celebrates Gods multiple victories over his ancient watery
foes. In particular, it recalls how God dissevered Yamm/the sea just
as Baal had dismembered108 Yamm (esp. KTU2 . iv ).109 But in
Gen :,110 the allusion to this mythological figureif there is oneis
more subtle.111 Its polemical force takes a grammatical form.
God said, Let the waters under heaven be collected to one place,112 and
the dry land will appear. And it was so. God called the dry land Earth,
and the collection of waters he called Seas. And God saw that it was
good. (Gen :)

106 See Pierre Bordreuil and Dennis Pardee, Le combat de Balu avec Yammu daprs
les textes ougaritiques, MARI (): ; and, briefly, F. Stolz, Sea , in DDD2
.
107 Alan Cooper and Marvin Pope, Divine Names and Epithets in the Ugaritic
Texts, in RSP .; Smith, The Early History of God: Yahweh and the Other Deities
in Ancient Israel (d ed.; The Biblical Resources Series; Grand Rapids/Cambridge,
U.K.: Eerdmans, ) ; and N. Wyatt, Myths of Power: A Study of Royal Myth and
Ideology in Ugaritic and Biblical Tradition (UBL ; Mnster: Ugarit-Verlag, ) .
For discussions, see Gunkel, Schpfung und Chaos2 (= idem, in Creation in the Old
Testament ); Fishbane, Text and Texture , ; and Talmon, ExAu ():
.
108 For philological justification of this translation, see Wyatt, Religious Texts from Ugarit:
The Words of Ilimilku and His Colleagues (BiSe ; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press,
) nn. and (which he rejects).
109 Cf. the alternate analysis of Day, Gods Conflict n. , reargued by Jonas C.
Greenfield, atta porarta beozka yam (Psalm : a), in Language, Theology, and the Bible:
Essays in Honour of James Barr (ed. Samuel E. Balentine and John Barton; Oxford:
Oxford University Press, ) (repr. in Al Kanfei Yonah: Collected Studies of Jonas
C. Greenfield on Semitic Philology [ed. Shalom M. Paul, Michael E. Stone, and Avital
Pinnick; vols.; Leiden/Jerusalem: Brill/The Hebrew University Magnes Press, ]
.).
110 For connections between Ps and Priestly material, see Harry P. Nasuti, Tradition
History and the Psalms of Asaph (SBLDS ; Atlanta: Scholars Press, ) .
111 Cf. Rudolf Kittel, Die Psalmen (th ed.; KAT ; Leipzig: A. Deichert/Werner
Scholl, ) .
112 See n. , above.

God assigns plural nomenclature to the newly pooled water (see also
v. ) even though, as vv. . suggest, the referent is probably not
a true, countable plurality.113 Delitzsch disagrees. The sea in its origin is represented as a connected whole,114 in respect of which the
lesser reservoirs, especially the rivers which it receives unto itself, are
unnoticed.115 Still, the plural is not strictly referential; the plural is
here conceived of as singular and intensive,116 and the mythological
background of the sea suggests why. Like the deep, this symbol of unGodly aquatic chaos poses a singular and intensive threat to God and
his cosmic order117a threat which is undone or unmixed, as it were.
For like the case of the sea monsters,118 Ps God dis-integrates and dissipates his powerful archenemy.119 He incorporates it into his orderly
world as a product of his creative objective.120 He then deems its fractured body good. Like the sea monsters and the deep before them,
the sea has been not only neutralized but demythologized and even
depersonalized (see above). Without bloodshed or violence, God overcomes these restive waters and controls them like any other creation of
his.
... Gods rule is firmly ensconced in the Priestly cosmos. It begins
very early, when he confronts and subdues the evil deep. It is expressed
in different ways when he names the worlds seas, appoints heavenly
spheres to rule the day and night, and creates sea monsters. Later, his
rule is shared with the human race, present and future ( ...). Even
after the last creative act, it informs his own ability to allocate vegetable
food among humans and animals. Whether explicitly or implicitly,
then, the theme of Gods rule punctuates the entire Priestly cosmogony.
As the Priestly writer depicts it, Gods rule is not simply a fact. It is
an achievement.121 It begins when God emerges the victor of a highly
sublimated clash with the deep. It is repeated when he disintegrates

113 Skinner, Genesis2 . Cf. Knig, Genesis ; and Otto Procksch, Die Genesis (d
ed.; KAT ; Leipzig/Erlangen: A. Deichert/Werner Scholl, ) .
114 See also Driver, Genesis12 ; Paul H. Seely, The Geographical Meaning of Earth
and Seas in Genesis :, WTJ (): ; and perhaps, Jacob, Genesis .
115 See also Dillmann, Genesis6 (= ET .).
116 Delitzsch, A New Commentary on Genesis ..
117 See Zimmerli, .Mose3 ..
118 Peleg, BetM (): .
119 See, perhaps, Seebass, Genesis .. Cf. Talmon, ExAu (): .
120 Greenfield, in Language, Theology, and the Bible (= Al Kanfei Yonah .).
121 See Humbert, in Interpretationes Mowinckel (= Opuscules dun hbrasant ).

the disruptive sea and absorbs its pieces into the created world. It
recurs a third time when God vitiates the primaeval sea monsters
and reconstitutes them as a deliberately divided, sterilized, and good
creation. In a series of preemptive measures, Ps God thus overpowers
proven or potential enemies, demonstrating that/how he earned his
dominion over the world. In each theomachy, Ps God performs a
bloodless, noncombative, and nonviolent coup.122
Whereas the Priestly cosmogony describes the rule of order that God
imposed on the world, other texts take the next logical step (see already
Ps ).
You rule over the grandeur of the sea; when its waves rise, you still them.
It was you who crushed Rahab like a corpse; with your mighty arm
you scattered your enemies. Heaven is yours, so too the earth is yours;
the world and its contentsit was you who founded them. North and
southit was you who created them. Righteousness and justice are
the seat of your throne. (Ps :a.a)
The Lord has become king,123 robed in grandeur. The Lord is robed,
girded with might. The world is established; it is unshakeable. Your
throne is established from old; you are from eternity. The rivers raise, O
Lord, the rivers raise their voice; the rivers raise their crushing sound.
More than the sounds of the mighty waters, more majestic than the
breakers of the sea, the Lord is majestic on high. (Ps :)

These texts assert Gods kingship.124 In Ps , God vanquishes old


aquatic enemies (v. ) and rules them from his throne (vv. .a). In
Ps , he suppresses the primordial waters (vv. ) and is enthroned as
king (vv. a.a). And in Ps , the victorious master of watery chaos
(vv. ) is entitled God, my king from of old (v. a). In each
text too, the divine king appears in the context of the worlds creation (:, :b-a, :b).125 The implication for the Priestly
cosmogony is therefore clear.126 While God is creating the world and
See, e.g., Di Lella, in Mlanges Delcor .
For this proclamation and its different translations, see Schmidt, Die Schpfungsgeschichte2 ; John Gray, The Biblical Doctrine of the Reign of God (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark,
) ; and Levenson, Creation and Evil xxiii.
124 See Grg, BN (): .
125 Day, Gods Conflict .
126 For Mettinger, the Psalms texts participate in a larger, Jerusalemite tradition of
the motif of the chaos battle (The Dethronement of Sabaoth: Studies in the Shem and Kabod
Theologies [trans. Frederick H. Cryer; CBOT ; Lund: CWK Gleerup, ] with
n. . Cf. Patrick D. Miller, Jr., The Divine Warrior in Early Israel [HSM ; Cambridge,
Mass.: Harvard University Press, ] ).
122

123

prevailing over aquatic enemies, he is demonstrating and achieving


supreme kingship of the cosmos.127

See, progessively, Miller, The Divine Warrior (citing Frank Moore Cross, Canaanite Myth and Hebrew Epic: Essays in the History and Religion of Israel [Cambridge, Mass.:
Harvard University Press, ] ); Halpern, The Constitution of the Monarchy in Israel
(HSM ; Chico, Calif.: Scholars Press, ) ; and Weinfeld, Sabbath, Temple
and the Enthronement of the LordThe Problem of the Sitz im Leben of Genesis :
:, in Mlanges bibliques et orientaux en lhonneur de M. Henri Cazelles (ed. A. Caquot and
M. Delcor; AOAT ; Kevelaer/Neukirchen-Vluyn: Butzon & Bercker/Neukirchener
Verlag, ) .
127


GODS VICTORY OVER THE GODS, AND THE
ELEVATION OF THE HUMAN RACE
When God reveals his intention to make the human race, he is hardly
in divine isolation.1 On the contrary, he is situated in his divine community, whose members are invited in Genesis : to participate in
the last and most important act of creation2 (see ., .). They rise
to the occasion and support their leader, too.3 In the plural of vs.
a plurality of heavenly beings may be understood, but there is not a
hint of diversity of will or purpose.4 Gods divine court agrees to his
proposal.
The appearance of gods in Gen : might seem to prove that the
Priestly writer holds a liberal interpretation of monotheism. Indeed,
for many biblical authors the monotheistic character of Israels faith
never precluded the notion of Yahweh having a coterie or surrounded
by a court of semi-divine beings whom he addresses, commands, and
with whom he holds conversation5 (). But unlike those many biblical
1 See Horst Dietrich Preuss, Old Testament Theology (trans. Leo G. Perdue; vols.;
OTL; Louisville: Westminster John Knox, []) ..
2 Timothy Lenchak, Puzzling Passages: Then God said, Let us make man in
our image, after our likeness. (Genesis :), BT (): . See also Moshe
Weinfeld, God the Creator in Gen I and in the Prophecy of Second Isaiah, Tarb
(): (in Hebrew); idem, Deuteronomy and the Deuteronomic School (Oxford: Oxford
University Press, ) ; Patrick D. Miller, Jr., Cosmology and World Order
in the Old Testament: The Divine Council as Cosmic-Political Symbol, HBT /
(): (repr. in Israelite Religion and Biblical Theology: Collected Essays [JSOTS ;
Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, ] ); and, with qualification, Lothar
Ruppert, Zur Anthropologie der biblischen Urgeschichte, vornehmlich von Gen ,
Cath (): .
3 Cf. T. L. J. Mafico, The Divine Compound Name !$  and Israels
Monotheistic Polytheism, JNSL (): .
4 B. Gemser, God in Genesis, in idem et al., Studies on the Book of Genesis (OTS ;
Leiden: E. J. Brill, ) .
5 Miller, Genesis : Studies in Structure & Theme (JSOTS ; Sheffield: JSOT, )
. See also Jeffrey H. Tigay, Deuteronomy (The JPS Torah Commentary; Philadelphia/Jerusalem: Jewish Publication Society, ) ; and, more generally, J. Day,
The Religion of Israel, in Text in Context: Essays by Members of the Society for Old Testament
Study (ed. A. D. H. Mayes; Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press, ) .

authors, Priestly tolerance of a divine plurality evaporates; Ps recognition of gods lasts only a moment.
A great deal is accomplished during that moment, however. First,
the Priestly writer defines human character. The human race will rule
and create; it will be a creature sui generis yet placed in the context
of, and in relationship to, the constituents of the cosmos. In particular,
the human race will represent as well as imitate the divine constituents
in the cosmos, God and gods. Second, P describes divine character.
God is the incomparable creator; and he seeks the counsel of fellow
immortals to make a creature that will ultimately be related to the
divines, at least in part. The other divine party, the anonymous gods,
agrees to Gods terms. After all, the human creation will reflect them
too, at least in part. In this circumstance, the gods play a serious
role, and their appearance conforms to form-critical and theological
expectations. Though the Priestly writer refers to the gods only in this
one text, then, in all probability the reference is not unimportant yet
alone accidental or unconscious (see .; cf. .).
If the author of Genesis was in every other instance able to remove all
trace of polytheism from the traditional material he was handling, as he
is generally agreed to have done, why did he not manage to expunge the
plural of let us?6 If the plural is here, it is here deliberately.7

The plural and its referent seem purposeful.


.. The Gods and Their Demise
The gods are invoked in a conventional setting, when the worlds of
divinity and humanity are about to meet (.). But this Priestly episode
is also nonconventional. There is no sign that human beings will disobey God. Nor is there a sign that the gods will collude with God and
punish humankind (cf. .). Rather, the gods are informed that

6 See also Andreas Angerstorfer, Der Schpfergott des Alten Testaments. Herkunft und
Bedeutungsentwicklung des hebrischen Terminus (bara) schaffen (RST ; Frankfurt am
Main: Peter Lang, ) . Cf. Day, Gods Conflict with the Dragon and the Sea:
Echoes of a Canaanite Myth in the Old Testament (University of Cambridge Oriental Publications ; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, ) n. .
7 D. J. A. Clines, The Image of God in Man, TynB (): (repr. as
Humanity as the Image of God, in On the Way to the Postmodern: Old Testament Essays,
[ vols.; JSOTS ; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, ] .
), in a different context. See also the other references in Preface n. .

they will be represented in humankind through their image and their


likeness. Then something else ensues. Among other things, the gods
vanish from the Priestly Pentateuch.
... The gods fate is reflected in the two features that they are
invited to contribute to the human race. Likeness is one.

(Gen :a)
(Gen :)

For as this comparison shows, v. is an unusual execution clause. It


does not narrate the enactment of Gods proposal in identical (e.g.,
v. ) or near-identical language (e.g., v. a). It somewhat resembles
the pattern of those clauses in which God himself executes a nonagentive, third-person desiderative (vv. ..; see also vv. .a). In
v. a, however, the desiderative is completely different; it includes
the addressee in a cooperative, and agentive, task. Another unusual
aspect of the execution clause is its predicate.8 In the proposal, Ps God
uses an appropriately general and inclusive verb ()9 to involve his
divine colleagues in this last act.10 Yet in the execution, P replaces
with a verb that is absolutely and exclusively reserved for God ()
(see also ...).11 For P, Gods intrinsic and unique creative power
overrides the creative potential of the gods.12 A third unusual aspect of
8 Jrgen Ebach, Bild Gottes und Schrecken der Tiere. Zur Anthropologie der
priesterlichen Urgeschichte, in idem, Ursprung und Ziel. Erinnerte Zukunft und erhoffte
Vergangheit. Biblische Exegesen, Reflexionen, Geschichten (Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener
Verlag, ) .
9 For this characterization, see J. Vollmer,
sh to make, do, in TLOT ..
Terence E. Fretheim, however, would also find a proleptic meaning in this verb (Creator, Creature, and Co-Creation in Genesis , in All Things New: Essays in Honor of
Roy A. Harrisville [ed. Arland J. Hultgren, Donald H. Juel, and Jack D. Kingsbury; Word
& World Supplement Series ; St. Paul: Luther Northwestern Theological Seminary,
] ).
10 See Weinfeld, Tarb (): . Cf. Manfred Weippert, Tier und Mensch in
einer menschenarmen Welt. Zum sog. dominium terrae in Genesis , in Ebenbild Gottes
Herrscher ber die Welt. Studien zu Wrde und Auftrag des Menschen (ed. Hans-Peter Mathys;
Biblisch-Theologische Studien ; Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, )
.
11 Paul Humbert, Emploi et porte du verbe br (crer) dans LAncien Testament, TZ (): (repr. in Opuscules dun hbrasant [MUN ; Neuchtel: Universit de Neuchtel, ] ); and W. H. Schmidt, br to create, in TLOT
.. See also Brevard S. Childs, The Book of Exodus (OTL; Philadelphia: Westminster,
) (ad Ex :).
12 See, sympathetically, Schmidt, Die Schpfungsgeschichte der Priesterschrift. Zur berlieferungsgeschichte von Genesis ,,a und ,b-, (d ed.; WMANT ; Neukirchen-Vluyn:
Neukirchener Verlag, ) .

v. pertains to the gods likeness which was to be registered, albeit


distantly, in the human creature. It simply does not survive beyond
v. .13 And Gen explains why.

(Gen :b-a)

It does not survive because the gods is replaced by Gods, just


as their (cap-) ability to make was trumped by Gods (cap-) ability
to create. God, the sole maker in the likeness of God,
subsumes the gods under him. In an act of God, the gods and
their likeness fade away.
The gods fate is also reflected in their other would-be contribution
to the human race. As soon as God creates the first human beings, the
gods image disappears as well.

