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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

CULTURE AND HISTORY OF THE ANCIENT NEAR EAST EDITED BY B. HALPERN, M.H.E. WEIPPERT TH. P.J.

IN HIS OWN IMAGE AND LIKENESS

Humanity, Divinity, and Monotheism

BY

W. RANDALL GARR

IN HIS OWN IMAGE AND LIKENESS Humanity, Divinity, and Monotheism BY W. RANDALL GARR BRILL LEIDEN

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. Monotheism—History. 2. Man (Jewish theology) 3. Humanity. 4. Bible. O.T. Genesis—Criticism, 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 ................................................... Note on Translations and Citations

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

ix

xi

xiii

Preface

................................................................

1

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

    23

    23

    27

    28

    33

    38

    45

    51

    51

    65

    85

    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

    .................................................

    95

    96

    104

    111

    117

    118

    132

    165

    • viii table of contents

    iii. creating the world

    • 8. The Priestly Cosmogony

    ..........................................

    179

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

    181

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

    183

    Harmonic Order

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

    186

    Imposing Rule

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

    191

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

    Human Race

    .......................................................

    201

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

    202

    • 9.2. God’s Rule

    212

    • 9.3. Imitatio Dei et deorum

    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 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-

    x

    acknowledgements

    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.

    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 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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    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

    The Anchor Bible

    ABD

    The Anchor Bible Dictionary. Edited by David Noel

    ÄAT

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

    AEPHE

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

    Sciences historiques et philologiques

    AfO

    Archiv für Orientforschung

    Harrassowitz, 19651981

    AHw

    Akkadisches Handwörterbuch unter Benutzung des lexikalischen

    AJSL

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

    The American Journal of Semitic Languages and Literatures

    AJTP

    American Journal of Theology and Philosophy

    ALASPM

    Abhandlungen zur Literatur Alt-Syrien-Palästinas und

    AnBib

    Mesopotamiens Analecta Biblica

    ANET 3

    Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament. Edited

    AnOr

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

    AOAT

    Alter Orient und Altes Testament

    ARw

    Archiv für Religionswissenschaft

    AS

    Assyriological Studies

    ASOR

    American Schools of Oriental Research

    AsSt

    Asiatische Studien

    ATANT

    Abhandlungen zur Theologie des Alten und Neuen Testaments

    AuOr

    Aula Orientalis

    abbreviations and symbols

    xiv

    AUSS

    Andrews University Seminary Studies

    Oxford University Press, 1972 [1953]

    AzTh

    Arbeiten zur Theologie

    BA

    Biblical Arch(a)eologist

    BARev

    The Biblical Archaeology Review

    BASOR

    Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research

    BASS

    Beiträge zur Assyriologie und semitischen Sprachwissenschaft

    BBB

    Bonner Biblische Beiträge

    BDB

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

    BEAT

    Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament. Oxford:

    Beiträge zur Erforschung des Alten Testaments und des

    BETL

    Antiken Judentums Bibliotheca Ephemeridum Theologicarum Lovaniensium

    BetM

    Beit Mikra

    BEvTh

    Beiträge zur Evangelischen Theologie

    BI

    Biblical Interpretation

    Bib

    Biblica

    BIS

    Biblical Interpretation Series

    BiSe

    The Biblical Seminar

    BJRL

    Bulletin of the John Rylands (University) Library (of) Manchester

    BJS

    Brown Judaic Studies

    BKAT

    Biblischer Kommentar Altes Testament

    BN

    Biblische Notizen

    BRLAJ

    The Brill Reference Library of Ancient Judaism

    BScR

    Bibliothèque de Sciences religieuses

    BT

    The Bible Today

    BTZ

    Berliner Theologische Zeitschrift

    BWANT

    Beiträge zur Wissenschaft vom Alten und Neuen

    BZ

    Testament Biblische Zeitschrift (neue Folge)

