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The seventy sons of Athirat, the nations of the world, Deuteronomy 32.6b, 8–9, and the myth of divine election

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Chapter Summary

In the Ugaritic text KTU 1.4 vi 46 the poet Ilimilku refers to 'the seventy sons of Athirat'. This is the only reference so far appearing in Ugaritian tradition concerning the 'precise' number of the gods. The number seventy comes up again in a biblical context, but this time by implication only, in the famous crux in Deuteronomy 32. Verse 6ba, MT qanekà is perhaps better read as participial qònê (with suffix qonekà), in internal parallelism with àbîkà. The language of divine sonship belongs in the context of royal ideology, and here the member of the community of Israel is an extension of the king's persona, which represents the nation, on a pars pro toto basis.

Keywords: Athirat; Deuteronomy 32; divine election; Ugaritic text



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