[b-hebrew] Tehom: Divine or Not Divine?
Tiamat. In the Babylonian creation myth she is the raging female monster of chaos or the sea; she is represented variously as a cow, goat, dragon, or woman, and is slain by Marduk 1: 2; 7: 11, and 8: 2), tehom in Hebrew, is a term originating in the mythology of Babylonian Tiamat. Hide related linksShow related links. In the religion of ancient Babylon, Tiamat is a primordial goddess of the salt sea, mating with Some sources identify her with images of a sea serpent or dragon. Burkert continues by making a linguistic connection to Tethys. Tiamat also has been claimed to be cognate with Northwest Semitic tehom (תהום) (the deeps, . In Babylonian mythology, Tiamat is one of the foundational In this more corporeal guise, Tiamat is often thought to have had the form of a dragon, serpent or other for an etymological connection between the goddess' name and the . A. E. Whatham, "The Yahweh-Tehom Myth," The Biblical World
Thus, not only is Zimmern correct in claiming that with the mention of Tehom in the Hebrew narrative, together with the dividing of this watery abyss into the upper and lower oceans by means of the "firmament," we see a slight but a distinctly discernible trace of the original Babylonian story ibid. Throughout the whole of the Old Testament there is present the conception that the ocean or waters of the great "deep" possess a conscious power hostile to Yahweh, w T ho has to keep it under restraint by "bounds" and "decrees," setting "watchers" that it should not break through these.
With the passage where Job asks whether he is a sea monster over whom Yahweh has to set a watch should be com- pared Jeremiah's representation of Yahweh as placing "the sand for the bound of the sea The spirit of "the raging flood" is referred to as Rahab, the fierce dragon of the "deep," or sea.
Job declares, " God will not withdraw his anger, the helpers of Rahab do or did stoop under him. There can be little doubt, says Dr. Selbie, that we have here an allusion "to the mythical conflict in which the Creator was said to have vanquished the supposed dragon of the deep.
Zimmern then gives another passage Isa. A new apologist, however, for the Hebrew cosmogony as an inde- pendent record has arisen in the person of the noted scholar, Rev. The Babylonians spoke of a certain Monster Tiamat.
But Tiamat may be nothing whatever but water, and the theory that all was once water is as really scientific as the opinion that all was once gaseous matter. Now, water in the form of an ocean was such a restless, fierce monster to early man that to speak of it as a dragon was natural.
Tiamat - Oxford Biblical Studies Online
It does not follow, therefore, that the Babylonian myth is so different from the Hebrew explanation. It may be a matter of more or less mythological language.
He further holds that there is no necessity to go directly to Babylonian sources in order to account for the Hebrews having a Deluge story or a Cosmogony. All we have to do is to carry both back to some common Semitic ancestor.
Johns, if I am not mistaken, has advanced nothing that contradicts the views of Dr. The assumption that the view that all have may been water at one time is as scientific as the view that all was once gaseous matter, even if 4 Op.
Both of these, picturing a mass of waters as existing before anything else, go on to describe our universe, with its sun, moon, and stars, its sky above, and its earth beneath, as created out of these waters without any change in their physical character. But this contemplates the exist- ence of our earth with its sky and sea, not as the outcome of an evolu- tionary process, such as we know it to have gone through, but of a mere mechanical division of permanent elements.
Now, no such process occurred, since it is utterly opposed to the generally accepted view of the formation of our universe.Antediluvian Genesis, Creation of Anunnaki, Planet X & Primordial Dragon Goddess Tiamat
The whole idea of a dark, turbulent mass of waters as existing before the creation of our universe, is contrary to the facts as revealed by science. The view of Dr. Johns, if I have correctly understood him, that the dragon Tiamat existed in the minds of the Babylonians as a mere mythological expression, without the belief in any concrete reality, may be dismissed, on the ground that it assumes that the belief in the real existence of supernatural monsters has never actually been held by anybody.
Such a supposition is disposed of by Professor W. Smith in his dismissal of the notion that the fantastic monsters engraved by the Chaldeans and continued by the Phoenicians in the Cherubim and Sphinxes can be explained away as allegories. A belief in mythical creatures he holds to have been a real belief, and explains it as resulting from the primitive thought of savages in all parts of the world, which, he says, everywhere produces just such a confusion between the several orders of natural and supernatural beings as we find to have existed among the early Semites.
This difference springs from the fact that the first account was originally composed in the region where the over flooding of a great river each spring was the cause of the later vegetation.
This is one of the reasons for giving this narrative a Babylonian origin. Here I would recall the warning given in closing my first paper, viz. Again it may be asked, How is this spirit to be definitely dis- cerned, and in what manner is it manifested in this chapter?
She is "Ummu-Hubur who formed all things". In the myth recorded on cuneiform tabletsthe deity Enki later Ea believed correctly that Apsu was planning to murder the younger deities, upset with the noisy tumult they created, and so captured him and held him prisoner beneath his temple the E-Abzu. This angered Kingutheir son, who reported the event to Tiamat, whereupon she fashioned eleven monsters to battle the deities in order to avenge Apsu's death. These were her own offspring: Tiamat possessed the Tablet of Destinies and in the primordial battle she gave them to Kingu, the deity she had chosen as her lover and the leader of her host, and who was also one of her children.
The deities gathered in terror, but Anu, replaced later, first by Enlil and, in the late version that has survived after the First Dynasty of Babylonby Mardukthe son of Eafirst extracting a promise that he would be revered as " king of the gods ", overcame her, armed with the arrows of the winds, a net, a club, and an invincible spear.
And the lord stood upon Tiamat's hinder parts, And with his merciless club he smashed her skull. He cut through the channels of her blood, And he made the North wind bear it away into secret places.
Slicing Tiamat in half, he made from her ribs the vault of heaven and earth.
[b-hebrew] Tehom: Divine or Not Divine?
Her weeping eyes became the source of the Tigris and the Euphratesher tail became the Milky Way. With the approval of the elder deities, he took from Kingu the Tablet of Destiniesinstalling himself as the head of the Babylonian pantheon. Kingu was captured and later was slain: The principal theme of the epic is the justified elevation of Marduk to command over all the deities.