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Dying Seraph

Yahweh and El

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Greetings.

Three questions:

1.Do you believe Yahweh and El to be one in the same, or two seperate entities/deities/Gods that became equated?

2. Why do you believe one way or the other?

3.IF* you believe them to be the same, wouldn't that mean Yahweh had a consort as El did?

4. Do you believe Yahweh to be a creator God?

Note: *applies to those that believe Yahweh and El to be one in the same.

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I don't have concrete beliefs, simply because I don't think humans can really know anything to be true. However I do believe there is a universal creative force, and that everything beyond that concept may or may not be true.

What makes the most sense to me is the story found in the Nag Hammadi texts, in paraphrasing:

At one time there was the one ultimate being, who in reflecting upon himself created another like him: Sophia (wisdom). He creates others, and then Sophia has a thought to create on her own (without the help/agreement/blessing of the ultimate being) and what she creates is dark and twisted, and below the realm of the holy. This dark being is the demiurge who actually creates the physical realm we inhabit. He has seven to assist him one of whom aligns to Sophia & the ultimate being (the demiurge cannot see the ultimate being and believes or hopes for himself to be the highest of the high). It is the demiurge who is accredited the acts of the old testament, the jealous God who strikes humans down for petty reasons, who on one hand says how great he is and how loving, and on the other is a terrible and destructive force. Sophia intervenes, tricking the demiurge into giving up the spark of light that came from her and breathing it into the humans, in this way we came to have a soul (in the tree of knowledge story, this would equate to eating the fruit).

So, in that view both exist. The demiurge is Jehovah of the bible who is not omnipotent as is the true highest of the high, though he tries to convince humans that he is out of his jealousy at there being something above him. (even though he cannot directly see it and just instinctively knows there's something above him).

I think that this is well supported by the first few chapters of the Bible as well, I can provide some specific passages if you're curious.

Here is the link to the full story, which I reccommend reading as it is much better and has far more depth than my paraphrasing: Origin

To be more specific to your questions:

1. I don't consider either Yahweh or El to be the ultimate source of existence

2. They could be one and the same I do not have a strong opinion one way or the other

3. Sophia would technically be the consort of the highest power, and though the bible does not specify that Yahweh had a consort it also does not specify that he does not... I say either option is possible.

4. Yes, in the sense that he created the physical realm (and mankind) out of his ignorance of the light, but no in the sense that he's not the source of all existence.

Edited by karmakazi

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Genesis 1:26 (Douay-Rheims Version) says "Let us make man to our image and likeness..." So my view is the names refer to the concept of Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. There are more than two names used in the Bible, quite a few!

1- Seperate persons, one deity.

2- Christianity

3- No consorts, they don't have sex.

4- Yes, but all three created.

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1- Seperate persons, one deity.

So how many beings would that be?

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To be more specific to your questions:

1. I don't consider either Yahweh or El to be the ultimate source of existence

2. They could be one and the same I do not have a strong opinion one way or the other

3. Sophia would technically be the consort of the highest power, and though the bible does not specify that Yahweh had a consort it also does not specify that he does not... I say either option is possible.

4. Yes, in the sense that he created the physical realm (and mankind) out of his ignorance of the light, but no in the sense that he's not the source of all existence.

Greetings Karmakazi.

It's not my intention to be rude but I left out a majority as it applied more to Gnostic theory and thought, as well as Hermetic and or Hellenistic wisdom and/or Caballa. This topic is more in line with the relationship between the Canaanite El and Midianite, later Israelite Yahweh. :)

As for answering my questions honestly, I thank you. I am actually much in line with a lot of your thought process or what you are presenting however my focus is on earlier Gods (I use that loosely as Sophia cannot exactly be given a specific date of existance as a deity) and since the focus is El then naturally the consort I am reffering to is Athirat, aka Asherah (which many say is an earlier form of Sophia)in the Bible . Or possibly even Anat since there are also Baal appropriations and imagery given to Yahweh.

Indeed I do not recall the Bible ever stating specifically whether Yahweh had a consort or not. However what is clear is the authors certainly portrayed any other God aside from El and Yahweh in under less than gracious light (ie, Baal, Asherah, Dagon etc.)

Genesis 1:26 (Douay-Rheims Version) says "Let us make man to our image and likeness..." So my view is the names refer to the concept of Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. There are more than two names used in the Bible, quite a few!

Indeed the name El occurs plenty of times. This shows the early significance and importance that El shared with the Canaanites and the Israelites as well. Whereas Yahwistic names are very rare (apart from Joshua only five from the Judges period). This would seem to indicate at least to me that El's influence was embraced and strong among the Israelites. Many of the times we see the name El we also get regions behind it such as El Bethel. Conveying that El was the God of that city or region.

I must ask though as curiosity compells me, what do you mean that El and Yahweh are a part of the Trinity? Would Yahweh be the son of El?

1- Seperate persons, one deity.

Seperate Gods that became equated then? Or...?

2- Christianity

Is it safe for me to assume that you are not familiar with the Canaanite God El?

3- No consorts, they don't have sex.

::facepalms:: El very much had a consort (Athirat/Asherah) as did Baal (Anat). The only one who doesn't appear to have a consort is Yahweh. I wonder if this was intentionally done because the authors wanted to make Yahweh supreme. So if El had a consort and Yahweh didn't, then are they one in the same God?

Anyway to clarify a consort does not exactly imply sex. But a partner. ;) Sex is just the added bonus. ^_^

4- Yes, but all three created.

What three? 1. El 2. Yahweh and...who would be the third creator you are reffering to?

SINcerely,

:devil:

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Evidence that conveys El and Yahweh to be two different Gods that became equated:

1. El appears in Ugaritic texts as well as other Canaanite texts. Yahweh appears to have his roots outside Israel, in the area of Midian, (N.W. Arabia).

2. In the Ugaritic texts, El is presented as wholly benevolent, whereas Yahweh has a kind as well as a fierce side. (ie. Yahweh being a jealous God (el-qanna), denying Moses entry to the "Promised Land")

3. Evidence such as can be found in Judges 5.4-5, associates Yahweh with the storm, which is not connected to El at all but rather Baal.

4. El, in Ugaritic texts has a consort Athirat, whereas the Yahweh appears to be without a consort.

5. El is indeed a creator God. Whereas Yahweh most likely means 'I am.' (cf. Exod.3.14) Not 'I, who creates' or 'I who causes to be.' The title 'I Am' alone is not an indication of a creator God.

NOTE: Eventually the name El simply became a generic word for God. However many other issues arise from the Bible that show distinctly that they are reffering to the Canaanite God or at least had the Canaanite God El in mind. In Ugaritic texts El is portrayed as wise and called, 'Father of Years.' In the OT only 3 places allude to Yahweh's age. And it is particilarly striking that in two of these accounts, he is specifically called by the name El. This has been pointed out by J.C. Greenfield in 'The Hebrew Bible and Canaanite Literature.'

The name El-Shaddai seems to be the P sources (Priestly stage around 500-400 B.C.) preffered term for God, in the period between Abraham and the revelation of the name Yahweh to Moses (cf. Gen. 17.1, 28.3, 35.11, and Exodus 6.3). HOWEVER, the name Shaddai is already present in texts dated to about possibly, 10th century texts like, Gen. 49.25, Num. 24.4,16, and Ps. 68.15 (ET 4*) Traditionally, the translation is rendered, 'God Almighty.' This is taken from the Vulgate's omnipotens, and another source but it is now widely accepted that, that translation is a misunderstanding. The name that makes the most sense is 'El, the mountain one.' The fact that El in Ugaritic texts dwells on the side of a Mountain and that the Bible uses almost the same exact title, suggest that this fits Shaddai (relating is to Akkadian sadu, 'mountain.'

