Title: Mountains and Valleys
This chapter followed certain earlier themes (holy ground, cosmic geography, divine presence, giant clans) into the monarchic period, especially with respect to temple symbolism and the valley of the Rephaim.
Bibliography from the Book
Moshe Weinfeld, “Sabbath, Temple and the Enthronement of the Lord,” Mélanges bibliques et orientaux en l’honneur de M. Henri Cazelles (ed. A. Caquot, and M. Delcor; Alter Orient und Altes Testament 212; Kevelaer and Neukirchen-Vluyn, 1981), 501–12
Daniel T. Lioy, “The Garden of Eden as a Primordial Temple or Sacred Space for Humankind,” Conspectus: The Journal of the South African Theological Seminary 10 (2010): 25–57
Gordon Wenham, “Sanctuary Symbolism in the Garden of Eden Story,” in Cult and Cosmos: Tilting toward a Temple-Centered Biblical Theology; Biblical Tools and Studies 18 (ed. L. Michael Morales; Leuven: Peeters, 2014), 161–66
J. F. Healey, “Dagon,” in Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible, 2nd ed. (ed. Karel van der Toorn, Bob Becking, and Pieter W. van der Horst; Leiden; Boston; Cologne; Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge: Brill; Eerdmans, 1999), 216–17
R. E. Friedman, “Tabernacle,” in Anchor Bible Dictionary (ed. David Noel Freedman; New York: Doubleday, 1992), 6:292–300
R. E. Friedman, “The Tabernacle in the Temple,” Biblical Archaeologist 43 (1980):
Victor Avigdor Hurowitz, “The Form and Fate of the Tabernacle: Reflections on a Recent Proposal,” Jewish Quarterly Review 86.1–2 (July–October 1995), 127–51
Ronald E. Clements, “Sacred Mountains, Temples, and the Presence of God,” in Cult and Cosmos: Tilting toward a Temple-Centered Biblical Theology; Biblical Tools and Studies 18 (ed. L. Michael Morales; Leuven: Peeters, 2014), 69–85
Richard J. Clifford, The Temple and the Holy Mountain,” in Cult and Cosmos: Tilting toward a Temple-Centered Biblical Theology; Biblical Tools and Studies 18 (ed. L. Michael Morales; Leuven: Peeters, 2014), 85–98
H. Niehr, “Zaphon,” in Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible, 2nd ed. (ed. Karel van der Toorn, Bob Becking, and Pieter W. van der Horst; Leiden; Boston; Cologne; Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge: Brill; Eerdmans, 1999), 927–29
Richard J. Clifford, The Cosmic Mountain in Canaan and the Old Testament, Harvard Semitic Monographs 4 (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1972)
C. Grave, “The Etymology of Northwest Semitic ṣapānu,” Ugarit Forschungen 12 (1980): 221–29
E. Lipinski, “El’s Abode,” Orientalia Lovaniensia Periodica 2 (1971): 13–68
Lawrence E. Stager, “Jerusalem and the Garden of Eden,” in Cult and Cosmos: Tilting toward a Temple-Centered Biblical Theology; Biblical Tools and Studies 18 (ed. L. Michael Morales; Leuven: Peeters, 2014), 99–118
Victor A. Hurowitz, “Yhwh’s Exalted House—Aspects of the Design and Symbolism of Solomon’s Temple,” in Temple and Worship in Biblical Israel, Proceedings of the Oxford Old Testament Seminar, rev. ed.; (ed.John Day; London: Bloomsbury/T & T Clark, 2007), 63–110
Gershon Edelstein, “Rephaim, Valley of (Place),” in Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary, vol. 5 (ed. David Noel Freedman; New York: Doubleday, 1992)
Duane F. Watson, “Hinnom Valley (Place),” Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary, vol. 3 (ed. David Noel Freedman; New York: Doubleday, 1992)
G. C. Heider, “Molech,” in Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible, 2nd ed. (ed. Karel van der Toorn, Bob Becking, and Pieter W. van der Horst; Leiden; Boston; Cologne; Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge: Brill; Eerdmans, 1999), 581–85
Michael S. Heiser, “Rephaim,” in Lexham Bible Dictionary (Bellingham, WA:
Lexham Press, 2015)
H. Rouillard, “Rephaim,” in Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible, 2nd ed. (ed. Karel van der Toorn, Bob Becking, and Pieter W. van der Horst; Leiden; Boston; Cologne; Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge: Brill; Eerdmans, 1999), 692-700
C. E. L’Heureux, “The Ugaritic and the Biblical Rephaim,” Harvard Theological Review 67:3 (1974) 265–274
S. B. Parker, “The Feast of Rāpiʾu,” Ugarit Forschungen 2 (1970) 243–249
J. C. de Moor, “Rapiʾuma-Rephaim,” Zeitschrift für die Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 88 (1976) 323–345
Henryk Drawnel, “The Mesopotamian Background of the Enochic Giants and Evil Spirits,” Dead Sea Discoveries 21:1 (2014): 14-38
Amar Annus, “On the Watchers: A Comparative Study of the Antediluvian Wisdom in Mesopotamian and Jewish Traditions,” Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha 19.4 (2010): 277–320
Nicolas Wyatt, “A Royal Garden: The Ideology of Eden.” Scandinavian Journal of the Old Testament 28, no. 1 (2014): 1-35
Seung Il Kang, “Creation, Eden, Temple, and Mountain: Textual Presentations of Sacred Space in the Hebrew Bible,” Ph.D. dissertation, Johns Hopkins University, 2008
Menachem Haran, “The Ark and the Cherubim: Their Symbolic Significance in Biblical Ritual.” Israel exploration journal 9, no. 1 (1959): 30-38
Ronald S. Hendel, ” ‘The Flame of the Whirling Sword’: A Note on Genesis 3: 24,” Journal of Biblical Literature (1985): 671-674
A few items deserve some comment.
