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Dying Seraph

Yahweh and El

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Dying Seraph

Greetings everyone and thank you for your responses. I'll do my best to get back to everyone as soon as I can. In the meantime...

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.

Greetings Jor-el. :)

That seems very feasible if God exists as a sole creator. I must admit in this case it'sa matter of faith. However that doesn't detract from a querry presented in reading this. It would appear the Romans had practically no imagination at all and incorporated practically everything from other regions, be it Zeus (Jupiter), or Orcus or etc. Not to say that the Jews had no imagination, quite the contrary, but by the same token I am under the impression that the Israelites were as heavily influenced by El as the Canaanites were. And with all the attributes associated to Yahweh, since the deciphering of Ugaritic texts it would seem that the authors incorporated El and Baal attributes and gave them to Yahweh.

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.

If that is the case why does Yahweh come much later? It appears that Yahweh comes from Midian or that region correct? Yet are there any Midianite texts in existance, or any papyrus in the region or clay or tablets with such a refference that can be predated of Moses time? Or is Yahweh a creation of Moses as I get the impression the Bible attempts to do by saying that the name was revealed to Moses? It would be natural for the authors to take El and appropriate him to a newer younger much more angry God. If Yahweh was revealed does it really say much of anything?

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".

The name itself is 'I am.' Kind of as generic as saying El in my opinion. The name isn't, 'I who creates' or 'creator of all' which would certainly make it more believable as a divine name as opposed to a generic term IMO.

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.

That's sensible enough. :tu:

The Ugaritic texts portray El as Father and Asherah as the Mother of heaven. The book "Myths and Legends of the Ancient Near East," suggests that very early on the people possibly worshiped Yahweh as a son of El and that Yahweh was responsible for the land of Israel.

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.

If I may ask, why do you call God him? If God is not understandable and yet you (not jsut you but beleivers in general) call God 'him'or "father" and so forth...if God encompasses all and is everything wouldn'd that make God a hermaphrodite? Why call God "him." Is that part of that myth and trying to udnerstand God you mentioned?

DS

(Thank you for the kind message!)

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.

I see what you mean. Quite right. And I would imagine every path of/to religion has such issues to be confronted, as it's mankind who interprets these supposed "divine words." And we are a screwy lot. :lol:

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.

I can see how it would be favorable to that particular nation that participates in such a creation of a sole God or deity. But look at what the Bible does in doing so. Every other nation and their God becomes inferior or cast aside as nonsense or evil. The Gods of the past become the Satans and demons of Yahweh now. At least the inferior ones, those favorable Gods will have attributes taken from em of course.

In regards to the bold that would most definitely put a nice tidy bow around it all and make it very conventient.

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.

That appears to be the case among the Canaanites and Istraelites at least from what I gather. That communities absorbed and embraced other ideas, that is until the name Yahweh comes about in the Bible. Then those neighbors become enemies once this notion of a "one to rule them all" effect takes place.

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.

This seems debatable. But I am inclined to agree with you that the beginning and end seem to be influenced by the Mesopotamian text "Man and his God"(aka"Sumerian Job"). The middle appears to certainly be distinctively Hebrew but possibly brought or influenced from an Egyptian text. That being "The Protests of the Eloquent Peasant", a document dated 21st century BC. But I am digressing again. Sorry. Blame it on the ADD. :lol:

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.

-

Ahh diversity, which there certainly is a lack of none. I'd agree with you that the snake isn't a God. I've had that debate with many fellow Satanists who insist so, and I convey that it's only based on a dualism notion that they are attemptint to bring into the Bible. The authors of the OT make it clear Satan is never out of Gods jurisdiction. Whereas Christians have made the serpent (depending on whom I ask) Satan or an agent of Satan and...well it becomes an ugly mess.

LMAO Well a modern physician likely has two serpents on a stick as it's the seal of symbolism of Hermes is it not? A God of medicine.

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.

There is a dilemma with this. Abrahams lineage were more than likely Moon worhshippers as pertaining to the region of Abrahams Father. So was El in that region or was El adopted by Abraham do you think?

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.

I must confess I am in very much allignment with these sentiments. However, I can see that how in regions where Yahweh and El became amalgomated or equated that many would embrace Goddess worship and incorporate it into Yahwism (ie. Anat-Yahu, Elephantine).

SINcerely,

:devil:

Edited by Dying Seraph

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Jor-el

Greetings Jor-el. :)

That seems very feasible if God exists as a sole creator. I must admit in this case it'sa matter of faith. However that doesn't detract from a querry presented in reading this. It would appear the Romans had practically no imagination at all and incorporated practically everything from other regions, be it Zeus (Jupiter), or Orcus or etc. Not to say that the Jews had no imagination, quite the contrary, but by the same token I am under the impression that the Israelites were as heavily influenced by El as the Canaanites were. And with all the attributes associated to Yahweh, since the deciphering of Ugaritic texts it would seem that the authors incorporated El and Baal attributes and gave them to Yahweh.

Well, historically speaking, the Israelites came from Sumerian stock who also were the genetic stock for most of the inhabitants of the Middle East. Many of the earliest Hebrew stories have the very same underlying social and historical strata from which both Israel and Sumeria arose, although it can be clearly seen that they are in opposition to one another.

The Ugaritic Texts provide us with alot of the missing context of El, but again we have to rememebr that just because El was the common name of the deity, it doesn't mean they had similar viewpoints. The El of the bible is never shown to have a consort, among a number of other significant differences. El just means "deity" or "God" and was usually followed by the descriptive title of that deity. Such as El Elyon, "God the most high".

So while they are similar, they are also very different. Almost as if the same story is told by two opposing viewpoints with the same characters involved, but with significant details turned around. Thus the common idea that the early Israelites were heavily influenced by outside sources. What is more likely is that the whole region had a common cosmology, but the Israelites did not share in the same assumptions that the others did.

We cannot find any clear origin to the name Yahweh, except as the revealed God of the Israelites, who at once state that this is El, but with a personally revealed name to the people of Israel. Thus El, the creator God, is Yahweh, the revealed God of the Israelites. It is clear, that El gave the Israelites something unique, a revelation that nobody else shared.

We can actually take this one step further. I believe that Yahweh is not Gods personal name, even if many believe otherwise. It is just one more epithet. Originally it was "El-Yahweh", like "El-Shaddai" and "El-Elyon". And just like others, it eventually became contracted to Yahweh.

It is interesting that the only Baal attribute accorded to God was used in Isaiah 19:1; Deuteronomy 33:26; Psalm 68:33; 104:3 and then again in Daniel 7:13. The imagery is well known to us as the "the Rider on the Clouds." Most striking of all is that Jesus uses this imagery when speaking of himself, again demonstrating that even though the cosmology was the same, their understanding of it was very different.

See: “The Cloud Rider”

If that is the case why does Yahweh come much later? It appears that Yahweh comes from Midian or that region correct? Yet are there any Midianite texts in existance, or any papyrus in the region or clay or tablets with such a refference that can be predated of Moses time? Or is Yahweh a creation of Moses as I get the impression the Bible attempts to do by saying that the name was revealed to Moses? It would be natural for the authors to take El and appropriate him to a newer younger much more angry God. If Yahweh was revealed does it really say much of anything?