(Gen :a)
(Gen :a;
see also :b)

Despite Gods acknowledgement that his divine addressees possess a


measure of , it too does not survive beyond v. . Our inclusive
image is replaced by his exclusively, as the grammar indicates. The
reflexive singular suffix requires that the image be referred directly
to God, the sole and single actor, and not to a lower order of divine
beings.14 As he takes charge of his troops, the divine leader imposes his
image over theirs.
Notwithstanding its suitability in context, this power-based interpretation of v. a has rivals. In one case, the suffix on is said to
correct a referential unintelligibility or ambiguity in the plural suffixes
in v. a.15 In another, the relationship between and the adjacent
13 See Martin Buber, Imitatio Dei, in idem, Israel and the World: Essays in a Time of
Crisis (d ed.; New York: Schocken, ) .
14 Phyllis A. Bird, Male and Female He Created Them: Gen :b in the Context
of the Priestly Account of Creation, HTR (): n. (repr. in Missing Persons
and Mistaken Identities: Women and Gender in Ancient Israel [OBT; Minneapolis: Fortress,
] n. ). See also Weippert, in Ebenbild GottesHerrscher ber die Welt ; and, in
nuce, Wilhelm Caspari, Imago divina Gen I, in Reinhold-Seeberg-Festschrift (ed. Wilhelm
Koepp; vols.; Leipzig: A. Deichert/Werner Scholl, ) ..
15 Josef Scharbert, Der Mensch als Ebenbild Gottes in der neueren Auslegung
von Gen ,, in Weisheit GottesWeisheit der Welt. Festschrift fr Joseph Kardinal Ratzinger
zum . Geburtstag (ed. Walter Baier et al.; vols.; St. Ottilien: EOS, ) . n. ;
and, perhaps, Walter Gro, Die Gottebenbildlichkeit des Menschen im Kontext der
Priesterschrift, TQ (): (repr. in Studien zur Priesterschrift und zu alttestamentlichen

is questioned: whereas unambiguously refers to God,


is allegedly congruent with the plural pronouns of v. a;16
its nomen rectum is to be analyzed as a semantically plural noun.17 These
two grammatical analyses, however, miss the exegetical point. In the
first case, any referential difficulties posed by the plural pronouns in
v. a are clarified by form-critical background, not grammatical repair
(..). In the second case, the prepositional phrases and
cannot be dissociated from each other; their appositive syntax
signals coreferentiality.18 As in , then, the possessor in
is necessarily a singular entity.19 So, the original interpretation stands. In
the movement from v. to v. , Ps God dominates the gods image
with his own and, in the process, dominates them, too.
... According to this description, God does more than invoke gods
in Gen :. He confronts them as he had confronted other primaeval
cohabitants of the world. As before, he does not wait for his opponent
to erupt and disrupt the cosmos of his creation. As before, he takes preemptive yet nonviolent action, diffuses the threat, and neutralizes the
once-mythological enemy. And as before, they are ultimately incorporated into the cosmos of Gods design. At this point in time, the gods
are under his control.
Nonetheless, Gods enemies can persist in different ways (see
..).20 For instance, the deep of Gen : later bursts open, releas

Gottesbildern [SBAB ; Stuttgart: Katholisches Bibelwerk, ] ). See also Johann


Jakob Stamm, Zur Frage der Imago Dei im Alten Testament, in Humanitt und Glaube.
Gedenkschrift fr Kurt Guggisberg (ed. Ulrich Neuenschwander and Rudolf Dellsperger;
Bern/Stuttgart: Paul Haupt, ) .
16 See H. Wildberger, 
 s. elem image, in TLOT ..
17 Julian Morgenstern, The Sources of the Creation StoryGenesis ::, AJSL
(): ; G. W. Ahlstrm, Aspects of Syncretism in Israelite Religion (trans. Eric
J. Sharpe; HSoed ; Lund: C. W. K. Gleerup, ) ; and John F. A. Sawyer,
The Meaning of !$ "a (in the image of God) in Genesis ixi, JTS
(): . See also Tryggve N. D. Mettinger, Abbild oder Urbild? Imago Dei in
traditionsgeschichtlicher Sicht, ZAW (): .
18 Gordon J. Wenham, Genesis ( vols.; WBC ; Waco/Dallas: Word, )
.. For a complementary analysis, see Alviero Niccacci, Finite Verb in the Second
Position of the SentenceCoherence of the Hebrew Verbal System, ZAW ():
with n. .
19 In this context, see Caspari, in Reinhold-Seeberg-Festschrift .; Schmidt, Die Schpfungsgeschichte2 n. ; and Willem A. M. Beuken, The Human Person in the Vision
of Genesis : A Synthesis of Contemporary Insights, LouvSt (): .
20 Jon D. Levenson, Creation and the Persistence of Evil: The Jewish Drama of Divine Omnipotence (Mythos; Princeton: Princeton University Press, []) ; and Donald
B. Sharp, A Biblical Foundation for an Environmental Theology: A New Perspec-

ing the flood in the tenth human generation (Gen : [P]).21 The water,
though, is again contained by God (: [P]).22 The sea monsters persist as well, albeit in reduced scope and absolutely under Gods control.
The scene is the contest between Aaron and the Egyptian magicians
(Ex : [P]; see also : [J]),23 when Pharaoh asks for a demonstration of Yahwehs power: Aaron produces a rod; the rod is transformed
into a sea monster; and this one monster devours all the sea monsters
that the magicians similarly produce. As all agree, the rod demonstrates
Yahwehs power.24 He unleashes an evil creature that he had formerly
deprived of autonomy, placed under his control, and worked into his
cosmos.25 But Yahweh does something else as well; he transforms this
primaeval creature into an expression of himself. Under his own overwhelming power, the olden sea monster has become an extension of
God.
The Destroyer is another, and more radical, example of an unplugged divine remnant. In the J tradition, the Destroyer is angelic.
When the Lord passes through to strike down the Egyptians and sees the
blood on the lintel and the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over the
door and will not let the Destroyer enter your houses to strike
(you) down. (Ex :)26
tive on Genesis : and :, ScEs (): . Cf. Ernst Wrthwein, Chaos
und Schpfung im mythischen Denken und in der biblischen Urgeschichte, in Zeit
und Geschichte. Dankesgabe an Rudolf Bultmann zum . Geburtstag (ed. Erich Dinkler and
Hartwig Thyen; Tbingen: J. C. B. Mohr [Paul Siebeck], ) (repr. in Wort
und Existenz. Studien zum Alten Testament [Gttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, ]
).
21 Otto Procksch, Die Genesis (d ed.; KAT ; Leipzig/Erlangen: A. Deichert/Werner Scholl, ) ; B. Jacob, Das erste Buch der Tora. Genesis (Berlin: Schocken, )
; and Levenson, Sinai and Zion: An Entry into the Jewish Bible (New Voices in Biblical
Studies; Minneapolis: Winston, ) .
22 See P. J. Harland, The Value of Human Life: A Study of the Story of the Flood (Genesis )
(VTS ; Leiden: E. J. Brill, ) , who also finds Gods agency in Gen :.
23 For a source-critical discussion of these texts, see John Van Seters, A Contest of
Magicians? The Plague Stories in P, in Pomegranates and Golden Bells: Studies in Biblical,
Jewish, and Near Eastern Ritual, Law, and Literature in Honor of Jacob Milgrom (ed. David
P. Wright, David Noel Freedman, and Avi Hurvitz; Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns,
) , esp. .
24 For the irony of this display, see John D. Currid, The Egyptian Setting of the
Serpent: Confrontation in Exodus ,, BZ (): .
25 See, in part, Scott B. Noegel, Moses and Magic: Notes on the Book of Exodus,
JANES (): . Cf. Pnina Galpaz-Feller, who finds an Egyptian reference in the
sea monster here (Egyptological Motifs in the Sign of the Serpent [Exodus :;
:], BetM []: , [in Hebrew]).
26 For the assignment of this verse to J, see Bernhard W. Anderson, Analytical Out-

It is a personalized, quasi-independent aspect of Yahweh27 that functions as a destructive instrument of Gods will (see also Sam
:a.).28 Yet according to P, the Destroyer does not exist.
The blood of yours will act as a sign on the houses where you are.
When I see the blood, I shall pass over you. No plague shall come
against you for (your) destruction when I strike the land of Egypt.
(Ex :)
is not a concrete entity; it is not an angel or quasi-independent
vehicle of Gods will;29 and it does not act at Gods behest. In v. ,
is an abstraction.30 It does not even refer directly to God (cf.
Gen :b [P]).31 Ps is an attribute of plague.32 In the hands of
P, then, the divine Destroyer is itself destroyed. No longer an aspect of
God, it is depersonalized and demythologized out of existence.33
The Priestly writer seems more than casually aware that gods exist.
In the cosmogony, God reckons with former mythological beings that

line of the Pentateuch, in Martin Noth, A History of Pentateuchal Traditions (Englewood


Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, ) ; J. Philip Hyatt, Exodus (rev. ed.; NCBC;
Grand Rapids/London: Eerdmans/Marshall, Morgan & Scott, ) ; and, tentatively, Childs, Exodus . Cf. the different opinions of Peter Weimar, Exodus ,
a. Ein Zusatz nachdeuteronomischer Provenienz aus der Hand der Pentateuchredaktion, in Deuteronomy and Deuteronomic Literature. Festschrift C. H. W. Brekelmans (ed. M. Vervenne and J. Lust; BETL ; Louvain: University Press/Peeters, ) n. ;
William H. C. Propp, Exodus (AB ; New York: Doubleday, ) .; Shimon
Bar-On, Zur literarkritischen Analyse von Ex ,, ZAW (): ; and
Van Seters, The Life of Moses: The Yahwist as Historian in Exodus-Numbers (Louisville: Westminster/John Knox, ) .
27 Propp, Exodus ..
28 Hyatt, Exodus 2 ; and Schmidt, Erwgungen zur Geschichte der Ausschliesslichkeit des alttestamentlichen Glaubens, in Congress Volume: Paris, (ed. J. A. Emerton; VTS ; Leiden: E. J. Brill, ) with n. . See also S. A. Meier, Destroyer
, in DDD 2 b.
29 Saul M. Olyan, A Thousand Thousands Served Him: Exegesis and the Naming of Angels in
Ancient Judaism (TSAJ ; Tbingen: J. C. B. Mohr [Paul Siebeck], ) n. .
30 See August Dillmann, Die Bcher Exodus und Leviticus (ed. Victor Ryssel; d ed.;
KeHAT ; Leipzig: S. Hirzel, ) , ; Bruno Baentsch, Exodus-Leviticus-Numeri
(HKAT I/; Gttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, ) ; and Propp, Exodus ..
31 Cf. S. R. Driver, The Book of Exodus (CBSC; Cambridge: Cambridge University
Press, ) .
32 See Jacob, The Second Book of the Bible: Exodus (trans. Walter Jacob and Yaakov
Elman; Hoboken, New Jersey: Ktav, []) .
33 Cf. Levenson, The Death and Resurrection of the Beloved Son: The Transformation of Child
Sacrifice in Judaism and Christianity (New Haven/London: Yale University Press, )
.

have the potential to upset his cosmos. One such being later loosens the
flood. In Egypt, another being reappears yet under Gods firm harness.
At the same time, P unplugs a destructive representative of God. On
several occasions, then, P and Ps God reckon with the legacy of divine
beings.34
Although all these Urgtter suffer a common fate in the early Priestly
tradition, they are nonetheless not alike. Some symbolize evil, chaos,
or harm. Gods first three antagonists in the cosmogony define the
potential undoing of the cosmos. Similarly, the brief reinstatement of
a sea monster in Ex foreshadows the plagues that God will uncork
against Egypt. But other Urgtter are not conspicuously or recognizably
evil. On the sixth day, Ps God presumably solicits the gods because
they will be cooperative and compliant. Also, God speaks only of
positive attributes that they will share with human beings. Yet his
divine assistants suffer the same fate as their obstructive and destructive
counterparts. They quietly fall in a bloodless theomachy.
... Just as the divine scenario of Gen : is supported by other
Priestly narratives, it is also supported by non-Priestly traditions. For
example, Job corroborates that the gods were present at creation.
Where were you when I founded the earth? Tell (me), if you have understanding. Who set its measurements, since you know; or who stretched
a (measuring) line over it? On what were its bases sunk? or who set its
cornerstone when the morning stars sang together, and all the divinities
shouted for joy? (Job :)

The gods celebrated Gods first creative act.35 Perhaps they participated
in creation as well: Since the verbs expressing creation in this text are
not exclusively controlled by God, these terms open the possibility of

Weinfeld, Tarb (): n. . See also Julius Wellhausen, Prolegomenon to


the History of Ancient Israel (trans. J. Sutherland Black and Allan Menzies; ; repr.,
Gloucester, Mass.: Peter Smith, ) n. ; and Michael V. Fox, The Sign of the
Covenant: Circumcision in the Light of the Priestly t Etiologies, RB (): .
Cf. Baruch Halpern, Sybil, or the Two Nations? Archaism, Kinship, Alienation, and
the Elite Redefinition of Traditional Culture in Judah in the th-th Centuries B.C.E.,
in The Study of the Ancient Near East in the Twenty-First Century: The William Foxwell Albright
Centennial Conference (ed. Jerrold S. Cooper and Glenn M. Schwartz; Winona Lake, Ind.:
Eisenbrauns, ) .
35 For the sequence of creative acts in this episode, see Bernh. Duhm, Das Buch Hiob
(KHAT ; Freiburg: J. C. B. Mohr [Paul Siebeck], ) ; and Karl Budde, Das
Buch Hiob (HKAT II/; Gttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, ) .
34

co-divine involvement under Gods direction and leadership.36 As in


Gen :, Jobs God was not alone at creation but was accompanied by
divine ministers.37
If Job places the gods at creation, Gen demonstrates their .
Mullen implies that, in Canaanite, Phoenician, and early Hebrew
sources, gods do not engender or produce human beings. They did
not have the power of decree or of life. This belonged only to the

38
Greenstein, however, refutes the implication.
high god El/Yahweh.
[T]he notion of divine procreation is reflected, or if you wish, refracted
in the episode of cohabitation between the sons of God and the human
daughters in Gen. :.39 The Yahwist tradition, then, furnished P
with clear evidence that gods are capable of producing a (semi-) human
population.
For Priestly as well as non-Priestly traditions, the gods serve an
administrative function. The Priestly writer registers this trait as .
Other writers describe the setting in which their comes to the fore
(e.g., Dt :+QDeutj :).
The concern for order in the cosmos as a function of the divine assembly
under the rule of Yahweh is seen not only in the governance of Israel
but also in the way the council is the context in which the relationship
between humankind and the divine world is worked out, the nations and
peoples of the earth are established and governed, and righteousness as
the foundation of the cosmos is maintained.40

God shares the governance of the world with his godly subordinates
(..).
36 See Miller, HBT / (): (= Israelite Religion and Biblical Theology );
and Norman C. Habel, The Book of Job (OTL; Philadelphia: Westminster, ) ,
in conjunction with Marc Zvi Brettler, God is King: Understanding an Israelite Metaphor
(JSOTS ; Sheffield: JSOT Press, ) . Cf. Hermann Gunkel, Schpfung und Chaos
in Urzeit und Endzeit. Eine religionsgeschichtliche Untersuchung ber Gen und Ap Joh (d ed.;
Gttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, []) (repr. and abr. as The Influence
of Babylonian Mythology upon the Biblical Creation Story, in Creation in the Old
Testament [ed. Bernhard W. Anderson; IRT ; Philadelphia/London: Fortress/SPCK,
] ).
37 Day, Gods Conflict .
38 E. Theodore Mullen, Jr., The Divine Council in Canaanite and Early Hebrew Literature
(HSM ; Chico, Calif.: Scholars Press, ) , also quoted by Miller, HBT /
(): n. (= Israelite Religion and Biblical Theology n. ).
39 Edward L. Greenstein, The God of Israel and the Gods of Canaan: How
Different Were They? in Proceedings of the Twelfth World Congress of Jewish Studies ( vols.;
Jerusalem: World Union of Jewish Studies, ) Division A, *.
40 Miller, HBT / (): (= Israelite Religion and Biblical Theology ).

But non-Priestly traditions also assert that the gods can fail to execute their divine mission.
Truly, O gods,41 do you pronounce justice? do you judge humanity
equitably? Even so, with a perverse heart you act on earth; you mete
out violence (with) your hands. (Ps : [emended])

For this psalmist, their failure constitutes and breeds violence. For
another, it provokes more than an indictment.
God takes his position in the assembly of God, among the gods he
executes justice. For how long will you judge perversely and favor the
wicked? I had said, You are gods; all of you are sons of the Supreme
One. Alas (lit., not so!), you will die like humans and fall like any prince.
(Ps :.)

God revokes their innate immortality.42 Having failed to maintain the


justice and righteousness that constitute the basis of Gods rule (:a),
having championed the antithesis of Gods fundamental design, God
sentences his subordinates to death.43 Divine misdeeds are not tolerated.44
To a certain extent, Ps and Gen have a common theological agenda. They each depict a dynamic monotheizing drama.45 In
Gen , God works to defeat once-divine enemies that threaten to corrupt the world of his creation. One by one, God confronts his enemy,
neutralizes his enemy, and achieves victorious kingship. In Ps , God
likewise punishes gods whose deeds betray their un-Godly evil. He confronts them in court (v. ):46 as a plaintiff, he charges them with their
41 Reading !
 for MT 
 , with, e.g., Gunkel (Die Psalmen [th ed.; HKAT II/;
Gttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, ] ); Hans-Joachim Kraus (Psalms [trans.
Hilton C. Oswald; vols.; Minneapolis: Augsburg, ()] . n. b); and,
with discussion, Matitiahu Tsevat (God and the Gods in Assembly: An Interpretation
of Psalm , HUCA []: ).
42 For interpretations, see W. O. E. Oesterley, The Psalms (London: S.P.C.K.,
[]) ; Hans-Winfried Jngling, Der Tod der Gtter. Eine Untersuchung zu Psalm
(SBS ; Stuttgart: Katholisches Bibelwerk, ) ; and Tsevat, HUCA
(): .
43 Miller, HBT / (): (= Israelite Religion and Biblical Theology ); and
Levenson, Creation and Evil .
44 H. Wheeler Robinson, The Council of Yahweh, JTS (): ; and
Schmidt, Knigtum Gottes in Ugarit und Israel. Zur Herkunft der Knigsprdikation Jahwes (d
ed.; BZAW ; Berlin: Alfred Tpelmann, ) .
45 Levenson, Sinai and Zion (on Ps ). See also Tsevat, HUCA ():
.
46 Simon B. Parker, The Beginning of the Reign of GodPsalm as Myth
and Liturgy, RB (): . See also Jngling, Der Tod der Gtter . Cf.

crimes (vv. );47 as a judge, he pronounces their sentence (v. ).48 Inasmuch as he holds the ideal epithet (v. b), which emphasizes
His supremacy over the other divine beings,49 he exercises the authority that befits his rank.50 Since his divine subordinates (lit., sons) fall
under his jurisdiction,51 he must intervene and restore a just order.52
Now, O God, judge the earth, for you own all the nations. (Ps :)

He must condemn his disloyal deputies, exercise his own rule, and
restore justice.53 The last verse of the psalm brings to God the victorious command to give justice to the world. The God of Israel
is regarded as the only true judge and protector of the weak.54 Ultimately, justice is his responsibility (..).55 And like any suzerain, God