First, I noted in a footnote that I’d have more information here on Israelite cosmology. What follows are recommended resources on the pre-scientific nature of that cosmology as well as selected ramifications for meaning and theological interpretation.
Michael S. Heiser, Faithlife Study Bible (ed. John D. Barry et al., Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2012)
John H. Walton, Ancient Near Eastern Thought and the Old Testament: Introducing the Conceptual World of the Hebrew Bible. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2006 (Chapter 7)
John H. Walton, Genesis 1 as Ancient Cosmology (Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 2011)
John H. Walton, The Lost World of Genesis One: Ancient Cosmology and the Origins Debate. InterVarsity Press, 2010
L. Stadelmann, L. The Hebrew Conception of the World. Analecta Biblica 39 (Rome: Pontifical Institute Press, 1970)
R. J. Clifford, Creation Accounts in the Ancient Near East and in the Bible (CBQMS 26; Washington, DC: Catholic Biblical Association of America, 1994)
E. C. Lucas, “Cosmology,” Dictionary of the Old Testament: Pentateuch (ed. T. Desmond Alexander and David W. Bake; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2003)
I also noted that I would post more information on Old Testament divination and its supernatural / divine council worldview context. Here are some resources:
Michael S. Heiser, “The Old Testament Response to Ancient Near Eastern Pagan Divination Practices,” in Of Global Wizardry: Techniques of Pagan Spirituality and a Christian Response; ed. Peter Jones (Escondido: Main Entry Editions, 2009)
Michael S. Heiser, “Sacred Trees in Israelite Religion,” Faithlife Study Bible (ed. John D. Barry et al., Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2012)
J. A. Scurlock, “Magic (Ancient Near East),” Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary, vol. 4 (ed. David Noel Freedman; New York: Doubleday, 1992)
Joanne K. Kuemmerlin- McLean, “Magic (Old Testament),” Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary, vol. 4 (ed. David Noel Freedman; New York: Doubleday, 1992)
With respect to the Valley of the Rephaim, as I noted in the page for Chapter 24, the work of Annus and Drawnel answer the longstanding scholarly question of why, in the Hebrew Bible, the Rephaim are not only dead kings in Sheol but also giants, as oppose to Ugarit, which has a good amount of Rephaim material, having them only as dead kings in the Underworld. The answer is that the biblical writers connect the Rephaim back to the Nephilim (via the Anakim), which in turn connects them to the Underworld via the apkallu traditions from Mesopotamia, the original context for Gen 6:1-4. Readers are encouraged to read the articles by Annus and Drawnel (see additional bibliography above).
A word on the notion that the giant clan references (connected as they are to the nephilim of Gen 6:4) are explained by the Greek Titan mythologies is dramatically overstated. Those who use that backdrop need to explain why they are using an outdated approach instead of the far superior analogies afforded by the evidence Annus and Drawnel have marshaled that establishes the Mesopotamian context for Gen. 6:1-4. That is what needs to be done before touting the Titanomachy or the Gigantomachy as significant for understanding the biblical material in this respect.
