Genesis 1

Discussion about the Hebrew Bible, Septuagint, pseudepigrapha, Philo, Josephus, Talmud, Dead Sea Scrolls, archaeology, etc.
Ethan
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Re: Genesis 1

Post by Ethan »

צָלַל in Aramaic is written טְלַל [Dan 4:12] , in Hebrew verses טָלַל[talal] means roof [Neh 3:15] but the Septuagint word here is κλιμάκων [Klimakon] meaning 'ladder'.

The Lexicon states that טַל [Tal] ' dew ' roots from טָלַל[talal] 'roof/ladder '

Numbers 11:9 - the dew [tal] fell upon the camp
Genesis 27:28 - the dew[tal] of heaven

Psalms 133:3 KJV
As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew[tal] that descended upon the mountains of Zion

No offense to Zionists, but this verse is mistranslated it aught too read
" As the Dew of Hermon descended down it's mountains of Snow[χιών=צִיּוֹן] "

This Dew [Tal] is the Ladder in Gen 28:12.
https://vivliothikiagiasmatos.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/joseph-yahuda-hebrew-is-greek.pdf
Ethan
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Re: Genesis 1

Post by Ethan »

The word Hermon in Psalms 133:3 , usually written in Greek ' Αερμων ' is used in Judges 9:48 for the name צַלְמוֹן [Tsalmown] that
appear in Psalms 88:14 " it was white as snow in Tsalmown" and in the Book of Numbers, 33:41-2.

Αερμων is also the etymology of Αερων [אַהֲרוֹן] " Aaron " who died in Mount Hor [ Lebanon] [Num 33:39 / 34:7-8 ]

Psalms 133:2
the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments;

Numbers 12:10
And the cloud departed from off the tabernacle; and, behold, Miriam became leprous, white as snow: and Aaron looked upon Miriam, and, behold, she was leprous.

Exodus 4:6
Put now thine hand into thy bosom. And he put his hand into his bosom: and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous as snow.

The three snowy peeks of Hermon [ Aaron-Moses-Miram]
https://vivliothikiagiasmatos.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/joseph-yahuda-hebrew-is-greek.pdf
StephenGoranson
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Re: Genesis 1

Post by StephenGoranson »

There is more than one Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible. Language is more than lists of words. Some words change meaning over time. Perhaps these Hebrew to Greek to English selections follow some personal preference.
nili
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Re: Genesis 1

Post by nili »

semiopen wrote: Sun Mar 25, 2018 5:49 pm Since we just discussed צֵל, this made me think of the very cool word - צַלְמָ֫וֶת (tsalmaveth)

http://biblehub.com/hebrew/6757.htm

צַלְמָ֫וֶת noun [masculine] death-shadow, deep shadow, in poetry (probably = צֵל + מָוֶת,

as in
Though I walk through a valley of deepest darkness, I fear no harm, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff -- they comfort me. (Ps. 23:4 TNK)
The older JPS is more easily recognized
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me. (Ps. 23:4 JPS)
גַּ֤ם כִּֽי־אֵלֵ֙ךְ בְּגֵ֪יא צַלְמָ֡וֶת לֹא־אִ֨ירָ֤א רָ֗ע כִּי־אַתָּ֥ה עִמָּדִ֑י שִׁבְטְךָ֥ וּ֜מִשְׁעַנְתֶּ֗ךָ הֵ֣מָּה יְנַֽחֲמֻֽנִי׃
(Ps. 23:4 WTT)

As Strong's notes this is found many times in Job, etc.

