Creation as seen by Moses (1)

ArmageddonIn the desert

Polska wersja jest tutaj.

After the great revolt just before entering the Promised Land, the Lord sent us to be wanderers for 40 years in the desert.  Having all the time in the world, I desired to chronicle the history of the chosen nation, but my attempts always ended abruptly when I intended to write the very beginning.  Even the oldest Israelites did not know exactly how the world was created, and some of them had various ideas which were difficult to reconcile.  I asked the Lord on a few occasions to show me the very beginning, but each time the Lord was silent.

One day we set the camp in a broad valley.  The temple stood in its splendour in the centre.  Every day except for the Sabbath, the Lord sent down manna, and water was also in abundance.  During the day, when the sun rose higher and the air became hot, a peculiar cloud that led us throughout the journey embraced the camp and soon the air became cool.  The cloud looked similar to other clouds, but when it lowered itself and stayed closer to the camp it was a bit darker.  We could still see the sun through it, but it did not dazzle our eyes and it was not hot.  When the sun was in the east or the west, the cloud looked like a young lamb bathing in light rays.  But when the sun was setting and a cold desert air began to pour to the camp, the cloud began to glow and kept the warmth of the camp with its flickering rays.  The cloud looked like flames of fire, therefore we called it a pillar of fire.  By the way, the flickering rays also looked like fire to the caravans who passed the camp in the distance.  Wild animals were afraid to approach the camp, we could hear their noises from the darkness of the night.  But no one in the camp was afraid of the pillar of fire.

Before the camp was to move again, the Cloud would raise to make us aware that we were to prepare for travel, and then it would begin to move in the direction where we had to go.  We moved always in such a manner that we were all covered by the Cloud.  At night, we walked in the same manner as during the day, because the pillar of fire emanated more warmth and less light.  It always floated with such a speed that people and animals were able to travel comfortably.  The Cloud never moved before the whole camp was ready to walk.  When the Egyptian army almost hunted us down at the Sea of Reeds, the Cloud fell completely to the ground and encompassed the whole army which caused such an impenetrable darkness that no one could see where people or horses were, or where they should go.  We could only hear the neighing of horses, crashing of chariots, screaming of people… and all this was as if it was transpired in the next tent.  We, however, had beautiful weather and could safely walk through the bottom of the sea to the other side.

The Cloud accompanied us throughout the journey, whether we camped or marched in unknown direction.  When it was too hot, the pillar of cloud kept us cool; and when the sun was going down, the Cloud covered the camp and we could enjoy the warmth of the setting sun.  Shortly afterwards the sky began to darken, the Big Cart[1] arrived at the sky and scattered thousands of twinkling stars, and everyone went to their tents to prepare for sleep.  Soon it became so cold that no one could survive in the desert, but the Lord moved closer to us in the pillar of fire and heated the tents of His people.  From time to time, some caravans spent the night with us and after experiencing the amazing care of the God of Israel, people were telling other nations who Yahweh is.

It seemed, that this time our camp had stopped for a longer period of time.  Every evening I took Zipporah[2] and our sons Gershon and Eliezer[3] before the tent.  We gazed at the sky and wondered how far the stars were and why they twinkled.  Our sons, although not educated in the schools of Egypt, had posed interesting questions about the world and I could not answer all of them.  More and more often, while being in the tent and snuggling up to Zipporah, I was wondering how to submit rudimentary information about the creation of the world and to write down the story of my ancestors starting from Adam and Eve.  But I could not even begin, because I knew almost nothing about the creation of the world.

The beginning of a Dream

One night, lulled to sleep by a gentle breeze from the pillar of fire I heard a peculiar voice.  At first I thought that something had happened in the camp, but after a while I realized that the Voice spoke to me.  I opened my eyes but could not see anything — there was complete darkness in every direction.  I could not even see myself.  Every night I saw flares from the pillar of fire through the open door of the tent, but this time there was complete silence and absolute darkness.  The words still reverberated in my ears, when I heard “Let there be light.”[4]

Day 1

I stared into the darkness and for a moment I saw completely nothing.  It seemed to me that the pillar of fire disappeared, also my tent, and the whole camp for that matter.  I felt as if I was hanging over some bottomless pit and everything around me was like a boundless abyss.  After a while I saw something very tiny that began to shine from afar, something like a grain of silver.  And then appeared the second, and third, and soon there were many of them, just like stars in the sky, except that they did not twinkle. [5]  I felt a little encouraged because I was no longer alone, and these grains reminded me of the sky that I so often watched with my wife and sons.

Then the Voice spoke again, saying: „This is the night.”  I realised that the Voice was still nearby and the whole spectacle was just beginning.  And the tiny grains indicated not so much the time of day, during which it was dark, but the stretch of time.  Could it be that it was the first night in the world? — I thought.  Soon the darkness began to thin out and became less and less dense, until the silver grains were no longer visible.  It looked as if the dawn was rising into the night sky early in the morning.  But as soon as I lost sight of the grains, I was flooded with such a great light that I squeezed my eyes and still could see this light through my eyelids.  It was a rather scary experience.

