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CONCLUSION

interpretive possibilities of the reader,5 and an accounting of a text’s intertextuality within a specific body of literature and within defined historical boundaries – an intertextual history.

This study has the interpreter in mind. It would be wonderful to know the mind of the interpreter, but this is impossible given that there is no possibility for dialogue with or questioning of the ancient interpreter. Rather, texts are what remains. And so, with the interpreter in mind, this study provides a glimpse of the complex interconnectedness of texts in order to get as broad a view of the text and its intertexts as possible – a window into the intertextual possibilities available to the ancient interpreter.

To review more specifically, the method works through five steps: (1) examine the primary text under consideration; (2) identify and study the intertextual markers from the primary text within a given corpus of texts;

(3) identify texts that have an intertextual commonality with the primary text (i.e., significant repetition of intertextual markers and its general theme); (4) examine the texts compiled by way of step three looking for common and contrasting threads; and (5) identify subsequent intertexts or afterlives and compare them to the wider tapestry.

By no means does this thesis exhaust the intertextual possibilities available to the ancient interpreter. There are lacunae in this method and the resulting thesis. Some obvious limitations are evident when imagining possible interpreters: a bi-lingual or multi-lingual interpreter drawing upon both corpora (Hebrew and Greek) and/or texts in other languages; an interpreter who is unfamiliar with the corpora either in part or in total; an interpreter working not with written but with oral ‘texts’, which may be more fluid, etc. One must only recall the possible intertextual / intercultural / interreligious relationship between Jo.Asen. 12.3 and the Egyptian / Heliopolitan cosmogony to then ponder the infinite possibilities. When one also takes into account the fact that Aramaic texts contemporary with historical bounds of this study are not considered and the accidents of history, whereby the complete library of texts of the ancient world is not extant, the method and its product are partial. The whole is not retrievable. Any conclusions, therefore, are partial and must be left open to critique and additions. At the same time, this method does provide a systematic means to explore the intertexts available to the ancient interpreter, and as such provides a new vantage on the material.

5.2 The Intertextuality of MT Gen 1.1-5 in the Hebrew Bible Chapter One provides a look at the intertextuality of MT Gen 1.1-5 within the Hebrew Bible. These texts vary widely in their length and language, in their commonality with MT Gen 1.1-5 and their creation theology. For the purposes of summation and comparison with the wider study, I return to some of the more relevant themes.

As D.R. Blumenthal, “Many Voices, One Voice,” Judaism 47 (1998), shows in his juxtaposition of (re)written accounts of Gen 1.1-5 based on the interpretive work of four Medieval Jewish commentators (469-471), it is difficult to argue that there is a sensus literalis or peshat. Blumenthal suggests, however, that the common denominator among interpreters is not a common understanding of the text but a common understanding of the origin of the text – a Voice. (467) While this thesis is not primarily interested in the question of a divine origin for any of the texts involved, it does seem clear that all of the texts covered in this thesis assume ‘a Voice’ as Blumenthal calls it. For all of the diversity within the intertextual tapestry, there may be this one assumption inherent in each of the texts.

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CONCLUSION

Not surprisingly, YHWH plays a masterful role in these creation texts. With the exception of two texts that long for the reversal of the created order6 and two that view YHWH as a divine warrior who intervenes on the field of battle, by and large YHWH is in charge of the creative forces. This mastery is reflected in a unique thread of creation by the boundrification of certain cosmic elements. As with the separation (ldb) of light and darkness in MT Gen 1.4, God places boundaries between light and dark,7 between seasons,8 between earth and God’s dwelling,9 and most frequently between forms of water.10 Also under the umbrella of ‘mastery’ is creation by speech or word. Creation by speech, a definite hallmark of MT Gen 1.1-5 and Genesis 1 as a whole, appears in a corner of Chapter One.11 A natural extension of this overarching idea of mastery comes in two observations concerning forms in the intertexts of Chapter One: the titular references that make God’s creative activity central to who God is12 and the instances where God’s creativity is the object of praise.13 While the idea of creatio ex nihilo appears to be of little interest in MT Gen 1.1-5 or in the whole of the tapestry represented in Chapter One, there is one text that is related. MT Isa 45.7 is the sole text that attempts to explicitly state that everything comes from God, light and darkness, good and evil. Is this text exegetically ‘correcting’ MT Gen 1.2, which when read parenthetically opens the door for darkness existing before God begins creating in MT Gen 1.3? If it is not, then it provides fertile ground for later developments of creatio ex nihilo.





