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D.W. Thomas, “A Consideration of Some Unusual Ways of Expressing the Superlative in Hebrew,” VT 3 (1953), makes a thorough study of possible instances in the Hebrew Bible where a divine name could signal a superlative and, contra Smith, finds no evidence for any such case (i.e., MT Gen 1.2) where the divine aspect is lost, emptying Smith's argument for ‘a mighty wind.’ (217-219) From a different angle, Wenham, Genesis 1-15, notes that ‘reducing’ {yiholE) to a superlative is unwarranted in a context that otherwise uses it to mean God. (17) Also, N.

Wyatt, “The Darkness of Genesis I 2,” VT 43 (1993) 546f.

D. Lys, Rûach le Souffle dans l'Ancien Testament, (Études d'Histoire et de Philosophie Religieuses 56; Paris:

Presses Universitaires de France, 1962) is a thorough study of the occurrences of xUr in the Hebrew Bible partitioned by traditional Christian canonical divisions with occurrences divided into three categories: wind, God, and humanity.

Kilian, “Gen. I 2 und die Urgötter von Hermopolis,” 435-438, and Atwell, “Egyptian Source,” 454-455, both suggest that the tradition-historical root of {yiholE) axUr in relation to the primordial waters is found in the presence of

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within the Hebrew Bible39 diminishes the possibility for gaining a definitive understanding of its with {yiholE) axUr place and full significance in MT Gen 1.2.

The final intertextual marker to address in v.2 is tepexar:m. There has been much made of the meaning of in MT Gen 1.2 since Gunkel's assertion that it is a derivative of the Syriac, r-h-p, connoting the brooding


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Rather, it is to be understood as 'hovering' or 'shaking.'43 One final characteristic of MT Gen 1.2 that requires further attention is the parallel relationship between the second and third phrases, as they both share the prepositional compound, -"nP-la(, followed by a form of water. The way in which these parallel clauses inform each other can be described: x → y and x1 → y1, with ‘→’ representing the common element, -"n:P-la(.44 From this, then, the question arises of the relationship between x and x1 and y and y1. While may be a basic building block of the cosmos, it is paralleled in the equation with the more {Oh:T frequently occurring {iyfm. This raises the question of the influence of ancient Near Eastern myth on MT Gen 1.2.

That is, if {Oh:T and {iyfm are equal though different references to water, it is less likely that {Oh:T carries the force or echo of a demythologised ancient Near Eastern god.45 This leads directly to the relationship between {yiholE) axUr

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expressing two opposing forces hovering over the two forms of primal waters. Such an option understands darkness as a pre-created substance, a substance with which God deals first by speaking light into being in v. 3. If this the Egyptian god, Amun or Amun-Re, with the four pairs of gods that bore the qualities of the primordial waters, as were associated with the cult at Hermopolis by the time of the New Kingdom. While this observation may be etiologically significant, it does little to explain the use {yiholE) axUr in the wider context of the Hebrew canon.

Both {yiholE) axUr and its cognate, hwhy axUr, provide little insight into the use of axUr in MT Gen 1.2, other than a general observation that other occurrences of {yiholE)/hwhy axUr exhibit a dynamic interaction between YHWH and creation. An exception may be MT Isa 40.13, addressed below. One other notable exception comes in a cognate occurrence in Job 33.4: yin"Yax:T yaDa$ tam:$in:w yin:tf&f( l")-axUr – The spirit of God made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life. W.H. McClellan, “The Meaning of Ruah 'Elohim in Genesis 1.2,” Bib 15 (1934), in a study of the occurrences of cognates of {yiholE) axUr, concludes that occurrences that are more likely translated ‘wind’ refer to YHWH's destructive power and those that are likely translated ‘breath’ or ‘spirit’ refer to YHWH's ‘vivifying, energizing, beneficent’ power. (523) Recognized in BDB as a possible meaning, referencing Gunkel. (s.v.) Cassuto, Genesis, notes that brooding is at best a secondary meaning of r-h-p in Syriac, the primary being ‘to fly to and fro, flutter.’ (25) Cassuto, Genesis, 24-25; von Rad, Genesis, 47; Wenham, Genesis 1-15, 17.

Childs, Myth and Reality, 34; Westermann, Genesis 1-11, 107.

In line with occurrence in MT Deut 32.11 and Jer 23.9.

Cassuto, Genesis, 25; Westermann, Genesis 1-11, 106.

B. Lang, Wisdom and the Book of Proverbs: An Israelite Goddess Redefined, (New York: Pilgrim, 1986) makes a similar argument about Wisdom (hfm:kfx) in Prov 1, 8, and 9.

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reading is possible, the description of the pre-created earth consists of a watery nothingness with the dark, mysterious presence of God upon it all.46 1.2.3 MT Gen 1.3 As was noted earlier, the creative speech of God begins in v.3. The intertextual marker of interest in v.3 is the first creation of this creation narrative.47 The creation of light by divine speech establishes a pattern that rO), drives the narrative of the First Creation Story by signalling the creative action at the beginning of each day,48 a pattern only interrupted by its repetition on the sixth day for both the living creatures and humankind and its absence from the seventh day.

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verb that draws this concern into focus as a creative action of separation.51 This separation highlights another intertextual marker, |e#ox and rO).

