Biblical Text and Texture: A Literary Reading of Selected by Michael Fishbane

By Michael Fishbane

An exploration of key texts representing using 3 specific literary components within the Hebrew Bible: narrative textual content; sermons; prayers and speeches.

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The dialogues of Genesis 2:16-17 and 3:lff. dramatize these possibilities. Man can and does choose against God's orderly creation. Such a perspective constitutes an anthropology of evil, insofar as man introduces disharmony into the order of God's creation through active rebellion or passive complicity. Man finds himself as a creature in a world with commandments and limits, lies and seductions. His energies and desires can be perverted; he can choose against God, himself and his world through selfdestructive overreaching.

The Primeval Cycle 21 With the eating of the fruit, limits have been transgressed. Open eyes, knowledge, and shame replace the original innocence of life in Eden. The couple sees itself in a new way; in their new self-consciousness they impose restraints on themselves. Ashamed of their nudity, they quickly clothe themselves. This new self-awareness further manifests itself as fear in the face of the prohibiting authority, God, and guilt for one's transgressions. The man hides from both his accuser and himself.

The language of this birth notice-"then the man knew [yada'] his wife, Eve, and she conceived and bore Cain [who]. . 14) from His presence. 24) from His paradise. 24). This repetition of phrases and features links Genesis 3 and 4 and provides access to the latter's meaning. While the same psychodynamics of will and choice occur in The Primeval Cycb 25 both Genesis 3 and 4:l-16, there is a difference. In Genesis 3 the dynamic occurs on an interior, psychical plane, but in 4:l-I6 it is transposed to an exterior, familial one.

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