[b-hebrew] Genesis 1:2 - And the earth was without form,

Dave Washburn dwashbur at nyx.net
Tue Apr 25 14:38:56 EDT 2006

On Monday 24 April 2006 12:49, Harold Holmyard wrote:
> Dear Dave,
> >First, we don't know what kind of calendar was used at that time.  Second,
> >where was he?  We assume somewhere in Mesopotamia, but that's hardly
> > certain, so we really don't know when rain would have been normal. 
> > Third, it's easy to say it was a disruption of the natural seasons, but
> > was it also a disruption of the natural diurnal rotation of the earth or
> > of temperatures? 8:22 says "While the earth remains, seedtime and
> > harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not
> > cease."  In any case, it's clear you're making an assumption here about
> > the "natural seasons" that isn't in the text.  I'm okay with that as long
> > as we both understand that it's an assumption, not an actual analysis of
> > the text.
> HH: Water covered the earth for 150 days, so there was an interruption
> of seedtime and harvest, and perhaps of cold and heat, summer and
> winter. The great deeps were broken up.

But that's not the point of the whole flood story.  The point is the death of 
everything except those that caught the boat.  If you add up the whole thing, 
the entire event took a full year.  But once again, that's not the point.  
Again, I have no ax to grind here except trying to see what the text says I 
should see.  And it sure appears to say that seasons etc. are something new 
after this world-destroying event, else in the context of the story there's 
no real reason to mention it.  Obviously, Your Mileage May Vary.  But the 
above is reading something into the text that the text itself doesn't 
discuss.  Noah and his family let all those stinky animals out of the boat, 
get out and walk around, and realize they're the only living humans left on 
earth.  There may even have been dead bodies scattered from hither to yon, 
further smelling the place up.  Is the question of seasons, hot and cold etc. 
really going to be the first thing on their minds?  I rather doubt it.

All that's assuming the story is literal, of course.  I say that before 
someone pounces on me, because I really don't care one way or the other.  I'm 
just looking to deal with the text as it stands, since that's what working 
with biblical Hebrew is all about ;-)

Dave Washburn
Encephaloriasis: That condition generated when the person you are dealing with 
is so stupid, you can actually feel your own brain cells drying up and 
flaking off.

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