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Bible Encyclopedias

The 1901 Jewish Encyclopedia

Rahab


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Originally a mythical name designating the abyss or the sea subsequently applied to Egypt. Job 9:13 and 26:12 indicate that it is an alternative for "Tiamat," the Babylonian name of the dragon of darkness and chaos Psalm 89:9 also indicates that "Rahab" is a name applied to the sea-monster, the dragon. According to a sentence preserved in the Talmud, "Rahab" is the name of the demon, the ruler of the sea ("Sar shel Yam" B. B. 74b). It is used as a designation for Egypt in Psalm 87:4 and Isaiah 30:7 . Similarly, in Isaiah 51:9 , which alludes to the exodus from Egypt, the destruction of Pharaoh is described as a smiting of the great sea-monster Rahab or the dragon Tannin. The juxtaposition of "Rahab" and "Tannin" in this passage explains why "Rahab" was used as a designation for Egypt, which was otherwise called "Tannin" (see Ezekiel 29:3 , Hebr.). It must be noted that the Jewish exegetes deprived the word "Rahab" of its mythological character, and explained it as merely an equivalent for "arrogance," "noise," or "tumult"— applied both to the roaring of the sea and to the arrogant noisiness and proud boasting of the Egyptians (comp. Abraham ibn Ezra on Psalm 87:4 and 89:9 ).

Bibliography : Cheyne and Black, Encyc. Bibl. Smith, Dict. Bible Gunkel, Schö pfung und Chaos , pp. 30-40, Gö ttingen, 1895.W. B. J. Z. L.
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Bibliography Information
Singer, Isidore, Ph.D, Projector and Managing Editor. Entry for 'Rahab'. 1901 The Jewish Encyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/tje/r/rahab.html. 1901.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, November 24th, 2020
the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34
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