    BZAW

    Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft

    CAD

    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,

    1956

    Cath

    Catholica

    CBET

    Contributions to Biblical Exegesis and Theology

    CBOT

    Coniectanea Biblica, Old Testament Series

    CBQ

    The Catholic Biblical Quarterly

    xv

    abbreviations and symbols

    CBQMS

    The Catholic Biblical Quarterly Monograph Series

    Brill/Eerdmans, 1999

    CBSC

    The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges

    CILT

    Current Issues in Linguistic Theory

    CRB

    Cahiers de la Revue Biblique

    CRBS

    Currents in Research: Biblical Studies

    CRRAI

    Compte rendu de la Rencontre Assyriologique

    CuW

    Internationale Christentum und Wissenschaft

    DDD 2

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

    DJD

    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

    DNWSI

    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,

    DS-NELL

    Dutch Studies published by the Near Eastern Languages and

    19181929

    EI

    Literatures Foundation Eretz-Israel

    ErJ

    Eranos-Jahrbuch

    ETL

    Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses

    ExAu

    Ex Auditu

    FAT

    Forschungen zum Alten Testament

    FRLANT

    Forschungen zur Religion und Literatur des Alten und

    FV

    Neuen Testaments Foi et Vie

    GKB

    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,

    GKC

    Gesenius’ Hebrew Grammar. Edited and enlarged by

    GLECS

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

    GvG

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

    19081913

    abbreviations and symbols

    xvi

    HALOT

    The Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament. Edited

    HBS

    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

    HBT

    Horizons in Biblical Theology

    HdO

    Handbuch der Orientalistik

    Hen

    Henoch

    HKAT

    (Göttinger) Handkommentar zum Alten Testament

    HR

    History of Religions

    HS

    Hebrew Studies

    HSM

    Harvard Semitic Monographs

    HSoed

    Horae Soederblomianae

    HSS

    Harvard Semitic Studies

    HTR

    Harvard Theological Review

    HUCA

    Hebrew Union College Annual

    IBT

    Interpreting Biblical Texts

    ICC

    The International Critical Commentary

    IDB

    The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible. Edited by George

    IEJ

    Arthur Buttrick. 4 vols. Nashville/New York: Abingdon Press, 1962 Israel Exploration Journal

    Int

    Interpretation. A Journal of Bible and Theology

    Interp

    Interpretation. A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching

    IOS

    Israel Oriental Studies

    IRT

    Issues in Religion and Theology

    JANES

    The Journal of the Ancient Near Eastern Society

    JAOS

    Journal of the American Oriental Society

    JBL

    Journal of Biblical Literature

    JBTh

    Jahrbuch für Biblische Theologie

    JCS

    Journal of Cuneiform Studies

    JNES

    Journal of Near Eastern Studies

    JNSL

    Journal of Northwest Semitic Languages

    JQR

    The Jewish Quarterly Review

    JRS

    Journal of Ritual Studies

    JSOT

    Journal for the Study of the Old Testament

    JSOTS

    Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Supplement Series

    JSS

    Journal of Semitic Studies

    abbreviations and symbols

    xvii

    JTS

    The Journal of Theological Studies

    KAT

    Kommentar zum Alten Testament

    KeHAT

    Kurzgefasstes exegetisches Handbuch zum Alten

    KHAT

    Testament Kurzer Hand-Commentar zum Alten Testament

    KUSATU

    Kleine Untersuchungen zur Sprache des Alten Testaments und seiner

    Umwelt

    LebZeug

    Lebendiges Zeugnis

    LeDiv

    Lectio Divina

    Lesˇ

    Leshonenu

    LouvSt

    Louvain Studies

    LT

    Linguistic Typology

    MARI

    MARI, Annales de Recherches Interdisciplinaires

    MFOB

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

    MUN

    Mémoires de l’Université de Neuchâtel

    NCBC

    The New Century Bible Commentary

    NIBC

    New International Biblical Commentary

    NZST

    Neue Zeitschrift für Systematische Theologie und Religions- philosophie

    OBO

    Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis

    OBT

    Overtures to Biblical Theology

    ÖBS

    Österreichische Biblische Studien

    OLA

    Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta

    Orien

    Orientierung

    OrSu

    Orientalia Suecana

    OTL

    The Old Testament Library

    OTS

    Oudtestamentische Studiën

    OTWSA

    Die Ou-Testamentiese Werkgemeenskap in Suid-Afrika

    PLO

    Porta Linguarum Orientalium (neue Serie)

    POS

    Pretoria Oriental Series

    QD

    Questiones Disputatae

    RA

    Revue d’assyriologie et d’archéologie orientale

    RB

    Revue Biblique

    RHPR

    Revue d’Histoire et de Philosophie Religieuses

    RLA

    Reallexikon der Assyriologie (und Vorderasiatischen Archäologie).

