I would like to open this section with different renderings of the Creation stories as found in Genesis. I say “stories” rather than “story” but as you we will see, whether there is to be found two Creation stories rather than one is a very important question.
But before we do that, we need to discuss a bit the idea of the Triad as Pythagoras used it, or Trinity, or Tetractys as the Platonic school used it, which seems to recur time and again in all ancient religious and cultural traditions. I head this section with one, and below I present a collage of similar symbol-ology from other traditions and understandings of those who have sought, and meant to express Truth:
All of these images have elements in common. All display a right, left, and common but different center; all display the characters as triune; most have or presume a cover; right is different than left. Being as it has appeared in some form from very early times to the present, let us then try to understand why this “Trinity” might make some sense, what wisdom it might contain.
As the philosophers knew, a monad cannot be without the dyad by which it may be distinguished. Any God pre-existing cannot act to create anything unless two other conditions exist. These are the requirements of “matter” with which to work (even if this “matter” or “primary element” be, in the end, only light…), or with which to create out of, and a medium, or force, or energeia, energy, or power–perhaps angelos, or angels—to manipulate the matter. If we understand that at any moment, Creation is continuing, becoming refined, flowering like the lotus ever-so-slowly, then we begin to see the order of things in a better light.
In symbolic terms this three-in-one aspect of the Divine or, when not considered inclusive, Life, is represented, as we have seen, by not only the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, but also by the Ra-Isis-Osiris of the Egyptians; by Brahma-Vishnu-Siva, of the Hindus; by Enlil-Anshar-Innana, of the Sumerians; by the Yin-Yang-Unity; by Vohu-Manah/Asha-Vahishta/ Khshathra-Vayria, the three aspects of Ormadz (or Ahura Mazda) of the Zoroastrian line; Tinia, Uni and Menrva of the Etruscans, etc.
Muslims, in the main, are notable for their refusal to accept the Trinity in any shape or form, and this is one large factor contributing to the continued hostility between Muslims, Jews, and Christians. The Islamic argument is that God, Allah, is one and singular, in fact all things, and to suggest things like He would make himself into a Man, or live among human beings, or father a human son, is blasphemous; Muslims are against picorial idolatry/ For Muslims Jesus was a prophet, but a Man. As the article I cite suggests, much of this disagreement comes down to misunderstandings.
Indeed, by my reading, according to the Genetic Creation God is considered singular. In all those symbols we have seen, the three-in-one aspect is evident. Instead of concentrating on the “One” part, as did, incidentally, Plotinus, we have on the whole concentrated instead on the “three.” Invariably, the three leads to seven, and then soon, gods are multiplied further, made to act in conflict with one another.
The problem has been that, after a while, these sub-divided or chopped-up gods become worshiped as independent deities. If Ra, or Allah, or YWH, or the Tetragammaton be God, then Osiris, or the Elohim, or Jesus, or Mohammad, can only be worshiped in so far as they are seen as God. Thus when one worships the Holy Spirit, or Siva, one must recognize that this force one worships is just an extension of God, and in that respect only, worthy of divine praise.
All these symbols, this trinity, I believe, are meant to recognize the various aspects of human life as manifested by God. In the center is the individual, he who is faced with freedom and so having a divine image; to the right, or left, is the darkness, death, male, positive, hate, destruction, devils, and repulsion; to the left, or right, is light, life, female, negative, love, construction, angels, and attraction. Man is in the middle, not quite equipped with a determined course like the spider or the bird, but rather free to take his own course, not quite God in that he is stuck in this predicament of a world of opposites from which he may make his free choices.
In Genesis we read the following, known as the “First” Creation:
Chapter 1: 1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
2 Now the earth was formless and empty, and darkness was over the deep, and God’s spirit was hovering over the surface of the waters. 3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 And God saw that light was good, and God separated the light from the darkness. 5 And God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And evening was and morning was: the first day.
6 And God said, “Let there be an expanse between the waters separating the waters from the waters.” 7 And so God made the expanse, and he separated the waters beneath the expanse from the waters above the expanse. And it was so. 8 God called the expanse “heaven.” And evening was and morning was: the second day.
