mercredi 8 février 2017

Whole "Eretz" without Specified Locality?

Eretz has the double meaning of Earth and Land, like Latin Terra (though land could also be the plurale tantum in this sense fines ... using "terra" for land could be a Christianism and a Hebraism, ultimately).

So "kol eretz" means either whole Earth or, at least with a local specification, whole Land of ....

I am just now reading:

The Genesis Flood
Why the Bible Says It Must be Local
by Rich Deem

I won't quote the intro where he says "kol eretz ha-Havilah" and "kol eretz ha-Kush" mean - obviously - "whole land of Havilah" and "whole land of Kush".

That is banal, and LXX certainly can't have translated that as he/(ten) pasa(n) ge(n). The translation I expect to find is ho pan choros or ton panta choron.

Here is were Deem can be deemed controversial and even wrong:

However, there are many more examples of where kol erets is used without reference to any specific land, although the context clearly indicates a local area.

Many? Say one ...

For example, in Genesis 11 (the Tower of Babel) the text says, "the whole [kol] earth [erets] used the same language."6 We know that this reference is not really to the earth at all (and certainly not to the "whole earth"), but to the people of the earth, who all lived in one geographic location.

Did they? It seems even if they all lived together (which is doubtful), they were at least wandering up to settling in Shinar.

I say it is doubtful all lived together, as I think faithful patriarchs were not wandering all the way with a more and more sinful humanity which settled in Shinar with Nimrod, but certainly they had been to other places before reaching Shinar. So, even if they were really all just in a localised area at a time, they were successively in many different ones before reaching Shinar, and right before reaching it, they were coming from the East. Not from Ararat, but from the East. So, "whole Earth" while meaning all of humanity also means whole Earth geographically.

It wasn't until later that God scattered the people over the face of the earth.

Does "scattering" refer to geographic spread or to no longer travelling back and forth to each other and to no longer sharing political and linguistic unity?

This latter idea is what I think is correct, since for one it allows Göbekli Tepe to be, not the Tower, but the city of the Tower (those reading this blog and Philologica know I consider the tower to have been meant as a rocket and space craft, a "three" stage rocket of which only the top reaches into Heaven, a project continued after the city itself was abandoned, and one which was fruitful when men walked on the Moon, after some millennia of delay), and therefore a Cro Magnon find from "20 000 BC" (uncalibrated carbon date) from between Flood and Tower of Babel, rather than being post-Babel and the city not yet found.

The former idea - that all lived in the same small space is both used as a "Biblical" argument against my scenario and - here - as a "Biblical" argument against "kol eretz" meaning "all earth" in a geographic sense.

Let's deal with it.

11:[9]* And therefore the name thereof was called Babel, because there the language of the whole earth was confounded: and from thence the Lord scattered them abroad upon the face of all countries.

Does "scattering" mean geographic spread started then, or does scattering mean that geographic spread was no coupled with separation of one population from another, due to language and political barriers adding to the difficulties of distance?

I think, even if only most people were at the "tower" (whether skyscraper or rocket project) and some on outskirts holding an eye on things, looking for resources (like 19th C. explorers of Wild West - which was of course the Wild North to Spanish explorers a bit earlier), there would have been a noticeable increase in geographic spread if all who had been in the middle were forced to go to relatives on the outskirts.

But the main point even so could have been, not geographic spread, but disunity, clipping away the direct and everyday contacts.

Before Babel, a Gomerite could have walked from Dordogne to Göbekli Tepe in c. 200 days, and then back : everywhere, any stone age tribe he met would be part of the project (except those pesky Hebrews who refused and stayed off), speak the same language, give them the right directions. After Babel, the Gomerites would try to get to Dordogne and around, or some might have stayed in Kappadocia. But anywhere between Kappadocia and Dordogne, anywhere East of Göbekli Tepe, all of a sudden they would see people for whom they would be obliged to point at objects in order to communicate. Their one chance of efficient communication was keeping together and away from the others.

But wasn't the people itself saying they had no spread?

11:[4] And they said: Come, let us make a city and a tower, the top whereof may reach to heaven: and let us make our name famous before we be scattered abroad into all lands.

