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Title

Behold now Behemoth which I made with thee: Gallery Label - Current

Author

Minneapolis Institute of Arts

Date

2005

Institution Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Here, God explains the mystery of the incessant warfare in the human world. He reaches down through the cloud-barrier with his left hand to indicate Behemoth and Leviathan. These two creatures exist in man himself; God proclaims to Job "Behold now Behemoth which I made with thee." (Job xl: 15-24; lxi: 1-34). The cloud-barrier of Job's world includes the sphere in which they exist; it is a picture of the subconscious, the unredeemed portion of psyche, which the bulrushes identify as Egypt-the unredeemed portion of mankind. These are the terrible forces within man, against which he seems helpless: "the War by Sea enormous and the War by Land astounding, erecting pillars in the deepest Hell to reach the heavenly arches" (Blake, Jerusalem, 91: 39-42). They also function as a means of God's providence.Behemoth is "the chief ways of God": warfare of the spirit is one of the chief joys of Eternity, though when materialized on earth it is rendered deadly (Milton 34: 50-52; 35: 2-3). Leviathan is King over all the Children of Pride-that is, over all unredeemed mankind. His name means "coiled," and therefore he is depicted as having a huge spiral, representing the everlasting repetitions in the round of nature.At the upper corners, angels write the laws of the universe; at the lower corners are the eagles which Urizen sends forth in his work of creation (The Four Zoas ii: 150). Below are the emptied shells of the mortal bodies which are grown by man's spirit and then abandoned on the margin of the Sea of Time and Space.
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Type: Commentary, Gallery Label - Current
Source: Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Rights: Copyright Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Added to Site: March 10, 2009