Genesis, Chapter 4

Cain and Abel.

(http://usccb.org/bible/genesis/4)

1The man had intercourse with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain, saying, “I have produced a male child with the help of the LORD.”*

2Next she gave birth to his brother Abel. Abel became a herder of flocks, and Cain a tiller of the ground.*

3In the course of time Cain brought an offering to the LORD from the fruit of the ground,

4while Abel, for his part, brought the fatty portion* of the firstlings of his flock.aThe LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering,

5but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry and dejected.

6Then the LORD said to Cain: Why are you angry? Why are you dejected?

7If you act rightly, you will be accepted;* but if not, sin lies in wait at the door: its urge is for you, yet you can rule over it.b

8Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let us go out in the field.”* When they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.c

9Then the LORD asked Cain, Where is your brother Abel? He answered, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?”

10God then said: What have you done? Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground!

11Now you are banned from the ground* that opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand.d

12If you till the ground, it shall no longer give you its produce. You shall become a constant wanderer on the earth.

13Cain said to the LORD: “My punishment is too great to bear

.14Look, you have now banished me from the ground. I must avoid you and be a constant wanderer on the earth. Anyone may kill me at sight.”

15Not so! the LORD said to him. If anyone kills Cain, Cain shall be avenged seven times. So the LORD put a mark* on Cain, so that no one would kill him at sight.

16Cain then left the LORD’s presence and settled in the land of Nod,* east of Eden.

Descendants of Cain and Seth.

17* Cain had intercourse with his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch. Cain also became the founder of a city, which he named after his son Enoch.

18To Enoch was born Irad, and Irad became the father of Mehujael; Mehujael became the father of Methusael, and Methusael became the father of Lamech.

19Lamech took two wives; the name of the first was Adah, and the name of the second Zillah.

20Adah gave birth to Jabal, who became the ancestor of those who dwell in tents and keep livestock.

21His brother’s name was Jubal, who became the ancestor of all who play the lyre and the reed pipe.

22Zillah, on her part, gave birth to Tubalcain, the ancestor of all who forge instruments of bronze and iron. The sister of Tubalcain was Naamah.

23* Lamech said to his wives:

“Adah and Zillah, hear my voice; wives of Lamech, listen to my utterance:

I have killed a man for wounding me, a young man for bruising me.

24If Cain is avenged seven times, then Lamech seventy-seven times.”

25* Adam again had intercourse with his wife, and she gave birth to a son whom she called Seth. “God has granted me another offspring in place of Abel,” she said, “because Cain killed him.”26To Seth, in turn, a son was born, and he named him Enosh. At that time people began to invoke the LORD by name.e

* [4:1] The Hebrew name qayin (“Cain”) and the term qaniti (“I have produced”) present a wordplay that refers to metalworking; such wordplays are frequent in Genesis.

* [4:2] Some suggest the story reflects traditional strife between the farmer (Cain) and the nomad (Abel), with preference for the latter reflecting the alleged nomadic ideal of the Bible. But there is no disparagement of farming here, for Adam was created to till the soil. The story is about two brothers (the word “brother” occurs seven times) and God’s unexplained preference for one, which provokes the first murder. The motif of the preferred younger brother will occur time and again in the Bible, e.g., Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, and David (1 Sm 16:113).

* [4:4] Fatty portion: it was standard practice to offer the fat portions of animals. Others render, less satisfactorily, “the choicest of the firstlings.” The point is not that Abel gave a more valuable gift than Cain, but that God, for reasons not given in the text, accepts the offering of Abel and rejects that of Cain.

* [4:7] You will be accepted: the text is extraordinarily condensed and unclear. “You will be accepted” is a paraphrase of one Hebrew word, “lifting.” God gives a friendly warning to Cain that his right conduct will bring “lifting,” which could refer to acceptance (lifting) of his future offerings or of himself (as in the Hebrew idiom “liftingof the face”) or lifting up of his head in honor (cf. note on 40:13), whereas wicked conduct will make him vulnerable to sin, which is personified as a force ready to attack. In any case, Cain has the ability to do the right thing. Lies in wait: sin is personified as a power that “lies in wait” (Heb. robes) at a place. In Mesopotamian religion, a related word (rabisu) refers to a malevolent god who attacks human beings in particular places like roofs or canals.

