[b-hebrew] sky

George Athas George.Athas at moore.edu.au
Sun Sep 2 02:51:44 EDT 2012

Thanks for pointing out the basic methodological issues here, Don. The conceptuality, motifs, and devices used in one piece of literature do not necessarily transfer to another piece of literature. Thus, because there is a metaphor in Deuteronomy does not mean Genesis must also be a metaphor.

Furthermore, in this case, one can understand the metaphor more readily in terms of its inception and use when one realises that the ancients generally did conceive of the sky as a hard panel up there. And, as you point out, Genesis sees it as holding back a body of water which, in the flood narrative, is unleashed on the earth below in an act of uncreation — an unseparation of the waters.

Dean of Research,
Moore Theological College (moore.edu.au)
Sydney, Australia

From: Donald Vance <donaldrvance at me.com<mailto:donaldrvance at me.com>>
Date: Saturday, 1 September 2012 12:44 AM
To: "TedBro at aol.com<mailto:TedBro at aol.com>" <TedBro at aol.com<mailto:TedBro at aol.com>>
Cc: George Athas <george.athas at moore.edu.au<mailto:george.athas at moore.edu.au>>, B-Hebrew <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org<mailto:b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>>
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] sky

In all this discussion, the salient fact that the raqia separated the waters by lifting them implies a solid entity. The metaphorical language is evident in the Dt passage, but that doesn't preclude the conceptualization of the raqia as a solid entity, and a metaphorical explanation ignores the capability of lifting the water. Read Enoch. The sleuce gates/windows are taken quite literally.

Donald R. Vance, Ph.D.
Professor of Biblical Languages and Literature
Oral Roberts University
dvance at oru.edu<mailto:dvance at oru.edu>
donaldrvance at mac.com<mailto:donaldrvance at mac.com>

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