Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Tselem and demut

The fact that this tôlədôt notice [Gen 5:1–3, of the birth of Seth] echoes the language of Gen 1:26–27 suggests that the description of Seth functions, at least in part, as an interpretive key to understanding the creation of male and female bəṣelem ʾelōhîm. That is, the author of Gen 1:1–2:3 may have chosen ṣelem and dəmût not only because these terms have royal and cultic overtones but because they also convey a filial relationship. [footnote: If this is correct, it would not be surprising that the relationship between the two ṣəlāmîm, male (zākār) and female (nəqēbāh), would also be defined in familial terms. In Gen 2:23, the woman is described as the man’s “bone (ʿeṣem) and flesh (bāśār).” That is, having been created from Adam’s very body, Eve is his biological kin. Thus, both Genesis 1 and 2 would define the two primary human relationships, namely, the divine-human relationship and the relationship of husband and wife, in kinship terms. In Genesis 1, humans are introduced as members of God’s royal family, and this presentation implies that humans and God are, on some level, “kin.”]—The "Image of God" in the Garden of Eden, page 3

<idle musing>
Think about the ramifications of that for a bit. If, as she implies, humans are in some way kin to God, then God being our kinsman redeemer (גואל gw'l) takes on a whole new meaning, doesn't it. And murder is no longer just killing someone. It is, in some sense, an attack on God's family—whether the person is a Christian or not!

Lots to think about here...and this is only on page 3!
</idle musing>

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