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CANAANITE MYTHS AND LEGENDS

THE TABLET UGARITICA V No. 7 (see page 138) (by kind permission of Mons. Claude Schaeffer-Forrer)

CANAANITE MYTHS AND LEGENDS

J. C. L. GIBSONReader in Hebrew and Semitic Languages New College, Edinburgh

Originally edited by G. R. Driver, F.B.A., and published in the series Old Testament Studies under the auspices of the Society for Old Testament Study

T & T CLARK INTERNATIONAL A Continuum imprintLONDON NEW Y O R K

Published by T&T Clark International A Continuum imprint The Tower Building, 11 York Road, London SE1 7NX 15 East 26th Street, Suite 1703, New York, NY 10010 www. tandtclark .com Copyright T&T Clark Ltd 1977 First published 1956 Second edition published 1978 This edition published 2004 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers.British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data

A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library ISBN 0567080897 (paperback) Printed on acid-free paper in Great Britain by Antony Rowe Ltd, Chippenham

PREFACE TO FIRST EDITIONTHIS edition of Canaanite myths and legends from Ugarit (now Ras-asSamrah) on the Syrian coast is based on lectures delivered over the last ten years and is now published in the hope of making these interesting but difficult texts accessible in convenient form to students of the Old Testament and the Semitic languages, of mythology and religion. No one can occupy himself with these texts without acknowledging his debt to the distinguished pioneers without whom his work could not have even been begun: these are Dr. C. F. A. Schaeffer, who was in charge of the excavations which so successfully recovered the tablets containing them from the soil in which they had lain hidden for some 3500 years; Mons. C. Virolleaud, whose admirably prompt and accurate copies made them available for study, and Prof. E. Dhorme and Prof. H. Bauer, who shared with him the honour of finding the key to the decipherment of the new dialect or language in which these texts were written. That much of their early work has been left behind and that other scholars, notably Prof. H. L. Ginsberg, Dr. T. H. Caster and Dr. C. H. Gordon, to whom all students of these texts are also greatly indebted, have taken over the task of interpretation, does not detract from the honour of the pioneers. Wherever possible the debt owed to all these and other workers in this field is indicated in the notes and in the glossary. Much labour of great value has already been expended on these texts; but much work still remains to be done on them, and I hope that the present edition may stimulate others to take up the study of them. The bibliography is not intended to be exhaustive; in fact, it contains the titles almost exclusively of books and articles which have been of any use in the preparation of the present work. The glossary will be found to contain a certain number of alternative words, readings and interpretations; these are added because finality has not yet been reached on innumerable points of interpretation and the decision in these cases may still be left to the reader. In conclusion, my thanks are due to the Old Testament Society and the Trustees of the Pusey and Ellerton Fund at Oxford for generous contributions towards the cost of publication. I wish also to acknowledge my debt to the compositors, who have set up this complicated piece of printing, and the readers, who seem to have checked both printing and references, with a care which is characteristic of all work done by the University Press.

Magdalen College, Oxford31 March, 1955

G. R. DRIVER

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PREFACE TO SECOND EDITIONSIR GODFREY DRIVER intended to produce a second edition of Canaanite Myths and Legends after retiring from his Chair at Oxford, but the pressure of his commitments with the New English Bible and as time passed his own failing health prevented him from carrying the project beyond a preliminary stage. He asked me some years ago to undertake the task for him, generously conveying to me his annotated copy of the first edition along with several folders of other notes which he had gathered, including contributions received from a number of correspondents. We planned the broad outlines of the revision together and agreed upon most of the changes in format that are incorporated in it, notably (i) the adoption of Mile. Herdner's system of enumerating the tables, (2) the inclusion in the main body of the work of only the longer and better preserved texts from the first edition, with the smaller and more fragmentary texts being relegated to an Appendix, (3) the inclusion in this Appendix of some of the more important texts discovered or published since the appearance of the first edition, (4) the setting out of the main tablets as far as possible in poetic parallelism, (5) the printing in full of the titles in the Bibliography, and (6) the shortening of the entries in the Glossary and their rearrangement in a more conventional sequence. It was left to me, however, to work out the details, using Sir Godfrey's notes and correspondence as a basis but giving due weight to new studies of the subject which appeared too late to be considered by him. Sir Godfrey consented to read and criticize portions of the revision as I completed them and in the event saw before his death in 1975 initial drafts of around two-thirds of it. Needless to say, I benefited immensely from the many shrewd and searching comments he made upon these; but I alone am answerable for the revision as it is now presented to the public, and its defects should therefore be laid at my door and not his. I hope that it will be judged to repay the confidence he showed in me. On two matters of some importance Sir Godfrey and I failed to reach accord. I could not share his firm opinions on certain features of Ugaritic grammar and had to ask that the section entitled 'Observations on Philology and Grammar' be omitted from this edition; the most I felt I could attempt (apart from a short Note on Phonology) was to give guidance in the footnotes on possible alternative solutions (including of course Sir Godfrey's) to some of the more troublesome problems. He on the other hand disapproved of the attention I pay in the Introduction and footnotes to listing and sometimes commenting more fully on parallels between the Ugaritic texts and the Hebrew Bible. His scepticism about the propriety of such comparisons is well known and has often been shown to be justified; but since a large number,

