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Humanity, Divinity, and Monotheism







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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. Monotheism—History. 2. Man (Jewish theology) 3. Humanity. 4. Bible. O.T. Genesis—Criticism, interpretation, etc. I. Title. II. Series.

BL221.G37 2003






90 04 12980 4

© Copyright 2003 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands

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Acknowledgements ................................................... Note on Translations and Citations

.................................. Abbreviations and Symbols ..........................................







i. god and the gods

  • 1. The Plural Pronouns...............................................

  • 2. ..................................................................

    • 2.1. Isolating Nonliteral ......................................

    • 2.2. Interpretations of Nonliteral ............................

    • 2.3. and Gen 38:16...........................................

    • 2.4. The Pragmatic Character of the Clause ..............

    • 2.5. Form-Critical Analysis of the Clause ...................

  • 3. Gen 11:7 ............................................................

  • 4. Gods ................................................................

    • 4.1. Gods in the Yahwist and Elohist Traditions ................

    • 4.2. Gods Elsewhere in the Hebrew Bible .......................

  • 5. Gen 1:26 ............................................................

  • 17












    ii. the divine-human relationship

    • 6. The Prepositions and ..........................................

      • 6.1. ...............................................................

    6.2. ..............................................................

    • 6.3. and


    • 7. The Nouns and


    • 7.1. ...........................................................

    7.2. ........................................................... 7.3. and










    • viii table of contents

    iii. creating the world

    • 8. The Priestly Cosmogony



    • 8.1. Exercising Creative Control .................................


    • 8.2. Separation and DiVerentiation ..............................


    Harmonic Order

    • 8.3. .............................................


    Imposing Rule

    • 8.4. ................................................


    • 9. God’s Victory over the Gods, and the Elevation of the

    Human Race



    • 9.1. The Gods and Their Demise ................................


    • 9.2. God’s Rule


    • 9.3. Imitatio Dei et deorum





    Text Index


    Word Index


    Author Index




    It should have been clear to me from the beginning how diYcult this book would be. In its first incarnation, delivered at the University of Toronto in the spring of 1995, I presented a grammatical argument that God’s first person plural pronouns in Gen 1:26 are referentially plural; viz., that P’s 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 §0.3). It would seem, then, that grammar and interpretation fundamentally conflict in this instance and, I feared, that any new attempt to enter this long- standing 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 espe- cially Marianne Mithun coached me on linguistic issues. In Assyriologi- cal matters, I benefitted from the advice of Paul-Alain Beaulieu, Peter Machinist, Erica Reiner, Piotr Steinkeller, and especially Benjamin Fos- ter. 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 Fry- mer-Kensky, Edward Greenstein, Jon Levenson, Jan Joosten, William Nelson, Simon Parker, William Propp, and JeVrey Tigay. So too, I thank Mario Biagioli, Phyllis Bird, David Carr, Vincent DeCaen, Steven Fass- berg, 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 oth- ers. James Barr, Judith Hadley, Karel Jongeling, Norbert Lohfink, Jef- frey Tigay, and Eerdmans Publishing Company graciously sent me preprints or oVprints 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 OYce, which continues to fill my many, many re- quests with patience and despatch. Finally, I thank the Institute for Advanced Studies at the Hebrew University and its outstanding staV who, towards the end of this project, considerably lightened my work; I oVer 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 me—again and again—that repetition is not necessarily a good thing. Ronald Hendel and Tremper Longman didn’t need to read the manuscript, however; they each heard about it, in numbing detail, many times, and nonetheless remained enthusiastic, helpful, encourag- ing, and provocative. Laura Kalman deserves my greatest thanks. Not only did she contribute the title (well, the first half). She was also unwa- vering: a happy, challenging, smiling, engaged, and supportive spouse who, even now, still wants to hear more.


    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 repre- sented by the CAD (see CAD R ix–xxvii 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 particu- lar 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 transla- tion and, when applicable, have provided the original date of publica- tion between square brackets. In the cases of Genesis commentaries by Delitzsch, Dillmann, and Gunkel, however, I have cited both the Ger- man and English versions. With unrevised, reprinted articles, I have tried to cross-reference original publications (when reasonably accessi- ble) with the later reprinted version; if multiple reprints exist, I have selected the English language version or, in its absence, the most acces- sible reprinted version.

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    The following is a list of abbreviations and sigla not explained within the text. For Assyriological abbreviations, see p. xi.

    Scholarly Literature


    The Anchor Bible


    The Anchor Bible Dictionary. Edited by David Noel


    Freedman et al. 6 vols. New York: Doubleday, 1992 Ägypten und Altes Testament


    Annuaire de l’École pratique des Hautes Études, IV e Section:

    Sciences historiques et philologiques


    Archiv für Orientforschung

    Harrassowitz, 19651981


    Akkadisches Handwörterbuch unter Benutzung des lexikalischen


    Nachlasses von Bruno Meissner (18681947). Edited by Wolfram von Soden. 3 vols. Wiesbaden: Otto

    The American Journal of Semitic Languages and Literatures


    American Journal of Theology and Philosophy


    Abhandlungen zur Literatur Alt-Syrien-Palästinas und


    Mesopotamiens Analecta Biblica

    ANET 3

    Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament. Edited


    by James B. Pritchard. 3d ed. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1969 Analecta Orientalia


    Alter Orient und Altes Testament


    Archiv für Religionswissenschaft


    Assyriological Studies


    American Schools of Oriental Research


    Asiatische Studien


    Abhandlungen zur Theologie des Alten und Neuen Testaments


    Aula Orientalis

    abbreviations and symbols



    Andrews University Seminary Studies

    Oxford University Press, 1972 [1953]