One has to wonder why the TNK team decided to translate this "deepest darkness" rather than "shadow of death" which seems more literal (not to mention scarier and universally known). Probably the Amos verse is important -
Who made the Pleiades and Orion, Who turns deep darkness into dawn And darkens day into night, Who summons the waters of the sea And pours them out upon the earth -- His name is the LORD! (Amos 5:8 TNK)
‎לבֹּ֙קֶר֙ צַלְמָ֔וֶת וְי֖וֹם לַ֣יְלָה הֶחְשִׁ֑יךְ (Amos 5:8 WTT)

This seems clearly superior compared to something like
and bringeth on the shadow of death in the morning, and darkeneth the day into night; (Amos 5:8 JPS)
I think Alter's comment on his "in the vale of death's shadow" is interesting here ...
The intent of the translation here is not to avoid the virtually proverbial "in the shadow of the valley of death" but rather to cut through the proliferation of syllables in the King James Version, however eloquent, and better approximate the compactness of the Hebrew -- begey tsalmawet. Though philologists assume that the Masoretic tsalmawet is actually a misleading vocalization of tsalmut -- probably a poetic word for "darkness" with the ut ending simply a suffix of abstraction -- the traditional vocalization reflects something like an orthographic pun or a folk etymology (tsel means "shadow," mawet means "death"}, so there is justification in retaining the death component. [The Book of Psalms by Robert Alter]
nili
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Re: Genesis 1

Post by nili »

Ethan wrote: Sun Mar 25, 2018 7:28 pm The three snowy peeks of Hermon [ Aaron-Moses-Miram]
Dictionary.com advises that "eth" is "an ending of the third person singular present indicative of verbs," while "an" is an "indefinite article."

Here "eth" is abstracted from any and all verbs, possibly suggesting something unviable or insubstantial. Similarly, "an" has been stripped of any coherent noun. We see here a poetic parallelism between the inferred lack of viability and the indefiniteness of the object of this verblessness.

eth-an might then be read as the state of producing nothing of coherence or value. Of course, there may be other definitions as well. Which brings to mind the following bit of philological scripture:
“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”

“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”

“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”

- LEWIS CARROLL (Charles L. Dodgson), Through the Looking-Glass
Ethan
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Re: Genesis 1

Post by Ethan »

nili wrote: Mon Mar 26, 2018 4:59 am
Ethan wrote: Sun Mar 25, 2018 7:28 pm The three snowy peeks of Hermon [ Aaron-Moses-Miram]
Dictionary.com advises that "eth" is "an ending of the third person singular present indicative of verbs," while "an" is an "indefinite article."

Here "eth" is abstracted from any and all verbs, possibly suggesting something unviable or insubstantial. Similarly, "an" has been stripped of any coherent noun. We see here a poetic parallelism between the inferred lack of viability and the indefiniteness of the object of this verblessness.

eth-an might then be read as the state of producing nothing of coherence or value. Of course, there may be other definitions as well. Which brings to mind the following bit of philological scripture:
“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”

“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”

“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”

- LEWIS CARROLL (Charles L. Dodgson), Through the Looking-Glass

I believe your problem is theology, All the translations of the Bible emphasizes theology and prophecies, All bible include the New Testament, it's like baggage, I simply remove the filters .

Some simple knowledge of Israeli geography , the Highest mountain in the Levant is Mount Hermon, people claim to have studied Israel know nothing.
  • Hermon has three summits, situated like the angles of a triangle that are about a quarter of a mile from each other. The mountain is shared by the countries of Lebanon, Syria, and Israel.
  • Mount Hermon has seasonal winter and spring snow falls, which cover all three of its peaks for most of the year. Melt water from the snow-covered mountain's western and southern bases seeps into the rock channels and pores, feeding springs at the base of the mountain, which form streams and rivers.
  • The Epic of Gilgamesh mentions that Mount Hermon split after Gilgamesh killed Humbaba, the Guardian of the Cedar Forest. One translation of Tablet V states, "The ground split open with the heels of their feet, as they whirled around in circles Mt. Hermon and Lebanon split
https://vivliothikiagiasmatos.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/joseph-yahuda-hebrew-is-greek.pdf
byblos
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Re: Genesis 1

Post by byblos »