The bible used the common cosmology of the time to demonstrate its points, it draws on common imagery but twists it to its own purpose so that people could understand the difference between the God of Israel and the other gods of the middle eastern pantheons. It stands to reason that this uniqueness also comes from having a new revelation and thus also a new name for an old deity that had become cluttered with preconceptions. You could say that El reinvented himself, and thus also gave himself a new name that accompanied a new revelation of himself, to humanity.

This is the God that reveals himself...

"El who shows himself". The author of Exodus 3:14–15 gives a similar explanation: God, asked by Moses for his name, provides three names: "I Am That I Am", followed by "I Am", and finally "YHWH":

"I AM THAT I AM [...] Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you [...] YHWH God of your fathers, [...] this is my name for ever".

The name itself is 'I am.' Kind of as generic as saying El in my opinion. The name isn't, 'I who creates' or 'creator of all' which would certainly make it more believable as a divine name as opposed to a generic term IMO.

It is more than a generic name it is the ultimate name. The God who reveals himself, the God who is, who was and forever will be, God Eternal, God ever present.

That's sensible enough. :tu:

The Ugaritic texts portray El as Father and Asherah as the Mother of heaven. The book "Myths and Legends of the Ancient Near East," suggests that very early on the people possibly worshiped Yahweh as a son of El and that Yahweh was responsible for the land of Israel.

It might suggest that, but as you know that is an interpretation that does not connect El to Yahweh as the same being. In that light, Yahweh could be seen as a son of El that was responsible for the "Land of Israel". Except that this land had no god by that name prior to the arrival of the Israelites. A number of gods ruled there, who were in fact "sons of El". Baal being one of them, but no mention of Yahweh anywhere. There is only one reference to Yahweh outside of the bible and that is on the Mesha Stele, but even then it is uniquely referring to the God of Israel.

If I may ask, why do you call God him? If God is not understandable and yet you (not just you but beleivers in general) call God 'him'or "father" and so forth...if God encompasses all and is everything wouldn'd that make God a hermaphrodite? Why call God "him." Is that part of that myth and trying to udnerstand God you mentioned?

No we could not call God a hermaphrodite, God has always deigned to show himself as male. The Memra of God, is male. He appears as male to people. God the Spirit on the other hand is neither male nor female, and thus we can call God an "it" although by common consent we call him father.

But it is merely a convention, not a rule.

As you may see, there is a clear distinction between these two aspects of God, God the Spirit being, the prime mover and God the Word / Memra, who has a physical appearance of a man. Interestingly enough it is the physical Memra of God who appeared to Abraham and Moses, it is he who is the visible aspect of God.

The jewish outlook would explain this away as personification, but I would add that it is a very real personification.

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Dying Seraph

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".

Greetings PA.

I have considered Exodus a few times. However as it stands it makes my point I think. El as presented in Canaanite texts is wholly benevolent while Yahweh has a kind and a fierce side. I think this makes my point, they are different entities. Or at least that the Israelites saw El as something fierce whereas he was wholly benevolent in Canaanite texts. Yahweh is a jealous God, whereas El is presented as wholly benevolent. Quite a stark contrast if you ask me. Are we to suddenly forget all the vile acts Yahweh encouraged or partook in of the OT? Let us consider in 2 Samuel David is encouraged by Yahweh himself to take a census. But when this same story is told in 1 Chronicles written later it is Satan. This shows the authors further attempt to dissociate evil from God. However there appears to be a poor job of editing going on in the Bible. Either Yahweh is an angry God, or the concepts of the Hebrews of an angry God is associated with their form of El and Yahweh because no where else except in the Bible (that included Ugaritic, Kuntillet and other texts) is El an Angry God except when the Jews are using it as a generic term.

I must genuinely ask, are you serious about Yahweh being an "aged" God? Or dwelling on a mountain? ::facepalms:: Okay PA I'll do my best to clarify my stance ;) Let's look at the evidence shall we:

In the OT there are just 3 (at least that I have found) places where Yahweh's years are alluded to, and it is particularly striking that in two of these passages he is specifically called El. Job. 36.26, Ps. 102.25 (ET*), and Job 10.5 are the only mentions...IN THE BIBLE!!! E.J. Emerson points out that another is a possibility, Dan. 7.9, appears to have the same thing in mind. 'Ancient of Days' a term very reminiscent to 'Father of Years' as is the epithet of Canaanite El. Or we can examine the term El-Olam (God, the eternal one). Those seems to be glimpses into age to me. ;)

As for Yahweh's dwelling place being on the side of a mountain...are you asking or telling me? I am stating that IF one can equate El to Yahweh or even Baal to Yahweh then Yahweh dwelled on a mountain. Baal's mountain was Mt. Zaphon. El held assembly with the sons of El on a mountain. Simple as association if one believes them to be the same. El in Canaanite texts dwells on a mountain with the "sons of El (God)" also known as the divine assembly of El.

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.

Ahh PA, I apologize, this is my discrepancy. I erred in my prior response and will attempt to clarify here.

I believe I screwed up in giving you the impression that the English Translation makes this issue. I was referring to the Masoretic Texts.

As has been noted by John Day: "It is generally accepted that the word for "Queen of" (malkat) has been deliberately distorted by a scribe to (meleket), which is found in every instance of the word here (Jer. 7.18, 44. 17, 18, 19, 25). A number of Hebrew manuscripts actually read mele'ket 'host' in each instance, and it is widely agreed that this was an apologetic alteration to avoid the suggestion that the people of Judah worshipped a 'Queen of Heaven.'"

On a side note: Check out R.P. Gordon's 'Aleph Apologeticum' (who offers another example of this phenominon with 2 Sam. 11.1)

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:

Okay so there is no general consensus then as to whom the "Queen of Heaven" is Gotcha. Thank you PA. I'll peruse the link you offered in more depth when the oppurtunity arises.

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.

Greetings Jor-el,

Just as an earthly King has escorts or a body of courtiers, so Yahweh has a heavenly court. It is my belief that these were originally seen as Gods, but as monotheism became absolute, these Gods became demoted to the status of being an "angel."

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.

Indeed in Canaanite texts (more specifically Ugaritic Baal Myth) the 70 sons of Asherah (Athirat)-(sb'm. bn. 'atrt). And since Asherah was El's consort (at least in Canaanite mythology or belief system), this would imply that the 70 "bene elohim" are El's as well as he is Father of the Gods.

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.

Interestingly enough, Israel certainly did believe there to be 70 nations on earth, so the sons of God were accordingly 70 as well. (ie. Gen. 10). :yes:

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.

:tu:

SINCerely,

:devil:

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Paranoid Android

Greetings PA.

I have considered Exodus a few times. However as it stands it makes my point I think. El as presented in Canaanite texts is wholly benevolent while Yahweh has a kind and a fierce side. I think this makes my point, they are different entities.

