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Song of the Vineyard by B. Davie Napier

B. Davie Napier, at the time of this writing was Holmes Professor of Old Testament Criticism and Intepretation at Yale Divinity School. He later became President of Pacific School of Religion. He is a minister of the United Church of Christ and an author of several books on the Old Testament. Song of the Vineyard was published in 1962 by Harper & Row, Publishers. This book was prepared for Religion Online by Harry W. and Grace C. Adams.

Chapter 2: Lord and World

CREATION: Genesis 1-2

Let us make man.
Gen. 1:261

The Context

Anyone acquainted with political life, even merely as observer, knows how viciously a public figure may be maligned by his own words lifted out of context. The treacherous device of damning by out-of-context quotation has served in the past and unhappily continues to serve effectively un the disastrous defamation of persons in public life.

One commonly hears it said, with a shrug, "You can prove anything in the Bible." And in a sense this comment is true: interpret the biblical verse or the brief narrative or in a couple of instances even the Old Testament book in isolation and it becomes in meaning something totally different from what was clearly its intent in context.

This is pointedly true of the whole Genesis story. Source critics see here the same three primary strata of tradition — J, F, and P — which we have already seen in Exodus; but we will do well to remind ourselves again that these symbols represent by and large the collection and arrangement of smaller units of oral and/or written material some of which, at least, were already long in existence. There can be no doubt that what we identify in the Tetrateuch (Genesis-Numbers) as P employs and incorporates in the fifth century some material as old or possibly older than J. And J in the tenth century may well have had as a primary source an earlier effort to bring together coherently a wide assortment of stories deemed to have significant bearing on the life of the people Israel.2 Certainly individual units in the J corpus had been in existence for centuries before they were integrated; and beyond any doubt these units were often strikingly modified in meaning in the context of the J work.

We must always interpret the part in the light of the whole. We will read the whole book of Genesis in the context of the faith of the people of Israel — a people who, as we have seen, deem their life to be the gift of Yahweh and their destiny the subject of his Word. And the varied components of the present book of Genesis we will read as for the most part purposively and meaningfully related to the whole work.

In briefest outline, Genesis falls into two parts. The pivotal point is chapter 12, the call of Abraham — at once the climax and interpretive key to the first eleven chapters, and the opening, thematic scene of the second division of Genesis, chapters 12-50. The J work no doubt supplied Genesis with its earliest outline and its profound theological bearing. But the form of this remarkable introduction to the life of the people of Israel remained fluid from the tenth century to the fifth century and the final Genesis story may with all justification be termed a meditation on history. It is as such both an informed and an informing introduction; which is simply to say that like any good introduction, it is informed by that which it introduces and is therefore also informative to that which it seeks to present meaningfully.

The first section, 1-11, intends to set the particular story of Israel against the background of all creation and in the midst of universal human existence. It has commonly been termed the "primeval history," but this overemphasizes the quality of "wasness." The faith of Israel, the interpretation of her historical life in Yahwism, inevitably poses the question: If the Word of Yahweh thus creates, shapes, and informs our life, if the life of Yahweh thus impinges effectively upon human history, what is his relationship, and ours, to the wide world? In the first two chapters of Genesis Israel affirms in two totally different ways that all order in the universe is both introduced and maintained by Yahweh, and that the meaning of human existence, and indeed of all lower forms of life, derives solely from him. Creation is the control of chaos and the gift and support of meaning. It always is, however much we may say it was.

Chapters 3-11, to which we will turn in the next section, demonstrate in full context the intention to affirm in faith that all men (not excepting Israel, obviously) contend, in one way or another, from one false presumption or another, that order and meaning are not thus created and sustained, but are subject to man’s arbitrary manipulation. This results in a state of existence intolerable both for man and God — a state of existence into which Yahweh introduces his Word through Abraham and Israel for the restoration of creation. "In you all the families of the earth will be blessed" (12:3 RSV margin).

The Creation Stories

Israel’s Yahwism was from the beginning in tension or even sometimes in bitter conflict with the widespread indigenous fertility cults of Canaan. Local sanctuaries abounded enshrining the male deity, Ba’al, and often his consort, ‘Asherah (later and elsewhere. Astarte, Ishtar, etc.). Fertility rites, practiced in the interests of securing fertility and productivity both human and natural, involved cultic prostitution — the sex act performed with cult personnel to bring efficacious union with the deity and the consequent guarantee of fertility of field and body.