Mitchell Dahood, Psalms ( vols.; AB A; Garden City, New York: Doubleday,


) ..
47 Tsevat, HUCA (): .
48 Halpern, The Constitution of the Monarchy in Israel (HSM ; Chico, Calif.: Scholars
Press, ) ; and Kraus, Psalms ..
49 Tigay, Deuteronomy (ad Dt :). See also Herbert Schmid, Jahwe und die
Kulttraditionen von Jerusalem, ZAW (): , ; H.-J. Zobell, "
elyn, in TDOT .; and, differently, R. N. Whybray, The Heavenly Counsellor in Isaiah
xl : A Study of the Sources of the Theology of Deutero-Isaiah (SOTSMS ; Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press, ) . Nonetheless, the superlative degree of the
epithet is not morphologically marked but semantically inferred (see Hans Bauer
and Pontus Leander, Historische Grammatik der hebrischen Sprache des Alten Testamentes [Halle
a. S.: Max Niemeyer, ] p; and, esp., John Huehnergard, A Grammar of Akkadian
[HSS ; Atlanta: Scholars Press, ] .).
50 Cf. Schmidt, Knigtum Gottes 2 ; or Mark S. Smith, The Origins of Biblical Monotheism: Israels Polytheistic Background and the Ugaritic Texts (Oxford: Oxford University Press,
) , .
51 Gerald Cooke, The Israelite King as Son of God, ZAW (): ; idem,
The Sons of (the) God(s), ZAW (): ; and the references in ch. nn.
and , above.
YHWH, JNSL (): ; and Bernd
52 See John T. Willis, QMAH
Janowski, Der barmherzige Richter. Zur Einheit von Gerechtigkeit und Barmherzigkeit im Gottesbild des Alten Orients und des Alten Testaments, in Das Drama der
Barmherzigkeit Gottes. Studien zur biblischen Gottesrede und ihrer Wirkungsgeschichte in Judentum
und Christentum (ed. Ruth Scoralick; SBS ; Stuttgart: Katholisches Bibelwerk, )
n. , in conjunction with Tsevat, HUCA (): , .
53 Parker, RB (): .
54 F. Charles Fensham, Widow, Orphan, and the Poor in Ancient Near Eastern
Legal and Wisdom Literature, JNES (): a (repr. in Essential Papers on Israel
and the Ancient Near East [ed. Frederick E. Greenspahn; New York/London: New York
University Press, ] ).
55 For another example, shared with Dt :, see Parker, RB (): n. ,
n. .

has the right to depose errant vassals. To remedy their failure, God
must impose his over theirs.
.. Gods Rule
From beginning to end, the topic of the Priestly cosmogony is God.
Elohim is the subject; He is the singular agent of will; He has created
everything, including man.56 The human creation, of course, reflects
God.57 After God had make [sic] all the other creatures, he made a
creature similar to himself in whom he could recognize himself. God
created another self.58 As the form-critical background of Gen :
suggests, he makes it partly for his own benefit, too (.). Even the
cosmos reflects God. Like its ancient Near Eastern analogues, the
Priestly cosmogony tells of a god who triumphs over the forces of chaos
and, as victor, constructs a (new) domain in which he can reside and
rule forever.59 Most of all, then, the configuration of the world reflects
Gods handiwork as well as the character of God himself.60
And vice versa. As the world changes, so does God.61 He assumes
four different forms throughout the Priestly cosmogony, the first of
which appears before the onset of creation.
The earth was unformed and void; darkness was upon the surface of the
deep; and Gods wind was fluttering over the surface of the
water. (Gen :)

56 Michael Fishbane, Text and Texture: Close Readings of Selected Biblical Texts (New York:
Schocken, ) . See also Erich Zenger, Gottes Bogen in den Wolken. Untersuchungen
zu Komposition und Theologie der priesterschriftlichen Urgeschichte (d ed.; SBS ; Stuttgart:
Katholisches Bibelwerk, ) .
57 Note, however, Preuss, Old Testament Theology .; and Martin A. Klopfenstein,
Was heit: Macht euch die Erde untertan? berlegungen zur Schpfungsgeschichte
der Bibel in der Umweltkrise heute, in idem, Leben aus dem Wort. Beitrge zum Alten
Testament (ed. Walter Dietrich; BEAT ; Bern: Peter Lang, ) .
58 Walter Vogels, The Human Person in the Image of God (Gn ,), ScEs
(): .
59 Levenson, Creation and Evil ; and Rainer Albertz, A History of Israelite
Religion in the Old Testament Period (trans. John Bowden; vols.; OTL; Louisville: Westminster John Knox, []) .. See also Norbert Lohfink, Die Gottesstatue.
Kreatur und Kunst nach Genesis , in idem, Im Schatten deiner Flgel. Groe Bibeltexte neu
erschlossen (d ed.; Freiburg: Herder, []) .
60 See Fretheim, in All Things New .
61 Cf. Thomas M. Krapf, Biblischer Monotheismus und vorexilischer JHWHGlaube, BTZ (): .

When the cosmos is yet unformed, the earth is shapeless and desolate,62
and there is seamless water all around (see , intro.), Gods form is
amorphous, invisible, and indistinct.63 At this stage, God is as nebulous
as the world that he confronts.64 Then, the world begins to take shape.
When God began to create heaven and earth65
God said, Let there be light. And there was light. (Gen :.)

At this time, God solidifies into a stable, generic entity like much else in
the world. He next adopts a third identity, relative to others.
Then God said, Let us make humankind
image, according to our likeness. (Gen :a)

in our

When God conceives of his future, self-reflecting partners in the world,


when he assembles his nameless fellow divinities to undertake the joint
task of realizing his wish, God begins to assertor revealan ego.
On the sixth day, God identifies himself as a member of a community,
present and/or future, that in turn represents him in the world. Thereafter, God takes one last form.
God said, I hereby give you every seed-bearing plant that is upon
the surface of the whole earth, and every tree that has seed-bearing fruit.
It shall be yours for food. (Gen :)

The moment that God asserts control over human beings (see .),
God becomes fully individuated. He is a self-defined, unique, and completely distinct entity. Once an indefinite, abstract, meteorological phenomenon (v. ),66 God progressively transforms into a self-referential,
concrete, singular being (v. ). In the end, God achieves a unique, selfconscious singularity.

62 Childs, Myth and Reality in the Old Testament (d ed.; SBT /; London: SCM, )
with n. ; William P. Brown, Structure, Role, and Ideology in the Hebrew and Greek Texts of
Genesis :: (SBLDS ; Atlanta: Scholars Press, ) ; and Roberto Ouro, The
Earth of Genesis :: Abiotic or Chaotic? AUSS (): .
63 See Nicolas Wyatt, The Darkness of Genesis i , VT (): ; and Ouro,
AUSS (): .
64 See Walther Zimmerli, .Mose ( vols.; d/st ed.; ZB.AT /; Zurich: Theologischer Verlag, ) ., in conjunction with Ouro, AUSS (): .
65 See Brown, Structure, Role, and Ideology .
66 Harry M. Orlinsky, The Plain Meaning of ruah in Gen. ., in Dropsie College
.
Jubilee Alumni Issue (JQR /; Philadelphia: Dropsie College for Hebrew and Cognate
Learning, ) ; Robert Luyster, Wind and Water: Cosmogonic Symbolism
in the Old Testament, ZAW (): ; and Day, Gods Conflict . Cf. Brown,
Structure, Role, and Ideology .

... This achievement is accompanied by another, in which God


attains his unique rank (see ..). It is an achievement founded
upon the demonstrated authority of the God who is triumphant over
all rivals. It is the achievement of Gods victory over gods, whose
elimination is the tangible proof of his lordship.67 From a certain perspective, it is a mark of Israelite monotheism and one of its
tenetsthat YHWH is king and that all other beings, including the
other gods, are therefore subordinate to him.68 For throughout the
Priestly cosmogony, God disempowers his rivals and realizes kingship
for himself.69
These achievements are not only described in the Priestly cosmogony. They are imprinted on Gods standard Priestly name and title:
. According to traditional interpretation, in fact, the morphology
of connotes the majesty that belongs to God (pluralis maiestatis)
(see ., ..). But the theomachies and Gods other achievements
over the course of creation suggest a complementary interpretation
as well.70 In this latter case, is similar to several other nouns
whose plural morphology does not express numerical plurality: e.g.,
strength (Is :), might (:), terror (Jer :;
see also Job :), and vengeance (Jdg :; Sam :).71
They each express (a type of) inherent strength, power, or potent force.
, like Behemoth (Job :),72 expresses the same feature:
great or intense power.73 It is a feature, moreover, that non-Priestly

Levenson, Creation and Evil .


Idem, Sinai and Zion . See also Caspari, Der Herr ist Knig, CuW (): ;
and Schmidt, Knigtum Gottes2 .
69 See Schmidt, Knigtum Gottes 2 , .
70 See Heinrich Ewald, Ausfhrliches Lehrbuch der hebrischen Sprache des Alten Bundes (th
ed.; Gttingen: Dieterich, ) b.
71 For the list, see Aaron Ember, The Pluralis Intensivus in Hebrew, AJSL
(): . See also Paul Joon, A Grammar of Biblical Hebrew (trans. and rev. T. Muraoka; vols.; SubBi /III; Rome: Pontificio Istituto Biblico, ) f.
72 See the discussions in A. de Wilde, Das Buch Hiob (OTS ; Leiden: E. J. Brill,
) ; and Samuel E. Balentine, What Are Human Beings, That You Make
So Much of Them? Divine Disclosure from the Whirlwind: Look at Behemoth,
in God in the Fray: A Tribute to Walter Brueggemann (ed. Tod Linafelt and Timothy K. Beal;
Minneapolis: Fortress, ) . See also Day, Gods Conflict , .
73 Ember, AJSL (): , in conjunction with Greenstein, Presenting Genesis , Constructively and Deconstructively, Prooftexts (): . Compare the intensive plural (pluralis intensivus), as in (complete) knowledge ( Sam :), (utter)
gladness (Pss :, :), and even (any) counsel (whatsoever) (Dt :) (see
67

68

texts attribute to God at creation (e.g., Pss :, :; see also :


).74 Gods name and title, then, reveal what he himself demonstrates
through the cosmogony:75 the application of intense power to suppress
rivals,76 create the cosmos as his domain, and achieve the status of king
(see ..).77
... Towards the end of the cosmogony, God repeats this achievement one more time (see ..). But on this occasion, his rivals are not
intrinsically evil or hostile. They do not threaten to undo the harmonic
order that God imposes on the world. On the contrary, these would-be
rivals are ostensibly supportivea divine phalanx that God deliberately
assembles to help him make humankind.
These gods represent a threat of a different kind, however. This
threat might not exist in other traditions (see , intro.).
The conception of a host of heavenly beings, Yahwehs entourage, was
always present in the faith of Israel, and it never clashed with monotheism, but in fact emphasized Yahwehs majesty and uniqueness.78

In these other traditions, God is specifically enthroned over his divine


assembly.79 P, though, objects.
The Priestly theology posits the existence of one supreme God who
contends with neither a higher realm nor with competing peers.80

GKC e; and, esp., Ember, AJSL []: . Cf. the phonological interpretation advanced by Gary A. Rendsburg, Linguistic Evidence for the Northern Origin of Selected
Psalms [SBLMS ; Atlanta: Scholars Press, ] , ).
74 Fishbane, Text and Texture .
75 See S. Dean McBride Jr., Divine Protocol: Genesis :: as Prologue to the
Pentateuch, in God Who Creates: Essays in Honor of W. Sibley Towner (ed. William P. Brown
and S. Dean McBride Jr.; Grand Rapids/Cambridge, U.K.: Eerdmans, ) n. .
76 See Walther Eichrodt, Theology of the Old Testament (trans. J. A. Baker; vols.; OTL;
Philadelphia: Westminster, []) ..
77 See Schmidt, Knigtum Gottes 2 .
78 C. J. Labuschagne, The Incomparability of Yahweh in the Old Testament (POS ; Leiden:
E. J. Brill, ) . See also Dale Patrick, The Rendering of God in the Old Testament (OBT; Philadelphia: Fortress, ) n. ; Herbert Niehr, The Rise of YHWH
in Judahite and Israelite Religion: Methodological and Religio-Historical Aspects, in
The Triumph of Elohim: From Yahwisms to Judaisms (ed. Diana Vikander Edelman; Grand
Rapids/Kampen: Eerdmans/Kok Pharos, []) ; and Miller, quoted
above in , intro.
79 Mullen, Divine Assembly, in ABD .b.
80 Jacob Milgrom, Leviticus ( vols.; AB B; New York: Doubleday, ) ..
See also Susan Niditch, Oral World and Written Word: Ancient Israelite Literature (Library
of Ancient Israel; Louisville: Westminster John Knox, ) ; and Westermann and
Harland, quoted in ., ., respectively.

Ps God does not have a heavenly entourage. Ps God does not have
divine assistants or ambassadors. Ps God has no divine peers. For P,
a host of heavenly beings very much clashed with monotheism.81
Their existence is a theological affront, defining them as Gods rivals
(see ..). And Yahweh the suzerain cannot tolerate rivals.82 He
defeats them as he defeated other rivals in the cosmogony: He neutralizes, or engulfs, them; and they never reemerge in the Priestly pentateuchal tradition. Ps God therefore achieves sole majestic rule over the
world and, in the process, establishes monotheism itself.83
... Whereas Gods council disappears, another set of nonmalevolent divine beings has left distinct traces in the subsequent Priestly
narrative.84 They too were once Gods assistants. They too are now
deposed, depersonalized, demythologized, and deprived of any vitality
whatsoever. And they too specifically express the kingly deity.85 These
beings are the Cherubim.
Outside of the early Priestly tradition, the Cherubim are mythological beings. In most texts, they are celestial winged bearers of God
upon which he was imagined as sitting enthroned (e.g., Ps :).86
They can transport God through space (e.g., Sam :; Ps :).
They represent and attend to God (e.g., Ez :). In other texts, the
Cherubim are protective beings associated with Eden (e.g., :).87
He [sc. the Lord God] expelled the man, and he stationed east of the
garden of Eden the Cherubim and the flame of a whirling sword, to
guard the way to the tree of life. (Gen : [J])

Cf. Whybray, The Heavenly Counsellor in Isaiah xl .


Levenson, Sinai and Zion .
83 For other developmental statements, see Fritz Stolz, Jahwes Unvergleichlichkeit
und Unergrndlichkeit. Aspekte der Entwicklung zum alttestamentlichen Monotheismus, WuD (): ; and Walter Dietrich, Grenzen gttlicher Macht nach dem
Alten Testament, ZTK (): . Cf. Edwin Firmage, Genesis and the Priestly
Agenda, JSOT (): .
84 Propp (p.c.).
85 Othmar Keel and Christoph Uehlinger, Gods, Goddesses, and Images of God in Ancient
Israel (trans. Thomas H. Trapp; Edinburgh: T & T Clark, []) . See also,
inter alios, Preuss, Old Testament Theology .; and Mettinger, Cherubim , in
DDD2 b.
86 Moshe Greenberg, Ezekiel (AB ; Garden City, New York: Doubleday, )
..
87 Benjamin D. Sommer, Conflicting Constructions of Divine Presence in the
Priestly Tabernacle, BI (): .
81

82

For J, these divine guards are important.88 They serve as Gods representatives,89 appointed by God to guard Eden against human incursion.90 By divine decree, the Cherubim function as Gods deputies, on
earth, to protect Gods domain against violation.91
In the Priestly tradition, there are two types of Cherubim, both
of which are incorporated into the physical design of the tabernacle.
One type is three-dimensional. Located in the adytum, these Cherubim do not bear Gods throne (Ex :; Num : [P]). They are gold
icons that protect the covering atop the ark (Ex :, : [P]),92
which are the symbol par excellence of Yahwehs Presence in Israels
midst.93 The other type of Priestly Cherubim is two-dimensional.94
These latter Cherubim are artistic designs adorning tabernacle curtains. They are embroidered on the innermost set of curtains that cover
the tabernacle proper (:, : [P]), and they decorate the curtain
that screens off the Holy of Holies and the ark (:, : [P]). In
their Priestly incarnation, then, the Cherubim have been converted
from angelic assistants to symbolic ornamentation.95 They still implicate God, albeit differently than in other traditions.96 Regardless of their
degree of physicality, the Priestly Cherubim are stationed at boundaries
between ever-increasing spheres of holiness:97 the tabernacle proper
(see also Kgs :); the entrance into the Holy of Holies (see also
88 Cf. Claus Westermann, Genesis (trans. John J. Scullion; vols.; Minneapolis: Augsburg, []) .; and van Seters, The Creation of Man and the
Creation of the King, ZAW (): .
89 See Zimmerli, .Mose3 ..
90 U. Cassuto, A Commentary on the Book of Genesis (trans. Israel Abrahams; pts.;
Jerusalem: Magnes, []) .; David P. Wright, Holiness, Sex, and
Death in the Garden of Eden, Bib (): ; and Beuken, LouvSt (): .
91 See Dillmann, Die Genesis (th ed.; KeHAT ; Leipzig: S. Hirzel, ) (=
Genesis [trans. Wm. B. Stevenson; vols.; Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, ] .); and
Jacob, Genesis .
92 Mettinger, The Dethronement of Sabaoth: Studies in the Shem and Kabod Theologies (trans.
Frederick H. Cryer; CBOT ; Lund: CWK Gleerup, ) . See also Mettinger, in
DDD2 b.
93 John I. Durham, Exodus (WBC ; Waco: Word, ) (italics original). See also
Mettinger, The Dethronement of Sabaoth .
94 See Keel and Uehlinger, Gods, Goddesses, and Images .
95 M. Haran, The Ark and the Cherubim: Their Symbolic Significance in Biblical
Ritual, IEJ (): ; and idem, Temples and Temple-Service in Ancient Israel: An Inquiry
into the Cult Phenomena and the Historical Setting of the Priestly School (Oxford: Oxford
University Press, ) . See also Olyan, A Thousand Thousands Served Him .
96 Sommer, BI (): .
97 For the organizational principle, see Balentine, The Torahs Vision of Worship (OBT;
Minneapolis: Fortress, ) .

vv. .); and the arks covering, or sound stage of Gods theophany
(Num : [P]; see also Kgs :, :). In the Priestly tradition,
these Cherubim are ossified symbols of a God enthroned amidst royal
splendor in his earthly sanctuary.98
... Priestly monotheism mandates that God have no competitors,
whether disruptive or supportive. In the case of evil challengers, God
struggles to eliminate them from his world. In the case of other divine
powers that cohabit his world, they pose a different kind of threat. They
pose an immediate threat to Gods singularity in the divine realm. But
they also pose a prospective threat; even Gods divine servants may
fail God, disobey him, and provoke violence. Nevertheless, there is one
Priestly response. The threat is contained and submerged under Gods
control. And through this process, God expresses his claim to exclusive
and all-powerful kingship.
In the cosmogony, God demonstrates and then claims exclusive right
to . God exercises this power as the creator of the world (.), and
he strips his co-creative peers of theirs (..). His timing is impeccable.
As he deliberately seeks their participation to make a human race that
will somewhat resemble their own (cap-) ability to generate and
populate the world with human beings, God thwarts them. He quietly
imposes his and, without assistance, successfully creates a selfsustaining human race. With the same stroke, Ps God also checks their
potential to make miscreants like the Nephilim. God is and remains
prime creator in the world.
What befalls the gods also befalls their . The gods and their
succumb to the essence of the idea of creation in the Hebrew
Bible; like everything else in the cosmos, their ultimate disposition
reflects the uncompromised mastery of YHWH, God of Israel, over
all else (see ..).99 But their fate is also implicit in Gods proposal to
make the human race. Ps God intends that the human image reflect a
divine counterpart; the image of the human race will be homological
with Gods as well as the gods ( ...).100 In the divine world, how-

See Keel and Uehlinger, Gods, Goddesses, and Images .


