See R. David Freedman, “Woman, a Power Equal to Man,” BAR 09:01.



See Umberto Cassuto, A Commentary to Genesis (Jerusalem: Magnes, 1961), vol. 1, pp. 12-15.


K.R. Veenhof, “The Old Assyrian Hamuštum-Period: a Seven-Day Week,” Jarbricht van Het Vooraziatisch-Egyptisch Genootschap, Ex Oriente Lux 34 (1995–1997), pp. 5-26.


It is in this sense (and not in its details) that Genesis 1 evokes parallels to Mesopotamia’s Enūma Elish, the “Creation Epic,” which claimed for the Babylonians (in some versions, also for Assyrians) that their nation was primordially selected for elevation.


The Revised Standard Version’s (RSV’s) translation of our passage, “Behold, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil …,” implies that Lord God is reacting to a new set of circumstances in which humans have come to know good and bad. But the verbal form in this phrase is past, not present as in the RSV, and Lord God’s apprehension does not come until the second portion of his statement, “what if he should now stretch out his hand?” The syntax of Genesis 3:22, therefore, locates Lord God’s alarm not in the pair having attained knowledge (they displayed it before they ate from the fruit), but in their potential continuing access to the Tree of Life.


George Wald, The End of Life: A Discussion at the Nobel Conference Organized by Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, Minnesota, 1972, ed. J.D. Roslanski (Amsterdam, 1973), p. 19.