Tehom

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Tehom (Hebrew: תְּהוֹם‎), literally the Deep or Abyss (Greek Septuagint: ábyssos), refers to the Great Deep of the primordial waters of creation in the Bible. Tehom is a cognate of the Akkadian word tamtu and Ugaritic t-h-m which have similar meaning. As such it was equated with the earlier Sumerian Tiamat.

It is first mentioned in Genesis 1:2:

And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. (King James version)

It was from here that the waters of Noah's flood had their origin[1] and the place that God temporarily receded the Red Sea for the Israelites to pass over [2] before destroying the pursuing Egyptian army, and the place that God will dry up for the righteous to walk on towards their redemption at the End of Days (Isaiah 11:15, context entire ch. 11).

In contrast to this, in another book from the Jewish Bible the drying of the Tehom will be a punishment to the wicked rather than a reward. (Isaiah 19:5)

Gnostics used this text to propose that the original creator god, called the "Pléroma" or "Bythós" (from the Greek, meaning "Deep") pre-existed Elohim, and gave rise to such later divinities and spirits by way of emanations, progressively more distant and removed from the original form.

Tehom is also the first of seven "Infernal Habitations" that correspond to the ten Qliphoth (literally "peels") of Jewish Kabbalistic tradition.

Robert R. Stieglitz stated that Eblaitic texts demonstrate the equation of the goddess Beruth in the mythology of Sanchuniathon with Ugaritic thmt and Akkadian Tiâmat.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gen. 7:11 "In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened
  2. ^ (Isaiah 51:10) [Art] thou not it which hath dried the sea, the waters of the great deep; that hath made the depths of the sea a way for the ransomed to pass over?
  3. ^ Stieglitz, Robert R.; Cyrus Herzl Gordon; Gary Rendsburg (1990). Eblaitica: essays on the Ebla archives and Eblaite language. Eisenbrauns. p. 88. ISBN 978-0-931464-49-2.