Simple yet Genesis

            Through his writing of Genesis, Moses is often simple, specific, and repetitive in his descriptions.  One example I noticed was in Genesis 4:25 and 5:3, when he described that Seth came from Adam.  The former verse reads, “…Adam knew his wife Eve, and she bore a son, and he named him Seth…” and 5:3 reads, “…Adam…begot a son…and named him Seth.”  Originally when I read this, I said to myself (with no disrespect intended), Yeah, yeah, Moses, you already told us Adam had a son and named him Seth, but failing to consider Moses’ reasoning to use repetition in this instance.

After reading the first half of Genesis, I briefly skimmed some of volume one of Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture and happened to glance at a commentary about the 5:3 passage.  I originally had not noticed the part of the 5:3 verse, “…begot a son after his [Adam’s] own image and after his own kind.”  Origen was the Father who commented on the passage and stated the analogy, (in my paraphrased form) Christ is the invisible image of the invisible God, as the image of Adam was his son Seth.  Reading Origen’s insight made me realize that the significant mentioning of God’s image being passed down (not just to Adam, but Adam passed down his own image—which also encompassed God’s image—to his son Seth as well), I believe repeating that Seth is Adam’s son enables a full understanding of the Theological phenomenon that we are made in both our fathers’ and our Father’s image.  One more reason for Moses’ style of simplicity and repetition is perhaps to avoid future mistranslations of his text.

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