The Sea of Chaos and the Biblical Masterpiece

As I was reading some books recently, I found out something quite important when it comes to the eschatology of the biblical narrative that also shows just how grand and incredible the biblical narrative is, a true masterpiece in what it says and in its entirety from beginning to end.

Eschatology is the study of the ‘end times’ to put it simply, and the sea of chaos has upmost symbolic significance for the end of the world. The ‘sea of chaos’ plays an important role in its symbolic representation of God coming to redeem the world from its sin. We are reminded that according to Genesis, God’s wind sweeps over the face of the waters in the very first day. In the days of the composition of Genesis, the sea was thought to entirely surround the world (which would be the land mass of what we would today call the world, encompassed by a dome which God had created to allow a space for the life of humanity to exist). This sea was thought to be chaotic, unrestrained and at any time could enter our world and crush us. Therefore, in Genesis 6-9, onlooking the sin of the world God lets loose the chaotic sea into the world and destroys all humanity besides Noah himself. After the flood took place, where God rose the seas to cover the mountains and cover the entire world, God promises to set a boundary over where the water can never cross again.

Psalm 104:6-9: You set the earth on its foundations, so that it shall never be shaken. You cover it with the deep as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains.At your rebuke they flee; at the sound of your thunder they take to flight. They rose up to the mountains, ran down to the valleys to the place that you appointed for them.You set a boundary that they may not pass, so that they might not again cover the earth.

Therefore, the sea of chaos was always something that was a threat to the world restrained by God Himself. It always existed, and in the biblical eschatology, it would be a source where the beast would rise from.

Daniel 7:2-3: I, Daniel, saw in my vision by night the four winds of heaven stirring up the great sea, and four great beasts came up out of the sea, different from one another.

Revelation 13:1: And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads; and on its horns were ten diadems, and on its heads were blasphemous names.

Therefore, the sea of chaos was a symbolic marker of which the evil forces against God were associated with, since they, like the sea, are sources of destruction for humanity, from past to present. Now, according to the Bible, God will finally destroy all evil in the end of the world, and He will create a “new Earth” and “new heaven” at the end of time (whether or not this means physically annihilating the current heaven and Earth and replacing it with new ones in God’s creation, or simply the resuscitation/cleansing of this world from sin like in the story of Noah’s flood doesn’t matter), where we will eternally live in God’s glory and bliss for the end of time. Therefore, we find towards the end of Revelation something almost no one notices. God shows the author of Revelation, John of Patmos (‘of Patmos’ since he lived on the island of Patmos, see Rev. 1:9) how the new creation will be like.

Revelation 21:1: Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.

The sea was no more. God has done away with all the evil and source of destruction in the past world, by making it new once again, and perfect this time forever more, He has made a new heaven, new Earth, and the sea, which is a symbolic representation of all the things that have gone wrong before, is now gone, as God’s confirmation for the good eternity of the coming age. This, I think, is another detail that again reveals the literary masterpiece and unification of the single story of the sixty-six books of the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, and reminds us once again what God has in store for us very soon indeed.

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Does Genesis 1 Contradict Genesis 2?

There are a few absurd accusations of Biblical contradictions made, but probably the most popular one is regarding whether or not Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 contradict.

One must truly ask the unbelievers — how exactly do they devise a contradiction between two chronological texts that are not talking about the same thing? Let’s take a look, starting with Genesis 1.

[Genesis 1:20-27]  Then God said, “Let the water swarm with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky.” So God created the large sea-creatures and every living creature that moves and swarms in the water, according to their kinds. He also created every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. So God blessed them, “Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the waters of the seas, and let the birds multiply on the earth.” Evening came and then morning: the fifth day. Then God said, “Let the earth produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that crawl, and the wildlife of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so. So God made the wildlife of the earth according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and creatures that crawl on the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness. They will rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the livestock, all the earth, and the creatures that crawl on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; He created him in the image of God; He created them male and female.

Let us now see what Genesis 2 has to say.

[Genesis 2:8-19] The Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there He placed the man He had formed. The Lord God caused to grow out of the ground every tree pleasing in appearance and good for food, including the tree of life in the middle of the garden, as well as the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. A river went out from Eden to water the garden. From there it divided and became the source of four rivers. The name of the first is Pishon, which flows through the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold. Gold from that land is pure; bdellium and onyx are also there. The name of the second river is Gihon, which flows through the entire land of Cush. The name of the third river is the Tigris, which runs east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates. The Lord God took the man and placed him in the garden of Eden to work it and watch over it. And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree of the garden, but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for on the day you eat from it, you will certainly die.” Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper as his complement.” So the Lord God formed out of the ground every wild animal and every bird of the sky, and brought each to the man to see what he would call it. And whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name.

They are in fact quite long quotations of each chapter, but in Genesis 1, we see plants and animals are made first, and then man — however in Genesis 2, man appears before plants and animals! A clear contradiction, right??

Now that you’ve finished laughing off that statement, let us answer this accusation. For one, Genesis 2 does not have anything to do with re-describing the creation all over again — it’s talking about something completely different. If Genesis 2 were completely re-describing all of creation, which had just been explained in the earlier chapter, why doesn’t it mention the creation of the heavens and earth, sun and moon, sky, etc?

In reality, Genesis 2 is describing what God is creating in the Garden of Eden. Not the whole world or even the whole universe, just the Garden of Eden — independent of the rest of the world. In the rest of the world, God had already created plants and animals before Adam and Eve were formed. God was not wholesale creating animals and birds in Genesis 2:19, He was just placing them in the Garden of Eden. The funny thing is, Genesis 2:19 is likely past-tense in the original Hebrew, so in fact there would be no creation going on here at all — it is stating how God had already formed the plants and animals. So not only is Genesis 1 and 2 not both talking about the creation of the world, and thus not contradicting, not only does Genesis 2 specifically reference the Garden of Eden, but it doesn’t state when the animals and plants had been created either way, as the Hebrew is past-tense and so it would simply be stating God had already previously formed them, rather than that He was forming them during that moment.

Rather than having a Bible contradiction on our hands, it looks like this is nothing more than a simple misunderstanding. A strange one to presume against the Bible in the first place, but a misunderstanding nonetheless. A laughable one as well.