9 And God said, “Let the waters beneath heaven be gathered into one place, and let dry ground appear.” And so it was. 10 And God called the dry ground “land” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good. 11 Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants, and fruit trees bearing fruit with their proper seed inside, on the land.” And so it was. 12 And the land produced vegetation: plants bearing the seed of their kind, and trees bearing fruit with their proper seed inside. And God saw that it was good.13 And evening was and morning was: the third day.
14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heaven to separate the day from the night, and let them be as signs for the seasons and the days and the years. 15 And let there be lights in the expanse of heaven to give light to the earth.” And so it was. 16 And God made the two great lights: the great light for governing the day, the lesser light for governing the night; [God made] the stars also. 17 And God set them in the expanse of the heaven to give light to the earth, 18 and to govern the day and the night and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good.19 And evening was and morning was: the fourth day.
20 And God said, “Let the waters teem with the breath of living creatures, and let birds fly above the land across the face of the expanse of heaven.” And so it was. 21 And so God created the great sea-creatures and every breath of living, moving creature with which the waters teem, according to their proper kind, and every winged bird, according to their proper kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and increase, and fill the waters in the seas; and the birds let increase upon the earth.” 23 And evening was and morning was: the fifth day.
24 And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their proper kind: cattle, creatures that crawl on the ground, and wild animals, according to their proper kind.” And so it was. 25 And God made the wild animals according the their proper kinds, and the cattle according to its proper kind, and every creature that crawls on the ground according to their proper kind. And God saw that it was good. 26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our own image, in our likeness, and let them reign over the fish of the sea, and the birds of air, and the cattle, and all the land, and all the creatures that crawl upon the earth.” 27 So God created man in the image of himself,
in the image of God he created him,
male and female he created them.
28 And God blessed them, and he said to them, “Be fruitful, and increase, and fill the earth and conquer it. And reign over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the earth.” 29 Then God said, “See, I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the earth, and every tree that has fruit with seed inside it; for you they will be food. 30 And to every animal of the land and every bird of the air and every creature which crawls on the ground, every thing with the breath of life, [I give] every green plant for food.” And so it was. 31 And God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. Evening was and morning was: the sixth day.
Chapter 2: 1 Thus heaven and earth were completed in all their vast array. 2 And God finished on the seventh day the work that he had been doing. So he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done. 3 And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on that day he had rested from all the work of creation that he had done.4 These were the origins of the heavens and the earth when they were created.
That is one version. Here is a very interesting “mechanical” translation of the same pages in the Bible:
1 in the summit Elohiym fattened the sky and the land, 2 and the land had existed in confusion and was unfilled and darkness was upon the face of the deep sea and the wind of Elohiym was much fluttering upon the face of the water, 3 and Elohiym said, light exist and light existed, 4and Elohiym saw the light given that it was functional and Elohiym made a separation between the light and the darkness, 5and Elohiym called out to the light day and to the darkness he called out night and evening existed and morning existed one day.
6&and Elohiym said, a sheet will exist in the midst of the water and he existed making a separation between water to water, 7 and Elohiym made the sheet and he made a separation between the water which is under the sheet and the water which is upon the sheet and he existed so, 8 and Elohiym called out to the sheet, sky, and evening existed and morning existed a second day.
9 and Elohiym said, the water will be bound up from under the sky to one place and dry ground appeared and he existed so, 10 and Elohiym called out to the dry ground, land, and the collection of the water he called out, seas, and Elohiym saw that it was functional, 11 and Elohiym said, the land will make grass sprout, herbs making a sowing of seeds, trees of produce making produce to his kind which his seed is in him upon the land, and he existed so, 12 and the land brought grass out, herbs making a sowing of seeds to his kind and trees making produce which has his seed in him to his kind and Elohiym saw that it was functional, 13 and evening existed and morning existed a third day.