    Arbeiten zur Theologie


    Biblical Arch(a)eologist


    The Biblical Archaeology Review


    Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research


    Beiträge zur Assyriologie und semitischen Sprachwissenschaft


    Bonner Biblische Beiträge


    Francis Brown, S. R. Driver, and Charles A. Briggs. A


    Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament. Oxford:

    Beiträge zur Erforschung des Alten Testaments und des


    Antiken Judentums Bibliotheca Ephemeridum Theologicarum Lovaniensium


    Beit Mikra


    Beiträge zur Evangelischen Theologie


    Biblical Interpretation




    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


    Bibliothèque de Sciences religieuses


    The Bible Today


    Berliner Theologische Zeitschrift


    Beiträge zur Wissenschaft vom Alten und Neuen


    Testament Biblische Zeitschrift (neue Folge)


    Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft


    The Assyrian Dictionary of the Oriental Institute of The

    University of Chicago. Edited by Ignace J. Gelb et al. Chicago/Glückstadt: Oriental Institute/J. J. Augustin,





    Contributions to Biblical Exegesis and Theology


    Coniectanea Biblica, Old Testament Series


    The Catholic Biblical Quarterly


    abbreviations and symbols


    The Catholic Biblical Quarterly Monograph Series

    Brill/Eerdmans, 1999


    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

    DDD 2

    Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible. Edited by Karel


    van der Toorn, Bob Becking, and Pieter W. van der Horst. 2d ed. Leiden/Grand Rapids–Cambridge, U.K.:

    Discoveries in the Judaean Desert. Oxford: Oxford


    University Press, 1955– J. Hoftijzer and K. Jongeling. Dictionary of the North-West

    Semitic Inscriptions. 2 pts. HdO 1/21/12. Leiden: E. J. Brill,


    Dutch Studies published by the Near Eastern Languages and



    Literatures Foundation Eretz-Israel




    Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses


    Ex Auditu


    Forschungen zum Alten Testament


    Forschungen zur Religion und Literatur des Alten und


    Neuen Testaments Foi et Vie


    G. Bergsträsser. Grammatik mit Benutzung der von E. Kautzsch

    bearbeiteten 28. Auflage von Wilhelm Gesenius’ hebräischer Grammatik. 2 vols. Leipzig: F. C. W. Vogel/J. C. Hinrichs,


    Gesenius’ Hebrew Grammar. Edited and enlarged by


    E. Kautzsch. Revised by A. E. Cowley. 2d English ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1910 Comptes-rendus du Groupe Linguistique d’Etudes Chamito-


    Sémitiques Carl Brockelmann. Grundriss der vergleichenden Grammatik der semitischen Sprachen. 2 vols. Berlin: Reuther & Reichard,


    abbreviations and symbols



    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. 5 vols. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 19942000 [19671996] Herders Biblische Studien


    Horizons in Biblical Theology


    Handbuch der Orientalistik




    (Göttinger) 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 Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible. Edited by George


    Arthur Buttrick. 4 vols. Nashville/New York: Abingdon Press, 1962 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 für 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

    abbreviations and symbols



    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



    Lebendiges Zeugnis


    Lectio Divina




    Louvain Studies


    Linguistic Typology


    MARI, Annales de Recherches Interdisciplinaires


    Mélanges de la Faculté orientale, Université Saint-Joseph, Beyrouth


    Mémoires de l’Université de Neuchâtel


    The New Century Bible Commentary


    New International Biblical Commentary


    Neue Zeitschrift für Systematische Theologie und Religions- philosophie


    Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis


    Overtures to Biblical Theology


    Österreichische Biblische Studien


    Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta




    Orientalia Suecana


    The Old Testament Library


    Oudtestamentische Studiën


    Die Ou-Testamentiese Werkgemeenskap in Suid-Afrika


    Porta Linguarum Orientalium (neue Serie)


    Pretoria Oriental Series


    Questiones Disputatae


    Revue d’assyriologie et d’archéologie orientale


    Revue Biblique


    Revue d’Histoire et de Philosophie Religieuses


    Reallexikon der Assyriologie (und Vorderasiatischen Archäologie).


    Edited by Erich Ebeling et al. Berlin/Leipzig: Walter de Gruyter, 1932Revue des sciences religieuses


    Rivista degli studi orientali


    abbreviations and symbols


    Ras Shamra Parallels: The Texts from Ugarit and the Hebrew Bible. Edited by Loren R. Fisher and Stan Rummel. 3 vols. AnOr 4951. Rome: Pontificum Institutum Biblicum,



    Regensburger Studien zur Theologie


    Stuttgarter Biblische Aufsatzbände


    Stuttgarter Biblische Beiträge


    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




    Theologische Bücherei


    Theology Digest


    Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. Edited by



    Gerhard Kittel and Gerhard Friedrich. Translated and edited by GeoVrey W. Bromiley. 10 vols. Grand Rapids/London: Eerdmans, 19641976 [19331976] Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament. Edited by

    G. Johannes Botterweck et al. Translated by David E. Green et al. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1974– [1970


    Theologische Arbeiten


    Theologische Studien

    abbreviations and symbols



    Theology Today


    Travaux de l’Institut catholique de Paris


    Theological Lexicon of the Old Testament. Edited by Ernst Jenni


    and Claus Westermann. Translated by Mark E. Biddle. 3 vols. Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson, 1997 [19711976] Theologische Literaturzeitung


    Theologische Quartalschrift


    Theological Studies


    Texte und Studien zum Antiken Judentum

    W. Kohlhammer, 19702000


    Theologisches Wörterbuch zum Alten Testament. Edited by


    G. Johannes Botterweck et al. 10 vols. Stuttgart:

    Tyndale Bulletin


    Theologische Zeitschrift


    Ugaritisch-Biblische Literatur




    Vetus Testamentum


    Supplements to Vetus Testamentum


    Writings from the Ancient World


    Word Biblical Commentary


    Weiner Beiträge zur Theologie


    Westminster Commentaries


    Weg der Forschung


    Wörterbuch der Mythologie. Edited by Hans Wilhelm Haussig.

