The word פוררת in Ps 74:13 is normally translated as “you divided (the sea),” and this passage has been interpreted as referring to the exodus or to the division into two of the chaos monster at the time of creation, as in Enuma Elish. The meaning “to divide,” however, has no etymological support. In Ugaritic and Akkadian *prr means “to break” or “to shatter.” Akkadian parāru with the meaning “breaking” appears in the context of killing Tiamat (Ug. V, 162:37). In Enuma Elish, Tiamat is slain in IV, 103–5, and Marduk disperses (*prr) Tiamat's host in IV, 106. Much later, in IV, 137, he splits (ḫepû) her corpse. Psalm 74 reflects stages of actual battle, as does Enuma Elish: a king shatters (*פרר) the enemy leader; then the members of the enemy host are smashed (שבר) or crushed (רצץ) (vv. 13b–14a). Here the language of battle is used for natural phenomena such as the raging sea and the storm. No creation motif appears in this psalm, even in vv. 15–17. “You split open springs and brooks” (v. 15a) expresses the idea of creation by the resultative; God causes springs and brooks to exist as the outcome of creative action. The text is unrelated to the origination of the earth itself. In this psalm the conflict motif is associated not with creation but with destruction.

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