Tannin appears in the Baal Cycle as one of the servants of Yammu (lit. "Sea") defeated by Baʿal (lit. "Lord") or bound by his sister ʿAnat. He is usually depicted as serpentine, possibly with a double tail.
The tanninim (תַּנִּינִים) also appear in the Hebrew Scriptures' books of Genesis, Exodus, Deuteronomy, Psalms, Job, Ezekiel, Isaiah, and Jeremiah. They are explicitly listed among the creatures created by (the) Elohim on the fifth day of the Genesis creation narrative, translated in the King James Version as "great whales". The tannin is listed in the Apocalypse of Isaiah as among the sea beasts to be slain by Yahweh at the End of Days, translated in the King James Version as "the dragon".[n 1] In Jewish mythology, Tannin is sometimes conflated with the related sea monsters Leviathan and Rahab. Along with Rahab, "Tannin" was a name applied to Egypt after the Israelite's Exodus to Canaan.
- This passage in Isaiah directly parallels another from the earlier Baal Cycle. The Hebrew passage describing the tannin takes the place of a Ugaritic one describing "the encircler" or "the mighty one with seven heads" (šlyṭ d.šbʿt rašm). In both the Ugaritic and Hebrew texts, it is debatable whether three figures are being described or whether the others are epithets of Litan or Leviathan.
- Heider (1999), p. 836.
- Tabick, Roni (18 July 2013), "From the Deep—Leviathan in Jewish Tradition—Genesis 1", Mythic Writing.
- Herrmann (1999), p. 135.
- Heider (1999), p. 135.
- Gen. 1:21.
- Exod. 7:9–10:12.
- Deut. 32:33.
- Heider (1999), p. 135–136.
- Ps. 74:13, 91:13, 148:7, and possibly 44:20.
- Job 7:12.
- Ezek. 29:3 & 32:2.
- Isa. 27:1 & 51:9.
- Jer. 51:34.
- Gen. 1:21 (KJV).
- Isa. 27:1.
- Isa. 27:1 (KJV).
- Barker (2014), p. 152.
- Uehlinger (1999), p. 512.
- Heider (1999), pp. 835–836.
- Barker, William D. (2014), "Litan in Ugarit", Isaiah's Kingship Polemic: An Exegetical Study in Isaiah 24–27, Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, pp. 151–167, ISBN 978-3-16-153347-1.
- Heider, George C. (1999), "Tannîn", Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible, 2nd ed., Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, pp. 834–836.
- Herrmann, Wolfgang (1999), "Baal", Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible, 2nd ed., Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, pp. 132–139.
- Uehlinger, C. (1999), "Leviathan", Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible, 2nd ed., Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, pp. 511–515.
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