Cover image for The Image of God in the Garden of Eden: The Creation of Humankind in Genesis 2:5-3:24 in Light of the mis pi, pit pi, and wpt-r Rituals of Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt By Catherine McDowell

The Image of God in the Garden of Eden

The Creation of Humankind in Genesis 2:5-3:24 in Light of the mis pi, pit pi, and wpt-r Rituals of Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt

Catherine McDowell

BUY

The Image of God in the Garden of Eden

The Creation of Humankind in Genesis 2:5-3:24 in Light of the mis pi, pit pi, and wpt-r Rituals of Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt

Catherine McDowell

Catherine McDowell presents a detailed and insightful analysis of the creation of ‘adam in Gen 2:5–3:24 in light of the Mesopotamian m?s pî p?t pî (“washing of the mouth, opening of the mouth”) and the Egyptian wpt-r (opening of the mouth) rituals for the creation of a divine image. Parallels between the mouth washing and opening rituals and the Eden story suggest that the biblical author was comparing and contrasting human creation with the ritual creation, animation, and installation of a cult statue in order to redefine ?elem ‘elohîm as a human being—the living likeness of God tending and serving in the sacred garden.

 

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  • Table of Contents
Catherine McDowell presents a detailed and insightful analysis of the creation of ‘adam in Gen 2:5–3:24 in light of the Mesopotamian m?s pî p?t pî (“washing of the mouth, opening of the mouth”) and the Egyptian wpt-r (opening of the mouth) rituals for the creation of a divine image. Parallels between the mouth washing and opening rituals and the Eden story suggest that the biblical author was comparing and contrasting human creation with the ritual creation, animation, and installation of a cult statue in order to redefine ?elem ‘elohîm as a human being—the living likeness of God tending and serving in the sacred garden.

McDowell also considers the explicit image and likeness language in Gen 1:26–27. Drawing from biblical and extrabiblical texts, she demonstrates that ?elem and d?mût define the divine-human relationship, first and foremost, in terms of kinship. To be created in the image and likeness of Elohim was to be, metaphorically speaking, God’s royal sons and daughters. While these royal qualities are explicit in Gen 1, McDowell persuasively argues that kinship is the primary metaphor Gen 1 uses to define humanity and its relationship to God.

Further, she discusses critical issues, noting the problems inherent in the traditional views on the dating and authorship of Gen 1–3, and the relationship between the two creation accounts. Through a careful study of the tôledôt in Genesis, she demonstrates that Gen 2:4 serves as both a hinge and a “telescope”: the creation of humanity in Gen 2:5–3:24 should be understood as a detailed account of the events of Day 6 in Gen 1.

When Gen 1–3 are read together, as the final redactor intended, these texts redefine the divine-human relationship using three significant and theologically laden categories: kinship, kingship, and cult. Thus, they provide an important lens through which to view the relationship between God and humanity as presented in the rest of the Bible.</p>;

Chapter 1.Introduction

1.1.Statement of the Project 1

1.2.Justification for the Present Study 4

1.3.Justification for the Use of Comparative Material Generally and for the Choice of the Particular Comparative Materials Used in This Study 5

1.4.Introduction of Comparative Material 10

1.5.Review of Previous Scholarship on Genesis 1–3 and the Egyptian Creation Accounts 13

1.6.Review of Previous Scholarship on the Mesopotamian mi¯s pi^ pi¯t pi^ and the Bible 15

1.7.Summation and Outline 20

Chapter 2.The Eden Story: Genesis 2:5–3:24

2.1.Introduction 22

2.2.Text and Translation 22

2.3.Where Does the Eden Story Begin? 26

2.4.The Structure of Genesis 2:5–3:25 35

2.5.Conclusion 41

Chapter 3.The Creation of a Divine Statue in the Ancient Near East: The Mesopotamian mi¯s pi^ pi¯t pi^ and the Egyptian wpt-r43

3.1.Introduction 43

3.2.The Mouth Washing and Opening Ritual

in Mesopotamia 43

3.3.A Re-analysis of the Birthing Imagery

in the mi¯s pi^ pi¯t pi^ 69

3.4.The Opening of the Mouth (wpt-r) Ritual

in Ancient Egypt 85

3.5.Comparison of the Nineveh and Babylon Versions of the mi¯s pi^ pi¯t pi^ and

the Egyptian wpt-r from the Tomb of Rekhmire 109

3.6.Conclusion 115

Chapter 4.The Meaning of s?elem and d?mu^t in Genesis 1:26–27 and the “Image” Concept in Genesis 2:5–3:24117

4.2.Genesis 1:26–27: Text and Translation 117

4.3.?elem and d?mu^t in the Hebrew Bible 118

4.4.Brief and Selective History of Interpretation

of s?elem and d?mu^t in Gen 1:26–27 126

4.5.Humans as God’s “Son”? 131

4.6.The Concepts of ?elem and D?mu^t in Genesis 2:5–3:24? 138

4.7.The Eden Story in Light of the

Washing of the Mouth and Opening of the Mouth

Rituals 142

4.8.Comparison of Nineveh and Babylon Versions of the mi¯s pi^

pi¯t pi^, the Egyptian wpt-r from

the Tomb of Rekhmire, and Genesis 2:5–3:24 171

4.9.Summary and Conclusion 175

Chapter 5.The Relationship between Genesis 1:1–2:3

and Genesis 2:5–3:24

5.1.Introduction 178

5.2.Sources for Genesis 1:1–2:3 178

5.3.Date and Authorship of Genesis 1:1–2:3 182

5.4.Source-Critical History and Unity of Genesis 2:5–3:24 186

5.5.Date and Authorship of Genesis 2:5–3:24 189

5.6.Conclusion 200

Chapter 6.Summary, Conclusions, and Implications

6.1.Summary of Findings and Implications for Our Understanding of Genesis 1:26–27 and Genesis 2:5–3:24 203

6.2.Methodological Implications: the Relationship among Gen 2:5–3:24, the mi¯s pî pit pî and the wpt-r 209

6.3.Areas for Further Inquiry 210

Bibliography

Index of Authors

Index of Scripture

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