ET*=English Translation

SINcerely,

:devil:

Edited by Dying Seraph

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Greetings.

Three questions:

1.Do you believe Yahweh and El to be one in the same, or two seperate entities/deities/Gods that became equated?

2. Why do you believe one way or the other?

3.IF* you believe them to be the same, wouldn't that mean Yahweh had a consort as El did?

4. Do you believe Yahweh to be a creator God?

Note: *applies to those that believe Yahweh and El to be one in the same.

1 - I believe that Yahweh and El are the same God. However, the origins of the two names are different, so it's not surprising that this question might arise.

2 - The Hebrews were monotheistic, they only ever believed in one God. However, they were constantly turning aside to the gods of other nations, the Bible uses phrases such as "whoring" to describe their actions.

3 - I presume that you are referring to Asherah? In Canaanite mythology, Asherah was one of the deities, and it was one of the gods that Israel consistently whored after. Consider Judges chapter 3:

The Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD; they forgot the LORD their God and served the Baals and the Asherahs.

~ Judges 3:7

The worship of Asherah was linked more to Baal than to Yahweh, and thus idol worship (what with the Asherah poles and the like - whatever they may have been). Asherahs seem to have been planted at places of worship dedicated to Yahweh and to Baal, but when they worshipped Asherah they were said to have engaged in idol worship. So I would tend to reject the idea of a "consort" for God, though it is possible that the people at some point believed that Asherah was a consort of Yahweh - but that was countered by the point that Yahweh was a monotheistic deity and had no other gods.

4 - Yes, Yahweh is a creator-God. He is the same God mentioned in Genesis 1 when God formed the heavens and the earth.

Hope this is what you were looking for, though I think you probably wanted me to agree with you that if Yahweh and El were the same then Asherah was a consort of Yahweh :tu:

~ Regards,

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Hi, DS

There is always a problem with asking whether one literary character is "the same" as another, earlier character. This is not made any easier when the characters are gods. Is Odin the same god as Hermes? Is Mercury the same god as either one?

Yes, if you mean there is a continuity of tradition from the Proto Indo-European Bronze Age cradle to the Northern European Iron Age last gasp concerning deities of similar character. No, if you mean to ask whether Hermes ever consulted Hugin and Mugin.

The Hebrew tradition claims continuity with earlier traditions. Exodus 6: 2-4:

Then God spoke to Moses, and said to him: I am (YHWH). As God the Almighty (El Shaddai) I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, but by my name, (YHWH), I did not make myself known to them. I also established my covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land in which they were residing as aliens.

So the Patriarchs worshipped El (Shaddai is the honorific part), according to the worshippers of YHWH.

So, there's your yes.

The No is in two parts. First, that El has his own tradition, which the Hebrews abstracted when they sought to differentiate themselves from their neighbors, whom they otherwise greatly resembled. Second, that there is no reason to suppose uniformity among Hebrews in religious opinions. Is the Hebrew God the only god, or is he the only god whom Hebrews worship (in the sense that there are other gods, perhaps some of them devoted to other nations)?

So, what of 3? A consort would be like Hugin and Mugin, I think: important features of one tradition, absent or downplayed in another related tradition. Christians imagine that God has no sexuality whatsoever. But his having a biological son by a human mother is exactly what "consorting" refers to. (Unless, of course, Zeus as a shower of gold wasn't consorting with a human woman.) The figure "son of God" is Hebrew. It is at least a curious turn of phrase to arise among people all of whom thought a consorting God was unthinkable... on the contrary, they seem to have thought it somewhere along the line, or retained it from their sources' thinking.

I read a lovely phrase in another context: something bearing "toolmarks" of its history. The association of bositerous Odin with wisdom questing is a "toolmark" identifying his common origin with Hermes. God having "sons" may be a toolmark of his predecessors having consorts.

The Hebrews believe their God to be the creator, or at least the sole giver of order to some chaotic prima materia. The neighbors believed that the universe came to be during a struggle among gods, presumably taking place outside what we would call time and space.

Hope that helps.

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2 - The Hebrews were monotheistic, they only ever believed in one God. However, they were constantly turning aside to the gods of other nations, the Bible uses phrases such as "whoring" to describe their actions.

~ Regards,

Hi PA, ummm, I find your answer to #2 alittle confusing. In the first sentence you say "they only ever believed in one God" Then in the second you acknowledge, (maybe I am misinterpreting) that they turned to other gods in other nations. Am I wrong or isn't that worshiping other Gods? Isn't it widely accepted that by biblical scholars that the Hebrews gradually evolved toward monotheism and that was achieved through the zealous commitment of Hebrew scribes who edited and reworked the Hebrew Bible to reflect emerging monotheism and to compel the laity to embrace the idea.

In Exodus chapter 3, Moses meets with the Elohim (plural) and asks what the name of the deity is to whom he is speaking. His question assumes a polytheistic environment in which many gods exist, making it necessary to find out the name of the deity to whom one is speaking. In response he is given the compound name ‘Yahweh the Elohim'. The phrase translated ‘I AM' is a word play on the name ‘Yahweh'. An attempt is made in this passage to bind together both the name of the priestly deity (the Elohim) and the name of Yahweh.

The Elohim said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." And he said, "Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.'" The Elohim also said to Moses, "Say this to the people of Israel, ‘Yahweh, the Elohim of your fathers, the Elohim of Abraham, the Elohim of Isaac, and the Elohim of Jacob, has sent me to you': this is my name for ever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations. (Exodus chapter 3 verse 14)

Wouldn't or doesn't that imply Yahweh is one of the multiple Elohim? El?

Edited by Yogigizmo

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1 - I believe that Yahweh and El are the same God. However, the origins of the two names are different, so it's not surprising that this question might arise.

Greetings PA. Indeed the names and origins are very different. I am glad you can understand why the question and that you are taking the time to answer honestly. :)

2 - The Hebrews were monotheistic, they only ever believed in one God. However, they were constantly turning aside to the gods of other nations, the Bible uses phrases such as "whoring" to describe their actions.

I must confess this statement has me a bit perplexed. I was under the impression that originally the Jews embraced monolotry, and that monotheism came later with the concept of a Yahweh only path. In fact I have yet to find a scholor to agree with that statement. The Jews readily embraced other Gods and not only in times of need. So this statement of "whoring" does not make sense to me. The majority of the time we hear anything demeaning toward Baal and Asherah are from so called "prophets" who insult Jews that embraced other Gods. King Jeroboam himself appears to have set up calves in refference to 'Bull El,' (tr 'il), a completely Canaanite epithet, for El. Yet his children bear Yahwistic names, this to me seems to be a early sign of acceptance.

3 - I presume that you are referring to Asherah? In Canaanite mythology, Asherah was one of the deities, and it was one of the gods that Israel consistently whored after. Consider Judges chapter 3:

The Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD; they forgot the LORD their God and served the Baals and the Asherahs.

~ Judges 3:7

Indeed I am referring to Asherah. If she was a consort of El, and El and Yahweh are one in the same, why does Yahweh not have a consort and Asherah is given the boot? Again IF they are one in the same, why is Asherah given the boot? If they are different Gods then I can understand the Yahweh alone party.

The worship of Asherah was linked more to Baal than to Yahweh, and thus idol worship (what with the Asherah poles and the like - whatever they may have been). Asherahs seem to have been planted at places of worship dedicated to Yahweh and to Baal, but when they worshipped Asherah they were said to have engaged in idol worship. So I would tend to reject the idea of a "consort" for God, though it is possible that the people at some point believed that Asherah was a consort of Yahweh - but that was countered by the point that Yahweh was a monotheistic deity and had no other gods.

:tu: Indeed and the reason being is that both Baal and Asherah have more to do with fertility than Yahweh who was not a fertility God. I can accept rejecting Asherah as a consort of Yahweh but admittedly not on the grounds you presented, as far as Idol worship. This is an honest question, what is the difference between the followers of Asherah and Baal worshipping idols and a Christian who worships a dead dude on a cross? EVERY Church, EVERY beleivers home, has at least one cross in it. The common argument I hear is it's a reminder, that but that it's not worshipped, if that were the case they wouldn't worship the dead dude on that cross and call him master would they? It's not my intention to be mean but I truly see no difference. :no:

4 - Yes, Yahweh is a creator-God. He is the same God mentioned in Genesis 1 when God formed the heavens and the earth.

In Gen. no mention is made of Yahweh as Creator is there? God (El) is. If it's because you believe them to be one in the same, then I can understand your point.

Hope this is what you were looking for, though I think you probably wanted me to agree with you that if Yahweh and El were the same then Asherah was a consort of Yahweh :tu:

~ Regards,

I was looking for honesty and I got it. ;) Thank you PA. I'd only want you to agree with me if you genuinely felt compelled to. That said I can respect the difference in opinion.

Hi, DS

There is always a problem with asking whether one literary character is "the same" as another, earlier character. This is not made any easier when the characters are gods. Is Odin the same god as Hermes? Is Mercury the same god as either one?

Greetings Eight Bits. Perhaps not Hermes or Mercury, but surely I could see how one could find fascination in comparing Odin to Zeus as they are both "supreme" Gods of their respective myths and both have birds as their symbolism. I'm just giving you a hard time but I know what you mean. And I think in practically any other circumstance I agree with what you are saying. However I am under the impression that this is not the case in regards to equating Yahweh with El.

In regards to the bolded, isn't that exactly what the Bible attempts to do though?

For example the name Yahweh being sandwiched in between references to El or appropriations of not just El but Baal as well (especially in regards to Baal imagery). That's not to say that one can all of a sudden equate Baal to Yahweh either because Baal being a fertility God is dead half the season which is readily against an ever present Yahweh. But I'm digressing.

Yes, if you mean there is a continuity of tradition from the Proto Indo-European Bronze Age cradle to the Northern European Iron Age last gasp concerning deities of similar character. No, if you mean to ask whether Hermes ever consulted Hugin and Mugin.

The Hebrew tradition claims continuity with earlier traditions. Exodus 6: 2-4:

Then God spoke to Moses, and said to him: I am (YHWH). As God the Almighty (El Shaddai) I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, but by my name, (YHWH), I did not make myself known to them. I also established my covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land in which they were residing as aliens.

So the Patriarchs worshipped El (Shaddai is the honorific part), according to the worshippers of YHWH.

So, there's your yes.

The No is in two parts. First, that El has his own tradition, which the Hebrews abstracted when they sought to differentiate themselves from their neighbors, whom they otherwise greatly resembled. Second, that there is no reason to suppose uniformity among Hebrews in religious opinions. Is the Hebrew God the only god, or is he the only god whom Hebrews worship (in the sense that there are other gods, perhaps some of them devoted to other nations)?

In regards to whether Yahweh was a form of the God El or whether they were separate entities that became equated later, the OT itself conveys a sense of discontinuity as well as continuity, in that both the E (Elohist stage around 700 B.C.) and P (Priestly stage around 500-400 B.C.) sources imply that they did not know the name until revealed to Moses. But this is in contrast to the J (Yahwist stage around 900 B.C.) source, where the name (Yahweh) was already known in primaeval times (Gen. 4.26). The P source itself states as you presented that patriarchs had known Yahweh under the name El-Shaddai (Exod. 6.3)

My querry I suppose Eight Bits is in the name El-Shaddai. The most respectable translation appears to be 'El-The mountain one.' This appears to be an epithet to the Canaanite God El (ie. as do a few others in the Bible such as El-Olam, El-Bethel and possibly, El Elyon). In Ugaritic texts El dwells on a mountain. El in Ugaritic texts is known as 'Father of Years' and El is alluded to as having grey hair. In the OT there are just three allusions made in regards to the age of Yahweh. And it is interesting that in these passages he is specifically called by the name El. (Job. 36.26 and Ps. 102.25 [ET 24*]). The passage in Ps. is much more striking in that the fact that Yahweh is being referred to as my God ('my El'), why this is so shocking is that it's the one place in the whole Psalm in which God is NOT addressed as Yahweh.

Indeed El appears to have his own traditions. Since the word El became a generic term, I am under the impression the Hebrews embraced the name and many Canaanite aspects of the God El. And when El didn't suffice they distanced themselves. One reference we may examine is the epithet 'Bull-El.' In Ugaritic texts El is referred to as 'Bull El' (tr 'il). This appears to have been in reference to El's strength. Thus the golden calves set up by Jeroboam I at Bethel was in tribute to the Canaanite God El.

In regards to the bold I suspect that the answer would be no. Asherah cults were prominent and Baal cults provided the most threat to Yahweh. Which is natural being a fertility God and in that desert region. I would imagine Dagon cults were amongst the Hebrews and also a threat to Yahweh.

So, what of 3? A consort would be like Hugin and Mugin, I think: important features of one tradition, absent or downplayed in another related tradition. Christians imagine that God has no sexuality whatsoever. But his having a biological son by a human mother is exactly what "consorting" refers to. (Unless, of course, Zeus as a shower of gold wasn't consorting with a human woman.) The figure "son of God" is Hebrew. It is at least a curious turn of phrase to arise among people all of whom thought a consorting God was unthinkable... on the contrary, they seem to have thought it somewhere along the line, or retained it from their sources' thinking.

I read a lovely phrase in another context: something bearing "toolmarks" of its history. The association of bositerous Odin with wisdom questing is a "toolmark" identifying his common origin with Hermes. God having "sons" may be a toolmark of his predecessors having consorts.

I can see what you mean in regards to the "Christian God" having a consort in Mary, thus producing Christ. I never saw it that way. Damn you just blew my mind. :lol::yes:

If I may ask what do you mean the figure 'son of God' is Hebrew? Are you referring to Jesus? Or are you referring to the term 'son of God?' Or...? Because if the later I must disagree. 'Sons of God (El)' appears to be originally derived from Canaanite El and his heavenly court unless I am mistaken. As Yahweh became more popular so the Gods became demoted to angels and these Gods became part of Yahweh's heavenly court. But alas I may have completely misunderstood what you were presenting or attempting to convey and for that I apologize.

The Hebrews believe their God to be the creator, or at least the sole giver of order to some chaotic prima materia. The neighbors believed that the universe came to be during a struggle among gods, presumably taking place outside what we would call time and space.

Hope that helps.

You have been most insightful. Thank you Eight Bits.

SINcerely,

:devil:

Note:*=English Translation

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Hi PA, ummm, I find your answer to #2 alittle confusing. In the first sentence you say "they only ever believed in one God" Then in the second you acknowledge, (maybe I am misinterpreting) that they turned to other gods in other nations. Am I wrong or isn't that worshiping other Gods? Isn't it widely accepted that by biblical scholars that the Hebrews gradually evolved toward monotheism and that was achieved through the zealous commitment of Hebrew scribes who edited and reworked the Hebrew Bible to reflect emerging monotheism and to compel the laity to embrace the idea.