This view is shared by B.D. Sommer, A Prophet Reads Scripture: Allusion in Isaiah 40-66, (Contraversions: Jews and Other Differences; Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1998) who states that before God begins the creative acts starting in MT Gen 1.3, ‘formless matter, including chaos, water, darkness, and the abyss, already existed.’ (142) This view is similar to that of Skinner, Genesis, though Skinner's reading begins with the ‘Chaos-come-again’ of Jer 4.23-26, only then moving to MT Gen 1.2. He states that ‘the idea here [Gen 1.2] is probably similar [to Jer 4.23-26], with this difference, that the distinction of land and sea is effaced, and the earth, which is the subj. of the sentence, must be understood as the amorphous watery mass in which the elements of the future land and sea were commingled.’ (17) H.G. May, “The Creation of Light in Genesis 1.3-5,” JBL 58 (1939) in an attempt to reconcile the creation of light prior to the creation of the sun, asserts that the redactor of MT Gen 1.3-5 would have understood God to be the source of a ‘non-solar divine light.’ (211) While this is similar to the allegorical thrust of Philo’s interpretation, cf.

Opif 26-35 (see below, pp. 145-150), such a possibility seems to have been dropped by recent commentators.

MT Gen 1.6, 9, 14, 20, 24, 26.

Westermann, Genesis 1-11, draws a connection between the Creator's positive self-evaluation and subsequent human praise/worship given to the Creator because of these ‘good’ works. (113) In addition to Westermann's example of morning stars and heavenly beings giving praise to God (MT Job 38.7) one could reasonably add MT Ps

136.1ff where there is a repetition of the ‘good’ punctuation, bO+-yiK, this time beginning a litany of praise for God's wonderful acts including creation and liberation from Egypt. See below.

It may be included in the Creator's all-inclusive declaration, MT Gen 1.31.

Also, Gen 1.6, 7, 14, 18.

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comes in the numbering or ordering of the days that completes each of the first six days of creation, which in this case is dfxe) This declaration that both separates the first act of creation from the rest and includes it within the {Oy.

seven-day framework serves as a natural full-stop to the first day. With the separation and naming of day and night, can conclude with the formula that will indicate the conclusion of all of the first six days.

dfxe) {Oy 1.2.5 A Note on the Stability of the Hebrew Text of Gen 1.1-5

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given text, for this criterion it is only counted once). This is column A in Table 1.1. The second criterion is what I call the frequency ratio, this is simply the total number of common words divided by the total number of verses in a Westermann, Genesis 1-11, here speaks of the relationship between the power of naming and the place of |e#ox in the narrative. He makes a distinction between the darkness of v.2 and the darkness of v.5 because in effect the darkness of v.2 has now been tamed by the action of naming. (114-115) Such a bifurcation of two darknesses is ambiguous if not unlikely within the context of Gen 1.1-5, given the possible positive use of |e#ox in v.2. See argument above.

For a list of the Genesis manuscripts found at Qumran see: D.L. Washburn, A Catalog of Biblical Passages in the Dead Sea Scrolls, (SBLTCS 2; Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2002) 11-19; also, J.R. Davila, “Text-Type and Terminology: Genesis and Exodus as Test Cases,” DSD 16 (1993) 4 n.3.

J.R. Davila, DJD XII.33, 58.

The equivalent portion of 4QGenb has a lacuna where one would expect to find {wy or {mwy.

Gen 1.5c, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31, 2.2, 3 Gen 1.5b, 14, 16, 18 All the Targumic texts (Onqelos, Noefiti, Pseudo-Jonathan, Palestinian, and the Fragmentary Targum) perpetuate this variant. Davila, DJD XIII.59.

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given pericope (e.g. if there are four words common to MT Gen 1.1-5 in a pericope that is two verses long it receives a rating of 2.00). This ratio serves to identify the concentration of common vocabulary between an intertext and the primary text. This is column B in Table 1.1. The third criterion is the total common words, including repetitions (e.g. if |e$ox occurs three times in a given text, it is counted three times). This is column C in Table 1.1.

A fourth criterion for ordering the intertexts is the pericope's place in the canon, which in this case is the order used in BHS. It bears mentioning that these are artificial criteria.

What follows, then, are brief accounts of each intertext's significant similarities and differences with MT Gen 1.1-5.

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The second number in parentheses is the number of intertextual markers that appear in the pericope, whereas the first number of column A is the number of individual words common between the pericope and MT Gen 1.1-5.

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seem like casting a very wide net in search of intertextual markers, in the case of Psalm 104 the creation theme runs throughout,61 necessitating the inclusion of the entire psalm.

There is a common recognition that Psalm 104 bears a striking resemblance to the Egyptian Hymn to Aten.

As noted above, it has been suggested by Kilian and Atwell that Genesis 1 is also rooted in Egyptian cosmology.

Whether or not the First Creation Story and Psalm 104 share a common tradition heritage, based on shared vocabulary, there is at least an intertextual relationship. J. Levenson suggests three main points of similarity between MT Psalm 104 and MT Gen 1:62 (1) a theological similarity insofar as Leviathan is created by YHWH in both texts;63 (2) the ‘impressive’ correlation of the order of both passages; and (3) the substantial overlap in vocabulary.64 While Levenson's larger argument is of interest, his third point is most pertinent to this study.

The first point of contact with MT Gen 1.1-5 comes in God's wrapping godself with light (rO)) as a garment. As light is the first thing that is created in Genesis 1, so at the beginning of the creation account in Psalm The link between MT Gen 1.1-5 and MT Ps 104 is not a simple repetition one of the other. A. Weiser, The Psalms: A Commentary, (trans. H. Hartwell; 4th ed.; OTL; London: SCM, 1962) describes the relationship between MT Gen 1.1-5 and MT Ps 104 as ‘like that of a coloured picture to the clear lines of a woodcut.’ (666) While both contain poetic characteristics, MT Ps 104 is deliberately metaphorical in its use of language. For an argument on the poetic character of MT Gen 1.1-2.3, see Polak, “Poetic Style and Parallelism,” 2-31.

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