Re: [asa] water above the solid dome in Genesis

From: D. F. Siemens, Jr. <>
Date: Sat Apr 12 2008 - 18:50:03 EDT

I'm trying to figure out how rain can be denied in Genesis 2:5 and
present, as mist, in 2:6. The /Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament/
notes that /'ed/ of Genesis is apparently cognate with the Akkadian /edu/
(both need diacritical marks), both the annual inundation of the
Euphrates and irrigation. The other use is in Job 36:27, where they
suggest "stream".

One should also look at 2:10. The whole passage seems to fit the notion
of water above the firmament with sluice gates letting it out. It appears
from Psalm 148:4 that the notion of waters above the heavens persisted,
and were given explicit limits by God. Was this psalm part of a very
ancient tradition? It looks to me as though you are desperately trying to
make the writers of scripture into modern scholars.
Dave (ASA)

On Sat, 12 Apr 2008 16:04:15 -0400 writes:
Dick made a great point on another thread that there coudn't have been
"one" ANE view for 3000 years. I think that the discussion over
accommodation in the Bible is hampered by the assumption that the OT
itself represents just one ANE view. But since the text is a redaction
of a number of older texts, and since some of them were probably _much_
older than others, we shouldn't expect to see just one ANE view

For example, in Genesis 1 we see waters above the heavens, but in Genesis
2 we see a mist rising from the surface of the earth to become the rain
(I'm following Mark Futato's reading, which I find very compelling).
Indeed, it's hard to believe that the Hebrews by the time of the Exodus
wouldn't have figured that rain comes out of clouds, yet. It's hard to
believe that the Babylonians wouldn't have figured it out by then,
either. In the Flood account, which might be based on a very ancient
tradition, we see the classic ANE description of rain coming out of
windows from the solid dome.

In order to figure out where God was accommodating an ANE view, we would
have to know where the authors actually held that view, or where they
were referring to it via idiom or tradition, or where they referred to it
for literary or other purposes. Accommodation would only be important in
the first case. This may be difficult to sort out since we don't know
the details of the history of compilation and editing differnet parts of
the text. In the flood account, I think it's safe to say that we see
accommodation. In Genesis 2, I don't think the author held an ANE view
at all regarding rain. What of Genesis 1? Was the author "modern" and
only using ANE language for the literary value in the construction of the
two triads using "classical" language, or did he himself really hold that
view? I think it depends partly on when he was writing and what he
thought his audience would understand. I thi nk these considerations
make the discussion about accommodation more complicated but more
interesting and satisfying.


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Received on Sat Apr 12 18:53:25 2008

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