First Period



§ 1. The Riddle of the Primitive Beginning.

THE first and most decisive period of all, which comprises at least two thousand years (Gen. v.; xi. 10), dates from the creation of the world, and especially from the creation of the earth with the heavens which belong to it. At the very beginning of the whole creation stands the tohu vavohu (Gen. i. 2, " And the earth was waste and empty"), which is absolutely contrary to the formed and animated. This chaos swims, like the extinguished sediment of a fiery catastrophe,1 in unrestrained waters, and above these waters darkness rests. Chaos, roaring waters, and darkness are Biblical correlatives of wickedness, and of the evil which proceeds from wickedness. This picture of the beginning of the creation is there

1 Compare Isa. xxxiv. 9 ; Jer. iv. 23-26: "I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was waste and empty; and the heavens, and they were without light. I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they were trembling, and all the hills were shaken. I beheld, and, lo, there was no man, and all the birds of heaven had fled away. I beheld, and, lo, Carmel was a wilderness, and all its cities were overthrown before Jehovah, before His fierce anger."


fore dreadful, and it is a riddle that the creation has such a dreadful beginning, a riddle which must be solved. Heathenism in its philosophy, in which it considers chaos or the hyle (vkrj) as eternally existent, leaves this riddle unexplained. The restitution's hypothesis solves it, but in a fantastic way. The right solution lies in the relation of the being of God to that of the creature. God, in the creation of the world, creates, on the one hand, an image of His being; on the other, an undivine being, and hence one entirely different from Himself. The creation of the world, therefore, and especially of the earth, begins with a condition corresponding to its undivinity. It begins with pure matter, which is farthest removed from God and the spiritual; yet not to remain therein, but in order that it may be brought up gradually from that condition, so as to become conformed to the divine image which is concentrated in man.

Eemark 1.—We say at least 2000 years, for the periods indicated in the Hebrew text of Gen. v.; xi. 10, from Adam to the Flood, give only 1656 years, and in the Samaritan text only 1307, but in the Septuagint 2242, or according to the reading 187 instead of 167, as the year when Methuselah had a son, 2262. These differences in the mode of reckoning afford free play to historical investigation. The greatest widening rather than the narrowing of the chonological net is to be recommended.

Eemark 2.—The account of the creation begins (Gen. i. 1) with an all-comprehensive summary statement. KIDDLE OF THE PEIMITIVE BEGINNING. 13

The creation which is here intended is the first beginning, which was not preceded by any other, hence the creation of the universe, which also embraces the heaven of heavens. That which follows in the second verse is not an exhaustive specialization, but one confined to the earth and its heavens.

Eemark 3.—Since the Tora bases the legal command for the observance of the Sabbath (Ex. xx. 11, xxxi. 17) upon the Sabbath of creation, the hebdomad is more for it than an accidental scheme, the account of creation is more than a myth, in which the historical is a mirror of the author's thoughts. It is a tradition, probably one brought by the patriarchs from Babylon, which, as it now appears as a part of the Tora, has been purified by the critique of the Spirit of revelation from mythological additions, a product of retrospective prophecy, which is also confirmed by the fact that, aside from the fundamental religious truths which it attests, the historical part of the narrative has essentially maintained its ground until the present day.

Eemark 4.—The kind of substance which composed the chaos remains undetermined, for its being covered with water is only the first step in its creative formation and animation. The passages, Isa. xxxiv. 9 and Jer. iv. 23-26, are favourable to Plutonic conceptions of the earth's origin. The restitution's hypothesis considers the chaos as the deposit of a wrecked world, whose destruction was coincident with the apostasy within the spiritual world. But this view is without

support in the Scriptures, and is also without support in the cosmogonies of the nations, a fact which alone renders it suspicious. It is impossible to translate Gen. i. 2, "Then the earth had become waste and empty." This construction as an apodosis to the first verse is syntactically impossible. The examples, Gen. vii. 10, xxii. 1, are not homogeneous.

§ 2. The Consequences of this Original Beginning.

We understand now (1) the character of the world of the six days. It consists of a mixture of two principles, namely, according to Gen. i. 2, of the tohu (chaos) and the Spirit of God, or of death and life. It was in its relative completion, according to Gen. i. 31, very good, but it was not yet the glorified world.

We understand (2) its history; for after both principles were equally commingled a development is introduced, ascending from this good beginning and running out into glory.

We understand (3) the possibility of evil; for the ascending scale of creative progress from darkness to light, from a dead mass to spirit and life, involves the possibility of a relapse into the wild, spiritless, material, natural ground of the primitive beginning.

We understand (4) the work of freedom, which consists in this, that the self-determining creature raises the nature which it has received by creation into the sphere of freedom, whose correlate is glory.


It is now (5) also clear what the end will be, toward which the superhuman power of evil will strive, if there is such a power. It will endeavour to plunge the world in part and as a whole into the tohu (chaos) out of which God brought it up to Himself.

(6) The consequences of the primitive beginning extend still further to the conclusion of the world's history, which will remove the relative commingling of light and darkness in an absolute separation. The course of the world's history between that good beginning and this intended goal has as its middle place the earth, and has here as its mover and medium man, the being who occupies a middle position between yonder world of pure light and the present mixed world.

Eemark.—(1) The present world is commingled of two principles—matter and spirit, death and life, light and darkness, wrath and love; yet these do not form an independent dualism, they are derived from God. He is the primal ground of all things.1

(2) A proportioning or a harmonious commingling (tem/peramentwm) of the contrarieties was the end of the six days' work, see Gen. L 31.

(3) The nature of evil is disharmony. Its Hebrew designation with jn is derived from the radical signification of cracking (fragor), and J?BH from that of loosening and unreliability. Both designations indicate the nature of evil as the disturbance of the equi

1 Isa. xlv. 7 : "I form light, and create darkness; I make peace, and create evil; I, Jehovah, make all these."

librium, as the dissolution of that which is harmoniously united.1

(4) Freedom of choice is freedom as the possibility of self-determination in favour of the one or the other principle. It becomes freedom of power when man chooses the good, and from that point rules the evil; or, to use a Latin expression, it is libertas arbitrii in distinction from liberum arbitrium; it is the liberty (ekev0epia) described in 2 Cor. iii. 17, second clause: "Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." The correlative of this freedom is glory, Eom. viil 21: "In hope that the creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the liberty of the glory of the children of God."

(5) Tohii is in the Scriptures the synonym of IJK, destitution of reality and worth (Isa. xli. 29),2 also of ipE', perhaps originally rouge, hence deception, falsehood (Isa. xxix. 21),8 and is used as a designation of idolatry, that is, of apostasy from God, 1 Sam. xii. 21. For evil is like the tohu of the beginning, nihilum privativum, namely, desolateness and emptiness, without moral support and value.

(6) The sinful world finally falls subject to the powers of the tohu, darkness2 and fire;3 and the final

1 Compare Isa. lvii. 20: "For the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast out dirt and mud."

1 Matt. xxiv. 29: "But immediately, after the tribulation of those days, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken."

3 2 Pet. iii. 7: "But the heavens that now are, and the earth by the same word have been stored up for fire, being reserved against the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men."


result of temporal history is that two worlds are separated from each other, namely the world of glory, in which there is no night, Eev. xxi. 25, and the world of damnation, which is at the same time everlasting darkness and everlasting fire.

§ 3. The Creation of Mankind and its Consequences.

From the account of creation, Gen. i. 1-ii. 4, and its supplement in ii. 5 sqq., we see—

(1) That the creation of the spiritual and corporeal world finds its completion in man. Nature and spirit are personally united in him; he is the crown of the creation, since he is the copula of two worlds, which have him, the embodied spirit, as the centre of their history.

(2) That the body of man was created before his soul. The body is not the product of the Spirit. Man finds himself in a body which he is to govern through his spirit, and to spiritualize.

(3) That man is created in an entirely different way from other beings. His body does not arise at God's command (fiat), but as formed by God; and his spirit does not arise as the individualization of the universal life of nature (spiritus mundi), but as an immediate inbreathing of God.

(4) That man is not only partially but entirely created in the image of God. Hence even in the peculiar totality of his being he is the image of God. He is, on the one hand, unlike God in this, that the


nature of his being is compounded, and hence dissoluble ; but, on the other hand, he bears in the matter, as well as the spirit, of which he is composed the stamp of his divine origin, and of the elevation of his destiny.

(5) That man was originally created as one. This unity in the beginning of human liistory conditions the unity of its character and the possibility of a divine work which comprises humanity as a whole.

