Creationism, Myths & Catastrophism

Beyond the boundaries of established science an avalanche of exotic ideas compete for our attention. Experts tell us that these ideas should not be permitted to take up the time of working scientists, and for the most part they are surely correct. But what about the gems in the rubble pile? By what ground-rules might we bring extraordinary new possibilities to light?

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Brigit Bara
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Re: Creationism, Myths & Catastrophism

Unread post by Brigit Bara » Sat Dec 21, 2019 2:45 pm

catastrophism subsection: the meaning of the word Sabbath and the number seven; tehoom

I once talked with a person online who told people that there is no Hebrew word for "south," and the word translated as "south" was actually a mountain in the Levant. In the Strong's Concordance, the big door stopper version, I counted the number of times the word "south" is used in the Old Testament for him, and it was a column and a half of resulting verses -- the number of which I have forgotten. In almost every case, the word for south was used along with the other three directions. It was always in context of north, east, and west. So in that case there is no need to go and find the etymology of the word, but contextual meaning was enough to answer his theory.

So for another example, the word tehuhm -- the word for "the deep" in Hebrew in Gen 1 -- also has a contextual meaning in the way it is used in the rest of the books. The word "the deep" with a definite article appears 30 times in the OT, and the majority of uses refer to the ocean. The first three uses of ha-tehoom/the deep after Gen 1 are interesting though. It always appears in parallelisms -- that is, "the heavens above and the deep below."

One of my favorite verses in Scripture, Deu 33:13-16:
  • And of Joseph he said:

    “Blessed of the LORD is his land,
    With the precious things of heaven, with the dew,
    And the deep lying beneath,

    With the precious fruits of the sun,
    With the precious produce of the months,

    With the best things of the ancient mountains,
    With the precious things of the everlasting hills,

    With the precious things of the earth and its fullness,
    And the favor of Him who dwelt in the bush."
You see, this continues the theme introduced in the beginning of the Five Books of Moses, when the ground was beset with "thorns and thistles," so that "in the sweat of your face you shall eat bread". That is, there is blessing but you have to work for it (plant and sow, water and weed, mine the hills, go fishing), and now the work is a blessing. As for the general subject of "comparative mythology," one of the themes I enjoy finding in Native American legends is explanations for why we have to work so hard to live -- a subject usually treated with wonderful humor and realism in the Indian Nations' legends. Other questions the most untouched legends deal with are "Why do we die?" and "Why man and woman?"

Any way, there is a contextual meaning for the deep, and it is in those cases used in the phrase, "the deep underneath." To relegate "the deep" without context to a word meaning "space" is not warranted, in comparison with all the other 30 uses. Also, it assumes that the ancients did not know about the great subterranean sources of water. There are ancient descriptions of cells of water underground, which are 40 days of travel across. Deep boreholes find a lot of water as far down as they go. And the continental shelves are full of reservoirs of fresh water, also.

So in the same way, I would argue that contextually and in spelling, the word for sabbath very often appears with the word "seventh," which is also shevat. Sabbath of course as JP Michael said, means to rest. It is also the word for "week," and the feast of weeks is Shavuot. A required celebration in Hebrew tradition, meaning Weeks. Seven times seven.

I am not arguing either/or in this case, but both/and, and the word for sabbath is absolutely to be taken to mean "to rest" as JP Michael pointed out. The intent of the law is to cease from labor, and also rest everyone else, including the beasts of burden.
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Re: Creationism, Myths & Catastrophism

Unread post by CharlesChandler » Sat Dec 21, 2019 6:11 pm

Brigit Bara wrote:
Sat Dec 21, 2019 1:37 pm
If any one has any texts of ancient Egyptian law, as cited above for proof of Atenism, I would be very grateful to have it. Some years ago I searched everywhere I could in books and I could not find any. The reason given was because the Pharaoh's word was law. What a megalomaniac.
Oops, the "rule of published law" that I cited as a correlation between Atenism & Judaism was incorrect. I had removed the associated paragraphs of text from my article, but forgot to remove the point from the summary, which I blindly copied & pasted onto this thread. Sorry for the confusion.
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Re: Creationism, Myths & Catastrophism

Unread post by Brigit Bara » Sat Dec 21, 2019 9:57 pm

Well, I popped a cork prematurely then!

