Michael D. Coogan: Genesis 1:2 and Enuma Elish

Michael D. Coogan, The Old Testament: A Historical and Literary Introduction to the Hebrew Scriptures, third edition (OUP, 2014), 38.

The second verse of Genesis seems to allude to the battle between the storm god and the primeval sea, found in Enuma Elish and in other ancient Near Eastern sources: “Darkness was on the face of Deep and a wind from God was swooping over the face of the waters.” Moreover, the Hebrew word for “deep,” tehom, is linguistically related to the name of the goddess Tiamat, and in the Bible, tehom never occurs with the definite article; thus it should be literally translated as “Deep” rather than “the deep” wherever it occurs. Genesis 1.2 thus seems to be setting the stage for a retelling of the battle, but instead we are told simply that God spoke.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s