Monday, February 13, 2017

Not to be identified as the same

It was here in Gen 3 that we saw a significant departure from the pīt pî and the wpt-r, the rituals by which a divine image was enlivened in Mesopotamia and Egypt, respectively. In the comparative rituals the opening of the eyes and the subsequent transformation of the statue into a divine manifestation were the expressed purpose of the rite. In Eden, however, the opening of the eyes, although it did result in divine likeness, brought also nakedness, judgment, expulsion and, eventually, death. If the Eden author drew from the pīt pî and/or the wpt-r in writing his own account of human creation in order to make a subtle comparison between humans and divine images, as I have tried to demonstrate, he has redefined the term. As in Gen 1, bəṣelem ʾelōhîm is intimately related to the divine but it is not God’s equal. Unlike the divine statues in the Washing of the Mouth and the Opening of the Mouth, in Gen 2:5–3:24 the deity and its images were clearly distinct.—The "Image of God" in the Garden of Eden, page 204

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