'the Lowlands'Ø in opposition to 'the Highlands'', an interesting
development occurs. With
having been presumed to mean 'wasteland';
to mean 'empty'; and
to mean 'dark', the primary translation was
the Lowlands were a wasteland - empty and dark."
the Lowlands may well have been 'empty' - that is, uninhabited,
but there was no reason for them to have been 'dark'. However
had other nuances such as 'obscure, unknown and unimportant'.
In Proverbs 22:29, we read - 'Not for him the service of an
obscurepeople' - this translation could equally well
have read 'unknownpeople'.
is unknown when it still has to be explored; and so 'unexplored'
is our preferred translation in this context.
three following words, ,
in common with so many Middle Eastern words, can mean either
of two opposites - in this case, 'over' and 'down from';
meant 'surface', and
the 'deeps of the sea'.
two opposites, it is clear which was intended because land
is not usually described as lying overthe 'surface
of the deeps of the sea'; but it does, sometimes, lie underor
of the Jordan Valley do lie below sea-level as a result of
the sinking of the Rift Valley. We put the wasteland, therefore,
'below the level of the sea'.
Part of this verse refers to something called the ruah
which hovered over the surface of the waters. The standard
English translation is 'spirit', and comes by way of the Greek
pneumawhich meant 'air' or 'wind'. This form was found
in Enoch's account of his transportation from the Lowlands
to the Highlands. There, it occurred in the expression 'Chariot
of the Spirit', and we suggested that consideration had to
be given to the possibility of a solid aerial craft capable
of transporting Enoch to the Garden in Eden.
term ruah occurs frequently in the Old Testament
in contexts that require translation as something less nebulous
than our word 'spirit'. Translations having, inevitably, been
made in a religious context, the secular meaning has failed
to surface. A few examples may be quoted here to support this
18:11-12] And now you say to me Ø 'Go and tell your master
that Elijah is here! But as soon as I leave you, the ruah
of Yahweh will carry you away and I shall not know where.
[2 SAM 22:11]... he mounted a cherub, and flew and soared
on the wings of the ruah.
[EZ 8:3] ... and the ruah lifted me up into the air - and
took me to Jerusalem.
37:1] The hand of Yahweh was laid upon me and he carried me
away by the ruah of Yahweh, and set me down in the midst of
[EZ 43:4-6] The glory of Yahweh arrived at the Temple near
the east gate. The ruah lifted me up and brought me into the
inner court - and I saw the Glory of Yahweh fill the Temple.
examples (and there are many more that are similar) imply
that the ruah, whatever it was, was material and
capable of lifting a man, and of carrying him over considerable
distances. In EZ 8:3, the distance was from Babylon to Jerusalem
- a matter of five hundred miles.
Genesis text, the ruah is said to have 'hovered
over the waters'; and it is possible that the Shining Oneslooked
down from it onto the Lowlands, in the same manner as Yahweh
looked down from the pillar of fire and cloudin EX
attention has to be drawn to the fact that the cognate Sumerian
equivalent of the Hebraic ruah was ru-aand
the most archaic Sumerian pictograms for the syllables ruand
acarry this interpretation a stage further:
pictograms, in the vertical orientations in which they would
have appeared on a clay tablet, are remarkably suggestive
of some form of aerial craft 'hovering' over water. The wings
(mentioned in 2 SAM 22:11) are clearly visible, but the underpart
is not the body of a bird - it is closer to the shape of a
boat with a keel. The natural deduction would be that the
ruah was capable of flying and of landing on water.
the earth was a formless void, there was darkness over
the deep, and God ¡s spirit hovered over the waters.
the Lowlands were an empty area - being uninhabited
and unexplored, lying below the level of the Sea. And
the aerial craft of the Shining Oneshovered over
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