Is R)$YT even a "time" word?

Ian Hutchesson mc2499 at
Mon Mar 25 13:18:03 EST 2002

>I have never bought the whole Tiamat/Tehom parallel 
>and all that.  In any such situation, one can look at the similarities 
>and assume they are derived from each other, 

We are not necessarily deriving one from the other. 
The important information we get is the missing 
details in Genesis when we look at the Enuma Elish. 
One could be based on the other, or they could both 
be from the source (directly or indirectly). It is 
the comparison which is what is being looked at. 
We have a number of things explained through the 
Enuma Elish: why tehom, why the wind, when creation 
starts, the division of the waters, and various 
other motifs.

>one can look at the 
>differences and assume they have no connection, or one can look at 
>the whole picture and assume it's not that simple in either direction. 

I think you are prepared to ignore too much. Why 
tehom? thw -> thwm. tehom is chaos just as surely 
as Tiamat is. It is the power of order against the 
power of chaos that is the struggle we are looking 
at in each story. The major difference is the 
demythologization of the Genesis story. It's fine 
to look at the differences, but I think to miss 
the similarities is wilful. One need not consider 
directions but the illumination by the Enuma Elish 
of the Genesis creation.
>I recently reread Enuma Elish just because of this discussion, and it 
>resembles the biblical story like a duck resembles an airplane.  

You must be kidding me, Dave.

>whole comparative-religions school notwithstanding, there is no 
>evidence that the biblical story is derived from Babylonian 
>mythology.  In reality, both probably descend from a common 
>ancestor somewhere, but once we go beyond "they have some 
>superficial similarities" we are in the realm of pure speculation that 
>gets us nowhere, as this discussion has shown.

That may be so. What I am interested in is what the 
story can tell us about Genesis, not about one being 
derived from another and in which way, so you seem 
to have missed the point of the exercise.


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