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Vol. Ill









The Texts from Ugarit and the Hebrew Bible

Vol. HI

published under the auspices of

The Institute for Antiquity and Christianity
Claremont, California

19 8 1

This Or






Ras Shamra Parallels, Vol. I l l (to be abbreviated R S P III), is the third volume
resulting from The Ugaritic and Hebrew Parallels Project. This project was under-
taken in 1965 a t the Institute for Antiquity and Christianity, which is a part of
the Claremont Graduate School.
Since its inception the research leading to publication has been sponsored by
the Jam es L. Bruce family, which has provided generously for the work at the
Institute. The research has been sustained by gifts from Mrs. Jam es L. Bruce, who
was joined by her daughter, Mrs. Jordan Nathason in 1969-70, when their con-
tributions were matched by a research grant from the National Endowment for
the Humanities. In view of the singular role of the Bruce family in supporting the
project, my colleagues and I join happily in dedicating this volume to the memory
of the late James L. Bruce, whose own interest in the ancient culture of the eastern
Mediterranean was personal and long-lived. As the Resident Director and General
Manager of the Cyprus Mines Corporation in the 1930’s, Mr. Bruce took a direct
role in implementing the scholarly study of ancient Cyprus, assisting the Swedish
Cyprus Expedition and contributing an article to the published reports on the ex-
cavations (“Antiquities in the Mines of Cyprus,” in The Swedish Cyprus Expeditions,
1927-31, ed. Einar Gjerstad, Vol. I l l [Stockholm, 1937], Appendix V). The dedica-
tion to his memory of a volume devoted to Ugaritic studies is especially apt, for
modern investigations have demonstrated th at contacts between Ugarit and Cyprus
were intim ate and numerous in the second millennium B.C.
Thanks are due to the Claremont Graduate School and to the Institute for
A ntiquity and Christianity and its Research Council for their support of my work
at the Institute. Jam es M. Robinson, the Director of the Institute, and James A.
Brashler, the Associate Director, have been especially helpful. I also want to thank

— vn —
Ras Shamra Parallels

Mitchell Dahood, S.J., for his help in seeing the volume through the press, and for
his visit to Claremont in the summer of 1978, which greatly expedited the progress
of the volume.
Finally, I and my colleagues on the project owe a special word of thanks to
Loren R. Fisher, the founder of The Ugaritic and Hebrew Parallels Project. His de-
parture from Claremont in the spring of 1976 has left a gap in our lives and on the
project which cannot be filled. He provided invaluable editorial advice during the
initial stages of the preparation of this volume; and we hope th at the final product
will do justice to the scholarly ideals which he brought to the project.

Claremont, California Stan R umme L

June 1979

— vm —
ta b le of contents

Acknowledgments...................................................................................................................... vii-vm
In trod u ction .............................................................................................................................. xi-xm
Chapter I
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs
by Mitchell Dahood, S.J........................................................................................... 1-178
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs Supplement
by Mitchell Dahood, S.J........................................................................................... 178-206
Chapter II
Ugaritic Formulae
by Richard E. W h ita k e r ......................................................................................... 207-219
Chapter III
Narrative Structures in the Ugaritic Texts
by Stan R um m el......................................................................................................... 221-332
Chapter IV
Divine Names and Epithets in the Ugaritic Texts
by Alan Cooper, with introduction and selected comments by Marvin H. Pope 333-469
Chapter V
Divine Names and Epithets in the Akkadian Texts
by F. Brent K nutson................................................................................................. 471-500
A. Texts
1. Hebrew B ib l e ............................................................................................................. 501-521
2. Ugaritic T e x ts ............................................................................................................. 521-530
3. Ras Shamra Akkadian T e x t s ................................................................................. 530-532
4. Other T e x t s ................................................................................................................. 532-534
B. Words
1. Hebrew Words ......................................................................................................... 535-557
2. Ugaritic W o r d s ......................................................................................................... 557-571
3. Akkadian W ords......................................................................................................... 571-574
4. Other W o r d s ............................................................................................................. 574-575
C. S u b j e c t s ............................................................................................................................. 576-580
General Abbreviations............................................................................................................. 581-617
Biblical Abbreviations............................................................................................................. 618

— ix —

The introduction to R S P I discusses the history of The Ugaritic and Hebrew

Parallels Project, the purpose and significance of RSP, and the formats used in the
presentation of the materials. I will not duplicate these comments here; but I will
describe the contents of the present volume in the framework of the larger project
and unveil plans for two future volumes of RSP.
In this volume five of the seven topics announced in the introduction to R SP II
are treated. Chapter I, “Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs” and “Ugaritic-Hebrew
Parallel Pairs Supplement,” by Mitchell Dahood, continues his work in R SP I, II,
and R S P II, I. In order to bring greater rigor and consistency to the comparisons,
some changes in the presentation of the parallels have been put into effect. Prof.
Dahood discusses these changes in his introduction to the chapter, and he answers
several questions raised by the reviewers of his work in R SP I.
The next two chapters deal with concerns relating to the structural analysis
of texts. In Chapter II, “Ugaritic Formulae,” Richard E. W hitaker examines the
history of research into Ugaritic and Hebrew formulae in the light of methodologies
developed by Parry and Lord in the context of Homeric studies. Semitic scholars
are slowly beginning to apply these methodologies to their own texts. Prof. W hitaker
himself has provided a comprehensive survey of the formulae of Ugaritic poetry
in his 1969 Harvard dissertation, “A Formulaic Analysis of Ugaritic Poetry.” As
such studies accumulate, our understanding of the nature and function of the for-
mula and formulaic systems in biblical and ancient Near Eastern composition will
grow. At the present time, however, two facts of direct relevance to Ugaritic-Hebrew
comparisons stand out. In the first place, the word pair does not constitute a for-
mula in Semitic poetry. Yet the two are not unrelated, since word pairs and formulae
both are compositional resources for the authors of Ugaritic and Hebrew texts.
As our catalogues of these phenomena expand, we will be in a better position to
assess their relationship to each other and to the generation of texts. In the second
place, the formula is primarily a structural unit. In contrast, the word pair and
the literary phrase lead the student to focus primarily on content. This does not
imply a dichotomy of form and content, but rather a shift in perspective as the
student brings various analytical tools to the text. In fact, as Prof. W hitaker points
out in his introduction to the chapter, literary phrases may also be formulae.

— xi —
Ras Shamra Parallels

Chapter II follows what is called in the introduction to R SP I format I (see

pp. xxi-xxn). Since Antoon Schoors has already discussed literary phrases iu
R S P I, I, Prof. W hitaker’s comments on the formulae among these phrases are
grouped at the end of his chapter as a “Supplement” to R S P I, I.
In Chapter III, “Narrative Structures in the Ugaritic Texts,” by Stan Rummel,
we move from the problem of linguistic structure to th a t of narrative and descriptive
structure. The widespread interest taken by the scholarly community in this type
of structural analysis creates a broad methodological background against which
previous attem pts at Ugaritic-Hebrew structural comparisons must be assessed.
Thus this chapter is more methodological in tone and intention than any other con-
tribution to R SP. The chapter follows format I (entries arranged by text numbers),
but the history of research and the nature of the topic necessitate some adjustm ent
of the original format. The length of the textual units under discussion prohibits
the presentation of a full text and translation. Moreover, the limited number of
entries combines with the large number of biblical parallels to create the need to
intersperse “Comments” among the biblical parallels, rather than reserving all of
them for the end of the entry.
The final two chapters in the volume follow format II and therefore each entry
is listed alphabetically (see R SP I, Intro, pp. x x n -xxin). Since the Ugaritic evidence
for divine names and epithets is more comprehensive than the Akkadian evidence,
Chapter V, “Divine Names and Epithets in the Akkadian Texts,” by F. Brent Knut-
son, defers, wherever possible, to the discussion of parallels in Chapter IV, “Divine
Names and Epithets in the Ugaritic Texts,” by Alan Cooper, with introduction and
selected comments by Marvin H. Pope. The system of cross-referencing should be
self-evident and follows th a t used in the Akkadian section of R S P II, V III (“Place
Names,” by Michael C. Astour). Thus chapters IV and V constitute a unity in terms
of subject-matter, but the different approaches taken by the two authors also ren-
der them into discrete entities.
At this point it is appropriate to announce the addition of two further volumes
to the R S P series. R S P IV, which we hope to publish in 1982, will be primarily
concerned with the broad and im portant topic of motifs. The contributors to this
volume will be:

Terry Fenton
Eoren R. Fisher
William J. Horwitz
Dan Hughes
Patrick D. Miller, Jr.
Stan Rummel
Duane E. Smith

— xn —

R S P IV will also contain an author index for all four volumes, and a list of additions
and corrections to R SP I, II, and III.
R S P V will constitute a revised and enlarged edition of Mitchell Dahood’s study
of Ugaritic-Hebrew parallel pairs. Three factors have coalesced in the decision to
present this material in a collected form. First, the growing use of the materials
published in R SP I and II attests to their significance to a wide range of scholarly
interests and the need to gather them into a single volume. Second, the lively discus-
sion of the work in R SP I has revealed some procedural revisions th at need to be
performed in a comprehensive fashion. Finally, a large number of new and interesting
pairs have emerged since Prof. Dahood completed his manuscript for R SP I I I in
July of 1975. Space did not allow them to be incorporated into this volume, but
they must be added to complete the overall picture.
These two volumes will conclude the R SP series. In the introduction to R SP IV
I will discuss the implications of the work of The Ugaritic and Hebrew Parallels
Project for Ugaritic and Hebrew studies and for future projects of this type.

Stan R um m ei ,, Editor

Ch apter I



Mit c h e u , D ahood , S.J.


a. This research into Ugaritic-Hebrew word pairs took an unexpected turn

three years ago. Upon completion of the list for R SP I (1972), it was evident
th at some isolated new pairs would come to light, and those th at did surface
between 1971 and 1972 were duly collected and published in R SP II, which
appeared, however, only in July 1975. These numbered 66, and it was felt th at
this chapter could fairly be considered closed, though the constant reexami-
nation and revision of these published pairs was envisioned. But these calcu-
lations proved to be mistaken because further research into Hebrew poetry re-
vealed not only numerous new pairs of words, but more interesting pairs than
many of the routine and trivial ones hitherto published. Hence the reader will
encounter in this list numerous parallel pairs which are hapax legomenon in
both Ugaritic and in Hebrew; these often entail text-critical and exegetical con-
sequences th at show th a t we are dealing with a Canaanite literary tradition
th a t continued right into biblical (especially poetic) writings of all Old Testament
periods. Suffice it here to mention the import of ap+dd, bt . . . srs, hym 11 blmt.. .
sfr, htt /I lay, kry // yld, and tr // zby on the translation and exegesis of cognate
biblical verses. Conversely, such entries as bky+'gm, dbr . . . mt, hrs-\-apnt,
Un /I [qU\, n'm // spr illustrate to what extent biblical texts can aid in the res-
b. toration and translation of damaged Ugaritic passages. And then there are cases
such as npS-\-np§ where equally obscure Ugaritic and Hebrew texts mutually,
and paradoxically, elucidate each other. These new pairs should thus go far
toward confuting the premature attack of J. C. de Moor and P. van der Uugt,
“The Spectre of Pan-Ugaritism,” 1 a review-article of R S P I which, while making
a number of valid points, is vitiated by the mistaken notion th at Ugaritic is
not a Canaanite dialect. That this seminal list of parallel pairs should appear
so soon (through no design of the writer, however) after this ill-advised onslaught
of the two Dutch scholars, enjoys a possible analogy in the 1965 prophecy of

1 In BiOr, XXXI (1974), 3-26.

—3 —

I Ras Shamra Parallels

the late G. R. Driver: “The pan-Babylonian theories of H aupt and his contem-
poraries have long passed away, half-forgotten and unlamented, thanks to their
extravagances; and the pan-Ugaritism of the present age will go the same
way.” 2 This prophecy has been given the lie by the developments during the
subsequent decade during which Ugaritic-Hebrew relationships have been stud-
ied more widely and intensively than perhaps in any other decade since the Ras
Shamra discoveries in 1929. The stimulating contents of the three volumes of
R SP bid fair to foster and sustain debate in the area of Ugaritic-Hebrew rap-
ports. T hat no complete translation of the Hebrew Bible has adequately ex-
ploited this material which, now th at it has been collected and published in one
place, can no longer conscionably be ignored, means th at biblical scholars will
have to pay more attention to this comparative material.
c. This is not to claim th at the data are complete or have always been cor-
rectly interpreted. The unevenness of the three installments of parallel pairs
will require some revision to produce entries more rigorous and consistent in
a separate volume when the reviews and critiques of all three volumes have
been received and properly assessed. Pending a more organic discussion in the
projected volume, one may briefly consider here several difficulties and objec-
tions raised by reviewers of R SP I.
d. For instance, it has been suggested th at prepositions and conjunctions, i.e.
particles whose function is restricted to the connection of words which carry
an independent meaning, would better be treated apart. The merit of this sug-
gestion is offset by those not infrequent instances where the choice of prepo-
sition seems to have been motivated by metrical considerations, as in the pairs
b /I bm, b I/ tht, and l // Im, where the identification of the prepositional pair can
bear on the reading, the morphology, and the translation. Cf., e.g., the new
translation of Isa 10:16 at kbd . . . smt proposed on the basis of the identification
of the poetic pair b H tht with the unsuspected sense of “among” 11 “amid,” or
the possibility in Job 38:4-5 presented by the recognition of bn 11 7.
e. The repetition of the same word in both halves of the verse does not, strictly
speaking, form a pair since it is the same word. Still, the listing of such cases
proves valuable in showing how frequent this practice was in Ugaritic and might
discourage the emendation of the repeated word to a poetic synonym th at bib-
lical critics have been known to favor for certain texts. Cf., e.g., Ps 106:10;
Prov 3:13. Thus a list of words repeated in parallelism can serve as a text-critical

2 JSS, X (1965), 116-117.

—4 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I

f. Then there exist instances where the repeated word is used in two different
senses. The most notable example appears to be th at of nfts (see nfis-\-nps),
used both in Ugaritic and in Hebrew in two different senses. The appreciation
of this wordplay elicits sense from texts such as Isa 58:10 and Prov 13:4, which
heretofore have eluded precise translation.
g. In these chapters on word pairs we have not proposed any new definition
of parallelism, finding the usual understanding of parattelismus membrorum
adequate for our purposes. This habit of the Hebrew poet of balancing thought
against thought, phrase against phrase, word against word, was also th at of
his Canaanite predecessors. We have, though, not limited parallelism to poetic
texts but claim th at it may also be present in non-literary texts, such as in ad-
ministrative or economic tablets. Economic text UT 120 is surely bereft of liter-
ary qualities, and yet should one neglect to cite the final phrases (11. 14-16) '§rm
zt mm? I arb'm smn mr when one discusses the pair zt // smn attested in Hebrew
poetry? The Canaanite scribes and poets apparently thought in binomials, and
one should not exclude prose texts in one’s search into the origins of word pairs
employed by the poets. After all, scholars have studied Shakespeare’s laundry
lists to acquire further insight into his literary compositions. Or to take an ex-
ample from a hippie text for curing ailments, w k l yhru / w l yttn ssw, "and if
he does not defecate / and if he does not urinate—the horse.” 3 Can one deny
th a t yhru and yttn are here parallel verbs even though the text is prosaic? Or
perhaps the text is more literary than might first appear, since the scribe also
employs the device of delayed identification, putting the explicit subject ssw
at the very end. In other words, parallelism was not a purely literary phenome-
non but was also sporadically employed by prose writers, and the student of
Canaanite poetry should not exclude these from his ken. Thus parallelism by
itself does not make a text poetic; other elements are also required.4

3 See UT, p. 124, n. 3.

4 At this point one may prefer to introduce a terminological distinction, labeling poetical paraUelism
‫‘״‬metrical‫ ״ ׳‬and that found in non-poetical texts “semantic parallelism.‫ ׳׳‬To be sure, parallelism is a hall-
mark of Hebrew poetry, and the identification of word pairs in balance will permit the identification of
poetic units imbedded in prose. For example, in Gen 24:7, *‫מביית אבי* ומארץ מולדתי‬, “from the house of my
father and from the land of my birth,’’ contains ‫ בית‬// ‫ ארץ‬and ‫ אב‬// ‫ מולדת‬, and can be considered poetic
because of the pairings and the assonance of ‫ אבי‬and ‫מולדתי‬. It might be noted that one medieval manu-
script collapsed the parallelisms, reading simply ‫מביתי ומארצי‬, “from my house and from my land,‫ ׳׳‬a phe-
nomenon already witnessed in the first-century B.C. Targum of Job from Qumran where the translator
often telescoped two phrases which appear parallel in the Hebrew. As observed by M. Sokoloff, Job, p. [8]:
“The translator combined the parallel words or phrases into one unit, thus destroying the poetic character
of the original, but gaining compactness in style.’‫ ׳‬So while later Jewish tradition tended to eliminate the
poetic quality of biblical verse by slighting the parallelistic elements, Late Bronze Age Canaanite texts,
with their hundreds of word pairs, are now abetting the recovery and aesthetic appreciation of canonical
Hebrew poetry.

—5 —
I Ras Shamra Parallels

h. An offshoot of this collection of word pairs is what I have termed “distant

parallelism,” a phenomenon also studied by Y. Avishur in his unpublished dis-
sertation “Pairs of Words in Biblical Literature and Their Parallels in Semitic
Literature of the Ancient Near E ast.” The recent appearance of the term qd$
mlk, “Qudshu the King,” permits the biblical critic to argue th at the psalmist
is resorting to this device when opening Ps 99 with the ringing declaration ‫ ה‬1‫יה‬
‫ מ ל ך ירגזו עמים‬, “Yahweh has become king; let the heathen tremble with fear!”
and closing it with the confession ‫ ה אלהינו‬1!‫ כי״ ק דו ש יד‬, “indeed the Holy One is
Yahweh our God!” The balance of ‫" זית‬olive-tree” / / ‫“ פ רי‬fruit” in Jer 11:16
enables the recovery of the "distant parallelism” as well as the reinterpretation
of Isa 17:6 where difficult and disputed ‫( הפ רי ה‬see the discussion at zt . . . pr),
“the fruitful one,” turns out to be the counterpart of ‫זית‬, “the olive-tree.” Thus
the decision reached after some discussion with other members of this Project
to include juxtaposed and collocated words in a study formally dedicated to
strictly parallel word pairs appears to be justified. To be able to identify such
variations on parallelismus membrorum in Hebrew, the critic must be furnished
with lists of words juxtaposed and collocated by the Canaanite predecessors of
the Israelite poets.
i. The study of parallel pairs must also take account of the possibly intended
chiasmus resulting in word pairings different from those apparent when the
components of a poetic unit are read sequentially. In a tetracolon such as th at
in Ps 3:3-4, are the members to be read chiastically so th at the pair ‫“ נפשי‬my
life” II ‫“ ראשי‬my head” emerges? Usually one can detect other indicators to
permit a chiastic reading, but instances occur where no clear decision can be
reached. In Isa 58:7 a chiastic construing of the four cola recovers the pair ‫לח ם‬
“bread” // ‫“ בעזר‬m eat,” if one grants th a t the first and fourth cola are concerned
with nutrition, while the second and third look to protection against the elements.
Appreciation of the chiasmus clearly safeguards ‫ שבת‬, "flame,” from deletion in
I I Sam 23:7b. I t thus appears th at the Israelite poets developed and elaborated
the parallelism inherited from the Canaanites.
j. In R SP I the definitions of “juxtaposition” and "collocation” were not
always applied with consistent rigor, with the result th at some queries have
been raised about the usefulness of these terms. Strictly meaning the placing
of two things side by side, juxtaposition aptly describes the classic construct
chain consisting of the regens and the rectum. W ith the advance, though, of
grammatical studies of Hebrew poetry it has become evident th at the construct
chain is often interrupted by particles or prepositions. Should one continue
to employ the term “juxtaposition” to describe these constructs and their geni-
tives? Then there are cases where two words are materially juxtaposed but
metrically belong to different cola, as in *nt 11:39, ars rbb, or the nouns employed

— 6 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I

in parallel in Jer 3:2-3. Should instances of hendiadys with a conjunction be

subsumed under this definition? In the present volume the category of juxta-
position is provisionally used for words occurring in the same poetic colon, or
in the same clause of a prose sentence—even if the words are not strictly “side
by side.”
k. The term “collocation” (some prefer the word “association”) denotes the
state of being placed or arranged with something else. I t was chosen to describe
those words not strictly parallel nor juxtaposed, but merely concurring apart
in the same verse or poetic unit. Here it is used for non-parallel words occurring
in different poetic cola (even if they are materially “side by side”) and for words
in different clauses of a prose sentence. The nature of the material and the ap-
plication of subjective judgment have inevitably resulted in some inconsistencies,
but there is reason to believe th at in this volume such have been reduced, thanks
to the constructive criticism of scholars.
l. The publication in 1972 of R. W hitaker’s A Concordance of the Ugaritic
Literature has facilitated the preparation of this list of word pairs for R SP III,
and I take this occasion to thank W hitaker for this valuable tool of research.
In the fisting of the Ugaritic texts I have as a rule not included those passages
restored on the basis of integral doublets; W hitaker has included the restored
passages so th a t the reader desiring all the Ugaritic occurrences of the pair in
question would be well advised to consult the Concordance as well as the listing
in R S P III. The appearance in the summer of 1974 of Textes ougaritiques, I,
Mythes et legendes, by A. Caquot, M. Sznycer, and A. Herdner, with its highly
competent introduction, translation, and commentary, was most timely, per-
m itting me to refer the reader to this up-to-date volume for further details and
bibliography on difficult and disputed Ugaritic passages. This new translation
into French reflects the recent progress made in Ugaritic philology and will sure-
ly advance our understanding of cognate biblical texts.
m. Though the full impact of research into Ugaritic-Hebrew word pairs will
not be felt in biblical circles for some time, its first effects are gradually coming
to fight. Thus in his third edition (1973) of Job, M. Pope makes this comment
(pp. 65-66) on Job 8:8: ,,Consider. The reading bonen for MT konen adopted in
previous editions appears to have been mistaken in view of the association of
Sal and knn in Ugaritic, UT 1161:5-9.” This appeal to the collocation ci iwo
verbs in a routine administrative prose text from Ras Shamra to uphold a poetic
parallelism in Job illustrates sound method and augurs well for comparative
Ugaritic-Hebrew studies. W ith the other text-critical and philological criteria
currently being elaborated by scholars for the translation 3r!d interpretation of
Ugaritic and Hebrew poetic and prose texts, the criterion of parallel word pairs
will duly take its place.

— 7 —
I Ras Shamra Parallels

n. As in the earlier volumes, both the Ugaritic and Hebrew word pairs always
read from left to right. The symbol “//” stands for strict parallelism, “ + ” for
juxtaposition, and for collocation. In this volume Ugaritic text citations
encompass all the lines of the cola which hold a parallel pair, but only the lines
which contain the words of a juxtaposed or collocated pair. When the word pair
is biblically hapax legomenon—the percentage of these in R SP II I is naturally
much higher than in the earlier lists—the contextual form has usually been given.
Derived stems are noted in this chapter for all Hebrew verbs, as well as for
Ugaritic verbs when the determination of the stem is relatively certain and
when the decision about the stem significantly affects the translation of the verb.
The following abbreviations are used for the stems cited in this chapter:

G Qal verbal stem; ground stem.

Gp Qal passive verbal stem; passive of the ground stem.
Gt Qal verbal stem plus infixed -t~.
A Aphel verbal stem; stem with preformative vowel.
N Niphal verbal stem; stem with preformative n.
D Piel verbal stem; stem with doubled second radical.
Dp Pual verbal stem; passive of the stem with doubled second radical.
H Hiphil verbal stem; stem with preformative h.
Hp Hophal verbal stem; passive of the stem with preformative h.
H tD Hithpael verbal stem; stem with preformative ht and doubled second
Up Polal or Palal verbal stem; passive of the stem with lengthened
vowel after first radical.
U Polel or Palil verbal stem; stem with lengthened vowel (d in Heb.,
a in Ug.) after first radical.
HtU Hithpolel or Hithpalil verbal stem; stem with preformative ht and
lengthened vowel after first radical.
S Shaphel verbal stem; stem with preformative s.

31 July 1975

— 8 —

1. ab /I adn 29. il ab II Itpn htk 55. bd . . . ql

2. ab . . . yld 30. ilm + ars 56. bhtm // ,dbt
3. ib . . . smt 31. ilm I/ smym // kbkbm 57. bky II dmm . . . udm't
4. ibr I/ mdr 32. amr . . . d't 58. bky + 'gm
5. ud[n] . . . riS 33. amr // pny 59. bn I/ ary
6. ahb -J~ git 34. imr + Ihm 60. bn I/ 7
7. ah II ans 35. in + ytn 61. bn II sbr
8. ah II ary anyt . . . ksp (see I 165) 62. b'd li'ln
9. ah II 7 unit 36. anyt . . . ,rb 63. VI . . . ahb
10. ahd /I ,ly 37. ank // hw 64. VI H atrt
11. ahr + b ank . . . hw VI + atrt
12. aht II ybnt ab 38. anpnm // mtnm 65. VI . . . gr
13. aht . . . yd' 39. asp . . . npl Vl(t) . . . (aji)hbt (see 1 63)
14. ayl If imr 40. ap + dd bsr + rnlk (see I 198)
15. akl II hpr apnt + hrs (see I 114) 66. brq // isr
16. il . . . aliyn 41. ar . .. tly 67. Mr . . . yld . . . Smh
17. il II bn 42. arzm // Ibnt 68. bsr . . . Ihm
18. il ‫—)־־‬d 43. ark + bt 69. bt I/ ars
19. il + dbb 44. ars + nhlt bt . . . ars
20. il + hkm 45. ars . . . pr 70. bt ‫ ־)־־‬ba
il . . . hkm 46. ars . . . rbb 71. bt + ktrt
il . . . htk (see I 29) 47. irs /I st 72. bt . . . Ihm
21. il "/I ,d 48. ist II hrs 73. bt + sgr
22. il /I 'dt 49. ist /I rhm bt . . . *dbt (see I 56)
23. il II Hyn 50. it . . . ytn 74. bt . . . srs
24. U H ' m 51. it I/s t 75. btk II l
25. il + gr it . . . St 76. bt + VI
il . . . gr 52. att /I atrt 77. gbl II iht
26. il .. . rhq 53. att + ypt 78. ggt . . . bt hbr
27. il I/ tliyt 54. b I/ b 79. ggt 11 qryt
28. il + tpt b II 7 (see I 232) 80. gwl II My

—9 —
I Ras Shamra Parallels

81. grs . . . mla 118/ tytt II lay 155. ytb + gr

82. dbh + tdmm 119. " htt . . . Hq 156. ytb 4 tgr
83. dbh + tr 120. tb(n) + ql 157. k I/ w
84. dbr . . . mt 121. tl + imm 158. kbd II p
85. dbr 11 twy 122. tly II arsy 159. kbd . . . Smt
86. dbr . . . tpt 123. zl ksp /I zl ksp 160. kbd I/ td
87. dm ‫־־‬1‫ ־‬ah 124. yd + il 161. kht Hars
88. dm /I smn 125. yd + ams 162. kit I/ bt
89. dmm . . . my ris 126. yd ‫ ־■(־־‬qst kit + bt
90. dn . . . ytn 127. yd' . . . in 163. kit 4 knyt
91. d't 11 Ihm 128. yd* + hy 164. kn . . . sbrt
92. d't . . . nps 129. yd' . . . ynq 165. ksp 4 anyt
93. dr + bnm 130. yd' + 'rb 166. ksp . . . bzr
drkt + ytb (see I 152) 131. yld /I §mh 167. kpr II rh gdm
94. drkt . . . §mm 132. ym . . . i d 168. kry // yld
95. hw + il 133. ymn + p 169. krm . . . dd
96. hlk + hs 134. yn . . . utkl 170. ktr + tb
97. hlk I) hi 135. yn + qS 171. lik /lm t
hlk + skn (see I 302) 136. ysa // b'r 172. lb . . . atr
98. hlk I/ tdrq 137. ysa // gri 173. Ibnn // rum
99. hmry . . . ars 138. ysa (yza) . . . mdbr 174. M . . . dm
100. hry // hi (mlbr) 175. /Am 4 trmmt
101. hry 4 yld • • • hbl 139. ysa . . . smt 176. Iht -j- spr
102. zbl 4 riSa 140. yqr . . . il 177. Iht I/ t'dt
103. zt . .. pr 141. yr + mtr 178. Iqh . . . hdy
104. zt /I Smn 142. yrd // spr 179. Iqh II ysq
hdy 11 Iqh (see I 178) 143. yrw 11 yrw 180. Un j/ [qll]
105. hdr /I sgr 144. yrh // atrt 181. mgn . . . qnyt
106. hdt . . . tn 145. yrt . . . b'l 182. mdbr // mdr'
107. hym // blmt . . . spr 146. yrt . . . ysa 183. mdbr (mlbr) 4 Siy
108. hym . . . spr 147. ytn . . . ntr 184. mdbr 4 §pm
109. hym . . . 'tq 148. ytn // slh . . . spr 185. \md'‫ \־‬II md'
110. hkm . . . hyt 149. ytn + sty 186. mhmd + arz
111. hmd 4 yrt 150. ytn I/ tny 187. mhs I/ hwy
112. hrb 4 bq''l/ist 151. ytb + ars 188. mhs /I hsb
113. hrb . . . Isn 152. ytb . . . drkt 189. my // sat np§
114. hrs 4 &Pnt 153. ytb /I ysr 190. mym . . . ilm //
115. hrs . . . b ' l ytb + kht (see I 210) Smym // kbkbm
116. hh 4 ars ytb . . . kht (see I 210) 191. mym H §mn
117. hnp . . . spk 154. ytb + Ihm 192. mknt // tbt

— 10 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I

193. mla 11 mla 230. *zm + yd 268. qdm . . . ymn

194. mla . . . Smht
231. I -f■ umt 269. qdS . . . b t
195. mlak 4‫ ־‬ynt 232. (l I/ b 270. qdS . . . ksu
196. mlak // t'dt 233. (l . . . bsr 271. qdS +
197. mlk 4 bny
‫־‬ 234. 7 + riS 272. qdS . . . sat spt
198. mlk . . . bsr 235. 7 dl . . . ytm 273. qll /I 'n
199. mlk . . . kn 236. ,ly /lb k y 274. qlt + ks
200. mlk 4‫ ־‬Sm 237. 'ly I/ hlk 275. [qqln] jj qlt
201. mphm . . . Slh 238. 7y II ytb . . . yrd 276. qr /I rnn
202. mrym 4‫ ־‬spn 239. 7w . . . 277. qra . . . ytn
203. mrkbt . . . 76 240. + yd 278. qrb +
204. mSlt . . . hpnt 241. II pny 279. qrt // Asm
205. mt If asp 242. *n /I tr 280. n /I ks
206. mt . . . bq' 243. (mhrth) 281. riS + aps
207. mt . . . hrb 244. I/ 'nt 282. r iS /ld 't
208. mt II yrd 245. ,s /I abn . . . ars 283. rtf . . . n p S
mt . . . yrd 246. 'sm . . . Sht . . . mt 284. rtf . . . *pr
209. mt . . . m fe 247. 76 II ba 285. r6 + dr'
210. mtb II kht 248. 76 /I Iqh 286. r66 // £r‘ thmtm
211. ndd . . . *pt 249. 76 . . . 287. rh . . . ap
212. nt' + ars 250. 'rpt I/ tl 288. rh II qtr
213. ns II dbh 251. 'rpt II mtrt 289. rAs /I nsk
214. n'm 11 Spr 'rpt + mtr rhq 4‫ ־‬# (see I 26)
215. npl . . . abd 252. git + yd 290. rhq // &
216. npl . . . npl 253. git II tpt 291. rkbl/nSa
217. npS . . . hwy 254. gr . . . 67 292. r«« + ql
218. npS 4‫ ־‬npS 255. gr II mdb 293. Sal . . . bqt
219. nsb . . . qtr 256. gr / I 'mq 294. U r lllh m
220. nr H Smh 257. pat + mdbr 295. s6' + 6%
221. nrt 4 ‫ ־‬ilm 258. pnm . . . ymn 296. £6' If Sty
222. nSa 4‫ ־‬ytb 259. pgt . . . btn 297. Sd II mhrtt (mhrth)
223. nSa . . . sh 260. pr 4 '?
‫־‬ 298. sd + mm
224. nSa . . . Smh
261. sd II Smm 299. Sd II rhmy
225. ntbt . . . drk 262. sdq 4‫ ־‬Sim 300. Sht + mt
226. spa /I mt sh . . . Smjt (see I 309) 301. Skn /I grs
spr 4- St (see I 326) 263. smt /I kly 302. Skn I/ hlk
227. 'bd . . . ybl 264. spn . . . nhlt 303. Skn . . . mla .
228. 'bd . . . Ihm 265. sq I/ nSa 304. Skn I/ Skn
'dt + ilm (see I 22) 266. srrt 4• spn 305. Slrri -f kU
229. 'dr . . . 'ny 267. qbl I/ qbl 306. Sim . . . mgy

— 11 —
I 1 Ras Shamra Parallels

307. Sim II nh 320. Spt II tkm 333. tb I/ Sm'

308. Sm . . . bt 321. Sqy . . . ytn 334. tb . . . tny
309. Smh I/ sh 322. Sr + tb 335. tbr I/ bky
310. smm . . . qdS 323. Sr + 'p 336. tbt . . . abd
Smn . . . zt (see I 104) 324. Sr . . . tp 337. tbt . . . hpk
311. Smn . . . nsk 325. St . . . smkt 338. tbt . . . yrt
312. 5m' + amr 326. St + spr 339. tbt II Sph
313. Sm' /I arS Sty + Sb' (see I 296) 340. td + pnm
314. Sm' + hwt 327. Sty yn . . . Skr 341. tkm I/ yd'
315/J m t y i 'zm 328. tht -j- ars 342. tit . . . mrkbt
316/ Snt II Spt 329. tht + tlhn 343. tgr II hmyt
317. Sph /I 'bd 330. tmm + abd 344. tr /I zby
318. Spk /j ysa 331. tp I/ n'm Supplement
319. sps !‫ ן‬b'l 332. tb . . . pS'


a. ab II adn
b. 127:27-29 (iCTA 16 VI :27-29)
c. “father” // “lord” or “father”
d. Notes
For the conjectural restoration adnk, see Herdner, CTA, p. 77 and n. 2.
Virolleaud {Syria, X X III [1942-1943], 10), followed by Ginsberg (cf. A NET■',
p. 149) and Gordon (UT, p. 194), restored t', but these two signs do not
adequately fill out the available space. The biblical parallelism lends sub-
stance to Herdner’s restoration. In 77:33(-37) (CTA 24:33[-37]) adn (// um
II ih II aht) clearly denotes “father,” a meaning confirmed by the quadri-
lingual dictionary RS 20.149 11:9' (Ug. V, p. 232), where Akk. a-bu, “fa-
ther,” answers to Ug. a-da-nu.
e. Gen 45:8; Mai 1:6
‫“ א ב‬father” // ‫“ אדון‬lord” or “father”
f. Comments
J. Blau and J. Greenfield, BASOR, 200 (1970), 16, n. 23, assume th at
in Gen 45:8 ‫ אדון‬signifies “father.” Here the assumption may be valid,

— 12 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 2

but it can scarcely be upheld in Mai 1:6, as observed by D. Hillers, BASO R,

200 (1970), 18.

a. ab . . . yld
b. Krt:151-152, 297-298 (CTA 14 111:151-152; VI:297-298)

c. “father” . . . (Gp) “to be bom ”

d. Jer 2:27; Job 38:28 (H); Prov 17:25; 23:24
‫“ א ב‬father” // ‫“ י ל ד‬to bear, beget” ; (H) “to beget”
e. Prov 17:21
‫“ י ל ד‬to beget” / / ‫" א ב‬father”
f. Jer 16:3 (H); Prov 23:22
‫“ א ב‬father” + ‫“ י ל ד‬to beget” ; (H) “to beget”
g. Isa 45:10 (H); Jer 20:15 (Dp)
‫“ א ב‬father” . . . ‫( י ל ד‬H) “to beget” ; (Dp) “to be bom ”
h. Gen 24:7
‫“ א ב‬father” / / ‫“ מול ד ת‬birth”

a. ib . . . smt
b. 68:9 (CTA 2 IV:9)
c. “foe” . . . “to annihilate”
d. Ps 69:5
‫“ מצמית‬annihilator” // ‫“ איב‬foe”
e. Lam 3:52-53
‫" איב‬foe” . . . ‫" צמ ת‬to annihilate”
f. Comments
The longstanding proposal to read in Ps 69:5 ‫ מ צ מ תי‬, "than my locks,”
for MT ‫ מ צ מי תי‬, "m y annihilators,” is discountenanced by comparison with
the Ug. collocation of this word pair.

— 13 —
I 4 Ras Shamra Parallels

a. ibr // mdr
b. R S 24.266 rev:12-13 (C R A IB L , 1972, 694)
c. “bull” I/ “vow”

d. Notes
A. Herdner, C R AIB L, 1972, 695, identified a root "to vow," for the
word m ir. Thus Ug. possesses the same doublet as Heb., where ‫ =( מ ר‬ndr)
exists alongside of ‫ = ( נד ר‬ndr), "to vow.” Unless Heb. ‫ נד ר‬is an Aram,
loan-word (cf. Gordon, UT, § 19.1618), it is not the Heb. counterpart of
ndr, since d comes into Heb. only as T (Gordon, UT, § 5.13).

e. Ps 50:13-14
‫" אבי ר‬bull” . . . ‫" נד ר‬vow”

a. ud[n] . . . ris
b. 1 Aqht:79-80 {CTA 19 11:79-80)
c. "ear” . . . "head”
d. Ezek 16:12
‫" אזן‬ear” // ‫" ראש‬head”
e. Comments
This v. also witnesses ‫" ע ל‬upon” // ‫" ב‬on,” a pairing listed in R SP
I, II 417.

a. ahb + *git
b. 67 V:18 {CTA 5 V:18)
c. "to love” + “heifer”
d. Hos 10:11
‫" עגלה‬heifer” // ‫" א ה ב‬to love”

— 14 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 7

a. ah I/ anS
b. 127:35-36, 50-52 {CTA 16 VI :35-36, 50-52)
c. “to brother” // “to befriend”
d. Gen 13:8
‫" אנשים‬friends” + ‫“ אחים‬brothers”
e. Comments
The hapax phrase in Gen 13:8, ‫ כ י אנשים אחים אנחנו‬, is handled in dif-
ferent ways by the versions, but the Ug. parallelism now makes it possible
and plausible to translate: “because friends, nay, brothers are we.”

a. ah II ary (see also bn // ary [I 59])

b. 67 1:22-23, 24-25 (CTA 5 1:22-23, 24-25); 2 Aqht 1:19-20, 21-22; 11:14-15 (CTA
17 1:19-20, 21-22; 11:14-15)
c. “brother” // “Hon”
d. Notes
In ary, “lion,” one recognizes another instance of the metaphorical use of
animal names, a well documented practice in the Ras Shamra tablets; cf.
P. Miller, UF, II (1970), 177-186.
e. Ps 22:22-23
‫“ אריה‬lion” . . . ‫“ א ח‬brother”
f. Gen 49:8-9
‫“ אח‬brother” . . . ‫“ אריה‬lion”
g. Comments
In Ps 22:22-23, ‫ אריה‬carries the literal meaning "lion,” but in Gen
49:8-9, ‫ גור אריה יהודה‬, “a whelp of a lion is Judah,” its force is metaphorical,
thus in close agreement with Ug. poetic practice.

a. ah /I 7 umt (see also 7 + umt [I 231J and 7 dl . . . ytm [I 235])

b. 1 Aqht:196-197, 201-202 (CTA 19 IV: 196-197, 201-202)

— 15 —
I 10 Ras Shamra Parallels

c. “brother” // “infant of maternal family”

d. Notes
In Newsletter, 7 (1975), 5, P. Craigie, reporting on Airoldi’s article, makes
the parenthetical remark th at the reading 7 umty is not certain and cites
Herdner (C T A , p. 91), This is misleading. In 1. 197, to be sure, the reading
is uncertain, but in 1. 202 7 umt is perfectly clear, so th at the restoration
of the missing ' in 1. 197 appears fully justified.
e. Bibliography
N. Airoldi, BZ, X V III (1974), 96-101.
f. Deut, 18:7-8
‫“ אח‬brother” . . . ‫“ ע ל האבות‬infant of paternal family”
g. Comments
Airoldi’s translation of ‫“ ע ל האבות‬Sippenangehoriger,” on the basis of
its balance with ‫ א חיו‬, “his brothers,” appears well founded.


a. ahd // 7y
b. R S 24,277:29 (Ug. VI, p. 1681
c. “to seize” // “to ascend”
d. Cant 7:9
‫“ ע ל ה‬to ascend” // ‫“ אחז‬to grasp”
e. Judg 16:3
‫“ אחז‬to seize” // ‫( ע ל ה‬H) “to bring up”


a. ahr + b
b. Krt:195-196, 209 (1CTA 14 IV: 195-196, 209)
c. “after” + “on ‫״‬
d. Ezek 6:9; Job 31:7: 37:4
‫“ א ח ר‬after” // ‫“ ב‬in”
e. Jer 2:5, 8; 13:10; Ezek 20:16; Ps 73:24; Ruth 2:7; etc.
‫“ ב‬in, among” // ‫“ אח ר‬after”

— 16 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 12

f. Hos 11:9-10
‫“ ב‬in ‫ ״‬. . . ‫“ א ח ר‬after‫׳‬


a. aht I/ ybnt ab (see also ah // bn um [RSP I, II 17]1

b. *nt I V :83-84 (1CTA 3 D :83-84)

c. “sister” // “daughter of the father”
d. Notes
* Comparison with these juxtaposed terms in Heb. prose texts reveals the
breakup of a composite phrase in Ug. poetry.
e. Gen 20:12; Lev 18:9; Deut 27:22; Ezek 22:11
‫“ אחות‬sister” + ‫“ בת א ב‬daughter of the father”


a. aht . . . yd'

b. 125:32-33 {CTA 16 1:32-33)

c. “sister” . . . “to know”

d. Prov 7:4
‫“ אחות‬sister” /I ‫“ מ ד ע‬familiar friend”
e. Job 42:11
‫“ אחית‬sisters” // ‫“ ידעי ם‬familiar friends”
f. Job 19:13
‫“ אחים‬brothers” 11 ‫“ ידעי ם‬familiar friends”


a. ayl // itnr
b . 62:24+28 (CTA 6 1:24+28)
c. “deer” // “fawn”

— 17 —
I 15 Ras Shamra Parallels

d. Notes
The first letter in 62:28 is unclear; Herdner, CTA, p. 39, reads htnrm, but
imrm is equally possible. To be sure, imrm could also denote “lambs” here,
but the biblical parallelism favors “fawns.”
e. Bibliography
M. Dahood, Bib, TV (1974), 81.
f. Gen 49:21
‫“ אי ל ה‬hind” . . . ‫“ א מ ר‬fawn”
g. Comments
Contrast N E B ’s interpretation of Gen 49:21: “Naphtali is a spreading
terebinth putting forth lovely boughs.”


a. akl I/ hpr
b. 2013:2-3, 5-7
c. “food” /I “rations”
d. Job 39:29
‫“ ח פ ר‬to scan” + ‫“ א כ ל‬food”
e. Comments
Versions differ in their rendition of the hapax legomenon phrase ‫ח פ ר‬
‫ א כ ל‬in Job 39:29; its general sense, however, is clear from the parallelism.
I have rendered ‫“ ח פ ר‬to scan” in order to bring out the element of measure
common to both the verb and the noun hpr, “rations.”


a. il . . . aliyn (see also il // tliyt [I 27])

b. 51 V I I I :32-33 (CTA 4 V III :32-33); 67 11:9-10 (CTA 5 11:9-10)

c. “E l” . . . “the Victor”
d. Deut 32:4-5; I Sam 2:3; Hos 11:7, 9; Job 15:11; 21:14+16; 23:16-17; 32:13-14;
‫“ א ל‬E l” H ‫“ ל א‬the Victor”

— 18 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 17

e. Job 37:4-5
‫“ ל א‬the Victor” II ‫“ א ל‬E l”
f. Job 8:12-13; 34:23
‫“ ל א‬the Victor” . . . ‫“ א ל‬E l”
g. Hab 1:12
‫“ אל הי ם‬God” / / ‫“ לאן‬the Victor”
h. Ps 75:7-8
‫“ ל א‬the Victor” // ‫“ אל הי ם‬God”

i. Comments
In most of the texts cited MT reads the negative particle ‫ ל א‬, which
in every case creates a problem. Repointed ‫ ל א‬, “the Victor,” sense, syntax,
and stichometry usually benefit. For instance, see I Sam 2:3 and Job 32:14,
as translated at htt // lay (I 118 f, h). On Job 33:14 see Blommerde, N W SG J,
pp. 118-119; on Hab 1:12 consult M. Dahood, B ib ,X LV II (1966), 408; and
for a discussion of Ps 75:7-8 see Dahood, Psalms I I , pp. 212-213.


a. il /I bn
b. 511:13-14; I V :52 (CTA 4 1:13-14; IV:52); 52:1-2 (CTA 23:1-2); ,nt pi. VI:IV:1-2;
V :47-48 (iCTA 3 E:l-2, 47-48)
c. “E l” / / “son‫׳‬
d. Pss 29:1; 89:7
p “son” + ‫“ א ל‬god”
e. Job 38:7
‫“ בן‬son” + ‫“ אלהי ם‬God”
f. Ps 82:6
‫“ אל הי ם‬gods” 11 p • ^ ‫“ בני‬sons of the Most High”
g. Comments
Cf. also Deut 32:8, where a Qumran fragment reading [ ]‫ בני א ל‬, “sons
of God,” sustains three ancient versions against MT ‫ בני יע(ראל‬, “the sons
of Israel.” Consult P. Skehan, BA.SOR‫״‬ti 136 (1954), 12 and n. 2.

— 19 —
I 18 Ras Shamra Parallels

3> il ‫ ־)־‬d
b. 49 111:4, 10 (CTA 6 111:4, 10); 51 11:10; 111:31; I V :58 {CTA 4 11:10; 111:31;
IV:58); etc.
c. “E l” + “the One of”
d. Ps 75:8
‫“ אלהי ם‬God” II ‫“ זה‬the One who”
e. Judg 5:5; Ps 68:9
m “the One of” // ‫“ אל הי ם‬God”
f. Comments
For the translation of ‫ז ה‬, “the One who,” in Ps 75:8, see Dahood,
Psalms I I , p. 213.
g. In both Judg 5:5 and Ps 68:9, ‫ זה סיני‬, “the One of Sinai,” balances
‫ א ל הי י שראל‬, “the God of Israel,” showing th at in neither text should ‫זה סיני‬
be considered a secondary addition. Hence the critical notes in B H K and
B H S suggesting deletion should be discounted.


a. il + dbb (see also iSt // dbb [R SP II, I 7])

b. 'nt 111:43 {CTA 3 D:43)
c. “E l” + “Flame”
d. Notes
The hesitancy of Caquot, TOML, p. 168, n. n, to identify dbb with ‫שביב‬,
“flame,” because “la correspondance d'un d ougaritique et d'un 5 hebraique
est douteuse” overlooks the numerous cases such as adddy, “the Ashdodite”
(equals ‫ ) א שלודי‬, in which Ug. d corresponds to ‫ש‬.
e. Hos 8:6
‫“ אלהי ם‬god” !‫“ שבבים ן‬flames”
f. Comments
The text reads:
‫ולא אל הי ם הוא‬ So it is no god,
‫כי שבבים יהיה‬ but it will be flames,
p ^ ‫עגל‬ the calf of Samaria.

— 20 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 20

g. That Hosea was alluding to the Canaanite m yth is further evidenced

by the mention of ‫ עג ל‬, “calf,” which also figures in the list of monsters
destroyed by Anath ('nt 111:41-43):
smt 'gl il Hk I crushed E l’s calf 'tk;
mhst klbt Urn ist I smote the bitch of the gods, Fire;
kit bt il dbb I annihilated the daughter of El, Flame.
On the wordplay in ‫ שבבים‬, “flames” or “splinters,” see Kuhnigk, Hosea-
buck, pp. 106-107.

a. il + hkm
b. 51 I V :41 (CTA 4 IV:41); 126 I V :3 (CTA 16 IV :3); 'nt V:38 {CTA 3 E:38)
c. “E l” + “to be wise”
d. il . . . hkm
e. 51 V:65 {CTA 4 V:65)
f. “E l” . . . “to be wise”
g. Job 32:13
‫“ ח כ מ ה‬wisdom” 11 ‫“ א ל‬E l”
h. Job 39:17
‫“ אלו ה‬God” + ‫“ חכ מ ה‬wisdom”
i. Comments
Job 32:13 lends itself to different translations, but the following ap-
pears to be the most congruent:
‫ פן תאמרו מצאנו חכ מ ה‬Lest you should say: “We have found
‫ א ל ידפנו ל א איש‬El urges us, not m an.”
In ‫ ידפנו‬is identified the root ‫נדף‬, ‫‘־‬to drive, urge,” followed by the suffix
of the first person plural. Contrast E SF : “Beware lest you say, ‘We have
found wisdom; God may vanquish him, not man’” ; and compare II Cor 5:14.

a. i l l I 'd
b. 75 11:45-46 (CTA 12 11:45-46)
c. “E l” II “the Everlasting”

— 21 —
I 22 Ras Shamra Parallels

d. Notes
This couplet may, with the recognition of a composite divine name sepa-
rated over the two cola, be rendered thus:
sb' snt il mla Seven years El filled,
wtmn nqpnt 'd And eight cycles the Everlasting.
The phrase wtmn nqpnt 'd has usually been translated “eight cycles of time,"
and this may prove equally acceptable; compare 52:66-67 (CTA 23:66-67),
Sb' Snt tmt tmn nqpt'd, “seven complete years, eight cycles of the Everlasting
(or time).” See Parker, Grammar, p. 62.
e. Job 8:20-21
‫“ א ל‬E l” II ‫“ ע ד‬the Everlasting"
f. Isa 9:5; Job 25:4-5
‫“ א ל‬E l" . . . ‫( “ ע ד‬the) Everlasting"
g. I Chron 4:36; 9:12; 27:25
‫( ע די א ל‬PN) “the Everlasting is E l”
h. Comments
W ith the recognition of this composite divine title, Job 8:21 offers no
translational problems:
‫ ע ד י מ ל ה שחוק פיך‬The Everlasting will fill your mouth with
‫ ושפתיך תרועה‬and your lips with shouts of joy.
i. Following the mention of ‫ א ל‬, "E l,” in v. 4, Job 25:5 may now be ren-
‫ הן ע ד ירח ולא י א ה ל‬Look at the Everlasting: even the moon
is not bright,
‫ וכוכבי ם ל א זכו בעיניו‬nor the stars clean in his sight.
j. Cf. also Job 27:2-3.


a. il I/ *dt
b. 607:2-3
c. “E l” H “assembly”
d. 'dt + Urn

— 22 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 23

e. 128 11:7, 11 (CTA 15 11:7, 11)

f. “assembly‫ ״‬+ “E l” or “gods”
g. Notes
The following stichometry brings out the parallelism in 607:2-3:
ql bl Bring the message
'm il mbk nhrm To El who makes the two rivers flow,
b 'dt thmtm To the assembly of the two depths.
In this new interpretation the two prepositions 'm and b depend directly
upon the imperative bl and express direction. Earlier analyses took b in a
local sense: “Bring the message to El of the fountain of the two rivers, at
the confluence of the two deeps.” Comparison with 49 1:46‫ ־‬and 51 IV:20-22,
where one verb governs two different prepositions 'm and qrb, favors the
new analysis.
h. Ps 82:1
‫“ ע ד ה‬assembly” + ‫“ א ל‬E l”


a. il II *lyn
b. 52:1+3 (CTA 23:1+3)
c. “god” /I “most high”
d. Notes
For the restoration Tly[nm] in 1. 3, see Herdner, CTA, p. 98, n. 3, and Xella,
Shr e Sim, p. 43.
e. Pss 73:11; 77:10-11; 107:11; Sir 41:3-4
‫“ א ל‬God” ‫ן‬/ ‫“ ע לי ץ‬Most High”
f. Pss 46:5; 50:14; 78:56; 82:6
‫“ אל הי ם‬God, gods” II ‫“ עליון‬Most High”
g. Gen 14:18, 19, 20, 22; Ps 78:35
‫“ א ל‬God” + ‫“ עליון‬Most High”
h. Ps 57:3
‫“ אל הי ם‬God” + ‫“ ע לי ץ‬Most High”
i. Ps 47:2-3
‫“ אל הי ם‬God” . . . ‫“ ע לי ץ‬Most High”

— 23 —
I 24 Ras Shamra Parallels

j. Comments
In Ps 78:56 MT reads the divine names as merely juxtaposed (note
position of the 'atnah), but stichometry and style are better served when
these names are taken in parallelism. See Dahood, Psalms I I , pp. 237, 246,
and N EB. Scanned thus, the v. divides into two cola, the first comprised
of two verbs and a noun, the second consisting of two nouns and a verb:
‫ רנסו רמרו א ת־ א ל הי ם‬But they tempted and defied God;
‫ עליון ועדותיו ל א שמרו‬the Most High and his commandments
they did not heed.


a. il II *m (see also hkm . . . 'm [R SP I, II 189])

b. 51 I V :41-42 (CTA 4 IV:41-42); 'nt V:38-39 (CTA 3 E:38-39)

c. “E l” If “Sage”
d. Notes
UT 51 IV:41-43 may be read and translated:
thmk il hkm Your command, O El, is wise;
hkmt 'm 'lm your wisdom, O Sage, is eternal;
hyt hzt thmk felicitous life your command.
Other scholars take 'w as a preposition, rendering 'm 'lm, "to eternity.”
e. Deut 32:21
‫ “ א ל‬E1” !‫‘ עם ן‬sagacity’
f. Comments
In view of the Ug. parallelism, one may render these cola:
‫ הם קנאוני בל א א ל‬They aroused my jealousy with a non-
‫ כעסוני ב ה בלי ה ם‬they provoked me with their idols.
‫ ואני אקניאם בל א עם‬So I will arouse their jealousy with non-
‫ בגד נבל אכעיס ם‬with a stupid nation will I provoke them.
That the poet is here playing on the homograph ‫ ע ם‬, “sagacity” and “peo-
pie,” appears from his adj. ‫נ ב ל‬, "stupid,” modifying ‫ג ד‬, "nation.” Cf.
the puns on these roots in Sir 10:1 (‫ שופט עם יוסר עמו‬, "a sage ruler instructs
his people”); 47:23; and 50:25-26; see Penar, Ben Sira, pp. 30, 82-83, 87-88.

— 24 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 25


a. il + gr
b. 1013:6-7; 1019:2-3
c. “god‫ ״‬+ “to safeguard”
d. il . . . gr
e. 1016:5-6; 1018:22
f. “god” . . . “to safeguard”
g. Notes
R S P I, II 452 discusses the dispute concerning the root underlying tgr, the
form most frequently attested.
h. Jer 2:28
‫“ אלהי ם‬gods” 11 ‫“ ערים‬guardians” II ‫" אלהי ם‬gods”
i. Comments
For Jer 2:28 one may propose this translation:
And where are your gods th at you made for yourself?
Fet them arise, perchance to save you, in your critical time.
Indeed beyond number (reading ‫ ) מ ס פ ר‬were your guardians, your gods,
O Judah.


a. il . . . rhq
b. *nt pi. X : IV :2-3 (CTA 1 IV:2-3)
c. “god” . . . “distant”
d. rhq 4 ‫ ־‬il
e. *nt I V :78-79 (CTA 3 D:78-79); *nt pi. IX :III:18-19 {CTA 1 111:18-19)
f. “distant” + “god”
g. Notes
In *nt pi. X:IV:2 the reading of Gordon, UT, p. 255, lq[s ilm] as against
Herdner, CTA, p. 4 and n. 1, has been sustained by 601:2, sh Iqs ilm. Herd-
ner, CTA, p. 299, accepts Gordon's reading.

— 25 —
I 27 Ras Shamra Parallels

h. Job 36:2-3
‫“ אלוה‬god ‫ ״‬// ‫ ״ רהוק‬distant”
i. Comments
The parallelism appears more evident when the second colon of Job
36:2 is construed with the two cola of v. 3:
‫ כי עו ד ל א לו ה מלים‬For there are still words from God;
‫ אשא ד עי ל מרחוק‬I bring my knowledge from afar,
‫ ו ל פ ע לי אתן צ ד ק‬and from my Maker I present the truth.
For further details on the chiasmus of the last two cola, see Dahood, Myers
FS, p. 126.


a. i l / l tliyt (see also il . . . aliyn [I 16])

b. 603:2-3; 'nt 111:26+28 (CTA 3 0:26+28)
c. “god” II “dominion”
d. Ps 68:10
‫“ אל הי ם‬god” . . . ‫“ נל אה‬dominion”
e. Comments
For the etymology and translation of ‫נ ל א ה‬, see Dahood, Melanges
Tisserant, p. 92; Psalms I I , pp. 139-140; JAO S, XCII (1972), 185; E. Li-
pinski, Syria, X L II (1965), 68, n. 3.

a. il + tpt
b. 602:3

c. “E l” + “to judge, rule”

d. Ps 94:1-2
‫“ א ל‬E l” II 0 ‫“ פ ט‬judge”
e. Ps 82:1; Job 21:22; 22:13
‫“ א ל‬E1” . . . ‫“ עזפט‬to judge”

— 26 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 29


a. il ab /I Itpn htk
b. 49 I V :34-35 (CTA 6 IV :34-35); 'nt pi. IX :II:1 8 ; 111:5-6 (CTA 1 11:18; 111:5-6)
c. “El the father” // "E tpn the begetter”
d. il . . . htk
e. 1004:7+9
f. “E l” . . . “begetter”
g. Ps 52:7
‫“ א ל‬E l” . . . ‫( )?( ח ת ך‬D)“to deprive of children”
h. Comments
Dahood, Psalms I I , p. 14, has repointed MT ‫ לחתף‬to ‫לחתך‬, “May [El]
unchild you,” where the form is parsed as D-privative, parallel to D-priva-
tive !‫שרע‬, “to uproot,” but here with the metaphorical meaning “to deprive
of children.” The Ug. parallelism furnishes new data relevant for the evalu-
ation of this departure from tradition.


a. ilm + ars
b. 62:18 (CTA 6 1:18); 67 V:6 (CTA 5 V:6); 1 Aqht:127, 141 (CTA 19 111:127, 141)
c. “gods” + “earth”
d. P s97:9
‫“ אר ץ‬earth” 11 ‫“ אלהי ם‬gods”
e. I I Kings 17:26, 27
‫“ אל הי ם‬god” + ‫“ אר ץ‬land”
f. Gen 14:22
‫“ א ל‬God” . . . ‫“ ארץ‬earth”


a. ilm /I Smym 11 kbkbm

b. 1 Aqht:184-187, 191-193 (CTA 19 IV:184-187, 191-193)

— 27 —
I 32 Ras Shamra Parallels

c. “gods” II “heavens” // “stars”

d. Notes
Following Ginsberg’s stichometry and translation in A N E T 3, p. 155.

e. Isa 14:13
‫“ עמי ם‬heavens” // ‫“ כו כ בי ״ א ל‬the stars of E l”

f. Job 22:12
‫“ אלוה‬God” . . . ‫“ עמי ם‬heavens” II ‫“ כוכבי ם‬stars”

g. Comments
The parallelism of these three terms (note also the chiasmus) in Isa
14:13 sustains the thesis of P. Craigie, Z A W , KXXXV (1973), 223-225, th at
these w . are descendants of the Ug. texts. Craigie correctly rejects the
Greek antecedents proposed by P. Grelot, RH R, CXLJX (1956), 18-48, and
by J. McKay, FT , X X (1970), 451-464. The phrase ‫ כו כ בי ־ א ל‬, “the stars
of E l,” also appears in the Phoen. inscription of Pyrgi (KAI 277:10-11)
as ‫ ה כ כ ב ם א ל‬, “the stars of E l,” as interpreted by M. Dahood, Or, XX X IV
(1965), 170-172, and others.


a. amr . . . d't

b. 137:31-32 (CTA 2 1:31-32)

c. “word” . . . “knowledge”

d. Num 24:16; Ps 19:3; Job 33:3

‫“ א מ ר‬word” II ‫" ד ע ת‬knowledge”

e. Prov 19:27
‫“ א מרי‬words of” + ‫“ ד ע ת‬knowledge”
f. Comments
In Job 33:3 MT’s stichometry, which results in the parallelism of these
words, is probably incorrect. Should ‫ ו ל ע ת‬be attached to the first colon,
we would have an instance of juxtaposition, or more precisely, an example
of hendiadys: ‫; ע ר ל בי א מרי וד ע ת‬, “My heart exposes my knowledgeable
words.” I point and parse ‫ ; ע ר‬as H-stem of ‫ עו ר‬, "to see.”

— 28 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 33

g. This pair probably appears in 1lQPsa 154:15:

‫ כ מ ה רחקה מרשעים א מ רה‬How distant from the wicked is her word,
‫ מכו ל זדים ל ד ע ת ה‬from all haughty men the very know-
ledge of her.
The ‫ ל‬preceding ‫ ד ע ת ה‬is taken as emphatic.


a. am rjl'pny (see also *n jjp n y [I 241])

b. 'nt 1:22-25 (CTA 3 A:22-25)
c. "to see” II "to turn, look a t”
d. Notes
Such parallelism results from parsing apn, heretofore usually taken as ad-
verbial "then, thereupon,” as the A-causative of pny.
ytmr b'l bnth Baal sees his daughters:
y*n pdry bt at he eyes Pidriya, daughter of Light;
apn tly [bt f\b he looks at Talliya, [daughter of]
e. Jer 2:27
‫ ״ אמר‬to say” !‫" פנה ן‬to tu m ‫״‬
f. Exod 2:12-13; Deut 9:27-28; Mai 2:13-14
‫" פנה‬to tu rn ” . . . ‫" אמר‬to say”

a. imr + Ihm
b. 127:17-18, 20 (CTA 16 VI: 17-18, 20)
c. "lam b” + "to eat”
d. Mai 1:7
‫ ״ לח ם‬food” !‫ ״ א מ ר ן‬iamb‫״‬
e. Comments
The parallelism is found in the first and third cola of Mai 1:7:
‫מגישים ע ל מזבחי לח ם מגאל‬ By offering polluted food upon my altar,
‫ב א מ רכ ם שלחן יהוה נבזה הוא‬ with your iambs Yahweh’s table is
f. On ‫ א מ ר‬, “lamb,” see imr // mgt (R SP II, I 4).

— 29 —
I 35 Ras Shamra Parallels


a. in 4‫ ־‬ytn
b. 1020:4
c. "there is not” + “to give”
d. Notes
Translating literally the promise s ink itn : "W hat is not to you I will give” ;
i.e., " I ’ll give whatever you don’t have.” Failure to recognize the datival
function of the suffix of ink impeded Virolleaud, P R U II, p. 41, from prof-
fering a translation of the line, and induced J. de Moor, J N E S , X X IV (1965),
359-360, to propose the rash emendation of § ink to Silk, "your wishes.”
Prosaic s ink itn should be compared with poetic pd in bbty ttn (Krt:142):
"B ut what is not in my house you must give.”
e. Isa 22:22; Mai 2:9; Ps 39:6(?)
‫" נתן‬to give” / / ‫" א ץ‬nothing, there is no t”
f. Isa 40:23; Jer 34:22
‫" נתן‬to give” + ‫" א ץ‬nothing, there is not”
g. Isa 27:4; Jer 8:13
‫“ א ץ‬there is not” . . . ‫" נתן‬to give”
h. Isa 40:29; etc.
‫" נתן‬to give” . . . ‫" א ץ‬there is not”


a. anyt . . . *rb
b. 2106:11-12
c. "ships” . . . "to enter”
d. Ezek 27:9
‫" אניות‬ships” // ‫" ע ר ב מ ע ר ב ך‬the entry of your imports”
e. Comments
The Ug. collocation helps establish the sense and etymology of ‫ע ר ב‬
‫ מ ע ר ב ך‬, hitherto usually understood as "the barter of your wares” (RSV).
On ‫ ע ר ב‬, "to enter,” consult W. van der Weiden, VD, XLIV (1966), 97-
104, and Dahood, Psalms I I I , p. 47; see also *rb . . . smh (I 249).

— 30 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 37


a. ank // hw
b. 49 11:22-23 (CTA 6 11:22-23)
c. “I ‫ ״‬/ / “he"
d. . . . hw
e. 1002:50-51
f. “I ‫ ״‬. . . “he”
g. Gen 15:2; Isa 45:13
‫ “ אנכי‬1” !‫“ הוא ן‬he‫״‬
h. Hos 5:13-14
‫“ הוא‬he” !1“ ‫” אנכי ן‬
i. Isa 43:25
‫ “ אנכי‬1” + ‫“ הוא‬he”
j. Comments
This parallelism would be eliminated in Gen 15:2 were one to construe
‫ הוא דמשק‬as a gloss to be excised; cf. apparatus in B H K and BH S.


a. anpnm // mtnm
b. 75 11:38-39 {CTA 12 11:38-39)
c. “face” II “loins”
d. Notes
Though the form and meaning of anpnm are debated, the biblical paral-
lelism lends support to the translation of J. Gray, UF, I I I (1971), 65:
anpnm yhr[r ] His face was enflamed [ ]
bmtnm yShn[ ] He was fevered in his loins [ ]
Thus anpn appears to be a quadriliteral noun, like aplb, “pericardium,”
comprised of the roots ’np and pny.
e. Nah 2:2
‫“ פנים‬face” 11 ‫“ מתנים‬loins”

— 31 —
I 39 Ras Shamra Parallels

f. Nah 2:11; Dan 10:5-6

‫“ מתנים‬loins” 11 ‫“ פנים‬face”
g. Isa 45:1; Ps 69:23-24
‫“ לפני‬before” . . . ‫“ מתנים‬loins”
h. Comments
Since the verbs hrr and ihn, both denoting “fever,” are predicated of
anpnm and mtnm in Ug., one should probably derive ‫ ח ל ח ל‬in Nah 2:11
from ‫ ח ל ה‬, “to be sick,” rather than from ‫ חו ל‬, “to twist, writhe.”


a. asp . . . npi
b. Krt: 18-21 (CTA 14 1:1821‫)־‬
c. “to gather” . . . “to fall”
d. Jer 8:12-13; Ezek 29:5 (N)
‫“ נ פ ל‬to fall” II ‫“ א סף‬to gather” ; (N) “to be gathered”
e. Isa 16:9-10 (N); Jer 9:21 (D); 48:32-33 (N)
‫“ נ פ ל‬to fall” . . . ‫( א סף‬N) “to be taken away” ; (D) “to gather”


a* ap ‫ ־־)־־‬dd
b. 52:61 (CTA 23:61)
c. “nipple” + “breast”
d. Notes
The phrase ynqm bap dd translates: “those who suck at the nipple of the
breast.” In 1. 24 there is the variant ynqm bap zd atrt, indicating th at the
initial consonant of the word for “breast” was an unstable interdental.
e. Cant 7:9
‫“ עזד‬breast” // ‫“ ריח אף‬fragrance of nipple”
f. Comments
The identification of the poetic breakup of the composite phrase ap dd,
“the nipple of the breast,” requires a new translation of Cant 7:9:

— 32 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 41

0‫ ויהיו״גאשדיך כא שכלות הגפן‬may your breasts be like clusters of

the vine,
‫ וריח א פ ך כתפוחים‬and the fragrance of your nipples like
For further details, see M. Dahood, Bib, L/VII (1976), 109-110.


a. ar . . . tly
b. 51 1:17-18 (CTA 4 1:17-18); 'nt 1:24; 111:3-4 (CTA 3 A:24; C:3-4)
c. “Fight‫ ״‬. . . “Dew-nymph”
d. Hos 6:4-5
‫“ ט ל‬dew‫ ״‬II ‫“ אור‬light‫״‬
e. Isa 26:19
‫“ ט ל‬dew” + ‫“ אור‬light‫״‬
f. Isa 18:4
‫“ אור‬light” . . . ‫“ ט ל‬dew”


a. arzrn // Ibnt
b. 51 V:72-73 (CTA 4 V:72-73)
c. “cedars” // “bricks”
d. Isa 9:9
‫“ לבנים‬bricks” . . . ‫“ א חי ם‬cedars”
e. Comments
The phrase ‫ לבני ם נ פ לו‬, “the bricks have fallen,” in Isa 9:9 undermines
the claim of J. de Moor, UF, III (1971), 349-350, th at “falling stars can
hardly be compared with bricks,” in his commentary on 6:13-14 (CTA
13:13-14), [k]b!kbm tm tpl klbnt [y]rhm kyrkt Hqbm: “Stars fell there like
Ibnt, moons like samaras of ashes” (de Moor’s text and translation). He
suggests in his comments th at Ibnt possibly designates the white petals of
the ash’s blossoms. That Ibnt here denotes bricks, parallel to ash trees, may
also be argued from Isaiah’s balancing of ‫לבני ם‬, “bricks,” with ‫שקמים‬,
“sycamores,” in 9:9. This is an instance of biblical parallel pairs aiding
the definition of Ug. braces.

— 33 —
I 43 Ras Shamra Parallels


a. ark + bt
b. 323 111:12 (CTA 102 B 111:12)
c. “long” + “house”
d. Notes
Grondahl, P TU , p. 219, analyzes this PN as a hybrid comprised of Hurrian
ar- and Akk. kabtu, “heavy.” A more satisfactory explanation would iden-
tify the common words ,rk, “to be long,” and bt, “house.” Compare Phoen.
PN ‫ א ר כ ר ח‬, literally "long of spirit,” i.e. “long-suffering.”
e. Ps 93:5
‫“ בית‬house” II ‫“ א ר ך ימים‬length of days”
f. Ps 23:6
‫“ בית‬house” + ‫“ אר ך ימים‬length of days”
g. Comments
The final two cola of Ps 93:5 are read and rendered:
‫ ל בי ת ך נאוה קןדש‬For your handsome, holy house,
‫ יהוה ל א ר ך ימים‬Yahweh, for length of days.


a. ars + nhlt
b. 51 V III.13-14 (CTA 4 VIII:13-14); 67 11:16 (CTA 5 11:16): 'nt VI:16: [pi. IX :
111:1] ((CTA 3 F:16; [1 111:1])
C. “land” + “inheritance”
d. Isa 49:8; Jer 2:7; 3:19; 16:18
‫" אר ץ‬land” II ‫“ נחלה‬inheritance”
e. Jer 12:15; 17:4
‫“ נ חלה‬inheritance” / / ‫“ ארץ‬land”
f. N um 36:2; Deut 4:38
‫“ ארץ‬land” + ‫“ נ חלה‬inheritance”
g. N um 16:14; 33:54; Deut 4:21; 26:1; Isa 58:14
‫" אר ץ‬land” . . . ‫“ נחלה‬inheritance”

— 34 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 45

h. Jer 10:16-17; Ps 2:8

‫“ נחל ה‬inheritance” . . . ‫“ ארץ‬land”
i. Num 34:17, 18
‫“ נחל‬to divide for a possession” + ‫“ אר ץ‬land”
j. Jer 3:18 (H); Ps 82:8
‫“ ארץ‬land” . . . ‫“ נחל‬to inherit, rule” ; (H) “to give as a possession”
k. Comments
The collocation in Ps 82:8 casts doubt on the identification of ‫ נחל‬with
Akk. nahalu, “to sift,” proposed by G. Driver, H T R , X X IX (1936), 187,
and adopted by NEB: “For thou dost pass all nations through thy sieve.”
Further difficulty arises when one tries to explain the function of the prep-
osition ‫ ב‬after the verb understood as “to sift.” Such a problem does not
arise when ‫ נחל‬is taken as “to rule,” a nuance evident in Ug. where nhl
often balances ytb, “to sit enthroned.”


a. ars . . . pr (see also ybl // j>r [R SP I, II 211])

b. 67 11:5-6 (CTA 5 11:5-6)
c. “earth” . . . “fruit”
d. Jer 2:7
‫“ אר ץ‬earth” // ‫“ פ רי‬fruit”
e. Hos 10:1
‫“ פרי‬fruit” II ‫“ אר ץ‬earth”
f. Ps 107:34
‫“ אר ץ‬earth” + ‫“ פ רי‬fruit”
g. Num 13:20, 26; Isa 4:2; Pss 21:11; 104:13; etc.
‫“ פרי‬fruit” + ‫“ אר ץ‬earth”
h. Deut 26:2; Ps 72:16; etc.
‫“ פ רי‬fruit” . . . ‫“ אר ץ‬earth”
i. Jer 6:19-20
‫“ ארץ‬earth” . . . ‫“ פ רי‬fruit” . . . ‫“ ארץ‬earth”
j. Comments
Kuhnigk, Hoseabuch, pp. 117-118, examines other Canaanite parallels
to Hos 10:1.

— 35 —
I 46 Ras Shamra Parallels


a. ars . . . rbb
b. 'nt 11:39; I V :87-88 (CTA 3 B:39; D :87-88)
c. “earth” . . . “showers”
d. ars . . . rbb
e. 'nt 111:13-14; IV:68-69 (CTA 3 C:13-14; D:68-69)

f. “earth” . . . (A) “to shower”

g. Notes
In *nt 111:14 I parse arb (dd) as the fem. imperative sing. (// sk, 1. 13) of
rbb, but in the causative conjugation. Hence render arb dd: “Shower love!”
'n t IV :69 contains the yqtl form of the same conjugation. Cf. the reading
‫ ה ר ב ה‬, “ Rain down!” for MT ‫ ה ר ב ה‬in Ps51:4 (Dahood, Psalms I I 2, pp. 1, 3;
and Psalms I I I , pp. xxxi-xxxn).

h. Jer 3:2-3
‫“ אר ץ‬earth” // ‫“ רביבי ם‬showers”
i. Ps 72:6
‫“ רביבי ם‬showers” + ‫“ א ר ץ‬earth”
j. Hos 10:1
‫“ רב‬showers” . . . ‫“ אר ץ‬earth”
k. Comments
On ‫ כ ר ב ל פ רי‬in Hos 10:1, see Kuhnigk, Hoseabuch, pp. 117-119.


a. irS /I It
b. 2065:14-17
c. “to request” // “to put, give”
d. Ps 21:3-4
‫" ארשת‬request” . . . ‫“ שית‬to put, give”

— 36 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 48


a. ist I/ hrs
b. *nt 111:42-44 {CTA 3 D :42-44)
c. “fire‫ ״‬II “gold”
d. Zech 9:3-4
‫“ חרוץ‬gold‫ ״‬. . . ‫“ אש‬fire‫״‬
e. Comments
Zech 9:4 exhibits a further relationship to the Ug. passage in its use
of ‫יורשנה‬, “he will dispossess her,” the same root underlying *nt 111:43-44,
w itrt hrs, “and I seized the gold.”


a. istl/rh m
b. 49 11:33-34; V:13-16 {CTA 6 11:33-34; V: 13-16)
c. “fire” /I “millstones”
d. Prov 30:16
‫“ רחם‬millstones” 11 ‫“ אש‬fire”
e. Comments
For the disputed phrase ‫ ע צ ר ךח ם‬I tentatively propose to read ‫ע צ ר‬
‫ ר ח ם‬, “the grinding of millstones,” with ‫ רחם‬explained as a northern dual
with the diphthong contracted. Arab, 'asara, “to press, squeeze (of grapes),”
and ‫ ע צ ר‬, “oppression,” are invoked to sustain this interpretation of the
phrase. Pointed thus, ‫ ר ח ם‬, “millstones,” stands in parallelism with three
other nouns, one of which is ‫אש‬, “fire.” hike these, the millstones are never
sated, but ever desire more grain to crush.


a. it . . . ytn (see also it //St [I 51])

b. 52:71-72, 72 {CTA 23:71-72, 72)
c. “there is” . . . “to give”

— 37 —
I 51 Ras Shamra Parallels

d. Jer 37:17; Eccles 2:21; 10:5-6 (N); I Chron 29:3

1‫“ יע‬there is” / / ‫“ נתן‬to give” ; (N) “to be set”
e. Gen 39:4, 8
!‫“ יע‬there is” + ‫“ נתן‬to give”
f. Jer 14:22; Eccles 6:1-2
!‫“ יע‬there is” . . . ‫“ נתן‬to give”
g. Lam 3:29
‫“ נתן‬to give” . . . ‫“ יעו‬there is”
h. Comments
The arguments in favor of differentiating the roots of it and !‫ יע‬set forth
by J. Blau, 70S, I I (1972), 5862‫־‬, do not command assent; preferable is
the explanation of Gordon, UT, § 19.478.


a. it /I it (see also it . . . ytn [I 50])

b. 3 Aqht ‘rev’:18-19 (CTA 18 1:18-19)
c. “there is” // “to p u t”
d. it . . . st
e. 2060:34-35
f. “there is” . . . "to p u t”
g. Notes
Translating 3 Aqht ‘rev’:18-19:
hd dit bkbdk Undertake th a t which is on your mind,
tit b[qrb‫ \־‬irtk which you have set within your breast.
h. Job 9:33
!‫“ יע‬there is” . . . ‫“ ע!ית‬to p u t”
i. Comments
On the dispute regarding the phonetic connection between it and !‫יע‬,
see it . . . ytn (I 50 h).

— 38 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 52


a. att ‫ן‬/ atrt

b. 'nt 1:13-15 (CTA 3 A:13-15)
c. “the woman‫ ״‬// “Asherah‫״‬
d. I I Kings 23:7
‫“ הנשים‬the women ‫ ״‬. . . ‫“ אעזרה‬Asherah”


a. att + ypt
b. 52:39 {CTA 23:39)
c. “wife” + “beautiful‫״‬
d. Notes
Translating il attm kypt: “El—his two wives are truly beautiful” ; il parses
as casus pendens and k of kypt as emphatic. See also CaquotJTO M L, p.[374:
“El! Comme les femmes sont belles!” and J. Montgomery, JAO S, L X II
(1942), 49-51. One might object th at after dual attm one should expect
dual adjective yptm, but here the poet may be employing the usage well
known from biblical Heb., where the dual noun is followed by the plural
adjective; e.g., Prov 6:17, ‫ עינים רמות‬, “haughty eyes.”
e. Bibliography
Penar, Ben Sira, p. 28.
f. Sir 9:8 (Penar)
‫ה‬#‫“ א‬woman” // ‫“ יפי‬beauty”
g. Prov 31:30
‫“ יפי‬beauty” 11 ‫ה‬$‫" א‬woman”
h. Sir 25:20 (Penar)
‫“ י פי‬beauty” + ‫" אשה‬woman”
i. Prov 11:22 (Penar)
‫ ה‬0 ‫“ א‬woman” + ‫" י פ ה‬beautiful”
j. Comments
In view of these parallelisms and juxtapositions, the B H K proposal to
delete ‫ אשה‬in Prov 31:30 as a gloss should be scouted.