Egyptian sarcophogi sound interesting too, or any sarcophogus any one would like to post! lol Merry Christmas to all (:
“Oh for shame, how these mortals put the blame upon us gods, for they say evils come from us, when it is they rather who by their own recklessness win sorrow beyond what is given…”
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Re: Creationism, Myths & Catastrophism

Unread post by JP Michael » Sun Dec 22, 2019 12:52 am

Lloyd wrote:
Sat Dec 21, 2019 8:03 am
I believe the Thunderbolts team, esp. Talbott, Cardona and Cochrane, were not able to concur with Velikovsky's revised chronology in Ages in Chaos nor with Velikovsky's claims that Venus caused the plagues at the time of the Exodus and of Joshua ca. 1400s BC, and that Mars caused cataclysms ca 700 BC. Most catastrophist scholars seem to agree that cataclysms occurred earlier, about 2300 BC.
As Egyptology is not an area of specialisation for me, I won't comment too much further here until I've actually read more on the specific criticisms of Velikovsky's evidences. But I did find his arguments rather persuasive in demonstrating that both the Ugaritic Ras Shamra texts and the El Armarna letters are contemporaneous, 10th-8th century documents, and do not pertain to the 14th century, Moses or the pharaoh of the Exodus at all. I am aware that some of Velikovsky's cuneiform methodology was heavily rebutted by Abraham Sachs but do not know the details of the argumentation.

I also have reason to understand that, after Velikovsky's passing in 1979, Ginenthal, Rose, Sweeny and Heinsohn revised the Egyptian chronology even further than Velikovsky did. I have not read any of those works yet so I cannot comment further. So while the Thunderbolts community specifically may have rejected Velikovsky's revision, other scholars building on Velikovsky's work actually took it further, rightly or wrongly.

My point is that Chandler wants to use Atenism as the precipitating force for Mosaic monotheism. But if Mosaic monotheism preceeded Atenism by 400 years, as per some of the stronger lines of argument presented in Ages in Chaos, then Atenism simply cannot be its cause. What comes after cannot cause what came prior.

Of course I utterly reject Atenistic derivation of Judaism solely on the basis that Judaism's monotheism is derived from their familial relationship to their biological patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and the twelve tribes, predating Atenism by 400 years even if one allows a 14th century date for it. According to Moses, Abraham received his monotheistic call by direct revelation from the same God, YHWH, whom Moses identifies as Creator of the universe (Genesis 12:1-4 cf. Gen 2:4). Acts 7:2-4 reveals that Abraham was called whilst he was living in Ur, Mesopotamia (compare Genesis 11:31). This call he partially obeyed at the age of 75 as recorded in Genesis 12:1-4, but it is not until he fully obeyed by departing from all his family (Lot went with him at first from Haran) that YHWH both grants Abraham the land of the Canaanites (Genesis 13:14-18; 15:1-21), in addition to the monotheistic covenant with Abraham and his descendants after him, sealed in blood with the sign of circumcision (Genesis 17:1-17), especially verses 7-8:
  • "I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you. And I will give to you and to your offspring after you the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession, and I will be their God."
To suggest that Moses adopted Egyptian monotheism contradicts what Moses himself wrote and confirmed for the children of Israel: YHWH is the God of their biological ancestors: the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob (Israel) and the 12 patriarchs (Exodus 3:15-16; Deuteronomy 1:11, 21; 4:1; 6:3; 9:5; 12:1; 27:3; 30:9, 20; see also Joshua 18:3, 24:2; 1 Kings 8:53; 1 Chronicles 29:18-20; 2 Chronicles 20:6; 30:7; Jeremiah 34:13 amongst others). According to Moses, YHWH judged the gods of Egypt (Exodus 12:12). YHWH also judged the Hebrews for following the gods of Egypt (Exodus 32). According to Moses, there is only one Hebrew-Israelite race descended from Abraham, not two distinct ones as Chandler falsely claims. According to Moses and later Biblical authors, YHWH is not some new invention of a later time, age or nation patched in to an existing culture. Worship of YHWH is the distinctive feature of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and their descendants, and the Torah records YHWH's constant interventions to ensure that remains so, especially when they turn away from him to worship other gods.

The only way to argue otherwise is to do as the source critics have done and reject the extant, attested whole narrative so they can mix up the parts into unattested, make-believe JEDPR sources they can happily rearrange to suit their a-priori ideologies of textual evolution proving the Hebrew/Mosaic religion, too, is nothing more than the syncretism and development of ideas stolen from everywhere else. That this method is so contrary to the actual narrative of the Scriptures, the narrative in which YHWH is the central actor, creating the world, judging the world, saving Noah, choosing Abraham of all the families of the world, then Isaac, then Jacob, then the twelve, covenanting himself to them in the fires of Sinai by the hand of Moses, bringing them into their possession by Joshua, setting up the Kingship of David, judging his own people for turning away from him to follow the gods of the nations, and finally bringing into the world the Divine Son through that nation, should not need repeating or observation, let alone discernment of the ulterior motive for carving up the Word of God.

