Old Testament Essays
On-line version ISSN 2312-3621
RAMANTSWANA, Hulisani. Humanity not pronounced good: A re-reading of Genesis 1:26-31 in dialogue with Genesis 2-3. Old testam. essays [online]. 2013, vol.26, n.2, pp. 425-444. ISSN 2312-3621.
The creation of humanity on day six of creation is the climax of creation (Gen 1:26-30); however, there is an anomaly at this climactic moment of creation, which interpreters tend to overlook: humanity is not singled out as "good. " The anomaly is accentuated by the fact that the final evaluative formula, "and God saw everything that he made, and behold, it was very good" (Gen 1:31), which is generally regarded as encompassing creation activities from the first day to the sixth day. This necessitates the question: why is humanity not singled out as "good," as with most of the creation activities? This article suggests that the answer to this question rests in the dialogic relationship between the two creation narratives, Gen 1:1-2:4a and Gen 2:4b-3:24. The second creation narrative, Gen 2:4b-3:24, is for the most part a resumption of day six of creation. Contrary to the commonly held view that Gen 3 describes events subsequent to the creation process, or that it is thematically and materially different, this essay suggests that Gen 3 be viewed as thematically and materially related to Gen 1:26-31, and thereby provides a key as to why humanity is not singled out as "good."