* [4:8] Let us go out in the field: to avoid detection. The verse presumes a sizeable population which Genesis does not otherwise explain.

* [4:11] Banned from the ground: lit., “cursed.” The verse refers back to 3:17 where the ground was cursed so that it yields its produce only with great effort. Cain has polluted the soil with his brother’s blood and it will no longer yield any of its produce to him.

* [4:15] A mark: probably a tattoo to mark Cain as protected by God. The use of tattooing for tribal marks has always been common among the Bedouin of the Near Eastern deserts.

* [4:16] The land of Nod: a symbolic name (derived from the verb nûd, to wander) rather than a definite geographic region.

* [4:1724] Cain is the first in a seven-member linear genealogy ending in three individuals who initiate action (Jabal, Jubal, and Tubalcain). Other Genesis genealogies also end in three individuals initiating action (5:32 and 11:26). The purpose of this genealogy is to explain the origin of culture and crafts among human beings. The names in this genealogy are the same (some with different spellings) as those in the ten-member genealogy (ending with Noah), which has a slightly different function. See note on 5:132.

* [4:2324] Lamech’s boast shows that the violence of Cain continues with his son and has actually increased. The question is posed to the reader: how will God’s creation be renewed?

* [4:2526] The third and climactic birth story in the chapter, showing that this birth, unlike the other two, will have good results. The name Seth (from the Hebrew verbshat, “to place, replace”) shows that God has replaced Abel with a worthy successor. From this favored line Enosh (“human being/humankind”), a synonym of Adam, authentic religion began with the worship of Yhwh; this divine name is rendered as “the LORD” in this translation. The Yahwist source employs the name Yhwh long before the time of Moses. Another ancient source, the Elohist (from its use of the term Elohim, “God,” instead of Yhwh, “LORD,” for the pre-Mosaic period), makes Moses the first to use Yhwh as the proper name of Israel’s God, previously known by other names as well; cf. Ex 3:1315.

  1. [4:4]Ex 34:19;Heb 11:4.
  2. [4:7]Sir 7:1;Jude 11.
  3. [4:8]Wis 10:3;Mt 23:35Lk 11:511 Jn 3:12Jude 11.
  4. [4:11]Dt 27:24.
  5. [4:26]1 Chr 1:1;Lk 3:38.

Genesis, Chapter 3

Source: http://usccb.org/bible/genesis/3

Expulsion from Eden.
1 Now the snake was the most cunning* of all the wild animals that the LORD God had made. He asked the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You shall not eat from any of the trees in the garden’?”
2 The woman answered the snake: “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden;
3 a it is only about the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden that God said, ‘You shall not eat it or even touch it, or else you will die.’”
4 But the snake said to the woman: “You certainly will not die!b
5 God knows well that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods, who know* good and evil.”
6 The woman saw that the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eyes, and the tree was desirable for gaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruit and ate it; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.c
7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.

8 When they heard the sound of the LORD God walking about in the garden at the breezy time of the day,* the man and his wife hid themselves from the LORD God among the trees of the garden.d
9 The LORD God then called to the man and asked him: Where are you?
10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden; but I was afraid, because I was naked, so I hid.”
11 Then God asked: Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I had forbidden you to eat?
12 The man replied, “The woman whom you put here with me—she gave me fruit from the tree, so I ate it.”
13 The LORD God then asked the woman: What is this you have done? The woman answered, “The snake tricked me, so I ate it.”e
14 Then the LORD God said to the snake:
Because you have done this,
cursed are you
among all the animals, tame or wild;
On your belly you shall crawl,
and dust you shall eat
all the days of your life.* f
15 I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and hers;
They will strike at your head,
while you strike at their heel.* g
16 To the woman he said:
I will intensify your toil in childbearing;
in pain* you shall bring forth children.
Yet your urge shall be for your husband,
and he shall rule over you.
17 To the man he said: Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, You shall not eat from it,
Cursed is the ground* because of you!
In toil you shall eat its yield
all the days of your life.h
18 Thorns and thistles it shall bear for you,
and you shall eat the grass of the field.
19 By the sweat of your brow
you shall eat bread,
Until you return to the ground,
from which you were taken;
For you are dust,
and to dust you shall return.i
20 The man gave his wife the name “Eve,” because she was the mother of all the living.*
21 The LORD God made for the man and his wife garments of skin, with which he clothed them.
22 Then the LORD God said: See! The man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil! Now, what if he also reaches out his hand to take fruit from the tree of life, and eats of it and lives forever?j
23 The LORD God therefore banished him from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from which he had been taken.
24 He expelled the man, stationing the cherubim and the fiery revolving sword east of the garden of Eden, to guard the way to the tree of life.

