You cite me as saying, " 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
Actually, Allen said that. I agree with him that "tehom" means seas and
oceans; but, the fountains are terrestrial fountains fed by the underlying
sea, not fountains deep in the oceans.
Not so clear, Paul. Since you seem to have read about the ancient Near East,
you surely have read the word "deep" translated from Sumerian writings
referring to either their great rivers, the Tigris and Euphrates, or to
irrigation canals which are "fountains."
In the Sumerian flood epic "Atrahasis," there is an extended period of
preceding the flood. Four times the phrase "fountain of the deep" or
"fountains of the deep" is used in direct relationship to the drought and
being deprived of water.
Here is one verse:
"Be[low] the fountain of the deep was stopped, [that the flood rose not at
The field diminished [its fertility]"
Since oceans cannot water fields, I think the most reasonable
interpretation for Genesis also is that the water overflowed the irrigation
canals at the
inception of the flood, and when the rain stopped, the irrigation canals
overflowing the land.
When the middle cities of Mesopotamia were excavated and clay layers were
discovered, which archaeologists dated to roughly 2900 BC, there was found
only fresh water marine deposits - nothing from the sea whatsoever.
PS: You have some good data here; and I agree with most of it. The "deep",
that is, thm, is, however, a Semitic, not a Sumerian word; and Atrahasis is
Semitic (Akkadian) not Sumerian. More importantly, one must distinguish
between their concept of the sea and ours. In their concept the sea was not
only around the earth, but under it as well; and it "welled up" as you say to
provide the water that flowed out of the fountains and rivers. So, although
in our view the ocean cannot water fields, in their view the ocean beneath
the earth did water fields. I gave a more extended discussion of this in my
WTJ paper, "The geographical meaning of "earth" and "seas" in Genesis 1:10".
I could send it by attachment if you are interested.
Also, although I agree with you that the local Mesopotamian flood of c. 2900
BC is very probably the flood upon which the biblical account is based, I do
not believe that irrigation canals can be equated with fountains. "fountains"
are preeminently springs. They can give rise to rivers. Irrigation canals
cannot do that.
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