SHEPHERD the Earth, don't "subdue" it (Gen 1:28)

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Bismarck, Feb 19, 2007.

  1. Bismarck

    Bismarck
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    It is said that nothing so convinces a man as his own thoughts.

    So, I would like to put the following up for, if you will, "peer review". This has to do with Genesis 1:28 which normally is translated:

    And God blessed them. And God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth."
    Genesis 1:28 (ESV)

    The corresponding passage in Genesis 2:15 has God putting man in Eden to keep/tend it. The word "subdue" and the command "subdue the Earth" rankle me. I would like to hear something more like "Gandalf" from the Shire in Lord of the Rings, and how we're supposed to care for Nature and protect/preserve the environment. I would like to hear something more "environmentally sensitive" than "subdue the Earth". Genesis 2:15 is AOK w/ me... but Genesis 1:28 puts me aback in that respect.

    So, I went through the "Strong's Gymnastics" and started looking up the words. In short, I found that "Subdue" = Hebrew #03533 "Kabash". That word (#03533) is closely related to Hebrew #03532 "kebes" (meaning "lamb, sheep, young ram") as well as Hebrew #03535 "kibsah" (meaning "ewe lamb, lamb"). That is, the following words are all related in the original Hebrew:

    • Subdue (03533)
    • Sheep (03532)
    • Lamb (03535)

    Therefore, I wonder if it wouldn't be possible to render the passage:

    And God blessed them. And God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and shepherd it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth."
    Genesis 1:28 (ESV)

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. Allan

    Allan
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    Contrary to what we want to hear, God tells us what we ARE to hear. Besides 'Gandalf' was a wizard who never depended on God in anything. To God he was an abonination and a teacher of iniquity. I don't think you want to hear what that kind of person has to say. However, IF so, you can speak to any Wiccan or Driud you wish. However, I truly doubt that is what you wish. So let US reason together as says the scritpures. :)

    You have a small problem in the construct of the sentence (dominion is directly succeeding it) to place 'sheparding' in its place, not to mention the word itself. Kabash IS the primitive root and therefore means exactly what it says! What do you mean closely related? By spelling? A Vase and a Base are closely related but that does not make of the same or closely related in meaning or context. It is the content of the of the passages that establish the context of its meaning.

    Subdue is:
    And thus we see why God uses the next word speaking to subjection of the world to be ALSO under mans dominion or Rule. In order to RULE one must subdue all in his relm to it may in unity with its Ruler. This by its very nature shows that we must take care and maintain that which God has given us to subdue or make plyable to our desires.
     
    #2 Allan, Feb 19, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 19, 2007
  3. johnp.

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    Hello Bismarck.

    GE 3:18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. 19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return."

    Nature isn't a placid sweet thing but one we are at war with. When Adam was told to subdue the natural world it was not under a curse but it was not under control.

    I've always taken the 'subdue' to mean 'get it under control' for our use. To bring order.

    In several parts of the world that curse has been overcome. We pay farmers in the EU not to plant but to keep their land barren. We have to a degree subdued part.

    IF so, you can speak to any...Driud you wish.
    We have one. He lives in Lambeth Palace and is known as the Archbishop of Canterbury. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/2173194.stm :)

    Does any translation have 'shepherd'?

    john.
     
  4. Helen

    Helen
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    Bismarck, I understand your concern. We are to care for the earth -- it was given to us to care for. This also means subduing, however, which, for me, definitely includes toadstools, flies, mosquitoes, internal parasites in the animals, etc. We cannot get away from the 'subduing' parts. But there is no way in which we can rightfully ignore the caring parts, either. The fact is, that in caring for some parts, we have to subdue others. There is a balance involved with both the extremes seem to miss, in my opinion.

    And also, there is a real danger in trying to substitute fictional characters for real life. I understand they strike an emotional chord -- that's how the authors/filmmakers make money! But a good strong dose of reality often does serve to place these fictional characters back into fiction.

    The Bible, however, is real. So, believe it or not, is common sense! Nor do the two war with each other....it's just that common sense isn't so common.
     
  5. Bismarck

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    With all due respect to everybody, my mention of 'Gandalf' was only meant to provide an image of the time of "environmentally attuned" spiritual leader I was thinking of... nothing more than that. FYI.

    I would like to bring the following to everyone's attention.

    When you switch from the Masorectic Hebrew Old Testament, over to the Greek Septuagint (LXX), Genesis 1:28 uses, in the Greek now, the word "Kata-kurios" (Greek #2634). Kurios means "Lord" and is often the Greek translation of "Adonai". Kata- is a prefix meaning "against, over". "Kata-Kurios" = "Lord it over" essentially.

    Now, please watch. If you do a Strong's search for Greek #2634, you find that that word only appears in FOUR PASSAGES in the Greek New Testament:

    Matt 20:25 = Mark 10:42
    Acts 19:16
    1 Peter 5:3

    In the first two cases, James & John Zebedee have asked for special rank in Jesus' kingdom. The other 10 disciples get angry when they hear. Then Jesus says to them (Greek #2634 highlighted in red):

    Mark 10
    42And Jesus called them to him and said to them, "You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 43But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant,[d] 44and whoever would be first among you must be slave[e] of all. 45For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."​

    In Acts 19:16, Paul has arrived in Ephesus on his Third Missionary Journey (Acts 18:23b-20:3a). Seven Jewish exorcists try to exorcise demons in Jesus' name. But it backfires on them:

    Acts 19
    15But the evil spirit answered them, "Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?" 16And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.​

    Lastly, in 1 Peter 5:3 we read:

    1 Peter 5
    1So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: 2shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight,[a] not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; 3not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. 4And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. 5Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."


    My point is this: all four times in the New Testament that "Katakurious" #2634 appears, it appears in a negative context, and both the Messiah himself, and the principal Apostle too, condemn "kata-kurios-ing" (if you will) others.

    The New Testament seems to condemn the very "Lording it over" principal to which I intuitively take exception in Genesis 1:28. What could this mean?
     
  6. Allan

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    Actually the katakurious means to Supremely Lord over it or better to Lord over it supremely!

    God is speaking not of people here (Gen) but of the physical world around us. We are not to 'Lord over people supremely' but we are commanded to Lord over the creation supremely. God is the Lord of all, However He takes specific rule and care-takership of man. God set man to be the sub-ruler and care-taker of His creation (the world) that was made FOR man, just as man was made FOR God. I guess you could say that God has given man a certian authority to resposibly rule in Supremacy, but we are not to exceed that mandate and try to rule over that which God has said is His.

    Though going from one language to another you do loose some of the original intent as words and ideas are conveyed differently per dialect though close.
    Stay with the Hebrew as that is the original anyway and shows you exactly what the intent of the author was in conveying the thought God gave him in the language he understood. Other dialects are fine as well but there is no substitute for the language it was originally scribed in.
     
    #6 Allan, Feb 20, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 20, 2007

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