* [3:1] Cunning: there is a play on the words for “naked” (2:25) and “cunning/wise” (Heb. ‘arum). The couple seek to be “wise” but end up knowing that they are “naked.”

* [3:5] Like gods, who know: or “like God who knows.”

* [3:8] The breezy time of the day: lit., “the wind of the day.” Probably shortly before sunset.

* [3:14] Each of the three punishments (the snake, the woman, the man) has a double aspect, one affecting the individual and the other affecting a basic relationship. The snake previously stood upright, enjoyed a reputation for being shrewder than other creatures, and could converse with human beings as in vv. 1–5. It must now move on its belly, is more cursed than any creature, and inspires revulsion in human beings (v. 15).

* [3:15] They will strike…at their heel: the antecedent for “they” and “their” is the collective noun “offspring,” i.e., all the descendants of the woman. Christian tradition has seen in this passage, however, more than unending hostility between snakes and human beings. The snake was identified with the devil (Wis 2:24; Jn 8:44; Rev 12:9; 20:2), whose eventual defeat seemed implied in the verse. Because “the Son of God was revealed to destroy the works of the devil” (1 Jn 3:8), the passage was understood as the first promise of a redeemer for fallen humankind, the protoevangelium. Irenaeus of Lyons (ca. A.D. 130–200), in his Against Heresies 5.21.1, followed by several other Fathers of the Church, interpreted the verse as referring to Christ, and cited Gal 3:19 and 4:4 to support the reference. Another interpretive translation is ipsa, “she,” and is reflected in Jerome’s Vulgate. “She” was thought to refer to Mary, the mother of the messiah. In Christian art Mary is sometimes depicted with her foot on the head of the serpent.

* [3:16] Toil…pain: the punishment affects the woman directly by increasing the toil and pain of having children. He shall rule over you: the punishment also affects the woman’s relationship with her husband. A tension is set up in which her urge (either sexual urge or, more generally, dependence for sustenance) is for her husband but he rules over her. But see Sg 7:11.

* [3:17–19] Cursed is the ground: the punishment affects the man’s relationship to the ground (’adam and ’adamah). You are dust: the punishment also affects the man directly insofar as he is now mortal.

* [3:20] The man gives his wife a more specific name than “woman” (2:23). The Hebrew name hawwa (“Eve”) is related to the Hebrew word hay (“living”); “mother of all the living” points forward to the next episode involving her sons Cain and Abel.

a. [3:3] Gn 2:17; Rom 6:23.

b. [3:4–5] Wis 2:24; Sir 25:14; Is 14:14; Jn 8:44; 2 Cor 11:3.

c. [3:6] Gn 3:22; 1 Tm 2:14.

d. [3:8] Jer 23:24.

e. [3:13] 2 Cor 11:3.

f. [3:14] Is 65:25; Mi 7:17; Rev 12:9.

g. [3:15] Rom 16:20; 1 Jn 3:8; Rev 12:17.

h. [3:17] Gn 5:29; Rom 5:12; 8:20; Heb 6:8.

i. [3:19] Gn 2:7; Jb 10:9; 34:15; Ps 90:3; 103:14; Eccl 3:20; 12:7; Wis 15:8; Sir 10:9; 17:2; Rom 5:12; 1 Cor 15:21; Heb 9:27.

j. [3:22] Gn 2:9; Rev 22:2, 14.

Genesis, Chapter 2

Genesis, Chapter 2

Source: http://usccb.org/bible/genesis/2

1Thus the heavens and the earth and all their array were completed.a

2* On the seventh day God completed the work he had been doing; he rested on the seventh day from all the work he had undertaken.b

3God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work he had done in creation.c

 The Garden of Eden.