I cannot help but conclude that Chandler's reconstruction is, like modern particle and relativistic physics or McLachlan/Holden's Ganymede hypothesis, a monstrous, intertwined edifice built up on numerous falsified assumptions and pseudohistories of the 'evolution' of the Hebrew textual tradition over time. That is why my first criticism concentrated on the fundamental error of Chandler's cut-and-paste methodology of Scriptural extirpation. Anyone can prove anything from the Bible if one can simply chop and change a text to suit the fancies and assumptions of the researcher. I don't really feel the need to address the specifics when this fundamental methodological error remains to undermine the whole.
Lloyd wrote:Re "Hebrew shabbat means to rest or desist exerting oneself", you agree, don't you, that shabbat refers to shamash = Saturn? ...
Charles mentioned similarity between sabbaton and saba-Aten (also Adonai). He said "in late Babylonian, they meant the same thing, sabbatum meaning pacify, Sun, or light. This would make sense if every 7th day, the Jews pacified themselves and worshiped a Lord who made his face to shine down on them (i.e., like a Sun god).
The sabbath issue has a few interesting quirks of argumentation. The etymological discussion rests on two points:
  • 1. Shabbath derives from a Hebrew root.
    • a) The root is SH-B-TH, meaning to rest or cease.
      • i) But if the noun derives from the verb, why is the qattal, concrete, rather than abstract noun construction used?
        ii) But if the verb derives from the noun, that is to say the religious concept "keep the Sabbath" becomes the verb "to cease", then why does it exist in cognate languages, eg. Arabic & Ugaritic?
      b) The root is SH-B-', meaning to swear an oath of sevens.
      • i) If it came from SH-B-', why did the last root letter change and when?
    2. Shabbath derives from an Akkadian loanword.
    • a) But the supposed Akkadian loanword, sabbatu, designates only the religious ceremony of the 15th day of a lunar month.
      b) The loanword for the 7th day celebration, sebutu, is more distant phonetically
      c) Bablyonian pronunciation of the above two words can also be sappatu and seputu respectively, distancing them further.
You will notice at no stage is there any consideration of the word being derived from a compound of sabbu and Aten, either in Hebrew or Akkadian.[1] Would that solve the apparent paradox? Perhaps. Is it tenable from the linguistic data? de Blois is a better Oriental linguist than I am and he failed to notice any such connection. I would answer de Blois' objection of argument 1.b)ii) above by assaulting his assumption that Ugaritic predates Hebrew (based on misinterpretation of the dating of the Ras Shamra corpus by 600 years). I will add, however, that Talbott's discussion of the Egyptian Aten as the abode of the god at rest is intruiging, but there is no phonetic similarity at all between the Egyptian 'rest' (hetep) and Hebrew shabbath.[2]

I have indeed suggested that the Hebrew word for Saturn, Shabt'ai, is most likely derived from the same parent root as Shabbat, and this could be a veiled hint at the fact that, in the past, Saturn rested as the polestar. But the Jews did not celebrate, worship or otherwise acknowledge Saturn, the planet-god of the idolaters, as having anything to do with their 7th day Sabbath. In fact it was the opposite. They loathed association between pagan Saturn's Day celebrations as occuring on the same day as their convenantal sign.