I think you're overlooking my point - the word "El" in Hebrew is not a name, but a generic term for "god", not just the God of the Hebrews but a name for all false gods as well. So when you ask the question as to whether El and Yahweh are the same, you are thinking of the Hebrew Yahweh and the Canaanite El whereas I am thinking of the Hebrew Yahweh and the Hebrew El. In this sense I would say that the Hebrew Yahweh and the Canaanite El are not the same deity.

I must genuinely ask, are you serious about Yahweh being an "aged" God? Or dwelling on a mountain? ::facepalms:: Okay PA I'll do my best to clarify my stance ;) Let's look at the evidence shall we:

In the OT there are just 3 (at least that I have found) places where Yahweh's years are alluded to, and it is particularly striking that in two of these passages he is specifically called El. Job. 36.26, Ps. 102.25 (ET*), and Job 10.5 are the only mentions...IN THE BIBLE!!! E.J. Emerson points out that another is a possibility, Dan. 7.9, appears to have the same thing in mind. 'Ancient of Days' a term very reminiscent to 'Father of Years' as is the epithet of Canaanite El. Or we can examine the term El-Olam (God, the eternal one). Those seems to be glimpses into age to me. ;)

As for Yahweh's dwelling place being on the side of a mountain...are you asking or telling me? I am stating that IF one can equate El to Yahweh or even Baal to Yahweh then Yahweh dwelled on a mountain. Baal's mountain was Mt. Zaphon. El held assembly with the sons of El on a mountain. Simple as association if one believes them to be the same. El in Canaanite texts dwells on a mountain with the "sons of El (God)" also known as the divine assembly of El.

Ok, so we've got him as the "Ancient of Days" - this is a reference to Yahweh being eternal. How many days have been in existence since Time began? However many there were God existed before then. I would argue the imagery is thus of an eternal deity, not an "aged" deity.

As for mountains, I think this goes back to my last comment about Hebrew Yahweh and Hebrew El. Though God did meet Moses on Mt Sinai, and there is a prophecy about God's return cleaving Mt Zion in two. But I think that is a long way from implying that God "dwells on a mountain". During the time of the Ancient Hebrews God's dwelling place was said to be first in the Ark of the Covenant and then in the Most Holy Place in the Temple at Jerusalem. In the post-Jesus era God is said to dwell within the hearts of his followers. Nowhere is God said to dwell on a mountain.

Ahh PA, I apologize, this is my discrepancy. I erred in my prior response and will attempt to clarify here.

I believe I screwed up in giving you the impression that the English Translation makes this issue. I was referring to the Masoretic Texts.

As has been noted by John Day: "It is generally accepted that the word for "Queen of" (malkat) has been deliberately distorted by a scribe to (meleket), which is found in every instance of the word here (Jer. 7.18, 44. 17, 18, 19, 25). A number of Hebrew manuscripts actually read mele'ket 'host' in each instance, and it is widely agreed that this was an apologetic alteration to avoid the suggestion that the people of Judah worshipped a 'Queen of Heaven.'"

On a side note: Check out R.P. Gordon's 'Aleph Apologeticum' (who offers another example of this phenominon with 2 Sam. 11.1)

Okay so there is no general consensus then as to whom the "Queen of Heaven" is Gotcha. Thank you PA. I'll peruse the link you offered in more depth when the oppurtunity arises.

Thanks for the info on the Masoretic texts. I guess it's good that scholars who translate the Bible for us who cannot read Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek take several texts into account to decide what the best translation for us in English is.

Good luck with the link, as I said I haven't actually gone through it, and for all I know it holds no theological depth whatsoever. I just linked it because the book I quoted it from is not available online.

~ PA

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Leonardo

There is a dilemma with this. Abrahams lineage were more than likely Moon worhshippers as pertaining to the region of Abrahams Father. So was El in that region or was El adopted by Abraham do you think?

The name 'El' is undoubtedly Ugaritic, and was probably not the original name of the deity Abraham imported from Mesopotamia (Ur). Whether Abraham worshipped Anu, or another of the Mesopotamian deities is not entirely relevant, however, compared to his importation of monotheistic worship of that deity into the Levant.

Abraham's deity became identified with El, and then later also with YHWH.

While Ur is reckoned to hold a moon-deity (Nanna) as their 'patron' and pre-eminent deity, that is also not entirely relevant to the religion imported into the Levant by Abraham.

Bear in mind, I only use the name 'Abraham' out of convenience for identification of the origin of monotheistic worship in the Levant. Whether this worship was brought into the region by a single individual, or by a group, or even over many, many years through 'cultural contamination' is immaterial.

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Jor-el

Greetings Jor-el,

Just as an earthly King has escorts or a body of courtiers, so Yahweh has a heavenly court. It is my belief that these were originally seen as Gods, but as monotheism became absolute, these Gods became demoted to the status of being an "angel."

I agree, although that is now being reviewed by a number of churches. The Divine Council is one of the most ancient themes in the bible and one of the most misunderstood in my opinion. The Divine council is evident throughout most of the Old Testament, from Genesis, when he created mankind, where he says to his Divine Council, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness."

Many people interpret this to be a reference to the Trinity, but in reality it is God speaking to his Divine Council. God does this s number of times, where he announces to the Divinve Council what he will do, then he proceeds to do it.

These gods, or the Host of Heaven does not refer to angels except in the most oblique way, they are actually called the "Sons of God", or the "bene elohim", the beings responsible for the creation of the nephilim and, indirectly the Great flood. They are the gods of the nations, those to whom humanity turned to worship, thus God gave the nations to them, as their own just punishment.

Indeed in Canaanite texts (more specifically Ugaritic Baal Myth) the 70 sons of Asherah (Athirat)-(sb'm. bn. 'atrt). And since Asherah was El's consort (at least in Canaanite mythology or belief system), this would imply that the 70 "bene elohim" are El's as well as he is Father of the Gods.

Yes, that is the myth. I would not say that these gods were actually born from the union of a goddess and a god, they were created, just as the angelic host were created, they are superior to the angelic host, they have great powers and they are justly called elohim just as God himself is an elohim.

Interestingly enough, Israel certainly did believe there to be 70 nations on earth, so the sons of God were accordingly 70 as well. (ie. Gen. 10). :yes:

This is evident in a number of verses in the bible... and Book of Jasher (Pseudo-Jasher).

Book of Jasher 9:31-32

And they built the tower and the city, and they did this thing daily until many days and years were elapsed. 32 And God said to the seventy angels who stood foremost before him, to those who were near to him, saying, Come let us descend and confuse their tongues, that one man shall not understand the language of his neighbor, and they did so unto them.

Yes it is a hoax, but it reflects a very real biblical concept that appeared long before its time.

All this demonstrates that the common cosmology if not mythology was shared by all the nations of the Middle East, Including Israel, but Israel stood out as unique by its rejection of the common cosmology and mythology, even as it incorporated the imagery that was common to it.

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Dying Seraph

Greetings folks. Just wanted to take this oppurtunity once more to thank everyone that has contributed and provided their insight on this subject. Thank you and I'm doing my best to go through everyone's links and sources, taking my time and give them due dilligence. Thanks again. (And for those celebrating, Happy V-Day).

