One Wesnesdays I’ve beenreading and refelcting on the book of Genesis. Today I’ve been reading about Elohim destroying the earth. In order to understand what is being described we need to be familiar with an ancient cosmology which is common to a whole lot of cultures around the fertile crescent. The understanding was that the world of human beings existed in the space between two bodies of water – water below the earth and water above the firmament. The firmament was understood to be a huge dome which protected the space where human beings lived from being flooded. In this cosmology it is as though an upturned bowl has been submerged in water, and humanity lives in the pocket of air that’s formed under the bowl. When the first chapters of Genesis describe the creator separating the waters, this is what is being described.
What’s being described in the flood narrative is the creator, Elohim, chosing to undo creation. The water above starts to come in through the firmament, and the water below begins to come up out of the earth, so that the earth will be submerged.
I think it is impossible it our current situation to consider this without being reminded of the destruction being caused by climate change. This is the undoing of creation, and we can’t blame this on an angry god.