All kinds of wondrous stories about the creation of the world were wide-spread throughout the lands of the East, and many of them assumed a literary form in epic poems or other compositions… They began, as a rule with a Theogony, that is, with the origin of the gods, the genealogy of the deities who preceded the birth of the world and mankind; and they told of the antagonism between this god and that god, of frictions that arose from these clashes of will, and of mighty wars that were waged by the gods. They connected the genesis of the world with the genesis of the gods and with the hostilities and wars between them; and they identified the different parts of the universe with given deities or with certain parts of their bodies… Then came the Torah and soared aloft, as on eagles’ wings, above all these notions. Not many gods but One God; not Theogony, for a god has no family tree; not wars nor strife nor the clash of wills, but only One Will, which rules over everything, without the slightest let or hindrance; not a deity associated with nature and identified with it wholly or in part, but a God who stands absolutely above nature, and outside of it, and nature and all its constituent elements, even the sun and all the other entities, be they never so exalted, are only His creatures, made according to His will. (Rabbi Umberto Cassuto)Amen and amen!
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
More On the Creation of the World
If you've ever read Hesiod's Theogony (Greek) or the Epic of Gilgamesh (Babylonian) or are familiar with other ancient accounts of the gods and the creation of the world, you know just how stark the differences are between them and the creation account in Genesis.