Re: FW: YEC Destroying Faith

From: <>
Date: Sat Apr 24 2004 - 03:50:25 EDT

David wrote,
> Glenn,
> >I know that you are off line, but I cannot let this partial answer pass.
> >I must ask: where are the sluice gates that were opened to produce the
> >Flood?

Gordon asked in response,

> How would the ancient Hebrews have answered this question? Do we know how
> the Babylonians or others of their contemporaries would have answered it?
> That seems to be a method used in deducing the Hebrews' cosmology. Just
> from the Bible the only input I can find is from Gen. 7:11, Gen. 8:2, II
> Kings 7:2, II Kings 7:19, Isa. 24:18 (?), and Mal. 3:10, but some of these
> seem to be figurative.

I figure I should help Dave out here.
There is virtually no Hebrew literature from OT times except the OT itself,
and as you note it does not describe the sluice gates very well. We can gather
from Gen 7:11 and 8:2, however, that however their structure may have been
understood, they were literally a means of allowing the water above the firmament
to flow down to earth by opening them and a means of stopping the water from
coming down by closing them.

In the so-called Babylonian Creation account, Enuma elish, after the god
Marduk splits Tiamat the Sea goddess in half (like God splitting the tehom in half
on the second day of creation), he uses half of her body to make the sky (the
firmament) and since she is the sea, there is water above the firmament just
as in Genesis 1. Then to prevent her waters (above the firmament) from coming
down, he "pulled down the bar" (as in locking a door or gate, cf Amos 1:5) and
"posted guards." with orders not to allow her waters to escape. (end of
tablet 4). The bar along with its implied door or gate corresponds to the sluice
gates in Gen 7:11; 8:2.

These were apparently considered actual physical parts of the universe since
Marduk uses the other half of her body to make the earth with the waters of
the sea under the earth, and these waters come up through her eyes to supply the
Tigris and the Euphrates. Her eyes correspond to (but not exhaustively) the
biblical "fountains of the great deep." The Hebrew word, "fountain" could also
be translated "place of the eye."

In later rabbinical thought, the clouds were believed to go up to the
firmament to be filled with water, and then they carried the water to various parts
of the earth and dumped it as rain.

Received on Sat Apr 24 03:52:50 2004

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