I have now come to understand that the Hebrew spelling for Saturn, Shabt'ai, שבתאי, likely comes from Babylonian influence because of its Aramaic orthography (the aleph-yod ending is the dead-giveaway and a common feature of Aramaic nouns). So an argument can be made here to link together Saturn, Sabbath & Babylon, but the time period is Exile-Post Exile (600 BCE and afterwards), way too late to have anything to do with Atenism unless you want to argue pagan syncretism of Judaism and Babylonian/Egyptian religion at the same period. Given the significant esoteric infiltration of Judaism snowballing at the same time (post-Exile), I think a decent argument for syncretism can be made. But I will still ask, "Is post-Exilic Judaism the Judaism of Moses/Torah?" In some aspects, yes, like Sabbath keeping and the Temple Cult, in others, especially the adoption of certain pagan esoteric traditions, of which Shabtai seems to be an interesting example, most certainly not.
Lloyd wrote:What about the Hebrew word for comet also resembling shamash?
The Hebrew word for 'comet', kokhab shebit, is not derived from or related to shemesh or shabath. The word root is different: shebit comes from ש-ב-ט with a tet (ט) not a tav (ת), and means 'to branch off'.[3] Comets, to the Hebrew mind, are 'branched stars', a very apt description of their filamentary electroplasma tails, even if unintended! There is no Hebrew etymological or conceptual relationship between shabbath and comets except a chance phonetic similarity.
Lloyd wrote:Another thing you said earlier about Earth having orbited Saturn during the Great Flood, the Thunderbolts team does not support the idea that Earth ever orbited Saturn. Instead, Venus, Mars and Earth apparently followed behind Saturn as the system came into the solar system, and then the system broke up upon getting close to the Sun or Jupiter.
This is incorrect. Wallace Thornill himself has stated repeatedly in both written and video publications that the earth was once a moon of the brown dwarf proto-Saturn sun, orbiting within Saturn's plasmasheath.[4] This view diverges somewhat from Cardona and McLachlan who both claim that the earth existed in axial alignment beneath proto-Saturn's south pole, fixed in position Herbig-Haro object style until such time as Saturn's plasmasheath collided with the Sun's, the ultimate cause of the Deluge remembered by the whole world. Post-Deluge, both models posit that polar-axial alignment persisted for some centuries before all the planets finally broke free of Saturn's reign and were thrown into current orbits around the Sun. I posit that the 'throwing into orbit' also included elliptical orbital periods, not just for Venus and Mars, but also Earth, Jupiter and Saturn, resulting in occasional but highly memorable instances of catastrophism and possibly repeated ice ages.

[1] F. de Blois, "The Etymology of Sabbath". I realise de Bloise concludes in Akkadian etymological derivation, but I believe some of his fundamental assumptions can be challenged.
[2] D. Talbott, The Saturn Myth (Kindle Edition) pp. 53-55: "This primeval dwelling [Aten] was the “island of Hetep [Rest].”
[3] J. Benner, Ancient Hebrew Lexicon, H7626
[4] See, for example, W. Thornill & D. Talbott, The Electric Universe (Mikamar, 2007) p.84 and D. Cardona, Newborn Star (Telwell, 2019) pp.43-49.

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Re: Creationism, Myths & Catastrophism

Unread post by CharlesChandler » Sun Dec 22, 2019 4:51 am

Brigit Bara wrote:
Sat Dec 21, 2019 9:57 pm
Well, I popped a cork prematurely then!
I'll go ahead and concede then, if that would make it right... :)
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Re: Creationism, Myths & Catastrophism

Unread post by Brigit Bara » Sun Dec 22, 2019 11:33 am

There is no Hebrew word for Saturn or Jupiter in the Bible itself.

That word appears in the Talmud. The most recent occupiers of the land of Judea were the Greeks, and the Romans. The planetary week was adopted during that time in these occupied lands, so that the word for Saturday represented the acceptance into the common parlance of the pervasive culture of the Greeks and Romans.

Quite often you will find that nations that are militarily or otherwise conquered and occupied adopt words and language from their conquerors. It certainly happened in the case of English, which has loan words from the Vikings and the French Normans, among others. And while in English we have Odinsday, Friggasday, and Tirsday, the other days are from the Roman conquerors: Saturday is still with us. For some perspective, over the course of its 1500-year-history, the small state of Judea was overcome by its Semitic-language speaking neighbors such as the Canaanites, the Syrians, the countries of Moab and Edom, the Assyrians, the Babylonians, the Persians, the Greeks, and the Romans. But you simply will not find a name for any of the planets in the Bible itself; only extra-biblical sources written under the time of foreign occupation.

The only references to the planets in the Old Testament** are in verses like these:

“And take heed, lest you lift your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun, the moon, and the stars, all the host of heaven, you feel driven to worship them and serve them, which the LORD your God has given to all the peoples under the whole heaven as a heritage."

The references to the multitudes of gods of the people around them, and their idols, are reflected accurately throughout, but the planets themselves remain nameless.

**Unless the "two great lights" in Gen are Saturn and another body, then lighting the sky.
“Oh for shame, how these mortals put the blame upon us gods, for they say evils come from us, when it is they rather who by their own recklessness win sorrow beyond what is given…”
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Re: Creationism, Myths & Catastrophism

Unread post by Brigit Bara » Sun Dec 22, 2019 11:47 am

catastrophism subsection: Ugarit

Ugarit was excavated by Claude F Schaffer. It is very clear in his writings that he had a precise year in the 13th century BC for the final destruction layers. To simply alter this is to dismiss his work. And that is very hard to do, since not only had he been on site for decades in those turbulent war years, he also published many works. It is very unfair of people on the internet to assert that his dates can simply be dismissed and changed so easily, esp. since most of his books have not been translated and are in French.

