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Genesis verses 1:14-19 seem to belong after verse 1:5. Wondering what you all think...

Discussion in 'Bibliology & Hermeneutics' started by zelosravioli, Jan 30, 2019.

  1. zelosravioli

    zelosravioli Believer Supporter

    United States
    Genesis verses 1:14-19 seem to belong after verse 1:5.

    I have long been a student of Genesis, especially chapters 1-3, and I came across this odd observation/problem/solution a few years ago, not 'because' of any problem related to the creation events, but purely from a 'linguistic' observation of the text;

    Genesis chap.1 speaks of creating light and darkness, until verse 1:6
    - and then the text turns to start talking of the waters and Earth and then vegetation, until verse 1:14
    - where it starts speaking of the lights in the heavens 'again' and on through verse 1:19
    - and then the text starts speaking again of waters and Earth and now the creation of living creatures.

    I find this odd, primarily because the writer skips from speaking of lights and the heavens to water and the Earth, then back again to the lights in the heavens, and then back to water and Earth.

    It certainly seems to make more sense chronologically, thoughtfully, and as a matter of explaining something linguistically (as any good writer would seem to want to accomplish) to put verse 1:14-19 after verse 1:5. I would think the writer would speak of the lights and heavens, finish explaining that part, and 'then' describe the formations on Earth and of the waters - not begin, then start speaking of the waters, then go back to describing the lights.. this seems a bit odd for a writer to do.., it seems rather, that this is a mistake a copyist could make.

    There are other verses in scripture that have been shown to be out of historic chronology, or interloped, due to copyists/scribe error, or whatever. This is a very ancient part of scripture and I believe the earliest chapters had been passed down, of course I'm not sure who or what sources the early chapters came from, whether Moses compiled them or other scribes, but that is not the real point here - it just really seems to be out of logical order - and moving verses 1:14-19 after verse 1:5 seems to where it logically belongs.

    Before accusing me of plotting evil, note that the creation account starting in chapter 2:4 and thru 2:25 has an almost completely 'different order of events' from those in chapter 1.

    Wondering what you all think...
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2019
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  2. eleos1954

    eleos1954 God is Love Supporter

    United States
    The bible is not always chronological. It is not unusual at all for it to revisit/repeat something and/or provide additional information to clarify what is being stated.

    As an example: One learns something one day (or over several days) in school ... the next day(s) there is/are overview(s) of the previous (day/days teaching) and something new may or may not be introduced and/or perhaps something that was taught in the past might be revisited.
  3. zelosravioli

    zelosravioli Believer Supporter

    United States
    Very agreed, but is this text chronological, or out of order? The writer, or someone, wrote, or interloped; the first day, the second day, etc... as to add chronology :angel:
  4. JackRT

    JackRT Well-Known Member Supporter

    In the first few decades of the last century a great deal of research went into trying to understand oral traditions while they were still around to study. This research focused on societies which were largely illiterate. This study was greatly assisted by the use of newly invented sound recording machines. The researchers discovered that the storytellers work from a 'framework' but tailor the narrative to suit the needs and moods of the audience at the time. A story is never told the same way twice but the framework itself remains intact. Once such a story is committed to print it becomes locked in place for all time. Moreover once that has happened it becomes virtually impossible to discern what is framework and what is the story teller's own variation on the theme. This is what has happened in both the Jewish and Christian scriptures. What we are reading are very human documents.

    So, in answer to the OP I could well see the story may well have been written out of order.
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  5. Mathetes66

    Mathetes66 Well-Known Member Supporter

    United States
    For those reading this, there are still 2 more days (March 16 & 19th) to see the newest Patterns for Evidence film in theaters nationwide. It is called The Moses Controversy. Who really wrote the first five books of the Bible. I watched the first one on the Exodus and it was fascinating. This one should be also, as the film director travels around the world, looking for the ancient evidences & comes to the conclusion, based on the evidence, that Moses indeed was the writer of the Pentateuch.

    Home - Patterns of Evidence: The Moses Controversy

    Here are a couple of my thoughts, zelosravioli on what you asked. I have already given some extensive thoughts on Genesis 1 in a number of posts on the thread, 'Earth, then light (Big Bang), Created on Day One; Sun, Moon and Stars Created on Day Four.'