4This is the story* of the heavens and the earth at their creation. When the LORDGod made the earth and the heavens—

5there was no field shrub on earth and no grass of the field had sprouted, for the LORD God had sent no rain upon the earth and there was no man* to till the ground,

6but a stream* was welling up out of the earth and watering all the surface of the ground—

7then the LORD God formed the man* out of the dust of the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.d

8The LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east,* and placed there the man whom he had formed.e

9* Out of the ground the LORD God made grow every tree that was delightful to look at and good for food, with the tree of life in the middle of the garden and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.f

10A river rises in Eden* to water the garden; beyond there it divides and becomes four branches.

11The name of the first is the Pishon; it is the one that winds through the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold.

12The gold of that land is good; bdellium and lapis lazuli are also there.

13The name of the second river is the Gihon; it is the one that winds all through the land of Cush.g

14The name of the third river is the Tigris; it is the one that flows east of Asshur. The fourth river is the Euphrates.

15The LORD God then took the man and settled him in the garden of Eden, to cultivate and care for it.h

16The LORD God gave the man this order: You are free to eat from any of the trees of the gardeni

17except the tree of knowledge of good and evil. From that tree you shall not eat; when you eat from it you shall die.* j

18The LORD God said: It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suited to him.* k

19So the LORD God formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds of the air, and he brought them to the man to see what he would call them; whatever the man called each living creature was then its name.

20The man gave names to all the tame animals, all the birds of the air, and all the wild animals; but none proved to be a helper suited to the man.

21So the LORD God cast a deep sleep on the man, and while he was asleep, he took out one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh.l

22The LORD God then built the rib that he had taken from the man into a woman. When he brought her to the man,

23the man said:

“This one, at last, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; This one shall be called ‘woman,’ for out of man this one has been taken.”*

24m That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body.*

25The man and his wife were both naked, yet they felt no shame.*

* [2:2] The mention of the seventh day, repeated in v. 3, is outside the series of six days and is thus the climax of the account. The focus of the account is God. The text does not actually institute the practice of keeping the Sabbath, for it would have been anachronistic to establish at this point a custom that was distinctively Israelite (Ex 31:13,1617), but it lays the foundation for the later practice. Similarly, ancient creation accounts often ended with the construction of a temple where the newly created human race provided service to the gods who created them, but no temple is mentioned in this account. As was the case with the Sabbath, it would have been anachronistic to institute the temple at this point, for Israel did not yet exist. In Ex 2531 and 3540, Israel builds the tabernacle, which is the precursor of the Temple of Solomon.

* [2:4] This is the story: the distinctive Priestly formula introduces older traditions, belonging to the tradition called Yahwist, and gives them a new setting. In the first part of Genesis, the formula “this is the story” (or a similar phrase) occurs five times (2:45:1;6:910:111:10), which corresponds to the five occurrences of the formula in the second part of the book (11:2725:121936:1[9]; 37:2). Some interpret the formula here as retrospective (“Such is the story”), referring back to chap. 1, but all its other occurrences introduce rather than summarize. It is introductory here; the Priestly source would hardly use the formula to introduce its own material in chap. 1.

The cosmogony that begins in v. 4 is concerned with the nature of human beings, narrating the story of the essential institutions and limits of the human race through their first ancestors. This cosmogony, like 1:13 (see note there), uses the “when…then” construction common in ancient cosmogonies. The account is generally attributed to the Yahwist, who prefers the divine name “Yhwh” (here rendered LORD) for God. God in this story is called “the LORD God” (except in 3:15); “LORD” is to be expected in a Yahwist account but the additional word “God” is puzzling.

* [2:5] Man: the Hebrew word ’adam is a generic term meaning “human being.” In chaps. 23, however, the archetypal human being is understood to be male (Adam), so the word ’adam is translated “man” here.

* [2:6] Stream: the water wells up from the vast flood below the earth. The account seems to presuppose that only the garden of God was irrigated at this point. From this one source of all the fertilizing water on the earth, water will be channeled through the garden of God over the entire earth. It is the source of the four rivers mentioned in vv.1014. Later, with rain and cultivation, the fertility of the garden of God will appear in all parts of the world.