What I meant was that the God of the Hebrews is consistently shown as monotheistic - there are no other gods. However, the people were not always as zealous to believe in just the one God and so often moved away from Yahweh worship and into worship of the gods of the other nations.

Do you have any links to share about the editing and reworking of the Hebrew Bible by the scribes? I'd like to look into it further.

In Exodus chapter 3, Moses meets with the Elohim (plural) and asks what the name of the deity is to whom he is speaking. His question assumes a polytheistic environment in which many gods exist, making it necessary to find out the name of the deity to whom one is speaking. In response he is given the compound name ‘Yahweh the Elohim'. The phrase translated ‘I AM' is a word play on the name ‘Yahweh'. An attempt is made in this passage to bind together both the name of the priestly deity (the Elohim) and the name of Yahweh.

The Elohim said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." And he said, "Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.'" The Elohim also said to Moses, "Say this to the people of Israel, ‘Yahweh, the Elohim of your fathers, the Elohim of Abraham, the Elohim of Isaac, and the Elohim of Jacob, has sent me to you': this is my name for ever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations. (Exodus chapter 3 verse 14)

Wouldn't or doesn't that imply Yahweh is one of the multiple Elohim? El?

Moses asks the name of the "God of their fathers". Up until this point the narrative of human history, when God revealed himself to Abraham/Isaac/Jacob/Joseph/etc he was only known as El or Elohim, a generic term for god. For the first time we get to know what his name actually is - Yahweh, I Am. There's a term Christians use called Progressive Revelation (link). It may or may not imply a polytheistic environment. What it does imply is that Moses did not know the name by which the Hebrew God could be known.

The word translated as "I AM" is actually hâyâh, and means "was" "exist" "be" "come to pass" and several other words depending on context, and is a very common word in the Hebrew Bible. It is not a wordplay that I am aware of. If there is a wordplay it is in the absolute uselessness of identifying the creator of everything by a mere human name - the word in this context could probably best fit "existence", or in our modern vernacular, if someone says "what is it", and the reply is simply "well... umm, it exists, we know that much".

I don't see an implication of multiple Elohim - "The LORD (Yahweh), the God (Elohim) of your fathers, the God (Elohim) of Abraham.... has sent me to you". It would be like thinking there were more Paranoid Android's if I said "Paranoid Android, the teacher of Year 7, the teacher of Year 8, the teacher of Year 9, the teacher of Year 10, the teacher of Year 11, the teacher of Year 12". I can teach all these grades but that doesn't mean there are six Paranoid Android's teaching.

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DS

There are few points that separate us. I will mention one that concerns personal friends.

Eagles may have been Zeus' birds, but Hugin and Mugin are their own birds. To equate them as in "all are birds" is like saying that Justin Bieber and Aretha Franklin are both singers :) .

My querry I suppose Eight Bits is in the name El-Shaddai. The most respectable translation appears to be 'El-The mountain one.'

The problem with "the mountain one" is not translation, but of poetic interpretation. Is the intent to say "god, the highest," "god of the mountains," "god living in the mountains," "god whom we worship by visiting the mountains," ... or ...?

Compare Athena. She is the "Shaddai" of the Greeks. There is a reason why the Parthenon is above Athens, not in it. So, why is she the "Goddess of high places?" Because she is a fire goddess. Flames rise. You can see that this interpretation of titles business is very tricky.

And it's compound tricky. Godliness, in and of itself, is highness. It may have to do with "up" being where we can't go any time we want. Every climb is a hero's journey. Once a god is linked with mountains, then (s)he will be worshipped in the mountains, be thought to inhabit the mountains, ..., to say nothing of any mountain's potential to become the axis mundi .

All the Olympian gods, by definition, maintain residences on a mountain, not just Athena. They are all "Shaddai," yet none of them exceeds either of the two "down-most" gods, Poseidon or Hades, the peers of Zeus. Psychologically, all of that is transparent and inevitable; "logically" it's an impenetrable mess.

So, yeah. The god, the mountain one. Piece of cake :) . I think what Exodus 6 is saying is that the Patriarchs had singled out El as "the Almighty," but not given him a distinctive "Hebrew identity." Time has passed, so now we're going to the next level. Naming is a sacred act. Once upon a time, some human gave El a name, worshipped him, gave him a title, then worshipped him above all, and eventually worshipped him alone. Now comes El as YHWH, and YHWH names himself. Big magic. A new age.

If I may ask what do you mean the figure 'son of God' is Hebrew?

I meant as in figure of speech, a turn of phrase. It appears in Job, which some people believe is the oldest composed story in the canonical Bible, at least the beginning and the end of the book. The phrase is at the very beginning, at 1: 6.

Are you referring to Jesus?

No, all the others before him, like in Job. To have sons is a curious attainment for someone who supposedly didn't have partners. It could be "just figurative," but it's still legitimate to question why that figure so very particularly.

The typical current interpretation of Job is that those sons of God are supposed to be angels. It is unclear that the Jewish concept of angel derives from recycling the neighbor's gods. There are also competing interpretations for Jewish angels, not least of which is that gods simply aren't the only kinds of eternal beings found in world religious systems.

ETA - Remember Serpent from Genesis? He's not a god, but he's outside of time and space. Many Christians think of him as a (decidedly unJewish) angel, or the avatar of one. "Angel" maybe provides a pigeonhole to stash lots of eternal concepts. Anyway, there're lots of possibilities besides recycling.

Edited by eight bits

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I must confess this statement has me a bit perplexed. I was under the impression that originally the Jews embraced monolotry, and that monotheism came later with the concept of a Yahweh only path. In fact I have yet to find a scholor to agree with that statement. The Jews readily embraced other Gods and not only in times of need. So this statement of "whoring" does not make sense to me. The majority of the time we hear anything demeaning toward Baal and Asherah are from so called "prophets" who insult Jews that embraced other Gods. King Jeroboam himself appears to have set up calves in refference to 'Bull El,' (tr 'il), a completely Canaanite epithet, for El. Yet his children bear Yahwistic names, this to me seems to be a early sign of acceptance.

The Jews often worshipped other gods. If I gave the impression that they did not, then I apologise. What I meant in my statement was that the Hebrew God was monotheistic but because the Hebrews weren't always 100% faithful to this deity they often strayed into worship of other gods. Their beliefs thus entailed a primacy of belief in Yahweh while believing in other gods, but Yahweh himself has always been monotheistic. It's a matter of beliefs here, because if God did exist and it was the monotheistic God of the Hebrews then regardless of what the Hebrews believed about other gods he would always remain a monotheistic God. However, if you don't believe this deity exists then you probably see it as the evolving of a nation's religious identity from monolatrism to monotheism.

Indeed I am referring to Asherah. If she was a consort of El, and El and Yahweh are one in the same, why does Yahweh not have a consort and Asherah is given the boot? Again IF they are one in the same, why is Asherah given the boot? If they are different Gods then I can understand the Yahweh alone party.

In the Hebrew beliefs, El is a generic name for God, and can refer to false gods or the Hebrew God (the plural of El, of course being Elohim). Therefore even though Yahweh is referred to as "El" it is not the same God as the Canaanite El. The Hebrews probably adopted the name of God from them, but as words have a tendency to do the meaning of the term changed to not just mean that one specific deity but all gods -
The word El comes from a root word meaning "might, strength, power" and probably derives from the Ugaritic term for god.