Levenson, Creation and Evil . See also Walter Brueggemann, The Kerygma of
the Priestly Writers, ZAW (): (repr. in The Vitality of Old Testament Traditions
[d ed.; Atlanta: John Knox, ] ).
100 Cf. Bird, HTR (): (= Missing Persons and Mistaken Identities ); and
Shemaryahu Talmon, The Biblical Understanding of Creation and the Human Commitment, ExAu (): .
98

99

ever, God and the gods do not share image equally. It is a trait that
God, the absolute monarch, wields over his co-regental subordinates. It
is a trait that will allow Ps God to dismiss Cherubic guardians of the
created world (..). It is also a trait that God can impose on violators
of his sovereign rule. Towards the end of the cosmogony, God exercises
his yet again to neutralize even unexpressed threats to his exclusive
majestic status.
The Priestly cosmogony shows how God achieves kingship after
overpowering legacies of evil. It shows how God predominates over
his domain, including his traditional allies that comprise his pantheon.
The cosmogony demonstrates, then, how effectively God imposes rule
over the cosmos.101
For the Lord is a great God and a great king over all gods. (Ps :; see
also :, :)
The Lord is king! For you, O Lord, are supreme over the whole earth;
you are exalted far above all gods. (Ps :a.)

Not only is God incomparable among all his peers, the God of gods
and the Lord of lords (Ps :) (see ..).102 Ps God is altogether
without peer.
.. Imitatio Dei et deorum
According to the Priestly writer, humankind is a godlike and God-like
creation. Created in our image and in the image of God, it represents
both levels of divine authority that govern the cosmos. Humankind
represents Gods community of co-rulers, responsible for performing
the justice and enacting the sovereign will of God. It also represents
the rule of God himself, at least as he demonstrates it throughout the
Priestly cosmogony. A theophany, humankind represents the Enthroned
One as well as those surrounding His throne.

See Caspari, CuW (): .


In addition to Schmidt and Niehr, cited above in nn. and , respectively, see
Stolz, WuD (): ; and J. C. L. Gibson, The Kingship of Yahweh against Its
Canaanite Background, in Ugarit and the Bible: Proceedings of the International Symposium
on Ugarit and the Bible (ed. George J. Brooke, Adrian H. W. Curtis, and John
F. Healey; UBL ; Mnster: Ugarit-Verlag, ) .
101

102

Ps offers a variant meditation on the creation of humanity103 as


it is depicted in Gen .104
When I see your heaven, the work of your fingers, the moon and the
stars that you established, what is humanity that you would think of it,
a human being that you take note of him? You made it less than
divine105 and crowned it with glory and majesty. You gave it rule
over the work of your hands. You laid everything at its feet: sheep and
oxen, all of them; also the beasts of the field, the birds of heaven; and the
fish of the sea, (whatever) crosses the paths of the seas. (Ps :)

Like Gen , this psalm ascribes image to human beings.106 God ensures
that they dominate terrestrial, aviary, and marine life (vv. ; see
Gen :b.b). They collaterally hold the power to place everything
under their control (v. b; see Gen :bb.ab).107 God even assigns
103 Levenson, Creation and Evil . See also Humbert, tudes sur le rcit du paradis
et de la chute dans la Gense (MUN ; Neuchtel: Universit de Neuchtel, ) ;
Bird, Bone of My Bone and Flesh of My Flesh, ThTo (): ; and the
discussion by Sarah Stroumsa, What is Man: Psalm : in Jewish, Christian and
Muslim Exegesis in Arabic, Hen (): . Cf. Beuken, LouvSt (): .
104 The tradition-historical relationship between these two texts is debated (Harland,
The Value of Human Life ). It has been suggested that the Priestly text is dependent
upon Ps (Sigmund Mowinckel, Urmensch und Knigsideologie, ST []: ),
independent of Ps yet derived from a common previous tradition (Preuss, Old Testament Theology .), or subsequent to Ps (Stamm, Die Gottebenbildlichkeit des Menschen
im Alten Testament [ThSt ; Zollikon: Evangelischer Verlag, ] , in conjunction
with Kraus, Psalms .).
105 For this interpretation of , see Charles Augustus Briggs and Emilie Grace
Briggs, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Book of Psalms ( vols.; ICC; Edinburgh:
T. & T. Clark, ) ., in conjunction with A. A. Anderson, The Book of Psalms
( vols.; NCBC; Grand Rapids/London: Eerdmans/Marshall, Morgan & Scott, )
.. Cf. Schmidt, Gott und Mensch in Ps. . Form- und berlieferungsgeschichtliche
Erwgungen, TZ (): (repr. in Vielfalt und Einheit alttestamentlichen Glaubens
[ed. Axel Graupner, Holger Delkurt, and Alexander B. Ernst; vols.; NeukirchenVluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, ] .).
106 Humbert, tudes sur le rcit du paradis ; Wildberger, Das Abbild Gottes. Gen.
, , TZ (): (repr. in Jahwe und sein Volk. Gesammelte Aufstze zum
Alten Testament. Zu seinem . Geburtstag am . Januar [ed. Hans Heinrich Schmid and
Odil Hannes Steck; TB ; Munich: Chr. Kaiser, ] ); and Schmidt, Die
Schpfungsgeschichte2 .
107 Schmidt, TZ (): (= Vielfalt und Einheit .); Manfred Grg, Alles hast
Du gelegt unter seine Fe. Beobachtungen zu Ps ,b im Vergleich mit Gen ,, in
Freude an der Weisung des Herrn. Beitrge zur Theologie der Psalmen. Festgabe zum . Geburtstag von Heinrich Gro (ed. Ernst Haag and Frank-Lothar Hossfeld; SBB ; Stuttgart:
Katholisches Bibelwerk, ) (repr. in Studien zur biblisch-gyptischen Religionsgeschichte [SBAB ; Stuttgart: Katholisches Bibelwerk, ] ); and James Limburg, Who Cares for the Earth? Psalm Eight and the Environment, in All Things
New .

them royal status and royal rule comparable to his own (e.g., v. b).108
Nonetheless, the psalmist deems humanity inherently diminutive
(v. ).109 As Wolff asserts, the crowning of man to be steward over the
world is (in view of his minuteness ) anything but a matter of course,
and certainly does not have its ground in man himself (vv. f.).110 God
chooses to elevate human beings to the highest status conceivable,
short of complete divinization (v. a).111 Like the stars before them
(Gen :a) (.), God grants his human creation rulership of the
world. He is the majestic Lord of the universe (vv. .); humankind is
his underlord with whom he shares sovereignty.112 Humanity attests to
God on earth.113
Ps and Gen each affirm that humanity occupies a privileged
position in the world. In Ps , God gives it special protection (v. b) and
determines that it be his near-divine co-regent (vv. ). In Gen , its
privileged position is more dynamic and replacive. For when God ele-

108 In addition to the references in n. , see Mowinckel, ST (): ; Herbert


G. May, The King in the Garden of Eden: A Study of Ezekiel :, in Israels
Prophetic Heritage: Essays in Honor of James Muilenburg (ed. Bernhard W. Anderson and
Walter Harrelson; London: SCM, ) ; Kraus, Psalms .; and, in greater detail,
Schmidt, TZ (): (= Vielfalt und Einheit .).
109 Anderson, Psalms .. See also Peter C. Craigie, Psalms (WBC ;
Waco: Word, ) ; and Tigay, What is Man That You Have Been Mindful of
Him? (On Psalm :), in Love & Death in the Ancient Near East: Essays in Honor of Marvin
H. Pope (ed. John H. Marks and Robert M. Good; Guilford, Conn.: Four Quarters,
) b. There are also linguistic tokens of this property: viz., the morphology of
(see GvG c; and, perhaps, Joon and Muraoka, A Grammar of Biblical Hebrew
Ee) and the phraseology of (see Eichrodt, Ezekiel [trans. Cosslett Quin;
OTL; Philadelphia: Westminster, ()] [on Ez :]).
110 Wolff, Anthropology of the Old Testament (trans. Margaret Kohl; Philadelphia: Fortress,
[]) .
111 Clines, TynB (): (= On the Way to the Postmodern .). See also, inter alios,
Fishbane, Biblical Interpretation in Ancient Israel (Oxford: Oxford University Press,
[]) .
112 Heinrich Gro, Die Gottebenbildlichkeit des Menschen, in Lex Tua Veritas.
Festschrift fr Hubert Junker (ed. idem and Franz Muner; Trier: Paulinus, )
; Karl Ludwig Schmidt, Homo Imago Dei im Alten und Neuen Testament,
ErJ (): (repr. in Der Mensch als Bild Gottes [ed. Leo Scheffczyk; WdF ;
Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, ] ); Craigie, Psalms ;
and, by implication, Childs, Psalm in the Context of the Christian Canon, Int
(): (repr. in Biblical Theology in Crisis [Philadelphia: Westminster, ] ).
113 Stamm, in Humanitt und Glaube ; Talmon, ExAu (): ; and James
L. Mays, What is a Human Being? Reflections on Psalm , ThTo (): . See
also Schmidt, TZ (): (= Vielfalt und Einheit .); and Levenson, quoted in
.., above.

vates the human race to the rank of co-regent, he counterbalances this


act with another. God demotes the gods that have hitherto served this
co-regental role. It is an act of theological necessity (..). Perhaps it
is an act of self-protection, since God neutralizes potential challengers
to his created order (.). It is certainly an act that gives precursory
protection to human beings against the dangers that the gods can pose
(., ..). Yet it is also an act of disruption; without gods, there is
a vacuum in Gods world. God loses an entire administrative stratum
with which he would otherwise share the governance of the world. So
God adopts a replacement ( ...). He creates a new cooperative that
will imitate and replace, at least in part, the functions of his divine
comrades. Ps God elects humankind as the community with which he
will enter into a special binding relationship.114
... Imitatio deorum. Gen is not the only biblical text to replace
Gods divine community with a human entourage.
Ascribe to the Lord, O divinities, ascribe to the Lord glory and
might. Ascribe to the Lord the glory of his name, bow down to the Lord
in holy majesty. (Ps :b-)
Ascribe to the Lord, O families of peoples, ascribe to the
Lord glory and might. Ascribe to the Lord the glory of his name, ... bow
down to the Lord in holy majesty. (Ps :a.a; see also Chr :
)

Whereas Ps situates Yahweh in his divine court among his divine


affiliates, Ps relocates him in this world.115 Here, the gods are an
insignificant trifle (v. a); they have done nothing for the people that
worship them, they can do nothing, they are in reality nothing, they
have no real existence and are not gods at all.116 They are not Yahwehs loyal servants, either. Instead, all peoples should honor and glo-

For this Priestly motif, see Zimmerli, Old Testament Theology in Outline (trans. David
E. Green; Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, []) ; and Albertz, A History of Israelite
Religion . n. .
115 Friedrich Baethgen, Die Psalmen (d ed.; HKAT II/; Gttingen: Vandenhoeck &
Ruprecht, ) ; and H. L. Ginsberg, A Strand in the Cord of Hebraic Hymnody,
in W. F. Albright Volume (ed. A. Malamat; EI ; Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society,
) a. See also Halpern, The Constitution of the Monarchy . Cf. Emanuel Tov, Textual
Criticism of the Hebrew Bible (d ed.; Minneapolis/Assen: Fortress/Royal Van Gorcum,
) .
116 Briggs and Briggs, Psalms ..
114

rify him as creator (e.g., v. b), king (e.g., v. ab), and judge (e.g., v. ).
They should assume the place of his council (in Ps ), becoming
Gods devotional community.117
Text-critical analysis adds several other instances of this replacement
pattern.
When [the Supreme One] allot[ted the nations, when he separated
humankind, he set the boundaries of peoples according to the number
of] divinities. (QDeutj : [completed after LXX/MT])118
When the Supreme One allotted the nations, when he separated humankind, he set the boundaries of peoples according to the number of
Israelites. (Dt :)
Celebrate, O heaven, with him; bow down to
him, all divinities. For the blood of his sons will he avenge;
he will bring vengeance back on his foes. (QDeutq :;119 see also
LXX)
Celebrate, O nations, his people, for the blood of his servants will he avenge; he will bring vengeance back on his foes. (Dt :
a-b); see also
The Lord is great in Zion; he is exalted above all the gods.
(Ps : [with, e.g., Kenn. , ;120 see also Pss :, :, :])
The Lord is great in Zion; he is exalted above all the peoples.
(Ps :; see also QPsk :121)

They present the same issue as in the comparison between Pss


and . The former version of each doublet poses a theological problem; they each recognize that God does not exist in divine isolation
(see , intro.) but is set in a wider divine context that includes gods.
The problem, then, lies in the polytheistic misinterpretation that the
underlying, pre-Masoretic text can promote.122 The second version of
each doublet offers the Masoretic solution; they each eliminate viable
divine beings from Gods context, restoring him to a more orthodox,
Halpern, The Constitution of the Monarchy .
See above, ch. n. .
119 DJD ..
120 See Benjaminus Kennicott, ed., Vetus Testamentum Hebraicum, cum Variis Lectionibus ( vols.; Oxford: Clarendon, ) .b; and Johannis Bern. De-Rossi,
Variae Lectiones Veteris Testamenti ( vols.; Parma: Ex Regio Typographeo, )
.b.
121 DJD ..
122 Tigay, Deuteronomy . See also Tov, Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible2 ;
and Day, Yahweh and the Gods and Goddesses of Canaan (JSOTS ; Sheffield: Sheffield
Academic Press, ) with n. .
117

118

uncompromised divine isolation.123 These Masoretic revisions protect


God from peer rivalry and, in the process, elevate (Israelite) humankind
to the highest status conceivable, short of complete divinization (see
.). Humanity writ large, and Israel writ small, replace the gods,
becoming the functional equivalent of the pantheon.124
.... One measure of the alliance between Ps God and his human
creation appears almost immediately, in Gods first speech to the first
human beings.
God blessed them and God said to them, Be fruitful, be
numerous, and fill (Gen :a; see also :b); cf.
God blessed them
:)

Be fruitful, be numerous, and fill (Gen

Although these two blessings begin identically, they are each headed
by a different introductory frame.125 The blessing of v. is preceded
by . It indicates that, when God speaks to the marine and aviary
life created on the fifth day, the event is not a prototypical dialogue;126
in the Priestly world, animals do not speak and do not engage in
conversation.127 Hence, is pragmatically appropriate. But in v. ,
Gods addressees are human, speech-producing, and finite in number
(..). Each participant is fully capable of engaging in interactive
speech,128 as the introductory frame conveys. The frame suggests that
human beings, unlike animals, can be Gods (conversational) partner in
the world.129 They can replace his deliberative body in heaven.130
See Tigay, Deuteronomy .
Levenson, Creation and Evil with n. . See also McBride, in God Who
Creates .
125 Ebach, Die Erschaffung des Menschen als Bild Gottes. berlegungen zur Anthropologie im Schpfungsbericht der Priesterschrift, WPKG (): . Cf. Ronald S. Hendel, The Text of Genesis : Textual Studies and Critical Edition (New York/Oxford: Oxford University Press, ) .
126 Brown, Structure, Role, and Ideology n. . See also the discussion by Cynthia
L. Miller, The Representation of Speech in Biblical Hebrew Narrative: A Linguistic Analysis
(HSM ; Atlanta: Scholars Press, ) , , .
127 Richard Elliott Friedman, Torah (Pentateuch), in ABD .a.
128 E.g., Friedrich Horst, Face to Face: The Biblical Doctrine of the Image of God,
Int (): (repr. as Der Mensch als Ebenbild Gottes, in Gottes Recht.
Gesammelte Studien zum Recht im Alten Testament [ed. Hans Walter Wolff; TB ; Munich:
Chr. Kaiser, ] ); and Brueggemann, Genesis (Interp; Atlanta: John Knox,
) . See also the survey by Westermann, Genesis ..
129 Ebach, Ursprung und Ziel .
130 See Horst Seebass, Genesis ( vols.; Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag,
) ..
123