    RScR

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

    RSO

    Rivista degli studi orientali

    xviii

    abbreviations and symbols

    RSP

    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,

    19721981

    RST

    Regensburger Studien zur Theologie

    SBAB

    Stuttgarter Biblische Aufsatzbände

    SBB

    Stuttgarter Biblische Beiträge

    SBLDS

    Society of Biblical Literature Dissertation Series

    SBLMS

    Society of Biblical Literature Monograph Series

    SBLSP

    Society of Biblical Literature Seminar Papers Series

    SBS

    Stuttgarter Bibelstudien

    SBT

    Studies in Biblical Theology

    ScEs

    Science et Esprit

    ScrB

    Scripture Bulletin

    ScrH

    Scripta Hierosolymitana

    SEL

    Studi epigrafici e linguistici sul Vicino Oriente antico

    SHCANE

    Studies in the History and Culture of the Ancient Near

    SHR

    East Studies in the History of Religions (Supplements to

    SJLA

    Numen) Studies in Judaism in Late Antiquity

    SJOT

    Scandinavian Journal of the Old Testament

    SOTSMS

    Society for Old Testament Study Monograph Series

    ST

    Studia Theologica

    STAR

    Studies in Theology and Religion

    SubBi

    Subsidia Biblica

    TAPS

    Transactions of the American Philosophical Society

    Tarb

    Tarbiz

    TBü

    Theologische Bücherei

    TD

    Theology Digest

    TDNT

    Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. Edited by

    2000]

    TDOT

    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

    ThAr

    Theologische Arbeiten

    ThSt

    Theologische Studien

    abbreviations and symbols

    xix

    ThTo

    Theology Today

    TICP

    Travaux de l’Institut catholique de Paris

    TLOT

    Theological Lexicon of the Old Testament. Edited by Ernst Jenni

    TLZ

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

    TQ

    Theologische Quartalschrift

    TS

    Theological Studies

    TSAJ

    Texte und Studien zum Antiken Judentum

    W. Kohlhammer, 19702000

    TWAT

    Theologisches Wörterbuch zum Alten Testament. Edited by

    TynB

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

    Tyndale Bulletin

    TZ

    Theologische Zeitschrift

    UBL

    Ugaritisch-Biblische Literatur

    UF

    Ugarit-Forschungen

    VT

    Vetus Testamentum

    VTS

    Supplements to Vetus Testamentum

    WAW

    Writings from the Ancient World

    WBC

    Word Biblical Commentary

    WBTh

    Weiner Beiträge zur Theologie

    WC

    Westminster Commentaries

    WdF

    Weg der Forschung

    WdM

    Wörterbuch der Mythologie. Edited by Hans Wilhelm Haussig.

    Wissenschaft und Praxis in Kirche und Gesellschaft

    WMANT

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

    WPKG

    Testament

    WTJ

    Westminster Theological Journal

    WuD

    Wort und Dienst

    YNER

    Yale Near Eastern Researches

    ZA

    Zeitschrift für Assyriologie und Vorderasiatische Archäologie

    ZAH

    Zeitschrift für Althebraistik

    ZAW

    Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft

    ZB

    Zürcher Bibelkommentare

    ZTK

    Zeitschrift für Theologie und Kirche

    xx

    abbreviations and symbols

    Texts, Versions, and Manuscripts

    b.

    Babylonian Talmud

    Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1995

    BHS

    Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia. Edited by K. Elliger and

    HaE

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

    KAI

    der althebräischen Epigraphik. 3 vols. Darmstadt:

    H. Donner and W. Röllig. Kanaanäische und aramäische

    Kenn.

    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

    LXX

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

    Meg.

    (Talmud) Tractate Megilla

    NJPS

    Tanakh: A New Translation of The Holy Scriptures According to

    NRSV

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

    Miscellaneous

    ET

    English translation

    lit.

    literally

    n.d.

    no date

    n.p.

    no place (of publication)

    p.c.

    personal communication

    s.v.

    sub voce

    sc.

    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 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.

    2

    preface

    • 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 §7.3.3.2.

    preface

    3

    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.

    4

    preface

    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.

    preface

    5

    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

    6

    preface

    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):

    2829.

    • 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

    preface

    7

    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)

    19.

    • 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

    8

    preface

    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.

    preface

    9

    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.

    10

    preface

    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

    preface

    11

    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

    12

    preface

    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.

    preface

    13

    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

    1,2628; 5,13; 9,6b,” RScR 59 (1985): 188192.

    • 76 Wallace, in Studies in the Pentateuch, esp. 1921.

    • 77 Cf. Scharbert, in Weisheit Gottes—Weisheit der Welt 1.248; and, tangentially, Carr,

    Reading the Fractures of Genesis 71 n. 44.

    • 78 Carr, Reading the Fractures of Genesis 71 (italics original). See also Robert R. Wilson,

    Genealogy and History in the Biblical World (YNER 7; New Haven/London: Yale Univer-

    sity Press, 1977) 164; Robert B. Robinson, “Literary Functions of the Genealogies of

    Genesis,” CBQ 48 (1986): 599601; and, diVerently, Westermann, Genesis 1.347348.