Remark 1.—The pre-eminence of man does not consist in his having a spirit of life (Q^n ITVi), which is also a characteristic of the animals (Gen. vi. 17, vii. 15); but in this, that the endowment of the animals with the spirit is not a special creative act, and that they at once, as a multitude of individuals, enter into existence. Man, however, comes into being in such a way that God, in the entire fulness of His personality, breathes into the nostrils of the one man the breath of life (D^n noco), that he may become a living soul (njn E>M), in a manner corresponding to the personality of God, or, as the first chapter of Genesis says, in the image of God. The basis of His divine image is His personality.

Remark 2.—It is an experimental fact that there is a relation of man to man which is elevated above the sexual relation, and which must be the intrinsic element in that relation, if it is to have more than an earthly value, and hence that the sexual relation can cease without the cessation of love which binds mankind together. The first man, as one, stands as


a prophecy of the future on the threshold of human history, as a prophecy of the second Adam, as a prophecy of humanity like the angels in the state of glory (Luke xx. 36).

§ 4. The Sabbath, the Primitive State, Paradise.

Between the creation and the history of the world the Sabbath stands as a dividing wall, which is not only God's rest from the creation, but also His acquiescence in that which is created. God rested in the world in order that it might rest in Him. This rest of God in it made its rest in Him possible, and His entrance into this rest was the destined end of the world's development. God rested in man, so far as the essential attributes of man were in peaceful harmony, which corresponded to the holy being of God, and therefore satisfied the Creator. It was a good beginning 1 of a glorious physical and ethical end to be attained by means of such impulses. And man, attaining glory for himself, was to conduct all nature with himself to glory. HeDce the trichotomy of man (body, soul, and spirit) corresponds to a trichotomy of the earth, the world, Eden, and the garden of Eden; for as soul and body were destined to become pneumatic through the spirit (1 Cor. xv. 45 sq.), so Eden and the world by means of man, starting from Paradise, were to become paradisal. Beginning with him, the microcosm, the glorification of the macrocosm was to go forth in ever-widening circles.

1 Eccles. vii. 29 : "Lo, this only hare I found, that God hath made man upright: but they have sought out many artifices." Prov. viii. 31: "Rejoicing in the inhabited part of the earth: and my delights were with the sons of men."

Remark 1.—The Septuagint, the Samaritan and Syriac versions read, in Gen. ii. 2, the sixth day instead of the seventh, but erroneously. The Sabbath is indeed not a creative work, but it is the completion of the entire work of creation. It is the wall of partition between creation and the history of that which is created. Since this Sabbath no new being has been created. It is the beginning and the end of the consummation of the creature, for the Sabbath of God has the Sabbatism of the creature as its goal.

Eemark 2.—Paradise is, as Photius (d. 890) says, irpoolfiiov T?j? /3acrt\e/a?, that is, the very first plan of the glorified world. Paradise, as conceived by later writers, is the paragon of all beauty.1 The prophets paint the Messianic final period with paradisal colours. Isaiah 2 and the New Testament Scriptures speak of a Paradise in the world to come, and of a heavenly Jerusalem, whose descent to the earth is the antitypical restoration of Paradise.3 Hence the progress

1 Gen. xiii. 10: "And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the circuit of the Jordan, that all of it was well watered, before Jehovah destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, like the garden of Jehovah," etc. Joel ii. 3, second clause: "The land before them is like the garden of Eden, and behind them like a waste desert," etc. Comp. Ezek. xxxi. 8, xxxvi. 35.

2 li. 3: "For Jehovah shall comfort Zion: He will comfort all her waste places; and He will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of Jehovah." Compare Isa. xi. Ixv.

8 Rev. xxi. 2: "And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband."


and end of the history of salvation are prefigured in their paradisiacal beginning. That human historybegan and will end paradisiacally is correlated with its sinless commencement and its sanctified ending. However lacking in development we may consider the condition of the first man to have been, which the Scriptures do not deny, we must certainly regard him as in a condition of childlike innocence. Even from this it follows that the natural world all around appeared to him paradisal. The condition of childish innocence is in itself paradisic, and the world around us never seemed so beautiful as when we were children.

§ 5. The Creation of Woman and the Fall of Man.