— 39 —
I 54 Ras Shamra Parallels


a. b I/ b
b. Krt:286-288 {CTA 14 V I:286-288); *nt 11:30-32 (CTA 3 B :30-32)
c. “from‫ ״‬II ‫ ״‬in, into”
d. Notes
Restoring with Cassuto, GA, p. 65, bbt in 'n t 11:31; see also Herdner, CTA,
p. 15, n. 5. Thus ymh bbt dm dmr, “the blood of soldiers was wiped from the
house,” parallels ysq Smn Sim bs\ “the oil of peace was poured into a basin.”
e. Gen 35:13-14; Job 5:19; Eccles 5:14
‫“ ב‬from” If ‫“ ב‬in”
f. Job 20:20
‫“ ב‬in” ‫ן‬/ ‫“ ב‬from”
g. Comments
Gen 35:13-14 translates: “Then God departed from him, from the place
(‫ )ב מ קו ם‬where he spoke with him. And Jacob set up a pillar in the place
(‫ )ב מ קו ם‬where he had spoken with him.”
h. The frequent emendation of ‫ בשש‬to ‫ משש‬in Job 5:19 becomes difficult
to uphold in view of this parallelism; its recognition sharpens the under-
standing of Job 20:20: “Because he knew no rest in his body (‫)בבטנו‬, could
not escape from his desire (‫) ב ח מו דו‬.”


a. bd . . . ql
b. *nt 1:18+20 (CTA 3 A:18+20)
c. “to chant” . . . “voice”
d. Job 39:24-25
‫“ קול שופר‬sound of the horn” If ‫“ ב די שפר‬notes of the horn”
e. Comments
For this definition of ‫ ב די שפר‬, see Pope, Job3, p. 313, and Dahood, VH P,
p. 53. The newly pointed out parallelism with ‫ קו ל‬, “voice,” th at evokes
the Ug. collocation bd . . . ql, sustains this definition.

— 40 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 56


a. bhtm // *dbt
b. 607:70-71
c. “houses" II "structures(?)”
d. bt . . . *dbt
e. 51 V:75-76 {CTA 4 V175-76)
f. “house" . . . “wares(?)”
g. Job 20:19
‫“ עזב‬huts(?)” / / ‫“ בית‬house”
h. Comments
Though this rapprochement does not settle the sense of *d/dbt and ‫ עז ב‬,
it does suggest th a t we are dealing with the same root whose basic meaning
is “to put, make.” On Job 20:19, see M. Dahood, JB L , T X X V III (1959),
303-309, especially 306-307.


a. bky /I dmm . . . udmH

b. 125:25-28 {CTA 16 1:25-28)
c. “to weep” If “to mourn” . . . “tears”
d. Ezek 24:16-17
‫“ ב כ ה‬to weep” 11 ‫“ ד מ ע ה‬tears” 11 ‫" ד ם‬mourning”
e. Comments
The recognition of this triple parallelism improves the stichometry and
sense of Ezek 24:16-17:
‫ולא ת ס פ ד ולא ת בכ ה‬ But you shall not wail nor cry,
‫ול א תבוא ד מ ע ת ך‬ nor shall your tears well forth,
‫האנק ד ם מתים‬ sighing, mourning for the dead.
‫א ב ל לא־תש&ה‬ Funeral rites do not perform.
The contested words ‫ האנק ד ם מתים‬may grammatically be construed with
the preceding verb ‫ ל א תבוא‬or with the following injunction ‫ ל א תע ^ה‬. In
either construction the triple word parallelism remains unchanged.

— 41 —
I 58 Ras Shamra Parallels


a. bky -+‫* ־‬gm

b. Krt:26-27 {CTA 14 1:26-27)

c. “to weep” + “grief”

d. Notes
Herdner, CTA, p. 62, reads -gmm, but Dietrich and Doretz, Elliger FS,
pp. 32, 34-35, convincingly argue th at we should read 'gmm: ybky bin 'gmm,
“he wept while repeating his griefs.” The authors cite the hapax legomenon
‫עג מה‬, “it grieves,” but fail to note the parallelism in Job 30:25, which would
have greatly strengthened their argument. The intrinsic reasons alone,
however, suffice to impose the reading 'gmm.

e. Job 30:25
‫“ בכ ה‬to weep” // ‫“ עגם‬to grieve”
f. Comments
This new instance should be added to the list of hapax and dis-lego-
menon pairs th at have been collected by Dahood, Moriarty FS, pp. 19-34.
See also Dahood, R SP I, II Intro 6 h-i.


a. bn If ary (see also bn // sbr [I 61])

b. 49 1:11-13 {CTA 6 1:39-41); 51 11:24-26; IV:48-50 {CTA 4 11:24-26; IV:48-50);
'nt V:44-45 {CTA 3 E:44-45)
c. “son” II “lion”
d. Notes
As frequently, the Canaanite poets employ animal names metaphorically.
The precise nuance of the metaphor depends upon the parallel noun, hence
an instance of conditioned meaning.
e. I I Sam 17:10; Jer 2:30
‫“ בן‬son” . . . ‫“ אריה‬lion‫״‬
f. Gen 49:9
‫“ גור אריה‬lion’s whelp” . . . ‫“ בן‬son”

— 42 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 60


a. bn II 7
b. 3 Aqht 'obv':21-22, 31-33 (CTA 18 IV:21-22, 31-33)
c. “between” // “upon”
d. Job 9:33; Sir 9:13
‫“ ב ץ‬between” // ‫“ ע ל‬upon”
e. Exod 13:9; Deut 33:12; I Sam 17:6; Job 34:37; etc.
‫“ ע ל‬upon, by, to” // ‫“ בין‬between, among”
f. Job 38:4-5
‫“ בין‬interior” // ‫“ ע ל‬over”
g. Comments
Usually taken as prose, I Sam 17:6 can easily be read as poetry.
h. For Job 34:37 one may propound a new stichometry and vocalization:
‫ כי יסיף ע ל־ ח ט א תו‬For he adds to his sin;
‫ פשע בינינו יספולן‬rebellious he claps his hands in our
‫ ך ב אמריו ל א ל‬2‫ ו‬and multiplies his words against El.
i. In Job 38:4-5 the parallelism results from repointing ‫בינה‬, “intelligence,”
to 3 ‫ינה‬, “its interior,” which is then balanced by ‫ ע לי ה‬, “over it.”


a. bn I) sbr (see also bn // ary [I 59])

b. 49 1:11-13 (iCTA 6 1:39-41); 51 11:24-26; I V :48-50 (1CTA 4 11:24-26; IV:48-50);
(nt V:44-45 (CTA 3 E:44-45)
c. “son” I/ “band”
d. Zech 9:3
‫“ בנה‬to build” 11 ‫“ צ ב ר‬to heap up”
e. Comments
This listing is relevant because, as is widely recognized by the lexica,
p , "son,” derives from ‫בנה‬, “to build.” This v. also witnesses ‫“ כסף‬silver” //
‫“ ח ר ק‬gold” ; see R S P I, II 301 h and j.

— 43 —
I 62 Ras Shamra Parallels


a. b 'd j 'l n
b. 'nt 111:30-31 {CTA 3 D:30-31)
c. “behind” // “above”
d. Job 42:8
‫“ ב ע ד‬on behalf of” // ‫“ ע לי‬over”
e. Gen 20:18; Job 9:7-8
‫“ ב ע ד‬behind” . . . ‫“ ע ל‬upon”
f. Comments
Compare also I Sam 4:18 and Jonah 2:7-8.


a. b'l . . . ahb
b. 67 V:17-18 {CTA 5 V: 17-18)
c. “Baal” . . . “to love”
d. b'l{t) . . . a(/i)hbt
e. 603 rev:8; 1002:45-46; 'nt 111:3-4 {CTA 3 C:3-4)
f. “ Baal, Mistress” . . . “love”
g. Hos 2:15
‫“ ה ב עלי ם‬the Baals” // ‫“ מ אהביה‬her lovers”


a. b'l II atrt
b. 9:6 (CTA 36:6); 51 111:37-38 {CTA 4 111:37-38)
c. “ Baal” II “Asherah”
d. b'l + atrt
e. 9:8 {CTA 36:8); 51 11:13 {CTA 4 11:13)
f. “Baal” + “Asherah”

— 44 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 65

g. Judg 6:25, 30; I Kings 18:19

‫“ ב ע ל‬Baal” II ‫“ אישרה‬Asherah”
h. Judg 3:7
‫“ ב ע ל‬Baal” + ,‫“ א ע ר ד‬Asherah‫״‬


a. b(l . . . gr

b. 49 111:44+47-48 (CTA 6 111:44+47-48)

c. “Baal” . . . “to safeguard”

d. Notes
The first member occurs in a speech of sps; the second appears twice in 'nt’s
answer. For the reading ygr[l] in 1. 47, see Herdner, CTA, p. 41.
For the dispute regarding the root underlying ygr[k] and tgrk, see R SP I,
I I 452 d and g. The following biblical text sustains a middle weak root
instead of primae nun ngr, at least in ygr[k] and tgrk. No one questions that
Ug. also possesses ngr = ‫נצ ר‬, “to protect, preserve,” just as Heb. has both
‫ נצר‬and ‫ עי ר‬, “to safeguard” ; cf. Deut 32:10-11.
e. N um 21:28
‫“ ע ר‬the Guardian” / / ‫" ב ע לי‬the Baals of”
f. Comments
The line may now be rendered:
‫א כ ל ה ע ר מואב‬ I t devours the Guardian of Moab,
‫ב ע לי במות ארנן‬ the Baals of Am on’s high places.
g. The identification of ‫ ע ר‬with Ug. gr precludes its emendation to ‫ ע ד‬,
“up to ,” or ‫ ע רי‬, “the cities of,” as well as of ‫ ב ע לי‬to ‫ ב ל ע ה‬, "swallows up,”
th at is found in the UXX and followed by many modern versions. That
‫ ע ר‬, “the Guardian,” here referring to Chemosh, tutelary deity of Moab
who is mentioned in the next verse, and ‫ ב ע לי‬, “the Baals of,” form an un-
exceptionable pair can be seen upon comparison with Mic 5:13 (cf. M. Da-
hood, Bib, X U III [1962], 226):
‫ונתישתי אשיריך מ ק ר ב ך‬ And I will uproot your Asherim from
your midst;
‫והשמדתי עריך‬ and I will destroy your guardians.

— 45 —
I 66 Ras Shamra Parallels

Here critics usually emend ‫ ע רי ך‬to either ‫ ב ע לי ך‬, “your Baals,” or ‫ ע צ בי ך‬,
“your idols.” Ug. gr, “to safeguard,” renders such emendations unneces-
sary. Thus parallelism ,w ith ‫ ב ע לי‬, “the Baals of,” in Num 21:28 and with
‫ א עי רי‬, “the Asherim of,” in Micah 5:13 shows th a t ‫ ע ר‬and ‫ ע רי ך‬refer to divi-
nities and relate to the root of Ug. tgr th at always designates the tutelary
activity of Canaanite gods.


a. brq 11 isr
b. 603 obv:3-4

c. "lightning” // “treasury, storehouse”

d. Notes
The biblical collocation cited below could have served B. Margulis, JB L ,
XC (1971), 482, who left isr (which he read as one word with r't: isn't) un-
translated. The Ug. scholars who have identified isr with ‫ או צ ר‬, "store-
house,” find their definition strengthened by the biblical collocation. In
fact, comparison with Micah 6:10 and Prov 10:2, ‫ א)ו(צרות רישע‬, “storehouses
of malice,” suggests th at tmnt isr r't be rendered "eight storehouses of evil,”
or "eight storehouses of evil winds,” since in Jer 1:14 we read ‫מצפון תפתח‬
‫ ה ר ע ה‬, “from the north an evil wind will blow,” where ‫ תפ תח‬is parsed as a
Gt form of ‫ פו ח‬, "to blow.”
e. Jer 10:13; 51:16; Ps 135:7
‫" בר ק‬lightning” . . . ‫" אוצר‬treasury, storehouse”


a. Mr . . . yld . . . smh (see also yld // Stnh [I 131])

b. 76 111:35-36+38 (CTA 10 111:35-36+38)
c. "to receive tidings” . . . "to be born” . . . "to rejoice”
d. Jer 20:15
‫ ר‬8?‫( ב‬D) “to bear tidings” // ‫( י ל ד‬Dp) "to be bom ” // ‫( שמח‬D) “to cause to

— 46 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 68


a. bsr . . . Ihm

b. 128 I V :25-27; V:8-10 {CTA 15 IV :2527‫ ;־‬V:8-10)

c. “m eat" . . . “to eat"
d. Isa 58:7
‫“ לח ם‬bread” / / ‫ ר‬1‫“ בע‬m eat”
e. I Kings 17:6 (twice)
‫“ ל ח ם‬bread” + ‫“ בע(ר‬m eat”
f. Comments
This parallelism emerges when the first and fourth cola are read chi-
astically in Isa 58:7:
‫הלו א פ ר ס ל ר ע ב ל ח מ ך‬ Is it not sharing your bread with the
‫ועניים מרודים תביא בית‬ and th at you bring the homeless poor
into your house?
‫כי־ ת ר א ה ער ם וכסיתו‬ When you see one naked, clothe him,
‫ומבשרך ל א ת תעל ם‬ and hide none of your meat for yourself.
g. I t thus appears th at the prophet broke up the composite phrase wit-
nessed twice in I Kings 17:6 and distributed its components in the first
and fourth cola, which deal with food, while the second and third are con-
cemed with protection against the elements. See now M. Dahood, Bib,
IyVII (1976), 105.


a. bt II ars

b. 51 VIII.7-9 (CTA 4 VIII:7-9); 67 V:14-16 {CTA 5 V:14-16)

c. “house” II “earth”
d. bt . . . ars
e. 51 V I I :42-44 {CTA 4 V II :42-44)

f. “house” . . . “earth ‫״‬

— 47 —
I 70 Ras Shamra Parallels

g. Gen 24:7
‫“ בית‬house" II ‫“ אר ץ‬land”
h. Micah 6:4
‫“ אר ץ‬land" II ‫“ בית‬house"


a. bt + ba
b. 127:3 (CTA 16 VI:3); 128 I V :21 (CTA 15 IV:21)
c. “house” 4‫“ ־‬to enter"
d. Prov 15:6
‫“ בית‬house” II ‫“ תבואה‬entrance”
e. Comments
For the translation of Prov 15:6, see Dahood, Proverbs, p. 33.


a. bt 4 ktrt

b. 2 Aqht 11:26, 39-40 {CTA 17 11:26, 39-40)

c. “house” + “K otharot”
d. Ps 68:7
‫“ בית‬house” II ‫ רות‬12‫“ כה‬Kotharot (music[?], chains[?])”
e. Comments
Despite numerous recent studies, the precise nuance of hapax ‫כגז רו ת‬
still eludes us, but the correspondence does safeguard the integrity of the
consonantal text th at in the past has been subjected to some manipulation.
Recent discussions by E. Lipinski, AION, X X X I (1971), 532-537; B. Mar-
gulis, A N E S , IV (1972), 52-61; and M. Lichtenstein, A N E S , IV (1972),
97-112, seem not to have advanced our understanding of ‫כו שרות‬. About
its structural parallelism with ‫ בי ת‬, “house," however, there can be no doubt.
The problem of defining ‫ כושרות‬is complicated by the ambiguity of the syn-
tagma ‫ מוצי א ב‬, which can signify "who brings forth from." On this hypo-
thesis the second colon would read "who brings prisoners forth from chains.”
Since the Canaanite god Kothar was the founder of metallurgy, such a defi-
nition of ‫ כגז רו ת‬acquires plausibility.

— 48 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 72


a. bt . . . Ihm
b. Krt:82-83, 173-174 (CTA 14 11:82-83; IV.173-174)
c. “bouse” . . . “bread”
d. Prov 30:25-26
‫“ לח ם‬bread” / / ‫“ בית‬house”
e. Isa 3:7
‫“ בית‬house” + ‫“ לח ם‬bread”
f. Job 42:11; Prov 27:27
‫“ לח ם‬bread” + ‫“ בית‬house, household”
g. Prov 31:27
‫“ בית‬household” . . . ‫“ לח ם‬bread”
h. Isa 58:7; Hos 9:4
‫“ ל ח ם‬bread” . . . ‫“ בית‬house”
i. Comments
Isa 58:7 is also discussed a t Mr . . . Ihm (I 68), where the cola are read
chiastically so th a t the principal counterpart of ‫ ל ח ם‬, “bread,” is not ‫ בי ת‬,
“house,” but ‫ ר‬12‫ מ‬, “m eat.”


a. bt + sgr
b. Krt:96 (CTA 14 11:96)
c. “house” + “to lock”
d. Isa 42:7
‫“ מסגר‬prison” // ‫“ בית כ ל א‬dungeon”


a. bt . . . Sri
b. 2 Aqht 1:26 (CTA 17 1:26)
c. “house” . . . "root, offspring”

— 49 —
I 75 Ras Shamra Parallels

d. Job 8:17
‫“ שרש‬offspring” 11 ‫“ בית‬house”
e. I I Kings 19:30; Isa 37:31
‫“ בית‬house” . . . ‫“ ער ש‬root”
f. Comments
The recognition of a parallel pair and of a breakup of a composite phrase
recovers some sense from extremely difficult Job 8:17:
‫ע ל ״ג ל שרשיו י ס בכו‬ Over the heap his offspring clamber;
‫בית אבנים יחזה‬ his house gazes upon stones.
The splendid stone mansion built by the impious rich man will be reduced
to a heap of rubble, and his children will clamber over the stones. ‫ בי ת‬, “his
house,” which shares the suffix of its opposite partner !‫שרשי‬, here designates
“his family, descendants.” In addition to the use of the double-duty suffix,
the poet also melds the bicolon by breaking up the composite phrase
‫ג ל־ א בני ם‬, “a heap of stones” (cf. Josh 7:26; 8:29; II Sam 18:17), and dis-
tributing its components over the balancing cola.
g. Phoen. also witnesses the pair ‫ בת‬// ‫ שרש‬in the Karatepe Inscription;
see KAI 26 A 1:9-10. See also Prov 12:3+7.


a. btk II l
b. 602 rev:10-11
c. “amid” II “for, to ”
d. Notes
For the preposition l in 602 re v :ll, see J. de Moor, UF, I (1969), 176 and
179. He translates the phrase lymt §p§ wyrh by “all the days of Sapsu and
Yarihu” (p. 176) or “as long as sun and moon exist” (p. 179). Its literal
meaning is "to the days of sun and moon.”
e. Ezek 29:3; Zech 8:8; Prov 1:14
‫“ בתוך‬amid” 11 ‫“ ל‬for, to ”
f. Gen 2:9; Ezek 21:37; Pss 22:23; 40:9; Job 2:8; 15:19; etc.
‫“ ל‬for, to” II ‫“ בתוך‬amid”

— 50 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 76

a. bt + b'l
b. 68:28, 31 (CTA 2 IV:28, 31)
c. "to be ashamed” + "Baal”
d. Jer 11:13
‫" בעת‬Shame” // ‫" ב ע ל‬Baal”
e. Hos 9:10
‫" ב ע ל ־ פ עו ר‬Baal-Peor” // ‫" בשת‬Shame”
f. Comments
One may accordingly question the frequent assertion th at ‫ ב ע ת‬,
"Shame,” was substituted for ‫ ב ע ל‬, “Baal,” by later editors of these two texts.
Acquaintance with a Canaanite text predicating shame of Baal may just
as convincingly account for the balancing of these two words by the pro-
phets themselves. The LXX's omission of ‫ מזבחות ל ב ע ת‬in Jer 11:13 counts
for little, given its limited familiarity with Canaanite motifs. Hence I cannot
endorse the opinion of Janzen, Jeremiah, p. 12, th at MT has conflated two
variant readings.

a. gbl II iht
b. 'nt V I:7-8 (CTA 3 F :7 8 ‫)־‬
c. "Byblos” /I "islands”
d. Notes
For the analysis of iht as the plural of ,y, "island,” see D. Neiman, JN E S ,
X X X (1971), 64-68; Caquot, TOML, p. 178, n. c.
e. Ezek 27:7-\-9
‫" איים‬islands” . . . ‫" גבל‬Byblos”

a. ggt . . . bt hbr
b. Krt:80-82, 172-173 (CTA 14 11:80-82; IV:172-173)
c. “roofs” . . . “bt hbr‫״‬

— 51 —

I 79 Ras Shamra Parallels

d. Notes
The dispute regarding the meaning of bt hbr seems not to compromise the
identification of this pair with its biblical counterpart.
e. Prov 21:9; 25:24
‫“ מ‬roof” II ‫“ בית חב ר‬common house(?)”
f. Comments
hike Ug. bt hbr, ‫ בית חב ר‬is also disputed; th at we are dealing with the
same expression is further evidenced by its association with “roof” in both


a• ggtllqryt
b. Krt:79-81, 171-172 (CTA 14 11:79-81; IV:171-172)
c. “roofs” II “city”
d. Isa 22:1-2
‫“ מות‬roofs” . . . ‫“ קריה‬city”
e. Comments
I t might be noted in this connection th at the Canaanite word for “roof”
appears in Ug. and Heb. as gg in the singular, and th at both employ the
fern, form (Ug. ggt) in the plural. This lexical and morphological identity
underscores further the close kinship between these two Canaanite dialects.


a. gwl I/ ssy
b. 1001 obv:4-5
c. “to rejoice” // “to exult”
d. Notes
Though the context is not very clear, recognition of the parallel pair leads
to this tentative translation of ktgwln Intk [ ‫]־‬w$ptk Ussy: "Your teeth will
certainly rejoice, [ ]and your lips truly exult.” The particles k and l are
treated as emphatics, while the verb tgwln is taken as a byform of gyl. The
k‘ttb of Prov 23:24, ‫ גול יגול‬, parallel to ‫ישמח‬, certifies the identification of

— 52 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 81

tgwln. The form tssy, in the light of the biblical parallelism, looks like a
cognate of ‫שיש‬, “to exult,” but with a tertia instead of a media yod.
e. Isa 65:19; Ps 35:9
‫“ גיל‬to rejoice” // (£PtP “to exult”
f. Isa 35:1; 61:10; 65:18
ftrfr “to exult” II ‫“ גיל‬to rejoice”
g. Isa 65:18
‫“ גילה‬joy” II &‫“ מע(ה‬exultation”


a. grs . . . mla
b. 126 V:27-28 (CTA 16 V:27-28)
c. "to drive out” . . . “to be full, to fill”
d. Notes
The damaged context prevents satisfactory translation of the passage.
e. Ps 80:9-10
‫( גרע‬D) “to drive out” // ‫( מל א‬D) “to fill”
f. Comments
If the same subject (God) is maintained for all six verbs, the balance
between ‫( גרע‬D), “to drive out,” and ‫( מל א‬D), “to fill,” becomes more
‫גפן ממצרים תסיע‬ You brought a vine from Egypt,
‫תגרע גדם ותטעה‬ drove out the nations and planted it.
‫פנית לפניה ו תערע‬ You pushed aside her predecessors and
rooted her;
‫ע ר עי ה ו ת מ ל א־ א ר ץ‬ with her roots you indeed filled the land.


a. dbh + tdmm
b. 51 111:20 (1CTA 4 111:20)
c. “banquet, sacrifice” + “lewdness”
d. Prov 21:27
‫" זבח‬sacrifice” II ‫" זמה‬lewdness”

— 53 —
I 83 Ras Shamra Parallels

e. Comments
The biblical parallelism upholds Driver's (CM L, p. 153, n. 16), iden-
tification of tdmm with ‫ ;?מה‬contrast Gordon, UT, § 19.675, and Aistleitner,
Worterbuch, No. 757.


a. dbh + tr
b. Krt:76, 168-169 (CTA 14 11:76; IV.168-169)
c. “to sacrifice" + ‫ ״‬bull"
d. Hos 12:12
‫“ עוררים‬bulls” 11 ‫“ מזבחות‬altars‫״‬
e. Comments
The recognition of the parallelism of these two terms, juxtaposed in
Ug., makes it even more difficult to credit the longstanding emendation,
repeated anew by Elliger in BH S, of ‫ עוררים‬to ‫לעזרים‬, “to demons.” See D.
Grimm, Z A W , LXXXV (1973), 339-347, who also rejects the emendation
for reasons stemming from Ug. evidence.


a. dbr . . . mt
b. 67 V I:6-7 (1CTA 5 VI :6-7)
c. “plague” . . . (H) “to slay”
d. Notes
Much disputed, this couplet may tentatively be rendered:
In'my ars dbr To the lovely land of plague,
lysmt sd shl mmt to the beautiful field of the lion who
As recognized by scholars, the description of Mot’s kingdom is euphemistic.
I identify shl with ‫עוחל‬, “lion,” and mmt with ‫ מ מי ת‬, the H part, predicated
of lions in II Kings 17:26. For other opinions see de Moor, Seasonal Pattern,
pp. 186-187.
e. Ps 78:50
‫“ מות‬death” II ‫“ ד ב ר‬plague”

— 54 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 85

f. Hos 13:14
‫“ מות‬D eath” . . . ‫“ ד ב ר‬plague” + ‫“ מות‬D eath”
g. Ezek 5:12; 6:12; 33:27
‫ ״ ד ב ר‬plague” + ‫“ מות‬to die”


a. cLbrjjtwy
b. 127:30-31, 43-44 (CTA 16 VI:30-31, 43-44)
c. “to speak” // “to rule, govern”
d. Notes
The noting of the parallelism does not palpably advance our understanding
of the couplet because of the obscurity of other words in the couplet kgz
gzm tdbr / wgrm ttwy.
e. Ps 89:20
‫( ד ב ר‬D) “to speak” . . . ‫( שוה‬D) “to make king”
f. Comments
For further details see Dahood, Psalms I I , p. 316. N E B renders
‫ ע ד תי עזר‬in Ps 89:20: " I have endowed with princely gifts.”


a. dbr . . . tpt
b. 127:31-34, 43-46[’{CTA 16 VI :31-34, 43-46)
c. “to speak” . . . “to judge”
d. Pss 51:6; 58:2 (D)
‫“ ד ב ר‬to speak” ; (D) “to speak” // ‫ פ ט‬# “to judge”
e. Isa 59:3-4
‫( ד ב ר‬D) “to speak” . . . ‫( שפט‬N) “to plead (a case)”
f. Isa 32:7; Jer 1:16; 4:12; 39:5; 52:9
‫( ד ב ר‬D) “to speak” + ‫“ משפט‬judgment”
g. Ps 119:42-43
‫“ ד ב ר‬word” // ‫“ משפט‬judgment”

— 55 —
I 87 Ras Shamra Parallels

h. Dent 15:2; 17:8, 9

‫“ ד ב ר‬word ‫ ״‬+ ‫“ משפט‬judgment”
i. I Kings 6:38; Hos 10:4; etc.
‫“ ד ב ר‬word” . . . ‫ פ ט‬# ‫“ מ‬judgm ent”
j. Mic 7:3
‫ ״ שפט‬to judge” . . . ‫ ״ ד ב ר‬to speak”
k. Jer 12:1
‫“ מיטפט‬judgm ent” + ‫( ד ב ר‬D) “to speak”


a. dm + ah
b. 75 11:47 (CTA 12 11:47)
c. "blood” + "brother”
d. Notes
For the restoration a[hh], see Gordon, UT, p. 181, and Herdner, CTA, p. 55
and n. 14.
e. Micah 7:2
‫" ד ם‬blood” II ‫" אח‬brother”
f. Comments
The biblical parallelism sustains the Ug. restoration.


a. dm /I smn
b. *nt 11:31 (CTA 3 B:31)
c. “blood” II "oil”
d. Exod 29:21; Ezek 16:9
‫ ״ ד ם‬blood” !‫ ״ עומן ן‬oil”
e. Deut 32:14-15
‫ ״ ד ם‬blood” . . . ‫“ שמן‬to grow fat”

— 56 —
Ugaritic-Hebrevv Parallel Pairs I 89


a. dmm . . . my ris
b. 125:26-27 (CTA 16 1:26-27)
c. “to mourn” . . . “waters of the head,” i.e. “tears”
d. Notes
For the reading my risk instead of mh risk, see qr // my (R SP I, II 495).
e. Jer 8:14
‫( דמ ם‬H) “to cause to mourn” // ‫( ע!קה מי ראש‬H) “to make drink tears”
f. Comments
This rapprochement sustains my translation proposed in Bib, XLV
(1964), 402.


a. dn . . . ytn

b. 1002:61-62
c. “to judge” . . . “to give”
d. I Sam 2:10; Job 36:31
‫“ ד ץ‬to judge” !‫“ נתן ן‬to give”
e. Comments
M. Dahood, Bib, F i l l (1972), 539-541, defended the MT of Job 36:31
for other reasons suggested by the Ug. texts. This collocation of dn and
ytn sustains the arguments presented in the article.


a. d't II Ihm (see also dH . .. nps [I 92])

b. 127:10-11 (CTA 16 VI:10-11)
c. “sweat” II “food”
d. Bibliography
M. Dahood, Bib, TV (1974), 77.

— 57
I 92 Ras Shamra Parallels

e. Gen 3:19
‫“ זעה‬sweat ‫ ׳ ׳‬. . . ‫“ ל ח ם‬food‫׳׳‬
f. Comments
See d“t . . . n fs (I 92 e) for a discussion of d(t, “sweat,” as a Canaanite
or dialectical form of ‫ז ע ה‬, "sweat.”


a. d't . . . n fs (see also d't jj Ihm [I 91])

b. 127:10-11 (CTA 16 VI:10-11)
c. “sweat” . . . “throat, appetite”
d. Isa 53:11
‫“ ע מ ל נפש‬anguish of soul” II ‫“ ד ע ת‬sweat”
e. Comments
On ‫ ד ע ת‬, “sweat,” as a Canaanite or dialectal form of ‫ז ע ה‬, “sweat,”
see M. Dahood, Greg, XL,III (1962), 63-64; H A L, p. 220a. This explanation
gains added support from the Ug. juxtaposition of two terms th at are paral-
leled in Heb. For other dialectal features in the fourth Servant Song, consult
Dahood, Albright F S, pp. 63-73.


a. dr + bnm
b. 2:17 (CTA 32:17); 107:2 {CTA 30:2)
c. “generation” + “sons”
d. Bibliography
M. Dahood, Bib, U V (1973), 405-406.
e. Deut 32:20 (Dahood)
‫“ דור‬generation” / / ‫“ בנים‬sons”
f. Jer 7:29-30
‫“ דו ר‬generation” // ‫“ בנים‬sons”
g. Deut 32:5
‫‘‘ בנים‬sons” I/ ‫" דו ר‬generation”

— 58 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 94

h. Comments
Usually printed as prose, Jer 7:29b30‫־‬a may be scanned as follows,
with an 8:5:8:5 syllabic sequence:
‫כי מאס יהרה ויטע‬ For Yahweh has spumed and rejected
‫א ת־ דו ר עבר תו‬ the generation of his fury;
‫כי־ ע עו בני־י הוד ה‬ For the sons of Judah have done
‫ה רע בעיני‬ what is evil in his sight.


a. drkt . . . smm
b. 602 obv:7
c. “dominion” . . . "heaven”

d. Notes
UT 602 obv:6-8 contains a series of divine epithets:
b'lt mlk Mistress of the Kingdom,
b'lt drkt Mistress of Dominion,
b'lt smm rmm Mistress of High Heaven,
[1b'l]t kpt Mistress of E arth’s Crust.

e. Isa 55:9
‫“ עמי ם‬heaven” // ‫" ד ר ך‬way”
f. Comments
Better balance between the comparative particles is achieved when
MT ‫ כי־ג ב הו‬is read ‫כיגבהו‬, thus producing the pairing of yqtl // qtl forms
of the same verb:
‫כיגבהו עמי ם מארץ‬ As the heaven is loftier than the earth,
‫כן גבהו ד ר כי מ ד ר כי כ ם‬ so my ways are loftier than your ways.


a. hw + il
b. 146:7 (= 1104:7)
c. "he” + "E l”

— 59 —
I 96 Ras Shamra Parallels

d. Notes
This juxtaposition occurs in the PN hwil.
e. Deut 32:4; Isa 43:12-13
‫“ א ל‬E l" II ‫“ הוא‬He‫״‬
f. Comments
The Ug. PN sustains the MT of Deut 32:4 against the LXX which
reads xuqk c (for HVP).
g. Job 21:22 may also witness this parallelism.


a. hlk + hS
b. 'nt pi. X :IV :7 (CTA 1 IV:7)
c. “to go” + “to hasten”
d. Job 31:5
‫“ ה ל ך‬to go” If ‫ז‬2‫“ חה‬to hasten”


a. hlk II hi
b. 76 11:29 (1CTA 10 11:29)
c. “to go” II “to skip”
d. Notes
Though partially damaged, the reading hi is generally accepted.
e. Judg 21:21, 23 (L)
‫“ חול‬to skip, dance” ; (E) “to dance” . . . ‫“ ה ל ך‬to go”


a. hlk I/ tdrq
b. 51 11:14-16 (CTA 4 11:14-16); 2 Aqht V:10-11 (CTA 17 V :10-ll); *nt IV:83-84
(1CTA 3 D :83-84)
c. “walk” I/ “tread”

— 60 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 99

d. Notes
On the equation of drq with ‫ ד ר ך‬, see M. Dahood, Bib, I,VI (1975), 97, n. 1.
e. Isa 42:16 (‫[ ח ל ך‬H], ‫[ ד ר ך‬H]); job 24:10-11 (‫[ ה ל ך‬D])
‫( ה ל ך‬D) “to walk” ; (H) “to lead” / / ‫“ ד ר ך‬to tread” ; (H) “to lead”
f. Jer 10:23
‫“ ד ר ך‬way” 11 ‫“ ה ל ך‬walk‫״‬
g. Job 22:14-15
‫( ה ל ך‬HtD) “to walk” . . . ‫“ ד ר ך‬to tread”
h. Prov 28:6
‫“ ה ל ך‬to walk’’ . . . ‫ “ ד ר ך‬way”
i. Jer 6:27-28; Ps 107:7
‫‘‘ י ר ך‬way” . . . ‫" ה ל ך‬to walk”


a. hmry . . . ars
b. 51 V I I I :12-13 (CTA 4 VIII:12-13); 67 11:15-16 (CTA 5 11:15-16)
c. “Miry Bog” . . . “land”
d. Ps 140:11-12
‫“ מהמרות‬Miry Bog” // ‫“ ארץ‬land”
e. Comments
That the two words in the biblical passage are strictly (antithetically)
parallel is not beyond doubt, but their occurrence in two successive cola
is so striking as to merit entry.


a. h ry/I hi
b. 2 Aqht 11:41-42 [CTA 17 11:41-42)
c. “to conceive” // “to writhe, give birth”
d. Notes
I follow Ginsberg’s understanding of the text in A N E T s, p. 151 (“the bed
[of conception]” // “the bed of childbirth”)', see also Herdner, CTA, p. 81,
n. 7.

— 61 —
I 101 Ras Shamra Parallels

e. Isa 26:78
‫“ ה ר ה‬to conceive” + ‫“ חיל‬to writhe”
f. Isa 26:77
‫“ ה ר ה‬to conceive” .. . ‫“ חיל‬to writhe”
g. Comments
The biblical juxtaposition and collocation tend to support Ginsberg’s
restoration against the reconstructions proposed by the scholars listed by


a. hry + yTd . . . hbl

b. 732:5-6 (CTA 11:5-6)
c. “to conceive” + “to give birth” . . . “band”
d. Notes
Though the context is too damaged to permit a continuous translation, the
sense of the three terms in question appears beyond doubt.
e. Ps 7:75
‫( ח ב ל‬D) “to conceive” // ‫“ ה רה‬to be pregnant” // ‫“ י ל ד‬to give birth”
f. Cant 8:5
‫( ח ב ל‬D) "to conceive” 11 ‫( ח ב ל‬D) “to conceive” + ‫“ י ל ד‬to give birth”


a* zbl -j—nsa
b. Krt:98-99, 786-787 {CTA 14 11:98-99; IV:186-187)
c. “the sick m an” + “to carry”
d. Bibliography
M. Held, JAO S, L X X X V III (1968), 92.
e. Isa 53:4 (Held)
‫“ נ&א‬to carry” // ‫“ ס ב ל‬to bear”
f. Isa 46:4
‫“ ס ב ל‬to bear” // Kft “to carry” // ‫“ ס ב ל‬to bear”

— 62 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 103

g. I Kings 5:29 (‫ ;) ס ב ל‬Neh 4:11 ((‫ס כ ל‬

‫“ מ&א‬to carry” + ‫“ ס ב ל‬a load”

h. Comments
For the relationship between zbl and ‫ ס ב ל‬, consult M. Held, JAOS,
L X X X V III (1968), 9096‫־‬.


a. zt . . . fir

b. 67 11:5-6 (CTA 5 11:5-6)

c. “olive-tree” . . . “fruit”

d. Jer 11:16
‫“ זית‬olive-tree” // ‫“ פ רי‬fruit”

e. Isa 17:6
‫“ זית‬olive-tree” // ‫“ פ ר ה‬to bear fruit”

f. Ps 128:3
‫“ פ ר ה‬to bear fruit” // ‫“ זית‬olive-tree”

g. Comments
In Isa 17:6 the parallelism comes to light when ‫ פ רי ה‬, usually taken
as “a fruitful tree,” distinct from ‫זית‬, “olive-tree,” is identified with the
olive-tree; hence we would have an instance of the breakup of a composite
expression. In fact, the difficulty created by MT ‫( ב ס ע פי ה פריה‬IQIsa* reads
‫ ) ב ס ע פי פ רי ה‬is easily resolved by shifting the final suffix to the second word
as the article, ‫ ב ס ע פי הפ רי ה‬, “in the branches of the fruit-bearer,” the
definite article being used to refer back to ‫ כנ ק ף זית‬, “like the beating of
an olive-tree.”

h. N E B ’s deletion of ‫ פ רי‬, “fruit,” with the LXX destroys the parallelism

in Jer 11:16, which can be scanned:
‫זית רענן י פ ה‬ An olive-tree leafy, handsome,
‫פ רי תאר‬ fruit th at is fair.
On N E B ’s deletion, see Brockington, Hebrew Text, p. 203.

— 63 —
I 104 Ras Shamra Parallels


a. zt II §mn
b. 120:14-16 [CTA 141:14-161

c. “olive tree“ // “oil”

d. im n . . . zt
e. 1126:6-8
f. “oil” . . . “olive tree”
g. Deut 28:40; Micah 6:15; Neh 8:15
‫“ זית‬olive tree” / / ‫“ שמן‬oil”
h. Exod 27:20; 30:24; Lev 24:2
p tf “oil” + ‫“ ד ת‬olive tree”
i. Deut 8:8
‫“ זית‬olive tree” + ‫“ 'שמן‬oil”


a. hdr II sgr
b. 1151:3-4; 'nt V :19-20, 34-35 (CTA 3 E: 19-20, 34-35)
c. “chamber” // “enclosure”
d. Bibliography
Cassuto, GA, p. 87.
W. Watson, VT, X X II (1972), 468, and n. 1.
e. Isa 26:20
‫“ ח ד ר‬chamber” . . . ‫“ סגר‬to close”


a. hdt . . . tn
b. Krt:101, 189-190 (CTA 14 11:101; IV:189-190)
c. “new” . . . “a second, another”

— 64 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 107

d. Sir 43:8
‫ חדש‬H tD "to be renewed” // ‫ שנה‬H tD "to be changed”
e. Comments
In addition to this pair Sir 43:8 probably exhibits ‫ ב‬with separative
force; the v. is much disputed, but the Heb. text may be read and rendered
‫ חדש בחד ש והוא מתחדש‬Month after month he himself [the moon]
is renewed.
‫ מה נורא בהשתנותו‬How awesome in his changes!
In this reading the final waw of ‫ בחדשו‬has been advanced to ‫ הוא‬and parsed
as emphatic.


a. hym // blmt . . . spr (see also hym . . . spr [I 108])

b. 2 Aqht VL27-28 (CTA 17 V I:2728‫)־‬
c. “life” I/ "im m ortality” . . . ($) “to cause to count”
d. Deut 33:6
‫" חיה‬to live” II ‫" א ל מות‬to never die” // ‫" מ ספ ר‬beyond number”
e. Ps 118:17
‫" ל א מות‬to not die” II ‫" חיה‬to live” II ‫( ספ ר‬D) "to recount”
f. Comments
For Deut 33:6 one may propose a new reading and translation:
‫יחי ראובן‬ May Reuben five
‫ו א ל־י מ ת‬ and never die,
‫ויהי מתיו מ ספ ר‬ and may his men be beyond number!
Other instances of MT ‫ מ ס פ ר‬, “number,” to be repointed ‫ מ ס פ ר‬, "beyond
number,” are examined by M. Dahood.. Bib, XL/VTII (1967), 428-429;
Blommerde, N W SG J, pp. 22, 75, 78, 128; Pope, Job3, pp. 126, 272.


a. hym . . . spr (see also hym 11 blmt . . . spr [I 107])

b. 2 Aqht V I:27-28 (CTA 17 V I:27-28)
c. “fife” . . . (S) "to cause to count”

— 65 —
I 109 Ras Shamra Parallels

d. Ps 118:17
‫“ חיה‬to live” II ‫( ספ ר‬D) “to recount”
e. Ps 69:29
‫“ ס פ ר‬scroll” + ‫“ חיים‬life”
f. Comments
Dahood, Psalms I I , p. 164, discusses Ps 69:29 in relation to the Ug.
text and concludes th at ‫ חיים‬also designates “eternal life.”


a. hym . . . 'tq
b. 125:14-16 (CTA 16 1:14-16)
c. “life” . . . “to grow old”
d. Notes
For this definition of 'tq, see D. Pardee, UF, V (1973), 229234‫־‬. The rap-
prochement with the parallelism in the biblical text sustains his arguments.
e. Job 21:7
‫“ חיה‬to live long” // ‫“ עתק‬to grow old”
f. Comments
This hapax parallelism in Job of terms collocated in Ug. undermines
the position of those ascribing ‫ עתק‬to Aram, influence; see Dhorme, Job,
p. c x l i ; Wagner, Aramaismen, p. 93.


a. hkm . . . hyt (see also hkm . . . 'm [R SP I, II 189])

b. 51 I V :41-42 (CTA 4 IV:41-42); 'nt V :38-39 {CTA 3 E:38-39)
c. “to be wise” . . . “life”
d. Notes
In the latter text there is the variant hkmk for hkmt.
e. Prov 15:31
‫“ חיים‬life” ‫“ חכ ם ! ן‬the wise”

— 66 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 111

f. Prov 11:30
‫“ חיים‬life” . . . ‫“ חכ ם‬the wise”
g. Eccles 7:12
‫“ חכ מ ה‬wisdom” + ‫( חיה‬D) “to give life”
h. Prov 9:10-11
‫“ חכ מ ה‬wisdom” . . . ‫“ חיים‬life”


a. hmd + yrt
b. 2001 rev:7
c. “to covet” + “to inherit”
d. Notes
Though the juxtaposed roots are clear, the broken and obscure context
precludes a coherent rendition of the passage.
e. Exod 34:24
(H) “to dispossess” // ‫“ ח מ ד‬to covet”


a. hrb + bq' 111st (see also hrb // iU [R SP I, II 195])

b. 49 11:31-33 (CTA 6 11:31-33)
c. “sword” + “to cleave” // “fire”
d. Ezek 30:16-17
‫“ אש‬fire” II ‫( ב ק ע‬N) “to be breached” // ‫" חרב‬sword”
e. Comments
Though not occurring in successive cola, these three terms stand in

a. hrb . . . Isn
b. 137:32-33 (CTA 2 1:32-33)
c. “sword” . . . “tongue”

— 67 —
I 114 Ras Shamra Parallels

d. Notes
Apud P. Miller, CBQ, X X V II (1965), 257, n. 7, F. M. Cross, Jr., has sug-
gested restoring [ ]nhm to [ls]nhm, a conjecture adopted by de Moor,
Seasonal Pattern, p. 128.
e. Hos 7:16; Job 5:20-21
‫“ ח ר ב‬sword” // ‫“ לשון‬tongue”
f. Prov 12:18
‫“ ח ר ב‬sword” . . . ‫“ לשון‬tongue”
g. Ps 57:5
‫“ לשון‬tongue” + ‫“ ח ר ב‬sword”
h. Comments
Repointed to ‫לשונם‬, the form in Hos 7:16 parses as the northern dual
with the contraction of the diphthong. Thus ‫ זעם לשונם‬might be rendered
“the two-edged fury.”


a. hrs + apnt
b. 1121:8-9
c. “threshing sledge” + “wheels”
d. apnt + hrs
e. 1123:7-8
f. “wheels” + “threshing sledge”
g. Notes
Cf. Virolleaud, P R U II, p. 153, and Aistleitner, Worterbuch, No. 971, on
hrs, “threshing sledge.” Gordon UT, § 19.900, offers no definition. The
biblical parallelism proves very relevant.
h. Isa 28:27
‫“ חרוץ‬threshing sledge” // ‫“ אופן‬wheel”


a. hrs . . . b'l
b. 1024 rev:5-6, 7-8
c. “craftsm an” . . . “to work”

— 68 —
Ugaritic-Hebrevv Parallel Paris I 116

d. Isa 44:12
‫“ ח ר ע‬craftsman” // ‫“ פ ע ל‬to work”
e. Comments
The Ug. form of ‫ פ ע ל‬, “to work,” is b'l, against Arab, and Phoen. as
well as Heb.; cf. Gordon, UT, §§ 19.494, 19.2075.


a. hh 4- ars
W V 1 •

b. 51 V I I I :13 (<CTA 4 VIII:13); 67 11:16 (CTA 5 11:16)

c. “thorn” + “earth”
d. Notes
For the reading in 67 11:16, see Herdner, CTA, p. 34 and n. 2. Though
specialists differ in their interpretation of hh, identification with ‫חוח‬,
“thorn, hook” (e.g. Aistleitner, Worterbuch, No. 1015), appears to be the
most probable. The biblical parallel favors such an identification. Hence
the emergent motif would be th at of the netherworld as a place of thorns,
a theme alluded to in Job 5:5.
e. Ezek 19:4
‫“ חחים‬hooks” 11 ‫“ ארץ‬land”
f. Comments
The semantic relationship between “thorn” and “hook” can be illus-
trated by ‫ צן‬, "thorn, barb,” and ‫ צנ ח‬, “hook, fishing hook.”


a. hnp . . . §pk
b. 1001:15-16
c. "to desecrate” . . . “to pour out”
d. Notes
Though the text is too damaged to permit continuous translation, the col-
location of these two roots can hardly be doubted.
e. Ps 106:38
‫ פ ך‬$ “to pour out” II ‫“ חנף‬to be polluted”

— 69 —
I 118 Ras Shamra Parallels


a. htt I/ lay
b. 127:1-2, 13-14 (CTA 16 VI: 1-2, 13-14)

c. ‘‘to be shattered” // ‘‘to prevail, be mighty”

d. Isa 9:2-3 (H); Job 32:14-15
‫“ ל א‬the Omnipotent” . . . ‫“ חתת‬to be shattered” ; (H) “to shatter”
e. I Sam 2:3-4
‫“ ל א‬the Omnipotent” . . . ‫“ חת‬shattered”
f. Comments
In all three texts MT ‫ ל א‬, “not,” creates syntactic difficulties th at are
removed when repointed ‫ ל א‬, "the Omnipotent, the Victor.” Thus I Sam
2:3-4 may be read and rendered:
‫כי א ל דעות יהוה‬ For Yahweh is the God of knowledge,
‫ול א נתכנו ע ל לו ת‬ and by the Omnipotent actions are
‫קשת גברים חתים‬ As to bow, warriors are shattered,
‫ונכשלים אזרו חיל‬ but the feeble gird on strength.

g. Isa 9:2a ‫ ל א‬receives its raison d’etre in view of 9:3c-d:

. . . ‫הרבית הגוי ל א‬ You have multiplied the nation, O
Victor, . . .
‫שבט העש בו‬ The rod which oppressed it
‫החתת כיום מ ד ץ‬ you shattered as on the day of Midian.
It might be further noted th at Isa 9:1 contains the word ‫ צ ל מו ת‬, “shadow
of death” , th at recalls the collocation of mt, “Death,” and lay, “to prevail,”
in 127:1-2, 13-14.

h. Job 32:14 is readily translated when MT ‫ ל א‬is repointed :‫ל א‬

‫ולא ע ר ך א לי מלין‬ The Omnipotent has prepared my dis-
course for me;
‫ובא מריכ ם ל א א שיבע‬ not with your words shall I refute him.
Contrast the writer’s earlier effort in UF, IV (1972), 163.

i. Job 36:19-20 stands to benefit from a study considering the possible

parallelism of these two roots.

— 70 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 119


a. htt . . . Hq
b. 127:1, 13 (CTA 16 VI: 1, 13)
c. ‘‘to be shattered” . . . “to pass away”
d. Job 32:15
‫“ חתת‬to be shattered, dismayed” 11 ‫( ע ת ק‬H) “to pass away”
e. Comments
The Ug. collocation of these two roots shows th at the biblical pairing
is original; hence the opinion of BDB, p. 801a, th at ‫ העתיקו‬in Job 32:15
is very probably a gloss loses claim to further consideration.


a. tb(n) + ql (see also sr . . . tb [I 322])

b. 1 Aqht:46 (CTA 19 1:46); 'nt 1:20 (CTA 3 A:20)
c. “sweet(ness)” -j- “voice”
d. Job 21:12-13
‫“ קול‬voice” II ‫“ טוב‬merriment”
e. Ezek 33:32
‫“ קול‬voice” . . . ‫( טוב‬H) “to make sweet”
f. Comments
Cassuto, GA, p. 75, and M. Dahood, Bib, XI,IV (1963), 531-532, have
compared 'n t 1:20, ysr gzr tb ql, “the sweet-voiced lad sings,” with the
phraseology of Ezek 33:32.


a. tl -j- smm
b. 'nt 11:39, 40; IV:87 (twice) (CTA 3 B:39, 40; D:87)
c. “dew” + “heaven”
d. Job 38:28-29
‫“ ט ל‬dew” II ‫“ שמים‬heaven”

— 71 —
I 122 Ras Shamra Parallels

©• Gen 27:28
‫" ט ל‬dew” + ‫" עמים‬heaven”
f. Deut 33:13, 28; Hag 1:10; Zech 8:12
‫“ עמים‬heaven” + ‫" ט ל‬dew”
g. Comments
In addition to this parallelism, Job 38:28-29 exhibits chiasmus and
the use of the same verbal root in two different conjugations:
. . . ‫מי־ הו לי ד אג לי־ ט ל‬ Who sired the drops of dew? . . .
‫ו כ פ ר עמים מי י ל דו‬ The hoarfrost of heaven, who bore it?


a. tly II arsy
b. 51 1:18-19 (CTA 4 1:18-19); 130:11-12 (CTA 7 11:11-12); (nt 111:4-5; pi. VI:
I V :3-5; V:50-51 (CTA 3 C:4; E:3-5, 50-51)
c. “dew-goddess” // “earth-goddess”
d. Isa 26:19
‫" ט ל‬dew” II ‫“ ארץ‬earth”
e. Judg 6:39
‫" ארץ‬earth” + ‫" ט ל‬dew”
f. Deut 33:13, 28
‫“ ארץ‬earth” . . . ‫" טל‬dew”


a. zl ksp II zl ksp
b. 51 11:26-28 {CTA 4 11:26-28)
c. "the shadow of silver” // "the shadow of silver”
d. Notes
The partially damaged text may be thus restored:
[zl\ ksp [a‫\־‬trt kt'n The shadow of silver Asherah eyes in-
zl ksp wn[gh]t hrs the shadow of silver and the sheen of

— 72 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 124

For the restoration n[gh‫\־‬t, cf. Isa 9:1 where ‫ ע ה‬, “to shine,” concurs with
‫ צ ל מו ת‬, “the shadow of death(?),” a vocable probably containing the element

e. Eccles 7:12
‫“ צ ל ה חכ מ ה‬the shadow of wisdom” . . . ‫“ צ ל ה כ ס ף‬the shadow of silver”


a. yd + 11
b. 51 I V :38 (CTA 4 IV :38); 52:33, 34, 35 (CTA 23:33, 34, 35); 54:11-12 (CTA 53:
11- 12)
c. “hand” + “E l”
d. Notes
In 51 IV:38-39, yd (// ahbt) may also be understood as “affection” ; see yd //
ahbt (R SP I, II 212).
e. Ps 78:41-42
‫“ א ל‬E l” II T “hand”
f. Ps 10:12
‫“ א ל‬E l” . . . T “hand”
g. Ps 31:6
T “hand” . . . ‫“ א ל‬E l”
h. Job 6:9
‫“ אלוה‬God” . . . T “hand”
i. Ps 95:7
‫“ אל הי ם‬God” . . . T “hand”
j. Eccles 2:24; 9:1; etc.
T “hand” + ‫“ אלהי־ם‬God”


a. yd + ams
b. 1001 obv:14
c. “hand” + “strength”

— 73 —
I 126 Ras Shamra Parallels

d. Notes
The damaged text, which does not permit certain analysis or translation,
reads ydk ants yd [ ].
e. Ps 80:18
T “hand” // ‫( אמ ץ‬D) “to strengthen”
f. Job 17:9
‫“ י ד‬hand” + ‫“ אמ ץ‬strength”
g. Isa 35:3; Ps 89:22; Job 4:3-4
‫“ י ד‬hand” . . . ‫( אמץ‬D) "to strengthen”
h. Deut 15:7
‫( אמץ‬D) “to harden” . . . T “hand”

a. yd + qst
b. 2 Aqht V :26-27 (CTA 17 V :2627‫)־‬
c. “hand” + “bow”
d. I I Sam 22:35; Pss 18:35; 141:9
T “hand” // ‫ ת‬0 ‫“ ק‬bow”
e. Gen 49:24
‫“ קעזת‬bow ‫ ״‬11 ‫“ י ד‬hand”
f. I I Kings 9:24; 13:16
T “hand” + ‫“ קשת‬bow”
g. Comments
For the reading and translation of Ps 141:9, see Dahood, Psalms I I I ,
pp. 308, 314-315.

a. yd' . . . in
b. 3 Aqht ,rev':16 (CTA 18 1:16); 'nt V:35-36 (CTA 3 E:35-36)
c. "to know” . . . “there is not”
d. Hos 13:4
‫" י ד ע‬to know” / / ‫“ א ץ‬there is no t”

— 74 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 128

e. Eccles 9:5
‫“ י ד ע‬to know” /I ‫“ אץ י ד ע‬to not know”
f. Ps 139:4
‫“ אץ‬there is not” // ‫" י ד ע‬to know”
g. Eccles 4:17; 9:5
‫“ א ץ‬there is not” + ‫“ י ד ע‬to know”
h. Job 35:15
‫“ א ץ‬there is not” . . . ‫“ י ד ע‬to know”


a. yd' + hy
b. 49 I I I :8 (CTA 6 I I I :8)
c. “to know” + “alive”
d. Hos 6:2-3 (‫[ חיה‬D]); Hab 3:2 (‫[ חיה‬D], ‫[ י ד ע‬H])
‫( חיה‬D) “to give life” // ‫“ י ד ע‬to know” ; (H) "to make known”
e. Ps 16:1
‫( י ד ע‬H) “to make known” + ‫“ חיים‬life”
f. Eccles 9:5
‫“ חיים‬living” + ‫“ י ד ע‬to know”
g. Eccles 3:12; 6:8
‫“ י ד ע‬to know” . . . ‫“ חיים‬lifetime, living”
h. Job 33:3-4; Eccles 7:12
‫“ ד ע ת‬knowledge” . . . ‫( חיה‬D) "to give life”

a. yd* . . . ynq
b. 6:31-32 (iCTA 13:31-32)
c. "to know” . . . “to suck”
d. Notes
No sense can be coaxed from this damaged and enigmatic text.
e. Isa 60:16
‫“ ינק‬to suck” II ‫“ י ד ע‬to know”

— 75 —
I 130 Ras Shamra Parallels


a. yd' 4 ‫־‬ (see also 'rb . . . smh [I 249])

b. 1015:7
c. “to know” + “to enter”
d. Prov 14:10
‫" י ד ע‬to know” II ‫“ ע ר ב‬to enter”
e. Comments
The second colon is literally rendered:
‫ומ&מחתו ל א־י ת ע ר ב זר‬ And into its joy no stranger enters.
W ith this expression might be compared Matt 25:21: "E nter into the joy
of your lord.”


a. yld /I smh (see also bsr . . . yld . . . smh [I 67])

b. 76 111:36+38 (CTA 10 111:36438)
c. “to be born” // “to rejoice”
d. Notes
For the reading \yt\d, see Herdner, CTA, p. 51 and n. 13.
e. Jer 20:15 (‫[ י ל ד‬Dp], ‫[ שמח‬D]); Prov 23:24
‫" י ל ד‬to beget” ; (Dp) “to be born” // ‫“ ?& מ ח‬to rejoice” ; (D) “to cause to
f. Comments
On the analysis of the dative suffix of ‫ & מ ח הו‬in Jer 20:15, see M. Da-
hood, ETL, X E II (1968), 39.
{*. In addition to this parallelism,* Prov 23:24 exhibits a neat instance of
emphatic wdw, first elucidated by Ug. usage, th at balances the emphasis
of the first-colon infinitive absolute:
‫גול יגול אבי צדי ק‬ The father of a just man will be full of
‫יו ל ד חכ ם ויעזמח בו‬ who begets a wise son will truly rejoice
in him.

— 76 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 132


a. ym . . . sd
b. 1 Aqht:204-205 (CTA 19 IV:204-205)
c. “sea” . . . “field”
d. Notes
See Herdner, CTA, p. 91, for the reading bglp y[m—] in 1 Aqht:204.
e. Ps 96:11-12 (‫ ;)&ן*י‬I Chron 16:32 ((‫שדה‬
‫“ ים‬sea” II ‫&דה‬, ‫“ ע די‬field”


a. ymn + p
b. 52:63-64 (1CTA 23:63-64)
c. “right hand” + “m outh‫״‬
d. Ps 144:8, 11
‫“ פ ה‬m outh” II ‫“ ימץ‬right hand”


a. yn . . . utkl
b. 3:1-2 (CTA 35:1-2); 173:1-2
c. “wine” . . . “cluster”
d. Notes
UT 3:1-2 has been restored on the basis of 173:1-2.
e. Deut 32:32-33; Cant 7:9-10
‫“ א ע כו ל‬cluster” / / ‫“ יין‬wine”


a. yn + qs
b. 51 I V :45 {CTA 4 IV:45)
c. “wine” + “cup”

— 77 —
I 136 Ras Shamra Parallels

d. Notes
UT 51 IV :45-46 reads:
kin yn q[s]h nb[/«] All of us bring wine for his cup;
kin yn nb/ ksh all of us bring wine for his chalice.
The restorations q[s]h and nb[ln\ are based on the doublet in 'n t V :41-42.
e. Bibliography
Dahood, Psalms I I , pp. 78-79.
f. Ps 60:5
‫“ קע ה‬cup” // ‫“ יץ‬wine”
g. Comments
Consistency of metaphor supports the identification of ‫קשה‬, tradition-
ally rendered “hard things,” with Ug. qs; the ending of ‫ קשה‬can well be
explained as an archaic accusative.


a. ysa // b'r
b. Krt:100-102 (CTA 14 11:100-102)
c. “to kindle” // “to make bum ”
d. Notes
For these disputed cola one may propose the following version:
wysi trh hdt The new bridgroom kindles,
yb'r Itn atth makes his wife bum for another.
The doublet in K rt:189-190 reads:
wybl trh, hdt The new bridegroom inflames,
yb'r Itn atth makes his wife bum for another.
Ug. nbl, “flame,” Akk. nablu, favors the analysis of ybl (// yb’r) as a denom-
inative verb in the causative conjugation; hence vocalize yabbilu. The
synonymy of ybl and ysi appears from the fact th at in many biblical pas-
sages ‫ יצא‬means “to shine” ; for a recent discussion, see J. Scullion, UF,
IV (1972), 120-121 and n. 80, who examines both Ug. and Heb. attestations
of this signification.
e. Isa 62:1; Jer 4:4; 21:12
‫" יצא‬to shine” // ‫“ ב ע ר‬to burn”

— 78 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 137

f. Exod 22:4-5
‫" ב ע ר‬to bum ” // ‫" * צ א‬to be kindled”
g. Comments
It may be noted th at in all three prophetic passages the N E B renders
‫ יצא‬by "shine” or "blaze up.”


a. ysa // grs
b. 'nt I V :45-46 (<CTA 3 D :45-46)
c. ($) “to cause to go forth” // "to drive out”
d. Notes
I adopt the reading mssu (Herdner, CTA, p. 17, msss] likewise Gordon,
UT, p. 254) proposed by M. Dijkstra, UF, II (1970), 334, so th at the couplet
mssu k'sr udnh Who caused his lordship to go forth like
a bird,
grsh Iksi mlkh who drove him from his royal throne.
See also bT // adn (I Supp 26).
e. Exod 12:39
‫( יצא‬H) “to bring out” // ‫( גרש‬Dp) "to be driven out”
f. Prov 22:10
‫( גרש‬D) "to drive out” II ‫" יצא‬to go forth”
g. Comments
The biblical parallelism confirms the restoration proposed by M. Dijk-
stra for the Ug. text.


a. ysa (yza) . . . mdbr (mlbr) (see also mdbr [mlbr] + sty [I 183])
b. 75 1:19+21 (CTA 12 1:19+21)
c. “to go forth” . . . "desert”
d. Notes
In UT 75 classical s is written z; hence zi, "go forth!” for si. Herdner, CTA,
p. 54, corrects written mlbr to mdbr, but its recurrence in 1. 35 as mlbr sug­

— 79 —
I 139 Ras Shamra Parallels

gests th at we are dealing with a dialectal form rather than a scribal error.
See the sound observations of Caquot, TOML, p. 339, n. b.
e. Ps 75:7
‫“ מוצא‬the E ast” // ‫“ מ ד ב ר‬the desert”
f. Job 38:26-27
‫“ מ ד ב ר‬desert” II ‫“ מצא‬steppe”
g. Comments
On the translation problems in Ps 75:7, see Dahood, Psalms I I , p. 213.
h. Often emended, defectively written ‫ מצא‬for ‫( מוצא‬see D. Freedman,
E rlr, IX [1969], 38) is one of five parallel nouns in Job 38:26-27, all signify-
ing desert or wilderness. ‫ מצא‬presumably means the unhospitable steppe
to which one was banished, the motif of the Ug. text cited above. Hence
one may render ‫ ל ה צ מי ח מצ א דשא‬: “to make the steppe sprout grass.”


a. ysa . . . smt
b. 3 Aqht ,obv’:36+38 (CTA 18 IV :36+38)
c. “to go forth” .. . “to annihilate”
d. Ps 143:11-12
‫( יצא‬H) “to deliver” // ‫( צמת‬H) “to annihilate”
e. Comments
The strict parallelism obtains only if the four cola are read chiastically.
The chief argument for a chiastic reading is the balance in the second and
third cola of ‫ ב צ ד ק ת ך‬, "in your justice,” and ‫ ב ח ס ד ך‬, "in your kindness.”


a. yqr . . . il
b. 602:2
c. “precious” . . . “E l”
d. Ezek 28:13
‫“ אלהי ם‬God” II ‫“ יקר‬precious”

— 80 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 141

e. Ps 139:17
‫“ יקר‬to be precious” . . . ‫“ א ל‬E l”
f. Comments
The full parallelism in Ezek 28:13 is between ‫גן אלהי ם‬, “the garden
of God,” and ‫ א בן יק רה‬, “precious stone.”


a. yr + mtr
b. 1 Aqht:40-41 (CTA 19 1:40-41)
c. "early rain” + “to rain”
d. Notes
Translating yr 'rpt tmtr bqz: “the early rain the clouds rain in late summer.”
e. Deut 11:14
‫" מטר‬rain” II ‫" יורה‬early rain”
f. Comments
Usually read as prose, the first half of Deut 11:14 can be scanned as a
bicolon with a 9:8 syllable count:
‫ונתתי מ ט ר־ א ר צ כ ם‬ Then will I give your land rain,
‫בעתו יורה ומלקוש‬ early and late rain in its season.


a. yrd // spr
b. 51 V I I I :7-9 (CTA 4 VIII:7-9); 67 V:14-16 {CTA 5 V: 14-16)
c. “to descend” // (Gp) "to be counted”
d. Ps 56:8-9(?)
‫( י ר ד‬H) “to subject” II ‫“ ספר‬to write down”
e. Ps 22:30-31
‫“ י ר ד‬to descend” . . . ‫( ספר‬Dp) “to be told”
f. Ps 107:22-23
‫( ספ ר‬D) “to recount” . . . ‫“ י ר ד‬to descend”
g. Comments
See Dahood, Psalms I I , pp. 44-45, for analysis of Ps 56:8-9.

— 81 —
I 143 Ras Shamra Parallels


a. yrw // yrw
b. 52:38 (CTA 23:38)
c. ‘‘to shoot” If ‘‘to shoot”
d. Ps 64:5
‫“ ירה‬to shoot” !‫( ירה ן‬H) “to shoot”
e. Comments
One may safely disregard the note in the apparatus of BH K , “dl m tr
c?,” happily dropped by BHS.


a. yrh // atrt
b. 75 1:14-17 (1CTA 12 1:14-17)
c. “Moon” I/ “Asherah”
d. I I Kings 23:5-6
‫‘‘ ירח‬moon” . . . ‫“ א ע ר ה‬Asherah”


a. yrt . . . b'l
b. 'nt 111:43-44 {CTA 3 D :43-44)
c. “to take possession” . . . “Baal”
d. Prov 30:23
‫" ב ע ל‬to be married” // ‫" ירש‬to dispossess”


a. yrt . . . ysa
b. 'nt III:44-IV :45 (1CTA 3 D :44-45)
c. “to seize” . . . (§) “to cause to go forth”

— 82 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 147

d. Notes
See ysa // grs (I 137 d) for the reading tnssu in *nt IV :45.
e. Isa 65:9; Ps 105:43a+44b
‫( יצא‬H) “to lead forth” / / $ T "to possess”


a. ytn . . . ntr
b. 62:50+52 (CTA 6 V I:50+52)

c. “to give” . . . “to stretch out, set free”

d. Notes
This passage is translated and discussed briefly in R SP II, I Supp 6. Al-
though Gordon, UT, § 19.2595, simply lists ytr of 62:52 under "tr{l) I I ,”
Aistleitner, Worterbuch, No. 1873, lists it under ntr. In both cases this text
is the only entry for the root.
e. Ps 146:7
‫“ נתן‬to give” // ‫( נתר‬H) “to set free”


a. ytn // slh . . . spr (see also ytn // slh [R SP I, II 269])

b. 2 Aqht V I:27-28 (CTA 17 V I:27-28)
c. “to give” /I “to send” . . . (S) “to cause to count”
d. Job 5:9-10
‫“ מ ס פ ר‬num ber” . . . ‫“ נתן‬to give” II ‫“ עזלח‬to send”


a. ytn + Sty
b. 52:72 (1CTA 23:72); 1019:15-16

c. “to give” + “to drink”

— 83 —
I 150 Ras Shamra Parallels

d. Isa 62:8; Prov 31:6-7

‫" נתן‬to give” / / ‫" ע ת ה‬to drink”
e. Exod 17:2; Deut 2:28; Dan 1:12
‫" נתן‬to give” .. . ‫" שתה‬to drink”


a. ytn // tny
b. 51 V I I :29-30 (CTA 4 V II:29-30)
c. “to give” II "to repeat”
d. Notes
According to Herdner, CTA, p. 29 and n. 10, Virolleaud’s restoration qlh
qds b['l y]tn in 51 V II :29 has been accepted by Albright, Bauer, Gaster,
and Ginsberg. This restoration now enjoys the support of the biblical col-
location of these two verbs.
e. I I Kings 25:28-29 (‫ ;)שנא‬Jer 52:32-33 ((‫שנה‬
‫" נתן‬to give” . . . ‫שנא‬, ‫( שנה‬D) "to change”
f. Prov 31:5-6
‫( שנה‬D) "to pervert” . . . ‫" נתן‬to give”


a. ytb + ar?
b. 67 VL13-14 (CTA 5 VI:13-14)
c. “to sit” + "the earth”
d. Isa 24:1, 6] 51:6; Jer 50:3; Nah 1:5; Pss 33:8; 75:4; etc.
‫" ארץ‬the earth” // ‫(שב‬1)‫“ י‬inhabitant”
e. Isa 47:1; Job 2:13
‫" ישב‬to sit” + ‫" ארץ‬ground”
f. Isa 3:26; 24:5
‫“ ארץ‬the earth” + ‫" ישב‬to sit, dwell”

— 84 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 152


a. ytb . . . drkt
b. 127:23-24 (CTA 16 V I:23-24)
C. “to sit” . . . “dominion”

d. drkt -f- ytb

e. 127:38, 53-54 (CTA 16 V I:38, 53-54)
f. “dominion” + "to sit”
g. Ps 1:1
‫‘‘ ד ר י‬way, assembly” / / ‫ ב‬12^‫“ מו‬session”
h. Isa 10:24; Prov 9:14-15
‫“ יע!ב‬to sit, dwell” . . . ‫“ ד ר ך‬way, kingdom”
i. Jer 21:8-9
‫“ ד ר ך‬way” . . . ‫“ י ע ב‬to dwell”
j. Comments
On ‫ ד ר ך‬, “assembly,” in Ps 1:1, see Dahood, Psalms / , p. 2; J. Gammie,
JB L , X CIII (1974), 373.

k. In Isa 10:24 ‫ ב ד ר ך מצרים‬can well mean “from the kingdom of E gypt.”


a. y tb l/y sr
b. 127:25-26 (CTA 16 VI :25-26)
c. “to sit” I/ “to instruct”
d. Jer 6:8
‫( יסר‬N) “to be instructed, warned” . . . ‫( ישב‬N) “to be inhabited”

e. Comments
Referring to Jerusalem, ‫ ארץ‬here preferably translates as “city,” a
meaning well documented in Ug. and Phoen. texts.

— 85
I 154 Ras Shamra Parallels


a. ytb + Ihm
b. 3 Aqht ,obv’:18-19, 29 (CTA 18 IV:18-19, 29)
c. “to sit” + “to eat”
d. Ps 127:2
‫“ ישב‬to sit‫ ״‬II ‫“ ל ח ם‬bread”
e. Isa 47:14
‫“ ל ח ם‬to eat” II ‫“ ישב‬to sit”
f. Isa 21:14; Ezek 44:3
‫“ ישב‬to sit, dwell” . . . ‫“ ל ח ם‬bread”
g. Comments
For Isa 47:14 a new reading and translation are proposed:
‫ מ ם‬1‫א ץ־ג ח ל ת לך‬ There is no ember for eaters,
‫אור ל שבת ע לו‬ hearth to sit in front of.
Another instance of defectively spelled ‫ ל ח מ ם‬probably recurs in Job 30:4,
where participial ‫ ל ח מ ם‬would balance the participle ‫ ה ק ט פי ם‬, “who pluck.”


a. ytb + gr
b. 603 obv:1
c. “to sit enthroned” + “m ountain”
d. Notes
One renders naturally 67 ytb ktbt gr: “Baal sits enthroned like the moun-
tain’s enthronement.”

e. Jer 21:13
‫“ ישבת‬who sits enthroned” // ‫“ צור‬mountain”
f. Comments
Sometimes considered corrupt (see especially the apparatus of B H K
where ‫ הע מ ק‬is held to be a corruption of corrupted ‫המשגב‬, “the citadel”),
the bicolon proves to be sound:

— 86 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 156

‫העי אלי ך ישבת העמלן‬ Look! I ’m against you, enthroned over

the valley,
‫צור המושר נ א ם־יהוה‬ o mountain of the plain!—Yahweh’s
In this scansion, the construct chain ‫בת הע מ ק‬#‫ י‬balances the construct chain
‫ ר‬12‫ צו ר המל‬. Just as the mountain dominates the plain, so does Jerusalem
sit enthroned over the vale.


a. ytb -f tgr
b. 1 Aqht:22 {CTA 19 1:22); 2 Aqht V:6 (CTA 17 V:6)
c. “to sit” + “gate”
d. Notes
For a discussion of the various interpretations of the phrase in question,
see R S P I, I 46.
e. Prov 31:23
‫ ע ר‬# “gate” II ‫ב‬#‫“ י‬to sit”
f. Comments
The parallelism is more clearly seen when the v. is rendered: ‘Her hus-
band is known at the gates, from his sitting with the elders of the city.”
For other Canaanite features in Prov 31, see Dahood, Proverbs, pp. 60-63.


a. k /I w
b. 2 Aqht V:10-11 (iCTA 17 V.10-11)
c. “indeed” // “yea” or “and”
d. Notes
While scholars agree th at the k is emphatic, uncertainty marks the inter-
pretation of parallel w:
hlk ktr ky'n The stride of Kothar indeed he eyes;
wy'n tdrq hss yea, he eyes the tread of Hasis.

— 87 —
I 158 Ras Shamra Parallels

The chiastic pattern favors the emphatic interpretation of wy'n, since when
chiasmus is employed, the synonymy of the parallel elements tends to be
stricter; cf. Dahood, Myers FS, pp. 119-130.
e. I Sam 2:2; Ps 116:2
‫“ כי‬indeed” 11 ‫“ ו‬yea”
f. Ps 120:7
‫“ ו‬yea” + ‫“ כי‬indeed”
g. Comments
Appreciation of the emphatic particles seems to preclude the deletion
of the second Colon, recommended by B H K on the basis of the LXX, in
I Sam 2:2:
‫ א ץ״ קדו ש ך יהוה‬There is none holier than you, Yahweh.
‫ כי אין בל ת ך‬Indeed, there is none beside you.
‫ ואין צו ר כאלהינו‬Yea, there is no mountain like our God.
Since *‫ ב ל תן‬obviously refers to the second person, ‫ יהוה‬in the first colon
should also be second person; this is accomplished by reading ‫קדושן* יהוה‬
for MT ‫ז כיהוה‬2‫ ק ד ה‬, with the second person suffix parsed as dative of com-
parison as in Ps 77:14; see Dahood, Psalms I I , p. 230.
h. For an explanation of the emphatic particles in the two Pss texts, see
Dahood, Psalms I I I , pp. 146, 198.


a. kbd I/ p
b. 67 11:3-4 (CTA 5 11:3-4)
c. "liver” // “m outh”
d. Exod 4:10
‫“ כ ב ד‬heavy” + ‫“ פ ה‬m outh”
e. Isa 29:13
‫“ פ ה‬m outh” . . . ‫( כ ב ד‬D) “to honor”
f. Comments
The comparisons are valid inasmuch as kbd, “liver,” and ‫ כ ב ד‬, “heavy,”
or (D) “to honor,” reflect the same root. W hat is more, in Isa 29:13, ‫עש‬
‫ ה ע ם הזה בפיו‬, “this people approaches with its m outh,” elicits 75 1:40 (CTA
12 1:40), b'l ngthm bp'nh, “Baal approached them with his feet.”

— 88 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 159


a. kbd . . . smt (see also smt // ’zm [I 315])

b. 1 Aqht: 116-117, 130-131, 138-139, 144-145 (CTA 19 111:116-117, 130-131, 138-
139, 144-145)
c. “liver” . . . “fat”
d. Notes
As remarked at smt // ’zm (I 315 d), the root underlying smt is most likely
smn, “to be fat.”
e. Isa 17:4
‫“ כ בו ד‬weight” / / ‫“ מעמן‬fa t‫״‬
f. Isa 10:16
‫“ משמן‬stalw art” // ‫“ כ ב ד‬weight”
g. Comments
Isa 17:4 reads and translates:
‫ י ד ל כ בו ד י ע ק ב‬Jacob’s weight shall dwindle
‫ ומשמן בשרו ירזה‬and his body fat waste away.
h. Isa 10:16 is somewhat thornier, but the identification of the parallel
pair ‫ ב‬II ‫( תחת‬see R SP I, II 101) reveals the further balance between ‫משמניו‬
and ‫ כ ב ד ו‬. If these latter two form a word pair, then ‫ כ ב דו‬must be an ab-
stract noun (“his weight”) acquiring a concrete denotation by reason of
its parallelism with concrete ‫משמניו‬, “his stalwarts.” Hence render:
‫ל כן ישלח האדון יהוה צבאות‬ Therefore the Lord Yahweh of Hosts will
‫במשמניו רזון‬ wasting disease among his stalwarts,
‫ותחת כ ב דו י ק ד י ק ד‬ and amid his robust warriors a burning
will be kindled,
‫כי קוד אש‬ like the burning of fire.


a. kbd ‫ן‬/ td
b. 75 1:10-11 (CTA 12 1:10-11)
c. “liver” I/ “breast”

— 89 —
I 161 Ras Shamra Parallels

d. Isa 66:11
‫" עזד‬breast” . . . ‫" כ בו ד‬abundance”

e. Comments
Since kbd, "liver,” and ‫ כ בו ד‬, "abundance,” relate to the same root,
the comparison is not gratuitous.


a. kht II ars (see kht + drkt [.RSP II, I 27])

b. 49 1:36-37 (1CTA 6 1:64-65)
c. "seat” I/ "earth”
d. Notes
Literally “earth,” ars here probably refers to the nether world.

e. Ps 66:3-4
‫( כ ח ע‬D) "to cringe” . . . ‫“ אר ץ‬earth”

f. Comments
S. Rin, BZ, X I (1967), 182-183, sees in ‫"( כחש‬to worship” ) the root
found in kht, a connection th at is phonetically and semantically acceptable.


a. kit I/ bt
b. 51 1:15-19; I V :54-57 {CTA 4 1:15-19; IV:54-57)

c. “bride” // "daughter”

d• kit -\ - bt
e. 1175:2
f. "bride” + "daughter”
g. Hos 4:13, 14; Micah 7:6
‫" בת‬daughter” // ‫“ כ ל ה‬bride, daughter-in-law”

— 90 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 163


a. kit + knyt
b. 51 1:16; I V :54 (CTA 4 1:16; IV:54); 'nt pi. V I:IV :5-6 (CTA 3 E:5-6)
c. “bride” + “perfect”
d. Notes
While kit is generally accepted as “bride,” doubt attaches to the meaning
of knyt; “perfect,” "famous,” and “tender” are some of the proposals. The
biblical text supports “perfect.”
e. Ezek 28:12
‫“ חותם תכנית‬who puts the seal of perfection” / / ‫" כ לי ל יפי‬complete in beauty”
f. Comments
The Ug. juxtaposition does not elucidate ‫ חותם‬for us, but does help
establish the text, discountenancing the emendation of ‫תכנית‬, “perfection,”
to ‫תבני ת‬, with some versions, or ‫ ; ת כ לי ת‬see B H K and BHS.


a. kn . . . sbrt
b. 51 I V :48-49 (CTA 4 IV:48-49); 'nt V:44-45 {CTA 3 E:44-45)
c. (L) “to create” . . . “band”
d. Job 27:16
‫“ צ ב ר‬to collect” / ‫( כ ץ ן‬H) “to store up”
e. Comments
This hapax pair sheds light on the Canaanite literary background of


a. ksp + anyt
b. 2106:11
c. “silver” + "ships”
d. anyt . . . ksp

— 91 —
I 166 Ras Shamra Parallels

e. 2106:16-17
f. “ships” . . . “silver”
g. Isa 60:9
‫“ אניות‬ships” 11 ‫“ כ סף‬silver”


a. ksp . . . bzr
b. 51 1:32+35 (CTA 4 1:32+35)
c. “silver” . . . “gold”
d. Notes
Translating kht il nht bzr (51 1:34-35): “a gorgeous throne, a couch of gold.”
On nht, “couch,” see Gordon, UT, § 19.1640; Aistleitner, Worterbuch, No.
1772. Hitherto bzr has commonly been interpreted as an adverb “above”
or “upon,” comprised of b and zr “back” ; cf. W. Albright, BASOR, 91
(1943), 41 and n. 18; T. Gaster, BASOR, 93 (1944), 22; Aistleitner, Worter-
buck, No. 2378. But this analysis makes it difficult to parse nht, which in
similar contexts always designates a “couch” or “seat.”
e. Job 22:25
‫“ ב צ ר‬gold” !‫“ כ ס ף ן‬silver”
f. Comments
Found only in Job 22:24 and 25, ‫ ב צ ר‬serves to elucidate the sense of
bzr, which as an adverb scarcely fits the context. This hapax legomenon
pair underscores anew the affinity between Job and the Canaanite literary
tradition and makes it more difficult to credit the view th at Jo b ’s background
is Arabic. For other uncommon word pairs in Job witnessed in Ug., see
Dahood, Moriarty FS, pp. 19-34. One might even propose th at Eliphaz’s
statement ‫ די ב צ רי ך‬$ ‫ ו הי ה‬, “and Shaddai will be your gold,” owes something
to the Ug. parallelism il // bzr, “E l” // “gold” (51 1:34-35).


a. kpr /I rh gdm
b. 'nt 11:2 (CTA 3 B:2)
c. “henna” // “scent of coriander”

— 92 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 168

d. N o te s
The biblical collocation of ‫ ריח‬and ‫( כפר‬see sections g and i) confirms the
position of those rendering 'n t 11:2-3:
k p r sb' bn t Henna of seven daughters,
rh g d m w a n h b m scent of coriander and a n h b m .
See de Moor, S e a s o n a l P a t te r n , p. 85, for bibliography on this verse, and
contrast the mistaken interpretation of Cassuto, GA, pp. 64, 76. Cf. Ca-
quot’s discussion, TOML, p. 157.
e. Bibliography
M. Dahood, Bib, XEV (1964), 288.
Schoville, S o n g o f S o n g s , pp. 50-51.
f. C a n t 1 :1 4
‫“ כ פ ר‬henna” . . . ‫“ עין גדי‬En-gedi”
g. C a n t 4 :1 1 + 1 3
‫“ ריח‬scent” . . . ‫“ כ פ ר‬henna”
h. C o m m e n ts
Usually interpreted “spring of the kid,” ‫ עין גדי‬might also signify “cori-
ander spring.” Other Canaanite words in Cant 1:14 include ‫ א שכ ל‬, “cluster,”
and ‫ ב‬, "from.” Thus N EB, “my beloved is for me a cluster of henna-blossom
from the vineyards of En-gedi,” is preferable to R SV , "My beloved is to
me a cluster of henna blossoms in the vineyards of En-gedi.”
i. The Ug. parallelism confutes those (e.g. NEB) who delete Cant 4:13c,
‫ כ פ רי ם ע ם־נ רדי ם‬, “henna with spikenard,” as metrically disruptive. • Here
emerges a further instance of two moot texts elucidating one another: for
additional examples of this paradoxical process, see M. Dahood, Bib, XL/VIII
(1967), 423-425.


a. k r y // y l d
b. 75 1:23-25 (CTA 12 1:23-25)
c. “to dig” If “to bear”
d. N o te s
The disputed passage 75 1:23-27 may be read and rendered:
k r y a m t 'p r Dig with the forearm the ground
'z m y d u g r m with vigorous hand the fields.

