Friday, November 18, 2011

The fates

“When the destinies of the gods were determined in the ancient Near East, powers and responsibilities were delegated to them. As a result, other gods became “working Enlils” when the MEs were given to them. This process bears a resemblance to the biblical idea that human beings were created in the image of God and became beings who functioned as Elohim at some level.

In distinct contrast to Mesopotamian beliefs, however, Genesis 1, if it in fact is paralleling the idea of the MEs, positions them differently. Rather than positing deity as guardian of the cosmic MEs (which are not created by the gods, in Mesopotamian thought), Genesis portrays God as the one who initiates the cosmic MEs. This view coincides with the observations made on pp. 62–63 that in Genesis Yahweh is outside the cosmic system, although in the ancient Near East the gods are viewed as inside the system. Thus, the Mesopotamian gods are subject to the MEs, while Yahweh controls them. This is similar to the idea that in Israel Yahweh is considered the source of law, whereas in Mesopotamia Shamash is the guardian of law. .”— Genesis 1 as Ancient Cosmology, page 167

<idle musing>
The same in the Greek cosmology. The Fates are bigger than the gods and over rule them.
</idle musing>

No comments: