mc2499 at mclink.it
Mon Jul 22 06:59:13 EDT 2002
Regarding Genesis 7:10-12
>Gen. 7:10 And after the seven days the floodwaters came on the earth.
>Gen. 7:11 In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, on the
>seventeenth day of the second month - on that day all the springs of
>the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were
It is worthwhile reading how the rain stopped:
Gen 8:2 The springs of thwm and the windows of
heaven were shut (up) [skr] and the rain from
heaven was restrained [kl'].
Just as they were opened in 7:11, they were
closed, shut up, restrained in 8:2. They didn't
run out: they were held back from further
flooding. This is consistent with a literal
reading of our text: there were waters above
the rqy` and waters below it. What evidence
from the text points away from a literal
reading of these things in any other direction?
As I've said, the waters above and the waters
below are straight from the tradition of the
Enuma Elish: they are part of the religious
cultural background. This is not figurative
>If we accept "the rising of the sun" as a natural expression, there
>is no need to see any mythological thoughts in the words of Genesis
>7:11 - an extraordinary event must be expressed in a language that is
You go to any astronomy book and you'll see
what the "real" situation is with regard to
the rising of the sun. Go to the astronomy
book of the ancient Hebrews and you'll see
that it is in accord with the common ideas
of the time.
>Please note that even large crops of grain and
>olives etc. come through the "floodgates of heaven" (Malachi 3:10).
Now this is metaphor, not metaphor of metaphor.
"Bring the full tithe... and I will open the
windows of heaven and pour out... blessing."
This can only work if there is a natural
understanding of windows of heaven through
which waters could be poured out. Turning the
metaphor into a simile, the blessing will be
like rain, ie like that which comes out when
the windows of heaven are opened.
>If you read Enuma elish, Gilgamesh and Atrahasis you will never doubt
>that you are reading myths, in many cases there is just one
Atrahasis and Gilgamesh were written well before
1500 BCE. Enuma Elish is harder to date, though
it goes back to the 2nd millennium BCE. All were
written in a polytheistic environment. They may
have been written 1000 years or more before the
material we are considering. It would seem to me
that the comparison is as useful as comparing
biblical astronomy with Babylonian astronomy.
Whereas the latter is on a clear proto-scientific
basis, the former is not.
>If you read Genesis, several texts can be interpreted
>in two ways, either as expressing mythology, or as expressing natural
>things in an everyday language. Our paradigm will be the deciding
Do you mean that you find the notion that the
cosmos was created out of water realistic?
That the earth was a collection of dry from
wet? That daylight was created before the sun?
And that it all happened in six days?
Which paradigm sees this material as simply
"everyday language" expressing natural things?
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