* [2:7] God is portrayed as a potter molding the human body out of earth. There is a play on words in Hebrew between ’adam (“human being,” “man”) and ’adama (“ground”). It is not enough to make the body from earth; God must also breathe into the man’s nostrils. A similar picture of divine breath imparted to human beings in order for them to live is found in Ez 37:5910Jn 20:22. The Israelites did not think in the (Greek) categories of body and soul.

* [2:8] Eden, in the east: the place names in vv. 814 are mostly derived from Mesopotamian geography (see note on vv. 1014). Eden may be the name of a region in southern Mesopotamia (modern Iraq), the term derived from the Sumerian word eden, “fertile plain.” A similar-sounding Hebrew word means “delight,” which may lie behind the Greek translation, “The Lord God planted a paradise [= pleasure park] in Eden.” It should be noted, however, that the garden was not intended as a paradise for the human race, but as a pleasure park for God; the man tended it for God. The story is not about “paradise lost.”

The garden in the precincts of Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem seems to symbolize the garden of God (like gardens in other temples); it is apparently alluded to in Ps 1:380:10;92:14Ez 47:712Rev 22:12.

* [2:9] The second tree, the tree of life, is mentioned here and at the end of the story (3:2224). It is identified with Wisdom in Prv 3:1811:3013:1215:4, where the pursuit of wisdom gives back to human beings the life that is made inaccessible to them in Gn 3:24. In the new creation described in the Book of Revelation, the tree of life is once again made available to human beings (Rev 2:722:21419). Knowledge of good and evil: the meaning is disputed. According to some, it signifies moral autonomy, control over morality (symbolized by “good and evil”), which would be inappropriate for mere human beings; the phrase would thus mean refusal to accept the human condition and finite freedom that God gives them. According to others, it is more broadly the knowledge of what is helpful and harmful to humankind, suggesting that the attainment of adult experience and responsibility inevitably means the loss of a life of simple subordination to God.

* [2:1014] A river rises in Eden: the stream of water mentioned in v. 6, the source of all water upon earth, comes to the surface in the garden of God and from there flows out over the entire earth. In comparable religious literature, the dwelling of god is the source of fertilizing waters. The four rivers represent universality, as in the phrase “the four quarters of the earth.” In Ez 47:112Zec 14:8Rev 22:12, the waters that irrigate the earth arise in the temple or city of God. The place names in vv. 1114 are mainly from southern Mesopotamia (modern Iraq), where Mesopotamian literature placed the original garden of God. The Tigris and the Euphrates, the two great rivers in that part of the world, both emptied into the Persian Gulf. Gihon is the modest stream issuing from Jerusalem (2 Sm 5:81 Kgs 1:9102 Chr 32:4), but is here regarded as one of the four great world rivers and linked to Mesopotamia, for Cush here seems to be the territory of the Kassites (a people of Mesopotamia) as in Gn 10:8. The word Pishon is otherwise unknown but is probably formed in imitation of Gihon. Havilah seems, according to Gn 10:7 and 1 Chr 1:9, to be in Cush in southern Mesopotamia though other locations have been suggested.

* [2:17] You shall die: since they do not die as soon as they eat from the forbidden tree, the meaning seems to be that human beings have become mortal, destined to die by virtue of being human.

* [2:18] Helper suited to him: lit., “a helper in accord with him.” “Helper” need not imply subordination, for God is called a helper (Dt 33:7Ps 46:2). The language suggests a profound affinity between the man and the woman and a relationship that is supportive and nurturing.

* [2:23] The man recognizes an affinity with the woman God has brought him. Unlike the animals who were made from the ground, she is made from his very self. There is a play on the similar-sounding Hebrew words ’ishsha (“woman,” “wife”) and ’ish (“man,” “husband”).

* [2:24] One body: lit., “one flesh.” The covenant of marriage establishes kinship bonds of the first rank between the partners.

* [2:25] They felt no shame: marks a new stage in the drama, for the reader knows that only young children know no shame. This draws the reader into the next episode, where the couple’s disobedience results in their loss of innocence.

