August 10, 2023

Our Common Humanity

The following text is from a Canaanite (Ugaritic) tablet, early third millennium B.C. It was from the Canaanite people that the Jewish people eventually emerged. The Canaanites were polytheistic; the Israelites, centuries later, were monotheistic (worshipping Yahweh). The speaker here is Baal, the Canaanite god of fertility, and storms. He is addressing another deity.

"I have a word to tell you, a message to recount to you: the word of the tree and the whisper of the stone, the murmur of the heavens to the earth, of the seas to the stars. I understand the lightning that the heavens do not know, the word that people do not know, and earth's masses cannot understand. Come, and I will reveal it."

Ugaritic is very close to Hebrew. Many of the Psalms are direct translations of Ugaritic poetry into the Hebrew language.