|L. Michael Morales (firstname.lastname@example.org)|
|Old Testament/Pentateuch, Trinity College/University of Bristol|
|This thesis examines the creation, deluge, and exodus (sea
crossing/Sinai) accounts of Genesis and Exodus in relation to cosmic
mountain ideology, demonstrating in each narrative the cosmogonic
pattern: through the waters to the mountain for worship, and arguing that these narratives function to explain the logic and necessity of the tabernacle cultus, temples being the architectural embodiment of the cosmic mountain. While cosmic mountain ideology is an acknowledged backdrop to the religions of the ancient Near East, and to the tabernacle/temple cultus of Israel in particular, sufficient attention to its function in these biblical narratives has been wanting. The cosmic mountain will be seen to serve as a symbol for approaching God so that the idea of a “gate liturgy” (in a similar fashion to that of Psalms 15 and 24: “Who shall ascend the mount of YHWH?”) is highlighted in each narrative: Adam and Eve must descend the mount upon their transgression, making the return ascent in worship a key feature in the drama leading up to the tabernacle account (and, perhaps, beyond); Noah, being found just and blameless in his generation, is thus allowed entrance into the ark, something of a “prototype” of the tabernacle; and Moses alone is permitted ascent to the summit of Mount Sinai, a role later mimicked in the instructions for the high priest’s annual entrance into the holy of holies. To dwell in the divine Presence via the tabernacle cultus thus presents something of a full-circle, albeit mediated, return to the original intent of creation.