Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Quest for God and the GoodWorld Philosophy as a Living Experience$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Diana Lobel

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780231153157

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231153157.001.0001

Show Summary Details

“God Saw That It Was Good”

“God Saw That It Was Good”

The Creation of the World in the Hebrew Bible

(p.8) 1 “God Saw That It Was Good”
The Quest for God and the Good

Diana Lobel

Columbia University Press

This chapter explores the relationship between God and the good in the creation account of the Hebrew Bible. In particular, it highlights several different ways in which the term “good” is used in the Hebrew Bible to refer to God's creation. It asks why the Bible begins with creation and whether a real creation takes place here. It analyzes the text of Genesis to show that God does not create from nothing; “in the beginning” we find darkness, water, a formless void, and the deep. It shows that creation is really the shaping of chaos into an orderly, intelligible cosmos. The chapter argues that God does not necessarily know beforehand how his work will turn out. God is rather like an artist who is pleased with his or her creation. It considers the second creation account, beginning in Genesis 2:4, where humans choose the tree of knowledge of good and evil—adult life, with painful consequences and moral maturity—over the innocent childhood of the Garden of Eden.

Keywords:   good, creation, Hebrew Bible, chaos, God, Genesis, cosmos, tree of knowledge, evil, Garden of Eden

Columbia Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .