raqia encore (Rolf)
mc2499 at mclink.it
Sun Jul 28 09:54:07 EDT 2002
>If you use the word "cognates" regarding Tiamat and THWM in its
>normal sense,you stand on a shaky foundation.
I completely disagree. Your Westermann seems to be merely
working hard against the evidence.
>"Tiamat in Babylonian is almost always a proper name and is only
>rarely used for the ocean or the sea, which are regularly called
As tehom doesn't take an article it also appears to be
a proper noun.
>Tiamat is a mythical being, and THWM never has this meaning in
>the Old Testament.
This may be possible, but it is the point under debate,
so the statement has no value here.
>the phrase "upon the face of the deep" shows that
>it is not a case of a mythological being but of a flood of water.
First from the the beginning of the Enuma Elish:
"Apsu ... and Tiamat ... had mixed their waters
They naturally were waters. Things can function on more
than one level.
I have also pointed out that the watery chaos monster
exists in other parts of the biblical tradition as
Leviathan, Rahab and the dragon.
>is impossible phonetically and grammatically to derive THWM from the
This is simply wrong.
>THWM has a masculine ending,
This is simply wrong. tehom has NO ending and in such
is similar to yd (hand) and a small but significant
group of primary feminine nouns.
>Tiamat a feminine;
And there is a plural to tehom = thmwt
>the H of the hebrew THWM cannot be explained as deriving from Tiamat."
But nobody says that one is derived from another. They
are COGNATES, ie they come fromt he same source, not
one from the other. "chief" and "head" are cognates,
but "chief" which is derived from "caput" is not a
cognate of the other.
>Westermann points out that there is agreement that both words go back
>to a common Semitic root (No traces of "Proto-Semitic" has ever been
>found. so it is just hypothetical),
This is because he doesn't appear to look at the words
in their comparative linguistic context. I have given
a brief outline of the phonological processes visible
in the two words and how they reflect changes visible
across the languages.
>and then he concludes:
>"There is widespread agreement that Tiamat and THWM go back to a
>common Semitic root; but the occurrence of THWM in Gen 1:2 is not an
>argument for the direct dependence of the creation account of Gen 1
>on Enuma Elish."
Agreed. However, it is irrelevant. I have consistently
talked of belonging to a tradition rather than
depending on a specific source.
>I have noted that nobody has pointed to any extra-biblical source
>from the first part of the first millennium B.C.E., or even later (as
>I asked for), indicating a world view of the earth fixed on pillars
>in a cosmic ocean with a solid vault above. This may suggest that the
>Semites never had such a world view, but that views from the Middle
>Ages have been projected backwards.
As I first said, you may not get all the elements
"[He] who shakes the earth from its place,
and its pillars tremble,
who commands the sun and it doesn't rise,
and seals up the stars"
Job 9:6 supplies pillars (and see also Ps 104:5 and
Job 38:4,6). All the rest we have been through in
Genesis. Granted, you have attempted to explain away
the solidity of rqy`, but it was never based on the
That these elements don't appear all together doesn't
allow one to suppose that they are a retrojection
from the Middle Ages!
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