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The song of the Sea - Essay Example

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The purpose of this paper is to explore the Song of the Sea from this literary perspective to uncover subtle nuances within the text. It will first examine the poem from a historical and cultural perspective, then from a more general literary perspective. …
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The song of the Sea
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Download file to see previous pages The intention of this study is the Song of the Sea. It is an ancient Hebrew poem that appears in the Book of Exodus and is generally believed to have been the song that was sung by the Israelites after the crossing of the Red Sea. It was believed to have been written in Ancient Egypt, but current archaeological evidence suggests that it was probably written in Canaan. This is due to the frequent mention of places and cultural references only relevant to people living within the Canaan region, such as the “mighty men of Moab”. There is fairly little evidence that the Israelites actually managed to reach Egypt. The poem does, however, back up historical evidence that there was a major conflict between the people of the Canaan region and the Egyptians, suggesting that the Song of the Sea is probably a conquest song celebrating victory over a foreign invader. Culturally, the Song of the Sea was believed to have been a separate piece of poetry before being incorporated into the Jewish canon. Biblically, it is believed to have been composed spontaneously by the Israelites following Moses across the Red Sea, and the Lord was praising them for this song of praise. This suggests that songs may have been less common in the Jewish faith before the composition of this piece, and could be one of the earliest truly Abrahamic religious songs in existence. This gives an insight into how Ancient Judaism was structured and worshipped prior to this poem, as well as showing the audience how important it was to praise God in this way. Another insight this gives into the culture of the time comes from the fact that is celebrating war. Historically, the Jewish people at this time endured many different wars and conflicts within the area, and the battle with the Egyptians who were supposedly holding the people of Israel as slaves is one such example. The poem does not illustrate many physical details of the battle, but it does suggest that, if the poem is based upon historical event, that the Israelites were victorious in this case and that it was the “right hand” of God that helped these people win this particular fight. It shows just how important culturally a belief in God was, as the entire poem is celebrating the help of God in the victory (Parrish et al, 1992). General Themes of the Song of the Sea One of the most important aspects of the Song of the Sea is that it is a song of worship (Ginzberg, 2004). The entire poem is dedicated to God and is said to have been sung “to the Lord” (1:1). It is important that any analysis of this poem understands this because it has some major implications for understanding the poem. It needs to be analysed as a liturgical work, because this is how it was written. The ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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