Bahamut, primordial beast

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A fish for the Arabs, a land beast for the Jews. The Bahamut has always inspired myths and legends, becoming a central element for the mythology of these two peoples

Bahamut, the fish

According to Arab cosmology, the Bahamut would be a huge fish, on whose back there would be the Kujata, a colossal bull with 4000 eyes, mouths and nostrils. The mammoth bovine would in turn hold an abnormal ruby, on which there is an angel of such dimensions as to support the whole world. The Bahamut, in particular, represents a sort of boundary of the world as below it there is only the unknown.

The Bahamut according to the Arabs

The beast is in fact located in a lake whose borders are made of darkness and no one knows its subsoil. However, there is a tale of “The Thousand and One Nights” in which it is stated that the Falak is hidden there, a serpent that could devour the entire creation by dimension.

Behemoth, the beast

The peculiarity of this beast, however, is also another, he appears not only in Arab mythology, but also in the biblical one, this time, however, in a very different form. If for the Arabs it was a fish, for the Jews it was instead a sort of rhinoceros or elephant, thus representing more the terrestrial element than the marine one.

The Biblical Behemoth, definitely more like an elephant

This function is in fact performed by the Leviathan, an animal with the most catastrophic outlines but similar to the Arab Bahamut. There must probably have been a misunderstanding in the oral tradition, thus leading to the elaboration of beasts so similar but with so different functions. The 2 biblical beasts, in fact, are also closely connected with the concept of apocalypse, going to make a decisive contribution; however, this function is completely absent in the Arab world, in which it plays, on the contrary, the role of stabilizer of the universe.

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