Psalm 74:14

Hebrew Bible

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.

Psalm 104:26

Hebrew Bible

24 How many living things you have made, O Lord! You have exhibited great skill in making all of them; the earth is full of the living things you have made. 25 Over here is the deep, wide sea, which teems with innumerable swimming creatures, living things both small and large. 26 The ships travel there, and over here swims Leviathan35 you made to play in it. 27 All your creatures wait for you to provide them with food on a regular basis. 28 You give food to them and they receive it; you open your hand and they are filled with food.

 Notes and References

"... (Job 40:25-32) ... These words of YHWH to Job are intended to contrast humanity's limited capacities with God's infinite powers. They seem to allude to a lost myth in which YHWH, instead of crushing Leviathan's heads and scattering his remains, caught him like a fish and forced him to plead for his life and to accept eternal vassalage, the great monster becoming merely a plaything of his divine captor. Verse 29, in particular, recalls the mention in Psalm 104:26 of 'Levia­ than that You formed to sport with.' It is possible that the psalmist has here sanitized the old myth of the Chaoskampf altogether, so that Leviathan appears ab inilio as the plaything of YHWH ... The use of the slain adversary's flesh as food may owe something to the Baal-Mot cycle, because Anat sows the pulver­ized remains of Mot in the fields, presumably to provide soil or fertilizer for next season's crops. Here an imperfect but revealing parallel with a point in the Egyptian Osiris myth suggests itself, for the murdered god Osiris too is identified with the new grain. In all these cases the struggle that results, in various ways, in a deicide leads also to a meal in which the dead god, indirectly or directly, provides the victuals. Out of death - life. The Talmudic image of a banquet prepared from the flesh of Leviathan owes something also to the phrasing of Psalm 74:14, in which God 'left him as food for the denizens of the desert.' The booth that is to be made for the just from Leviathan's corpse recalls the creation of heaven and earth from the body of Tiamat in the Enuma Elish ..."

Levenson, Jon Creation and the Persistence of Evil: The Jewish Drama of Divine Omnipotence (p. 16, 34) Princeton University Press, 1994

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