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.”

Psalm 74:12

Hebrew Bible

10 How long, O God, will the adversary hurl insults? Will the enemy blaspheme your name forever? 11 Why do you remain inactive? Intervene and destroy him. 12 But God has been my king from ancient times, performing acts of deliverance on the earth. 13 You destroyed the sea by your strength; you shattered the heads of the sea monster in the water. 14 You crushed the heads of Leviathan; you fed him to the people who live along the coast. 15 You broke open the spring and the stream; you dried up perpetually flowing rivers. 16 You established the cycle of day and night; you put the moon and sun in place.

 Notes and References

"... The term “Northwest Semitic combat myth” refers to a set of genetically related myths that describe a confrontation between a warrior god and some combination of the Sea god, his serpentine allies, and Death. As the name suggests, reflexes of this myth appear primarily in Northwest Semitic languages – the language family that includes Hebrew, Ugaritic, Aramaic, and Phoenician – or in literatures that were heavily influenced by Northwest Semitic traditions, such as Revelation. Examples of the Northwest Semitic combat myth include the Ba‘al Cycle, Ps. 74:12-17, and Revelation 12. In the Ba‘al Cycle, the storm god Ba‘al battles the Sea god (ym) and then Death (mt) for kingship of the gods (KTU; Allusions within this text also refer to a battle between Ba‘al and Lītan, a serpentine figure (KTU Psalm 74:12-14, on the other hand, describes how Yhwh divided Sea and crushed the heads of the dragons, and Leviathan during the primeval era, while Revelation 12 depicts a battle between the angel Michael and a seven-headed dragon ..."

Kaplan, Jonathan How Song of Songs Became a Divine Love Song (pp. 334-351) Brill, 2018

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