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The Second Story of Creation (Gen 2:4-3:24)

A Prologue to the Concept of Enneateuch?


Joseph Titus

The two creation stories in Genesis 1-3 have been subject of intense study since the beginning of critical research on the Pentateuch in the eighteenth century. Even today, they continue to vex the biblical commentators. This work attempts to study one of these creation stories, namely the Eden Story narrated in Gen 2:4-3:24. This story graphically describes the first couple’s installation in the Garden of Eden and their expulsion from it. These two themes have prompted some scholars to consider this story as a summary of Israel’s history until the tragedy of exile and a prologue to the literary composition commonly called Enneateuch (Genesis - 2 Kings). Such a hypothesis is based on the premise that both Eden story and Israel’s history have the same end: expulsion. The reason for such an end in both is disobedience. The study takes up this hypothesis and examines its viability. Furthermore, this work attempts to bring out the biblical message of this story. Gen 2-3 is an expression of Israel’s faith resulting from its history with Yahweh and from its encounter with the surrounding cultures, and it intends to articulate a religious and anthropological identity for Israel.
Contents: Bible – Old Testament Exegesis – Pentateuch – Redaction Criticism – Genesis – Creation – Law – Wisdom – Disobedience – Punishment – Anthropology – Divine image – Creative confrontation with other cultures.