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Biblical Myth and Rabbinic Mythmaking$
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Michael Fishbane

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780198267331

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0198267339.001.0001

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Conclusions and Other Considerations

Conclusions and Other Considerations

(p.63) 4 Conclusions and Other Considerations
Biblical Myth and Rabbinic Mythmaking


Oxford University Press

The agon model — a theology of combat against the forces of chaos or disorder — has been the focus of the analysis on biblical myth and mythmaking. The model illustrates how the common ancient Near Eastern topos of divine combat with sea was realized in Israelite sources. Analysis shows that there is no disjunction between the pagan and monotheistic texts, and no indication in biblical materials that the sea is a fully distinct divine personality with its own biography. Biblical versions link the prototypical conflict at the beginning of the world order (Urzeit) with its recurrence within the sacred history of Israel during the exodus from Egypt, and its anticipated recurrence in new forms thereafter, up to and including the final defeat of the sea in the future (Endzeit).

Keywords:   combat myth, mythmaking, ancient Israel metaphor, tradition, religion, agon model

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