Since ancient times Leviathan and other monsters from the biblical world symbolize the life-threatening powers in nature and history. They represent the dark aspects of human nature and political entities and reveal the supernatural dimensions of evil. Ancient texts and pictures regarding these monsters reflect an environment of polytheism and religious pluralism. Remarkably, however, the biblical writings and post-biblical traditions use these venerated symbols in portraying God as being sovereign over the entire universe, a theme that is also prominent in the reception of these texts in subsequent contexts.
This volume explores this tension and elucidates the theological and cultural meaning of ‘Leviathan’ by studying its ancient Near Eastern background and its attestation in biblical texts, early and rabbinic Judaism, Christian theology, Early Modern art, and film.
Koert van Bekkum, Ph.D. (2010) Theological University, Kampen, is Assistant Professor of Old Testament at that university. He is author of
From Conquest to Coexistence. Ideology and Antiquarian Intent in the Historiography of Israel’s Settlement in Canaan (Brill, 2011).
Jaap Dekker, Ph.D. (2004) Theological University, Apeldoorn, holds the Henk de Jong Chair as Professor of Biblical Studies and Identity at that university. He published
Zion’s Rock-Solid Foundations. An Exegetical Study of the Zion Text in Isaiah 28:16 (Brill, 2007).
Henk van de Kamp, Ph.D. (1990) Theological University, Kampen, is minister of the Reformed Church (liberated) in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands.
Eric Peels, Ph.D. (1992) Theological University, Apeldoorn, is Professor of Old Testament at that university. He published
The Vengeance of God. The Meaning of the Root NQM and the Function of the NQM-texts in the Context of Divine Revelation in the Old Testament (Brill, 1995).
Contributors are: Nicholas Ansell, Koert van Bekkum, Gijsbert van den Brink, Ad de Bruijne, Jaap Dekker, Kees Haak, Rob van Houwelingen, Henk van de Kamp, Dirk van Keulen, Marjo Korpel, Anique de Kruijf, Gert Kwakkel, Johannes de Moor, Michael Mulder, Eric Peels, Reinier Sonneveld, Theo van Spanje, and Ben van Werven.
Table of contents
Part 1: Ancient Near East
1 The Leviathan in the Ancient Near East
Marjo Korpel and Johannes de Moor
Part 2: Old Testament
2 God and the Dragons in the Book of Isaiah
3 As a Fish on Dry Land. Some Remarks on Tannîn in Ezekiel
Ben van Werven
4 “Is Your Rage Against the Rivers, Your Wrath Against the Sea?” Storm-God Imagery in Habakkuk 3
Koert van Bekkum
5 The Monster as a Toy. Leviathan in Psalm 104:26 77
6 “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find The(ir Wisdo)m”. Behemoth and Leviathan in the Book of Job 90
Part 3: Early and Rabbinic Judaism
7 Leviathan on the Menu of the Messianic Meal. The Use of Various Images of Leviathan in Early Jewish Tradition
Part 4: New Testament and Early Christianity
8 Romans 16:17–20a: Imminent Danger and Victory
Theo van Spanje
9 The Air Combat between Michael and the Dragon. Revelation 12:7–12 in Relation to Similar Texts from the New Testament
Rob van Houwelingen
10 Leviathan and the Monsters in Revelation
Henk van de Kamp
Part 5 Theological Reflections
11 God and the Suffering of Animals
Gijsbert van den Brink
12 “God Deals More Roughly with His Creature than We Would Like”. Leviathan in the Work of Arnold A. van Ruler
Dirk van Keulen
13 Modern Political Society as Leviathan. Interpretation and Application of Thomas Hobbes’ Use of a Biblical Symbol
Ad de Bruijne
14 The Dragon / Snake in Myth, Religion and Mission. Fear of Death Defeated by the Message of Life
Part 6 Iconographic Representations
15 A Glimpse of the Beast. Leviathan in Late Medieval and Early Modern Art
Anique de Kruijf
16 Incarnations of Death: Leviathan in the Movies
Index of Ancient Sources
Index of Geographical and Personal Names
Index of Subjects
Index of Modern Authors
All interested in Leviathan, Ancient Near Easters Religion and Iconography, Biblical Studies, Judaism, Reception History and Christian Theology.