    • 79 See, in this context, Weinfeld, Deuteronomy 111 (AB 5; New York: Doubleday, 1991)

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    part one

    GOD AND THE GODS

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    chapter one

    THE PLURAL PRONOUNS

    With few exceptions, the Israelite deity is a grammatically singular entity. In J, for example, singular pronouns—whether independent or aYxed—regularly substitute for nominal designations of God. J’s God, then, is almost invariably represented by first (e.g., Gen 18:17, 2:18), sec- ond (e.g., 16:13, 4:14), and third person singular pronouns (e.g., 24:7, 3:1417). But this grammatical feature is not limited to J. Many passages indicate that each pentateuchal tradition does the same: e.g., 20:6 (E), Ex 6:23 (P), Dt 5:28 (D), or Ex 20:2=Dt 5:67. Regardless of docu- mentary 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 Isaiah’s 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 6:8)

    The other three are clustered in the primaeval history, Gen 111.

    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 1:26 [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 3:22 [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. Let’s let us go down and confound their language there, so that they shall not understand one another’s speech.” (Gen 11:57 [J])

    The divine ‘we’ is attested in three diVerent biblical traditions.

    18

    chapter one

    1.1. In Gen 1:26, however, the pronoun has produced a collision between grammar and interpretation, 1 for the plural pronoun soils P’s pure orthodox belief in a single Israelite God (see §0.3). One res- olution has historical depth (see b. Meg. 9a). “Genesis 1:26 … has proved an embarrassment to exegetes ever since the time of the Jew- ish 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 1:26 at least, it may

    • 1 For surveys, see S. R. Driver, The Book of Genesis (12th ed.; WC; London: Methuen,

    1926) 14; D. J. A. Clines, “The Image of God in Man,” TynB 19 (1968): 6269 (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] 2.456

    464); and Claus Westermann, Genesis (trans. John J. Scullion; 3 vols.; Minneapolis:

    Augsburg, 19841986 [19741982]) 1.144145.

    • 2 Clines, TynB 19 (1968): 62 (= On the Way to the Postmodern 2.456).

    • 3 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] 1.79); and

    Gerhard F. Hasel, “The Meaning of ‘Let Us’ in Gn 1:26,” AUSS 13 (1975): 65. In this

    context, see also Wilhelm Caspari, “Imago divina Gen I,” in Reinhold-Seeberg-Festschrift

    (ed. Wilhelm Koepp; 2 vols.; Leipzig: A. Deichert/Werner Scholl, 1929) 1.203204; and

    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) 141.

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

    4 (1950): 259 n. 1 (repr. as “Der Mensch als Ebenbild Gottes,” in Gottes Recht. Gesammelte

    Studien zum Recht im Alten Testament [ed. Hans Walter WolV; TBü 12; Munich: Chr.

    Kaiser, 1961] 222 n. 1); Westermann, Genesis 1.145; Bruce Vawter, On Genesis: A New

    Reading (Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1977) 54; Phyllis Trible, God and the Rhetoric

    of Sexuality (London: SCM, 1992 [1978]) 13; Dale Patrick, The Rendering of God in the

    Old Testament (OBT; Philadelphia: Fortress, 1981) 16 with 1920; and 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) 201. For a correlative interpretation, see Menahem Kister, “‘Let Us

    Make a Man’—Observations on the Dynamics of Monotheism,” in Issues in Talmudic

    Research: Conference Commemorating the Fifth Anniversary of the Passing of Ephraim E. Urbach, 2

    December 1996 (Publications of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Section

    of Humanities; Jerusalem: Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, 2001) 48 (in

    Hebrew).

    • 5 U. Cassuto, A Commentary on the Book of Genesis (trans. Israel Abrahams; 2 pts.;

    Jerusalem: Magnes, 19611964 [19441949]) 1.5556; and, perhaps, Werner H.

    Schmidt, Die Schöpfungsgeschichte der Priesterschrift. Zur Überlieferungsgeschichte von Genesis 1,1

    2,4a und 2,4b-3,24 (2d ed.; WMANT 17; Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, 1967)

    130 with n. 3. See also William P. Brown, Structure, Role, and Ideology in the Hebrew and

    Greek Texts of Genesis 1:12:3 (SBLDS 132; Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1993) 41 (on the Greek

    version); and Manfred Weippert, “Tier und Mensch in einer menschenarmen Welt.

    Zum sog. dominium terrae in Genesis 1,” in Ebenbild Gottes—Herrscher über die Welt. Studien

    the plural pronouns

    19

    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 12:1; Prv 9:10, 30:3), 10 and especially ‘lord, master; Lord’ (e.g., in ‘the Lord of lords’ [Dt 10:17; Ps 136:3]). Apart from nouns, though, there are no certain attestations

    zu Würde und Auftrag des Menschen (ed. Hans-Peter Mathys; Biblisch-Theologische Stu-

    dien 33; Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, 1998) 37.