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Friday, April 1, 2011

Leupold Genesis part 53 verse 22, 23

22. And God blessed them, saying: Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas and let the birds multiply on the earth.

That this which was last made now actually represents a more important form of life is also made manifest by the fact that God bestows a blessing upon these creatures, a blessing by virtue of which the needed powers for continuance and for multiplying are imparted. The very idea of an initial single pair of creatures of this type is excluded by the statements of v. 20 and 21 where, when called into being, these creatures are bidden "to swarm" and the waters to "teem." But from these copious beginnings these creatures are to keep on multiplying until they fill the earth. Every vestige of emptiness is to be ultimately cancelled. This blessing of God, however, is not a mere wish or a wishing-well on the part of the Almighty. It is a creative word of power which makes possible the things that it commands, and it continues in power to this day. The Creator is glorified by the multitudes of beings which His creative word makes.

It will be worth our while to make a check-up upon what is supposed to be an index of the style of P, to whom critics assign this chapter (P is the author of all that criticism calls the Priestly Codex). Skinner remarks about the double expression "be fruitful and multiply," peru urebhu, that it is "highly characteristic of P" and is used "only three times elsewhere." By such unwarranted remarks are the unwary misled, and by such insubstantial arguments is the case of the source criticism of the Pentateuch supported. B D B lists all the instances of the use of this double expression. The fictitious P is said to have it Gen. 1:22, 28 and 9:1 as well as 35:1.1 and 47:27, yet the last two expressions differ in that one is singular and the other not imperative but future. Yet Jeremiah uses these two verbs jointly in (Jer 3:16) and (Jer 23:3); so does Ezekiel in (Eze 36:11). Is it not an overstatement to call a phrase that one author uses five times and others three, "highly characteristic" of the one? It is not so much a characteristic of style but a case of having the author describe several situations that of themselves demand such a statement. By his statement of the case Skinner would lead men to believe that the so-called P must have used the phrase at least a dozen times.

In trying to make the fictitious P as real a figure as possible and to invest him with distinct characteristics Procksch remarks on this verse: "A tone of solemn joy pervades the knowledge that it is ordained that life should increase; P is in no sense a pessimist." The same note of "solemn joy," if you will, can be discerned just as plainly in chapter 2:4 ff, which is not ascribed to P.

23. Then came evening, then morning--the fifth day.

Cf. v. 5 and 8.

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