Under God's direction, Chapter One of Genesis was composed by the Jewish priesthood, while Chapter Two was composed by court story tellers.

Thursday, 2/12/15

Today’s reading begins with God saying, “It is not good for man to be alone,” and we usually understand him to have said, “It is not good for the male to be alone;” but the text actually records God as saying, “It is not good for the human to be alone.”

Read properly, God was saying that he created us as social beings who only act well when they act together.

Our first reading today is from Chapter Two of Genesis, while for a few days before this the readings were from Chapter One of Genesis. If you look closely at these two chapters you might notice that in Chapter One the Almighty is referred to as God, while in Chapter Two the Almighty is referred to as the Lord God, are simply as the Lord. Those differences in our English language Bibles reflect a difference in the original Hebrew texts. There, in Chapter One the Almighty was known as elohim, while in Chapter Two he was called Yahweh.

Those differences stem from the two chapters having been composed by different groups of people. Chapter One was composed by Jewish priests, and it reflects their interests; while Chapter Two, where the Almighty is known as the Lord God, was composed by the court story tellers in the time of King Solomon. Passages written  by the story-tellers have a human interest slant. Sometimes they were composed for children listeners.

In today’s reading, after God created the man, he went on to create each kind of animal; but none of them was a suitable mate for the man.

You can picture that story teller asking the children, “Would the man want to marry the bear? “ And the kids would shout, ”No. No, he wouldn’t want to marry the bear.” “Well, would he want to marry the monkey?” And the kids would shake their heads, saying, “No. the man would not want to marry a monkey.”

 So, then the Lord God put a deep sleep on the man, forming a creature out of his rib; and when the man saw the woman, he shouted, “This one. I want this one!” 

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