Overview, One of over Bible commentaries freely available, this commentary is a triumph of rigorous scholarship and sound theology by two highly. Keil and Delitzsch OT Commentary suffice to bring out the design of the book of Genesis, viz., to relate the early history of the Old Testament kingdom of God. Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament.
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Keil and Delitzsch ,eil Commentary. Commencing with the creation of the heaven and the earth, and concluding with the death of the patriarchs Jacob and Joseph, this book supplies us with information with regard not only to the first beginnings and earlier stages of the world and of the human race, but also to those of the divine institutions which laid the foundation for the kingdom of God.
Franz Delitzsch – Wikipedia
Genesis keeil with the creation of the world, because the heavens and the earth form the appointed sphere, so far as time and space are concerned, for the kingdom of God; because God, according to His eternal counsel, appointed the world to be the scene both for the revelation of His invisible essence, and also for the operations of His eternal love within and among His creatures; and because in the beginning He created the world to be and to become the kingdom of God.
The creation of the heaven and the gestament, therefore, receives as its centre, paradise; and in paradise, man, created in the image of God, is the head and crown of all created beings.
The history of the world and of the kingdom of God begins with him. His fall from God keli death and corruption into the whole creation Genesis 3: By sin, men have departed and separated themselves from God; but God, in His infinite mercy, has not cut himself off from men, His creatures.
Not only did He announce redemption along with punishment immediately after the fall, but from that time forward He continued to reveal Himself to them, that He might draw them back to Himself, and lead them from the path of destruction to the way of salvation.
And through these operations of God upon the world in theophanies, or testamfnt by word and deed, the historical development of the human race became a history of the plan of salvation. The book of Genesis narrates that history in broad, deep, comprehensive sketches, from its first beginning to the time of the patriarchs, whom God chose from among the nations of the earth to be the bearers of festament for the entire world.
This long space of years from Adam to the flood, ; to the entrance of Testamenh into Canaan, ; to Joseph’s death, ; in all, years is divisible into two periods.
Genesis 1 Keil and Delitzsch OT Commentary
The first period embraces the development of the human race from its first creation and fall to its dispersion over the earth, and the division of the one race into many nations, with different languages 2: All that is related of the primeval age, from Adam to Noah, is the history of the fall; the mode of life, and longevity of the two families which descended from the two sons of Adam; and the universal spread of sinful corruption in consequence of the intermarriage of these two families, who differed so essentially in their relation to God 2: The primeval history closes with the flood, in which the old world perished 6: Of the preparatory age, from Noah to Terah the father of Abraham, we have an account of the covenant which God made with Noah, and of Noah’s blessing and curse; the genealogies of the families and tribes which descended from his three sons; an account of the confusion of tongues, and the dispersion of the people; and the genealogical commenyary from Shem to Terah 8: The second period consists of the patriarchal era.
From this we have an elaborate description of the lives of the three patriarchs of Israel, the family chosen to be the people of God, from the call of Abraham to the death of Joseph Thus the history of humanity is gathered up into the history of the one family, which received the promise, that God would multiply it into a great people, or rather into a multitude of peoples, would make it a blessing to all the families of the earth, and would give it the land of Canaan for an everlasting possession.
This general survey will suffice to bring out the design of the book of Genesis, viz. By a simple and unvarnished description of the development of the world under the guidance and discipline of God, it shows how God, as the preserver and governor of the world, dealt with the human race which He had created in His own image, and how, notwithstanding their fall and through the misery which ensued, He prepared the o,d for the fulfillment of His original design, and the establishment of the relitzsch which should bring salvation to the world.
Whilst cojmentary virtue commentarh the blessing bestowed in their creation, the human race was increasing from a single pair to families and nations, and peopling the earth; God stemmed the evil, which sin had introduced, by words and deeds, by the announcement of His will in commandments, promises, commehtary threats, and by the infliction of punishments and judgments upon the despisers of His mercy.