14&and Elohiym said, the luminaries will exist in the sheet of the sky to make a separation between the day and the night and they exist for signs and for appointed times and for days and years, 15 and they exist for luminaries in the sheet of the sky to make glow upon the land and he existed so, 16 and Elohiym made two of the magnificent luminaries, the magnificent luminary to regulate the day and the small luminary to regulate the night and the stars, 17 and Elohiym gave them in the sheet of the sky to make a glow upon the land, 18 and to regulate in the day and in the night and to make a separation between the light and the darkness and Elohiym saw that it was functional, 19 and evening existed and morning existed a fourth day.
20&and Elohiym said, the water will swarm, swarmers of beings of life and flyers will fly upon the land upon the face of the sheet of the sky, 21 and Elohiym fattened the magnificent taniyns and all of the beings of the life, the treading ones which swarm the water to their kind and all of the flyers of the wing to his kind and Elohiym saw that it was functional, 22 and Elohiym respected them saying, reproduce and increase and fill the water in the seas and the flyers increased in the land, 23 and evening existed and morning existed a fifth day.
24 and Elohiym said, the land will bring out beings of life to her kind, beasts and treaders and his living ones of the land to her kind and he existed so, 25 and Elohiym made living ones of the land to her kind and the beast to her kind and all of the treaders of the ground to his kind and Elohiym saw that it was functional, 26 and Elohiym said, we will make a human in our image like our likeness and he will rule in the swimmers of the seas and in the flyers of the sky and in the beast and in all of the land and in all of the treaders treading upon the land, 27 and Elohiym fattened the human in his image, in the image of Elohiym he fattened him, male and female he fattened them, 28 and Elohiym respected them and Elohiym said to them, reproduce and increase and fill the land and subdue her and rule in the swimmers of the seas and in all the living ones treading upon the land, 29 and Elohiym said, look, I gave to you all of the herbs sowing seed which are upon the face of the land and all of the trees which are in him, produce of the trees sowing seed for you will exist for food, 30 and to all of the living ones of the land and to all of the flyers of the sky and to all of the treading ones upon the land which is in him a being of life, all of the green herbs for food and he existed so, 31 and Elohiym saw all of which he made and look, it is much functional and evening existed and morning existed a sixth day.
1 and the sky and the land and all of their armies were finished, 2 and Elohiym finished in the seventh day his occupation which he did and he ceased in the seventh day from all of his occupation which he did, 3 and Elohiym respected the seventh day and he set him apart given that in him he ceased from all of his occupation which Elohiym fattened to make, 4 these are the birthings of the sky and the land in their being fattened in the day YHWH of Elohiym made land and sky…
Clearly this story is about a seven-day Creation. The new mechanical translation is based on a simple premise of always translating, from the oldest existing documents, the same Hebrew words the same way, rather than adjust for context or expected meaning. Certainly, such an effort is bound to have errors, but some differences about this seven-day creation immediately come to our attention. In the simplest of phrases, for example the one even the remotely religious among us know about “In the beginning God created the Heavens and the Earth” has been rewritten several ways based on the same existing evidence. When we adjust this to a more literal “At the summit Eloyhim fattened that sky and the land” we begin to get a feel for the language used at the time. Something became “fattened” meant plump-up, usually for slaughter…
We should also mention that the ancient documents had NO spaces between words, no punctuation, and no capital letters.
This word “Elohim” or “Eloyhim” needs further scrutiny, since it is, in the first story in Genesis at least, the Origin of Man we seek. This word comes from ‘l, that is a lone L preceded by an apostrophe to stand for a vowel. “Elohim,” properly used, is a plural, meaning “the gods” or “those of the God” although later translations took this term as meaning something like “the All-God” perhaps seeking to dissolve (what would be) erroneous thinking, as that claiming there is therefore assumed more than one God. What the answer is, I do not know, but there are some further clues.
“El” as such exists today in language and usually means “the” and we know “el” may also be “al” (aleph and lamed) as in the Arabic and proper Hebrew modifier. “ohim” means something like “of all” or “to all” or perhaps even just “all”. God in this sense is like the English word “Is”, all being or all existence; without “is” no comparisons can be made.