124

In later stages of the Priestly narrative, there is other evidence to


show that the Israelite community replacesor mimicsthe divine
court. This evidence is terminological; the Israelites are organized into
the same collective categories as were the gods before them (see ..).
One category is the gathering (e.g., Gen :; Ex :; Num :
[P]). In the Priestly tradition, this term characterizes the community
as a vast collective,131 particularly in relation to Gods blessings of
Gen :.132 Another, more specific category is the assembly (e.g.,
Ex :, :; Num : [P]). As Milgrom describes it, the Priestly
assembly clearly appears as a political body invested with legislative and judicial functions.133 Moreover, it has a Yahwistic affiliation
or identity,134 especially through the performance of his decrees, commands, and commandments.135 A third organizational category shared
with the gods is the army136 (e.g., Ex :, :; Num : [P]).
Within the Priestly tradition, this military designation is applied only

131 E.g., Pierre Azzi, La notion dassemble dans lAncien Testament, Melto
(): ; and F.-L. Hossfeld and E.-M. Kindl, J qahal; qhl; l
! O qehill; 
 S
qohelet. IV, in TDOT ..
132 See Westermann, Genesis .; and Thomas Pola, Die ursprngliche Priesterschrift.
Beobachtungen zur Literarkritik und Traditionsgeschichte von P g (WMANT ; NeukirchenVluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, ) .
133 Milgrom, Priestly Terminology and the Political and Social Structure of PreMonarchic Israel, JQR (): (repr. in Studies in Cultic Theology and Terminology
[SJLA ; Leiden: E. J. Brill, ] ). See also Robert Gordis, Democratic Origins
ah, in Alexander Marx Jubilee Volume on the Occasion of
in Ancient IsraelThe Biblical Ed
His Seventieth Birthday ( sections; New York: Jewish Theological Seminary of America,
) English Section, , (repr. as Primitive Democracy in Ancient Israel,
in Poets, Prophets, and Sages: Essays in Biblical Interpretation [Bloomington/London: Indiana
University Press, ] , ); and J. Joosten, People and Land in the Holiness Code: An
Exegetical Study of the Ideational Framework of the Law in Leviticus (VTS ; Leiden: E.
J. Brill, ) .
134 G. Sauer, yd to appoint, in TLOT .; Pola, Die ursprngliche Priesterschrift ; and, by implication, Preuss, Old Testament Theology .. Cf. Leonhard Rost,
Die Vorstufen von Kirche und Synagoge im Alten Testament. Eine wortgeschichtliche Untersuchung
(BWANT /; Stuttgart: W. Kohlhammer, ) .
135 See, however, Ursula Struppe, Die Herrlichkeit Jahwes in der Priesterschrift. Eine semantische Studie zu kebd YHWH (BS ; Klosterneuburg: sterreichisches Katholisches
Bibelwerk, ) . For the diverse functions of the Israelite assembly, see, inter alios,
Milgrom, JQR (): (= Studies in Cultic Theology and Terminology ); and
Joosten, People and Land in the Holiness Code .
136 Preuss, Old Testament Theology ., in conjunction with Gibson, in Ugarit and the
Bible .

to the Israelites. From a lexical perspective, the Israelites collectively


substitute for the gods of non-Priestly traditions.137
And like the gods, they belong to God alone. The Israelites are his
gathering (Num :, : [P]). They comprise his assembly (:,
: [H]; see also : [P?]),138 and they serve as his army (Ex :
[P]; see also Num :. [H]). The Israelites are Gods subordinate
community.
.... In addition to grammatical and terminological indicia that
the (Israelite) human community replaces an antecedent divine community, the Priestly author stresses a performative feature that humankind inherits from the gods. This feature is its godlike image ( ...).
The context of the replacement is laid by the Yahwist tradition. At
first, J assigns a version of image to the man.
The Lord God took the man and set him in the garden of Eden to work
it and to guard (or: keep, tend) it. (Gen : [J])

But the role is soon reassigned. Despite Yahwehs intention that the
man preserve [the garden] from all damage,139 the man damages it
and disrupts Gods established order (..).
Then the Lord God said, Since the man has become like one of us,
knowing good and evil, no way then should he stretch out his hand, take
from the tree of life as well, and eat and live forever! So the Lord God
drove him out of the garden of Eden, to work the soil from which he was
taken. He expelled the man, and he stationed east of the garden of Eden
the Cherubim and the flame of a whirling sword, to guard the way
to the tree of life. (Gen : [J])

Yahweh punishes the disobedience. He summons his array of divine


councillors, as the situation demands (..), and restores order. He
also rescinds his original assignment of human guardianship and posts

137 For another, non-Priestly lexical correspondence between Gods divine and human communities, council, see M. Sb, sd secret, in TLOT .
; and Abraham Malamat, The Secret Council and Prophetic Involvement in
Mari and Israel, in Prophetie und geschichtliche Wirklichkeit im alten Israel. Festschrift fr
Siegfried Herrmann zum . Geburtstag (ed. Rdiger Liwak and Siegfried Wagner; Stuttgart:
W. Kohlhammer, ) (repr. in Mari and the Bible [SHCANE ; Leiden: Brill,
] ).
138 Note D. Levy and J. Milgrom, @ ed. IIV, in TDOT ., for the comparison.
139 Gerhard von Rad, Genesis (trans. John H. Marks; rev. ed.; OTL; Philadelphia:
Westminster, ) .

divine guards to maintain and preserve Eden, on his own behalf,


against human violence (., ..). Js Cherubim now do Gods
work.
In the Priestly tradition, they do not. Their role as protectors of
the world is a human prerogative; it is a royal duty that God voices,
institutes, and mandates for all time (Gen :b-.ab-b). Instead
of Js active Cherubim, Ps human race serves as Gods underlord on
earth, enacting his will. Instead of a cherubic theophany, P describes a
theophany of human beings. Created in the divine image and divine
likeness, humankind will be a permanent fixture that reveals Gods
active presence and participation in the world of his creation. True,
P accepts a traditional administrative model of divine governance,
in which God rules over all of the universe as the divine king. But
rather than gods, the lower administrative tier in the Priestly version
is occupied by human beings. In the absence of gods or Cherubim,
God empowers the human race to rule and police the world with
vigilance. P thus defies Yahwist doctrine. Humankind replaces the gods,
representing godlike sovereignty and legal guardianship in/over the
world.
.... From this perspective, the creation of the human race is also
a divine pledge of allegiance. For the moment that God ousts the gods
of Gen :a, he chooses to ally himself with humankind. Humans are
to be the feudal partner of God in his formation and administration
of the creation.140 They are to be his vassal, and he is to be their
overlord.141 Ps God comes to rule a new community that is intimately
related to him (v. ).
In later generations, the relationship will be defined as a covenant.
God will promise to become God of his elect community (e.g., Gen :
b [P]),142 provided that it worship him alone (e.g., v. b [P]) and comply
with his distinctive religious practices (e.g., vv. b- [P]).143 He will

Preuss, Old Testament Theology ..


See Caspari, CuW (): n. .
142 For a developmental interpretation of this formula, see Rolf Rendtorff, The Covenant Formula: An Exegetical and Theological Investigation (trans. Margaret Kohl; Edinburgh:
T & T Clark, []) .
143 Fretheim, The Pentateuch (IBT; Nashville: Abingdon, ) ; Levenson, Exodus
and Liberation, in idem, The Hebrew Bible, the Old Testament, and Historical Criticism:
Jews and Christians in Biblical Studies (Louisville: Westminster/John Knox, ) ; and
Weinfeld, Social Justice in Ancient Israel and in the Ancient Near East (Jerusalem/Minneapolis:
Magnes/Fortress, ) .
140

141

promise that his loyal subordinates will exercise sovereign control (e.g.,
vv. .b [P]) over the land, under his ultimate authority. And God will
promise to claim Israel exclusively as his own people (e.g., Ex :a
[P]).144 At this later time, Yahweh will be God of the Israelites (e.g.,
Lev :, : [H]). He will also acquire the Israelites as his slaves
(: [H]).145
In the cosmogony, however, these developments are only incipient.146
Of all Gods creations, humankind alone has a special stated relationship to God (.). The relationship is not based on any intrinsic human merit but, like a blessing, is a gift of God. He initiates
this relationship, and he commits himself to it.147 It is cooperative
and binding. It is an expression of his right as the (newly) enthroned
king. He replaces his precarious, former partners and creates new
ones who must strictly abide by the terms of the relationship. Among
other things, they must be the functional equivalent of the pantheon
(.., intro.) and represent divine rule in the world.148 For P, God
chooses human vassals to be his godlike deputies and do his bidding
obediently (..).149
.... Gods new community imitates the internal organization of
the gods, too. Within the pantheon, for example, not all gods share
equally. The dominant image lies with God, while the lesser
image belongs to the gods (.., ..). It is a function of differential
power and authority, and it affects the divine rank. Inter alia, Gods
divine subordinates owe him his due reverence. Within the human
community, there is a comparably unequal distribution of image.

144 Brueggemann, Pharaoh as Vassal: A Study of a Political Metaphor, CBQ


(): ; and, esp., Schmidt, Exodus (BKAT /; Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, ) .
145 See Weinfeld, Social Justice ; and Joosten, People and Land in the Holiness Code
, .
146 See, similarly, Jos Luyten, Primeval and Eschatological Overtones in the Song
of Moses (Dt ,), in Das Deuteronomium: Entstehung, Gestalt und Botschaft (ed. Norbert Lohfink; BETL ; Louvain: Leuven University Press/Peeters, ) (on
Dt :).
147 Baentsch, Exodus-Leviticus-Numeri .
148 Miller, HBT / (): (= Israelite Religion and Biblical Theology ); and
McBride, in God Who Creates . See also Gro, in Lex Tua Veritas .
149 Eryl W. Davies, Walking in Gods Ways: The Concept of Imitatio Dei in the Old
Testament, in In Search of True Wisdom: Essays in Old Testament Interpretation in Honour of
Roland E. Clements (ed. Edward Ball; JSOTS ; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press,
) .

When Adam had lived one hundred and thirty years, he fathered (a son)
according to his image, and he named him Seth. (Gen :
[PT]); cf.
Then God said, Let us make humankind in our image So
God created humankind in his image, in the image of
God he created it, male and female he created them. (Gen :a.; see
also :b [P])

Although humanity as a whole intimately reflects and participates in


the divine image, image is expressed differentially between generations: a childs image only approximates that of the parent (...).
A child must honor his/her parents, as stated in the fifth commandment and its analogues.
Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may grow long
(Ex :; see also Dt :); see also
You shall each revere your mother and your father. (Lev :a [H])

That is to say, the child-parent relationship should imitate a basic


relationship with God. Just as God is revered (e.g., Lev :b [H]),
so are parents;150 as the gods glorify God (e.g., Ps :), you have a
duty to honour your father and your mother just as you honour
your Creator151 (e.g., :). To honor ones parents is to maintain, on
a nuclear scale, the order of Gods cosmos.152
For the gods and human beings alike, obedience has its reward.
When the gods are obedient, their harmonic relationship with God
continues. According to the fifth commandment, God rewards human
obedience with life. God grants human beings continued existence,
even beyond natural expectations.153 God rewards Noahs perfect obedience (Gen :a-b [PT]) with life-saving protection against the flood
(vv. ; see also : [P]) and continued exercise of likeness (:b.
[P]). God promises Abraham abundant progeny as well as a dynastic

John E. Hartley, Leviticus (WBC ; Dallas: Word, ) .


Cassuto, A Commentary on the Book of Exodus (trans. Israel Abrahams; Jerusalem:
Magnes, []) (italics deleted).
152 See Greenberg, The Decalogue Tradition Critically Examined, in The Ten
Commandments in History and Tradition (ed. Ben-Zion Segal and Gershon Levi; Jerusalem:
Magnes, []) n. (repr. in Studies in the Bible and Jewish Thought [JPS
Scholar of Distinction Series; Philadelphia/Jerusalem: Jewish Publication Society, ]
n. ); and, perhaps, Anselm C. Hagedorn, Guarding the Parents Honor
Deuteronomy ., JSOT (): .
153 Childs, Exodus ; and Levenson, Sinai and Zion with n. .
150

151

line (e.g., :. [P]; see also Num : [P?]) (...). Obedience


to God brings life and therefore inclusion in Gods community (see also
Lev :.. [H]).154
Disobedience brings the opposite, whether to gods or humans. In
response to Helels challenge of Gods kingship, God ejects him from
the pantheon and banishes him permanently to the underworld depths
(Is :).155 Yahweh likewise punishes human disobedience in Eden
(.., ...).156 Yet disobedience can also be punished with death.157
God demotes his divine council to mortal status for judicial failure
(..). He effects the flood on the world.158 He orders a death penalty
for violations of the fifth commandment.
Whoever slights (or: curses) ones father or ones mother shall be put to
death. (Ex :; see also v. )
Anyone who slights (or: curses) ones father or ones mother shall be put
to death. (Lev :a [H]; see also Dt :, :a)

Within Gods community, disobedience of God guarantees punishment


(see Lev : [H]).
.... But in Gen , the mood is very different. V. a speaks of
some direct relation between the divine and human world where the
human participates potentially in deity.159 By the application of his
image, God has neutralized several inherited obstacles to the order
that he is creating ( ..). He is also in the process of shedding himself
of beings who, by their very existence, provoke conflict. The mood is
triumphant.
In defiance of J, it is also celebratory. J recognizes that a point of
comparison between men and gods really exists. As that comparison is presented in Gen :, though, [m]an has stepped outside the
state of dependence, he has refused obedience and willed to make him-

154 See, e.g., Harland, The Value of Human Life ; and, in this context, Balentine,
The Torahs Vision of Worship . See also Erhard S. Gerstenberger, Leviticus (trans.
Douglas W. Stott; OTL; Louisville: Westminster John Knox, []) (on ritual
performance).
155 Cooke, ZAW (): ; Levenson, Creation and Evil ; and Childs,
Isaiah (OTL; Louisville: Westminster John Knox, ) . For a recent discussion, see
Day, Yahweh Gods and Goddesses .
156 For the nature of this domain, see the references in n. , above.
157 Levenson, The Hebrew Bible, the Old Testament, and Historical Criticism .
158 Sharp, ScEs (): .
159 Miller, Genesis .

self independent. The guiding principle of his life is no longer obedience.160 P maintains otherwise;161
there is a narrative tension and contrast between P and J. The former
speaks quite positively of this similarity of the human to the divine; the
latter reacts very negatively. The kidmten of P is a statement of Gods
highest intention for the human being while being keah. ad mimmenn is for
J that which is absolutely prohibited for the human being and indeed the
result of human sin and the cause of banishment from the garden. To be
elohm-like is for P Gods will for his creature; in J to become elohm-like
is to go precisely counter to the divine will.162

Whereas J condemns the comparison, P applauds it.163 For P, the divinehuman resemblance is a deliberate expression and act of God.
... Imitatio Dei. From the very beginning, the Priestly writer establishes a clear connection between the human world and the divine
world in the creation of adam.164 On the one hand, humankind is
comparable to the lower level of the divine world (..).165 On the
other hand, it is comparable to the leader of that divine world, whose
likeness and image are ultimately imprinted on that segment of the
human race destined to become Israelite.
Preuss presses the comparison one step further.
[N]ot only is God imagined in anthropomorphic terms, humans also are
believed to be theomorphic.166 What are present here [in Gen. ]
are statements of relationship between God and humanity. Whoever
chooses to speak of God must therefore speak at the same time of
humanity, and whoever wishes to speak correctly about humanity must
also speak about God.167

160 Von Rad, Genesis . See also, inter alios, Gunkel, Genesis (th ed.; HKAT I/;
Gttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, []) (= Genesis [trans. Mark E. Biddle;
Mercer Library of Biblical Studies; Macon: Mercer University Press, ] ); and
John Skinner, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on Genesis (d ed.; ICC; Edinburgh: T.
& T. Clark, ) .
161 Cf. Dillmann, Genesis6 (= ET .).
162 Miller, Genesis .
163 Note David M. Carr, Reading the Fractures of Genesis: Historical and Literary Approaches
(Louisville: Westminster John Knox, ) .
164 Miller, Genesis .
165 McBride, in God Who Creates .
166 See .. with n. .
167 Preuss, Old Testament Theology .. See also Christoph Dohmen, Vom Gottesbild zum Menschenbild. Aspekte der innerbiblischen Dynamik des Bilderverbotes,
LebZeug (): .

The divine-human comparison is a mutual and reciprocal relationship.


