Gen 1:1. Kermess

Ian Hutchesson mc2499 at
Fri Sep 1 09:31:01 EDT 2000

Dear Lee,

You responded to my

>> 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.
>Dear Ian,
>1-In my paraphrase,  I placed vv 1-2 outside the six day sequence.  Vv 1-2 is
>background to what follows. Vv 1-2 consists of four subordinate clauses
which are
>introductory to v. 3.  I do not believe that "ex nihilo" creation is
really addressed
>one way or the other in this text.  

This is the problem I was aiming at with my titzenclitz definition
(apparent females would not have fit the archetype, though the relevant
attributes were probably not expressly considered). The writer, referring
to creation might not clearly have said that there was a creation out of
something, but the Hebrew ethos is clearly of that opinion (As Wisdom
indicates) and one cannot separate this text from that ethos without some
indications for doing so.

>When verse 3 begins, the earth and heaven had
>already been created. However, I am arguing against your "creative" use of
>Elish.  In your parallelism you effectively misinterpreting both texts.
Tiamat does in
>fact become the "dome" of the sky despite your statement to the contrary.
"He split
>her like a shellfish in two parts: Half of her he set up and ceiled it as

I am working from Stephanie Dalley's translation on the matter (Myths of
Mesopotamia, OUP '89), who writes:

"Half of her he put up to the roof of the sky,
 Drew a bolt across and made a guard to hold it.
 Her waters he arranged so that they could not escape."

The bolted sky restrains the half above the pre-existing sky as I
understand the text.

>She holds back the waters (4:140)  "In her belly he established the
>zenith" (5:11)  She is the dome of heaven. In Enuma Elish, all things are
created from
>parts of the dead god Tiamat: half of her body becomes the dome of heaven,
her breasts
>become mountains; her eyes are poked out and rivers flow from the sockets,
etc. Then
>humanity is formed from the blood of Kingu, another conquered enemy.  In
>however, as you stated, everything is created by divine fiat "let there
>(contra. ch. 2).

I think you are taking things too far. Perhaps you would agree that John
1:1 is modeled on Genesis 1:1 but they are not the same -- the say
different things --; am I being "creative" when I work on the idea that the
writer of GJohn1 had Gen1 in mind?

>Again, in Jer. 28:1 BeReSHiT means "near the beginning."  So that, four
years after
>Zedekiah began to reign, the writer can still say "At the beginning of his
reign."  I
>am suggesting that in Gen. 1:1 "At the beginning of God's creating the
heavens and the
>earth" can mean "Soon after God began creating, .... he said, "Let there
be light..."
>This does not require "ex nihilo" creation, but it does allow for it.

Darkness already existed, as did the earth, the waters and the deep. When
God says "Let there be light..." he then separated it from the darkness
*which he did not create*. Creation from chaos by separation does not allow
creatio ex nihilo. If you accept the notion that God's first creative act
was a divine fiat, I can't see why you would have any problem here.



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