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Featured Flood terminologies in the antiquities

Discussion in 'Scriptural Debates' started by Onoma, Aug 6, 2020.

  1. Onoma

    Onoma Active Member

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    I have started this thread to discuss the use of " flood " terms used in ancient literature and how they influenced the Bible ( Feel free to move this to the appropriate section if it's in the wrong place )

    I can see there are several readers here who have gone to the lengths to study such things, so I will let them begin the thread by providing the websites they have used for their studies ( I will do the same in return so we can be on the same page )

    :)
     
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  2. Harel13

    Harel13 Well-Known Member

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    I'm copying over to here my post from the previous thread:

    I know. I said that. I added it in for context. :)
    I am unclear what the actual root is supposed to be, according to your source, but it seems that wherever you brought this from, that source is equating it to the Aramaic Nehora which means light, clarity or sight (which is related to light).
    The infamous a-bu-bu...I say infamous because there's an essay out there, written in the 80's by one Yitzchak Rappaport (unfortunately, I still haven't managed to discover who he was, but his essay both appeared in the Beit Mikra Tanach studies journal and is referenced by the Hebrew Wikipedia entry on the flood (though I first saw the article in an original copy of that journal)) in which Rappaport explains that the whole hypothesis that the Epic of Gilgamesh's flood story is about a flood is actually a weak argument for a number of reasons. One of his reasons is because George Smith, the British scholar who first suggested the Epic was talking about an earlier version of the flood myth, did so because he had no idea what the word a-bu-bu meant. He saw something about a boat and godly wrath and figured a-bu-bu must mean flood or deluge, without actually knowing that. His reasoning was because he wished to find a precursor to the biblical mythology (people can cry "crazy conspiracy theorist!!!" all they want, but this was published in a serious Tanach journal). I was planning on translating the essay into English and posting it here, but haven't gotten around to doing it yet.

    In fact, doing some of my own research on the matter, I found a book on Google Books called The Primeval Flood Catastrophe by Y.S. Chen. I haven't actually gone through all of it, but if you stop to think about it, using the word a-bu-bu as "flood" or deluge" in some of these examples arguably sounds a bit odd:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Harel13

    Harel13 Well-Known Member

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  4. Terry Sampson

    Terry Sampson ζει

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    A technical question which may not be appropriate in this thread: How is one to understand Genesis 9:11-17?
    • 11 And I will establish My covenant with you, and never again will all flesh be cut off by the flood waters, and there will never again be a flood to destroy the earth."
      12 And God said: "This is the sign of the covenant, which I am placing between Me and between you, and between every living soul that is with you, for everlasting generations.
      13 My rainbow I have placed in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Myself and the earth.
      14 And it shall come to pass, when I cause clouds to come upon the earth, that the rainbow will appear in the cloud.
      15 And I will remember My covenant, which is between Me and between you and between every living creature among all flesh, and the water will no longer become a flood to destroy all flesh.
      16 And the rainbow shall be in the cloud, and I will see it, to remember the everlasting covenant between God and between every living creature among all flesh, which is on the earth."
      17 And God said to Noah: "This is the sign of the covenant that I have set up, between Myself and between all flesh that is on the earth."
    Was the appearance of the rainbow, following the flood survived by Noah and the inhabitants of the ark, the first in history or was it not the first but affirmed as the sign of the covenant between God and Noah?

    (By analogy, I compare the rainbow to a wedding ring. Restating my question in terms of that analogy, I'm asking: Did a ring pre-exist the wedding and become a "wedding ring" as a consequence of the wedding vows? Or was there no ring before the wedding, but a wedding ring first appeared in the wedding?)

    The reason for my question is because I think there are people who believe that the rainbow after the flood was the first rainbow in the history of the world.
     