Yes, and there is a similar Biblical character who said in his heart "there is no God". That doesn't mean the Bible teaches the fool or insipiens of Psalm 13:1 is right and there is no God. It also does not mean the Bible teaches these were right and there was no scattering at all, geographically.

They may have been thinking only of a geographical scattering. They may have walked nomadically with just enough spread to avoid using up all resources (by 100 after Flood, they might already have been 3000 people or so, or more).

And once most of them were assembled around, I will not say in Göbekli Tepe, but around it as around a hub, they may easily have overlooked the geographic spread that was already there.

Or they might have been well learned in pre-Flood history, and be thinking of the political disunities, such as, most probably, between Kauravas and Pandavas.

In that case, Deem is wrong. The whole earth - from Dordogne to Göbekli Tepe, from Göbekli Tepe to India, from Ural to Göbekli Tepe, from Göbekli Tepe to Africa, and including some scouts - on my view trying to get to Uranium mines in Canada, this time not for a war, but for peaceful use in Göbekli "Cape Canaveral" Tepe - beyond what would in Peleg's day have widened to the Atlantic, all of the earth whereever it was inhabited was speaking the same tongue, and was of same people as much as a Spaniard in Philippines was of same people as a Spaniard in Perú, as much as a Portuguese in Brazil was of same people as a Portuguese in Angola or Goa. Or as much as an Englishman was of same people in England, New South Wales, Dunedin, Canada, New Delhi.

And all of a sudden they were no longer of the same people, but of different peoples like the English in New Delhi and the Portuguese in Bom Bahía or Goa. Like the English in Virginia and the Spaniards in Florida. And like either of these with the pre-colonial peoples. The geographical spread had become a political and linguistic scattering.

There are many other examples of where kol erets actually refers to people rather than the geography of the "whole earth":

Only if you leave people out of the geography. In the passages here, we are dealing with kol eretz meaning all of earth geographically because of all the people. Among other things.

Shall not the Judge of all [kol] the earth [erets] deal justly?" (Genesis 18:25) (God judges the people of the earth, not the earth itself)

God judges both people and angelic beings, and God judges justly all over the earth. One cannot say He judges a Hebrew in Israel justly but a Goy in France unjustly.

Now behold, today I am going the way of all [kol] the earth [erets], and you know in all your hearts and in all your souls that not one word of all the good words which the LORD your God spoke concerning you has failed; all have been fulfilled for you, not one of them has failed. (Joshua 23:14) (Joshua was going the way of all people in the earth, whose ultimate destiny is death.)

"I am going the way of all [kol] the earth [erets]. Be strong, therefore, and show yourself a man. (1 Kings 2:2) (David was going the way of all people in the earth, whose ultimate destiny is death.)

Yes, "Aman"** is "outside the walls of the world" ... there is no land of eternal youth anywhere in the earthly realms.

And all [kol] the people of the land [erets] entered the forest, and there was honey on the ground. (1 Samuel 14:25) (The words "the people of" are added to the English, since they are not found in the Hebrew. The actual translation would be "all the land entered the forest," obviously referring to the people and not to the land itself moving into the forest.)

In this case, a specific land had already been specified in verse 24.

Note also that we here have a person outside a group which is referred to as kol eretz - Jonathan:

1 Kings 14:[23] And the Lord saved Israel that day. And the fight went on as far as Bethaven. [24] And the men of Israel were joined together that day; and Saul adjured the people, saying: Cursed be the man that shall eat food till evening, till I be revenged of my enemies. So none of the people tasted any food: [25] And all the common people came into a forest, in which there was honey upon the ground. [26] And when the people came into the forest, behold the honey dropped, but no man put his hand to his mouth. For the people feared the oath. [27] But Jonathan had not heard when his father adjured the people: and he put forth the end of the rod, which he had in his hand, and dipt it in a honeycomb: and he carried his hand to his mouth, and his eyes were enlightened. [28] And one of the people answering, said: Thy father hath bound the people with an oath, saying: Cursed be the man that shall eat any food this day. (And the people were faint.) [29] And Jonathan said: My father hath troubled the land: you have seen yourselves that my eyes are enlightened, because I tasted a little of this honey: [30] How much more if the people had eaten of the prey of their enemies, which they found? had there not been made a greater slaughter among the Philistines?

