Cuneiform Texts from Ugarit
Ancient Near East

She spoke up and cried out, “Why have Gupan and Ugar come here? What enemy rises up against Baal? What rival faces the Cloud-Rider? Didn’t I crush El’s beloved, Yam (Ocean)? Didn’t I annihilate Nahar (River), the great god? Didn’t I leash Dragon and bind him in a saddle? I crushed the Sinuous Serpent, Encircler, the seven-headed monster. I crushed the gods’ beloved, Arsha.

2 Samuel 22:11

Hebrew Bible

8 The earth heaved and shook; the foundations of the sky trembled. They heaved because he was angry. 9 Smoke ascended from his nose; fire devoured as it came from his mouth; he hurled down fiery coals. 10 He made the sky sink as he descended; a thick cloud was under his feet. 11 He mounted a cherub and flew; he glided on the wings of the wind. 12 He shrouded himself in darkness, in thick rain clouds. 13 From the brightness in front of him came coals of fire. 14 The Lord thundered from the sky; the Most High shouted loudly.

 Notes and References

"... as de Moor has pointed out, the name 'Baal of the chariot', is known from Sam'al, and the Egyptian King Rameses III compared himself with Baal when he drove out in his chariot. Secondly, the rare occasions when rkb is found in Ugaritic apart from the expression rkb 'rpt show that 'ride' or 'mount' is the meaning, not 'gather'. Thus, in KTU 1.14.IV.2-4 there appears, 'he went up to the top of the tower, mounted the shoulder of the wall', and there are almost identical words in KTU Thirdly, it is significant that in various Old Testament texts, including the one currently under consideration, the verb 'to ride', or related nouns meaning 'chariot', are associated with the clouds, whether explicitly or implicitly (Deuteronomy 33:26; Psalm 18.11 = 2 Samuel 22:11, 68:34; 104:3; Isaiah 19:11, 66:16). Since the Israelites were far more intimately related to the Canaanites than the Greeks, the Old Testament parallels involving rkb are far more relevant in elucidating the meaning of Ugaritic rkb 'rpt than an epithet of the Greek god Zeus. (Interestingly, where Canaanite and other Near Eastern traditions are appropriated to Zeus, in conflict with the dragon Typhon, he is represented as mounting a winged horse) ..."

Day, John Yahweh and the Gods and Goddesses of Canaan (p. 92) Sheffield Academic Press, 2002

 User Comments

Do you have questions or comments about these texts? Please submit them here.