[b-hebrew] Re: Greek Kosmos and similar Hebrew words

Sat Nov 15 13:17:07 EST 2003

I'm writing a masters thesis in religious studies and am currently 
working on a section on the understanding of the ancient to modern 
concepts of the universe, the world (kosmos), heaven, earth, etc.  The 
Greek word kosmos means "world" or "universe" in the sense of a 
combination of the earth and the sky upon which were fixed the stars.  

I'm looking for the Hebrew understanding of the nature of the kosmos.  
I gather that the Hebrews thought of the earth (eretz? tebel?) as a 
kind of flat table over which was the dome of the sky (shamayim?), a 
physical vault that, when God opened the sluicegates, water fell 
through in a process we call rain.  Is there a Hebrew word for the 
combination of heaven and earth like the Greek kosmos?

As I understand it, the Hebrews thought there was a watery chaos above 
the dome as well as waters below the earth (Greek Okeanos) that 
separated earth from Sheol.  

Any help appreciated.  Thanks!

Cindy Smith		Unless the LORD build the house, 	
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