© 2020 by Rabbi Dr. Zvi Aviner
IDOLATRY-6/Is the Story of Genesis a Myth?
Know your CREATOR, know yourself and know the difference
1: Questioning the validity of Genesis
ELoKIM is truthful
In our quest to comprehend IDOLATRY, the First of Noah’s Seven Commandments, we have arrived at the top of the Ten Commandments of Sinai that says
LORD (YHVH) your GOD (ELKM)
Who took you out of Egypt Land
This Introduction – or Commandment- is written in a Positive way, telling us what TO DO. It obliges all peoples, Israelites and Noahides, to BELIEVE and KNOW the Speaker by the very Names He has chosen to present Himself.
We’ve started our study with the Holy Name ELKM – the All Mighty JUDGE- which is usually translated as GOD. From Genesis Chapter One we learned that “In the Beginning, ELKM created the Heavens and the Earth.” At the end of the Chapter, the Attribute of Mercy, YHVH, appears. Hence the world was created to withstand a Judgement that might ends up with Mercy, pending on Man.
ELKM, we said, stands for the Absolute Justice and Truth. His Name appears 32 times during the Six Days. Hence the Story of the Six Days is stamped with His Signature 32 times. The story can’t be false.
The question is- is the Story of CREATION really truthful? Is it compatible with what we know from Science about the history of the World?
The stakes are high. If we’ve found Genesis story a mere ancient myth, then we may doubt the truthfulness of the entire Torah! But, on the other hand, if we’ve found the story to be compatible w with Science, then – wow! Who told such a credible story to Moses, raised in Pharaoh’s house 3500 years ago?
Let’s ask now: Is Moses’ Genesis another bronze-age myth?
Is Moses’ Genesis compatible with our Science?
The Story of Genesis compared to bronze age myths
What do the scholars say?
Most modern scientists- archaeologists, astronomy experts, geologists and anthropologists – regard Moses’ Genesis as a BRONZE-AGE MYTH. Ms. Karen Armstrong, in her famous book: The History of GOD, counts Moses’ Story of CREATION among other myths of his time, told by the Mesopotamian people, Egyptians, Greeks and Canaanites. She also elaborates about those myths.
The Egyptian, for instance, believed that the world was created when a’ male god named Rah (like in Ra-amssess) impregnated a goddess named Nun (‘water’ or ‘darkness.’) Fearing that her embryo would rebel against him, Rah slashed Nuns’ belly, killed his son and threw his testicles into the Mediterranean sea near the city of Acca.
The lamenting mother goddess Nun cried and cried. She then dived into the sea, retrieved her sons’ testicles and resurrected him. From this resurrection the world was created.
We can imagine how emotional the story was in the Egyptian’s eyes. Their priests paraded in the streets chanting the story, celebrating the resurrection with passion. Their philosophers and poets composed hymns and praises in the honor of the event. Moses, growing in Pharaoh’s home. Must have been aware of that story.
Now we may sympathize with this mythical story and cry with the mother for the lost embryo. Yet one thing we can’t do- say that the story matches our Science. No way!
The Greek too told myths about CREATION. According to Ms. Karen Armstrong, the Greek believed that a ‘male god’ named Uranus impregnated the goddess of Earth, Gaia. Fearing that her numerous embryos, the Titans. would exit and rebel against him, Uranus pushed the Titans back into their mother Gaia’s womb, causing her much agony. Whenever the Earth is shaking under your feet, it is Gaia twisting in labor pains.
But the youngest Titans, the brazen Cronus, stood up against his father-god and cut his sexual organ when he penetrated Gaia. Cronus then threw away his father’s sex organ into the Sea, from where the world was created.
Again, we may sympathize with the Titans and even play football in their names. Yet one thing we can’t’ do – claim that the Greek’s story matches our Science. Their story is mythical, whereas Science’s story is factual.
Other ancient myths
Other cultures in Moses time told similar stories about CREATION. The Japanese, Chinese, Indians and Africans – all told stories full of sexual perversions, jealousy, rivalry, murder and chaos. None can be matched with our scientific knowledge of CREATION!
Moses’ Genesis is Clean and Factual
Moses story is clean
Cam Moses’ Genesis be counted among the ancient myths? Compared to them, Moses’ Story seems CLEAN, bereaved of any violence, Jealousy, sexual perversion or power struggle among the gods. Compared to them, Moses’ Story seems dry and factual. You won’t parade in the streets and chant hymns for its glory It lacks any emotion, and you wouldn’t cry or lough hearing it. Instead it tells the Story of CREATION Day by Day, in dry, factual scientific fashion.
Moses sees an order in CREATION
Moreover, unlike all ancient myths of his time, Moses’s story recognizes ORDER in CREATION. The world was created in in Six Days or stages, with some elements of Nature made first and others followed. Fish preceded Birds, and Birds preceded Crocodile, and they preceded Cattle which preceded Beasts. Man came as the last creature in a long chain.
This alone set Moses’ Genesis apart from all the myths of his time. No one else in that era knew about an ORDER in Nature. For Pharaoh, the animals roamed around for his pleasure and hunting games. Some powerful animals were revered as deities. How can anyone count Moses’ Genesis among those myths?
Now let’s compare Moses’ Genesis with our Science. Can they be matched?
END OF IDOLATRY- 6