Another prominent thread in Chapter One is the statement that God stretches out (h+n) the heavens, a thread that runs through over one quarter of the texts. This is especially notable in that the thread of stretching out the heavens is nearly absent in later Hebrew intertexts. Also prominent for their absence later are the primordials (}ftfy:wil, {fy, bahar, {inyiNaT, and possibly {Oh:T). God’s creative combative and/or taming actions with these often dangerous primordial beings (e.g. the crushing of the heads of the Leviathan in MT Ps 74.14 or the butchering of Rahab in MT Isa 51.9) figures quite prominently in the intertextual tapestry of MT Gen 1.1-5, but is absent later. On the other hand, while wisdom appears rather prominently in Chapter One as an instrument of God’s creative actions,15 it is only personified and placed at the beginning in one text – MT Prov 8.22-31. Also along the lines of MT Jer 4.32-28; Job 3.3-10 MT Job 26.10, 38.19-20 MT Ps 74.17 MT Isa 40.22 {iyam - MT Isa 40.12; Ps 104.9, 148.6; Job 26.10; {ay - MT Job 38.10, Prov 8.29; {Oh:T - MT Prov 8.27.

Of the four examples of this in Chapter One, most interesting are MT Ps 33.6, which says that heaven was created by the word of YHWH (hwhy rab:diB) and the heavenly host by the breath of his mouth (wyiP axUr:b), MT Ps 148.5, which, with reference to the angels/hosts and celestial lights/beings (vv.2-4), says that God commanded (hwc) and they existed, and MT Amos 9.6, in which YHWH calls or summons the waters of the sea and pours them upon the surface of the earth.

MT Isa 42.5, 45.

18, 48.12-13, 51.13; Amos 4.13, 5.8, 9.5-6; Zech 12.1; Prov 30.4; Neh 9.6 MT Ps 33.6-7, 104.1-30, 135.6-7, 136.1-9, 148.1-13; and Prov 8.30-31, in which Wisdom is portrayed as rejoicing in God’s creative handiwork.

}ftfy:wil - Ps 74.14, 104.26, Job 3.8; {fy - MT Isa 51.10, Amos 9.6, Ps 74.13, 104.25, Prov 8.29, Job 26.12,; bahar MT Isa 51.9, Job 26.12; {inyiNaT - MT Isa 51.9, Ps 74.13, 148.7, Job 26.13 (?), 28.14; {Oh:T - MT Gen 1.2, Isa 51.10, Ps 104.6, 148.7, Prov 8.27, 28, Job 28.14.

MT Jer 10.12, 51.

15; Ps 104.24; Prov 3.19; Job 28.12; similarly, YHWH’s understanding (hnwbt) and knowledge (t(d) are also used as instruments of YHWH’s creative power, e.g. MT Jer 10.12, 51.15; Ps 136.5; Prov 3.19; Job 28.12.

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CONCLUSION

forces external to God, there are just three texts that make mention of angels.16 Final brief mention should be made of the texts that combine creation and temple language. While there is no hint of Temple imagery evident in MT Gen 1.1-5 itself, in MT 2 Sam 22.7 and Ps 18.7[6] it is clear that YHWH hears the cry of the people in a heavenly temple and then descends from the temple to the battlefield. Two additional texts, MT Isa 40.22 and Amos 9.6, may offer allusions to a cosmic temple.

5.3 The Intertextuality of LXX Gen 1.1-5 in the Greek equivalents of the Hebrew Bible Chapter Two generally follows the same pattern of inquiry as Chapter One with the difference being the language of the texts. The move from Hebrew to Greek texts has three notable effects on the complexion of Chapter Two. The first is that there is a minor difference in intertextual markers. That is, when the words of LXX Gen 1.1-5 are examined within the larger corpus of Greek texts a slightly different list of intertextual markers emerges.17 A second effect is the inherent difficulty with that which is commonly called the Septuagint. While this study works from the assumption that most (if not all) of the Greek versions of the texts in the Hebrew Bible were available in Greek by the first century CE, certain books (e.g. Daniel, Job, Jeremiah, etc.) had multiple versions. How this affects this study is evident in LXX Job 26, a text that figured prominently in Chapter One. Without the asterisked material (likely attributable to Origen and thus outside the historical scope of this study), there is not enough intertextual commonality with LXX Gen 1.1-5 in the un-asterisked material to warrant the inclusion of this text.