Well, historically speaking, the Israelites came from Sumerian stock who also were the genetic stock for most of the inhabitants of the Middle East. Many of the earliest Hebrew stories have the very same underlying social and historical strata from which both Israel and Sumeria arose, although it can be clearly seen that they are in opposition to one another.

Greetings Jor-el,

I was gonna say sonething but the bold summed it up. :lol:

The Ugaritic Texts provide us with alot of the missing context of El, but again we have to rememebr that just because El was the common name of the deity, it doesn't mean they had similar viewpoints. The El of the bible is never shown to have a consort, among a number of other significant differences. El just means "deity" or "God" and was usually followed by the descriptive title of that deity. Such as El Elyon, "God the most high".

Indeed the El of the Bible certainly never has a consort. Yet that elusive "Queen of Heaven" reference exists in the Bible. ;) This is often ascribed by scholars to polemical distortion to make their God supreme. (I.E. Jeremiah condemning 'Queen of Heaven', or Yahweh insistant that he be solely worshiped, or associating Asherah with Baal to demean her or as I told PA make her guilty by association when in fact Anat functions as Baals consort while Asherah functions as El's, of course granted these are Canaanite sentiments).

And I must refer you again to what I suggested before. That at least at Elephantine early Jews did seem to accept Yahweh with a consort, Anat-Yahu. This name is dated to the fifth-century BCE from a Jewish Aramaic Papyri from Elephantine in Egypt. And Yahu (Yahweh) was very much the main deity worshiped there. And the name itself Anat-Yahu, 'Anat of Yahu' appears to reflect a consort. Not to mention that the Jews of Elephantine worshipped Anat-Bethel. Anat-Bethel being a deity confirmed in a treaty between Esar-haddon of Assyria, and Baal, King of Tyre.

So while they are similar, they are also very different. Almost as if the same story is told by two opposing viewpoints with the same characters involved, but with significant details turned around. Thus the common idea that the early Israelites were heavily influenced by outside sources. What is more likely is that the whole region had a common cosmology, but the Israelites did not share in the same assumptions that the others did.

I wholeheartedly agree Jor-el. Two opposing view points, that's exactly right and sadly the only view the majority knows is what is in the Bible.

I am inclined to agree with you that the whole region likely had a common cosmogony, and that they did not share the same assumptions. It would make sense that the authors of the Bible would write and distort to convey messages to suit "their people" or audience.

We cannot find any clear origin to the name Yahweh, except as the revealed God of the Israelites, who at once state that this is El, but with a personally revealed name to the people of Israel. Thus El, the creator God, is Yahweh, the revealed God of the Israelites. It is clear, that El gave the Israelites something unique, a revelation that nobody else shared.

Curses, I didn't think so as far as finding the name Yahweh outside the Bible. Thank you for your insight into this matter of the name of Yahweh. :yes:

We can actually take this one step further. I believe that Yahweh is not Gods personal name, even if many believe otherwise. It is just one more epithet. Originally it was "El-Yahweh", like "El-Shaddai" and "El-Elyon". And just like others, it eventually became contracted to Yahweh.

I've read this somewhere before now I wish I kept the article. And it makes sense. And as I said before, personally the name "I Am" just doesn't seem that much different then a generic term IMO.

It is interesting that the only Baal attribute accorded to God was used in Isaiah 19:1; Deuteronomy 33:26; Psalm 68:33; 104:3 and then again in Daniel 7:13. The imagery is well known to us as the "the Rider on the Clouds." Most striking of all is that Jesus uses this imagery when speaking of himself, again demonstrating that even though the cosmology was the same, their understanding of it was very different.

See: “The Cloud Rider”

Well it certainly appears to be the most blatant. HoweverI suspect you may be incorrect in that it is not the only attribute. This is the common reference. However I must refer you to the seven thunders in Ps. 29. This psalm is an appropriation as well of Baal imagery. Yahweh's Kingship in this Psalm is manifested in the thunder, just like that of Baal, and the thunder is represented as his voice, as was also the case of Baal. Yahweh's lordship over the cosmic waters and exaltation over the other gods of the divine assembly, also derived ultimately from Baal mythology.

In fact a number of scholars John Day points out, (H.L. Ginsberg, T.H. Gaster, F.M. Cross and A. Fiztgerald) believe that Psalm 29 is a Canaanite psalm taken over wholesale with the simple substitution of Yahweh instead of Baal.

Firstly I am inclined to agree, it is striking that Jesus would use such imagery on himself.

Second, A Canaanite God located at Shechem is called Ball-Berith, "Baal of the Covenant" (Judg. 9.4) and the Deuteronomist also represents him as being worshipped more widely by the Israelites in Judg. 8.33. Interestingly enough, we can also find a reference to a temple of El-Berith, (El/God of the Covenant) in Shechum in Judg. 9.46.

Third, there appears to be evidance that Yahweh could be called or referred to as Baal. (ie. Bealiah 2 Chron. 12.6 [ET]), one of David's warriors names which can be translated as 'Baal is Yahweh', and Yehobaal, ('Yahweh is Baal'). And further, that Baal appears to be indicated to be equated to Yahweh in Hosea verse 18 (English Translation16). It's interesting that the Baals mentioned in earlier verse 15 (ET13) refer to a fertility deity (thanks to this fertility reference we can subtract the notion (In this case at least) that some suggest that Baal in this verse merely refers to the generic word "Lord'). What one can surmise is that Hosea was not merely objecting to the term or epithet 'Lord' being applied to Yahweh, but was also "countering a tendency of the people to conflate Yahweh and Baal to such an extent that the essential identity and uniqueness of the former was compromised." (ie Hosea thus using the word bosheth, "Shame" to denote Baal.

Fourth, IF given the third is taken into consideration, Just throwing it out there, again I refer you to "Anat-Yahu" of Elephantine. Granted it's NOT in the bible but that the Jews accepted such Gods implies another Baal appropriation in the sense that Anat was Baals consort.

This is the God that reveals himself...

"El who shows himself". The author of Exodus 3:14–15 gives a similar explanation: God, asked by Moses for his name, provides three names: "I Am That I Am", followed by "I Am", and finally "YHWH":

"I AM THAT I AM [...] Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you [...] YHWH God of your fathers, [...] this is my name for ever".

It is more than a generic name it is the ultimate name. The God who reveals himself, the God who is, who was and forever will be, God Eternal, God ever present.

Thank you for providing your view on this matter. :yes:

It might suggest that, but as you know that is an interpretation that does not connect El to Yahweh as the same being. In that light, Yahweh could be seen as a son of El that was responsible for the "Land of Israel". Except that this land had no god by that name prior to the arrival of the Israelites. A number of gods ruled there, who were in fact "sons of El". Baal being one of them, but no mention of Yahweh anywhere. There is only one reference to Yahweh outside of the bible and that is on the Mesha Stele, but even then it is uniquely referring to the God of Israel.

Indeed it does not. I am glad you understood I was presenting it as speculation of possibility.

Thank you! Ask and you shall receive. lol Thank you for providing the link. Indeed that was my impression that early Israel was a state of monotheism, then gradually monolotrism set in, and finally polytheism. That Asherah and El were embraced as consorts would indicate the possibility of regions embracing Yahweh as one of their "sons of El."

No we could not call God a hermaphrodite, God has always deigned to show himself as male. The Memra of God, is male. He appears as male to people. God the Spirit on the other hand is neither male nor female, and thus we can call God an "it" although by common consent we call him father.

But it is merely a convention, not a rule.

As you may see, there is a clear distinction between these two aspects of God, God the Spirit being, the prime mover and God the Word / Memra, who has a physical appearance of a man. Interestingly enough it is the physical Memra of God who appeared to Abraham and Moses, it is he who is the visible aspect of God.

The jewish outlook would explain this away as personification, but I would add that it is a very real personification.

Has God really revealed himself as male? Or was God interpreted as male as it was males writing all this and editing it down? An honest inquiry. :)

SINCerely,

:devil:

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Dying Seraph

I agree, although that is now being reviewed by a number of churches. The Divine Council is one of the most ancient themes in the bible and one of the most misunderstood in my opinion. The Divine council is evident throughout most of the Old Testament, from Genesis, when he created mankind, where he says to his Divine Council, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness."

Many people interpret this to be a reference to the Trinity, but in reality it is God speaking to his Divine Council. God does this s number of times, where he announces to the Divinve Council what he will do, then he proceeds to do it.

That it is. I confess I am inclined to believe the Divine council/assembly, are too close to the "sons of Asherah and El, in Canaanite literature to ignore and thus believe the Divine Council to have it's roots in Canaanite texts.

These gods, or the Host of Heaven does not refer to angels except in the most oblique way, they are actually called the "Sons of God", or the "bene elohim", the beings responsible for the creation of the nephilim and, indirectly the Great flood. They are the gods of the nations, those to whom humanity turned to worship, thus God gave the nations to them, as their own just punishment.

Indeed, there is no direct reference to these beings as angels but it is the general consensus as Yahwism encouraged monotheism. And if there is one 'true' God we can't have him among others can we? So understandably so the Gods and Goddesses prior becoms angels or of something at least inferior to the "supreme God." Recall that there are Gods for each region. However these Gods eventually dissapear and we see Michael and other angels as protectors of regions.

Yes, that is the myth. I would not say that these gods were actually born from the union of a goddess and a god, they were created, just as the angelic host were created, they are superior to the angelic host, they have great powers and they are justly called elohim just as God himself is an elohim.

Well in all honesty I wouldn't know how to describe it. Nor do I think anyone can as God/s is/are beyond comprehension. I am going by the terms themselves, be it Canaanite or the Biblical, "Children of Asherah"/"Sons of El" the point is clear that El is creator and that the other Gods are inferior, in the sense that El is "Father of Years." I think it is imaterial how the Gods came to be but the fact remains that El had Asherah (Athirat or in some cases Qudshu) for a consort and Baal had Anat. Granted that This is not something to be equated to Yahweh at all other then the attempt to associate Yahweh to El. But that is IMO.

This is evident in a number of verses in the bible... and Book of Jasher (Pseudo-Jasher).

Book of Jasher 9:31-32

And they built the tower and the city, and they did this thing daily until many days and years were elapsed. 32 And God said to the seventy angels who stood foremost before him, to those who were near to him, saying, Come let us descend and confuse their tongues, that one man shall not understand the language of his neighbor, and they did so unto them.

Canaanite texts we read,"the seventy sons of Asherah." And since El is Asherah's consort I am under the impression that Deut. 32.8, is thus dependant on this concept. As it declares, "When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance, when he seperated the sons of men, he fixed the bounds of the peoples accoring to the number of the sons of God."

All this demonstrates that the common cosmology if not mythology was shared by all the nations of the Middle East, Including Israel, but Israel stood out as unique by its rejection of the common cosmology and mythology, even as it incorporated the imagery that was common to it.

I am inclined to believe the Israelites embraced a lot more of Canaanite texts or beleifs than many care to acknowledge and merely had the goal of making their God supreme and as a hero they desperately needed in the most dire of times.

PS Glad to see you are in better spirits. :yes:

SINcerely,

:devil:

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Jor-el

Greetings Jor-el,

Indeed the El of the Bible certainly never has a consort. Yet that elusive "Queen of Heaven" reference exists in the Bible. ;) This is often ascribed by scholars to polemical distortion to make their God supreme. (I.E. Jeremiah condemning 'Queen of Heaven', or Yahweh insistant that he be solely worshiped, or associating Asherah with Baal to demean her or as I told PA make her guilty by association when in fact Anat functions as Baals consort while Asherah functions as El's, of course granted these are Canaanite sentiments).

And I must refer you again to what I suggested before. That at least at Elephantine early Jews did seem to accept Yahweh with a consort, Anat-Yahu. This name is dated to the fifth-century BCE from a Jewish Aramaic Papyri from Elephantine in Egypt. And Yahu (Yahweh) was very much the main deity worshiped there. And the name itself Anat-Yahu, 'Anat of Yahu' appears to reflect a consort. Not to mention that the Jews of Elephantine worshipped Anat-Bethel. Anat-Bethel being a deity confirmed in a treaty between Esar-haddon of Assyria, and Baal, King of Tyre.

Hi DS,

I've been reading a little more in depth in regards to Anat and I can draw some preliminary conclusions from the articles I've read. It seems that in Elephantine, the Israelite population co-existed quite well with the local Egyptian population, they even shared beliefs in each others deities. The Jewish Temple at Elephantine was not alone, there were a number of other Egyptian Temples on the island as well.

Thus we find that one of the local beliefs which also existed in Israel unofficially, was that Yahweh had a consort. The Elephantine documents give her name as Anat-Yahu (Anat-Yahweh) and it is she who is referenced as the "Queen of Heaven".

Though the name of the goddess Anat is never mentioned in the Bible, it may be reasonable to speculate that the "Queen of Heaven" mentioned in Jeremiah 7:18; 44:17, 18, 19 and 25 may be identified with her. In Canaanite epics, the goddess Anat distinguished herself with strength and courage. She was a mighty warrior, identified also with fertility, and as such was considered to be the goddess of life. Her gracefulness and beauty were symbols for the people.

The cult of Anat passed from Phoenicia and Canaan to Egypt, where she was believed to be the goddess of war. In one of the sanctuaries unearthed in Bet She'an, built by Ramses II in the 13th century B.C.E., there was found a pillar to Anat, the Queen of Heaven and wife of all gods.

Documents dated to around 400 B.C.E, unearthed in excavations at Elephantine, reveal that three deities were worshipped in the temple there: Yahoo, "the Master of Heaven," and the goddesses Ashima and Anat Bet-El, "the Queens of Heaven."