    Wissenschaft und Praxis in Kirche und Gesellschaft


    Stuttgart: Ernst Klett, 1965– Wissenschaftliche Monographien zum Alten und Neuen




    Westminster Theological Journal


    Wort und Dienst


    Yale Near Eastern Researches


    Zeitschrift für Assyriologie und Vorderasiatische Archäologie


    Zeitschrift für Althebraistik


    Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft


    Zürcher Bibelkommentare


    Zeitschrift für Theologie und Kirche


    abbreviations and symbols

    Texts, Versions, and Manuscripts


    Babylonian Talmud

    Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1995


    Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia. Edited by K. Elliger and


    W. Rudolph. 5th corrected ed. Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 1997 Johannes Renz and Wolfgang Röllig. Handbuch


    der althebräischen Epigraphik. 3 vols. Darmstadt:

    H. Donner and W. Röllig. Kanaanäische und aramäische


    Inschriften. Vol. 1: Texte. 3d ed. Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz, 1971 Biblical manuscript collection of Benjamin Kennicott

    KTU 2

    (cited by MS number, as listed by De-Rossi, Variae Lectiones Veteris Testamenti 1.lix–xciv) Manfred Dietrich, Oswald Loretz, and Joaquín


    Sanmartín. The Cuneiform Alphabetic Texts from Ugarit, Ras Ibn Hani and Other Places (KTU: second, enlarged edition). ALASPM 8. Münster: Ugarit-Verlag, 1995 Septuagint


    (Talmud) Tractate Megilla


    Tanakh: A New Translation of The Holy Scriptures According to


    the Traditional Hebrew Text. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1985 New Revised Standard Version



    English translation




    no date


    no place (of publication)


    personal communication


    sub voce




    derived from; based upon


    (poetically) parallel to


    identical, corresponds to; repeated, reprinted in


    in conjunction with (of texts)


    The book of Genesis begins with two distinct though interrelated nar- ratives. The first is the Priestly cosmogony (Gen 1:12:3). 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 2:4b-3:24), “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 child- bearing, 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, 1977) 159161 (repr. as “The Priestly Creation Story: A Stylistic Study,” in From Creation to New Creation: Old Testament Perspectives [OBT; Minneapolis: Fortress, 1994] 5254). See also §0.5 with n. 65.

    • 2 U. Cassuto, The Documentary Hypothesis and the Composition of the Pentateuch: Eight Lectures (trans. Israel Abrahams; Jerusalem: Magnes, 1961 [1941]) 71.

      • 3 Walter Brueggemann, Genesis (Interp; Atlanta: John Knox, 1982) 40.

    • 4 S. R. Driver, The Book of Genesis (12th ed.; WC; London: Methuen, 1926) 36 (italics original).

    • 5 Samuel E. Balentine, The Torah’s Vision of Worship (OBT; Minneapolis: Fortress, 1999) 82.



    • 0.1. 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 1:27 summarizes this event with punctuated yet parallelistic terseness, whereas Gen 2:4b-25 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 them—and 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 1:27]; 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 mankind’s 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 1:27 serves a proleptic function; 9 the Priestly text foreshadows the Yahwist focus on human history. Gen 1:27 is a quick preview within a Priestly, cosmogonic context of the story that will unfold in the adjacent, Yahwist narrative. 10

    • 0.2. The creation of humankind, however, is far more than a con- ceptual 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, 1996) 63.

    • 7 Cassuto, The Documentary Hypothesis 74 (italics original). See also Phyllis A. Bird, “Genesis 3 in der gegenwärtigen biblischen Forschung,” JBTh 9 (1994): 11 (repr. as “Genesis 3 in Modern Biblical Scholarship,” in Missing Persons and Mistaken Identities:

    Women and Gender in Ancient Israel [OBT; Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1997] 182).

    • 8 Brueggemann, Genesis 15. See also James Barr, “Ein Mann oder die Menschen? Zur Anthropologie von Genesis 1,” in Ebenbild Gottes—Herrscher über die Welt. Studien zu Würde und Auftrag des Menschen (ed. Hans-Peter Mathys; Biblisch-Theologische Stu- dien 33; Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, 1998) 7778; and Balentine, The Torah’s Vision of Worship 8283. Cf. Gordon J. Wenham, “The Priority of P,” VT 49 (1999): 256.

    • 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 320; Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1998) 7; and, in this context, Paul Beauchamp, “Création et fondation de la loi en Gn 1, 12, 4a. Le don de la nourriture végétale en Gn 1, 29s,” in La Création dans l’Orient ancien. Congrès de l’ACFEB, Lille (1985) (ed. Fabien Blanquart and Louis Derousseaux; LeDiv 127; Paris: Cerf, 1987) 143. 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 1:2627)

    “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 §5.1.1]).” 12 Whereas the earlier jussives expressed God’s 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, WolV notes that “the man and the woman in Gen. I … are … created … by God’s own personal decision (v. 26)—a decision unique in the Priestly document’s 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, P’s 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, 1992 [1978]) 15; and Edward M. Curtis, “Image of God (OT),” in ABD 3.390a.

    • 12 Nahum M. Sarna, Genesis (The JPS Torah Commentary; Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1989) 11.

    • 13 E.g., Hermann Gunkel, Genesis (4th ed.; HKAT I/1; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1917 [1910]) 111 (= Genesis [trans. Mark E. Biddle; Mercer Library of Biblical Studies; Macon: Mercer University Press, 1997] 112); and, diVerently, Cassuto, A Commentary on the Book of Genesis (trans. Israel Abrahams; 2 pts.; Jerusalem: Magnes, 19611964 [19441949]) 1.55.

