What Do We Do with These?

Who are they?  
 
Rahab is a dragonlike monster that figures in the mythic primordial battle between God and the sea monster. In the Canaanite world, Rahab was a mythical coiling sea-monster, slain by Baal in the primordial chaos. The Leviathan is the sea serpent of Hebrew myth, a restatement of the chaos-dragon Tiamat. 

You broke the heads of the sea monsters in the waters. You crushed the heads of Leviathan;… You have prepared the light and the sun. You have established all the boundaries of the earth; (Psa. 74:12-17)
Was it not You who cut Rahab in pieces, Who pierced the dragon? Was it not You who dried up the sea, The waters of the great deep; You have forgotten the LORD your Maker, Who stretched out the heavens And laid the foundations of the earth… “For I am the LORD your God, who stirs up the sea and its waves roar (the LORD of hosts is His name). (Isa 51:9-14)
You rule the swelling of the sea; When its waves rise, You still them. You Yourself crushed Rahab like one who is slain; You scattered Your enemies with Your mighty arm. The heavens are Yours, the earth also is Yours; The world and all it contains, You have founded them. The north and the south, You have created them; (Psa. 89:6-12)

In that day the LORD will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent, With His fierce and great and mighty sword, Even Leviathan the twisted serpent; And He will kill the dragon who lives in the sea. (Isa. 27:1)

“Can you draw out Leviathan with a fishhook or press down his tongue with a cord? Can you put a rope in his nose or pierce his jaw with a hook? Will he make many pleas to you? Will he speak to you soft words? Will he make a covenant with you to take him for your servant forever? Will you play with him as with a bird, or will you put him on a leash for your girls? Will traders bargain over him? Will they divide him up among the merchants? Can you fill his skin with harpoons or his head with fishing spears? (Job. 41:1-7)

Let those curse it who curse the day, who are ready to rouse up Leviathan. Let the stars of its dawn be dark; let it hope for light, but have none, nor see the eyelids of the morning, because it did not shut the doors of my mother’s womb, nor hide trouble from my eyes.(Job 3:7-9)

Here is the sea, great and wide, which teems with creatures innumerable, living things both small and great. There go the ships, and Leviathan, which you formed to play in it. These all look to you, to give them their food in due season.(Psa. 104: 25-27)

Behold, he snatches away; who can turn him back? Who will say to him, ‘What are you doing?’ “God will not turn back his anger; beneath him bowed the helpers of Rahab. How then can I answer him, choosing my words with him? (Job 9:12-14)

The pillars of heaven tremble and are astounded at his rebuke. By his power he stilled the sea; by his understanding he shattered Rahab. By his wind the heavens were made fair; his hand pierced the fleeing serpent. (Job. 26:11-13)

What do we do with these?

 

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2 responses to “What Do We Do with These?

  1. Alright I’m going to give this a shot. First every scripture reference is poetic, not a single passage of prose. Now poetry is a literary art. It is trying to express ideas descriptively with similes and other devices.

    Israel was almost always amongst pagan nations. Do not take this for granted. Israelite literary style was influenced by other cultures. There is a Pseudopigraphal story written by an early intertestamental writer incorporating Babylonian mythology in creation. http://jewishchristianlit.com/Topics/Lilith/alphabet.html
    It did happen in jewish literature. This article deals with a late dating myth but it has been viewed by some scholars to be an intertestamental writing.

    So it could be that the authors of these passages were describing God’s power by the poetic convention of the day, not referring to an actual event. They must have been influenced by what is around them, it very well may be that it is just a poetic way of saying God is unrivaled.

    • Luke,
      read the whole chapters. It’s clear the writer is talking about a creation account(s). Regardless of that, God is still presented as destroying and battling it out with mythological creatures. Genesis 1-2 also seems to have poetic elements as well.

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