Genesis 2 in the ESV

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by neal4christ, Jun 13, 2003.

  1. neal4christ

    neal4christ
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    I want to ask other users of the ESV what you think of Genesis 2 in it. It has really bothered me since I started to use the ESV. Specifically vv. 5-9 and 18-22. The ESV seems to introduce a contradiction with chapter one. The ESV says when there were no plants in the land then the LORD formed man. But it is clear that plants were created first. I could understand this one if it is referring merely to a specific piece of land, such as before the Garden of Eden was planted, which it very well could be referring to. But the second one is the one that really bothers me. Verses 18 and 19 make it appear that God created animals as a result of His wanting a helper fit for Adam. Specifically, I think 'So' is a poor translation choice for starting verse 19, because to me that implies a resulting action. It is clear that animals were created before Adam.

    What do you think? Am I just being silly and don't understand something obvious? Or is it really a poor translation choice?

    Thanks,
    Neal

    P.S. It is interesting because I think the NIV translates it best in verse 19 by saying the LORD "had formed" the animals.
     
  2. aefting

    aefting
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    [edited to remove lengthy quote]

    I have just begun a series on Gen 1-11 for the teens at my church. I have not studied the issues you raised in detail, yet, so I don't know what to say about verses 5-9 at this point.

    From what I've read, there are two strong options for verses 18-22 (perhaps there are others). The first is that there is a "second" forming of the animals specifically to bring before Adam (so, Victor Hamilton in his commmentary). The second is to translate "had formed" as the NIV does and as the ESV allows in the margin. Personally, I would opt for the "had formed" option.

    One thing I've noticed about the ESV is that it is, almost everywhere, unfearfully true to the text, regardless of the difficulties that that raises.

    Andy


    Note:It is not necessary to quote an entire post if you are replying directly beneath that post.

    [ June 13, 2003, 10:58 AM: Message edited by: Pastor_Bob ]
     
  3. neal4christ

    neal4christ
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  4. aefting

    aefting
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    Concerning Gen. 2:5-6, Kidner, Hamilton, and Ross basically say the same thing, that the creation of vegetation and trees on day three still left something to be desired, namely rain and someone to till the soil.

    According to Kidner, without those two things, the world was not yet the “hospitable place that we know” with no “wild growth” (cf., “bush of the field [ESV]”) or “edible crops” (cf., “small plant of the field had yet sprung up [ESV]”).

    Hamilton has a slightly different take, “The ‘plants’ referred to in Gen. 1 must be those that grow wild, those that reproduce themselves by seed alone. The plants referred to in Gen. 2 must be those that row only as a result of human cultivation thought planting and artificial irrigation. Neither of these kinds of growth appears in the fields until after the creation of man and after man’s transgression.”

    Ross simply says, “the writer thinks of a time before there were any wild shrubs (Gen. 21:15; Job 30:4, 7) in the earth or cultivated grain in the fields, because there was no rain and no man to till the ground.”

    There may be other explanations but it looks like the ESV nailed it.

    Andy
     
  5. Haruo

    Haruo
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    For those of us who consider Genesis 1-2:4a and 2:4b-3 to be distinct stories by different authors with different purposes and no intent of harmonization each with the other, this is a non-issue. The first is a cosmological poem, the latter a folk-tale à la "How the leopard got his spots", incorporated into the Yahwist's epic. Trying to harmonize the two is an exercise in silliness. (In my opinion.)

    FWIW cf. NRSV 2:4b-5, "In the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens, 5 when no plant of the field was yet in the earth and no herb of the field had yet sprung up—for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was no one to till the ground;"

    Haruo
    amateur documentary hypothesist
     
  6. neal4christ

    neal4christ
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    And in the Hebrew it harmonizes quite nicely. :D English causes the problems, in my opinion. ;)

    Neal
    amateur Hebrew scholar [​IMG]
     

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