Rahab m.n. (Hebrew: רַהַב, Modern: Rahav, Tiberian: Rahaḇ, "blusterer" is used in the Hebrew Bible to indicate rage, fierceness, insolence, pride.) Rahab is the emblematic name of Egypt and is also used for the sea. In medieval Jewish folklore, Rahab is a mythical sea-monster.
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), as one wounded. With the arm of Thy strength, Thou hast scattered Thine enemies. (Psalm 89:8–10)YLT
Creation narratives in Biblical texts
Before the Medieval adoption of "Rahab" to mean demon or sea-beast, the name also appears in Psalms 89: 5-12 and Isaiah 51:9-10. Rahab, in these passages, takes the meaning of primeval, chaotic, multi-headed sea-dragon or Leviathan. It is often assumed that long before the Jewish mythos, the ancient Jews emulated the creation fables told by their predecessors. The Babylonians, for example, told of a sky-god, Marduk, and a sea-goddess, Tiamat, battling for supreme power over the other gods, in the Enûma Eliš. It can be speculated these two characters in the Babylonian myth are parallel to the creation stories found in the Biblical passages containing the name Rahab.
Rahab as insolence or pride
He divideth the sea with his power, and by his understanding he smiteth through the proud (rahaḇ). (Job 26:12)KJV
In medieval Jewish folklore, Rahab (splendour) is a mythical sea-monster, a dragon of the waters, the "demonic angel of the sea". Rahab is also seen as a deity in the text. 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..
- "Old Testament Hebrew Entry for Strong's #7293 - רַהַב". StudyLight.org. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
- Gesenius, Wilhelm; Robinson, Edward (trans.) (1844). A Hebrew and English lexicon of the Old Testament: including the Biblical Chaldee. Boston, MA: Crocker & Brewster. p. 976. LCCN 2006366085. OCLC 2805204.
- Strong, James (1980) . "Strong's Concordance: H7294". Strong's Concordance. Abingdon Press. ISBN 978-0-687-40032-4. LCCN 80019453. OCLC 59851471.
- Coogan, Michael D. (2014). The Old Testament: A Historical and Literary Introduction to Hebrew Scriptures. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 34–40. ISBN 978-0-19-994661-7.
- Strong, James (1980) . "Strong's Concordance: H7293". Strong's Concordance. Abingdon Press. ISBN 978-0-687-40032-4. LCCN 80019453. OCLC 59851471.
- Simon, Maurice (trans.); Slotik, Israel W. (trans.) (1935). "Folio 74b". In Epstein, Isidore. Baba Bathra: chapters I - VI; translated into English with notes, glossary and indices. London, England: Soncino Press. OCLC 34847398.
From this it may be inferred that the name of the angel of the sea was Rahab. And had not the waters covered him no creature could have stood his [foul] odour
- "Uranus and Neptune get Hebrew names at last", Haaretz.com
- "Hebrew names to Uranus and Neptune", Hayadan.org.il
- John, Day (1985). God's Conflict with the Dragon and the Sea. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-25600-1. LCCN 83021045. OCLC 614077481.