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By Norman Habel

Few humans notice that the 1st personality within the Bible (after the headline sentence of Genesis 1.1) is Earth. What if we learn the production tale and the primal myths of Genesis from the viewpoint of that key personality, instead of from the anthropocentric viewpoint within which our tradition has nurtured us?

This is the undertaking of Norman Habel’s remark, resisting the lengthy historical past in Western tradition of devaluing, exploiting, oppressing and endangering the Earth. Earth in Genesis first seems wrapped within the primal waters, like an embryo ready to be born. at the 3rd day of production it really is truly born and is derived into life with its eco-friendly crops as a habitat for all times of all kinds.

It is infrequently a second earlier than Earth is broken via human sin and suffers a divine curse, after which needs to cry out for justice for the blood of Abel it's been pressured to drink. it really is a good better curse while Earth, including just about all lifestyles on the earth, comes with reference to overall annihilation on the Flood. Has Earth introduced this destiny upon itself, or is it the blameless sufferer of human wrongdoing?

Genesis has God regretting the hazard to Earth and its childrens that the Flood has introduced, and vowing to eco-friendly Earth back, get rid of the curse, repair the seasons and make a private covenant of insurance with Earth and its creatures.

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Extra resources for The Birth, the Curse and the Greening of Earth: An Ecological Reading of Genesis 1-11

Example text

That the term shamayim does not mean ‘heavens’ is evident form the divine action of day two where God constructs the shamayim as a firmament or ceiling overhead. The Hebrew term ‘shamayim’ means sky not heaven. There is no suggestion here of a dualistic universe consisting of a particular domain for God and celestial beings. Nowhere in Genesis 1 is heaven created as God’s abode; rather, Erets and shamayim are the physical universe. 1 has also been rendered as a subordinate clause: ‘when God began creating sky and Earth’.

Within the narrative plot, however, God’s word functions as the catalyst that initiates a diversity of actions in the various scenes of the narrative. God is not some distant divine being speaking from heaven, but is present at the scene. When God speaks, the first action is the immediate advent of light. Elohim says ‘Let there be light’ and light appears. Light, which von Rad called ‘the first-born of creation’ (1961: 49), is not described in any way. This phenomenon is apparently self-evident to the narrator.

1-3). And just as physical images of kings were located in various domains to represent the king, so also human beings are the images of Elohim located throughout Erets. A further dimension of this action of God is discernible when we realize that the verb bara is used three times in this poetic verse. Following the research of van Wolde, we can render this passage ‘God separated the human being made in his image’. That is, ‘God placed human beings in a spatially distant position, namely, on Erets’.

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