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Honors Program
HONR 1101
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Emily McClure Genesis 1-11 The ancient Hebrews are different from the ancient Greeks in many ways, and I feel like we will be able to see the differences more especially once we get further into ancient Hebrew society when they begin to build bigger nations and more structured communities. From Genesis 1-11, I thought that one major difference is the view of women. In ancient Greece, women were oftentimes not regarded as essentially a different species than men. They were not given opportunities nor could they contribute in the political society. They were seen as much inferior to men. In this part of the Bible, the woman is still considered the “helper suited to the man”, but it is emphasized that they are equally important in God’s eyes, as they are both His creations formed in His image: “God created mankind in his image; in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27). God tells Adam as he presents Eve to him, “‘This one, at last, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh’” (Genesis 2:23). So it seems that men and women are given equal respect at the beginning of time. Side note: I also think it is interesting that it says that men leave their parents and marry their wives because the two become one body together (since she is said to be made partly out of his rib). It reminded me of the idea in Plato’s Symposium when Aristophanes (I believe it’s him) suggests that love is just finding our other half or “that which is our own”. Anyway, another difference between the ancient Greeks and the ancient Hebrews is the gods (obviously). More specifically, the concept that the Hebrew God is eternally good, merciful, and just, whereas—as portrayed in Homeric poems, etc—the Greek gods had individual personalities that could act rashly or basically in any way that they choose. We can see the eternal goodness of God when he starts over after the flood and bestows mercy: “…the Lord said to himself: Never again will I curse the ground because of human beings, since the desires of the human heart are evil form youth; nor will I ever again strike down every living being, as I have done” (Genesis 8:21). He even grants a a new lessing on the new generations of humankind: “Be fertile, then, and multiply; abound on earth and subdue it. God said to Noah and to his sons with him: See, I am now establishing my covenant with you and
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