It was a preliminary condition of all progress that man should take a decided position through his own experience with respect to the antagonistic principles of good and evil. Abstinence from the enjoyment of the tree of death was designed to secure for him the knowledge of good and evil, which is a prerogative of the angels1 and of God.2 After this trial of human freedom was prepared, the divine wisdom hastens with the sexual differentiation of man; for if Adam had fallen in his single state, the possibility of his redemption would have been rendered questionable, and human history would have been at an end as soon as the threatened death had taken place. Hence the programmatic announcement, Gen. ii. 18,1 has an infralapsarian background. When, therefore, Adam beholds the woman, he sees in her the bodily satisfaction of the longing which had been excited in him when he mustered the animals; but it is significant that she first falls a prey to the animal and satanic temptation, and draws her husband after her in her fall . This first sin was fateful. It was not the apex of all sin, but it became the root of all sins. It was the first act in which man, placed before a moral alternative, actualized his freedom of choice. And this first act was a fully conscious transgression of the well-known will of God, proceeding from unbelief in the truth of the divine threatening, and from distrust of the divine love which surrounded man with paradisal abundance. The entire following history takes its form from this catastrophe of the beginning. On its night-side it is ruled by three powers—by the animal, by Satan, and by death; for sin, proceeding partly from the flesh, partly from the egoity, is either carnal or satanic; and all sin stands in a reciprocal relation to death, which in consequence of the original sin has become a cosmical power; this is the meaning of Eom. v. 12: "Therefore, as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin; and so death passed unto all men, through which all (i<f> *S, referring to Oavdrm) sinned."

1 2 Sam. xiv. 17, second clause: "For as an angel of God, so is my lord the king to discern the good and the evil," etc.

2 Gen. iii. 21, first clause: "And Jehovah God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil."

1 "And Jehovah God said, It is not good that man should be alone •; I will make for him a helper as his counterpart."


Eemark.—In the narrative of the fall it is not a point of the greatest importance whether we understand it literally or symbolically, but whether we consider the event which rendered the redemption necessary a historical fact or not. The externality of that which is related conceals realities whose recognition is not shut out by a symbolical or even mythical interpretation. Christianity, as the religion of redemption, stands and falls with the recognition of the historical character of the fall.

§ 6. The Consequences of the Fall.

The first consequence of the fall was shame. The nakedness of mankind i3 no longer the appearance of their innocence. Their corporeity has fallen from the dominion of the spirit. Their beholding has become a sensuous imagining, and the flesh excites their fleshly passions.

The second consequence is death. The life of man's spirit has withdrawn from communion with God, and is, as it were, destroyed.1 The life of his soul, through this despiritualization, has lost all true life. The life of the body has fallen into a state of corruption. The nature of man's being has sunken back to its lowest basis, and, so to speak, to its chaos, that is, to dust; and the return to dust (iii. 19) is only the end of the process of dissolution which had begun long before.

1 Jude ver. 19: "These are they who make separations, sensual, having not the Spirit."

The third consequence is the perversion of the relation of the earth to man, and of man to it, which is expressed by the curse upon the ground which from this time on is in continual conflict with its appointed master. And since nothing takes place in the world without its vibrations being transmitted to its utmost limits, the universe, through the victory of the wicked one, and the defeat of mankind, has, so to say, undergone a shock in all its parts.1 But the dark side is not without a comforting bright side. Man having been drawn away, has fallen under the power of darkness,2 not as purely spiritual, but at the same time as a sensuous being. The darkness is not yet that of hell. But he would sink deeper and deeper if the eternal decree of redemption, which in general is the basis of man's existence, had not begun to be realized in time.

Bemark 1.—The Hebrew word for shame is tria, which properly signifies disturbari, to be disquieted and disconcerted. Shame is the overpowering consciousness of a deranged inner harmony, of a disturbed satisfaction with oneself.3

Bemark 2.—The punitive sentence is not now nto (thou shalt be put to death), but nion niD [thou die). It does not indicate an arbitrary punishment with death, but the necessary consequence of the transgression; and not an instantaneous death, but a dying beginning

1 Gen. iii. 17, second clause : "Cursed is the ground for thy sake," etc.

2 Col. i. 13: "Who delivered us out of the power of darkness," etc.; Eph. v. 8 : "For ye were once darkness," etc.

3 See Delitzsch, Die Psalmen, vi. 11.


from that time. Compare Hosea xiii. 1: Ephraim offended and died, that is, he carried thereafter the germ of death in himself.

§ 7. The Batoning of the Light and the Protevangelium.