    • 14 Hans Walter WolV, Anthropology of the Old Testament (trans. Margaret Kohl; Philadel- phia: Fortress, 1974 [1973]) 95.

      • 15 Gerhard von Rad, Genesis (trans. John H. Marks; rev. ed.; OTL; Philadelphia:

    Westminster, 1972) 57.

    • 16 Bird, “Sexual DiVerentiation and Divine Image in the Genesis Creation Texts,” in Image of God and Gender Models in Judaeo-Christian Tradition (ed. Kari Elisabeth Børresen; Oslo: Solum, 1991) 1415.



    God’s involvement also runs deeper. As P tells the story, this last cre- ative act coincides with an extraordinary divine event. When God initi- ates human creation, God takes the opportunity to identify himself, for the first time, in the self-referential first person. At the same time, God’s identity is invested in this human creature and is represented by two characteristics: a divine image and a divine likeness. Humanity resem- bles divinity through two inherent yet divine features. 17 Of all God’s creations, only humanity is envisioned as comparable to divinity. 18 V. 27 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. 27aα). Overlapping with the first, 19 the second clause identifies the divine possessor of the image (v. 27a ). The third clause deletes reference to the image yet describes the human creature as a constituent pair (v. 27b). V. 27 therefore reiterates the unique relationship between God and humanity, explains the relationship, and tracks it from its source to its individual heirs. 20 0.3. The interpretive details of Gen 1:2627 are unclear at best. 21 To be sure, the characteristics uniquely shared by creator and crea- ture assert “the incomparable nature of human beings and their special relationship to God.” 22 But when its two nominal components—‘image’ and ‘likeness’—are 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

    • 17 Bird, “‘Male and Female He Created Them’: Gen 1:27b in the Context of the Priestly Account of Creation,” HTR 74 (1981): 140 n. 24 (repr. in Missing Persons and Mistaken Identities 134 n. 24).

    • 18 WolV, Anthropology of the Old Testament 159160; and Josef Scharbert, “Der Mensch als Ebenbild Gottes in der neueren Auslegung von Gen 1,26,” in Weisheit Gottes—Weisheit der Welt. Festschrift für Joseph Kardinal Ratzinger zum 60. Geburtstag (ed. Walter Baier et al.; 2 vols.; St. Ottilien: EOS, 1987) 1.251.

    • 19 Paul Humbert, “Die literarische Zweiheit des Priester-Codex in der Genesis. (Kritische Untersuchung der These von von Rad),” ZAW 58 (1940): 34.

      • 20 See Cassuto, Genesis 1.57.

      • 21 See Claus Westermann, Genesis (trans. John J. Scullion; 3 vols.; Minneapolis:

    Augsburg, 19841986 [19741982]) 1.144160; or Wenham, Genesis (2 vols.; WBC 12; Waco/Dallas: Word, 19871994) 1.2733.

    • 22 Sarna, Genesis 12. In addition to the references cited in n. 18, see D. J. A. Clines, “The Image of God in Man,” TynB 19 (1968): 53 (repr. as “Humanity as the Image of God,” in On the Way to the Postmodern: Old Testament Essays, 19671998 [2 vols.; JSOTS 292293; SheYeld: SheYeld Academic Press, 1998] 2.447), quoted in part in §9.3, below.

      • 23 Jürgen Ebach, “Die ErschaVung des Menschen als Bild Gottes. Überlegungen zur Anthropologie im Schöpfungsbericht der Priesterschrift,” WPKG 66 (1977): 200.



    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 Sarna’s language is somewhat stronger: “The two terms are used interchange- ably 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 diVerent 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 occur- rences, ‘image’ is a concrete noun. And as such, it refers to a repre-

    • 24 See Clines, TynB 19 (1968): 9192 (= On the Way to the Postmodern 2.485487).

    • 25 H. D. Preuss, “ d¯am¯ah; d e mûth,” in TDOT 3.259. Many others agree:

    e.g., P. G. Duncker, “L’immagine di Dio nell’uomo (Gen. 1, 26.27). Una somiglianza

    fisica?” Bib 40 (1959): 385 (repr. as “Das Bild Gottes im Menschen [Gen. 1, 26.27].

    Eine physische Ähnlichkeit?” in Der Mensch als Bild Gottes [ed. Leo ScheVczyk; WdF 124;

    Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1969] 78); Walther Eichrodt, Theology

    of the Old Testament (trans. J. A. Baker; 2 vols.; OTL; Philadelphia: Westminster, 1961

    1967 [19591964]) 2.129; Oswald Loretz, Die Gottebenbildlichkeit des Menschen (Schriften

    des Deutschen Instituts für wissenschaftliche Pädagogik; Munich: Kösel, 1967) 6061;

    Werner H. Schmidt, Die Schöpfungsgeschichte der Priesterschrift. Zur Überlieferungsgeschichte von

    Genesis 1,12,4a und 2,4b-3,24 (2d ed.; WMANT 17; Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener

    Verlag, 1967) 143; E. Jenni, “ dmh to be like,” in TLOT 1.341; Bruce Vawter, On

    Genesis: A New Reading (Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1977) 103; Curtis, in ABD

    3.389b; and Johnson T. K. Lim, Grace in the Midst of Judgment: Grappling with Genesis 1

    11 (BZAW 314; Berlin/New York: Walter de Gruyter, 2002) 120. See also Walter Groß,

    “Die Gottebenbildlichkeit des Menschen nach Gen 1,26.27 in der Diskussion des letzten

    Jahrzehnts,” BN 68 (1993): 44 (repr. in Studien zur Priesterschrift und zu alttestamentlichen

    Gottesbildern [SBAB 30; Stuttgart: Katholisches Bibelwerk, 1999] 49).

