The taunt (Isa 14:12-14:15)

“How you are fallen from heaven!

O Day Star!

Son of Dawn!

How you are cut down to the ground!

You who laid the nations low!

You said in your heart.

‘I will ascend to heaven.

I will raise my throne

Above the stars of God.

I will sit

On the mount of assembly,

On the heights of Zaphon.

I will ascend to the tops of the clouds,

I will make myself like the Most High.’

But you are brought down to Sheol,

To the depths of the Pit.”

There are hints at Canaanite mythology is this taunt of the king, with the Canaanite idol terms like Day Star, son of Dawn, and Mount of Assembly. This might suggest Baal worship that could be found at Jebel, near the Turkish Syrian border or in the archeology of Ugarit, a Syrian costal town. Zaphon was on the east side of the Jordan River. Although the king aspired to go to the high heavens, he has ended up in Sheol, at the depths of the Pit. Thus this king who wanted to go to the high heavens ends up in the lower pits of Sheol, tough luck.

The hymn to the all powerful God (Job 26:5-26:14)

“The shades below tremble.

The waters and their inhabitants tremble.

Sheol is naked before God.

Abaddon has no covering.

He stretches out Zaphon over the void.

He hangs the earth upon nothing.

He binds up the waters in his thick clouds.

The cloud is not torn open by them.

He covers the face of the full moon.

He spreads over it his cloud.

He has described a circle on the face of the waters.

He has described a circle at the boundary between light and darkness.

The pillars of heaven tremble.

They are astounded at his rebuke.

By his power he stilled the sea.

By his understanding he struck down Rahab.

By his wind the heavens were made fair.

His hand pierced the fleeing serpent.

These are indeed but the outskirts of his ways.

How small a whisper do we hear of him!

But the thunder of his power,

Who can understand?”

Then Job broke into a hymn about the all powerful God. Could this be from Bildad?   In very explicit colorful language, he describes the power of God over all things. This is the vision of earth, Sheol, and heaven. Sheol and Abaddon are similar, like a bottomless pit. Abaddon will become a person in the Christian book of Revelation. Here it is like another name for Sheol, so that even those below must recognize the power of God since they have no place to hide or cover up. Zaphon is the northern mountain area of the Canaanite gods, something like the Greek Mount Olympus. The earth was suspended over an abyss. The water in the clouds was still accepted today as the cause of rain. Only God could make it rain and break the clouds. He also had control of the moon creating eclipses. God was of course responsible for the boundary between water and earth as well as light and darkness. There were even pillars in heaven that were afraid of him. Perhaps these pillars are the mountains that seem to reach up into the heavens. Obviously he controlled the sea and the mythical sea monster Rahab. Rahab was also the name of the prostitute, who helped the troops of Joshua, chapter 2. God then pierced the fleeing serpent, perhaps a reference to Genesis, chapter 3. We mortals only catch a glimpse of his power like a whisper when he thunders. The idea that God spoke through thunder was prevalent. However, we cannot understand all this.