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THE

TESTIMONY OF ARCHÆOLOGY.

THE

TESTIMONY OF ARCHÆOLOGY.

tions.

HAVING, by a rational interpretation of the texts, fixed the approximate date of their first composition in Hebrew and also of their final redaction, I shall now give what we must think to be the real sources of these biblical traditions.

That the contents of these two accounts were not the sole property of the Hebrews, but the development out of the two acof a common body of Semitic tradition, the discoveries counts from of the lamented George Smith at Kouyunjik gave emphatic and undeniable testimony. What is called the “Chaldean account of Genesis " is contained in twelve tablets, which bear on one side the text and on the other side the following inscription :-“First tablet: when above ” (i. e., the first two words of the text on the other side of the tablet and so on each tablet). After this superscription follows the dedication, or rather the announcement that these tablets were prepared by the direction of King Assurbanipal and placed in his library at his palace. The first tablet opens with the description of Chaos, which reads as follows: “When above were not raised the Heavens, and below on the Earth a plant had not grown up, the

Abyss also had not broken up their boundaries, the Chaos (Tiamat, in Hebrew T'homoth) was the producing mother of the whole of them. These waters at the beginning were ordained, but a tree had not grown, a flower had not unfolded. When the Gods had not sprung up any one of them, a plant had not grown and order did not exist, were made also the great Gods." The rest of the tablet contains the creation of these Gods. The contents of the fragments of the next three tablets cannot yet be united in a connected narrative, but, both from individual words which are decipherable, and from the fact that the tablet following contains the creation of the heavenly bodies, we may conclude, that the second tablet contained the description of the creation of light, the first Biblical day; the third, of the atmosphere and firmament, the second Biblical day,

and the fourth, of dry land and plants, the third Biblical First, second day. The fifth tablet opens as follows: “It was deand third days. lightful, all that was fixed by the Great Gods. Stars,

their appearance in figures of animals, He arranged. To fix the year through the observation of their constellations, twelve months [signs) of stars in three rows He arranged, from the day when the year commences until its close. He marked the positions of the wandering stars [planets] to shine in their courses that they may not do injury and may not trouble any one. And he opened the great gates in darkness shrouded; the fastenings were strong on the left and right. In its mass (i. e., the lower Chaos) he made a boiling; the God Uru (the moon, Yareach in Hebrew) he caused to rise out; the night he overshadowed, to fix it also for the light of the night until the shining of the day, that the month might not be broken and in its amount be

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