— 93 —
I 169 Ras Shamra Parallels

hi Id
Writhe, 7 bear!
aklm tbrkk Let the devourers make you kneel;
wld 'qqm let the gnawers be bom!
In this stichometry initial imperative kry balances imperatives hi Id at
the end of the tricolon. Contrast the mistaken stichometry of Caquot,
TOML, pp. 340-341.
e. Ezek 16:3
‫“ מכ ר ה‬digging out, origin” + ‫“ מ ל ד ת‬birth”
f. Comments
The hapax phrase in Ezek 16:3, ‫ מ כ ר תי ך ו מלד תיך מ אר ץ הכנעני‬, “your
origin and your birth are of the land of the Canaanites,” may well allude
to the Canaanite customs mentioned in the text above. Whether ‫מ כ ר ה‬
(also in Ezek 21:35 and 29:14) derives from ‫ כור‬or ‫ כ ר ה‬, both “to dig,” does
not affect the discussion concerning parallelism and juxtaposition, since
the roots are related; cf. H AL, p. 549.


a. krm . . . dd
b. 77:22-23 (CTA 24:22-23)
c. “vineyard” . . . “affection”
d. Bibliography
C. Virolleaud, Syria, X V II (1936), 219.
W. Watson, VT, X X II (1972), 468.
e. Isa 5:1
T T “beloved” // ‫“ כר ם‬vineyard”


a. ktr -+‫ ־‬tb (see also dsn // tb [RSP I, II 158])

b. 602 obv:5
c. “K othar‫ ״‬+ “merry”
d. Notes
M. Dahood, Or, X X X IX (1970), 377, discusses the nuance “merry” of tb.

— 94 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 171

e. Eccles 11:6
‫“ כעזר‬to succeed” !‫“ טוב ן‬good”
f. Eccles 5:10
‫“ טובה‬goods” 11 ‫“ כשרון‬gain”
g. Comments
These parallelisms in Eccles of two roots juxtaposed in Ug. tell against
Wagner, Aramaismen, pp. 68, 139, who believes th at Qoheleth’s use of the
root ‫ כשר‬is due to Aram, influence.
h. For another significant pair in Eccles (10:18) with Ug. counterpart,
see mkk // dip (R SP I, II 355).


a. lik I/ mt
b. 2059:10-13
c. “to send” // "to die, perish”
d. Prov 16:14
‫" מ ל א ך‬messenger” + ‫“ מות‬Death”
e. Comments
Many modem versions follow the L,XX in reading singular ‫ מ ל א ך מות‬,
“a messenger of death” (e.g., R SV , NEB), but MT ‫ מ ל אכי״ מו ת‬better parses
as either plural or dual—messengers of the god Death, a motif attested in
the RS tablets. See Dahood, Proverbs, p. 36.


a. lb . . . atr
b. 49 11:8-9, 29-30 (CTA 6 11:8-9, 29-30)
c. “heart” . . . “toward”
d. Notes
The semantic relationship between the verb atr, “to march,” and the prep-
osition atr, “toward,” has an analogy in ‫ ד ר ך‬, “to tread,” and ‫דרך‬., which
sometimes signifies “toward” (cf. BDB, p. 203a).

— 95 —
I 173 Ras Shamra Parallels

e. Pss 37:31; 44:19

‫“ ל ב‬heart ‫ ״‬// ‫ ר‬0 ‫“ א‬foot‫״‬
f. Job 31:7
‫ ר‬0 ‫“ א‬foot‫ ״‬II ‫“ ל ב‬heart‫״‬
g. Pss 10:6 ((‫ ;)לב‬73:1-2 (‫לבב‬
‫ ל ב‬, ‫“ ל ב ב‬heart” . . . ‫“ אע ר‬foot”
h. Comments
In Ps 10:6 MT *‫ו‬#‫ א‬becomes more meaningful when repointed ‫א שך‬,
“my foot,” so th at the v. translates:
‫אמר ב ל בו‬ He says in his heart,
‫ב ל־ א מו ט‬ “I will not stumble,
‫ל ד ר וד ר‬ forever and ever
‫אשך ל א ־ ב ר ע‬ my foot without a slip.”


a. Ibnn // rum
b. 2 Aqht V I:20-21 (CTA 17 VI:20-21)
c. “Lebanon” // “wild ox”
d. Ps 29:6
‫‘‘ לבנון‬Lebanon” . . . ‫" ראם‬wild ox”


a. lbs . . . dm
b. 75 11:47 (<CTA 12 11:47)
c. “garm ent” . . . “blood”
d. Notes
Following the translation of 75 11:47 in Caquot, TOML, p. 348: “quand
(Ba'al) a revetu comme un habit (de deuil) le sang de ses freres.” Compare
th at of Gordon, UMC, p. 93: “For he is clad as in the garb of [his] bro[thers].”
e. Lam 4:14
‫“ ד ם‬blood” II ‫“ ל ב ע‬garm ent”

— 96 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 175


a. Ihm + trmmt
b. 62:43 (CTA 6 V I:43)
c. "bread.” + "presentation”
d. Bibliography
Rin, AG, p. 235.
de Moor, Seasonal Pattern, pp. 240-241.
e. N um 15:19
‫ ״ ל ח ם‬food” !‫ ״ תרומו* ן‬offering‫״‬


a. Iht -(- spr

b. 138:6-7
c. “tablets” -+- "inscription”
d. Notes
Rendering Iht spr d likt: “the inscribed tablets which you sent.”
e. Isa 30:8
‫" לוח‬tablet” If ‫“ ספ ר‬inscription”
f. Comments
The parallelism makes it more difficult to equate ‫ ספ ר‬with Akk. siparru,
"bronze,” as has been proposed in the past. Compare also KAI 37 A: 15,
‫ ר ב ספר ם ]ו[לח‬, “master of scribes and tablets,” in a Phoen. inscription from


a. Iht II t'dt
b. 137:25-26 (1CTA 2 1:25-26)
c. "tablets” // "testimony, injunction”
d. Notes
ahd ilm Cny In unison the gods answer

— 97 —
I 178 Ras Shamra Parallels

Iht mlak ym the tablets of Sea’s messengers

t(dt tpt nh\r\ the injunction of Judge River.
For the identification of t'dt with biblical ‫ ת עו ד ה‬, see de Moor, Seasonal Pat-
tern, pp. 130-131.
e. Isa 30:8
‫“ לוח‬tablet” . . . ‫( ע ד‬MT ‫“ ) ע ד‬witness


a. Iqh If M y
b. R S 24.277:30-31 (U g. VI, p. 168)
c. "to take” // “to gaze”
d. hdy 11 Iqh
e. 1 Aqht:144-146 (CTA 19 111:144-146)
f. “to gaze” II “to take”
g. Notes
Translating yqh 'z wyhdy mrhqm in RS 24.277:30-31: “He took the fortress
and peered into the distance.”
h. Job 3:6
‫“ ל ק ח‬to take” II ‫" ח ד ה‬to gaze”
i. Prov 24:32
‫“ חזה‬to gaze” 11 ‫“ ל ק ח‬to take”
j. Comments
O. W intermute’s identification (apud M. Dahood, Bib, XL, [1959], 169)
of ‫ יחד‬in Job 3:6 as Canaanite for ‫ יחז‬is now sustained by the argument
from parallel pairs. See also Brekelmans, Ras Sjamra, p. 8. Thus v. 6, ‫א ל ־‬
‫ י ח ד בימי ענה‬, "may it not be seen among the days of the year!” is balanced
by v. 9, ‫ ו א ל ־י ר א ה ב ע פ ע פי־ ע ח ר‬, "may it not enjoy the twinklers of dawn!”


a. Iqh II ysq
b. Krt:70-72, 163-164 (CTA 14 11:70-72; III:163-IV:164)
c. "to take” // “to pour”

— 98 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 180

d. Gen 28:18; Josh 7:23 (‫[ יצק‬H])/ I Sam 10:1; I I Kings 4:41; Job 28:2 (‫[ ל ק ח‬Hp],
‫[ יצק‬Gp])
‫“ ל ק ח‬to take” ; (Hp) “to be taken” // ‫“ יצק‬to pour” ; (Gp) “to be smelted” ;
(H) “to pour out”
e. Comments
The recognition of a double-duty preposition and of scriptio defectiva
leads to this reading and rendition of Job 28:2:
‫ב רזל מ ע פ ר יקח‬ Iron is taken from ore,
ntfim ‫ואבן לצולן‬ and from smelted rock, bronze.


a. Isn II [qll\
b. 2 Aqht V I:51-52 (CTA 17 VI:51-52)
c. “to traduce” 11 “ [to curse]”
d. Notes
The biblical parallelism cited below suggests the following restoration:
tUn aqht gzr She traduced Aqhat the Hero,
[tqll kdd dn\il [she cursed the child of Dan]iel.
Herdner, CTA, p. 84, leaves four spaces, just the number of tqll.
e. Prov 30:10
‫( לשן‬H) “to traduce” / / ‫( ק ל ל‬D) “to curse”


a. mgn . . . qnyt
b. 51 1:22-23; 111:25-26, 28-30, 33-35 (CTA 4 1:22-23; 111:25-26, 28-30, 33-35)
c. “to beseech (with gifts)” . . . “creatress”
d. Notes
Adopting the definition of mgn proposed by Gordon, UT, § 19.1419, and
followed by Caquot, TOML, pp. 194, 554.
e. Gen 14:19-20
‫“ קנה‬to create” 11 ‫( מגן‬D) “to deliver”

— 99 —
I 182 Ras Shamra Parallels


a. mdbr // mdr'
b. 52:68-69 {CTA 23:68-69)
c. “the desert” // “the sown”
d. Jer 2:2
‫“ מ ד ב ר‬the desert” // ‫“ ארץ ל א זרועה‬a land not sown”
e. Ps 106:26-27
‫“ מ ד ב ר‬the desert” . . . ‫“ זרע‬seed”


a. mdbr (mlbr) + siy (see also ysa [yza] . . . mdbr [mlbr] [I 138])
b. 75 1:21-22 (iCTA 12 1:21-22)
c. “desert” + “devastating”
d. Notes
Translating btk mlbr il siy: “in the midst of the limitless devastating desert,”
with il parsed as the superlative and Siy as an adjective from the root wit-
nessed in ‫’שאה‬, “devastation.”
e. Job 38:26-27
‫“ מ ד ב ר‬desert” II ‫“ שאה ומשאה‬devastation and desolation”
f. Comments
This passage contains five parallel nouns all designating “desert.”


a. mdbr + spm
b. 52:4 (1CTA 23:4)
c. “desert” + “dunes(?)‫״‬
d. Notes
The damaged text does not permit certain translation of spm, but a number
of scholars have identified it with ‫שפי)י(ם‬, “dunes.”

— 100 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 185

e. Jer 4:11; 12:12

‫“ שפי)י(ם‬dunes” II ‫" מ ד ב ר‬desert”
f. Isa 41:18: Jer 3:2
‫“ שפי)י(ם‬dunes” . . . ‫“ מ ד ב ר‬desert”
g. Comments
The balance of pairs is obtained in Jer 4:11 and 12:12 by scanning
and translating differently from traditional versions. The first now reads:
‫רוח צח שפיים‬ A scorching wind from the dunes,
‫ב מ ד ב ר ד ר ך ב ת־ ע מי‬ from the desert toward my people.
- It would seem th at the second-colon preposition ‫ ב‬, “from,” serves the first
colon as well.
h. In Jer 12:12 there is also the problem of the preposition :‫ע ל‬
‫ע ל־ כ ל־ ש פי ם‬ From all the dunes,
‫ב מ ד ב ר באו שדדים‬ from the desert come the devastators.
In this passage the prophet describes the desert tribes’ razzia of the sown;
hence both ‫ ב‬and ‫ ע ל‬indicate the origin of the onslaught.


a. [md'] If md'
b. 608:39
c. “ [Why?]” /I “W hy?”
d. Notes
The first md' is a complete restoration suggested by the purported paral-
lelism: [md'] nplt y [ ] md' nplt Mr.
e. Judg 5:28
‫“ מדו ע‬W hy?” // ‫“ מדוע‬W hy?”


a. mhmd + arz
b. 51 V I:19, 21 (CTA 4 VI :19, 21)

— 101 —
I 187 Ras Shamra’ Parallels

c. “the most desirable” + “cedar”

d. Cant 5:15-16
‫“ ארז‬cedar” // ‫“ מ ח מ ד‬the most desirable”


a. mhs H hwy (see also mt . . . mhs [I 209])

b. 1 Aqht:15-16 (CTA 19 1:15-16)
c. “to smite” // (D) “to revive”
d. Deut 32:39
‫( חיה‬D) “to revive” . . . ‫“ מחץ‬to smite”


a. mhs I/ hsb
b. *nt 11:5-7, 19-20, 23-24, 29-30 (CTA 3 B:5-7, 19-20, 23-24, 29-30)
c. “to smite” // “to hew”
d. Bibliography
Dahood, Gruenthaner V 0 L, p. 56.
e. Isa 51:9
‫“ מ ח צב‬to hew to pieces”
f. Comments
In a mythological passage describing Yahweh’s arm, consonantal
‫( המחצבות‬lQIsa* reads ‫ ) ה מ ח צ ת‬can be parsed as a quadriconsonantal blend
of the parallel pair mhs // hsb witnessed in a similar context in Ug. As a
G fern. part. ‫ ה מ ח צ ב ת‬relieves the need for emendation recommended even
before the discovery of lQ Isaa.


a. mym 11 sat nps

b. 125:34-35 (CTA 16 1:34-35)
c. “w ater” // “issue of the throat”

— 102 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 190

d. Notes
In this passage, mmh, literally "her waters,” signifies "her tears.” UT 125:
3435‫ ־‬reads and translates:
al tst bsdm mmh Let her not pour her tears in the fields,
bsmkt sat n jsh on the highlands the issue of her throat.
Gordon, UT, § 19.1469, writes th at “it is conceivable th at mmh corresponds
to Heb. ‫מי מיה‬, ‘her waters’.” From the biblical texts cited below this equa-
tion appears beyond doubt. But Gordon errs when concluding th at mmh
indicates a vital substance th at can leave the body and enter the earth upon
death, hence her blood. Rather mmh is a poetic term for "her tears” which
issue from her throat, having originated in the kbd, “the liver.” On the
physiology of tears in the OT see T. Collins, CBQ, X X X III (1971), 18-38,
e. Prov 25:25
‫“ מים‬water” + ‫“ נפש‬throat”
f. Ps63:2
‫" נפש‬throat” . . . ‫“ מים‬water”
g. Isa 58:11
‫“ נפעז‬throat” . . . ‫“ מוצא מים‬spring of waters”
h. Comments
In Isa 58:11 ‫ ו הג בי ע בצח צחו ת נפשך‬is rendered: “And he will slake your
throat in the shimmering heat.”

a. mym . . . ilm // smym jI kbkbm
b. 1 Aqht:190-193 (CTA 19 IV: 190-193)
c. “w ater” . . . “gods” // “heavens” // “stars”
d. Job 22:11-12
‫“ מים‬w ater” . . . ‫“ אלוה‬God” // 0‫“ מים‬heavens” // ‫“ כוכבי ם‬stars”

a. mym // smn
b. 'nt 11:38-39 {CTA 3 B :38-39)
c. “water” // “oil”

— 103 —
I 192 Ras Shamra Parallels

d. Notes
The text reads and translates:
thsjn mh wtrhs She drew water for herself and washed
tl sntnr smn ars with dew of heaven, oil of earth.
The genitive suffix of mh, “her w ater,” is interpreted here as datival, a
construction well known from Heb.; cf. Joiion, Grammaire, § 129h, p. 389
e. Ezek T6:9; Ps 109:18
‫“ מים‬water‫ ״‬// p tf “oil”


a. mknt // tbt
b. Krt:11+23 (CTA 14 1:11+23)
c. “abode” // “dwelling”
d. Notes
The biblical parallelism of these two roots (kwn, ‫ כ ץ‬and ytb, ‫ )ישב‬suggests
th at the Ug. poet is here employing distant parallelism; see R SP I, II Intro
6 c-f. Thus 1. 23, mid grd$ tbth, “much ravaged is his dwelling,” is doubtless
intended to evoke 1. 11 , krt grds mknt, literally, “K irta is ravaged as to
e. Isa 16:5
‫( כ ץ‬Hp) “to be established” // ‫“ ישב‬to sit”
f. Ps 107:36
‫( ישב‬H) “to cause to dwell” / / ‫( כ ץ‬L) “to establish”
g. Exod 15:17; I Kings 8:13, 39, 43; Ps 33:14; etc.
‫“ מכ ץ‬abode” + ‫“ עזבת‬dwelling”


a. mla // mla
b. 76 111:8-9 (CTA 10 111:8-9)
c. “to be full” II “to be full”
d. Isa 2:6-8 (G, N, N, N); Jer 5:27; Ezek 9:9 (N, G); Job 36:16-17; Eccles 1:7-8 (G, N)
‫“ מל א‬to be full” ; (N) “to be filled” / / ‫“ מל א‬to be full” ; (N) “to be filled”

— 104 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 194


a. mla . . . smht
b. 'nt 11:25-26 (CTA 3 B :25-26)
c. “to be full‫ ״‬. . . “joy‫״‬
d. Ps 48:11-12
‫“ מ ל א‬to be full” II ‫“ שמח‬to rejoice”
e. Comments
This parallelism suggests th at the sop -pdsuq at the end of v. 11 is mis-


a. mlak + ym
b. 137:22, 26, 28, 30 (CTA 2 1:22, 26, 28, 30)
c. “messenger” + “Sea”
d. Ps 107:23
‫“ ים‬sea” II ‫" מ ל א כ ה‬trading mission, trade”
e. Isa 23:2-3
‫‘‘ ים‬sea” + ‫“ מל או ך‬agent, salesman”
f. Comments
On the nuance “trading mission” ascribed to ‫ מ ל א כ ה‬, see W. Albright,
BASOR, 150 (1958), 38, n. 14; Dahood, Psalms I I I , p. 86.
g. In Isa 23:2, lQ Isa offers the variant ‫ מ ל א כי ך‬, "your messengers,” but
consonantal ‫ מל או ך‬can be defended when pointed ‫ מ ל או ך‬, a maktub formation,
with the literal meaning “one sent,” hence an agent or salesman. Thus
singular ‫ מל או ך‬accords with singular ‫ ע ב ר ים‬, “who crossed the sea.”

a. mlak H t'dt
b. 137:22, 26, 28, 30 (CTA 2 1:22, 26, 28, 30)
c. "messenger” // “embassy”
d. Isa 14:31-32
‫“ מו עד‬troops” . . . ‫“ מ ל א ך‬messenger”

— 105 —
I 197 Ras Shamra Parallels


a. mlk + bny
b. 1007:7
c. ‫ ״‬king” + “to build‫״‬
d. Bibliography
Dahood, Textual Criticism, p. 27.
e. Job 3:14
‫“ מלכי ם‬kings” // ‫“ הבנים‬who rebuilt”
f. Jer 52:4; Eccles 9:14
‫“ מל ך‬king” . . . ‫“ בנה‬to build”
g. Isa 60:10
‫“ בנה‬to build ‫ ״‬. . . ‫“ מ ל ך‬king”
h. Comments
In the article cited above I termed the two words in Job 3:14 as oc-
curring merely in sequence, but a good case can be made for considering
the terms parallel. Of course, ‫הבני ם‬, "who rebuilt,” would stand parallel
to both ‫ מ ל כי ם ויעצי ארץ‬, “kings and counsellors of the earth,” in the first


a. mlk . . . bsr
b. 2076:38-39
c. Mlk (GN) . . . B s r (GN)
d. bsr + mlk
e. 2063:11-12
f. "to enclose” + “king”
g. Notes
On the GN Bsr see Astour, R SP II, V III 20.
UT 2063:11-12 is read and translated:
[y]bsr 'm mlk He enclosed the fortress of the king.
On 'm, “fortress,” consult Dahood, Psalms I, pp. 112-113.

— 106 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 199

h. Isa 17:3; Lam 2:2

‫“ מ ב צ ר‬fortification” // ‫“ מ מ ל כ ה‬kingdom, king”
i. Deut 3:4-5
‫“ מ מ ל כ ה‬kingdom” . . . ‫( ב צ ר‬Gp) “to be fortified”
j. Isa 34:12-13
‫“ מלו כ ה‬kingship” . . . ‫“ מ ב צ ר‬fortification”


a. mlk . . . kn

b. 51 I V :48 (CTA 4 IV:48); 'nt V:43-44 (CTA 3 E:43-44)

c. “king” . . . (L,) “to bring into being”
d. Notes
In the phrase il mlk dyknnk, “El the king who brought you into being,”
the L, form yakaninu has its reflex in the L, form ‫ כונן‬of Exod 15:17.
e. Ps 96:10
‫“ מל ך‬to reign” // ‫( כרן‬N) “to be firmly established”
f. Exod 15:17-18
‫( כ ץ‬E) “to establish” . . . ‫“ מ ל ך‬to reign”


a. mlk + sm

b. 138:13
c. “king” + “name”
d. Mai 1:14
‫“ מ ל ך‬king” II ‫“ עזם‬name”
e. Zech 14:9; Ps 145:1
‫“ מ ל ך‬king” . . . ‫“ עזם‬name”
f. Jet 29:21; Ps 102:16
‫“ עזם‬name” . . . ‫“ מל ך‬king”

— 107 —
I 201 Ras Shamra Parallels


a. mphm . . . slh

b. 51 1:24+26-27 {CTA 4 1:24+26-27)

c. “bellows” . . . "to hammer out, forge”

d. Prov 6:19
‫ פוח‬or ‫( נפח‬H) “to ventilate” If ‫( עזלח‬D) “to forge”

e. Comments
A consistent metaphor emerges in Prov 6:19 when ‫י פי ח‬, usually taken
as a substantive denoting “witness,” is parsed as a H verb from either ‫פרח‬
or ‫נ פ ח‬, “to fan, blow,” and ‫ ל ח‬1‫ מע‬identified with the root of Ug. slh, “to
hammer out, forge.”
‫יפיח כזבים ע ד ע ק ר‬ A lying witness ventilates lies,
‫ו מעל ח מדנים בי| אחים‬ and forges disputes among brothers.

f. For further discussion of these roots, consult Dahood, UHP, p. 73,

and J. Greenfield, JAOS, L X X X IX (1969), 178.


a. mrym + spn

b. 51 I V :19 (1CTA 4 IV:19); 67 1:11 {CTA 5 1:11); 607:9; 'nt IV:45, 82 {CTA 3
D:45, 82)

c. “the heights” + “Zapan”

d. Job 17:4
‫“ צ פן‬to conceal” jI ‫( רום‬L) “to exalt”

e. Comments
At first blush the comparison looks remote, but one familiar with the
allusive power of Jo b ’s recherche vocabulary will take cognizance of it.
The biblical parallelism, it might be noted, does not necessarily bear on the
disputed etymology of Ug. spn.

— 108 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 203

a. mrkbt . . . V&
b. 1121:1-2
c. “chariot” . . . “to enter”
d. Jer 50:37
‫“ ר כ ב‬chariot” // ‫“ ע ר ב‬foreign troops”

a. mslt . . . hpnt
b. 609 obv:19
c. “robes” . . . “garments”
d. Notes
Since hpnt designates garments of some kind (see Gordon, UT, § 19.990),
mslt may be explained as a metathetic form of ‫ שמלה‬and ‫ של מה‬, both signify-
ing "m antle” or “robe” .
e. Prov 30:4
‫“ הפנים‬garments” // ‫“ שמלה‬m antle”
f. Comments
The Ug. collocation would tend to confirm the equation of ‫ בחפניו‬in Prov
30:4 with Ug. hpn proposed by K. Cathcart, CBQ, X X X II (1970), 418-420.

a. mt If asp
b. Krt:16+18-19 (CTA 14 1:16+18-19)
c. “to die” If “to gather”
d. Deut 32:50 (twice)
‫“ מות‬to die” 11 ‫( אסף‬N) "to be gathered”
e. N um 20:26
‫( א ס ף‬N) “to be gathered” + ‫“ מות‬to die”
f. Hab2:5
‫“ מות‬Death” . . . ‫“ אסף‬to gather”

— 109 —
I 206 Ras Shamra Parallels


a. mt . . . bq'
b. 49 11:31-32 {CTA 6 11:31-32)
c. "D eath” . . . “to split”
d. Isa 59:5
‫" מות‬to die” // ‫( ב ק ע‬N) "to break forth”


a. mt . . . hrb
b. 49 11:31 {CTA 6 11:31)
c. "D eath” . .. "sword”
d. Jer 18:21; 43:11; Job 5:20
‫" מות‬Mot, death” // ‫“ ח ר ב‬sword”
e. Lam 1:20
‫“ ח רב‬sword” // ‫" מות‬death”
f. Jer 11:22
‫“ מות‬to die” + ‫ ״ ח רב‬sword”
g. Isa 22:2; Job 27:14-15
‫" ח רב‬sword” . . . ‫" מות‬to die, death”
h. Comments
Destroying the parallelism, B H K ’s proposal to emend ‫ הרגי מות‬, "slain
by Mot,” to ‫הרוגים‬, “slain,” in Jer 18:21 must be disallowed.


a. mt If yrd
b. 67 V I:23-25 {CTA 5 V I:23-25)
c. "to die” II " to descend”
d. mt . . . yrd
e. 67 1:6; V.T5-17 {CTA 5 1:6; V:15-17)

— 110 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 209

f. “to die” . . . “to descend”

g. I Sam 2:6 (‫[ מות‬H], ‫[ י ר ד‬H]); P s 115:17
‫“ מות‬to die” ; (H) “to kill” / / ‫“ י ר ד‬to descend” ; (H) “to bring down”
h. Ezek 28:8 (H); Ps 88:5-6
‫“ י ר ד‬to descend” ; (H) “to bring down” / / ‫“ מות‬to die”
i. Ezek 28:8; Prov 5:5; 7:27
‫“ י ר ד‬to descend” + ‫“ מות‬death”
j. I Sam 26:10; Ezek 31:14
‫“ מות‬to die, death” . . . ‫“ י ר ד‬to descend”


a. mt . . . mhs (see also mhs // hwy [I 187])

b. 49 V I :24-25 (CTA 6 VI :24-25)
c. “Death” . . . “to smite”
d. Deut 32:39
‫( מות‬H) “to slay” // ‫“ מחץ‬to smite”


a. mtb j/ kht
b. 126 V :24-25 (CTA 16 V:24-25)
c. “chair” / / “seat”
d. ytb + kht
e. 49 1:30 (1CTA 6 1:58)
f. “to sit” + “seat”
g . ytb . . . kht
h. 127:23-24 (CTA 16 V I:23-24)
i. “to sit” . . . “seat”
j. Bibliography
Kuhnigk, Hoseabuch, pp. 109-110, 113.

I ll —
I 211 Ras Shamra Parallels

k. Hos 9:2b-3a
‫( כחש‬D) “to sit enthroned” // ‫“ ישב‬to rule”
l. Comments
Kuhnigk proposes this convincing translation for the cola in question:
‫ותירועז י כ ח ע בה‬ Und Tirosch thront in ihm,
‫ל א ישבו ב ארץ יהוה‬ nicht herrscht im Lande Jahwe.


a. ndd . . . 'pt
b. 124:10-11 (CTA 22 B.10-11)
c. “to depart” . . . “flight, fowl”
d. Job 20:8
‫“ עוף‬to fly” // ‫( נ ד ד‬Hp) “to be chased away”
e. Ps 55:7-8
‫“ עוף‬to fly” // ‫( רחק נ ד ד‬H) “to depart distantly”

f. Jer 4:25
‫“ עוף‬fowl” + ‫“ נ ד ד‬to depart‫״‬
g. Jer 9:9; Hos 7:12-13
‫ ״ עוף‬fowl” . . . ‫“ נ ד ד‬to depart”

h. Comments
Compare also Prov 26:2, where ‫נוד‬, “to flee,” cognate to ‫נ ד ד‬, parallels
‫ עו ף‬, “to fly.”

a. nt* 4‫ ־‬ars
b. 76 11:24 (CTA 10 11:24)
c. “to plant” + “earth”
d. Isa 60:21
‫“ ארץ‬earth” / / ‫“ מ טע‬plantation”
e. Jer 32:41
‫“ נטע‬to plant” + ‫“ ארץ‬earth”

— 112 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 213

f. Ps 80:9-10
‫“ נטע‬to plant” . . . ‫“ ארץ‬land”
g. Job 14:8-9
‫“ אר ץ‬earth” . . . ‫“ נטע‬plantation”
h. Ezek 34:29
‫“ מ ט ע‬plantation” . . . ‫“ ארץ‬earth”
i. Comments
In addition to the second element of the collocation, Job 14:8 also
witnesses ‫“ אר ץ‬earth” // ‫“ ע פ ר‬dust,” th at occurs in 76 11:24-25 (see R SP I,
II 67):
nten bars iby We planted my foes in the earth,
wb'fir qm ahk and in the dust those who rose up
against your brother.


a. ns I/ dbh
b. 2063:14-16

c. “to flee” I/ “to sacrifice”

d. Notes
The text lends itself to various interpretations, but the balance between
ns and dbh appears certain.
mlk syr ns The king fled to Syr
wtm ydbh and there offered a sacrifice.
Contrast Gordon, UT, § 19.1751: “The king has traveled to Ns and there
he will sacrifice” ; and M. Astour, A J A , L,XIX (1965), 257: “And behold,
the king retreated, fled, and there he sacrificed.” Since tm, “there,” needs
an antecedent, either syr or ns should designate a place.
e. Ps 4:6-7
‫“ זבח‬to sacrifice” . . . ‫“ ניס‬to flee”
f. Comments
For the analysis of ‫ נסה‬as third masculine singular of ‫נוס‬, see Dahood,
Psalms I, p. 26. Since the light of God’s face has fled, the psalmist advises
his people to offer legitimate sacrifices th at will effect God’s return.

— 113 —
I 214 Ras Shamra Parallels


a. n'm /I s fr
b. 52:1-2 (CTA 23:1-2)

c. “pleasant” // “comeliness”
d. Notes
In the third word of 1. 2 only the first letter s is certain, but Herdner, CTA,
p. 98, n. 2, affirms th at the second letter, often restored to r in view of 1. 22,
bn srm, appears to be rather p. Hence read bn sp[r\, “sons of comeliness,”
on the strength of the biblical parallelism. For a recent discussion see Xella,
Shr e Sim, pp. 40-41. One might note, too, th at spr, “comeliness,” is prob-
ably attested in 602 obv:10, [im]r spr, “comely lambs,” a restoration in-
spired by Gen 49:21, ‫ א מ רי״ ש פ ר‬, “comely lambs.”

e. Ps 16:6
‫“ נעמיס‬pleasant places” . . . “IDE? “to be handsome”

f. Comments
In this interesting parallelism the psalmist matches a prepositional
phrase with a verb:
‫ח בלי ם נ פ לו ״ לי בנעמים‬ The lines have fallen for me in pleasant
‫ פ ר ה ע לי‬# ‫א ף״נ ח ל ת‬ and my inheritance is handsome, Most
The repointing of the seemingly otiose preposition ‫ ע לי‬, “upon me,” to the
divine epithet ‫ ע לי‬, “Most High,” recovers an inclusion in vv. 5-6 formed
by vocative ‫ יהרה‬and vocative ‫ ע לי‬.


a. npl . . . abd
b. Krt:21+24 (CTA 14 1:21+24)
c. “to fall” . . . “to perish”
d. I I Sam 1:27
‫“ נ פ ל‬to fall” II ‫“ א ב ד‬to perish”

— 114 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 216

e. Jer 25:34-35; Job 14:18-19 (H)

‫“ נ פ ל‬to fall” . . . ‫“ א ב ד‬to perish” ; (H) “to destroy”
f. Jer 15:7-8
‫( א ב ד‬D) "to destroy” . . . ‫( נ פ ל‬H) “to cause to fall”
g. Esth 9:24
‫( א ב ד‬D) “to destroy” . . . ‫( נ פ ל‬H) “to cast” . . . ‫( א ב ד‬D) “to destroy”


a. n j l I/ npl
b. 608:39
c. “to fall” If “to fall”
d. Notes
For the text, see [md'] 11 m<V (I 185 d).
e. Judg 5:27; Ps 106:26-27 (H, H)
‫“ נ פ ל‬to fall” ; (H) “to cause to fall” // ‫“ נ פ ל‬to fall” ; (H) “to cause to fall”


a. nps . . . hwy (see also nps -j- nps [I 218])

b. 67 1:14-15 (CTA 5 1:14-15); 604:2+4
c. “appetite” . . . “to crave”
d. Notes
For the most recent and satisfactory analysis of this couplet, see E. Green-
stein, A N E S, V (1973), 157-164.
e. Bibliography
Dahood, Proverbs, p. 18.
M. Klopfenstein, TZ, X X V III (1972), 102, n. 15.
E. Greenstein, A N E S, V (1973), 158.
f. Prov 10:3 (Dahood, Klopfenstein, Greenstein)
£ ‫“ נפ‬appetite” // ‫“ הרה‬craving”

— 115 —
I 218 Ras Shamra Parallels

g. Mic 7:3 (Greenstein)

‫ ״ הוה‬craving” + ‫“ נפש‬soul”
h. Mic 7:1
‫( אוה‬D) "to crave” + ‫“ נפש‬soul”
i. Prov 23:2-3
‫“ נפש‬appetite” . . . ‫( אוה‬HtD) "to crave”
j. Comments
Greenstein shows th at the roots hwy and ,wy are related; hence the
propriety of citing here Mic 7:1 and Prov 23:2-3.


a. nps + nps (see also nps . . . hwy [I 217])

b. 67 1:14 (CTA 5 1:14); 604:2-3
c. "live prey” + “appetite”
d. Notes
Adopting the translation of 67 1:14-15 and 604:2-4 proposed by E. Green-
stein, A N E S, V (1973), 158, and reading with the former text:
p nps nps Ibit(?) thw For a lion’s appetite craves live prey.
An instructive analogy to these different senses of nps is afforded by ‫חיים‬,
"life, desire,” but also "victuals” in Prov 27:27, and by Akk. balatu, “pro-
visions,” as well as "life” (see CAD II, pp. 46-52, esp. p. 52a for EA attes-
e. Isa 58:10; Prov 13:4
‫" נפש‬victuals” // ‫" נפש‬appetite”
f. Comments
The difficulties besetting both these vv. find a quick solution in the
recognition of the wordplay on two different senses of ‫נפש‬. Thus Isa 58:10
may be rendered:
‫ ותפק ל ר ע ב נפשך‬If you offer to the starving your victuals,
‫ ונפש נענה תשביע‬and the appetite of the oppressed satisfy.
In addition to the wordplay, the prophet employs an A :B :C / / C’:B’:A’
chiasmus th at enables him to juxtapose the double ‫ נפש‬in two diverse

— 116 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 219

g. To elicit clear meaning from Prov 13:4 one must also appreciate the
dative force of the suffix in 11:‫נ פ ע‬
‫מתאוה ואץ נפער ע צ ל‬ The lazy man craves but there are
no victuals for him,
‫ונפעז הרצים תדעזן‬ while the appetite of the diligent is
richly fed.
h. The Ug.-Heb. use of nps-titft in an identical wordplay sharply under-
scores the close literary relationship between these Canaanite dialects.

a. nsb . . . qtr
b. 2 Aqht 1:27-28 (CTA 17 1:27-28)
c. “to set up” . . . “incense”
d. I I Kings 17:10-11
‫( נצב‬H) ‫‘ ׳‬to set up” // ‫( קטר‬D) “to bum incense”

a. nr H Smh
b. 1015:9-11
c. “to shine” // “to derive pleasure”
d. Prov 13:9
‫“ &מח‬to rejoice, shine brightly” . . . ‫“ נר‬lam p”
e. Comments
One would like to know the reason for N E B ’s alteration of the imagery
in the second colon of Prov 13:9: “The light of the righteous burns brightly;
the embers of the wicked will be put out.” Commonly rendered “lamp,”
‫ נר‬becomes “embers” in NEB.

a. nrt + ilm
b. 49 11:24; 111:24; I V :32 (1CTA 6 11:24; 111:24; IV :32); etc.
c. “lamp” + "gods”

— 117
I 222 Ras Shamra Parallels

d. Job 29:2-3
‫“ אלוה‬God ‫“ נר ן! ״‬lamp‫״‬
e. Ps 78:29
‫“ נר‬lamp” . . . ‫“ אלהי ם‬God‫״‬

a. nsa + ytb
b. 2 Aqht V:6 (CTA 17 V:6)
c. “to raise” 4‫“ ־‬to sit”
d. Sir 17:7
‫“ נשא‬to raise” // ‫( ישב‬H) “to make sit”


a. nsa . . . sh
b. 49 1:11; V I:13 (CTA 6 1:39; VI:13); 127:15-16 (CTA 16 VI:15-16); etc.
c. “to raise” . . . "to cry out”
d. Bibliography
Cathcart, Nahum, p. 36.
e. Isa 42:11
‫“ נשא‬to raise” // ‫“ צרח‬to cry out”
f. Comments
This parallelism can serve as an argument against the emendation of
‫ישאו‬, which is elliptical for ‫ ישאו קול‬, “they raise their voice,” to ‫ישושו‬, “they
exult,” an emendation based on some ancient versions.


a. nsa . . . £mh
b. 49 1:11 (CTA 6 1:39)
c. “to raise” . . . “to rejoice”
d. Eccles 5:18
‫“ נשא‬to raise” // ‫“ שמח‬to rejoice”

— 118 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 225


a. ntbt . . . drk
b. 1001 rev:7-8
c. “paths” . . . “way”
d. Notes
The damaged tablet prevents our knowing whether [ ]drk is a noun or
verb; all the same the root is drk.
e. Job 24:13; Prov 1:15; 7:25; 8:2; Lam 3:9; etc.
‫“ ד ר ך‬way” 11 ‫“ נתיבה‬p ath ”
f. Jer 18:15
‫“ ד ר כי ם‬ways” 11 ‫“ נתיבות‬paths” 11 ‫“ ד ר ך‬way”


a. spa II mt
b. 67 1:5-6 (CTA 5 1:5-6)
c. “to consume” // “to die”
d. I Sam 26:10
‫“ מות‬to die” 11 ‫( ספ ה‬N) “to be consumed”
e. Comments
The interplay between tertiae ’alep and tertiae yod roots is too well at-
tested to call for discussion here. i?SF interestingly renders N-stem ‫נספה‬
in I Sam 26:10 “perish.”


a. 'bd . . . ybl
b. 137:36-37 {CTA 2 1:36-37)
c. “slave‫ ״‬. . . “to bring”
d. Z efh 3:9-10
‫“ ע ב ד‬to serve” II ‫( י ב ל‬H) “to bring”

— 119
I 128 Ras Shamra Parallels

e. Comments
In addition to balancing preceding ‫ ל ק ר א‬, “to invoke,” ‫ ל ע ב דו‬, “to serve
him,” is specified in greater detail by the following parallel expression ‫יובלון‬
‫מנחתי‬, “they will bring me tribute.” See Sabottka, Zefhanja, pp. 119-122.


a. 'bd . . . Ihm
b. 'nt 1:2+5 (CTA 3 A:2+5)
c. “to serve” . . . (5) “to feed”
d. Prov 12:9
‫“ ע ב ד‬serving” // ‫“ לה ם‬food”
e. Prov 12:11
‫“ ע ב ד‬to work” + ‫“ לח ם‬food, grain”
f. Ps 104:14
‫“ ע ב ד‬to plow” . . . ‫“ לח ם‬grain”
g. Comments
Dahood, Proverbs, p. 26, discusses the bearing of the Ug. text on the
translation of Prov 12:9, but does not mention the parallelism, which ex-
eludes emendation of ‫ ע ב ד‬to ‫ ע בו ר‬, "grain,” or some other word; cf. BH K.
h. See Dahood, Psalms I I I , pp. 31, 39-40, on ‫ ע ב ד‬as a G part, meaning
“to plow” in Ps 104:14.


a. 'dr . . . *ny
b. 3 Aqht ‫׳‬rev‘:14-15 (CTA 18 1:14-15)
c. “to deliver” . . . “to answer”
d. Isa 49:8
‫“ ענה‬to answer” // ‫“ עזר‬to deliver, help”
e. Job 9:13-14
‫“ עזר‬to help” . . . ‫“ ענה‬to answer”

— 120 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 230

f. Ps 119:172-173
‫“ ענה‬to answer” . . . ‫“ עזר‬to help”

g. Comments
On the various nuances of ‫ עז ר‬, see B. Baisas, UF, V (1973), 41-52.


a. 'zm + yd

b. 75 1:24 (CTA 12 1:24)

c. “vigor” + “hand”

d. Notes
UT 75 1:23-25 may be rendered:
kry amt 'fir Dig with the forearm the ground,
'zm yd ugrm with vigorous hand the fields.
For further details, see Caquot, TOML, p. 339, who cites the various inter-
pretations of amt, which can also be taken as “handmaid” (cf. 1. 15).

e. Ps 22:17b-18a; Job 2:5

T “hand” II ‫“ עצ ם‬bone”

f. Deut 8:17; Job 30:21

‫“ עצ ם‬vigor” + ‫“ י ד‬hand”

g. Job 19:20-21
‫“ עצ ם‬bone” . . . T “hand”

h. Comments
In FT, XXIV (1974), 370-371, I have proposed the following reading
and translation of Ps 22:17b-18a:
‫ כי ארי ידי ו ת ל י‬Because they picked clean my hands and
my feet,
‫ א ס פ ר כ ל־ ע צ מו תי‬I can number all my bones.
The nouns ‫ י די ורגלי‬, “my hands and my feet,” form a merismus and together
stand parallel to ‫ כ ל ״ ע צ מו תי‬, "all my bones.”

— 121 —
I 231 Ras Shamra Parallels


a. 7 + umt (see also ah // 7 umt [I 9] and 7 dl . . . ytm [I 235])

b. 1 Aqht:197, 202 (CTA 19 IV: 197, 202)

c. “infant” + “maternal clan”

d. Nah 2:8
‫“ ע ל ה‬infant” / / ‫“ אם‬mother”
e. Lam 2:11-12
‫“ עו ל ל‬infant” . . . ‫“ אם‬mother”
f. Comments
The identification of this pair elicits a modicum of sense from sharply-
contested Nah 2:8:
‫ גלתה העל תי ה‬Her female infants go into exile,
‫ ואמהתיה מנהגות‬and her mothers are led away.
Three grammatical notes are in order. ‫ גלתה‬parses as the third person fern,
singular with collective fern, plural as subject. The sequence ‫ ה על תי ה‬con-
tains both an article and a pronominal suffix, a case of double determination
not without analogies; cf. C. Gordon, JN E S , V III (1949), 114; Dahood,
Proverbs, pp. 35-36; GK, § 127f-i. Finally, plural ‫ אמהת‬may be compared
with Ug. umht, “mothers,” in 128 1:6.


a. 7 l!b
b. 127:9-10 (CTA 16 VI:9-10)
c. “from” I/ “from, of”
d. b /I 7
e. 49 I V :42-43 {CTA 6 IV:42-43)
f. “from” II “from”
g. Notes
The sense of 127:9-10 remains doubtful, but a viable rendition is the fol-

122 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 233

zbln 7 fish wttb The illness from his head indeed she
trhs nn bdH she washed him clean of sweat.
In the sequence wttb, the w may be parsed as emphatic, with resultant post-
position of the verb, as sometimes happens with emphatic k or l; ttb may
be analyzed as a non-sin causative of twb, “to return.”
UT 49 IV :42-43 may be read and translated:
sd yn 'n bqbt[k] Pour sparkling wine from your vat,
bl lyt 7 umtk the fruit of tendrils from your grooves.
For rendition of 1. 42 see Driver, CML, p. 113. In 1. 43 bl identifies with
‫ בו ל‬, “fruit,” in Job 40:20, a byform of ‫ ;י בו ל‬lyt equals ‫ ל ד ה‬, “wreath” ; and
umt becomes intelligible when equated with ‫ א מ ה‬, "groove, canal,” witnessed
in the biblical place-name ‫( ג בע ת״ א מ ה‬cf. H AL, p. 60a).
h. Ps 15:2b-3a
‫“ ב‬from” / / ‫“ ע ל‬from”
i. Comments
Numerous translators and commentators recognize the separative force
of ‫ ב‬in the first colon, and the recognition of a similar meaning of ‫ ע ל‬in the
second brings out more clearly the parallelism of the two parts:
‫וד ב ר אמת ב ל ב בו‬ Who speaks the truth from his heart,
‫ל א״ רג ל ע ל ־ ל ענו‬ no slander from his tongue.
Dahood, Psalms I, pp. 83 and 85, ascribes an ablative meaning to ‫ ע ל‬in
v. 5 of this psalm. When MT qdtal ‫ רגל‬is repointed ‫ו*גל‬, “slander,” a noun
of qdtal formation emerges as the antithesis of ‫ א מ ת‬, “tru th .”


a. 7 . . . bsr
b. 1 Aqht:32-33 (CTA 19 1:32-33); 3 Aqht ‘obv’:19-20, 30-31 (CTA 18 IV: 19-20,
c. “over” . . . “to soar”
d. Jer 51:53a
‫“ ע ל ה‬to mount” II ‫( ב צ ר‬D) “to make soar”

123 —
I 234 Ras Shamra Parallels

e. Comments
W ith H A L, p. 142b, and Cathcart, Nahum, pp. 138-139, I identify ‫ב צ ר‬
“I I I ” with bsr, “to soar” (// rhp, “to hover”). Thus Jer 51:53a translates:
‫כי ״ ת ע ל ה ב ב ל היזמים‬ Though Babylon should mount to
‫וכי ת ב צ ר מרום עזה‬ though she make her fortress soar to the
On ‫“ שמים‬heavens” // ‫“ מרום‬the heights,” see smm + rmm (R SP I, II 558),
and for the accusative use of ‫מרו ם‬, compare Isa 22:16. Of course the prophet
here alludes to the tower of Babel narrative in Gen 11:19‫־‬.


a. 7 + ris
b. 127:9 (CTA 16 VI :9)
c. “upon” + “head”
d. Job 19:9
‫“ ע ל‬upon” / / ‫“ ראש‬head”
e. I I Sam 12:30; Job 29:3
(‫“ על)י‬upon” + ‫“ ראש‬head”
f. Comments
The parallelism stands forth in Job 19:9 when one adopts the analysis
of van Dijk, Ezekiel’s Prophecy, pp. 15, 54, who sees the preposition of ‫ מ ע לי‬,
“from upon me,” extending its force to parallel ‫רא שי‬, “from my head.”
Consult also O. Eissfeldt, TLZ, X C III (1968), 733-734.


a. 7 dl . . . ytm (see also ah. // 7 umt [I 9] and 7 + umt [I 231])

b. 127:48-49 (CTA 16 VI :48-49)
c. “infant of the poor” . . . “orphan”
d. Notes
Translating the disputed Udy tsm 7 dl (127:47-48): “You did not banish
those who snatch the infants of the poor.” Cf. Isa 13:16, and the Ug. phrase
7 umt, “infant of maternal family,” discussed at ah, // 7 umt (I 9). Ug. ts
and dissimilated ‫ שסה״ שסס‬, “to snatch, plunder,” are evidently related.

— 124 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 236

e. Job 24:9
‫“ יתום‬orphan” // ‫“ ע ל ״ עני‬infant of the needy”
f. Comments
The widely-accepted repointing of the MT preposition ‫ ע ל‬to ‫ ע ל‬, “in-
fant,” appears to be sustained by the Ug. collocation of 7 and ytm. Thus
N E B correctly renders Job 24:9: “They snatch the fatherless infant from
the breast, and take the poor m an’s child in pledge.”
g. For some other instances of Massoretic confusion between ‫ ע ל‬and ‫ ע ל‬,
see J. Kselman, CBQ, X X X II (1970), 579-581.


a. 7y J bky
b. 62:15-17 (CTA 6 1:15-17)
c. (S) “to raise” // “to weep”
d. Isa 15:2
‫“ ע ל ה‬to ascend” . . . ‫“ בכי‬weeping”


a. 'lyU h lk
b. R S 24.266 rev:16-17 (C R A IB L , 1972, 694)
c. "to ascend” // “to go”
d. Notes
The text reads and translates:
qds 6'[/] n l To Baal’s sanctuary will we ascend;
ntbt b[t 67] ntlk the paths to Baal's house will we tread.
e. Isa 2:3: 40:31; 63:11-12 (‫[ ע ל ה‬H], ‫[ ה ל ך‬H]); Jer 2:6 (‫[ ע ל ה‬H], ‫[ ה ל ך‬H]) Joel 2:7;
Amos 2:10 (‫[ ע ל ה‬H], ‫[ ה ל ך‬H]); etc.
‫“ ע ל ה‬to ascend” ; (H) “to bring up” // ‫“ ה ל ך‬to go, walk” ; (H) “to make
go, lead”
f. Job 7:9; 42:8 (‫[ ע ל ה‬H])
‫“ ה ל ך‬to go” II ‫“ ע ל ה‬to ascend” ; (H) “to offer up”

— 125 —
I 238 Ras Shamra Parallels

a. 7y If ytb . . . yrd
b. 49 1:29-30+35 {CTA 6 1:57-58+63)
c. “to ascend” 11 “to sit” . . . “to descend”
d. Notes
If the strophe is read chiastically, yrd may also be considered parallel to 7y.
e. Lam 2:10
‫“ יעזב‬to sit” II ‫( ע ל ה‬H) “to throw” 11 ‫( י ר ד‬H) “to bow down”
f. Jer 48:18
‫“ י ר ד‬to descend” // ‫“ יע!ב‬to sit” . . . ‫“ ע ל ה‬to ascend”
g. Comments
In Jer 48:18 fem. imperative singular ‫ בי‬2‫ ל‬need not be emended to
‫ועזבי‬, since there are other instances in Ug. and Heb. where the primae yod
is preserved in the imperative; consult Dahood, VH P, p. 62, and compare
imperative ‫ יצאו‬in Jer 50:8.

a. 7m . . . hyt
b. 51 I V :42 {CTA 4 IV:42); ’nt V:39 {CTA 3 E:39)
c. “eternity” . . . “life”
d. Jer 10:10
‫“ חיים‬living” II ‫“ עול ם‬eternity”
e. Dan 12:2
‫“ חיים‬life” + ‫“ עול ם‬eternity”
f. Comments
On the equation of ‫ מ ל ך עול ם‬, “King of E ternity,” in Jer 10:10 with
Ug. mlk 7m, see Cross, CMHE, p. 16 and n. 23.

a. n + yd
b. 51 V 11:40 {CTA 4 V II :40)
c. “eye” + “hand”

— 126 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 241

d. Notes
The dispute whether 'n is a verb or a noun here does not affect present con-
e. I Sam 21:14; Ps 123:2 (twice)
‫“ ע ת‬eye” // ‫“ י ד‬hand”
f. Job 28:9-10
T “hand” // ‫“ עין‬eye”
g. Ps 145:15-16
‫“ ע ץ‬eye” . . . T “hand”


a. 'n II Jny (see also amr // pny [I 33])

b. 'nt 1:23-25 (1CTA 3 A:23-25)
c. “to eye” // “to look a t”
d. Notes
For the translation of 'n t 1:22-25 see amr // pny (I 33 d).
e. Ps 34:16-17
‫“ עינים‬eyes” / / ‫“ פנים‬face”
f. Prov 17:24
‫“ פנים‬face” . . . ‫“ עינים‬eyes”
g. Ps 25:15-16; Prov 17:8
‫“ עינים‬eyes” . . . ‫“ פנה‬to tu rn ”


a. *m II tr
b. 76 11:27-28 (1CTA 10 11:27-28)
c. “to eye” // “to explore”
d. Notes
The text may be read and translated:
wt$u 'nh wt'n She raised her eyes and saw,
wt'n arh wtr blkt she saw a cow and explored while

— 127 —
I 243 Ras Shamra Parallels

The disputed vocable tr may be parsed as an infinitive absolute of twr, “to

explore,” here continuing the action of the main verb t'n; see Virolleaud,
Danel, p. 216 and n. 1.
e. Job 30:11
‫“ תור‬to spy” // ‫“ ע ץ‬to eye”
f. Comments
This parallelism comes to light upon repointing MT as follows in Job
‫ כי״י ת רו פתח ויענני‬Indeed they spy at my door and eye me.
For the thought, compare Job 31:9.


a. 'nt + mhrtt (mhrth) (see also sd jj mhrtt [mhrth,] [I 297])

b. 49 I V :27, 38 (CTA 6 IV:27, 38)
c. “furrows” + “plowland”
d. Notes
For an explanation of mhrth in 49 IV :38, see Gordon, UT, § 5.40.
e. Bibliography
Dahood, Psalms I I I , pp. 230-231.
f. Ps 129:3
‫“ חרעים‬plowmen” II ‫“ ענות‬furrows”
g. Comments
For the reading ‫ ל מ ענותם‬, “upon it their furrows,” see Dahood, Psalms
I I I , p. 231.


a. 'nt I/ *nt
b. 1 Aqht:154, 161-162 {CTA 19 111:154, 161-162)
c. “now” /‫“ ן‬now”
d. I I Kings 18:20-21; Isa 33:10; Ruth 3:11-12; Ezra 10:2-3; I Chron 17:26-27; etc.
‫“ עתה‬now” 11 ‫“ עתה‬now”

— 128 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 245


a. 's I/ abn . . . ars

b. 'nt 111:19-21; I V :58-60 (CTA 3 C.19-21; D:58-60)
c. “tree” // “stone” . . . “earth”
d. Jer 3:9
‫‘‘ אר ץ‬earth ‫ ״‬II ‫‘‘ א ב ז‬stone ‫ ״‬11 ‫‘‘ ע ז‬tree”
e. Comments
In the LXX the clause ‫ ותחנף א ת״ הארץ‬, “and she defiled the land,” is
lacking. Janzen, Jeremiah, p. 36, upholds the LXX omission, writing:
“Probably a gloss on the following phrase, based on verses 1, 2 (but pos-
sibly a conflated variant to the following ‫) ה ע ץ‬.” The Ug. series of nouns
induces one to accept MT and to spare oneself such speculation.


a. 'sm . . . sht . . . mt (see also sht + mt [I 300])

b. 607:64-65
c. “vigor” . . . “the P it” . . . “Death”
d. Notes
For the translation of this couplet, see sht + mt (I 300 d).
e. Job 33:21-22
‫“ עצמו ת‬bones” . . . ‫“ שחת‬P it” 11 ‫“ מתים‬the dead”
f. Comments
Given th at 'sm, “vigor,” and ‫ ע צ מו ת‬, “bones,” stem from the same root,
the comparison seems warranted. Translation notes on Job 33:22 are found
at sht + mt (I 300 h).


a. 'rb If ba
b. 128 IV:18+21 (CTA 15 IV:18+21)
c. (§) “to introduce” 11 “to come into”

— 129 —
I 248 Ras Shamra Parallels

d. Notes
To all appearances 1. 21, bt krt tbun, “they came into K irta’s house,” paral-
lels 1. 18, 'Ih ts'rb zbyh, “into his presence she introduced his ,gazelles’,”
but since 1. 22 is damaged one cannot be completely sure of this.
e. Hos 9:4
‫( ע ר ב‬H) “to offer” . . . ‫“ בוא‬to come into”
f. Comments
W. van der Weiden, VD, XLIV (1966), 102, and Kuhnigk, Hoseabuch,
p. 115, argue well th at MT G-stem ‫ רבו‬ST in Hos 9:4 should be revoweled
as H ‫־‬stem 2‫ ע ך בו‬and identified with Ug. ,rb, “to enter.”


a. 'rb If Iqh
b. Krt:65, 159-160 (CTA 14 11:65: 111:159-160)
c. “to enter” // “to take”
d. Prov 20:16; 27:13
‫“ ל ק ח‬to take” . . . ‫“ ע ר ב‬to enter”
e. Comments
The identification of ‫ ע ר ב‬with *rb (// Iqh) permits an entirely new trans-
lation and interpretation of Prov 20:16 ( = 27:13):
‫ל ק ח״ בג דו כי ־ ע ר ב זר‬ When a stranger enters take his coat,
‫ו ב ע ד נ כ רי״ ם ח ב ל הו‬ and for a foreigner hold it as security.
In view of Prov 27:13 ‫ נכ רי ה‬I read ‫ נ כ רי״ ם‬as singular followed by enclitic
mem. The point seems to be th at the Israelite should extend to the foreign
visitor financial considerations should he request them. Contrast the con-
struction put upon this verse by R S V : “Take a m an’s garment when he has
given surety for a stranger, and hold him in pledge when he gives surety
for foreigners.”


a. *rb . . . smh (see also yd' + ,rb [I 130])

b. 1015:7+11
c. “to enter” . . . “to rejoice”

— 130 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 250

d. Ps 104:34
‫“ ע ר ב‬to enter” // ‫“ ע(מח‬to rejoice”
e. Prov 14:10
‫“ ע(מחה‬joy” + ‫( ע ר ב‬HtD) “to enter”
f. Comments
This parallelism supports the translation of Ps 104:34 proposed by
Dahood, Psalms I I I , pp. 33, 47, while the translation of Prov 14:10, “and
into its joy no stranger enters,” elicits Matt 25:21, “enter into the joy of
your lord.”


a. *rpt /I tl
b. 7 Aqht:40-42 (CTA 19 1:40-42)
c. “clouds” II “dew”
d. Deut 33:28
‫“ ע ר ף‬to drip” + ‫" ט ל‬dew”
e. Deut 32:2
‫“ ע ר ף‬to drip” . . . ‫“ ט ל‬dew”
f. Sir 43:22
‫“ מ ע ר ף‬dripping” . . . ‫“ טל‬dew”


a. 'rpt /I mtrt
b. 67 V:6-8 (CTA 5 V:6-8)
c. “clouds” If “rains”
d. *rpt -f fntr
e. 7 Aqht:40-41 {CTA 19 1:40-41)
f. “clouds” + “to rain”
g. Deut 32:2
‫“ ע ר ף‬to drip” + ‫“ מט ר‬rain”

— 131 —
I 252 Ras Shamra Parallels

h. Comments
One wonders if ‫ תז ל‬, “it descends,” (// ‫ )י ע ר ף‬in Deut 32:2 might not
be related to unexplained mdl in the series of weather phenomena men-
tioned in 67 V:7-8.


a. git + yd
b. 127:32, 45 (CTA 16 VI :32, 45)
c. “mischief‫ ״‬+ “hand‫״‬
d. Notes
Rendering sqlt bglt ydk with Ginsberg, L K K , p. 32: “Thou hast let thy hand
fall into mischief.” For other opinions, consult Caquot, TOML, p. 572 and
n. a.
e. Bibliography
Ginsberg, LK K , p. 49.
M. Dahood, Bib, LVII (1976), 106-108.
f. Ps 125:3 (Ginsberg)
‫“ עו ל ה‬inquity” + T “hand”
g. Ps 58:3
‫“ עול ת‬iniquities” // ‫“ ידים‬hands”
h. Jer 5:31
‫“ ע ל‬iniquity” -f- T “hand”
i. Ezek 18:8
‫“ עול‬iniquity” + ‫“ יד‬hand”
j. Ps 89:22-23
T “hand” . . . ‫“ עו ל ה‬iniquity”
k. Comments
Recognition of the word pair permits a new stichometry and translation
of Ps 58:3:
‫ א ף ־ ב ל ב עול ת ת פעלון‬But no, heartlessly you perpetrate in-
‫ ב ארץ חמס ידיכ ם תפלסון‬in a corrupt land you balance your hands.
In an A:B:C // A ':B‫ ׳‬:C' v., ‫ עו ל ת‬, “iniquities,” balances ‫י די כ ם‬, “your hands.”
For similar imagery compare Ps 26:10, especially in the version proposed

— 132 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 253

by Dahood, Psalms I, pp. 160, 163. In addition to witnessing the contracted

northern form ‫( עול ת‬cf. git // tpt [I 253 g and 1]), Ps 58:3 also employs ‫ב‬
with ablative force in ‫ ב ל ב‬, “without heart, pity.”
1. The frequent emendation of consonantal ‫ י רדו‬to ‫ יורו‬becomes dispen-
sable in Jer 5:31 when one relates the phrase to Ug. Sqlt bglt yelk:
‫הנביאים נ ב או־ ב ע ק ר‬ The prophets prophesy by the Lie
[= Baal],
‫והכהנים י רדו ע ל ־י די ה ם‬ and the priests sink their hands into
For another instance of Massoretic confusion between ‫ ע ל‬and ‫ ע ל‬see Da-
hood, BibOr, XV (1973), 253-254, on Prov 10:12.


a. git /I tpt
b. 127:32+34, 45+47 (CTA 16 VI:32+34, 45+47)
c. “iniquity” // “cause, justice”
d. Bibliography
Dahood, Psalms I I I , p. 342.
e. Ps 146:6-7 (Dahood)
‫ “ עול ם‬the wronged” . . . ‫“ משפט‬cause”
f. Ezek 18:8; Zeph 3:5
‫עול‬, ‫“ עו ל ה‬iniquity” II ‫פ ט‬£ ‫“ מ‬justice”
g. Deut 32:4; Isa 61:8
‫“ משפט‬justice” 11 ‫עול‬, ‫“ עו ל ה‬iniquity”
h. Isa 59:3-4
‫“ עו ל ה‬iniquity” . . . ‫( ׳®פט‬N) “to plead”
i. Prov 29:26-27
‫“ משפט‬justice” . . . ‫“ עו ל‬iniquity”
j. Ps 82:2
‫“ שפט‬to judge” + ‫“ עול‬iniquitously”
k. Comments
Compare also Jer 5:28+31 where ‫ דין‬, "the rights,” ‫מ שפט‬, “cause,”
sustain the repointing of ‫ ע ל‬in v. 31 to ‫ ע ל‬, “iniquity,” as proposed at git +

— 133 —
I 254 Ras Shamra Parallels

yd (I 252 k). The roots of all three nouns concur in parallelism in UT 127:
1• In Isa 61:8, the N E B repoints ‫ עו ל ה‬, a fine example of a northern con-
tracted form, to ‫ עו ל ה‬, with five manuscripts.See Brockington, Hebrew
Text, p. 197. The northern vocalization ‫ עו ל ה‬seems entirely fitting here
since it forms part of a pair witnessed in Ug. where git was pronounced
golatu. For another instance of the same Heb. form, see git -f- yd (I 252 g
and k).

a. gr . . . b'l
b. 1018:22+24
c. “to safeguard” . . . “lord”
d. Num 21:28b
‫“ ע ר‬the guardian” // ‫“ בעלי ם‬the baals”
e. Comments
Usually emended, Num 21:28b may prove sound in view of the Ug.
collocation of roots (see also 49 IV:44+48):
‫א כ ל ה ע ר מואב‬ It devoured the guardian of Moab,
‫ב ע לי במות ארנן‬ the baals of Arnon’s high places.
Here “the guardian” refers to Chemosh, the national god of Moab men-
tioned explicitly in the next v. and “the baals” are the numina worshipped
at the local shrines. Compare Micah 5:13 where ‫ ע רי ך‬, “your guardians,”
balances ‫ א בי רי ך‬, “your Asherim,” as proposed by M. Dahood, Bib, X L JII
(1962), 226.

a. gr /I mdb
b. 603 0bv:1-2
c. “mountain” 11 “flood”
d. Notes
The text may be read and rendered:
b'l ytb ktbt gr Baal sits enthroned like the mountain’s
hd r['y\ kmdb Hadd the shepherd like the flood.

— 134 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 256

e. Isa 48:21; Pss 78:20/ 105:41

‫“ צור‬mountain, rock” . . . ‫“ זוב‬to flow”

f. Comments
The identity of roots in mdb, “flood,” and ‫זוב‬, “to flow,” is commonly
accepted. The biblical collocation of these two roots tells against those
scholars who see in mdb some other root. Van Zijl, Baal, pp. 358-360, for
instance, derives it from dbb, “to accuse,” and renders mdb as “accuser,”
an infelicitous proposal. The contention of B. Margulis, Z A W , !,XXXVI
(1972), 2, th at gr is a mistake for V, “mule,” and th at gr // mdb do not con-
stitute a fixed pair, is countered by the biblical collocation of the roots in


a. gr / I 'mq

b. 'nt 11:4-6 (CTA 3 B:4-6)

c. “mountain” // “valley”

d. Jer 21:13
‫“ ע מ ק‬valley” . . . ‫“ צור‬mountain”

e. Comments
For a translation of Jer 21:13, see ytb + gr (I 155 f).


a. -pat -+‫ ־‬mdbr

b. 52:68 (1CTA 23:68); 75 1:35 (1CTA 12 1:35); Krt:105, 193-194 (CTA 14 111:105;
IV :193-194)

c. “corners” 4‫“ ־‬desert”

d. Jer 9:25; 25:23-24

‫“ פ א ה‬corner” 11 ‫“ מ ד ב ר‬desert”

— 135 —
I 258 Ras Shamra Parallels

e. Comments
The phrase in Jer 25:24 which contains the second member of the
parallel pair is ‫ ה מכני ם ב מ ד ב ר‬, “who dwell in the desert.” Thus this passage
exhibits three of the roots found in Krt:103-105:
kirby Like locusts
tSkn sd they occupy the field,
km hsn pat mdbr like grasshoppers the comers of the


a. pnm . . . ymn
b. 51 V:108-109 (CTA 4 V: 108-109)
c. "face” . . . “right hand”
d. P s 16:11
‫" פנים‬face” // ‫“ ימץ‬right hand”
e. Comments
In addition to this parallelism, the final two cola contain the Phoen.
pair ‫ ב‬II ‫( את‬KAI 13:7-8), and the last a broken construct chain with inter-
posed prepositional phrase:
‫שבע שמחות א ת־ פני ך‬ Abundance of joys in your presence,
‫נעמות בימינך נצח‬ delights unending at your right hand.


a. Pgt . . . btn
b. 1 Aqht:222-223 (1CTA 19 IV:222-223)
c. "P ughat” (PN) . . . “serpent”
d. Job 20:16
‫" פתנים‬serpents” II ‫“ א פ ע ה‬viper”
e. Comments
This hapax pair in Job 20:16 suggests th at the Canaanite poet was
punning when comparing pgt, which literally signifies "maiden,” but also
evokes "viper,” to a serpent.

— 136 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 260


a. pr + '?
b. 67 11:5-6 (CTA 5 11:5*6)
c. “fruit” + “tree, vine”
d. Jer 7:20
‫“ עץ‬tree” // ‫“ פרי‬fruit”
e. Gen 1:29; Exod 10:15; Lev 23:40; Ezek 36:30; Prov 11:30
‫“ פרי‬fruit” + ‫“ ע ץ‬tree”
f. Deut 28:42; Ps 148:9; Ecoles 2:5
‫“ עץ‬tree” + ‫“ פרי‬fruit”
g. Ps 1:3
‫“ ע ץ‬tree” . . . ‫“ פ רי‬fruit”


a. sd /I smm
b. 124:10-11 (CTA 22 B:10-ll)
c. “the h u n t” // “heaven”
d. Notes
For this obscure couplet one may propose this tentative rendition:
tdd 'nt sd Anath of the H unt roams;
tstr 'pt smm the Flyer of Heaven travels.
Parallelism with tdd (root ndd) suggests th at tstr is a Gt form of swr, “to
travel.” A new occurrence of this verb might be noted in similarly worded
Job 37:3:
(!)‫ת ח ת״כ ל״ ה ש מי ם לשרהו‬ Beneath the whole heaven he makes it
e. Ps 78:24-25
‫" ’שמים‬heaven” . . . ‫“ צי ד ה‬provisions”
f. Comments
On the probable connection between sd and ‫ צי ד ה‬, see Gordon, UT,
§ 19.2151.

— 137 —
I 262 Ras Shamra Parallels


a. sdq + slm
b. 119:23 {CTA 80:23); 300 obv?:28 (CTA 82 A:28); 1005:4, 10, 14; 1116:11; 2039:5
c. “to be ju st” -f “to be whole”
d. Notes
In these texts sdqslm is a PN. UT 1005 offers the dialectical form stqslm.
e. Isa 48:18; 60:17
‫" עלו ם‬peace” // ‫“ צ ד ק ה‬justice”
f. Isa 32:17; Ps 85:11
‫ צד ק ה‬, ‫“ צ ד ק‬justice” + ‫“ עלו ם‬peace‫״‬
g. Isa 54:13-14; Ps 72:3
‫“ עלו ם‬peace” . . . ‫“ צ ד ק ה‬justice”
h. Comments
For further details on Ps 85:11, cf. Dahood, Psalms I I , pp. 289*290.


a. smt I/ kly
b. 'nt 111:41+43 (CTA 3 D:41+43)
c. “to annihilate” // (D) “to make an end of”
d. Ps 73:26-27
‫“ כ ל ה‬to waste away” . . . ‫( צ מ ת‬H) “to annihilate”


a. spn . . . nhlt
b. 'nt 111:26-27; I V :63-64 (1CTA 3 C :26-27; D :63-64)
c. “Zapan” . . . “patrimony”
d. Prov 13:22
‫( נחל‬H) “to give as heir” // ‫“ צ פן‬to treasure up”

— 138 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 265

e. Comments
The identification of an A:B:B:A pattern issues in a new version of
Prov 13:21-22:
‫ חטאים ת רד ך ר ע ה‬Misfortune dogs sinners,
‫ ו א ת־ צדי קי ם יישלם־טוב‬but the Good One rewards the just.
‫ טוב ינחיל בני־בנים‬The Good One gives grandchildren as
‫ וצפון ל צ די ק חיל חוטא‬and treasures up for the just the sinner’s
The form ‫ וצפון‬may well be analyzed as an infinitive absolute of the
northern dialect (6 >u) continuing the action of the finite verb; see Dahood,
Psalms I I I , p. 28.
f. The biblical parallelism does not necessarily bear on the discussion
concerning the etymology of Ug. spn, which is still disputed.


a. sq II nsa
b. 49 11:10-11 (CTA 6 11:10-11)
c. (§) “to constrain” // “to raise”
d. Notes
Though materially parallel with tsu as well, tssq is formally and semantically
parallel to tihd, “she grabbed,” in 1. 9.
e. Job 11:15
‫" נשא‬to raise” . . . ‫" צק‬constraint”
f. Comments
MT ‫ מ צ ק‬, "fused,” should probably yield to the interpretation of the
Syriac ‫ מ צ ק‬, “without constraint,” in Job 11:15.


a. srrt + s fn
b. 49 1:29, 34 {CTA 6 1:57, 62); 51 V:117 {CTA 4 V:117); 62:16 {CTA 6 1:16); 'nt
1:21-22 {CTA 3 A:21-22)
c. "recesses” + “Zapan”

— 139 —
I 267 Ras Shamra Parallels

d. Bibliography
J. Finkel, apud Gordon, UT, § 19.2199.
e. Hos 13:12 (Finkel)
‫( צ ר ר‬Gp) “to be bound” // ‫( צ פן‬Gp) “to be hidden”
f. Job 26:7-8
‫“ צ פ ץ‬Zaphon” . . . ‫“ צ ר ר‬to bind”

a. qbl I/ qbl
b. 2 Aqht V :35-36 (CTA 17 V:35-36)
c. “to receive” // “to receive”
d. Notes
The text is broken, but with a number of scholars one may adopt the ten-
tative restoration:
qst yqb[l 7 b]rk The bow he received upon his knee (see
1• 27);
7 aq[h]t kyq[blh] on behalf of Aqht indeed he received it.
The k before yq[blh] functions as emphatic with consequent postposition of
the verb.
e. Job 2:10; Sir 31:3
‫( ק ב ל‬D) “to accept” // ‫( ק ב ל‬D) “to accept”
f. Comments
A. Hurvitz, H TR, LX V II (1974), 20-21, concludes th at the presence
of ‫ ק ב ל‬in Job 2:10 points to post-exilic date for the composition of the tale
in its present form. He dismisses the occurrence of this verb in Prov 19:20
because this book is chronologically debatable, and completely omits the
Ug. and EA attestations of this verb. In other words, he attem pts to solve
the problem chiefly by inner-Hebraic methods, whose inadequacy has been
spotlighted by the Northwest Semitic approach.


a. qdm . . . ymn
b. 51 V I I :40-41 (iCTA 4 VII:40-41)
c. "front, east” . . . “right hand”

— 140 —
Ugaritic-Hebrevv Parallel Pairs I 269

d. Notes
For a recent attem pt to elicit sense from these enigmatic lines, see de Moor,
Seasonal Pattern, p. 167.
e. Ps 78:26
‫“ קדי ם‬east wind” // ‫“ תימן‬south wind”
f. Comments
This parallelism is also characterized by chiasmus:
‫יסע קדי ם ביזמים‬ He let loose the east wind from heaven,
‫וינהג בעזו תימן‬ and led forth from his fortress the south


a. qds . . . bt
b. R S 24.266 rev:J6 (CRAIBL, 1972, 694)
c. “sanctuary” . . . “house”
d. Notes
For text and translation, see 7y // hlk (I 237 d).
e. I Kings 8:6; Ps 134:1-2
‫“ בית‬house” II ‫" ק ד ע‬sanctuary”
f. Isa 64:10; I Chron 29:3
‫“ בית‬house” + ‫“ ק ד ע‬holiness”
g. I Kings 8:10
‫“ ק ד ע‬sanctuary” . . . ‫“ בית‬house”
h. Ps 93:5; I I Chron 29:5
‫“ בית‬house” . . . ‫“ ק ד ע‬holy ones, sanctuary”


a. qds . . . kku
b. 46:3-4 (iCTA 45:3-4)
c. “holy(?)” . . . “throne”
d. Notes
On this damaged text see Herdner, CTA, p. 130 and nn. 2-3.

— 141 —
I 271 Ras Shamra Parallels

e. Ps 11:4
‫“ קדעז‬holy seat” II ‫“ כס א‬throne”
f. Ps 47:9
‫“ כ ס א‬throne” + 12?‫“ קד‬holiness”
g. Comments
Dahood, Psalms I, pp. 68-70, explains the parallelism in Ps 11:4 as
the breakup of the composite phrase witnessed in Ps 47:9. See also Ahlstrom,
Joel, p. 33, n. 1.


a. qds + mlk
b. 610 B:3
c. “Qudshu” + “king”
d. Notes
As remarked by Virolleaud, Ug. V, p. 585, the expression qds mlk is new in
this text.
e. Isa 43:15
‫ז‬2‫“ קדמ‬Holy One” // ‫“ מ ל ך‬King”
f. Ps 99:1+9
‫" מ ל ך‬to become King” //BTVTp "Holy One”
g . Ps 99:3-4
‫ז‬2‫“ קדה‬holy” . . . ‫“ מ ל ך‬King”
h. Comments
The Canaanite phrase qds mlk enables one to sense more keenly the
polemical undertone of Isa 43:15.
i. In Ps 99:1, ‫ י הו ה מל ך‬, "Yahweh has become King,” forms an inclusion
with v. 9,‫ז יהרה אלהינוז‬2‫ כי ״ ק ד ח‬, “indeed the Holy One is Yahweh our God.”


a. qds . . . sat spt

b. 51 V I I :29-30 (CTA 4 V II :29-30)
c. “holiness” . . . “utterance of the lips”

— 142 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 273

d. Notes
For Ginsberg’s restoration s[at s]pth (cf. A N E T 3, p. 134), see Herdner, CTA,
p. 29, n. 11, and Gaster, Thespis, p. 448.

e. Ps 89:35-36
‫‘‘ מוצא ע(פתי‬the utterance of my lips” // ‫“ ק לשי‬my holiness”

f. Comments
Here we have an instance of a biblical parallelism confirming the pro-
posed restoration of a damaged Ug. tablet. Thus restored, 51 VII :30, ytny
VI sat spth, “Baal repeats the utterance of his lips,” is semantically identical,
mutatis mutandis, with Ps 89:35, ‫ ומוצ א שפתי ל א אשנה‬, “and the utterance
of my lips I will not repeat.”


a. qll / I 'n
b. 127:57-58 {CTA 16 VI :57-58)
c. “to be swift” // “to eye”
d. Notes
Adopting a suggestion of E. Lipinski, Syria, L, (1973), 38-39, and comparing
Job 9:25, which describes the swift passage of his days and the utter lack
of prosperity, I would propose this version of 127:57-58:
tqln bgbl sntk Fleeting be your years on the frontier;
bhpnk wt'n ‫־‬ your empty fists may you savor indeed!
For further details of this translation, see M. Dahood, Or, X U V (1975),
104-105, where the construction t '11 b is compared to ‫ ל א ה ב‬, “to enjoy, feast
e. Job 7:6-7
‫" ק ל ל‬to be swift” . . . ‫" ע ץ‬eye”


a. qlt + ks (see also [qqln] // qlt [I 275])

b. 51 111:15-16 {CTA 4 111:15-16)
c. “shame” + “cup”

— 143 —
I 275 Ras Shamra Parallels

d. Notes
Translating qlt bks istynh: "Shame from my cup have I drunk.” All three
roots recur in Hab 2:16, proof sufficient th at the prophet appropriated a
Canaanite motif; see also sb' 11 sty (I 296).

e. Hab 2:16
‫“ ק ל ץ‬shame” / / ‫" כוס‬cup” / / ‫" קיקלון‬disgrace”

f. Comments
‫ ק ל ת‬, ‫‘ ׳‬shame,” derives from ‫לןלה‬, while the hapax ‫ קי קלון‬, "disgrace,”
stems from ‫ ; ק ל ל‬there is evidently some metaplastic interplay between
these two roots. On Ug. qlt, “shame,” see Gordon, UT, § 19.2231.


a. [qqln] // qlt (see also qlt -f- ks [I 274])

b. 51 111:14-16 (CTA 4 111:14-16)

c. "[disgrace]” // “shame”

d. Notes
Both Virolleaud, Syria, X III (1932), 126 and pi. XXVI, and Herdner, CTA,
p. 24, read a tentative p as the first letter of the otherwise completely il-
legible word beginning 1. 15. Gordon, UT, p. 170, is more cautious, leaving
all letters blank. On the basis of the biblical pair I tentatively propose
reading the couplet:
stt [qqln] btlhny I have drunk [disgrace] from my table;
qlt bks istynh shame from my cup have I drunk.
Since the poet employed the same verb twice, the two direct objects should
be closely synonymous and possibly from the same or metaplastic roots.

e. Hab 2:16
‫קלת‬ ‘‘shame ‫״‬ //‫?קליד‬ ‫ ״‬disgrace”

f. Comments
On the relationship between the roots underlying these nouns, see
qlt + ks (I 274 f).

— 144
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 276

a. qr I/ rnn (see also qra . . . ytn [I 277] and rnn + ql [I 292])
b. 1001 obv:5-6
c. “to call” II “to give a ringing cry”
d. Prov 8:3
‫" קור‬to call” / / ‫“ רנן‬to give a ringing cry”
e. Comments
To arrive at this parallelism one must repoint MT ‫ קו*ת‬to rnj?, the
pausal third fern, singular verb with archaic - t ending.
‫ליז שערים ל פי ־ ק ך ת‬ Beside the gates she calls with full voice;
‫ ה‬3‫מבוא פתחים תר‬ at the approach to the portals she gives
a ringing cry.
The resultant sequence is A:B:C // A’:B’:C\ B H K ’s suggestion to delete
‫ ל פי‬is misguided since this prepositional phrase is meant to balance the
intensifying force of energic ‫תרנה‬.


a. qra . . . ytn (see also qr // rnn [I 276] and rnn + ql [I 292])

b. 52:1-3 (CTA 23:1-3)
c. "to call, invoke” . . . "to give”
d. Isa 22:20-21; 41:2; Prov 2:3; 8:1
‫“ קרא‬to call” !‫“ נתן ן‬to give”
e. Jer 34:17; Mic 3:5
‫“ קרא‬to call” . . . ‫“ נתן‬to give”
f. Isa 9:5 (N); 29:12 (N); Jer 3:19; Ps 147:9
‫“ נתן‬to give” ; (N) “to be given” . . . ‫“ קרא‬to call, read aloud”


a. qrb + wld
b. 128 111:5, 20, 21 (CTA 15 III :5, 20, 21)
c. (Gp) “to be approached” + (Gp) "to be bom ”

— 145 —
I 279 Ras Shamra Parallels

d. Notes
The usage and nuance in Isa 8:3 suggest th at the recurring formula wtqrb
wld bn Ih, or a variation thereof, be rendered: “She was approached, a son
was born to him,” with tqrb and wld both construed passively. The growing
number of primae wdw roots in Northwest Semitic preserving the wdw per-
inits one to parse wld as Gp wulida instead of the conjunction wa and an
elided form of yld, as generally construed. See the translation of wld 'qqm
in section d of kry // yld (I 168).

e. Isa 8:3
‫“ ק רב‬to approach” // ‫“ י ל ד‬to give birth”


a. qrt // ksu
b. 57 V I I I :11■-13 (CTA 4 VIII:11-13)
c. “city” /I “throne”
d. Prov 9:14
‫“ כ ס א‬seat” + ‫“ קרת‬city”


a. ri /I ks
b. 'nt 1:12-14 (CTA 3 A:12-14)
c. “bowl” II “cup”
d. Notes
Both the word division and translation are m atters for dispute, but a sticho-
metrically and semantically satisfactory interpretation of 'n t 1:12-15 reads:
ri dn mt smm A massive bowl of the men of heaven,
ks qd§ Itphnh att a holy cup which the woman never
krpn It'n atrt a goblet Asherah never set eyes on.
The substantive ri, which may be also identified in Job 37:18, ‫חזקים‬
‫ כ ר אי מוצק‬, “solid as a bowl of cast m etal,” derives from r'y, “to imbibe,
imbue,” discussed below in Comments.

— 146 —
Ugaritic- Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 281

e. Prov 23:31
‫" ראה‬to imbibe, guzzle” . . . ‫" כיס‬beaker”
f. Comments
G. Driver, JS S , IX (1964), 348, correctly explains ‫ ראה‬as a by-form
of ‫ רו ה‬, "to be soaked, drink one’s fill,” though one need not distinguish it
from ‫ ר א ה‬, "to see,” since a verb of perception sometimes describes the action
of several different senses. In any case, Driver is right when rendering
Prov 23:31a: ‫ א ל ״ ת ר א יץ כי יתאד ם‬, "Do not swill wine when it is red.”
g. See also yn -f 'n (R SP I, II 247) where another parallelism of this v.
is treated.


a. ris + aps
b. 49 1:32-33 (CTA 6 1:60-61)
c. “head” + "end”
d. Isa 52:4
‫" ראעזנה‬beginning” / ‫" א פ ס ן‬end”
e. Comments
Appreciation of the parallelism enables N E B to produce this correct
and fluent translation of Isa 52:4: "At the beginning (‫ )בראשנה‬my people
went down into Egypt to live there, and a t the end (‫ ) ב א פ ס‬it was the As-
Syrians who oppressed them .” Contrast E S F : "My people went down at
first into Egypt to sojourn there, and the Assyrian oppressed them for noth-
ing,” a version th at misses the force of the parallelism. Of course proposals
to emend ‫ ב א פ ס‬to ‫ ב ח מ ס‬, "with violence,” with the LXX, or to ‫ ב א פי‬, "in
my w rath,” lose claim to further consideration. Hence McKenzie, Second
Isaiah, p. 121 and n. k, who adopts the LX X reading and emends to ‫ ב ח מ ס‬,
which he renders “violently,” is seen to have made an imprudent choice.


a. riS II d't
b. 127:9-10 (CTA 16 VI:9-10)
c. "head” / / "sweat”

— 147 —
I 283 Ras Shamra Parallels

d. Notes
The unclear couplet may plausibly be rendered:
zbln 7 risk wttb The sickness from his head she firmly
trhs nn bd't she washed him clean of sweat.
The w of wttb is parsed as emphatic with a consequent postposition of the
verb, as sometimes happens with emphatic kl. Note that Herdner, CTA,
p. 76, mistakenly reads trhs for trhs.
e. Ezek 44:18
‫“ ראיש‬head” . . . ‫“ יזע‬sweat”
f. Comments
Proposals to emend or delete (cf. B H K ) MT ‫ יזע‬should be declined in
view of the Ug. parallelism.
g. Of course, the word pair elicits Gen 3:19, ‫“ זעת אפי ך‬the sweat of your

a. ris . . . nps
b. 127:9+11 (CTA 16 V I:9+11)
c. “head” . . . "throat, appetite”
d. Isa 58:5; Jonah 2:6; Ps 3:3-4; Job 16:4; Prov 11:25-26
‫“ נ פ ע‬soul, self” // ‫“ ראש‬head”
e. Lam 2:19
‫“ ר א ע‬beginning” . . . ‫" נפש‬life”
f. Comments
In Ps 3:3-4 and Prov 11:25-26 the parallelism stands forth when the
vv. are read chiastically. In both texts the evidence for such a reading ap-
pears convincing.

a. ris . . . 'pr
b. 67 V I:15 (CTA 5 VI: 15)
c. “head” . . . “dust”

— 148 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 285

d. Amos 2:7
‫“ ע פ ר‬dust” / / ‫“ ראש‬head”

e. Prov 8:26
‫“ ראש‬the first” + ‫“ עפ רו ת‬dust”

f. Josh 7:6; Ezek 27:30; Job 2:12; Lam 2:10

‫“ ע פ ר‬dust” + ‫“ ראש‬head”
g. Comments
The identification of the parallelism will aid to establish the integrity
of Amos 2:7, usually considered corrupt; see the apparatus of B H K and
BHS. The text is sound and may be read:
‫השאפים ע ל ־ ע פ ר ־ א ר ץ‬ Who trample upon the dust of the
‫בראש דלי ם‬ on the heads of the poor.
The use of one predicate (‫ )השאפים‬with two different prepositions (‫ ע ל‬and ‫) ב‬
further authenticates the reading. W hat the prophet is saying is th at the
oppressors ground the heads of the poor in the dust of the earth.

h. The use of two different prepositions with the same verbal action is
well attested in both Ug. and in Heb.; its presence here guarantees the
authenticity of the text.


a. rb + dr'

b. 2059:16-17

c. “great” + “arm ”

d. Job 35:9
‫“ רב‬greatness” // ‫" זרוע‬arm ” + ‫“ רבים‬the great”
e. Comments
Those who propose to emend ‫ רבי ם‬, “the great,” in Job 35:9, to ‫ כ בי רי ם‬,
“the big,” overlook a point of Joban style, namely to begin and end a v.
with the same root. Here the author begins with ‫ מ ר ב‬, "because of the
greatness,” and ends the verse with ‫ ר בי ם‬, “the great.” The same phenom-
enon can be seen in Job 40:13.

— 149 —
I 286 Ras Shamra Parallels


a. rbb // thmtm
b. 1 Aqht:44-45 (CTA 19 1:44-45)
c. “showers” // “upsurging of the two deeps”
d. Amos 7:4
‫“ ר ב ב‬showers” II ‫" תהום רבה‬the great deep”
e. Comments
This new parallelism lends further credence to the reading proposed
by D. Hillers, CBQ, XXVI (1964), 221-225 (‫ ; ל ר ב ב אש‬cited at rbb H ist
[RSP I, II 518]), and counters an objection recently raised by J. Limburg,
CBQ, XXXV (1973), 346, th at the proposed reading involves an emen-
dation. Hillers has not emended any of the consonants; he has merely
redivided them, and his redivision recovers a rare word pair with a close
analogue in Ug. Would th at all textual alterations proved equally con-


a. rh . . . ap
b. 3 Aqht ‘obv’:25-26, 36-37 (1CTA 18 IV:25-26, 36-37)
c. “wind” . .. “nostril”
d. Isa 30:27-28; Ps 135:17; Prov 14:29; 16:32
‫ “ א ף‬nostril, nose, anger” // ‫“ רוח‬wind, breath, spirit”
e. Gen 7:22; Exod 15:8; I I Sam 22:16; Job 4:9; 27:3; Lam 4:20
‫" רוח‬wind, breath” + ‫“ אף‬nostril, nose”
f. Comments
Identification of this parallelism and of the separative force of ‫ ב‬pro-
duces a new version of Ps 135:17:
‫אזנים לה ם ולא יאזינו‬ They have ears, but do not hear;
‫אף אץ־יעז־רוח בפיה ם‬ a nose, but no breath from their mouths.
Thus the different emendations proposed for the second half-v. appear to
be unnecessary.

— 150 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 288


a. rh If qtr
b. 3 Aqht '0 W :24-26, 36-37 (CTA 18 IV124-26, 36-37)
c. “wind” II ‫ ״‬smoke”
d. Ps 148:8
‫“ קיטור‬smoke” 11 ‫“ רוח‬wind”

a. rhs II nsk
b. *nt 11:38-41; I V :86-88 {CTA 3 B:38-41; D:86-88)
c. “to wash” II “to anoint”
d. Notes
Usually rendered “to pour,” nsk in these parallel passages parses more
readily and proves contextually superior when interpreted as “to anoint”
and related to biblical ‫‘‘ ׳סיר‬to anoint,” and ‫נ ס ך‬, which in some passages
also denotes this.
The first of the two passages reads and translates.
thspn mh wtrhs She drew water for herself and washed,
tl smm smn ars with the dew of heaven, the oil of earth,
rbb rkb 'rpt with the rain of the Cloud-rider.
tl §mm tskh W ith the dew of heaven she anointed
[rbb] tskh kbkbm with the stars’ shower she anointed
As will be seen from the biblical texts the root of tskh, whether it be nsk
or swk, should logically signify “to anoint.” Thus the syntax of tl smm tskh,
“with the dew of heaven she anointed herself,” may be compared for its
accusative of material with Deut 28:40, ‫ל א תסוך‬ “but with oil you
shall not anoint yourself.”
e. Ezek 16:9
‫“ רחץ‬to wash” // ‫“ סוך‬to anoint”
f. I I Sam 12:20
‫“ רחץ‬to wash” + ‫“ סוך‬to anoint”

— 151 —
I 290 Ras Shamra Parallels

g. Comments
Ug. nsk, “to anoint,” supplies the etymology of ‫נסיך‬, “prince,” liter-
ally “one anointed,” to be compared with ‫מע!יח‬, “the anointed” ; on ‫ ך‬1‫ ס‬, “to
anoint,” see Dahood, Psalms I, p. 10. In Ps 2:6, ‫ נ סכ תי מ ל כי‬, “I have been
anointed his king,” can be derived from either root, depending on its vo-
calization as either N or Gp.


a. rhq I/ st
b. 'nt I V :84-85 (CTA 3 D:84-85)
c. (§) “to remove” // “to set”
d. Notes
The text reads and translates:
srhq att Ipnnh He removed the women far from his
it alp qdmh He set an ox in front of her,
mria wtk pnh a fatted one directly before her face.
Scholars generally experience difficulty (e.g. Caquot, TOML, p. 172) with
the prepositional phrase Ipnnh, but with a verb of removal its force is
patently ablative or separative.
e. Ps 88:9
‫( רחק‬H) ‫ ״‬to remove” / / ‫זית‬# “to set”
f. Comments
As in the Ug. v., the Heb. verb also stands in the causative conjugation:
‫ ה רח קת מיד עי ממני‬You have removed my companions far
from me.


a. rkb I/ nsa
b. Krt:74-76, 166-168 (CTA 14 11:74-76; IV:166-168)
c. "to ride” 11 "to raise”
d. Job 30:22
‫“ נ&א‬to lift” /I ‫( ר כ ב‬H) “to make ride”

— 152 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 292

e. Comments
Better syntax and stichometry result when MT ‫ א ל‬, “to, upon,” is re-
pointed ‫ א ל‬in Job 30:22:
‫תשאני א ל‬ You lifted me, El;
‫רוח תרבבני‬ you made me ride the wind,
‫ותמגגני תשוה‬ and caused success to ebb from me.


a. rnn + ql (see also qr // rnn [I 276] and qra . . . ytn [I 277])

b. 1001 obv:6
c. “to give a ringing cry” 4 ‫“ ־‬voice”
d. Prov 1:20
P ‘‘to give a ringing cry” // ‫“ נתן קול‬to give voice”
e. Isa 24:14; 52:8 (D)
‫“ נשא קול‬to raise the voice” // ‫( רנן‬G and D) “to give a ringing cry”
f. Isa 48:20; Pss 42:5; 47:2; 118:15
‫“ קול‬voice” + ‫“ ת ה‬ringing cry”
g. Job 39:23-24; Prov 8:3-4
‫‘‘ ר נ ן‬to give a ringing cry” . . . ‫“ קול‬voice”
h. Comments
In Job 39:23 ‫ הלנה‬is a hapax legomenon usually translated “to rattle.”
It is preferably repointed ‫תרנה‬, the energic form of ‫רנן‬, as in Prov 1:20
and 8:3; see Pope, Job3, pp. 311-312. The presence of ‫ קו ל‬, “voice,” in the
next v. sustains this parsing.


a. sal . . . bqt
b. 2008 rev:10+13
c. (Gt) “to ask” . . . “to seek”
d. Isa 65:1; Ps 27:4
‫“ שאל‬to ask” II ‫( בקש‬D) “to seek”

— 153 —
I 294 Ras Shamra Parallels

e. Esther 5:6; 7:2, 3; 9:12

‫“ עזאלוז‬a request” // ‫“ ב ק ^ ה‬a petition”
f. Jer 50:4-5
&?‫( בק‬D) “to seek” // 0‫“ א ל‬to ask”
g. Gen 37:15; I Sam 28:6-7; Ezra 8:22
‫“ עזאל‬to ask” . . . ‫( בקעז‬D) “to seek”
h. Comments
The contents, word order, parallel pairs, broken construct chain in
v. 5 (‫) צי ץ ישאלו ד ר ך‬, and the stichometry all point to the poetic nature of
Jer 50:4-5, printed as prose by B H K but correctly set up as poetry by BH S.

a. 8 ir/ / Ihm
b. 62:41-43 (CTA 6 VI:41-43)
c. “m eat” // “bread”
d. Notes
The restoration \lsi\r in 1. 42 proposed by de Moor, Seasonal Pattern, p. 240,
can now look to the biblical parallelism for support.
e. Ps 78:20
‫“ לח ם‬bread” // 0 ‫“ אר‬m eat”


a. sb( + bk (see also bky + qbr [RSP I, II 107])

b. 62:9 {CTA 6 1:9)
c. “to be sated” + “weeping”
d. Job 27:14-15
‫“ ע(בע‬to be sated” // ‫“ ב כ ה‬to weep”

a. 8b'11 sty
b. 62:9-10 (CTA 6 1:9-10)
c. “to be sated” // “to drink”

— 154 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 297

d. sty + sb'
e. 601:3, 16
f. “to drink” + “to be sated”
g. Notes
Reading and translating UT 62:9-10:
'd tsb' bk Until she is sated with weeping,
tst kyn udm't she drinks tears like wine.
or else: She is sated with the fare of weeping;
she drinks tears like wine.
In the later translation 'd bk would be a construct chain with verb inter-
posed, to be compared with Ps 80:6, ‫ ל ח ם ד מ ע ה‬, “the bread of tears.” For
Heb. ‫ ע ד‬or ‫ עו ד‬meaning “fare,” see Isa 32:14 and 62:8, and especially
I Sam 2:5.
h. Hab 2:16
‫“ שבע‬to be sated” // ‫“ שתה‬to drink”
i. Hag 1:6
7&‫“ ב ע‬to be sated” . . . ‫“ ע תה‬to drink”
j. Amos 4:8
‫“ ע ת ה‬to drink” . . . ‫" ע ב ע‬to be sated”
k. Ezek 39:19
‫“ שבעה‬satiety” . . . ‫“ ע ת ה‬to drink”
l. Comments
The parallelism in Hab 2:16 also illustrates the stylistic device of
balancing a precative perfect with an imperative, both expressing a command.


a. sd I/ mhrtt (mhrth) (see also 'nt + mhrtt [mhrth] [I 243])

b. 49 I V :26-27, 37-38 (CTA 6 IV:26-27, 37-38)
c. “field” II “plowland”
d. Notes
Although Gordon, UT, p. 168, reads mhrth in 1. 38, Herdner, CTA, p. 41,
n. 3, notes th at the final sign is now too indistinct to be read. The paral-
lelism is valid in either case.

— 155 —
I 298 Ras Shamra Parallels

e. Jer 26:18; Micah 3:12

‫ ״ מזדה‬field” 4 ‫( חרש ־‬N) ‫ ״‬to be plowed”
f. Comments
In this connection Isa 28:24 and Hos 10:11 may be studied, where
‫חר ש‬, “to plow,” parallels ‫( שדד‬D), "to harrow.”


a. §d -+‫« « ־‬
b. 125:34 (CTA 16 1:34)
c. "field” + “w ater”
d. Ezek 17:8
‫ ״ שדה‬field” 11 ‫‘‘ מים‬water”
e. Joel 1:20
‫" שדה‬field” . . . ‫" מים‬w ater”


a. §d If rhmy
b. 52:13, 28 (iCTA 23:13, 28)
c. "breast” // "one of the womb”
d. Notes
UT 52:13, wsd sd ilm sd atrt wrhm;y} (see 1. 28 and Herdner, CTA, p. 98),
may be rendered: "O breast, breast of the gods, breast of Asherah and the
one of womb!” Initial w is parsed as the vocative particle (see R SP I, I
44 h), while wrhmy is identified with Asherah; thus atrt wrhmy would be
another example of a composite divine name, so well attested in Ug. and
Heb. In other words, the poet apostrophizes Asherah alone, the mother
of all E l’s children. Thus the discussion whether rhmy refers to Anath be-
comes gratuitous. For the other widely-held interpretation of sd as “field,”
see most recently Xella, Shr e Sim, p. 53. One of Xella’s objections to sd,
“breast,” stems from the consideration th at breast is spelled dd in 1. 61 and,
presumably, zd in 1. 24. The latter can, however, be explained differently:
ynqm bap zd atrt, "who suck at the warm teat of Asherah,” where zd = TT,
"to grow warm,” and is witnessed in UT 77:8 and 12. See van Seims, Mar­

— 156 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 300

riage and Family, p. 17, n. 13. Thus zd is an adjective modifying ap, “te a t,”
in a broken construct chain, so th at the only other variant spelling remains
dd, “breast,” in 1. 61.
e. Ps 22:1 Ob-11a
‫“ עדי ם‬breasts” // ‫“ רחם‬womb”
f. Hos 9:14
‫“ רחם‬womb” // ‫“ עדי ם‬breasts”
g. Gen 49:25
‫“ עדי ם‬breasts” + ‫“ רחם‬womb”
h. Job 3:11-12
‫“ רחם‬womb” . . . ‫“ עדי ם‬breasts”
i. Comments
Only the chiastic reading of the four cola of Ps 22:10-11 produces the
parallelism in w . 10b-11a:
‫מבטיחי ע ל ־ ע די אמי‬ You gave me confidence from my
mother’s breasts;
‫ע לי ך ה ע ל כ תי מרחם‬ upon you was I cast from the womb.
Departing from Psalms I, p. 136, I now follow those ancient versions (see
BHK) which saw separative force in ‫ ; ע ל ״ ע ד י‬well-documented ‫ ע ל‬, “from”
(// ‫) מ ר ח ם‬, excludes the need to emend ‫ ע ל ״ ע די‬to ‫ מ ע די‬.


a. Sht + mt (see also 'sm . . . sht . . . mt [I 246])

b. 607:65
c. “the P it” + “Death”
d. Notes
The disputed couplet in 607:64-65 may fairly be rendered:
ydy b'sm V r He hurled with vigor the tamarisk,
wbsht 's mt right into the Pit the tree of Death.
Comparison with UT 75 1:24, 'zm yd, “vigor of hand,” suggests th at the
function of w in the second line is emphatic rather than copulative. For
the translation of 75 1:23-25, see ,zm + yd (I 230 d), and compare the former
suggestion cited in R SP I, II I 89 k.

157 —
I 301 Ras Shamra Parallels

e. Job 33:22
‫“ ישחת‬the P it ‫ '׳‬// ‫“ מתים‬the dead”
f. Ezek 28:8
‫“ שחת‬the P it” // ‫“ ממותי ח ל ל‬the mortally wounded”
g. Jer 18:22-23
‫“ שיחה‬p it” . . . ‫“ מות‬death‫״‬
h. Comments
As hinted in l film (R SP I, II 318 f and h), MT ‫ לממתים‬in Job 33:22
is preferably divided and vocalized ‫“ ׳ ל מ מתים‬to the dead,” at once recovering
the parallelism ‫ ל‬// ‫ ל מ‬and identifying the breakup of the composite phrase
‫ שחת מתים‬, “the Pit of the dead” ; cf. Job 24:12, ‫ עי ר מתים‬, “the City of the
dead,” where MT again misses the motif, reading ‫מתי ם‬, “men,” for ‫מתי ם‬,
“the dead,” and Ps 16:10-11 which contrasts ‫שחת‬, “the P it,” with ‫ א ר ח חיים‬,
“the path to life.”
i. Kzek 28:8 is scanned as a bicolon with a 10:9 syllable count, and the
‫ ל‬of ‫ל שחת‬, “to the P it,” is parsed as a double-duty preposition extending
its force to parallel ‫ ממותי ח ל ל‬, “the mortally wounded” :
‫לשחת יורדוך ומתה‬ To the Pit they will send you down to
‫ממותי ח ל ל ב ל ב ימים‬ to the mortally wounded in the depths
of the waters.


a. skn II grs (see also skn // skn [I 304])

b. 126 V:27-28 (CTA 16 V:27-28)
c. (D) “to dislodge” // “to drive out”
d. Notes
Apparently synonymous with grs, “to drive out,” askn contextually fits
when interpreted as D-privative:
askn ydt mrs I will dislodge the force of the disease,
grSm zbln driving out the malady.
e. Gen 3:24 (‫[ גרש‬D], ‫[ שכן‬H]); Deut 33:27-28 (‫[ גרש‬D]); Job 30:5-6 (‫[ גרש‬Dp])
‫( גרש‬D) “to drive out” ; (Dp) “to be driven” / / ‫“ שכן‬to dwell” ; (H) “to

— 158 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 302


a. Skn /I hlk
b. Krt: 103-106, 192-195 (<CTA 14 11:103-111:106; IV:192-195)
c. “to dwell” II “to go”
d. hlk + Skn
e. 125:43 (CTA 16 1:43)
f. “to go” + “to settle”
g. Jer 7:6-7
‫“ ה ל ך‬to go” II ‫( ישכן‬D) “to make to dwell”
h. Jer 7:12
‫“ ה ל ך‬to go” . . . ‫( שכן‬D) “to make to dwell”


a. Skn . . . mla
b. 126 V:27-28 [CTA 16 V:27-28)
c. “to dwell” . . . “to fill”
d. Exod 40:35; Isa 33:5 (‫[ מל א‬D]); Ezek 32:4-5 (‫[ שכן‬H], ‫[ מל א‬D])
‫“ שכן‬to settle, dwell” ; (H) “to cause to dwell” / / ‫“ מל א‬to fill” ; (D) “to fill”
e. Isa 13:21
‫“ מל א‬to be full” / / ‫“ שכן‬to dwell”
f. Comments
In Ezek 32:4-5 occur six first person singular verbs which appear to
be all parallel, but it is also possible th at the prophet meant them as dis-
crete pairs of balancing verbs.


a. Skn II skn (see also Skn 11 grS [I 301])

b. 126 V:25-27 (CTA 16 V:25-27)
c. (D) “to dislodge” // (D) “to dislodge”

— 159 —
I 305 Ras Shamra Parallels

d. Notes \

In the context the repeated verb appears to have privative force, hence a
ank ihtrs w[a\skn I will work magic and dislodge,
askn ydt [m\rs dislodge the force of the disease.
e. Deut 33:12; Ps 120:5-6
p tf ‘‘to dwell” II ‫‘‘ שכן‬to dwell”

f. Isa 57:15
‫‘‘ שכן‬to dwell” . . . ‫" שכן‬to dwell”
g. Ps 78:60
‫" משכן‬dwelling-place” . . . ‫( שכן‬D) "to establish”

h. Comments
The identification of A:B:B:A chiastic pattern (see bn 11 bn [RSP I,
II 111 e] for Ug. examples of this pattern) elucidates the yqtl // qtl sequence
of this root in Deut 33:12:
‫י די ד יהוה ישכן‬ Yahweh’s beloved dwells
‫ל ב ט ח עליו‬ in the security of the Most High;
‫ח פף עליו כ ל־ היו ם‬ the Most High enfolds him all the day,
‫ובין כתיפיו שכן‬ and between his wings he dwells.
Some of the emendations proposed for this v. threaten to destroy the chi-
astic pattern; hence caution should accompany their evaluation. The
6:5:7:7 syllable count and the chiastic arrangement bespeak a soundness
of text th at calls for no “emendation.”


a. slm -\- kll

b. 611:9-10; 1015:14-15
c. “peace, peace-offering” + "perfect”
d. Bibliography
M. Dahood, Bib, U V (1973), 358.
e. Jer 13:19
‫" כ ל‬all” If ‫" שלומים‬completely”

— 160
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 306

f. Comments
Since the current text is semantically and grammatically unimpeachable,
the attem pt to bring the final phrase of Jer 13:19 into line with Amos 1:6
should not be pursued.
‫הגלת יהודה כ ל ה‬ All Judah is taken into exile,
‫הגלת עלומי ם‬ taken into exile completely.
In this interpretation ‫ ’שלומים‬functions as adverbial accusative.


a. Bm . . . mgy
b. 100:6+8 (CTA 59:6+8); 101:1+5 (CTA 57:1+5); 2009 0bv:8+11
c. “to prosper, peace” . . . “to arrive”
d. Job 34:11
‫( שלם‬D) “to repay” // ‫( מצא‬H) “to make arrive”


a. Bm I/ nh
b. 95:10-14 {CTA 51:10-14)
c. “peace” // “to rest”
d. I Chron 22:9
‫“ איש מנוחה‬a man of rest” // ‫“ שלמה‬Solomon”
‫( נוח‬H) “to give rest” // ‫“ שלום נתן‬to give peace”
e. Isa 32:18
‫“ שלום‬peace” . . . ‫“ מנוחה‬peaceful place”


a. 5m . . . bt
b. 68:28 (CTA 2 IV:28)
c. “name” . . . "to be ashamed”
d. Zeph 3:19
‫“ שם‬name” / / ‫“ בשת‬shame”

— 161 —
I 309 Ras Shamra Parallels

e. Comments
An appreciation of this parallelism should stay the hand of those desir-
ing to emend DDIZfa, “their shame” ; see the apparatus of B H K and BH S.
For a sound grammatical analysis of this bicolon, consult Sabottka, Ze-
phanja, p. 139, though one may prefer to parse the final mem of ‫ הצמתים‬as
dative suffix of advantage, “I shall change for them ,” instead of as enclitic
mem, as favored by Sabottka.
f. This parallelism also cautions prudence in Kzek 34:29, where some
have recommended, on the strength of three ancient versions, an emen-
dation th at would destroy the balance between ‫שם‬, “name,” and ‫ כ ל מ ה‬,
“ignominy,” a synonym of ‫בעזת‬, “shame.” Thus N E B emends ‫ מ ט ע לשם‬,
“a plantation of great renown,” with ‫ ל‬understood as emphatic, to ‫מטע‬
‫שלום‬, "prosperity to their plantations,” fine in assonance but destructive
of parallelism; see Brockington, Hebrew Text, p. 232.


a. Smh I/ sh
b. 51 11:28-29; V:97-98 (CTA 4 11:28-29; V:97-98); 67 11:20-21 (CTA 5 11:20-21)
c. “to rejoice” // “to shout”
d. sh . . . §mh
• • W

e. 49 1:11 (CTA 6 1:39)

f. "to shout” . . . "to rejoice”
g. Notes
The chiastic order of the word pair in 51 11:28-29 and 67 11:20-21 finds a
counterpart in the biblical text.
h. Isa 24:11
‫“ צוחה‬shout” 11 ‫ ״ עומחה‬joy”


a. Smm . . . qd$
b. 'nt 1:13 {CTA 3 A:13)
c. “heaven” . . . “holiness”

— 162 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 311

d. Job 15:15
‫זים‬2?‫“ קד‬holy ones” II ‫“ עמים‬heaven”
e. Ps 89:6
‫" עמי ם‬heaven” . . . ‫" קלעי ם‬holy ones”
f. Ps 20:7
‫“ עמים‬heaven” + ‫“ ק ל ע‬holiness”
g. Isa 63:15
‫“ עמים‬heaven” . .. ‫“ ק ל ע‬holiness”

a. Imn . . . nsk
b. 'nt 11:39-40; I V :87 (CTA 3 B :39-40; D:87)
c. “oil” . . . “to anoint”
d. Gen 35:14
‫“ נסך‬drink-offering” / / ‫“ ע מן‬oil”

a. sm' + amt
b. 126 I V :2 (CTA 16 IV:2)
c. “to hear” -f "word”
d. Notes
The damaged end of the 1. precludes a certain translation of il §m' amrk
ph[ ], but scholars (e.g. Aistleitner, M K T 2, p. 101; Jirku, Mythen und
Epen, p. 109) who identify amr with ‫ א מ ר‬, “word,” are probably correct.
The objection of Caquot, TOML, p. 562, n. s, th at W means “to see” in
Ug. slights the fact th at in Heb. ‫ א מ ר‬, which normally means “to say,” often
also signifies "to see.” Note these two senses of ‫ א מ ר‬in Gen 4:8-9, and the
inclusion formed by ‫ ד א מ ר‬at the beginning of v. 8 and ‫ ל ע מ ר‬at the end of
v. 9. Thus the balance of ‫ א מ ר‬// ‫ ע מ ר‬is like th at in Ps 71:10 where these
verbs describe visual activity.
e. Ps 31:23; Job 28:22; 33:8; 34:34
‫“ א מ ר‬to say, speak” // ‫“ ע מ ע‬to hear”
f. Num 24:16; Deut 32:1; Isa 28:23
‫“ ע מ ע‬to hear” + (‫“ אמר)ה‬word”

— 163 —
I 313 Ras Shamra Parallels


a. sm' II ars
b. 2 Aqht V 1:16-17 (CTA 17 VI: 1617‫)־‬
c. “to hear” // “to request”
d. Ps 61:6
‫“ עזמע‬to hear” . . . DETP “request”
e. Comments
In Ps 61:6 ntfT (MT ‫ )ירשת‬is a by-form of ‫אר שת‬, “request” ; see
Dahood, Psalms I I , p. 86.
f. For other rapprochements between Ps 61:6 and Ug. word pairs, see
also ars // ytn (R SP I, II 73) and sm' // ytn (R SP I, II 569).


a. sm' + hwt
b. 2127 b:3 (PRU V, p. 175)
c. “to hear” + “declaration”
d. Notes
The context is unfortunately damaged, but the phrase §m't hwt might well
mean, “you have heard the declaration,” or “I have heard (your) decla-
ration,” since hwt[ ] might also be read hwt[k].
e. Job 32:10
‫“ שמע‬to hear” If ‫( חוה‬D) “to declare”
f. Job 15:17
‫( חוה‬D) “to declare” . . . ‫“ שמע‬to hear”
g. Job 13:17
‫“ שמע‬to hear” . . . ‫“ אחוה‬declaration”


a. smt / I 'zm (see also kbd . . . smt [I 159])

b. 1 Aqht:110-111, 117, 125, 131, 139-140, 145 (CTA 19 1 1 1 : 1 1 0 1 3 1 ,125 ,117 ,111‫־‬
1 3 9 1 4 5 ,140‫)־‬

— 164 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 316

c. “fat‫ ״‬/ / “bone”

d. Notes
The root underlying smt is most likely smn, as held by Gordon, UT,
§ 19. 2439, and others. For two other proposed derivations, see Caquot,
TOML, p. 450, n. q.
e. Ps 109:18
‫“ שמן‬oil” + ‫“ עצ ם‬bone”

a. snt I/ spt
b. 1001 obv:4-5
c. “teeth” /I “lips”
d. Notes
Virolleaud, P R U II, pp. 3 and 6, observes th at plural snt answers to Akk.
Sinnati, which also has plural sinne. In Heb. only plural masc. forms are
e. Cant 4:2-3
‫“ שנים‬teeth” !‫“ שפתת ן‬lips”
f. Ps 140:4
‫“ שנן‬to sharpen” . . . ‫“ שפתים‬lips”
g. Comments
In Ps 140:4, verbal ‫שנן‬, “to sharpen,” being a denominative from ‫שן‬,
“tooth,” the comparison is apposite.

a. SphU'bd
b. 2062 B:1-3
c. “servant” // “slave”
d. Notes
Translating 2062 B:l-3:
wmlk d mlk And the king who rules
bhwt sph in the village of the servant,
lydn *bd mlk may he not judge the slave of the king.

I 318 Ras Shamra Parallels

On hwt, "village,‫ ״‬see A. Herdner, Syria, XL/VI (1969), 132. Employing

the verb ydn, the writer plays on his own name, ydn (2062 A:l). For dif-
ferent interpretations of these 11., consult Virolleaud, P R U V, p. 89, and
Gordon, UT, § 19.850.

e. Jer 34:9, 10, 16; Joel 3:2; Ps 123:2; etc.

‫“ ע ב ד‬slave” // ‫“ שפחה‬female servant”

f. Gen 30:43
‫“ ע פ ח ה‬female servant” + ‫“ ע ב ד‬slave”

g. Gen 12:16; 24:35; Deut 28:68; Isa 14:2; Jer 34:11; Eccles 2:7; etc.
‫“ ע ב ד‬slave” + ‫“ שפחה‬female servant”


a. spk If ysa
b. 3 Aqht W :23-25, 34-36 (CTA 18 IV:23-25, 34-36)

c. "to pour out” II “to go out”

d. Job 12:21-22
‫“ שפך‬to pour out” . . . ‫( יצא‬H) “to bring out”

e. I Kings 2:30-31; Isa 37:32-33; Ezek 9:7-8; 20:34 (‫[ יצא‬H], ‫[ שפך‬Gp]); 24:6-7; etc.
‫“ יצא‬to go out, come out” ; (H) “to bring out” . . . ‫“ שפך‬to pour out” ; (Gp)
“to be poured out”


a. &p&Hb'l
b. 62:11-12, 13-14 (iCTA 6 1:11-12, 13-14)

c. “Shapsh” II “Baal”

d. I I Kings 23:5
‫“ ב ע ל‬Baal” + ‫“ שמש‬the sun”

— 166 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 320


a. spt II tkm
b. 124:4-5 (CTA 22 B:4-5)
c. “lip" II “shoulder”
d. Ps 81:6-7
‫“ שפה‬lip, speech” II ‫“ עזכם‬shoulder”


a. sqy . . . ytn
b. 'nt 1:9-10; pi. X :IV :9 (1CTA 3 A:9-10; 1 IV:9)
c. “to drink” . . . “to give”
d. Ps 69:22
‫“ נתן‬to give” 11 ‫( ’שקה‬H) “to cause to drink”
e. Isa 43:20; Ps 104:12-13
‫“ נתן‬to give” . . . ‫( עזקה‬H) "to cause to drink”


a. sr + tb (see also tb(n) -f- ql [I 120])

b. 'nt 1:20 (1CTA 3 A :20)
c. “to sing” + “sweet”
d. Notes
This 1., ysy gzr tb ql, is usually rendered, ‘the sweet-voiced lad sings,” where
scholars recognize in tb the nuance “sweet.”
e. Ps 33:3
‫“ עייר‬to sing” II ‫( יטב‬H) “to make sweet”
f. Ezek 33:32
‫ יר‬1‫“ ע‬song” . . . ‫( טוב‬H) “to make sweet”
g. Ps 69:31-32
*‫“ עזיו‬song” . . . ‫“ יטב‬to be sweet”

— 167 —
I 323 Ras Shamra Parallels

h. Isa 23:16
‫( יטב‬H) “to make sweet” . . . ‫“ עי ר‬song”
i. Comments
The necessity of appreciating the nuance of a word in its context comes
home upon comparing N E B ’s felicitous translation of Isa 23:16, ‫ הי טי בי נגן‬,
“touch the strings sweetly,” with its less apposite rendition of the same
phrase in a similar context in Ps 33:3, “strike up with all your a rt.”


a. sr + ,p (see also ndd . . . 'pt [I 211])

b. 124:11 (1CTA 22 B:ll)
c. (Gt) “to travel” + “to fly”
d. Notes
See sd // smm (I 261 d) for the translation of 124:1011‫־‬. The word tstr may
be parsed as a Gt form of swr, “to travel.”
e. Hos 9:11-12
‫( עוף‬HtL) “to fly” 11 ‫“ עו ר‬to travel”
f. Comments
The parallelism obtains only if one grants the presence of an inclusion
formed by ‫ כ עו ף י תעופף כ בוד ם‬, “like a bird their honor shall fly away,” and
‫ בש)!(ורי מהם‬, “when I travel far from them .” N E B ’s stichometric layout
sets forth well the rhetorical figure of inclusion in Hos 9:11-12.


a. sr . . . tp
b. 602 obv:3-4
c. “to sing” . . . “tam bour”
d. Ps 68:26
‫“ ערי ם‬singers” // ‫“ ע ל מו ת תופפות‬maidens beating tambours”
e. Comments
This further rapprochement between Canaanite texts and Ps 68 (see
Dahood, Psalms I I , pp. 130-152) saps the position of Vlaardingerbroek,
Psalm 68, who tends to minimize these relationships.

— 168 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 325


a. st . . . smkt

b. 125:34-35 (CTA 16 1:34-35)

c. “to put, pour” . . . “highlands”

d. Notes
For the translation of smkt, consult Driver, CML, p. 147.

e. Ps 88:7-8
‫“ עדת‬to p u t” // ‫“ סמך‬to rise”

f. Comments
Though the traditional understanding of Ps 88:8, ‫ ע לי ס מכ ה חמתך‬, “upon
me your fury rested,” cannot be faulted, the Northwest Semitic attestation
of the root smk, “to be high, elevated,” permits a new option in our text.
Cf. also Ezek 24:2: “The king of Babylon rose up (‫ ) ס מ ך‬against Jerusalem.”


a. st + spr
b. 54:18-19 {CTA 53:18-19)

c. “to p u t” 4‫“ ־‬document, tablet”

d. spr + st
e. 2106:3

f. "document, tablet” -f- “to p u t”

g. Job 38:36-37
‫“ עזית‬to p u t” !‫( ספ ר ן‬D) “to count”
h. Ps 73:28
0‫“ זית‬to p u t” . . . ‫" ס פ ר‬to narrate”
i. Comments
In a series of four parallel verbs, our pair figures as the first and the
third in Job 38:36-37.

— 169 —
I 327 Ras Shamra Parallels


a. sty yn . . . skr
b. 607:3-4
c. “to drink wine” . . . “drunkenness”
d. Notes
Cf. 601:16: yst [il y]n 'd sb tr t'd Skr, “the god drinks wine unto satiety, new

wine unto drunkenness.”

e. Joel 1:5
‫" עכורי ם‬drunkards” // ‫“ ע תי יץ‬those who drink wine”
f. Isa 24:9
‫“ ע ת ה יץ‬to drink wine” . . . ‫“ ע כ ר‬liquor”


a. tht + ars
b. 'nt I V :80 (CTA 3 D:80)
c. “under” + “the earth”
d. Job 28:5
‫“ ארץ‬the earth” // ‫“ תחתיה‬its bottom ”
e. Isa 44:23; Pss 63:10; 139:15
‫“ תחתיות‬the depths” + ‫“ )ה(ארץ‬the earth”
f. Deut 4:39; I Kings 8:23; Isa 51:6
‫" ה ארץ מתחת‬the earth beneath”
g. Comments
The identification of this pairing warrants a new translation of Job 28:5:
‫ארץ ממנה י צ א־ ל ח ם‬ The earth — from it comes forth food,
‫ותחתיה נ הפך כ מו־ א ע‬ though its bottom is convulsed as though
by fire.
The surface of the earth produces food, but in its depths rages a convulsive
fire. Pope, Job3, p. 201, correctly grasps the sense of the v., but his trans-
lation falls short because he missed the parallelism of the nouns: "The earth
from which comes food / Below is changed as by fire.” On the nominalized
preposition ‫ ת ח תי ה‬, “its bottom ,” see the discussion of Job 36:16 at tht +
tlhn (I 329).

— 170 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 329


a. tht + tlhn
b. 601:5-6, 8
c. “under” + “table‫״‬
d. Job 36:16
‫" תחתיה‬its bottom ” // ‫“ שלחנך‬your table”
e. Comments
Despite the obscurity enveloping the v., the parallelism of these two
substantives appears reasonably evident.
‫רחב ל א־ מו צ ק תחתיה‬ A breadth unstraitened is its bottom,
‫ונחת שלחנך מל א דשן‬ while your tranquil table was loaded
with rich food.
Here Elihu contrasts the vast bottom of Sheol from which God has rescued
Job with the prosperity enjoyed by Job through God’s favor. The form
‫ תחתיה‬would be a nominalized preposition; cf. Job 6:16, ‫ ע לי מו‬, "their sur-
face” ; Ps 80:10, ‫ ל פני ה‬, "her predecessors” ; and M. Dahood, Bib, XL/VII
(1966), 411; Gordon, UT, p. 58, n. 1; see also above tht + ars (I 328).


a. tmm + abd
b. Krt:24 (CTA 14 1:24)
c. "to be complete” + “to perish”
d. Notes
Reading wbtm hn sph yitbd: "And completely, alas, the progeny perished.”
I parse hn as an interjection, here postpositive, as occasionally with ‫; הנ ה‬
e.g., Jer 1:18; Eccles 1:16; or for th at m atter, 1012:17, ktt hn ib, "behold
the foe crushed!” and Krt:20-21, msb't hn Mlh ttpl, "one seventh, alas, fell
by the spear.”
e. Ps 9:7
‫" תמם‬to be destroyed” // ‫“ א ב ד‬to perish”
f. Ps 102:27-28
‫" א ב ד‬to perish” If ‫" תמם‬to cease”

— 171 —
I 331 Ras Shamra Parallels

g. Comments
In Ps 9:7 the chiastic structure, whose appreciation helps focus the
parallelism, has been observed by Dahood, Psalms I, p. 55. The emendation
of ‫ תמו‬to ‫ ד מו‬, th at has occasionally been proposed in the past (e.g., BDB,
p. 1070b), would destroy this pair and hence must be disallowed.


a. tp II n'm
b. R S 22.225:2 (C R A IB L , 1961, 182)
c. “beauty” // “grace”
d. Notes
The phrase in question reads tp ahh wn'm ahh, “her brother’s beauty and
her brother’s grace.” The parallelism of tp with n'm makes wpy, “to be
fair,” the probable root of tp.
e. Bibliography
M. Dahood, Bib, XLV (1964), 288.
Albright, Yahweh, pp. 131-132, n. 54.
f. Cant 1:16 (Dahood)
‫“ י פ ה‬beautiful” // ‫“ נעים‬gracious”
g. Cant 7:7 (Albright)
‫" י פ ה‬to be beautiful” // ‫" נעם‬to be gracious”
h. Comments
The biblical parallelism would seem to undermine the interpretation
put upon the Ug. phrase by E. Lipinski, Syria, X U I (1965), 53: “le beau
membre de son frere et le doux membre de son frere.”


a. tb . . . ps'
b. 2 Aqht V 1:42-43 (CTA 17 VI :42-43)
c. “to return” . . . “rebellion”
d. Ezek 33:12
‫ע‬# ‫“ פ‬rebellion” // ‫וב‬$ “to return”

— 172 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 333

e. Jer 5:6
‫“ פשע‬rebellion” // ‫“ משובה‬apostasy”
f. Isa 59:20; Ezek 78:28, 30
‫“ עו ב‬to return” + ‫“ פשע‬rebellion”
g. Isa 46:8
‫( עו ב‬H) “to bring back” -f ‫" פשע‬to rebel”
h. Ezek 78:21-22; 33:9-10; Job 13:22-23 (H)
‫“ עזוב‬to return” ; (H) "to reply” . . . ‫“ פשע‬rebellion”
i. Jer 3:12-13; Job 13:22-23
‫“ שוב‬to return” . . . ‫“ פשע‬to rebel”
j. Job 36:9-10
‫“ פשע‬rebellion” . . . ‫“ שוב‬to return”

k. Ps 51:15
‫“ פשע‬to rebel” . . . ‫" שוב‬to return”


a. tb j/ $m'

b. 51 V I:2-4 (CTA 4 V I:2-4)

c. “to return” // "to hear”

d. Notes
The balance of these two verbs has been partially concealed by the mis-
translation of 1. 3 due to oversight of the double-duty preposition:
ttb b'l l[hwty] Return, O Baal, to my word,
tn rgm k[tr w]hss to the repeated words of Kothar-wa-
stn' m la[li]yn b'l hear, now, O Puissant Baal!
e. Isa 6:10
‫“ שמע‬to hear” 11 ‫“ שוב‬to return”
f. Jer 26:3; Ps 85:9
‫“ שמע‬to hear” . . . ‫“ שוב‬to return”

— 173 —
I 334 Ras Shamra Parallels

a. tb . . . tny
b. 51 V I:2-3 (CTA 4 V I:2-3)
c. “to return” . . . “to repeat”
d. Notes
For the translation of 51 VI:2-4, see section d of tb [j j>m' (I 333).
e. Prov 26:11
‫“ עו ב‬to return” // “to repeat”

a. tbr I/ bky
b. 125:54-55 (CTA 16 1:54-55)
c. “to break” // “to weep”
d. Notes
Despite the partial damage of the 11., the parallelism between ttbr and tbky
seems a reasonable assumption.
e. Jer 48:4-5
‫ ב ר‬1‫( ע‬N) “to be broken” . . . ‫“ ב כי‬weeping”
f. Isa 15:5
‫“ ב כי‬weeping” . . . ‫“ שבר‬disaster”
g. Comments
Attention to another Canaanite element bids fair to improve the trans-
lation of the phrase occurring in Jer 48:5 (cf. Isa 15:5):
‫ב ב כי י ע ל ה ־ ב כי‬ After weeping weeping ascends.
Which is to say th at a surge of tears ascends the slopes of Luhith. Compare
Krt:31, bm bkyh wysn, “after his weeping he falls asleep” ; and see Gordon,
UT, § 10.4, and Dahood, Psalms I I I , pp. 68-69, 134.

a. tbt . . . abd
b. Krt:23-24 (1CTA 14 1:23-24)
c. “seat” . . . “to perish”

— 174 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 337

d. Notes
See Gordon, UT, § 19.1177, for the derivation of tbt from ytb, “to sit, reside
in.” F. Fensham, J NS L , I (1971), 16, argues th at tbt means “seat of author-
ity ” and not simply “sitting” or “dwelling.”

e. Zech 9:5
‫“ א ב ד‬to perish” // ‫“ ישב‬to inhabit”


a. tbt . . . hpk
b. 49 V I:28 (CTA 6 VI :28)
c. “seat” . . . “to overturn”
d. Notes
See tbt . . . abd (I 336 d) for the derivation and meaning of tbt.
e. Sir 10:14
‫“ ה פ ך‬to overturn” // ‫“ ישב‬to sit”


a. tbt . . . yrt
b. Krt:23+25 (CTA 14 1:23+25)
c. “seat” . . . “heir”
d. Notes
See tbt . . . abd (I 336 d) for the derivation and meaning of tbt.

e. Isa 54:3 (‫[ ישב‬H]); Jer 49:1; Mic 1:15

tfT “to possess” II ‫" ישב‬to dwell” ; (H) “to cause to be inhabited”
f. Ps 69:36
‫“ ישב‬to dwell” . . . “to possess”
g. Deut 2:21, 22; 26:1
‫“ ירש‬to dispossess, inherit” + ‫" ישב‬to dwell”

— 175 —
I 339 Ras Shamra Parallels


a. tbt II sph
b. Krt:23-24 {CTA 14 1:23-24)
c. “seat” /I “family”
d. Notes
See tbt . . . abd (I 336 d) for the derivation and meaning of tbt.
e. I Chron 2:55
‫ ״ מ ע פ ח ה‬family” + ‫“ ישב‬to dwell”


a. td + pnm
b. 'nt 1:6 (<CTA 3 A :6)
c. “breast‫ ״‬+ “face”
d. Hos 2:4
‫“ פנים‬face” // ‫“ ע די ם‬breasts”


a. tjkm II yd'
b. / Aqht:50-52, 199-200 (CTA 19 11:50-52; IV: 199-200)
c. “to shoulder” // “to know”
d. Ps 81:6-7
‫" י ד ע‬to know” . . . ‫“ ע כ ם‬shoulder”


a. tit . . . mrkbt
b. Krt:55-56, 128, 140, 252-253, 285-286 (CTA 14 11:55-56; 111:128, 140; V:252-
253; VI :285-286)
c. “three” . . . “chariot”
d. Exod 14:7
‫" ר כ ב‬chariotry” // ‫“ ע לי ע‬third man, officer”

— 176 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I 343


a. tgr /I hmyt
b. R S 24.266 rev:9-10, 11-12, 18-19 ( C R A IB L , 1972, 694)
c. ‫ ״‬gate” II “walls”
d. Notes
The attestation of this pair permits the tentative restoration of 125:89-90
(CTA 16 11:89-90): km nkyt tgr[ ] / km skllt [hmyt]. The four letters of
hmyt neatly fill the available space.
e. Deut 28:52; Jer 1:15
‫ ע ר‬# “gate” !‫“ ח)ו(מה ן‬wail”
f. Isa 26:1-2; 60:10-11, 18; Ezek 26:10; Nah 2:6-7
‫“ חומה‬wall” 11 ‫ ע ר‬# “gate”
g. Comments
The longstanding proposal to emend ‫המיו ת‬, “noisy streets(??),” to
‫ ה מיו ת‬, “walls” (// ‫ערי ם‬#), in Prov 1:21 now enjoys nonbiblical support as
well as th at of the biblical parallels. For an attem pt to explain the erroneous
reading ‫המיו ת‬, see Dahood, Proverbs, pp. 4-5. Ezek 26:10, with the triple
parallelism ‫“ חומות‬walls” / / ‫ערי ם‬# “gates” / / ‫“ עיר‬city,” further urges the
reading ‫ המיות‬in Prov 1:21, where ‫ עי ר‬, “city,” is collocated with the pair
in question.


a. tr II zby
b. 128 IV:6-7, 17-18 {CTA 15 IV:6-7, 17-18)
c. “bull” I/ “gazelle”
d. Notes
Literally “bull” and “gazelle,” tr and zby are used metaphorically to designate
some dignitaries of King K irta’s realm. A more precise identification is
rendered possible by the comparison with the biblical text below where
these same terms describe the merchants of Tyre. For a review of the
opinions set forth by Ug. specialists, see Caquot, TOML, p. 543, n. x.
e. Bibliography
M. Dahood, Or, XLIV (1975), 439-441.

— 177 —
I Suppl. Ras Shamra Parallels

f. Isa 23:8-9
‫“ ערי ם‬bulls” (MT ‫ )ערים‬// ‫“ צ בי‬gazelle”
g. Comments
To set forth the stichometry and parallel elements clearly, it is neces-
sary to cite the two vv.:
‫מי יע ץ זאת‬ Who has planned this
‫ע ל ־ צ ר ה מע טי ר ה‬ against Tyre, the bestower of crowns,
‫אע ר סתריה ערי ם‬ whose merchants are ‘bulls’,
‫כנעניה נ כ ב די־ א ר ץ‬ whose traders the battened of the city?
‫יהוה צבאו ת י ע צ ה‬ Yahweh of Hosts has planned it
‫ל ח ל ל גאון כל׳־ צבי‬ to pierce the pride of every ‘gazelle’,
‫ל ה ק ל כ ל ־נ כ ב די ־ א ר ץ‬ to fell all the battened of the city.
Since in v. 9 ‫ צ בי‬, “gazelle,” balances ‫נ כ ב די ״ א ר ץ‬, “the battened of the city,”
it follows th at the counterpart of ‫ נ כ ב די״ א ר ץ‬in v. 8 should also be an animal
name, hence ‫“ > ע ר י ם‬bulls,” for MT ‫ ע רי ם‬, “princes.” Of course, ‫ ע ר‬forms a
pun with ‫ צ ר‬, “Tyre,” to whom this lament is addressed.


Additions to Dahood, “Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs,” R SP I, Chapter 2,

and R SP II, Chapter 1.


1. ab II kn 13. ars + dbr 25. bky + qbr

2. adn // mgn 14. ars + drkt 26. V illa in
3. ahb /I skb 15. ars II kl 27. Mr /I smh
4. uhryt // atryt 16. ars II 'pr 28. bt . . . ars
5. akl . . . &V 17. ars I I 's 29. bt II 'rk
6. il /I VI 18. 1st /I dbb 30. btH tJr
7. il + msrm 19. at II ank 31. gpn . . . Mmt
8. il + rb 20. atm /I an 32. dbh II ndr
9. alp II tr 21. b II bn 33. dm I/ nps
10. an II ank 22. b II l 34. hlk + drs
11. ar If rb 23. b I/ tht 35. w If p
12. irby // hsn 24. bky II dm* 36. hwy II ark

— 178 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I Suppl. 1

37. hy II it 60. ksp + nthr 83. 'n 11 hdy

38. hy + nps 61. 1II in 84. 'n I/ qr
39. hym . . . ytn 62. ll/l 85. 'n II ris
40. hkm II ysr 63. llll 86. 'ny // tb
41. him II drt-dhrt 64. mhr // itnn 87. 'p'p . . . ' n
42. hs + rhq 65. mkk II dip 88. gr 4‫ ־‬slm
43. yd I/ brk 66. mlk II adn 89. p II w
44. yd . . . bsr 67. mlk + ars 90. pit I/ 'dr
45. yd /I hrb 68. mgy . . . npl 91. sdq I/ ysr
46. yd I/ sm 69. mri 4‫ ־‬Hm 92. spn I/ ars
47. yd' + hlk 70. mt + nps 93. qll . . . Isn
48. ym // yrh 71. nbt II smn 94. ris I/ kp
49. yn /I hms 72. npl /I mt 95. rmm (irtm) // tl'
50. yra // tt' 73. nps II gngn 96. sal . . . knn
51. ytn /I b'l 74. spr II yd' 97. sb' /I skr
52. ytn // Iqh 75. spr II mnt 98. sm 4‫ ־‬bn
53. ytb II zll 76. 'bd II bn amt 99. smh II shq
54. ytb /I nh 77. 'gl II imr 100. sm' II ahb
55. k II k 78. 'd /l ksu 101. snt /I nqpt
56. k // k 79. 'dr 4‫ ־‬yd 102. spt /I Isn
57. klyt 4- lb 80. '1 II b 103. srs . . . ars
58. ks + yn 81. '1m I/ dr dr 104. st .. . qdm
59. ksu 4‫ ־‬nilk 82. 'mq // qryt / qrt 105. tht ‫ן‬/ 'l

Supp 1

a. ab II kn (see R SP I, II 3)

b. Notes
In the parallelism ab “father” // dyknnh “he who brought him into being,”
the second member specifies the sense in which the Canaanites considered
El to be a father. Hence when Gray, LC2, p. 159, opines th at in the epithet
of El, ab adm, “the father of mankind,” the term adm may simply mean
“community” and ab adm signify “he in whom the community is integrat-
ed,” he is engaging in speculation th at appreciation of parallel pairs would
have quickly scotched.

— 179 —
I Suppl. 2 Ras Shamra Parallels

Supp 2

a. adn // mgn (see R SP I, II 13)

b. After section e insert Isa 21:5-6
‫“ מגן‬suzerain" . . . ‫“ אדני‬the Lord"
c. Comments
If the massoretic word-division is retained in Isa 21:5, ‫ משחו‬parses as
the pi. of majesty employed when addressing the suzerain:
‫קומו ה&רים‬ Arise, O princes!
‫מעזחו מגן‬ Anoint yourself, O suzerain!
The ‫ ו‬is preferably detached from ‫ משח‬and attached to ‫ מגן‬where it functions
as the vocative ‫ו‬, balancing vocative ‫ ה‬. The translation remains the same:
‫ קו מו העזרים מע ח ומגן‬. For the reflexive use of ‫מעזח‬, cf. Amos 6:6; and on
vocative ‫ ו‬consult Dahood, Psalms I I , p. 204, and Schoors, R SP I, I 44 h.
Freedman, Widengren F S I, pp. 116, 122-123, has identified ‫מגן‬, “suzerain”
(// ‫משיח‬, “anointed"), in II Sam 1:21.

Supp 3

a. ahb I/ skb (see R SP I, II 14)

b. To section b add: cf. also 7002:46-47.
c. After section d insert Isa 56:10
‫“ עזכב‬to lie down” + ‫“ א ה ב‬to love”

Supp 4

a. uhryt 11 atryt (see R S P I, II 20)

b. Change section c to: “afterlife" // “happiness”
c. Notes
I would now relate atryt to the root ‫א שר‬, “to be happy,” so th at the abstract
formation atryt, in tandem with uhryt, would refer to the felicity of the after-
d. Change section d (Eccles 6:12) to:
‫“ אעזר‬happiness” // ‫“ אחריו‬his future”

— 180 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I Suppl. 5

e. After section d insert Prov 20:7

‫“ אשרי‬happy” + ‫“ אחריו‬after him ”
f. After section d insert Sir 11:26
‫( אעזר‬D) “to pronounce happy” . . . ‫“ אחרית‬afterlife”
g. Comments
Often deleted in Eccles 6:12, ‫ אשר‬can be grammatically justified when
repointed ‫אשר‬, "happiness,” and the v. translated:
‫א שר־ מי־יגיד ל אד ם‬ Who can predict happiness for a man?
‫מ ה״י הי ה אחריו תחת השמש‬ W hat will be his future under the sun?
h. This word pair throws new light on Sir 11:26:
‫לפני מות א ל תאשר גבר‬ Before his death call no man happy,
‫כי באחריתו ינכר איש‬ for in his afterlife will a man be known.

Supp 5

a. aM . . . b'r (see R SP I, II 24)

b. To section d add Deut 26:14
‫“ א כ ל‬to eat” /I ‫( בע ר‬D) “to consume”
c. To section e add Nah 2:14
‫( ב ע ר‬H) “to burn up” II ‫“ א כ ל‬to devour”

Supp 6

a. il II bH (see R SP I, II 34)
b. After section c insert 2 Aqht 1:32-33; 11:21-22; V:30-31 (<CTA 17 1:3233‫ ;־‬II:
21-22; V :3031‫)־‬
bH II il
“Baal, lord” // “El, god”
c. Notes
For 2 Aqht V :30-33 the following stichometry is proposed:
bH hkpt The lord of Hkpt,
il klh the god of all of it,
tb* ktr lahlh Kothar departed for his tent;
hyn tb* ImSknth Hayyin departed for his tabernacle.

— 181 —
I Suppl. 7 Ras Shamra Parallels

Compare 49 1:37 (CTA 6 1:65), wymlk bars il klh: “And he reigned in the
netherworld, the god of all of it.”
d. Bibliography
Cathcart, Nahum, p. 41.

Supp 7

a. il + msrm (see R SP I, II 37)

b. To section d add Ps 68:32
‫“ אלהי ם‬God” !‫“ מצרים ן‬E gypt”

Supp 8

a. il + rb (see R SP I, II 38)
b. To section b add 606:2; 608:31.

Supp 9

a. alp II tr (see R SP I, II 45)

b. In section d insert Sir 38:25.

Supp 10

a. an // ank (see R SP I, II 51)

b. After section g insert Jer 1:17-18
‫ “ אנכי‬1” . . . ‫ “ אני‬1”

Supp 11

a. ar // rb (see R SP I, II 60)
b. Comments
The efforts of de Moor, Seasonal Pattern, pp. 82-83, to dissociate ar
(II rb, “showers”) from “light” and to attach it to Arab. ’aryu, “dew,”
founder on the fact th at ‫ ר ב‬, “showers,” and ‫ או ר‬, “light,” concur in Job

— 182 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I Suppl. 12

Supp 12

a. irby // hsn (see R SP I, II 61)

b. Bibliography
Y. Avishur, Semitics, II (1971-1972), 67 and n. 209.

Supp 13

a. ars + dbr (see R SP I, II 63)

b. After section f insert Jer 2:31
‫“ מ ד ב ר‬wilderness" // ‫“ אר ץ מ אפ לי ה‬land of utter gloom”
c. Comments
Here the parallelism reveals th at ‫ מ ד ב ר‬designates the nether wilder-
ness, just like Ug. dbr. In the next 1., the added motifs of descent (reading
‫ ע מי ירדנו‬with shared yod) and non-return sustain this interpretation.

Supp 14

a. ars 4 ‫ ־‬drkt (see R SP II, I 6)

b. After section c insert Isa 55:9
‫“ אר ץ‬earth ‫ ״‬. / / ‫“ ד ר ך‬way”

Supp 15

a. ars // kl (see R SP I, II 65)

b. After section e insert Amos 8:8; 9:5
‫“ אר ץ‬earth” // ‫“ כל״יד טבי בה‬all who dwell in i t ”

Supp 16

a. ars // 'pr (see R SP I, II 67)

b. Notes
Prov 8:26, ‫“ אר ץ‬earth” // ‫“ ע פ רו ת‬dust,” precludes emendation of 'n t 111:12,
,prt (// ars), to *prm. Thus the textcritical and philological control afforded
by parallel word pairs works to the benefit of Ug. as well as Heb. Similarly,
the oft-proposed deletion of the hapax fern, plural ‫ מ ט רו ת‬, “rains,” in Job
37:6 is confuted by 67 V:8 (CTA 5 V:8), mtrtk, “your rains.”

— 183 —
I Suppl. 17 Ras Shamra Parallels

Supp 17

a. ars / / 's (see P S P I, II 68)

b. After section e insert Jer 11:19
‫ ״ ע ץ‬tree” . . . ‫“ אר ץ‬land‫״‬
c. Comments
The publication of text 607:64-65, ydy b'sm 'r'r wbsht's mt, “he hurled
the tamarisk with vigor, right into the Pit the tree of Death,” prompts the
suggestion th at the same motif underlies Jer 11:19:
‫נשחיתה ע ץ בל ח מו‬ Let us pit the tree in its vigor;
‫ונכרתנו מארץ חיים‬ let us cut it off from the land of life.
The consonants ‫ ל ח מו‬may be analyzed into ‫ ל ח‬, “freshness, vigor,” followed
by enclitic mem and suffix -6 (see Holladay, Lexicon, p. 175) or ‫ ל ח‬followed
by ‫ ~ מו‬construed as third masc. sing, suffix, a form discussed and documented
in Dahood, Psalms I I , p. 36.

Supp 18

a. ist I/ dbb (see R SP II, I 7)

b. After section d add I I Sam 23:7b
‫“ אש‬fire” II ‫“ שבת‬flame”
c. After section f add Jer 43:12
‫" אש‬fire” . . . ‫" שבב‬to calcine”
d. Comments
Recognition of the parallel pair, chiastically arranged, preserves ‫שבת‬,
“flame,” from deletion (cf. B H K ) in II Sam 23:7b:
‫ובאש שרוף‬ And in fire burning
‫ישרפו בשבת‬ they will be burnt by flame.
The fern, form ‫ שבת‬accords with dbb’s description as bt il, “the daughter
of E l,” in 'n t 111:43.
e. Jer 43:12 may now be translated: “And he shall kindle a fire (‫ )אש‬in
the temple of the gods of Egypt; and he shall bum them and calcine them
(‫ ;)ושבם‬and it will cover the land of Egypt just as the shepherd is covered
(read ‫ יע טה‬as passive) by his cloak; and he will proceed from there in safety.”

— 184 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I Suppl. 19

The fine white dust of the calcined Egyptian marble temples will cover the
land as completely as the cloak covers the shepherd.
f. I t might be added th at the purported first-person sufformative of MT
‫ והצתי‬may be parsed as the third singular dative suffix of advantage: hence
vocalize ‫ודןצתי‬, “and he shall kindle.”

Supp 19
a. at II ank (see R SP I, II 79)
b. To section e add I Sam 17:45.
c. After section e insert Jer 1:17
‫“ אתה‬you” . . . 1 “ ‫”אנכי‬

Supp 20
a. atm H an (see R SP I, II 82)
b. To section e add Job 13:3-4.

Supp 21
a. b II bn (see R SP I, II 95)
b. Notes
De Moor, Seasonal Pattern, p. 90, cites eight scholars incorrectly rendering
bn qrytmjqrtm, “sons of the two cities.” To his list may also be added E.
Lipinski, VT, XXIV (1974), 48, who translates bn qrytm, “les fils de deux
villes.” This widespread misinterpretation underscores the importance of
parallel pairs as a semantic guide. That it is a misinterpretation can be
deduced by comparing the description of the outdoor massacre in 'n t 11:5-7
with th at of the indoor slaughter in 'n t 11:29-30, where bbt, “in the house,”
is balanced by bn tlhnm, “sons of the two tables,” a conclusion to which
they would logically be forced were “sons of the two cities” the correct
version of bn qrytm/qrtm.

Supp 22
a. b l / l (see R SP I, II 99)
b. To section b add 127:10-11 (<CTA 16 VI:10-11).

— 185 —
I S u p p l. 23 Ras Shamra Parallels

c. To section f add Isa 48:10-11; Pss 11:2 (99:7 ;(‫ ; ב מו‬Job 39:18; Sir 10:5
‫ב‬, ‫“ במו‬from” // ‫“ ל‬to, a t”
d. After section f add Jer 18:15; Obad 21
‫“ ב‬from” . . . ‫“ ל‬to ”
e. Comments
The appreciation of this usage bids fair to improve the translation of
all these passages as well as to preclude the emendation of ‫ ב‬to p in some
of them. Thus Jer 18:15 may be rendered:
‫ויכעלו ם ב ד ר כי ה ם‬ Who cause them to lapse from their ways,
‫שבילי עול ם‬ the paths of old;
‫ל ל כ ת נתיבות‬ To travel bypaths,
‫ד ר ך ל א סלו ל ה‬ not the highway.
f. Emendation of ‫ בהר‬to ‫ מ ה ר‬, favored by both B H K and BH S, must
now be excluded in Obad 21:
‫ועלו מגזעים ב ה ר ציץ‬ And saviors shall go up from Mount Zion
‫ל שפט את׳“ הר ע&ו‬ to rule Mount Esau.

Supp 23
a. b II tht (see R SP I, II 101)
b. Bibliography
J. Scullion, UF, IV (1972), 110-111 (on Isa 57:5).
c. Comments
Ginsberg, Isaiah, p. 103, correctly renders Isa 57:5 “among the clefts
of the rocks,” and adds in n. d th at the Hebrew has “under” (‫) ת ח ת‬. Though
the lay reader may appreciate such a note, the specialist will find it unneces-
sary since ‫ ת ח ת‬, especially when balancing ‫ ב‬, also bears the meaning “among.”
d. In Job 30:14 this pair emerges if ‫ כ פ ר ץ‬, “like a breach,” is emended to
‫ ב פ ר ץ‬, “through a breach.”
‫ב פ ר ץ ר חב יאתיו‬ Through a wide breach they come;
‫תחת עזאה התגלגלו‬ amid a tempest they roll on.

Supp 24
a. bky /I dm' (see R SP I, II 105)
b. Bibliography
Hillers, Lamentations, p. 6 (on Earn 1:2).

— 186 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I Suppl. 25

c. Comments
B H S appears ill advised when recommending, on the strength of the
LXX, the deletion of ‫ ד מ ע ת ד מ ע‬, “it sheds bitter tears,” in Jer 13:17. De-
stroying the parallelism with ‫ ת ב כ ה‬, “it weeps,” such a deletion must be
scouted. B H K shows greater wisdom when merely recording the absence
of these words in the LXX and forgoing to recommend deletion.

Supp 25

a. bky + qbr (see R SP I, II 107)

b. After section d insert Gen 35:8
‫( קב ר‬N) “to be buried” . . . ‫“ בכות‬weeping”

Supp 26

a. VI ‫ן‬/ adn (see R SP I, II 120)

b. To section b add 'nt I I I :43-1V:46 (CTA 3 D 43-46).
c. Notes
Adopting the suggestion of M. Dijkstra, UF, II (1970), 334, th at mssu be
read for msss in 1. 45, I would read and render 'n t III :43-1V :46:
imths witrt hrs I smote and seized the gold
trd VI bmrym spn of him who drove Baal from the heights
of Zapan,
mssu k'sr udnh who caused his lordship to go forth like
a bird,
grsh Iksi mlkh who drove him from his royal throne.
See also ysa // grs (I 137).

Supp 27

a. bsr /‫ ן‬smh (see R SP I, II 126)

b. After section e insert I I Sam 1:20
‫( בעור‬D) “to bear tidings” . . . ‫“ שמח‬to rejoice”
c. Comments
For other Canaanite usages in this lament, see Freedman, Widengren
F S I, pp. 115-126.

— 187 —
I Suppl. 28 Ras Shamra Parallels

Supp 28

a. bt . . . ars (see R SP I, II 127)

b. To section d add Gen 24:7.
c. To section e add Mic 6:4.

Supp 29

a. bt II 'rk (see R SP I, II 133)

b. To section f add I I Sam 23:5.
‫“ בית‬house” . . . ‫( ע ר ך‬Gp) “to be ordered”

c. Comments
Pope, Job3, p. 203, appreciates the bearing of the Ug. parallelism on
the definition of ‫ ע ר כ ה‬in Job 28:13. In previous editions of his work Pope
emended ‫ ע ר כ ה‬, usually taken to mean “its price,” to ‫ ד ר כ ה‬, “its way,” on
the basis of the LXX. He now restores MT ‫ ע ר כ ה‬and translates “its abode.”
(Another example of a LXX-Ug. conflict resolved in favor of the latter!
For further instances of this conflict, see Dahood, Gordon FS, pp. 53-58.)
The N E B , however, continues to emend ‫ ע ר כ ה‬to ‫ ד ר כ ה‬, failing to avail itself
of the new evidence. See Brockington, Hebrew Text, p. 112.

Supp 30

a. bt II tgr (see R SP I, II 137)

b. After section f insert 601:11-12
tgr bt il
“the porter of E l’s house”
c. To section i add Gen 28:17.

Supp 31

a. gpn . . . Mmt (see R SP I, II 143)

b. Bibliography
T. Gaster, JAO S, EXVI (1946), 56 (on Deut 32:32 and Isa 16:8).

— 188 —
Ugaiitic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I Suppl. 32

c. Comments
B H K ’s proposal to emend ‫דמו ת‬# in Isa 16:8 to ‫ ד ד ה‬# must be declined
as destructive of this parallel pair.

Supp 32

a. dbh II ndr (see R SP I, II 148)

b. To section d add I Sam 1:21; Isa 19:21.

Supp 33

a. dm II np$ (see R SP I, II 155)

b. Correct section a dm . . . nps to dm // nps, section b to 3 Aqht ‘obv’:23-25, 34-36
(CTA 18 IV :23-25, 34-36), and section c to ‘‫׳‬blood‫ ״‬// “soul.”
c. To section f add Prov 1:18.

Supp 34

a. hlk + drs (see R SP I, II 164)

b. To section e add I Sam 28:7.

Supp 35

a. w U p (see R SP I, II 171)
b. To section b add 67 1:25-26 {CTA 5 1:25-26).
c. Notes
M. Dahood, Or, X L III (1974), 413, analyzes the P of 67 1:26 as conversive.
For a biblical instance of ‫ פ‬conversive, see Hos 7:1:
‫וגנב יבוא‬ And the thief will come,
‫ט גדוד בחוץ‬# ‫פ‬ and a band of ruffians will roam in the
When consonantal ‫ט‬# ‫ פ‬is separated into ‫ פ‬conversive and the third singular
perfect ‫ט‬# from ‫וט‬#, "to roam,” there emerges the parallelism between
‫ בוא‬and ‫וט‬# th at occur in parallelism and in the same order in Job 2:2;
cf. also Job 5:21.

— 189 —
I Suppl. 36 Ras Shamra Parallels

d. To section e add Ps 64:8.

e. Comments
See Dahood, Psalms I I , pp. 103 and 106, for translation and grammat-
ical analysis of Ps 64:8.

Supp 36
a. hwy /I ark (see R SP I, II 173)
b. Notes
Caquot, TOML, p. 284, n. n, also reads wnar\k] in 76 11:20 and cites Eccles
7:15 and 8:12, which employ ‫( א ר ך‬H causative) without any object. This
confutes the claim of D. Marcus, JS S , X V II (1972), 82, th at “in no Semitic
language in which this idiom occurs . . . can the substantive ‘length’ stand
by itself for the idiom ‘length of days’.” Van Zijl, Baal, p. 246, also reads
wnar[k], but erroneously derives it from rkk, “to be tender, submissive.”
The reading and interpretation of 76 11:20 are further confirmed by the
concurrence of Phoen. ‫ ח ד‬and ‫ א ר ך‬in KAI 4 : 2 1 0 : 9 ;3 ‫־‬.

Supp 37
a. hy II it (see R SP I, II 181)
b. After section c insert I I Sam 14:19
‫“ חי‬alive” II #‫“ א‬exists”
c. Comments
This parallelism shows th at consonantal ‫ אעז‬is not to be emended to
‫ יע‬or ‫ איע‬.

Supp 38
a. hy + (see R SP I, II 182)
b. To section e add Prov 8:35-36.

Supp 39
a. hym . . . ytn (see R SP I, II 185)
b. To section d add Ps 118:17-18
‫“ חיה‬to live” !‫“ נתן ן‬to give”

— 190 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I Suppl. 40

c. After section d insert Ps 72:15

‫“ חיה‬to live” + ‫“ נתן‬to give”
d. To section e add Ps 66:9
‫“ חיים‬life” . . . ‫“ נתן‬to give”
e. Comments
The parallelism of the two verbs in Ps 118:17-18 comes to light when
the four cola are read chiastically with an A:B:B:A pattern (see R SP I,
II 221 e; 331 d).

Supp 40

a. hkm I/ ysr (see R SP I, II 188)

b. Notes
Cazelles, Ug. VI, p. 31, accepts the generally received translation of 51 V:
65-66, but also suggests an alternate version: “O El, certes ta sagesse est
grande, certes tu pourras ecarter pour toi la blancheur de ta barbe.” The
elimination of the parallelism hkm // ysr suffices to disqualify the candidacy
of the alternate proposal.

Supp 41

a. him /I drt-dhrt (see R SP I, II 192)

b. After section e insert Job 20:8-9
‫“ חלום‬dream” . . . *Tltf ‘‘to see”

Supp 42

a. hs + rhq (see R SP I, II 202)

b. To section e add Ps 71:12.