Against this widely prevailing understanding of the "creation faith" we suspect that in Yahwistic circles the very term "creation" may have been a dirty word and that the development and discussion of Israel’s creation faith was suppressed as part of the long, anguished struggle against religious syncretism and the loss of the distinctly moral-ethical-historical character of the Yahweh faith. It is in any case a fact that Israel’s creation faith — certainly a basic element of the structure of Yahwism from early times — receives scant specific mention (apart from the J story of Gen. 2:4b ff.) until relatively late, and no absolutely unqualified elaboration and application until the latter part of the sixth century (in Isa. 40-66), when also, at the earliest, the creation story of Genesis 1 became a part of the accepted cultic instructional idiom.


For this is what it is. The style is strongly didactic. A few phrases occur repeatedly: And God said, and God saw, and God called, and God made, and God created, and God blessed. The story is a precisely ordered piece, with each of its six creative acts rounded out with the same refrain: and there was evening, and there was morning, one day, a second day, a third day, etc. (in ancient Israel as in the practice of Judaism now the course of a day is marked from evening to evening). No word is anywhere wasted, no phrase ill conceived, unpondered. And the climax? It is the verification of the Sabbath institution, the ultimate authorization:

So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all his work which he had done in creation.3 (2:3)

Yet this story’s origin is emphatically not full-blown out of the demands of a revitalized cultic-religious program centered in the rebuilt city and temple of Jerusalem in the closing years of the sixth century. The story had its dim beginnings and it betrays its distant involvement in an ancient myth of creation out of the Near and Middle East which survived in various forms but best and most fully in the Babylonian Enuma Elish (a title derived from its opening words, "When on high").4 Here chaos is represented in the goddess Tiamat, a name perhaps echoed in the Hebrew word for "deep" tehom (1:2). Creation is effected when the god Marduk-Bel, with the assistance of lesser gods, carves up Tiamat’s carcass to form from it the earth and its arching canopy, the firmament. Neither the Hebrew nor the Akkadian (Babylonian).accounts envisage creation out of nothing, since in both creation results from the radical transformation of a prior chaos.

But gone from the Hebrew account is any suggestion of "biological" relationship between chaos and God. Gone is the long gory struggle. Gone is the stupendous effort of Tiamat’s defeat. Genesis 1 does preserve the notion of creation by work in the frequent use of the verb "make" and the thrice-repeated verb "create" (of "the heavens and the earth," v. 1; of "every living creature that moves," v. 21; and of man, v. 27). But the measure of the story’s theological refinement is nowhere more conspicuous than in its confident, if subtle, superimposition of creation by Word — the Word which, effortlessly spoken, effortlessly calls into being that which was not. "‘Let there be light!’ And there was light."

Not creatio ex nihilo but creation conceived in terms analogous to Israel’s own creation. Israel was prior to the call of Moses, but she was chaos. She was without order, meaningless. She was in the onomatopoetic phrase of verse 2, tohu vavohu, "formless and void." God called her into being (not from nonbeing but from "antibeing"5) by his Word. So, analogously, Israel understands and articulates her faith in the world’s and man’s creation: all that now exists is brought into being by Yahweh and his ‘Word out of chaos and continues in non-chaotic existence only in and by the creating-sustaining Yahweh. Creation, in Israel and the world, is continuous. In the faith of Israel the story of creation always is.


The origins, background, and history of the second creation story remain obscure. It was apparently available to the J work in the tenth century and was there appropriated to J’s uses as the opening chapter of the corpus. It became stabilized, so to speak, very early and therefore displays a spontaneity, charm, and naivete which contrast sharply with the preceding story. The ordered sequence of Genesis 1, the specific citing of the range and depth of creation, the refined theological concept of creation by Word, and any institutionally motivated purpose (Sabbath)—all this is absent. There is concurrence that Yahweh God (2:4b ff.; but "God," ‘Elohim alone, in 1:1 ff.) worked "in the beginning" (1:1), that is, "in the day that Yahweh God made earth and the heavens" (2:4b) from pre-existent matter — chaos (an earth formless, void, engulfed in darkness, 1:2) or, and this is part of the concurrence, an earth utterly barren, a sterile world (2:5). Both stories understand creation as essentially transformation. The thought of ancient Israel is always characterized by the nonspeculative. One rarely encounters in the Old Testament any disposition to probe beyond time, concrete existence, matter, and history. There is even syntactical concurrence: the two stories open with sentences similarly structured:

When God began to create [RSV margin] the heavens and the earth, [when] the earth was without form and void, . . .then God said. . .

