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Did the Earth turn upside down?

1 June 2012

At http://sunnyokanagan.com/joshua/upsidedown.html … Okanagan is not an Irish surname but a hot dry, and yes, sunny part of Canada very popular with tourists and pensioners. It is a desirable place to live, a huge lake with lots of lakeside properties and ospreys sitting on the telegraph poles. What Okanagan has to do with Velikovsky is anyones guess – but Velikovsky's ideas are alive and kicking in this part of Canada (presumably via a retiree). On this page the subject is 'the world turned upside down' and how might the Papyrus Ipuwer be interpreted when it comes out with that line – repeating something similar from the Bible, Isaiah 24 for example. The subject matter was, it can be supposed, what inspired Peter Warlow to write The Reversing Earth (available from the SIS book service). However, the first quote on the page comes from Bob Forrest's Guide to Velikovsky's Sources (also available from the SIS book service), a somewhat negative take on the Velikovsky hypothesis. Forrest pointed out that most Egyptologists interpreted the Papyrus Ipuwer somewhat differently, as a reference to civil unrest and social disorder – not to a physical catastrophe. Having said that the author clearly sets out the view from Velikovsky's position and compares the events in Ipuwer to those of the Exodus account in the Bible – the plagues, the land turning round like a potters wheel, I show you the land upside down, and the plague of darkness etc. Likewise, one can read Isaiah 24 (and other prophetic utterances) in the light of Exodus and not as contemporary events in their own time. Isaiah was harking back to the Exodus when he referred to the land moving to and fro like a drunkard etc. Some catastrophists, even Velikovsky, have interpreted the words of Amos and Isaiah etc as events happening in the 8th or 7th centuries BC rather than at a remoter period of time whenever the Exodus occurred. Bob Forrest criticised Velikovsky in that respect – saying, in effect, he took literally what was basically a stylised semi mythological turn of phrase, as a preacher in our own day quoting a verse from the Bible. However, not everybody would agree with that and would stick more closely with what Velikovsky wrote – but it is worth bearing in mind.

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