The question of the order of job 26,7-13 and the cosmogonic tradition of Zaphon

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Abstract

The paper argues that comparison with other biblical and ancient Near Eastern texts reveals that the extant text of Job 26,7-13 represents a cosmogonic myth in reverse order. Not having been recognized as such, the passage has rarely been discussed in reviews of accounts of God's defeat of the Sea or adduced as proof that no link between theomachy and cosmogony existed in ancient Israelite traditions. The proposed original order not only explains the text's composition but also reveals the existence of unique and previously unrecognized elements of the Israelite legend of creation, in particular the motif of the creation of Mount Zaphon as Yhwh's abode at the culmination of the cosmogony. Naming Zaphon rather than any Israelite mountain names suggests that the cosmogonic tradition recorded in Job 26 - Although not attested in Ugarit - Was common in Canaan prior to the establishment of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)402-417
Number of pages16
JournalZeitschrift fur die Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft
Volume126
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2014

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