Chaos is a monster. More than personal opinion, that’s a biblical view. If, like many modern people with theological training, you’ve been taught that Genesis narrates a creation out of nothing, you’ve become a victim of this monster. You see, although ancient Israel had no “systematic theology”—the Bible can be quite inconsistent if you’re willing to read what it says—the view that chaos was constantly lurking outside the ordered realm of creation was a common one. One of the more intriguing episodes in Ugaritic mythology involves a broken text where the god Hadad, aka Baal, refuses to allow a window in his palace. The reason? Apparently he feared chaos (in the form of Yam, the sea) might slip in and kidnap his daughters.
More than a theological statement, the story of creation was actually a singular episode in Yahweh’s ongoing struggle against chaos.
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