  1. [2:1]Is 45:12;Jn 1:3.
  2. [2:2]Ex 20:911;31:17Heb 4:410.
  3. [2:3]Ex 20:11;Dt 5:14Neh 9:14.
  4. [2:7]Gn 3:19;18:27Tb 8:6Jb 34:15Ps 103:14104:29Eccl 3:2012:7Wis 7:1Sir 33:10;1 Cor 15:45.
  5. [2:8]Is 51:3;Ez 31:9.
  6. [2:9]Gn 3:22;Prv 3:18Rev 2:722:214.
  7. [2:13]Sir 24:25.
  8. [2:15]Sir 7:15.
  9. [2:16]Ps 104:1415.
  10. [2:17]Gn 3:23;Rom 6:23.
  11. [2:18]Tb 8:6;Sir 36:241 Cor 11:91 Tm 2:13.
  12. [2:21]Sir 17:1;1 Cor 11:891 Tm 2:13.
  13. [2:24]Mt 19:5;Mk 10:71 Cor 7:1011Eph 5:31.

Genesis, Chapter 1

Genesis, Chapter 1

(Source: http://usccb.org/bible/genesis/1)

The Story of Creation.*

1    In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the eartha

2*    and the earth was without form or shape, with darkness over the abyss and a mighty wind sweeping over the waters—b

3    Then God said: Let there be light, and there was light.c

4    God saw that the light was good. God then separated the light from the darkness.

5    God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” Evening came, and morning followed—the first day.*

6    Then God said: Let there be a dome in the middle of the waters, to separate one body of water from the other.

7    God made the dome,* and it separated the water below the dome from the water above the dome. And so it happened.d

8   God called the dome “sky.” Evening came, and morning followed—the second day.

9    Then God said: Let the water under the sky be gathered into a single basin, so that the dry land may appear. And so it happened: the water under the sky was gathered into its basin, and the dry land appeared.e

10  God called the dry land “earth,” and the basin of water he called “sea.” God saw that it was good.

11f   Then God said: Let the earth bring forth vegetation: every kind of plant that bears seed and every kind of fruit tree on earth that bears fruit with its seed in it. And so it happened:

12  the earth brought forth vegetation: every kind of plant that bears seed and every kind of fruit tree that bears fruit with its seed in it. God saw that it was good.

13  Evening came, and morning followed—the third day.

14  Then God said: Let there be lights in the dome of the sky, to separate day from night. Let them mark the seasons, the days and the years,g

15  and serve as lights in the dome of the sky, to illuminate the earth. And so it happened:

16  God made the two great lights, the greater one to govern the day, and the lesser one to govern the night, and the stars.h

17  God set them in the dome of the sky, to illuminate the earth,

18  to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. God saw that it was good.

19  Evening came, and morning followed—the fourth day.

20i Then God said: Let the water teem with an abundance of living creatures, and on the earth let birds fly beneath the dome of the sky.

21  God created the great sea monsters and all kinds of crawling living creatures with which the water teems, and all kinds of winged birds. God saw that it was good,

22 and God blessed them, saying: Be fertile, multiply, and fill the water of the seas; and let the birds multiply on the earth.j

23 Evening came, and morning followed—the fifth day.

24  Then God said: Let the earth bring forth every kind of living creature: tame animals, crawling things, and every kind of wild animal. And so it happened:

25  God made every kind of wild animal, every kind of tame animal, and every kind of thing that crawls on the ground. God saw that it was good.

26  Then God said: Let us make* human beings in our image, after our likeness. Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the tame animals, all the wild animals, and all the creatures that crawl on the earth.

27  God created mankind in his image;

in the image of God he created them;

male and female* he created them.

28 God blessed them and God said to them: Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it.* Have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and all the living things that crawl on the earth.

29 God also said: See, I give you every seed-bearing plant on all the earth and every tree that has seed-bearing fruit on it to be your food;

30 and to all the wild animals, all the birds of the air, and all the living creatures that crawl on the earth, I give all the green plants for food. And so it happened.

31  God looked at everything he had made, and found it very good. Evening came, and morning followed—the sixth day.

* [1:12:3] This section, from the Priestly source, functions as an introduction, as ancient stories of the origin of the world (cosmogonies) often did. It introduces the primordial story (2:411:26), the stories of the ancestors (11:2750:26), and indeed the whole Pentateuch. The chapter highlights the goodness of creation and the divine desire that human beings share in that goodness. God brings an orderly universe out of primordial chaos merely by uttering a word. In the literary structure of six days, the creation events in the first three days are related to those in the second three.