In the day that Yahweh God made the heavens, when no plant of the field was yet in the earth, . . . then the Lord God formed man. . .

But perhaps the most fundamental contrast is also here apparent: the J story proceeds at once to the creation of man (literally, "formation" for this story does not use the word "create"). The language is raw, earthy, concrete, and pictorially three dimensional. Here it is not the conceptual "created . . . in the image of ‘Elohim" (1:27) but the graphic "formed (moulded) of dust from the ground." And this lifeless but shaped mass of clay is now animated by Yahweh’s breath, the breath of life, blown without benefit of any intermediate devices into the cold clay nostrils of the sculptor’s figure.

Here is a primitive, even crude etiology (a creation myth explaining present, persistent phenomena of existence). This was its intentional meaning in the centuries of its circulation before J employed it. As such, it is interesting as one in the growing collections of ancient mythologies, but it is now irrelevant, if not also aesthetically and theologically unpalatable. But we must ask after the story’s J-meaning, its Israel-meaning. What intentional interpretation is imparted to the story contextually? How does the J-work understand the story? Why do Israel’s traditionists through the centuries retain the story and hold it inseparably joined in the unit Genesis 1-2 and the larger unit Genesis 1-11?

The quality of naivete is capable of great depth and subtlety. The present intention of the story is to give expression to what J and all true Yahwists in Israel deemed to be the essence of the relationship, not as in Genesis I between God and all creation, but pointedly and existentially, between Yahweh and man. The one essential, universal datum of man’s life is his immediate, direct, total dependence on Yahweh. Yahweh gives him form out of the formless ground. Yahweh imparts life to the lifeless form. Yahweh gives the productive environment in which his life is set with only the one condition (symbolized in the story in the forbidden tree) that men acknowledge his status as creature by observing this single restriction to his freedom imposed by the creator. Aside from this, his autonomy is complete and includes full jurisdiction over all lesser creatures, as is testified to in his naming these creatures and so assuming toward them the superior and controlling relationship of the namer to the named.

And this creation-faith is articulated in Israel always in terms analogous to the exodus experience of formation out of the lifeless ground of Egyptian slavery, animation by Yahweh’s breath and Word in escape, and autonomy, unqualified save by the creator-creature relationship, in Canaan’s productive environment.

An etiological story out of the common fund of Middle Eastern mythologies becomes in the context of Israel’s life and faith profoundly theological. Thus, not once but twice in the opening lines of Israel’s long, intimate story she declares her faith that her story, which is to follow, is inseparably related to the world’s story; that the world and her own role in it have meaning only in the proposition that the earth and all who dwell in it are Yahweh’s; and that the stuff of chaos rendered unchaotic by the creative power of Yahweh alone nevertheless resides in all, restrained only by the living God and his living Word.

ALIENATION: Genesis 3-11

Where are you?
Gen. 3:96

The Condition of Man

Briefly surveyed, this block of chapters is comprised of four major narrative units and two extended genealogies in chapters 5 and 10. The self-contained tales of the Garden (3), the Brothers (4), the Flood (6-9), and the Tower (11) all bear the marks of a pre-J origin and history and, with the exception of the Flood which is now combined with a strong P strand, appear substantially as selected and employed by J. E has a part in Genesis only beginning, probably, in chapter 15. Genealogies are offered by both J (4:17-25; 5:29; 10:8-19,21,25-30) and P (5: 1-28,30-32; 10:1-7,20,22-23,31-32). J’s are colorful, anecdotal and etiological (e.g., Jubal "was the father of all those who play the lyre and pipe," 4:21), while P’s are boringly businesslike with only slight relief from the enumerated weight of human years and procreation. Both J and P thus testify to Israel’s historicizing of these timeless tales, originally disjointed, single, homeless, and dateless, but always relevant and deemed in Israel’s faith to describe the universal human situation, the perennial condition of man.

We may term the block of chapters, then, JP, a designation which serves at least to remind us that the work is composite and that it reflects the meditation and faith of Israel over a good five-hundred-year span, from the Yahwist in the tenth century to the priests of the fifth century. The latter, through whose hands the whole Pentateuch finally passed before it was elevated to the relatively unmodifiable status of holy canon, are responsible for the superficial editorial framework of Genesis. It is P that would divide Genesis into sections by use of the formula "These are the generations of . . . ," or a coin-parable phrase at 2:4 (perhaps originally standing before 1:1 and introducing "the generations" of heaven and earth?); 5:1, Adam; 6:9, Noah; 10:1, sons of Noah; 11:10, Shem; 11:27, Terah, Abram, Lot; 25:12, Ishmael; 25:19, Isaac, Esau, and Jacob; 36:1, Esau; 37:2, Jacob. But certainly the basic sequence and structure of Genesis — the arrangement of its principal components — still derives from the J work.

