Cuneiform Texts from Ugarit
Ancient Near East

Watch! Anat sees the gods. Below, her feet start shaking. All around, her limbs are shivering. Up above, her face sweats. Shudders wrack the bones of every limb; the bones within her spine turn weak. 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. I ravaged El’s young bull, Ataka. I crushed the gods’ she-wolf, Fire. I annihilated El’s daughter, Zabiba. I’ve reaped silver from my fighting; I’ve taken possession of gold.”

Isaiah 51:9

Hebrew Bible

8 For a moth will eat away at them like clothes; a clothes moth will devour them like wool. But the vindication I provide will be permanent; the deliverance I give will last.” 9 Wake up! Wake up! Clothe yourself with strength, O arm of the Lord! Wake up as in former times, as in antiquity. Did you not smash Rahab?26 Did you not wound the sea monster? 10 Did you not dry up the sea, the waters of the great deep? Did you not make a path through the depths of the sea, so those delivered from bondage could cross over? 11 Those whom the Lord has ransomed will return; they will enter Zion with a happy shout. Unending joy will crown them, happiness and joy will overwhelm them; grief and suffering will disappear. 12 “I, I am the one who consoles you. Why are you afraid of mortal men, of mere human beings who are as short-lived as grass?

 Notes and References

"... The pericope Isaiah 51:9-11 has commonly been noted to use motifs of Yahweh as the Divine Warrior, cleaving the sea, fmiliar from the Ugaritic literature ... Isaiah 59:9-11, along with Psalm 74:13-15 and 89:10-11, show several lexical and syntactic commonalities with a particular instantiaion of the motif in Ugaritic literature, KTU 1.3 III 38-46. The markers present in these four texts, I argue, point to a deliberate allusive intention on the part of the authors of the Ugaritic material, Isaiah 51, and Psalms 74 and 89, which may be gauged with a high deal of probability ..."

Hutton, Jeremy M. Isaiah 51:9-11 and the Rhetorical Appropriation and Subversion of Hostile Theologies (p. 271–303) Journal of Biblical Literature, vol. 126, no. 2, 2007

 User Comments

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