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David Bokovoy

Moses 1:25

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The Book of Moses presents a number of â??pearls of great priceâ? that provide evidence of the Prophetâ??s inspired additions to the book of Genesis. One important example of this claim includes the Lord's promise added to Genesis through Moses 1:25:

"Blessed art thou, Moses, for I, the Almighty, have chosen thee, and thou shalt be made stronger than many waters; for they shall obey thy command as if thou wert God.â? (Moses 1: 25)

When read from an ancient Near Eastern perspective, the divine assurance to make Moses â??stronger than many watersâ? in the direct context of a statement regarding Mosesâ?? ability to command the waters as if he was God proves incredibly meaningful.

In recent decades, the discovery of cuneiform tablets from ancient Mesopotamia and Canaan has provided Biblicists with important clues regarding the literary and mythological motifs that have influenced the Bible. As one such tradition, the ability of the gods to control water served as an integral part of Near Eastern tradition.

From a Canaanite perspective, even the mighty Baal himself struggled in divine combat in a violent effort to control the waters. In the Baal Cycle, discovered with tablets of Ugarit in the late 1920â??s, Yamm (the Canaanite word for Sea) sent messengers to the divine council of gods who proclaimed:

â??Decree of Yamm, your Master, Your Lord, Judge River: â??Give up, O gods, the one you obey, the one you obey, O Multitude; Give up Baal [that I may humble himâ? (CAT 1:17-19 as cited in Ugaritic Narrative Poetry, Simon Parker, ed., 98-99).

These types of struggles between Near Eastern gods and water provide an important cultural and religious backdrop for the statements featured in the Bible itself concerning Godâ??s clashes with water:

â??And with the blast of thy nostrils the waters were gathered together, the floods stood upright as an heap, and the depths were congealed in the heart of the seaâ? (Exodus 15:8 ).

This poetic praise presented in Exodus 15 following Mosesâ?? successful endeavor to control the sea like God, provides an important thematic link with the addition to Genesis presented in Joseph Smithâ??s inspired revision.

The notion of God controlling the seaâ??and by extension granting this authority to Moses as if he was God, provides evidence for Josephâ??s ability to capture important thematic elements in the Bible; elements which today make greater sense to Biblicists than they did in the 19th century.

In view of the prominent Near Eastern tradition concerning the godsâ?? efforts to control the Sea, the use of water in the creation accounts presented in the opening chapters of Genesis proves meaningful. The introduction to the second account of creation in the Hebrew Bible features a parenthetical clause that illustrates the importance, from the biblical authorâ??s perspective, of Godâ??s power over water:

"For the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground" (Gen 2:5-6)

The parenthetical statement identifies water as an important substance associated with creation. According to Genesis 2, creation would not truly begin until the Lord â??sent rain upon the earth andâ?¦man was there to till the soilâ? (Gen. 2:5). Since water would flow up from the earth naturally, the Lord took advantage of the wet-clay-like soil and â??formed man from the clods in the soil and blew into his nostrils the breath of lifeâ? (Gen 2:7). Hence, water provides an essential element in the Yahwistic view of creation.

Not only did God use the earth mixed with water to form man and beast, but water also serves as a necessary component in the gardening process through which deity in Genesis 2 functions as a creator god. The creation account in Genesis 1 also reflects this water motif.

The first reference to water in the this version of creation is the word tehom or â??deepâ? from the parenthetical introductory clause (Gen 1:2). As such, the word tehom meaning the â??primaeval ocean,â? presents the water of the deep as one of the prominent elements existing prior to creation. The author of Genesis 1 makes no effort to conceal his watery focus, introducing the motif immediately into his creation account:

â??Darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the watersâ? Gen 1:2

In so doing, Genesis 1 reflects the use of water in the parenthetical introduction from the Bibleâ??s second creation account:

â??And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the groundâ? (Gen 2:5-6)

A careful reading of the initial creation narrative suggests that the author of Genesis 1:1-2:4a possess a literary fixation with the image of water. Through the course of the events, God separates water from water; God commands the water below the sky; God names the gathering waters Seas; God creates living creatures from the water including the tanim, or â??water dragonsâ?; God fills the seas with living creatures; and finally, God creates man to rule the fish of the water (see Gen 1: 2, 6, 7, 9, 10, 20, 21, 22, 26, 28). In Genesis 1 water serves as a substance that the author wishes his audience to view as a force that Elohim completely controls.