For Brueggemann, it is also a relationship of representation.
There is one way in which God is imaged in the world and only one:
humanness! This is the only creature, the only part of creation, which
discloses to us something about the reality of God.168

The human and divine worlds therefore implicate each other. Yet the
prototype of the human world lies in the reality of God.
That reality changes over the course of the cosmogony. Situated in a
world that is undifferentiated, shapeless, and chaotic, God moves step
by step to build a world that satisfies him (very good [Gen :]). He
combats forces in/of the world that can destabilize his creation. He
exercises his right to unseat his morphologically kindred colleagues with
whom he might share both realms of the universe: viz., the celestial
realm of the gods and the terrestrial realm of humankind. Ps God
attains complete control of the world, as creator and as absolute king.
These changes in the reality of God directly impact the world of
human creation. Divinity implicates humanity, as Preuss and Brueggemann note. More narrowly, God implicates the only creature which
discloses to us something about the reality of God. From this perspective, Gods role throughout the cosmogony is analogous to the role of
Ps cosmogony in the Priestly pentateuchal corpus: each establishes the
paradigm that will be repeated throughout Ps version of history ( ).
In the latter case, the cosmogony may be regarded as a charter text
that informs other priestly passages in the Pentateuch.169 In the former case, God himself is the paradigm for all future human behavior
(..). Ps God institutes harmonious cosmic order in the universe.
Thereafter, it is the task of mankind to extend and complete on earth
the divine work of creation.170

Brueggemann, Genesis .
Mark S. Smith and Elizabeth M. Bloch-Smith, The Pilgrimage Pattern in Exodus
(JSOTS ; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, ) . See also Janowski, Tempel
und Schpfung. Schpfungstheologische Aspekte der priesterschriftlichen Heiligtumskonzeption, JBTh (): (repr. in Gottes Gegenwart in Israel: Beitrge zur Theologie des Alten Testaments [Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, ] ); and
McBride, in God Who Creates , esp. .
170 Fishbane, Text and Texture . See Lohfink, Macht euch die Erde untertan?
Orien (): a (repr. as Subdue the Earth? [Genesis :], in Theology of
the Pentateuch: Themes of the Priestly Narrative and Deuteronomy [trans. Linda M. Maloney;
Minneapolis: Fortress, ] ).
168

169

.... That task involves the exercise of . God initiates the


process; his effects the creation of humankind ( I) and
the creation of the cosmos ( ) (.). The process
then continues. God empowers human beings to repeat his cosmogonic model.171 They must perpetuate the human race and construct
a domain that is fit for God as well as the developing relationship
between God and his chosen people.172
Part of the human task is biological ( .., ..). From the moment
of its creation, humankind is a primitive reproductive community (e.g.,
Gen :b). It is explicitly equipped with the means to reproduce.173 So
too, it is obliged to reproduce aplenty, to continue the creative work
that God had begun (v. aa).174 God, though, does not withdraw
at this point. When trouble occurs in the genealogical trajectory, God
intervenes. He can override natural biology and secure progeny for an
infertile couple (...). The (cap-) ability to populate the world with
human beings, in imitation of Gods creation, remains a gift of God.
Not only does humankind have a duty to continue I. It
must imitate . In this latter case, human beings must
re-create a residence for God on earth.175 It is a project homological
to the cosmogony.176 It begins with creative expertise that
God invests in the project foreman (Ex :, : [P]; see Gen :). It
Note Fretheim, in All Things New .
Angerstorfer, Hebrisch dmwt und aramisch dmw(t). Ein Sprachproblem der
Imago-Dei-Lehre, BN (): , in conjunction with Frank H. Gorman, Jr., The
Ideology of Ritual: Space, Time and Status in the Priestly Theology (JSOTS ; Sheffield: JSOT
Press, ) . See also Janowski, JBTh (): (= Gottes Gegenwart in Israel ).
173 Victor Maag, Alttestamentliche Anthropogonie in ihrem Verhltnis zur altorientalischen Mythologie, AsSt (): (repr. in Kultur, Kulturkontakt und Religion. Gesammelte Studien zur allgemeinen und alttestamentlichen Religionsgeschichte. Zum . Geburtstag [ed.
Hans Heinrich Schmid and Odil Hannes Steck; Gttingen/Zurich: Vandenhoeck &
Ruprecht, ] ).
174 See Johannes C. de Moor, The Duality in God and Man: Gen. : as Ps
Interpretation of the Yahwistic Creation Account, in Intertextuality in Ugarit and Israel.
Papers Read at the Tenth Joint Meeting (ed. idem; OTS ; Leiden: E. J. Brill, )
; and, differently, Wolff, Anthropology of the Old Testament (on the divine image).
175 Fishbane, Text and Texture ; and Gorman, The Ideology of Ritual . See also
Cassuto, Exodus .
176 E.g., Carr, Reading the Fractures of Genesis with n. ; Vogels, The Cultic and Civil
Calendars of the Fourth Day of Creation (Gen ,b), SJOT (): with n. ;
and Sommer, BI (): . For detailed discussions, see Joseph Blenkinsopp, The
Structure of P, CBQ (): ; Peter J. Kearney, Creation and Liturgy: The
P Redaction of Ex , ZAW (): ; Levenson, Creation and Evil
; and Janowski, cited in n. , above. See also McBride, in God Who Creates .
Cf. Gro, Die Gottebenbildlichkeit des Menschen nach Gen ,. in der Diskussion
171

172

is commanded by God, through a heptad of instructions which impose,


among other things, multiple forms of order: viz., internal (sub-) divisions, separate and dedicated space, exact measurements, and permanent fixtures; the seventh day is dedicated to the Sabbath (Ex :;
see Gen : [P]). The instructions are each executed immediately
and perfectly, just as the Lord had commanded. Then, after all the
work is completed (see Gen :.b [P]), the project concludes with a
voice of approval (Ex :; see Gen : [P]). The project, of course, is
the tabernacle. As God had done before them, the Israelites create an
ordered, supportive, and obedient environment in which the reign of
God is visible and unchallenged.177 They are his collaborators and cocreators.178 Imitatio Dei, they extend and complete Gods creative work
on earth in perfect obedience.179
.... Humankind also extends and completes the essence of the
idea of creation in the Hebrew Bible: mastery (see ..). It will
dominate the animals that inhabit the world ( ..., .).180 It will
tend the world,181 maintain the order of creation, and when necessary, restore the order of creation.182 It will combat eruptions of violence and chaos ( ...).183 It will impose and administer the rule of
law (see also Lev : [H]).184 It will even develop into a dynasty of

des letzten Jahrzehnts, BN (): (repr. in Studien zur Priesterschrift und


Gottesbildern ).
177 Levenson, Creation and Evil .
178 See Gorman, Priestly Rituals of Founding: Time, Space, and Status, in History
and Interpretation: Essays in Honour of John H. Hayes (ed. M. Patrick Graham, William
P. Brown, and Jeffrey K. Kuan; JSOTS ; Sheffield: JSOT Press, ) ; and, by
implication, Brown, Divine Act and the Art of Persuasion in Genesis , in ibid. .
179 Gorman, The Ideology of Ritual .
180 For a qualification, see Eichrodt, Man in the Old Testament (trans. K. and R. Gregor
Smith; SBT /; London: SCM, []) .
181 Note Ian Hart, Genesis :: as a Prologue to the Book of Genesis, TynB
(): .
182 Gorman, in History and Interpretation . See also idem, The Ideology of Ritual ;
and Sharp, ScEs (): .
183 E.g., Grg, Chaos und Chaosmchte im Alten Testament, BN (): ;
and Weimar, Chaos und Kosmos. Gen , als Schlssel einer alteren Fassung der
priesterschriftlichen Schpfungserzhlung, in Mythos im Alten Testament und seiner Umwelt.
Festschrift fr Hans-Peter Mller zum . Geburtstag (ed. Armin Lange, Hermann Lichtenberger, and Diethard Rmheld; BZAW ; Berlin/New York: Walter de Gruyter, )
.
184 See Gerstenberger, Yahweh the Patriarch: Ancient Images of God and Feminist Theology
(trans. Frederick J. Gaiser; Minneapolis: Fortress, []) .

monarchs who will rule the world with, and under, God (...).185
Humankind, and its Israelite derivative, will be Gods lesser king.186 As
the image of God, they will represent and perpetuate Gods kingship
on earth as he achieved it at the beginning of time ( .., ..).187
The Israelites serve a related role in the world of the tabernacle. Like
the first human beings, they are a community of genetically related
(Priestly) caretakers, defined in relation to God and one another.188
They are empowered to use vast swaths of preexisting material for
themselves and, especially, for regulating their exclusive alliance with
God.189 As Gods staff in this newly created world, they also ensure
that the tabernacle operates in good order.190 They must, for instance,
preserve the distinctive order of time as commanded by God at creation by maintaining a cultic calendar.191 They must combat the constant insinuation of evil; they must remove sinful breaches that would
disqualify them, individually or as a community, from a harmonic relationship with God.192 As God did at creation, they must both build an
orderly environment for the Divine King and his people, and they must
continually neutralize outbreaks of chaos.193
.... In the Priestly cosmogony, however, the divine work of
creation is more than the concrete product of creative activity (e.g.,
..).194 It includes different ways that God engages and suppresses
Levenson, Creation and Evil .
Klopfenstein, Leben aus dem Wort .
187 Marsha M. Wilfong, Human Creation in Canonical Context: Genesis :
and Beyond, in God Who Creates .
188 Frank Crsemann, The Torah: Theology and Social History of Old Testament Law (trans.
Allan W. Mahnke; Minneapolis: Fortress, []) ; and Joosten, People and
Land in the Holiness Code .
189 For a characterization of the Priestly cult, see Gorman, The Ideology of Ritual
; idem, in History and Interpretation ; and Israel Knohl, Two Aspects of the Tent
of Meeting, in Tehillah le-Moshe: Biblical and Judaic Studies in Honor of Moshe Greenberg
(ed. Mordechai Cogan, Barry L. Eichler, and Jeffrey H. Tigay; Winona Lake, Ind.:
Eisenbrauns, ) .
190 See Gorman, The Ideology of Ritual .
191 Dennis T. Olson, Numbers (Interp; Louisville: John Knox, ) , with accompanying discussion. See also Gorman, The Ideology of Ritual .
192 See Childs, Myth and Reality2 , as elaborated by Balentine, The Torahs Vision of
Worship .
193 Grg, BN (): ; and, differently, Levenson, Creation and Evil . See also
Gerstenberger, Leviticus .
194 See Loren R. Fisher, Creation at Ugarit and in the Old Testament, VT
(): . For the constellation of creation-related features, see Weinfeld, Sabbath,
Temple and the Enthronement of the LordThe Problem of the Sitz im Leben
of Genesis ::, in Mlanges bibliques et orientaux en lhonneur de M. Henri Cazelles
185

186

indigenous enemies. It includes the demonstration of power, and


achievement of victory, over a realm that God effectively selects as his
domain. It includes conquest as well as kingship. For the Priestly writer,
creation is only one outcome of the Chaoskampf, the paradigm of all
victories.195
The setting of the paradigm is . In its earliest stage, before
creation, the earth was a chaotic mass, without order or life (,
intro.). Next, it is ordered. It is also fertilized, illuminated, and occupied
by animals. Then it is mentioned again, in the proposal to make the
human race.
and let them have dominion over the whole earth. (Gen :b [P])

In addition to wildlife, human beings will dominate the entire earth.196


, which God works to tame and mold into a life-sustaining environment, is eventually transferred by him to human control.
The transfer culminates in Gen :, where Ps God presents the
program for the whole history of the culture of the human race.197
God blessed them and God said to them, fill the earth
and conquer it and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and
over the birds of heaven, and over every thing that moves on
the earth. (Gen :)

The program has several components. One is the directive that human
beings wage campaigns and conquer their region ().198 Another
is the region itself, which is explicitly territorial (). Yet a third
(ed. A. Caquot and M. Delcor; AOAT ; Kevelaer/Neukirchen-Vluyn: Butzon &
Bercker/Neukirchener Verlag, ) ; Levenson, Sinai and Zion ; and,
esp., John Gray, The Biblical Doctrine of the Reign of God (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, )
.
195 Wyatt, Myths of Power: A Study of Royal Myth and Ideology in Ugaritic and Biblical
Tradition (UBL ; Mnster: Ugarit-Verlag, ) . See also ibid. , on Gen .
196 Note Jacob, Genesis . Cf. Jngling, Macht euch die Erde untertan (Gen
,). Der geschaffene Mensch und die Schpfung, in Macht euch die Erde untertan?
Schpfungsglaube und Umweltkrise (ed. Philipp Schmitz; Wrzburg: Echter Verlag, )
n. ; Hendel, The Text of Genesis ; and Weippert, in Ebenbild Gottes
Herrscher ber die Welt n. , each differently.
197 Gunkel, Genesis4 (= ET ), followed, e.g., by Eichrodt, Theology of the Old
Testament ..
198 See Grg, in Freude an der Weisung des Herrn (= Studien zur Religionsgeschichte ), with Harland, The Value of Human Life . See also Brueggemann, ZAW (): (= idem, in The Vitality of Old Testament Traditions2
); Blenkinsopp, Sage, Priest, Prophet: Religious and Intellectual Leadership in Ancient Israel
(Library of Ancient Israel; Louisville: Westminster John Knox, ) ; and, differently, Lohfink, Orien (): (= Theology of the Pentateuch ).

component is the exercise of kingly power to dominate and subjugate


those who dwell in their realm () (...).199 It is a program, in
fact, that will guide the Israelite effort to attain the promised land.
You will keep all my laws and all my judgements, and you will perform
them so the land to which I am about to bring you to dwell in will
not vomit you out. You will not follow the practices of the nation that
I am driving out from before you. Since they did all these things, I
loathe them. I said to you, You will possess their land; I shall give it
to you to possess, a land with oozing milk and honey. (Lev :a;
see also : [H])
You will dispossess all the inhabitants of the land from before you,
destroy all their figured objects, destroying all their molten images and
demolishing all their high places. You will appropriate the land and dwell
in it, for I have given you the land to possess. (Num : [H])

The Israelites must obey God, enact his directives, and reclaim the area
from a native nation whose practices are the antithesis of their own.200
In other words, Israels occupation of Canaan is the realization of
the Creators blessing given to all the nations of the world.201 But it
is also a reenactment, extension, and completion of the divine work of
creation. The Israelites should replicate that which God accomplished
in the cosmogony.
.... The continuation of Gods speech in Lev recalls another
creative modality that the Israelites must imitate and reenact: separation, differentiation, and division ( .).
I am the Lord your God who has separated you from the (other)
peoples. You should separate between the pure beast and the
impure, and between the impure bird and the pure. You will not make
yourselves despicable by beast or by bird or by anything that moves on
the ground, which I have separated (out) for you to hold impure.
(Lev :b- [H])

Just as God separated out the cosmos, so he has separated Israel from
its multifarious ambience; God created Israel as he created the world.
Note Grg, in Freude an der Weisung des Herrn (= Studien zur Religionsgeschichte
).
200 See Weinfeld, Social Justice .
201 Lohfink,  yara
s; V yeres; g\ yeruss; T mras; T mras, in TDOT
.. See also, sympathetically, Frans Breukelman, Das Buch Genesis als das Buch
der Adams, des Menschenseine Analyse der Komposition des Buches, in
Strenfriedels Zeddelkasten. Geschenkpapier zum . Geburtstag von Friedrich-Wilhelm Marquardt
(Berlin: Alektor, ) , .
199

For H, the Israelites should follow suit, too. H characterizes Israels


own separation of fit from unfit foods as a continuation of the process
of her own separation from the Gentiles so that even so humble an
activity as eating replicates the ordering that is fundamental to Gods
good world.202 Israels distinct identity is anchored in creation.
Israel is obliged to maintain this distinct identity in other ways, too.
Israel may worship only one God and be forever bound to him in an
exclusive covenantal relationship. Israelite males must bear a sign of
this relationship, circumcision (Gen :b-; see also Lev : [P]),
without which a male will be cut off from the community (Gen :
).203 Israelites must commemorate a separate period of time, at the
weeks end, during which God ceased all creative activity (Ex :
[P]; see also :); in this case as well, anyone who violates the
Sabbathfailing to abide by, and imitate, Gods precedentwill be
cut off (:b; see also : [P]).204 Most of all, perhaps, the Israelites
must maintain their holiness.205
You [sc. Israelites] will be holy to me because I, the Lord, am holy
and have separated you from the (other) peoples to be mine. (Lev :
[H])

Inasmuch as God separated the Israelites from the world around them,
he sanctified them (:b- [H]).206 As agent and essence of holiness (e.g., Ex :b [P]; Lev :a.b [H?], respectively), God wills
that Israel imitate him.207 Imitatio Dei, Israel must actively represent
God, Gods holiness, and his separative modality of creation in the
world.208

202 Levenson, Creation and Evil . See also Milgrom, Leviticus .; and, despite
his source-critical judgement, Firmage, JSOT (): .
203 For discussion, see Jacob, Genesis . See also, more generally, Baruch A.
Levine, Leviticus (The JPS Torah Commentary; Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society,
) ; and Milgrom, Numbers (The JPS Torah Commentary; Philadelphia/New
York: Jewish Publication Society, ) .
204 For the centrality of the Sabbath to P, see Weinfeld, Tarb (): ; and,
source-critical assignment aside, Yairah Amit, Creation and the Calendar of Holiness, in Tehillah le-Moshe ** (in Hebrew).
205 Greenstein, Prooftexts (): .
206 Harland, The Value of Human Life ; and Greenstein, Prooftexts (): .
207 E.g., Eichrodt, Theology of the Old Testament .; and Rendtorff, The Covenant
Formula .
208 Levenson, Creation and Evil ; and Milgrom, Leviticus .. See also
Joosten, People and Land in the Holiness Code .

Stated thus, God provides more than one model for humanity, and
Israel, to follow. True, they should sustain the many ways that God
created the paradigmatic world ( ) and actively participate in the
unfolding of a cosmic order planned for permanence and perfection.209
But they should also imitate God himself. After all, the early history
of God is a model of Priestly achievement (.).210 He begins as an
amorphous entity in an inherited, undifferentiated context; ultimately,
he attains a completely differentiated uniqueness in an environment of
his making. He wrestles forces of opposition, tames the terrain, utilizes
its resources, and makes this world his home. He rules the world as
king, without peer. And he makes himself available to only one partner
in a covenantal relationship. To extend and complete on earth the
divine work of creation ( .., intro.), then, is to imitate and represent
God in the world.
.... But in the end, there is something missing from the Priestly
account of human creation. Despite its celebratory tone, P does not
expressly celebrate the human creature. God does not pronounce humanity good.211
Commentators explain the omission. It is possible, for example, that
humankind is a self-explanatory good.212 It is also possible that the
climactic evaluative clause of Gen :a, at the end of the sixth day,
includes the human creature.213 Or maybe the perfect heptadic repetition of compensates for its absence elsewhere in the cosmogony.214 Such interpretations, then, attempt to retrieve human goodness. But they do not address the import of the omission at this juncture
or elsewhere in the cosmogony. Ps God does not pronounce the second
creative act good, either.215 In this case, though, the reason is clear
enough: the approbative formula is not placed here by the original
writer, because the separation of the waters by a firmament was only

Eichrodt, Theology of the Old Testament . (italics deleted).


