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Thursday, January 06, 2011

the waters and the sea

Gen. 1:7 καὶ ἐποίησεν ὁ θεὸς τὸ στερέωμα καὶ διεχώρισεν ὁ θεὸς ἀνὰ μέσον τοῦ ὕδατος ὃ ἦν ὑποκάτω τοῦ στερεώματος καὶ ἀνὰ μέσον τοῦ ὕδατος τοῦ ἐπάνω τοῦ στερεώματος  8 καὶ ἐκάλεσεν ὁ θεὸς τὸ στερέωμα οὐρανόν καὶ εἶδεν ὁ θεὸς ὅτι καλόν καὶ ἐγένετο ἑσπέρα καὶ ἐγένετο πρωί ἡμέρα δευτέρα  9 καὶ εἶπεν ὁ θεός συναχθήτω τὸ ὕδωρ τὸ ὑποκάτω τοῦ οὐρανοῦ εἰς συναγωγὴν μίαν καὶ ὀφθήτω ἡ ξηρά καὶ ἐγένετο οὕτως καὶ συνήχθη τὸ ὕδωρ τὸ ὑποκάτω τοῦ οὐρανοῦ εἰς τὰς συναγωγὰς αὐτῶν καὶ ὤφθη ἡ ξηρά  10 καὶ ἐκάλεσεν ὁ θεὸς τὴν ξηρὰν γῆν καὶ τὰ συστήματα τῶν ὑδάτων ἐκάλεσεν θαλάσσας καὶ εἶδεν ὁ θεὸς ὅτι καλόν
Psa. 95:3 [94:3 LXX] ὅτι θεὸς μέγας κύριος καὶ βασιλεὺς μέγας ἐπὶ πάντας τοὺς θεούς  4 ὅτι ἐν τῇ χειρὶ αὐτοῦ τὰ πέρατα τῆς γῆς καὶ τὰ ὕψη τῶν ὀρέων αὐτοῦ εἰσιν  5 ὅτι αὐτοῦ ἐστιν ἡ θάλασσα καὶ αὐτὸς ἐποίησεν αὐτήν καὶ τὴν ξηρὰν αἱ χεῖρες αὐτοῦ ἔπλασαν 

In the last post we noted that the ocean/sea was treated somewhat differently in 2 Enoch 47, 66 and I made a comment "I would not read waters in 'the earth he solidified above the waters' as coreferential [having he same referent] with the sea or the ocean."  In Genesis 1:7-10 the first thing we see is a division of the waters τοῦ ὕδατος below and the waters above, seperated by a firmament  τοῦ στερεώματος. Following that, we see the waters below gathered together which results in dry land appearing. These gathered waters are called seas  τὰ συστήματα τῶν ὑδάτων ἐκάλεσεν θαλάσσας. The terminology or Genesis One is not always followed elsewhere. Ocean and Sea are often used to represent the primeval waters of Genesis One as we see in Psalm 89:

Psa. 89:8     O LORD God of hosts,
        who is as mighty as you, O LORD?
        Your faithfulness surrounds you.
Psa. 89:9     You rule the raging of the sea;
        when its waves rise, you still them.
Psa. 89:10     You crushed Rahab like a carcass;
        you scattered your enemies with your mighty arm.  NRSV

On the other hand, when we read text like Psalm 95:5 where it says "The sea is his, for he made it; for his hands formed the dry land." RSV; the sea  ἡ θάλασσα in here is being used in the same manner as Gen. 1:10 "and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas" RSV.

In Genesis the sea YAM was the name applied by the Creator to the gathered waters. The language of Genesis does not substantiate the notion that the Sea YAM as it is used in Psa. 89 is created. The sea YAM of Psa. 89 has a different referent from the Sea YAM in Psalm 95:5 and Gen. 1:10. The sea YAM of Psa. 89 is the primeval waters which I understand as the probable referent of "waters" in 2 Enoch 47

2 Enoch 47
The LORD is the one who laid the foundations upon the unknown things, and he is the one who spread out the heavens above the visible and the invisible things. And the earth he solidified above the waters, and the waters he based upon the unfixed things; and he (alone) created the uncountable creatures.
 F. I. Andersen [1]

 2 Enoch 66

... If you look upon the sky, behold,
the LORD is there;
for the LORD created the sky.

If you look upon the earth,
then the LORD is there;
for the LORD founded the earth,
and placed upon it all his creatures.

If you meditate upon the depths of the ocean
and on all that is beneath the earth,
then the LORD is there.
Because the LORD created all things. 
F. I. Andersen [1] 

Why in 2 Enoch 66 do we not see a statement that YHWH made the ocean? The term ocean here cannot refer to the primeval waters of Psa. 89, but rather to gathered waters of Genesis 1:10. So why do we not read "the LORD created ocean"? The probable answer is the parallelism is not ridgid. It develops from first stanza to the third stanza. The three lines of the first stanza are matched by the first three lines of second stanza, but a fourth line is added with an additional statement about creation of "all his creatures". In fourth stanza the view is now directed at two objects, the ocean and "all that is beneath the earth" These two objects of meditation are included in the final statement "Because the LORD created all things". So we have a dynamic parallelism, with transitions at each new stanza. [read this cum grano salis, since I have not even laid eyes on the text used for translation].

Anyone looking for a clear statement that YHWH created the primeval waters will have find that elsewhere. It isn't found in this text.


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