Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Monsters are good?

Chaos monsters pose no problem for Jehovah. Indeed, they are his servants. The famous Genesis 1 creation story tells the tale of creation without seeing God engaging in any combat with monsters. Now there may well be echoes of the monsters in Genesis 1. We do begin with dark watery chaos, and note that the Hebrew word for “the deep” (tĕhôm) in verse 2 may echo the name Tiamat, the sea dragon goddess of Enuma Elish. But if there is an echo here it is only very faint. There is no battle; God creates by issuing effortless commands. And the water and darkness are not removed from creation but incorporated into it. Indeed, they are described as good when, on Days One to Three, they are put in their right place and kept within bounds. There are great sea dragons (tannîn, the same word used to describe Leviathan in Psalm 74 and Isaiah 27) in Gen 1:21, but they are simply creatures that God created and their creation “was good.”— The Biblical Cosmos, page 37

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