The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Vol. 4

By Geoffrey W. Bromiley; Everett E. Harrison et al. | Go to book overview
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UBIQUITARIANISM "See OMNIPRESENCE: HISTORY OF THE DOCTRINE III; LORD'S SUPPER VII.UCAL. See ITHIEL.UEL ūUəl "Heb. ̓û'ēl " (Ezr. 10:34, 43); JOEL jōUal "Gk. louel" (1 Esd. 9:34f.); AV, NEB, JUEL. Laymen who divorced their foreign wives in the time of Ezra.UGARIT; UGARITIC"gə-rit, yū-gäUrit. An ancient city-state on the Mediterranean N of modern Latakia. Excavations of the site of RÂS SHAMRAH, ancient Ugarit, which have brought to light a city on the Syrian coast from the 14th and 13th cent. B.C., are of greatest importance for biblical studies. Archeologically and historically Ugarit is the best-known of all sites of the Late Bronze Age in Syro-Palestine, and therefore furnishes the most detailed body of material of the “Canaanite” culture which the Israelite tribes found in the “promised land” at the time of the conquest. But the greatest importance lies in the retrieval of texts in the local script and language (“Ugaritic”), which has revolutionized both the linguistic knowledge of Northwest Semitic in its most ancient stage (and consequently Hebrew), and the knowledge of the terminology, style, and content of Canaanite literature of mythological and religious character, having profound contacts with the OT.
I. History
II. Society
III. Orthography and Language
IV. Religion and Mythology

I. History.–Historical events of Ugarit are representative of a marginal region between the Semitic (Canaanite) and Hurrian linguistic areas, and between the zones of influence of Egypt to the south and the Hittites and Mittani to the north. Accordingly, the small city-state of Ugarit could play only a passive role for the most part. For the archeological reconstruction of the history of the city prior to 1500 B.C., see RÂS SHAMRAH.

Political and juridical archives recovered from the royal palace of Ugarit (written mostly in Akkadian, the diplomatic language of the time) make possible the reconstructtion of the history in the 14th and 13th centuries. Ugarit was at that time the capital of a kingdom extending from the Mediterranean to the Orontes valley (30-45 km. "20-30 mi.") and from Jebel el-'Aqra (Mt. Casius) to Shuksi (Tell Sukas) and the Jebeleh plain (where the vassal states of Siyanni and Ushnatu were located) about 60 km. (35 mi.) of the coastal region.

Ugarit was a vassal of Egypt (as was all the Syrian coast

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