Supp 43

a. yd /I brk (see R SP I, II 214)

. b. After section e insert Ps 95:6-7.

— 191 —
I Suppl. 44 Ras Shamra Parallels

c. Comments
Ps 95:6 contains in ‫נ ב ר כ ה‬, ‘let us kneel,” a denominative verb from
‫ ב ר ך‬, ‘‘knee.” The proposal to delete ‫( נ ב רכ ה‬see BH K) or to emend it with
the LXX to ‫נ ב כ ה‬, “let us weep” (see BHS), would of course destroy the
association of these two words in these w .

Supp 44
a. yd . . . bsr (see R SP I, II 215)
b. Before section a insert yd // bsr
77:8-9 (CTA 24:8-9)
“penis” II “flesh”
c. Notes
Restoring the text to read:
lydh tzd For his member she grew hot,
[ks]pt Ibirh she longed for his flesh.
On tzd see van Seims, Marriage and Family, p. 17, n. 13. The restoration
kspt is prompted by Ps84:3, where ‫ כ ס ף‬, (N) “to long for,” and ‫ב שר‬, “flesh,”
concur. Of course, bsr, “flesh,” may here more precisely denote the male
organ, as occasionally in Heb.

Supp 45
a. yd II hrb (see R SP I, II 216)
b. To section e add Ps 17:13-14.
c. Comments
The longstanding proposal to join Ps 17:13, ‫ ח ר ב ך‬, “your sword,” to
v. 14 (cf. LXX) results in its parallelism with ‫י ד ך‬, "your hand,” and should
be considered a step toward the light.
‫ח ר ב ך ממתים‬ By your sword may they be slain!
‫י ד ך יהרה ממתים‬ By your hand, Yahweh, may they be

Supp 46
a. yd II Sm (see R SP I, I I 219)
b. In section d may belong Num 24:23-24.

— 192 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I Suppl. 47

c. After section f insert Isa 29:23

T “hand” . . . 0 0 “name”
d. To section g add Isa 65:1-2.

Supp 47

a. yd' + hlk (see R SP I, II 222)

b. To section e add Ps 82:5
‫“ י ד ע‬to know” If ‫( ה ל ך‬HtD) “to walk about”

c. To section f add Jer 10:23; Ps 142:4 (‫[ ה ל ך‬D])

‫“ י ד ע‬to know” . . . ‫“ ה ל ך‬to walk” ; (D) “to have to walk”

Supp 48

a. y m / l y r h (see R SP I, II 232)
b. To section g add Ps 72:7
‫“ יום‬day” . . . ‫“ ירח‬moon”
c. Comments
The proposal to emend ‫ ירח‬to ‫״ יחק‬,measure,” in view of Isa 5:14 (see
BHK) is discountenanced by this observation.

Supp 49

a. yn II hms (see R SP I, II 244)

b. After section e insert Hos 7:4-5
‫“ חמץ‬to ferment” . . . ‫" יין‬wine”

Supp 50

a. yra 11 t f (see R SP I, II 254)

b. Bibliography
H. Ginsberg, Or, V (1936), 170, n. 1.
R. O’Callaghan, CBQ, X I (1949), 236, 241.

— 193 —
I Suppl. 51 Ras Shamra Parallels

van Zijl, Baal, pp. 166-169.

L. Boadt, CBQ, XXXV (1973), 23, n. 13.
c. Comments
Delete the first sentence of section g: “The same pair occurs in paral-
lelism in Phoenician Karatepe, 11:4” (KAI 26 A 11:4).

Supp 51

a. ytn // b'l (see R SP I, II 263a)

b. After section e insert Job 36:3
‫“ פ ע ל‬to make” + ‫“ נתן‬to give”

Supp 52

a. ytn // Iqh (see R SP I, II 266)

b. After section c insert Iqh // ytn
Krt:203-206 (1CTA 14 IV:203-206)
“to take” II “to give”
c. Bibliography
Kuhnigk, Hoseabuch, p. 152.

Supp 53

a. ytb II zll (see R SP I, II 270)

b. Change section a to mtb // mzll.
c. To section b add 51 1:13-14, 17-18 {CTA 4 1 : 1 3 1 7 - 1 8 ,14‫' ;)־‬nt pi. VI:IV:1-2,
3-4; V:47-48, 49-50 {CTA 3 E :l-2, 3-4, 47-48, 49-50).
d. Change section c to “dwelling” // “shelter.”
e. To section d add Hos 14:8.
f. Comments
A difficult phrase, Hos 14:8 may be pointed and rendered:
‫זבו יקזבי ? צ לו‬£ Its inhabitants will sit in its shade.
The suffix of ‫ ישבי‬is parsed as third-person -y.

— 194 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I Suppl. 54

Supp 54

a. ytb II nh (see R SP I, II 273)

b. Bibliography
van Zijl, Baal, p. 219, n. 4.

c. In section i the collocation sign should be changed to since ‫מנוחתי‬,

“my resting place,” really parallels ‫אעז ב‬, “I shall sit.”

Supp 55

a. k II k (see R SP I, II 277)

b. To section d add Prov 23:31.

Supp 56

a. k I/ k (see R S P I, II 279)
b. Bibliography
M. Dahood, Bib, I N (1974), 79 (on Gen 18:20; 49:7).
c. To section e add Gen 18:20; 49:7/ Ps 18:28-29.

d. Comments
Though the set practice has been to list only five biblical texts wit-
nessing the parallel pair in question, these additional passages are cited
because of their inherent interest. For Gen 18:20 and 49:7, see Freedman’s
translation of Gen in the revised N A B (1972). Ps 18:28, ‫ כי ״ א ת ה‬, and II Sam
22:28, ‫ו א ת‬, can be reconciled.if the latter is repointed to ‫ו את‬, “you your-
self,” and the wdw parsed as emphatic, corresponding to the emphatic ‫כי‬
of Ps 18:28.

Supp 57

a. klyt + lb (see R S P I, II 286)

b. After section d add Isa 32:5-6
‫“ כי ל‬kidney, disposition” 11 ‫“ ל ב‬heart”

— 195 —
I Suppl. 58 Ras Shamra Parallels

c. Comments
The apparent parallelism with ‫ ל בו‬, “his heart” (v. 6), prompts the
suggestion th at unexplained ‫ כי לי‬is a masc. byform of ‫ כ לי ה‬, so th at the cola
in question would read:
‫ וע‬1‫ ו לכי לי ל א יאמר ע‬And don’t call his disposition generous...
‫ ולבו יע &ה־און‬for his heart works iniquity.
The suffix of ‫ כי לי‬would parse as third sing -y, stylistically pairing with
the normal third suffix of ‫ ל בו‬.
d. In Isa 32:7, ‫ כ לי כליו רעים‬would be rendered “his heart of hearts is
evil,” an unexceptionable counterpart of ‫ מות יעץ‬1 ‫ הו א‬, “he devises wicked

Supp 58

a. ks + yn (see R SP I, II 294)
b. Comments
Compare with Prov 23:31 the juxtaposition of these nouns in the broken
construct chain of 51 IV:46 (CTA 4 IV:46):
kin yn nbl ksh All of us bring wine for his chalice.

Supp 59

a. ksu + mlk (see R SP I, II 299)

b. To section h add Prov 16:12.

Supp 60

a. ksp + mhr (see R SP I, II 303)

b. From section f Mic 3:11 should be inserted after section d
‫“ מחיר‬price” 11 ‫“ כ ס ף‬silver”

Supp 61

a. III in (see R SP I, II 310)

b. To section d add Gen 2:5; Ps 31:2.
c. To section e add I I Sam 20:1; Eccles 1:11.

— 196 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I Suppl. 62

Supp 62

a. III l (see R SP I, II 313)

b. To section b add R S 24.266 rev:18-19 (C R A IB L , 1972, 694).

Supp 63

a. 11/1 (see R S P I, II 314)

b. To section e add Prov 11:19.
c. Comments
Dahood, Proverbs, pp. 22-23, examines the emphatic quality of ‫ ל‬// ‫ל‬
in Prov 11:19.

Supp 64

a. mhr // itnn (see R SP I, II 346)

b. Bibliography
Y. Avishur, UF, IV (1972), 4, n. 26.

Supp 65

a. mkk II dip (see R SP I, II 355)

b. In section d insert “p. 22” after “Gordon, U T ,” so as to read “pp. 22, 180.”

Supp 66

a. mlk II adn (see R SP I, II 357)

b. After section k insert Ps 110:5
‫ ׳ אדון‬%ord” . . . ‫“ מ ל ך‬king”
c. Comments
The deletion of ‫ ה מ ל ך‬, “the king,” in Ps 45:12, recommended by both
B H K and BHS, would destroy the parallelism of ‫ מ ל ך‬and ‫ א דון‬, and hence
should surely be scouted.

— 197 —
I Suppl. 67 Ras Shamra Parallels

Supp 67

a. mlk + ars (see R SP I, II 358)

b. To section e add Isa 33:17

‫ ״ מ ל ך‬king‫ ״‬/ / ‫“ א ר ץ‬land”

Supp 68

a. mgy . . . npl (see R SP I, II 367)

b. To section e add Isa 13:15

‫( מצ א‬N) “to be found” . . . ‫“ נ פ ל‬to fall”

Supp 69

a. mri + ilm (see R SP II, I 38)

b. Comments
In addition to the breakup of the composite phrase, Isa 1:11 illustrates
the infelicity of Gordon’s translation of 124:13, mri ilm, “fatlings of the
gods,” in UT, § 8.7, but happily corrected to "fatling rams” in UMC, p. 142.

Supp 70

a. mt + nps (see R SP I, II 374a)

b. After section c insert mt . . . nps

67 1:13-14 (CTA 5 1:13-14); 604:2
“Death” . . . “soul”

c. After section e insert Prov 8:36

‫“ נפש‬life” 11 ‫“ מות‬death‫״‬

d. After section e insert Job 36:14

‫“ מות‬to die” + ‫“ נפש‬life”

e. To section g add Prov 19:16

‫“ נפש‬life” . . . ‫“ מות‬to die”

— 198 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I Suppl. 71

Supp 71

a. nbt /I smn (see R SP I, II 376)

b. After section i insert Cant 4:10-11
‫” ע מן‬oil” . . . ‫“ נפת‬honey”

Supp 72

a. npi /I mt (see R SP I, II 387)

b. To section d add Jer 21:9: Ezek 6:12.

c. After section d insert Job 1:19
‫“ נפל‬to fail” . . . ‫“ מות‬to die‫״‬

d. After section d insert Prov 7:26-27

‫( נ פ ל‬H) “to cast down” . . . ‫“ מות‬death”

Supp 73

a. nps // gngn (see R SP I, II 387a)

b. Notes
In his long note on gngn, which he equates with knkn and defines as “inner-
most,” J. Hoftijzer, UF, IV (1972), 157, n. 17, fails to discuss the biblical
parallelism. Attention to this parallelism would doubtless have led Hoftijzer
to a different conclusion.

Supp 74

a. spr II yd' (see R SP I, II 400)

b. To section g add Ps 59:13-14
‫( ס פ ר‬N) “to be proscribed” . . . ‫“ י ד ע‬to know”
c. Comments
See Dahood, Psalms I I , p. 73, for revocalization of MT ‫ לספרו‬in
Ps 59:13.

— 199 —
I Suppl. 75 Ras Shamra Parallels

Supp 75
a. spr II mnt (see R SP I, II 401)
b. Bibliography
van Zijl, Baal, p. 271, n. 9 (on Num 23:10; I Kings 3:8; 8:5).

Supp 76
a. 'bd I/ bn amt (see R SP I, II 404)
b. Bibliography
Y. Avishur, UF, IV (1972), 9, n. 43.

Supp 77
a. 'gl /I imr (see R SP I, II 408)
b. To section b add 124:13-14 (1CTA 22 B:13-14); 602 obv:9-10.
c. Notes
602 obv:9-10 may be restored and translated:
aklt 'gl She ate a heifer—
7 mst during the banquet—
[im]r spr beautiful lambs.
The phrase 7 m§t is scanned as a two-way middle, and [im]r spr identified
with Gen 49:21, ‫ אמרי־עזפר‬.

Supp 78
a. 'd /I ksu (see R SP I, II 409)
b. To section g add Ps 89:37-38.
c. Comments
For philological details on Ps 89:37-38, consult Dahood, Psalms I I ,
p. 318.

Supp 79
a. 'dr + yd (see R SP II, I 46)
b. After section e insert Isa 31:3
T “hand” . . . ‫“ ע ח ר‬helper” // ‫“ עזר‬helped one”

— 200 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I Suppl. 80

Supp 80

a. 7 II ft (see R SP I, II 417)
b. After section d insert Amos 6:6
‫ ״ ב‬from” / / ‫“ ע ל‬over”
c. Comments
In Amos 6:6, ‫ השתים במזרקי יץ‬, “who drink wine from the bowl,” the
ending of ‫ מזרקי‬is parsed as the archaic genitive.

Supp 81

a. 7m II dr dr (see R SP I, II 425)
b. Transfer Sir 44:13-14 from section g to e.
c. Comments
In Exod 3:15 ‫ ד ר ד ר‬adhers to the Ug. pattern dr dr, without the inter-
vening copula. Hence Sam ‫ ד ר וד ר‬may be judged an inferior reading.
Relevant too are the remarks found in Orlinsky, Torah, p. 153, on Exod
3:15: “The synonymous parallelism alone (ledor dor/le'olam) is sufficient
to point to two lines of poetry in the second half of the verse.”

Supp 82

a. 'mq II qryt / qrt (see R SP I, II 431a)

b. Notes
De Moor, Seasonal Pattern, p. 90, recognizes th at the phrase bn qrytmjqrtm
means “between the two cities” and not “sons of the two cities.” See ft //
bn (I Supp 21) for details.

Supp 83

a. 'n I/ hdy (see R S P I, II 432)

b. After section f insert Job 19:27
‫“ חזה‬to gaze” . . . ‫“ עינים‬eyes”
c. After section f insert Job 20:8-9
‫“ חזיון‬vision” . . . ‫“ ע ץ‬eye”

— 201 —
I Suppl. 84 Ras Shamra Parallels

Supp 84

a. *n II qr (see R S P I, II 434)
b. Bibliography
Y. Avishur, UF, IV (1972), 2, n. 7 (on Prov 25:26).

Supp 85

a. 'n II ris (see R SP I, II 435)

b. To section e add Cant 5:11-12.
c. After section e insert Job 2:12
‫“ ע ץ‬eye" . . . fifrn “head”

Supp 86

a. 'wy I/ tb (see R SP I, II 438)

b. After section f insert Ps 55:20
‫“ ענה‬to answer” / / ‫( ’שוב‬H) “to reply”
c. Comments
When MT ‫ וישב‬is repointed to ‫ רשב‬the bicolon reads: “El heard me
and answered; the Primeval sent his reply.”

Supp 87

a. 'p'p . . . *» (see R S P I, II 440)

b. Notes
M. Dahood, Bib, L (1969), 351-352, gives new evidence for ,p'p, “pupil.”

Supp 88

a. gr + slm (see R SP I, II 452)

b. Bibliography
Gray, Legacy2, p. 267.

— 202 —
Ugaritic-Hebrew Parallel Pairs I Suppl. 89

c. Comments
Whitaker, Concordance, pp. 452-453, may be faulted for subsuming all
instances of tgrk (+ tslmk) under ngr. Seven of the scholars cited in the
Bibliography find the parallelism in Job 8:6 sufficient ground for deriving
tgr from gyr = ‫ עי ר‬. No one questions th at Ug. also possessed ngr, “to
protect” = ‫נ צ ר‬, and Deut 32:10-11 employs both these roots in tandem:
‫יצרנהו כ איזון ע עו‬ He protects him like the apple of his eye;
‫כנשר יעיר קנו‬ like an eagle he safeguards his nest.

Supp 89

a. p /I w (see R SP I, I I 454)
b. Bibliography
van Zijl, Baal, pp. 101-102.

Supp 90

a. pit II 'dr (see R SP I, II 460)

b. Bibliography
Y. Avishur, UF, IV (1972), 10, n. 46.

Supp 91

a. sdq /I ysr (see R SP I, II 476)

b. Notes
Disregard for the parallelism by Dietrich and Loretz, Elliger FS, pp. 32, 34,
results in a most improbable stichometry and interpretation of K rt: 12-14:
att sdqh Seine rechtmassige Frau—
lypq mtrht nicht h at er weggeschickt die m it
Brautpreis Erworbene,
ysrh att trh vertrieben die Frau des Brautpreises—
wtb't (und sie) ist (doch) gegangen.
The authors make ysrh parallel to ypq and identify it with the verb £rh at-
tested once elsewhere but with a disputed meaning.

— 203 —
I Suppl. 92 Ras Shamra Parallels

Supp 92

a. spn I/ ars (see R SP I, II 479)

b. To section e add Jer 1:14.

Supp 93

a. qU . . . Isn (see R SP I, II 489)

b. Comments
This entry should be deleted because tql in 2 Aqht VI :50 is preferably
derived from a middle yod root, qila, and hence to be dissociated from ‫ ק ל ל‬,
‘‘to curse.” See above Isn // [qll\ (I 180).

Supp 94

a. riS II kp (see R SP I, II 510)

b. Bibliography
W. Watson, VT, X X II (1972), 460468‫־‬.
c. After section c insert Isa 9:13; 19:15 (Watson)
Bftn “head” / / ‫“ כ פ ה‬frond”

Supp 95

a. rmm (irtm) // tV (see R SP I, II 521)

b. Notes
J. Hoftijzer, UF, IV (1972), 156, n. 8, writes: “In my opinion, rightly, de
Moor, [Seasonal Pattern], p. 133 has pointed to the parallelism between
’irtm (when derived from rmm) and tVm.”

Supp 96

a. sal . . . knn (see R SP I, II 526)

b. Comments
Pope, Job9, pp. 6 5 6 6 ‫־‬, writes: “The reading bonen for MT konen adopted
in previous editions appears to have been mistaken in view of the association
of sal and knn in Ugaritic.” See also Michel, Job, p. 289, on Job 8:8.

— 204 —
Ugaritic-Hebrevv Parallel Pairs I Suppl. 97

Supp 97

a. Sb' II skr (see R S P I, II 529)

b. Comments
F. Luciani, Aevum, XLV (1972), 498-501, argues from a H ittite paral-
lelism th at ‫ ל שכרה‬in Hag 1:6 does not signify “to drunkenness,” but merely
“to slaking one’s thirst.” Luciani would have been well advised to discuss
the Semitic parallel pair as well, which would have modified his conclusion.

Supp 98

a. Sm + bn (see R SP I, II 547)
b. To section b add 52:21-22 {CTA 23:21-22).
c. After section d insert Gen 16:11; Exod 2:22; I I Sam 12:24; Isa 7:14
‫“ ק‬son” II ‫“ ישם‬name”
d. After section d insert Job 30:8
‫“ בן‬son” + ‫“ שם‬name”

Supp 99

a. Smh // shq (see R SP I, II 553)

b. Bibliography
M. Dahood, Bib, X LV II (1966), 267.
Cathcart, Nahum, p. 36, n. 4.
c. After section c insert Prov 14:13; Eccles 2:2 (Dahood, Cathcart)
‫“ שח)ו(ק‬laughter” // ‫“ שמחה‬joy”
d. After section d insert Eccles 10:19
‫ ק‬1‫“ ע(ח‬laughter” . . . ‫( שמח‬D) “to gladden”

Supp 100

a. Sm' /I ahb (see R SP I, II 566)

b. After section d insert Deut 30:20
‫“ א ה ב‬to love” II ‫“ שמע‬to obey”

— 205
I Suppl. 101 Ras Shamra Parallels

Supp 101

a. snt /I nqpt (see R SP I, II 573)

b. Bibliography
Y. Avishur, Semitics, II (1971-1972), 62.
Xella, Shr e Sim, p. 75.

Supp 102

a. Spt II Isn (see R S P I, II 579)

b. Bibliography
Y. Avishur, Semitics, II (1971-1972), 63.

Supp 103

a. SrS . . . ars (see R SP I, II 584)

b. After section e insert Isa 11:9-10
‫“ אר ץ‬earth” // Ehtf “root”

Supp 104

a. st . . . qdm (see R SP I, II 585)

b. To section b add 51 V:107 (CTA 4 V:107).

Supp 105

a. tht II 7 (see R SP I, II 589)

b. To section e add I Kings 14:23
‫“ ע ל‬on” II ‫“ תחת‬under”

— 206 —
Ch apter II



R ichard E . W h ita k er

a. The classification of items in this study in general is by their use in the

Ugaritic texts. Since over 50% of the poetry of Ugarit is composed of formulae
and another 30% is formulaic, we can only discuss Hebrew passages which retain
their formulaic character. It is imperative th at we define “formula” in terms
of the literature from Ugarit and what we will consider an “occurrence” within
the Hebrew Bible.
b. H. L. Ginsberg, Or, V (1936), 164, was the first to isolate certain expres-
sions in Ugaritic and to note the similarity between their use at Ugarit and the
use of formulae in Homer. According to the studies by Parry (L ’epithete‫׳‬, HSCP,
X U [1930], 73-147, and X L III [1932], 1-50), Lord (Singer), and others, the
poetic formulae are tools which allow poets who create extemporaneously to
compose rapidly. W ithin Greek and Slavic poetry they provide phrases, lines
and even series of lines which are of proper metrical shape to fit the demands
of the poetic tradition.
c. While it is not possible to get a consensus on what the metrical demands
of the Ugaritic poetic tradition include, we can arrive at a description of some
of the kinds of formulae which are found there. P. Yoder, VT, X X I (1971),
480, has argued th a t the fixed parallel pair ought to be considered the basic for-
mula in Hebrew and Ugaritic poetry. There is some justification for this, and
Mitchell Dahood’s work on parallel pairs is included in these volumes. We will,
however, use a more restricted definition here.
d. We will examine two types of formulae in Ugaritic. The first is the series
of units which forms a full colon or a full lin e .1 These formulae normally in­

1 Following W. Iy. Holladay, J B L , L X X X V (1966), 403, we refer to a word with its prefixes and suf-
fixes as a “unit” ; a series of units, most often forming a syntactic unity within which there is either no
parallelism at all, or else parallelism of merely secondary importance, as a “colon” ; and to a group of two
or three, occasionally four, cola between which there is normally a pattern of parallelism, as a “line.”

— 209 —
II Intro Ras Shamra Parallels

troduce or describe common actions in the narrative without including the name
of the actor:
49 111:16 (CTA 6 111:16); 51 IV:28 (CTA 4 IV:28); 2 Aqht 11:10 (CTA 17
11: 10)
yfrq Isb wyshq He parts his teeth and laughs.
e. The second type of formula describes an action, but allows for the inclusion
of the name of the subject or object or of a descriptive unit.
49 1:8-10 (CTA 6 1:36-38); 51 IV:25-26 (CTA 4 IV:25-26); etc.
ip'n il thbr wtql At the foot of El she bows and falls down;
tUhwy wtkbd(n)h She prostrates herself and honors him.
'n t V I:18-20 (CTA 3 F:18-20)
Ip'n kt(r> hbr wql At the foot of Kothar bow and fall down;
tUhwy wkbd hwt Prostrate yourself and honor him.
'n t 11:17-18 (CTA 3 B:17-18)
whin 'nt Ibth tmgyn Then Anat reaches her house;
tstql ilt Ihklh Arrives the goddess at her temple.
1 Aqht:170-171 (CTA 19 IV:170-171); 2 Aqht 11:24-25 (CTA 17 11:24-25)
dnil <lybth ymgyn Daniel reaches his house;
ystql dnil Ihklh Arrives Daniel at his temple.
Krt:106 (CTA 14 111:106); cf. Krt:207-208 (CTA 14 IV:207-208); etc.
Ik ym wtn Go a day and a second,
tit rb' ym A third, a fourth day.
Krt:218-219 (CTA 14 V:218-219)
dm ym wtn Then a day and a second,
tit rb' ym A third, a fourth day.
It will be noted th at in this type of formula the variable element (s) in any par-
ticular formula always comes in the same line position.
f. A third type of formula is the epithet, here defined (after Parry) as the
phrase of two or more words which identifies the characters or places in the nar-
rative. 2 Epithets may be paired. Often an epithet or name which does not oc-
cupy a full colon is paired with one which does.

2 We will not treat this type of formula in this chapter, since Cooper and Pope discuss *‘divine names
and epithets’‫ ״‬in R S P III, IV. It should be noted that divine names are included in our definition of epithet.
The only Ug.-Heb. epithet of formulaic value which we have discovered is rkb 'rpt // ‫ת‬1‫( רכב >ב<ערב‬Ps 68:5;
see below, R S P III, IV 40).

— 210 —
Ugaritic Formulae II Intro

Partial colon:
125:46 (CTA 16 1:46)
aynk gzr ilhu Thereupon the hero Ilhu . . .
125:83 (CTA 16 11:83)
wy'ny gzr [ilhu] Then answers the hero Ilhu . . .
Partial colon with full colon:
137:33-34 (CTA 2 1:33-34); cf. 137:17 (CTA 2 1:17)
thm ym b'lkm The word of Sea your Lord,
adnkm tpt nhr Your master judge River.
137:45 (CTA 2 1:45)
an! rgmt lym b'lkm I say to Sea your Lord,
a[dnkm tpt nhr] Yo[ur master judge River].
Partial cola parallel:
67 V I:9-10 (CTA 5 VI:9-10); cf. 49 1:13-15 (CTA 6 1:41-43)
mt aliyn b'l Dead is Aliyan Baal;
hlq zbl b'l ars Perished the prince, lord of earth.
'n t 1:2-4 (CTA 3 A :2-4)
'bd ali[yn] b'l Serve Ali[yan] Baal;
sid zbl b'l ars Honor the prince, lord of earth.
g. Note th at the forms of units vary within the same formula, even to the
extent of suffixed vs. independent pronouns.
I t is apparent th at the formulae which occupy parts of two cola will most
often be completed by the use of a parallel pair of words. Formulae themselves
often contain parallel pairs. They are therefore as im portant as building blocks
for the poet as are the structures we would call formulae.
h. It remains then to distinguish these formulae from literary phrases. In
examining literary phrases one is concerned with the continuity of meaning
th at the phrase carries. In examining formulae one is concerned about the con-
tinuity of the structural unit. Since the formulae come out of a poetic context
in Ugaritic and are often found in a prose setting in Hebrew we would expect
th at the structure would not always be perfectly intact. The surprising thing
is th at they are recognizable at all.
i. Since literary phrases may also be formulae, we will not discuss at any
length the passages already treated by Schoors, “Literary Phrases”, R SP I,
Chapter 1. We will, however, note them at the end of this chapter in a “Sup-
plement” to R SP I, I. 3

3 The formula hnn il // ‫( חגבי יהרה‬see R S P I, I 37) is not included in the Supplement, since we have
nothing to add to Schoors's comments.

— 211 —
II 1 Ras Shamra Parallels


1. 49 1:4; etc.
2. 49 1:11; etc.
3. 51 11:12; etc
4. 'n t 11:38-40


a. 49 1:4; I V :31 (CTA 6 1:32; IV:31); 51 I V :20; V:84 (CTA 4 IV:20; V:84);
67 1:9-10 (CTA 5 1:9-10); etc.
b. Text Translation
idk lyjttn pnm Then he/she/they set (his/her/their) face.
c. Bibliography
U. Cassuto, Tarbiz, X III (1941-1942), 201 [= Studies II, pp. 22-23].
E. Ullendorff, B JR L , XLVI (1963), 241.
d• Gen 31:21
‫וישם א ת־ פניו‬ Then he set his face
‫הר הגל עד‬ Toward the mountains of Gilead.
e. I I Kings 12:18 (cf. Dan 11:17, 18)
‫וישם חזאל פניו‬ Then Hazael set his face
‫ל ע לו ת ע ל־י רו ע ל ם‬ To go up against Jerusalem.
f. Jer 42:15
‫שום תשמון פניכם‬ You shall surely set your face
‫ל ב א מצרי ם‬ To go to Egypt.
g. I I Chron 20:3
‫ד תן יהושפט א ת־ פניו‬ Then Jehoshaphat set his face
‫לדרו ש ליהוה‬ To seek the l o r d .
Cassuto: In Ug. this is a formula for beginning a new section when the poet
is going to tell of the journey and what was done in another place.

— 212 —
Ugaritic Formulae II 2

Traces of this formula can be recognized in Gen 31:21 and II Kings

12:18; it is used figuratively in II Chron 20:3. Outside of narrative
it is found in Dan 11:17, 18.
Ullendorff: Gen 31:21 is an identical introductory formula to th at found
in Ug., and the Gen passage is only one of the places this occurs in Heb.
h. Comments
The idiom “setting one’s face” has several uses in Heb. One of these,
using Dlfe or ‫נתן‬, is identical in meaning with the Ug. formula. The order
of the common elements in the Ug. and Heb. formulae is the same, but
the metrical shape is not, since the Heb. lacks anything corresponding to
idk. Jer 42:15 comes the closest with the use of the infinitive absolute. The
Heb. formula allows the inclusion of the name of the subject, while the
Ug. does not. Formally, then, we must list these as variants of the same
i. The Ug. formula is always followed by a prepositional phrase with 'm
or tk indicating the destination of the journey. Gen 31:21 is close to this,
but the other Heb. passages follow the formula with an infinitive construct,
so th at the face is “set toward” an action rather than a place. Functionally
these must be listed as variants of the same formula.

a. 49 1:11; 11:11-12; 111:17; I V :33; V.10-11 (CTA 6 1:39; 11:11-12; 111:17; IV:33;
V:10-ll); etc.
b. Text Translation
yjtsu gh yjtsh H e/she/they lifted his/her/their voice
and called.
c. Bibliography
U. Cassuto, Tarbiz, X III (1941-1942), 202 [ = Studies II, pp. 24-25].
E. Ullendorff, B JR L , XLVI (1963), 241.
d. Gen 39:15 (cf. Gen 39:18)
‫ויהי כשמעו כי־ ה רי מ תי קולי‬ When he heard th at I raised my voice
‫ואקרא‬ and called . . .
e. Judg 9:7
‫ויעוא קולו ויקרא‬ He lifted his voice and called.

— 213 —
II 3 Ras Shamra Parallels

Cassuto: This is the normal formula in Ug. poetry for introducing heroic
speeches, but this expression is not appropriate to ordinary humans.
Nonetheless we get a reuse of this formula in Heb. where it is used of
a loud call, as when Jotham speaks from the mountain and we get a
“word for word” repetition of the Ug. formula (Judg 9:7). There is
a similar one using ‫ הרים‬to translate KtM in the accounts of Potiphar’s
wife telling of her cries for help (Gen 39:15, 18).
Ullendorff: This is one of the “stereotyped formulae” in Ug. and Heb. Judg
9:7 gives a “precise equivalent” of the Ug.
f. Comments
While Cassuto is more precise in noting the slight differences of function
of the formula in Ug. and Heb., we would concur with Ullendorff th at this
is the translation equivalent of the same formula in both literatures.

a. 51 11:12 (CTA 4 11:12); 1 Aqht:28-29, 76, 134-135 (CTA 19 1:28-29; II: 76; III:
134-135); 2 Aqht V:9 (CTA 17 V:9); etc.
Cf. 76 11:14, 27 (iCTA 10 11:14, 27).
b. Text Translation
bnsi 'nh wy/tphn When he/she lifts up his/her eyes he/she
Cf. wy /tsu ’nh w y j t ’n Then he/she raises his/her eyes and looks.

c. Bibliography
U. Cassuto, Tarbiz, X III (1941-1942), 200 [= Studies II, pp. 20-22].
E. Ullendorff, B JR L, XLVI (1963), 241.
d. Gen 18:2; 24:63; 43:29 (cf. Gen 37:25)
‫וישא עיניו וירא‬ Then he lifts his eyes and sees.
e. Gen 24:64
‫עיני ה ותרא‬-‫ ותשא רב קה א ת‬Then Rebecca lifts her eyes and sees.
Cassuto: In Ug. this transitional formula is used to introduce a new character
into the narrative. It is used similarly in Heb. prose, where its occur-
rence as a “stereotyped expression” marks it as one of the remnants
of Canaanite epic style.
Ullendorff: This “opening gambit” is one of the stereotyped formulae th at
occur in both Ug. and Heb. literatures.

— 214 —
Ugaritic Formulae II 4

f. Comments
The two forms in Ug. are versions of the same full colon formula. We
find it used both with and without the inclusion of the noun subject in Heb.
prose. This breaks the meter of the poetic formula, as we would expect
in prose.

a. *nt 11:38-40 (CTA 3 B:38-40); cf. 'nt IV:86-87 (CTA 3 D:86-87).
b. Text Translation
(38) [t]hspn . mh . wtrhs She sprinkles her water and washes,
(39) \t]l. §mm . §mn . ars . W ith the dew of heaven, the oil of earth,
rbb (40) rkb 'rfit The rains of the Rider of the Clouds.
c. Bibliography
Jack, R S Tablets, p. 48.
C. Virolleaud, Syria, X V III (1937), 101.
Virolleaud, Anat, p. 27.
Ginsberg, A N E T , p. 136.
Driver, CML, p. 85, n. 22.
S. Gevirtz, J N E S , X X (1961), 45.
E. Ullendorff, B JR L , XLVI (1963), 241.
d. Gen 27:28 (cf. Gen 27:39)
‫ ד תן־׳לך ה אלהי ם‬May God give to you
‫ מ ט ל היזמים ומשמני ה ארץ‬Of the dew of heaven, the oil of earth,
‫ ורב דגן ותירע‬And the abundance of grain and wine.
Jack: There is a correspondence in language between the Ug. and Heb. texts.
Virolleaud, Ginsberg, and Driver: The Heb. passage may be compared to
the Ug. passage.
Gevirtz: The pair tl £»«»/‫ ט ל ה’שמים‬// smn arsjyiHTl ‫ שמני‬occurs twice in
Ug. and twice in Gen 27, although in reverse order in v. 39.
Ullendorff: This is “one of the astonishing similarities of word and phrase”
in the two literatures.
e. Comments
The middle colon in the Ug. and Heb. lines is clearly a full colon for-
mula. The only real question is whether the following colon in Gen 27:28
is patterned after th at in UT ‘nt 11:39-40. I t is possible th at the sound
of rbb suggested ‫ רב‬to the Heb. poet and he built the colon from this, or
th at ‫ רב‬and rbb are variants of the same term and he has made a substi-
tution for the epithet in the colon.

— 215 —
II Supp 1 Ras Shamra Parallels


Additions to Schoors, “Literary Phrases” , R SP I, Chapter 1.


1 : 1-2
$ $ 5

4. 77:7
5. 125:13-14
6. 1 Aqht :44-45
7. 1 Aqht: 109
8. 2 Aqht V:6-7

S upp 1

a. 67 1:1-2 (CTA 5 1:1-2) (see R SP I, I 25).

b. Notes
The fullest form of this epithet formula occurs in 67 1:1-3 (and is to be re-
constructed in 67 1:27-30):
(1) ktmhs . Itn . btn . brh When you smote Ltn, the fleeing serpent,
(2) tkly . btn . 'qltn You destroyed the twisting serpent,
(3) s ly t. d . §b't. raim Slyt of the seven heads.
Like other long epithets it can be shortened following colon divisions. Thus
cola B and C are found in UT 'n t 111:38-39 (CTA 3 D :38-39).
c. Bibliography
W. F. Albright, BASOR, 46 (1932), 19.
Jack, R S Tablets, pp. 45-46.
W. F. Albright, BASOR, 83 (1941), 39.
W. F. Albright, CBQ, V II (1945), 30.
W. S. LaSor, BiS, CVII (1950), 252.
J. Gray, VT, VI (1956), 268.
Gray, DOTT, p. 132, n. 16.
Widengren, M R& K , pp. 172-173.

— 216 —
Ugaritic Formulae II Supp 2

Gaster, Thespis2, pp. 202-203.

E. Ullendorff, B JR L , XEVI (1963), 240.
Gray, LC2, pp. 30-31 and n. 3; 32.
Pope, Job, pp. 166, 277.
Ringgren, Israelite Religion, pp. 3, 107.
d. After section e insert Job 26:13.
‫ ברוחו שם ים ע פ ר ה‬By his wind he put sea in a bag
‫ ח ל ל ה ידו נחש בריח‬His hand pierced the fleeing serpent.
Albright: Ug. and Heb. literatures use the same terms to describe Ltn, and
the terms appear in the same order.
Jack, Gaster, and Pope: The same adjectives are used in both literatures
to describe Ltn.
EaSor and Ullendorff: The parallelism of words and of structure points to
the same literary form.
Widengren and Ringgren: Both literatures contain the epithets and the
motif of battle with a monster. Ringgren understands this to be the
same mythical battle.
e. Comments
Isa 27:1 contains cola A and B of the full formula, while Job 26:13
has only colon A. In both the Ug. and Heb. texts the position of the epithets
within the cola is consistent. The Job passage is unusual in using an A
epithet in the second colon of the line and parallel to a name in the first line.
However, this much variation in use of epithets is found already among
the poets at Ugarit.

S upp 2

a. 68:8-9 (CTA 2 IV :8-9) (see R SP I, I 29).

b. Comments
This seems to be a formula which allows for inclusion of a subject in the
first colon. This tricolon pattern is common in both Heb. and Ug. The
last colon of Ps 92:10 has almost completely broken the formula. The ques-
tion is whether the Hebrew poet saw ‫ י א בדו‬as a translation equivalent to

1 Following Pope, Job, p. 166.

— 217 —
II Supp 3 Ras Shamra Parallels

Supp 3

a. 68:10 (CTA 2 IV: 10) (see R SP I, I 30).

b. After section d insert Dan 3:33.
‫מלכו תה מלכו ת ע ל ם‬ His kingdom is an eternal kingdom,
‫ועלטנה ע ם ־ ד ר וד ר‬ And his dominion to generations of
c. After section d insert Dan 4:31.
‫ זלטן ע ל ם‬2? ‫די שלטנה‬ For his dominion is an eternal dominion,
‫ו מלכו תה ע ם ״ ד ר ודר‬ And his kingdom to generations of
d. Comments
The parallel pair */»‫ן‬/‫ ע)ו(לם‬jj dr ^ / ‫ ר )ו(ד)ו(ר‬01)‫ ד‬is well established in
both Ug. and Heb. (see Dahood, R SP I, II 425). We only have evidence
for the formula itself when we compare UT 68:10 with Ps 145:13 and
Dan 3:33 and 4:31. We have a partial colon plus a full colon with substitution
at the beginning of the first colon. Both ‫( ממשלה‬Ps 145:13) and ‫שלטן‬
(Dan 3:33 and 4:31) are translation equivalents of drkt.

Supp 4

a. 77:7 (CTA 24:7) (see R SP I, I 36).

b. Comments
The interpretation as a formula is tempting, but inconclusive. Gen
16:11 supports this, but the variation is enough to make for uncertainty.

Supp 5

a. 125:13-14 (CTA 16 1:13-14) (see R SP I, I 41).

b. Notes
This is a full colon formula found also in UT 125:9798‫( ־‬CTA 16 11:9798‫)־‬.
In Ug. it is part of a larger line formula ( 1 2 5 : 1 2 9 8 ‫ ־‬14, 97‫)־‬:
(12) ybky (13) wysnn . He weeps and gnashes his teeth;
ytn . gh (14) bky He gives forth his voice in weeping.

— 218
Ugaritic Formulae II Supp 6

Supp 6

a. 7 Aqht:44-45 (CTA 19 1:44-45) (see R SP I, I 44).

b. Comments
If Ginsberg’s reconstruction of II Sam 1:21 is correct, we must list
this as a full line formula. There is no further evidence in Ug. for the formula.

Supp 7

a. 7 Aqht:109 {CTA 19 111:109) (see R SP I, I 45).

b. Comments
The clear use as a full colon formula in Ug. leaves no reason to doubt
it in the Heb.

Supp 8

a. 2 Aqht V:6-7 (CTA 17 V:6-7) (see R SP I, I 46).

b. Comments
The word-order ‫ פ ת ח שער‬. . . ‫ ישבים‬in I Kings 22:10 makes it appear
th at what we have in the v. is a broken formula in a prose section. This
formula very probably is to be restored in UT 1 A qht:22-23 (CTA 191:22-23).

— 219 —
Chapter III



S tan R ummel

T he Question of S tructure

“Structure” is a relatively simple concept. As a category of knowledge,

it relates to the idea of “building” (Latin struere, “to build”). This means
th at structural knowledge deals in wholes—as a building is a whole—but
in a special way. Structural knowledge perceives wholes as organized com-
binations of mutually connected and dependent parts or elements. The char-
acter of the whole exists in the relations of its constituent parts, and each
part contributes to the shape of the whole by virtue of its distinct role in a
definite arrangement. The idea of structure does not necessarily imply th at
the individual part is of no significance in and of itself (although structural
knowledge has often drawn its disciples toward th at conclusion); rather, it
focuses on the parts as related to each other and to the whole instead of sim-
ply fragmenting a whole into its parts and treating each as an isolated entity.
When applied to texts, structural knowledge can proceed in various
directions which yield quite disparate analyses. The introduction of struc-
tural analysis into Ugaritic-Hebrew comparative studies has reflected the
lack of consensus resulting from the embryonic state of structural studies
as a discipline. The methodologies employed by those who have compared
the structures of Ugaritic and Hebrew texts have remained obscure for two
specific reasons. On the one hand, those scholars who have treated Ugaritic and
Hebrew texts from a structural perspective have not been methodologically
self-conscious, choosing to operate instead on an intuitive level hazily informed
by form critical principles. On the other hand, structural analysis of any
kind has yet to emerge as a distinctive means of comparing Ugaritic and
Hebrew texts. Those who have employed it have mingled it with other in-
terpretive methodologies in relationships th at they neither clearly develop
nor exploit.
Although this situation yields frustrating ambiguities, the fundamental
concern of this chapter is the interpretation of texts—not the articulation
Ill Intro 2 Ras Shamra Parallels

of structural methodologies. Each author discussed in this chapter has pro-

posed a parallel in structure (or pattern, or cluster of elements/motifs/themes)
between a Ugaritic and Hebrew text. If each author uses the structural
parallel only as part of the basis by which he compares his texts, and even
if some merely adumbrate the structural aspect of their comparison, the
role th at structure plays in the elucidation of Ugaritic-Hebrew parallels
deserves notice and comment in its own right because of its potential con-
tribution to the understanding of texts. This means th at the question of
the structural input to a parallel can be separated from the question of the
overall validity of the parallel, because the latter question may depend more
on non-structural than on structural evidence. In this chapter I will deal
only with the structural concerns of each author, asking him only for his
contribution to the structural comparison of Ugaritic and Hebrew texts.

2 F orm Criticism and S tructuralism

a. The evaluation of these contributions demands some notion of the

meaning of structural studies and the type of information about a text which
they can be expected to yield. This understanding depends on the differen-
tiation of two basically divergent approaches to the structural study of texts,
the form-critical and the structuralist.
b. Form criticism has found the analysis of the structure (or the pattern
or the schema) of a given text to be of fundamental interest, but it has also
found such analysis to be of less importance than the description of the te x t’s
genre or type and the definition of its setting(s) in life. Yet form criticism
has defined most of its genres by means of a typical structure on which a
particular text is based. This kind of definition depends on the insight th a t
ancient peoples expressed themselves through typical patterns conventional
in their societies. Thus the roots of structural analysis in form critical
methodology are socio-historical in character.
c. The structuralist approach to a text—and this is especially true for
th at type of structuralism which derives from the work of Uevi-Strauss on
m yth—slights the socio-historical setting in favor of an emphasis on structure
as a phenomenon worthy of independent consideration. This emphasis stems
from the corresponding concern of linguistics, the mother of structuralist
literary theory. As etymology and reference are not relevant to the meaning
of a word (Saussure), so historical origin and reference to social institutions
are not relevant to the meaning of a myth. W hat is meaningful about such
tales is the way they structure language. Thought is more relevant than

— 224 —
Narrative Structures in the Ugaritic Texts III Intro 2

history. Interpretation which proceeds in this fashion finds itself in the

process of becoming a distinctive methodology, although its fundamental
principles have yet to be formulated and its rules have never been shaped
into a comprehensive system. Both as a method and as an ideology, struc-
turalism moves beyond the issues involved in the analysis of texts. In fact,
many of its implications lead away from the direction of literature.
d. As the title indicates, this chapter focuses on what I call “narrative
structures” of texts. This signifies above all th at each comparison of a Uga-
ritic and Hebrew structure discussed here depends on the “narrativity” phe-
nomenon in the texts. In some way the text itself can act as a check on the
analysis performed upon it. This level of structure—the surface or syntag-
matic level—is but one of the structural levels at which texts should be in-
vestigated. Surface structure may be contrasted schematically with two
other broad levels of structure: deep structure and intermediate structure.
Interm ediate structure has to do with the functions and/or actants on which
the surface structure of the text depends. Analysis of functions (e.g., con-
junction vs. disjunction) and actants (e.g., addresser, object, addressee) aims
to reduce a narrative to its basic elements in order to show the relationship
of a particular text to other texts in which these structures are perceived.
The surface structure of a particular text represents one manifestation (and
most likely only a partial manifestation) of the intermediate structure it
shares with other texts. The analysis of intermediate structures, like th at
of deep structures, treats paradigmatic relationships; it classifies its units by
the way they combine in certain sequences to form a “plot.” This comple-
ments the analysis of surface structure, which groups those plots which com-
bine the paradigms in the same sequence (the syntagmatic relationship).
Whereas intermediate structure deals with the structure of the form of the
content and/or the expression of a sign belonging to a system of signs, deep
structure is the structure of the substance of the content and/or expression.
I t probes the underlying components of meaning, and assumes th at the re-
lations of these components are ultim ately reducible to binary oppositions.
It asks a text for the way in which it mediates these oppositions. The answer
to this question, however, has little to do with the surface structure of the
e. Both form critical and structuralist methodologies begin with structural
analysis of the text. However, the structure derived through this analysis
never yields a neutral, “objective” appreciation of the text, for the structural
interpretation of texts draws deeply on the methodological presuppositions
of the interpreter. Since form critical and structuralist methodologies depend
on significantly different presuppositions, in the following paragraphs I will

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III Intro 3 Ras Shamra Parallels

present six fundamental distinctions in order to be able to focus attention

on the contributions of the scholar’s preconceptions to his textual compar-
isons, and to distinguish this contribution from th at offered by the text itself.
Although the differences between form criticism and structuralism are sig-
nificant, they are not absolute, and no individual author embodies all of them.
Therefore the following generalizations apply to interpretive tendencies, not
unbridgeable chasms.

3 1. Ideal Structures vs. Individual Texts.

a. The interdependence of structure and genre in form critical methodology

has drawn the discipline toward a focus on typical structures. I t has tra-
ditionally directed its attention more towards ideal types (Weber’s sociological
model!) than individual texts as such. W ithin structuralism the unit of
analysis ranges from the individual tale as a unique construction (Propp) to
a m yth as a reality which stands behind a body of materials and must be
reconstructed from them (Tevi-Strauss). Although structuralist interpre-
tation has seldom limited itself to the consideration of a single text, the in-
dividual text provides its basis and focus to an extent th at has not been true
of form criticism. This concentration on the particular arises from the rel-
ative disinterest of structuralism in genre, the focal point of form critical
procedure. Structuralism does not have the same need to present an ideal
structure of a group whose members all are variants of th at ideal.
b. When an interpreter allows an emphasis on form to shrink his perception
of content, he is in danger of imposing structures and significance on texts.
Theoretically, structuralism should be more susceptible to this threat than
form criticism, since the form critical focus on surface structure necessitates
a corresponding degree of attention to content. In practice, however, the
form critical interest in ideal types has steered the discipline in the direction
of form. But the ideal presents itself only through the particular. Unless
structural analysis begins at the level of the individual text, it faces the un-
pleasant prospect of imposing patterns through partial association.
c. Attention to the narrative structures of texts tends to minimize the
problem of basing the analysis of texts on assumptions about them. Until
now the comparison of Ugaritic and Hebrew structures has allowed the present
form of the text to act as a check on the accuracy of the analysis. Although
such comparisons should ultimately probe other structural levels (struc-
turalism) as well as test the traditions behind the present form of the text
(form criticism), one advantage of the present epoch of Ugaritic-Hebrew

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Narrative Structures in the Ugaritic Texts I ll Intro 4

structural studies is th at they can be tested with relative ease against their
self-proclaimed goal of demonstrating similarities which reveal a relationship
between the texts compared.

4 2. Technical vs. Non-Technical Structures.

a. The idea of typical structures raises a significant m atter of definition.

A concept of structure which refers only to the arrangement of a single text—
the primary flaw in a single-minded emphasis on surface structure—is non-
technical. When referred to a syntagmatic sequence common to two or more
texts, the concept becomes more technical. However, “structure” properly
denotes a group of features or parts which characterize a number of texts
and which therefore allow for various combinations and divergences. In
this sense a structure is like a genre with both its relative stability and its
variants. One should therefore expect th at no two examples of a structure
(or a genre) will be exactly alike.
b. In general, both form criticism and structuralism operate with structures
in the technical sense. The two disciplines diverge at the point of defining
the nature of the units which embody the structures of texts. The form crit-
ical combination of structure and genre tends to make content an integral
part of structure. At least, the content of most genres recognized by form
criticism is remarkably stable. The structuralist, on the other hand, finds
the content of a text to be of minor significance compared to the relationships
th a t can be identified between the parts of a text. These relationships may
yield the perception of order or structure where the form critic would find
only undifferentiated phenomena.
c. While such perceptions spin fascinating webs, they often reveal more
about the observer than the observed. The limitation of analysis to narrative
structures provides a control on subjectivity by introducing the textual
aspect of sequence. This need not dictate th a t the content of two texts must
be virtually identical to make them available for comparison, but it does
mean th at narrative indicators in the texts must demonstrate an observable
relationship for comparison to be valid.

5 3. Elements vs. Relationships.

a. A determined emphasis on wholes, or totalities, marks structuralism as

a method. But what are its totalities? The structuralist tends to see a text
not as an object in itself, but as a manifestation of a larger reality. This re­

— 227 —

I ll Intro 6 Ras Shamra Parallels

ality is the world of thought which gave rise to the text. Structuralism aims
to interpret texts by exploring their relationships with the thought-world
(or culture) of which they are a part (and which generally is available only
through other texts!).
b. But the structuralist emphasis on wholes also applies to texts in them-
selves. Form criticism has tended to employ structure as an analytical con-
cept to break down texts into their constituent elements, an essentially
atomistic exercise. While it is not quite impossible to be a structuralist and
an atomist, the essence of structuralism is to explain the whole and its parts
by means of the relations th at exist between the parts. Unlike form criticism,
structuralism does not concentrate on the elements of a whole, but rather
on the network of relationships th a t link and unite those elements. Method-
ologically, this implies th at the meaning of an element depends on its con-
text (although structuralism does not necessarily claim th a t the individual
element means nothing in itself: even if the context, and therefore the mean-
ing, changes, there is still a referent inherent in the element). Structuralism
focuses on the m utual relations of the elements of a whole, paying little, if
any, attention to the content of the individual elements. Form criticism,
on the other hand, concentrates on the elements as content-laden constituents
of wholes.

6 4. Diachronic vs. Synchronic Treatment.

a. A text can be investigated in two ways: as part of a total system simul-

taneous with it (synchronic), or as part of a historical sequence of related
texts (diachronic). Structuralism is centrally concerned with synchronic
structures. In this concern lies the fundamental difference between struc-
turalism and form criticism. For the form critical focus on the development
of a particular system, structuralism substitutes an intense concentration
on a network of existing structural relations. The idea of system forms the
core of both disciplines, but the structuralist system depends less than th at
of form criticism on accentuating similarities by neglecting differences. I t
brings differing structures together not in spite of their differences, but by
virtue of their differences, for which an order is then sought. Since it per-
ceives structure primarily in the law-like relationships which bind the el-
ements of texts, it can apply a syntax of transformations to these relationships
as the basis for the comparison and interpretation of textual structures.
In contrast, the diachronic approach of form criticism identifies an ideal
structure of a group of texts and interprets each member of the group as a
variant of th at ideal.

— 228 —
Narrative Structures in the Ugaritic Texts III Intro 7

b. Partly due to a lack of methodological resoluteness, and partly to the

difficulty of establishing generic relationships, Ugaritic-Hebrew structural
comparisons have assumed some aspects of both synchronic and diachronic
treatm ent. They have certainly not emphasized the differences between texts.
Their self-imposed limitation to narrative structure has caused them simply
to draw similar texts together. Yet attention to narrative structure also
reveals the differences between texts. If the similarities indicate generic-
type relationships, the differences highlight the specific character of each
text. Valid interpretation depends on the combination of both features.

7 5. Surface Structure vs. Deep Structure.

a. Structuralism basically seeks structure not on the surface, at the level

of the observed, but below or behind empirical reality. This means th at
it shows less interest in the syntagmatic (sequence) aspect of texts than in
the “intermediate structures” and “deep structures” which represent more
basic patterns and logics (see above, Intro 2 d). Although the concepts of
deep structure and surface structure do not exhaust the structural possi-
bilities of texts, they do define the perimeters of choice presented to the ob-
servers of texts. The observer may concentrate on the evident reality of the
text, or he may try to pierce through this reality to a reality which he must
reconstruct for himself. Such a reconstruction of reality takes the struc-
turalist beyond the shape of the text itself to the transaction of hearing re-
presented by the text. This transaction points to the structure of a text
as a product of societal thought. Ultimately, the most significant structure
of a narrative text for the structuralist is not to be found in any one of the
three levels operative in it—the plot/sequence, the roles/actants, and the
metaphor—but in the common repertoire of speaker and hearer, or writer
and reader, since the medium is a message, along with the other signals of
the meaning.
b. Form critical methodology is theoretically open to the sub-surface planes
of structure, but it has almost always dealt with texts at their surface level.
Narrative structure can be studied beneath the surface of a text (if the defi-
nition of “narrative” is properly adjusted away from an orientation towards
sequence), but in the brief history of Ugaritic-Hebrew comparative research
such study has remained in the syntagmatic range. Although this is a produc-
tive means of setting texts beside each other, its limitations can hardly be
overstressed. Structural interpretation of texts must ultimately consider as
many different levels of the texts as possible, then compare the results to
derive a balanced structural understanding. Most texts can make sense from

— 229 —
Ill Intro 7 Ras Shamra Parallels

a variety of perspectives, especially if they are composed of complex

c. Even at the surface level, narrative structure is but one of a variety
of principles th at may govern a text. Such features as systematic viewpoints,
or rhetorical or stylistic devices, may control the syntagmatic structure.
The creation story of Gen 1:1-2:3 illustrates this point (see below, 1 d|3). The
number seven organizes the present form of the account. As Cassuto, Gen-
esis I, p. 12, has argued, the concept of seven not only gives shape to the
main theme, but also determines the arrangement of many of the subordinate
units. He concluded th at the structure of the text is based on a “system
of numerical harmony.” As in the biblical text, a period of seven days plays
an organizational role in Ugaritic m yth and epic. This may be seen, for in-
stance, in UT K rt: 194-230. But a comparison of the seven-day patterns of
Gen 1:1-2:3 and K rt:194-230 proves unproductive in terms of narrative
structure, for the question th at must be answered to demonstrate a narrative
relationship between the Genesis creation story and the literature of Ugarit
is: can a Ugaritic creation story be identified with whose sequence of events
those of the biblical story may be correlated? To answer this question, the
observer must pierce through the present form of the biblical text and seek
for traces of an underlying narrative structure held in common with th at
of the Ugaritic m y th s.1
d. Narrative structure must also be distinguished from poetic structure,
since the poetic or literary form of a text is not identical to its semantic (the
dimension of communication) form. This affects Ugaritic-Hebrew structural
comparisons in two distinct ways. In the first place, most Hebrew narrative
is recorded in prose, while most Ugaritic narrative exists in a poetic form.
This difference marks comparative studies of Ugaritic and Hebrew narrative
structures, but researchers have usually failed to take it into account because
their structural comparisons lack sufficient depth. Secondly, those Hebrew
poetic texts th at are available for comparison with Ugaritic narrative texts
are hymnic, not narrative, in intent. In this case, similarity at the level of
poetic form masks real differences at the level of semantic form. Structural
comparison must account for these differences before it can fully explicate
narrative similarities.

1 This, of course, is not the only way that the Genesis story may be structurally compared to Ugaritic
literature. In RSP II, V 2, Fisher compared Gen 1:15‫ ־‬with UT 611, a ritual text. He found evidence
in the parallel arrangements of the two texts for a ritual stage in the tradition history of Gen 1:12:3‫־‬.
(Other non-narrative structural parallels between Ugaritic and Hebrew texts adduced by Fisher in RSP II,
V, are: a physical description [1], a ritual calendar [3], and a vow [4].)

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Narrative Structures in the Ugaritic Texts I ll Intro 8

8 6. Narrative Order vs. Decoding.

a. The work of Levi-Strauss on m yth has spearheaded a mode of structur-
alist interpretation which assumes th at the elements which move sequen-
tially through an individual text can be correlated with analogous elements
in other texts. The belief th at a m yth is a message in code from the whole
of a culture to its various members motivates this procedure, and the scholar’s
task is to decode the message. Decoding is possible only when the elements
are arranged in the “proper” order—but this arrangement necessarily differs
from the narrative order of their transmission. For the narrative order of
elements in a single text merely reflects deep structures and their relationships
at the level of empirical reality. To comprehend the structure of a myth, the
decoder must reduce these relations to binary oppositions—pairs of com-
plementary, mutually exclusive categories, such as !,each’s endogamy-exogamy
(see below, 2 ba and ca). The structure of a m yth consists of all the binary
oppositions in a text or group of texts, along with the elements which mediate
each opposition.
b. In this procedure the text loses control over the decoding process, which
depends primarily on the pairs of oppositions identified by the decoder. In
contrast, the form critical conception of structure as syntagmatic surface
structure retains the text as the basic object of investigation. The search
for narrative structure at this level of the text does not demand the discovery
of disguised structures or meanings in texts. Rather, it seeks the significance
of the present form or an identifiable pre-form of the text. I t aims neither to
rearrange the structures it finds in texts nor to decode structures it has invented.
c. However, we know th at many texts do not offer a plain meaning that
can be easily discovered by a mere examination of their surface. Decoding—
a term th at nearly provides a summary of structuralist techniques of literary
analysis—offers a glittering blade th at promises to cut through interpretive
problems which will never be solved by those who refuse to plunge it through
the surface of texts. But this blade must be tempered by a consideration of
what texts “say.” If Ugaritic-Hebrew investigations of comparative struc-
tures have refused to wield the sword of decoding, it is because they have
perceived their texts as the entities to be examined. They have focused on
the factors which constitute texts as such. Yet it is precisely at this point
th at Ugaritic-Hebrew studies have diverged from traditional form critical
methodology, which has tended to view texts as accumulations of pieces.
Ugaritic-Hebrew comparisons of narrative structures have perceived their
units as integrated wholes—a structuralist perspective.2
2 The literature on structuralist theory has expanded to overwhelming proportions. I have found

— 231 —
III Intro 9 Ras Shamra Parallels

9 F ormat

a. This chapter contains only three entries. The first examines the struc-
tural relevance of the Ugaritic Baal cycle to the Old Testament; the second
focuses on the K rt cycle as a whole; and the third surveys one episode from
the second tablet of the K rt cycle in relation to a particular problem of Old
Testament structural analysis. In no way do I claim th at this represents
a comprehensive survey of the secondary literature. A number of studies
th at could be treated here have been left for R SP IV, because they depend
more on motif analysis than on structural analysis as such. Since the aim
of this chapter is to investigate previous comparisons of Ugaritic-Hebrew
narrative structures, I attem pt to uncover the methodological, as well as
the substantive, issues involved in each comparison. Hopefully, method-
ological clarity will contribute to a more solid basis upon which this type
of investigation may proceed. In one sense, methodological criticisms are
unfair to some authors, since such criticisms raise questions which they did
not intend to answer. For example, structural interpretations of proposed
parallels are notable for their absence in the history of research. Yet in a
larger sense, all the methodological implications of structural study come
into play whenever an interpreter proposes a structural parallel. I t is with
this interest in the discipline of structural investigation th at I offer my
b. No author discussed in this chapter employs structure as the sole basis
of his Ugaritic-Hebrew comparison. In fact, the structural comments of
some of the researchers are relatively unclear about the segments of text
under discussion and the structural outline envisioned. Where I try to in-
troduce some clarity to their remarks by identifying texts and supplying
outlines, I enclose the material which I have added to their discussions in
brackets (“ [ ]”). W ith these additions I do not aim to exceed any author’s
intentions, but simply to clarify the structural aspects of his comparison.
c. The ordering of the texts within entries one and two is determined by
logical, rather than numerical, criteria. Thus the presentation of the K rt
cycle must obviously follow the sequence UT K rt+1281-125-127‫־‬. The same
considerations apply to the ordering of the biblical texts within these entries.
I simply group them into units convenient for analysis. Because of the

the following discussions to offer useful general comments relevant to problems of the structural analysis
of texts: R. Culley, VTS, XXII (1972), 129142‫ ;־‬R. Knierim, Int, XXVII (1973), 435-467; Lane, Struc‫־‬
turalism, pp. 1139‫ ;־‬Scholes, Structuralism; and A. Wilder, Semeia, I (1974), 1 1 6 ‫־‬.

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Narrative Structures in the Ugaritic Texts I ll 1

variety of biblical texts treated in these entries, I insert comments into the
summaries of the secondary literature at appropriate points. The length
of the first two entries also necessitates an expansion of the R SP system of
coding paragraphs. The following sequence is used: a, b, c, d, etc.; aa, bb,
cc, dd, etc.; aa, ba, ca, da, etc.; a|3, b|3, c(3, d|3, etc.
d. Since narrative structures usually appeal to large blocks of textual mat-
ter, I offer few translations of texts in this chapter. Only for two short
Ugaritic passages and one Hebrew passage (all occurring in the first entry) are
translations given and defended. I treat these fragments because a proposed
structure depends on a disputed reading or translation of the text, or a
proposed structure develops or confirms a disputed reading or translation.
e. The parallels drawn always depend on the final form of the Ugaritic
texts, and usually on the final form of the Hebrew texts. Since texts must
be investigated at more than one structural level, from the perspective of
other analytical disciplines, and in the full range of their tradition history,
no final claims about their meanings can be offered on the basis of narrative
structures alone. Nevertheless, the information gleaned from this mode of
analysis makes a vital contribution to the elucidation of the total meaning
of each text under discussion.


1. 129 + 137 + 68 + 51 + 67 + 62+49

2. K rt + 128 + 125-127
3. 128 11:21-111:16


a. 129 (CTA 2 III[?]) + 137 (CTA 2 1) + 6 8 (1CTA 2 IV) + 51 (CTA 4) + 67
(‫׳‬C TA 5) + 62+49 (CTA 6).
b. Text Translation
(68:32) ym . Im t. Sea verily is dead;
b'lm ym l[k?1 ] Baal indeed rules!4

— 233 —
III 1 Ras Shamra Parallels

(49 V :5) [ytb .] b[*]J2 . Baal returned 5 to the chair of his

Iksi . mlkh kingship,
(6) [lnht] . 3 Ikh t . drk[t]h to the seat, to the throne of his
c. Notes
Text: 1 Herdner, CTA, p. 12, reads only ym /[---------------------- ], but in
n. 4 admits the possibility of the above reading, for which see Gor-
don, UT, p. 180.
2 W ith Herdner, CTA, p. 41. Gordon, UT, p. 169, reads only [ ]s,
although, as Herdner notes in CTA, p. 41, n. 10, his translation in
UL, p. 16, (and not 1!), presupposes the reading she adopts. The
parallel in U T 76 111:14 favors the restoration of ytb over y7.
3 See Herdner, CTA, p. 41 and n. 11; Gordon, UT, p. 169, makes no
suggestion for the lacuna. Several scholars (most recently, van Zijl,
Baal, p. 218) have suggested bn dgn on the basis of UT 76 111:14,
but traces of the l at the beginning of 49 V:6 favor the restoration
of lnht on the basis of UT 'n t IV :47 (see de Moor, Seasonal Pattern,
p. 226; but note the lack of any restoration in Dietrich, K T U , p. 27).
d. Translation: 4 This translation follows Cross, CM HE, p. 116. W hether
mt in the first stich is taken as a noun or a verb, the general sense
holds; but it probably is a verb, with the w[ ] at the end of 1. 31
to be completed w[zbl\, thus “Prince Sea” (cf. 11. 7, 14, 16, 22, 24-25,
and 29). Given the reading of the second stich, its general meaning
is also clear, but the exact shade remains in dispute. The formally
parallel but equally ambiguous ‫ ה י מ ל ך‬1‫( יה‬see Schoors, R S P I, I 31)
provides little assistance. Gordon, UMC, p. 48, and Gray, LC2,
p. 29, take the Ugaritic expression as a wish: “Let Baal reign!” ,
as does de Moor, Seasonal Pattern, p. 127: “Ba'lu be king\” Ginsberg,
A N E T 3, p. 131 (“Baal will reign”), and Driver, CML, p. 83 (“ Baal
shall be king”), take it in a future sense; cf. Caquot, TOME, p. 139:
“Ba'al va re[gner].” The rendition of van Zijl, Baal, p. 41, “Baal
shall indeed reign,” follows this course, but on p. 46 he observes
th at the trium phant cry expresses the necessary consequence of the
previous action, and concludes th at the kingship of Baal depends
on his emerging as conqueror from the battle. The position of the
Ugaritic passage in the narrative structure of the m yth helps the
interpreter press van Zijl's argument further: by his victory Baal
has “now” gained the kingship. The unequivocal mardukma sarru,
“Marduk is king,” of Enuma Elish IV:28 lends additional credence

— 234 —
Narrative Structures in the Ugaritic Texts Ill 1

to the translation of UT 68:32 given above; see Enuma Elish V:88,

110, 152; VI :39, 99-100; VII :95, 101, for other references to Marduk’s
achieved status as king, and note especially the identification of
Marduk in the last line of the text (VII :162) as the one “who van-
quished Tiamat and achieved the kingship.” UT 68:32 may well
be repeated in 1. 34.

c. 5 As van Zijl, Baal, p. 218, documents, scholarly opinion has split over
the derivation of ytb in this passage from T W B or Y T B . There
is no doubt that Y TB as a technical term for “ascending the throne”
fits the sense of the passage (on this, see van Zijl, Baal, p. 219),
but neither can it be disputed th at the verse refers to a “return”
{TW B) of Baal to his throne (note th at although de Moor, Seasonal
Pattern, p. 226, translates the verb “will sit down,” he refers without
exception to the “return” of Baal to his throne when discussing
the verse). Even if de Moor’s self-serving (for the purposes of his
seasonal interpretation) claim th at the verbs of 49 V :l-6 should be
rendered in the future tense and understood as a prediction of what
will happen when Baal eventually returns from his captivity to
Mot holds true (and despite his disclaimer, this view must reject
the literal interpretation of the “seven years” of 11. 8-9; note his
revealing comments about the metaphorical nature of the time-period
on p. 238 and n. 1), his specious argument th at the yttbn in the
parallel to 49 V:5-6 found in 49 VI:33-35a (CTA 6 VI:33-35a; see
Herdner, CTA, p. 43, for the reconstruction) can only be derived
from Y T B (p. 237) fails to observe th at the narrative context is
still one of “return” to the throne. Evidence outside of the nar-
rative structure of the m yth in question also supports the trans-
lation of the verb by “return.” The parallel verse in UT 76 III:
14-15 responds to 76 11:1-9: Baal left his palace and later “returned”
to his throne. UT 'n t IV:46-47 alludes to a mysterious foe who
chased Baal Iksi mlkh Inht Ikht drkth, “from the chair of his king-
ship, from the seat, from the throne of his sovereignty.” If, as I
believe, UT 'nt I-VI offers an alternate version of the m yth under
present consideration, the reference to Baal’s being chased from
his throne in a formulaic parallel to 49 V:5-6 materially supports
the interpretation of ytb in the latter passage as "returns.” Arguing
th at the 'n t passage directly relates to the enthronement hymn
of UT 603 obv:l-4, L. R. Fisher and F. B. Knutson treated ytb
in 603 obv:l as "returns” rather than “sits” (see JN E S , X X V III

— 235 —
III 1 Ras Shamra Parallels

[1969], 158 and n. 3, 160). The question for ytb in 49 V:5-6 and its
parallels is not whether enthronement is at stake—th at much is
clear—but whether the narrative structure in which this formula
is embedded adds a nuance to the enthronement formula which
must be accounted for in translation.
f. Bibliography
U. Cassuto, Keneset, V III (1943), 121-142 [ = Cassuto, Literatures,
pp. 62-90]; cited below according to the translation in Cassuto,
Studies II, pp. 69-109.
A. Kapelrud, Or, n.s., X X X II (1963), 56-62.
Iv. R. Fisher, Encounter, XXVI (1965), 183-197.
Iv. R. Fisher, VT, XV (1965), 313-324.
Cross, Biblical Motifs.
F. M. Cross, JThC, V (1968), 1-25.
P. Craigie, Tyndale Bulletin, X X II (1971), 3-31.
P. Hanson, Int, XXV (1971), 454-479.
P . Hanson, RB, I y X X V I I I (1971), 31-58.
Cross, CM HE, pp. 79-177.
P. Hanson, JB L , XCII (1973), 37-59.
Hanson, Apocalyptic, pp. 87, 98, 113-134, 163, 183-184, 202-208, 286-
287, 292-334, 354-390.
g. Exod 15:1b-18
16) ‫ ע ד ״י ע ב ר ע מ ך יהרה‬b) While your people passed over, Yahweh;
‫ע ד ״י ע ב ר ע ס״זו קנית‬ While your people passed over whom
you have created.
Cassuto: Although “epic” poems (poetry which tells of the deeds of the
gods and of the renowned heroes) existed among the Israelites in
biblical times, as shown by epic themes found in the OT, allusions
to epic poems now lost, and marks of epic style preserved in Heb.
prose, antagonism toward the traditions from which such poems
were inherited caused their demise in Israel and exclusion from the
OT (pp. 70-80, 102). Nevertheless, by combining the traces th at
remain in the OT with the evidence available in ancient Near Eastern
poetry (especially the Babylonian conflict of Marduk and Tiamat,
and—closest to the biblical theme—the Ug. conflict of Baal with
Mot and his confederates, the Prince of the Sea and the Judge of
the River, in which Baal smote them and compelled them to recog-
nize him as king), apocryphal literature and the NT, and Talmudic-

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Narrative Structures in the Ugaritic Texts Ill 1

Midrashic-Cabalistic literatures, Cassuto attem pts to reconstruct

“the content, and, as far as possible, also the form [meaning ‘given
words and phrases’, and not paragraphs or even whole sentences],
of one of the Hebrew epic poems th at were lost in the course of
tim e” (p. 80). He calls this reconstructed epic “The Revolt of the
Sea,” a tradition that originated in the natural phenomenon of the
sea always surging against the coast as though to swallow the dry
land, but never being able to pass beyond its boundaries. The
“gentiles” found in this a basis for tales of mighty combats between
the gods; Israel related a rebellion of the Prince of the Sea, who
was dissatisfied with the portion allotted to him by the Lord of
the Universe. Cassuto identifies 19 elements in the poem:
h. 1) The waters of the Sea and the Rivers rose up in pride to cover
the whole land (Zech 10:11; Pss 46:4; 89:10; 93:4; Job 37:4;
2) The waves of the sea made noise (Isa 17:12-13; 51:15; Jer 5:22;
31:35; 51:55; Hab 3:10; Pss 46:4, 7; 65:8; 93:3; etc.).
3) The rebellious Sea and Rivers had Helpers (Ps 89:11; Job 9:13).
4) The Helpers: a) OT: Leviathan the Bariah Serpent, Leviathan
the 'Aqallathon Serpent, and the dragon(s); b) Ug.: Leviathan
the Bariah Serpent (Itn btn brh), the 'Aqallathon Serpent (btn
'qltn), the Seven-Headed Monster (slyt d sbH rastn), the Tannin
(tnn), and Mot, the chief ally of Sea and River.
5) The Lord’s anger was kindled against the rebels (Isa 46:15;
Nah 1:2; Hab 3:8, 12; Pss 18:8, 16 [= II Sam 22:8, 16];
Job 9:13).
6) The Lord appeared against the rebels riding on his chariots,
the clouds of the sky (Isa 66:15; Hab 3:8; Ps 18:11 [ = II Sam
22:11]; etc.); in Ug. Baal is the rkb 'r-pt.
7) The Lord rebuked the rebels with the thunder of his voice
(Isa 17:13; 50:2; 66:15; Nah 1:4; Zech 3:2; Pss 9:6; 18:16
[= II Sam 22:16]; 68:31; 76:7; 104:7; 106:9; 119:21; Job 26:11;
for Ug. see UT 68:28).
8) The Lord’s voice heard in the thunder prevailed over the voice
of the waters of the sea (Hab 3:10; Pss 18:14 [ = II Sam 22:14];
29:3 + six times; 46:7; 68:34; 77:18-19; Job 37:4-5; etc.).
9) The rebels trembled and fled at the sound of the Lord’s rebuke
(Isa 17:13; Jer 5:22; Hab 3:10; Pss 77:17-19; 104:7; cf.
Pss 18:8 [‫ =־‬II Sam 22:8]; 29:8; 48:7).

— 237 —
III 1 Ras Shamra Parallels

10) The Lord fought against the rebels with His weapons (Isa 27:1;
Hab 3:9, 11, 14; Ps 77:18).
i. 11) The Lord muzzled Leviathan and sported with him (Job 40:25‫־‬
26; cf. Job 40:29; Ps 104:26; for Ug. see UT 'n t 111:37, where
'nt muzzles a dragon).
12) The Lord caused the monsters to leap into the sea (Hab 3:6;
for Ug. see UT 62:50-52, a scene similar to th at of Rev 20:3).
13) The mighty arm of the Lord smote the rebels (Isa 51:9;
Ps 89:11, 14; cf. Job 26:13).
14) The Lord annihilated (‫מחץ‬, ‫החציב‬, ‫ כ ל ה‬, ‫הצמית‬, ‫ ) חו ל ל‬Rahab
and his helpers (Isa 27:1; 51:9; Hos 6:5; Nah 1:8, 9; Hab 3:9, 13;
Zeph 1:18; Zech 10:11; Pss 18:38-39, 41 [=‫ ־‬II Sam 22:38-39,
41]; 54:7; 59:14; 68:22, 24; 73:27; 74:15; 94:23; 101:5, 8; 110:5,
6; Job 26:12; etc.); Ug. employs the first four verbs to describe
the slaying of Baal’s enemies by himself or by his helpers;
Marduk “cleft” the carcass of Tiamat after he had vanquished
15) The Lord stilled the waters th at uplifted themselves (Isa 51:15;
Jer 31:35; Pss 68:8; 89:10; Job 26:12).
16) The Lord dried up the waters of the sea and the rivers which
had overflowed their boundaries (Isa 19:5; 44:27; 50:2; 51:10;
Jer 51:36; Nah 1:4; Zech 10:11; Ps 74:15; Job 12:15; 14:11).
17) The Lord set a bound for the sea which it cannot pass
(Jer 5:22; Pss 104:9; 148:6; Job 26:10; Prov 8:27-29); in Enuma
Elish IV: 139-140 Marduk not only set a limit to the waters
of Tiamat, but he also set up a bar and watchmen so the waters
should not issue from the place alloted to them (cf. Job 7:12;
38:8-11; possibly Ps 33:7).
18) The Lord trod upon the high places of the sea (Hab 3:15;
Job 9:8); in Enum a Elish IV: 104, Marduk went up on the carcass
of the defeated Tiamat, and in IV:111 trampled her helpers
under his feet.
19) The Lord reigns (Pss 29:10; 74:12; 89:19; 93:1); the victorious
Baal and Marduk are each acknowledged king by their foes.
(See pp. 80-97.)

j• Israel not only purged fronvthe “epic” the idolatrous elements of

its original form, but made it a symbol of ethical and national con-
cepts as well as an allusion to a natural phenomenon. The rebel-
lious sea and rivers symbolized the forces of wickedness, and the

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Narrative Structures in the Ugaritic Texts I ll 1

Lord’s triumph the action of his justice and the ultim ate victory
over evil awaited at the end of days. Israel’s enemies became the
Lord’s foes. These transfers of meaning explain why the OT al-
ludes to the rebellion of the sea and its confederates so often. (See
pp. 98-99).
Some OT passages do not specifically refer to the subject-matter
of the rebellion story, but their form continues the literary tradition
of these “m yths” ; i.e., the expressions and motifs of the ancient
“epic” recur in them. Such is the Song of the Sea:
[1] Exaltation of the Lord (Exod 15:1; cf. no. 1 above).
[2] Might and salvation (Exod 15:2; cf. nos. 14 and 6 above).
[3] The Lord is a man of war, one who fights mightily against his
foes (Exod 15:3; cf. nos. 11-14 above).
[4] Pharaoh’s chariots could not stand before the one who rides
on the clouds (Exod 15:4; cf. no. 6 above).
[5] Deeps and depths (Exod 15:5; cf. no. 16 above).
[6] The right hand of the Lord, and glorious in power (Exod 15:6;
cf. no. 13 above).
[7] Exaltation of the Lord, and the fury of the Lord (Exod 15:7;
cf. nos. 1 and 5 above).
[8] The blast of the Lord’s nostrils, the waters stood up in a heap,
and reference to the deeps (Exod 15:8; cf. nos. 5, 17, and 16
[9] Mighty waters (Exod 15:10).
[10] The Lord majestic in holiness and doing wonders (Exod 15:11;
cf. no. 19 above).
[11] The right hand of the Lord (Exod 15:12; cf. no. 13
[12] The Lord’s strength (Exod 15:13; cf. no. 13 above).
[13] Prediction th at the enemies will tremble and pangs will seize
them (Exod 15:14; cf. no. 9 above).
[14] The enemies will be still because of the greatness of the Lord’s
arm (Exod 15:16; cf. no. 13 above).
[15] W hat the Lord has made and what his hands have established
(Exod 15:17; cf. nos. 19 and 13 above).
[16] The Lord will reign for ever and ever (Exod 15:18; cf. no. 19
above). (See pp. 99-101; the enumeration of the elements is
mine—Cassuto simply probes the poem verse by verse for items
belonging to the “phrasing” of “The Revolt of the Sea.”)