    I think the order is correct as it stands. That is what the manuscript evidence shows. Also the Jews were meticulous in their copying of their Tenakh, ESPECIALLY the Torah, the foundation of their religion. If you compare the OT books found in the Qumran caves (some 1000 years older) with the other extant copies of the Jewish Tenakh, it is almost identical: 99.9%. For a fascinating discussion on this, hear Rabbi Tovia talk about this in the short video & was asked a very difficult question concerning Psalm 145.

    The problem with me is my not reading the text CAREFULLY to what it actually says vs my opinion of what I think it means. I get the cart before the horse, interpretation before careful observation. Also I may neglect to do correlation--seeing what other passages talk about God creating the heavens & the earth. There are HUNDREDS of passages that harmonize what God specifically did when creating, forming & filling His creation due to the 3 key words in Genesis 1: bara, asah & yatzar.

    My experience has been that most people skip verse one & rarely comment on it, yet I believe it is one of the keys to the order of things in the rest of the verses of chapter 1!

    Even before that, one must look at the book of Genesis as a whole. It is the book of beginnings & divided into accounts or records or generations or history (Heb. toledoth), however you may translate that Hebrew term.

    The Generations of Genesis
    There are 12 of these toledoths. At the time Moses lived & wrote down the Pentateuch, Mesopotamian tablets were unearthed that dated to that time. In those clay documents there was a consistent pattern called a colophon. When a record was written it would end with the author of that record. It appears that was the common way to write things. So if Genesis is similar to that style of writing in that age, then the whole book makes sense. Gen 2:4 is a CONCLUDING remark. All the preceding verses were God's account of creating the heavens & the earth. The second toledoth is a concluding statement of the record or account of Adam. This makes sense in that the topic goes back to Gen 2:6 until Gen 5:1 so Gen 2 is about Adam not a second creation account & it just seems to fit well.
    These possiblities of colophon clay tablets format, opens the way for the suggestion that the Genesis colophon “these are the accounts/generations of . . .” denoted a significant historical event or series of events on the face (obverse) of the tablet & a genealogy related to the personnel involved in the event or its results on the back (reverse) of the tablet. The Hamurapi dynasty tablet (British Museum Tablet 80328; 1600BC) also shows this pattern of a summary of historical events & a geneaology.

    This pattern is also shown in the Iliad (6:119–236) of historical narrative & geneaology. P.J. Wiseman thus was coined with the Wiseman Hypothesis that Moses used this cultural & historical method of tablet formation to outline Genesis in that way. This appears to be a common pattern utilized in historical records at that time. Here is how Genesis unfolds:

    The Creation Tablet or Creation Account (Paul verifies this in Acts 17:24)
    The Adam Tablet or Account of Adam & Eve Carrying the Promise of the Seed After the Fall
    The Noah Tablet or Account of Noah & the Jugment of the Global Flood
    The Sons of Noah Tablet or Account of the Sons of Noah
    The Nations Descent Tablet or the Account of the Nations (even Paul verifies this: Acts 17:26,27)
    The Shem Tablet or Accout of Shem (lived 500 yrs after global flood & after Tower of Babel)
    The Terah Tablet of Covenant to Abraham or Account of Terah & the Covenant to Abraham (see Gen 11:31)
    The Ishmael Tablet or Account of Ishmael & the Arabic Nations
    The Isaac Tablet or Account of Isaac Carrying the Promise
    The Esau Tablet or Account of Esau & the Edomite Nation
    The Jacob Tablet or Account of Jacob Carrying the Promise
    The Joseph Tablet or Account of Joseph Carrying the Promise

    We must not forget: even though these are narative, historical accounts--they all point to Jesus Christ. He is the One who created all things by the side of His Father & the Holy Spirit. He is the Seed Promised to eventually conquer the devil & restore all things after the fall of man & the resulting corrupted universe. He is the One who from Adam made all the Gentile nations, spreading them out over the earth. He is the One known as the Messiah who would make the special nation of Israel & continue as the promised Seed through Abraham, Isaac & Jacob & then King David: the promise of land, seed, blessing.

    Salvation & reconciliation would come through the nation of Israel & then to the rest of the world. Then He would create a new heavens & earth & a new kingdom that would last forever & in which righteousness dwells forever. It started with a creation, it ends with a creation. It started with a marriage, it ends with the marriage supper of the Lamb. It started with right sacrifices of a lamb, it ends with the eternal once for all sacrifice of the Lamb of God. It started with a Promise, it ends with that Promise fulfilled. It started with the making of the first Adam in the image of God. Adam fell & made mankind in his own image & likeness. It ends with the last Adam bringing a new creation to once again bring those who follow Him into right relationship with their Creator: the making of man into His image FOREVER, through faith in the Messiah.