I think it is painful to the western scholars that Semitic writing and histories are so old, now demonstrably dating back to the time of Ugarit, and that the Greeks and Romans only very recently learned their ABCs, and that with great difficulty.
“Oh for shame, how these mortals put the blame upon us gods, for they say evils come from us, when it is they rather who by their own recklessness win sorrow beyond what is given…”
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Re: Creationism, Myths & Catastrophism

Unread post by Lloyd » Sun Dec 22, 2019 12:23 pm

JP, you said "That this [[Charles']] method is so contrary to the actual narrative of the Scriptures, ... should not need repeating or observation, let alone discernment of the ulterior motive for carving up the Word of God."
The Bible says the word of God came unto various people. What makes you think the Bible means the word of God was the Bible? And who was God? Charles makes good arguments that God meant the Pharaoh. I don't think there is an ulterior motive. The motive is obvious, to learn the truth about the past. And I don't see any problem with Charles' methodology. Charles references archeological findings from the time of the Exodus. The oldest Bible came a thousand years later. Stuff from the time period trumps stuff written centuries later.
"But if Mosaic monotheism preceeded Atenism by 400 years, as per some of the stronger lines of argument presented in Ages in Chaos, then Atenism simply cannot be its cause."
What are they? I don't know what those "stronger lines of argument" are, so I can't compare them with Charles' & others' lines of argument. Heinsohn has been critiqued in Aeon magazine.
"To suggest that Moses adopted Egyptian monotheism contradicts what Moses himself wrote and confirmed for the children of Israel"
Charles says Moses was an official under Akhenaten. Akhenaten started something like monotheism, but Moses took it a bit further. It's conceivable to me that there were some people during the time of the Golden Age, or the Saturnian age, who understood that the planets were not gods, and those people were either atheists or believed in a God of universal consciousness etc, and Moses may have come from that tradition. The ancient myths would have been conceived by the many people who thought the planets actually were gods.
"According to Moses, there is only one Hebrew-Israelite race descended from Abraham, not two distinct ones as Chandler falsely claims."
You haven't shown that Charles' claims are false.
"Wallace Thornill himself has stated repeatedly in both written and video publications that the earth was once a moon of the brown dwarf proto-Saturn sun, orbiting within Saturn's plasmasheath.[4]"
Let's have quotes, please. I think you misunderstood the material. Talbott et al have argued extensively that the Earth did not orbit Saturn; otherwise there would not have been a polar configuration. Talbott and Thornhill have worked together for many years, so I'm pretty sure Thornhill doesn't state that the Earth orbited Saturn.

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Re: Creationism, Myths & Catastrophism

Unread post by Brigit Bara » Sun Dec 22, 2019 1:03 pm

JP Michael, I did not mean to seem rude about radically changing Schaeffer's dates for the destruction layers of Ugarit. I realize that is a popular theory and has some reasonable supporting arguments.

I simply ask that his own date be recognized in all instances that the subject comes up. And I point out that his work has not all been accurately translated and read thoroughly, which many of us find to be a glaring loss in considering this chronology.
“Oh for shame, how these mortals put the blame upon us gods, for they say evils come from us, when it is they rather who by their own recklessness win sorrow beyond what is given…”
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Re: Creationism, Myths & Catastrophism

Unread post by Brigit Bara » Sun Dec 22, 2019 1:48 pm

Thank you CC, I did toast to all of your very good health! (:

None of us can know everything, and I do try to keep up with recent finds, especially any Egyptian law codes. The argument that the Ark resembles a sarcophogus has occurred to me before. This type of funerary art is not exclusive to Egypt, but is also found in ancient "Anatolia" and other regions of the Mediterranean. I have never studied Egyptian sarcophogi, esp as early as you have placed Atenism. I think this is an interesting association and would not mind seeing the sarcophogi.

But perhaps we can all agree that a sarcophogus is not an object of worship, and that it actually was a box. The point is that it contained the law, in Shiloh, the original place of Israel's worship. These completely unique statutes were adopted consensually by those who would live under them, after having heard them. They were a "mixed multitude" with some Egyptians, but they were mostly the slaves the Egyptian Pharoahs used for their monumental building projects.

