Week 11 Make

Make Option 01: (Modified from Stanley, Exercise 32:) “Most of the stories in Genesis 1-11 are not mentioned anywhere else in the Hebrew Bible. This suggests that they were either not well known, or were created later than most of the other biblical materials. The Hebrew Bible also contains references to the origins of the universe that differ substantially from the Genesis stories.

“Read the following passages and make a list of the things that they say happened at the time when God created the universe. When you are done, go back over the list and mark which items seem to agree with the Genesis 1-2 creation stories, and which ones differ. Then see if you can construct an alternate story of the creation from the events that do not appear in the Genesis creation stories.”

  • Isa 51:9
    • YHWH was “awake” during the beginning; suggests not “awake” now*
    • Cut Rahab into pieces+
    • Pierced the dragon+
  • Job 9:4-14
    • Removes mountains when angry and people do not realize it+
    • Shakes earth out of place; earthquakes?+
    • Tells the sun not to rise and the stars not to shine*
    • Made Bear, Orion, Pleiades, and the chambers of the south+
    • YHWH passes by, but is not seen+
    • YHWH has the ability to feel anger*
    • The helpers of Rahab bowed beneath YHWH+
  • Job 26:7-14
    • YHWH controls the weather+
    • YHWH controls the moon*
    • Struck down Rahab+
    • His wind made the heavens (plural used)*
    • Pierced the fleeing serpent+
    • “Hear” through a whisper+
    • YHWH’s power is like thunder
  • Job 38:1-11
    • YHWH laid the foundation of the earth*
    • YHWH determined its size*
    • YHWH laid the cornerstone*
    • YHWH made the sea and the clouds*
    • YHWH made the banks for the sea so that it could not spill over*
  • Psalms 8:1-9
    • YHWH made the moon and the stars with YHWH’s fingers*
    • Cares for humans*
    • Made them a little lower than God*
    • Crowned humans with glory and honor  and given them dominion over creation and put them above all animals and things*
  • Psalms 74:12-17
    • God referred to as “King from old,” working salvation in the earth
    • Divided the sea, conquered beasts from the sea+
    • Created streams and rivers*
    • Created day and night*
    • Created the sun, summer, and winter*+ (seasons not mentioned)
  • Psalms 89:8-10
    • Faithfulness surrounds
    • Rule the raging of the sea
    • Stills and calms the sea
    • Crushed Rahab like a carcass+
    • Scattered enemies with mighty arm+
  • Psalms 104:1-9
    • Very great
    • Clothed in honor and majesty
    • Wrapped in light like a garment
    • Stretch out the heavens like a tent
    • Beams of your chambers on the waters
    • Make the clouds chariot
    • Ride on the wings of the wind
    • Make the winds messengers
    • Fire and flame are ministers
    • Set the earth on its foundations*
    • Waters stood above the mountains (referring to the Great Flood?)*
    • At the sound of your thunder they take flight
    • Rose up to the mountains, ran down the valleys to the place you made for them
    • Set boundaries they could not pass so they could not cover the earth again
  • Psalms 136:1-9
    • Steadfast love endures forever
    • Made the heavens; did great wonders
    • Put on earth on waters+
    • Made great lights
    • Set sun to rule over day*
    • Made the moon and stars to rule over night*
  • Proverbs 8:22-31
    • Gives wealth to those who love
    • The Lord created wisdom at the beginning, before the earth, before the heavens

*This symbol means it agrees with the Genesis creation stories

+This symbol means it does not agree with the Genesis creation stories

If there is no symbol, the item is indifferent or not mentioned

Alternate Creation Story

In the beginning God created Wisdom. Wisdom was God’s friend throughout all creation. When God stretched the heavens; Wisdom was there; when God made the earth; Wisdom was there. The King from Old was clothed in honor and majesty; He wore light like clothes. You made the heavens and stretched them out like a tent. You made the waters and concerned the beasts in them; You pierced the dragon. You put earth on the waters and you rule the raging seas. You made banks for the waters and created rivers and streams from them. You tell the sky when to rain and the sun when to shine. You made winter and summer. You make the stars in the sky and gave them dominion over night. You make Bear, Orion, Pleiades, and the chambers of the south. You ride on the wings of the wind, for they are your messengers. The clouds are your chariot. Your steadfast love endures forever. You made humans and gave them dominion over everything. You put them a little below you and made them over all of creation. You pass by and they do not notice. Fire and flames are your ministers. You cut and crushed Rahab into pieces like a carcass; the followers of Rahab bowed before you. You give wealth to those who love you and fill their treasuries with wealth.

_______________________________________________________________

This was a difficult task, because it forced me out of my comfort zone to stretch and imagine what the creation story could have looked like. Bandstra states that we must remember that in the Torah, the account given was not a historical account with eyewitnesses and eyewitness details, instead it was an account presented in a way that would deal with the issues Israel was facing at the time it was written. In another article, Bandstra states that the reason we have a creation story, according to anthropologists was to give an account of creation, for enlightenment, and to answer the questions “why” and “how.” Bandstra also states that the creation stories had different purposes behind them, for example, Second Isaiah uses creation to show the power of YHWH. These ideas are very interesting. The creation stories found in the Hebrew Bible tell us a lot about the ideas the people had about how the physical earth functioned (weather, night and day, seasons), as well as showed us the power of YHWH in the eyes of the people to have created something so complex and given humans dominion over all of it.

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3 thoughts on “Week 11 Make

  1. I too struggled. Not because I felt like I was doing something counterintuitive, but because the questions began to pile up quickly and I knew the further I dug, the deeper the hole would be. (go figure!)
    I love how your version of creation is a proclamation similar to the Psalms. You chose not to tell a story like a narrative but to give a praise to all that was created. Your version was different than mine and I think I like yours better. 🙂

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  2. I loved the way you laid this out. I also loved the way you laid out your alternative story. Does anyone feel like I did? Where did we get the creatures from? I love the way you focused on God’s wisdom. This means he is wise enough to make us, make creation and have the ultimate plans for our lives. Psalms 8 reminded us that humans glory was the manifestation of God’s glory. He loved us and loves us.
    Dava

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  3. Daniel Nguyen says:

    Thank you for your post. It was interesting and well-laid. You made a very clear comparison of Gen. 1-2 and the other passages on creation stories in the Hebrew Bible. You listed all the similarities and differences between them. I liked reading your creation story very much. You made a good informative and sequential flow of the story.

    I agreed with you that Wisdom was God’s companion throughout the creation of the physical and material world. I believe Wisdom was also with God establishing order and from chaos and disorder caused by his enemies or adversaries Rahab (Arrogance), Leviathan, dragon and serpent. He struck them down, crashed them, pierced them and cut them to pieces. He defeated them and proved that he was supreme over all. I wonder if God had not been the highest before his creational works. He might have earned his top of hierarchy of the deities through all creation with the help of Wisdom, his first creation.

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