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Five thousand years ago a story which told of the creation of this world in seven days was common am


Five thousand years ago a story which told of the creation of this world in seven days was common among all the people of western Asia. And this was the Jewish version of it. They vaguely attributed the making of the land and of the sea and of the trees and the flowers and the birds and of man and woman to their different gods. But it happened that the Jews were the first among all people to recognise the existence of One Single God.Afterwards,when we come to talk of the days of Moses (摩西,犹太教基督教《圣经》故事中犹太人的古代民族领袖。他带领在埃及为奴隶的犹太 人迁回迦南。),we shall tell you how this came about. In the beginning,however, the particular Semitic tribe which later was to develop into the Jewish nation,worshipped several divinities,just as all theit neighbours had done before them for countless ages. The stories of the creation, however, which we find in the Old Testament,were written more than a thousand years after the death of Moses, when the idea of One God had been accepted by the Jews as an absolutely established fact ,and when doubt of His Existence meant exile or death. You will now understand how the poet who gave unto the Hebrew people their final version of the beginning of all things,came to describe the gigantic labour of creation as the sudden expression of one single and all-mighty will,and as the work of their own tribal God,whom, they callde Jehovah(耶和华,《圣经.旧约全书》中称 上帝为耶和华),or the Ruler of the High Heavens. And this is how the story was told to worshippers in the temple. In the beginning,this earth floated through space in sombre silence and darkness.There was no land,but the endless waters of the deep ocean covered our vast empires.Then the Spirit of Jehovah came brooding over the sea, contemplating mighty things. And Jehovah said:"Let there be light,"and the first rays of dawn appeared amidst the darkness."This,"Jehovah said,"I shall call the Day." But soon the flickering light came to an end and all was as it had been before."And this,"Jehovah said,"shall be called the Night,"Then he rested from his labours,and so ended the first of all days. Then Jehovah said:"Let there be a Heaven, which shall spread its vast dome across the waters below, that there may be a place for the clouds and for the winds which blow across the sea."This was done. Once more there was an evening and a morning ,and there was an end to the second day.

Then Jehovah said:"Let there be land amidst the waters." At once the rugged mountains showed their dripping heads above the surface of the ocean,and soon they arose mightily towards the high Heavens and at their feet the plains and the valleys spread far and wide. Then Jehovah said:"Let the land be fertile with plants which bear seed, and with trees that bear flowers and fruit."And the earth was green with a soft carpet of grass,and the trees and the shrubs enjoyed the soft caress of the early dawn. And once more the morning was followed by eventide,and so the labour of the third day came to an end. Then Jehovah said:"Let the Heavens be filled with stars that the seasons and the days and the years may be marked. And let the day be ruled by the sun, but the night shall be a time of rest,when only the silent moon shall show the belated wanderer across the desert the true road to shelter." This too was done, and so ended the fourth day. Then Jehovah said:"Let the waters be full of fishes and the sky be full of birds."And he made the mighty whale and the tiny minnows and the ostrich and the sparrow,and he gave them the earth and the ocean as their dwelling place and told them to increase,that they and little minnows and little whales and ostriches and sparrows might enjoy the blessings of life.And that night,when the birds tucked their tired heads underneath their wings and when the fishes steered into the darkness of the deep, there was an end to the fifth day. Then Jehovah said:"It is not enough.Let the world also be full of creatures that creep and such as walk on legs."And he made the cows and the tigers and all the beasts we know unto this very day and many others that since have disappeared from this earth. And when this was done,Jehovah took some of the dust of the soil,and he moulded it into an image,resembling Himself,and he gave it life,and he called it man ,and he placed it at the head of all creation.So ended the labour of the sixth day,and Jehovah was contented with what he had wrought and on the seventh day he rested from his work. Then came the eighth day,and Man found himself amidst his new kingdom.His name was Adam,and he lived in a garden fillde with lovely flowers,and with peaceful animals who came and brought their kittens and their puppies,that he might play with them and forget his loneliness.But even so,Man was not happy.For all other creatures had been given the companionship of their own kind,but Man was alone.Therefore,Jehovah took a rib from Adam and out of it created Eve.Then Adam and Eve wandered forth to explore their home,which was callde Paradise.


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