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is to strip from the argument all personal and controversial scaffolding, and to reveal it in its symmetry and power. What is the record in Genesis; and what has Science done to confirm or to invalidate that record?-these are the simple questions which we are called upon to answer.

In endeavoring to answer these questions and to show how science has corroborated in a most striking and wonderful manner the record of the creation given in the Bible, we shall not speak with the authority of biblical or scientific scholarship. We wish not so much to attract attention to new thought as to present old thoughts in their proper order, relation and emphasis. An ordinary knowledge of the past discussion of the subject and an ordinary share of common sense are all the qualifications that our work demands. The reader will need neither Hebrew lexicon, nor glossary of scientific


Our essay naturally presents itself as a monograph on the first document of Genesis.

It is well known that the researches of some of the most eminent biblical scholars have forced upon their minds the conviction that the book of Genesis, instead of being composed by a single author, is made up of divers documents, whose age and authorship are unknown, but which were collected and put together, with various additions, by Moses, and given to the children of Israel in his name.* Thus we have two distinct and separate accounts' of the creation, two narratives of the deluge, and various genealogical lists.

A remarkable feature runs through these several narratives and divides them into two sets or classes. In the first, the name of God is always written in the Hebrew, ELOHIM; in the

* Astruc, surgeon to Louis XIV, first started this idea in a work, which appeared at Brussels in 1753, entitled Conjectures sur les Mémoires originaux, dont il paroit que Moyse s'est servi pour composer le Livre de Genèse. See also Hupfeld Die Quellen der Genesis und die Art Ihrer Zusammensetzung. Berlin, 1853; Delitzsch: die Genesis. Leipzig, 1853; Bunsen's Bibelwerk, zweite Abtheilung, Bibelurkunden; and Bibliotheca Sacra, Jan., 1857. Art. IV.

second, YAHVEH.

The first of these two classes is considered as the primitive material, out of which the book of Genesis is made up. The second seems to have been added later as complementary to the former, or for the sake of forming the detached documents into one connected narrative.

The comparative age of the two classes may be inferred from the evidence that ELOHIM was the name originally applied to God by Adam and Eve and their descendants, while YAHVEH was not thus used until a later period. Eve applies the name YAHVEH to her first-born son.*

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Genesis iv, 1-literally: "I have gotten a man, even YAHVEH,” in his first edition of the Pentateuch and New Testament, Wittenberg, 1523, translates this passage: "Ich habe den Mann des Herrn," and explains it in the margin by saying: "whom Eve thought was the very same Seed the Lord had declared would crush the Serpent's head." In later editions he expresses the same idea more literally and with greater emphasis by the rendering: "den Mann, den Herrn." The Peshito, or old Syriac version, is believed to sustain this render. ing and explanation. On the other hand, our English version reads: "I have gotten a man from the Lord." Compare Bunsen's Bibelwerk: Einen Mann habe ich mit des Ewigen Hülfe gewonnen." Gesenius maintains this rendering in his Thesaurus; but the classification of the uses of ETH there given is thought to show that he adopted this rendering on rationalistic rather than on philological grounds. Delitzsch (Genesis, p. 193) assumes the same rendering, but confessedly on rationalistic grounds. He says explicitly that grammatically the other rendering would be correct. Umbreit, a few months before his death, in conversation with the writer of this Article, remarked that he considered the grammatical authority entirely opposed to the rendering of Bunsen, Delitzsch, and Gesenius; that the particle ETH in this instance was not a preposition, but a particle of emphasis and apposition. He, however, on rationalistic grounds, reversed the order of the objects, reading: “I have YAHVEH for my husband," and explained this by the astonishment of Eve at the first birth. But when we consider that Adam and Eve must have been familiar with the phenomenon of birth among the beasts in the garden, that God had commanded them to "be fruitful and multiply," and, above all, the part and interest that Adam had in his own son, it seems hardly probable that Eve should have so far overlooked her relationship to Adam as to assert that YAHVEH was her husband. We have, then, the strongest philological authority in favor of the rendering: "I have gotten a man, even YAHVEн.”