The first steps of Jehovah Elohim, who seeks man at eventide, are the first steps of God the Eedeemer towards the goal of incarnation, which is the fundamental restoration of the immanence of the divine love in the world. The penetrating call, " Where art thou?" was designed to bring man to himself. That our first parents hide themselves, is, on the one hand, a proof that their sin is still far removed from a hardening of their hearts; but, on the other, that the flesh now forms a dividing wall between them and God, which from fear of the Judge they seek to make still more dense. When now the judicial examination follows, the serpent and the one whose instrument it was are cursed because of the seduction, the earth is cursed because of man, against whom it is turned into a means of wrath and chastisement. Man himself, however, is not cursed, but in the midst of the curse the dawn of the promise rises upon him. The end of the creation of man, in spite of the fall, is not to remain unfulfilled. This is what the primitive promise warrants; it is the entire, eternal decree of love which is sketched in this protevangelium. The Man of Salvation is not yet named, but He is the centre of the collective he, the individualization of the human race. He is from this time the centre of humanity, which crushes the head of the serpent; and the faith of the fathers derived from this centre of the promise and of the promised One the strength of hope and of sanctification in the struggle with the power of evil. Since Adam calls his wife Eve (Chavva), he announces his faith in the promise; and since God provides for the covering of man's nakedness, He typically prefigures His atoning grace; for "i|3 is a synonym of '"IB3, and signifies covering of sin, so that in God's sight it is as though it did not exist.

Eemark 1.—When it is said that the serpent is chosen as a symbol of the seductive charm of the earthly, the question arises why the serpent was chosen for this purpose. Probably because for the ancients, and even now for uncivilised peoples, it is a ghostly and mysterious creature. On this account it was especially adapted to represent an earthly power of seduction with an unearthly background, and this unearthly background is, as revelation further makes known, the evil which had burst into the world of spirits before the fall of man. The old BabylonioAssyrian and Persian tradition shows that the serpent is thus to be understood. The BabylonioAssyrian tradition calls the dragon or the serpent aibu, that is, enemy par excellence, and calls it tidmat, as that which has risen out of the abyss of the chaos (Dinn); and the Persian tradition calls it the creature of Ahriman, or considers it as Ahriman himself in the form of the serpent. It is, indeed, not irrational to suppose that there are free beings raised


above men, among whom one excelling the rest has apostatized from God; and experience, at least the apostolic, confirms the fact that we have not to contend alone with flesh and blood, and that human sin is capable of increase until it becomes superhumanly evil or diabolical. Hence there is a deep significance for the scale of human sin in the fact that man, befooled by an animal, fell into the first sin, and that the seducer, whose demoniacal deceit consisted in speaking through the serpent, is that being, which is called in John viii. 44, with reference to the fall, " a liar and the father of it" (i.e. the lie).

Remark 2.— The promise in Gen. iii. 15, last clause, is, "He [the seed of the woman] shall crush thee on the head, and thou shalt crush Him on the heel." If we take the verb t0 both times in the signification of insidiari, to lie in wait, the expression ceases to be a promise of victory, although Dillmann thinks that even so the prophetic character would remain, because the serpent is cursed, and the conflict is arranged by God. But the expression would then only assert that the consent of man to the serpent,1 which led to the fall of man, would be changed into reciprocal, deadly hate. And even grammatically this translation is inadmissible, for the construction with the accusative of the person and of the member demands a verb, which not only expresses an intended, but also an actual attack. Verbs of hostile design are not construed in Hebrew with the double accusative, but only verbs of hostile meeting. Besides, there is no certain example of the use of f\W in the signification of ^KIP; on the contrary, it is used in the Targuni for K31., jno, and pntJ». The Septuagint translates it both times rrjpeiv, to watch for; but Paul renders it in Eom. xvi. 2 0 by crvvrpifieiv, to hruise.

1 Die Genesis, Leipzig 1875, p. 89.

Eemark 3.—The point of the divine sentence is not directed against the seed of the serpent, but against the serpent, from whom the temptation went forth: "He will crush thee [not thy seed] on the head." Through however many generations the active enmity between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent may endure, the seed of the woman will attain the victory, and this victory is ultimately a victory over the original seducer, over the originator of evil which has entered humanity, over the " Old Serpent."

§ 8. The Banishment from Paradise.

Man has now entered into a condition which is the product of his own will. Adam, in the language of God (Gen. iii. 22), "is become as one of us," that is, he has become his own master (sui juris); like the deity and the heavenly spirits, he is now a being in whom freedom and necessity interpenetrate. But this completion of himself has not such a character that its eternal duration is desirable. The enjoyment of the tree of life would only tend to his destruction.