After a long time I noticed that it got dark again and the Voice said: “The evening has passed, the morning has passed, the first day has ended.”[6]  It’s true, I thought, this was the first day of creation when God created light, exactly as the Voice stated.  And the light of night was different that the light of day.

Day 2

In anticipation of subsequent events, I carefully opened the eyes.  I saw again the same silver grains as during the first night, but something began to overshadow them, then uncovering them again.  This phenomenon reminded me when I was on the pharaoh’s courts and walked with my foster mother along the Nile.  Sometimes there was a mist hovering above the water and I wondered what it might be.  I pulled a reed from the water and shoved it in the mist to investigate the whole matter.  My mother taught me that these are droplets of water as those that the clouds consist.  When I could, I stretched my arm and held it in the fog, and a few moments later my hand was soaking wet.  Yes, the fog obscured my vision and this is why I could not see the silver grains all the time.  The fog became denser and gathered around me like a swarm of bees.  I could feel it on my face and hands.  Soon I began to hear the sounds of squelching water just like when I was floating in the basket on the Nile.

Water was everywhere.  I began to swing as if I were on some raft and with it, I floated on the surface of the boundless and bottomless sea that filled the great void that I knew from the first night.  I lost sight of the silver grains and was under the impression that I floated on the water surface as our great-grandfather Noah that was so popular among young kids.  If he was rescued from the vastness of the waters, I also had a chance to survive my experience — I consoled myself.

Then came the Voice and said: „Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.”[7]  I was glad to hear these words because it seemed to me that I breathe the fog that would soon choke me.  Although it was still dark, I noticed over my head there was a shape like a bowl, made of clear glass, set upside down.  The bowl was filled with air and I enjoyed breathing this fresh invigorating air.  It begin to grow larger and larger until it became larger than a tent and still kept growing.  I was afraid to turn my head to see the vastness of the water below me that I was floating on, so I looked up and admired the bowl that kept growing, with the top moving away from me all the time.  After a while it was so big that not only our whole camp would fit under it, but also all the deserts in the world.

Suddenly, the same light that I saw on the first day, filled the bowl. I quickly closed my eyes to protect them from being dazzled and began to figure out the concept of the bowl that spread over my head.  My impression was that in its vastness it encompassed the tiny silver grains which I watched over the two previous nights.  I expected to see these grains again, and noticed that the water calmed down and stopped swinging me.  It was a delight to feel the warmth of the air that began to dry my soaked clothes.  Suddenly the Voice announced again: “The firmament you saw is heaven.”[8]

I learned from various scholars that there is a lot of water in heaven and that God made Himself a raft on that water, built his chambers there,[9] and opens his chutes to release hail or rain on the earth.  I have not seen anything like that and wonder where this information comes from.  If it was so, where would God live before He created heaven?  I also pondered many questions about the teachings of Egypt that I could not knit together.  A lot of time has passed and it started to get dark.  I knew exactly that the end of the second day was coming to a close.

I saw again a few silver grains in the sky that was becoming darker and darker and revealed more silver grains.  They were exactly like the stars that I watched every night; they even began to twinkle.  Are these silver grain stars?  If I were asked, I would say that they were stars.  I saw them many times in my life and often wondered why they twinkled.  However, the Voice did not say anything about it, therefore I kept my opinion to myself.  In addition, I did not know what the great flood of light was, which I had already seen twice.  Hopefully the Voice will explain it soon.

I felt as if someone invisible was next to me.  It was not the breeze, because I had already felt it before.  Then I heard the Voice saying: “Let the waters part and a dry land appear.”[10]  I immediately remembered the events associated with the Sea of Reeds, when God split the waters and dried the bottom of the sea so that His people could walk through.  I also heard bubbles beneath me and soon felt that I laid in mud.  My body stopped swinging but I was still afraid to move because I did not want to sink in the mud, while everything seemed soft and wet.  I believed, however, that the wind, which was becoming stronger and stronger, will dry the mud and I would be able to stand up; to lay for a few days, staring up, and not being able to move did not appeal to me at all.  So, the wind passed by for a few hours, and the splash of waters died out.

Darkness began to get lighter.  I moved a little to find out if I was still lying on some ground or still in the mud.  To my surprise I felt something soft beneath me, something like a sheep fur.  I was about to get up when I heard the Voice say: “Let the earth sprout vegetation.[11]  Let some plants have seeds in them, and others fruits and seeds inside.”  I quickly jumped to my feet so as not to miss anything and realised that I stood on a beautiful land that was freshly ploughed and looted.  But only yesterday I had an impression that I floated in my raft on the surface of water that filled some kind of great abyss.  Later on I thought that the water was replaced with a puddle of mud where I soaked up for some time.  Now I see that  it is no longer water or mud, but a beautiful soil that looked like lamb’s fur, but russet in colour.  It reminded me of our great-grandfather Noah who settled with the ark on a mountain when the waters receded, he let a dove go to find out if the vegetation covered the land.  He was sitting closed with his family in the ark, while I could see with my own eyes how plants grew from the seeds to their full forms.

And so it happened.  First I saw small green leaves that appeared between the lumps of the earth.  They grew very quickly and the view was wonderful.  During the seven years of plenty in Egypt, corn did not grow as fast as these plants that I now observed.  Something even began to grow beneath my feet and tickled me, so I had to move and allow this to grow.  When I looked a little further away from me and right into the horizon, I saw the beautiful greenery everywhere.  Among the greenery, plants and trees began to gain their height, and soon covered the whole horizon.  In many places flowers and trees began to bloom.  I walked closer to one of the trees to get a better look and saw cones.  These trees did not have fruits but seeds.  Of course, it would be a misunderstanding to call cones fruits, even birds and animals do not eat them.  The same is with nuts — hazelnuts grow in a shell that no one eats, and walnuts are in addition, covered with a skin, that no one eats either.

I looked at the other trees and on many of them were little balls that grew fast and changed in colours.  These were the fruits of which the Voice spoke — they grew even faster than before, looked more appealing, and soon began to ripen.  Inside the fruits were seeds, whether in the pip, like in apples or watermelons, or in a hard shell like in plums.  All the seeds placed into the soil churn out roots and leaves, and this is the beginning of new plantlets, which is the same plant that the seed grew.  Every Israelite knows, that this is how the new generation begins, and there will always be plants and their seeds.  So far I saw many miracles before and after the Exodus, but what I watched today, especially as the leaves and fruits grew so quickly as if the days and weeks went by, was very delightful.

Day 4

I could not enjoy the view of flowers and fruits enough. I did not have enough time to find out what happened with the water that I drifted on as the sky darkened and the third day began to close.  I lifted my head up to see if the silver grains appeared on the sky again, when I heard the Voice say: “Let the lamps[12] appear on the sky to give light[13] to people and be signs for everyone to see.”  Then I noticed that the moon began to travel across the sky, as if it was built of crystal and gold.  No wonder that the people who did not know the true beginnings of the world, stood in awe and began to glorify this wonderful lamp and worshipped it as only God is worthy to be worshipped.  If I did not know that it was Yahweh who created the moon, maybe I would also fall into worshipping the moon(?).

Before the moon had ended its journey across the sky, a second light appeared on the other end.  I turned quickly to see it and I was so dazzled by it that I closed my eyes and yet I could still see the bright circle no matter which direction I turned my head.  I covered my eyes with my hands, turned around, but still saw the glow in my eyes.  It was a really strong light.  While I was waiting for the glow to subside in my eyes, I felt a great warmth on my back.  I knew now that I was standing with my back towards the lamp and that the lamp was the sun.  I did not look at it again because I knew that it was too bright to look at, exactly the same as the light that I saw on the first day.  I was surprised, however, that the light existed already for nearly 3 days, and Yahweh only recently created the lamps.  I was so fascinated with the moon and the sun, that I missed watching the silver grains.  My guess is that these grains were also just light rays, and today Yahweh created not only these big lights, but also many little lamps that shine in place of silver grains.[14]

Not being able to look directly into the sun, I looked at what caught my eye now — beautiful plants of different shapes and shades of green, shrubs and trees… multitudes of colourful flowers here and there!  I walked between them and admired the vegetation which lived only for a few hours since its creation.  The air was filled with the marvellous fragrance that a light wind carried everywhere.  What a pity that Zipporah and the sons are not here with me; we would admire all these wonders together.  Will I be able to describe the beauty of the vision that I just experience?

[1]        The equivalent of the Big Dipper in Polish

[2]        Ex18:2nkjv  Then Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, took Zipporah, Moses’ wife, after he had sent her back,

[3]        1Ch23:15nkjv  The sons of Moses were Gershon and Eliezer.

[4]        Gn1:3nkjv  Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.

[5]        Stars twinkle only for observers placed on the earth.  Since Moses saw the stars before earthly atmosphere was created, he did not see them twinkle.

[6]        Gn1:5nkjv  God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.

[7]        Gn1:6nkjv  Then God said, “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.”

[8]        Gn1:8nkjv  And God called the firmament Heaven. So the evening and the morning were the second day.

[9]        Ps104:3nkjv  He lays the beams of His upper chambers in the waters, Who makes the clouds His chariot, Who walks on the wings of the wind,

[10]       Gn1:9nkjv  Then God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear”; and it was so.

[11]       The original Hebrew term, (דּשׁא) ‘dâshâ’’, means sprout.

[12]       In the Hebrew ‘me-or’ (מאור) means the sources of light like the sun or lamp.

[13]       In the Hebrew ‘or’ (אור) which means the rays of light, or electromagnetic waves.

[14]       Gn1:16nkjv  Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also.

3 Responses to Creation as seen by Moses (1)

  1. yirmegail says:

    Interesting article – very creative! Thanks

  2. Jordan River says:

    I like this imagined reconstruction of Genesis creation story very much! Are you aware of the relationship between the text of Genesis and the various creation myths of the ancient Near East?

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