1. light (day)/darkness (night) = 4. sun/moon
2. arrangement of water = 5. fish + birds from waters
3. a) dry land = 6. a) animals
b) vegetation b) human beings: male/female

The seventh day, on which God rests, the climax of the account, falls outside the six-day structure.

Until modern times the first line was always translated, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Several comparable ancient cosmogonies, discovered in recent times, have a “when…then” construction, confirming the translation “when…then” here as well. “When” introduces the pre-creation state and “then” introduces the creative act affecting that state. The traditional translation, “In the beginning,” does not reflect the Hebrew syntax of the clause.

* [1:2] This verse is parenthetical, describing in three phases the pre-creation state symbolized by the chaos out of which God brings order: “earth,” hidden beneath the encompassing cosmic waters, could not be seen, and thus had no “form”; there was only darkness; turbulent wind swept over the waters. Commencing with the last-named elements (darkness and water), vv. 310 describe the rearrangement of this chaos: light is made (first day) and the water is divided into water above and water below the earth so that the earth appears and is no longer “without outline.” The abyss: the primordial ocean according to the ancient Semitic cosmogony. After God’s creative activity, part of this vast body forms the salt-water seas (vv. 910); part of it is the fresh water under the earth (Ps 33:7Ez 31:4), which wells forth on the earth as springs and fountains (Gn 7:11;8:2Prv 3:20). Part of it, “the upper water” (Ps 148:4Dn 3:60), is held up by the dome of the sky (vv. 67), from which rain descends on the earth (Gn 7:112 Kgs 7:219Ps 104:13). A mighty wind: literally, “spirit or breath [ruah] of God”; cf. Gn 8:1.

* [1:5] In ancient Israel a day was considered to begin at sunset.

* [1:7] The dome: the Hebrew word suggests a gigantic metal dome. It was inserted into the middle of the single body of water to form dry space within which the earth could emerge. The Latin Vulgate translation firmamentum, “means of support (for the upper waters); firmament,” provided the traditional English rendering.

* [1:26] Let us make: in the ancient Near East, and sometimes in the Bible, God was imagined as presiding over an assembly of heavenly beings who deliberated and decided about matters on earth (1 Kgs 22:1922Is 6:8Ps 29:128289:67Jb 1:62:138:7). This scene accounts for the plural form here and in Gn 11:7 (“Let us then go down…”). Israel’s God was always considered “Most High” over the heavenly beings. Human beings: Hebrew ’ādām is here the generic term for humankind; in the first five chapters of Genesis it is the proper name Adam only at 4:25 and 5:15. In our image, after our likeness: “image” and “likeness” (virtually synonyms) express the worth of human beings who have value in themselves (human blood may not be shed in 9:6because of this image of God) and in their task, dominion (1:28), which promotes the rule of God over the universe.

* [1:27] Male and female: as God provided the plants with seeds (vv. 1112) and commanded the animals to be fertile and multiply (v. 22), so God gives sexuality to human beings as their means to continue in existence.

* [1:28] Fill the earth and subdue it: the object of the verb “subdue” may be not the earth as such but earth as the territory each nation must take for itself (chaps. 1011), just as Israel will later do (see Nm 32:2229Jos 18:1). The two divine commands define the basic tasks of the human race—to continue in existence through generation and to take possession of one’s God-given territory. The dual command would have had special meaning when Israel was in exile and deeply anxious about whether they would continue as a nation and return to their ancient territory. Have dominion: the whole human race is made in the “image” and “likeness” of God and has “dominion.” Comparable literature of the time used these words of kings rather than of human beings in general; human beings were invariably thought of as slaves of the gods created to provide menial service for the divine world. The royal language here does not, however, give human beings unlimited power, for kings in the Bible had limited dominion and were subject to prophetic critique.

* [1:29] According to the Priestly tradition, the human race was originally intended to live on plants and fruits as were the animals (see v. 30), an arrangement that God will later change (9:3) in view of the human inclination to violence.

  1. [1:1Gn 2:142 Mc 7:28Ps 8:433:689:1290:2Wis 11:17Sir 16:24Jer 10:12Acts 14:15Col 1:1617Heb 1:233:411:3Rev 4:11.
  2. [1:2Jer 4:23.
  3. [1:32 Cor 4:6.
  4. [1:7Prv 8:27282 Pt 3:5.
  5. [1:9Jb 38:8Ps 33:7Jer 5:22.
  6. [1:11Ps 104:14.
  7. [1:14Jb 26:10Ps 19:23Bar 3:33.
  8. [1:16Dt 4:19Ps 136:79Wis 13:24Jer 31:35.
  9. [1:20Jb 12:710.
  10. [1:22Gn 8:17.
  11. [1:24Sir 16:2728.
  12. [1:2627Gn 5:139:6Ps 8:56Wis 2:2310:2Sir 17:134Mt 19:4Mk 10:6Jas 3:7;Eph 4:24Col 3:10.
  13. [1:28Gn 8:179:1Ps 8:69115:16Wis 9:2.
  14. [1:2930Gn 9:3Ps 104:1415.
  15. [1:311 Tm 4:4.

GENESIS – Introduction

THE BOOK OF GENESIS.

INTRODUCTION.

The Hebrews now entitle all the Five Books of Moses, from the initial words, which originally were written like one continued word or verse; but the Septuagint have preferred to give the titles the most memorable occurrences of each work. On this occasion, the Creation of all things out of nothing, strikes us with peculiar force. We find a refutation of all the heathenish mythology, and of the world’s eternity, which Aristotle endeavored to establish. We behold the short reign of innocence, and the origin of sin and misery, the dispersion of nations, and the providence of God watching over his chosen people, till the death of Joseph, about the year 2369 (Usher) 2399 (Salien and Tirinus) B.C. 1631. We shall witness the same care in the other Books of Scripture, and adore his wisdom and goodness in preserving to himself faithful witnesses, and a true Holy Catholic Church, in all ages, even when the greatest corruption seemed to overspread the land. (Haydock)

Bible Marathon Begins

Here we go Brothers and Sisters in Christ, let us begin our Bible Marathon program, we started it and with God’s Grace and Guidance we will finish it. We thank Fr Luigi Bonalumi, our Parish Priest who granted us Blessing as we formally begin this program.

Let us invite our families, friends and loved ones to join us in this program.

Also here’s some tips to know as we start with..

– Start reading the Bible today — there is no better time, and there’s no reason to wait.

-Set aside a specific time each day. Set your schedule and then stick to it. Mornings are great, but feel free to use any time that works consistently for you.

-Read the Bible for the sake of learning, not simply to accomplish your next reading. Say a short prayer to God before you begin, asking the Holy Spirit to give you wisdom and understanding, then be refreshed by the words you read!

THE BOOK OF GENESIS

Genesis is the first book of the Pentateuch (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy), the first section of the Jewish and the Christian Scriptures. Its title in English, “Genesis,” comes from the Greek of Gn 2:4, literally, “the book of the generation (genesis) of the heavens and earth.” Its title in the Jewish Scriptures is the opening Hebrew word, Bereshit, “in the beginning.”

The book has two major sections—the creation and expansion of the human race (2:411:9), and the story of Abraham and his descendants (11:1050:26). The first section deals with God and the nations, and the second deals with God and a particular nation, Israel.

“The book is well described by its title, Genesis, which means “beginning” for it is a history of the beginning of all things–the beginning of heaven and earth, of all life and of all human institutions and relations. It has been called the seed-plot of the Bible from the fact that the germs of all the great doctrines concerning God, man, sin and salvation are found there.”

Outline Of Genesis.

  1. The Creation of the World (1:12:3)
  2. The Story of the Nations (2:411:26)
    1. The Creation of the Man and the Woman, Their Offspring, and the Spread of Civilization (2:44:26)
    2. The Pre-flood Generations (5:16:8)
    3. The Flood and the Renewed Blessing (6:99:29)
    4. The Populating of the World and the Prideful City (10:111:9)
    5. The Genealogy from Shem to Terah (11:1026)
  3. The Story of the Ancestors of Israel (11:2750:26)
    1. The Story of Abraham and Sarah (11:2725:18)
    2. The Story of Isaac and Jacob (25:1936:43)
    3. The Story of Joseph (37:150:26)