Re: Torah and alleged inconsistencies Part IV
However, a logical and reasonable Torah translator does not ignore the larger context, particularly when a rule of Hebrew grammar DEMANDS that context be considered. The Torah was written for a Hebrew-fluent audience, and the Author had a reasonable expectation that His target audience understood at least the fundamental rules of Hebrew grammar.
What is the larger context? Chapter One precedes all other chapters - and so it provides PROPER CONTEXT with which the logical and reasonable Torah translator should frame subsequent text dealing with the events of Creation. The plain text of Chapter One clearly and unequivocally conveys that God created the animals BEFORE God created the man.
This would be a perfect explanation were it not for the fact that according to the documentary hypothesis
Chapter 2 predates
Chapter 1. Thus, the larger context for Chapter 2 is lost and the text must be taken at face value.
Most of the English translations have Genesis 2:19 as, "And out of the ground..." (see parallel translations
), the "and" denoting a sequential order.
Additionally, every event leading up to that verse is in sequential order:
1) God creates man
God causes the plants to grow from the seeds (which, as you demonstrated earlier, were created on the third day)
God places man in the garden and warns him about the tree of knowledge of good and evil
God says that it is not good for man to be alone
Thus, it can easily be argued that verse 19 was intended by the author to be a description of the next event in that sequence.
Nothing in the plain text of verses 2:18-19 conflicts with the plain text of Chapter One, regarding the creation of animals before the creation of man.
FIRST, please note that your English translation of verses 2:18-19 contains the word "SO." The word SO can indicate chronological order - whatever is written before the word SO can be understood as a motivating cause for whatever is written afterwards.
If I were basing my argument on the word "so", you would be correct in your conclusion.
However, there is another word that clearly establishes the order of events.
That word is "alone"--spoken by God when he said, "It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him." (Genesis 2:18 ).
At face value, this means that Adam was the only living creature in the universe and that God had not yet created any other living thing.
But let's assume that the word "alone" means that he was the only human. We will then also have to assume that God, being an infallible being, created only the male animals first. After all, would an infallible being create both male and female of every animal (thereby enabling reproduction) yet fail to think of creating such a sexual counterpart for the male human? Surely not.
So if we assume that "alone" doesn't really mean "alone", then logically it follows that:
1) God intended for Adam to find a companion (and reproductive counterpart ??) among the animals (supported by Genesis 2:20)
2) God was not so careless as to create a female of every species other than the homosapien and therefore created only the male animals first.
Is this the way you see it--that "alone" doesn't really mean "alone"--or do you agree with me that "alone" means that Adam was the only living thing at the time?