Search This Blog

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Leupold Genesis part 58 verse 26 Image of God III

To sum up from a slightly different angle we should like to append the thought that the spiritual and inner side of the image of God is, without a doubt, the most important one. It will hardly be safe to say that the body of man is also patterned after God, because God, being an incorporeal spirit, cannot have what we term a material body. Yet the body of man must at least be regarded as the fittest receptacle for man's spirit and so must bear at least an analogy to the image, of God, an analogy that is so close that God and His angels choose to appear in human form when they appear to men (Strack). In fact, we are justified to go even so far as to say that whatever this man is said to have is in a far more real sense a reality in God. Here lies the basis for the propriety of all anthropomorphisms. If man has a hand, an ear, an eye, a heart, not only may these also be possessions of the Almighty; in a far truer sense such potentialities lie in God. Yet, let it be well marked, in saying this we in no sense ascribe corporeality to the Eternal One.

Skinner confuses all basic concepts and departs far from revealed truth, glorifying man and his native ability in an unscriptural fashion, when he remarks: "The `image' is not something peculiar to man's original estate, and lost by the Fall." He justifies this radical departure by the further remark: "Because P, who alone uses the expression knows nothing of the Fall, and in 9:6 employs the term, without any restriction, of post-diluvian mankind." What an untenable assumption even from the standpoint of criticism! Just because what is ascribed to P does not happen to mention the Fall, we at once know what P actually knew or did not know about the Fall. The critic is coming to the point where in his mind the document P and the person P are identical. The passage 9:6 is, of course, to be taken in the light of all that precedes, namely in the light of the Fall, which intervenes between chapters 1 and 9.

When evidence fails to support pet theories in this instance the theory of the derivation of Israelirish knowledge from Babylonian sources--pure suppositions such as the following are resorted to: "The origin of the conception ('image') is probably found in the Babylonian mythology" (Skinner).

What follows is one direction in which the possession of the image of God on the part of man expresses itself dominion over the earth. "Let them have dominion" is the verb radhah signifying "to trample down" or "to master." The breadth of the domain to be ruled by man is expressed by the various spheres of man's dominion that are now enumerated. They are, first of all, the classes previously described as having been brought into being, listed with a slight modification of terminology. The "swarms" or "shoals" previously created (v. 20) are referred to by a term covering the chief members of this class, daghah, "fish" in a collective sense. "The birds of the heavens" are the second group mentioned. Though we have translated behemah "domestic animals," we cannot deny that it might here, as a broader term often so used (cf. (Ex 9:25; 12:12)), include all larger animals, wild and domestic, because man's dominion certainly covered the wild beasts as well, as appears from the remaining terms, yet the wild beasts are not separately mentioned. For the list goes on to mention "the-whole earth," which cannot, as Koenig suggests (K. C.), here be taken to mean "all beings upon the earth" (Erdlebewesen), for then the very last term in the list would duplicate this; nor can it mean "the dwellers upon earth,"-a meaning which "earth" sometimes has, for then the idle statement would result: let man rule over himself. Consequently, we take "the whole earth" in its simplest meaning, as the inanimate earth proper, which man is to master and subdue. We then list, as belonging in this department of his activity, man's mastery the powers of nature, physical, electrical, chemical, physiological and the like. Whatever true scientific endeavour has produced comes under this broad charter which the Creator has given to man. Since, however, man's dominion is to find most frequent expression in the direction of the control of living creatures, the closing statement, the broadest of all, mounts to a climax in the words "over everything that moveth about upon the earth." Every type of being is to be subservient to man. The word employed for this last class is remes, which appears here in the broadest application of its root sense "to move about" and less in the specific sense of "moving about lightly." The verb used (yirdu) is a jussive (K. S. 364h) and actually establishes as a divine word the situation it outlines. Man in reality became the controlling power. Yet there remains--even in the primeval state there remained--much to be achieved by way of a perfect mastery of his whole territory.

Taking the verse as a whole, we cannot but notice that it sets forth the picture of a being that stands on a very high level, a creature of singular nobility and endowed with phenomenal powers and attributes, not a type of being that by its brute imperfections is seen to be on the same level with the animal world, but a being that towers high above all other creatures, their king and their crown.

No comments: