Notes on Genesis (vi)

‘So he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, three men stood before him…’ (Gen 18:2) While we are told that God appeared to Abraham as he was sitting at the oak of Mamre (18:1), it turns out that the patriarch saw three men, but in addressing his visitor(s) he persistently uses the singular term ‘Lord’.  After some discussion , ‘the men’ head for […]

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Notes on Genesis (v)

‘Come, let us go down there and confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another’s speech.’ (Gen 11:7) The story of the tower of Babel came easily to people not familiar with the manner in which languages develop, who sought an explanation for there being different tongues spoken around them. But the project of building a tower whose top […]

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Notes on Genesis (iv)

‘The dove returned to him in the evening, and behold, a freshly plucked olive leaf was in her mouth…’ (Gen 8:11) When this passage is read with the Church, the dove that returned to Noah appears more significant than it may at first apear. The bird’s flying over the waters of the flood recalls the Spirit hovering over the face of the water at […]

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Notes on Genesis (ii)

‘…from the tree of knowledge of good and evil you may not eat; for in whatever day you eat from it, you shall die by death.’ (Gen 2:17) These are hard words, and emphatic; apparently an intensifying Hebrew expression lies behind the inelegant expression ‘die by death’ , which translators have struggled with; cf  ‘thou shalt surely die’ (Authorized Version), ‘you […]

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Notes on Genesis (i)

‘Then God said, “Let us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness”…So God made man; in the image of God he made him; male and female he made them.’ (Gen 1:26f) This is a very dense passage. Among other things that could be said, I’d like to note three matters. The narrative in Genesis places the creation of […]

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