Hence, when read with an increased knowledge of biblical traditions accessible through the discover of Near Eastern traditions, this biblical theme provides an important link with the Prophetâ??s inspired addition to the book of Genesis:

"Blessed art thou, Moses, for I, the Almighty, have chosen thee, and thou shalt be made stronger than many waters; for they shall obey thy command as if thou wert God.â? (Moses 1: 25)

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Interesting post David. I'll just add my worthless two bits by providing a link to a FARMS occasional paper (I love that they're starting to put these online):

Who Controls the Water? Yahweh vs. Baal

Thanks Dr. Steuss for ruining my thread by adding another worthless piece of pseduo-scholarship from FARMS. As long as we're going down that path, I'll add this from Bill Hamblin and David Seelyâ??s new rubbish:

â??In many ancient creation stories, the earth was formed when the deity conquered chaosâ??represented by the primeval watersâ??and established the primordial hillock, the first portion of earth to rise from the waters. A temple was built on the primordial hillock commemorating the godâ??s pre-eminent role in creation and their power in defeating Chaos, legitimizing the worship of the god enshrined in the temple and the rule of his divinely appointed king.â? William J. Hamblin and David Rolph Seely, Solomonâ??s Temple Myth and History, Thames and Hudson, 2007, 10.

:P

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Thanks Dr. Steuss for ruining my thread by adding another worthless piece of pseduo-scholarship from FARMS. As long as we're going down that path, I'll add this from Bill Hamblin and David Seelyâ??s new rubbish:

â??In many ancient creation stories, the earth was formed when the deity conquered chaosâ??represented by the primeval watersâ??and established the primordial hillock, the first portion of earth to rise from the waters. A temple was built on the primordial hillock commemorating the godâ??s pre-eminent role in creation and their power in defeating Chaos, legitimizing the worship of the god enshrined in the temple and the rule of his divinely appointed king.â? William J. Hamblin and David Rolph Seely, Solomonâ??s Temple Myth and History, Thames and Hudson, 2007, 10.

:P

Gracias El Boko

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The Book of Moses presents a number of â??pearls of great priceâ? that provide evidence of the Prophetâ??s inspired additions to the book of Genesis. One important example of this claim includes the Lord's promise added to Genesis through Moses 1:25:

Great post! I remember somewhere that God (aka Baal/El/Marduk etc.) took control of the waters Yamm aka the super-serpent Tiamat, thereby bringing order out of chaos which is directly implied in Genesis' reference to the waters of the world, "1:2 Now the earth was without shape and empty, and darkness was over the surface of the watery deep, but the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the water."

It is indeed fascinating to see the parallel between Moses and water control.

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Thanks, David. Interesting post.

(Albeit said by one dishonest fraud to another.)

So you guys admit it, do you? :P

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Come on David. You know you just took of your scholarly hat and relinquished all scholarly standards with such drivel!

The dichotomy of the LDS scholar continues. Bifurcated in mind, divided in loyalty, etc.

C.I.

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So you guys admit it, do you? :P

So many expert witnesses (of the kind who don't know us and can't seem to follow what we say but still despise us) have testified on this score that, in certain circles at least, it would be pointless for us to deny it.

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So many expert witnesses (of the kind who don't know us and can't seem to follow what we say but still despise us) have testified on this score that, in certain circles at least, it would be pointless for us to deny it.

Well, it hasn't done me much good to deny that I'm a habitual liar, either, so I can commiserate.

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At first I thought David was serious; then it hit me, the sarcasm bug has finally bit him, too!

I thought it was going to be on Moses 1:25 and revelation catalyzed by recalling previous blessings/ words from God.

This was even better.

