The Professor Explains Creation (Frag. 3)

The Book of the Story

"Why would I be mad at you for wanting to learn?"

"You sure?"

"Of course. What's the problem?"

"Well, isn't that, sort of, what the two chapters do? I mean you said in class the first verse of the first chapter was about time, space, and envir…"

"Environment. Yes. In the beginning—time—God created the heavens—space—and the earth—the physical environment."

"And the second chapter starts out, "In the day that the lord God created the heavens and the earth…"

"Yes, I see your point. It would be easy to see that as parallelism. The trouble is, that's only one verse. And the parallel stops there. The next part doesn't have any similarity to the first chapter. It says that there was no rain, and no human to till the ground, while the first chapter talks about emptiness and formlessness."

"Yeah, only I kind of thought that—you sure you're not mad?"

"Could you make your point, please?"

"I thought that the second chapter talked about creation like it was a garden?"

"And?"

"Well, if a garden doesn't get rain, it's going to be empty, and if no one tills the soil, well it isn't going to have any form or anything, I mean if anything did grow it would just be, wherever. There's this vacant lot near our house, and…"

"I see what you mean. That's very creative thinking. It might even hold up, if—and this is important—only if the pattern continued straight through the chapter. It doesn't."

"But I thought…"

"Miss. Simple, the next couplet in the first chapter reads:

"The Spirit of Elohim moved upon the waters,

and Elohim said, 'Let there be light".

"The Spirit of Elohim, the energy and content of creation, parallels and reverses the emptiness, and the Word—Elohim said—the Word of Elohim, the ordering principle of creation, parallels and reverses the disorder. Together, they create light. The second chapter only talks about…"

"God making water come out of the ground." She was leaning forward, a little excited. "I kind of thought that was the opposite of dryness, just like the spirit, and the light, were the opposite of darkness…"

"Yes, I see where you're going with this, but still…"

"…and so the second chapter is talking about getting rid of the emptiness, too…"

"But, Miss Simple…"

"…and then the creation of a human, to till the ground…"

"…would address the disorder in the garden. Yes, Miss Simple, I get it. I really do. But there are several things you don't understand. First of all, the second chapter was written centuries before the first, so it could hardly have been designed to parallel the first—which hadn't even been written yet…"

"But…"

"And secondly, this "pattern" you're finding only applies to the first few verses of the chapter. The next motif is the planting of a garden, while the first chapter goes on to talk about the creation of the firmament…"