The “back then” creation battle is taking place here and now—against Pharaoh and the gods of Egypt.
BioLogos Podcast But leaving that larger issue to the side, the cosmic battle motif is very much in the background of Genesis 1, even if it is muted. Just as Moses “blessed” the people after completing the work (Exodus 39:43), God “blessed” (same Hebrew word) his creation in Genesis 1:22, 28; 2:3. These are not just inconvenient ecological disturbances or random acts of divine muscle flexing. This is extremely important. Sea stumbled; he fell to the ground; his joints shook, his frame collapsed.
The exodus story is another “rescue from water” story like the flood. How is BioLogos different from Evolutionism, Intelligent Design, and Creationism? You might wonder why the storm and the sea can’t just get along. For sure, El is never cast as an evil or hostile god; he is repeatedly called “El the kind and compassionate.” But the Baal Cycle would not have done any favors for El’s PR. Psalm 74:13-14: Yahweh “split open sea (yam)…broke the heads of the monster in the waters…crushed the heads of Leviathan.”, Psalm 77:16, when the waters saw God coming, they went into a panic attack: they “writhed and convulsed.”. -Devoted sister of Baal >cf. Give up Baal and his partisans, Dagon’s son, so that I may inherit his gold! In the previous two sections, we have seen that Israel describes the act of creation as a cosmic battle.
Without raising a hand, the waters scampered away and were defeated. One example from Carthage: “It was to the Lady Tanit [Baal’s consort], Face of Baal and to Baal-Hammon that Bomilcar son of Hanno, grandson of Milkiathon, vowed this son of his own flesh. The tabernacle is the resting place of the victorious Yahweh. Job 9:13: the “cohorts of Rahab cowered” at Yahweh’s feet. He makes a distinction between the Israelites and the Egyptians (e.g., Exodus 7:22-23; 9:4, 26).
Science And there’s more. The first is Yam, the personification of the Sea. We began looking at how this theme is also present in the exodus story, the story that recounts Israel’s origins as a nation. The plagues are a window onto a rich, truly biblical theology of creation. INTEGRATE Curriculum, Staff Yahweh is about to kill the firstborn of Egypt in the tenth plague. Common Questions Sinai. When you think of Zeus, you probably imagine a bearded old man with a lightning bolt — not a horned demon from the gaping pits of hell. This supremacy is one reason why the Israelites declared Yahweh as worthy of worship. Moses told Pharaoh to let the Israelites go so that they could “worship” God and hold a “feast” to him in the desert (see Exodus 5:1 and 7:16). What is the genetic evidence for human evolution? Few other gods get such a bad rap. What is meant here is not a party somewhere in the desert. Commentators regularly also note that the lampstand (Exodus 25:31-40) represents a tree and so likely symbolizes the tree of life, not only found in the creation story but a common ancient Near Eastern motif. -Accidental discovery by farmer 1928 A.D. -From 1800 BC (settlements from 6000) >Golden Age from ca. Intelligent Design and Young Earth Creationism are very different movements, but they share a root theological problem. Pastors Resource Center It is only one angle, not the only angle.
Sweet potatoes and yams are both tuber vegetables, but they're actually quite different. In this section, we will continue with the book of Exodus by looking at two more elements that echo the cosmic battle: (1) the plagues are a reintroduction of chaos into the created order, and (2) the crossing of the Red Sea. After being enthroned by the supreme God El as king of gods, Yamm ruled the Canaanite deities with iron fist.
In other words, this newly created people of God is to live like he wants them to and worship him as he deserves.
This scene takes up nearly the entire second half of the book.
The second is Mot, the god of Death, associated with the desert and drought. BioLogos Voices (Speaker’s Bureau)
Homeschool Forum To see more clearly the plagues as a reintroduction of chaos, we need to step back and be reminded of the flood story. This story also describes a battle between a storm god and the sea: here the hero is named Marduk, who fights a primordial goddess named Tiamat.
How could humans have evolved and still be in the “Image of God”? Warfield, Biblical Inerrancy, and Evolution. It is a micro-cosmos. So what then is the purpose of the law if not for Israel to prove itself worthy? Just as in the plagues, a distinction is made where the people of God are safe in the created order, but the enemies of God suffer the forces of chaos.
Note: Passages from the Baal Cycle are taken from the translation found in Stories from Ancient Canaan, edited by Michael D. Coogan and Mark S. Smith. The Israelites, like their neighbors in Canaan and Mesopotamia, probably understood that a major battle against the sea took place before the act of creation in Genesis.
It is also reflected in other portions of the Old Testament, like Ezekiel and Genesis 1. But archaeologists have since uncovered inscriptions making it clear that the children were given to Baal alive. The Israelites arrived in Egypt and were “fruitful and multiplied greatly and became exceedingly numerous” (1:7).
But that does not mean that Genesis 1 escapes the cultural influence as we saw above. You could read El’s actions as resulting from his doting, fatherly nature — he is the father of all the gods, including Baal’s enemies, Mot and Yam, and just wants the best for everyone. The seventh word creative word in Exodus 31:12 introduces the Sabbath command. He shows his absolute might by being able to re-establish order by making the plagues stop. Baal vs. Yam-Yam=binatural (sea) >Also referred to as River, Nahar, Serpent, Dragon-Yam sends messengers to El demanding Baal, El agrees (gods afraid)-Kothar makes two clubs for Baal (Driver and Chaser); second one finishes off Yam (by-drinking him) (Psalm 74).
Like most ancient cultures, the Canaanites (later called Phoenicians by the Greeks) offered sacrifices to their gods. That is creation language (Genesis 1:28). Biblical Interpretation Impact Stories. He functioned as the civic god of Carthage, along with his divine consort Tanit. Youth Ministry Further, the structure itself has creation overtones. They are safe amid the chaos. Some examples are the following: Psalm 104:7: “at your rebuke the waters fled.” This is not talking about low tide at the beach.
But this is how the Israelites talked about creation in a number of places. It is not uncommon for cultures to make up atrocities about their enemies. Scene of her trail of destruction, her claims that she destroyed sea, -Anat and Baal approach Asherah; Anat and Asherah approach El to get “house” (i.e. He was more closely associated with El, the high god, though by the time Carthage became prominent in the 600’s B.C., Phoenician religion had changed a great deal from the Bronze Age days of the Baal Cycle so such comparisons are inexact.
Sinai comes in. Like many ancient gods, Baal-Hadad and his adversaries represent forces of nature. It is obviously important to spend a lot of time discussing the scientific data. The practice of child sacrifice was recognized as abhorrent by the Phoenicians’ contemporaries, and probably — since cultures are not monoliths — by many Phoenicians themselves. But, nearly half of the book of Exodus takes place on Mt. God’s people are kept safe from chaos, but what happens to the enemies of God’s people? Resource Centers The created order is being undone. But is it fair to cast Phoenician religion as singularly evil on the sole grounds that at least some Phoenicians sacrificed children to their gods?
The Romans didn’t sacrifice children, but they were willing to accept the occasional murder of children for political gain — such as the great emperor Augustus’ killing of Cleopatra’s young son Caesarion — not to mention their fondness for mass crucifixions. Yahweh controls this goddess and turns her against the Egyptians. Podcast Episodes Thus he becomes head god of the Babylonians, which results in praise and homage. This supremacy is, after all, what the title Baal signifies — he becomes Lord of the gods. iii.
He then cuts her carcass in half and makes sky and earth from the pieces. The cosmic battle motif is just one angle from which to glimpse the “biblical view of creation.” I do not believe that the cosmos was created by Yahweh beating up the sea or slicing up sea monsters, nor should anyone else.
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