As Etiology

It was not many decades ago that serious discussion (and heated debate) still commonly centered in the question of the literal truth of these tales, including, of course, the creation stories. Defenders of the truth of the Bible, who erroneously assumed that the truth of a narrative is precisely in the measure Of its literal accuracy, were constrained to interpret so as to substantiate the objective reliability of the account. For example, to bring Genesis 1 into conformity with more scientific theories viewing creation as a developmental-evolutionary process over vast eons of time, the word "day" was arbitrarily interpreted to mean just that, eons of time! And this despite the fact that this same word, in Hebrew yom, is habitually used with great frequency for the span of time from evening of one day to evening of the next.

Happily, this debate has appreciably subsided, although in certain quarters there are still those ready to tilt to the death on behalf of what is, alas, an idol — a deified book representing the reduction of Israel’s Yahweh (and in the New Testament Christ’s God and Father) to a particular combination of ink letters preserved on lifeless sheets of paper bound together between a pair of cardboard or leather covers and known as the Bible. In Judaism as in Christendom, the area in which this old debate can now be revived is greatly reduced. With characteristic British understatement and with admirable humor (intentional or not), the ghost of the argument for objectivity was firmly laid in the clipped accents of Professor A. S. Peake of the preceding generation of Old Testament scholars, in address to the tale of the flood:

The question of the historical character of the narrative still remains. The terms seem to require a universal deluge, for all the flesh on the earth was destroyed (6:17; 7:4, 21-23), and "all the high mountains that were under the whole heaven were covered" (7:19 f.). But this would involve a depth of water all over the world not far short of 30,000 ft., and that sufficient water was available at the time is most improbable. The ark could not have contained more than a very small proportion of the animal life on the globe, to say nothing of the food needed for them, nor could eight people have attended to their wants, nor apart from a constant miracle could the very different conditions they required in order to live at all have been supplied. Nor, without such a miracle, could they have come from lands so remote. Moreover, the present distribution of animals would on this view be unaccountable. If all the species were present at a single centre at a time so comparatively near as less than five thousand years ago [dating by genealogical tables returns a date for creation around 4000 B.C. and Noah and company about a thousand years later], we should have expected far greater uniformity between different parts of the world than now exists. The difficulty of coming applies equally to return. Nor if the human race took a new beginning from three brothers and their three wives (7:13; 9:19) could we account for the origin, within the very brief period which is all that our knowledge of antiquity permits, of so many different races, for the development of languages with a long history behind them, or for the founding of states and the rise of advanced civilizations. And this quite understates the difficulty. . .7

The flood story of course may preserve the memory of not infrequent inundations in the Tigris-Euphrates valleys, as is also no doubt the case in the somewhat parallel Babylonian Gilgamesh Epic (whose Noah bears the grand name of Utnapishtim). But the story is taken over into biblical use not from what in any sense we could call "historical" form, but from a prior and predominant etiological function — to give, in charming, interest-holding narration, an "explanation" of such common phenomena as the rainbow (9:13), the cultivation of wine (9:20f.), "racial" distinctions and divisions (9:24-27), the occurrence of men of abnormally large stature (in the originally separate and probably truncated tale of the sons of God and the daughters of men which now introduces the account, 6:1-4), and many other etiologies more blunted in present form.

The same is true of the three other tales which form the main body of the section Genesis 3-11. We list some of the most conspicuous etiologies: pain of childbirth, 3:16; the relative position of man and woman in society, 3:16; the intractability of man’s natural environment and the consequent necessity of his hard labor, 3:17-19; man’s irrevocable consignment to death, 3:19; the antipathy between the nomad and the agriculturalist and perhaps also the origin of violence in human relationships in the Brothers, 4:1-16; and the frustrating fact in the human situation of fundamental communication thwarted by plurality of speech and wide geographical dispersion, 11:1-9.

