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Essay: Origins of the universe – Genesis and Hesiod’s Theogony

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  • Origins of the universe - Genesis and Hesiod’s Theogony
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The explanation of the origin of the universe has attracted a couple of theories. The theoretical expressions portrayed by both the books of Genesis and Hesiod’s Theogony are not an exeption. Hebrew at their time, together with many Christians today, have based their faith on the creation of the universe as recorded in the book of Genesis (White 25). Greeks, but, have their firm belief in Hesiod’s Theogony. The two theories have sharply divergent opinions based on their beliefs. Even with the stark difference between the two beliefs, there are a couple of relationships between them. The correlations range from the origin of life, the cultural views God, the existence of heaven and earth, supreme beings, the worth of people, the nature of the universe as well as its future. Thus, understanding the relationship between the two beliefs is essential. The Book of Genesis and Hesiod’s Theogony have vast connections. There is a belief in heaven and earth in both beliefs, and there are beliefs in a supreme being, marriage as well as the role of gender are significantly explained. The subjects also believe that there is punishment for sin and a possibility of deception. The relationship between the two beliefs can be best understood when they are analyzed one after another. The books of Genesis and Hesiod’s Theogony have a deep connection in their explanation of the creation theory. The two books are detailed on the concept of the origin of the universe. The two creations stories as well as explain how all that is within the world came into existence. In the Theogony story of creation, it is recorded that in the beginning there was Chaos which existed without form or purpose. The theory also elucidates that the earth, which is known as Gaia, was first to exist and from it, all the other creations existed. The theory asserts that it is from Gaia that heavens existed. From the theory, Gaia and Uranus became husband and wife giving birth to a couple of children starting with mighty Titans, then Cyclops’s and later hideous Hecatonchires (Brown 33). Similarly, Genesis story of creation, but talks of an existence of a supernatural God who created the heavens and the earth (Scult, Michael & Kenneth 124). The Genesis Theory explains that God created everything by word of mouth. After the creation of the earth, God commanded everything else to come from the ground including human beings. The connection between the two theories is strong based on the fact that all the created things came from the earth. In as much as the form of explanation in the theories is divergent, the concept is based on a similar explanation. The two stories provide an account of creation though in different forms but speaking about the same thing which is the creation of the universe.Both the theories of Genesis and Hesiod’s Theogony agree on the existence of heaven and earth. The heaven and earth are depicted in Theogony as husband and wife which came into existence. The names given to the heaven and earth according to Theogony are Uranus and Gaia respectively (Parker 35). There exist a gap between the heaven and the earth called Khaos which is the air. Above the earth lies the heaven with Khaos (atmosphere) between them. At the beginning of genealogies, Hesiod says that at first chaos came to be in existence before heaven and earth. He then says that after Khaos, a wide-bosomed Gaia (Earth) emerged. Hesiod also talks about Erobos (Darkness) and Nyx (Night) that were in existence (The Theogony of Hesiod). In the Biblical Genesis story about creation, the bible as well mentions the existence of heaven and earth (White 32). The book of Genesis says that God created the heaven and the earth in the beginning. Before creating the heaven and the earth, there was just a void space with darkness filling the whole space. It means that the face of the deep that was filled with darkness according to the bible is directly relating to the Khaos (air) that was filled with darkness (Erobos) in the Theogony. Both accounts confirm the existence of heaven and earth.Both Genesis and Hesiod Theogony have a similar belief that there is an existence of supreme beings (God and gods). According to the Theogony, the first entity to appear was Chaos. The first gods then emerged from Chaos which is Gaea and Nyx. Erebus and Tarturus were beings associated with the underworld (Brown 22). Another being called Nyx gave birth to Hemera which is the Day while Erebus spawned Aether (Brown 23). The early gods according to Hesiod’s Theogony were all places and phenomena. Gaea and Uranus were great gods who bore three Hecatoncheires. They also gave birth to three Cyclopes and twelve Titans. The Titans were also called Elder gods, and they were immortal beings as well (Brown 25). There is a series of the genealogy of people according to Hesiod that are exhibiting different characters and having different responsibilities. According to Genesis, the Supreme Being is God who dwells in heaven. Other supreme beings mentioned are the angles and the spirit of God. The book of Genesis also gives an account of different foreign gods that were believed to have powers by different communities. The other gods include Baal, Ashtoreth, Asherah, Chemosh, and Molech (Lurker 12). Even though in the scripture according to Genesis the Supreme Being is God, some communities could still acknowledge their gods over God. The theories of the book of Genesis and Hesiod’s Theogony have a common depiction of the specific roles of gender in the world. The roles which men and women play according to the book of Genesis and Theogony are depicted such that every gender has a responsibility to perform. There is a similarity in the roles as seen in the two writings. In the book of Genesis, the Bible illustrates the main character of the male as domination (Scult, Michael & Kenneth 126). God created man before the woman was created. In fact, the book of Genesis indicates that the woman was created from the man’s rib. The man was then given domination over all creatures on the face of the earth by God. From the Genesis story of creation, the first man to be created was called Adam. God gave Adam the responsibility to name all the living creatures in the Garden of Eden (Scult, Michael & Kenneth 120). The man gave the name to the woman. He named the woman Eve. Even after the fall of man, God still gave the man the power to hard labor and ensuring that he provides for the family. Theogony also illustrates the domination of authority as belonging to the man. Hesiod’s Theogony says that it is the man (Zeus) who makes major decisions as well as doing significant duties (Press 220). The duties done by Zeus according to Hesiod were appointing Muses and assigning Muses different privileges. Zeus also was the one who was to be made a king. They were to preside over essential judgments and settled disputes. Males according to Hesiod were superior and rulers as well (Press 119). They are also the heads of the family. In both the book of Genesis and Hesiod’s Theogony, women have also been given similar roles of being a mother and childbearing.There is a relationship in the concept of how deception has been depicted in both the Book of Genesis and Hesiod’s Theogony. According to the book of Genesis, the story began with the devil deceiving Eve to take the fruit that they were told of God not to eat (Carr 24). The devil succeeded in deceiving man, and the result is the sin. After Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, they hid with an assumption that God could not see them. They tried to deceive God, but because God is supernatural according to Genesis, they could not succeed. Eve also deceived her husband Adam until he ate the forbidden fruit. Cain after killing Abel knew precisely where his brother Abel was for Abel had murdered him but goes ahead to deny telling God when he was asked the whereabouts of Abel (Carr 34). He was deceiving himself assuming that God did not know what he (Cain) had done to Abel. The sons of Jacob also lied to their father about the whereabouts of Joseph while they knew that they sold him into slavery. Joseph himself hides his identity for his brothers in Egypt. The Book of Genesis is thus full of deceptions. Hesiod’s Theogony is not left out with the deceptive nature of the subjects. In the explanation, the gods are continually seducing human females by deceiving them. In the same Theogony, Prometheus also wanted to keep more sacrifices for the people (Lurker 17). He, therefore, tricks Zeus to achieve the goal. The birth of other gods was as a result of deception among the gods according to Hesiod.The concept of vengeance is continuously depicted in both the Book of Genesis and Hesiod’s Theogony. In the Book of Genesis, the sons of Jacob revenged against Shechem for defiling their sister Dinah. Hamor and his son Shechem were deceived to circumcise themselves to marry Dinah. When the wounds of the men were still sore after the circumcision, two sons of Jacob, Simeon, and Levi revenged on them to kill. Many chapters in the book of Genesis talk about revenge by both Cain and Lamech (Carr 29). Vengeance is also significantly shown in the Hesiod’s Theogony. After Uranus had imprisoned several sons of Gaia the goddess, she (Gaia) rebelled against the husband (Uranus) by siding with Zeus to kill Uranus. After that, Zeus himself was also binding the sons of Gaia. Those who were being bond were Titan sons in Tartarus. The act greatly angered Gaia. She, therefore, birthed a tribe of Gigantes called Giants and a monster Typhoeus to enable her to overthrow Zeus. Prometheus having been left behind by Zeus from being sent to Tartarus stole the forbidden fire. Zeus was angered Prometheus’s she punished him. The book of Genesis and Hesiod’s Theogony are written full of revenge from both the supreme beings to the human beings. Though there is a depiction of mercy in the biblical Book of Genesis, and that vengeance is not the first option for God, He still punishes sin. In Hesiod’s Theogony, there is no mercy at all (Press 20). One makes a mistake and is punished immediately. However, punishment is always depicted in both of the two stories.The ways through which sexual relationships are depicted in both Genesis and Hesiod Theogony are connected. From the book of Genesis, a story of some pre-Flood link persons has been recorded. The persons mentioned above are significantly related to the story in the Hesiod’s Theogony. They are called the sons of God. The Book of Genesis says that the sons of God were involved in the sexual relationship with the daughters of men. Most bible scholars and other Christians believe that the sons of God are the fallen angels (Staubli 464). They thus get into