The Hebrew or Israelite’s (HoI) book of Genesis (2.5-3) and the Pandora Myth in the Greek poet Hesiod’s Work and Days both include the creation of Men and Women. In each of these works, this creation plays a significant role in showing the relationship between human beings and gods (or God) in that culture. The order of creation (Man Vs Women) indicates the importance one sex has over the other. In the book of Genesis (2.5-3) and Work and Days, Men are created before women towards the beginning of creation. However, the basis on why women are created indicates the importance of women in HoI and Greek cultures. In the book of Genesis (2.5-3) woman is created to be a companion for the lonely man, but plays an important role helping humans become more human like. In contrast, the story of Work and Days tells us women are created to punish man and are the root of all evil. The process in how women are created also indicates their importance within these cultures. In Genesis, the woman is created from a man’s rib, while in Work and Days the woman is created out of clay and the “gifts” of many gods. Lastly, how the gods (or God) treats man, preceding creation, may also indicate some insight to their relationships. In Genesis, we see God worry for man’s well being, while in Works and Days man is being punished for something they didn’t do. Both Genesis and Work and Days have similar orders of creation for both men and women. Preceding the creation of heaven and earth, the
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Hesiod’s versions of the Prometheus/Pandora story and the book of Genesis’s story of Eve’s act of eating the forbidden fruit both introduce a female figure whose actions are connected with the seeming introduction of evil into the world. At first glance, it appears that the Genesis story is more compelling than Hesiod’s account at explaining the origin of evil because its monotheistic structure makes the logic behind the evils far more clear and straightforward than Hesiod’s logic. The act of disobedience by Eve seems fully her own fault while God (Yahweh) is faultless. However, Genesis is too simple because the story of Prometheus/Pandora is far more complex. The Hesiod story of Prometheus/Pandora is more compelling than Genesis because the conflict allowed disputes between the gods in its polytheistic worldview rather than one god making Hesiod more compelling at explaining the evils of the world.
When the modern person ponders the formation of human beings, our mind automatically goes to Adam and Eve, whom were the first man and woman created by God according to the Book of Genesis. Before there was Adam and Eve, diverse cultures came up with myths about the construction of humans. These myths included: “The Song of Creation” from the Rig Veda, An African Creation Tale, From the Popol Vuh, and A Native American Creation Tale “How Man Was Created” Each one of these legends gives a diverse perspective on the creation of human beings.
In Genesis, it felt like men were more important than women. Men were created first and women weren’t mentioned much in the epic except for Eve. When Eve was mentioned in the story it seemed like she was to blame for all of the problems because she convinced Adam to eat the forbidden fruit with her. Because Eve talked Adam into eating from the tree, women are responsible for sin on earth.
The myth of Pandora starts with two brothers, Epimetheus and Prometheus, who were Titans that tasked themselves as spokespeople for their creation from clay: mankind. Epimetheus was in charge of creating the creatures that were to roam the Earth while Prometheus was to distribute them. While most animals were armed or protected by their physical attributes, man stood alone naked and bear to all those that may attack. Thus, Prometheus, the mischevious of the two, deceived Zeus one day into giving mankind the best portion of a sacrificed bull, leaving behind bare bones and fats for the gods. Outraged and offended, Zeus then took the gift of fire away from mankind to leave them in the cold and darkness. However, Prometheus once again outwitted Zeus and stole unwearying fire for men to have the intelligence necessary to sustain their lives. As punishment, Zeus chained Prometheus to a rock in Caucasus where an eagle ripped apart and devoured his liver every day, which then regenerated each nightfall as result of his immortality. Although Prometheus caused him the most angst, Zeus believed the kind-hearted Epimetheus deserved to struggle as well in a form that would not only punish him but also the brothers’ creation of mankind. Zeus called out for Hephaestus to construct the most beautiful, intelligent, and brave women named Pandora to be the new companion of Epimetheus in place of Prometheus. However, he also graced her with one other quality: curiosity. So, Zeus delivered his
In the second creation story Gods interest was to find man a partner stating “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner” (Genesis 2:18). God attempted to bring every animal in creation to the man in hopes that they would fit as a good partner but they did not. The LORD than decided to make a creature for man to partner with stating “then he took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman” (Genesis 2:21-22) Thus making man a fitting partner.
In the Hebrew Bible, the Book of Genesis and the Greek play Medea, by Euripides, contain female characters that can be seen as complex and have significance and meaning in the text. There are many interpretations involving the female characters, some characters may be portrayed as weak and irrational or strong-willed and wise. I will argue that, women are portrayed in the Hebrew Bible and Medea as irrational and senseless, in order for the men to be portrayed as superior and for women to be seen as inferior. This idea of the female characters being irrational and senseless can be seen in Genesis 4, Genesis 18, Genesis 29, and throughout the Medea play.
The relationship of men and women by one another was greatly influenced when Natives and Europeans encountered each other. From these stories men are in higher position than women for example God was a man who created the entire earth. In the previous creation stories “A women who fell from the sky” her father the chief was in charge of heaven who was also a man and then in “Ramon Pane” there was four men left who were not exposed to the sun and were left to continue man kind. Although the stories told by the Native Americans had a man or men being the start of the earth or creation they did have a woman helping in some parts. As in the Europeans story only God being a man created everything. This could affect the way the Europeans and Native Americans treated each other in there first encounter because the Europeans had men in charge of things and the woman did what they were told or what benefited the men. As in the Native culture the men were still in charge but the women had more responsibility and were used more. Both of these cultures would have thought the others were unusual and this would affect the way they would interact.