The stories do not appear to have been radically altered in the course of their appropriation into the biblical corpus. It has been aptly remarked that, for example, the Yahwist’s "editing" is hardly more than the placing of accents of refinement on the story in the use, say of the name Yahweh where earlier some amorphous term for deity stood in the story.8 And in the formation of JP it is obvious that editors regard it as essential that the distinctive forms of both existent flood accounts, for example, be retained, a fact accounting for present "discrepancies" in the tale in the form of duplicates and contradictions.9

As Theology

What is editorially — and theologically — affirmed first by the Yahwist and tacitly by all subsequent handlers of the tradition (since they do not see fit to make any radical alteration in the Yahwist’s outline) comes about not from the heavy-handed use of the red pencil, so to speak, but by the much more subtle editorializing achieved by the selection, arrangement, and juxtaposition of stories originally independent of one another. The stories thereby play a different role and say something very different. Israel shares with her neighbors the fascination of etiology and certainly she continues to delight in the charm of the stories at this level. But clearly in the J work, the P work, and the JP work, emphatically in the context of the history of Israel, in this subsequent level of the life and interpretation of these etiological tales, the character and quality of the etiological is transformed to make of the scattered individual etiologies a single, all-embracing explanation — an etiology conceived not in the area of prescientific observation but in profound faith. In Israel and the world Yahweh’s good intent in creation is thwarted and his good order tragically disfigured. In the faith of Israelite Yahwism, this is an empirical fact. If creation has not yet reverted to chaos, divine order and meaning are nevertheless woefully disfigured. The single, characteristic, and comprehensive biblical etiology, the etiology of all etiologies, is concerned with the how and why of distorted, aborted creation. It attempts to answer this one vast theological phenomenon of existence with the explanation, alienation. The problem of man’s life, out of which all of the problem of the human situation issue, is the chasm by which man is separated from God, the creature from the creator. It is a condition epitomized in Yahweh’s first address to liberated, autonomous man, "Where are you?" (3:9). "Who told you that you were naked" (3:11), that you must run from me and hide from me, that you must separate yourself from me, so that we are alienated and estranged? "Have you eaten of the [forbidden] tree" (3:11), the only symbol limiting your freedom and denoting so long as it is inviolate your acknowledgment of your creatureliness? ‘What is this that you have done" (3:13) in the role of creature with which I endowed you?

The primitive etiology becomes in the JP-Israel story a profoundly theological etiology. All men willfully violate the favorable and, on the whole, nonrestrictive terms of human existence. When the terms are violated in an act of alienation, the conditions of man’s tenure in creation (the Garden) are so altered that he must be expelled. The good order and clear meaning of creation become obscured, and though existence continues under Yahweh’s sustenance, scrutiny, and concern, it is now beset with the bitter fruits of man’s rebellion against Yahweh, against God’s creation, and against man’s status within it.

Of course, we do not suppose that the Yahwist in the tenth century B.C. would or could thus have analyzed his purposes in the composition and unification of these tales. But we think this is nevertheless the essence of even the Yahwist’s interpretation of Israel and the world. And we are sure that the maturing Yahweh faith in subsequent Israel interpreted the sequence of Creation, Garden, Brothers, Flood, and Tower as the only key to understanding her own story: God called Abraham out of Haran (11:31) and Israel out of Egypt in order to bless the alienated families of the earth, to effect the healing of the estrangement of man and God, creature and Creator, and the restoration and redemption of the order and meaning of creation. This is the etiology — the explanation in terms of origins that are, not were, that extend not vertically but in comprehensive horizontal fashion over all time and history. This is the etiology of the one great phenomenon of existence, that fact of the relationship between Israel, the Word of Yahweh, and the world.

The etiological story can be set, then, without violence to Israel’s essential understanding, in our own terms. The four tales of Garden, Brothers, Flood, and Tower are progressive variations on a theme. Man is creature. He rebels (in four different modes) against his status in an act of pride by which he wittingly defies the Creator. The resulting alienation is perforce responded to by Yahweh, since the conditions of creation have in any case already been altered; or perhaps there is a sense in which the ensuing alienation is itself the positive judgment of God.

In the Garden man’s sin (which is the expression vis-a-vis God of unwarranted and/or rebellious pride) takes the form of trust in his own understanding in defiance of the Word. The one tree from which he may not eat and by not eating may, as it were, glorify God, he observes is good for food, a delight to the eyes, and much more, conveys to the eater the gift of wisdom (3:6). His consequent reasonable (to him) appropriation of all creation, his calculated denial of essential status, and the implicit arrogation to himself of the prerogatives of creator bring the Creator’s unhappy response of judgment. What existence might be, it is not.

In the Brothers, as in all of the tales, the very naivete is made to serve the profounder uses of theology. All men are in Cain and Abel. All men are brothers responsible to and for one another (4:9 f.). All men are Yahweh’s, ultimately responsible to him. But one arrogates to himself prerogatives in the very nature of creation that are Yahweh’s. He acts in violence against his brother and in judgment suffers alienation not only from his lost brother and from the human community, but from Yahweh as well (4:14).

The Flood presents a tale different in character from the other three. It is not only longer, but much more complex, diffuse, composite. and, in its long history, much more heterogeneously motivated. Nevertheless it is made to conform to the same essential theme of sin and judgment — man’s violation of creation and the necessary response of the creator. Here human depravity is cited, that condition of man in which the thoughts of his heart are only evil (6:5). The cataclysmic judgment this time is destruction. But as Yahweh is concerned for man in the Garden and man in the Brothers, here also the story affirms a positive theology: the divine response in judgment is not without continuing mercy, since man is now given a fresh beginning. Alas, how quickly it comes to grief (9:20-27), even in the very person of Noah, "a righteous man, blameless in his generation," who "walked with God" (6:9). At Israel’s level of interpretation the story would remind the listener-reader that the strength of sheer righteousness is inadequate and that the estrangement of man in creation can be met effectively only with faith — a motif we shall see made central in the cycle of stories about Abraham.


In the last of this sequence of stories, the Tower, all mankind is represented as a single clan or tribe wandering aimlessly over the East — or through history. To manipulate their own security, they will build themselves a tower to reach into heaven and so guarantee control over that sphere; they will build the imperishable city; and they will establish for themselves the indestructible name. "And Yahweh came down" utterly un-invoked, unmentioned, ignored. >From Yahweh’s point of view this is willful alienation of the most painful sort. The terms of creation are not defied. They are simply ignored. This is the ultimate act of rebellion and estrangement in which all the controls of creation and existence are unhesitatingly assumed by the creature. This is the final expression of apostasy by which trust in ultimate security is to tally transferred from God to man, and man becomes apostate to himself and to his own devices.

If there is a climactic quality in this fourth variation on the theme of sin, the response of judgment is also more enduringly bitter. Only in this one of the four stories is the judgment unmediated by any expression of Yahweh’s continuing grace. The human situation is (apparently) irremediably afflicted with the accursed quality of the divisive, both in language and in geographical dispersion.

And yet it is just here that the primeval story is inseparably linked to the story of salvation: Abraham is called out of the multitude of peoples "in order that in him all the families of the earth may be blessed." So it is that the introduction of the story of salvation [in the call of Abraham, Gen. 12] answers the unresolved question of the primeval story — the question of God’s relationship to the totality of peoples. This point where the story of salvation is brought in, Gen. 12:1-3, is not only the conclusion of the primeval story — it is the only real key to its interpretation. In thus inseparably uniting primeval story and salvation story the Yahwist expresses the meaning and goal of the function of redemption which Yahweh has charged to Israel. He gives the etiology of all etiologies of the Old Testament . . . on grounds neither rational nor documented by particulars, he proclaims that the ultimate goal of salvation effected by God through Israel’s history is the overcoming of the chasm between God and all men everywhere.10



1. Cf. Pss. 8, 104.

2. Noth calls the hypothetical, but very plausible, pre-J source G for Grundlage. meaning "basic source" (Ueberlieferungsgeschichte des Pentateuchs, Stuttgart, 1948).

3. Cf. G. von Rad, Theologie des Alten Testaments, Munich, 1957, vol. 1, p. 152; and Genesis, trans. J. Marks (from Das Erste Buch Mose, in the series Das Alte Testament Deutsche, vol. II) Philadelphia, 1961, pp. 59 ff. See also the monograph by E. S. Jenni, Die theologische Begrundung des Sabbatgebotes in Alten Testament, Zurich, 1956.

4. For the translated text of the seven tablets, by E. A. Speiser, see James B. Pritchard, ed., Ancient Near Eastern Texts, 2nd ed., Princeton, 1955, pp. 60 ff.

5. The term is suggested by N. H. Gottwald. See his discussion of the creation motif in Babylon and Israel in A Light to the Nations, New York, 1959, pp. 455-463.

6. Cf. Ps. 29.

7. "Genesis," Peake’s Commentary on the Bible, London, 1937, p. 143.

8. Cf. von Rid, Genesis, op. cit., pp. 30 ff.

9. Cf. B. D. Napier, From Faith to Faith, New York, 1955, pp. 48 -52.

10. von Rid, Genesis, op. cit., pp. 23.

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