To emphasize the point that the Ark was not an object of worship, there is an incident in Samuel when the Ark was seized by the Philistines (who indeed proved to be a very ancient people living in 5 cities on the Mediterannean coast, and quite sophisticated in culture) because the people of Israel attempted to march it into battle with it, as if it were a common idol. It resulted in disaster and defeat, and loss of the Ark. 1 Sam 4.
“Oh for shame, how these mortals put the blame upon us gods, for they say evils come from us, when it is they rather who by their own recklessness win sorrow beyond what is given…”
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Re: Creationism, Myths & Catastrophism

Unread post by Brigit Bara » Sun Dec 22, 2019 10:23 pm

catastrophism subsection: the meaning of the word shabat and seven

Contextual meaning for the word shabat and seven:

1. The seventh day is blessed in Gen 2 as a day of rest after work; it is not yet called a shabat, just the seventh day
2. The names for the days in this passage are based on the numbers 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 -- that is, yom echad through yom shevyy.
3. The seventh day is instituted as a Shabat in the Ten Commandments in Ex 20, and this refers to the original meaning as the yom shevyy.
4. The phrase "six days you shall do your work, but the seventh is the Shabat" is repeatedly used in the OT, associating the Shabat with the numbers six and seven

There are times when the compound word for seven (sheva), or seventh (shevyy), receives a tav/t at the end and becomes shevat.
Here is an example mostly just for JP Michael:
כִּי תִקְנֶה עֶבֶד עִבְרִי שֵׁשׁ שָׁנִים יַעֲבֹד וּבַשְּׁבִעִת
יֵצֵא לַֽחָפְשִׁי חִנָּֽם׃
(Maybe because the next word starts with a Y?)

5. the Hebrew calendar not only celebrates every seventh day,
it has a seventh week that is celebrated called Shavot.
It celebrates every seventh year,
and it counts off every seven x seven years, at which time, the Jubilee is declared.
  • And you shall count seven sabbaths of years for yourself, seven times seven years; and the time of the seven sabbaths of years shall be to you forty-nine years.
6. The seventh day of rest is a mutual agreement, or oath, or covenant, solely between God and Israel, so it does tie in with the word sheva, oath (but the actual word for the covenant is b'rit).
"Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant.‘It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed.’ ”

Now there was a Babylonian shebatu, but I would say that the Shabat here has been fully expressed as a seventh day, meant to make sure that every one gets a day off from work. Otherwise, people overwork to get rich, and it isn't very healthy to do that; especially considering that everything was done with muscle power, and there were no machines. Even the animals must have a little time to recuperate in the Ten Commandments. This is a real improvement on the ancient predominant cultural milieu, in which these designated shabbattu were ominous with danger, and may require superstitious actions to ward it off.

This is simply declaring a day off for everyone to be rested and refreshed. It was meant to turn minds away from material things, and be thankful. "Seek first His kingdom and all else shall be added to you." It is supposed to be enjoyed. And notice it places the heavens, and the things in the heavens, in their place as just a part of creation. After all, the same ten commandments which intstitute the Shabat also forbid worshiping anything in the heavens, or on earth, or their images, or any material thing at all. The commands not to worship the things in the sky, and to keep the shabat, are inseparably linked.
“Oh for shame, how these mortals put the blame upon us gods, for they say evils come from us, when it is they rather who by their own recklessness win sorrow beyond what is given…”
~Homer

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Re: Creationism, Myths & Catastrophism

Unread post by CharlesChandler » Mon Dec 23, 2019 4:19 am

Brigit Bara wrote:
Sun Dec 22, 2019 1:48 pm
None of us can know everything, and I do try to keep up with recent finds, especially any Egyptian law codes. The argument that the Ark resembles a sarcophagus has occurred to me before. This type of funerary art is not exclusive to Egypt, but is also found in ancient "Anatolia" and other regions of the Mediterranean. I have never studied Egyptian sarcophagi, esp as early as you have placed Atenism. I think this is an interesting association and would not mind seeing the sarcophagi.
I don't have any sarcophagus images other than the ones already on my site (Akhenaten and Tutankhamun). Do you have examples of the outstretched wings from elsewhere, such as Anatolia, predating the Amarna period? The depictions of Ma'at in this form appear later, though the wings are not both stretched upward, and never on an ark or a sarcophagus, at least as far as I've seen.

I never found anything on the law code at Amarna, so my source on that point turned out to be unreliable. I concluded like you that the pharaohs (including Akhenaten) were such megalomaniacs that they preferred to make it up as they went along. ;) There seems to be more of a correlation between Hammurabi & Moses than between Akhenaten & Moses in this respect, though I don't see a direct connection -- Moses never mentioned any previous law code as a foundation for his.
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JP Michael
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Re: Creationism, Myths & Catastrophism

Unread post by JP Michael » Mon Dec 23, 2019 7:24 pm

Brigit Bara wrote:
Sun Dec 22, 2019 10:23 pm
1. The seventh day is blessed in Gen 2 as a day of rest after work; it is not yet called a shabat, just the seventh day
Yet even this verse has the verb form:

Genesis 2:2 וישׁבת ביום השׁביעי מכל־מלאכתו אשׁר עשׂה׃ (wayishbot bayom hashshevi'i mikkol mela'khto asher 'asah - and he ceased on the seventh day from all the works he had made.)

