From Noah to Israel: Realization of the Primaeval Blessing After the Flood
The primaeval blessing, 'Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth,' first announced to humankind in Genesis 1.28 is renewed to Noah and his sons after the flood in Genesis 9.1. There is widespread scholarly consensus that the ensuing dispersion in Genesis 10.1-32 and 11.1-9 is the means by which the creation blessing is fulfilled. Kaminski argues that the primeval blessing is not fulfilled in the Table of Nations and that Yahweh's scattering Noah's descendants in the Babel story does not contribute positively to the creation theme. Rather, the creation blessing is being taken up in the primary line of Shem (Genesis 11.10-26), which leads directly to Abraham. She further suggests that divine grace is not absent after the Babel judgment, as is commonly assumed, but is at work in the Shemite genealogy.
She argues that the primeval blessing, which is unfulfilled in the primaeval history, is taken up by Abraham and his descendants by means of a divine promise. While the blessing is in the process of being realised in the patriarchal narratives, it is not fulfilled. The multiplication theme is resumed, however, in Exodus 1.7, which describes Israel's proliferation in Egypt. This is the first indication that the creation blessing is fulfilled. Realisation of the primaeval blessing progresses after the flood, therefore, from Noah to Israel. Yet God's blessing on Israel is not for their sake alone - it is the means through which the divine intention for creation will be restored to the world.
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Chapter 1 IS THE DISPERSAL IN GENESIS 919 TO BE INTERPRETED POSITIVELY?
Chapter 2 ARE THE BABELITES REJECTING THE COMMAND TO FILL THE EARTH?
Chapter 3 DOES YHWHs SCATTERING NOAHS DESCENDANTS FULFIL THE PRIMAEVAL BLESSING?
Chapter 4 IS THE PRIMAEVAL BLESSING FULFILLED IN THE TABLE OF NATIONS?
Chapter 5 THE PRIMAEVAL BLESSING AND THE SHEMITE GENEALOGY
Chapter 6 DOES THE PRIMAEVAL HISTORY END ON A NOTE OF JUDGMENT?
Chapter 7 DOES THE PROMISE OF INCREASE TO THE PATRIARCHS CONTRIBUTE TO THE REALIZATION OF THE PRIMAEVAL BLESSI...
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Abraham according action already Announcements appears argued Babel story Babelites beginning Biblical Book Cassuto Chapter Chronicles Clines Commentary concludes connection context creation discussion dispersion divide divine Egypt English evident example Exod Exodus ﬁll the earth ﬁrst ﬂood fruitful and multiply fulﬁlled fulﬁlment function further Genesis given God’s grace Harland Hebrew human humankind important indicates intention interpretation Israel Jacob judgment light linear Literary main line maintains marks Mathews means motif narrative negative Noah Noah’s descendants noted NRSV observed occurs Old Testament particular patriarchs Pentateuch positive present Press primaeval blessing primaeval commands primaeval history promise of increase question raised realized reference reversal scattering scholars seems separate Shem Shem’s Shemite genealogy Similarly sons spread abroad statement Structure suggests Table of Nations Theme theological trans translation verb Wenham Westermann whole YHWH YHWH’s