Josiah, King of Judah (640-609 B.C.E.), carried out a great religious reform by eradicating idolatry and proclaiming the sovereignty of the Torah. Within 50 years, the Babylonians had invaded the land and in 586 BCE, the Jerusalem Temple was destroyed. There were those who attributed the calamities to the cessation of the worship of "The Queen of Heaven," and they complained bitterly to Jeremiah (Jer. 44:15-19):

'Since we left off to burn incense to the Queen of Heaven [m-l-kh-t hashamayim] and to pour out drink offerings unto her, we have wanted all things and have been consumed by the sword and by famine' (v. 18).

M-L-KH-T

The term "m-l-kh-t hashamayim" in Jeremiah 44:18 was read by the translators of the Greek Septuagint and the Latin Vulgate as "malkat hashamayim [Queen of Heaven]." When the masoretes of Tiberias vocalized the Hebrew text in the ninth century CE, the word m-l-kh-t was to be read as melekhet, though this word does not make sense.

Ramban (Nahmanides) explained that the letter "aleph" was actually missing in the word, this omission being "one of the mysteries of the Scriptures." The meaning of the word m-lkh-t with the letter "aleph" added means "work," making the phrase "work of heaven," connoting sun and stars. Moreover, the Aramaic Targum Yonathan translated m-l-kh-t hashamayim as "kokhevet shmaya [stars of heaven]."

The vocalization of m-l-kh-t as melekhet prevented it from being read as malkat [Queen of (Heaven)]," thus circumventing the fact that a section of the Jewish people had in the past worshipped a female deity, who may have been Anat.

It appears that Josiah's religious reform did not succeed in totally eradicating idolatrous belief. On the other hand, the exiles in Babylon, the cream of notables from Judah, continued in the spirit of the reform of King Josiah, strengthened by the prophecies of Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Deutero-Isaiah. With the Babylonian Exile, there is an end to idolatry and the true beginnings of the Jewish religion.

IS THE "QUEEN OF HEAVEN" IN JEREMIAH THE GODDESS ANAT?

So, it took an extreme event (the babylonian exile) to rid Israel of idolatry, and to be honset even afterward we continue to find isolated instances of idolotrous worship in Israel. This Queen of Heaven appears in archaeological sites over and over again.

Here is an interesting video I commented on some time ago, which demonstrates exactly this, that the people many times ignored the official religious worship in favour of the traditional worship of the Canaanites. They even blamed the events Jereamiah foretold on the fact that this worship had been banned by the Jewish Priesthood, as the article above testifies.

What is amazing is that this belief has migrated to chrisitanity, especially catholicism and its view and semi-deification of the Mary figure who has appropriated the title "Queen of Heaven" for herself.

I wholeheartedly agree Jor-el. Two opposing view points, that's exactly right and sadly the only view the majority knows is what is in the Bible.

I am inclined to agree with you that the whole region likely had a common cosmogony, and that they did not share the same assumptions. It would make sense that the authors of the Bible would write and distort to convey messages to suit "their people" or audience.

Oh I agree with this... you won't get aqn argument from me objectively speaking, but it could be phrased in different terms. The bible writers were restoring the original faith of the one true God, not inventing it for the 1st time.

Curses, I didn't think so as far as finding the name Yahweh outside the Bible. Thank you for your insight into this matter of the name of Yahweh. :yes:

Well, I'm sure the video will be helpful as well. ^_^

I've read this somewhere before now I wish I kept the article. And it makes sense. And as I said before, personally the name "I Am" just doesn't seem that much different then a generic term IMO.

I would have to disagree with this. I would say it is the ultimate title.

Well it certainly appears to be the most blatant. HoweverI suspect you may be incorrect in that it is not the only attribute. This is the common reference. However I must refer you to the seven thunders in Ps. 29. This psalm is an appropriation as well of Baal imagery. Yahweh's Kingship in this Psalm is manifested in the thunder, just like that of Baal, and the thunder is represented as his voice, as was also the case of Baal. Yahweh's lordship over the cosmic waters and exaltation over the other gods of the divine assembly, also derived ultimately from Baal mythology.

In fact a number of scholars John Day points out, (H.L. Ginsberg, T.H. Gaster, F.M. Cross and A. Fiztgerald) believe that Psalm 29 is a Canaanite psalm taken over wholesale with the simple substitution of Yahweh instead of Baal.

Firstly I am inclined to agree, it is striking that Jesus would use such imagery on himself.

Jesus used the priesthooods knowledge of the Canaanite gods to demonstrate his deity, which is what they had asked him about. That is why the High Priest immediately flew into a rage. He got the message immediately.

Second, A Canaanite God located at Shechem is called Ball-Berith, "Baal of the Covenant" (Judg. 9.4) and the Deuteronomist also represents him as being worshipped more widely by the Israelites in Judg. 8.33. Interestingly enough, we can also find a reference to a temple of El-Berith, (El/God of the Covenant) in Shechum in Judg. 9.46.

Third, there appears to be evidance that Yahweh could be called or referred to as Baal. (ie. Bealiah 2 Chron. 12.6 [ET]), one of David's warriors names which can be translated as 'Baal is Yahweh', and Yehobaal, ('Yahweh is Baal'). And further, that Baal appears to be indicated to be equated to Yahweh in Hosea verse 18 (English Translation16). It's interesting that the Baals mentioned in earlier verse 15 (ET13) refer to a fertility deity (thanks to this fertility reference we can subtract the notion (In this case at least) that some suggest that Baal in this verse merely refers to the generic word "Lord'). What one can surmise is that Hosea was not merely objecting to the term or epithet 'Lord' being applied to Yahweh, but was also "countering a tendency of the people to conflate Yahweh and Baal to such an extent that the essential identity and uniqueness of the former was compromised." (ie Hosea thus using the word bosheth, "Shame" to denote Baal.

I have a different take on that but it is too extensive an explanation for this thread. But you can look up the term "The Greater and the Lesser Yahweh", most of my view is explained by that term.

Indeed it does not. I am glad you understood I was presenting it as speculation of possibility.

Thank you! Ask and you shall receive. lol Thank you for providing the link. Indeed that was my impression that early Israel was a state of monotheism, then gradually monolotrism set in, and finally polytheism. That Asherah and El were embraced as consorts would indicate the possibility of regions embracing Yahweh as one of their "sons of El."

One of the greater confusions that people seem to have, is that Israel was not monotheistic. It never promoted it, and the term existes today because people failed to interpret the bible correctly for a long time. Nor was it ever polytheistic.

Monotheism as a term was coined in the 17th century not as an antonym to polytheism, but to atheism. A monotheist, then, was a person who believed there was a God, not someone who believed there was only one spiritual entity that could or should be named by the letters G-O-D. This understanding of the term has been lost in contemporary discourse, and so it would be pointless to call for its re-introduction. A more coherent approach is to describe what Israelites believed about their God rather than trying to encapsulate that belief in a single word. When scholars have addressed this tension, however, a shift to description over terminology has not been the strategy. Rather, scholars have tried to qualify the modern vocabulary. Terms like inclusive monotheism or tolerant monolatry have been coined in an attempt to accurately classify Israelite religion in both preand post-exilic stages. These terms have not found broad acceptance because they are oxymoronic to the modern ear.

