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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Word of Tree and Whisper of Stone: And Other Papers on Ugaritian Thought
Wyatt, Nicolas

Piscataway, N.J.: Gorgias, 2007 pp. xv + 230. $90.00

Series Information
Gorgias Ugaritic Studies, 1


Description: This flagship volume of the Gorgias Ugaritic Series is a book of selected essays dating from 1992 to the present, devoted to themes in Ugaritic literature. Providing a glimpse into the worldview of ancient Syria, Word of Tree and Whisper of Stone includes the following chapters: A New Look at the Term ödmt; The Titles of the Ugaritic Storm-God; The Pruning of the Vine in KTU 1.23; Understanding Polytheism: Structure and Dynamic in a West Semitic Pantheon; Religion at Ugarit: an overview; Epic in Ugaritic Literature; "May Horon Smash Your Head!": a Curse Formula from Ugarit; and Word of Tree and Whisper of Stone, from which the volume takes its title. The shorter chapters, 1 and 3, deal with details in textual analysis, the intermediate ones, 5 and 6, with matters of religion and genre. The longer ones, 2, 4, 7 and 8, cover broader issues, respectively the surprisingly large range of Baal's epithets; the theology of the so-called "pantheon lists" form Ugarit, and the tension they invite between pluralistic and unitary conceptions of deity; and the question of prophecy in Ugarit. Prophetic figures have now been widely attested in the ancient Near East, from the time of Zimri-Lim of Mari down into the Iron Age. It was only a matter of time till the phenomenon was observed in Ugarit. This final chapter explores the language of divine communication in the light of some archaic features in Israelite oracular procedure.

Subjects: Ancient Near East, Literature

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Review by John Engle
Published 3/8/2011
Citation: John Engle, review of Nicolas Wyatt, Word of Tree and Whisper of Stone: And Other Papers on Ugaritian Thought, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2011).


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