See, generally, Davies, in In Search of True Wisdom .
211 Cf. Driver, The Book of Genesis (th ed.; WC; London: Methuen, ) (ad
Gen :); and Hendel, The Text of Genesis .
212 See the references in ch. n. .
213 E.g., Procksch, Die Genesis 2/3 ; and Schmidt, Die Schpfungsgeschichte 2 . But see
Westermann, Genesis . (on darkness).
214 See Levenson, Creation and Evil .
215 Cf. LXX (James Barr, Was Everything That God Created Really Good? A
Question in the First Verse of the Bible, in God in the Fray ; as explained by Hendel,
The Text of Genesis ).
209

210

a preliminary and imperfect stage in what was completed only on the


Third Day.216 Like Yahweh in Gen : (J),217 Ps God does not approve
what is (still) incomplete.218
The absence of an approbative clause in the last creative act may
serve a proleptic function as well. For in their final forms, the Priestly
and Yahwist stories of early humanity do not belie one another.
Indeed it [sc. Ps approbative formula] had to be omitted in order to
avoid a seeming contradiction of what is subsequently written of man:
and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only EVIL continually
(vi [J]); and afterwards: for the imagination of mans heart is EVIL from his
youth (viii [J]).219

That is to say, P makes a concession to J.220 P concedes that the story


of human history is not necessarily good (see also :).221 But P concedes something else, too. By omitting the approbative formula, P also
acknowledges that the story of human history is not completed (see
also :a). P withholds (final) approval to humanity. Simply put,
the story of (human) creation is not yet over.

216 Driver, Genesis12 . See also Jacob, Genesis ; Cassuto, Genesis .; Westermann,
Genesis .; Nahum M. Sarna, Genesis (The JPS Torah Commentary; Philadelphia:
Jewish Publication Society, ) ; and Brown, Structure, Role, and Ideology . Cf. A. van
der Voort, Gense I, II, a et le Psaume CIV, RB (): n. .
217 Vogels, Like One of Us, Knowing tb and ra, in Thinking in Signs: Semiotics and
.
Biblical Studies Thirty Years After (ed. Daniel Patte; Semeia ; Atlanta: Scholars Press,
) , with n. .
218 Note Mary Douglas, Purity and Danger: An Analysis of Concepts of Pollution and Taboo
(New York/Washington: Frederick A. Praeger, ) .
219 Cassuto, Genesis . (italics and emphasis original).
220 Bernard F. Batto, Creation Theology in Genesis, in Creation in the Biblical Traditions (ed. Richard J. Clifford and John J. Collins; CBQMS ; Washington, D.C.:
Catholic Biblical Association of America, ) .
221 Morgenstern, AJSL (): , in conjunction with Batto, Slaying the
Dragon: Mythmaking in the Biblical Tradition (Louisville: Westminster/John Knox, ) .
See also Barr, in God in the Fray .

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TEXT INDEX
Biblical Texts

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:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:

:
:
:
:
:

,
,
,
,

, ,
,

with n.
, , ,

:
:
:

:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:

,
, ,

,
,

:
:
:
:
:
:
:

:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:

,
,


:
:
:


:
:

:
,
:

:
n.
:

:
:

:
, ,
:

:
,
Biblical Manuscripts
Kenn :
Kenn :
Qumran
QDeutj :: , , , ,
QDeutq :: , ,
QPsk ::
Rabbinic
b. Meg a:
Sifre Deuteronomy : n.
Akkadian
AKA i : n.
AKA i : n.
AKA ii : nn. and
BBSt i :
BBSt i :
BBSt Face A : n. ,
BBSt Face A : n. ,

BBSt Face A : n. ,
BBSt Face B : n. ,
BBSt :: with n.
BBSt :: n.
BBSt iii : n.
BBSt iv : n.
BBSt iv :
Bt Mesiri ii : n. ,
BM : with n.
Borger, Esarh. rev. :
Borger, Esarh. :: n.
Borger, Esarh. rev. :
n.
Borger, Esarh. rev. :
CH i :
CH xlvii :
CH xlviii :
CH xlviii :
En El i :
En El i :
En El iv :
En El v : n.
KAH rev. : n.
KAR :.:
KAR i : n.
KAV rev. : n.
Lambert, BWL :: n.
Layard :: n.
Layard :: n.
OIP :: n. , n.
OIP vi : n.
R iii :
RA i : n.
RAcc ::
RIMA A...::
RIMA A...::
RIMA A...::
RIMA A...::
RIMA A...:
RIMA A...::
RIMA A...::
RIMA A...::
RIMA A...:
RIMA A...::
RIME E... v. :
n.
SAA rev. :


SAA rev. : n.
SAA obv. rev. :
SAA rev. : n.
SAA rev. : n.
SAA rev. : n.
SAA rev. : n.
Streck, Asb. :ff.: n.
Streck, Asb. L ff.: n.
Streck, Asb. iv : n. ,
n.
STT :: n.
STT ::
STT :.: n.
STT ::
TCL : n.
TCL : n.
Tell Fakhariyeh .:
Tukulti-Ninurta i/A obv.:
TuL :: n.
Unger, Bel-Harran-beli-usser
: n.
Weidner, AfO obv.
: n.

Weidner, AfO obv.


.., rev. .: n.
YOS i : n.
YOS i : n.
Epigraphic Aramaic
Bukan : n.
KAI : with n.
KAI :
Tell Fakhariyeh: ,
Epigraphic Hebrew
Kh. el-Qom :.:
K. Ajrud Pithos ::
K. Ajrud Pithos ::
Ugaritic
KTU2 . iv :
KTU2 . iii :
KTU2 .::

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WORD INDEX
Akkadian
asabu,
issakku,
izuzzu, ,
kakku, with n.
s. almu, ,
sarru,
Tiamat,
Amharic
k/k,
Biblical Aramaic
, , ,
, , , ,
(), , ,
Epigraphic Aramaic
,
, n.
, , with
n.
Biblical Hebrew
,
,
,
,
,
() ,
,
,
, , n.
(), , , , ,
, with n.
,

,
, n.
,

, n.
, ,
,
,
, , ,
, ,
,

,
,
,
, n.
, , ,

, ,
, ,
,
,
,
,
,
,
,
, , , ,
, , , ,

, n.

,
, with n.
,
,
, , ,
, ,

, ,
,
,
, , ,
, , ,
, ,
,

,
,
,
, ,
,
,
, , ,
, ,
,
, n. , n.
,
,
,
,
,
,
,
,
,
,
,
,
,
,
, , , n.
,
, ,
, , , with n. ,

, with n.
, n.
, ,
,
,
, ,
(),

(),
, , ,

,
, , ,
, , ,

,
, , ,

,
, n.
, , ,
, , ,
, ,
, n.
,
,
, ,
,
, ,
, , , ,
,

, ,
, ,

Epigraphic Hebrew
,
Sumerian
,
, n.
Nudimmud, n.
Ugaritic
atrt, with n.
ym,
thmtm,
tnn,

AUTHOR INDEX
Aaron, David H., nn. and
, n. ,
Ackroyd, Peter R., n. ,
Ahlstrm, G. W., n. , n. ,

Albertz, Rainer, n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,

Allen, Leslie C., with n. ,


Alter, Robert, with n. ,
n. ,
Amit, Yairah, n. ,
Andersen, Francis I., n. ,
n. , with n. ,
with n. , n. ,
Anderson, A. A., n. , n. ,
with n. , n. ,
n. ,
Anderson, Bernhard W., n. ,
n. , n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , ,
n. , n. ,
Angerstorfer, Andreas, n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
nn. and , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. ,
Azzi, Pierre, n. ,
Baentsch, Bruno, n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,

Baethgen, Friedrich, n. ,
Balentine, Samuel E., n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. ,
Bar-On, Shimon, n. ,
Baranzke, Heike, n. ,
Barr, James, nn. and , n. ,

n. , with n. , n. ,
n. , with n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
nn. and , n. ,
n. , nn. and
, n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,

Barth, Jacob, n. , nn.


and ,
Batto, Bernard F., n. ,
n. , n. , nn. and
,
Bauer, Hans, n. , n. ,
Baumgartner, Walter et al., xvi,
with n. , n.
BDB, xiv, n. , n. , n. ,
n. , with nn. and ,
n. , nn. , , and ,
n. , nn. and ,
with n. , n. , n.
Beauchamp, Paul, n. , n. ,
nn. and , n. ,
n. , n. , nn. and
,
Beck, H. F., with n. ,
Berges, Ulrich, n. , n. ,

Bergstrsser, G., xv, n. ,


nn. and , n. , n. ,
n.
Berlejung, Angelika, n. ,
n. , nn. and ,
n. , n. , nn. and
, n. ,
Bertholet, Alfred, n. ,
Beuken, Willem A. M., n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. ,

Biale, David, n. , n. ,
n. ,
Bickel, Balthasar, n. ,
Bird, Phyllis A., n. , n. ,
n. , nn. and , with
n. , n. , n. , n. ,
n. , with n. , n. ,
with nn. and ,
nn. and , with nn.
and , nn. and ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , with nn. and ,
n. , nn. and ,
n. , n. , with
nn. and , n. ,
nn. and , n. ,
n. , n. , with n. ,
n. , n. ,
Birkeland, Harris, n. ,
Blake, Frank R., n. ,
Blau, Joshua, n. , n. ,
Blenkinsopp, Joseph, n. ,
n. , n. , n. , with
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. ,
Bloch-Smith, Elizabeth M., n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
with n. ,
Boehmer, Julius, n. ,
n. , n. ,
de Boer, P. A. H., n. ,
Bttcher, Friedrich, n. ,
Bordreuil, Pierre, n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. ,
Borger, R., n. , n. ,
Bottro, Jean, with nn.
and , n. ,
Brettler, Marc Zvi, n. ,
n. , nn. and ,
n. , n. , n. , with
n. , n. ,
Breukelman, Frans, n. ,
n. ,
Briggs, Charles Augustus,
n. , with n. , . See
also s.v. BDB

Briggs, Emilie Grace, n. ,


with n. ,
Brockelmann, Carl, xv, n. ,
nn. and , n. ,
Brown, Francis. See s.v. BDB
Brown, Penelope, n. , nn.
and ,
Brown, William P., n. , n. ,
n. , nn. and ,
n. , n. , with n. ,
n. , nn. , , and ,
n. , n. , n. ,

Brueggemann, Walter, with n. ,


with n. , with n. , with
n. , n. , n. ,
with n. , with n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
with n. , n. ,

Brning, Christian, n. ,
n. ,
Buber, Martin, with n. ,
n. , n. ,
Budd, Philip J., n. ,
Budde, Karl, n. , n. ,

Burney, C. F., n. ,
Carr, David, n. , n. ,
nn. and , with nn. and
, n. , nn. and
, n. , n. ,
n. ,
Caspari, W., n. , n. ,
n. , nn. and ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. ,
Cassuto, U., with n. , with n. ,
n. , n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , with n. , n. ,


n. , with nn. and
, n. , with n. ,
n. , , with nn.
and ,
Cazelles, Henri, n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,

Charles, R. H., n. ,
Charlesworth, J. H., n. ,
n. ,
Childs, Brevard S., nn. and
, n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , with n. ,
n. , with n. ,
with n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. ,
Clements, Ronald E., n. ,
Clines, David J. A., n. , n. ,
n. , with n. , n. ,
with nn. and , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , with n. ,
n. , with n. , with
n. , ,
Cohen, Jeremy, n. , n. ,

Cohen, Marcel, n. , n. ,

Cohen, Naomi G., n. ,


Collins, John J., n. , n. ,

Comrie, Bernard, n. ,
Cooke, G. A., with nn. and
,
Cooke, Gerald, n. , n. ,
nn. and , n. ,
n. , with n. , n. ,
n. ,
Cooper, Alan, n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,

Coote, Robert B., n. ,

Cowley, A. E. See s.v. Gesenius,


Wilhelm
Craigie, Peter C., nn. and
,
Cross, Frank Moore, n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
nn. and , n. ,
Crsemann, Frank, n. ,
nn. and , n. , with
n. , n. ,
Currid, John D., n. ,
Curtis, Edward M., n. , n. ,
with n. , with nn. and ,
n. , nn. and ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. ,
Dahood, Mitchell, n. ,
n. ,
Davidson, A. B., n. , n. ,
n. , with n. , ,
Davies, Eryl W., n. ,
n. ,
Davies, Philip R., n. , with
n. ,
Day, John, n. , n.
and , n. , n. ,
nn. and , n. ,
n. , nn. and ,
nn. and , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. ,
De Regt, L. J., n. ,
De-Rossi, Johannis Bern.,
n. ,
Delitzsch, Franz, n. , n. ,
n. , with nn. and
, n. , n. , with
n. , with n. , n. ,
n. ,
Derenbourg, Hartwig, n. ,
n. ,
Derenbourg, Joseph, n. ,
n. ,
Dever, William G., with n. ,

Di Lella, Alexander A., n. ,


n. ,
Dick, Michael B., nn. and
, with nn. , , ,
and , n. ,
Diehl, Johannes F., n. , n. ,
n. ,
Dietrich, Walter, n. ,
Dillmann, August, n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , nn.
and , n. , n. ,
nn. and , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , with nn. and
, with n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,

Dobbs-Allsopp, F. W., n. ,
Dohmen, C., n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , nn.
and , n. ,
Douglas, Mary, n. ,
n. ,
Driver, G. R., n. ,
Driver, S. R., with n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. , n. ,
nn. and , n. ,
n. , with n. ,
with n. , nn. and ,
n. , n. , with
nn. and , . See also s.v.
BDB
Duhm, Bernh., n. , n. ,

Duncker, P. G., n. , n. ,
nn. and ,
Durham, John I., n. , n. ,
with n. ,
Ebach, Jrgen, n. , n. ,
n. , nn. and ,
Edelman, Diana V., n. ,
Edzard, D. O., n. ,

Ehrlich, Arnold B., n. ,


Eichrodt, Walther, n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , with n. ,
Eilberg-Schwartz, Howard, n. ,
n. , n. ,
Eissfeldt, Otto, with n. ,
Elnes, Eric E., n. ,
Ember, Aaron, n. , n. ,
n. ,
Emerton, J. A., n. , n. ,

Engnell, I., n. , n. ,
n. ,
Ewald, Heinrich, n. , n. ,
with n. , n. ,
Fassberg, Steven E., n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
Fensham, F. Charles, with n. ,

Fenz, Augustinus Kurt, n. ,

Firmage, Edwin, n. ,
n. , n. ,
Fishbane, Michael, n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , with n. ,
nn. and , n. ,
n. , with n. ,
n. , n. , with n. ,
n. , , , ,
Fisher, Loren R., n. ,
Fitzmyer, Joseph A., nn.
and ,
Fohrer, Georg, n. ,
Foster, Benjamin R., n. ,
n. , n. ,
Fox, Michael V., n. ,
n. ,
Freedman, David Noel, n. ,
n. , with n. , with
n. , n. ,
Fretheim, Terence E., with n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,


n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. ,
Frevel, Christian, n. ,
Friedman, Richard Elliott, n. ,
n. , n. ,
Frymer-Kensky, Tikva, n. ,
n. , with nn. and ,
nn. and , nn. and
, nn. and , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,

Galpaz-Feller, Pnina, n. ,
Garr, W. Randall, n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,

Gaster, T. H., n. , with n. ,


,
Geers, F. W., n.
Gemser, B., n. , with n. ,

Gerstenberger, Erhard S., with


n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. ,
Gevirtz, Stanley, n. ,
Gibson, J. C. L., n. , n. ,
with n. , nn. and
, with n. , n. ,
n. ,
Ginsberg, H. Louis, n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,

Gesenius, Wilhelm, xv, n. ,


n. , n. , nn. , , and
, n. , with n. ,
n. , n. , n. , n. ,
with n. , with nn.
and , with nn. and ,
n. , n. . See also s.v.
Bergstrsser, G.
Grg, Manfred, n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. ,
Good, Robert M., n. ,
Gordis, Robert, n. ,

Gorman, Frank H., Jr., with


n. , n. , n. ,
nn. and , with nn. ,
, and , nn. , ,
and ,
Grabbe, Lester L., n. ,
Gray, John, n. , n. ,

Grayson, A. Kirk, with n.