The fact that one Septuagint translator used τιτάνων in two places to translate biblical Rephaim shows us only that at least one Hellenistic Jewish writer thought there was some connection. The same goes for references to Tartarus in the New Testament in 2 Peter. That the offending sons of God (“angels” in 2 Peter 2) wind up in the Abyss/Tartarus/bad neighborhood of the unseen spirit world is not due to the Greek myths — that element is part of the apkallu material from Mesopotamia. In other words, the Greeks were influenced by the ancient Near East. The New Testament writer used a Greek term that his audience would have recognized, and which bore some connection to the story. But what no one seems to point out are the fundamental disconnects between the Titan mythologies (there are more than one) and Genesis 6:1-4. For example, the Titans are not produced from any sort of cohabitation between gods / divine beings and human women. Their origins have no relation to what we see in Genesis (or the its Mesopotamian context). There are also chronological and conceptual disconnects in regard to the Titans and a great flood (there is no Greek flood story that closely approximates the biblical one — again unlike the clear Mesopotamian analogy).
There are other breakdowns between the presumed relationship. Readers are invited to read either of the two recent, detailed treatments of the Titans in Greek mythology of which I’m aware that have an eye toward biblical connections. Both are by Jan Bremmer:
- Jan N. Bremmer, “Remember the Titans!” in The Fall of the Angels (Themes in Biblical Narrative 6; ed. Christoph Auffarth and Loren T. Stuckenbruck; Leiden: E. J. Brill, 2004), 35-61
- Jan N. Bremmer,Greek Religion and Culture, the Bible, and the ancient Near East (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 2008 (see Chapter 5: “Greek Fallen Angels: Kronos and the Titans”)
Genesis 6:4 is references once in each essay. As the essays are nearly identical, this comment is representative:
Jewish translators of the Septuagint, erudite as they were, could hardly have failed to note the vague parallels between the Titans and the gigantes they introduced into Genesis 6.4. The interpretation even gains in probability, if we remember that several scholars have also noted parallels between Prometheus’ instruction of primitive men in all kinds of arts in the Prometheus Vinctus (454–505) and the instruction of men in technical skills and magic by the Watchers in 1 Enoch 6–7.130 Now the combination of the myths of Prometheus and the
struggle of the Titans against Zeus in the same passage may not be accidental.
This is hardly a compelling endorsement of the idea. Bremmer is honest – the parallels are vague. Even his “may not be accidental” line is forced. Bremmer can marshal only one point whereby someone writing in what scholars would now call the Enochian tradition combined the ideas of giants with the giving of forbidden knowledge (his Prometheus example) to humans. The problems are immediately apparent:
(1) This same point is more precisely paralleled in the apkallu traditions (see the work of Annus cited in Chapters 12 and 13 in Unseen Realm). In other words, we don’t need the Titan myths for this connection — and the apkallu material pre-dates the Greek myths and is in the right geographical context (Babylon / Mesopotamia). Bremmer may or may not be aware of how the apkallu material is a superior parallel here since he doesn’t discuss apkallu traditions.
(2) That trajectory is not in all the Enochian versions of the Watchers story. While the Second Temple Jewish writers did discern the Mesopotamian (supernatural evil) context Annus has produced, they could have, of course, added other elements. If we disregard the fact of # 1 above, that the apkallu traditions are a better parallel, what do we have? We have at least one Hellenistic Jew thinking perhaps (note “vague” above) thinking on these terms. One stream within a tradition is not a unified tradition in this regard. In any event, the Titan mythology does not provide the close parallels the Mesopotamian material does. It’s quite evident which context is the backdrop for the polemic of Gen. 6:1-4, and it isn’t the Titan story.
(3) the Titan Prometheus was also considered the creator of humankind (see Bremmer, Greek Religion, p. 90) — an idea that fits nowhere with the Gen. 6:1-4 / nephilim / giant clan passages. It’s scarcely comprehensible even within Greek religion (Bremmer: “Why the early Greeks connected the origin of humankind with the Titans is not crystal clear”).
In addition to not being up-to-date with the work of Annus and Drawnel, it seems to me that the propensity of so many scholars to think about angelology and demonology in terms Milton’s Paradise Lost has made them prone to embrace the Greek Titan myths as more important than they are in this regard. After all, the relationship between Milton’s Paradise Lost and the Greek Titan Myths is well known:
- Philip J. Gallagher, “Paradise Lost and the Greek Theogony.” English Literary Renaissance 9, no. 1 (1979): 121-148
- Raphael Jehudah Zwi Werblowsky, Lucifer and Prometheus: a study of Milton’s Satan. Routledge, 2013
- George F. Butler, “Giants and Fallen Angels in Dante and Milton: The ‘Commedia’ and the Gigantomachy in ‘Paradise Lost’.” Modern Philology (1998): 352-363