Other scholars have argued for an incipient monotheism that could perhaps include the affirmation of other gods who were inferior. There is precedent for this idea in the scholarly exchanges over henotheism, monolatry, and Israelite religion. Historically, henotheism assumes all gods are species equals and the elevation of one god is due to socio-political factorsnot theological nuancing. Quoting Max Müllers seminal work on the subject, M. Yusa writes that henotheism was a technical term coined to designate a peculiar form of polytheism . . . [where] each god is, at the time a real divinity, supreme and absolute not limited by the powers of any other gods. Müller called this idea belief in single gods . . . a worship of one god after another. T. J. Meek referred to pre-exilic Israelite religion as both henotheistic and monolatrous, thereby equating the two, based on the prohibition of worshipping other gods. But did the canonical Israelite writer believe that Yahweh was superior on the basis of sociopolitical factors, or was Yahweh intrinsically other with respect to his nature and certain attributes? Did the writer view Yahweh as only a being who could not be limited by the powers of other deities, or was there something unique about Yahweh that both transcended and produced this total freedom?

H. H. Rowley, reacting to the work of Meek, moved toward the idea of uniqueness, but did so using the word henotheism. What distinguished Mosaic religion in his mind from that of other henotheists was not so much the teaching that Yahweh was to be the only God for Israel as the proclamation that Yahweh was unique. Rowleys focus on uniqueness was on the righttrack, but his approach has the disadvantage of trying to convince the academic community to redefine a term whose meaning by now is entrenched. The proposal offered here is that scholars should stop trying to define Israels religion with singular, imprecise modern terms and instead stick to describing what Israel believed.

Monotheism as it is currently understood means that no other gods exist. This term is inadequate for describing Israelite religion, but suggesting it be done away with would no doubt cause considerable consternation among certain parts of the academic community, not to mention the interested laity. Henotheism and monolatry, while perhaps better, are inadequate because they do not say enough about what the canonical writer believed. Israel was certainly monolatrous, but that term comments only on what Israel believed about the proper object of worship, not what it believed about Yahwehs nature and attributes with respect to the other gods.

In the judgment of this writer, describing what Israel believed about Yahweh need not involve the kind of high philosophical speculation that most modern scholarship wants to deny the ancient Israelite. Several simple ideas have been communicated to the reader by the canonical authors that allow a description that demonstrates a firm, uncompromising belief in Yahwehs species uniqueness among the other gods assumed to exist. Israel did not believe the other gods were species-equal with Yahweh and essentially interchangeable. Israel did not believe that Yahweh should be viewed as the supreme god only because of his deeds on behalf of Israel. The canonical authors considered Yahweh to be in a class by himself. He was species-unique.

Monotheism, Polytheism, Monolatry, or Henotheism?Toward an Assessment of Divine Plurality in the Hebrew BibleMichael S. Heiser, PhD

Has God really revealed himself as male? Or was God interpreted as male as it was males writing all this and editing it down? An honest inquiry. :)

SINCerely,

:devil:

Since God actually appears a number of times as a male physically there is no doubt.

Edited by Jor-el

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Dying Seraph

I think you're overlooking my point - the word "El" in Hebrew is not a name, but a generic term for "god", not just the God of the Hebrews but a name for all false gods as well. So when you ask the question as to whether El and Yahweh are the same, you are thinking of the Hebrew Yahweh and the Canaanite El whereas I am thinking of the Hebrew Yahweh and the Hebrew El. In this sense I would say that the Hebrew Yahweh and the Canaanite El are not the same deity.

Greetings PA,

I didn't intend to come off as overlooking your point. I wholeheartedly agree with you that these words came to be generic terms. However it is my understanding that this came to be a later concept of El and Ba'al being generic words. But that originally El and Baal (as they are listed in the Canaanite Pantheon) were distinctly Canaanite gods and not just generic terms, hence our difference in opinion. The Bible itself seems to show at times that it is indeed a generic term. However in reading passages in the Bible and reading Ugaritic texts we see that Canaanite (El)God very much influenced the Israelites (El)God. At least admittedly that is my opinion, but that I believe can be provided with sustenance. That said, I don't think I was overlooking your point but countering it by showing that Canaanite El concepts very much influenced Israelites and the Israelites appear to embrace many aspects of El and at times appear to be referring to the Canaanite God El based on a few things.

Let us consider some evidence to convey my point further on as I have brought up El's dwelling and on a mountain and age and such...

Ok, so we've got him as the "Ancient of Days" - this is a reference to Yahweh being eternal. How many days have been in existence since Time began? However many there were God existed before then. I would argue the imagery is thus of an eternal deity, not an "aged" deity.

On to Daniel and the term 'Ancient of Days.' The term itself appears to be quite similar to the Canaanite term for El, 'Father of Years.' What is further interesting is as I noted before in the majority of these passages such as that of Psalm 102.25(24ET*) appears to be the only place in the psalm where God is not addressed as Yahweh but as, "my El." "Oh my God (eli)...thou whose years endure throughout all generations!" That appears to be the ONLY passage that refers to El and not addressed to or as Yahweh (cf. vv. ET* 1, 12, 15, 16, 18, 19, 21, 22). Is the passage alternating between Yahweh and El? Or is this an attempt to equate Yahweh with El?

:unsure:

Daniel 7.9: "I watched as thrones were put in place and the Ancient one ('Ancient of Days'), sat down to judge. His clothing was white as snow, his hair like whitest wool."

In Ugaritic texts El is frequently referred to as 'ab snm, "Father of Years," (eg. The Cuneiform Alphabetic Texts from Ugarit among others) and this concept is reinforced with by references to his grey hair. Surely one can see the similarities in the term "Father of Years" and remarks to grey hairs, to that found in the Bible regarding God "The Ancient One" with hair white as wool." :yes:

To further convey my stance El in Ugaritic texts is especially noted for his wisdom and benevolence. (Something Yahweh cannpt be associated with as he has a temper). The term El'qanna certainly aids your stance that El and Yahweh are similar as El-qanna is the jealous God that wants no one to worship another God but him. However I would be remiss if I did not point out my case. In Ugaritic texts El is noted for his wisdom and it would appear that Ezekial 28 was familiar with this. We can see this in the King of Tyre's noted wisdom, and in the same context claims to be God.

And in keeping with all this (as far as Canaanite influence) John Day points out, "the one like a son of man who comes with the clouds of heaven and reigns for ever after being enthroned by the Ancient of Days (Dan.7.13-14) derives ultimately from Baal (Canaanite God), 'the rider of the clouds', and the beasts of the sea whose rule is succeeded by that of one like a son of man, reflect Yam, Leviathan (ltn) and others who were defeated by Baal."

As for mountains, I think this goes back to my last comment about Hebrew Yahweh and Hebrew El. Though God did meet Moses on Mt Sinai, and there is a prophecy about God's return cleaving Mt Zion in two. But I think that is a long way from implying that God "dwells on a mountain". During the time of the Ancient Hebrews God's dwelling place was said to be first in the Ark of the Covenant and then in the Most Holy Place in the Temple at Jerusalem. In the post-Jesus era God is said to dwell within the hearts of his followers. Nowhere is God said to dwell on a mountain.