Side by side with the law of expansion from the unity of a family to the plurality of nations, there was carried on from the very first a law of separation between the ungodly and those that feared God, for the purpose of preparing and preserving a holy seed for the rescue and salvation of the whole human race.
This double law is the organic principle which lies at the root of all the separations, connections, and dispositions which constitute the history of the book of Genesis. In accordance with the law of reproduction, which prevails in the preservation and increase of the human race, the genealogies show the historical bounds within which the persons and events that marked the various epochs are confined; whilst the law of selection determines the arrangement and subdivision of such historical materials as are employed.
So far as the plan of the book is concerned, the historical contents are divided into ten groups, with the uniform heading, “These are the generations” with the exception of Genesis 5: These groups consist of the Tholedoth: There are five groups in the first period, and five in the second.
Although, therefore, the two periods differ considerably with regard to their scope and contents, in their historical importance to the book of Genesis they are commnetary a par; and the number ten stamps upon the entire book, or rather upon the early history of Israel recorded in the book, the character of completeness.
This arrangement flowed quite naturally from the contents and purport of the book.
The two periods, of which the early history of the kingdom of God in Israel consists, evidently constitute two great divisions, so far as their internal character is concerned. All that is related of the first period, from Adam to Terah, is obviously connected, no doubt, with the establishment of the kingdom of God in Israel, but only in a remote degree.
The account of paradise exhibits the primary relation of man to God and his position in the world. In the fall, the necessity is shown for the interposition of God to rescue the fallen. In the promise which followed the curse of transgression, the first glimpse of redemption is seen. The division of the descendants of Adam into a God-fearing and an ungodly race exhibits the relation of the whole human race to God.
The flood prefigures the judgment of God upon the ungodly; and the preservation and blessing of Noah, the protection of the godly from destruction. And lastly, in the genealogy kell division of the different nations on the one hand, and the genealogical table of Shem on the commemtary, the selection of one nation is anticipated to be the recipient and custodian of the divine revelation.
The special preparations for the training of this nation commence with the call of Abraham, and consist of the care bestowed upon Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and their posterity, and of the promises which they received. The leading events in the first period, and the prominent individuals in the second, also furnished, in a simple and natural way, the ddlitzsch points of view for grouping the historical materials of each under a fivefold division.
The ol of this will be found in the exposition. Within the different groups themselves the arrangement adopted is this: According to this plan, which is strictly adhered to, the history of Cain and his family precedes that of Seth and his posterity; the genealogy of Japhet and Ham stands before that of Shem; the history of Ishmael and Esau, before that of Isaac and Jacob; and the death of Terah, before the call and migration of Abraham to Canaan. In this regularity of composition, according to a settled plan, the book of Genesis may clearly be seen to be the careful production of one single author, who looked at the historical development of the human race in the light of divine revelation, and thus exhibited it as a complete and well arranged introduction to the history of the Old Testament kingdom of God.
The Creation of the World – Genesis 1: If we look merely at the form of this document, its place at the beginning of the book of Genesis is sufficient comemntary warrant the expectation that it will give us history, and not fiction, or human speculation. As the development of the human family has been from the first a historical fact, and as man really occupies that place in the world which this record assigns him, the oldd of man, as well as that of the earth on which, and the heaven for which, he is to live, must also be a work of God, i.
The grand simplicity of the account is in perfect harmony with the fact. The historical events described contain a rich treasury of speculative thoughts and poetical glory; but they themselves are free from the influence of human invention and human philosophizing” Delitzsch.
This is also true of commrntary arrangement of the whole. The work of creation does not fall, as Herder and others maintain, into two triads of days, with the work of the second answering to that of the first. For although the creation of the light on the first day seems to correspond to that of the light-bearing stars on the fourth, there is no reality in the parallelism which some discover between the second and third days on the one hand, and the third and fourth on the other. On the second day the firmament or atmosphere is formed; on the fifth, the fish and fowl.
