(1) Scan Moses 2 and note the familiar 7-day cycle:
Moses 2//Genesis 1
3rd land, plants
4th sun, moon
5th fish, birds
6th animals, humans
(2) Read Moses 3:5, v 7, and v 9.
(3) Scan Moses 3, which tells a very different story.
Moses 3//Genesis 2
–tree of life
–tree of KG& E
(4) The point: ch2 describes a spiritual creation while ch3 describes a physical creation. Note that Genesis 1 and 2 do the same thing, but without the explanation in between.
(5) Note that neither physical nor spiritual necessarily means literal. Pres. Kimball taught that the rib story is figurativeâ€”not literal (See Spencer W. Kimball, â€œThe Blessings and Responsibilities of Womanhood,â€? Ensign, Mar. 1976, 70f). So in each case we need to decide whether to read figuratively, literally, or both.
Differences between Moses 2 and 3
(1) In ch2, humans are the culmination of creation but in ch3, man is the precursor. (Or is there another way to explain this?) What might this suggest?
(2) Cf. 2:27 with 3:7: 2:27 emphasizes image of God while 3:7 emphasizes relation to the Earth. Why?
(3) If we read 3:7 figuratively, what would we conclude? (We are of the earth and of Godâ€”tension of â€˜man is nothingâ€™ and â€˜work and gloryâ€™ again.)
(4) Male and female: ch 2 has difference without distinction but ch3 has big distinction. What could we learn from this?
Excursus: definition of ‘help meet’:
(not helpmate–makes me think of Gilligan)
â€“â€˜helpâ€™ in Heb. describes an equal or superior
â€“usually in OT God is the â€˜helpâ€™ of humans
â€“ could trans. as â€˜strengthâ€™ or â€˜powerâ€™
â€“ â€˜meetâ€™ in Heb. only this time in OT
â€“in later Heb., used to mean â€˜equal toâ€™
â€“ possible translation: â€˜a power equal toâ€™
(5) Symbolism of the rib? (â€œI presume another bone could have been used, but the rib, coming as it does from the side, seems to denote partnership. The rib signifies neither dominion nor subservience, but a lateral relationship as partners, to work and to live, side by side.â€?â€”Elder Nelson (See Russell M. Nelson, â€œLessons from Eve,â€? Ensign, Nov. 1987, 86f.)
(6) Why is the physical creation corresponding to days 1, 2, and part of 3 not narrated? (Or, why do we even learn about the spiritual creation of the firmament, etc.?)
(7) What could we learn from the emphasis on rivers in 3:10-14?
(8) Other differences between ch2 and ch3 to discuss?
(1) Note that after each phase of the spiritual creation, God notes that it â€œwas good.â€? What do we learn from this? (My thought: By contrast, we are rather stinting of praise for our own or anotherâ€™s work-in-progress.)
(2) The following relationships get attention in the creation accounts: humans and other creatures, humans and God, man and woman, creation and Godâ€™s plan. Thoughts on what the creation accounts teach about these relationships?
“Our analysis properly begins with the frank recital that our knowledge about the Creation is limited. We do not know the how and why and when of all things. Our finite limitations are such that we could not comprehend them if they were revealed to us in all their glory, fulness, and perfection. What has been revealed to us is that portion of the Lord’s eternal word which we must believe and understand if we are to envision the truth about the Fall and Atonement and thus become heirs of salvation. This is all we are obligated to know in our day.” (Sermons and Writings of Bruce R. McConkie, p179)