In Scripture, the primary meanings of this root are "god" (pagan or false gods), "God" (the true God of Israel), and sometimes "the mighty" (referring to men or angels). When used of the true God of Israel, El is almost always qualified by additional words that further define the meaning that distinguish Him from false gods. These other names or titles for God are sometimes called "construct forms."

Source

:tu: Indeed and the reason being is that both Baal and Asherah have more to do with fertility than Yahweh who was not a fertility God. I can accept rejecting Asherah as a consort of Yahweh but admittedly not on the grounds you presented, as far as Idol worship. This is an honest question, what is the difference between the followers of Asherah and Baal worshipping idols and a Christian who worships a dead dude on a cross? EVERY Church, EVERY beleivers home, has at least one cross in it. The common argument I hear is it's a reminder, that but that it's not worshipped, if that were the case they wouldn't worship the dead dude on that cross and call him master would they? It's not my intention to be mean but I truly see no difference. :no:

An idol is defined as a depiction of a god used as an object of worship. Thus a statue of a God that is worshipped is idol worship. A cross is neither a depiction of god, nor is it worshipped. I can perhaps see your point in a Catholic context where the cross still has Jesus on it (as opposed to protestants, who prefer an empty cross in order to remember not the suffering but the resurrection). However, even among Catholics the cross is not actively worshipped in the way that idols generally are - where a person literally bows down to the idol and prays towards it thinking that their deity will hear them because they are praying to an earthly representation of their god. Some Christians probably do treat the cross as an idol, and thus some do engage in idol worship. But the cross in and of itself is not idolatrous.

For the record, crosses will not be found in every believer's home (I haven't got one and am almost definitely never going to have one). Nor do all churches have crosses. Most do, but some few ones do not (especially if their place of meeting is in a community centre or pub - yes, there are pub churches, our church started a new one at a nearby pub just last Sunday).

In Gen. no mention is made of Yahweh as Creator is there? God (El) is. If it's because you believe them to be one in the same, then I can understand your point.

Yes, I believe them to be one and the same :tu:

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To me EL is primitive conception of God ,whereas Jehovah advanced. " to Abraham . . as Elshaddai, but by my name Jehovah . . "

peoples have think gods as immortal ,perfect . This is primitive. This makes gods inactive in human hearts. But to think gods mortal as men , " m 'e' n of war" this type is near to our soul.

Jehovah Elohim is supreme . God of gods, and he is jewish God. He is head not tail, king not servant .

"Moses advanced a nation to worship God " as Jehovah not El. Since then El is counted as Baal.

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Greetings.

Three questions:

1.Do you believe Yahweh and El to be one in the same, or two seperate entities/deities/Gods that became equated?

2. Why do you believe one way or the other?

3.IF* you believe them to be the same, wouldn't that mean Yahweh had a consort as El did?

4. Do you believe Yahweh to be a creator God?

Note: *applies to those that believe Yahweh and El to be one in the same.

Hi DS,

1. I believe that El and Yahweh are the same being, that have always been the same being although to different populations they had different names. Much in the same way that Zeus and Jupiter are known to be the same being.

2. I believe that over the millenia we humans lost our personal knowledge of God and mixed what knowledge we did have with mythical stories and adventures that seperated and remixed different aspects of God. Thus El and Yahweh were born in the minds of the people as different deities, but over time the similarity was so great that they fused into a single being again, we have multiple examples of this happening over the ages with different gods in many pantheons.

When God did reveal himself again to mankind, to Abraham and later to the nation of Israel, he did not use any of the commonly used names of Deities of that time, but those aspects that were most clearly defined in Gods nature did affix names that we already knew well, like El and Yahweh. But in truth these remain epithets, they are not his real name. As a matter of fact, I don't believe we could ever define and say his real name. We can only call him by the only name he gave himself. "I AM".

3. Yahweh and El are not male or female, they are not human thus they have no need for consorts although there are many myths that give them consorts, which is just mankinds attempt to make them understandable and give them actual human elements that we can relate to.

4. I believe that Yhaweh or El as we know him, was the creator God, or at least we can call him the prime mover of creation, he did not create the universe directly by his own hand. He used his Logos, his Memra, His Living and personified Word, as the agent of creation.

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Do you have any links to share about the editing and reworking of the Hebrew Bible by the scribes? I'd like to look into it further.

I don't see an implication of multiple Elohim - "The LORD (Yahweh), the God (Elohim) of your fathers, the God (Elohim) of Abraham.... has sent me to you". It would be like thinking there were more Paranoid Android's if I said "Paranoid Android, the teacher of Year 7, the teacher of Year 8, the teacher of Year 9, the teacher of Year 10, the teacher of Year 11, the teacher of Year 12". I can teach all these grades but that doesn't mean there are six Paranoid Android's teaching.

Ok, ummm, looking through my notes, (desk looks like a paper mache factory hit by a bomb) I will get back with you.

Understand your viewpoint. thanks

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DS

The problem with "the mountain one" is not translation, but of poetic interpretation. Is the intent to say "god, the highest," "god of the mountains," "god living in the mountains," "god whom we worship by visiting the mountains," ... or ...?

Greetings Eight Bits.

I certainly don't think it's translation either (although some interesting suggestions regarding the name El-Shaddai have been represented (ie. 'who suffices,' and 'of the field' to name a few). Poetic interpretation...that's quite likely. The thing that I don't understand is why the authors of the Bible would make so many appropriations of Gods and then try to distance themselves the next. At least that is the impression I am under. upon reading the Bible and being able to read reliable translations of cuniform texts and so forth. There seems to be no qualm embracing the positive attributes of certain Gods then distances themselves the next. Such as embracing El but rejecting Asherah and adding her to Baal in an attempt to make her guilty by association even though in the older texts outside the Bible she is very much a consort of El. Even if this was not the case with El, we see it with Baal for example that he rode on the clouds and that he was a fertility God capable of storms. The loving Benevolent El was none of these. If Yahweh is El, then why would he have so many Baal attributions? I read some where that pre-Exodus, the Jews readily embraced and worshipped Baal and others and that after the Exodus, (I suppose due to the name being revealed to Moses) that AFTER the exile is when the literature in the Bible takes a turn in demeaning these Gods. Is there any merit to that do you think or mere speculation?

Compare Athena. She is the "Shaddai" of the Greeks. There is a reason why the Parthenon is above Athens, not in it. So, why is she the "Goddess of high places?" Because she is a fire goddess. Flames rise. You can see that this interpretation of titles business is very tricky.

This may seem like a juvenile question but, if this were the case, then wouldn't Baal be the more important God as he was the fertility god and Baal was considered the bringer of rain and lightening? That would make him quite significant to worship wouldn't it if Baal was the provider of rain and crops? Would this be why the Bible insults Baal so much? Because he was Yahweh's biggest threat as far as worship goes?

So, yeah. The god, the mountain one. Piece of cake :) . I think what Exodus 6 is saying is that the Patriarchs had singled out El as "the Almighty," but not given him a distinctive "Hebrew identity." Time has passed, so now we're going to the next level. Naming is a sacred act. Once upon a time, some human gave El a name, worshipped him, gave him a title, then worshipped him above all, and eventually worshipped him alone. Now comes El as YHWH, and YHWH names himself. Big magic. A new age.

Now that makes sense. A sort of Hebrew identity and I imagine it would be something they sorely needed given it's around the time of the Exodus most importantly I'd imagine.