— 239 —
I ll 1 Ras Shamra Parallels

l. Fisher: The Ug. texts speak of creation, and they encompass two types
of creation. The HI type is a theogony: El is the parent of the other
gods. The other type of creation centers on Baal and is cosmogonic.
By creating order out of chaos Baal gives man the possibility of
life. (Encounter, 185; VT, 313-316).
m. At least three Ug. texts evidence a real connection: the Baal-Yamm
text (UT 68), the temple-building text (UT 51), and the Baal-Mot
text (UT 67). UT 62+ 49 provides a possible continuation, but
UT 'n t represents a separate tradition. The three connected texts
describe Baal type creation according to a definite pattern com-
posed of the elements of conflict, kingship, order, temple building,
and banquet:
[1] Baal battles and conquers Yamm (68[ :1-27]),
[2] And thereby secures his “eternal” kingship (68[:28-40]), which
is proclaimed (51 IV :43-44; probably also at the beginning of
51 I);
[3] Baal’s kingship brings peace and order to the cosmos—Baal
sets the seasons (51 V:69);
[4] A temple which is a microcosm (cf. L. R. Fisher, JS S , V III
[1963], 34-41) is built for Baal [51 V:72-VI:35a];
[5] A great banquet is held, which is shown by UT 2004 to be a
celebration of the enthronement of Baal as king-creator
[51 VI:35b-59],
[6] The next great challenger of Baal, Mot, is introduced, and the
Mot vs. Baal theme continues (67). (See Encounter, 185-187;
VT, 316-320.)
n. This series is similar to the Babylonian creation story, although
Marduk is made king before the conflict in the Babylonian account,
while the Ug. version contains no explicit description of the process
of ordering the cosmos. The entire series of elements is necessary
to the story of creation, but even when a text incorporates only
one of the elements, the entire context must be remembered. This
is particularly true of Baal’s kingship: the terms Baal and king
become synonymous with the term creator. The king is he who
sets the seasons and builds a house of cosmic proportions. (En-
counter, 186 and n. 14; VT, 319-320).
o. The Baal type creation pattern has a definite meaning. This mean-
ing does not concern creation out of nothing, or absolute origins

240 —
Narrative Structures in the Ugaritic Texts I ll 1

or the birth of the gods, but rather the emergence of order out of
chaos. Baal (and Marduk) want all authority in heaven, earth,
and sea. The Hebrews found this type of creation more useful than
the former type, because order was more im portant to them than
ultimate origins, and because they could use the notion of order to
refer to the creation of a people of God as well as the cosmos.
{Encounter, 187; VT, 321.)
p. Exod 15:lb-18 is a “very old psalm” which contains the “formal”
elements of Baal type creation:
[1] Yahweh is a man of war, a meaningful way of saying “creator”
(v. 3).
[2] Yahweh controls the sea (vv. 8, 10) and the earth (v. 12).
[3] Yahweh leads his people to his mountain sanctuary, an event
which conceptually includes the idea of a banquet (vv. 13, 17
[and not 12!]).
[4] There he reigns forever as king (v. 18). {Encounter, 188; FT, 323.)
The poem claims th at the one who brought the Hebrews out of
Eg. is the great man of war, the king responsible for their existence
as a people. Baal type creation was the best available means for
them to recall their exodus. Whether one translates ‫ קנית‬in
Exod 15:16b “create” or “purchase,” a psalm built on the pattern of
Exod 15 conceives creation with redemptive overtones: “creation
in this sense is redemption” {Encounter, 191). The theological mean-
ing of the structure is th at Yahweh is not only the God of the Pa-
triarchs, but also the one who creates cosmos and the possibility
of life. {Encounter, 191, 196; VT, 323.) Since the Hebrews were
real people, writing in a real situation, within their own history,
and since they did not have unlimited freedom to choose how to
express their faith, it is wrong to ask of the song “ . . . if the Hebrews
mythologized their history or historicized their m yth?” {VT, 322).
They had already rejected El type creation, and Baal type creation
communicated what they wanted to say. {Encounter, 189, 191;
VT, 322.)
q. Cross: The Yamm-Baal conflict (UT 137 + 68 451 ‫ )־‬is the basic form of
a “Canaanite myth-and-ritual pattern” :
[1] Yamm, deified Sea, claimed kingship among the gods.
[2] The council of the gods assembled and, cowed and despairing,
made no protest when told of Yamm’s intentions to seize the
kingship and take Baal captive.

— 241 —
I ll 1 Ras Shamra Parallels

[3] Baal arose, rebuked the divine assembly, and went forth to war.
[4] He was victorious in the cosmogonic battle.
[5] He returned to take up the kingship.
[6] Baal's temple, symbolic of his new sovereignty, was completed.
[7] The gods sat at banquet celebrating Baal's kingship. {Biblical
Motifs, p. 21; CM HE, p. 93; Cross finds this pattern comparable
to th at of Enuma Elish VI, in which “Marduk, after battling
the primordial ocean, Tiamat, and creating the universe out of
her carcass, receives from the gods a newly constructed temple
where the gods sit at banquet celebrating his kingship.’‫)׳‬

r. In a subsequent and more comprehensive treatm ent Cross organized

‘‘the mythic cycle of Ba'l and ,A nat” around two major conflicts—
one between Baal and Yamm, and the other between Baal and Mot.
He modified the elements of his earlier “pattern” of the Baal-Yamm
conflict at the following points:
[2] El agrees to Yamm’s demands (UT 137:36-37).
[3] Kothar, craftsman of the gods, predicts Baal’s victory and
fashions two clubs for him, giving them magical names
(68:7-10, 11-13, 19-20).
[5] The cry goes up: “Sea verily is dead; Ba'l rules!” (68:32).
[7] The feast of the gods on Mt. Saphon inaugurates the temple
cult as well as celebrates Baal’s installation. (See JThC, 2-5;
CMHE, pp. 113-16.)
s. Cross’s retelling of the Baal-Mot conflict (UT 67 + 62+49) isolates
seven episodes, but they bear little exact relationship to the seven
episodes of the Baal-Yamm conflict. However, the elements of
Baal’s captivity, victory in battle, and kingship remain constant.
Although the first conflict pitted Baal against chaos and this pits
him against the powers of sterility, disease, and death, “the drama
. . . is still a cosmogony, the victory of the god of life.” (See JThC,
5-7; CMHE, pp. 116-118).1
t. Ear from being a unique entity, the Ug. cycle is a version of a mythic
literature common to the “Canaanites” and those who shared their

1 Cross notes that in addition to these major ,‘themes" there are references to another cosmogonic
battle in Ug. mythology, setting Baal and/or Anat against a dragon called Lotan, OT Leviathan (UT 67
1 : 1 1 0 ]‫־‬5 ; 1003:3‫־‬, and not 11!]; and fnt 111:3539‫)־‬. This may be a major variant of the story of the conflict
with Yamm (cf. Isa 27:1 and especially 51:910‫)־‬, but in the extant tradition it appears as a torso only.
(JThC, 7 8 ‫ ;־‬CMHE, pp. 118120‫־‬.)

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Narrative Structures in the Ugaritic Texts I ll 1

culture in the Middle and !,ate Bronze Age. That the Ug. cycle
was originally orally composed means th at a common tradition of
oral literature embraced Israel in the south and Ugarit in the north.
(JThC, 1-2; CMHE, pp. 112-113.) The Ug. myths of combat present
a cosmogonic creation story. The Baal cycle relates the emergence
of kingship among the gods. The “tale” of the establishment of a
dynastic temple and its cultus is a typical subtheme of the cosmogony
and its ritual (found also in Enuma Elish and OT). (JThC, 8-9;
CMHE, p. 120.)
u. The “archaic victory song” in Exod 15:lb-18 falls by content and
structure into two major sections: 1) description of the victory of
Yahweh over the Egyptians at the sea (vv. lb -12); 2) the leading
through the desert and the entry into the land (vv. 13-18). Sequen-
ces of alternating couplets and triplets form the smaller units (w .
lb + 2 b , 3-5, 6-8, 9-11, 12, 13-14, 15-16, 17, 18). W ithin this structure
the following “themes” preserve the old mythic pattern:
1) The combat of the Divine Warrior and his victory at the Sea
(w . lb-12; especially 8 and 10).
2) The building of a sanctuary on the “mount of possession” won
in battle (v. 17).
3) The god’s manifestation of “eternal” kingship (v. 18). (JThC,
9-24; CMHE, pp. 121-142.)
v. The Heb. poem is fundamentally different from the Ug. myth: in
place of a mythological combat between two gods, Yahweh defeats
historical, human enemies; the sea is not personified or hostile, but
a passive instrument under Yahweh’s control. In its description
of its redemption and creation as a community Israel used available
symbols and language even though its own “austere historical con-
sciousness” had broken the old mythic patterns. The survival of
some mythic forms functions to point to the cosmic or transcendent
meaning of the historical events. The pattern of the m yth makes
itself felt more fully in the second part of the Song of the Sea (w . 13-
18); its influence is quite restrained in the first part (w . lb -12) due
to the force of historical impulses in Israel's earliest Epic traditions.
(See Biblical Motifs, pp. 16-17; JThC, 16-17, 21-22; CMHE, pp. 87-
88, 131-132, 137-138, 140-141.) Nevertheless, the power of the
Canaanite mythic pattern upon Israel was enormous. Never was
there a radical break between Israel’s mythological past and its
historical cultus. Neither was there simply a progressive historiciz-

— 243 —
I ll 1 Ras Shamra Parallels

ing of myth, but rather a dialectic by which historical episodes

were also mythologized to reveal their transcendent meaning. The
Song of the Sea reveals the power of the mythic pattern as mytho-
logical themes shape its mode of presenting epic memories. (See
JThC, 24-25; CM HE, pp. 143-144.)
w. Craigie: The poet of the Song of the Sea employed two types of com-
positional resources: lines and phrases which are familiar from the
Ug. texts, and certain motifs from “Canaanite” mythology, which
the poet adapted radically to his purpose. The first type of resource
included Heb. and Eg. (see Craigie, VT, X X [1970], 83-86, on
Exod 15:4) formulae, as well as “Canaanite” (see w . 2, 11, 15,
17, 18, for examples of the latter) (pp. 20-23).
x. The second type of resource drew on certain motifs prominent in
“the Baal mythological texts” :
[1] The conflict of Baal and Yamm (the power of chaos).
[2] Baal’s victory—which may represent a certain type of creation
story, the victory of order over chaos—results in the acclama-
tion of his kingship (UT 68:32).
[3] A palace is built for Baal and his authority seems to be assured
(UT 51 V-VI).
[4] However, a new conflict arises between Baal and Mot.
[5] After an initial defeat, Baal is victorious (UT 49 VI:21-22),
and once again his kingship is proclaimed (UT 49 VI :30, 35).
These motifs “can be pinpointed by the words conflict, order, king-
ship and palace (or temple) building” (p. 24).
y. These motifs have been adapted for use in the Song of the Sea:
1) Conflict, Order (Exod 15:1-10, 12).
2) Kingship (Exod 15:11).
3) Conflict (Exod 15:14-16).
4) Temple (Exod 15:17).
5) Kingship (Exod 15:18).
In the OT adaptation the initial conflict is between Yahweh, the
Warrior, and Pharaoh with his armies. "Sea,” though prominent,
is never personified into Yahweh’s foe, as is Yamm in the Ug. texts.
The initial expression of Yahweh’s supremacy (v. 11: “Who is like
you among the gods, Yahweh?”), while not a direct expression of
kingship, may parallel Baal’s victory over Yamm. The second
conflict (vv. 14-16) then may parallel Baal’s conflict with Mot. The

— 244 —
Narrative Structures in the Ugaritic Texts I ll I

open expression of Yah well’s kingship (v. 18) parallels Baal’s king-
ship after a number of conflicts. (See pp. 24-25.)
z. Thus the Song contains a “cluster of motifs” (“ideas/content”) with
striking similarity to those of the Baal texts; th at is, the content
of the two shows much in common, although the external literary
form is different. The clustering of motifs has primary significance,
not their order of appearance, although “ . . . there is a certain
similarity in the order of the motifs in both c o n te x ts ...” (p. 25,
n. 68). In Exod 15 the motifs have “a historical function (in a poetic
sense) rather than a mythological function” (p. 25). The content
of the Baal motifs required adaptation for use in the Song of the
Sea, but the function of the Baal motifs—their cosmogonic signifi-
cance—motivated the adaptation. The Baal-Yamm episode represents
the cosmogonic element of creation of order from chaos; the sub-
sequent Baal-Mot episode represents a broader cosmological el-
ement, the regular maintenance of order against external threats.
Similarly, the Song of the Sea portrays the creation of the people
of Israel at the Exodus and anticipates the establishment of Israel
in the promised land. The adaptation of the cluster of motifs in
the Song expresses the significance for Israel of the event celebrated
by the Song. (P. 25; cf. VT, X X [1970], 86, n. 3.)
aa. Hanson: The “ritual pattern of the conflict m yth” (J B L , 54) is a basic
liturgical pattern th at can be traced all the way from ancient Near
Eastern m yth down to fully developed apocalyptic (In t, 472-473).
Enuma Elish contains its classic formulation within the Mesopota-
mian realm:
(1) Threat (1:109-11:91).
(2) Combat-Victory (IV:33-122).
(3) Theophany of the Divine Warrior (IV :39-60).
(4) Salvation of the gods (IV:123-146; VI:l-44; cf. VI:126-127,
(5) Fertility of the restored order (V:l-66; cf. V II:l-2, 59-83).
(6) Procession and victory shout (V :67-89).
(7) Temple built for Marduk (V: 117-156; VI:45-68).
(8) Banquet (VI :69-94).
(9) Manifestation of Marduk’s universal reign (anticipated:
IV: 3-18; manifested: VI:95-VII:144). (See JB L , 54; Apocalyptic,
p. 302.)

— 245 —
III I Ras Shamra Parallels

This “structure” may be reduced to the elements of threat, combat,

victory, salvation, manifestation of reign, and banquet (Apocalyptic,
p. 308, n. 19; cf. the composite “royal cult” structure [R B , 55]).
bb. Accepting Jacobsen’s argument (JA O S , !,X X X V III [1968], 104-108)
th at Enuma Elish is a reflex of the West Semitic myth of Baal’s
battle with Yamm (so Cross, Biblical Motifs, p. 21, n. 34; CMHE,
p. 93), one is not surprised to find th at the “mythic cycle of Baal
and 'A nat” is based on the same ritual pattern of the conflict myth:
(1) Threat (UT 137).
(2) Combat-Victory (UT 68).
(3) Temple built (UT 51).
(4) Banquet (UT 51 VI:[38 (and not 39!)-59]).
(5) Manifestation of Baal’s universal reign (anticipated: UT 68:9-
10; manifested: UT 51 VII:9-12).
(6) Theophany of the Divine Warrior (UT 51 VII :27-39).
(7) Fertility of restored order (anticipated: UT 51 V :68-71; ef-
fected: UT 51 VII [and not 17!]:18-30; cf. UT 49 111:6-7, 12-13).
(See JB L , 55; Apocalyptic, p. 302.)
The texts on which this pattern is based simply follow “the most
common reconstruction of the Baal-Yamm conflict” {JBL, 55). The
struggle between Baal and Mot is a variant of the conflict myth
which follows basically the same ritual pattern. The “structure”
of the Baal-Yamm variant may be described with the elements of
threat, combat, victory, procession, manifestation of reign, banquet,
and shalom [Apocalyptic, p. 308, n. 19; cf. RB, 55).
cc. The Song of the Sea constitutes the finest example within the “lit-
erature of the league” [as opposed to the “royal cult”] of a genre
th at may be called the “Divine Warrior Hym n.” It reveals Israel’s
intimate acquaintance with the ritual pattern of the conflict myth:
(1) Combat-Victory (Exod 15:1-12).
(2) Theophany of the Divine Warrior (Exod 15:8).
(3) Salvation of the Israelites (Exod 15:13-16a).
(4) Building of the temple and procession (Exod 15:16b-17).
(5) Manifestation of Yahweh’s universal reign (Exod 15:18).
If the mythic pattern provided Israel’s natural means of expressing
its faith at the earliest period of its history, a gap between form
and substance had already developed. Instead of the cosmic ac-
tivities of conflicting deities, Israel perceived Yahweh’s saving acts
in historical events. Exod 15 unmistakably preserves traces of the

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Narrative Structures in the Ugaritic Texts III 1

battle between the Divine Warrior and the sea, but the sea has
lost its vitality and is merely a passive instrument in Yahweh’s
battle against an enemy of a different order, the Egyptians. (Apoc-
alyptic, pp. 300-301; JB L , 55-56; RB, 55.)
dd. Comments
Although serious deficiencies have become evident in the work of
Cassuto, his brilliant insight into the existence of a structural basis for
the comparison of Ugaritic mythology and the Song of the Sea antici-
pated the ensuing discussion of th at comparison by more than two de-
cades. The resumption of the conversation initiated by Cassuto planted
the comparison in considerably more fertile ground by replacing his
reconstructed ‘‘Revolt of the Sea” with various analyses of two real
ancient Near Eastern myths: the Ug. m yth of Baal and the Mesopota-
mian Enuma Elish. In one sense the Baal myth itself is a reconstruction,
since it depends on the modern reconstitution of the order of its tablets.
However, there is now virtually unanimous agreement on the arrange-
ment cited in section a above, 2 although no author discussed here
has employed the entire series in his structural analysis.
ee. The inability of these interpreters to arrive at a similar consensus
about the structure of the texts with which they have dealt seems, at
this point, to reflect the inadequacies of their structural methodologies
more than it reflects the intractability inherent in a structural problem.
In abandoning Cassuto’s reconstructed m yth the post-Cassuto gener-
ation also abandoned the close attention he paid to the content of the
text. Both parties have aimed for the surface structure of the text (see
above, Intro 7), but while Cassuto focused on the individual (though
hypothetical) text, subsequent scholarship has searched for an ideal
structure by assiduously avoiding any confrontation with the actual
narrative structure of a particular text (see above, Intro 3). Although
this research has drawn a group of texts together in a structural relation-
ship, the notion of structure th at underlies the research is non-technical
because it encompasses only similarities and not differences (see above,
Intro 4 ).3 The structures th at result from this notion consist of series

2 I.e., UT 129 + 137 + 68 -f 51 + 67 + 62 + 49; see de Moor, Seasonal Pattern, pp. 36-43, for an over-
view of the problem, and note that his own solution accepts this sequence but connects UT fnt (CTA 3 + 1)
to the beginning. I consider the sequence without fnt the fullest available form of the Baal myth, and
the form that ultimately should be the Ug. base for structural comparisons.
3 Thus the differences described between the Ug. and Heb. examples depend entirely on non-struc-
tural criteria; see below, jj-ww.

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III 1 Ras Shamra Parallels

of elements (see above, Intro 5) isolated in the texts. These elements

may best be classified as "motifs” or “themes,” and the use made of
them would approximate "narrative motif-analysis” more closely than
"structural analysis” (of any kind) if the interpreters had been granted
narrative texts for the OT side of the parallel. 4 But even if this ter-
minological change could be granted to the methodology, it still would
not absolve the interpreters from the responsibility to account for all
of the text. A synthetic chart of the elements th at have been described
in the texts under study presents the following picture:
Ugaritic Song of the Sea
—Conflict —Conflict
—Baal goes to war
—combat —combat
—victory —victory
—Yahweh as man of war
—Yahweh controls the sea and earth
—Kingship —Kingship
—(Salvation of the gods —Salvation of the Israelites
[Enuma Elish])
—Building of temple —Building of mountain sanctuary
—procession —procession
—Banquet —Banquet
—Manifestation of Baal’s —Manifestation of Yahweh’s universal
universal reign reign
(anticipated and effected)
—Theophany of Divine —Theophany of Divine Warrior
—Fertility of restored order
(anticipated and effected)

4 On the problem created for the comparison by the divergence of genres, see below, ii. I will discuss
the ambiguity and the potential of motif/theme-analysis in RSP IV. This type of research may be distin-
guished but not separated from structural analysis, since motifs and themes present structural problems
both within themselves and in relation to the larger question of narrative analysis.

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Narrative Structures in the Ugaritic Texts III 1

A reading of the texts confirms what the references cited by the authors
imply: these elements simply do not account for the entire content,
although the synthesis is more comprehensive than the work of any
single author. Cassuto’s work is omitted from the chart. He was the
first and last interpreter to perceive the texts as wholes th at must be
completely described, and—despite his faulty approach to the Ug. side
of the parallel, the details of his work could still provide leads to elements
th at would make the chart more comprehensive.
ff. The issue of whether the Ug. texts in question represent a single,
unified pattern, or two variants of a lesser pattern, largely reflects the
lack of adequate structural analysis. The texts relate two major sets
of conflicts, Baal-Yamm and Baal-Mot, but the structural relationships
of the two episodes have yet to be worked out. Whereas Cassuto argued
(.B IE S , IX [1942], 45-51 = IE J , X II [1962], 77-86) for the primacy of
the Baal-Mot conflict, recent scholarship has turned to the Baal-Yamm
conflict as the basic form—a development anticipated by Cassuto’s
structural program for the revolt of the “Sea,” although he never realized
its implications for Ug. mythology. However, the claim of Cross, fol-
lowed by Hanson, th at the Baal-Mot conflict follows the same pattern
as the Baal-Yamm conflict, finds little justification in his analysis.
Craigie progressed—though not structurally—beyond this hollow per-
ception by developing Cross’s adumbration of the different characters
of Baal’s enemies, Yamm and Mot.
gg- The articulation of this difference, and its application to the problem
of the unity of the Ug. texts, depends on a fundamental point of inter-
pretation: the Baal myths constitute a creation story. 5 Craigie accepted

5 The idea of creation appears more overtly in Enuma Elish, which devotes greater detail to the
process of ordering the cosmos. Although the process lies dormant in what time has preserved for us of
the Baal texts, the Ug. myth speaks clearly enough of order (note especially Fisher's analysis). And, if
one admits that the temple is a “micro-cosmos," the process of temple-building is an alternative means
of referring to the process of ordering. Therefore, even if the element of order is considered the vital in-
gredient of a creation myth, the Ug. texts explicitly (and not implicitly) concern creation. D. J.
McCarthy's incredible claim that the Ug. materials “do not really tell of a struggle against chaos and the
formation of an ordered world consequent on victory over that enemy" (CBQ, XXIX [1967], 89, n. 5) simply
reflects his prejudice that “creation" must refer to an absolute beginning (p. 88). The juxtaposition of
theogonic creation (absolute beginning) with cosmogonic creation (order from chaos) in Enuma Elish sug-
gests the irrationality of this point of view. McCarthy seems to accept Marduk’s construction of a new
order in Enuma Elish as a creation account. His contention that the Ug. texts give no hint of such con-
struction, but merely recount a struggle between adversaries for control of an apparently organized world
(p. 87, n. 1), simply ignores the element of order in the Baal texts.
While acknowledging that Enuma Elish in a myth of creation (Studies, p. 85), Cassuto espressly denied
that status to “The Revolt of the Sea," reserving a “poem dealing with the work of Creation" for a myth
analogous to the P account in Gen 1:1-2:3 (Studies, pp. 103-104; again, the definition of a creation myth

— 249 —
III 1 Ras Shamra Parallels

this understanding and used it to turn Cross’s distinction between Yamm

as the power of chaos and Mot as the power of sterility, disease, and
death into a cosmogonic distinction between the Baal-Yamm conflict
as the creation of order from chaos and the Baal-Mot episode as the
maintenance of order against external threats. Not only does this bring
the Ug. materials into a meaningful continuity, but Craigie also used
it to refine previous structural interpretations of the Song of the Sea.
In the Song he found two conflicts, the first between Yahweh and Eg.,
and the second anticipated with the inhabitants of Canaan (w . 1-10+12,
and 14-16, respectively); th at is, the first conflict represents the creation
of the people of Israel, and the second looks forward to Israel’s estab-
lishment in the promised land (Tyndale Bulletin, 24-25). While Craigie’s
suggestion for the unity of the Ug. texts will demand further scrutiny,
it appears to hold real promise for the solution of the problem. On the
one hand, it draws on the common distinction made by mythologists
between myths, such as creation, depicting unrepeatable situations th at
describe the sub-structure of reality which defines the conditions under
which humans must live, and myths portraying repeatable events th at
constitute the continuous framework of life.8 On the other, it appeals
to the fundamental theological distinction between God’s work in ere-
ation and the sustaining and preserving care which accompanies it:
the Old Testament draws a clear line between creation and m aintenance.7

by its attention to the process of ordering!). However, he also recognized that the “epoch” of the Revolt
was “the dawn of the world’s history,” and that it cannot be entirely disconnected from “the six days of
Creation’‫( ״‬S tu d ie s , pp. 8 4 9 9 ,85‫)־‬, thereby once again anticipating future corrections of his views. Scholars
have generally granted that a C h aosk am pf is a type of creation myth ever since Gunkel's Schopfung u nd
Chaos. Now the element of conflict is the sine qua non of this mythological structure; but an overemphasis
on this element, particularly combined with an overemphasis on the element of kingship abstracted from
its total context (on this, see especially I,. R. Fisher, VT, XV [1965], 313316‫)־‬, tends to block the inter-
preter’s perception of the overarching significance of the texts, which is creation. Thus Cross realized that
the Baal myth should be interpreted as a cosmogonic creation myth (J T h C , 8 9 ‫ ;־‬C M H E , p. 120), but that
which he emphasized in the study of the texts led his students, Hanson and Miller (D ivin e Warrior), to
retreat to the description of the myth as a conflict myth and to focus on the portrayal of the divine war-
rior and his theophanies. Schmidt, K G U I , carried the divorce of C h a o sk a m p f from creation to its most
devastating extreme by denying that Baal is a creator god at all. Remaining true to Gunkel’s concept of
C h a o sk a m p f as creation story, von Rad, Theology I, pp. 150151‫־‬, refuted Schmidt's contention that in the
OT the C h a o sk a m p f can only be related to creation in passages where this is explicitly stated with an ar-
gument strikingly similar to Fisher's important observation that when a text employs one of the elements
of the creation structure, it draws by implication on the entire series.
• See, e.g., L. Toombs, J B R , X X IX (1961), 108. Toombs noted that the second type of myth usually
casts repeatable events in a cyclic pattern. He cited Gordon, U L , pp. 3 8 ‫־‬, to adduce a seven year cycle
for the Ug. texts. But the hypothesis of this cycle arises only from the texts which deal with the Baal‫־‬
Mot conflict.
7 Of course, the two are also intimately bound together; see von Rad, Theology I, pp. 147-148. A
psalm like Ps 104 beautifully joins the praise of Yahweh’s creation and preservation of the cosmos.

— 250 —
Narrative Structures in the Ugaritic Texts I ll I

hh. The status of the *nt text (CTA 3 + 1 ) remains an open question.
No author has attem pted to integrate it into the Ug. structural pattern,
implying an acceptance of Fisher’s observation th at it represents a
separate tradition. I believe this to be true of at least UT 'n t I-VI (CTA 3),
and I believe th at this tablet contains all the elements of cosmogonic
creation identified by Fisher:
1) Conflict: placed in the past with Anat victorious over Yamm
and his cohorts in III:35-IV:47; anticipated as a future threat to Baal by
Mot in V:25-26; cf. the portrayal of A nat’s battle with mankind in
2) Order: anticipated by Baal in 111:1 lb-14 and IV:52b-54, and
effected by Anat in IV:67b-69a and 71b-75a; A nat’s activities in II:2-3a
and 30b-43a also create order.
3) Kingship: implied of Baal by the symbolism of the lightning in
111:15-28; IV :55-64, 69b-71a; proclaimed in V:40-41a.
4) Temple: IV:83-VI:25.
5) Banquet: 1:2-17.
UT 603 obv:l-4—a text th at is intimately related to *nt I-VI—contains
the elements of conflict, order, kingship, and temple. This supports the
hypothesis th at UT *nt I-VI provides an alternate tradition of Baal-
type creation. I have listed the elements in the order identified by Fisher
in the Baal texts, although the *nt text subjects th at arrangement to
a radical decomposition. Craigie’s observation th at the clustering of
motifs is more significant than the order of their appearance is true as
far as it goes; but the rearrangement of motifs in various texts indicates
specific intentions in the individual text whose explication compels the
interpreter to move beyond narrative motif-analysis to genuine struc-
tural analysis. For the order of the elements contains meaning as much
as does their appearance. The interpretation of this meaning demands
a decoding of the text—not strictly in the structuralist sense, however,
since the decoding aims to explain the narrative elements because of
the order of their transmission and not to rearrange them in a “proper”
order (see above, Intro 8).
ii. In turning to Exod 15, the history of scholarship has agreed th at
the Ug. pattern is present, but it has also found the precise identification
of th at pattern to be even more difficult for the Song of the Sea than
for the Baal cycle. This largely reflects the difficulties attendant on
the generic shift from myth, with its narrative categories of structure,
to hymnic literature, which has no fundamental narrative drive. Cas-

— 251 —
III 1 Ras Shamra Parallels

suto found narrative terms for all but one of the nineteen sections of
his “ Revolt of the Sea” (#4; see above, h), but described the Song of
the Sea with no attem pt at narrative categories (see above, k). The
post-Cassuto reduction of structure to a handful of basic elements has
aggravated the problem by cutting structure loose from Cassuto’s at-
tention to the individual word and phrase. As Cross has noted, the sur-
face structure of the Song of the Sea falls into two major units (w . lb-12,
13-18), and the poetic structure offers logical subdivisions of these blocks
(see above, u). But the Ug.-Heb. comparison has little to do with this
structure, limiting itself instead to the haphazard recognition of presum-
ably similar elements. This has led, for example, to the identification
of the element of conflict in w . 3, 8, 10, 12, 14-16, lb-10, and lb-12.
Such confusion reflects the reluctance of scholarship to confront the
problem of the divergent means of expression inherent in the shift from
m yth to hymn.
jj. A narrow-minded consideration of the relation of form to content
has replaced this confrontation in the history of research. Cassuto iden-
tified form in terms of words and phrases (i.e. “formulae,” flexibly de-
fined), and claimed th a t the form of the Song of the Sea continues the
literary tradition of his hypothetical rebellion m yth while avoiding ref-
erence to its subject-matter. This claim raised two problems th at preoc-
cupied later interpreters of the Ug.-Heb. parallel.
kk. The first problem concerns the divorce of form and content. Granted
th at the meaning of a word depends more on context than etymology
(see above, Intro 2 c), and th at a structural emphasis on relationships
imputes the primary meaning of any textual unit to its context (see
above, Intro 5 b), Cassuto’s notion th a t key words and phrases could
be abstracted like loose teeth from a well-known m yth without provoking
any recollection of the content of th at m yth not only defies rational
belief, but unveils a deep-seated prejudice against th at content—a pre-
judice assumed wholeheartedly by most later interpreters. Thus, in
commenting on the relation of the Song of the Sea to "mythological
patterns in Near Eastern and especially Canaanite literature,” F. M.
Cross and D. N. Freedman, JN E S , X IV (1955), 239, adm itted th at
“the poetic styles and canons of Canaan have affected strongly the struc-
ture, diction, and, on occasion, the actual phraseology of the poem,”
but immediately retracted this concession to form by avowing th at the
content of the poem is merely “shaped by familiar cliches, motifs, and
literary styles; and even these influences are remarkably restrained”

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Narrative Structures in the Ugaritic Texts Ill 1

(my italics). Hanson likewise insisted on the gap between form and
substance in the OT poem.
11. Fisher, on the other hand, recognized a form shared by Exod 15
and the Baal myth, and in this found a reason for the OT borrowing
of the Ug. content. Fisher replaced Cassuto’s formulaic definition of
form with an emphasis on narrative units (Craigie’s “motifs") in the
Ug. materials, and attem pted to relate what amount to formulae in
Exod 15 to these narrative units. Craigie’s greater sensitivity to the
shift in genres caused him to draw on a commonly held conceptual
separation between the formula as a linguistic unit and the structural
analog to the formula as a narrative unit. Noting th at the Song of the
Sea draws on both types of compositional resources, he identified the
latter type with content and noted th at the content of Exod 15 has
much in common with the Ug. texts, although the “external literary
form” (genre?) is different.
mm. Despite some confusion in terminology, Fisher and Craigie seem to
agree on the essential point: similar form implies similar content. Form
and content cannot be separated as cleanly as the m ajority of inter-
preters have supposed. However, Craigie’s separation of the “formula”
as a microscopic unit of language from the formula(!) as a macroscopic
unit of discourse still implies a separation of form and content th at bears
little relationship to the real process by which texts are generated.
W hether this process is understood in cumulative or transformational
terms, it remains true th at as the formula (words and phrases) provides
the linguistic structure of a traditional text, the larger units of discourse
provide the narrative and descriptive structure. In other words, the
larger narrative and descriptive components8 function analogously to
the smaller linguistic components. If, from a structural point of view,
interpretation of content proceeds from a realistic apprehension of form,
progress in the understanding of the Ug.-Heb. parallel depends in a
broad sense on the integration of Cassuto’s words and phrases with the
narrative elements identified by subsequent scholarship. Fisher par-
tially accomplished this integration by relating mythic elements to
hymnic formulae, but adequate interpretation will only result from a
detailed examination of the structural relationship of the elements to
the formulae which embody them in both m yth and hymn.

8 I have used the relatively neutral term “element’‫ ״‬to avoid terminological confusion over what
have been called motifs, themes, scenes, episodes, etc.

— 253 —
III I Ras Shamra Parallels

nn. Otherwise, the Ug.-Heb. comparison must ultimately abandon any

structural basis and stand entirely on an evaluation of content. This is
precisely what has happened in the history of research into the parallel
between the Baal m yth and the Song of the Sea, as scholars have grap-
pled with the second problem arising from Cassuto’s claim th a t the Song
borrows a literary tradition while rejecting the content of th at tradition.
This second problem may be stated in the form of a question: Why does
Exod 15 use the form if it rejects the content?
oo. Cassuto’s implied answer—th at the Hebrews were able to find a
novel content but not a novel means of expressing it (see Studies II,
p. 59)—finds clear expression in Hanson’s explanation th a t the mythic
pattern was Israel’s natural means of voicing its faith at the earliest
period of its history (see above, cc). W ith some attem pt at refinement,
Cross and Craigie accepted this explanation. Having disposed of the
problem of form with this puerile rationalization, interpreters freely
recast the question as “Why does Exod 15 use the content if it rejects
the content?” , and used this new and quite different question as the
theoretical foundation of their elucidations of the relationship of Exod 15
to the Baal myth. W ith the notable exception of Fisher, the history
of research has compacted this elucidation into a simple but horribly
destructive dichotomy: m yth (Ug.) vs. history (H eb.).9
pp. All interpreters but Fisher ground their results in the tiresome
observation th at the striking aspect of the Song of the Sea in relation
to the Ug. materials is th at in it “sea” is never personified or hostile,
but simply a passive instrument under Yahweh’s control. Structurally,
the interpretation of the parallel has nothing to do with the role of the
"sea,” 10 but concerns the identification of the element of “conflict” in

9 This treatment of the parallel comes closer to a diachronic than a synchronic investigation (see
above, Intro 6), since it aims broadly to demonstrate the development of what it has structurally classified
as a system. But it must be noted that the interpretation is not based on structure. Having failed to isolate
structural divergences (see above, ee), most of the interpreters have concentrated on an assumed diver-
gence in content that reflects their own preconceptions more than the preoccupations of the texts with
which they pretend to deal. Fisher partially avoided this snare by making form virtually equivalent to
content for purposes of interpretation, and his understanding of the nature of the Ug.-Heb. parallel stands
in stark contrast to that of the rest of the history of scholarship.
10 I do not mean by this that the appearance of "sea” (Yamm) in both the Baal myth and Exod 15
is merely a coincidence. It is far from clear, however, that "sea” has lost its mythological connotations
in Exod 15. Indeed, given the dependence of Exod 15 on the Ug. structure and the role assigned to Yamm
within it, the supposition that the repeated references to "sea” in Exod 15 fail to recollect the awesome
power of chaos which it represents lies beyond the bounds of rational consideration. What Exod 15 reveals
is a development of Yamm’s role in the element of conflict. The Ug. myth portrays Baal’s creation of order
via the subjugation of chaos (Yamm); in Exod 15 Yahweh creates a people by "un-creating” the Egyptians.

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Narrative Structures in the Ugaritic Texts I ll 1

the context of the larger pattern. In this perspective the substitution

of a human foe for a divine foe weighs more heavily than the role played
by the “sea.” When understood structurally, the substitution simply
reveals th at Exod 15 expresses the creation of a people, while the Baal
myths relate the creation of a cosmos. The subject has changed, but
the fundamental similarity of the texts remains.
qq. Cross’s assessment of the relationship of Exod 15 and the Baal myth
exemplifies the most promising results th at can be obtained when the
interpreter attem pts to sever the bond of form and content. His analysis
takes root in his emphasis on “the impact of formative historical events
and their interpretation” as the key factor in the development of Israelite
religion. Exod 15 reveals the power of the mythic pattern as mytho-
logical themes shape its mode of presenting epic memories; Israel con-
ceived the historical events as acts of Yahweh creating a new community.
But Exod 15 is fundamentally different from the Ug. myth: Yahweh’s
defeat of historical, human enemies replaces a combat between two
gods. Israel’s historical consciousness had broken the old mythic pat-
terns, but it used available symbols and language in Exod 15 to reveal
the “transcendent meaning” of the historical episode (Craigie’s "histor-
ical function [in a poetic sense] rather than a mythological function”).
(See above, v; JThC, 24-25; CMHE, pp. 143-144).
rr. Because of his interest in what he means by “history,” and because
of his theory of the development of Israelite religion, which emphasizes
the resurgence of the mythic pattern with the introduction of kingship
and its ideology and during the Exile, Cross prefers to speak of the func-
tion of the m yth in Exod 15 as a mythologization of history (see JThC,
17-20, 24-25; CMHE, pp. 132-136, 143-144). This is consistent with
his effort to limit the role of myth in Exod 15 as far as possible, but the
use of mythological concepts and vocabulary to illuminate “historical”
events is better and more commonly described as the historicization of

He returns them to chaos, over which his mastery is presupposed. A similar development in the pattern
had already taken place at Ugarit itself: after her savage war with mankind, Anat employs the waters of
Baal (mh, rbb) as “passive instruments” to effect order among the survivors fn t 11:3841‫)־‬. Despite im-
portant differences between 'nt II and Exod 15, the texts agree that the deity creates a people by battling
human foes. In both texts the watery forces of chaos become agents employed by the deity to successfully
resolve the conflict. I am not arguing for any literary relationship between 'nt II and Exod 15. However,
the existence of *nt II combines with the use of ‫ ים‬in Exod 15 to suggest that the concrete role played by
the “sea” in the Exodus event provided the substantive link to Yamm as the power of chaos in the Baal
myth. With this link established within the element of conflict, the Israelites had no alternative but to
express their creation as the people of Yahweh in terms of the entire structure and meaning of the cos-
mogonic creation myth (so Fisher).

— 255 —
in i Ras Shamra Parallels

myth. Thus L. Toombs, JB R , X X IX (1961), 109, described the histor-

icization of m yth in Exod 15 as a process in which mythological elements
are “taken from their original context, rearranged, readjusted to an
historical beginning, and, in consequence, radically transformed.” Since
Cross and Toombs agree th at Israel’s formative event shattered the old
mythic patterns, the fragments of which Israel adapted for its own
u se ,11 it could be argued th at the different ways in which Cross and
Toombs characterize this procedure amount to nothing more than a
minor terminological debate. However, it is not minor because Cross
uses his characterization to drastically limit Israel’s mythologization of
history in its retelling of the Exodus event. As Toombs has noted, Exod 15
shares considerably more in common with m yth than Cross admitted:
in Exod 15 Yahweh, not humans, sets events in motion 112; the event
as described was the decisive determiner of the enduring reality of Israel;
the event was relived in each subsequent generation (a mythic sense of
tim e); and, finally, the event constituted the reality of Israel’s life 13
(p. 110). These phenomena, along with the incorporation of the structure
and meaning of the Ug. myth, constitute the mythologization of history
in the Song of the Sea—a mythologization of which Cross takes no ac-
ss. Once interpretation cuts itself off from the base provided by struc-
ture, the individual interpreter’s understanding of the text is bound to
depend more on his own preconceptions than on the evidence offered
by the text itself. For, having severed the bond of form and content,
the interpreter no longer allows the text to speak on its own terms. Cross
unrealistically limits the function of m yth in Exod 15 because the view
of history which informs his interpretation of the Ug.-Heb. parallel
sets m yth in opposition to history. An examination of Cross’s inter-
pretation (see above, qq) reveals the historiographical presuppositions

11 It cannot be stressed too violently that the structural evidence entirely negates this view. How-
ever the difference between Exod 15 and the Ug. materials should be described—and I intend to reserve
my views on this matter for an independent treatment which can consider the problem in greater detail
than is possible here—that description must begin by accounting for the retention of the Ug. structure,
or pattern, since Exod 15 preserves not only the elements of that structure but also their sequence.
12 In terms of the respective roles of the deity and the humans, Exod 15 shows no substantial difference
from the Ug. account of Anat’s battles with mankind in UT fnt II:3b-30a.
13 At this point Toombs makes what I consider an illegitimate distinction between myth and history:
as historical event the Exodus demanded a different quality of response than the myth, a response not
cultic so much as moral. Yet, as Toombs himself admitted on p. I l l , Israel’s foundation could not be laid
on the escape from Egypt as a bare event. The meaning lies in the telling. The response depends on the
mythological components.

— 256 —
Narrative Structures in the Ugaritic Texts Ill 1

th at determine it: 1) history concerns human affairs; 2) historical inves-

tigation limits itself to what may broadly be labeled ‘‘political” affairs—
human interpretation is not equivalent to historical event; 3) myth,
nature, and God form a closely related group of phenomena which are
fundamentally different from h istory.14 From these presuppositions the
interpretation flows: Exod 15 differs radically from the Ug. m yth be-
cause Exod 15 presupposes a historical event (something th at ‘‘really”
happened in human, political affairs), while the Ug. m yth presupposes
only divine events reflected in the cosmos, or world of nature. Exod 15
incorporates a touch of the myth in order to bring God into the picture.

tt. Since this interpretation flatly opposes the structural evidence, it

is no wonder th at Fisher, whose interpretation of the parallel relied
more on structure than th at of any other scholar, found it wrong to speak
either of the mythologization of history or the historicization of m yth
in Exod 15. He made this point to emphasize the importance of the
total meaning of the Baal m yth to Exod 15: the Hebrews found that
it said about the cosmos what they wanted to say about themselves.
So they borrowed it whole, as shown by the structural evidence. Thus
Fisher applied his warning to the theological aspect of interpretation—
the question of how the Hebrews expressed their faith in Yahweh. But
it applies equally, as Fisher fully realized, to the historical aspect, both
in terms of the means of expression available to the Hebrews as a his-
torically limited people, and in terms of the dichotomy of m yth and
history presupposed by all interpreters of the Ug.-Heb. parallel except
Fisher himself. The structural comparison of Exod 15 and the Baal
myth shows th at the Hebrews did not presuppose this dichotomy, and
indicates th at the modem historian-theologian should be wary of it
as well.
uu. In 1946 Martin Buber discussed the problem of m yth (or what he
more broadly termed “saga”) and history in relation to the quest for
historical information about Moses in the biblical texts. He admitted
th at a text such as the Song of the Sea may reveal little about the event
which it celebrates; but he added th at it may reveal a great deal about

14 In this lies the key to Cross’s understanding of Exod 15. As a historian he wants to separate God
from history—hence his refusal to admit the fundamentally mythological nature of Exod 15. As a theo-
logian he wants to bring God as close as possible to history and keep him as far as possible from myth—
hence his somewhat incredible claim that Israel’s “austere historical consciousness’’ (a consciousness that
found abundant room for God’s direct participation in history) broke the old mythic patterns.

— 257 —
III 1 Ras Shamra Parallels

the manner in which the participating people experienced th at event.

Ancient man perceived in the unplanned, unexpected event which trans-
formed the historical situation of his community at a single stroke an
event so enormous th at he could not ascribe it to his own plans and their
realization. Instead, he viewed it as a deed performed by heavenly pow-
ers. Emphasis should be placed on the word “viewed.” “The historical
wonder is no mere interpretation; it is something actually seen.” A text
such as the Song of the Sea, in so far as it lies near the event, bears wit-
ness to far more than a “mere recasting of the event perceived by im-
agination become param ount.” It evidences a creative experience th at
is of the genuine substance of history. The elimination of the function
of enthusiasm from a “historical song” does not unveil its historical
nucleus, for this function is an inseparable element of the fragment of
history under consideration. The experience of event as wonder is itself
history. Buber claimed th at it is wrong to characterize such songs as
a historicization of m yth (in the sense meant by Toombs), and would
describe them as a mythologization of history only if “m yth” is used
to mean nothing other than the report by ardent enthusiasts of th a t
which has happened to them. (See Moses, pp. 14-17.)

vv. Buber’s observations constitute a statem ent of historiographical

presuppositions th at denies the dichotomy of myth and history assumed
by Cross and those who share his view of history. These presuppositions
expose the reality th at generated the Song of the Sea. They allow the
interpreter-as-theologian to dynamically incorporate the content and
meaning of the m yth th a t underlies the Song of the Sea into his under-
standing of the text. Freed from the dichotomy of m yth and history,
the structural interpreter can focus on the total relationship between
the Song of the Sea and the m yth represented by the Ug. materials;
and the structural evidence thus far adduced in the history of research
shows th at the role of “m yth” in the Song of the Sea can be defined
much more precisely than Buber suspected. As a means of reporting
an event, it imparts an interpretation of th at event. The aspect of won-
der calls for this interpretation. The structural comparison of the Heb.
and Ug. texts reveals th at the Israelites expressed their wonder and
amazement in terms of their understanding of what had happened to
them at the Sea: Yahweh created them as a people. As a historian, Bu-
ber set interpretation and experience against each other to emphasize
the vital role of experience in the generation of a text such as the Song
of the Sea. The modern interpreter-as-historian can exploit Buber’s

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Narrative Structures in the Ugaritic Texts III 1

emphasis on the historical importance of experience without opposing

it to interpretation. For the experiences of human beings, which con-
stitute the real stuff of history, are always interpretive.15
ww. From the structural perspective, I believe it is vital to translate
‫ קנה‬in Exod 15:16b as “create.” As opposed to “acquire” or “redeem,”
this translation reflects at least an elementary grasp of the implications
of the Ug.-Heb. structural parallel, although, as Fisher has noted, ere-
ation is redemption (and redemption is creation) for the writer(s) of
the Song of the Sea. As “create,” the word itself seems to have come
into Heb. as a heritage from the religious beliefs reflected in Ug.

15 In his historical discussion of the event at the Sea, Buber focused on Exod 15:21b (= 15:1b).
From this v. he concluded that the people involved experienced whatever happened as an act of their God,
and that as a historical event this experience decisively influenced the coming into being of Israel (Moses,
pp. 7 3 7 9 ‫)־‬. Freedman, H is to r y , pp. 4 1 2 ‫־‬, offers an illustrative contrast to Buber. Sharing the historio-
graphical presuppositions of Cross, and adding vv. 1 1 8 ‫ ־‬to v. 21 as the basis of investigation, Freedman
noted that the Exodus and the deliverance at the Sea were real events, and derived some “significant his-
torical information” from the poem: the historical compass of the poem does not include the conquest—
it indicates only a settlement at a southern wilderness sanctuary (if true, this view would necessitate re-
vision of Craigie's structural interpretation of the text !see above, gg], but it would not disqualify his basic
distinction between creation and preservation); and the patriarchs (the God of the Fathers) with their
promised land stand outside the poem’s historical horizon. As historians, both Buber and Freedman depend
on the assumption that the text which provides their information approximates the event and thereby
provides a primary witness to the event. Freedman conceded that the historian can learn something from
the text about the impact of the event on the people who participated in it, but it did not occur to him
that this impact should be understood as part of the event—much less that the impact constitutes the
most significant, indeed the only real, aspect of the event. Freedman and Buber differ radically because
they seek different types of historical facts from the text. J. Cobb, R L , X X X IV (1965), 273276‫־‬, has located
these two types of facts with a profound observation: what actually occurred in the past were innumerable
experiences of living persons. By making actual human experiences the object of his investigation, Buber
concentrated on what Cobb called “actual” facts, the type of facts that give the historian information about
“what really happened” in the past. Buber, it should be noted, did not fully understand the ontological
status of the facts he chose to examine, as shown most clearly in his remark that he could not be certain
“of arriving by this method at ‘what really happened’” (Moses, p. 16). The type of facts derived from the
text by Freedman correspond, on the other hand, to what Cobb called “hypothetical” facts. Such facts
are comparable to a video-tape recording of an event; they are what a “neutral observer” with unlimited
powers of observation w^ould have seen had he been at the event. This type of fact is hypothetical because
it requires the historian to conjecturally construct the reality it presupposes. For no one of the actual ex-
periences of the participants in the event and no combination of them would constitute the experience of
a neutral observer. Such a construction is a perfectly legitimate undertaking on the part of the historian,
but it is of secondary historical interest. The historical information adduced by Freedman from the Song
of the Sea ranks even lower on the scale. He made little effort to construct the event carried to us by the
text, but rather focused on the geographical implications of the text. His results are far from insignificant,
but his self-imposed limitation to a narrow range of hypothetical facts—i.e., geographical facts—gives
the historian little satisfaction about “what really happened.” Buber and Freedman agree that little
can be said about the event in terms of hypothetical facts; the difference between them is that Buber at-
tempted to reconstruct a real event by appealing to actual facts, wdiile Freedman settled for a geographical
construction which contributes information relevant to the dating of the text and to the identification of
the group of people involved in the event in terms of hypothetical facts.

— 259 —
III 1 Ras Shamra Parallels

mythology—a point noted even by von Rad, Theology I, p. 142 and n. 11.
However, the translation of the word carries little impact apart from
the full appreciation of its context. Those interpreters who base their
understanding of the tex t on a dichotomy of myth-nature-God and
history cannot appropriate the fundamental implications of “creation”
for the elucidation of the Song of the Sea. The translation of Kxod 15:16b
given above in section g follows th at of Cross, CMHE, p. 130. While
Cross described the Ug. m yth as a cosmogonic creation story, he iden-
tified the Song of the Sea as one of two “patterns or genres” 16 existing
both in the Ug. texts and the OT: the march of the Divine W arrior to
battle {CMHE, pp. 155, 157). While he claimed th at the cosmogonic
struggle stands in the foreground of this pattern or genre (p. 156), his
interpretation of the Song of the Sea allows creation to recede far into
the background. It is still there, but it carries little weight against the
understanding of the text engendered by Cross’s view of history.
xx. Judg 5
Hanson: By the time of the Song of Deborah, the eleventh century B.C.,
the tension between the form of "the ritual pattern of the conflict
m yth” and Israel’s distinctive substance had mounted to the break-
ing point. Only the skeleton of the "pattern,” or “ritual structure,”
(1) Combat of the Divine Warrior (w . 4a, 20).
(2) Theophany (w . 4b-5).
(3) Victory (v. 21).
(4) Salvation of Israel (v. 31).
In this poem, however, Yahweh fades into the background. The
ritual pattern functions only as a stylistic device and as a “gentle
reminder th at somehow Yahweh is active in Israel’s historical ad-
ventures.” The real source of the poem is a drama experienced
within the historical realm. (J B L , 56-57; Apocalyptic, p. 303.)
yy. Isa 11:1-9; Pss 2; 9; 24; 29; 46; 47; 48; 65; 68; 74:12-17; 76; 77:17-21;
89:6-19; 93; 97; 98; 99; 104; 106:9-13; 110
Fisher: In the light of the creation-redemption language about God in
Exod 15, OT references to God as king recall the context of creation.

16 The question of genre is broader and more difficult than that of pattern, or structure. Form criti-
cally, the identification of a genre is usually coupled to a determination of setting(s) and intention(s), at
least when speculation about these factors is possible. Even if genre is reduced to structure, the distinction
between the Ug. materials as myth and the Song of the Sea as hymn is of fundamental importance to the
process of interpretation and cannot be denied on any grounds (see above, ii).

— 260 —
Narrative Structures in the Ugaritic Texts I ll 1

Thus Ps 24 speaks of creation and of God as the king of Glory—a

mighty man or a man of war. The same is true of Pss 47 (esp. v. 3)
and 95:3. Ps 149:2 ties creation and kingship together. In Pss
68:22-25 and 74:12-17 the king’s battle results in the creation of a
people and of cosmos. It then comes as no surprise th at the en-
thronement psalms exhibit the same form: Ps 93 contains the el-
ements of conflict, kingship, order, and temple, and hence relates
to Baal type creation; cf. Pss 97 and 99. {Encounter, 188-189; VT,
zz. Ps 89:6-19 presents the creator-king, great in council, ruler of the
sea, and creator. His throne is mentioned; his people worship him.
These imply the temple and banquet aspects of creation. This god
makes covenant and establishes his relationship with his people and
his king. [Encounter, 189-190.)
aa. Cross: Ps 24:7-10 is a tenth-century B.C. liturgical fragment which can
be fitted into the “Canaanite pattern” (described above, q), although
modified in its Israelite context: it recalls the victory of Yahweh
in the primordial battle and his enthronement in his newly built
(cosmic) temple. While the “motif ‘creation-kingship’” is present
in Ps 24, the key to an adequate interpretation of the Ps and its
place in Israel’s cultic history is the language of holy war, whose
locus is discovered in the Exodus-Conquest traditions, not in the
primordial battle of creation. The center of Israel’s early cultus
cannot be found in a mythological pattern, but in the reenactment
of the Exodus-Conquest. The “movement” of this “ritual Conquest”
may be reconstituted for the Gilgal cultus from Josh 3-5:
(1) The people are required to sanctify themselves (Josh 3:5).
(2) The Ark of the Covenant is carried in procession to the sane-
tuary of Gilgal.
(3) The Jordan (= the Red Sea) parts for the Ark and the people,
symbolizing the Exodus (Josh 4:21-24; cf. Pss 114:1a, 3-5;
66:6); the movement “from Shittim to Gilgal” (Mic 6:5) re-
presents the Conquest.
(4) Twelve stones are set up at Gilgal as a memorial to the tribes
united in the covenant festival [Josh 4:1-9]; cf. Moses’ parallel
action at Sinai (Exod 24:4).
(5) Circumcision etiology (Josh 5:2-8).
(6) The (angelic) general of Yahweh’s host appears (Josh 5:13-15;
cf. Exod 3:2ff.; 14:19).

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III 1 Ras Shamra Parallels

The institution of kingship and the inauguration of a temple in the

“Canaanite” style in Israel occasioned the “radical mythologizing
of the ‘historical’ festivals, especially the ‘ritual conquest’.” (See
Biblical Motifs, pp. 1928‫ ;־‬CMHE, pp. 91-105.)

ba. The motif of the Divine Warrior is displayed prominently in Ps 24:

v. 8 leaves no room for doubt th at Yahweh is the Divine Warrior
[Biblical Motifs, p. 22; CMHE, p. 94). From Ug. descriptions of
the theophany of Baal as storm god and their adaptation into Heb.
poetic descriptions of Yahweh as Divine Warrior manifest, one may
perceive an “archaic mythic pattern” standing behind various Ug.
and Heb. texts:
(1) The Divine Warrior goes forth to battle against chaos (Yamm,
Mot, Leviathan).
(2) Nature convulses and languishes when the Warrior manifests
his wrath.
(3) The W arrior returns to take up kingship among the gods, and
is enthroned on his mountain.
(4) The Divine Warrior utters his voice from his temple, and nature
and men respond with fertility and festive glee.
The earliest Israelite texts replace this “mythic pattern” with an
“epic pattern” ; in particular, the first element is replaced by the
wars of Exodus and Conquest, and by the march from Egypt or
Sinai in the victory hymns. Yet the substitution is not complete,
so th at in the royal cultus and in sixth-century prophecy (proto-
apocalyptic) the Exodus-Conquest “motif” tends to merge with th at
of the battle with Sea. (See CMHE, pp. 162-163.)
ca. The Ug. and Heb. texts themselves fall into two “categories” or
“patterns” or “genres” or “themes” :
(1) The march of the Divine Warrior to battle (UT 67 1:1-5; 1001:1;
'n t 111:35-43; Isa 34:[l-4]; Hab 3:5-12). He takes his weapons,
the thunderbolt and the winds; he drives his cloud-chariot
against his enemy; all nature reflects his wrath; a terrible
slaughter is appointed. The cosmogonic struggle stands in the
foreground. Heb. hymns of this sort include virtually all of
Israel’s oldest hym ns,17 of which the Song of the Sea is the
earliest and fullest example.

17 Cross cited a series of texts in C M H E , pp. 157159‫ ־‬, but discussed only their imagery, not their
structure. He also referred to the texts he had discussed on pp. 91144‫( ־‬revised forms of his articles in B ib -

— 262
Narrative Structures in the Ugaritic Texts III 1

(2) The return of the Divine Warrior to take up kingship (UT 51

V :68-71; V II:29-35; 603 obv:l-4; cf. 49 111:6-7, 12-13; 1 Aqht:
42-46). He comes from battle to his new temple on his newly-
won mount. In the background is the cosmogonic victory,
although it is often alluded to, especially in his being enthroned
on the Flood. As Victor and King, his primary manifestation
is in the storm: at his voice nature awakens; his storm cloud
both awes and fructifies. His rule gives fertility, and all nature
rejoices in it. This pattern is the more frequent of the two.
(CMHE, pp. 147-156.)
da. Ps 29 is the most characteristic OT example of the second p a tte rn .18
This “Canaanite hym n” is an .ancient Baal hymn, probably bor-
rowed in Solomonic times, and only slightly modified for use in the
early cultus of Yahweh:
(1) Address to the divine council (vv. 1-2).
(2) Theophany of the storm god (v. 9), accompanied by convulsions
and travail of sea and mountain, forest and creature (w . 3-9b).
(3) The appearance of the god as victor and king enthroned in his
temple (w . 9c-10). {CMHE, pp. 151-155.)
As evinced by Ps 29, the language of theophany in early Israel
was primarily drawn from the theophany of Baal {CMHE, pp. 156-
ea. After Ps 29, Ps 89:6-19 is most characteristic of the second pattern:
(1) Address to the divine assembly to acknowledge Yahweh as
terrible warrior (vv. 6-9; cf. Ps 29:1-2).
(2) Deity pictured as king, ruling enthroned on the Flood (v. 10;
cf. Ps 29:10).
(3) Allusion to his recent victory over the Flood dragon Rahab
and to the subsequent mighty works of creation (vv. 12-13).

lical M otifs and J T h C ) . From a structural perspective his discussion of Ps 132 is the most interesting. He
gave a “structure” for the hymn based on its strophes, but the parts of this structure do little to reveal
his view of the relationship of Ps 132 to the Ug. texts or to the other OT texts with which he compared
it ( C M H E , pp. 95-96). This relationship appears in his comments on the content of the text. Note also
p. 97, n. 25: the “pattern” (i.e., the battle of the Divine Warrior and the processional) of Ps 132 is found
also in Ps 89:219‫( ־‬on which see below, e») and Isa 6 2 :6 1 2 ‫ ־‬. From this it appears that Cross divorces “struc-
ture” from content while relating “pattern” to content. However, a lack of attention to precise terminology
marks Cross's work (as shown in his terms for the Divine Warrior texts; see also above, w w 16, and cf. below,
gP). His hidden agenda depends on a separation of form (whatever term is used to describe it) and content
(see above, qq).
18 For this see C M H E , p. 160; but note p. 156, where Cross cites Ps 29 as an example of the mixing
of the two “genres” or “themes.”

— 263 —
III 1 Ras Shamra Parallels

(4) He is portrayed as victor (v. 14).

(5) He is enthroned; triumphal procession (vv. 15-16).
(6) In a victory feast the victorious warrior is acknowledged as
ruler and king.
The “parallel motifs” in this hymn and Ps 29 are striking. However,
Ps 89, except for a hint in v. 16, lacks the imagery of the storm
theophany. (See CMHE, pp. 160-162.)

fa. Another hymn in this category is Ps 97:1-6. There are many other
examples, early and late: Pss 96 and 98 recount the rejoicing of
nature before the Divine Judge; Ps 93 is allied. Cf. also Pss 46:7-8;
50:1-6; 104:1-9, 31; and Job 26:11-13. {CMHE, p. 162.)

ga. Hanson: The royal cult in Jerusalem welcomed the ideology of the con-
flict m yth for the sacralization it lent to the Davidic dynasty.
Numerous Pss from various periods retain the "ritual pattern ” :
Ps 2: 1-3, threat: conspiring of the nations; 4-5, combat—victory
over enemy; 8-1 lb, manifestation of universal reign of Messiah;
11c, victory shout.
Ps 9: 6-7, combat—victory over enemy; 8-9, manifestation of Yah-
weh’s universal reign; 10-11, salvation of his people; 12-13,
victory shout.
Ps 24: 1, manifestion of Yahweh’s universal reign; 2, combat vs.
seas/rivers—victory; (3-6, entrance torah); 7-10, victory shout,
procession after victory to temple.
Ps 29: 3-9a, combat vs. waters—victory; 9b, victory shout; 10,
manifestation of Yahweh’s universal reign; 11, shalom (abun-
dance) of the restored order.
Ps 46: 2-7, threat: chaos and nations, combat—victory over enemy;
8, salvation of his people; 9-12, manifestation of Yahweh’s
universal reign.
Ps 47: 2-4, combat—victory over enemy; 5, salvation of his people;
6, procession; 7-8, victory shout; 9-10, manifestation of Yah-
weh’s universal reign.
Ps 48: 5, threat: kings assemble vs. Zion; 6-8, combat—victory over
enemy; 9, salvation of Zion; 10-12, victory shout; 13-14, pro-
cession around the city; 15, Yahweh’s universal reign.
Ps 65: 6, salvation of his people; 7-8, combat vs. seas and nations—
victory; 9, manifestation of Yahweh’s universal reign; 10-13,
shalom (return to fertility—new creation).

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Narrative Structures in the Ugaritic Texts I ll 1

Ps 68: a) 1-2, combat—victory; 3, victory shout; b) 7 8 ‫־‬, combat of

Divine Warrior (ritual conquest); 9-10, salvation of his people;
11-14, victory over enemy; 15-18, procession to Zion; 19-20,
victory shout; c) 21, combat—victory over enemies; 22-23,
salvation of his people; 24-27, procession to sanctuary—victory
shout; 28-35, manifestation of Yahweh's universal reign,
ha. Ps 76: 4-8, combat—victory; 9-10, salvation of oppressed; 11-12,
procession to bring gifts to Yahweh; 13, manifestation of
Yahweh’s universal reign.
Ps 77:17-21: 17-19, combat vs. sea—victory; 20, procession; 21,
salvation of his people.
Ps 89:6-19: 6-9, Yahweh’s universal reign; 10-13, victory over en-
emies; 11-19, procession—victory shout.
Ps 97: 1-2, Yahweh reigns; 3-5, combat—victory over enemies;
6-7, manifestation of Yahweh’s universal reign; 8-9, victory
Ps 98: 1-2, combat—victory; 3a, salvation of his people; 3b, mani-
festation of Yahweh’s universal reign; 4-9, procession—victory
Ps 104: 1-9, combat—victory (creation myth); 10-30, shalom (return
to fertility—new creation); 31-35, victory shout.
Ps 106:9-13: 9-10a, combat vs. sea—victory; 10b, procession; 11-13,
salvation of his people.
Ps 110: 1, 4, Yahweh establishes his king; 2, manifestation of king’s
universal reign; 3, procession to Zion; 5-7, combat—victory.
Isa 11:1-9: 1-3, royal shoot promised, equipped; 4-5, combat—
victory; 6-8, shalom; 9, manifestation of Yahweh’s universal
(See JB L , 57-58; Apocalyptic, pp. 304-307.)
ia. The ubiquity and regularity in structure of the “ritual pattern of
the conflict m yth” in the royal psalms document an essential
p o in t19: the conflict m yth was reintroduced into Israel’s religion and
given a prominent position in the central cult by the Jerusalem

19 Hanson’s chart of the elements of the ritual pattern of the royal cult (vis-a-vis that of the league
ritual conquest, e.g. Exod 15) includes Isa 11:1-9, the Baal cycle, and Enuma Elish, as well as the royal
psalms. It contains the elements of threat, combat, victory, salvation, victory shout, procession, manifes-
tation of reign, banquet, and shalom—a series not fully represented in any one text. (See A p o c a ly p tic ,
p. 308, n. 19).

— 265 —
III 1 Ras Shamra Parallels

priests. Although a text such as Isa 11:19‫ ־‬shows th at the prophetic

literature does not completely lack a royal dimension, the language
of the royal psalms contrasts strikingly with th at of the classical
prophets, whose typical point of view was severely critical of the
royal cult and its ideology, and lacked a profound mythic dimension.
If Judg 5 took the conquest tradition of the league within a step
of classical prophecy, this prophetic tradition discarded the ritual
pattern in favor of a political model which viewed Yahweh as a
king presiding over a divine assembly rather than as a storm god.
IJB L , 58; RB, 55; Apocalyptic, pp. 308-309.)

ja. Comments
From a structural perspective, the analysis of these Pss establishes
their vital connection with Judg 5 and Exod 15—a connection grounded
in the ancient Near Eastern m yths of cosmogonic creation. Fisher's
claim th at the terms “king,” “warrior,” and “creator” are synonymous
remains true to the structural evidence, although his analysis of the
texts is less detailed than those of Cross and Hanson. However, because
their understanding of the texts rests primarily on non-structural un-
derpinnings, their analyses add to the quantity but detract from the
quality of the structural comparison. This is most noticeable in Cross’s
seizure of the “motif” of the Divine W arrior as the common denominator
of “Canaanite m yth” and “Hebrew epic.” By making this “motif” the
structural equivalent of the “motif” creation-kingship, Cross hopelessly
confused the structural aspects of his interpretation. Thus he appealed
to a cosmogonic m yth (for which he at some point suggested four forms
in the Ug. texts), a hypothetical “archaic mythic pattern,” two actual
“categories” or “patterns” or “genres” or “themes” evidently generated
from the hypothetical Divine Warrior “P attern,” the “movement” of a
“ritual Conquest,” and various genres of hymnic literature. By manipu-
lating these diverse texts, Cross equated a structure (creation) with
an element in th at structure (kingship), and then set this unit on a par
with an actant (Divine Warrior) in the (intermediate) structure. The
structural results he derived from this basis are understandably am-
biguous, but his emphasis rested on the theophany of the Divine Warrior
as most supportive of his myth-history dichotomy. The status of the
Divine W arrior as king (and creator) depends on the mythologizing
of the Exodus-Conquest traditions. The royal cult accomplished this
mythologizing on the basis of the Divine W arrior ideology of holy war.
However, the structural indications in the texts under discussion support

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Narrative Structures in the Ugaritic Texts III 1

Fisher’s conclusion: the chief actant (warrior) achieves his goal (king-
ship), and the announcement of this achievement forms one of the fun-
damental elements in the structure of the cosmogonic creation story.
In the transfer from narrative to hymnic poetry, the terms king, war-
rior, and creator become synonymous because of their structural re-
lationships at the narrative stage. Cross’s own dating of the Song of
the Sea affirms th at the Israelites were well aware of the mythological
background of the terms from the beginning of their history. Their holy
war ideology hardly depended on a split between the modern categories
of m yth and history. Because Cross’s position rests on the division of
these categories, and because he made structural equations where dis-
tinctions are required, he ultimately mistook terminological synonyms
for indicators of distinct traditions. Hanson’s contention th at the
“ritual pattern of the royal cult” stands over against the “league ritual
conquest” (which in turn aligns more closely with classical prophecy)
reflects the same errors in the interpretation of the structural evidence.20

ka. P. Craigie, VT, X X II (1972), 143-151, argued for a “Canaanite

stream ” in the Heb. poetic tradition. At the beginning of this tradition
stands the Song of the Sea; its later and classical expression is found
in the Enthronement Pss. At its midpoint stands Ps 29. Fisher, Cross,
and Hanson have shown th at the tradition includes more texts than
Craigie suspected, but his claim of a continuity between Exod 15:1-18
and Ps 29 is the critical problem for the interpretation of this tradition—
and the structural comparison of the texts which make up this tradition
supports it. The identification of this tradition also calls into question
the commonly accepted understanding of Ps 29 as a “Canaanite” hymn.
Much more than a storm-god theophany comes into play here. The
power of the storm-god appears in his symbols of kingship, the thunder
and lightning. After his great victory over the sea, or chaos, he sits
enthroned as creator-king upon the sea. This is the stuff of which the
cosmogonic creation m yth is made; and the widespread use of this
material in Heb. psalmody suggests th at researchers should turn their
attention—as Craigie has done—to the relationships between Ps 29 and
the other OT texts participating in the tradition it represents.

20 Exod 15 is the test case for each interpreter’s tendencies, and their work with these Pss simply
follows the trajectories they have plotted for themselves. Numerous details are open to criticism, but these
can be more efficiently treated when broken down into their constituent motifs—the topic that will be
the main preoccupation of R S P IV.

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III 1 Ras Shamra Parallels

la. Isa 42:10-16; 43:16-21; 51:9-16; 52:7-12

Cassuto: Isa 51:9-10 is a prayer to the Lord to hasten the salvation of
his people promised in v. 8. In v. 10b and possibly also 10a the
prophet refers to the parting of the Sea of Reeds, but in v. 9 he
alludes to a story obviously well-known to his audience—the Revolt
of the Sea—by mentioning the episode in which the Prince of the
Sea, called Rahab, rebelled and was vanquished by the Lord at the
time when he wished to create his world. (See pp. 71-72.21)
m a. Fisher: Although Deutero-Isaiah was hardly a traditionalist, he spoke
of Yahweh in the traditional language of creation-redemption. In
Isa 42:13, the comparison of Yahweh to a “man of war” is under-
standable in its creation context. Deutero-Isaiah spoke not just of
cosmic creation, but also of the creation of Yahweh's people (43:15).
Isa 51:9-16 is a hymn which refers to conflict, redemption, cosmos,
and return to Zion. I t uses Baal type creation to speak of the ere-
ation of cosmos and people. [Encounter, 191-192; VT, 323.)
na. This hymn is complete in itself, but at the same time a complete
movement of the creation “form” seems to run from Isa 51 through
55. Ch. 51 emphasizes conflict, and in 52 God is proclaimed as king
(creator and redeemer; v. 7). God’s new creation must be his servant
(52:13-53:12), and in a creation context the servant figure must
somehow be connected with an Exodus-Sinai figure. In 54:9 the
one who controls the waters will build again the city, or temple
(see L. Fisher, J S S , V III [1963], 34-41). Ch. 54:5 alludes to Yahweh
and Baal type creation. In 54:9-10 Yahweh is able to control chaos
and create the possibility for life; only the one who controls the
floods can make covenant. Finally, ch. 55 contains the great ban-
quet. Although there are overlaps in the unit, there is also pro-
gression through conflict, kingship, new creation (and its vocation),
temple building, and banquet. [Encounter, 192-194; VT, 323-324.)
oa. Hanson: Second Isaiah, in direct contact with late Babylonian ritual
during the exile, combined the Israelite conquest tradition of the
league with the enthronement tradition of the royal cult to form
“a powerful portrayal of a second exodus-conquest, universal and

21 Note, however, that on p. 99 Cassuto took v. 10 as a use of the “literary tradition pertaining to
the acts of the Lord against the sea and the rivers during the six days of Creation.“ For the congruence
of Isa 51:9-10 with the “R evolt of the Sea,“ see above, i, nos. 13, 14, and 16.

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Narrative Structures in the Ugaritic Texts I ll 1

even cosmic in scope, by which the Israelites would be restored in

their land” (Apocalyptic, p. 310). The finest example of this is
Isa 51:9-11:
(1) Combat (primordial>exodus) (9-10a).
(2) Salvation of his people (10b).
(3) Procession to Zion (— second exodus-conquest) (11).
The movement of the text from the conflict m yth (9) to the ritual
conquest (10) to eschatological salvation (11) recapitulates the en-
tire development of prophetic Yahwism from the cosmic vision of
myth, to the translation of th at vision into the categories of history,
to the future orientation of prophetic eschatology. (Apocalyptic,
pp. 310-311.)
pa. Three other texts in Second Isaiah incorporate the “ritual p attern”
of the conflict myth:
Isa 42:10-16: 10-12, victory shout; 13-15, combat—victory over
enemy; 16, salvation of the “blind,” procession.
Isa 43:16-21: 16-17, combat (vs. sea = Babylon)—victory; 18-19a,
victory shout; 19b, procession (= second exodus-conquest);
20-21, salvation of his people.
Isa 52:7-12: 7-8, herald announces Yahweh’s return to Zion; 9-10,
victory shout—manifestation of Yahweh’s universal reign; 11a,
salvation: release of captives; l ib - 12, procession.
Since the material is now freed from its original function in the
life of the national cult, poetic license more freely orders the elements
and fuses league and royal motifs. Yet the basic pattern of combat-
victory-salvation-procession is still discernible. Though Second
Isaiah held the ritual pattern subservient to historical announce-
ment, his reintroduction of the pattern allowed him to reinterpret
the prophetic message in terms “indifferent to the events of plain
history.” Thus his prophecy is “proto-apocalyptic.” (See Apoc-
alyptic, pp. 311-313.)
qa. Comments
Nowhere is the unity of creation and redemption seen more clearly
, in the OT than in Second Isaiah—a point noted by von Rad (see The-
ology I, p. 137). The best-known example of the connection of the ere-
ation of the cosmos with the redemption of Israel from Egypt appears
in 51:9-10, but the structural evidence given by Fisher and Hanson
shows th at the mythological form in which these notions were appropri-
ated by Second Isaiah plays a fundamental role in the prophet’s mes­

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III 1 Ras Shamra Parallels

sage. Presupposing the dichotomy of myth and history, von Rad con-
eluded th at allusions to Yahweh as creator are far from being the primary
subject of Second Isaiah’s message, and he struggled with the coincidence
of creation and redemption in the book. However, as Fisher has argued,
an Israelite such as Second Isaiah used the structure of Baal type ere-
ation because it said what he wanted to say about redemption. The
comparative structural interpretation of Second Isaiah draws creation
and redemption together; arguments for their separateness depend on
non-structural criteria.

ra. Isa 24:1-25:8; 34-35; 59:15b-20; 63:1-6; 63:19b-64:2; 66:15-16

Fisher: Isa 56-66, which was probably produced by the disciples of
Second Isaiah, continues his “new exodus them e” in a very universal
sense. For instance, the new exodus of 56:7-8 recalls th at of Exod 15:
Yahweh will bring his people (and now others as well) to his moun-
tain; cf. 57:14; 58:6; 61:9; 62:10; and 65:9. God’s arm or hand
appears in 59:1 and 63:5. Isa 63:11-13, 15-16, relates Moses to this
imagery; and 65:17 refers to new creation, while in 66:1 the universe
is God’s temple. {Encounter, 194.)

sa . Cross: In the “proto-apocalyptic” literature of Isaiah the imagery of the

storm god as divine warrior plays a major role; see Isa 24:19-23;
26:21; 34:4, 8-10; 35:1-10; 42:13-15; 50:2-3; 59:16-19; 63:19b-64:2;
and 66:15-16. Most of these texts describe the coming of the Divine
Warrior in the imagery of Israel’s old hymns and of the royal cultus;
but they reutilize and transform the language of nature’s response,
and they make the “them e” of divine kingship and new creation
dominant. The four “strophes” of Isa 35 illustrate the continuities
and transformations:
(1) The anticipated response of nature to the theophany of the
victorious warrior employs the ancient language associated with
his manifestation as victor and king (w . 1-2).
(2) The address to the divine council (by heralds) announcing the
coming of the god with “deliverance, recompense, and victory”
portrays the surge of renewal and new creation in the healing
of the maimed and defective (w . 3-6a).
(3) This new creation is pictured in the water-in-the-desert “theme”
—a theme ultimately integral to the manifestation of the storm
god who brings fertility, but also reminiscent of Israel’s wilder-
ness march in the Exodus-Conquest (w . 6b-7).

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Narrative Structures in the Ugaritic Texts Ill 1

(4) The “theme” of the New Exodus-Conquest breaks out plainly:

the high road across the desert as a “them e” recalls both the
old march of the Divine Warrior leading the armies of Israel’s
conquest of the land and battle at the sea, and the king’s pro-
cessional back from victory to his throne in the “ritual con-
quest” (vv. 8-10).
The old Exodus-Conquest is conflated with the battle of creation;
then a second transformation in the eschatological context of proto-
apocalyptic merges the new Exodus-Conquest with the new creation.
(See CMHE, pp. 170-174.)
ta. Hanson: Stemming either from the last phase of Second Isaiah’s career
or from an early disciple, Isa 34-35 draws on the “ritual pattern”
but loosens its relation to “plain history” :
(1) Combat vs. nations and cosmic hosts—victory (34:1-4).
(2) Banquet with bloody sacrifice (34:5-7).
(3) Herem (= return to chaos) (34:8-17).
(4) Shalom—salvation of the weak (35:1-7).
(5) Procession to Zion (35:8-10). (Apocalyptic, p. 313.)
ua. The Isaiah Apocalypse, written by a mid- or late-sixth century
disciple of Second Isaiah, uses the same “ritual pattern” in an
eschatological message which should be designated as “early apoc-
alyptic” :
(1) Combat— herem of whole earth (24:1-13).
(2) Victory shout (24:14-16a).
(3) (Lament [24:16b-18b]).
(4) Combat—victory (24:18c-22).
(5) Manifestation of Yahweh’s universal reign (24:23).
(6) Victory shout (25:1-4b).
(7) Banquet (25:6-8).
Here the “mythic pattern” is similar to th at of Second Isaiah, but
ties to the “actual political realm” are weakened and the cosmic
realm of the Divine Warrior begins to dominate. [Apocalyptic,
p. 313.)
va. The visionary group in Third Isaiah used the royal and league ritual
traditions to reaffirm the eschatological message of Second Isaiah
to a minority group within Israel. Their vision of the future con-
tinued to move in the direction of the cosmic realm of the Divine
Warrior and his council, and away from the “events of plain his­

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I ll 1 Ras Shamra Parallels

tory” (Apocalyptic, p. 314). Thus the “mythic structure” underlying

the “Divine Warrior Hym n” of Isa 59:15b-20, “fusing the league
tradition of ritual conquest with the royal motif of the procession
to Zion, no longer is limited to the function of enhancing the his-
torical interpretation of divine activity, but has begun to serve as
a vehicle for a new interpretation of divine activity in terms elevated
above the historical realm in the plainest sense” (Apocalyptic,
p. 133):
(1) Threat (vv. 15b-16a).
(2) Conflict—victory (w . 16b-18).
(3) Manifestation of Yahweh’s universal reign (v. 19).
(4) Procession to Zion and the salvation of the repentant (v. 20).
(See RB, 52: Apocalyptic, pp. 113-134.)

wa. In the “Divine Warrior Hym n” of Isa 63:1-6 an observer and Yahweh
are engaged in a dialogue of question (w . lab, 2) and answer (w . lc,
3-6). Various similarities between this passage and Isa 59:15b-20
reveal their use of the “Divine Warrior tradition,” but here it is
applied to the international sphere, while in 59:15b-20 it was ap-
plied to the inner Israelite polemic. (See Apocalyptic, pp. 202-208.)
The short “Divine Warrior H ym n” in Isa 63:19b-64:2 takes the
“form” of three lines, each followed by a refrain dramatizing the
natural phenomena accompanying Yahweh’s theophany, showing
heavy dependence on older theophanies (cf. Judg 5:4-5 and
Ps 18:8-16) (Apocalyptic, pp. 87, 98). In Isa 66:15-16 Yahweh the
Warrior comes in a dreadful theophany to execute judgment. This
use of the “Divine Warrior motif” emphasizes the element of con-
flict. (RB, 54; Apocalyptic, pp. 163, 183-184.)
xa. Jonah
Fisher: Baal type creation is the key to the meaning of the book of Jonah,
which was probably produced by the followers of Second Isaiah
who were responsible for Third Isaiah. Although the sea, the deep,
the river, or the fish engulfs Yahweh's rebellious man, Yahweh
controls the sea: “the sea must give up Yahweh’s man even as Yah-
weh creates and saves anew.” (Encounter, 194-195.)
ya. From this time on the language of Baal type creation was funneled
into apocalyptic literature and communities. “I t was undoubtedly
changed a great deal (this would mean th at it would be difficult
for those in the tradition of Deutero-Isaiah to still use it), and now

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Narrative Structures in the Ugaritic Texts I ll 1

the language tended to run away with and ahead of the event.”
Despite many changes during the course of its history, the “creation-
redemption theme or form” was a very meaningful form, and one
must be aware of it in order to understand many NT, as well as
OT, problems. (Encounter, p. 195.)