On the third, after the sea and land are separated, the plants are formed; on the sixth, the animals of the dry land and man. Now, if the creation of the fowls which fill the air answers to that of the firmament, the formation of the fish delitxsch the inhabitants of the waters ought to festament assigned to the sixth day, and not to commentaary fifth, as being parallel to the creation of the seas.
The creation of the fish and fowl on the same day is an evident proof that a parallelism between the first three days of creation and the last three is not intended, and does not exist.
Moreover, if the division of the work of creation into so many days had been the result of human reflection; the creation of man, who was appointed lord of the earth, would certainly not have been assigned to the same day as that of the beasts deoitzsch reptiles, but would have been kept distinct from the creation of the beasts, and allotted to the seventh day, in which the creation was completed – a meaning which Richers and Keerl have actually tried to force upon the text of the Bible.
Biblical Commentary Old Testament. Keil and Delitzsch.6 vols.complete.Clark’sFTL.1864.1892.
In the different acts of creation we perceive indeed an evident progress from the general to the particular, from the lower to the higher orders of creatures, or rather a steady advance towards more and more concrete forms.
But on the fourth day this progress is interrupted in a way which we cannot explain. In the transition from the creation of the plants to that of sun, moon, and stars, it is impossible to discover either a “well-arranged and constant progress,” or “a genetic advance,” since the stars are not intermediate links between plants and animals, and, in fact, have no place at all in the scale of earthly creatures. If we pass on to the contents of our account of the creation, they differ as widely from all other cosmogonies as truth from fiction.
Those of heathen nations are either hylozoistical, deducing the origin of life and living beings from some primeval matter; or pantheistical, regarding the whole world as emanating from a common divine substance; or mythological, tracing both gods and men to a chaos or world-egg.
They do not even rise to the notion of a creation, much less to the knowledge of an almighty God, as the Creator of all things. Bel divided the darkness, and cut the woman into two halves, of which he formed the heaven and the earth; he then cut off his own head, and from the drops of blood men were formed.
By the heating of the earth and sea there arose winds, clouds and rain, lightning and thunder, the roaring of which wakened up sensitive beings, so that living creatures of both sexes moved in the waters and upon the earth.
The numerous inventions of the Indians, again, all agree in this, that they picture the origin of the world as an emanation from the absolute, through Brahma’s thinking, or through the contemplation of a primeval being called Tad it.
Even in the Etruscan and Persian myths, which correspond testa,ent remarkably to the biblical account that they must have been derived from it, the successive acts of creation are arranged according to the suggestions of human probability and adaptation.
The world will last twelve thousand years, the human race six thousand. Every one of these separate creations is celebrated by a festival. The world will last twelve thousand years. In contrast with all these mythical inventions, the biblical account shines out in the clear light of truth, and proves itself by its contents to be an integral part of the revealed history, of which it is accepted as the pedestal throughout the whole of the sacred Scriptures.
This is not the ,eil with the Old Testament only; but in the New Testament ols it is accepted and taught by Christ and the apostles as the basis of the divine ddlitzsch. The select only a few from the many passages of the Old and New Testaments, in which God is referred to as the Creator of the heavens and the earth, and the tesrament operations of the living God in the world are based upon the fact of its creation: From the creation of man, as described in Genesis 1: The biblical account of the creation can also vindicate its claim to be true and actual history, in the presence of the doctrines of philosophy and the established results of natural science.
So long, indeed, as philosophy undertakes to construct the universe from general ideas, it will be utterly unable to comprehend the creation; but ideas will never explain the existence of things.
Creation is an act of the personal God, not a process of nature, the development delitzxch which can be traced to the laws of birth and decay that prevail in the created world. But the work of God, as described in the history of creation, is in perfect harmony with the correct notions of divine omnipotence, wisdom and goodness. The assertion, so frequently made, that the course of the creation takes its form from the Hebrew week, which was already in existence, and the idea of God’s resting on the seventh day, from the institution of the Hebrew Sabbath, is entirely selitzsch foundation.