I meant as in figure of speech, a turn of phrase. It appears in Job, which some people believe is the oldest composed story in the canonical Bible, at least the beginning and the end of the book. The phrase is at the very beginning, at 1: 6.

No, all the others before him, like in Job. To have sons is a curious attainment for someone who supposedly didn't have partners. It could be "just figurative," but it's still legitimate to question why that figure so very particularly.

The typical current interpretation of Job is that those sons of God are supposed to be angels. It is unclear that the Jewish concept of angel derives from recycling the neighbor's gods. There are also competing interpretations for Jewish angels, not least of which is that gods simply aren't the only kinds of eternal beings found in world religious systems.

It was my impression that the Book of Job was not original but came from quite a few pre-Hebraic sources one being quite possibly Canaanite (Keret Myth).

In Ugaritic texts the 'sons of El' are themselves Gods. The book of Job presents these beings as angels. Which makes sense that these Gods would get demoted to angels to help make Yahweh stand out more as sole God, sole supremacy. As in the case with Asherah I'm at the moment under the impression that since in Ugaritic texts she was El consort, and that authors of the Bible put her next to Baal (which in Canaanite texts his consort is Anat) was an attempt to make her guilty by association and make Yahweh the sole God. I could very well be wrong that's just the impression I am under.

ETA - Remember Serpent from Genesis? He's not a god, but he's outside of time and space. Many Christians think of him as a (decidedly unJewish) angel, or the avatar of one. "Angel" maybe provides a pigeonhole to stash lots of eternal concepts. Anyway, there're lots of possibilities besides recycling.

Sects of both Gnostics and Satanists would argue against the serpent not being a God but that's another matter for another topic. I understand what the Christian thought behind the serpent is, but what did the Jews think the serpent was? What then was the serpents relationship with God according to Jewish thought?

Among the Canaanites snakes were revered? Was this the same with the Israelites or did they look at such a creature with contempt or...? Why a snake in the first place? Were the authors using the serpent as a wisdom deity or a bringer of such or was the serpent as a creature always held in contempt of the Jews?

Thank you for responding Eight.

The Jews often worshipped other gods. If I gave the impression that they did not, then I apologise.

I appear to have mis-understood you, PA. Thank you for clarifying.

In the Hebrew beliefs, El is a generic name for God, and can refer to false gods or the Hebrew God (the plural of El, of course being Elohim). Therefore even though Yahweh is referred to as "El" it is not the same God as the Canaanite El. The Hebrews probably adopted the name of God from them, but as words have a tendency to do the meaning of the term changed to not just mean that one specific deity but all gods -

Is this a case of fact or opinion? Just for clarification. If it's fact was this always the case wouldyou presume? Why then for the Jews that worshipped Baal, did they not call him, El-Baal? Or is there such a referance? I understand it's a generic term but this doesn't seem to have always been the case at least from Canaanite texts that's my impression. I could be wrong.

Why then are there so many appropriations of the Canaanite god El thus given to Yahweh then? Yahweh as wise, as an aged God, El's dwelling place on the side of a mountain, the 'sons of El' are all originally in Canaanite texts. So how are they different? And why so many other appropriations?

As it stands I am inclined to take the stance of S.M. Olyan who argued that the pairing of Baal and Asherah was a polemical move done by Deuteronomists to discredit her (After all she was El's consort not Baals. He had Anat). This would appear that the authors were attempting to make Asherah less significant or guilty by association.

For the record, crosses will not be found in every believer's home (I haven't got one and am almost definitely never going to have one). Nor do all churches have crosses. Most do, but some few ones do not (especially if their place of meeting is in a community centre or pub - yes, there are pub churches, our church started a new one at a nearby pub just last Sunday).

Brother, you are truly the first Christian I have met to openly admit to not having a cross. Perhaps it's a regional thing as I recently heard Australia was attempting to take out the BC and AD in the years. I speculate this is a regional thing then because out here every church has a cross either in the front of the building, top or near the alter. As far as pub churches...yeah this is definitely a regional thing then. Has to be. LMAO

Thank you for you time PA.

SINcerely,

:devil:

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I have just a couple more queries. Who is reffered to in the Bible as 'Queen of Heaven?' In Jeremiah it says 'host of heaven' however scholars agree that the word was deliberately distorted and indeed is in reference to a 'Queen of heaven' not a 'host.' WHo is this queen? Anat?

I read recently that there is speculation that Anat was also a possibility of being a consort to Yahweh. This appears to be coming from a reference to a deity named Anat-Yahu dated around the 5th century BCE in Elephantine texts. Baal and Anat are always equated as partners in Canaanite texts, and Yahu certainly appears to be Yahweh, so is this evidence that many early Hebrews accepted Yahweh as having a consort? And the other question rises why Anat? If Yahweh is equated to El then why not Asherah as the consort? This seems to indicate to me that early Jews also compared Yahweh to Baal. What do you think?

I have read a few scenarios presented by John Day in regards to this subject. He suggests it seems almost "indubitable that the goddess Anat, in the form of Anat-Yahu, did function as Yahweh's wife amongst the Jews at Elephantine in the 5th century BCE." However he also presents the problem of trying to determine the origin and antiquity of this concept of Anat as Yahweh's wife as attested at Elephantine. John Day suggests the following:

1. It could reflect pre-722 BCE syncretism in the Northern Kingdom of Israel.

2. It could reflect pre-586 BCE syncretism in the Southern Kingdom of Judah.

3. It could reflect syncretism arising in Egypt itself.

4. It could reflect syncretism after 722 BCE in the area of the former Northern Kingdom following the exile of Syrians (amongst other people) to that refion (2 Kgs. 17.24-28).

Day goes on to suggest that the first choice appears the most feasible.

Thoughts? Thank you in advance.

SINcerely,

:devil:

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I am no expert but I read a few books about the origin of the OT. Seems like Yahweh worship was a later phenomenon.

Christians seem to ignore the fact that Israel was located smack dab in the middle of a trade route. (well, I did, too.) So many different cultures could influence Hebrew culture and religion. And many seem to ignore the fact that the OT was written over many centuries. Or they just don't put that into account. Many changes can happen in such span of time and meanings and contexts of the words and phrases could drastically change over time.

Sometimes I think it's a miracle to be able to TRANSLATE the OT.

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Many scholars agree (at least through whom I've come across) with what you said regarding the trade route. Many also ignore that the early Israelites and Canaanites were neighbors that appear to have actually gotten along. At least this is the impression I'm under. Another issue many ignore is that like the Persians for example, while they dominated the Jews we get the impression that they appear to have parted in good terms (for example the Jews were allowed back into their land/s).

As far as Yahweh worship being later...this is another issue. Among the Hebrews I am inclined to agree with you. But Yahweh having origins outside of Israel, and likely being a Midianite God (at least this is the general consensus), we don't exactly know how old Yahweh worship is do we? One thing to consider, is in some regions like Persia writing was banned for some time. So a lot of recordings are lost and in some cases if it's true that writing was banned, then it would appear that for some time, depending on the region, no records were kept at all, except through oral tradition. Would something like this aply to the land of Midian or the Arabian region? I truly do not know.

SINcerely,

:devil:

Edited by Dying Seraph

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DS

(Thank you for the kind message!)

The thing that I don't understand is why the authors of the Bible would make so many appropriations of Gods and then try to distance themselves the next.

