Gen 1:1. Kermess

Ian Hutchesson mc2499 at
Thu Aug 31 23:13:30 EDT 2000

At 21.44 31/08/00 -0400, Lee R. Martin wrote:
>Ian Hutchesson wrote:
>I haven't seen you ever deal with the structure of the text, Peter. Each
>> day starts with a divine fiat. Besides your commitment to creatio ex
>> nihilo, what makes you think that the author didn't see the raw material of
>> creation as a chaotic sea? Remember that the Babylonian creation requires
>> the separation of the watery chaos (tiamat) -- so watery chaos was there
>> before the creation, noting the mention at this stage of the deep (tehom,
>> the cognate of tiamat).
>Dear Ian,
>Now you are going too far. You are telling Peter to look at the text, but
you are
>straying yourself.  

Hi, Lee,

I think it's quite valid to look at what others were doing in the era.
Besides I have made several posts which deal specifically and only with the
text of Genesis 1.

>Everyone sees the similarities of Gen. 1 to Enuma Elish, but we
>also see the differences.  Just because the Babylonian creation came from
chaos, it
>does not follow that the Genesis account must be the same.  

I'm using the Enuma Elish to elucidate what is in the Genesis text. Given
the form of the creation account in Genesis, each day of which begins with
a divine fiat and ends with the coming of morning. This places v1-2 outside
the creative sequence, which is consistent with the information we find in
the Enuma Elish. When we look at that content we find both the deep (tehom)
and the divine wind preent in  both accounts before the world-creative
acts. I don't see this as straying in any way from the text.

>The Babylonian version
>tells us that the sky is roofed with half the dead body of Tiamat (a new
meaning for
>RAQIYA`?). Humans were formed from the blood of Kingu. etc.

Obviously there are differences -- though, no, half the body of Tiamat did
not become rqy`. Tiamat was watery chaos. That half become the waters above
the firmament.

>So what does Gen. 1:1-3 say?  First, it talks about what comes first --
>The use of ReShiT in the OT  shows that it is somewhat relative.  That is,
when God
>speaks to Jeremiah at the beginning of Zedekiah's reign, it means "after
>began to reign."  Thus, the "beginning of God created" could mean "Just
after God
>created."  Therefore, I would paraphrase Gen 1:1-3 as follows:
>Just after God created the heavens and earth, and the earth was empty and
>and darkness covered the deep, and the spirit of God was moving over the
surface of
>the waters; God said, "Let there be light," and there was light.

Verses 1-2 don't adhere to the clearly creative activity of the rest of the
account: it does not include the divine fiat which initiates each day and
it is outside the seven day pattern built into Gen1. I consider these
points too powerful not to consider and both show that vv1-2 are not
creative acts at all (of course there is nothing parallel to v2 in the rest
of the text).

This is the pattern I see:

1:1-2 Preamble

         dealing with tohu             dealing with bohu
  3-5 Day 1: Day and night    14-19 Day 4: sun, moon and stars
  6-8 Day 2: Sea and sky      20-23 Day 5: fish and fowl
  9-13 Day 3: Earth           24-31 Day 6: animals

2:1-3 Day 7: the day of rest

>I was trying to stay out of this fray, but I couldn't help myself.

I'm happy to hear what other people have to say.



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