Death as a Mythical Creature in the Bible

Grim Reaper
Grim Reaper – Lost his Sting! by Waiting for the Word (

Did you know that Death is a mythical creature in the Bible? Just as Motu is an enemy of Ba’lu in Canaanite mythology and Thanatos is a negative god in Greek mythology, in the Bible Death (Hebrew maveth, Greek thanatos) is an enemy who sends messengers (Prov 16:14), has a son named Calamity (Job 18:13-14), ensnares people (Psalm 18:4; etc.), leads them to the Underworld (Ps 49:14), and devours them (Hab 2:5). Yet the Bible teaches that the Lord will himself ransom his people from Death (Hos 13:14) and devour Death (Isa 25:8). The Lord swallows up the great swallower! Paul speaks of Death as having “reigned” (Rom 5:14, 17), but Jesus’ resurrection means that Death does not reign over Jesus (Rom 6:9), and so Jesus will defeat all of his enemies, the last one being Death (1 Cor 15:26, 54-57). Christ has taken away Death’s keys (Rev 1:18), and though Death is one of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse, bringing destruction wherever he goes (Rev 6:7-8), Jesus will force him to give up the dead that he has swallowed (Rev 20:13) and will throw him in the Lake of Fire (Rev 20:14).

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