Zech 9; 10; 12; 14

Hanson: The “mythical motifs of ritual conquest and royal procession”
are of central importance in Zech 9-14, and help to establish it as
part of the visionary tradition which can be traced from the “proto-
apocalyptic” of Second Isaiah to the “late apocalyptic” of the
pseudepigrapha and Qumran. (Apocalyptic, pp. 286-287.) The
“Divine Warrior H ym n” of Zech 9 is a "paradigm example of the
prophetic adaptation of the league-royal cult ritual pattern.” Its
“structure” :
(1) Conflict—victory (vv. 1-7).
(2) Temple secured (v. 8).
(3) Victory shout and procession (v. 9).
(4) Manifestation of Yahweh’s universal reign (v. 10).
(5) Salvation: captives released (vv. 11-13).
(6) Theophany of Divine Warrior (v. 14).
(7) Sacrifice and banquet (v. 15).
(8) Fertility of restored order (vv. 16-17). (See Int, 472-473; RB,
55; JB L , 53; and Apocalyptic, pp. 292-300, 315-324.)
Following a rib against the nation’s leaders (vv. 1-3), the “Divine
Warrior Hym n” of Zech 10 follows the “ritual pattern of the con-
flict m yth” :
(1) Combat—victory (w . 4-6a).
(a) Yahweh equips himself with Israel as his host (v. 4).
(b) Ritual conquest (vv. 5-6a).
(2) Salvation: restoration of the scattered people (vv. 6b-10).
(3) Procession reenacting the victory of the Divine Warrior over
Yamm (= Assyria-Egypt) (v. 11).
(4) Victory shout (v. 12).
The use of the Divine Warrior Hymn as an adjunct to a rib oracle
parallels its use in Third Isaiah (see 59:15b-20; 63:19b-64:2;
66:15-16). (See Apocalyptic, pp. 324-334.)
The new “booklet” beginning in Zech 12:1 consists of two compo-
sitions, 12:1-13:6 and 14:1-21, which differ from the two “Divine
III 1 Ras Shamra Parallels

Warrior Hymns” in Zech 9-11 by their more advanced eschatology

th at replaces a broad international perspective with a myopic con-
cem with Judah and Jerusalem. Four major “themes” appropriated
from the royal tradition of the unassailability of Zion (e.g., Ps 48;
see above, ga) form the “skeleton of the narrative” of Zech 12:
(1) The nations come against Jerusalem (w . 1-3).
(2) Yahweh strikes the enemy with panic (v. 4).
(3) Jerusalem is delivered (w . 5-9).
(4) A ceremony is described (vv. 10-14) (mourning rite in Zech 12;
celebration of the king’s victory in Ps 48). (See Apocalyptic,
pp. 354-368.)
cfk Zech 14, an “apocalypse structured upon the ritual pattern of the
conflict m yth,” reflects the period of “full-blown apocalyptic lit-
erature” :
(1) Threat (in the form of a salvation-judgment oracle) (vv. 1-2).
(2) Conflict—victory (v. 3).
(3) Theophany and procession (vv. 4-5).
(4) Shalom (w . 6-8).
(5) Manifestation of Yahweh’s universal reign (w . 9-11).
(6) Covenant curses ( = destruction of the enemy) (w . 12-15).
(7) Procession of the nations (w . 16-19).
(8) Sacrifice and banquet (vv. 20-21).
Although both Zech 12 and 14 remold their traditional basis in the
“ritual pattern of the conflict m yth” in ways which record the in-
fluence of their new settings, Zech 12 draws significantly on the
archaic hymnic material associated with the Divine Warrior, and
the “basic underlying structure” of Zech 14 conforms closely to the
ritual pattern. (See Apocalyptic, pp. 369-390.)

dp. Dan 7:2-15

Hanson: Containing the elements of threat, conflict, victory, and sal-
vation of the faithful, the scenario developed in this vision recapit-
ulates the royal liturgy of the Jerusalem cult. (See Int, 474-476.)

ep. Gen 1:1-2:3

Fisher: Since neither El type creation nor creatio ex nihilo was a real
possibility for the author of this account, it must depend on Baal
type creation—even though the Gen story is abbreviated in part
and focuses on a description of the how and order of creation. One
should not assume th at the Gen story is different than Baal type

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Narrative Structures in the Ugaritic Texts I ll 1

creation just because Gen concentrates on filling out a seven-day

framework: the number seven is associated with the process of
temple-building both in Israel and at Ugarit (cf. I,. Fisher, JS S ,
V III [1963], 34-41). Ju st as the Hebrews used Baal type creation
to express their creation as a people (Exod 15), so they used it to
identify Yahweh as the one who creates cosmos and the possibility
of life. This language may be dangerous—even dualistic; but “one
must communicate and calculate the risk.” (Encounter, 184-185,
190-191; VT, 319.)

f|3. Comments
As the structural comparison moves beyond the period of Second
Isaiah, a serious problem of identification arises. The structure itself
suffers radical decomposition, while language which originally developed
within the context of the structure vividly informs various texts. If it
is structural awareness th at sensitizes the interpreter to language drawn
from the structure, th at same awareness can betray the interpreter into
pressing for unjustified similarities at the level of narrative structure.
This problem is most noticeable in Hanson’s work for two reasons: he
has pressed the structural question further than any other researcher,
and his treatm ent of the OT side of the comparison hinges on what he
has called the "Divine Warrior Hym n.”
g(3. For Hanson, virtually any OT text which recalls the mythic struc-
ture is a Divine Warrior Hymn. “H ym n” is a generic classification, and
Hanson frequently refers to his Divine Warrior Hymns as genres—
attem pting to establish this by demonstrating the elements a particular
example holds in common with the mythic structure and other Israelite
usages of th at structure. The problem is th at while these elements main-
tain a clear hold on the surface structure of the narrative texts in which
most of them originated, their relationship to the surface structure of
the non-narrative OT texts in which they exist is more ambiguous. For
example, the three “Divine Warrior Hymns” of Isa 59:15b-20, 63:1-6,
and 63:19b-64:2 display radical differences at the surface level, although
each contains elements which make it relevant for structural comparison.
Hanson acknowledges these differences, but they weigh far less in his
interpretation than the similarities upon which his structural analyses
focus. This is indicated not only by the substance of his interpretation,
but also by his loosely woven language of Divine Warrior “tradition/
motif” and hymnic genre. This terminological confusion reflects the

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III 1 Ras Shamra Parallels

indecision of one who accumulates only enough structural evidence to

indicate similarities among texts, while seeking their differences in non-
structural modes of analysis.
HP. Structural analysis, however, can show differences as well as simi-
larities; but a cogent structural argument depends on the analysis of
all the levels of structure at work in each text under consideration. I t
also depends on the interpreter's ability to determine the meaning of a
given structure. Thus if one concludes th at the narrative structure of
the Ug. Baal m yth finds its meaning in the concept of cosmogonic ere-
ation, and if one perceives th at the Hebrews appropriated this structure—
with its meaning—as part of their experience of their creation as a people,
then the interpretation of the differences in the various texts which
depend on this structure need not rely on the myth-history dichotomy
presupposed by Hanson. Instead, the interpreter can search for clues to
the new experiences of people, and the institutional expressions of these
experiences, in the interplay of different levels of structure in a particular
text. It is in this interplay th at the specific perspective of a text becomes
clear. Thus the orientation of apocalyptic toward the future, and the
difference this makes in the language of cosmogonic creation, can be
investigated from a structural perspective.
ip. Still, there is much to be said for the mere use of structure as a tool
to draw seemingly divergent texts together. Nowhere is its impact felt
more strongly than in Fisher’s attem pt to reconcile the creation story
in Gen 1:1-2:3 with the Ug. creation story of the Baal myth. His effort
reflects his consistent attention to the idea of creation as the meaning
of the Ug. structure; one who reduces the meaning of this structure to
the ideas of conflict and Divine Warrior would never think of comparing
the Gen and Ug. stories. However, Fisher’s structural results are slim:
he found an explanation within the framework of his structural com-
parison for the uneasy struggle of the Gen author to fit the divine ere-
ative activities into a seven-day pattern. Fisher has adduced enough
structural evidence to establish th at the Gen story presupposes cosmo-
gonic creation and th at demythologization plays no part in its intention
(the mode of action remains on the mythic level). But his structural
analyses do not penetrate deeply enough to answer the fundamental
question about the particularity of the Gen and Ug. texts: why does
the Gen story concentrate so heavily on the structural element of “or-
der,” while the Ug. m yth gives most of its attention to the elements
of “conflict” and “temple-building” ? Fisher’s suggestion about the im­

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Narrative Structures in the Ugaritic Texts Ill 1

portance of the number seven for the process of temple-building provides

a plausible connection between the Ug. and Heb. texts; but the structural
implications of this connection must await a more detailed and multi-
layered analysis of both the Ug. and Heb. examples.

jp. Exod 24:12-40:38; I Kings 3:4-9:9; Ezek 40-48

Kapelrud: In the ancient Near E ast there were two kinds of “temple
building narratives,” which, however, were not sharply divided, but
represented different aspects of the same phenomenon. One is
“mythological” and puts its main weight on the gods. The “temple
building of the gods” is a “motif” found in the Ug. texts and in
Enuma Elish VI. It “usually contains the following elements” :
(1) A victorious god after battle.
(2) He wants to have his own temple.
(3) Permission asked from the leading god.
(4) Master builder set to work.
(5) Cedars from Lebanon, building-stones, gold, silver, etc., procured
for the task.
(6) The temple finished according to plan.
(7) Offerings and dedication, fixing of norms.
(8) A great banquet for the gods.
kp. In Enuma Elish VI, [1]22 after Marduk’s creation of mankind the
Anunnaki suggest th at he build a temple, and he agrees (11. 45-[58]).
[6] The temple is erected [11. 59-66], and [8] Marduk gives a great
banquet for the gods [see 11. 69-71], [7] where they perform their
rites and fix the norms (11. 75ff.).
1p. The Ug. temple building narrative begins with E l’s instructions th at
a temple be built for Yamm (UT 129). Yamm then challenges Baal,
the leading young god, who [1] battles and defeats him (UT 137, 68).
[2] Baal now tells El th at he wants his own temple (UT 51 [I]:5ff.).
[3] W ith Asherah's help he obtains E l’s permission to build a temple,
and [4] Kothar-wa-khasis starts the building, [5] using materials
of silver, gold, and lapis lazuli, along with cedars from Lebanon
(UT 51). [6] When the temple is finished, [7] Baal slaughters nu-
merous animals and [8] invites the gods to a great banquet (UT
51 VI).

22 The enumeration refers to Kapelrud's typical structure.

III 1 Ras Shamra Parallels

m|3. The second kind of temple building narrative is “historical.” The

narratives of Gudea, Solomon, and Moses are the primary examples.
“In the cases where a king is the actual temple builder the following
elements are most often found” :
(1) Some• indication th at a temple has to be built.
(2) The king visits a temple over night.
(3) A god tells him what to do, indicates plans.
(4) The king announces his intention to build a temple.
(5) Master builder is engaged; cedars from Lebanon, building-
stones, gold, silver, etc., procured for the task.
(6) The temple finished according to plan.
(7) Offerings and dedication, fixing of norms.
(8) Assembly of the people.
(9) The god comes to his new house.
(10) The king is blessed and promised everlasting domination.
n|L In the Gudea Cylinders [1] a puzzling midnight dream (A 1:27)
caused Gudea to go to the temple of Gatumdu for an interpretation
(A II:26ff.). The goddess told him th at Ningirsu wanted him to
build a temple (A V:17). [2] While he was shut in the temple of
Eninnu for two days, the visions were repeated (A V III :Iff.), and
[3] he received detailed instructions about how the temple should
be built. [5] He engaged in the work, cutting cedars (A XV: Iff.)
and making clay bricks (A X V III :24ff.), until [6] the temple was
completed (A XX:9-11). Then [7] he blessed it and was received
into the assembly of the gods (A X X V :20-23). As the high priest,
Gudea offered prayers and brought gifts (B 1:20; 11:12-13). [9] Nin-
girsu himself entered the temple to establish his throne of destiny
(B V:lff.). [10] Gudea received a promise of long life (B X X IV :8)
and was characterized as a son of one of the gods (B XXIV :7).
0(3. The story of Solomon’s temple building (I Kings 3:4-9:9) begins [2]
with Solomon’s overnight visit to Gibeon. [1] Yahweh appeared
and spoke to him while he slept (3:5). [3] Here a “wisdom theme”
has driven other “themes” originally connected with the dream
aside: Solomon asks for wisdom to govern his people (3:9). The
text does not return to the subject of temple building until [4] Sol-
omon’s sudden announcement of his decision to build the temple
(5:15-19 [5:1-5]). [5] Solomon then engaged Hiram to supply cedars
of Lebanon and Cyprus timber (5:20, 24 [5:6, 10]). Then [6] forced
laborers quarried the foundation stones (5:27-32 [5:13-18]); the cedar

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Narrative Structures in the Ugaritic Texts I ll 1

within the temple was carved and overlaid with pure gold (6:1822‫)־‬
brought from the mines in Ophir (9:26-28). When Solomon had
finished the temple, [8] he assembled Israel's leaders [9] to install
the Ark of the Covenant (8:1-11). [7] He then sacrificed and prayed
(8:12-53). After more sacrifices he dedicated the temple to Yahweh
and held a great feast for the people (8:62-66). Then [10] Yahweh
“appeared to Solomon a second time, as he had appeared to him
at Gibeon” (9:2) to give final instructions about the temple and to
make the expected promises to the temple builder (9:1-9).

PP• In view of the "parallels with other narratives,” I Kings 5:15-19

(5:1-5) cannot constitute the beginning of Solomon’s temple building
narrative. W hat is needed is a “building order,” and the Gudea
analogy indicates th at this element originally stood, in place of
I Kings 3:4-15. The “wisdom theme” of this unit and of the rest
of ch. 3 and 5:9-14 (4:29-34), and the "list of Solomon’s household
and the provisions th at were brought to him ” in 4:1-5:8 (4:1-28),
can “easily be subtracted as independent passages.” More to the
point is the connection of Solomon’s visit to Gibeon with the building
of the temple made in I Kings 9:2. That the narrator links Yahweh’s
appearance to Solomon in the newly constructed temple with his
previous appearance at Gibeon suggests th at “the narrator may have
known a connection between I Kings III and V-IX which is no longer
obvious in the tex t.” This connection appears more clearly in
II Chron 1-2, where the events in Gibeon and Jerusalem are sepa-
rated only by “brief passages.”
qp. The “building of the Tabernacle” is the “dominating motif” of
Exod 24:12-40[ :38], and this temple building of Moses is narrated
“along parallel lines” to the preceding texts. Thus [2] Yahweh
called Moses up to a mountain (24:12-[18]), and [3] gave him orders
about the building of the Tabernacle. [5] The people brought fine
materials (35:21-29), and [6] the work was accomplished in accor-
dance with Yahweh’s detailed instructions. Finally, [9] there is a
description of Yahweh’s filling the tabernacle (40:34-[38]).
rp. The “usual scheme” may also be discerned in Ezek 40-48. In a
vision [2] God took the prophet to a mountain and showed him a
“structure like a city” (40:1-4). He then gave detailed instructions
about [3] the building of the temple and [7] the service in the

— 279 —
III 1 Ras Shamra Parallels

s[3. Comments
Kapelrud’s attem pt to relate “mythological” and “historical” temple
building stemmed from a suggestion made by Obermann in Ug Myth.
Obermann proposed th at the “building saga” of Baal's temple forms
the “central theme” of Ug. mythology (p. 1). All elements of conflict
between gods should be understood as an “alliance-enmity motif” : one
group supports Baal’s plans to build a temple, and the rest oppose its
construction. W hether the conflict of the gods has a sociological (rival-
ries between Ug. clans) or natural (forces of life and death, fertility and
aridness) basis is insignificant. “The im portant thing is th at alliance
and enmity between gods is the decisive motif in the building epic”
(p. 4). Obermann claimed th a t four forms of the "building epic” are
known to have existed at Ugarit: a beginning of the narrative in UT
,n t III-V I (CTA 3), an ending in UT 51 (CTA 4), an El tradition
in UT *nt pis. IX -X (CTA 1), and a tradition still different from the
first three in UT 68+129 (CTA 2 IV and III[?]) (see Ug Myth, pp. 83-
86, for a summary of Obermann’s position). For Obermann, the “most
remarkable analogy” to the fact th at all the Ug. versions of the “building
epic” were found at the same site—the library of the Baal temple—
exists in the OT’s inclusion of four “documents” pertaining to a “house”
or “dwelling place” of God: Exod 25ff., I Kings 6ff., II Chron 2ff., and
Ezek 40ff.; i.e., the narrative of the building of the wilderness Tabernacle
under Moses, the story of Solomon’s building of the Jerusalem temple,
and a vision about the Jerusalem temple of the future (pp. 86-87).
t(3. Obermann’s “remarkable analogy” represents a remarkable mis-
understanding of both the Ug. and Heb. texts. Not only does his di-
vision of the Ug. texts lack credibility, but his claim th at the building of
Baal’s temple is the fundamental concern of the Ug. myths, and th at
all divine conflict can be explained in terms of support of or opposition
to Baal’s plans for a temple, simply ignores the total context into which
the elements of conflict and temple building are set in Ug. mythology
(see above, dd-hh). Moreover, even if Obermann’s analysis of the mean-
ing of the Ug. texts and his "fragment hypothesis” 23 of their origin were
to be granted, his proposal th a t the four OT texts relating to temple

23 Obermann’s basic methodological assumption concerning the nature of the corpus of Ug. mythology
was that any tablet which relates to the “building saga” represents a distinct narrative of that saga. Thus
he classified, without analysis, UT 131-130 (CTA 7)—two fragments which are unmistakably variants of
UT *nt II and III—as “remnants of still another narrative of the building saga’’ (pp. 86-87, n. 95).

— 280 —
Narrative Structures in the Ugaritic Texts Ill 1

building represent an analogous phenomenon completely overlooks the

divergent historical and ideological factors which gave rise to the various
OT accounts.
up. Nevertheless, Kapelrud’s effort to implement Obermann’s suggestion
confirmed the latter’s insight th a t a general resemblance does exist among
the OT and Ug. stories, and demonstrated th at this resemblance must
be understood in a broader ancient Near Eastern context than th at of
Ugarit and Jerusalem. However, Kapelrud’s results are disappointly
meagre from a structural point of view. One reason for this is his search
for ideal structures at the expense of the individual text (see above,
Intro 3). Thus his ideal structure of the “mythological” type of nar-
rative derives directly from his analysis of UT 137-68-51. This analysis
provides but a partial accounting for the Ug. materials. Kapelrud has
tom elements of conflict, temple building, and banquet from their larger
context, and organized them under the rubric “temple building nar-
rative.” 24 By limiting his interpretive options in this fashion, Kapelrud
has left himself with little to say about the difference between his “myth-
ological” and “historical” versions of the narrative except th at there
is no great difference. This conclusion conforms to his m yth-ritual per-
spective: he does not use the categories of myth and history to set the
texts in opposition to one another, but rather as a means to validate
the concept of divine kingship in the ancient Near East and to add an-
other bit of documentation to his idea of the Israelite relationship to
this concept (see especially pp. 56 and 62).
v|3. Since Kapelrud did not attem pt a genuinely structural interpre-
tation of his texts, it is not suprising th at his analyses lack sufficient
depth to reveal either the full pattern of similarities among the texts
or the distinctive configuration of each particular text (compare his
description of Enuma Elish VI with th at of the Baal texts). Nor is it
surprising th at he omitted two of the relevant examples, UT ,nt III-V I
and II Chron 1-7. It is against this background th at his most distinctive

24 By this terminology Kapelrud evidently attempts to define a genre. But his lack of attention to
the individual texts in which this genre is supposedly embedded foils his proposal, for each of his examples
(with the possible exception of Gudea) exists in the framework of larger concerns. To establish the genre
he suggests, he would have to first demonstrate either that the temple building material bears no vital
relationship to the contexts in which it now appears or else that the notion of temple building provides
the fundamental organizing principle of the total compositions. His sketchy analyses have established
neither. At any rate, the term “temple building” is rather narrow for the diverse materials he includes
in his descriptions of the genre.

— 281 —
III 1 Ras Shamra Parallels

conclusion about the OT text must be examined. This is his contention

th at the present substance of I Kings 3:4-15 conceals what was once
an integral unity with I Kings 5:15 [5:l]-9:9.
w(3. Despite his claims to the contrary (see above, pfl), Kapelrud’s only
tangible basis for this claim lies in the Gudea Cylinders, where the king’s
decision to build a temple results from a dream. The historical remote-
ness of this third millennium, Sumerian composition raises some doubt
about the aptness of the comparison, but it is the distinctive character-
istics of the Sumerian and OT texts th at create the most serious problems
for Kapelrud’s analysis. At the least, it must be noted th a t the Gudea
Cylinders represent an independent composition, while the story of
Solomon’s temple is embedded in a literary m atrix considerably more
complex than Kapelrud has recognized. This m atrix encompasses I Kings
3:4-11:40. As shown by the EXX, the MT does not represent an author-
itative form of this unit, but reflects a stage when both the order and
content of the material were still fluid. Also, the material in the MT
has suffered various dislocations.25 Moreover, the “wisdom them e” is
not as easily dismissed as secondary as Kapelrud imagined. Aside from
the passages in which he recognized it, the wisdom of Solomon also ap-
pears in 5:26 (5:12); 10:1-10, 13 (the visit of the Queen of Sheba), and
23-24. In addition, 11:41 identifies a source for the composition, “the
Book of the Acts of Solomon,” which consisted of more than an annalistic
enumeration of the deeds of Solomon and of the events of his reign,
because it also included information about his “wisdom.” I t is hardly
too much to say th at the fundamental "them e” of the unit, at least
through ch. 10, is Solomon’s wisdom. Kapelrud’s claim th at the “wisdom
them e” can “easily be subtracted” as independent of the temple building
narrative (p. 60) reflects a naively simplistic view of the OT material.
From a comparative standpoint, the Eg. inscriptions in which Pharaohs
from the Middle Kingdom to the New Empire legitimize innovations
of their reign with accounts of special revelations, often in dreams, fol-
lowed by the Pharaoh’s offering of sacrifices and public communication
of his divinely inspired policies to his nobles and officials, offer—both
historically and contextually—a more promising basis for the inter-
pretation of I Kings 3:4-15 than the Gudea parallel proposed by Kapel-
ru d .26 Finally, Kapelrud’s emphasis on the suddenness of Solomon’s

25 For a survey of the literary-critical problems of the unit, see Eissfeldt, Introduction, pp. 286290‫־‬.
26 S. Herrmann, W Z U L , III ( 1 9 5 3 5 1 - 6 2 ,(1954‫־‬, suggested this parallel and treated the relevant Eg.

— 282 —
Narrative Structures in the Ugaritic Texts III 1

announcement of his decision to build a temple in 5:15-19 (5:1-5) un-

derestimates the connection of this event with its larger context. V. 17
(3) grounds Solomon’s decision in the situation arising from David’s
inability to build a temple (see II Samuel 7:5-16). In the present form
of the text Solomon’s decision early in his reign to build a temple is an
instance of his wisdom (see 5:26 [5:12]). Kapelrud may be right th at
3:16-5:14 (4:34) should be regarded as secondary, but this could be ar-
gued more strongly on the basis of the Eg. parallels. Likewise, his at-
tem pt to use 9:1-9 to support this claim on the basis of the Gudea parallel
(p. 61) ignores the probable Deuteronomistic origin of this material (see
Gray, I & I I Kings2•, pp. 235-238), which puts it toward the end of the
redactional process rather than at the beginning, as Kapelrud’s argument
requires. 27
x|3. These arguments do not absolutely rule out Kapelrud’s suggestion
of an epic substratum behind the present form of the text. But they
do mean th at his proposal requires a more careful analysis of the ancient
Near Eastern and biblical texts than he has supplied. The same judgment
must be passed upon his attem pt to draw the Moses and Ezekiel ma-
terials into the overall pattern. Some of the divergences of these pas-
sages from the ideal structure may reflect the distinctive character of
the subject-matter: the Exod text deals with the construction of a taber-
nacle, not a temple, while Ezek 40-48 concerns a prospective restoration
of the temple, not an account of its actual construction. Kapelrud has
demonstrated a general similarity of a diverse assortment of texts, but
the certification th at this similarity is more than incidental must await
a detailed consideration of the distinctive, as well as the common, fea-
tures of each example.
yP. The need for a cautious approach to comparative structural analysis
becomes particularly critical when one focuses on the Ug.-Solomonic

texts. For a translation of the closest parallel to I Kings 3:4-15—the dream revelation to Thutmose IV
at the holy place of the Sphinx at Gizeh—see Wilson, A N E T 2, p. 449. The comparative relevance of the
Gudea and Pharonic materials is strikingly exemplified in I Kings 3:15. Kapelrud remarks of this v. only
that Solomon awoke from his dream and returned to Jerusalem (p. 59). But the Eg. parallels offer a plau-
sible explanation of Solomon’s sacrifices and the feast he held for his “servants” (at which, on the basis
of this theory, he told them of his plans).
27 On p. 61 Kapelrud admitted that the threats in vv. 6 9 ‫ ־‬reflect Deuteronomistic theology, although
he used the Gudea Cylinders to argue that they could be of “ancient origin.” More significantly, he im-
plicitly admitted on p. 59 that the mention of Gibeon in 9:2 relates to the Deuteronomist’s aversion to
worship at high places (3:2). From the perspective of this stage of the tradition, the reference to Gibeon
underlines Solomon’s wisdom in building the temple, one consequence of which was the removal of the
necessity to worship at the high places.

— 283 —
III 2 Ras Shamra Parallels

parallel. I t is tempting to level these traditions because the similarity

of the texts indicates th at the practices on which the story of Baal’s
temple building is based provided the model for Solomon’s procedures.
Not only is this historically probable, but the Baal texts also form the
closest analogue in ancient Near Eastern mythology to the Solomonic
narrative. In terms of literary comparison, parallels can be added to
those drawn by Kapelrud: for example, both texts reveal an ideology
of the god (UT 51 V:80-81, 95b-97a; V I:35b38‫־‬a; VIII:32b-37a) or the
king (I Kings 5:19 [5:5]; 6:1-2, 4-6, 9-10, 14-38; 7:48, 51; 9:1) as himself
the builder of the temple; and the seven days of the construction of
Baal’s temple (UT 51 VI:22-35a) correspond to the seven years taken
by Solomon to build Yahweh’s temple (I Kings 6:38). Historically, the
OT attests the influence of what may be described as “Canaanite” theory
and practice introduced via the Jerusalem temple in two ways: negatively,
there is the prophetic opposition to the temple (see, e.g., II Sam 7:5-7);
positively, Solomon asked Yahweh to send rain on the land in his prayer
at the dedication of the temple (I Kings 8:36), a request th at is closely
connected to Asherah’s comment th a t Baal’s temple will allow him to
send the rains (UT 51 V :68-72). Thus it is clear th at the Ug. texts, in
particular UT 51, contribute materially to our understanding of the
biblical story. But this in no way justifies a reductionist approach to
the structural interpretation of the texts. Not only do such maneuvers
distort our understanding of the texts as unique creations in their own
right, but structural reductionism also cuts us off from the evidence
of other texts which can contribute to the interpretive task of reading
a text in its widest possible context (thus, for instance, our understanding
of the royal ideology underlying the Solomonic story is deepened by
comparison at the level of narrative structure with the K rt text; see
below, 2 jj).

a. Krt (CTA 14) + 128 (CTA 15) + 125-127 {CTA 16).

b. Bibliography
Engnell, Studies1, pp. 143-173.
I. Engnell, HorS, I (1944), 1-20.
Gordon, OT Times, pp. 294-295 [= Gordon, World of OT, pp. 298-299;
= Gordon, A N E , pp. 297-298; cited below according to ANE].

— 284 —
Narrative Structures in the Ugaritic Texts I ll 2

Carlson, David.
L. Fisher, UF, III (1971), 27-28 [= R SP II, V 4 d-e].
Fisher, Gordon FS, pp. 59-65.

c. Gen 11:27-25:11; 25:19-35:29; 37:2-50:26

Fisher: The parallelism in structure, genre, setting, intention, and type
of content of the vows found in the K rt and Jacob cycles
(Krt: 199-206 and Gen 28:20-28) provides a clue to the ,‘larger
structural parallel” between the two cycles. An examination of their
structures reveals the following parallels:
(1) The purpose of the cycles is th at the hero must obtain a wife
in order to produce an heir.
(2) Both heroes are given instructions for the journey.
(3) Both heroes have a dream which contains a divine promise;
this promise seems to be inadequate in light of the conditional
(4) Early in the journey both heroes make a conditional vow not
mentioned in the instructions.
(5) Both vows concern the success of the journey, occur at a shrine,
and involve a different deity than th at of the dream.
(6) Both cycles have seven day journeys (epic style).
There are also significant differences between these two cycles, just
as there would be differences between any two “epics” at Ugarit,
having to do with “names, situations, and side events.” That the
K rt text ends in tablets th at are not complete probably conceals
other “structural parallels” dealing with “marriage, children, sue-
cess, threat, and fear, and finally both have a bright conclusion.”
{UF, 27-28; Gordon FS, pp. 62-63.)
d. The present (prose) form of the Jacob material also inhibits the
structural comparison by concealing “many im portant features”
th at were evident in the texts or traditions available to the editors
of Genesis. Nevertheless, it is vital to ground the comparison in
the final form of the material. But one should attem pt to analyze
this form on its own terms. This means, for example, th at if the
Jacob materials contain an “abundance of formulae” known from
Ug. m yth and epic (e.g., Gen 33:1: “And Jacob lifted up his eyes
and looked, and b e h o ld ...” ; see R SP III, II 3), the interpreter
can use these formulae to divide the text into sections like those
in the Ug. texts. When the material is divided in this fashion, “there

— 285 —
III 2 Ras Shamra Parallels

are many themes and motifs th at are clustered together in such a

way th at a similar thrust or point may be seen in both cycles.”
(UF, 27; Gordon FS, p. 62).
e. The same principles apply to the book of Genesis as a whole. If
one takes it on its own terms, he sees th at it is divided into “histo-
ries” (‫—) תולדו ת‬not into a Primeval History and a History of the
Patriarchs but rather into sequential “histories.” There are three
major Patriarchal “histories” : th at about Abram and his sons
(Gen 11:27-25:11), about Jacob (Gen 25:19-35:29), and about Joseph
(Gen 37:2-50:26). Each of these “histories” may be divided into
seventeen “subsections,” 1 but the determination of the individual

1 With this, Fisher referred to the following arrangement of the texts. I cite this outline because
it indicates his view of the relative content of the cycles. The alphabetical categories of the outline indicate
the relationship of the individual units to Fisher's fourfold basis structure; the symbol “*" at the beginning
or end of a unit indicates a formula known from Ug. that contributes to the identification of the unit (each
cycle begins, of course, with a nnVin-formula, but I do not indicate this in the outline since it is not really
comparable to the designations which begin some of the Ug. tablets [e.g. Ikrt in UT K rt:l]—although, on
the other hand, the Genesis formula may represent a development of the idea behind the Ug. designations).

A b ra m Jacob Joseph
[A] (1) Introduction and promise [A] (1) The elder shall serve the [A] (1) Shalt thou indeed reign
( 11:27‫ ־‬12:3) younger (25:1934‫)־‬ over us? (37:236‫)־‬
[B] (2) *Abram journeys to Ca- [B] (2) *The Lord blesses Isaac [A2) [‫ )׳‬An interruption from the
naan (12:49‫)־‬ (26:1 ‫־‬35 ) history of Judah* (38:1-30)
(3) Abram and Sarai go to (3) Jacob obtains the bless- [B] (3) Joseph and his success*
Egypt because of a famine ing (27:145‫)־‬ (39:1 ‫־‬41:57 )
( 12:10‫ ־‬13:1)
(4) Abram and Lot go their (4) *Jacob shall not take a (4) *Joseph and his brothers*
separate ways (13:218‫) ־‬ Canaanite wife* (27:4628:9‫)־‬ (42:1-45:28)
(5) Abram meets Melchizedek (5) *Jacob's departure and (5) *Jacob worships at Beer-
( 14:1‫־‬24 ) his vow at Bethel (28:1022‫)־‬ sheba* (46:17‫)־‬
[C] (6) *God makes a covenant (6) **Jacob marries Leah [Cl (6) “These are the names"
with Abram (15:121‫)־‬ and Rachel (29:130‫)־‬ (46:8 ‫־‬27 )
(7) The birth of Ishmael [C] (7) Leah and Rachel and (7) *Joseph meets his father
( 16:1‫ ־‬16) their children (29:3130:24‫)־‬ (46:28 ‫־‬34 )
(8) Another covenant and (8) Jacob increased exceed- (8) *The brothers before the
the promise that Sarah will ingly (30:2543‫)־‬ Pharoah (47:16‫)־‬
bear a son (17:127‫)־‬
(9) *(v. 2) The Lord's visit- (9) *(v. 2) Return unto the (9) Jacob before the Pharaoh
ation (18:119:38‫) ־‬ land of thy fathers* (31:1‫־‬ (47:712‫) ־‬
32:1 [31:55])
(10) Abraham sojourned in (10) **Jacob's fear of Esau (10) Give us bread (47:1326‫)־‬
Gerar (20:118‫) ־‬ ( 3 2 : 2 2 1 ‫־‬22 [32:1 ‫)]־‬
(11) Sarah conceived and (11) Jacob's ordeal (32:2333‫־‬ (11) Joseph's oath (47:2731‫)־‬
bare Abraham a son (21:121‫)־‬ [32:2232‫)]־‬
(12) God is with Abraham (12) *Jacob meets Esau (33:1‫־‬ (12) *The adoption of Eph-
(21:22 ‫־‬34 ) 17) raim and Manasseh (48:1‫־‬
22 )

— 286
Narrative Structures in the Ugaritic Texts I ll 2

parts is more debatable and less important than the observation

th at each cycle has about the same “bulk,” and th at the three cycles
show a “similar overall structure” :
(1) A word about the descendants and promise. The Abram cycle
has a geneaology and a promise (Gen 11:2712:3‫ ;)־‬the Jacob
cycle emphasizes the theme “the elder shall serve the younger”
(Gen 25:19-34), as does the Joseph cycle (Gen 37:2-36).
(2) A section dealing with the success of the central character.
God is with the Patriarch in all his difficulties, granting him
success in “very material ways.” The difficulties include famine
(Gen 12:10-13:1; 26:1-35; 42:1-38), seduction (Sarah, Rebekah,
and Joseph; cf. also Gen 20:1-18), and difficulties with kings
or other powerful individuals. Note th at the fifth subsection
of the Abram and Jacob cycles deals with the tithe (Gen 14:
1-24 and 28:10-22).

(13) God tested Abraham (13) Jacob goes to Shechem (13) *Jacob's word to the
(22:1‫ ־‬19) (33:18‫־‬34:31) twelve tribes (49:1-28a)
(14) An original ending (22: (14) *Jacob returns to Bethel (14) Jacob's blessing, charge,
20‫־‬24) (35:1‫ ־‬15) and death (49:28b33‫)־‬
[D] (15) The death and burial of [D] (15) The death and burial of [DJ (15) Jacob's burial* (50:114‫)־‬
Sarah (23:120‫)־‬ Rachel (35:1620‫)־‬
(16) Isaac takes Rebekah as (16) Jacob and his sons (16) *“God meant it unto
his wife** (vv. 63, 64) (24: (35:21‫־‬26) good21‫( '׳‬50:15‫)־‬
(17) The death of Abraham (17) *The death of Isaac (17) The death of Joseph
(25:1‫ ־‬11) (35:27‫־‬29) (50:22‫־‬26)
In one sense I have included too many “formulae‫ ׳״‬in this outline, and in another sense too few. The problem
is one of definition. From Whitaker's strict perspective, only Gen 18:2; 24:63, 64; and 33:1 would qualify
(see RSP III, II 1 4 ‫)־‬. Whitaker finds very few formulae common to Ug. and Heb. because his definition
of the term depends on poetic analysis. Thus he can account for an expression such as “he raised his voice
and called,‫ '׳‬but not for the simpler “he said‫( '״‬except as the compliment of an “epithet‫)'׳‬. But if one looks
for the rhetorical devices that bind the units of Ug. and Heb. narrative, one discovers that a Ug. expression
such as wt'n functions analogously to the Heb. ‫ויאמר‬: it introduces speeches. This leads one to suspect that
such a “transitional (or coupling, or pivot) formula‫ ׳׳‬is fundamentally a prose, rather than a poetic, device,
although these types of formulae are commonly expanded in the direction of poetry in Ug. verse (this is
one of the functions of Whitaker's “epithets'‫)׳‬. My indications of formulae in the outline represent the
use of transitional devices known from Ug. poetry. Cassuto first discussed these “stereotyped expressions‫'״‬
in 19421943‫( ־‬see Studies II, pp. 2026‫)־‬, and I have followed his lead by identifying only those expressions
where some linguistic factor attaches the Heb. usage to its Ug. forerunner. However, it is clear that Ug.
poetry employs references to traveling, seeing, and saying as transitional devices to connect narrative units.
This suggests that any such “formula‫ '׳‬in Heb. should be included as “known from Ug.‫—׳׳‬whether or not
it reflects an expression actually found in the Ug. texts. From an even broader perspective, a transitional
formula such as ‫( ויהי‬e.g., Gen 27:1) should also be included. If such a device does not appear in the Ug.
corpus, it nevertheless corresponds to those devices used by the Ug. texts to join narrative units. Just
as the narrative structure of a text will depend partly on the specific content of that text and partly on
the larger system to which it belongs, so a rhetorical ploy such as a transitional formula can be specific
to a text or group of texts while still participating in a larger system.

— 287 —
III 2 Ras Shamra Parallels

(3) More material on the descendants and land. In the Abram

cycle the heir is most important; with Jacob God’s gift of sons
is im portant but is blended into many other things, of which
obtaining land at Shechem stands out; Joseph’s sons are in-
eluded among the “twelve,” and he receives the land at Shechem
from Jacob (Gen 48:1-22).
(4) Similar conclusions: a burial scene (Gen 23:1-20; 35:16-20;
50:1-14), additional material on the heir(s) (Gen 24:1-67;
35:21-26; 50:15-21), and a death scene (Gen 25:1-11; 35:27-29;
50:22-26). These are the last three subsections of any kind
of division of the cycles. (Gordon FS, pp. 61-62.)

f. Like the K rt (as well as the Aqht!) cycle, the Patriarchal cycles
are “royal epics.” This is the correct term for the “type or genre,”
because “the place of these cycles within the history of each state
is similar” : the individual narrative is concerned with a small group;
cycles of such stories relate to entire tribes; later the cycles can
provide a “common national tradition” ; and still later they can
be used for a "connected history.” For the K rt epic, this indicates
an origin in the tribe of t', but in the period of the kingdom of Ugarit
it was used as a royal epic. The Patriarcal cycles were at one time
separate, each concerned with a tribal father who was “in a very
real sense” a king, and each put together by a minstrel who filled
a known structure with traditional materials. The traditional basis
of the cycles affects OT source criticism. For example, a unit such
as Gen 28:1-9—which contains the major purpose of Jacob’s journey,
the obtaining of a wife—is “very difficult to assign to a late source,
since it is so im portant to the structure.” Also, one should expect
th at some of the material used to fill such a structure will be con-
tradictory, or will be used several times. During the period of the
Judges the cycles were put together in the interest of "national
unity.” The concluding sections may have been added at this time,
since "in them we can see a movement toward a united Israel.”
Many transitional phrases th at are usually assigned to P were also
added. When David became king, he found his own royal epic
too narrow. Traces of this cycle are preserved in Gen 38, whose
structure and content (the seduction scene and “the elder shall
serve the younger”) indicate th a t it is the beginning of a “History
of Judah.” By adding some of his own material without overem-
phasizing his own line, David transformed the “epic of nationhood”

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Narrative Structures in the Ugaritic Texts I ll 2

from the period of the Judges into a new “royal epic." (See Gordon
FS, pp. 63-64.)
g. Comments
W ith his explicit interest in structure, genre, setting, and inten-
tion, as well as his focus on content, Fisher stands squarely within the
form critical tradition (see above, Intro 2 b). This means, on the one
hand, th at the ultimate validity of his proposal cannot be judged on
structural grounds alone; but it also means th at his approach to the
structural problems is inhibited by the traditional restraints of form
critical methodology, as well as by his selective appropriation of th at
h. The structural issues begin to come into focus when one analyzes
his way of bringing the Jacob and K rt materials together. Fisher’s com-
parison reflects the form critical focus on narrative order (see above,
Intro 8), yet the “narrativity" of the texts supplies a tottering platform
th at can scarcely support the weight of Fisher’s ediface. This forces
him to slant his structural analysis away from the direction of narrative
order at two critical points. The first point concerns the nature of the
parallels he has adduced from examining the "structure” of the two
cycles (see above, c). Three of the six parallels are only indirectly depen-
dent on the narrative structures of the texts: the sixth (seven day jour-
ney), as Fisher himself noted, depends on epic style rather than nar-
rative structure; the fifth constitutes a description of the nature, setting,
and deity of the protagonist’s vow; and the first (the purpose of the
cycles) is a statem ent of the intention of the texts. Intention relates to
structure, but Fisher himself remarked (UF, 28; Gordon FS, p. 62) th at
the “purpose” of the Jacob cycle is broader than the hero’s obtaining
of a wife in order to produce an heir; and it simply cannot be claimed
th a t this is the purpose of the K rt cycle on the basis of its distinctive
narrative structure. This claim is applicable only to UT K rt + 128 1:1-
III:25a. In UT 128 III:25b-VI:9 + 125-127 the narrative turn of
events shifts abruptly, and K rt must face the problems posed by his
own illness and the challenge of one of his sons to his right to the throne. 2
i. This narrative movement within the K rt cycle, for which Fisher
does not account, signals the second point at which Fisher withdraws

2 I am assuming that Fisher would include all of this material in the Krt cycle, since he refers to the
incomplete tablets which conclude the cycle (see above, c).

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III 2 Ras Shamra Parallels

from narrative order in his structural analysis. W ithout specifying the

narrative differences between the K rt and Jacob cycles, Fisher relegates
these differences to a m atter of “names, situations, and side events,”
and offers the untestable suggestion th at the present form of the Jacob
materials conceals parallels th at once existed (see above, c-d). How-
ever, such differences are of fundamental significance to structural in-
terpretation. Even if we accept Fisher’s limitation of the Ug. structural
evidence to UT Krt, we find th at the overall narrative structure of this
text is dramatically different from th at of the Jacob cycle. The struc-
ture of K rt breaks down into two major units: a statem ent of K rt’s
problem—no descendants (11. 7b-21a), and a description of the solution
to this problem (11. 2lb-306), which must be divided into K rt’s reception
of E l’s instructions in a dream (11. 21b-153) and K rt’s fulfillment of the
instructions (11. 154-306). In itself, this suggests no structural com-
parison with any of the Patriarchal cycles; but K rt’s fulfillment of E l’s
instructions varies from those instructions in one significant fashion:
he interrupts his wife-claiming journey to make a vow to the goddess
Asherah. T hat Jacob makes a similar vow under somewhat comparable
circumstances provides the only substantial structural link between UT
K rt and any of the Patriarchal cycles (i.e., no vow, no comparison; this
is why Fisher’s structural comparison of the three Patriarchal cycles
has no contact with his structural comparison of the K rt and
Jacob cycles).

j. The vows allow Fisher to expand his comparison of Jacob and K rt

to include their journeys in quest of a wife and their dreams (note th at
points 2-5 of Fisher’s structural parallels are confined on the OT side
to Gen 28—this chapter represents the maximum basis on which the
Patriarchal cycles can be compared to the K rt text at the level of nar-
rative structure). The nature and narrative significance of these el-
ements is quite different in Gen 28 and in UT Krt. Fisher points out
several of the differences (UF, 28; Gordon FS, pp. 62-63), but they strike
him as unimportant because he does not attem pt a structural inter-
pretation of the comparison he has drawn. Such an interpretation would
inevitably focus on the role of the vows in the context of the total cycles
in which they are embedded. Jacob’s vow in Gen 28:20-22 is not par-
ticularly significant in terms of the overall narrative structure of the
Jacob cycle. I t does play an im portant role in the context of Gen 28:10-22,
a unit which gives an etiology for the cultic center at Bethel (for
the connection of Bethel and the tithe, see Amos 4:4), and for which

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Narrative Structures in the Ugaritic Texts I ll 2

Gen 35:1-15 offers an alternate tradition (see von Rad, Genesis, pp. 277-
282 and 330-334). Although Jacob’s return to Bethel in Gen 35:1-15
gives him the opportunity to fulfill his vow, the text bears little relation
to the vow and says nothing about the tithe—underlining the relative
insignificance of the vow in the larger movement of the narrative. In
the K rt cycle, on the other hand, the vow holds a fundamental position
within the narrative flow. For it is K rt’s failure after seven(!) years
to fulfill his vow th at motivates the events of UT 128 I I I :25b-VI :9 +
125-127. Faced with such a dramatic narrative difference, the structural
interpreter would have to seek the bond of his texts in the subsurface
levels of structure by focusing on the relationships found in each text
(see above, Intro 5) and by attem pting to decode the meaning of the
texts (see above, Intro 8). Fisher, however, concentrates on elements
rather than relationships; and in place of decoding conflicts at the level
of narrative structure, he simply ignores them.
k. That Fisher’s non-technical (see above, Intro 4) approach to the
question of narrative structure gives him no basis for a structural in-
terpretation of the Jacob-Krt parallel is clear; but an evaluation of his
contribution to the structural comparison of the Jacob and K rt cycles
(and the Patriarchal cycles in their own right) must consider the frame-
work within which he operates. Fisher’s understanding of the Patriarchal
cycles stems from two related insights of Cyrus Gordon: the K rt and
Aqht cycles reflect a pervading element of the Patriarchal cycles, the
divine promise of progeny (A N E , p. 294); and the prevalence of “royal
epic” at Ugarit shows us th at the Patriarchal cycles are (among other
things!) royal epic (Common Background, pp. 282 and 285). Fisher ac-
cepts this generic identification on the grounds of setting: the genre is
right because the place of these cycles within the history of each state
is similar. And setting is the chief criterion for Fisher’s theory of the
development of the Patriarchal cycles in relation to the history of
Israel (see above, f).
l. If it is used with caution, the genre “royal epic” provides a useful
means of describing the connection of the Ug. and Heb. texts in question.
By definition, the protagonist is a kingly figure, and the central concern
is his dynasty. The K rt cycle meets these criteria in a relatively pure
fashion: K rt is a king, and the survival of his dynasty forms the central
preoccupation of the whole cycle. Interpretation which builds on this
foundation appeals to th at which is fundamental to the texts, as op-
posed, for example, to Engnell’s m yth-ritual view of the K rt text as

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III 2 Ras Shamra Parallels

a variant of the Baal cycle whose fundamental concern is fertility (see

below, ss-tt). While it is true th at most of the Ug. mythic and epic texts
have to do with fertility in some way, the interpreter must ground his
understanding of an individual composition in the emphasis of th at
particular composition. If Fisher’s understanding of the K rt cycle is
grounded in its emphasis, the same claim can be made for his under-
standing of the Patriarchal cycles. The focus of the K rt cycle appears
in its initial unit (UT Krt:7b-21a), which establishes the survival of his
dynasty as the problem situation of the epic; and the same kind of in-
terest reveals itself in the rn*^1n-formula which introduces each Pa-
triarchal cycle, as well as in the essential content of the cycles (i.e., the
“history” of Terah focuses on Abram, th at of Isaac on Jacob, and th at
of Jacob on Joseph). The emphasis of this movement both within and
across the cycles is on the continuity of the Patriarchal generations.
The gift of land is an im portant and special concern of the Patriarchal
stories; but its significance depends on its subjugation to the dominant
emphasis on Patriarchal succession (a point made nicely in Gen 12:1-3).
m. That the Ug.-Heb. parallel depends on a generic, and not a struc-
tural, similarity is clear. The constitutive feature of the genre “royal
epic” is its preoccupation with the maintenance of a particular dynasty.
This preoccupation could find expression in a vast diversity of narrative
sequences. For this reason, Fisher’s comparison of the Jacob and K rt
cycles at the level of narrative structure is an important contribution
to our understanding of the generic parallel. T hat the structural re-
lationship he proposed lacks the strength to bear all of the burdens he
imposed upon it is neither as surprising nor as significant as the bare
fact th at a narrative relationship of any kind can be demonstrated.
Fisher has shown th at a narrative parallel can be drawn between Gen 28
and the K rt text. The existence of such a parallel challenges future
research to isolate all of the narrative elements in the various examples
of the genre (and this would carry such research beyond the confines
of Ug. and Heb.). When this task has been accomplished, the distinctive
concerns of a particular text can be assessed on a truly comparative
n. In a limited sense Fisher has embarked on this task by comparing
the narrative structures of the three OT cycles. From a purely structural
perspective, this comparison is more successful than th at of the Jacob
and K rt cycles because it reveals a broader and more fundamental
structural unity (although Fisher’s analysis is too sketchy to provide an

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Narrative Structures in the Ugaritic Texts I ll 2

answer to the compelling question of what elements are necessary and what
are incidental to the ‘‘Patriarchal’’ form of the genre). Of particular interest
is Fisher’s discovery th at the narrative structure of Gen 38 indicates
it to be the beginning of an independent Patriarchal cycle, the “history”
of Judah—a history whose emphasis obviously relates to the concerns
of the Davidic dynasty. Not only does this observation help us deter-
mine the role of Gen 38 in the Patriarchal literature, but it also raises
intriguing prospects for an original connection of a complete Judah
cycle with other materials from David’s reign, especially—on the analogy
of the K rt cycle—the so-called “Succession History of David” in II Sam
9-20 + I Kings 1-2. If the Patriarchal cycles primarily reflect the in-
terests of the first part of the K rt cycle, UT K rt + 128 1:1-111:25a (see
above, h), the so-called Succession History appropriates the dominant
concerns of the second part of the K rt cycle, UT 128 I I I :25b-VI:9 +
125-127 (see below, dd-hh). Of course, these emphases overlap. David
must have a wife and heir of his own in order to guarantee his dynasty.
Yet, in the broad framework of royal epic he would also need the type
of material represented by the now aborted Judah cycle to legitimize
his own reign and the survival of his dynasty. The connection of a Judah
cycle with the Succession History is speculative, but at least one should
note th at these materials represent a continuity of interests brought
together in one example of royal epic, the K rt cycle.

o. The most striking aspect of Fisher’s approach to narrative structure

is his intention to treat the Patriarchal materials as a coherent whole,
revealed by structural investigation to consist of large blocks built upon
the same broad pattern. That Fisher’s results are far from complete
is less significant than the fact th at he has achieved enough to demon-
strate the viability of narrative structural analysis at this level of the
text. The importance of this methodological insight may be emphasized
by contrasting it with alternative approaches to the Genesis texts.
Traditional form critical analysis has focused on individual units, per-
ceiving them as isolated traditions independently related to particular
places and customs. The question of source analysis has dominated the
form critical understanding of the incorporation of these units into larger
compositions. As far as the discipline has treated the three major Pa-
triarchal cycles as wholes, it has tended to view them as essentially dif-
ferent rather than essentially similar. If we turn to structuralist exegesis,
we find a similar impulse to deal exclusively with the smaller units of
the text among its tentative probes into the Genesis materials—partly

293 —
III 2 Ras Shamra Parallels

because such units are comfortably available to short-term analysis,

and partly because some traditions may be studied on a comparative
basis within the Patriarchal literature. Folklore treatments of Genesis
texts, while depending on a far-ranging comparative foundation, have
likewise settled for the study of smaller textual units. This trend reflects
the commitment of folklore research to the study of individual motifs
and traditional episodes—th at is, where points of contact to extra-
biblical literature are the greatest. The effort to bring the Patriarchal
narratives together under a single structural umbrella presupposes some
faith th at the results of such study will be significant. This type of faith
requires a comparative basis that is substantial enough to raise the basic
level of investigation to the cycle as a discrete entity and to focus com-
positional analysis on the combination of the cycles. Yet the compar-
ative basis must be narrow enough to avoid the reduction of the inves-
tigation to a generalized concern with universal human tendencies. By
establishing a suitable comparative basis in the genre “royal epic,” and
by initiating the task of structural analysis on the Patriarchal narratives
as a whole, Fisher has given us grounds for the faith required to proceed.
When this structural analysis has been thoroughly accomplished (at
all levels of structure), its results must be correlated with those of pre-
vious research. Only then will we be able to adequately assess the va-
lidity of the literary and historical conclusions th at Fisher has drawn.

P• The Ug.-Heb. parallel, as established generically by Gordon and

pursued structurally by Fisher, is incomplete in that the Ug. Aqht cycle
has been identified as an example of the genre “royal epic” but not drawn
into the structural discussion. The fragmented state of the tablets in
the Aqht cycle prohibits any connected analysis of its narrative. How-
ever, enough has been preserved to show th at the Aqht cycle, in con-
trast to the K rt cycle, shares the narrative perspective of the Patriarchal
cycles: the story begins with King Danel, the father figure, but the plot
focuses on the son, Aqht. And the narrative interest in this son arises
from his role as the heir necessary to the survival of Danel’s dynasty
(see UT 2 Aqht I:17b-22a [CTA 17 I:17b-22a]). That which is left to
us of the Aqht narrative differs dramatically from any of the Patriarchal
cycles, but it nevertheless offers one fundamental point of contact at
the level of narrative structure. This is the traditional birth episode
given in UT 2 Aqht I-II (CTA 17 I-II). There is a clear structural re-
lationship between this birth episode and th at of the birth of Isaac in
the Abram cycle (Gen 21:1-7), as well as th at of the birth of Jacob and

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Narrative Structures in the Ugaritic Texts I ll 2

Esau in the Jacob cycle (Gen 25:21-26). Elements from the traditional
birth episode also appear in the K rt cycle.3 This traditional episode is
by no means distinctive to the genre “royal epic.” Other OT parallels
can be found both within and outside of the Patriarchal narratives;
and the birth of a hero is recounted in traditional fashion in a vast spec-
trum of ancient Near Eastern and, indeed, world literature. Nevertheless,
the birth episode assumes a particular significance in a genre constituted
by its preoccupation with the survival of a dynasty. If for no other
reason, the narrative relationship of this part of the Aqht cycle to the
Patriarchal cycles offers an important piece of comparative evidence for
the structural interpretation of the Patriarchal cycles. 4

q. I Sam 16-1 Kings 2

Gordon: The crowning "epic cycle” of the OT is the “Epic of Kings”
celebrating the rise and establishment of the monarchy under Saul
and David. Because of his greater achievements in creating an
empire and founding Israel’s first and only enduring dynasty, David
alone merited “epic treatm ent par excellence” :
[1] Both David (I Sam 16:10-11) and K rt (UT K rt:9) are one of
eight brothers.
[2] That David is the youngest who eclipses all his elder brothers
is an “epic motif” applied to royal succession in UT 128 I - I I .5

3 The structural study of the traditional birth episode can be most meaningfully performed by means
of narrative motif analysis. Therefore, its treatment will be reserved for RSP IV (but see also below, 3 p‫־‬v).
4 This is especially true of the Abram cycle, whose plot is obsessed with the birth of Isaac. In fact,
the traditional birth episode in Gen 21:17‫ ־‬may be considered with some justification as the nucleus of the
entire cycle. At least, most of narrative units which precede it in the plot move toward it, while most of
those which follow flow from it. Although no unit in the Joseph cycle can be related to the traditional birth
episode at the level of narrative structure, the first unit in Fisher's analysis of the cycle (Gen 37:236‫ ;־‬see
above, e1) dramatically emphasizes the key element of the birth episode in the Jacob cycle (Gen 25:2126‫)־‬.
This is the reversal of fortune: “the older shall serve the younger" (Gen 25:23). While this element does
not appear in the narrative structure of the birth episode in the Aqht cycle, it does play a role in the birth
episode of the Krt cycle (UT 128 111:16 [CTA 15 111:16])—although its narrative function is not clear (see
below, q5, and 3 g and k).
5 Gordon did not specify the significance of this cryptic Ug. reference. The real textual basis for the
“motif" he identified is UT 128 111:16 (see above, p4). In context, this line must be related to Krt's six
daughters of 11. 7 1 2 ‫־‬. Gordon realized this, but took it to mean that the youngest daughter, Octavia, is to
be “sororarch" (UMC, p. Il l , n. 66). This notion evidently led him to emend UT 128 11:24 to wtmnt ltmnt\
(UT, p. 195), and translate 11. 23b24‫ ־‬as “[The wife] Will bear thee seven sons / And an eighth (daughter):
Octavia" (UMC, p. 110). I,. 24, however, is legible but problematic because it lacks a word divider:
wtmntttmnm (see Herdner, CTA, p. 69 and n. 2, for the text and options for its division). Nevertheless, the gen-
eral sense of the line seems to be that Krt's wife will produce eight sons for him, in accord with the seven-
eight numerical pattern of this type of formulation (see Caquot, TO ML, p. 539 and n. j). Gordon's inter-
polation of “Octavia" into this verse lacks credibility for several reasons: it forces him to ignore .the obvious

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III 2 Ras Shamra Parallels

[3] The dual tradition th at David was the seventh (I Chron 2:15)
or eighth (I Sam 16[ :1011 ‫ )]־‬son reflects a poetic origin in the
device of climaxing “seven” with “eight” parallelistically [cf.,
e.g., Krt:8b-9].
[4] Like K rt who must win the hand of a princess by war, David
wins Michal by slaughtering man}‫■׳‬Philistines [I Sam 18:20-27].6
[5] That David loses Michal and has to regain her (II Sam 3:14)
suggests th at the mention of the departure of K rt’s rightful
bride (UT K rt :12-14) does not imply her death but th at she has
somehow left him and must be rewon.
[6] As K rt suffers for his sin, so David suffers for his sin with Bath-
[a] That the child of David and Bathsheba was fatally ill for
the "epic” number of seven days (II Sam 12[: 18]) reflects
a poetic original.
[b] K rt’s disaster includes famine in his realm (UT 126 III);
David’s sins confront his realm with a choice of disasters
including famine (II Sam 24:13). (See pp. 297-298.)

r. The narrative of David combines “earlier epic” with “later his-

toriography.” Solomon’s story includes fewer epic elements and
more annalistic elements. W ith the divided kingdom many of the
"traditional epic features” disappear: schematic numbers for reigns
become rare after the forty years each of David and Solomon; pre-
occupation with the birth of a son and heir no longer plays a role
in the narratives; romantic marriage is no longer mentioned; and
annunciations find no more place in secular life, but are confined
to the religious sphere. “Post-Davidic history is virtually devoid
of the old Canaanite epic content, however much the language
continues to re-echo the epic tradition in expression and style.”
(P. 298.)

stichometry of the verse, whose last stich should include the Ik of 1. 25; the fragmented condition of what
follows in the Krt cycle gives us no indication that “Octavia‫ ׳׳‬ever became the “ruling sister“ ; and UT
128 111:16, upon which Gordon's interpretation of 128 11:24 seems to depend, is probably a secondary ad-
dition to the text (see below, 3 g). Therefore, while Gordon's suggestion that the notion of “reversal of
fortune'' is an “epic motif'' may be generally valid, his attempt to link it with royal succession in the Krt
cycle rests on dubious evidence.
6 Although, as Gordon pointed out elsewhere (BASOR, 65 [1937], 31), David slaughters the Philis-
tines to pay the “bride price'‫ ׳‬to Saul for Michal; see Rainey, RSP II, III 1. Note that Carlson, David,
p. 191, n. 1, accepted Gordon's parallel, even though he pointed out the qualitative difference between
the actions of David and Krt.

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Narrative Structures in the Ugaritic Texts I ll 2

s. I I Sam 6
Engnell: A “consistent cultic-ritual interpretation” of UT K rt must be
maintained against all other conceptions of its character, especially
any kind of historical conception (see Studies, pp. 143-149; HorS,
1-3). Like all the great Ug. texts, its “central motif” is the victory
of cosmos over chaos—th at is, the victory of life and fertility over
death and sterility (Studies, p. 144; HorS, 3, 7, 20). Specifically,
UT K rt is a “mere variant” of the Baal-Anat cycle, “differentiated
from it maybe in time or maybe in its cultural-religious stratum ,
yet, ultimately just a parallel” (HorS, 17; cf. 3; see Studies, pp. 168-
169). King K rt is culturally and religio-phenomenologically iden-
tical to Baal; i.e., a Tammuz-Adonis figure, the dying and rising
type of god. The same dualism holds between K rt and Pbl as be-
tween Baal and Mot. (See Studies, pp. 168-169.) The life-death
problem is always concentrated in the ideology of kingship. The
identity between royal and divine ideology is the characteristic
feature of UT Krt: the king is the personal corporalization of the
divine chief character, the “Tammuz-god.” (HorS, 3; see Studies,
pp. 144-145, 152.)
t. UT Krt, then, is not any kind of “historical” or “mythic” text; it
is a “ritual” text. As such, it is a “distinct part of the great ritual
cycle bound up with the ,Tammuz’ character, to wit, the sections
introducing the leyoc ydfux; element, so th at it might thus be called
a ritual of the wooing by the divine king of the queen-goddess.”
The same kind of fragment is found at Ugarit in UT 77 (CTA 24).
At the same time, the “K rt version” of the “royal-divine pattern
of the Ugaritic Tammuz type of religion” constitutes an “older
Canaanite pattern” of the OT IVDO-festival, the autumnal “en-
thronement festival,” as seen by the “royal-divine ritual items (or:
elements)” in UT K r t : 7

7 In HorS, 5 1 9 ‫־‬, Engnell discussed UT 128 + 125127‫ ־‬from a structural perspective informed by his
view of the texts as rituals (note the summary statement on p. 19: UT 125127‫“ ־‬in its extremely charac-
teristic structure bears throughout the unmistakable ritual stamp—as do all the great R Sh texts—an im-
pression that is positively inescapable"). However, he did not attempt to extend the Ug.‫־‬Heb. parallel
on the basis of these texts, and so I am omitting them (although he certainly understood them as parts
of a Krt cycle). My presentation of the ritual elements he identified in UT Krt follows his listing in HorS,
3 5 ‫־‬. This list does not encompass all of the text, as does his translation and discussion in Studies, pp. 149-
168, but it more concisely demonstrates his conception of the ritual pattern on which the text is based.
Engnell’s breakdown of the text into individual units in Studies signifies little for its surface structure,
since he looked for ritual, rather than narrative, entities. His major division of the surface structure of

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III 2 Ras Shamra Parallels

(1) The “devastation,” the “blood-bath,” the (imaginative) de-

struction of the temple, the “death” of the king-god (11. 10-[21a]).
(2) The ritual mourning of the king (11. 2lb -[3la]).
(3) The king’s incubation and dream oracle: the promise of the
birth of “the son” (in a hierogamy) (11. 31b-[43]).
(4) The king in a “bit rimki-rite,” in ablution rites on the roof,
culminating in sacrifice (11. 59-[79a], 156-[171a]).
(5) The king in a special baking-rite, an introductory rite to the
now following “sukkdt-iestival” (11. 79b-[85a], 171b-[176a]).
(6) The king at the head of the “Exodus,” the going out to the
hierogamy festival in the open, “the desert” (11. 85b-[114a],
(7) The king in “sham fight” with the counter-king (the high priest)
for the queen-goddess (11. 114b-[153], 218-[300a]; but for 125-
129 see also 53-56). LI. 136b-[153], 281-[300a], constitute the
“very core of the whole K rt te x t” : the king claims to take the
“goddess” to wife, she th at will give birth to his son, the new
humanity (the striking similarity of this passage to sections of
Canticles is the best evidence th at this song was originally a
Tammuz liturgy).
(8) The king’s delivering of the wedding-gift to the goddess for
the legoc ydf-io? (11. 199b-[206]).
(9) The various royal epithets applied to K rt ( f , ngb, 'bd il, 'bd il
whdrt, tr il abh, n'mn glm il). (See Studies, pp. 149-168; HorS,
u. The relation of UT K rt to II Sam 6 may be seen at a number of
points. First, the cultic occasion of UT K rt is the Ug. JI'DO-festival,
of which the king is the central character (Studies, p. 155). Second
(see above, t, no. 6), there is no expedition by an actual army in
UT Krt, but a cultic “Exodus” led by the king to the hierogamy
festival in the open. This parallels David’s going up with the Ark
in II Sam 6, an act which is in reality a standing rite in the Israelite
so-called enthronement festival. The “m artial” character of K rt’s
going out is comparable to David’s accompaniment of thirty thou-

the text into a “prospective" or dream version (UT Krt: 10153‫ )־‬and a “narrative" version (UT Krt: 154‫־‬
306) completely misses the syntagmatic structure (see above, i) . Engnell made one other observation with
potential relevance to a structuralist study of the text—that its “chief actors" are the divine king himself,
the “counter-king," the queen-goddess, and the “young god"-king (= the reborn king); compare Leach’s
use of the characters in the Davidic materials (see below, da).

— 298
Narrative Structures in the Ugaritic Texts I ll 2

sand men when he brings the Ark up to Jerusalem (II Sam 6:1).
David was not a “much lower fellow” than King Krt! This also
parallels UT 51 V II (CTA 4 VII), where Baal heads an armed train
on an occasion th at is in reality the entry into the temple in con-
nection with the ritual combat. (Studies, p. 156; HorS, 4-5.) Final-
ly, one should compare the “mysterious” udm of UT Krt:133-135,
256-259, to the ‫ ע ב ל ״ א דו ם‬with whom David left the Ark in II Sam
6:10, and from whence it was to start at the procession of the en-
thronement festival in the Jerusalemite c u lt.8 Moreover, the proces-
sion was preceded by a pause, etiologically motivated in the nar-
rative by the breach of Uzzah (II Sam 6:6-11). (See Studies, pp. 163-

v. I I Sam 2-1 Kings 2

Carlson: For the “traditio-historical” analysis of a tradition such as that
represented in II Sam, it is essential to set the tradition in the con-
text of its ancient Near Eastern background—although final judg-
ment must always be based on internal analysis. The comparison
of the “formal structure” of a given OT pericope and the same
structure in extra-Israelite literature is an important aspect of
this “comparative traditio-historical analysis.” In this framework,
“compositional analysis” provides the key to unlock the “structural
patterns” used to build up a unit or complex of units. Where indi-
vidual units are concerned, this method depends on the “form-
analytical” isolation of the material. Characteristics of individual
units are partly transformed in the composition of larger blocks, and
at this stage of a tradition other characteristics appear: repetition
of “formulae” to unify material, framework material, and the
grouping of material around “definite themes containing a variety
of motifs.” (See pp. 12-14.)

w. The present form of the “Davidic cycle” is the product of Deu-

teronomic ideology and composition; but the Davidic cycle also has
close ideological and compositional affinities with the K rt epic, as
emphasized by Engnell (see above, s-u). These statements are not
contradictory: the “D-group” constantly employed well-known

8 On u dm see Astour, R S P II, VIII 16, who, however, did not discuss Engnell's proposal that udm
is the name of a goddess.

— 299
III 2 Ras Shamra Parallels

“epic conventions.’’ Thus the number seven is particularly signifi-

cant in Deuteronomic language and provides the scheme which con-
nects the units of II Samuel; and it also has an important function
in epic literature, as demonstrated for the K rt epic by Gordon (see
above, q). Moreover, the “compositional character” of I-II Samuel
provides a "positive indication” th at the D-group based their de-
scription of the epoch of Saul and David on an already existing “epic
of David,” 9 whose complete reconstruction, however, is “so com-
plicated as to be impossible.” (See pp. 33-34; 34, nn. 5-6; 43 and
n. 5.)

x. The traditio-historical analysis of the book of II Samuel in compar-

ison with the K rt cycle can be adequately accomplished only if
one understands both the nature of the K rt cycle and the Deuter-
onomic composition of II Samuel. The K rt cycle is "an epic which
centres on the question of the continuance of a dynasty,” and which
"has been called the Canaanite equivalent of the Israelite sukkdt
festival (Engnell)” (see above, t) (p. 67). In II Samuel we find the
Deuteronomic notions of “blessing” when Israel follows Yahweh
and “curse” when the people do not follow him to be constitutive
of the two main sections of the book: (1) David under the Blessing
(II Sam 2-7), and (2) David under the Curse (II Sam 9-24) (pp. 25, 30).
y. The notice th at six sons were born to David in Hebron in II Sam
3:2-5 alerts the reader to the epic-dynastic aspect of the Davidic
cycle. “Thematically,” this is a typical “blessing” statem ent and
is therefore fully justified in the description of David’s growing
"blessing” in his war with Ishbosheth (II Sam 2:12-4:12). The
D-group presumably incorporated II Sam 3:2-5 into this context,
but “such statements have always had a legitimate function in an

9 The notion of a (Samuel)-Saul‫־‬David cycle was set forth by Carlson’s teacher, Engnell, in S B U ,
cols. 10431049‫ ; ־‬S B U 2, cols. 8 67871‫־‬. However, Carlson’s identification of the original form of this material
as a “David-cycle” and his attempt to demonstrate its “many points of contact’’ with the Krt epic also
depend on Gordon’s view’ of the Krt-David parallel. His treatment of I Sam 16:113‫ ־‬clarifies his relation‫־‬
ship to Gordon. While Gordon proposed an “Epic of Kings’’ having to do with both Saul and David, he
limited his treatment of the Davidic epic to I Sam 16 and subsequent materials (see above, q). Carlson
admitted the attractiveness of the theory that I Sam 16:113‫ ־‬began the original epic of David, and he related
this passage to the Krt epic by means of Gordon’s observation that in both cycles the eighth and youngest
son is exalted above his brothers (see above, q, nos. 1 2 ‫)־‬. But Carlson also argued that I Sam 16:113‫ ־‬cannot
be isolated from I Sam 15, nor from the delineation of the figure(s) of Samuel in “earlier passages’’ (see
p. 43 and n. 5). Thus he incorporated all of I and II Samuel under the rubric “epic of David’’—a view that
modifies Gordon’s Krt-David thesis along the lines of Engnell’s hypothesis of the unity of I and II Samuel.

— 300
Narrative Structures in the Ugaritic Texts I ll 2

epic purporting, like the Keret cycle, to describe the fortunes of a

dynasty.” Thus the Davidic story circles “from one point of view
around the theme ‘A son after you, who shall come forth from your
body’” (II Sam 7:12); cf. II Sam 5:13-16 and 6:20-23. The same
applies in even higher degree to the K rt epic: cf. the refrain “W hat
need have I (Keret) of silver and yellow-glittering . . . grant I may
beget children” [UT Krt:52b-54a+57(-58); cf. 11. 137b-138+152-153
and 282-283+ 298-300a]. (See pp. 50-51 and n. 4.)

II Sam 6 is fully integrated into the section “David under the Bless-
ing” (see p. 58) as a “ ‘historicized’ account of the sukkot festival”
(p. 83). Parallels with the K rt epic underscore the “cultic character”
of II Sam 6:
(1) II Sam 6:1-2 is a “compositional heading” which indicates in
general terms what will be described in more detail in the fol-
lowing passage. This is traditionist technique. Likewise, K rt’s
dream [UT K rt :32-155] introduces what follows and contains
an anticipatory description of K rt’s six-day march to “Udurn
the Great.” Significantly, the following narrative about the
march includes a pause not mentioned in the introduction (see
below, no. 3). (P. 64 and 1 1 . 1.)
(2) The thirty thousand men mustered by David in II Sam 6:1
are the “cultic arm y,” which should be compared to K rt’s army
of three million (UT K rt :88-89, 178[b]-179, according to Gins-
berg’s translation in A N E T , pp. 143b, 144b). Although K rt’s
army is much larger than David’s, the parallel indicates what
II Sam 6 shows: the “epic number” three is used in association
with cultic patterns. (P. 67 and n. 4.)
(3) The interruption in the procession of the Ark described in
II Sam 6:6-11 is integral to the account. A similar pause oc-
curs at the temple of “Asherah of Tyre and E lath of Sidon”
after three days of K rt’s march on Udum [UT Krt:195b-199],
but its consequences were much worse for K rt than the episode
of Uzzah for David. Because K rt failed to fulfill the promises
he made on th at occasion [UT Krt:199b-206], he “fell ill” for
“between three and four months” (UT 125:84-85). In II Sam
6:11 the Ark spends “three months” in the “house” of Obed-
edom, though David is not directly the guilty party. However,
in the light of the K rt parallel Uzzah’s death may be a “sort
of substitutionary sacrifice for David” : as “High-Priest” David
III 2 Ras Shamra Parallels

is ultimately responsible for the transport of the Ark. (P. 83

and nn. 3-4.)
aa. (4) “Myth and ritual” scholars have tried to show th at Yahweh
and his consort celebrated their marriage in a ‫ סכ ה‬at the time
of the annual festival, and th at this may have been in Obed-
edom’s temple. The theophoric element ‫ אדו ם‬in this PN is
connected with the consort of Reshef, the god of pestilence,
but also with th at Udum (UT Krt:108[b]-109, 210[b]-211) to
which K rt journeyed in search of a wife, and which Engnell,
Studies, pp. 163-165, has shown to connote the place, the god-
dess, and her temple (see above, u). In this light the lodging
of the Ark in Obed-edom’s "tem ple” may be of "the utm ost
significance” as a fertility note. (See pp. 82-83; and 82, n. 4.)
(5) The "blessing” theme of II Sam 6:12 is particularly linked to
v. 16 and its extension in the Michal episode of w . 20-23, but
it also characterizes II Sam 6:12-19 as a whole. Thus a "stylistic
basis in the ‘sukkot-Gattung’” is to be expected here as in the
previous passages. David’s dance before the Ark appears to
be a form of fertility rite connected to the sukkot festival; the
verb which denotes David’s dance also appears in the prelude
to the hieros gamos of El and Asherah (UT 51 IV:29-30 [CTA
4 IV :29-30]). II Sam 6:12-19 is "more closely linked as liter-
ature with the ritual of the annual festival than the previous
account: the pause every six paces is characteristic of the
sukkot.” Significantly, K rt’s journey to Udum took six days
and was followed by six more days of rest [UT K rt :106-108a,
114b-119a]; the number six in the Ug. texts is in fact a “for-
mula” introducing the turning point of the seventh day (cf.
Gen 1:1-2:3, a "deculticized sukkot tradition). (See pp. 86-91.)

bb. The “sukkot-style description” in II Sam 6 provided a natural start-

ing point for the D-group focus on the building of the temple in
the “Oracle of N athan” (II Sam 7:4-17)—the "crowning moment”
of "David under the Blessing.” This "m otif” had to be connected
to the Covenant of David, and this Covenant used as a guarantee
th at the temple would be built. Given the material of II Sam 6,
the Deuteronomists built II Sam 7 :l ib - 16 on the literary tradition
of the Davidic Covenant (II Sam 23:1-7; Pss 132 and especially 89).
“The renewal of the Davidic Covenant was an im portant element
in the Jerusalemite sukkot festival: parallel material is to be found

302 —
Narrative Structures in the Ugaritic Texts I ll 2

in the epic of K eret,” a “Canaanite ‘sukkot’ cycle” which “in its

entirety circles around the question of the continuity of the. dynas-
ty .” (See pp. 119-121.)

cc. The “annual festival” also plays a “prominent role” in the traditions
of “David under the Curse.” “It is significant, remembering the
literary character of the epic of Keret, th at 2 Sam. 10-12 should
contain a number of ritual motifs, sufficient to justify the descrip-
tion of the passage as a historicized sukkot tradition, with a ‘booth’,
hieros gamos and a sham fight at its core” (p. 144). The annual
festival is also prominent in “the story of Absalom and the unit
in 21:1-14.” 101 Comparison with the K rt epic shows “in a striking
fashion” th at ideological opposition to the kingship could hardly
be expressed more effectively than in II Sam 15:1-21:14, where the
criticism is expressed both in the driving out from the “good land”
and in the cursing of the ground (21:1-14, which “connects up with
the central fertility motif of the annual festival”). (See p. 177.)

dd. I t is also true that an “interesting and instructive parallel” may

be drawn between II Sam 10-1 Kings 2 and the K rt cycle (i.e.,
UT K rt + 128 + 125-127), since the K rt cycle “agrees” with the
biblical passage (taking appropriate account of II Sam 21-24) “both
ideologically and compositionally.” The “detailed compositional
agreement” between II Sam 10-12 in relation to 15-20 suggests th at
“accepted literary patterns have provided a basis for the form given
the Davidic story” [in II Sam 10-1 Kings 2]. The compositional
parallel includes the following elem ents:11

10 Carlson stated that this had previously been pointed out (see p. 177, n. 4, for bibliography), and
he did not attempt to develop structural parallels with the Krt epic on cultic grounds. He did point out
that Engnell, Studies, p. 154, and H orS , 4, illustrated Absalom's seizure of his father's harem in II Sam
16:22 by referring to the rite of the thankoffering in “the shadow of the ten t‫( ׳׳‬bzl hmt; UT K rt:65, 159).
But contrast Gray's observation that Absalom's taking the harem was his public declaration of his physical
fitness to discharge the office of king according to “primitive expectations‫( ׳׳‬see UT 128 11:1627‫־‬, where
the king's virility suggests his capacity as a worthy dispenser of fertility), and that I Kings 1:14‫ ־‬may depend
on this belief (LC1, p. 108, n. 1; L C 2, p. 146, n. 5). Driver, C M L , p. 5, also related I Kings 1 to the
Krt epic in terms of royal ideology. Just as Krt's initial loss of palace, wife, and heir [UT K rt:7b25‫ ]־‬raises
the question of how such a one can truly be king, so David took Abishag in an attempt to prove himself
still possessed of sexual power. Whatever Carlson intended by his reference to Engnell, it is interesting
that in D a vid , p. 189 and n. 2, he interpreted I Kings 1:14‫ ־‬in the light of the ideological background of the
king's function as “personification of fertility and ‘blessing‫׳‬/‫ ׳‬and noted that I Kings 1 2 ‫ ־‬is the “direct
continuation of the stories of Amnon and Absalom‫—׳׳‬both stylistically and in terms of content.
11 This arrangement of the material represents my attempt to give a compact and schematic presen‫־‬
tation of Carlson's view of the structural parallel.

