THE NUMBER SEVEN IN UGARITIC TEXTS BY ARVID S. KAPELRUD Oslo In his "Ugaritic Literature" Cyrus H. GORDON sums up about Baal: "Baal is a fertility but not a seasonal god; on only one occasion do we know he was killed, later to be revived (49 :III) ; the recorded droughts and famines associated with Baal's misfortune or hostility are calamities lasting seven years, plainly ruling out a yearly cycle of Baal's death and revival" 1). GORDON bases his conclusion on two features which he empha- sizes. 1. According to him "the widespread notion that the year in Canaan is divided into a fertile and a sterile season is false". 2. "More- over, drought and famine are regularly represented as seven-year scourges in the Ugaritic texts". GORDON maintains that the seven- year cycle is dominating in the Ugaritic texts, which is to a certain extent right, but the implications of this fact are not rightly inter- preted by him. GORDON was followed in his interpretation by G. R. DRIVER 2) and A. F. RAINEY 3), who both, a little astonishingly, repeat the rather worthless argument of GORDON that "the texts tell us nothing of any annual death and
Vetus Testamentum – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1968
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