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Who/What is Rahab the serpent in Job 26

Discussion in 'Christian Scriptures' started by Slaol121, Feb 7, 2011.

  1. Slaol121

    Slaol121 Newbie

    There is a serpent called "Rahab" mentioned in some versions of the bible:
    "He has inscribed a circle on the surface of the waters
    At the boundary of light and darkness.
    "The pillars of heaven tremble
    And are amazed at His rebuke.
    "He quieted the sea with His power,
    And by His understanding He shattered Rahab.
    "By His breath the heavens are cleared;
    His hand has pierced the fleeing serpent...
    Job 26:10-13 (NASB)

    However, some translations, like the King James Version, do not use the name of the monster - substituting "pride" instead:
    "He divideth the sea with his power,
    and by his understanding he smiteth through the proud.

    By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens;
    his hand hath formed the crooked serpent."

    Job 26:12-13 (KJV)

    The New King James has yet a different translation:
    "He stirs up the sea with His power,
    And by His understanding He breaks up the storm.
    By His Spirit He adorned the heavens;
    His hand pierced the fleeing serpent."

    Job 26:12-13 (NKJV)

    Who/What is Rahab the serpent in Job 26?
  2. singpeace

    singpeace Senior Member Supporter

    In the NASB, Rahab in Hebrew is rah'·hav which is a poetic name for Egypt.

    In the KJV, Proud in Hebrew is also rah'·hav, or Egypt.

    In the NKJV, Storm can be translated to to mean 'insolent, proud'
  3. singpeace

    singpeace Senior Member Supporter

    O, and the serpent is a celestial grouping of stars which made the shape of a serpent.
  4. cavell

    cavell Senior Veteran Supporter

    The first mention of Rahab is in Joshua.1 through to ch 6. Refers to a woman used in the purpose of God to preserve the spies.

    Ps. 87.4.is the next mention of Rahab. Here it is a poetic name for Egypt meaning 'boaster'. Isaiah 51.9. Again a poetic name for Egypt.

    All other ref. to Rahab in the KJV. O.T./N.T. are to the woman who saved the spies.

    The word crooked in v 13 relates to 'fleeing'. The word occurs here only. Isa. 27:1. Isa.43:14. reffering to ther constellation "serpens"
    Serpent = 'nachash' Here a constallation so called.

    The word 'serpent' relates to the constellations.

    I can find no other mention of Rahab.
  5. yeshuasavedme

    yeshuasavedme Senior Veteran

    Blue Letter Bible - Lexicon

    Gesenius's Lexicon (Help)
  6. yeshuasavedme

    yeshuasavedme Senior Veteran

  7. yeshuasavedme

    yeshuasavedme Senior Veteran

    Psa 136:6 To him that stretched out the earth above the waters: for his mercy [endureth] for ever.

    Job 37:18 Hast thou with him spread out the sky, [which is] strong, [and] as a molten looking glass?
  8. DamianWarS

    DamianWarS Follower of Isa Al Masih Supporter

    Rahab or "räkhäv'" the woman is not the same word as rahab or "rah'hav" in Job. Since Job is a poetry book the use of the word seems to be metaphorical and I would suggest any translation you gave is acceptable. However with that said the latter of the text does speak of a "fleeing serpent" so I would think the original metaphor was meant as rahab the mythical sea monster and probably not much to do with Egypt, but better suited with meanings of storms and pride with the context. In Jewish Folklore, that stems from this passage, Rahab is a type of demon that dwells in the sea.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2011
  9. Aijalon

    Aijalon Sayin' it like it is

    NASA missions... the curious case of Voyager probe.

    The Voyager probe has made headlines recenty for reaching the outer limit of the solar system. In the first Star Trek, the premise of the movie is that a non biological life form detects Voyager and comes looking for earth. The life form deploys weapons all around the earth and makes demands that Starfleet cannot accept.

    The crew of the Enterprise boards the life form's ship as a disguise, and in the end one of the crew merges himself into the life form's humanoid/android messenger and makes himself one with it.

    Okay, this is hokey stuff.

    Lets just entertain the idea that this movie was telling us something about Voyager... it was sent in order to communicate with a life form outside the solar system (which it actually was designed to do).

    This idea of life beyond our solar system, or even inside it, is a long held mystical religion of sorts among not just wierdos, but all kinds of bona fide scientists, yes, even NASA.

    Well, lets just entertain one more idea.... God cut apart Rahab, a planet that once existed where the asteroid belt now exists. This planet could have been home to life forms even a civilization that were a creation of fallen angels who interbred with humans. Their technology could have transported people there even, theoretically.

    If chunks of that planet were large enough... okay... you get the idea.

    ISON is perhaps a herald for the return of yeah "planet X" (Rahab) When this planet gets close enough us, or, what is left of it, anthing that might be riding along with it just may, no, probably may, try to land here. All speculation... but, if you believe that comets come from the Oord cloud (which doesn't really exist) then you're speculating as well!. A planet was once where that asteroid belt is... But the question is, where did it go? Did it burn up in the sun? Did it go into an extreem orbit?

