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The Hebrew Creation Narrative

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The book of Genesis in the Holy Bible contains two Hebrew creation narratives which describe and portray God different. In addition, the human creation and other acts of creation are also portrayed differently. For instance, the two stories use two different names while referring to God, there are two distinct emphases (Moral issues vs. Physical), and different creation order (plants after humans vs. plants before humans).The sources of the two stories are different since the first chapter is by the Priestly source while  the second chapter is by the Jahwist.

The first creation story consists of eight creation acts which lasted for six days and additional day for resting. In the first three days of creation, there is a division act in each. For instance, the first day separates darkness from light; the second day distinguishes the waters from the skies while the third day separates the sea from the land. The other three days populate these divisions.  On the other hand, the second creation narrative is just a simple linear narrative with the four rivers parenthesis exception. In line with this, the first genesis creation story argues that Elohim created heaven and earth probably implying that the heavens were created first while the second story brings contradiction by saying that Yahwe Elohim (Lord God) created the earth and the heavens.

In accordance with the first creation story, God is referred to as Elohim while in the second narrative he’s referred to as Yahwe Elohim (Lord God). According to the Jewish tradition back in the earliest rabbinic literature, these two different names portray different attributes of God. Basically, the first narrative covers the creation weak while the second narrative covers the creation events that took place in the Garden of Eden. In reference to the first narrative, God created plants on the third day by commanding the earth and created humanity on the last day (sixth day). In contrast, the second narrative argues that God created man in his own image and prepared the Garden of Eden where he placed him.

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