Greenberg, Moshe, n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
nn. , , , and ,
n. , n. , n. ,
with n. , n. ,

Greenfield, Jonas C., n. ,


n. , n. ,
Greenhalgh, Stephen, n. ,
with n. ,
Greenstein, Edward L., n. ,
nn. and , n. , with
n. , n. , nn. and
,
Gropp, Douglas M., n. ,
Gro, Heinrich, n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,

Gro, Walter, n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. ,

Gruber, Mayer, n. , nn.


and , n. , n. ,
n. ,
Gunkel, Hermann, n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
nn. , , and , n. ,
n. , n. , with n. ,
with n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
with n. ,

Haag, H., nn. , , and ,

Habel, Norman C., n. ,


n. ,
Hadley, Judith M., n. ,
nn. and , n. ,
nn. , , and , nn.
and , n. , nn. and
,
Hagedorn, Anselm C., n. ,

Hahn, E. Adelaide, n. ,
Hallo, William W., n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. ,
Halpern, Baruch, n. , with
n. , nn. and ,
nn. and , n. ,
with n. , , n. ,
n. , n. , with n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , with n. ,
Handy, Lowell K., n. ,
n. , n. ,
Haran, M., n. ,
Harland, P. J., n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. , n. ,
nn. and , with n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
nn. and , n. ,
n. , nn. and ,
n. , nn. , , and ,
n. , n. , n. ,
with n. , n. ,
with nn. and , nn.
and , nn. and ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. ,
Hart, Ian, n. , n. ,
Hartley, John E., n. ,
Hasel, Gerhard F., n. , n. ,
n. , n. ,
Hehn, Johannes, n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. ,

Heintz, Jean-Georges, n. ,
n. ,
Hendel, Ronald S., n. , n. ,
nn. and , n. ,
with n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. ,
Henkin, Roni, n. , n. ,
Henry, Matthew, with n. ,

Herrmann, W., with n. ,


Hertzberg, Hans Wilhelm, nn.
and ,
Hess, Richard S., with nn. and
, n. , n. ,
Hetzron, Robert, with
nn. , , , and ,
Hillers, Delbert R., n. ,
Hinschberger, Rgine, with n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. ,
Hoftijzer, J., xv, n.
Holladay, William L., n. ,
Holmes, Janet, n. ,
Holtgraves, Thomas, n. ,
Hopper, Paul J., n. , n. ,
n. ,
Horst, Friedrich, with n. ,
n. , with n. , with
n. , n. , ,
n. ,
Hossfeld, F.-L., n. ,
Huehnergard, John, n. ,
Hulst, A. R., n. ,
Hultgrd, Anders, n. ,

Humbert, Paul, n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. , n. ,
n. , nn. and ,
nn. and , n. ,
nn. and , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , nn. and ,
Hurowitz, Victor (Avigdor),
n. ,

Hurvitz, Avi, with n. ,


n. ,
Hyatt, J. Philip, nn. and ,

Jngling, Hans-Winfried, nn.


and , n. , n. ,
n. , nn. and ,
n. ,

Jacob, B., n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , nn. and
, n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. ,
Jacobsen, Thorkild, n. ,
n. , nn. , , and ,
nn. , , and ,
n. ,
Janowski, Bernd, n. , n. ,
n. , n. , nn.
and , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , nn. and ,
Jenni, E., n. , n. , nn.
and , nn. , , and ,
n. , n. , nn. , ,
and , n. , n. ,
nn. , , , and , nn.
and , nn. and ,
n. , nn. and ,
n. , nn. , , and ,
nn. , , and , n. ,
n. , n. ,
Jenson, Philip Peter, with
n. , n. ,
Jones, G. H., n. ,
Jongeling, K., xv, n. , n. ,
n. , n. ,
Jnsson, Gunnlaugur A., n. ,

Joosten, J., n. , nn. and


, n. , n. ,
n. ,
Joon, Paul, n. , n. ,
n. , n. , nn. and ,
n. , n. , n. ,
nn. and , with n. , ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , with n. , n. ,
n. ,

Kaddari, Menahem
Z., n. ,
.

Kaiser, Otto, n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,

Kaufman, Stephen A., n. ,


nn. , , and ,
,
Kautzsch, E. See s.v. Gesenius,
Wilhelm
Kearney, Peter J., n. ,
Kedar-Kopfstein, B., n. ,

Keel, Othmar, n. , n. ,
with n. , n. ,
n. ,
Kennicott, Benjaminus, n. ,

Kilmer, Anne Draffkorn, n. ,

Kimhi, David, n. , n. ,

Kindl, E.-M., n. ,
King, L. W., n.
Kirkpatrick, A. F., n. ,
Kister, Menahem, n. , n. ,

Kittel, Rudolf, n. , n. ,
n. , n. ,
Klein, Ralph W., n. ,
n. , n. ,
Klopfenstein, Martin A., n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. ,
Knohl, Israel, n. , n. ,
nn. and , n. ,
n. , with n. , n. ,

Koch, Klaus, n. ,
Koehler, Ludwig, n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,

Knig, Eduard, n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,

Kraetzschmar, Richard, n. ,

Krapf, Thomas M., n. ,


Kraus, Hans-Joachim, with
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. ,
Kroeze, Jan H., n. , n. ,
n. ,
Khlewein, J., n. ,
Kugel, James L., n. , n. ,

Kunz, Andreas, nn. and ,

Kutsko, John F., n. , n. ,


with n. , n. ,
Labuschagne, C. J., n. ,
n. , with n. ,
Lacocque, Andr, n. ,
Lakoff, Robin, n. ,
Lambert, Mayer, n. , n. ,

Lambert, W. G., n. ,
n. , n. , nn.
and , n. , n. ,

Lamberty-Zielinski, Hedwig,
n. ,
Lande, Irene, n. ,
Larsen, Mogens Trolle, with
n. , with n. ,
Leander, Pontus, n. , n. ,

Lee, S., n. ,
Leech, Geoffrey N., n. ,
Lemaire, Andr, nn. and ,

Lenchak, Timothy, with n. ,


, ,
Leslau, Wolf, nn. and ,
nn. , , and ,
Levenson, Jon D., with n. ,
n. , with n. , n. ,
with n. , n. , n. ,

n. , n. , n. ,
with n. , n. ,
nn. and , with n. ,
n. , with nn. and
, with n. , n. ,
nn. and , n. , with
n. , with nn. , , and
, n. , n. , ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , with nn. and
, n. , with nn.
and , with n. , with
n. , with n. , n. ,
with n. , n. , ,
n. , nn. and ,
n. , with n. ,
nn. and , n. ,
with nn. and , n. ,

Levine, Baruch A., with n. ,


n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. ,
Levinson, Stephen C., n. ,
nn. and ,
Levy, D., n. ,
Lewis, Theodore J., n. ,
Lim, Johnson T. K., n. , n. ,

Limburg, James, n. ,
n. ,
Lipinski,

Edward, n. ,
n. ,
Loewenstamm, Samuel E.,
n. ,
Lohfink, Norbert, n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , nn.
and , nn. and ,
nn. , , and , nn. , ,
and , with n. , with
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. ,
Long, Burke O., n. ,
Loretz, Oswald, n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. ,
Lust, Johan, with n. ,


Lutzky, Harriet, n. , n. ,

Luyster, Robert, n. , n. ,
n. , n. ,
Luyten, Jos, n. ,
Lyons, John, n. , n. ,
Maag, Victor, n. , n. ,
n. , n. ,
Machinist, Peter, n. ,
nn. and ,
Mafico, T. L. J., with n. ,
n. ,
Malamat, Abraham, n. ,
Mann, Yizhaq, n. , nn.
and , n. ,
Martin, W. J., n. , n. ,
May, Herbert G., n. ,
Mayes, A. D. H., n. , n. ,

Mays, James L., n. ,


McBride, S. Dean, Jr., n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. ,
McCarter, P. Kyle, Jr., n. ,
nn. and , n. ,
n. , n. ,
McEvenue, Sean E., n. ,
n. ,
Meek, Theophile J., n. ,
Meier, S. A., n. , n. ,
n. ,
van der Merwe, Christian H. J.,
n. , nn. , , and ,
n. , n. ,
Mettinger, Tryggve N. D., n. ,
with n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
nn. and ,
Meyer, Rudolf, n. ,
nn. and , n. ,
Meyers, Carol L., n. ,
Meyers, Eric M., n. ,
Miles, Jack, n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,

Miles, John C., n. ,


Milgrom, Jacob, nn. and ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , with n. ,
with nn. and ,
n. , nn. , , and ,
,
Miller, Cynthia L., n. ,
Miller, J. Maxwell, n. , n. ,

Miller, Patrick D., Jr., n. ,


n. , n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , nn. ,
, and , nn. and
, nn. and , with
nn. and , nn. and
, n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , with nn. and ,
with nn. , , and ,
n. , n. , n. ,
with n. , with nn. and
,
Mitchell, Christopher Wright,
n. , with n. ,
Montgomery, James A., n. ,
n. ,
de Moor, J. C., n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,

Moore, Stephen D., n. ,


Moran, William L., n.
Morgenstern, Julian, n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. ,
Mowinckel, Sigmund, n. ,
n. , n. ,
Mller, Hans-Peter, n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
Mullen, E. Theodore, Jr., n. ,
n. , nn. and ,
n. , n. , n. ,
with n. , n. ,
Muraoka, Takamitsu, n. ,
n. , n. , n. , nn.
and , n. , n. ,

n. , nn. and , with


n. , , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
with n. , n. , n. ,
n. , ,
Nasuti, Harry P., n. ,
Naud, Jackie A., n. ,
n. , n. ,
Neef, Heinz-Dieter, n. ,
Newsom, Carol A., n. ,
nn. and , nn. and ,
with n. , n. ,
Niccacci, Alviero, n. , n. ,

Niditch, Susan, n. , n. ,
n. ,
Niehr, Herbert, n. ,
n. ,
Noegel, Scott B., n. ,
Nldeke, Th., n. ,
Nyberg, H. S., n.
Ockinga, Boyo, n. ,
OConnor, M., n. , n. ,
nn. and , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , with nn. and ,
n. , with n. , n. ,

Oesterley, W. O. E., n. ,
n. ,
del Olmo Lete, G., n. ,
n. , nn. and ,
Olshausen, Justus, n. , n. ,

Olson, Dennis T., with n. ,


with n. ,
Olyan, Saul M., n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , with n. , n. ,
n. ,
Oppenheim, A. Leo, n. ,
with n. , nn. and ,

Ord, David Robert, n. ,


Orlinsky, Harry M., n. ,
with nn. and , n. ,
n. , n. ,
Ouro, Roberto, n. ,
nn. , , and ,
Palmer, F. R., n. ,
Pardee, Dennis, n. , n. ,
n. , n. , ,
Parker, Simon B., n. , n. ,
n. , n. , nn.
and ,
Patrick, Dale, n. , n. ,
Paul, Shalom M., n. ,
Peckham, Brian, n. ,
Peleg, Yizhaq (Iziq), n. ,
n. ,
Pettey, Richard J., nn. and
, with n. , n. ,
nn. and ,
Pitard, Wayne T., n. ,
Podella, Thomas, n. ,
Pola, Thomas, n. ,
Pope, Marvin H., nn. and ,
n. , with nn. and ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , ,
Porten, Bezalel, n. ,
Porter, Barbara Nevling, n. ,
nn. and ,
Preuss, H. D., with n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. , nn.
and , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , nn. and
, with n. , with
n. , ,
Procksch, Otto, n. ,
n. , n. ,
Propp, William H. C., n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
with nn. , , and , n. ,

Provan, Iain W., n. ,


von Rad, Gerhard, with n. ,
n. , with n. , with
n. , n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , with nn. and
, nn. and , nn.
and , n. , n. ,
with n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
with n. , with n. ,
with n. , with n. ,

Rainey, Anson F., n. ,


nn. and ,
Rashi, n.
Ratner, Robert, n. ,
Rechenmacher, Hans, nn. and
,
Redditt, Paul L., n. ,
Reed, William L., with nn.
and ,
Reiner, Erica, nn. and ,

Rendsburg, Gary A., n. ,


n. , n. ,
Rendtorff, Rolf, nn. and ,
n. , n. , n. ,
Renger, J., nn. and ,
nn. , , and , n. ,
n. , n. ,
Revell, E. J., n. , n. ,
nn. and , n. ,
Ridderbos, Nic. H., n. ,
Ringgren, H., n. ,
Roberts, J. J. M., n. ,
n. ,
Robinson, H. Wheeler, n. ,
n. ,
Robinson, Robert B., n. ,
Rosn, Haiim B., n. ,
Rosenthal, Franz, n. ,
Ross, James F., n. ,
Rost, Leonhard, n. ,
Roth, Martha T., n. ,
n. ,

Rterswrden, Udo, nn. and


, nn. and ,
Ruppert, Lothar, n. , nn.
and , n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. ,
Sb, Magne, n. , n. ,

Sarauw, Chr., nn. and ,


Sarna, Nahum M., with n. ,
with n. , with n. , n. ,
n. , n. , with n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
with nn. and , n. ,
n. , with nn. and ,
with n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , with
nn. and , with
nn. , , and , n. ,
n. , , with nn. ,
, and , n. , n. ,
with n. , with n. ,
nn. and , with n. ,
with n. , , n. ,
Sauer, G., n. ,
Sawyer, John F. A., n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. ,
Scharbert, Josef, n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , nn.
and , n. ,
nn. and , n. ,
n. , n. ,
Schenker, Adrian, n. ,
Schmid, Herbert, n. ,
Schmidt, Brian B., n. ,
Schmidt, Karl Ludwig, n. ,
n. , n. ,
Schmidt, W. H., n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. , n. ,
nn. and , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , nn. and
, n. , n. , n. ,

n. , nn. and ,
n. , n. , nn. ,
, and , nn. and ,
n. , n. ,
Schneider, Wolfgang, n. ,
Schreiner, Stefan, n. ,
Schwally, Friedrich, n. ,
n. ,
Seebass, Horst, n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. ,
Seely, Paul H., n. ,
Seitz, Christopher R., n. ,
Seybold, K., n. ,
Sharp, Donald B., n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. ,
Shulman, Ahouva, n. ,
with nn. and ,
Skinner, John, with nn. and
, n. , n. , n. ,
with n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
Smith, Carlota S., n. ,
Smith, Mark S., n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. , n. ,
n. , with nn. and
, nn. , , and ,
with n. , with n. ,
with nn. and , n. ,
with n. , n. , n. ,
nn. and , n. ,
n. , n. , with n. ,

Smith, Morton, n. , n. ,

Snaith, N. H., n. ,
Snyder, Jill, n. , nn. and
, n. , n. , n. ,
with nn. and ,
Snyman, S. D., n. ,
von Soden, Wolfram, xiii, n. ,
n. , n.
Sokoloff, Michael, n. ,
Sommer, Benjamin D., n. ,
n. , n. ,
Sparks, Kent, n. ,

Speiser, E. A., with n. , n. ,


n. , n. , n. ,

Sperling, S. David, n. ,
Spina, Frank Anthony, n. ,
Spycket, Agns, n. ,
Stamm, Johann Jakob, n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
Steck, Odil Hannes, n. , n. ,
n. , nn. and ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. ,
Steiner, Richard C., n. ,
Steinkeller, Piotr, n.
Stendebach, F. J., n. , n. ,
n. , n. ,
Stoebe, H. J., n. , n. ,
Stolz, Fritz, n. , n. ,
n. ,
Streibert, Christian, n. ,
Stroumsa, Sarah, n. ,
Struppe, Ursula, n. ,
Swiggers, Pierre, n. ,
Talmon, Shemaryahu, with
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. ,
Teixidor, Javier, n. ,
Teshima, Yeshayahu, n. ,
n. , n. ,
Thompson, Sandra A., n. ,
Tigay, Jeffrey H., n. , n. ,
n. , nn. and ,
with n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
with nn. and , n. ,
with nn. and ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , with n. ,
n. , with n. ,
n. ,


Tov, Emanuel, n. , n. ,

Trask, R. L., with n. ,


Traugott, Elizabeth Closs, n. ,
n. , n. ,
Trible, Phyllis, n. , n. ,
with n. , n. , n. ,
n. ,
Tsevat, Matitiahu, n. ,
n. , with nn. and ,
n. , nn. , , and ,
nn. and ,
Tsumura, David Toshio, n. ,

Uehlinger, Christoph, n. ,
n. , with n. , n. ,
n. ,
Ungnad, A., n. ,
Urbach, Ephraim E., n. ,
n. ,
Van Seters, John, n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. ,
Vawter, Bruce, n. , n. ,
n. , n. , nn. and ,
n. , n. ,
Vervenne, Marc, n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. ,
Vogels, Walter, n. , n. ,
n. , n. , with nn. ,
, and , n. , n. ,
with n. , n. ,
with n. , n. , n. ,
n. , with n. ,
n. , n. ,
Vollmer, J., n. ,
van der Voort, A., n. ,
Wagner, S., n. ,
Walker, Christopher, nn. and
, with nn. , , ,
and , n. ,
Walker, Norman, n. ,
Wallace, Howard N., n. ,

with n. , with n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. ,
Waltke, Bruce K., n. , n. ,
nn. and , n. ,
n. , n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
with nn. and , n. ,
with n. , n. ,
Waschke, E.-J., n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. ,
Watson, Wilfred G. E., n. ,
n. ,
Weidner, Ernst F., n. ,
Weimar, Peter, n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. ,
Weinfeld, Moshe, n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
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n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. ,
Weippert, Manfred, n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
Weiser, Artur, with n. ,
Wellhausen, Julius, n. , with
n. , , , n. , ,
n. ,
Wenham, Gordon J., n. , n. ,
n. , n. , with n. ,
n. , with nn. and ,
n. , n. , with n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
with nn. and , nn.
and , n. , n. ,
Westermann, Claus, n. , with
nn. and , with n. ,
n. , nn. and , n. ,
with nn. , , and , nn.

and , n. , with n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , with n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
nn. and , , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , with n. ,
with n. , nn. and ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
,
de Wette, W. M. L., n. ,
Whitley, C. F., n. ,
Whybray, R. N., n. , n. ,
n. , with n. ,
Wiggins, Steve A., n. ,
nn. , , and , nn. ,
, and , n. ,
Wildberger, Hans, n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , with n. ,
with n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. ,
de Wilde, A., n. ,
Wilfong, Marsha M., n. ,
Williams, David T., n. ,
Williams, Ronald J., with nn.
and , nn. and , ,
n. , n. ,
Williamson, H. G. M., n. ,
n. , n. ,
Willis, John T., n. ,
Willoughby, B. E., n. , n. ,

Wilson, Robert R., n. ,


n. , with nn. and ,
with n. , with nn.
and , n. ,

Wilt, Timothy, nn. , , and ,


n. , n. ,
Winter, Irene J., with nn.
and , with nn. and
, with n. , nn.
and , nn. and ,
with nn. and , nn.
and ,
Wller, Ulrich, n. ,
van Wolde, Ellen, n. ,
Wolfensohn, Avraham, n. ,
Wolff, Hans Walter, with n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
with n. , n. ,
van der Woude, A. S., n. ,
Wright, David P., n. , n. ,

Wrthwein, Ernst, n. ,
n. ,
Wyatt, N., n. , n. ,
n. , nn. and ,
n. , with n. ,
Zenger, Erich, n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
Zevit, Ziony, n. ,
Zimmerli, Walther, n. , ,
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n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
nn. and , n. ,
n. , n. , n. ,
Zobell, H.-J., n. , n. ,
n. , n. ,
Zoran, Yair, n. ,