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CANAANITE MYTHS AND LEGENDS perhaps the majority, of those who work in the Ugaritic field are also students of the Bible, comparisons will inevitably continue to be made, and it seemed to me wiser to recognize this and, as far as space permitted, to close with the issues involved rather than to play safe by ignoring them. Sir Godfrey and I had several arguments over these two matters and I wish to place on record my deep appreciation of his magnanimity in insisting that I as editor should have the final decision. One small improvement I would have liked to introduce was in Ugaritic transliterations to substitute for the symbols z and ? of the first edition appropriate adaptations of the phonetically more accurate symbols d and J, but for typographical reasons this was not possible. On several occasions I consulted other scholars about problems connected with the revision and I wish to thank those who gave me of their valuable time, particularly Professors John Gray of Aberdeen and Jidouard Lipiriski of Louvain, and Dr. Wilfred Watson, formerly Research Fellow of Edinburgh University. I am grateful to Mr. William Johnstone of Aberdeen University for letting me see copies of two articles by him which are not yet in print. Of Sir Godfrey's many correspondents I should like especially to mention Professor John Emerton of Cambridge. Finally I am indebted to the senior class in Hebrew and Old Testament Studies at Edinburgh during the academic session 1975-1976, who were subjected to large sections of this edition in draft form and from whose reactions I drew many helpful insights; and to Mr. Kenneth Aitken, a member of that class, who also assisted me with the checking of references.

New College, Edinburgh September, 1976

J.C.L.GIBSON

CONTENTSPREFACE TO FIRST EDITION PREFACE TO SECOND EDITION CONCORDANCE OF TABLETS SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY INTRODUCTION A. THE DISCOVERY OF THE TABLETS 1 B. ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION OF THE TEXTS 2 1. BAAL AND YAM 2 2. THE PALACE OF BAAL 8 3. BAAL AND MOT 14 v vii xi xiii

4. KERET 5. AQHAT

6. SHACHAR AND SHALIM AND THE GRACIOUS GODS 7. NlKKAL AND THE KOTHARAT 8. THE TEXTS IN THE APPENDIX (BRIEF NOTES) TRANSLITERATION AND TRANSLATION OF THE TEXTS2. THE PALACE OF BAAL

19 23

28 30 31

1. BAAL AND YAM

3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

BAAL AND MOT 68 KERET 82 AQHAT 103 SHACHAR AND SHALIM AND THE GRACIOUS GODS 123 NlKKAL AND THE KOTHARAT 128 APPENDIX: FRAGMENTARY AND RECENTLY PUBLISHED TEXTS (TRANSLITERATION ONLY) 130 140 141 161 165 168

46

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NOTE ON THE PHONOLOGY OF UGARITIC GLOSSARY BIBLICAL AND OTHER REFERENCES ADDENDA TABLE OF U G A R I T I C SIGNS

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CONCORDANCE OF TABLETSTHE table below lists all the Ugaritic tablets and fragments identified as mythological in content. It gives in parallel columns (i) the page numbers of the texts in the order in which they appear in this edition; (2) the sigla employed to identify the tablets by Mile. Herdner in the official edition (CTA); (3) Mons. Virolleaud's sigla in the primar