Ethan wrote: Mon Mar 26, 2018 10:19 am
  • Hermon has three summits, situated like the angles of a triangle that are about a quarter of a mile from each other. The mountain is shared by the countries of Lebanon, Syria, and Israel.
  • Mount Hermon has seasonal winter and spring snow falls, which cover all three of its peaks for most of the year. Melt water from the snow-covered mountain's western and southern bases seeps into the rock channels and pores, feeding springs at the base of the mountain, which form streams and rivers.
  • The Epic of Gilgamesh mentions that Mount Hermon split after Gilgamesh killed Humbaba, the Guardian of the Cedar Forest. One translation of Tablet V states, "The ground split open with the heels of their feet, as they whirled around in circles Mt. Hermon and Lebanon split
If Genesis 1 is all about Mount Hermon and Eden is Lebanon, how do you explain the 4 rivers in Genesis 2? Where were they?
Ethan
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Re: Genesis 1

Post by Ethan »

Conduits
ConfusedEnoch
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Re: Genesis 1

Post by ConfusedEnoch »

byblos wrote: Tue Feb 23, 2021 3:48 pm
Ethan wrote: Mon Mar 26, 2018 10:19 am
  • Hermon has three summits, situated like the angles of a triangle that are about a quarter of a mile from each other. The mountain is shared by the countries of Lebanon, Syria, and Israel.
  • Mount Hermon has seasonal winter and spring snow falls, which cover all three of its peaks for most of the year. Melt water from the snow-covered mountain's western and southern bases seeps into the rock channels and pores, feeding springs at the base of the mountain, which form streams and rivers.
  • The Epic of Gilgamesh mentions that Mount Hermon split after Gilgamesh killed Humbaba, the Guardian of the Cedar Forest. One translation of Tablet V states, "The ground split open with the heels of their feet, as they whirled around in circles Mt. Hermon and Lebanon split
If Genesis 1 is all about Mount Hermon and Eden is Lebanon, how do you explain the 4 rivers in Genesis 2? Where were they?
I believe Ethan is right in his assessment that the original Mt. Zion was actually Sion (Hermon). I also think Hermon was the original Sinai, something that is argued for extensively in Israel Knohl's book HaShem which was unfortunately written in Hebrew.
I would even go as far as to say that the post-exilic Israelites used the Hermon's ancient and divine importance to establish a real kingdom of Israel after the the Great, ultimate Jewish Messiah, Dhul Qurnayn/Alexander/Cyrus "saved" them from the Babylonians and decided to let them rule the Levantine lands.

I will first present the evidence for Hermon being Zion:

For one, the etymology of the word Zion (ṣiyôn) is uncertain. It's mentioned in the Books of Samuel (2 Samuel 5:7) as the name of the Jebusite fortress conquered by David, but its origin likely predates the Israelites. If Semitic, it may be derived from the Hebrew root ṣiyyôn ("castle") or the Hebrew צִיָּה ("dry land", Jeremiah 51:43). Arabic has it as صهيون. A non-Semitic relationship to the Hurrian word šeya ("river") has also been suggested.

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/ציון#Hebrew
Attested to in Aramaic צהיון‎ and Classical Syriac ܨܸܗܝܘܿܢ‎ (ṣehyōn) — sometimes considered the older form by historians.

Second, Jeremiah is a post-exilic message to the Jews from God after they worshipped false gods, and Samuel is a prophet from 650 BC (also post-exilic) who was describing what David, the controversial "King" of Israel, did in the Levant.
Isaiah is the oldest book that has it (740-700 BC) and it is universally agreed that 2/3 of it (Deutero-Isaiah and Trito-Isaiah) is post-exilic. Even Proto-Isaiah, where the word "Zion" is first used, has also been argued to be post-exilic, like most of Isaiah's contemporaries (Amos, Micah, Hosea). The only reason it's not the consensus is that many scholars still subscribe to dogmatic ideologies such as the possibility of prophetic writing about the destruction of prominent civilizations in the area.