    • 26 Sarna, Genesis 12. See also J. Maxwell Miller, “In the ‘Image’ and ‘Likeness’ of

    God,” JBL 91 (1972): 310; 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, 2001) 83 (in Hebrew).

    • 27 See also Tryggve N. D. Mettinger, “Abbild oder Urbild? ‘Imago Dei’ in traditions-

    geschichtlicher Sicht,” ZAW 86 (1974): 417.

    • 28 Friedrich Horst, “Face to Face: The Biblical Doctrine of the Image of God,”

    Int 4 (1950): 261. See also Barr, “The Image of God in Genesis—Some Linguistic

    and Historical Considerations,” OTWSA 10 (1967): 12; von Rad, Genesis 58; John F.

    A. Sawyer, “The Meaning of (‘in the image of God’) in Genesis i–xi,” JTS



    sentation of form, figure, or physical appearance (see § 7.2.1). Thus if the human race is created in the ‘image of God’, there is an unavoid- able logical implication: God must also be material, physical, corporeal, and, to a certain degree, humanoid (see also §7.1.4). 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 com- mandment, which forbids idols and idolatry (Ex 20:36; Dt 5:810; see also Dt 4:1519, and, within the Priestly tradition, Lev 19:4, 26:1). 31 From a theological perspective, then, the ‘image’ in Gen 1:2627 may be dangerous or, at least, “tainted.” 32 Grammar compounds the problems. One grammatical diYculty lies in the prepositions that govern ‘image’ and ‘likeness’: ‘in’ and ‘like’, respectively. A minority of interpreters believe this diVerential mark- ing suYciently indicates an interpretive diVerence between the two prepositional phrases. 33 The majority disagrees. “There is no particu-

    • 29 E.g., Humbert, Études sur le récit du paradis et de la chute dans la Genèse (MUN 14;

    Neuchâtel: Université de Neuchâtel, 1940) 157158; Ludwig Koehler, “Die Grundstelle

    der Imago-Dei-Lehre, Genesis 1, 26,” TZ 4 (1948): 21 (repr. in Der Mensch als Bild Gottes

    8); Otto Kaiser, “Der Mensch, Gottes Ebenbild und Staathalter auf Erden,” NZST

    33 (1991): 102 (repr. in Gottes und der Menschen Weisheit. Gesammelte Aufsätze [BZAW 261;

    Berlin/New York: Walter de Gruyter, 1998] 46); and Gruber, in Hommage to Shmuel

    • 87. See also Gunkel, Schöpfung und Chaos in Urzeit und Endzeit. Eine religionsgeschichtliche

    Untersuchung über Gen 1 und Ap Joh 12 (2d ed.; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1921

    [1895]) 11 (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 6;

    Philadelphia/London: Fortress/SPCK, 1984] 29); and, diVerently, Jack Miles, God: A

    Biography (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1995) 171.

    • 30 See Groß, “Gen 1,26.27; 9,6: Statue oder Ebenbild Gottes? Aufgabe und Würde

    des Menschen nach dem hebräischen und dem griechischen Wortlaut,” JBTh 15 (2000):


    • 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, 1990 [1989]) 100101 (repr. in Studies in the Bible and Jewish Thought [JPS Scholar

    of Distinction Series; Philadelphia/Jerusalem: Jewish Publication Society, 1995] 291

    292); Sarna, Exodus (The JPS Torah Commentary; Philadelphia/New York: Jewish

    Publication Society, 1991) 110 (on Ex 20:4); and, in less detail, Anderson, “Human

    Dominion over Nature,” in Biblical Studies in Contemporary Thought (ed. Miriam Ward;

    Somerville, Mass.: Greeno, Hadden, 1975) 33 (repr. in From Creation to New Creation

    118). Note also the harmonizing interpretation of Bernd Janowski, Stellvertretung. Alttesta-

    mentliche Studien zu einem theologischen GrundbegriV (SBS 165; Stuttgart: Katholisches Bibel-

    werk, 1997) 32.

    • 32 Mettinger, ZAW 86 (1974): 410 (“belastet”). See also Gruber, in Hommage to Shmuel

    • 86. Cf. Mark S. Smith, The Origins of Biblical Monotheism: Israel’s Polytheistic Background and

    the Ugaritic Texts (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001) 171.

    • 33 E.g., Clines, TynB 19 (1968): 7778 (= On the Way to the Postmodern 2.472473); and



    lar significance in the change of prepositions (‘in’ our image, ‘accord- ing to’ our likeness). In [Gen] 5.3 they are exchanged without any dif- ference in meaning.” 34 “It is in accordance with the sense to render both prepositions in the same way. Both the nouns and the preposi- tions are interchangeable …; one verb covers both phrases, and ; we have not two but one expression.” 35 Whereas the language of Gen 1:26 diVerentiates 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 1:26, when God introduces and speaks of himself, he uses the first person plural pronoun. More- over, 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 (2d ed.; SBS 112; Stuttgart: Katholisches Bibelwerk, 1987)

    84 n. 109. See also Friedrich Schwally, “Die biblischen Schöpfungsberichte,” ARw 9

    (1906): 171 n. 1.

    • 34 Von Rad, Genesis 58. See also Humbert, Études sur le récit du paradis 159; Johann

    Jakob Stamm, Die Gottebenbildlichkeit des Menschen im Alten Testament (ThSt 54; Zollikon:

    Evangelischer Verlag, 1959) 21; Barr, OTWSA 10 (1967): 9; Mettinger, ZAW 86 (1974):

    406; Bird, HTR 74 (1981): 138 n. 20 (= Missing Persons and Mistaken Identities 132 n. 20);

    F. J. Stendebach, “

    selem,” in TDOT 12.394; and Jenni, Die Präposition Beth (Die


    hebräischen Präpositionen 1; Stuttgart: W. Kohlhammer, 1992) 3738.

