Shabbat/Shupattu article revised

Walter Mattfeld mattfeld at
Sun Dec 16 04:10:00 EST 2001


I have atempted to argue that the Hebrews transformed the cultic calendars
honoring the Moon-god and the days of rest associated with the cult into
days of rest for Yahweh-Elohim.  The day of the New Moon originally was the
day the New Moon rested, it being the first day of the month and out of
view. The seventh day memorialized Inanna, "the first daughter of the moon,"
as the day she rested and refreshed herself, bathing and adoning new attire.
The fifteenth day of the month, the day of the Full Moon, was associated
with the day that the gods rested after taking their final absolution baths,
and killing one of their own, made mankind to toil for them, giving them
eternal rest from toil.

To the cultic calendars of the rest days of the Moon, Inanna and the gods,
was combined the 7th day of the Flood or Deluge from the Epic of Gilgamesh
and the Atrahasis Myth. According to these myths the gods rested on the
seventh day after destroying man in the flood, his noise having prevented
them from attaining rest by day or sleep by night. Fear of disturbing a
God's rest, evident in the Hebrew Bible, is based -in my opinion- on this
motif, that the Gods would destroy man again if he dared violate their rest

Walter Reinhold Warttig Mattfeld
Walldorf by Heidelberg
Baden-Wurttemburg, Germany

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list