Interestingly, the first usage appears in Isaiah 2:2-3 (= Micah 4:1-2), which clearly adapts the older concept of El's mountain (Hermon) as the axis mundi to Zion specifically, essentially appropriating the myths of a neighbouring civilization to fit their agenda. Is that not what happened to most Biblical myths? (Exodus, Genesis and cosmogony, Chaoskampf...)

Setting Zion aside, Mount Hermon was certainly a holy mountain for the northern kingdom (the prominence of Mount Zion in the OT reflects the largely southern perspective of Judah which played a predominant role in the OT's formation and redaction). For a northern view, see Psalm 42 in which an exile from possibly Shiloh or Bethel (v. 4) seeks God at "the peaks of Hermon from Mount Mizar where deep calls to deep and where your waterfalls roar" (v. 6-7), where the Jordan River originated. For a southern perspective, see Psalm 68 which adapts the northern Song of Deborah (v. 7-9, 12-14, 27 = Judges 5:4-5, 16, 18-22) to claim that the northern mountains (v. 14-16) are superseded by the "temple at Jerusalem" (v. 29) "at the mountain where God chooses to reign" (v. 16). The northern view is dependent on an older mythological conception of Mount Hermon as the abode for the Canaanite god El; see E. Lipinski's article "El's Abode: Mythological Traditions Related to Mount Hermon and to the Mountains of Armenia". He makes note of the parallels from Gilgamesh as well as 1 Enoch (which like the Testament of Levi takes a northern perspective in the region of upper Galilee) which Ethan mentioned earlier.

Image

Another fascinating connection is the Hermon/Zaphon one.
Yahweh traditions in early poetry showed a strong affinity to mountains in the south (Deuteronomy 33:2, Habakkuk 3:3), but there is also an incorporation of northern Canaanite traditions. One prominent tradition identifies Yahweh's abode with that of Baal Hadad, Ṣapanu (Zaphon) in the Ugaritic texts. So Psalm 48:2-3 conflates the Temple Mount in Jerusalem with Zaphon: "Great is Yahweh and greatly to be praised. In the city of our God is his holy mountain, the most beautiful peak, the joy of all the earth. Mount Zion is the heights of Zaphon, the city of the great king". In another text, you can find a conflation of motifs pertaining to El and Baal and their holy mountains: "I will raise my throne above the stars of El; I will sit enthroned on the mountain of assembly, on the heights of Zaphon. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like Elyon" (Isaiah 14:13-14). Zaphon is the mountain of Baal, who rides the clouds. The mountain or summit is referred to as Ṣapanu in the Baal Cycle where the palace of Ba'al is located in a myth about Attar.

So concepts pertaining to Hermon/Zaphon (El's abode, Baal's palace) were transferred and applied to Yahweh's mountain of Zion. As for Psalm 68, Israel Knohl also discusses the possibility that Hermon is the original (historical) Sinai, where he places Moses' "exodus" in Merneptah's reign and the Sinai being the place of an ancient battle of the northern tribes with the Egyptians somewhere in the Jordan valley or Golan heights. This would make the Moses/Gilgamesh myth appropriation even more relevant, since the "opening of the sea" happened right after Moses came down from "Sinai" and would be rather fittingly placed in the Beqaa Valley.
From Knohl's article:
"We can reasonably assume that the temple in which “Sinai” dwells was on the peak of Mount Bashan, the Hermon. For a refutation of the possibility that the verse refers to the Temple in Zion, see Moses Buttenwieser, The Psalm (New York: Ktav, 1969), p. 35." https://azure.org.il/include/print.php?id=543