This supports, directly by parallel with Jonathan, that Hebrews could have opted out of "all the earth" assembling at Shinar at an early stage, and indirectly, seeing that Jonathan might not have been the only straggler, that there may have been stray people around the globe while "all earth was of one tongue" (literally true) and "all earth came together" (except those few who didn't).

While all [kol] the country [erets] was weeping with a loud voice, all the people passed over.(2 Samuel 15:23) (Obviously, the earth cannot weep with a loud voice.)

Whether earth or country, it is the people in it who most often weep with a loud voice. Let's look at context:

2 Kings 15:[22] And David said to Ethai: Come, and pass over. And Ethai the Gethite passed, and all the men that were with him, and the rest of the people. [23] And they all wept with a loud voice, and all the people passed over: the king also himself went over the brook Cedron, and all the people marched towards the way that looketh to the desert.

Note that Douay Rheims is not giving a literal rendering of "kol eretz". Nor does the Vulgate. The LXX actually does : καὶ πᾶς ὁ ὄχλος ὁ μετ' αὐτοῦ. 23 καὶ πᾶσα ἡ γῆ ἔκλαιε φωνῇ μεγάλῃ. καὶ πᾶς ὁ λαὸς - but here πᾶσα ἡ γῆ comes between πᾶς ὁ ὄχλος and καὶ πᾶς ὁ λαὸς.

In other words, context makes it very clear we are not dealing with the globe which gets midday same place successively at 24 hours intervals and different places between them. Saying this can parallel the whole earth in the Flood is like saying very clearly announced parables can parallel the creation account.

He is the LORD our God; His judgments are in all [kol] the earth [erets]. (1 Chronicles 16:14) (Judgments are done against people, not the planet)

But sometimes against the globe too, as in the Flood. And the remnants of the Flood are in all parts of the globe.

Sing to the LORD, all [kol] the earth [erets]; Proclaim good tidings of His salvation from day to day. (1 Chronicles 16:23) (The people sing, not the planet)

Even so, the psalmist wants people to do so all over the globe, not just in restricted local areas of it.

Tremble before Him, all [kol] the earth [erets]; Indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved. (1 Chronicles 16:30) (This does not refer to earthquakes!)

It is an injunction to people anywhere on the globe. Also, it may have involved an earthquake, as God may have let the ground tremble to teach people to do so.

Let all [kol] the earth [erets] fear the LORD; Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. (Psalm 33:8) (People, not planets, fear the Lord)

As you mentioned not just the globe (regularly misnamed planet), but planets in the plural - yes, they do, or their angelic movers do. But the verse here at hand was referring to people all over the globe, not just one small area.

For the choir director. A Song. A Psalm.) Shout joyfully to God, all the earth; (Psalm 66:1) (People shout, not the earth)

But the Psalmist wants people to do so an all parts of the globe.

Same observations are valid for (Psalm 66:4),(Psalm 96:1),(Psalm 96:9), (Psalm 98:4), (Psalm 100:1), (Psalm 105:7), (Isaiah 14:7).

In these two cases some supplementary observation is also to be considered:

Worship the LORD in holy attire; Tremble before Him, all [kol] the earth [erets].(Psalm 96:9) (People worship, not the earth)

While worship refers to angels and men, the trembling can refer also to the trembling of all Earth on the Good Friday.

"The whole [kol] earth [erets] is at rest and is quiet; They break forth into shouts of joy. (Isaiah 14:7) (People shout, not the earth)

While "they break forth into shouts" hasn't per se the whole earth as a subject, the quiet and rest refers to both people and their surroundings.

People can't be very quiet if their surroundings are too noisy.

Now to locality rather than people, in his examples:

"Is not the whole [kol] land [erets] before you? Please separate from me: if to the left, then I will go to the right; or if to the right, then I will go to the left." (Genesis 13:9) (The "whole land" was only the land of Canaan)

The context clarifies that it is the land they are looking at.

