Beersheba dating jewish

Similarly, in another older tradition now preserved in Numbers , the god Chemosh is assigned to the people of Moab.Other biblical passages reaffirm this archaic view of Yahweh as a god in El’s council.There are, in addition to this, numerous El epithets in various strains of biblical tradition—epithets that through a process of assimilation and adoption later become associated with Yahweh.We have already encountered El Shaddai, “El of the Mountain.” Like Yahweh who is associated with the mountain of Sinai and later in eschatological traditions with Zion, so too El resides on a mountain.Our knowledge of El predominantly comes from an invaluable corpus of tablets discovered in 1929 in the ancient city of Ugarit, a major city-state of the second millennium BC located on the northern coast of Syria, modern day Ras Shamra.The Ugaritic tablets are the best available witness to Canaanite religion and religious practices, and thus also “to the background from which the religion of Israel emerged, and to the Canaanite beliefs that it shared, adopted, compromised with, and sometimes rejected.” The Ugaritic literature depicts El as the sovereign deity of the Canaanite pantheon.

Contrary to these biblical traditions that suggest an assimilation between Yahweh and El, there are other passages that seem to indicate that Yahweh was a separate and independent deity within El’s council.Finally, there is strong confirmation of this assimilation in the biblical record itself.In the oldest literary traditions of the Pentateuch, it is El who regularly appears and not Yahweh, or Yahweh as El!In fact, the Priestly source largely advocates this assimilation.

In Genesis 17:1, the Priestly writer states that “Yahweh appeared to Abram and said to him: ‘I am El Shaddai.’” And Exodus 6:2-3, in contradiction to J (#11), has Yahweh assert: “I am Yahweh.Other patriarchal narratives attest the use of El Olam, “El the Eternal” to whom Abraham plants and worships a tree at Beersheba, El Elyon, “El the Most High,” the god of Melchizedek (Gen -24), and El Roi, “El who sees” (Gen ).


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