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The first reference to water in the this version of creation is the word tehom or â??deepâ? from the parenthetical introductory clause (Gen 1:2). As such, the word tehom meaning the â??primaeval ocean,â? presents the water of the deep as one of the prominent elements existing prior to creation. The author of Genesis 1 makes no effort to conceal his watery focus, introducing the motif immediately into his creation account:

â??Darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the watersâ? Gen 1:2

In so doing, Genesis 1 reflects the use of water in the parenthetical introduction from the Bibleâ??s second creation account:

â??And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the groundâ? (Gen 2:5-6)

A careful reading of the initial creation narrative suggests that the author of Genesis 1:1-2:4a possess a literary fixation with the image of water. Through the course of the events, God separates water from water; God commands the water below the sky; God names the gathering waters Seas; God creates living creatures from the water including the tanim, or â??water dragonsâ?; God fills the seas with living creatures; and finally, God creates man to rule the fish of the water (see Gen 1: 2, 6, 7, 9, 10, 20, 21, 22, 26, 28). In Genesis 1 water serves as a substance that the author wishes his audience to view as a force that Elohim completely controls.

Hence, when read with an increased knowledge of biblical traditions accessible through the discover of Near Eastern traditions, this biblical theme provides an important link with the Prophetâ??s inspired addition to the book of Genesis:

"Blessed art thou, Moses, for I, the Almighty, have chosen thee, and thou shalt be made stronger than many waters; for they shall obey thy command as if thou wert God.â? (Moses 1: 25)

You may already know this, but name of the chaos monster from the Enuma Elish, Tiamat, is a cognate of tehom from Genesis. They appear to share the same proto-Semitic source. The following articles may shed additional light on this subject for you:

It was first proposed by Gunkel: H. Gunkel, "Influence of Babylonian Mythology upon the Biblical Creation Stories," in Creation in the Old Testament, ed. B. W. Anderson, Issues in Religion and Theology 6 (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1984), 25â??52; first published in Schopfung und Chaos in Urzeit und Endzeit (1895).

Robert Ouro, "The Earth of Genesis 1:2 Abiotic or Chaotic? Part 1," Andrews University Seminary Studies 35.2 (Autumn 1998): 259â??76.

K. Wakeman, "The Biblical Earth Monster in the Cosmogonic Combat Myth," JBL 88 (1969): 313â??20.

Michael Deroche, "Isaiah XLV 7 and the Creation of Chaos?" Vetus Testamentum 42.1 (Jan., 1992): 11â??21.

Mary K. Wakeman, "The Biblical Earth Monster in the Cosmogonic Combat Myth," JBL 88.3 (Sep., 1969): 313â??20.

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Hello Mak,

You may already know this, but name of the chaos monster from the Enuma Elish, Tiamat, is a cognate of tehom from Genesis.

The terms are indeed Semitic cognates.

The â??at ending for the word Tiamat derives from the fact that in Akkadian, feminine nouns have -t or â??at following the base, -t if the base ends in a singular consonant or in a vowel, -at if the base ends with two consonants. Hebrew nouns have lost the feminine noun marker in the absolute form (the construct forms, however, preserve the â??t/-at ending as do most participles).

The reason that the Akkadian word Tiamat features an i/a vowel pattern instead of the Hebrew consonant â??hâ? is due to the fact that the Hebrew letters aleph, ayin, and heh have all coalesced in Akkadian. However, the Hebrew word tehom is of course masculine rather than feminine. Still, the two terms are grammatical cognates.

They appear to share the same proto-Semitic source.

Itâ??s possible. However, I believe what is more likely is that the author of Genesis 1 has been directly influenced by Enuma Elish.

As Speiser has expressed â??derivation from Mesopotamia in this instance means no more and no less than that on the subject of creation biblical tradition aligned itself with the traditional tenets of Babylonian â??science.â??â? Genesis. Anchor Bible, 11.

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At first I thought David was serious; then it hit me, the sarcasm bug has finally bit him, too!

Indeed, a failed attempt at sarcasm as I think that Hamblin and Seelyâ??s book is quite wonderful. I highly recommend it.

Thematically, I have a couple of issues with a few statements, such as on page 10 from which I quoted, when the authors refer to â??the biblical creation story.â? I believe that there are in fact several biblical creation stories not just one. But these are just minor issues.