And the people of all [kol] the earth [erets] came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph, because the famine was severe in all the earth. (Genesis 41:57) (The people from the Americas did not go to Egypt)

Whether people from America did or did not go to Egypt is like whether people from America did or did not receive any visit from first generation of Apostles. It is not known they did, but it is not known they did not either. On the other hand, if they did not, all earth could refer to the oikoumene.

I am not sure how you would make this relevant for the Flood, unless you claim it flooded all three continents of the Old World.

And all [kol] the earth [erets] was seeking the presence of Solomon, to hear his wisdom which God had put in his heart. (1 Kings 10:24) (It is unlikely that the Native Americans went to see Solomon.)

Then the fame of David went out into all [kol] the lands [erets]; and the LORD brought the fear of him on all the nations. (1 Chronicles 14:17) (It is unlikely that the Native Americans knew about David.)

Unlikely, but not impossible. See previous. If you take an oikoumene reading, will you say Eurasia with Africa was all flooded?

Then God said, "Behold, I am going to make a covenant. Before all your people I will perform miracles which have not been produced in all [kol] the earth [erets], nor among any of the nations; and all the people among whom you live will see the working of the LORD, for it is a fearful thing that I am going to perform with you. (Exodus 34:10) (There would be no need to add "nor among any of the nations" if "all the earth" referred to the entire planet.)

Oh yes, there would. You complain about Global Flood aspect of YEC being an inability to distinguish kol eretz as being a figure of speech : but there are figures of speech which do not mean words are not taken literally, namely "adding" part to an already given whole, at least when as here negating.

God is definitely saying such miracles have not been produced in Americas as well as not among Chanaanites, which God was about to do. God is so also saying that Joshua's Long Day, Gideon's Fleece and quite a few more were going to be greater miracles than the Flood had been.

'You shall then sound a ram's horn abroad on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the day of atonement you shall sound a horn all [kol] through your land [erets]. (Leviticus 25:9) (The Hebrews were not required to sound a horn throughout the entire earth)

But the Latin does not say simply "in universa terra," but "in universa terra vestra", which makes as much a difference as adding Cush or Havilah to the phrase.

'Thus for every [kol] piece [erets] of your property, you are to provide for the redemption of the land. (Leviticus 25:24) (The law does not apply only to those who own the entire earth)

I suddenly get reminded of a hillbilly liberal, who gets a pun in English and thinks the Bible has been wrongly understood. Like "they shall be stoned to death" understood as taking a VERY great dose of marijuana. Even or especially if it doesn't involve any more dying than the German phrase "Tod müde". Rather than to a death penalty during the period when Israel was a sovereign state during the Old Testament.

Just because a pun exists, does not mean the readers (including translators to other languages) cannot make out where it does not apply.

behold, I will put a fleece of wool on the threshing floor. If there is dew on the fleece only, and it is dry on all [kol] the ground [erets], then I will know that Thou wilt deliver Israel through me, as Thou hast spoken." (Judges 6:37, see also 6:39-40) (kol erets could not refer to the entire earth, since it would not be possible for Gideon to check the entire earth)

Indeed, but kol eretz does as mentioned in translation also mean "all the ground". That it has a pun on "all the earth" adds significance to the mystical meaning of the Fleece of Gideon, about the Blessed Virgin Mary.

As Gideon could check all the ground there as being dry and the fleece only as being moist, so God could check all the virgins on all the Earth as being barren, but Mary alone as bearing a virgin birth. As Gideon could check all the ground there as being moist, but only the fleece dry, so God could check all the people on all the Earth (prior to Incarnation) as having sinned, and only the Blessed Virgin as being sinless.

But, literally, yes, it means "the whole ground" here.

Precisely as an American in one context could speak of someone as "stoned to death" and mean high, while this does NOT mean he can't speak of stoned to death about St Stephen in the other sense of the phrase.***

And Jonathan smote the garrison of the Philistines that was in Geba, and the Philistines heard of it. Then Saul blew the trumpet throughout [kol] the land [erets], saying, "Let the Hebrews hear." (1 Samuel 13:3) (Obviously, Saul could not have blown a trumpet loud enough to be heard throughout the entire earth)

You are missing another figure of speech here. Caesar built a bridge over Lake Geneva ... he didn't do that himself, he ordered it. Saul by himself could not have blown the trumpet loud enough to be heard from South border of Judah to North border of Galilee either. He ordered people to blow the trumpet. If Saul had been king over all the Earth, he could have ordered it over all the Earth. But eretz when referring to orders of a ruler would by common sense involve just the territory he rules.

For God, that is the whole Earth. That is why He could and did order waters to cover all of it.

For the battle there was spread over the whole [kol] countryside [erets], and the forest devoured more people that day than the sword devoured. (2 Samuel 18:8) (No, the battle did not take place over the entire earth.)

So when they had gone about through the whole [kol] land [erets], they came to Jerusalem at the end of nine months and twenty days. (2 Samuel 24:8) (No they didn't go through the entire earth, just the lands of Palestine.)

So glad to see you are concerned with possible misunderstandings, and impossible ones too. Snark aside, in 2 Kings 18:8 some translator got it right for us who use Douay Rheims:

2 Kings 18:[8] And the battle there was scattered over the face of all the country, and there were many more of the people whom the forest consumed, than whom the sword devoured that day.

All the country ... two reflections here.

You think of battles as local events, right? But in this case, the battle was all over the country, there was geographic spread to it.

As with a battle, so with an arrival to Shinar, so with one people deciding to build a city. The spread can have been on a larger area than you imagine.

And, if the forest consumed more than the sword did, I wonder if God didn't wake the trees up or sth.° I am sure that Tolkien and C. S. Lewis discussed that, along with Athenian reports on fauns fighting Persians.

And David said, "My son Solomon is young and inexperienced, and the house that is to be built for the LORD shall be exceedingly magnificent, famous and glorious throughout all [kol] lands [erets]. (1 Chronicles 22:5) (The temple was famous to all the lands in the Middle East, but was destroyed before the advent of globalism.)

You might want to check out the temple which was torn down and built up again in three days - for the sake of which even its shadow, the temple of Solomon, is glorified over Americas and Australia.

And they were bringing horses for Solomon from Egypt and from all [kol] countries [erets]. (2 Chronicles 9:28) (It is unlikely that the Chinese brought horses to Solomon)

Not impossible, perhaps not even unlikely. Confucius lived after King Solomon. So did ... what's his name:

The burning of books and burying of scholars (simplified Chinese: 焚书坑儒; traditional Chinese: 焚書坑儒; pinyin: fénshū kēngrú) refers to the supposed burning of texts in 213 BC and live burial of 460 Confucian scholars in 210 BC by the First Emperor of the Qin dynasty of ancient China. The event caused the loss of many philosophical treatises of the Hundred Schools of Thought. The official philosophy of government ("legalism") survived.

And any Chinese historian reporting anything of relations with King Solomon was at the latest then ... lost.

The article cites "reasons for scepticism", which I don't even look at, for now, since - if I look on it, it is an other article, but - a similar thing happened to those writing contemporary history between AD 30 and AD 96 or sth, in Roman Empire. Vellejus Paterculus is preserved, his II Book of Roman History ends in Year 30 AD or Year 16 of Tiberius. Tacitus is preserved, and his Agricola states there were times when being an honest writer was a dangerous and thankless business. So, we have a similar blackout from Rome as from China. Only the Gospels and Acts survive as contemporary dociments from the time of that blackout.

Hence, if the Chinese sent King Solomon a horse or two, that would not be in their present historiography.

Now, I will take a pause on his Gish Gallop of examples on kol eretz, and I will deal with his arguments for Flood being local in next part.

Hans Georg Lundahl
Nanterre UL
St John of Matha

* Note that chapter:verse spell out 11 - 9. The date of 9 - 11 (or in some languages actually rather 11/9!) can have been chosen by plotters, if they were Illuminati trying to rebuild a one world order, by reversing what God destroyed in Genesis 11:9. ** I was just asked today how many times I had read Silmarillion. *** The fact that eretz has ground as a regular meaning, but English "stoned" has "affected by cannabis intake" only as a slang meaning does not mean there is not equally a situation of homophony, and of puns. ° Yes, I am more of a fan of Prince Caspian and of The Two Towers than of what Shakespear did in "all of Birnam forest walk to Dunsinane".

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