I think the give-away is that authors is plural. A usual Protestant idea is that the Old Testament is a revelation of God, so ultimately there is a "single author" whose views are being expressed. The people whose Bible it is are more apt to see it as an on-going, intergenerational discussion of a national, collective revelation... OK, we have a God, and he intervened in history here and then again here... so what does that mean, and what are we supposed to do about that?

God talking to people versus People talking to people about God having spoken to everybody in their group is a big difference in interpretation.

If Yahweh is El, then why would he have so many Baal attributions?

Partly because Baal is a title, as well as a name. Plus, I think it is an earthly title as well, like Lord or Highness.

Is there any merit to that do you think or mere speculation?

I think there's lots of merit. We're looking at a nation and its religion over a span of many, many centuries. It's amazing that post-exilic people, who put the book together that we know, had so much empathy with the concerns of the judges, for example, and sense of continuity with them. It's asking too much, I think, that they would have just the same ideas about ultimate things. Too much had happened to the Hebrew people for that to be plausible.

This may seem like a juvenile question ...

No, I think that's the genius of the Hebrew system. Instead of a "bottom up" divine governance, a god of this and a god of that, quareling among themselves "My THIS is more important than your measely THAT," the Hebrews go "top down." Their God dictates terms to all of nature, and all of culture, too.

And when you're fleshing out that God, you can pack him with anything you've admired in any other god ("Yeah, thunder and lightning, that's cool." "Not very practical, though, we need our sheep to have more lambs." "No problem, he's fertility, too."). If God transcends categories, then you don't have to worry whether the attributes fit together, or which attributes are most important.

Compare Shiva. Although he's not a sole god, he is versatile (creator, sustainer and destroyer). He is outrightly a god of paradox, with incompatible qualities. Handy feature to have, being beyond pairs of opposites, mastering them rather than being bound by them.

And just as sorting out YHWH from El and Baal is a mess, try finding any independent story line that definitively separates Shiva from Vishnu. They flatly become each other in some stories. And why? Because each of them had their own neighboring communities of devotees, and each community absorbed the other's ideas.

If India had been much smaller, and one group conquered the other, or some outsider conquered all of it, and only one version of the story needed to be maintained... well, the Levant is small, and the religious view that survives as continuously living literature does come from one community.

If the planet Jupiter is a star that never "lit," then Shiva is a YHWH who never got a local monopoly among aggressive and tenacious devotees.

It was my impression that the Book of Job was not original but came from quite a few pre-Hebraic sources one being quite possibly Canaanite (Keret Myth).

The cut I like is that the beginning and end is one pre-Hebrew story, more or less intact, and the middle chapters, Job and his friends talking about what's up, are "recent" additions, and distinctively Hebrew.

You're right about the snake business being another topic. :) The thing about Snake is that he's found all over the world, not just the Levant. What Jews thought about it is complicated, too. The Genesis snake has an honorific title, "shrewdest of animals," just like a god would. Moses makes what anybody else would call an idol in Exodus, Snake-alone-affixed-to-a-vertical-stick. I'm guessing Moses picked that up in Egypt. It is a particular motif in Snake... well, fascination. Even today, that image is understood in secular circles as an emblem of healing. You see it in Christian art, too, except the stick has a crossbeam in their iconography.

My only point for this thread was the diversity of beings who crop up in religions. Snake isn't a god, but he hangs out with gods. Just about everywhere, too. Pinch yourself - a strident atheist modern physician might have Snake-on-a-stick on her letterhead. He's not a god, but he is something eternal, personal and autonomous.

-

Edited by eight bits

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Greetings.

Three questions:

1.Do you believe Yahweh and El to be one in the same, or two seperate entities/deities/Gods that became equated?

2. Why do you believe one way or the other?

3.IF* you believe them to be the same, wouldn't that mean Yahweh had a consort as El did?

4. Do you believe Yahweh to be a creator God?

Note: *applies to those that believe Yahweh and El to be one in the same.

My interpretation is that El was the deity worshipped by Abraham, who imported this worship from "Ur of the Chaldees" into the Levant. It is possible that, at this time, YHWH was already being worshipped [in or near the Levant] but, regardless, upon the rising of the Hebrews/Israelites to be the dominant faction, and over the time between Abraham's arrival and this happening, El and YHWH were merged into one deity.

This would not imply YHWH had a consort, as YHWH was essentially a deity distinct from the El of Ur.

YHWH may not have been a creator god before Abraham brought the worship of El to the Levant but, over time as El and YHWH were combined, both assumed each other's providence.

Edited by Leonardo

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From: The Jewish Encyclopedia

—Biblical Data: Like other Hebrew proper names, the name of God is more than a mere distinguishing title. It represents the Hebrew conception of the divine nature or character and of the relation of God to His people. It represents the Deity as He is known to His worshipers, and stands for all those attributes which He bears in relation to them and which are revealed to them through His activity on their behalf. A new manifestation of His interest or care may give rise to a new name. So, also, an old name may acquire new content and significance through new and varied experience of these sacred relations.

It can readily be understood, therefore, how the divine name is often spoken of as equivalent to the divine presence or power or glory. In Ex. xxiii. 20-23 it is promised that Yhwh's angel will lead and give victory to His people, who must yield reverent obedience, for, the Lord says, "my name is in him." The devout Israelite will not take the name of a false god upon his lips (Ex. xxiii. 13; Josh. xxiii. 7; Hosea ii. 16-17; Ps. xvi. 4). To make mention of Yhwh's name is to assert confidence in His strength and present and efficient aid. The name excites emotions of love, joy, and praise (Ps. v. 11; vii. 17; ix. 2; xx. 1, 7). That name is, therefore, especially connected with the altar or sanctuary, the place where God records His name (Ex. xx. 24), or "the place which the Lord your God shall choose out of all your tribes to put His name there" (Deut. xii. 5; comp. I Kings viii. 16, 29; ix. 3; Jer. vii. 12). The Temple is "the place of the name of the Lord of hosts, the mount Zion" (Isa. xviii. 7). In one or two comparatively late passages "the Name" (V09p160001.jpg) is used absolutely, doubtless as an equivalent for "the name of Yhwh" (Lev. xxiv. 11, 16; comp. Deut. xxviii. 58).

YHWH. Of the names of God in the Old Testament, that which occurs most frequently (6,823 times) is the so-called Tetragrammaton, Yhwh (V09p160002.jpg), the distinctive personal name of the God of Israel. This name is commonly represented in modern translations by the form "Jehovah," which, however, is a philological impossibility (see Jehovah). This form has arisen through attempting to pronounce the consonants of the name with the vowels of Adonai (V09p160003.jpg = "Lord"), which the Masorites have inserted in the text, indicating thereby that Adonai was to be read (as a "ḳeri perpetuum") instead of Yhwh. When the name Adonai itself precedes, to avoid repetition of this name, Yhwh is written by the Masorites with the vowels of Elohim, in which case Elohim is read instead of Yhwh. In consequence of this Masoretic reading the authorized and revised English versions (though not the American edition of the revised version) render Yhwh by the word "Lord" in the great majority of cases.

This name, according to the narrative in Ex. iii. (E), was made known to Moses in a vision at Horeb. In another, parallel narrative (Ex. vi. 2, 3, P) it is stated that the name was not known to the Patriarchs. It is used by one of the documentary sources of Genesis (J), but scarcely if at all by the others. Its use is avoided by some later writers also. It does not occur in Ecclesiastes, and in Daniel is found only in ch. ix. The writer of Chronicles shows a preference for the form Elohim, and in Ps. xlii.-lxxxiii. Elohim occurs much more frequently than Yhwh, probably having been substituted in some places for the latter name, as in Ps. liii. (comp. Ps. xiv.).