    • 35 Westermann, Genesis 1.145. See also Loretz, Die Gottebenbildlichkeit des Menschen 61;

    Odil Hannes Steck, Der Schöpfungsbericht der Priesterschrift. Studien zur literarkritischen und

    überlieferungsgeschichten Problematik von Genesis 1,12,4a (2d ed.; FRLANT 115; Göttingen:

    Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1981) 140 n. 566; Andreas Angerstorfer, “Hebräisch dmwt

    und aramäisch dmw(t). Ein Sprachproblem der Imago-Dei-Lehre,” BN 24 (1984): 36

    with n. 38; and Bird, “‘Bone of My Bone and Flesh of My Flesh,’” ThTo 50 (1994):

    529530. Similarly, August Dillmann, Die Genesis (6th ed.; KeHAT 11; Leipzig: S. Hirzel,

    1892) 31 (= Genesis [trans. Wm. B. Stevenson; 2 vols.; Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1897]

    1.7980); Gunkel, Genesis 4 111 (= ET 113); H. Wildberger, “ selem image,” in TLOT


    3.1082; and Ernst-Joachim Waschke, Untersuchungen zum Menschenbild der Urgeschichte. Ein

    Beitrag zur alttestamentlichen Theologie (ThAr 43; Berlin: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, 1984)


    • 36 Note M. Vervenne: “[T]he Priestly redactors … do not really care about gram-

    mar” (“‘The Blood is the Life and the Life is the Blood’: Blood as Symbol of Life and

    Death in Biblical Tradition [Gen. 9,4],” in Ritual and Sacrifice in the Ancient Near East:

    Proceedings of the International Conference … 1991 [ed. J. Quaegebeur; OLA 55; Louvain:

    Peeters, 1993] 467).

    • 37 Westermann, Genesis 1.145.

    • 38 Cf. the source-critical judgement of Israel Knohl, The Sanctuary of Silence: The



    here, it is here deliberately.” 39 On occasion, the response to this gram- matical 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 1, to whom God proposes the creation of humanity.” 42 But for many, this inference is not obvious. “[I]t is impos- sible 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 interme- diary beings are found nowhere in P.” 43 God’s self-identification there- fore presents an interpretive conundrum. Since God’s self-referential expressions are plural, they imply a nonsingular referent and simulta- neously subvert P’s theological conviction in strict monotheism. 44 0.4. A conundrum indeed. In the beginning, the story of human cre- ation in Gen 1:2627 is a sublime, interlocking, and well-nigh poetic

    • 39 Clines, TynB 19 (1968): 64 (= On the Way to the Postmodern 2.459). See also, inter alios,

    Walther Zimmerli, Old Testament Theology in Outline (trans. David E. Green; Edinburgh:

    T. & T. Clark, 1978 [1976]) 36; and, esp., P. J. Harland, The Value of Human Life: A Study

    of the Story of the Flood (Genesis 69) (VTS 64; Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1996) 199.

    • 40 E. A. Speiser, Genesis (AB 1; Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1964) 7. Cf.

    Anderson, “God, Names of,” in IDB 2.413.

    • 41 See the references in ch. 1 n. 1.

    • 42 Jon D. Levenson, Creation and the Persistence of Evil: The Jewish Drama of Divine

    Omnipotence (Mythos; Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994 [1988]) 5. See also

    Gunkel, Schöpfung und Chaos 2 10 (= idem, in Creation in the Old Testament 28); Driver,

    Genesis 12 14; and Sarna, Genesis 12. Cf. Wildberger, “Das Abbild Gottes. Gen. 1, 2630,”

    TZ 21 (1965): 257 (repr. in Jahwe und sein Volk. Gesammelte Aufsätze zum Alten Testament. Zu

    seinem 70. Geburtstag am 2. Januar 1980 [ed. Hans Heinrich Schmid and Odil Hannes

    Steck; TBü 66; Munich: Chr. Kaiser, 1979] 122).

    • 43 Westermann, Genesis 1.144145. See also Stamm, Die Gottebenbildlichkeit des Menschen

    1011; idem, “Zur Frage der Imago Dei im Alten Testament,” in Humanität und Glaube.

    Gedenkschrift für Kurt Guggisberg (ed. Ulrich Neuenschwander and Rudolf Dellsperger;

    Bern/Stuttgart: Paul Haupt, 1973) 249250; Schmidt, Die Schöpfungsgeschichte 2 129; Ger-

    hard F. Hasel, “The Meaning of ‘Let Us’ in Gn 1:26,” AUSS 13 (1975): 6061; Vawter,

    On Genesis 54; Groß, “Die Gottebenbildlichkeit des Menschen im Kontext der Priester-

    schrift,” TQ 161 (1981): 251 with n. 36 (= Studien zur Priesterschrift und … Gottesbildern 20

    with n. 36); and idem, BN 68 (1993): 37 (= Studien zur Priesterschrift und … Gottesbildern

    39). For compromise positions, see Humbert, Études sur le récit du paradis 166; and Patrick

    D. Miller, Jr., Genesis 111: Studies in Structure & Theme (JSOTS 8; SheYeld: JSOT, 1978)

    12. See also §5.6 with n. 18.

    • 44 See Zenger, Gottes Bogen in den Wolken 2 8586 n. 110.