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  5. Onoma

    Onoma Active Member

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    Woohoo, thanks for the link

    Btw, the sources I use online for study of Mesopotamian literature ( Mainly ) are:

    The Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature

    The Pennsylvania Sumerian Dictionary

    The Cuneiform Commentaries Project

    The Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative

    ( These are maintained by various universities and all usually if not always hyperlinked between each other as they tend to collaborate on the subject material )

    For Egyptian scripts -, like many, I turn to Gardiner's sign list for hieroglyphics, ( Although imo this needs updated, it hasn't been updated in about 100 years, iirc ). Hieroglyphics are a script I have not yet spent a large amount of time delving into ( Yet ), choosing instead to focus on Hieratic, as it is the script in which priests tended to write, and it is the script used for mathematics done by those same priests

    I also like to use various math, science and language historians like Otto Neugebauer , Hermann Hilprecht and Joran Friberg, as well as publications / journals like the Biblical Archaeology Review, and the Journal of Semitic Studies, to name a few

    As far as using Wikipedia, I maintain that it is a great place to start, but you will often find that it gives either incorrect information or half-truths, and need fact checked against other sources quite often ( Caveat emptor !)

    As far as Biblical concordances, versions of the Bible, etc, this is something I see people tend to have major disagreements over, and these disagreements usually mean that no meaningful conversation is able to be had because people cannot agree on what source/s to use

    So I will make this offer:

    If I provide a source, ( say Strong's concordance for example ) and you make the claim that source I provide is wrong / irrelevant, ( a common response I have encountered ) then I will ask you for an explanation of why, and then I will ask to see your sources in turn so I can use the sources you would prefer me to use, provided they are rigorous and unbiased

    Let's do this :)
     
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  6. Onoma

    Onoma Active Member

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    No, it's definitely a related topic, thanks for posting

    The rainbow and the mentions of the rainbow are actually rather common in Mesopotamian texts dealing with astronomy

    It's known as an " omen " phrasing

    Give me some time and I'll rustle up a post on it for you
     
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  7. Harel13

    Harel13 Well-Known Member

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    Just as a side question because you seem informed on the matter, have you heard of Dickson's Middle Egyptian Dictionary?
     
  8. Onoma

    Onoma Active Member

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    have not seen it before, but will definitely check it out, I found it here:

    Dictionary of Middle Egyptian
     
  9. Harel13

    Harel13 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, it's free online.
     
  10. RabbiO

    RabbiO הרב יונה בן זכריה

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  11. Onoma

    Onoma Active Member

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    Excellent !

    The real problem, imo, stems from the fact that not only does the use of the phasing and the words change over time, the languages change as well

    That said, it's common that we find more recent Babylonian texts dealing with priestly literature to be written in Akkadian that preserves the original Sumerian that predates it by several thousand years, while at the same time using the words for a variety of purposes outside of the confines of priestly literature, for things that weren't associated with priestly duties, and this greatly confuses people ( Understandably )

    They only used the older languages for those specific texts, and everything else was usually Assyrian or Babylonian, afaik

    However, to complicate things, there are often cuneiform in the priestly texts that serve as what you could consider an early form of encryption, and that is the use of multiple meanings, many of which weren't known to the common man, only to the priest/s who had been initiated into the secrets of the texts ( Many times with the help of tutelary deities of the god/s they served under ), and modern academics who haven't actually delved into the niche area of Mesopotamian priestly texts often miss this when they are looking for Biblical sources

    To add the complexity, there are many variants in text, some are due to scribal changes or errors, some are attributed to phonetic decay over time ( Anapoptic- Having lost, or tending to lose, inflections by phonetic decay )

    I have attached a few screenshots from various online sources discussing these terms and what they refer to ( Some are authors interjecting their own theories on the etymology as it relates to the Hebrew words, I have included them for the sake of looking at others' arguments, to be fair )

    I've also included a timeline of the " flood epics " and the specific word/s used in them, as well as some examples from classic literature, as well as noting this same terminology being used on Hammurabi's stele of the " finger / horn " ( The fundamental unit of priestly astronomy that was used in the calculation of the timing of new moon ( a " flood " )

    ( I will have to split up the pics into multiple posts, there are too many for one post )
     

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  12. Harel13

    Harel13 Well-Known Member

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    Cool! Thanks.
     