With few exceptions, our male dominated society has traditionally feared, repressed, and stymied the growth of women. As exemplified in history, man has always enjoyed a superior position. According to Genesis in the Old Testament, the fact that man was created first has led to the perception that man should rule. However, since woman was created from man’s rib, there is a strong argument that woman was meant to work along side with man as an equal partner. As James Weldon Johnson’s poem, “Behold de Rib,” clearly illustrates, if God had intended for woman to be dominated, then she would have been created from a bone in the foot, but “he
The Drama of Scripture written by Bartholomew and Goheen takes the reader on a journey through the entire Bible in six short “acts.” The first Act discusses creation and the establishment of God’s Kingdom. In the beginning was complete darkness. Then, God created light and divided the heavens and the earth. He then split the waters and the seas, creating dry ground on which the rest of creation could walk. He proceeded to make plants and flowers and the sun, moon, and stars. He created days and seasons and animals of all shapes and sizes. And then, to add the finishing touch, God created men and women, male and female, He created them. The book states that “the Genesis story is given so that we might have a true understanding of the world in which we live, its divine author, and our own place in it” (Bartholomew, 29). Genesis 1-3, the story of Creation, is prevalent because it introduces the author of creation, humanity, and the creation upon which humanity’s drama unfolds.
For the past two-thousand years, the Book of Genesis has served as work of literature to the western civilization. Whether people believed in the Bible or not, the Book of Genesis tell stories they talk about having good morals, teaching live-learned lessons and overall it gives a glimpse of how the first human being acted when the world was developing and how they handle problems and situations. However, even though the book of Genesis shows a tone of life long morals, Genesis also shows the different sides of humans. Genesis shows how human can be deceitful, evil, and disobedient to authority figures. But these traits with humans were rarely displayed by man, but mostly by woman. In
In the story of creation, Eve causes sin and is the scapegoat for Adam’s actions and thus God then establishing punishments for humans. Woman have more devastating punishments than men: God said to woman “I will greatly multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children, yet your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you” (Genesis 3:16). To man God said that he shall have to grow his food, there is no desire for his wife, physical trauma when making children or for his wife to rule over him. Women also have to grow food to live, but they have the extra punishment of birth and being inferior to their husbands. These messages are quite clear, and what the men who are writing these passages are trying to convey. The silence of the story and the message that is
In the realm of ancient western literature, the nature of and relationship among men, women and the divine is often times manifested through the sinfulness of men, the diminishment of women’s value, and the rightfulness of the divine. One such case is Genesis 19 and Judges 19 of the Hebrew Bible, two similar narratives about rape. From a modern biblical point of view, the writers of Judges 19 deliberately situated the characters in similar positions as those in Genesis 19, but included their own telling on women’s destiny to illustrate how women are treated different societies. The two narratives together explain that men are sinful toward women if not for divine intervention. In particular, the narratives’ contrasting endings show that women
Created to cause the downfall to mankind, Pandora, was produced with deception in mind. She was fashioned to look similar to a goddess, armed with fine graces and beauty, she was the epitome of all things nice and pleasant. However her whole existence was created to ensure the destruction of men. As stated by Zeus the king of all gods, "But I will give men as the price for fire an evil thing in which they may all be glad of heart while they embrace their own destruction."(7) Pandora was fabricated out of nothing with the main purpose of deception. She was a living, walking trap ready to ensnare anyone willing to fall victim to her charms. As the first female human to be created in Greek mythology, Pandora plays a key role in the future depiction
Genesis 1-3 offered the very first outline of societal norms and therein introduced interpretations of norms related to family, gender, and sex. In our now-progressive society, the constraints of indubitable religion are removed and the differing interpretations of gender, sex, and family within religion are freely debated. Since the text of creation is divine and human logic cannot fully interpret or understand God’s word, there are copious, varying interpretations of the text. An essential starting point for interpreting the Bible is the understanding that misinterpretations are bound to happen. The difference in time and context alone is causation, let alone the factors of translation and transcription. Susan T. Foh and Carol Meyers, both graduates of Wellesley College, have very differing strategies regarding how to interpret divine texts. Meyers, a professor at Duke, directed attention towards the context in which the text was written. Since our societies are constantly in flux, the context from when the text was written is often different from the context in which predominant and accepted interpretations were fabricated. Foh’s strategy of interpreting and understanding the text is to utilize latter parts of the text, which were written with more recent contexts, in order to understand the text. Both of these methodologies set up the text to be re-interpreted, however, Foh’s methodology is more complete because it allows the text to speak for itself rather than bring in
The Bible is controversial on the matter of gender equality. There are numerous contradictions about the status of women in Christian society. Historically, the most prominent interpretation has been rather negative toward women. The Christian Church, with principally male authority, emphasizes the idea that women are inferior to man. They focus on Eve’s sin leading to a punishment that “her husband will have authority over her.” (Drury, 34)