Hence man is driven from Paradise. Every evening sky directs his look to that which he has lost. Cherub and sword at the portals of Paradise warn him that the entrance to communion with God is forbidden him in his present condition, and will only be possible when he shall have become different. Henceforth the way to life passes through death {per mortificationem et mortem). The appearance of the cherub and the sword was terrible, but also comforting. God permitted Himself still to be seen, and even if it was in His anger, yet behind it was the expressed design of His love.

Eemark.—The Biblical conception considers the cherub as a real heavenly being, but the form which is given to it changes; it is symbolical and visionary. In the Babylonio-Assyrian mythology winged steers appear as the bearers of God's throne, and God in the form of a steer is called alpu, and also, as Lenormant has discovered, kirubu. The BabylonioAssyrian verb kardbu signifies to be great or mighty; the adjective karubu is the synonym of rvhu) It is remarkable that in Ezekiel steer and cherub are interchanged (Ezek. x. 14). Everywhere the Biblical cherubs are bearers of the glory of God as He appears in the world, and here in the history of Paradise they are the warders of the access to Him.

1 See Friedrich Delitzsch, Lage des Paradkses, Leipzig 1881, p. I5i.

§ 9. The Beginnings of the History outside of Paradise.

(1) Commencement of the Two Kinds of Seed in

the Human Race. First after mankind, passing from their original condition of childhood, had attained maturity of moral character, the process of generation began; hence it is said (Gen. v. 3) that "Adam begat a son in his own likeness, after his own image." The potencies of sin and grace were both actualized in him. In this dualistic condition, whose wretchedness (Eom. vii. 24) was concealed by their faith, Adam and his wife became the first parents of the human race. The conflict between the good and evil in them secured at ODce through the first procreations a historical objectivity. As the evil arising from freedom of choice preceded the good arising from the same source, so the bad child preceded the good. The child which was expected to be a blessing became a curse. Cain could indeed have ruled over the sin which was lying in wait for him (Gen. iv. 2); but he did not do it, and thus fell into the hands of him who was a murderer from the beginning (John viii. 44; 1 John iii. 12). After grace has entered the human race contemporaneously with the utterance of the promise, all those who scornfully reject this grace like Cain isolate themselves from the seed of the woman, which carries the power of victory in itself, and become a seed of the serpent. The murder of Abel by Cain is the first bruise in the heel which the seed of the woman suffers from the seed of the serpent.


Eemark. — It is particularly the Gospel of John which discriminates between two kinds of men: those who are of God, and those who are not of God, but are of the evil one, or of the devil . In fact, there are many good and bad natural traits which are inherited, and which present the mental and ethical nature of men in an endlessly manifold commingling, yet this individual constitution has no decided moral value. Men, however differently the moral potencies in them are commingled, are all alike in this, that they are destitute of the righteousness which avails with God. Everything depends upon whether man gives himself to the power of grace or of evil, and so whether he stamps the innate good traits, or the innate evil traits, as the character of his personality.

§ 10. The Beginnings of the History outside of Paradise. (2) Commencement of Sacrifice.

The narrative concerning the sacrifices of the brothers is instructive in the following particulars:—

(1) Sacrifice in its origin is not the satisfaction of a divine command, but of an inward need. "We can even conclude, from the fact that Cain was the first one who offered sacrifice, that we have to do, not with the fulfilment of a divine command, but with a performance which proceeded from a more or less pure feeling of dependence.

(2) The sacrifice is in all its kinds a gift, an offering (nruDj B&pov, <yepa<;, irpoo-cpopa). It is founded in the consecration (sacratio), and is completed in the oblation (oblatio).

(3) It does not begin before man has left Paradise, and is the first step in the re-establishment of the original relation between man and God on the one side, and the natural world on the other, occupying with reference to both a mediatorial relation.

(4) The bloody offering contains the expiatory element, which is wanting in the vegetable offering, and therefore takes the precedence of it; but

V (5) Every offering is worthless without the right /internal state of the one bringing it. Abel offered by faith (Heb. xi. 4) animal sacrifices, which were types of the true vicarious sacrifice, and as he shed his own blood he was a type of the offering whose blood speaks better than that of Abel.

