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Rahab (Egypt)

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Rahab m.n. (Hebrew: רַהַב, Modern Raẖav ( rah'·hav ) Tiberian Rāḥāḇ ; "breadth" is used in the Hebrew Bible to indicate rage, fierceness, insolence, pride. Rahab is the emblematic name of Egypt and is also spoken of with the sea.[1] In Jewish folklore, Rahab is a mythical sea monster.

Biblical usage

Egypt

Rahab is a poetical name for Egypt. It might have Egyptian origins that were accommodated to the Hebrew language. However, there is nothing revealing in the Coptic language.[1]

I mention Rahab (Egypt)[2] and Babel to those knowing Me, Lo, Philistia, and Tyre, with Cush! This [one] was born there. (Psalm 87:4)YLT
Thou [Jehovah] art ruler over the pride of the sea, In the lifting up of its billows Thou dost restrain them. Thou hast bruised Rahab (Egypt),[2] as one wounded. With the arm of Thy strength Thou hast scattered Thine enemies. (Psalm 89:8–10)YLT
Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of Jehovah, Awake, as [in] days of old, generations of the ages, Art not Thou it that is hewing down Rahab (Egypt),[2] Piercing a dragon! (Isaiah 51:9)YLT

Insolence

In Isaiah 30:7, rāḥāḇ (insolence, strength) becomes a proverbial expression that gives an allusion to the Hebrew etymology insolence.[1]

Yea, Egyptians [are] vanity, and in vain do help, Therefore I have cried concerning this: `Their strength (rāḥāḇ)[3] [is] to sit still. (Isaiah 30:7)YLT

Pride

In the Book of Job, rāḥāḇ (pride, blusterer) occurs in the Hebrew text and is translated as "proud".[3]

[If] God will not withdraw his anger, the proud (rāḥāḇ) helpers do stoop under him. (Job 9:13)KJV
He divideth the sea with his power, and by his understanding he smiteth through the proud (rāḥāḇ). (Job 26:12)KJV

Jewish folklore and Psalms

In Jewish folklore, Rahab (noise, tumult, arrogance) is a mythical sea monster, a dragon of the waters, the "demonic angel of the sea". Rahab represents the primordial abyss, the water-dragon of darkness and chaos, comparable to Leviathan and Tiamat. Rahab later became a particular demon, inhabitant of the sea, especially associated with the Red Sea.[4]

This tradition is reflected in Psalm 89:10.

Influence

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See also

References

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