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Thursday, May 3, 2007

There go the ships

Howard Moltz, who died a year or so ago, was a professor at the University of Chicago.

His field was biopsychology, but he had a side interest in the Hebrew scriptures, which is how I ended up in two of his classes. He taught two of the most radical parts of the Bible: the books of the prophets, and Job and Ecclesiastes, which challenge the goodness of God in a world of evil and seeming futility.

It was Mr. Moltz (no one at the U of C went by "Prof." or "Dr.") who introduced me to the Biblia Hebraica and the Oxford University Hebrew-English dictionary, both of which I would eventually study myself. He pointed out many interesting things in the Bible that another reader might have overlooked.

Recently I was reading Psalm 104, and came across this verse about God making the sea and its creatures: "There go the ships, and Leviathan that you made to sport in it."

Leviathan is the mythological sea monster, but from the divine perspective, he is like "God's rubber duck."

That's what Mr. Moltz said.
May his memory be a blessing.

Reading: The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan