In a message dated 08/10/2000 9:00:30 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
AR: The Hebrew word translated as stopped in Gen 8:2 (KJV) is "cakar" a
prime root meaning "to shut up." The stopping of the wells of 2 Kings 3:19
comes from the Hebrew word "satham," a prime root meaning "to stop up." This
latter meaning does indeed agree with the idea of filling in of a spring or
well. But "cakar" fits the idea of the closing of the windows of heaven
which had been opened, "pathach" [to open wide], at the same time as the
breaking up of the "fountains of the great deep." "cakar" can even be the
opposite of "baqa'" [to cleave] Your association of opposites is invalid.
"Satham" is not the opposite of "pathach," rather "cakar" is the opposite of
"pathach'" and "baqa'." So, the windows of heaven were closed and the
breaking up of the fountains of the great deep ceased.
PS: Since "satham" means "to stop up" and "pathach" means "to open up"
"satham" IS the opposite of "pathach." If you "stop up" a drain that is
surely the opposite of "opening it up." And, if you "close up" a drain
("cakar") that is not significantly different from "stopping it up"
("satham"). In both cases, a hole that is allowing water to escape is closed
so that water cannot escape any longer.
Gen 8:2 does NOT say "the breaking up of the fountains of the great deep
ceased." It says "The fountains of the deep were closed." The fountains were
opened ("broke up") on the first day of the Flood just as the windows of
heaven were opened on the first day of the Flood. There is _no continuing
action_ of opening (breaking up) the fountains of the deep any more than
there is a continuing action of opening up the windows of heaven. It all
occurs in one day, "on the seventeenth day of the month, on the same day were
all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were
opened." Once opened, they both stayed open until in Gen 8:2 they were both
closed. If you are going to split continents apart based on Gen 7:11, you are
going to have to do it in one day or rewrite the Bible. And at the time of
Gen 8:2, you are going to have to pull the continents all back together again
because in 8:2 they are closed back up.
AR: Both of these texts [Gen 49:25(24) "blessings of the heaven above;
blessings of the deep sea (Tehom) lying below." Deut 33:13 blessing the land
of Joseph "with
the precious dew of the heavens and with the deep sea (Tehom) lying below."]
can been easily understood to refer to relative elevation. The heavens are
higher, the seas are lower. And we are talking about seas here, not
groundwater. The seas are a blessing because of the foods of the sea and
they are from which the dew of the heavens comes.
The great deep is the oceans, tehom means seas and oceans. Gen 7:11 is
very clear that the fountains are of the oceans, not of the land.
PS: You are taking the verses out of their historical and biblical context.
Both in Mesopotamia and in Canaan there is clear evidence that the sea below
was understood to come up and out of earthly fountains to provide water for
agriculture. Weinfeld shows this very clearly in his paper, "Gen 7:11, 8:1,2
Against the Background of Ancient Near Eastern Tradition [Die Welt des
Orients 9 (1978) 242-248]. The Ugaritic lines in Aqhat C:1:45, 46 parallel
Deut 33:13, saying of a drought: "No dew. No rain. No welling up of the
Deep." The people of the ancient Near East including the Hebrews had no
concept of groundwater as opposed to the sea. The sea, the Deep, that lay
below the earth was the source of all fountains, wells and rivers and was the
only "groundwater" they knew. Thus, the LXX translates Deut 33:13 "deeps of
fountains," obviously not thinking of the Mediterranean or Galilean sea.
Thus, Ezekiel 31:3, 4 speaking of a cedar tree says, "The waters nourished
it, the deep (Tehom) made it to grow…" This is clearly the ocean beneath the
earth. No one would say of a tree either then or now that "the Mediterranean
or Gallilean sea made it to grow." Similarly, Deut 8:7 speaks of Palestine as
"a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs (plural tehom), flowing
forth in valleys and hills." The springs fed by the tehom below the earth are
so closely associated with the tehom they are called "tehoms." This is
certainly not a reference to the Mediterranean and Galilean seas.
Gen 7:11's "fountains of the great Deep" can grammatically mean fountains
supplying the Great Deep (a subjective genitive, as it were) or equally well
fountains supplied by the Great Deep (an objective genitive, as it were). The
historical and biblical context tell us the meaning is the latter. You are
just begging the question.
AR: Who says that that is not what the ancient Jews understood? You? Were
you there? And even if that is what some Jews believed, does that mean that
what the they believed is what the Bible really teaches?
PS: The understanding of Gen 7:11 as referring to the opening of earthly
springs goes back to the earliest Jewish literature we have. Genesis Rabbah
for example, comments about Gen 8:2 that since not _all_ the fountains are
explicitly mentioned as being closed, some must have remained open. It then
asks, which remained open and answers "the great well...and the cavern spring
of Paneas." Obviously fountains on the earth, not under the sea. (Parashah
33:4:1C) If your interpretation is what the Bible really teaches, how is it
that no one understood it that way until modern times, especially if you are
claiming that you are taking the Bible in a straightforward way? If you are
not just imposing your theory on the Bible, show me some ancient Jews who
understood the text your way.
AR: There is Biblical evidence depending upon how the texts [Cant 5:15; Ps
104:5; Amos 9:6]are interpreted. And since when is truth determined by vote?
PS: OK, you tell me. In Cant 5:15 where it says (NKJ)"His legs are pillars of
marble Set on bases of fine gold ("yasad" with "'al", the same words used of
founding the earth upon the sea in Ps 24:2)" does it mean his legs were just
at a relatively higher elevation and beside the base, as the earth is to the
sea in modern terms?
AR: This sounds like a lot of special pleading to me. In any case, the only
place where God says "never again would the waters cross the boundary is in
Gen 8:21. There is no hint in Gen 1 of any such thing. To say that the
waters would never cross the boundary begining in Gen 1 denies Gen 6 to 8.
"Never again" implies that the boundary had been set (during Creation week),
then it over flowed that boundary (during the Flood) and then God says "never
again" will the boundary be over flowed.
PS: I don't know what Bible you are reading, but Gen 8:21 says absolutely
nothing about the the waters crossing a boundary, much less that they will
"never again" do it. Prov 8:29 and Job 38:10, 11, on the other hand, are
about the creation week and they say that at that time God set a limit or
boundary for the sea that it might not transgress. As for your logical
conundrum, Ps 104:5 says, the foundations of the earth were laid so that "it
should not be moved for ever." If this is as rigidly binding as you want Ps
104:9 to be, then Rev 20:11 can never take place.
AR: I'd say that all these [Prov 8:29 and Job 38:4-11are parallel to Ps
104:9]combine the Creation week and the Flood in one narrative.
PS: None of them give any indication whatsoever of being about the Flood.
You are ignoring the context again and reading in your theory.
PS: The words in the Bible mean what they meant to the people of that time.
You cannot remove them from their historical context and give them new
meanings without effectually rewriting the Bible.
AR: I see. You were there so you know what the words ment to the ancients.
What you mean is that you think the ancients believed a certain way so that
you can sit back and gloat about how much more intellegent and smart you are.
PS: What I mean is that there is plenty of ancient Near Eastern and Jewish
literature to tell us what the words meant, and we ought to use that
information to interpret the OT since it is an ancient Near Eastern book.
What creation science does is ignore those meanings and impose modern
meanings upon the text, thus effectually rewriting the Bible to fit the
AR: Only a surficial study of the word Ma'yan consideres it the same as any
other spring or fountain. It is associated with the reservoirs of Nephtoah.
PS: Only a superficial study would think otherwise. In 1 Kings 18:5 Ahab
tells Obadiah to "Go through the land, unto all the fountains (Ma'yan) of
water, and unto all the brooks: peradventure we may find grass and save the
horses and mules alive, that we lose not all the beasts." Obviously in those
circumstances, "ma'yan" refers to numerous fountains and springs, and I might
note they are all on the earth, not under the sea.
Gerhard Hasel was a firm believer in a global flood and would not admit the
Bible represents the earth as floating on an ocean, but in his paper, "The
Fountains of the Deep" [Origins (1974) 1(2):67-72] he shows himself too well
informed to distort the meaning of "the fountains of the deep." He said at
the end of the paper, "Accordingly, the whole clause 'all the fountains of
the great deep burst forth' may be taken to refer to the fountains, which in
normal times furnished sufficient water for the needs of men and animals and
the irrigation of the fields...[and] refers to the splitting open of springs
of subterranean waters..."
This surely is the contextual meaning; and therefore, Gen 7:11 has nothing to
do with springs at the bottom of the sea. It does NOT involve breaking open
the _bottom_ of a reservoir of water. It has NOTHING to do with the bottom of
the ocean. It has nothing to do with the separation of continents. It did
not even involve earthquakes, much less volcanic eruptions. All of these
things are imaginative impositions upon the Word of God. No matter how
well-meaning they may be, they are not true to his Word.
I still hope for better things for you and for Scripture.
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