Tuesday, November 12, 2019

On Creation, primordial matter, and time

THETORAH.COM has two essays on the creation story in Genesis 1:1-2:4, with special attention to the question of primordial matter in the account.

Creation from Primordial Matter: Did Rashi Read Plato’s Timaeus? (Prof.Warren Zev Harvey)
Rashi interprets the opening verses of the creation story as describing God’s use of primordial substances to form the world. This idea appears in various forms in rabbinic literature but some of Rashi’s particular notions are only found in Plato’s Timaeus. Could this be one of Rashi’s sources?
The Genesis of Time (Professor Jack M. Sasson)
The simple meaning of Genesis 1–2:4 is that God created the world out of primordial elements. And yet, one important new initiative was the construction of time, embracing the day, the month, the year, and the week. The week, however, does not depend on a cosmic phenomenon but served to introduce the concept of a people holy to a creator God.
For some past PaleoJudaica posts on Genesis 1:1, see here and links.

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