The Biblical Leviathan in Jewish and Christian Interpretation

January 3, 2017 — Leave a comment

Before I move on to other things, I’d like to introduce one more biblical studies related article from the Journal of the Interdisciplinary Study of Monotheistic Religions.

Volume 10 (2015) includes an article about Leviathan in Jewish and Christian interpretation by Danielle Gurevich, Associate Dean at the Faculty of Humanities, Bar-Ilan University (Israel).

Here are the links and bibliographic information.

Japanese Title: 聖書のレビヤタンのシンボリズムとファンタジー : アビスの怪物から預言者たちの救済者まで(PDF)

Transliteration: Seisho no rebiyatan no shinborizumu to huantajī: Abisu no kaibutsu kara yogensha-tachi no kyūsaisha made

English Title: Symbolism and Fantasy of the Biblical Leviathan: From Monster of the Abyss to Redeemer of the Prophets (PDF)

Author: ダニエル・グレヴィッチ・Danielle Gurevitch

Author Affiliation: バル・イラン大学・Associate Dean at the Faculty of Humanities, Bar-Ilan University

Author Links: 

Publication Info (Japanese edition): 一神教学際研究 10 (2015): 40–58

Publication Info (English edition): Journal of the Interdisciplinary Study of Monotheistic Religions 10 (2015): 50–68

Bibliographic Links:

English Abstract: 

The legendary biblical monster of the deep known as Leviathan was part and parcel of the destructive forces that sought to annihilate the world. Yet, according to another popular Jewish belief, a similar sea creature is associated with the spiritual idea of repentance and rebirth. This article examines the Leviathan/whale image and its cultural depiction in ancient Jewish literature, as well as its influence on medieval Christianity. I contend that the roots of the Leviathan image in western society grew and spread over the centuries, becoming an integral part of traditional lore, as well as religious ethos, in different cultures. Each society depicted the legendary creature in a distinct manner in response to its own collective primal fears, kneading it into a source of strength and hope in times of anguish. In other words, this paper attempts to demonstrate that the image of the giant monster ultimately serves as a source of strength and consolation, whether it is defeated (as in ancient pagan civilizations), controlled (as in Judaism), or brandished as a threat of punishment for sinners (as in Christianity). (From DUAR)

Japanese Abstract:


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