    This leads me to think... is the resurrected head the wounded head - the eighth and final which is "of the seven" in Revelation 17.. ... is the wounded head the one of the original empire of Satan before the flood, where he and his angels lived in the sight of men?
  10. pshun2404

    pshun2404 Newbie

    Bariyach nachash in the Hebrew is “crooked serpent”…what translation says Rahab (not at all in the text)?

    The pre-JPS Masoretic (the traditional Hebrew) says “26:10 He has compassed the waters with bounds, until the day and night comes to an end. 11 The pillars of heaven tremble and are astonished at his reproof. 12 He divides the sea with his power, and by his understanding he smites through the proud. 13 By his Spirit he has garnished the heavens; his hand has formed the crooked serpent.

    The NASB is in error on this one…

  11. childofdust

    childofdust Newbie

    As some have already mentioned, Rahab is a mythological name for the chaos of the sea (not to be confused with woman Rahab, which comes from a completely different Hebrew name). It is based on ancient Near Eastern creation stories in which a god of the sea (like Tiamat in Babylon or Yamm in Canaan-Syria) fights against the hero god (Marduk in Babylon, Baal in Canaan-Syria). And by slaying the “serpent” or “dragon” of the sea, the triumphant god is able to establish creation. It is a typical creation myth that serves to show who the big, bad god is: the one that overpowers, destroys, or divides the sea.

    Job 26 is drawing heavily on that whole mythological idea. This is obvious because of the context. Inscribing a circle on the surface of the waters = giving boundary to the waters = creation in Gen 1. Dividing between light and darkness = creation in Gen 1. And then it proceeds into a description of God rebuking the “sea” = typical creation myth. Rahab is linked through the parallelism with the sea and with the “fleeing serpent” = the typical “serpent of the sea” defeated by the true god in creation myths.

    We see the same thing elsewhere... like in Psalm 89:9-10: “You rule the raging of the sea; when its waves rise, you still them. You crushed Rahab like a carcass; you scattered your enemies with your mighty arm.” Again, the idea of ruling the sea, which is based on typical creation mythology, is linked to destroying Rahab.

    Isaiah 51:9 adds: “Was it not you who cut Rahab in pieces, who pierced the dragon?” There, of course, the fact of god's power over creation using typical creation motifs is linked to the Exodus from Egypt. Thus, the Sea through which the Israelites crossed is seen as a type of the chaos that God subdued all the way back at the beginning of creation.

    A similar idea can be seen in Job 9. God is described as mighty and powerful. For instance, “he spreads out the sky by himself and treads upon the crests of Yamm (Sea).” (9:8). He creates the constellations and does numerous unfathomable things (9:9). No one is able to question him (9:12). Even those who support Rahab, cower (9:13). There, Rahab is obviously linked to the same idea of God's ultimate might and his ability to do what he pleases.

    So, yeah, Rahab is the best translation you can get for that verse (and many others). The name conjurs up a whole entire mythological realm about creation, power, and god's might that the meaning of the word itself (afflicter) cannot even begin to represent. That is also why Egypt is called Rahab in a few places—because the concepts associated with that name are immensely powerful and vivid. A translation like "proud" really misses the whole idea. And "storm" is hardly better.
  12. jmer816

    jmer816 Junior Member

    I always marveled at the texts about behemoth and leviathan in Job, but I forgot about Rahab or I might have missed the reference to a creature. Very interesting 8)
  13. granpa

    granpa Noahide/Rationalist

  14. x141

    x141 ...

    It is our soul, just as Babylon is a picture of this, just as the storm of the sea is the storm of our reasoning (in the new heaven and earth, there being no seas or confusion). The book of Job is about Job's soul, or wife, who does not get a new one, just different children. Children equate to thoughts as his three friends equate to Abraham's three men, or to Nebuchadnezzar, or Daniel's, Noah's, or Jesus' three (etc.).

    She has this testimony ... I am no widow.

    Before her desolation (spiritually called Jerusalem), the city is broken up into three parts.

    These things I wrote are very measured concerning this truth happening in us.

    The word used for Pierced implies (among other things) to be broken, it's interesting that the constellation of Serpens is broken in two, being divided by the constellation Ophiuchus, which means serpent bearer and is represented by a man grasping a serpent. (serpent on the pole, or Christ on a tree/cross, though they both became an idol in our land/soul).

    Rahab/pride is of the soul (and man became a living soul), and is the perception of self when measured by our five senses. God by his reasoning or understanding crushes or destroys the pride that is in us. It says that by his hand he pierces the crooked serpent, just as his hand wrought salvation in the picture David and the Philistine becomes to us.

    Psa_18:35 Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great.
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2013
  15. Aijalon

    Aijalon Sayin' it like it is


    Great post, thanks!