The word ṩûlâ is used only in
The word tehôm is of more import. It is thought by some to be used mythologically of the waters of a nether world. This view sees in tehôm (
It is clear that tehôm could not be borrowed from the Babylonian Tiamat because the Akkad. language lacks the laryngeal consonant “h” which a borrowed Heb. word would not acquire. It is far better to assume that the old Sem. root thm indicated “ocean,” of which the Babylonian demon Tiamat was a personification.
The NT abyssos is used only nine times. In the LXX it regularly trs. the Heb. tehôm and thus about thirty times means merely the ocean and lakes. However, as the seas were the deepest things known to the ancients the word gained a fig. usage and is used seven times in Revelation of the bottomless pit, the abode of evil spirits. It is possible that
A. Heidel, The Babylonian Genesis (1951), 98-101.