Genesis 2:4-2:25 – Structure and Formula

Structure and Formula

Overall Structure

  • A – 2:9 -10                   Formed – Garden
  • B – 2:11-15a                Placement – Rivers and Man
  • C – 2:15b-17               Responsibility, Provision, Prohibition
    • Responsibility – Till and Keep it
    • Provision – Eat freely of all the trees
    • Regulation – Not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil
  • D – 2:18                      Dissatisfaction with the Current State – No Complimentary Helper
  • A’ – 2:19aα                  Formed – Living creatures
  • B’ – 2:19aβ                  Placement – Brought to Man
  • C’ – 2:19b-20a             Responsibility – Naming
  • D’ – 2:20b                    Dissatisfaction with the Current State – No Complimentary Helper
  • A” – 2:21-22                Formed – Woman
  • B” – 2:22b-24              Placement Brought to Man
  • C” – 2:23-24                Responsibility, Provision, Prohibition
    • Responsibility – Naming
    • Provision – Approval
    • Regulation – Leave→ Cleave → One Flesh
  • D” – 2:25                     Satisfaction with the Current State – Both naked and not ashamed

Observations from this Structure

  1. Double Intro indicates this is just the first scene of the greater tholedoth (account)
  2. As opposed to the Gen 1 narrative, the first two cycles end in dissatisfaction in contrast with the repeated “God saw that it was good” affirmations.
  3. Both instances of Provision come with Regulation.
    • Provision and regulation pairs have inverted structures.
      1. 2:16-17 – “Accept all other (trees) and reject one (tree of knowledge)”
      2. 2:24 – “Reject all others (father and mother) and accept one (wife)
    • Regulated objects were specifically positioned by God – Tree of knowledge and the Woman
  4. Satisfaction that includes nudity indicates that the nudity referred is not only not a source of shame but a source of satisfaction as well.

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