Another late realization of something I didn’t touch on in my previous post (see below). In that post, I considered that there may be a (quasi-linguistic) parallel between the fountains (from מָקוֹר) of the deep, from which the waters issue in the Genesis flood, and the fountain (from מַעְיָן) of (postpartum) blood flow, in Lev. 12. I noted that “the ‘fountains’ appear again, at the end of the issuing of the waters in Gen 8.2: ‘the fountains of the deep and the windows of the heavens were closed’.”

Looking a little bit more closely at this last phrase, “the fountains of the deep and the windows of the heavens were closed” (וַיִּסָּֽכְרוּ מַעְיְנֹת תְּהֹום וַֽאֲרֻבֹּת הַשָּׁמָיִם), I remembered that Anne Kilmer, in her original paper proposing the “gestational” imagery of the Genesis flood, mentions how the word סָגַר is used both in Gen. 7, referring to Noah being “shut in” the ark, and in places like 1 Sam. 1, referring to Hannah’s womb being “closed” (read: her being unable to bear children). Although I haven’t looked that extensively into ideas of ancient Near Eastern anatomy and physiology, we might see the latter passage (1 Sam. 1) as evidence that, in cases of infertility, the “womb” was imagined as being literally closed – that, pardon the explicitness, there was something blocking (סָגַר) the semen from fertilizing the egg.

In light of this, it is perhaps even more relevant that, in the quoted passage from Gen. 8 (“the fountains of the deep…were closed”), the word used for “closed” is סָכַר, a homophonic duplicate of סָגַר. Although it is not explicitly said that the “fountain” of blood is (eventually) “closed”/”shut off” in Leviticus 12, this is certainly the implication; and the womb (=vagina) being imagined as “closed,” in 1 Sam 1 and elsewhere, might show that these are reasonably parallel ideas.

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