  13. Onoma

    Onoma Active Member

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    Now, I mentioned in the other thread that " flood " or " deluge " was not just used to refer to the time of new moon ( rosh chodesh ) and eclipses, but that it was also used to refer to a person ( priest, ruler, god, god-man, defied, etc )

    This association between water and divinity and divine office is something I'm sure most of us are at least a little familiar with ? ( I'm making an assumption )

    There is another related " flood " term and use you may already be familiar with, and that is the Akkadian name of Jerusalem:

    " Uru-salim " ( or ) " Urusalim "

    " Uru " is a cuneiform translated as " flood " ( Of light ) in English, but it's proper meaning refers to a " seat of power " or a " throne " or " divine rule "

    This connotation of a flood of " light " ( uru ), a variant of " abubu " ( many variants ), is attested to in numerous texts

    " Urusalim " is variously etymologised to mean "foundation of [or: by] the god Shalim": from West Semitic yrw, ‘to found, to lay a cornerstone’, and Shalim is usually identified as the deity representing Venus or the "Evening Star" and Shahar the "Morning Star", as in " Helel ben Shaḥar "

    In Mesopotamian astronomy texts it's common to find the " pausal form " ( shahar , iirc ) of the name of Venus used ( Pausal being from Greek "παῦσις" pausis "stopping, ceasing", used commonly when you have polysemy, different possible spoken sounds, or phones, or signs used to pronounce a single phoneme in a particular language - an allophone

    Considering that the old city seal of Jerusalem was the pentagram, ( Also common on old coins ) which is the early Sumerian ideogram used to refer to the " four quarters of heaven " ( In turn relating to the classic Mesopotamian title of a deified ruler -god-,man, " King of the four corners " - first claimed by Naram-Sin ) and relates to the rule under Inanna ( Venus ), this really shouldn't be a shock, it dates back to at least Uruk, so roughly 4,000BC, and was the geometric shape associated by Sumerians with the syzygies between Venus and the Moon ( About the time God created the universe according to someone who added up some geneolgoies in the bible ;) )

    " King of the Four Corners of the World (Sumerian: lugal-an-ub-da-limmu-ba , Akkadian: šarru kibrat 'arbaim , šar kibrāti arba'i, or šar kibrāt erbetti, alternatively translated as King of the Four Quarters of the World, King of the Heaven's Four Corners or King of the Four Corners of the Universe, and often shortened to simply King of the Four Corners "

    So just the name of Jerusalem itself actually, imo, refers to divine rule and is itself based on both earlier literary conventions associated with priestly astronomy, but it shows you how the name itself refers to the fact that the " divine rule " of the world at that emanated from Jerusalem ...

    ....Until the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem in 70 CE and occupation of the role in, the 2nd century BC, ( Hasmonean ), when the position began to be occupied by other " priestly families " that were unrelated to Zadok, the priest who had been from the lineage of Moses

    This is when the true lineage of the priests was supposedly " broken " or " lost " or " hidden " ( I have been given quite a few explanations, I'm always interested in hearing your opinion on this lineage )


    Anyway, here are a few more pics on various publications discussing these flood terms, included is a panel showing the use of the " garden " in various words and phrases associated with the priestly astronomy as well as how this relates to a ( One ) example of the word for " water " , but I would like to get into a more in-depth examination of the terms used in the literary associations between water and divinity/ divine rule
     

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  14. Harel13

    Harel13 Well-Known Member

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    I don't have time now to look at all of your attachments, but consider the following:
    In the Talmud there's a story in which the Romans were looking for the Jewish Nasi (prince, kind of like a governing intermediary between the Jews and the Romans and also head of the Sanhedrin). The Roman soldier entered the study hall where all the sages were and called out: "He who owns the nose, rise!"
    Some people take this to mean that Rabban Gamaliel, the prince of the time, had a big nose. But then, as I heard a certain rabbi explain, you take a look at the Latin and realize what was going on. Nose in Latin is Nasus. The lowly Roman soldier heard he was supposed to find the Nasi and thought that he was supposed to find someone with a nose. This story was then translated literally in the Talmudic text.

    My point is that Jerusalem could have easily started out with a Hebrew-rooted name, which was then mistaken by Sumerians and Akkadians to have different meanings simply because the name sounds like words in their own languages.
     
    #14 Harel13, Aug 6, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2020
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  15. sun rise

    sun rise "This is the Hour of God"
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    At one point I spent a bit of time looking at the very large number of flood stories such as listed here List of flood myths - Wikipedia

    I also spent time time looking at sites with physical evidence such as the 5+ million year ago flood of the Mediterranean Sea. And there were apparently a number of "outburst floods" at the end of the glacial age in North America.

