The Primal Sea ים (yam)

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ים (yam) is Hebrew for "sea" — but it was also the name of the ancient Sea God. (also called "Yamm" and "Yammin") See below.

Before the Beginning

See Genesis 1:1-3 and Proverbs 8:22-31: there was water "before the beginning".

The Cosmic Water

Brother Wilfred Lambert wrote:

. . . the account does not concern itself with the origin of matter, but starts from a point in time when two elements existed: earth and sea, but chaotically disposed, and God then begins his programme of work to yield a functional heavens and earth, with man on earth as the peak of his creation, created in the image of God.

. . .

Thus the account begins with the earth and sea in disarray, and the first act of creation – on the first day – is of light, which alternates with darkness: day and night. On the second day the cosmic water is separated into upper and lower parts, by a ‘vault’. The Hebrew word means something beaten out, like a metal plate, and the AV’s ‘firmament’ is unhelpful. This plate serves to hold back the upper water and is called ‘heaven’. On the third day the lower water was cleared off the earth into the sea so that plant life flourished on earth. On the fourth day sun and moon are created in the sky to separate night from day, to provide light, and to supply the cultic calendar. The Israelite calendar was lunar. On the fifth day water creatures are created, also birds, on the sixth day land animals, and finally the human race.

Wilfred Lambert, Creation A Christadelphian Study—Understanding Genesis chapters 1-3, pp 2, 3-4. pub. L Boddy, 1998
Full text of the study is here.

In Genesis we read that this already existing "cosmic water", also known by similar phrases such as "the primal waters" or "the primal sea", was divided into two on the second day of creation. The text, here and in other passages of Scripture, appropriates and transforms the language of Ancient Near Eastern myths in which the Sea was a god, split violently into two in a cosmic conflict.

The image of Yahweh, victorious, smiting the waters recurs in Creation Records, either in the past (from the beginning, or the historical past, as in the Exodus from Egypt) or foretold in the final victory of the last days.

In Primeval times

At the Time of the End

Redemption also before the Creation

See Before the foundation of the world. (John 17:5,24, 1 Peter 1:18-21, 2 Timothy 1:9-10, Ephesians 1:4)

  • Titus 1:2 — "before the world began"
  • Hebrews 1:1-3 — "the Son, . . .  appointed heir of all things, by whom also [God] made the worlds . . . "


[from wikipedia - we need better references. BP]

Yam (also Yamm) is the god of the sea in the Canaanite pantheon. Yam takes the role of the adversary of Baal in the Ugaritic Baal Cycle.

Yam (ים ym), the Canaanite word for "Sea" , is one name of the Ugaritic god of Rivers and Sea. Also titled ṯpṭ nhr "Judge River", he is also one of the 'ilhm (Elohim) or sons of El, the name given to the Levantine pantheon.

Of all the gods, despite being the champion of El, Yam holds special hostility against Baal Hadad, son of Dagon. Yam is a deity of the sea and his palace is in the abyss associated with the depths, or Biblical tehom, of the oceans. Yam is the deity of the primordial chaos and represents the power of the sea, untamed and raging; he is seen as ruling storms and the disasters they wreak, and was an important divinity to the maritime Phoenicians.