    statement: 45 it describes the nature of humanity, the nature of God, and the relationship between them; describes God’s great, personal involve- ment 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 notori- ously diYcult statement … is that no absolutely certain interpretation is presently possible.” 47 The text’s 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 diVerent components of the text into a meaningful whole. This re- integration will proceed as did its disintegration; the text’s interpreta- tion 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 pro- noun (§§13), discuss their implications in biblical contexts narrow (§4.1) and wide (§4.2), and apply the results to identify the probable referent of God’s first person plural pronouns in Gen 1:26 5). Second, it will describe the divine-human relationship through a study of the prepo- sitions (§6) and the nouns that register the relationship in Gen 1:2627 and related Priestly texts (§7). 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 (§8). Fourth and finally, it will return to P’s story of human creation, the relationship among its several participants, and its significance for an interpretation of the Priestly tradition as a coherent whole (§9). 0.5. Because this study seeks coherence, it presumes that an underly- ing coherence to the text exists and, through a variety of critical meth-

    • 45 See, e.g., on v. 27, Cassuto, Genesis 1.57; Ronald S. Hendel, The Text of Genesis 111:

    Textual Studies and Critical Edition (New York/Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998) 29;

    and Smith, The Origins of Biblical Monotheism 90.

    • 46 Barr, “The Image of God in the Book of Genesis—A Study of Terminology,”

    BJRL 51 (1968): 12. See also idem, OTWSA 10 (1967): 1213.

    • 47 Curtis, “Man as the Image of God in Genesis in the Light of Ancient Near

    Eastern Parallels” (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Pennsylvania, 1984) 362 n. 19. See

    also Sawyer, JTS 25 (1974): 426, attributing the exegetical diYculty to P.



    ods, can be recovered. 48 This presumption finds substantial support. On a small scale, P’s creation story is hailed as “comprehensive in its inten- tion 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 coher- ence to the underlying Priestly source. Whereas earlier scholars cele- brated source criticism and its results with enthusiastic confidence, both the exuberance and confidence are now somewhat muted. 52 The inde- pendence and continuity of the Priestly source have been questioned, 53 and, unlike the scholarly mood of two generations ago, it is neces- sary to re-argue source-critical parameters. 54 The integrity and unity of the Priestly source have also been challenged, and its diVerent strands isolated. 55 As a result, the older, expansive lists of Priestly material 56

    • 48 Cf. Edward L. Greenstein, “Presenting Genesis 1, Constructively and Deconstruc-

    tively,” Prooftexts 21 (2001): 1, 1011.

    • 49 Von Rad, Genesis 47. See also Clines, TynB 19 (1968): 64 (= On the Way to the

    Postmodern 2.459).

    • 50 Bird, HTR 74 (1981): 135 (= Missing Persons and Mistaken Identities 129130).

    • 51 Brueggemann, “The Kerygma of the Priestly Writers,” in idem and WolV, The

    Vitality of Old Testament Traditions (2d ed.; Atlanta: John Knox, 1982) 101 (repr., with slight

    changes, from ZAW 84 [1972]: 397). See also Joseph Blenkinsopp, The Pentateuch: An

    Introduction to the First Five Books of the Bible (London: SCM, 1992) 26; and, critically, Rolf

    RendtorV, “Directions in Pentateuchal Studies,” CRBS 5 (1997): 4748.

    • 52 See, e.g., Brevard S. Childs, Introduction to the Old Testament as Scripture (Philadelphia:

    Fortress, 1979) 119120; and RendtorV, CRBS 5 (1997): 43, 57.

    • 53 Frank Moore Cross, Canaanite Myth and Hebrew Epic: Essays in the History and Religion

    of Israel (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1973) 301307.

    • 54 So William H. C. Propp, “The Priestly Source Recovered Intact?” VT 46 (1996):

    458478. See also the cautionary remarks of Childs, Introduction to the Old Testament as

    Scripture 123.

    • 55 See, e.g., Carr, Reading the Fractures of Genesis 43140.

    • 56 As, e.g., by Anderson, “Analytical Outline of the Pentateuch,” in Martin Noth, A

    History of Pentateuchal Traditions (Englewood CliVs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1972) 262

    276; or Norbert Lohfink, “Die Priesterschrift und die Geschichte,” in Congress Volume:

    Göttingen, 1977 (ed. J. A. Emerton et al.; VTS 29; Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1978) 198 n. 29 (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 hypothe- sis altogether but requires modification of its basic results. 59 One modi- fication 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 Elo- hist (E) traditions not only antedate P, but that P probably knew and utilized a combined JE tradition. 61 The other modification is separa- tive. There is a growing consensus that the Priestly tradition is a com- posite of internally distinct layers: 62 an earlier Priestly source (P), as in

    Narrative and Deuteronomy [trans. Linda M. Maloney; Minneapolis: Fortress, 1994] 145

    n. 29).

    • 57 See Knohl, The Sanctuary of Silence 104106.

    • 58 Frank Crüsemann, The Torah: Theology and Social History of Old Testament Law (trans.

    Allan W. Mahnke; Minneapolis: Fortress, 1996 [1992]) 281.

    • 59 See Lester L. Grabbe, “The Book of Leviticus,” CRBS 5 (1997): 94. 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, 1996) 4850.

    • 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 71; Chico, Calif.: Scholars Press, 1985) 29 (despite

    his own evaluation).

    • 61 E.g., Lohfink, in Congress Volume: Göttingen, 1977 199 n. 31 (= Theology of the Pentateuch

    147 n. 31); J. A. Emerton, “The Priestly Writer in Genesis,” JTS 39 (1988): 385, 397;

    Richard Elliott Friedman, “Torah (Pentateuch),” in ABD 6.616; and, in this context,

    Johannes C. de Moor, “The Duality in God and Man: Gen. 1:2627 as P’s Interpre-

    tation of the Yahwistic Creation Account,” in Intertextuality in Ugarit and Israel. Papers

    Read at the Tenth Joint Meeting … 1997 (ed. idem; OTS 40; Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1998)

    114 with n. 11. 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, 1998) 3031; idem, “The Priestly

    Tabernacle and the Temple of Solomon,” in ibid. 84; RendtorV, CRBS 5 (1997): 55; and

    Barr, in Ebenbild Gottes—Herrscher über die Welt 77. Cf. Blenkinsopp, “P and J in Gene-

    sis 1:111:26: 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, 1995) 115, esp. 14; 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 200; [SheYeld:] SheYeld Academic Press, 1995) 255; and Wenham, VT 49

    (1999): 240258.

