Genesis - God, Creation, and Destruction; Dennis Prager
Genesis - God, Creation, and Destruction
* Excellent points about the uniqueness of the Torah and description of God as outside of Creation. The Creation account clearly shows that nature is God’s creation, and that all gods and goddesses worshipped by others at the time are false, that Jehovah God is superior and the only true God.
* Very good description of the perspective of Creation. Written from viewpoint of one on the earth. Exploring ‘creating out of nothing’ versus ‘making’ out of what exists worth more time. Makes clear the emphasis of the earth created for man and Adam (earthing, from the earth the adama).
* Prayer makes very good arguments about the importance of distinctive - good/evil, darkness/light, male/female, mankind/animals.
* Good to look more deeply into the Creation account of man and God breathing into man “the breath of life” ,or “soul of life’ - charyim, versus animals as ‘living beings,’ - nefesh charya.
* The first command about eating was to eat freely from all the trees of the garden, including the tree of life, with the prohibition of eating from only one tree - the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Prayer notes that when most people are asked about this instruction their answer is only about the prohibition, and does not include the freedom to eat from all the other trees. This shows our tendency to focus on the negative commands - the shalt nots, versus the positive commands; the tendency to focus on limitations imposed versus freedoms offered. Adam and Eve chose knowledge of good and evil over innocence and living forever.
* Loneliness is the first thing that God says is not good (Gen 2:18) - John Milton from Paradise Lost. Prager notes that it is God who instructs us that loneliness is not good for us. He comments on the situation today in many developed countries where marriage rates have declined and loneliness is noted as a societal problem. Sex is not a substitute for true companionship. Marriage is good for people, and good for society, but not necessarily an innate desire for men and women. God instructs us that marriage is good. “Marriage is a prescription, a moral and social value, more than it is a male instinct.” [p. 39]
* God created woman - a helper equal to the man.
Thoughts on God’s blessing the Al the world throughAbram.
Gen 12:3 - reference to how all the families of the earth will be blessed by Abram (later named Abraham). Prager sees this as God’s gift of the Torah to mankind and that as people adopt the principles of the Torah they will be blessed. Additional references he cites are Gen 18:17-18; 22:16-18; 26:2-4; 28:10-14. Prager notes the wording literally translates into English as, “will bless themselves in you” not “be blessed in you.”
Note Gen 22:17
”I will bestow My blessing upon you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars of heaven and the sands on the seashore; and your descendants shall seize the gates of their foes. “
Interesting that this verse says that Abrams descendants will seize the gates of their foes, and Jesus said that He will build His church and the gates of hell will not stand against it in Matt 16:18.