It's not that I am arguing for no association between SH-B-T (rest/cease) and SH-B-' (oath/seven); the two terms often occur in the same sentence so they have a conceptual relationship: Those who keep the Law of Moses rest/cease on the seventh day. On etymological grounds the two are seperate roots, although Benner suggests they may have shared the same earlier geminate (two-letter) root שב (shab) which means to sit/dwell. The difference then, SH-B-T one sits at rest from working; whereas SH-B-' one sits at the doorway/gate of their tent/city to swear an oath seven times before witnesses (eg. Genesis 21:22-32).
Brigit Bara wrote:2. The names for the days in this passage are based on the numbers 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 -- that is, yom echad through yom shevyy.
Not entirely correct. The thing most interpreters and Biblical exegesis of Genesis 1 miss is that the first number in Genesis 1:5 is a cardinal, echad, one, whilst the rest are ordinals (second-seventh). The ordinal 'first', in Hebrew, is rishon and that word is interestingly not used in Genesis 1:5. This makes sense if authentic history is being presented. Day one has no other referent; something can only be the 'first' if there is a 'second', but no 'second' yet existed so the author of Genesis 1 correctly names it 'day one'. It is only after the existence of 'one' that there can be a 'second, third, fourth' etc of the same kind as the 'one' (thus, by implication, refuting Day-Age theory that the 'days' represent epochs of time).

The implication is that there were no days prior to this 'day one', flatly contradicting both Gen 1:2 Gap Theory-Reconstructionism and Cardona's assertion that 'Day One' was eyewitnessed around the world as the day Saturn first flared up in contact with the Sun's plasmasheath, creating 'light' on the selfsame day.[1] According to Moses, the stellar bodies which includes the planets were not created until the 4th day and humanity on the 6th day, so the only way Cardona's assertion can be correct is if the flareup of Saturn occurred well after the actual creation of both planets and people and became both reminscent and religiously mythologised as the original creative act which Genesis 1 preserves accurately for us. Otherwise all one has is a case of gross eisegesis (insertion of ideas foreign to the text). I posit this flareup which spawned world creation mythology (excepting Genesis) occurred as the simultaneous cause of the Deluge in Noah's 600th year and was remembered thereafter as the 'Creation', a fairly apt description for a globe-annihilating flood and subsequent 'New Heavens and Earth'.
Brigit Bara wrote:There are times when the compound word for seven (sheva), or seventh (shevyy), receives a tav/t at the end and becomes shevat.
Here is an example mostly just for JP Michael:
כִּי תִקְנֶה עֶבֶד עִבְרִי שֵׁשׁ שָׁנִים יַעֲבֹד וּבַשְּׁבִעִת
יֵצֵא לַֽחָפְשִׁי חִנָּֽם׃
(Maybe because the next word starts with a Y?)
I don't know why you must claim that the word shev'a is a 'compound'? It is no more a compound than the word shabbat (which isn't one). A compound is two words combined into one, like Be'er-shev'a (Well of the Seven Oaths). The onus is on you to demonstrate the other word that the root letters SH-B-' are being compounded with? Until that can be demonstrated, the conclusion remains that shev'a, in and of itself, is not a compound and is an authentic Hebrew word/root.

Chandler at least attempted demonstrate a combination of shab and Aten, refuted by the fact that such a compound is entirely unattested in Hebrew or any of its cognates in addition to the fact that Hebrew compounds do not typically lose letters, and the letters they can lose are specific to the complex rules of Hebrew grammatical construction. My challenge to Chandler is this: if Shabbat originated as a compound of shab-Aten, and I concede both components as real words possible to compound, it should read shab'aten in the Hebrew text. So the onus is on Charles to demonstrate from extant Hebrew compounds and the grammatical rules governing them:
  • 1. That Hebrew compounds can lose or have lost root or phonetic letters;
    2. That the specific combination of root letters in the hypothesised compound shab-Aten are likely to be those lost;
    3. That this loss of letters in compounds can be demonstrated in cognates, especially Ugaritic which retains SH-B-TH as a genuine lexical item, as supporting evidence.
Seconly, shanah (year) is feminine, so it takes a feminine ordinal. Feminine ordinals add a tav at the end as a function of grammar, not as a 'compound'. The number six in that same verse (Ex 21:2) is a cardinal, so it has the feminine form as well (six years serving, seventh [year] released freely). It just so happens that feminine cardinals above the number 3 drop their feminine suffix whilst masculine cardinals gain a feminine suffix. Masculine is shishah (ששה) but feminine is shesh (שש). Does that mean shishah is a compound because it has an extra letter? Hardly. I really wish this 'compound' error would stop being perpetuated. The addition of letters to Hebrew words more often than not indicate grammatical functions: eg. perfect vs imperfect vs participle vs singular vs plural vs masculine vs feminine, etc etc.