Eemark.—The history of Adam represents almost a thousand years. Perhaps he is only the representative of this period, but the Biblical account really indicates such a great age. Josephus appeals for it to an antique tradition outside the Bible (Antiquities, I. iii. 9). In the one hundred and thirtieth year of his life Adam becomes the father of Seth. Only a passing allusion is made to the daughters of Adam (Gen. v. 4). Cain's wife was one of his sisters, for the marriage with sisters first became incest at a later period. That which we read in Gen. iv. and v. are only fragments, of which the connecting links are wanting. The tendency of Biblical historiography is ethical, is didactic. The history is only the means,


not the end. Hence from the tradition, which at the time of the original author flowed more richly, only disjecta membra are united together.

§ 11. The Beginnings of the History outside of Paradise. (3) The Two Lines.

From Cain and Seth, who took the place of Abel, the ancestral tree branches off into two lines, characterized by two phases of development, which, if man had not fallen, would have been only two sides of one development. Cain is the first builder of a city, and with Enos began the congregational character of divine service. The city Enoch, is the remote beginning of the world-empire, and Enos' congregation of Jehovah is the remote beginning of the church. In Lamech, the seventh in the Cainitic line, the direction towards that which is worldly rose to a Titanic defiance; and in Enoch, the seventh in the line of promise, the inward tendency is deepened to the point of a loving fellowship with God, which rendered him immortal. Even Enoch's son, although he finally died, lived longer than any of the Antediluvians. Enoch was taken away at a comparatively early age, for long life was even then not the highest good. The curse of sin made it one long woe; therefore Lamech hopes that in his son, the tenth in the line of promise, the period of the curse will have a comforting termination. This hope to a certain extent did not deceive him, for with Noah, after the judicial catastrophe, a new period began in which grace formed a barrier against the curse.


Eemark 1.—The two genealogical tables contain, besides Enoch and Lamech, different names, and pursue different ends. The Cainitic extends only to the seventh member, because in it the worldly, Cainitic development culminates; the Sethitic, however, leads from the primitive history to that of the flood. The heathen mythology stands in undeniable connection with the persons of the Cainitic genealogical table. A connection exists, although not an etymological one, between Jabal and Jubal, the two sons, and Apollo, between Tubal-Cain and Vulcan, Naamah and Venus, whose name, like that of Naamah, goes back to the Sanscrit vanas, delight, grace. Heathen mythology has deified partly natural objects, partly the men of the primitive history.

Remark 2.—The names nn«, E*N, and tn^N, represent three stadia of the primitive history, namely, that of the primitive man, who is called CIK, as ryt]-yev^<!, earthborn; that of the husband of the wife (E"N, equivalent to 'insh, which indicates sociability, familiarity); and that of man as subject to death (t^K, from c:s, to be sickly, compare the Assyrian 6nlu, weak). The Biblical Enoch corresponds to Gayomert of the Persian myth, whose name signifies mortal life.

§ 12. The Termination of the History outside of
Paradise, or the Judgment of the Flood.

With the increase of the human race moral corruption increased. The distinction between the two lines


disappeared. The boundaries drawn by the Creator between the world of men and spirits was broken through. The animal and demoniacal evil threatened to nullify the realization of the divine decree of mercy. Therefore, after a gracious respite of one hundred and twenty years had brought no improvement, God sent the flood, which destroyed man and the animals living in their neighbourhood. But this relapse of the earth into the stadium of the primitive waters (Dinri) was designed to effect a new beginning in the history of salvation. Noah, who remained true to God, was rescued, and became the deliverer of the human race, and of the animal world which was directly connected with it. In view of the judgment of the flood, the relation of God to man began to take on a deeper condescension by means of a covenant; and with Noah, the righteous man, began the typical mediatorial relations. The flood is a type of baptism (1 Pet. iii. 21), and the ark is a type of the church.

Eemark 1.—When the heathen mythology speaks of marriages between gods and men, and on the contrary, Gen. vi. 1—8, of marriages between the sons of the gods and the daughters of men, that view is most probable which understands the sons of God as prominent men resembling the gods. We are not to understand thereby demons, for only beings of the same species can have fruitful sexual intercourse, but demoniacal men who became the instruments of demons.

Eemark 2.—The hundred and twenty years are, according to the Babylonio - Assyrian sexagesimal system, a double sosse (60 + 60), for sum is the Babylonian term for a sum of sixty. Yet the one hundred and twenty years can also be explained according to the Biblical symbolism of numbers; for forty is a number which indicates a period of waiting and transition, hence one hundred and twenty, the tripling of this number, indicates a crisis.

