Tuesday, April 15, 2014

He's still at it

Nevertheless, by underlining that there are exceptional creatures in the sky (the sun and moon) and the sea (Leviathan and Rahab) and by simultaneously referring to them in deliberately oblique terms, the author is depotentizing them all to a large degree. Furthermore, the preexilic tradition of Canaanite-Israelite astral religion is so strong that it is hard to dismiss the idea that the author is making the point that, though the starry hosts are members of God’s court and are sovereign agents, they are nonetheless created beings like the birds and fish. Moreover, within Canaanite-Israelite astral religion, Yahweh was occasionally, it seems, identified with the sun, and the author is making it perfectly clear that no celestial agent is to be equated with God.—Poetic Astronomy in the Ancient Near East, page 319

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