@Lloyd
I will get to your post tomorrow as I've run out of time today.

[1] D. Cardona, Newborn Star (Telwell, 2019) p.68: "That proto-Saturn's flareup was seen by ancient man as the supreme act that ushered in Creation, the mytho-historical record leaves no doubt. This event is not only recorded in the very first chapter of the Old Testament, it remained throughout time a steadfast principle of Rabbinic belief. Not only did it form 'the starting point' of pharaonic Egypt's entire 'mythological speculations', it embedded itself in the religious dogmas of all ancient nations as it continues to be accentuated in modern ones as well."

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Re: Creationism, Myths & Catastrophism

Unread post by CharlesChandler » Tue Dec 24, 2019 6:01 am

Lloyd wrote:
Sun Dec 22, 2019 12:23 pm
Charles makes good arguments that God meant the Pharaoh.
Well, pharaohs were among the elements that were ultimately syncretized into a recognizable Jewish deity. Beginning with Mentuhotep II (king of Egypt, 2061~2010 bce), the pharaohs were deified while alive, and expected to be addressed as living gods, in person & in writing. Since they were ruling by divine right, refusal to acknowledge their divinity would have constituted treason, punishable by death. So in that part of the world, during that period, God = Pharaoh. We should also note that before Ramesses II, it wasn't customary to use the pharaoh's personal name in official correspondence -- the pharaoh was rather addressed by title only. So Ramesses and many later pharaohs were named in the Tanakh, and we know these not to have been gods, but earlier references to "God" would have been interpreted by the people at that time as pharaohs addressed by title only. This sits comfortably with the anthropomorphic descriptions of YHWH in the Torah.

Then there are other characterizations of God that are not anthropomorphic, and are rather formless, such as the God who created the world in six days, without mentioning where His hands were at the time, or what kind of mood He was in. That "God" was an abstraction, closer to the Canaanite concept of Elohim, which sometimes was just a generic term for "the gods" taken as a whole, where none in particular were named, and ideological differences among them were not important. For example, Roman emperors liked to announce to their soldiers before a battle that the gods had been consulted, and had bestowed their favor, even if not all of the members of the Roman pantheon were warlike. More monotheistically, Atum was a formless creator god, which was the prototype for the Aten, and which is phonetically equivalent to Adon.

It was then up to 1st Temple prophets to reconcile these various notions of God into some sort of coherent concept. Considering the ongoing debates, this continues to be a work in progress.
Lloyd wrote:
Sun Dec 22, 2019 12:23 pm
I don't think there is an ulterior motive. The motive is obvious, to learn the truth about the past.
Exactly. Of course, not everybody uses the same metric for truth. I'm of the opinion that it's OK to run out multiple analyses, each being true to its definitions & rules, and then see if the models converge somewhere further down the line. So it's OK to do a completely secular analysis of ancient scriptures, just to see where it leads. This is not an attack on faith, which I consider to be a different issue.
JP Michael wrote:To suggest that Moses adopted Egyptian monotheism contradicts what Moses himself wrote and confirmed for the children of Israel.
I'm saying that Moses was the earliest and most ardent supporter of the cultural changes during the Amarna period, and perhaps was one of the driving forces behind it. So it wasn't that Moses adopted monotheism from Akhenaten -- either they hammered it out together, or it was Moses' idea all along.
JP Michael wrote:
Mon Dec 23, 2019 7:24 pm
If Shabbat originated as a compound of shab-Aten, and I concede both components as real words possible to compound, it should read shab'aten in the Hebrew text.
Perhaps it would have been written that way, had it not been for the suppression of Atenism. If it would have been treason, punishable by death, to write shab'aten, it might have been more convenient to write Shabbat, which wouldn't have been explicit treason, because it couldn't be shown to be a valid Hebrew compound of shab'aten. In other words, it might have been a violation of Hebrew language rules, because of an Egyptian political rule.

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Re: Creationism, Myths & Catastrophism

Unread post by dren » Tue Dec 24, 2019 7:54 am

Would it be safe to say that the planets were not mentioned because they were not observable as planets at that time and not thought to exist; they were just stars in the sky?

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