The dissertation recounts the variegated journey of the sea in the Hebrew Bible through the lens of myth, metaphor, and muthos. The journey begins outside the Bible in ancient Near Eastern sea myths exemplified by the Ugaritic Baal Cycle and the Mesopotamian Enuma Elish, which tell the story of a sea deity whose defeat in cosmic battle against a protagonist god precedes three goodly consequences: creation, kingship, and temple. The story continues with the analysis of the biblical presentation of creation, kingship, and temple with emphasis on the constellation of themes and characters of the sea myth. The dissertation next analyzes the use of the sea myth as a metaphor for three events on the plane of history: the exodus (Exodus 14–15), the Babylonian exile (Isaiah 40–55), and the eschaton (Isaiah 24–27 and Daniel 7). Finally, the discussion moves from the analysis of the ways in which the sea muthos functions as a metaphor for the biblical presentation of individual events to the examination of the role of the sea muthos as a metaphor for a biblical view of historical reality in toto. In sum, the dissertation extends the study of sea imagery in the Hebrew Bible from mythology to metaphorology and narratology to argue for the deep, enduring, and transformative place of the sea myth within biblical tradition.
|Advisor:||Levenson, Jon D.|
|Commitee:||Machinist, Peter, Teeter, D. Andrew|
|Department:||Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations|
|School Location:||United States -- Massachusetts|
|Source:||DAI-A 75/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Comparative literature, Biblical studies|
|Keywords:||Hebrew bible, Metaphor, Muthos, Myth, Sea|
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