If YAHVEH be correctly rendered: "He, who will come," "The Coming One," then it is natural that Eve should have applied this name to him whom she awaited as the promised Seed that should crush the Serpent's head. Compare Bibliotheca Sacra, Jan., 1857, Art. IV.


until the birth of Enos, does it appear to have been transferred to God. Nor was its full significance apprehended even then. The patriarchs did not employ this title. God says to Moses:-"I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of EL SHADDAI, (God Almighty), but by my name YAHVEH, was I not known to them."† Not until Moses's time was this name formally announced and recognized as the memorial name of God. When Moses inquires of God, upon Mount Horeb, by what name he shall proclaim him to the children of Israel, God answers:-" Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, YAHVEH, God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name forever, and this is my memorial unto all generations." While, therefore, the second class of documents in Genesis, or those in which the name YAHVEH Occurs, are naturally referred to a later date, and the whole recension to the time and authorship of Moses, the older documents, in which the name ELOHIM is employed, may be referred to a remote antiquity, if indeed they were not handed down to later generations by our first parents themselves.§

The first of these most ancient documents is that which we are to consider-the oldest monument of literature, the story of the creation of the world and of man, the opening record of that revelation, which closes with a prophecy of new heavens and a new earth, and the exaltation of our fallen race. This document begins with the first verse of the first chapter of Genesis, and ends with the third verse of the second.

A mere glance is sufficient to show that the document before us is preeminently religious in its character.

*Genesis iv, 26.

+ Exodus vi, 3.

Exodus iii, 15.

§ The question whether ELOHIM was the original title employed by the Adamites, or merely a Hebrew translation from an earlier language, does not affect the argument. The fixed relations which these two names bear to each other, in the Hebrew text, is sufficient to determine the relative position of the documents.

It is important to call attention to this thought at the outset, as in it we shall find the key to the correct interpretation of the record. The account of the creation, given in Geresis, has been regarded almost exclusively, both by biblical and scientific scholars, from the stand-point of physical science. Thus the important bearing of the religious character of this account upon the general discussion of the Mosaic Cosmogony has been lost sight of, or suppressed.

At first sight, the opening document of Genesis would appear to be the record of a revelation made to our first parents, and designed to lead them to the worship of the one true God. To guard against idolatry and polytheism, the most prominent objects in the physical universe are specified as the work of his hands; and, further, man is taught to regard them all as subservient to himself, not as superior to him, nor as proper objects of worship. God is represented as a being above and independent of the universe, creating and fashioning all things according to his will, but delighting himself in his creatures, and blessing them. Man is represented as the noblest work, and special favorite of God. Finally, to cherish in the heart of man the memory of his Creator, and those feelings of love and reverence toward God, which alone could sustain him in a right and happy life, one day in seven, in analogy with the divine example, is set apart as holy, for the worship of God. It was for these religious lessons, as repeated allusions to them show,* that Moses gave this ancient record to his countrymen, and placed it at the beginning of their sacred books. From the time of Moses until now, it has been regarded as sacred and inspired. Indeed so intense has been the faith of many in its inspiration, that it has been at various times believed to have been, even to the letter and pointing of the text, the immediate, personal work of the Holy Spirit. Thus scrupulously guarded and revered, it has come to us down through the ages, perfect and intact; and Christians generally now regard it as the record of a divine revelation, written by an inspired

* Exodus xx, 4, 11; Deuteronomy iv, 19; xvii, 3, etc.

writer, or selected and preserved by Moses, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. This document is, therefore, preeminently religious in its character.

This leads us to an important criticism on the interpretation of the document: namely, that its language is not to be interpreted as scientific language, but rather, unless it be a fiction or a poem, by those principles which regulate the ordinary use of language. That the narrative is not fictitious, we shall undertake to show hereafter. Is it, then, poetical, or a simple record of facts in the language of common life?

The structure of the narrative is not poetical. There is no parallelism, no rhythm; and the refrain, which some would find in the successive recurrence of the phrase, "And the evening and the morning were the first day,"-"second day," &c., would be equally natural, were the narrative considered as simple historical prose. If it be said that language, at the time when this document was written, was too unformed to admit of rhythm or of parallelism, that is simply saying that the structure of the narrative is not poetical. Since, then, there is no grammatical authority for calling the language of this document poetical, the only warrant for so doing, is to be sought on rationalistic grounds.

Paulus considers the first chapter of Genesis as an ancient Sabbath-hymn, which owes its whole form and structure to the division of time into six days for labor, and a day of rest.* But is it not quite as rational to refer this division of time, which would otherwise be wholly unaccountable, to this most ancient record, as to refer the form and structure of the record to a practice not known to have existed before the record was made?

The only plausible pretext for assuming that the language of this document is poetical, is, that in certain instances it departs widely from the reality of things. Thus, the heavens, or firmament, are considered as solid; above the firmament are waters; in the firmament are set the heavenly bodies; the moon

Knapp's Christian Theology, § XLIX.

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