    • 62 For a recent review, see Mark S. Smith and Elizabeth M. Bloch-Smith, The Pil-

    grimage Pattern in Exodus (JSOTS 239; SheYeld: SheYeld Academic Press, 1997) 159171.

    For an earlier statement, see Morton Smith, Palestinian Parties and Politics That Shaped the



    Gen 9:117; 63 and a later Holiness stratum (H), as in Lev 1722. 64 A sub- sequent, Priestly redactive hand (R P ) can also be detected where Priestly and non-Priestly texts meet, as in Gen 2:4a. 65 Priestly genealogies (P T ) 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 coher- ent. In case of Ezekiel, for example, Zimmerli and others have demon- strated 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 diVerences 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 41; Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1990) 23 (on Gen 9:6).

    • 64 So, prominently, Knohl, The Sanctuary of Silence; and Jacob Milgrom, Leviticus (3

    vols.; AB 33B; New York: Doubleday, 19912001) 1.1342, 2.13251364. Cf. Crüse-

    mann, The Torah 279 n. 11; and Kent Sparks, “A Comparative Study of the Biblical

    Laws,” ZAW 110 (1998): 596 n. 12.

    • 65 E.g., Brian Peckham, “Writing and Editing,” in Fortunate the Eyes That See 366367;

    and Carr, Reading the Fractures of Genesis 7475 with n. 52, 115117. See also Blenkin-

    sopp, in Fortunate … See 7. Cf. Scharbert, “Der Sinn der Toledot-Formel in der Priester-

    schrift,” in Wort—Gebot—Glaube. Beiträge zur Theologie des Alten Testaments. Walther Eichrodt

    zum 80. Geburtstag (ed. Hans Joachim Stoebe, Johann Jakob Stamm, and Ernst Jenni;

    ATANT 59; Zurich: Zwingli, 1970) 46 with n. 4. It has also been alleged that the

    redactional bridge may even include the second half of v. 4 (Julian Morgenstern, “The

    Sources of the Creation Story—Genesis 1:12:4,” AJSL 36 [1920]: 199, 201; and Leven-

    son, Creation and … Evil 165 n. 1. Cf. Wenham, VT 49 [1999]: 253254).

    • 66 For a representative sample, see Sean E. McEvenue, The Narrative Style of the Priestly

    Writer (AnBib 50; Rome: Biblical Institute Press, 1971) 39 n. 28; Propp, VT 46 (1996):

    461 n. 16; and Carr, “Β λ ̋ γεν σεω̋ Revisited: A Synchronic Analysis of Patterns in

    Genesis as Part of the Torah,” ZAW 110 (1998): 168170.

    • 67 See Milgrom, Studies in Levitical Terminology (University of California Publications

    Near Eastern Studies 14– ; Berkeley: University of California Press, 1970– ) 1.2.

    • 68 See Childs, “Retrospective Reading of the Old Testament Prophets,” ZAW 108

    (1996): 363364. Note also Moshe Weinfeld, Deuteronomy and the Deuteronomic School (Ox-

    ford: Oxford University Press, 1972) 200 n. 3.

    • 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 20; Paris: J. Gabalda, 1982) 144.

    • 70 Knohl, The Sanctuary of Silence 111. See also Crüsemann, The Torah 278279.

    • 71 For details, see the references in n. 64.



    is suYcient 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 P T are essential to P, “providing its most basic structure” in Genesis. 73 More than a structural device, however, “Priest- ly writers were particularly interested in genealogies—in establishing the connection of the generations and in emphasizing the bonds uniting all Israelites.” 74 Even Gen 5:13, whose composite nature has been studied by Hinschberger 75 and Wallace, 76 is thoroughly harmonic with

    • P. 77

    The reflections of the P creation account could not be clearer. … Gen. 5:13 links the overall creation of Adam/humanity in God’s likeness to Adam’s more specific passing on of this image to his descendants, and it links God’s blessing humanity with Adam’s 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 theologi- cally common, Priestly tradition. 79

    • 72 Philip Peter Jenson, Graded Holiness: A Key to the Priestly Conception of the World

    (JSOTS 106; SheYeld: JSOT Press, 1992) 2426. See also Milgrom, Leviticus 1.42; and

    Crüsemann, The Torah 281282.

    • 73 Terence E. Fretheim, The Pentateuch (IBT; Nashville: Abingdon, 1996) 68. See

    also Klaus Koch, “Die Toledot-Formeln als Strukturprinzip des Buches Genesis,” in

    Recht und Ethos im Alten Testament—Gestalt und Wirkung. Festschrift für Horst Seebass zum 65.

    Geburtstag (ed. Stefan Beyerle, Günter Mayer, and Hans Strauß; Neukirchen-Vluyn:

    Neukirchener Verlag, 1999) 183191.

    • 74 Baruch A. Levine, Leviticus (The JPS Torah Commentary; Philadelphia: Jewish

    Publication Society, 1989) xxvii. See also Speiser, Genesis xxiv; Anderson, in Biblical

    Studies in Contemporary Thought 35 (= From Creation to New Creation 120); and, on H,

    J. Joosten, People and Land in the Holiness Code: An Exegetical Study of the Ideational Framework

    of the Law in Leviticus 1726 (VTS 67; Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1996) 120.

    • 75 Régine Hinschberger, “Image et ressemblance dans la tradition sacerdotale Gn