Psalm 29 alludes to Chaoskampf tradition when it speaks of YHWH’s power over the mym rbym “mighty waters” and that YHWH is enthroned over the mbwl “flood” (e.g. Day 1985: 57-61; Niehr 1990: 114-115). As many have noted, the setting of the theophany is the mountains of Lebanon and anti-Lebanon (e.g. Smith 2014: 48-50). For this reason, the deity invoked in the hymn cannot originally have been YHWH but is likely to have been native to Phoenicia and the Lebanon. Because he is a storm god with features closely comparable to Baal Haddu from Ugarit, he has generally been identified with Baal (Day 1985: 59). However, the epithet baʿal “lord” was used to identify multiple deities in the broader Canaanite world and the Baal of Mount Lebanon in particular seems to have been El (Lipiński 1971; Naccache 1996; Steiner 2009). As the supreme authority on Mount Lebanon, El would also have had control over the cosmic upper and lower waters, functioning as weather god in central and southern Canaan (e.g. Gen 2:5; Gen 49:25; Deut 33:13-16; 1 Sam 2:10; Ps 18:14; Nahum 1:3-5). Koch has insightfully observed that because of the meteorological phenomena associated with high mountains, the gods who ruled over them were necessarily weather gods (1993: 171). With regard to Psalm 29 itself scholars have noted clues that the hymn was originally dedicated to El: there is mention of the divine assembly (bny ʾlym “children of El”); ʾl in the unique formulation ʾl hkbwd “the god of the glory”; the occurrence of the epithet ʾlywn “Most High” in the related enthronement hymn of Ps 97 (Stolz 1970: 152-155; 1972: 148; Day 1985: 60).

This "divine assembly" or "children of El" is featured prominently in the Ugaritic Baal Cycle, in which El's children fight to determine who is the "strongest" god and one "Yaw", son of El comes to mind here. Of course, this is also the myth cycle where El's abode (as well as his children's) is explicitly equated with Hermon.

There are a ton of correspondences between Hermon and Zion, so much so that it's not unreasonable to say that Hermon itself was the most sacred mountain to pre-Exilic Jews and that the infatuation with Jerusalem's "Zion" originates in the exilic era, where they had to choose a land to establish themselves. The fact that Hermon is the only snowy place the Israelites would have been able to witness makes its divine status even more apparent, and its association with "4 rivers" could be referring to both Hermon's snow and the fact that it features waterfalls and cave systems that feed rivers in every direction.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlh-AdlDnvU

Hermon feeds more than 4 rivers, including the Jordan, Dan, Hasbani and Saar rivers.
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/a ... 9490900726
Psalms 133:3:
<3> It is like the dew of Hermon, coming down upon the mountains of Zion; For the Lord commanded the blessing there—life forever.
Last edited by ConfusedEnoch on Tue Mar 02, 2021 3:35 am, edited 8 times in total.
ConfusedEnoch
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Re: Genesis 1

Post by ConfusedEnoch »

At some point scholars will have to realize that saying "The Bible is Jewish fiction" is like saying "A myth is a myth". It's fruitless and only makes attempts at finding historical clues in the text more difficult.
In recent times there has been a worrying amount of tension between theologians and secular scholars, mainly because of their dogmatism and insistence on their respective side's "authority" on biblical matters. Part of the theological dogma is the belief in supernatural explanations and the "god of the gaps", and part of the secular dogma is the complete opposite; a belief in a completely made up, fake story with absolutely no basis in reality.
Both of these stances seem ridiculous to me, and I wish scholarship would look more extensively into other mythologies and their relation to Israelite myths. If they did, they would probably find that much of what is considered "Jewish fiction" is actually Levantine or even Meditarrenean "fiction", making it both less supernatural (since it's not "divinely inspired" and it doesn't specifically target any god(s)) and less prone to be "made up", since many of those civilizations didn't have extensive contact in Early Antiquity (Copper age, Bronze age).

For example, looking at Moses' story, it's unbelievable. Of course he didn't actually split the Red Sea and walk through it. However, if you look into its origin and how it may have derived from Gilgamesh's story about the Beqaa valley (A valley between two mountains) splitting because of a "tornado", it's not really that supernatural anymore. Moses' narrative happened in the late 2nd Millenium BC, whereas Gilgamesh's story is extremely old (3000 BC) and could be based on even older myths about the flooding/desertification of the Beqaa valley (see Black Sea deluge hypothesis).
Last edited by ConfusedEnoch on Wed Mar 10, 2021 2:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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