Death is a vital issue in the Old Testament. This appears both from the innumerable allusions to the reality of death and its consequences, and from the numerous studies devoted to the subject since the rise of modern critical exegesis. As the results of this research are sufficiently well known, a summary of them is not called for; and a fresh analysis of established positions would amount to a series of repetitions. A new approach is imperative to justify another study of our theme. This fresh starting-point was found in Ugaritic literature. The special value of Ugaritic texts consists in their language, which shows a remarkable similarity with biblical Hebrew, both in vocabulary and style. This dissertation intends to show how the application of the fruits of Ugaritic scholarship can make a valuable contribution to the study of Israelite conceptions about Death and the Hereafter.
In the first place this contribution is of a linguistic nature: it attempts to use the results of philological research on the Ugaritic texts and its application to biblical literature. Secondly, it tries to obtain a better perspective of Israelite views on Death and the beyond with the help of conceptions found in these texts. Above all things, this study attempts to take advantage of the results obtained by the philological research of the Ugaritic texts and its application to biblical literature.
Nicholas J. Tromp is also the author of Over Psalmen Gesproken and Psalmen 1-50