sexual intercourse together with the daughters of men to produce other beings. In fact, carnal knowledge is a collective action in the book of Genesis whereby, God’s people were indulging in continuously. For example, Reuben the firstborn of Jacob get into the sexual relationship with his father’s wife (Staubli 455). Theogony, means the birth of gods. In Hesiod’s Theogony, there is a series of canal knowledge between gods. Zeus begets eight daughters who indulge into canal knowledge with other gods to bear Muss. Many female gods are also being deceived into the sexual relationship with other gods. Hesiod records in his poem a lot of praises for female gods who beget other gods with their fellow gods (Press 220). Thus, from the Book of Genesis and Hesiod’s Theogony, sexual relationships are commonly mentioned among the beings. The concepts are significant in the explanation of the continuity of the humans. Both the Book of Genesis and Hesiod’s Theogony have a common argument that women brought curses in the world. In Genesis, after God had created man in His image, he placed man in the Garden of Eden. He, therefore, told the man not to eat fruits from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The woman Eve went ahead and took the fruit and later on passed it on to Adam thus bringing curse into the world. Rebecca, the mother of Jacob, deceives Isaac to bless Jacob instead of Esau. Esau thus missed the blessing from his father even though it was Esau who was to be blessed. The same story applies in Hesiod’s Theogony. Zeus colluded with her children to kill their father, Uranus. Even though the children were reluctant to do so, her convincing spirits made the children do so. Just from the very beginning, women were like a curse to man according to Hesiod. Zeus had a plan of afflicting Prometheus for trying to trick her so that she could eat bones (Drozdek 51). Just because Zeus was angry with Prometheus, the first woman Pandora came into existence. Pandora brought anger with her that led to the death of other beings and even a plan to kill Uranus. The topic of marriage is conclusively addressed in both the book of Genesis and Hesiod’s Theogony. From the book of Genesis, God instituted the first marriage between Adam and Eve. Several marriages have been recorded after the first marriage. The marriages recorded include the marriage between Isaac and Rebecca, Noah and the wife, Lot and his wife, Abraham, and Sarah among many other marriages. The book of Genesis also illustrates the marriage between Jacob and his two wives. Hesiod also says in his account that it is good for a man to acquire a good woman. There are several marriages between the gods and the goddesses in his depiction. Zeus is married to Uranus (Drozdek 31). Hesiod touches much on marriage in his account. He says that it is good for a lady to be married while still a virgin. His description in the Theogony account states that a man will always find good tidings if he finds a good wife (Drozdek 32). Concerning marriage, he gives more teaching than he speaks about religion. Marriage is, therefore, a significant relationship in the two theories, and to some extent, they talk similar thing about marriage.There is no clear explanation of the origin of the first being in both the book of Genesis and Hesiod’s Theogony. There is no explanation of what existed before God in the Bible emerged and before Chaos in Theogony appeared. In Genesis, the Bible does not precisely describe what existed before God the creator started His work of creation (Krauss 13). No explanation is recorded where God was before the beginning as stated in the bible. The Bible began to give an account when God began creating the universe so forth (Krauss 15). In the same way, Hesiod’s Theogony does not explain the origin of Chaos. It just states that in the beginning, Chaos existed and through Chaos, Gaia and Uranus came forth. It is from that point that other beings emerged. There is ultimately no explanation on where Chaos was before the beginning (Drozdek 21). There is also no explanation on the universe before Chaos. It is entirely in agreement with the Genesis story. What led to the existence of God and Chaos is also not brought out in the two beliefs. Something could not come from anywhere to exist unless there was a serious reason for the existence. Thus, there is a very close connection between the theories put forth by both the book of Genesis and Hesiod’s Theogony. The theories are used and believed by different factions but from a close analysis of the concepts, there is a clear relationship between the specific beliefs. The book of Genesis and Hesiod’s Theogony depicts a great relationship. The supreme beings in both accounts are all powerful. All the gods in Hesiod’s Theogony are portrayed as omnipotent. The God of the Book of Genesis is also omnipotent. The major themes that are put forth in both the theories are similar. The themes might have taken a different means of explanation but the underlying concept is similar. The subjects of marriage, the origin of the earth, the unknown origins of the supreme beings, and the societal morals among other major themes have similar directions of establishment. With this focus, the relationship between the theory of Genesis and that of the Hesiod’s Theogony is wide. A closer look at the depth of the religions portrays a clear similarity in the major themes with different approaches of understanding.

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