“From the very beginning All That Is fattened the earth and the sky”
But I make no claims as to being a Biblical scholar or philologist. The point is I would like to read the book as it was written, not as it has been adjusted to fit certain agendas. The best term, in fact, for “elohim” seems to be “the Powers That Be.”
Nevertheless we need to move on. As I warned earlier, if it is the Origin of Man story we want out of the unadulterated Genesis, we must sometimes pay close attention to the use of language in relaying the story. It is one thing to read the words of the book and make an evaluation; it is another to question the translation, search the possibilities, and THEN make a decision. Because of the sort of playing-with-meanings that has become symbolic of classical scholarship as of late, we see why Plato was possibly right, correct as to why language can never adequately relay Truth.
So as the story goes, at the start the world was without form and void, until God came and said, “Let there be light,” which He separated from the darkness, calling them by the names day and night. Then (6) God said, “Let there be an expanse between the waters separating the waters from the waters.”
This is interesting because “waters” can be read in several ways. On the usual read, this water is taken literally, the “separation” or “expanse” being considered terra firma. In its probable meaning, this should be read with one “water” meaning “outer space” or “firmament” and the other the waters of the Earth. This establishment might not be so much “dry ground” as the atmosphere itself. Here are Chapters 6 and 7 from our Mechanical Translation and its translation of this “division” into its precise word, “sheet”:
…and Elohiym made the sheet and he made a separation between the water which is under the sheet and the water which is upon the sheet and he existed so…
So, then, the waters above the sheet could very well be space, those below it, those of the earth, as the land is made to exist under separate cover. The word “Heaven” is used to describe this atmosphere, but this word itself can be translated as “sky” as our new translation demonstrates:
8…and Elohiym called out to the sheet, sky, and evening existed and morning existed a second day,
This first water then appears to he space, the second water, that of the earth, the “expanse” separating the waters, the atmosphere. Then, the Powers that Be were…
9 …gathered into one place, and let dry ground appear.” And so it was.
Finally then, now, we have stable ground, terra firma. This must mean that “In the beginning God created the Heavens and the Earth”, or some translation of Genesis 1:1, is merely a summary for the information to follow. The skies (“heavens”) and the earth (meaning “ground”) do not come until after light and darkness, time and space. We know this because now the word “waters” is not used, but rather “seas”; it should be noted that the ancient Greeks had different gods for water and the seas:
10 And God called the dry ground “land” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good.
No while the traditional version has God then telling the land to produce flora, our new version says the Powers that be, or Nature, made the Earth which would itself bring forth seeds.
Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants, and fruit trees bearing fruit with their proper seed inside, on the land.
These 2nd-created lights, we must make mention, are then different from the “light” already created by which was established “day” and “night.” While the previous light made possible day and night, the second light made real day and night, meaning it made the sun set and rise. This also can be inferred from the mechanical translation:
…and Elohiym said, the water will swarm, swarmers of beings of life and flyers will fly upon the land upon the face of the sheet of the sky, 21 and Elohiym fattened the magnificent taniyns and all of the beings of the life, the treading ones which swarm the water to their kind and all of the flyers of the wing to his kind and Elohiym saw that it was functional, 22 and Elohiym respected them saying, reproduce and increase and fill the water in the seas and the flyers increased in the land, 23 and evening existed and morning existed a fifth day, 24 and Elohiym said, the land will bring out beings of life to her kind, beasts and treaders and his living ones of the land to her kind and he existed so, 25and Elohiym made living ones of the land to her kind and the beast to her kind and all of the treaders of the ground to his kind and Elohiym saw that it was functional…
Everything then is being perceived by God–or the Powers That be– as functional and working. Then and only then does God create Man, giving him his Origin:
26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our own image, in our likeness, and let them reign over the fish of the sea, and the birds of air, and the cattle, and all the land, and all the creatures that crawl upon the earth.”
27 So God created man in the image of himself…
Or, as our new version puts it:
4 these are the birthings of the sky and the land in their being fattened in the day YHWH of Elohiym made land and sky, 5 and all of the shrubs of the field before existing in the land and all of the herbs of the field before springing up given that YHWH of Elohiym did not make it precipitate upon the land and without a human to serve the ground, 6 and a mist will go up from the land and he made all of the face of the ground drink, 7 and YHWH of Elohiym molded the human of powder from the ground and he exhaled in his nostrils a breath of life and the human existed for a being of life, 8 and YHWH of Elohiym planted a garden in Eden from the east and set in place there the human which he molded, 9 and YHWH of Elohiym made all of the trees spring up from the ground being a craving to appearance and functional for nourishment and a tree of the life in the midst of the garden and a tree of the discernment of function and dysfunction, 10 and a river going out from Eden to make the garden drink and from there he will be divided apart existing to four heads, 11 the title of the one is Pishon, the one going around all of the land of the Hhawilah where there is the gold, 12 and the gold of that land is functional, there is the amber and the stone of the shoham, 13 and the title of the second river is Giyhhon, he is the one going around all of the land of Kush, 14 and the title of the third river is Hhideqel, he is the one walking eastward of Ashur and the fourth river he is Perat, 15 and YHWH of Elohiym took the human and he caused him to be deposited in the garden of Eden to serve her and to guard her, 16 and YHWH of Elohiym directed upon the human saying, from all of the trees of the garden an eating you will eat, 17 and from the tree of the discernment of function and dysfunction you will not eat from him given that in the day you eat from him a dying you will die, 18 and YHWH of Elohiym said, it is not functional for the human existing by himself, I will make for him a helper such as his opposite, 19 and YHWH of Elohiym molded from the ground all of the living ones of the field and all of the flyers of the sky and he brought to the human to see what he will call out for him and all of which the human will call out to him a being of life he was his title, 20 and the human called out the titles to all of the beasts and for the flyers of the sky and for all of the living ones of the field and for the human he did not find a helper such as opposite him, 21 and YHWH of Elohiym made a trance fall upon the human and he slept and he took a unit from his ribs and he shut the flesh under her, 22 and YHWH of Elohiym built the rib which he took from the human for a woman and he made her come to the human, 23 and the human said this time is bone from my bones and flesh from my flesh for this she will be called out woman given that from man this was taken, 24 therefore a man will leave his father and his mother and he will adhere with his woman and they will exist a flesh unit, 25 and the two of them, the human and his woman, existed nude and they were not ashamed of themselves…
Now given this read there is no real “second” Creation Story as some have claimed. This is just a detail of the original story, stretched out to form Chapter 2. Since it concerns Man, one would almost assume such a Creation would be given further explanation, and indeed Chapter 2 of Genesis begins the story of Man, his lineage, and his movements on the Earth. The traditional interpretation is where we get into problems. Whereas we can see from the new version that “Yahweh” or YWH, also interpreted as “Lord” or “God” appears only here for the first time, it is implicit that YWH is somehow to be considered distinct from Elohim. Specifically, He is the specific Power That Be which was responsible for the actual Creation, and so Origin of Man:
…And Yahweh God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being.
8 Now Yahweh God planted a garden in Eden in the east, and there he put the man he had formed…
“Yahweh God” here is a euphemism for “Lord God” of traditional understanding. Kings and even superiors were also referred to as “Yahweh” as “my Lord” continues to thrive in England. What is important is that no mention of Yahweh is made in Chapter 1, only in Chapter 2 of Genesis, when the story of Man begins to unfold. Some scholars see in this rendering a new God. Rather than a God who gave Man everything for his uses, God now, at least this certain God responsible for creating Man out of dust, and breathing life into his nostrils, will take it upon himself to issue orders about restrictions on the original plan. Whereas before all shall be for Man, by Chapter 2:
16 And Yahweh God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat. 17 But from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you must not eat, for on the day you eat of it you will die.”
…it appears as though God commences with giving orders. It is Yahweh Elohim now, not as before only Elohim.
As I realize this is getting lengthy, I will break here, to continue the 2nd Creation, or Creation of Man, the Garden of Eden and so on, next time.