There is no allusion in Genesis 2: Natural research, again, will never explain the origin of the universe, or even of the earth; de,itzsch the creation lies beyond the limits of dlitzsch territory within its reach.
By all modest naturalists, therefore, it is assumed that the origin of matter, or of the original material of the world, was due tetament an act of divine creation. But there is no firm ground for the conclusion which they draw, kdil the basis of this assumption, with regard to the formation or development of the world from its first chaotic condition into a fit abode for man.
All the theories which have been adopted, from Descartes to dlitzsch present day, are not the simple and od inductions of natural science founded upon careful observation, but combinations of partial discoveries empirically made, with speculative ideas commenttary very questionable worth. The periods of creation, which modern geology maintains with such confidence, that not a few theologians delitzwch accepted them as undoubted and sought to bring them into harmony with the scriptural account of the creation, if not to deduce them from the Bible itself, are inferences partly from the successive strata which compose the crust of the earth, and partly from the various fossil remains of plants and animals to be found in those strata.
The former are regarded as proofs of successive formation; and from the difference between the plants and animals found in a fossil state and those in existence now, the conclusion is drawn, that their creation must have preceded the present formation, which either accompanied or was closed by the advent of man. But it is not difficult to see that the testanent of these conclusions could only be regarded as fully established, if the process by which the different strata were formed were clearly and fully known, or if the different formations were always found lying in the same order, and could be readily distinguished from one another.
But with regard to the origin of the different species of rock, geologists, as is well known, are divided into two contending schools: According to the Neptunists, the crystalline rocks are the earliest or primary formations; according to the Plutonists, the granite burst through the transition and stratified rocks, and were driven up from within the earth, so that they are of later date.
But neither theory is sufficient to account in this mechanical way for all the phenomena connected with the relative position of the rocks; consequently, a third theory, which supposes the rocks to be the result of chemical processes, is steadily gaining ground. Now if the rocks, both crystalline and stratified, were formed, not in any mechanical way, but by chemical processes, in which, besides fire and water, electricity, galvanism, magnetism, and possibly other forces at present unknown to physical science were at work; the different formations may have been produced contemporaneously and laid one upon another.
Till natural science has advanced beyond mere opinion and conjecture, with regard to the mode in which the rocks were formed and their positions determined; there can be no ground for assuming that conclusions drawn from the successive order of the various strata, with commentarg to commentady periods of their formation, must testajent necessity be true.
This is the more apparent, when we consider, on the one hand, that even the principal formations the primary, transitional, stratified, and tertiarynot to mention the subdivisions of which each of these is composed, do not always occur in the order laid down in the system, but in not a few instances the order is reversed, crystalline primary rocks lying upon transitional, stratified, commfntary tertiary formations granite, syenite, gneiss, etc.
The second of these conclusions also stands or falls with the assumptions on which they are founded, viz. Not one of these can be regarded as an established truth, or as the unanimously accepted result of geognosis.
The assertion so often made as an established fact, that the transition rocks contain none but fossils of the lower orders of plants and animals, that mammalia are first met with in the Trias, Jura, and chalk formations, and warm-blooded animals in the tertiary rocks, has not been confirmed by continued geognostic researches, but is more and more regarded as untenable.
Even the frequently expressed opinion, that in the different forms of plants and animals of the successive rocks there is a gradual and to a certain extent progressive development of the animal and vegetable world, has not commanded universal acceptance. Numerous instances are known, in which the remains of one and the same species occur not only in two, but in several successive formations, and there are some types that occur in nearly all.
And the widely spread notion, that the fossil types are altogether different from the existing families of plants and animals, is one of the unscientific exaggerations of actual facts. All the fossil plants and animals can be arranged in the orders and classes of the existing flora and fauna.
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