The Wrath of Deities of Netherworld in Beliefs of the Ancient Near East


Abstract

The various Semitic peoples of the Ancient Near East all embraced similar beliefs concerning the anger of the deities of the underworld. Above all, such an anger was viewed as lethal to both people and to other gods. In the surviving textual sources one can find word-images of the deities themselves, of their demonic helpers, and even of the dead under their orders to devour their victims (gods or people). The anger of the divine rulers of the underworld is not presented as irrevocable, but can be appeased by offering sacrifices and prayers, or by praising particular gods. Some elements of this imagery, though modified to align with a monotheistic background, can also be found in the Bible.


Keywords

divine warth; Bible; Ugarit; Mesopotamia; Baal; Mot; Ereshkigal; Nergal

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Published : 2018-11-07


Münnich, M. (2018). The Wrath of Deities of Netherworld in Beliefs of the Ancient Near East. Verbum Vitae, 34, 191-212. https://doi.org/10.31743/vv.2018.34.08

Maciej Münnich  munnich@kul.pl
Katolicki Uniwersytet Lubelski Jana Pawła II  Poland
http://orcid.org/0000-0003-0063-2799

Maciej Münnich, doktor habilitowany historii, profesor Katolickiego Uniwersytetu Jana Pawła II, pracownik Instytutu Historii tej uczelni specjalizujący się w historii religii starożytnego Bliskiego Wschodu. Szczególne zainteresowania: demonologia biblijna, wierzenia dotyczące życia pozagrobowego, archeologia starożytnego Izraela, jak również współczesna sytuacja geopolityczna na Bliskim Wschodzie. Jest kierownikiem grantu MNiSW „Teksty ugaryckie – przekład i komentarz”.






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