The Primeval Story contains key components of a biblical master narrative: The deity created both a world and humans to live in it, humans disobeyed the deity and were punished for it, and humans populated the world with both positive and negative results. Compare and contrast the literary styles of the major episodes and notice differences in detail so that you can understand why scholars believe that the Primeval Story was compiled out of originally separate documents. Complete the end-of-chapter Discussion Questions to gain direct experience reading key passages. Consider the Primeval Story as a totality and ponder what its holistic meaning might be.
Then reconsider what the individual episodes in the story, such as the creation stories and the flood story, might mean in relation to that overall notion.
Though living contentedly, they were cleverly misled by a snake into disobeying the direct divine command not to eat from a certain tree.
As a consequence, God cursed all three and expelled the humans from the garden (3).
Later, the book of Genesis relates the origin of the nation of Israel by telling tales of its ancestors.
Genesis is so full of stories that have become so important in the Western world that it will take us two chapters to unpack it.
The second part sees God re-create the world and repopulate it with the creatures that had been preserved in Noahs ark.
As the first part sees creation out of the deeps, the second sees re-creation after the flood. As revealed by those boring (but by no means pointless) genealogies, there are ten generations from Adam to Noah and ten from Shem, Noahs son, to Abram/Abraham.
Creation is a theme of wisdom literature; for example, Proverbs 31 claims that wisdom was present with deity at creation and was the craftsman that brought all things into being.The biblical prophet Second Isaiah in 31 uses creation to affirm the adequacy of Yhwhs power to deliver his people from captivity.Each of these texts uses creation concepts in service of a larger point that the writer needed to make.After the world and its creatures perished, God remembered Noah, and the waters subsided (8).God made a covenant with Noah pledging that there would never again be a flood to destroy the world.The first couple had offspring that typified both the worst of sin, when their son Cain killed his brother Abel, and the best of culture as their offspring built cities, developed husbandry and agriculture, and cultivated arts and technology (4).As generations of humans multiplied (5), so did sin, prompting the deity to staunch its growth with a flood (6). He and his immediate family, along with a representative sample of living creatures, survived in a divinely designed boat (7).The Primeval Story ends with the genealogy of Shem, to whom Abraham traced his lineage.Through this first father of Israel, the deity reestablished a promising relationship with humanity. Identify the core events of the Primeval Story and order them in relative chronological sequence.To make a name for themselves, humans united to build a massive tower ascending heavenward.This threatened Gods sovereignty, so he frustrated their plans by confounding their ability to communicate, scattering them abroad (11).