Itâ??s no secret that Iâ??m a big fan of Dr. Hamblinâ??s work and in my humble assessment this is by far the best Old Testament driven work done to date by LDS scholars. The analyis is near perfect and the pictures are spectacular.

In my mind, itâ??s hard to overstate the significance of this book combined with Hamblinâ??s recent publication on Near Eastern warfare through Routledge.

In truth, I'm really very excited about Solomon's Temple Myth and History and am currently in the process of lifting quotes from the authors for my forthcoming Education Week presentation on Ancient Temple worship.

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Does anyone think it would be safe to say that 1st temple judaism was to Ugaritic religion, what LDS is to traditional christianity*. They had alot of overlap and shared language, and a distant shared origin, but two different religions which can also be seen as sects of each other.

*this isnt a knock on Trad. Christianity

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Most Mormons (including me) would say the Book of Moses is inspired. So, I am not sure of the point of this thread?

The ability to nonrandomly pick specific verses and make ancient connections seems to be a rather weak argument that the Book of Moses itself is ancient.

Could the Book of Moses be "modern" revelation set in an ancient context? That is, could the book be modern in all respects and STILL be revelation? It seems to me it could.

So, I wonder if the argument of ancient parallels is just a red herring? Sorry to be such a skeptic. Feel free to hammer me.

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Most Mormons (including me) would say the Book of Moses is inspired. So, I am not sure of the point of this thread?

To present and discuss an interesting connection between the Book of Moses and the Bible which is seldom if at all recognized by contemporary readers.

The ability to nonrandomly pick specific verses and make ancient connections seems to be a rather weak argument that the Book of Moses itself is ancient.

Could the Book of Moses be "modern" revelation set in an ancient context? That is, could the book be modern in all respects and STILL be revelation? It seems to me it could.

So, I wonder if the argument of ancient parallels is just a red herring? Sorry to be such a skeptic. Feel free to hammer me

I certainly see no need to hammer you. I do not believe that the Book of Moses restores an original ancient text. I believe that this segment from Joseph Smithâ??s revision of Genesis has many â??pearls of great priceâ? that when read in the context of what we know today about the Bible and the ancient Near East provides evidence for the legitimacy of Josephâ??s inspired revisions.

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The connection presented in the JST between Moses and his commission to control the waters formed an important part of the development of the biblical account.

As biblical scholar Nahum Sarna suggested, the placement of Moses in the "reeds" may serve as a prefiguration of his mission to control the waters of the Reed (i.e. Red) Sea (Ex. 2:3,5), as does his very name as explained in the biblical account: â??And she called his name Moses: and she said, Because I drew him out of the water (Ex. 2:10).â?

"The Narrator puts a Hebrew origin for the name into the mouth of the Egyptian princess; unbeknown to her, it forshadows the boy's destiny. By means of word play, the Egyptian Mose is connected with Hebrew m-sh-h, 'to draw up/out (of water). The princess explains the name as though the form is mashui, 'the one drawn out,' a passive participle, whereas it is actually an active participle, 'he who draws out,' and becomes an oblique reference to the future crossing of the Sea of Reeds." Nahum Sarna, The JPS Torah Commentary: Exodus (Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society, 1991), 10

Of course as weâ??ve discussed previously here on the board, Mosesâ?? name is given an additional significance in the JST, which works well with ancient Near Eastern traditions.

According to Joseph Smith's inspired revision of Genesis, God revealed to Joseph of Egypt that he would raise up a seer named Moses to deliver Israel from Egyptian bondage:

â??For a seer will I raise up to deliver my people out of the land of Egypt; and he shall be called Moses. And by this name he shall know that he is of thy house; for he shall be nursed by the kingâ??s daughter, and shall be called her sonâ? (JST Genesis 50:29).

At first reading, the statement "by this name [Moses] shall know that he is of thy house [i.e. Israel]," might seem problematic. In reality, however, I believe that given the evidence, the idea presented in the JST makes perfect sense.

Notwithstanding the connection made in Exodus 2:10 between the name â??Mosesâ? and the Hebrew verb m

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