    When I realized I could devote the rest of my life trying to correlate various accounts of a flood, the physical evidence etc, I backed off deciding that there was likely something that happened that is captured in various mythology or many such happenings.

    So I was left with a bit of knowledge in a vast sea of ignorance. ;)
     
  16. Onoma

    Onoma Active Member

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    Ha! That's funny. Good point.

    Oh well, people make mistakes, we still septum for who they are ;)


    ------------------

    Now with something like the texts commonly referred to as " The Gilgamesh Epic ", we'll find some rather interesting things that most folks miss, so I will point them out

    In all the texts we have of this story, there is only one that is told from the 1st person narrative ( The person telling the story is telling it with himself as the main character in the story - " I " )

    This version in 1st person is also the most complete copy of the text we have, and it is the copy that most academics tend to turn to, in particular, A.R. George's translation

    Andrew R. George - Wikipedia

    The person who wrote down the story was the priest of the moon god - his name was : Sîn-lēqi-unninni, he is telling the Gilgamesh story with himself as Gilgamesh

    What makes his copy rather unique is it's beginning incipit ( incipit comes from Latin and means " it begins " )

    In it, he states he is : " Sha naqba īmuru " ( " He who saw the deep " or " The one who saw the Abyss " )

    Andrew George's belief is that it refers to the specific knowledge that Gilgamesh brought back from his meeting with Uta-Napishti (Utnapishtim): he gains knowledge of the realm of Ea, whose cosmic realm is seen as the fountain of wisdom

    The word is nagbu, ( You'll commonly find these words spelled differently in English when discussing it, this is apparently due to scholarly disagreements about phonetic pronunciation and variants in other texts, so I wouldn't let it trip you up ) , and there appear to be two main translations to consider, one suggests that the word refers to the " totality ( of all things ), which would make it synonymous with the cuneiform used for " garden " and the number " 3600 " ( Used for priestly astronomy calculations, we can discuss it on the thread about the pitfalls of Biblical literalism if you like )

    Sumerian: šar [3600] " totality, world; (to be) numerous; 3600" Akk. kiššatu; mâdu

    The other suggested meaning is that is referring to the " deep " or the " abyss ", which actually referred to a type of hidden knowledge, considered sacred

    The term nagbu had a range of meanings, from "spring" and "fountain" and "underground water"- commonly encountered in poetic texts, as " totality "

    As the source of " water ", it's often used as an epithet of the gods, especially the god whose "place" is the abzu ... Ea, " lord of the deep waters "

    Imo, the origin of the Hebrew words can be found in " nagbu "

    נביא nabiy' {naw-bee'} - prophet, prophecy, them that prophesy, spokesman, speaker, false prophet

    Per the Strong's concordance, from:

    נבא naba' {naw-baw'} a primitive root; - prophesy , prophesying , prophet, to prophesy , under influence of divine spirit, of false prophets

    " īmuru " in the incipit " Sha naqba īmuru " is also found as " Sha naqba amaru "

    As per the previous attachment, we can see this is not just referring to a " flood " as in " bubbulu, " ( new moon ) we can see it's also listed as being used as yet another type of divine title

    https://www.religiousforums.com/dat...08/47352_fe829056b0b50cd12ea15a8ecf78ef8d.png

    However, " amaru " also has the meanings of :

    1. to see, to look at
    2. to come across, to find
    3. to find out, to discover, to notice
    4. to witness, to inspect, to keep an eye on
    Sumerian: u dug [ADMIRE] (92x: Old Babylonian) wr. u6 dug4 "to admire; to regard, observe" Akkadian: amāru; barû

    I would definitely say that certain " wisdom " or " secret knowledge " was associated with " water/s " and the " gods " and divine rule, just based on a cursory look at different cuneiform languages of the day, but when I get to the Egyptian, this will become rather concrete

    Sin-leqi-unninni ( Gilgamesh ) also included in his copy of the Gilgamesh text, the standard synodic month average, as was used in his other astronomy texts, which helps cement the fact that the epic is actually an astronomy text, because without that very specific synodic month average he included, you cannot predict the timing of the " flood " ( New moon or an eclipse ) to begin with

    Otherwise there's zero point to including something that requires a bit of calculation, ( An average ) and was central to Mesopotamian astronomy texts for thousands of years

    Here's an example of the astronomy texts found in his library, attached below. These texts were passed from priest to priest through the years, all of them descendants of Sin-Leqi-Unninni ( showing how one specific lineage and it's literature was closely maintained through time )

    As you can see, the first listed refers to the timing of a " flood " ( new moon )
     

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  17. Harel13

    Harel13 Well-Known Member

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    @Onoma I think I may have found the rabbi's work in English, per what @RabbiO said:
    Description: Tablet XI of the gilgamesh epic and the biblical flood story
    Apparently he wrote a whole book on the subject, later wrote a short essay in Hebrew condensing his research and died shortly after that.
    For now, we'll wait until @RabbiO can supply a link to the English version of the essay.

    Edit: Found it! https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sou...FjANegQIBxAB&usg=AOvVaw11mjv8jEpx7DrZTLO2Q-yG

    It's on pg. 27
     
  18. Harel13

    Harel13 Well-Known Member

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  19. Onoma

    Onoma Active Member

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    Great find, thanks for posting !

    I wonder if the good Rabbi was aware of how it was believed in that " storm demons " were issued forth from the very breath of a ruler/god ?

    I'm paraphrasing, but it's fairly common to find texts saying things like " Don't make the king mad, his breath sends storms "

    This is one of the reasons we find the storms to be equated with a " weapon " in text, ( " flood / deluge / weapon ) "

    This association between divinity / divine rule and breath / speech is rather ancient, and prior to the Bible, the best example I could give is that of Egyptian priestly texts ( Hieratic ), in which " sacred " or " magic " words and phrases were written in red text

    When these texts were read by the priest, the spoken words were considered acts of creation ( Which you may recognize as being a major theme in the Bible )

    But then, this association between divine rule and storms as " weapons " is also carried over into Biblical literature, in verses like:

    Psalm 83:15 " So persecute them with thy tempest, and make them afraid with thy storm "

    So where you have the Biblical Jesus " controlling storms ", you classically have Mesopotamian rulers also having " control over storms "

    And as far as " breath " and divinity and divine speech being an act of creation, when I started looking at concordance entries, I noticed that when you look up the root for " Jehovah ", they suggest comparing the root of the name to: הָוָה hâvâh; a primitive root (compare H183, H1961) supposed to mean properly, to breathe; to be (in the sense of existence), which imo is either a good indication their suggestion to compare is spot on, or it just coincidentally happens to refer to " breath ", but nothing to do with classic tradition ( Unlikely )

    --------------

    Now imo, it's not enough to merely say " Hey, this looks like this and we found this in this " and so on and so forth, that would be sloppy, almost like claiming that the Cat in the Hat was inspired by the mention of a lion in the Bible

    There must be more evidence in order for the claim to be taken seriously, and this is where I feel Rabbis probably missed some things they could have really benefited from learning

    One, is that were one to actually study the metrology and mathematical astronomy of the Mesopotamians and Egyptians ( A notoriously difficult topic ), they would begin to see that every single span of time, length, size, etc listed in the Biblical flood narrative, comes directly out of the calculations associated with new moon and eclipses ( floods ), all of which I have gone through the trouble of compiling from the ground up

    When I say " ground up ", I mean a rigorous mathematical analysis that spanned 8 years. I spent this time dissecting every single unit of measurement used by priests, going back to early Uruk, so about 4,000 BC

    Then, starting with Newton's work on mathematical astronomy, I worked backwards through time, through the various supposed discoveries credited to the various more recent astronomers ( Kepler, Romer, Copernicus,etc ) Bible, through Greek mathematics and astronomy, to the Egyptian conventions and finally to the Mesopotamians, all to discover there is indeed a rather obvious continuity that has for some reason been conveniently ignored ( Which I intend to fully illustrate here )

    Cheers, and thanks again for digging that up !
     
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  20. Harel13

    Harel13 Well-Known Member

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    Well, he never denied that abubu could mean storm. He wrote that he was of the opinion that abubu meant cyclone. However, he didn't believe that the Epic version had anything to do with the Biblical version. Stories of divine wrath are common in many cultures. Other than that, there are vast differences between the two stories.
     
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