In appearance, Yhwh (V09p160004.jpg) is the third person singular imperfect "ḳal" of the verb V09p160005.jpg ("to be"), meaning, therefore, "He is," or "He will be," or, perhaps, "He lives," the root idea of the word being,probably, "to blow," "to breathe," and hence, "to live." With this explanation agrees the meaning of the name given in Ex. iii. 14, where God is represented as speaking, and hence as using the first person—"I am" (V09p161001.jpg, from V09p161002.jpg, the later equivalent of the archaic stem V09p161003.jpg). The meaning would, therefore, be "He who is self-existing, self-sufficient," or, more concretely, "He who lives," the abstract conception of pure existence being foreign to Hebrew thought. There is no doubt that the idea of life was intimately connected with the name Yhwh from early times. He is the living God, as contrasted with the lifeless gods of the heathen, and He is the source and author of life (comp. I Kings xviii.; Isa. xli. 26-29, xliv. 6-20; Jer. x. 10, 14; Gen. ii. 7; etc.). So familiar is this conception of God to the Hebrew mind that it appears in the common formula of an oath, "ḥai Yhwh" (= "as Yhwh lives"; Ruth iii. 13; I Sam. xiv. 45; etc.).

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Is this a case of fact or opinion? Just for clarification. If it's fact was this always the case wouldyou presume? Why then for the Jews that worshipped Baal, did they not call him, El-Baal? Or is there such a referance? I understand it's a generic term but this doesn't seem to have always been the case at least from Canaanite texts that's my impression. I could be wrong.

Why then are there so many appropriations of the Canaanite god El thus given to Yahweh then? Yahweh as wise, as an aged God, El's dwelling place on the side of a mountain, the 'sons of El' are all originally in Canaanite texts. So how are they different? And why so many other appropriations?

As it stands I am inclined to take the stance of S.M. Olyan who argued that the pairing of Baal and Asherah was a polemical move done by Deuteronomists to discredit her (After all she was El's consort not Baals. He had Anat). This would appear that the authors were attempting to make Asherah less significant or guilty by association.

It is an opinion I believe to be backed up by the facts. Consider Exodus 34:14 - you shall not worship any other El. El is a generic term for god, and refers to false gods as well as the Hebrew God. I'm not sure where you get the idea of Yahweh as an "aged" God. God is spirit, no form. God is wise - he's the creator, would a religion rise up calling the one and only creator a stupid God? Is Yahweh's dwelling place on the side of a mountain? Calling people "sons of God" is obvious in a culture that reverse God as a "heavenly father".

I get what you're trying to say but I think there's less to this than you seem to be making out as "appropriations". That's just my opinion, though :tu:

Brother, you are truly the first Christian I have met to openly admit to not having a cross. Perhaps it's a regional thing as I recently heard Australia was attempting to take out the BC and AD in the years. I speculate this is a regional thing then because out here every church has a cross either in the front of the building, top or near the alter. As far as pub churches...yeah this is definitely a regional thing then. Has to be. LMAO

Thank you for you time PA.

SINcerely,

:devil:

Most churches have crosses on them, but there are a couple (especially those churches not meeting up in specifically religious buildings, such as a pub, but there are a couple of actual church buildings sans crosses). For me personally, I just never saw the need for one. And while it has never been such an issue that I ever really bothered asking any of my Christian friends if they had crosses in their house, I know I've been in several houses and not all of them had crosses.

Meh, different culture out here, I think.

I have just a couple more queries. Who is reffered to in the Bible as 'Queen of Heaven?' In Jeremiah it says 'host of heaven' however scholars agree that the word was deliberately distorted and indeed is in reference to a 'Queen of heaven' not a 'host.' WHo is this queen? Anat?

Which translation are you using that says "host of heaven"? There are several references to the "host of heaven", but they mean exactly what they are supposed to. There are several references to the "queen of heaven" also - they are not translated differently that I am aware of.

As to who the Queen of Heaven is, I actually don't know. Jeremiah 7:18 simply makes it clear that this worship is angering Yahweh. It could be Asherah, it could be Anat. Some have even suggested Ishtar. I'm not an expert on this matter, and Jeremiah is a book I am less familiar with than most (actually, I might make Jeremiah my next book to target in my Quiet Time). I'll quote my Bible Dictionary's entry on "Queen of Heaven", hope it helps :tu:

QUEEN OF HEAVEN. Cakes, possibly in the shape of figurines or crescent moons, were made for the meleket of the heavens by the inhabitants of Jerusalem (Jeremiah 7:18) and incense burnt as to a deity (Jeremiah 44:17-19, 25). The unusual word is rendered as "queen" (malkat), and may be Phoenician, a title of Astarte, Assyrian Ishtar. It may refer to Ashtaroth or to the Canaanite Anat (so Egyptian 19th Century Bethshean); cf the female personal name (Ham)moleket (1 Chronicles 7:18). Alternatively, this may be a rare writing of mele'ket, "heavenly handiwork" (ie, stars), also denoting an idolatrous practice.

~ New Bible Dictionary, 21st Century Edition, pg 993

PA note - a version of this quote can be found in the website I'm about to link, but I found that just through google and cannot vouch for the quality of research on this site - the quote in particular can be found on page 126 of that document

www.upstreamca.org/Apos.Intercession___Warfare.A.Buys.pdf

edit: the link for some reason doesn't want to automatically click - just copy-paste it into your web browser, that should do the trick :)

Edited by Paranoid Android

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It is interesting that the Queen of Heaven is associated to the Host of Heaven, these are the angelic host, who are also called the "Sons of God", the fact that God himself has always warned us of worshipping this Host of Heaven is indicative that, this is a clear reference to the polytheistic religions of the time.

There is clear reference to other types of beings considered to be gods and that 70 "bene elohim" were given to the pagan nations to worship.

The Gods of the pagan nations were created by Yahweh himself. They are not an illusion and they cannot be dismissed because they appear frequently in the bible. They are part of Gods divine council, but they are corrupt beings, who fight among themselves for power and supremacy here on earth, by using the nations as their tools. Their names may have changed over time, their identities forgotten in some instances, but they are nevertheless the Gods of the pagan nations. Nations to which gods were assigned. 70 Nations, 70 Gods or as the biblical term goes, Sons of God.

Deuteronomy 32:8-9

8 When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance, when he divided all mankind, he set up boundaries for the peoples according to the number of the sons of God.

9 For the LORD's portion is his people, Jacob his allotted inheritance.

To confirm the above we have another.

Deuteronomy 4:19

19 And when you look up to the sky and see the sun, the moon and the stars—all the heavenly host—do not be enticed into bowing down to them and worshiping things the LORD your God has apportioned to all the nations under heaven.

Since the "Host of heaven" refers to these "sons of God". They are essentially the same. Not all sons of God are corrupt but some of them are.

The Torah recognizes the existence of multiple gods who are real enough, because they not only tempt us, but arouse the jealously and wrath of God (Ex 20:3, 20:13, Lev 19:4, Deut 5:7, 6:14, 7:4, 8:19, 11:16, 11:28, 13:3, 13:7, 13:14, 17:3, 18:20, 28:14, 28:36, 28:64, 29:25, 30:17, 31: 16, 31:18, 31:20). Yahweh rules over the other gods (Ex 18:11, Deut 7:10) which is also recognized in the other terms used to identify Him, such as El Elyon.

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