Finally, the grammatical construction of the primary text, LXX Gen 1.1-5, is of concern. As was shown at the beginning of Chapter One,18 there is an inherent ambiguity in the grammar of the Hebrew of Gen 1.1-5 – an ambiguity that leaves the door open to seeing the whole of MT Gen 1.1-5 as a unit, with the creation of light in MT Gen 1.3 being the first act of creation. Such a reading necessitates that there was an earth that existed in a precreated (MT Gen 1.2) state prior to the creative speech of MT Gen 1.3. The grammar of LXX Gen 1.1-5, on the other hand, is not ambiguous. LXX Gen 1.1 and 1.3 are both independent clauses that leave little room but to say that there are two creations19 in LXX Gen 1.1-5 – the heaven and the earth in v.1 and light in v.3. Is this an attempt by the translator to address the grammatical and theological ambiguity of MT Gen 1.1-3? It is impossible to know the aims of the Greek translation, but it is within the realm of possibility that this translation is in line with and possibly fosters an idea of creatio ex nihilo.

The intertexts in Chapter Two are quite similar to their Hebrew counterparts in their general portrayal of God as ‘master’ of the cosmos. As in Chapter One, this mastery is displayed by God’s ordering of the cosmos by placing boundaries around water,20 between the earth and the divine dwelling,21 and around everything.22 Notably MT Ps 104.4 has God making angels from the winds; MT Ps 148.2 has angels praising YHWH; and similarly, MT Neh 9.6 has the host of heaven worshipping YHWH.

Examples of this are that fw/j and the word-pair, ouvrano,j – gh/, are omitted from the list of intertextual markers used throughout Chapter Two because their usefulness in identifying intertexts is limited because they occur too frequently.

Chapter 1.2 What W.

P. Brown, Structure, Role, and Ideology in the Hebrew and Greek Texts of Genesis 1:1-2:3, (SBLDS 132; Atlanta: Scholars, 1993) calls a ‘double creation’. (35) u[dwr – LXX Ps 103.9f, Isa 40.12; qala,ssa – LXX Job 38.10 LXX Job 38.19-20, Isa 40.

22

–  –  –

148.6 and Prov 8.29 and {Oh:T in LXX Prov 8.27, all of which no longer exist in the Greek versions. Also in terms of ‘mastery’, LXX Gen 1.1-5, like its Hebrew counterpart, presents the creation of light as creation by speech, a theme slightly more prevalent than in Chapter One.23 The ‘primordials’ of Chapter One are in a way demythologized.24 They lose their primordial-ness in translation. For example, both }ftfy:wil and {InyiNaT found in MT Ps 74.12-14 are translated as dra,kwn in LXX Ps 73.12The Greek translation smoothes any distinction between these two otherwise differentiated creatures. Similar to the Hebrew hmkx, sofi,a plays a role in creation. While LXX Prov 8.22-31 clarifies that Wisdom’s role in creation is not equal to the role of the Creator, this remains the only text in which Wisdom is personified. Wisdom plays a role in other texts as a means by which God created the earth,25 and possibly in a comparison of the wisdom of those who make the priestly vestments and the tapestries of the Holy of Holies with God’s wisdom in numbering the clouds.26 Also important to note is the place of angels, however slight, in the Greek tapestry.27 Finally, creation and temple language also plays a minor though significant role in Chapter Two.28 One curious addition to this is LXX Job 38.36, which, in a shift from the MT text of Job, seemingly compares the wisdom needed to create the priestly vestments and the tapestries of the Holy of Holies with the wisdom used by God to number the clouds.

5.4 The Intertexts of MT Gen 1.1-5 compared with its Intertextual Afterlives Chapter Three explores the intertextual afterlives of MT Gen 1.1-5, most of which come from among the Dead Sea Scrolls, with a few texts from Sirach and the Mishnah. The fragmentary nature of most of the texts naturally affects the nature of the conclusions.

When looking into the intertextuality of MT Gen 1.1-5 in this accidental medley of texts, there are some threads that bear highlighting. The first of these is the sole deliberate re-telling of MT Gen 1.1-5 in 4QJubileesa.

This eisegetical reading of Day One is severely damaged leaving little text with which to play. What can be read with some certainty is that a battery of spirits/angels were created on Day One and that it is likely that God’s organization of day and night, evening and dawn was done with God’s knowledge. While hmkx appears to play no part in 4QJuba, it is likely that God’s knowledge (t(d)29 is a means to God’s creative ordering. Within the LXX Ps 73.17, Isa 45.18 The objects of God’s creation by speech are heaven (LXX Ps 32.6, 148.5), the waters in/above the heavens (LXX Jer 28.16, Ps 148.5), the waters of the sea (LXX Amos 5.8, 9.6), and humans (LXX Ps 32.9, 103.30). One might also consider creation by will (qe,lw) in LXX Ps 134.6 to be a similar concept.



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