    The Plan of God layed out in the book of beginnings & progresses through time to the book of Revelation. Got a little carried away with the glorious plan of God through time. It is exciting to see how this was carried from the mind of God & revealed to us in the Scriptures.

    Now back to Genesis & how all this begins. We can't isolate Genesis from the rest of Scripture however & how it all plays out. We must understand Genesis in the light of the rest of Scripture & by faith, as the writer of the book of Hebrews says, which all those from Genesis on had, who believed, pleased & sought after-- the living, everlasting God.

    Hebrews 11 is a recounting of the faith of those in the book of Genesis! It looks at Genesis from a faith perspective & what all these people put their faith in: the promises of God for a better eternal home with Him. Reading it brings Genesis alive with the hope of faith in the promises of God, pointing to the Savior of the world.

    Heb 11:1-3 Now faith is the assurance of things HOPED FOR, the evidence (conviction) of things NOT seen. For by it the MEN OF OLD gained approval. By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was NOT made out of things which are visible.

    Heb 13:27-29 This expression, “Yet once more,” denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence & awe, for our God is consuming fire. (Rom 12:1,2)

    By faith Abel...by faith Enoch...by faith Noah...by faith Abraham, Isaac & Jacob & Sarah...by faith Isaac blessed Jacob & Esau...by faith Moses...by faith Joseph...by faith Rahab in Jesus geneaology and so on. Most are mentioned in Genesis, showing the HARMONY of Scripture. Only God could have planned this & revealed it--in His written revelation, the Holy Scriptures. Abel is still speaking; God is not the God of the dead but the God of the living!

    Stephen also repeats much, like Hebrews 11, when he recounts the history of the nation of Israel in Acts 7.

    Moses wrote about Christ, all through the Pentateuch, including Genesis & talked with Christ at the burning bush & on Mt Sinai at the giving of the Law & again at the Mt. of Transfiguration on the other side of glory. (John 5:46,47; Luke 16:29-31; Exodus 3:1-10; Acts 7:35-38; Luke 9:28-36) Abraham saw, talked with Christ & rejoiced in his belief of Christ fulfilling the promises. (Gen 18; John 8:52-59) Jacob knew Christ, wrestled with Him & saw & in a vision heard him speak to Him as YHWH at Bethel, seeing into heaven with Him standing at the top of the ladder, with the angels ascending & descending on Him. (Hosea 12:3-5; Gen 28:10-22; John 1:45-51 along with: Matt 16:27; 22:44; 24:30; 25:31; 26:64-66; Mark 14:62; Luke 21:27; 22:69; Dan 7:13; Psalm 110:1)
    All the prophets either spoke with or talked about Christ. John 1:45 Philip found Nathanael & told him, “We have found the One Moses wrote about in the Law, the One the prophets foretold—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”

    I woke up early this morning & the Lord has flooded my mind with all these thoughts. Worthy is He! Hallel YAH. I will start again beginning with Genesis 1 in a new post.
  6. zelosravioli

    zelosravioli Believer Supporter

    United States
    Thanks for the post. i have been meaning to check and see if the Qumran texts have the Genesis 1 account, yet still i believe the account, and indeed the transmission is really early, earlier than Job. I believe Moses may have gotten it from an oral tradition of it. And the those cave scrolls are generally from around the time of Christ, and the change could have been earlier.

    I will read through all your notes. Thanks mathetes
  7. shadowhunter

    shadowhunter +collaboratively study, ~ debate, -fight. Supporter

    It is claimed that this first account of creation contradicts the second account in Gen 2:4-25. This is an invented problem. The second account starts with v. 6.

    Genesis 1 is written in a literary style which can be mapped similar to poetry. It is of the form ABCabcA.
    A = Day 1 - 'heavens and earth' and 'light'.
    B = Day 2 - 'water'
    C = Day 3 - 'dry ground'
    a = Day 4 - 'lights'. Note v17 mentions heaven and earth.
    b = Day 5 - 'waters'
    c = Day 6 - 'earth'
    A = Summary - heavens and earth.
    Verse 5 clarifies which heavens and earth since it is also mentioned on Day 4. It is a bookend to the 'heavens and earth' BEFORE the plants and the herbs which were created on Day 3 (v.12). It maps to A, not a.
    The contradiction is invented.

    With this in mind, the order is perfect as it is.