Bemark 3.—The Biblical narrative does not demand an absolutely universal deluge, for it measures its height by the top of one of the mountains of Ararat. The flood was in so far universal as it destroyed the entire human race then living. That was its only object. But, on the other hand, the universality of the tradition of the flood which is to be found even among the nations of interior Africa {e.g. the Herero), and of Northern India (e.g. the Kolhs), is a powerful proof of the historical unity of the human race. The Babylonio-Assyrian account of the flood, which was made known in 1872, cannot be the original of the Biblical, for the tradition there appears to be transformed mythologically and locally. The hero of the flood, Xisuthros,1 is there caught up among the gods into the abode of the blessed; hence he is confounded with Enoch. And the mountain on which the ark landed is placed by this tradition in the neighbourhood of Babylon; it is called Nizir, which is the name of the southern spur of the Armenian highlands.

1 Xi is equivalent to the Sumerian Zi, which signifies life.


§ 13. The Foundation of the Post-diluvian History, or the Covenant of the Rainbow.

After Noah had left the ark, which had landed on a mountain of Ararat, with his family, he built an altar and sacrificed upon it burnt-offerings. Paradise, and the presence of God upon the threshold of Paradise, have now vanished from the earth. The suppliant hereafter looks upward; the one bringing a sacrifice raises therefore a place upon the earth. The offering is called n?'y, that which ascends. Earth and heaven are now separated. But God, receiving the sacrifice of thankful adoration with favour, promises that the progressive energy of the curse shall now be restrained through the predominating energy of grace. He renews the creative blessing, renders animals subject anew to man, allows the enjoyment of animal food, but with the exclusion of blood, and sanctions the capital punishment of him who lays hands on the life of his brother, created like him in the image of God. This Nbachian covenant is until the present the gracious power which preserves the world, which assures the continuance of the human race; and the bow in the clouds is still the sign of the victory which grace won over wrath.

Kemark 1.—The threatening of death, with its reverse side, the promise of life, and in general the relation of God to those who were first created, does not yet fall under the conception of a covenant; hence Hos. vi . 7 is not to be translated, " Like Adam they have transgressed the covenant/' but like men, that is, as sinful men are wont to do. The God who threatens and promises remains exalted above man; the God who makes a covenant goes down in condescension, and places Himself to a certain extent on the same level with him. The covenant is an act through which God condescendingly assures what He promises, and this takes place first between God and Noah before and after the flood.

Eemark 2.—The Synagogue reckons seven Noachian commandments:—(1) The prohibition of idolatry; (2) of blasphemy; (3) of incest; (4) of murder; (5) of theft; (6) of the flesh of animals which are yet alive (membrum de vivo); (7) the institution of magisterial power. Of these seven commands, Gen. ix. 1—7 contains only the fourth, sixth, and seventh. The command, Gen. ix. 6, leaves the execution of punishment still undetermined; it lays it only in general in the hand of men, and demands it of him as the fulfilment of a duty, without allowing a ransom (ttoivt]), as in the Homeric poems.

§ 14. The Internal and External Separation of the Peoples.

It is soon apparent that the internal root of corruption has not been destroyed. When Noah after his drunkenness had clarified his spirit through the pain of repentance, he looks through that which his sons have done into the future of mankind, which is ethno


graphically and ethically distinguished in a threefold way. After the foundation of the difference between the nations has thus been laid in the house of Noah, it is still further carried out in Shinar (Sumir), that is, in the land on the lower Euphrates. The process of separation in language which God introduces to check the selfish and unspiritual effort of mankind for unity, is the beginning of the nationalities. With these nationalities arose at the same time the heathen, with their different languages and religions. If there is still in this chaos a ray of light, it is necessary for the benefit of mankind that means should be found for its preservation. That this should take place within the line of Shem, appears from the programme delineated by Noah while under the influence of the Spirit. Shem is, from this time on, the centre-point of the history of salvation. The line of the covenant goes through Shem. Eemark 1.—The breaking up of the united human race into peoples with different languages was a divine act for the good of man; for by this means a barrier was made against sin, which, without this separating wall of the language, would have attained a terrible intensity. Now, however, the immoral and irreligious products of one nation are not equally destructive to another; and many false religions are better than one, since they paralyze one another. Even war, which arises from the selfish character of nationalities, is better than the idle peace of universal estrangement from God, for the demon of war arouses the peoples and drives them to God.

Eemark 2.—Babel signified originally bab ilu, gate of God; in Sumerian ha dingira, which has the same meaning. The Biblical narrative understands the name ominously as an emblem of the confusion of tongues which took place.