— 303 —
III 2 Ras Shamra Parallels

(1) K rt’s campaign against Udum [UT (1) David’s war with the Ammonites
K rt: 156-280 (// K rt :62b-136a)] results [II Sam 10:1-11:1 + 12:26-31] pro-
in vides the occasion for
(2) His winning the hand of Hry, eldest (2) His taking Bathsheba, the wife of
daughter of King Pbl [UT Krt:281- Uriah the H ittite [II Sam ll:2 2 7 ‫־‬a].
306 + 128 I (cf. K rt :136b-153)].
(3) Many sons and daughters are bom to (3) Solomon, loved by Yahweh and heir
K rt within "seven years,” in accor- to the throne, is born to David
dance with the promise and blessing [II Sam 12:24-25].
of El [UT 128 II-III].
(4) But, because K rt fails to observe the (4) But, because David’s actions con-
promise he had made to "Asherah of stitute a sin against Yahweh [II Sam
Tyre and E lath of Sidon” on the ll:27b-12:15a],
third day of the Udum expedition
([UT Krt:194b-206] + 128 111:25-30),
(5) K rt becomes ill [UT 128 IV-VI]. (5) Bathsheba’s first son dies [II Sam
(6) Two of K rt’s children become the 12:15b-23].
leading actors in the “account,” (6) The scene shifts to a later period of
mourning their father’s "illness” [UT misfortunes in which David’s sons are
125]. the leading actors [II Sam 15-20],
(7) As a result, Ysb, K rt’s eldest son, (7) And in which Absalom becomes pre-
claims the throne, accusing his father tender to the throne, under the pre-
of lacking the capability of fulfilling text of his father’s neglect of his
his royal function as judge because of duties as "judge” (II Sam 15:2-6).
his "sickness” (UT 127:41-54). (See pp. 190-192.)

ee. The compositional picture is completed by the “characteristics”

previously mentioned (see above, y-cc). Compositionally, the K rt
parallel helps us to place II Sam 21-24 in its appropriate context.
In its present position this unit is generally regarded as an insertion.
Although the original sequence of the traditions of "David under
the Curse” must be derived primarily by internal analysis, the
opening of the K rt epic with a description of the catastrophe brought
about by pestilence and the sword [UT Krt:7b-21a] bolsters the
notion th a t the second “seven-year cycle” of “curse” in I I Sam
was originally introduced by the ravages of pestilence, famine, and
sword (i.e., II Sam 24 + 21:1-14 + 15[-20]).18 In turn, the under-12*

12 Carlson noted (pp. 142-143 and n. 2) that this ‫״״‬group of motifs" was well known in the ancient
Near East, as shown in the alternatives lion, wolf, famine, and pestilence in the Gilgamesh Epic X I :182-

— 304 —
Narrative Structures in the Ugaritic Texts Ill 2

standing won from the K rt parallel (and from internal analysis)

of the role of the Bathsheba tradition (II Sam 10-12) in the Deuter-
onomists’ composition of II Sam 10-1 Kings 2 shows th at 1) II Sam
10-20 + I Kings 1-2 is a pre-Deuteronomic unit, and 2) the Deuter-
onomists arranged the various units of II Sam 21-24 in such a way
as to fulfill their pragmatic purposes, starting with the Bathsheba
tradition in II Sam 10-12. (See pp. 142-143 and 188-198.)

ff. From the point of view of ideology the compositional parallel be-
tween the K rt epic and “David under the Curse” gives “special
force” to the Deuteronomic adaptation of the order of the traditions
following the Bathsheba episode into two “seven-year cycles.” Just
as K rt’s misfortunes come as a direct result of his sin against “Ashe-
rah of Tyre and E lath of Sidon,” so the death of Bathsheba’s
son and possibly also the misfortunes recorded in the original tra-
ditions II Sam 13-20 + I Kings 1-2 are the result of David’s sin against
Yahweh (see above, dd, nos. 4-7). (See pp. 191-192.)
gg• However, there are also im portant ideological differences between
the K rt and Davidic materials. The death-sentence pronounced by
David on himself in II Sam 12:[5-]6 differs in kind from the “death”
of Krt, just as the war with the Ammonites differs in kind from the
enormous “campaign” waged by K rt for Hry. Such differences
reflect the divergent bases of the traditions. The Davidic traditions
“describe history while making literary use of traditionally accepted
motifs and patterns.” The K rt epic “is characterized by typical
cultic and ritual elements.” As Engnell has shown (see above, s-t),
the K rt epic is “a royal-sacral variant on the Baal-cycle of Ras
Shamra, and hence represents a text from the annual festival based
on the theme of ‘death-life’.” (See p. 192 and n. 1.)
hh. The use made of the hieros gamos "m otif” in the two cycles, and
its relation to the interpretation of each, provides the clearest il-
lustration of the ideological difference. Hry, the wife K rt brings
home, is beautiful [UT Krt:143-148a, 288b295‫ ;]־‬weeping is made
for her virtue when she leaves Udum (UT 128 I). When K rt is
stricken by “sickness” because of his broken promise to “the god-
desses Asherah and E lath,” this is "in a way ‘on account of a wo-

185. He also proposed that in the OT they are connected from Amos 4 on with the “Canaanite motif
of Sodom.’‫״‬

— 305 —
Ill 2 Ras Shamra Parallels

m an” ’ (so Driver’s translation of bd att in UT 125:5 and 19 [C M L,

p. 41]), since K rt made the promise for her sake—although, strictly
speaking, she is innocent. In the original tradition of the beautiful,
though married, “Bathshua” [I Chron 3:5; cf. krt f in the K rt cycle],
David—as the guilty party—is punished for adultery and murder.
The D-group, however, transformed the ‘‘noble daughter” into the
‘‘Bathsheba” of II Sam 10-12, who then plays a distinctly negative
role in the events of II Sam 13-[I Kings 2]. The Hry parallel under-
lines the anti-Davidic and anti-Canaanite tendency expressed in
such a use of the hieros gamos ‘‘motif” : unlike Hry, Bathsheba
plays an ‘‘active pragmatic function” in the cycle in which she
appears. The same applies to some extent to the famine brought
about by David (like Krt) in the unit II Sam 21:1-14. K rt’s pun-
ishment means—following the order established in royal ideology—
th at drought and famine must ensue. The D‫־‬group’s introduction
of II Sam 21:1-14 into its present context thus places an ancient
element of royal ideology in a tendentious relationship to the hieros
gamos ‘‘motif”—itself originally positive. (See pp. 191-193; and
192, nn. 2-3; cf. p. 144.)i.

ii. In sum, the compositional similarities of the K rt epic and the Da-
vidic cycle combine with their ideological likenesses and dissimilar-
ities to throw light on both the Davidic traditions and the use made
of them by the Deuteronomists. The Deuteronomists’ treatm ent
of the Davidic traditions fully expresses their interpretatio exsilica,
but it was the scope and nature of the material at their disposal
which made their interpretation possible. Specifically, the presence
of ‘‘suggestive thematic units” and the “actual structure of the
‘Davidic epic’ on which their work was based” facilitated their
description of David under the “blessing” and under the “curse.”
In reworking this material in the Exilic situation, the D-group
supplied a number of other im portant units, such as the oracle in
II Sam 7 referring to the Davidic dynasty. (See pp. 192 and 263.)

jj. I Kings 3-11

Carlson: II Sam 13-24 functions “as an ingress, on the bahar theme, to
1 Kings 3-11, which describes the history of Solomon in Deuteronomic
form.” The polarity between Jerusalem (II Sam 21:1-14) and
Gibeon (II Sam 24) determines the character of the Deuteronomic
composition of I Kings 3-11. This applies from the beginning, where

— 306 —
Narrative Structures in the Ugaritic Texts I ll 2

Solomon’s sacrifice at Gibeon concludes with a passage in which he

repeats the sacrifice before Yahweh’s Ark in Jerusalem (I Kings
3:15). In his analysis of whether the style of the Gibeon tradition
is based on th at of the Konigsnovelle, S. Herrmann, WZIJL, III
(1953-1954), 5354‫־‬, pointed out th at the “theme of ‘dream-oracle
followed by sacrifice elsewhere’” also occurs in the so-called “Sphinx
Stele” of Thutmose IV (see above, 1 w|i and w(326). However, the
“formal parallels” between the Gibeon tradition and the K rt epic
are equally striking. The dream-oracle in UT K rt concludes in
1. 154 with the words: krt yht whim, “ Keret awoke, and (lo, it was)
a dream” [for the translation, see Gordon, UT, § 19.951]. These
words are repeated “verbatim” in I Kings 3:15 [‫] רק ץ שלמה והנה חלום‬,
after Solomon’s dream-oracle. In both cases a sacrifice follows.
This shows th at “from the purely compositional point of view the
introduction to the history of Solomon reflects a royal ideology.”
(See pp. 219-221: and pp. 219-220, n. 4.)
kk. Comments
The notion of an epic substratum behind the present form of the
Davidic materials depends primarily on the type of argument adduced
by Gordon: the stories retain certain elements characteristic of epic
poetry, and whatever cannot be subsumed under this rubric should be
explained as due to "later historiography.” That narrative phenomena
in the David cycle such as its intense preoccupation with the son who
will be the dynastic heir, or its interest in romantic marriage (see above,
r), seem to find their home in the conceptual world of epic lends abroad
authenticity to this mode of discovery. But when Gordon’s simplistic
methodological criteria are applied to the analysis of the Davidic ma-
terials, problems arise on both the “epic” and “historical” sides. Thus,
for example, the claim th at whatever is non-epic reflects some historio-
graphical concern ignores the complex weaving of various spheres of
influence (wisdom and prophecy, to name but two) in the present form
of the story of David. I t also rests on the naive assumption th at
we can isolate the epic elements in the OT text by simply matching
them up to elements known from another epic source. Upon what
grounds can a seven-eight numerology be said to have a uniquely epic
setting? Or what evidence can be brought forward to show us th at the
disaster of famine is a peculiar property of epic texts? The obvious
answer to both questions is: None. Numerology and disasters appear
in a wide variety of genres and settings in life. The claim for a specific

— 307 —
III 2 Ras Shamra Parallels

origin on the basis of this kind of material is futile. Such features cannot
be limited even to the sphere of traditional narrative, much less epic.
11. Gordon argued for the epic character of I Sam 16-1 Kings 2 primar-
ily on the basis of certain points of contact with the Ug. K rt cycle.
An examination of his six points (see above, q) reveals three episodes
in which he saw some parallel between David and K rt: 1) nos. 1-3 relate
to David’s anointing by Samuel in I Sam 16; 2) nos. 4-5 have to do with
David’s marriage to Michal; and 3) no. 6 concerns David’s sin with Bath-
sheba. The features pointed out by Gordon for David’s anointing show
at most some link with features also found in epic. They do not suggest
any particular bond with the K rt epic, which contains no such episode.
Nos. 1 and 3 amount to the same thing, and, as already noted (see above,
q5), no. 2 rests on a dubious interpretation of UT 128 II and III. Gor-
don’s attem pt to compare the Michal episode to the K rt epic is even
less successful. The parallel between David’s bride-price for Michal and
K rt’s war for H ry (no. 4) must be strongly qualified on the basis of rec-
ognizable social institutions (see above, q6), while his attem pt to un-
derstand K rt’s loss of wife along the lines of David’s loss of Michal
(no. 5) runs roughshod over the distinctive and characteristic features
of each text. Only in Gordon’s treatm ent of the David and Bathsheba
episode does a serious parallel between the David and K rt cycles emerge.
In the suffering of K rt and David for their respective sins (no. 6), we
gain a purchase on what turns out to be a genuine narrative parallel.
mm. Gordon did not stop to analyze the structural implications of the
evidence he adduced because his structural interests did not operate at
the level of narrative (although all of his evidence relates to th a t level
of structure). The structural conclusion he drew from his evidence con-
cerns poetic structure (see above, Intro 7 d). Specifically, the epic treat-
ment of David’s reign was a poetic composition (see especially, above,
q, nos. 3 and 6a). The logic behind this claim seems to run as follows:
if elements in the Davidic materials can be related to epic elements,
and if epic is by definition poetic (which is certainly true of the K rt epic),
then those elements must originally have been transm itted in poetic
form. If one grants an epic of David, there is a certain intrinsic appeal
in Gordon’s claim; but a convincing argument for the poetic structure
of the epic would have to proceed by first abstracting what is preserved
of the Davidic epic from its present context, and then examining this
material for traces of poetic techniques (which could range from the
content of the individual units and they way they are bound together

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Narrative Structures in the Ugaritic Texts I ll 2

to remnants of formulaic-prosodic usages). T hat Gordon has rejected

this approach in favor of a generalized dependence on setting in life
leaves his conclusion dangling from a limb without a tree.

nn. Nevertheless, the mere accumulation of narrative parallels between

the K rt cycle and the Davidic materials—an accumulation th at Carlson,
in particular, has compiled much more effectively than Gordon himself—
supports Gordon’s proposal th at epic concerns do play a major role in
the biblical presentation of David’s reign, and th at there is some kind
of structural parallel between the narratives of K rt and David. Gor-
den’s suggestion is fundamentally sound for two reasons: reasonable
evidence can be found in its support, and the assumption of a narrative
connection between the K rt epic and at least some part of the Davidic
cycle does not require the interpreter to rape either text. I t is in con-
nection with the second of these reasons th a t Engnell’s conception of
the Ug.-Heb. structural parallel should be discussed.

oo. Engnell’s “cultic-ritual” conception of the K rt epic as nothing more

than a variant of the Baal-Anat cycle caused him to overlook its most
characteristic feature, its narrativity. There are deep structural im-
plications in Engnell’s approach (see above, Intro 7 a), b u t he missed
these interpretive possibilities because he located the so-called ritual
elements of the text in its syntagmatic, surface structure. Not only did
this put him in the odd situation of seeking a ritual pattern in the surface
structure of a narrative text, but his understanding of th at pattern in
its totality completely cut him off from any distinctive features of the
K rt text. Rather than beginning with an individual text as a unique
creation, he assumed from the start th a t he had isolated a distinct part
of a larger (hypothetical) ritual cycle. He then looked only for the
elements it holds in common with an already established pattern. The
effect of this perspective on his analysis of the text may be seen, for
example, in his treatm ent of UT Krt:199b-206. By attem pting to set
the passage in the context of sacred marriage (see above, t, no. 8), he
remained oblivious of the obvious fact th at this unit constitutes a vow
(on which see especially Fisher, R SP II, V 4), and th a t this vow fun-
damentally determines the narrative structure of the entire K rt cycle
(see above, i-j).
pp. Engnell never performed the extension adumbrated at the end of
Studies of his work on divine kingship into the Old Testament; and his
comments on II Sam 6 are obviously incomplete. Nevertheless, his

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Ill 2 Ras Shamra Parallels

scattered remarks on II Sam 6 are characteristic of his approach to the

problem of structure, and the way in which Carlson extended Engnell’s
conception of the parallel with K rt revealed the potential of this com-
parison (see above, u and z‫־‬aa, respectively). The essential question
to ask of the parallel is not whether II Sam 6 can be compared to UT
Krt. Except for the tenuous wdm-DnX connection, no evidence has been
brought forward to demonstrate a specific link between the Ug. and
Heb. texts. Rather, the question is—as Carlson stated it—whether or
not II Sam 6 represents a “historicized” account of the succoth festival.
It is generally agreed th at a cultic festival with a liturgical procession
lies behind the narrative of II Sam 6 (see, for example, Kraus, Psalmen,
pp. 879-883). But do the cultic and processional traits dominate the
narrative? An analysis of the surface structure of the chapter (for which
see especially Campbell, Ark Narrative, pp. 132-139) indicates th a t the
cultic elements do not structure the narrative. For this reason, the in-
terpretation of II Sam 6 in terms of succoth festival leads the interpreter
away from the text. He discovers in his examination of the text only
th at which he already knew. An example of this is Carlson’s suggestion
th at the Michal episode should be associated with the hieros garnos of
El and Asherah (see above, aa, no. 5)—a suggestion th at warps his view
of the text and th at cannot be substantiated. The comparison of II Sam 6
with the K rt epic may reveal something about compositional technique,
but it can contribute virtually nothing to the structural understanding
of the text because it depends on the retrieval of cultic elements in the

qq. In his study of II Samuel Carlson pursued Engnell’s cultic approach

to the texts beyond the confines of II Sam 6 (see above, bb-cc). But
he also incorporated Gordon's more productive view th at the K rt cycle
is a royal epic chiefly concerned with the continuance of a dynasty into
his comparative research. This basis of comparison is more productive
because it allows the “narrativity” of the texts to provide some control
over its interpretive conclusions. The epic-dynastic view of the K rt
cycle governs the comparative aspects of Carlson’s attem pt to explain
, (both structurally and ideologically) the position of II Sam 3:2-5 in the
unit II Sam 2:12-4:12 (see above, y). However, it is in his comparison
of the K rt cycle with th a t part of the Davidic cycle of which most has
commonly been abstracted as an independent composition labeled the
“Succession Narrative’’ (II Sam 9-20 + I Kings 1-2) th at the structural
parallelism of the Ug. and Heb. texts at the level of narrative makes

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Narrative Structures in the Ugaritic Texts I ll 2

its most substantial contribution to the interpretation of the biblical

material (see above, dd-hh).
rr. The specific structural connection perceived by Carlson related
II Sam 10-12 + 15-20 to the K rt epic. The narrative parallel suggested
by Carlson (see above, dd) seems valid to me as long as one presupposes
the narrative continuity of the three tablets of the K rt cycle which we
now possess (for Carlson’s argument for the connection of the second
and third tablets, see David, p. 190, n. 4). Given the basic validity of
the parallel, two observations about it may be offered. First, except
for the elements necessary to set the scene (see above, dd, nos. 1, 2,
and 4), the unit in II Samuel relates to the last two tablets of the K rt
cycle, UT 128 and 125-127 (see above, dd, nos. 2-7). Since UT K rt can
be related more substantially to the Patriarchal cycles in Genesis (as
Fisher has suggested; see above, c-d), it seems probable th at the use of
the narrative structure of the K rt epic in II Samuel reflects a definite
shift in intention from th at of the Patriarchal narratives. The problem-
situation of the latter part of the K rt cycle (i.e., UT 128 III :25b-VI :9 +
125-127) is not really the survival of K rt’s dynasty. That issue is settled
with the birth of his children related in UT 128 III:20-25a. The focus
of the text then turns to the way in which this “guaranteed” dynastic con-
tinuity shall be preserved in view of K rt’s “sin” against the goddess
Asherah. Now the biblical materials dealing with the court-history of
David (i.e., II Sam 9-1 Kings 2) are concerned with the legitimization
of David’s own claim to the throne, but their primary emphasis rests
on the struggle for the succession to his throne—a struggle induced by
David’s “sin” against Yahweh in the Bathsheba incident—and on the
misfortunes which befall David as a result of his “sin” (as tentatively
recognized by Carlson; see above, ff). As Carlson has shown, this em-
phasis corresponds in some detail to th a t of the second part of the K rt
ss. If one accepts Fisher’s hypothesis th at Gen 38 preserves the begin-
ning of a “Judah cycle,” and th at David was responsible for the inter-
polation of this material into the already existing “epic of nationhood”
in order to transform it into a new “royal epic” th at would justify his
dynasty (see above, f), then one can speculate about the relationship
between the supposed Judah cycle and the material concerning David’s
court history. The fundamental concern of “royal epic” for the sur-
vival of a dynasty of which there is no heir, as well as the particularly
Israelite concern about the land which this dynasty would rule, had to

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III 2 Ras Shamra Parallels

be expressed via the Patriarchal period. But “royal epic” also has an-
other interest, an interest th a t cannot be integrated into the Patriarchal
cycles as we have them. This interest focuses on the way in which the
dynasty and the land survive the misfortunes brought about because
of the protagonist’s offence against a deity (at Ugarit, this is certainly
true of the Aqht epic as well as of the K rt epic). W hatever the dominance
of this concern in the court history of David signifies about the histo-
ricity of the events of David’s reign and death, it means th at we m ust
first of all understand these materials in terms of traditional story—
as stressed most recently by Gunn, King David, pp. 37-49. The poten-
tial connection of the court history with a Judah cycle (see above, n)
also forces us to modify the conclusion of Whybray, Succession Narrative,
pp. 47-49, th at the “Succession N arrative” cannot be the final chapter
in the “national epic” which told of Israel’s rise to greatness, because
in it David is not heroic enough, and because its concern with David’s
family and court is too narrow for a “national epic.” W hybray’s first
argument simply reflects his ignorance of the epic milieu in which Israel
existed: the K rt parallel plainly shows th a t the epic emphasis conveyed
in the “Succession N arrative” does not require—nor could it use—the
“splendid hero” demanded by Whybray. His second argument is some-
what more to the point. The attem pt to subsume Israel’s “national
epic” into David’s “royal epic” provides the rationale for the insertion
of Gen 38 into the Patriarchal cycles, and this broader concern is not
evident in the stories about David himself. But W hybray has simply
chosen the wrong kind of epic against which to test the “Succession
N arrative.” As the K rt parallel again shows, this is precisely the type
of material appropriate to the crowning moment of a “royal epic.”

tt. The second observation prompted by the acceptance of a narrative

parallel between II Sam 10-12 + 15-20 and the K rt epic relates to the
thematic nature of the units which compose the Davidic story. The
“pattern” of II Sam 10-1 Kings 2 is not merely cyclical. The movement
in the narrative structure of the Davidic materials echoes the movement
in the structure of the K rt epic from “sin” to its resulting misfortunes.
Against this insight the view of J. Blenkinsopp, VTS, XV (1965), 47-48,
may be compared. He perceived in the biblical text a fourfold repetition
(with variations) of the “them e” or “pattern” of “sin externalised in a
sexual form which leads to death” : II Sam 11:2-27 + 12:15b-25; 13-14;
15-20; and I Kings 1-2. The inclusio of Solomon and his mother at the
beginning and the end, and the progressive elimination of the three rival

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Narrative Structures in the Ugaritic Texts I ll 2

claimants to the throne, integrate the repeated “them e” or “pattern ”

with the “structure” of the whole composition. The K rt parallel un-
masks the basic fallacy of this view: without denying any of Blenkin-
sopp’s valid insights, it is unnecessary to set the “patterns” of the in-
dividual units over against the “structure” of the whole in order to ex-
plain the working of the narrative. At least for II Sam 10-12 in relation
to 15-20, the narrative logic is not cyclical, but linear. This limited ob-
servation provides a substantial basis for the claim, against Blenkinsopp,
th at the linear movement of David’s court history exists within, and
not merely outside of, the smaller units of which it consists.

uu. I t is noteworthy th at Carlson’s argument for the original sequence

I I Sam 24 + 21:1-14 + 15-20 grew directly out of the structural parallel
he drew between the K rt and Davidic cycles, because scholars have
virtually universally excluded II Sam 21-24 from the “Succession Nar-
rative.” The understanding of this unit in its present position in the
text depends primarily on the internal analysis of the material (for Carl-
son’s view, see David, pp. 194-259); but Carlson’s comparative argument
th at the disasters at the beginning of the K rt epic correspond to those of
II Sam 24 + 21:1-14 deserves serious consideration in the discussion of the
original “document” behind the present form of II Sam 9-1 Kings 2. From
the standpoint of narrative structure, it could be objected th a t the com-
parison fails because the disasters which happen to K rt precede his
“sin,” while the disasters of II Sam 24 + 21:1-14 occur as a result of
David’s “sin.” However, this shows only th at comparative evidence
alone cannot resolve the problems inherent in the analysis of a given
tradition, as Carlson fully recognized (see above, v). Moreover, as far
as Carlson’s argument for the original position of II Sam 24 + 21:1-14
depended on comparative evidence, it focused on the grouping of “mo-
tifs” in the biblical unit (see above, ee and ee12) more sharply than on
the question of the narrative structures of the K rt and David cycles
(for this it would seem more productive to compare the famine indicated
in UT 126 III). When one combines the observation th at the cluster
of “motifs” is represented in both II Sam 21-24 and the K rt epic with
the realization th at the structure of the "Succession N arrative” is broad-
ly parallel to th at of the K rt epic, one realizes th at the evaluation of the
relationship between II Sam 21-24 and the “Succession N arrative”
(which, after all, is no more than a hypothetical construct)—no m atter
what its conclusion—must take the comparative evidence into

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III 2 Ras Shamra Parallels

VV. The compositional parallel between the K rt epic and II Sam also
forms part of the basis for Carlson's suggestion of a pre-redactional se-
quence running from II Sam 10 through I Kings 2 (see above, ee) th at
corresponds, except for II Sam 21-24, to the present sequence of the
narrative. In terms of narrative structure, the ‘‘seven years” (UT 128
111:22) th at passed between the “blessing” and “curse” aspects of the
K rt story can be broadly related to the arrangement of the traditions
following David’s “sin” with Bathsheba into two seven-year cycles. But
Carlson’s argument for the primary unity of II Sam 10-20 + I Kings 1-2
depended far more heavily on the ideology revealed in the narrative
structures of both the K rt and Davidic materials; th at is, on the notion
of “sin” leading to a period of misfortune (see above, ff). Carlson’s at-
tem pt to assess the ideologies conveyed by the narrative structures
under comparison represents the most significant aspect of his compar-
ative methodology.
ww. The ideological comparison is methodologically significant because
the similarities and differences between the K rt and David cycles dis-
cussed by Carlson (see above, ff-hh) are more substantial than those
th at could be adduced in the framework of a general comparison of the
two cycles in terms of royal ideology. For Carlson’s ideological assess-
ment of the parallel arose from his comparison of the narrative
structures of the two bodies of material. Now Carlson’s narrative com-
parison grew in a real sense out of Gordon’s observation th a t the David
and Bathsheba episode and its consequences can be related to K rt’s
failure to fulfill his vow to Asherah and the consequences of th at failure
(see above, q, no. 6), since Carlson perceived the Bathsheba tradition
in II Sam 10-12 as the structural basis of the total unit. Carlson made
Gordon’s observation substantively relevant to the interpretation of the
biblical text by attem pting to work out the specific nature of the shared
literary pattern, and by attem pting to account for the way in which
the final redactors (for him, the Deuteronomists) of the Davidic material
supplemented and reorganized the “Davidic epic” at their disposal. By
maintaining his structural focus at the level of narrative, Carlson avoided
one of Gordon’s severest problems—the shift of the structural question
to the dubious ground of poetic structure (see above, mm). However,
Carlson’s structural comparison demonstrated only the similarities be-
tween the Ug. and Heb. materials. His view of the distinctive features
of the Davidic materials rested on internal analysis, and his primary
concern with II Sam blocked him from making a comparable analysis
of the K rt epic.

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Narrative Structures in the Ugaritic Texts Ill 2

xx. Thus Carlson’s structural comparison seems to have stopped short

of what would be required for a full structural interpretation of the
parallel. But this is only an apparent gap in his methodology. He pro-
ceeded immediately from a structural comparison seemingly complete only
on the biblical side to an ideological interpretation of the differences
and similarities between the Ug. and Heb. texts because he presupposed
an already existing understanding of the surface structure of the K rt
epic. This understanding was Engnell’s view of the K rt cycle as a sue-
coth tradition (see above, x). Unless one accepts this understanding of
the text, which depends on a strict refusal to confront the text as nar-
rative (see above, oo), the substance of Carlson’s ideological comparison
is bound to create some problems. Such problems appear most clearly
in Carlson’s explanation of the fundamental ideological difference be-
tween the K rt and David cycles as a reflex of their particular appraisals
of the hieros gamos “motif” (see above, hh). Apart from a cultic under-
standing of the texts, Carlson’s exposition of the difference cannot be
accepted without qualification. Narrative structure provides this quali-
fication, and shows th at Carlson has perceived an essential narrative
difference by emphasizing the distinctive roles of Hry and Bathsheba,
although this difference does not require a cultic interpretation. In
spite of whatever reservations one may hold about Carlson’s conclusions,
the fundamental validity of his methodology is apparent. The com-
parative interpretation of narrative structures consists of more than the
mere alignment of the narrative sequences of two or more texts. The
interpretation must go on to apprehend the “point” or “points” (what
Carlson called the “ideology”) conveyed by the narrative structure of
a given text, and to compare th a t text with other texts at this level.
This type of comparison may often call upon “deep structural” dimen-
sions of the text (see above, Intro 7 a), but it still allows the narrative
structure to retain control over its conclusions.

yy. This analysis of the methodology implicit in the results of Carlson’s

comparison of the K rt epic with the materials relating to the court his-
tory of David reveals a fundamental and unresolved tension within
his overall investigation of the Krt-David parallel. Despite his recognition
of the essentially narrative character of the K rt epic (see above, x),
his acceptance of Engnell’s cultic view of the cycle precluded him from
analyzing the structure of this narrative in any significant detail. This
explains his dependency on cultic interpretations of even the narrative
parallels he perceived (as in his use of the so-called hieros gamos “motif”).

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III 2 Ras Shamra Parallels

His dual use of the vow in UT Krt:199b-206 exemplifies the relative

value of the cultic and narrative approaches to the Krt-David com-
parison. In connection with II Sam 6:6-11, K rt’s suffering for his failure
to fulfill his vow yields only the cultic consideration th at Uzzah may
have died as a substitutionary sacrifice for the High-Priest David (see
above, z, no. 3)—a speculation th at contributes nothing to the under-
standing of II Sam 6 as narrative (cf. Campbell’s comments on the nar-
rative function of the incident [Ark Narrative, pp. 162-163]). In con-
trast, the results of K rt’s “sin” in not fulfilling his vow suggest the nar-
rative function of David’s “sin” against Yahweh in II Sam 11:27b-
12:15a (see above, dd, no. 4). This suggestion holds significant potential
for the interpretation of the larger biblical unit.

zz. That Carlson failed to recognize this conflict within his comparative
methodology gives us cause to reassess the contribution of the K rt par-
allel to the question of an epic basis for the story of David. Carlson’s
hypothesis of an “epic of David” underlying the whole of I and II Samuel
derived from Engnell and rested primarily on internal analysis of the
materials; but he also found support for this theory in the various par-
allels adduced between the Davidic cycle and the K rt epic (see above,
w and w9). However, an examination of the substance of Carlson’s com-
parative evidence—and he assumed every parallel adduced by both
Gordon and Engnell, although with occasional modifications—reveals
most of it to be incapable of substantiating his theory of a Davidic epic.
On the one hand, the parallels he offered in the sphere of “traditionist
technique” fall prey to the criticism leveled against Gordon’s use of
such parallels to support his theory of a Davidic epic: even when they
can be grounded in the genre and setting of epic, they support only the
argument th a t the biblical authors integrated epic style and concerns
into their story (see above, kk-U and nn). Isolated examples of so-called
epic elements in the biblical text do not in themselves suggest an epic
origin of the total composition. On the other hand, Carlson’s collection
of cultic parallels cannot support his theory of an original Davidic epic
because such a collection neglects precisely what the theory demands—
the need to demonstrate the epic character of the narrative of the text
(see above, oo-pp). Only in Carlson’s comparison of the materials re-
lating to the court history of David (i.e., II Sam 9-1 Kings 2) does evi-
dence come forward th at in any way buttresses his claim of an epic sub-
stratum . His approach to the internal analysis of the materials prevented
him from viewing any such scholarly construct as the “Succession Nar-

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Narrative Structures in the Ugaritic Texts I ll 2

rative” as an independent document. Yet the narrative parallels (or,

as Carlson would say, the “compositional affinities” or parallel “literary
patterns”) he perceived between the K rt epic and the biblical unit sup-
poji; the* traditional view of its original independence from the rest of
the Davidic materials. Carlson did not recognize this fact because he
did not appreciate the qualitative difference between structural parallels
and parallels drawn between isolated epic elements or between so-called
“cultic” elements. Nevertheless, the results of his analysis suggest the
need for further investigation of the “Succession Narrative” in two
directions: 1) a possible grounding of the narrative in an epic account
(see above, ss), and 2) a reconsideration of the relationship of II Sam
21-24 to II Sam 10-20 + 1 Kings 1-2 at the epic level (see above, uu).

aa. In terms of structural methodology, E. Leach’s study of I Sam 4-

I Kings 2 (E J S , V II [1966], 58-101; reprinted in Leach, Essays, pp. 25-
83, and Leach, Structuralism) provides an instructive contrast to the
narrative analysis of this material. Leach applied an explicitly Levi-
Straussian procedure to the texts, which means first of all th at he un-
derstood the text as a “m yth” (see above, Intro 2 c and 3 a)—a myth
which precipitated the development of a “historical” tradition. For
Leach, the ordinary distinction between m yth and history disappears
when the text is treated as a unit, because as such the text represents
the unconscious product of an editorial process of selection by which
what is believed to have happened can fashion even the most incongruent
stories into a patterned structure. And for the interpretation of the
text, the belief in what happened is more important than what actually

ba. By this process the “facts” of history come to be remembered as

systems of patterned contradiction. Now the function of m yth is to
mediate the oppositions contained in some insoluable paradox by in-
troducing a third element which shares the nature of both opposites,
thus providing a partial but not real resolution of the paradox. For
Leach, the biblical story of Solomon’s succession to the throne of Israel
mediates the major contradiction of endogamy as an ideal vs. exogamy
as a reality. The land of Israel as the gift of God to the people of Israel
provides the basis for the objection to intermarriage; but the taking
of the land from foreigners establishes a situation which leads to inter-
marriage. The story of Solomon, as a myth, tries to blur this contradic-
tion and appears to resolve it.

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III 2 Ras Shamra Parallels

co. Leach located the structure of the myth in the binary oppositions
(see above, Intro 8 a) of endogamy/exogamy and legitimacy/illegitimacy.
This view of structure requires the removal of such opposites, as well
as the elements (i.e., the characters, objects, and events) which mediate
them, from their context in the narrative. Then they must be classified
according to their similarity to each other. This is a paradigmatic, rather
than syntagmatic, approach to structure (see above, Intro 7 a). The
patterns which emerge from the rearrangement of the surface structure
of the text bear the message of the myth. Structural elements have no
meaning in themselves; meaning is found only in the relationships be-
tween elements or patterns of elements (see above, Intro 5, a-b).
da. The key to Leach’s analysis of the underlying structure of the text
is a group of major roles in the drama (this is the intermediate level of
structure; see above, Intro 2 d and 7 a): an anti-king, or usurper, some-
times with a champion, opposes the king, or legitimate right-holder,
sometimes with a champion, with a female intermediary standing be-
tween (cf. Engnell’s observation about the characters in the K rt text
[above, t7]: such observations did not assist his structural analysis of
the text because he attem pted to locate all the structural elements of
the text in its surface, or syntagmatic structure [see above, oo]; but
the analysis of intermediate structures, as th at of deep structures, must
proceed paradigmatically [see above, Intro 2 d]). These characters keep
appearing in the surface structure in different costumes. That structure
presents a play in three acts: I Sam 4-II Sam 10; II Sam 11-24; and
I Kings 1-2 (see Leach, Structuralism, p. 286, for the “pattern ”
of the story). The play develops two “themes” in parallel: the sex re-
lations of the prologues to each act ring the changes on sexual excess
and sexual inadequacy; and in the various scenes of each act political
relations are unveiled in the struggle of an anti-king for supremacy
against a legitimate king.
ea. W ith these brief comments I have tried to capture something of
the methodological scope of Leach’s complex article. The most interest-
ing aspect of his approach is th a t he applied his structuralist method
diachronically, instead of synchronically (see above, Intro 6 a), by aiming
to demonstrate the structural relevance of the chronological sequence
in the biblical text. This led him to examine all three structural levels
of the text (surface, intermediate, and deep [see above, Intro 2 d])—
the only adequate model of structural interpretation (see above, In-
tro 7 a-b). By the mere application of this model Leach produced a

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Narrative Structures in the Ugaritic Texts Ill 2

stimulating study of the material; but the interpreter’s success in this

framework depends on his ability to convincingly demonstrate the con-
nection of the various structural levels. This Teach failed to do.
fa. !,each’s binary oppositions (deep structure) play a significant part
in the narrative (surface) structure of the text, as do the roles (inter-
mediate structure) he has identified. To this point, then, his analysis
provides a promising basis for a genuinely structural interpretation of
the text. But problems arise when one tries to verify Beach’s results.
In the first place, his type of structuralist analysis requires the a priori
acceptance of a number of theoretical statements about the nature of
myth. These include the fundamental value of binary oppositions and
their mediations for the understanding of a myth, and the notion th at
myths arise as the product of societal operations at the unconscious
level. However, what we know of the redactional process which gave
rise to I Sam 4-1 Kings 2 (which itself is an abstraction from a larger
editorial unity) resists Beach’s claim th a t this process was unconscious.
W hatever the weaknesses in Carlson’s discussion of II Samuel, his ap-
proach attem pted to account for the development of the text as a his-
torical process (although he undoubtedly grounded too much of this
process in the final stage of redaction; cf. Knight, Traditions, pp. 337-
338). If the editorial process behind the present form of I Sam 4-1 Kings 2
depends on a series of mostly conscious decisions on the part of the
editors, a major question is raised about the relevance of the category
of m yth as Beach understood it to this material. His interpretation of
the text as a m yth depends on the segregation of “belief” from "his-
tory.” Thus his structuralist ideology causes him to sacrifice history
for the sake of m yth (see above, Intro 2 c)—a sacrifice against which
I have argued from the other direction (see above, 1 n n -w ). In par-
ticular, a different set of philosophical presuppositions gives one reason
to think th at what Beach referred to as “belief” is actually the most
significant aspect of “history” (see above, 1 vv15).
ga. Even if we accept, with reservations, the idea of a m yth as a struc-
ture which mediates a major contradiction, the problem remains of
relating Beach’s binary oppositions and their mediations in a convincing
fashion to the surface structure of the text. Beach’s focus on this deep
structural mode of interpretation contributes to his serious misunder-
standing of the te x t’s narrative structure. This misunderstanding can
be seen most clearly in his separation of II Sam 10 from II Sam 11 and
his perception of I Kings 1-2 as yet another structurally independent

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III 2 Ras Shamra Parallels

unit. This defies the well-grounded critical-historical belief in the pri-

mary unity of II Sam 10-20+1 Kings 1-2, a “document” th at shows few
signs of editorial tampering. The intermediate structure th at forms the
bridge between Leach’s surface and deep structures also skews his view
of the narrative structure. His focus on major roles leads to a cyclical
narrative structure, which is really resolved only at the level of deep
structure. Here the Krt-David parallel supplies a strong argument
against his case (see the criticism of Blenkinsopp’s analogous understand-
ing of the “Succession N arrative” above, t t ) . 18
ha. Still, many of Leach’s patterns can be discerned in the text. Where
that is possible, his analysis provides information th at the exegete
should attem pt to incorporate into his understanding of the total mean-
ing of the text. But where Leach’s use of the patterns contradicts the
input of the narrative structure of the text, his interpretation must be
rejected. For this level of structure provides the only check on his
analysis and on the validity of the assumptions under which this analysis
proceeds. The presupposition th a t structure and meaning He hidden
beneath the surface of a text (see above, Intro 8 a) makes most struc-
turalist interpretations inherently impossible to verify. Leach deserves
considerable credit for attem pting an analysis where some verification
is possible. Nevertheless, the type of interpretation represented by the
attem pt to compare the narrative structures of the K rt and David cycles
seems to offer, at this point, a more effective means of broadening our
understanding of the meaning of texts. Perhaps the most significant
point raised by Leach’s analysis is the warning it provides against a
one-dimensional view of a text. Comparative analysis (and structurafist
analysis, as far as it can be cross-checked) offers an essential contribution
to the interpretation of a biblical tradition; but such analysis must be
integrated into all the other relevant kinds of analysis of the text before
we can even begin to claim th at we comprehend something of its meaning.
ia. A final comment concerns Carlson’s treatm ent of I Kings 3-11 (see
above, jj). Methodologically, his approach to the parallel he has adduced
improves on th a t of Engnell (for which see above, 1 j(S-y(3) for several13

13 Other criticisms could be raised against !,each’s view of the text as narrative; e.g., his subjugation
of the entirety of I Sam 4-1 Kings 2 to the figure of Solomon, or his emphasis on succession as the dominant
note of the entire unit. For criticisms of various details of his analysis (many of which reflect his inability
to deal with the Heb. text), see A. Malamat, E JS, VIII (1967), 165-167; and cf. J. Emerton, VT, XXVI
(1976), 79-98. For a discussion of the structural implications of !,each’s work, see R. Culley, VTS, XXII
(1972), 129-142, upon whose helpful remarks I have drawn in these comments.

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Narrative Structures in the Ugaritic Texts Ill 3

reasons: he attem pted to incorporate the parallel into a larger internal

analysis of the biblical tradition; this led him to make less grandiose
claims about the contribution of the parallel to our understanding of the
biblical text; these claims do not necessitate the rejection of other parallels;
his parallel is grounded in a formulaic connection (if one accepts the
semantic equivalence of the verb in UT Krt:154 with th at of I Kings
3:15); and finally, his parallel does not require him to distort the meaning
of either the Ug. or Heb. text. It is interesting th at each ancient Near
Eastern parallel adduced by Kapelrud, Carlson, and Herrmann to the
Solomonic narrative focuses on the Gibeon tradition in I Kings 3. The
cumulative evidence indeed supports Carlson’s cautious conclusion th at
the “composition” of this episode reflects a royal “ideology.” The K rt
parallel can probably be pressed no further, but the same cannot be
said for the parallels drawn by Kapelrud and Herrmann. Only when
the relative value of all the ancient Near Eastern structural parallels to
I Kings 3-11 has been properly assessed will the ancient Near Eastern
contribution to the understanding of the biblical unit be fully appre-
hended. This project lies beyond the scope of the present discussion.

a. 128 11:21-111:16 (<CTA 15 11:21-111:16).

b. Bibliography
S. Parker, JB L , XCV (1976), 23-30.
c. Ruth 4:11 b-12
Parker: The lack of comparable materials in either Ug. or Heb. literature
prompts the comparison of the “marriage-blessings” in UT 128
11:21-111:16 and Ruth 4:llb-12. No literary relationship between
R uth and the K rt epic is implied; rather, the “common elements”
of the two passages reflect elements of marriage-blessings as em-
ployed orally in their institutional setting, the wedding. These two
examples of the genre may be identified by their “literary context,
certain formal features, and their common concern.” (See pp. 23, 29.)
d. The immediate context of the biblical passage encompasses Ruth
4:10-13, which includes three movements:
[1] As soon as Boaz has promised to marry R uth and his commit-
ment has been witnessed (w . 10-1 la),

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III 3 Ras Shamra Parallels

[2] A blessing is pronounced on him (w . 1lb-12),

[3] After which brief notice is given of R uth’s becoming Boaz’s
wife, conceiving and bearing a son (v. 13).
The blessing itself is constructed around three successive subjects: •
[1] Boaz’s bride [v. llb a].
[2] Boaz himself [v. llb p ‫־‬y].
[3] Boaz’s “house,” i.e. his descendants [v. 12].
The blessing has one essential concern: Boaz is to acquire status
through his children by his wife; cf. Gen 24:60 for an expression of
the concern with offspring in a comparable setting. (See pp. 23-24.)
e. The immediate context of the marriage-blessing in the K rt cycle
is found in UT 128 11:2-111:21. At this point in the story K rt has
won Hry, the princess who is to be his wife. The fragmented opening
lines of UT 128 II mention various gods by name (2-7), as well as
K rt (8), and seem to set the scene in K rt’s house (9). Then:
[1] After all the gods are assembled (11:11),
[2] Baal invites El to bless K rt (11:13-16).
[3] El raises his glass and does just th a t (11:18-20).
[4] The blessing is quoted (11:21-111:16, with a gap of about 15 11.
at the beginning of col. III).
[5] The assembled gods bless K rt and depart (111:17-19).
[6] Hry promptly conceives and bears children (111:20-21). (See
pp. 25-26.)
f. The literary setting of the marriage-blessing is the same as th at of
R uth 4:1 lb-12: a formal gathering after the contracting of a mar-
riage and before its consummation. In both Ruth and the K rt epic
the blessing is addressed to the bridegroom, but its first subject
is his bride, and she is spoken of only to introduce the subject of
offspring. The “structure” of UT 128 11:21-111:15 may be pre-
sented schematically as follows:
Your bride will bear
(1) Sons (11:21-111:1).
(a) Summary statem ent (11:21-23).
(b) Enumeration (11:24-111:1).
—Refrain: K rt will be great (111:2-4).
(2) Daughters (111:5-12).
(a) Summary statem ent (111:5-6).
(b) Enumeration (111:7-12).
—Refrain: K rt will be great (111:13-15). (See p. 26.)

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Narrative Structures in the Ugaritic Texts Ill 3

The final line of this marriage-blessing (UT 128 111:16: sgrthn .

abkrn, “I will give the youngest of them first-born status”) is a
“conspicuous secondary addition.” I t has an odd syntactical re-
lation to what precedes: the suffix of the first word refers to the fem.
references prior to the second occurrence of the refrain; its content
focuses on the question of an irregular succession, while the rest
of the blessing is concerned with the future greatness of the groom
through his offspring, especially in the endowments of the first-
bom; and it stands outside the structure of the blessing. (See
pp. 26-27.)
h. There are obvious differences between the K rt and R uth passages.
K rt is poetry, Ruth prose. The setting in R uth is relatively close
to ordinary life: the social group to which the bride and groom
belong expresses the blessing, which takes the form of a wish. The
setting in K rt is a “mythic-epic world” : the gods pronounce the
blessing, which can therefore be expressed in the indicative and
spell out the details of the future. Yet the Ug. text may better
reflect the occasion on which such a blessing would have been given—
the marriage feast. In Ruth, on the other hand, the pronunciation
of the blessing by “all the people at the gate and the elders” (4:11a)
seems more likely to be an artificial literary construction than the
reflection of a real-life situation. (See pp. 27-28.)
i. Apart from the general parallels in literary setting (between the
contracting and consummation of a marriage), “form” (blessing ad-
dressed to the groom, but speaks immediately of the bride, who
serves only to introduce the main subject of progeny), and “con-
cem ” (the greatness of the bridegroom), two specific parallels may
be adduced. First, the two marriage-blessings share as a “stylistic
feature” references to remote ancestors of the bridegroom and/or
his people as models of the kind of success pronounced upon the
groom. In Ruth 4:1 lb-12, a comparison of Boaz's wife and family
with those of legendary ancestors conveys the greatness wished on
him. The refrain of the K rt blessing (UT 128 111:2-4 and 13-15)
may also convey the greatness promised to him by a comparison
with what are to be understood as remote ancestors, the rpi ars
and the qbs dtn. Second, the two passages may be reflexes of "royal”
marriage-blessings. The blessing in the K rt epic is addressed to a
king, and in R uth to one who—at least in the present form of the
book—is presented as the ancestor of a king. (See pp. 28-30.)

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III 3 Ras Shamra Parallels

j. Comments
By applying the tools of traditional form critical analysis (i.e., study
of the structure, genre, setting, and intention of a text; see above, In-
tro 2 b) to the parallel he adduced, Parker has convincingly demon-
strated the overall validity of the parallel. The greatest strength of his
methodology is its capacity to incorporate the differences as well as
the similarities of the two bodies of material into an interpretation of
the texts as distinctive yet related entities, and into an understanding
of the genre “marriage-blessing” in a broader context than th at which
could be provided by a single text. However, if one probes the structural
aspects of Parker’s study, one finds th at two major problems can be
raised. The first exists within the methodological framework Parker
has chosen; it concerns his structural analyses of the marriage-blessings
themselves. The second problem relates to the narrative structures in
which the marriage-blessings are embedded; this problem raises a fun-
damental question about the limitations of Parker’s methodology.
k. By examining only the surface structures of the two marriage-
blessings—structures which, of course, are not governed by any nar-
rative principle—Parker operated within the limits of traditional form
criticism (see above, Intro 7 b-c). His representation of the marriage-
blessing in Ruth 4:1 lb -12 is basically accurate, although structurally
vague in th at it merely lists the three subjects around which the blessing
is constructed (see above, d) and indicates neither the nature of the
structural units which make up the blessing nor the relationships by
which they are bound. The "structure” (as he called it) of the blessing
in UT 128 11:21-111:15 reveals more about the composition of the text.
In particular, Parker’s analysis provides a firm foundation for his spec-
ulation about the content of the lacuna between columns I I and III,
and for his proposal th at 111:16 is a secondary addition (see above, f-g;
on the problem of 111:16 in relation to II:24-25a, see above, 2 q 5). Nev-
ertheless, defiencies remain in his structural analysis. One detail should
be noted: the summary statement regarding the sons must almost cer-
tainly be extended to include II:24-25a—both because it can hardly
begin the enumeration of the sons (no m atter how it is translated) and
because it is the second stich of a verse (see above, 2 q5, and note th at
the structural evidence uncovered by Parker confirms an understanding
of the stich in terms of K rt’s “eight” sons against Gordon’s interpolation
of “Octavia”). But there is also a more general inadequacy. Parker’s
schema portrays a structural cohesion th at in reality exists only in the

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Narrative Structures in the Ugaritic Texts I ll 3

refrains of 111:2-4 and 1315‫־‬. It is not so much th at his schema is wrong

as th at it is incomplete. The summary statements and enumerations
for the sons and the daughters are quite different, rather than identical—
as Parker’s schema implies. Judging from the treatm ent of the first
son in II:25b-28 and from the length of the following lacuna—which,
as Parker observed, must surely deal with the remaining sons—the
enumeration of the sons includes a sort of blessing on each one (somewhat
reminiscent of the Blessing of Jacob in Gen 49:3-27), while the enumer-
ation of the daughters simply lists them, presumably by name. Likewise,
a closer analysis of the two summary statements shows th at only the
verse in II:23b-25a corresponds to th at in 111:5-6 (and these two verses
are far from identical, but both refer to the “bearing” of sons or daugh-
ters). The opening verse of Parker’s first summary statement (II:21-23a)
identifies the woman who is to bear the children. This identification
should be structurally set apart from the following summary statement
regarding K rt’s sons, since it applies equally to the summary statement
regarding K rt’s daughters. That it is not repeated before the second
summary statement is a significant structural feature of the te x t.1
1. Such structural details did not concern Parker because his com-
parison of the two marriage-blessings did not involve the surface struc-
tures of the two texts in any essential fashion. Since the “structures”
of the texts diverge dramatically, Parker brought them together on the
basis of what he referred to as their “form” (as well as by the other form
critical criteria of genre, setting, and intention). Under the category
“form” Parker described a certain rhetorical stance common to the
blessings: though addressed to the groom, the first subject is the bride,
who functions only to introduce the main subject of offspring (see above,
f and i). This is a valid observation; but it falls short of a structural
interpretation of the parallel. An often neglected but vital step in form
critical methodology is the interpretation of the structural analysis of
a passage. If the tex t’s structure has been analyzed accurately, this
interpretation is what allows the exegete to approach the text on its

1 Parker’s translation of 11. 21-23a in relation to 23b prejudices his case (see p. 26). By rendering the
passage as “The woman you are taking, Krt} . . .Will bear you seven sons,” Parker placed the first verse
in a syntactically dependent relation to the second. But the text could just as well be rendered: “A wife
you have taken, O Krt, . . .She will bear seven sons to you.” This rendition frees 21-23a from 23b at the
level of syntax. However, even if Parker’s attempt to escape the parataxis of the Ug. text is justified, the
structural position of 21-23a in the larger unit depends on both its overt and implied relationships to the
other elements of the unit. A legitimate analysis of surface structure must take “deep structural’’ syntac-
tical relationships into account.

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III 3 Ras Shamra Parallels

own terms, to seize hold of th^ dominant interests of the text, and to
understand its particular expression of these interests. Because Parker
did not take the structural analysis of the blessings seriously, he was
able only to comprehend the similarities of the texts from the "out-
side.” The same must be said of his analysis of the differences between
the blessings: poetry against prose, divine world ( = indicative form)
against human world ( = wish form) (see above, h). These observations
are not wrong, but they reflect an interpretive stance outside the texts.
They do not grasp the structural peculiarities of each text. Thus Parker
did not recognize what is structurally clear: the biblical blessing focuses
on the bride "coming” into Boaz’s house (cf. the bride which K rt "takes”
into his house in UT 128 II:21-23a) in a way not paralleled in the Ug.
blessing. An appreciation of this distinctive emphasis would refine Par-
ker’s stimulating suggestion about the use of “ancestors” to describe
the greatness of the recipients of the blessing: in the Ug. text only K rt
will be great, but in the biblical text both R uth and Boaz share in the
greatness. The overall structure of the two texts also provides an ad-
ditional control on this suggestion. The “them e” of greatness dominates
the biblical blessing. In the Ug. text it occupies only what Parker ap-
propriately labeled the "refrain.” The essential concern of the Ug. bles-
sing is the enumeration of the children—particularly, it would seem,
of K rt’s sons (see below, u-v).
m. If the problems inherent in Parker’s failure to confront the total
surface structures of the two marriage-blessings may be resolved in the
framework of traditional form critical methodology, his lack of per-
ception regarding the narrative structures in which the blessings are
embedded raises an issue which forces us out of the confines of tradi-
tional form criticism. The crux of this m atter is Parker’s claim th a t there
are no other materials in either Ug. or Heb. literature comparable to
these two marriage-blessings (see above, c). In terms of Parker’s in-
terest in "form,” this may be true. However, it is not true at all th at
these are the only two examples of this type of unit in related narrative
n. Parker admitted a more widespread expression of concern with
offspring in the OT and the ancient Near East, and even located other
OT passages which relate this concern to patriarchal figures (p. 24)—
an im portant aspect of his comparison of the blessings in R uth and the
K rt epic (see above, i). However, his narrow methodological focus pre-
eluded his seeking the narrative context of the other examples he ad­

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Narrative Structures in the Ugaritic Texts I ll 3

duced; and, in fact, he missed virtually all of the OT texts relevant at

the level of narrative structure. Since the one germane reference he
did notice is Gen 18:18, I shall use Gen 18 as a textual vantage point
from which to illustrate the problems inherent in Parker's methodology
and to suggest the potential contribution of a larger interest in narrative
structures to the particular comparison made by Parker.
o. First of all, it should be noted th at the unit of the K rt epic chosen
by Parker (see above, e) is at least as comparable to Gen 18:1-16 as to
R uth 4:10-13 at the level of narrative. Cross, CMHE, pp. 178-180 and
182, gained a purchase on this comparison by noting the parallel visit-
ations of divine beings to the respective protagonists (Abraham and
Krt) in the social context of a feast. Not only does the “motif” of the
gods visiting earth draw the Genesis and K rt passages closer together
at the narrative level than the K rt and Ruth passages, but it also removes
the gap perceived by Parker between the “ordinary life” setting of R uth
and the “mythic-epic” setting of the K rt text (see above, h). Even
more important is the purpose of the divine visitation in both Gen 18
and UT 128: to bless the protagonist with the promise th at his wife will
bear a son/sons. Again, the “blessing” in Gen 18 comes closer to th at
of the K rt epic than the “blessing” of Ruth, since the divine origin of
the blessing in Genesis allows it to take the form of a promise, while
the Ruth blessing must take the form of a wish. After drawing this
convincing parallel between Gen 18 and UT 128, Cross made two mis-
takes (from the perspective of structural interpretation) avoided by
Parker. First, he failed to analyze the blessing of Gen 18 in relation to
th at of UT 128, although these blessings are the climax of the narrative
structure of each passage. Second, he closed what he termed the “epi-
sode” beginning in UT 128 11:11 with the departure of the gods ending
in UT 128 111:19. On the basis of the Ruth parallel, Parker recognized
th a t the episode must include the statement th a t the children are born
as promised (although this element in the narrative structure encom-
passes UT 128 III:20-25a, and not merely 11. 20-21, as Parker indicated;
see above, e, no. 6). Cross made this mistake because he failed to rec-
ognize the traditional nature of the episode which he described.
p. At this point one must turn for assistance to the folklorist. In its
world-wide investigation of traditional literature, the discipline of folk-
lore offers a literary context for the investigation of the so-called mar-
riage-blessing not available to the myopic attention of Cross and Parker
on the isolated unit of the text. When viewed from this larger perspec-

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III 3 Ras Shamra Parallels

five, the marriage-blessing is seen to play a distinct role in what has

been called the “traditional birth episode.” In her study of messenger
stories occurring in Genesis and ancient Near Eastern texts, Irvin,
Mytharion, encountered the traditional birth episode in Gen 16 and 18,
and in a variety of ancient Near Eastern texts. In its fullest form it
includes eight basic elements:
(1) Childlessness.
(2) Promise [or blessing], which is often replaced in the narrative struc-
ture by a statem ent regarding conception.
(3) Month-counting.
(4) Birth.
(5) Father told.
(6) F ather’s reaction.
(7) Naming and reason.
(8) Predictions. 8

q• This firmly established narrative structure provides an index

against which to measure the Genesis, Ruth, and K rt episodes. I t is
apparent th at none of these examples is structurally pure. The obsession
of the Abraham cycle with the birth of Isaac scatters elements of the
birth episode throughout the cycle, so th at the birth episode of Gen 18
is not completed until Gen 21:1-7 (see above, 2 p4). The birth episode in
UT 128 II-III is aborted after the fourth element in the plot (the birth),
since the plot then shifts to other events. Parker has noted th a t the
narrative structure of Ruth 4:10-13 is obviously an artificial literary
construction (see above, h). But it is also true th at each example clearly
rests on a traditional basis. The promise of Yahweh in Gen 18:10 pre-
supposes the previously established childlessness of Sarah; and she duly
conceives and gives birth to Isaac in Gen 21:2. Abraham names him
in Gen 21:3, for reasons given in 17:17; 18:12-13; and 21:6. The opening

2 See her ‫‘״‬Traditional Episode Table, Sheet 1.*‫ ״‬Irvin's “ideal structure“ is adequate for the pur-
poses of the present discussion, but the methodological presuppositions under which she identified the
elements of the structure limit its usefulness for the comparison of texts. Its breadth allows it to serve
admirably as a vehicle to bring a large number of texts together, but it lacks the detail to reveal subgroup-
ings of the birth episodes. For example, the “motif“ of laughter is central in the birth episode of Gen 18;
but it also plays a role in the Aqht birth episode (see UT 2 Aqht 11:10 [CTA 17 11:10]). Since the study
of a phenomenon such as the “traditional birth episode“ by a folkorist such as Irvin operates by the iden-
tification of “motifs,“ she recognized the “laughter“ in Gen 18 (Mytharion, p. 20), but missed the “merely“
formulaic occurrence in the Aqht epic. As a subtopic of motif research, the detailed analysis of the tra-
ditional birth episode in Ug. literature and the OT will be reserved for RSP IV. I have made some general
comments about the birth episodes of the Patriarchal cycles in relation to those of the Aqht and Krt cycles
above, 2 p and 2 p4.

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Narrative Structures in the Ugaritic Texts Ill 3

of the K rt cycle (UT Krt:7b-21a) emphatically describes his childless

situation; E l’s promise of many children in UT 128 11:21111:16‫ ־‬is duly
fulfilled in III:20-25a. The narrative of R uth makes her childlessness
clear; and after the blessing of R uth 4:1 lb -12, she duly conceives and
bears a son.
r. Given the obvious dependence of these examples on the narrative
structure of the traditional birth episode, it is fair to raise two questions
about Parker’s analysis of the “marriage-blessings” in Ruth and the
K rt epic. The first concerns the m atter of “setting.” Parker is prob-
ably right th at both texts put the blessing between the contracting
of the marriage and its consummation. But he skipped from this ob-
servation directly to a conclusion about the “real-life” setting of the
blessing at the marriage feast (see above, h). Methodologically, his con-
elusion is faulty because it omits the evidence to be gleaned from the
traditional episode which stands behind the texts he has chosen for
analysis. In other words, he failed to find the proper context for his
analysis. This context indicates th a t the institution of marriage is not
the primary setting for the type of blessing described by Parker. Of
course, the birth of a child presupposes a marriage in the traditional
episode. But the structure of the traditional birth episode shows plainly
th a t the blessing, or promise, responds directly to the problem of child-
lessness. And childlessness becomes a problem long after the consum-
mation of a marriage, not before it.
s. The childlessness of Sarah may be considered a special case, but
the same observation holds true of other OT birth episodes, such as
th a t of Samson in Judg 13 or th at of Samuel in I Sam 1. In the
K rt epic the fundamental concern is childlessness (above all in UT Krt:
7b-21a, but note also th at K rt’s only request of El is for sons [UT K rt:
57-58]). According to the text K rt obtains Hry only for the purpose
of bearing offspring (UT K rt :142-153; 287b-300a), and this bearing of
offspring is connected directly to the providence of El (UT K rt :150-153;
296-300a). In this perspective it is hard to imagine th at E l’s promise
of children in UT 128 11:21-111:16 is anything other than a direct re-
sponse to K rt’s childless situation. T hat this promise precedes the con-
summation of K rt’s marriage to Hry reflects the narrative structure of
the epic more than an imagined setting in life: K rt’s childlessness arises
from the loss of his original wife and children. El resolves this problem
by giving K rt a new wife, who obviously cannot be barren. The text
has no concern for the consummation of the marriage because its nar­

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III 3 Ras Shamra Parallels

rative structure has no room for any problem to arise from th at con-
summation. In other words, the question of whether or not E l’s blessing
precedes the consummation of K rt’s marriage is inappropriate in light
of the structure of the K rt narrative.

t. There is reason to think th a t the same may be true of Ruth. If

we step outside the arbitrary narrative limits imposed on us by Parker
(Ruth 4:10-13), we see th at the fundamental concern of the present
form of the book is th a t R uth should bear a son whose grandson would
be David (Ruth 4:17b). Parker himself pointed out th a t the blessing
in 4:1 lb-12 must be related to the geneology in 4:17b-22. Moreover,
in terms of traditional narrative it is the birth which is the focus—not
the blessing. And the fundamental concern of this type of narrative
is childlessness, not marriage. By neglecting the obvious literary con-
texts of the blessings in R uth and the K rt epic, Parker arrived at an
unjustifiably broad conclusion about the social context of the blessings.
Parker may be right th a t the examples in R uth and the K rt epic are
“marriage-blessings." But this “genre” (as Parker termed it) must be
regarded as a sub-category of a narrative element not specifically con-
cemed with marriage. The frequent substitution of a statem ent regard-
ing conception for the "promise” in traditional birth episodes is worth
noting in connection with the example in Ruth. For, if 4:1 lb-12 is in-
deed secondary, R uth’s necessary childlessness in 4:10-1 la is resolved
immediately by the marriage, consummation, conception, and birth of

u. The second question to be raised about Parker’s analysis of the

“marriage-blessings” in R uth and the K rt epic—given their grounding
in the narrative structure of the traditional birth episode—relates to his
description of the “intention1’ (or, as he called it, the “concern”) of the
blessings. Parker described this intention in terms of the protagonist’s
acquisition of status through his children by his wife (see above, d and i).
He rightly perceived th a t the texts are concerned with the greatness
of the protagonist, and demonstrated the manner in which the texts
display this concern. This interest appears even more emphatically
in the Abraham cycle: God’s promise in Gen 18:17-19 relates directly
to his promise in v. 10 (see also Gen 12:1-3; 15:1-6; and 17:15-17). Thus
the existence of this concern in the texts is clear. W hat must be called
into question is Parker’s claim th a t this interest constitutes the “es-
sential” intention of the texts.

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Narrative Structures in the Ugaritic Texts Ill 3

V. In traditional societies the birth of a son would naturally imply

the greatness of the father. In texts which focus on the survival of a
dynasty which is jeopardized by the lack of a son and heir (as do the
K rt and Abraham cycles, and the book of Ruth, although in different
ways and in varying degrees), some expression of the father’s greatness
is likely to surface in a special way in the birth episode; and the natural
vehicle of this expression is the promise, or blessing. Nevertheless, the
essential concern of the traditional birth episode is (to employ a tau-
tology) the birth, not the greatness this implies for the father. The fun-
damental intention of the element of promise in this narrative structure
must reflect the concern of the episode with birth; th at is, the essential
intention of the promise is to announce the birth (again, it is important
to remember th a t the structural equivalent of the promise in the tra-
ditional birth episode is the conception of the child). This is clearly the
case in Gen 18:10, where the announcement of the son stands alone.
The promise of offspring also dominates UT 128 11:21-111:16. K rt’s
greatness appears only in the “refrain,” but the promised children
dominate the substance of the blessing. Not only does the amount of
space given to the children as compared to th at given to K rt support
this view of the text, but also the naming of the children (element no. 7
in Irvin’s analysis of the traditional birth episode) reflects the focus
of the blessing on the children themselves. Admittedly, R uth 4:llb-12
is a special case. Yet even here, the birth of the child constitutes the
essential ingredient without which the wish would be meaningless. This
does not mean th at Parker should abandon his position. He has hit
upon a special interest within the element of promise—an interest ex-
pressed with unique force in R uth 4:1 lb-12. However, his understanding
of this interest as the basic intention of the blessings in R uth and the
K rt epic must be modified in light of the broader literary context in
which such blessings should be interpreted.

w. Parker’s final note on the two blessings points to the “royal” m atrix
in which they exist (see above, i). Considering the direct relationship
of the blessing in R uth 4:1 lb-12 to the Davidic geneology in 4:17b-22,
Parker’s suggestion adds yet another text to the larger Krt-David par-
allel. If one accepts Fisher’s proposal th at Gen 38 represents the begin-
ning of a lost “Judah cycle” related to David’s dynastic concerns (see
above, 2 f) and th at the Patriarchal cycles reflect the specific interests
of the first part of the K rt epic, and if one recognizes the structural and
ideological relationships of the story of David—especially the unit ex­

— 331 —
III 3 Ras Shamra Parallels

tending from II Sam 9 through I Kings 2 (see above, 2 dd-hh, for Carl-
son’s analysis)—to the last part of the K rt epic, the relationship of R uth
to the K rt epic broadens an already remarkable narrative parallel (see
above, 2 n and 8s) between the various biblical materials relating to
David and the K rt epic. As Parker noted in connection with R uth 4:11b-
12 (see above, c), the evidence is not strong enough to suggest a literary
relationship. Nevertheless, the K rt epic remains our most im portant
source for the study of the transmission of the epic conception of ancient
Near Eastern kingship to the literary portrayal of the early Israelite
monarchy and its institutions.

— 332 —
Ch apter IV



A ean Co o per

with Introduction and selected Comments by

M arvin H . P o p e

a. The following assemblage of the Ugaritic divine names and epithets with
biblical parallels, manifest or alleged, is actually the work of Alan Cooper
who assumed the task after it had long languished in the slack hand of the
present writer who was diverted by other prepossessions. To Dr. Cooper
special acknowledgment of gratitude is due for his redemption and consum-
mation of the work. To collaborators in the project apologies are in order
for the delay occasioned by delinquency on the part of this penitent who
has learned and too often forgotten th a t it is easier to promise than to per-
form. The reader of this material will be beholden to Cooper for the thorough
compilation of the dispersed and diverse data as well as for his judicious
restraint in comment. The present writer has profited from preliminary
perusal of the material and it is predictable th at others will also find it useful,
evocative and provocative of further research. Comparable or greater re-
straint is obligatory in the indulgence of the privilege of super-commentary,
especially in view of the aboriginal dereliction of the scholiast who has for-
feited any right of massive meddling. Accordingly, annotations by Marvin
H. Pope are few and discretely identified by the initials.
b. Again it is not inappropriate to reaffirm gratitude to Alan Cooper for
rescue of this portion of the parallels project and to the editors whose patience
was sore stretched by the dereliction of this unprofitable and shamefaced
servant. There is nevertheless a creative factor in the procrastination, namely
th a t it made possible inclusion of later material and necessitated revision
of earlier efforts. Completeness in an enterprise of this kind is impossible
to achieve; there is, however, certainty th at the accomplishment is nearer
th a t goal than would have been the case if the original entrepreneur had
assayed to carry it through.

M arvin H . P o pe

— 335 —
IV 1 Ras Shamra Parallels


Divine Names 15. Ym H Nhr 30. Sim

1. Abn 16. Kmt 31. Tnn
2. II 17. Knr 32. Trt
3. Ilib 18. Ktr
4. A nn 19. Ktrt Epithets
5. Ars wSmm 20. Ltn 33. aliyn
6. Itm 21. Mt 34. (bn) il(m), etc.
7. Atr 22. *nt 35. btn
8. Atrt 23. *art 36. gmr
9. B 'l 24. Sdq Msr 37. hyn
10. Dgn 25. Sfin 38. mlk, mlkm
11. Dbb 26. R ty 39. *ly
12. H m 27. Sgr 40. rkb *rpt
13. Yw 28. $hr 41. rpu, rpum
14. Ylhn 29. Slh 42. Snm


a. Abn II ‫אבן‬
Cf. PN bn abn: 64:24 (CTA 87 rev:24); 2021 rev:5.
Cf. PN hyabn: 146:20.
J. de Moor, UF, II (1970), 198, notes the occurrence of this DN in
UT 607:1 and in the PN ’s cited above. On the prevalence of sacred
stones in the Near East, see Smith, Lectures3, pp. 200-212. For Israel see
Beer, Steinverehrung; H. W. Hertzberg, JPOS, X II (1932), 32-42; and
Kapelrud, TDOT I, pp. 50-51.
c. Gen 49:24b
‫מידי אבי ר י ע ק ב‬ by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob
‫מעזם רעה אבן יע(ראל‬ (by the name of the Shepherd, the Rock
of Israel) {RSV)

— 336 —
Divine Names and Epithets in the Ugaritic Texts IV 2

d. Comments
While the epithet ‫ אבן ישראל‬occurs only here, it is usually compared
with 11) ‫ צור ישראל‬Sam 23:3; Isa 30:29); see, in general, Kapelrud,
TDOT I, pp. 50-51.
e. Citing the comment of Driver, Genesis, p. 392, th at ‫ אבן‬is neither
comparable to ‫ צור‬nor applicable to Yahweh, M. Dahood, Bib, XL, (1959),
1002, 1006-1007, emends ‫ אבן ישראל‬to ‫ ז ר ע ישראל‬, “the Arm of Israel.”
f. Albright, Bertholet FS, pp. 3-4, suggests th at gr (= ‫ ) צו ר‬occurs as
an epithet of Baal in UT 125:6. This dubious proposal has been most
recently rejected by B. Margalit, UF, V III (1976), 150. Thus the jus-
tification is removed for Dahood's claim in Bib, XL, (1959), 1007, n. 1,
th a t ‫ צור‬in Deut 32:31 is a “direct reference to Baal.” On ‫ צור‬as a divine
title in the Near East, see Eipinski, Poeme royal, pp. 66-68.

a. II II ‫א ל‬
Itpn il dpid: 49 1:21-22; I I I :4, 10, 14 (CTA 6 1:49-50; I I I :4, 10, 14);
51 I V :58 (CTA 4 IV:58); etc.
tr il: 49 I V :34; VI:26-27 (CTA 6 IV:34; VI:26-27); 51 11:10; 111:31;
I V :47 (CTA 4 11:10; 111:31; IV:47); etc.
Cf. Hurrian il brt: R S 24.278:14-15 (Ug. V, p. 510).
b. Notes
Although *7/‫ א ל‬may be used in the Ug. texts and OT as an appellative,
determinative, component of PN ’s, and as a means of expressing the
superlative, only two of its usages will be discussed below: 1) DN (to
be subdivided in OT into cases of Yahweh = El and Yahweh 6‫ ל‬El;
only the latter are considered here, along with examples of a suggested
intermediate situation in which the process of Yahweh’s assimilation of
El may be seen [see below, d-j]); 2) component of various epithets and
cliches (see below, k-r, and cf. below, 34 h-i, m -n).
c. Bibliography
H. Bauer, Z A W , LI (1933), 82-84.
Jack, R S Tablets, pp. 13-16.
Nyberg, Studien, p. 93.
J. Morgenstern, HUCA, X IV (1939), 39, n. 22; 120-121, n. 195.

— 337 —
IV 2 Ras Shamra Parallels

Dussaud, Decouvertes, pp. 91-97, 168-174.

Cassuto, E B I, pp. 283-292, 302-305.
Tur-Sinai, E B I, p. 31.
C. Reines, J J S , II (1950/1951), 156-157.
L, 0kkegaard, Pedersen FS, pp. 219-235.
M. Pope, JAO S, IvXXIII (1953), 96-97.
Pope, E U T, passim.
O. Eissfeldt, JS S , I (1956), 25-37.
J. McKenzie, JB L , LXXV (1956), 325-326.
D. N. Freedman, JB L , LX X IX (1960), 151-156.
Jacob, RS, pp. 87-92.
H. L. Ginsberg, JB L , EX X X (1961), 339-347.
F. M. Cross, H TR, EV (1962), 225-259.
Ahlstrom, Syncretism, pp. 12-14, 45.
K. Yaron, A S T I, I I I (1964), 48-51.
Mulder, Goden, pp. 13-24.
Schmidt, KGU I, pp. 22-29, 85-97.
Albright, Yahweh, pp. 104-105.
van Dijk, Ezekiel’s Prophecy, pp. 95-99.
Oldenburg, Conflict, pp. 164-176.
Haran, World History, pp. 224-230.
R. Coote, VT, X X I (1971), 390.
Clifford, The Cosmic Mountain, pp. 63-64; 169, n. 89.
Cross, CMHE, pp. 3-75.
Caquot, TOML, pp. 55-68.
Kuhnigk, Hoseahuch, pp. 137-138, 142-144.
Cross, TDOT I, pp. 242-261.
d. Gen 14:18, 19, 20, 22 (see also Ps 78:35) (21:33 ;(‫ ;)אל ע לי ץ‬16:13 (‫א ל ראי‬
‫ ;)אל עול ם‬33:20 (‫ ;)אל אל היי ש ר אל‬35:7 (‫ ;)אל בי ת־ אל‬46:3 (‫;)) א ל א ל הי אביך‬
49:25 (‫[ א ל ע די‬MT ‫)]את‬.
Bauer: The Ug. texts place the El-religion of the patriarchs in a new
light by showing th at El is identified as a pre-Israelite god by
various epithets. One can also renew the question whether il was
a generic term or a proper name in PS.
e. Older scholars held two basic views on the subject of the Els in Gen.
The more common one (e.g., Alt, Essays, pp. 1-100; Baudissin, Kyrios,
p. 124 et passim; Gunkel, Genesis, p. 187) was th at they were anonymous
local gods whom the Israelites fused with Yahweh after the Conquest.
The other opinion, associated especially with H. Gressmann (ZA W, X X X

338 —
Divine Names and Epithets in the Ugaritic Texts IV 2

[1910], 134‫)־‬, was th at the Els were hypostases of a single deity, so th a t

patriarchal El-religion was essentially a pre-Mosaic monotheism.
f. The view of Alt, etc., fell out of favor when the Ug. texts showed th at
il was not only an appellative, but also the proper name of the chief god
of the pantheon. W ith the notable exception of Cassuto (EB, and Genesi,
pp. 60-82), most scholars now understand the patriarchal Els as hypos-
tases or manifestations of the Canaanite il, or at least as combinations
of the DN ‫ א ל‬with other related (or perhaps unrelated) DN’s and epithets.
See, e.g., Cross, Dussaud, Eissfeldt, Mulder, Pope (E U T , pp. 14-15).
g. Although it is generally agreed th a t ‫ א ל‬is a DN in the patriarchal
narratives, the relationship between ‫ א ל‬and Yahweh is still debated:
Cross: Yahweh was originally a cultic name of El, but Yahweh split off
from El “in the radical differentiation of his cultus in the Proto-
Israelite league.” Such traits and functions of El as his kingship,
creativity, and wisdom were retained as traits and functions of
Yahweh. See also Ahlstrom, Oldenburg, and note Freedman’s dis-
cussion of pre-Mosaic and Mosaic aspects of Yahweh.
h. Eissfeldt: Yahweh and El were originally distinct, but the Israelites
assimilated El to Yahweh. Three stages of the assimilation process
may be seen in the OT: 1) the two gods are independent (e.g., Ps 82;
see below, 34 m -n); 2) Yahweh appropriates the title El (e.g., Isa
40:18; see below, i); 3) Yahweh = El (e.g., Pss 104:21; 118:27).
The qualities of Yahweh th at Cross considers to be survivals of his
identity with El are thought by Eissfeldt to have been inherited
via the assimilation process. See also L,0kkegaard, Mulder, Schmidt.
Haran: “ .. .all the divine names containing the component El as a. con-
stituent m ust not be attributed to Canaanite influence, but con-
sidered as echoes from a Hebrew pantheon.. . . The religion of the
Els as it is recorded in the stories in Genesis seems to have been an
original Hebrew legacy.”
i. Isa 40:18; 43:12; 45:22
Eissfeldt: ‫ א ל‬in these vv. should be translated as “E l” : “ ...Y ahw eh
appropriates the epithet El, to which He is not originally entitled,
and takes it as a proper name to the exclusion of other claimants
to i t . . . . ” See also Mulder.
Cross: “In the late literature of Israel only Second Isaiah other than
Job makes extensive use of El as a proper name of the god of
Isra e l.... We judge the phenomenon to be explained by his re­

— 339 —
IV 2 Ras Shamra Parallels

utilization of old liturgical forms and his general impulse to archaize

much in the same way as does the author of the dialogues of Jo b ”
(:TDOT I, p. 259).
j. Ezek 28:2
Yaron: The ‫ א ל‬in 2a must be the Canaanite DN, “applied by the prince
of Tyre to himself; but in 28:2b: ‘yet thou art a man and not a god
(El)’ said by the prophet, the word ‘E l’ is used as a general noun.”
See also Cross, CMHE, p. 44; Eissfeldt; Pope, E U T, pp. 9 8 9 9 ‫־‬.
Note Caquot’s comments on the reminiscences of the Ug. description
of E l’s abode here; also Ahlstrom, Cassuto, Clifford.
McKenzie: “The claim of the prince of Tyre to divinity is scarcely more
mythological than the words of Jacob to Rachel (Gen 30:2).”
van Dijk: ‫ א ל אני‬in v. 2a should be translated “I am a god” ; the v. con-
tains no allusion to Canaanite mythology.

k. Exod 34:6 (‫( ) יהוה יהוה א ל רחום וחנץ‬cf. Deut 4:31; Jonah 4:2; Ps 86:15)
Cross: Should ‫ א ל‬be translated “E l” or “God” ? The epithets “merciful”
and “compassionate” are reminiscent of those which express E l’s
same benign attributes [Itpn il dfid, “Beneficent El Benign” ; see
also Eissfeldt; E0kkegaard; Pope, E U T, p. 25], At least the last
three words of the long liturgical name are probably pre-Yahwistic.

l. Judg 9:46 (‫) א ל ברית‬

Cross: ‫“ א ל ברית‬appears to be a specific epithet of Canaanite E l,” al-
though later biblical tradition probably did not understand it this
way (CMHE, p. 44). On the possible parallel in a Hurrian hymn
from Ugarit, il hrt (RS 24.278:1415‫[ ־‬Ug. V, p. 510]), see CMHE,
p. 39; and P. Craigie, UF, V (1973), 278-279 (cf. also below, 9 n).
m. Hos 8:6 (‫) כי מיעזראל‬
Tur-Sinai: The sense “Who is the Bull-El?” may be gained by emending
m t to ‫ כ י מי עזור א ל‬.
Pope: “This brilliant and ingenious suggestion, however, may be regarded
with some dubiety” (EUT, p. 35; see JAO S, L X X III [1953], 96-97,
for Pope’s alternative)