Let us examine further my statement regarding El's dwelling, not just Canaanite texts but the Bible itself.

Isaiah 14.13 appears to refer to a divine assembly held on a sacred mountain. In Ugaritic texts El's assembly indeed did meet on a mountain. Isa. 14.13 again makes that reference to sitting on the "mount of assembly" (har mo'ed). In Ezekial the name God (El) is used in 28.2 and 9. In Ezekial 10.5 we see the name El-Shaddai ('El-the mountain one'). Ezekial 28.2-"I sit in the seat of God in the heart of the seas." This is suggestive of Canaanite El who dwelled at 'the source of the rivers, in the midst of the double deep.'

Further it shows that in all likeliness Gen. 2.10-14 is then connected as it's the garden of God at the source of the rivers (Gen.2-3 appears to place the garden of God/Eden precisely where Canaanite myth located El's dwelling.) This would appear to be Armenia (that in Ezekial 28.14, 16, Eden is set on a mountain also aids Armenia and a mountain rather then the Persian Gulf as some have suggested).

On a side note: Interestingly enough Noah's Ark landed on Ararat (one of the mountains of Armenia).

In response to the King of Tyre-Ezekial 28.14-"I ordained you and anointed you as my angelic guardian. You had access to the holy mountain of God."

Ezekial 29.16-"...so I banished you from the mountain of God."

As far as what Jesus came along later and said...It's one of my favorite bible verses. But I suspect it's a gnostic thought that crept into the Bible. "For behold, the kingdom of heaven is within you." Luke17.21

If I may again take this moment to agree with you, that there is no doubt that 'el is simply a general name for God WITHOUT ANY reflection of Canaanite background or influence in MANY aspects. But there are others that are undeniable:

For example, "there can be detected a connection with the 70 sons of God in Deut. 32.8, deriving from the 70 sons of Asherah(as mentioned in Canaanite literature the sons of Asherah). And since El is Asherahs consort naturally they could be his 70 sons as well. :yes:

Ezekial 28.2, 9, contains multiple allusions to Canaanite El. The Emphasis of divine wisdom, the watery nature of the dwelling (likely Armenia), and the expression, mosab elohim 'seat of God (or gods) appear very much to be of Canaanite influence.

And as I presented before the Bible portrays Yahweh as an angry and jealous God. (El qanna) However, another possible showing of El influence comes in the references to Yahweh as a "gracious and merciful (El)God." We may see this in passages such as Jon. 4.2; Neh. 9.31 Exodus, 34.6, and Ps.103.8)

A genuine question-who is the king in the following passage? In Ps. 48.3 [ET2], we learn that Jerusalem is "beautiful in elevation, is the joy of all the earth, Mount Zion, in the far north, is the city of the great king." That in Isaiah 14.12-15, the shining one attempts to ascend above the clouds and stars and sit on the mount of assembly appears to make reference to the sons of El (assembly on a mountain). Thus further possibility as to El dwelling on a mountain.

Thank you PA. I had a hard time getting the link to work but appreciate that you sent it nonetheless.

SINcerely,

:devil:

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Dying Seraph

Hi DS,

Greetings Jor-el.

I trust you'll understand if I pass up on responding to a few aspects of that which you have sent (ie the whole debate of monotheism, henotheism etc. appears best suited for another topic in and of itself), not that I didn't read it or pay diligence to it, but am trying to keep on topic. That said thank you for your reply.

I've been reading a little more in depth in regards to Anat and I can draw some preliminary conclusions from the articles I've read. It seems that in Elephantine, the Israelite population co-existed quite well with the local Egyptian population, they even shared beliefs in each others deities. The Jewish Temple at Elephantine was not alone, there were a number of other Egyptian Temples on the island as well.

Indeed this appears to be the case.

Thus we find that one of the local beliefs which also existed in Israel unofficially, was that Yahweh had a consort. The Elephantine documents give her name as Anat-Yahu (Anat-Yahweh) and it is she who is referenced as the "Queen of Heaven".

ies

Josiah, King of Judah (640-609 B.C.E.), carried out a great religious reform by eradicating idolatry and proclaiming the sovereignty of the Torah. Within 50 years, the Babylonians had invaded the land and in 586 BCE, the Jerusalem Temple was destroyed. There were those who attributed the calamities to the cessation of the worship of "The Queen of Heaven," and they complained bitterly to Jeremiah (Jer. 44:15-19):

'Since we left off to burn incense to the Queen of Heaven [m-l-kh-t hashamayim] and to pour out drink offerings unto her, we have wanted all things and have been consumed by the sword and by famine' (v. 18).

M-L-KH-T

The term "m-l-kh-t hashamayim" in Jeremiah 44:18 was read by the translators of the Greek Septuagint and the Latin Vulgate as "malkat hashamayim [Queen of Heaven]." When the masoretes of Tiberias vocalized the Hebrew text in the ninth century CE, the word m-l-kh-t was to be read as melekhet, though this word does not make sense.

Ramban (Nahmanides) explained that the letter "aleph" was actually missing in the word, this omission being "one of the mysteries of the Scriptures." The meaning of the word m-lkh-t with the letter "aleph" added means "work," making the phrase "work of heaven," connoting sun and stars. Moreover, the Aramaic Targum Yonathan translated m-l-kh-t hashamayim as "kokhevet sh’maya [stars of heaven]."

The vocalization of m-l-kh-t as melekhet prevented it from being read as malkat [Queen of (Heaven)]," thus circumventing the fact that a section of the Jewish people had in the past worshipped a female deity, who may have been Anat.

It would appear, the general consensus that the word meleket 'host' was used in the Masoretic texts in each instance where the word "queen of' should have been used. John Day suggests that this was an "apologetic alteration to avoid the suggestion that the people of Judah worshipped the 'Queen of Heaven.'"

It appears that Josiah's religious reform did not succeed in totally eradicating idolatrous belief. On the other hand, the exiles in Babylon, the cream of notables from Judah, continued in the spirit of the reform of King Josiah, strengthened by the prophecies of Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Deutero-Isaiah. With the Babylonian Exile, there is an end to idolatry and the true beginnings of the Jewish religion.[/i]

IS THE "QUEEN OF HEAVEN" IN JEREMIAH THE GODDESS ANAT?

So, it took an extreme event (the babylonian exile) to rid Israel of idolatry, and to be honset even afterward we continue to find isolated instances of idolotrous worship in Israel. This Queen of Heaven appears in archaeological sites over and over again.

After looking further into this matter of the Queen of Heaven, while I was inclined to believed it was Anat, I am now inclined to believe that Astarte is the one referred to in the Bible as "Queen of Heaven."

Asherah, Anat, Astarte, Ishtar and even Shapash have been suggested as the "Queen of Heaven" although Shapash has no support at all except by the one who presented that stance, M.J. Dahood. The rest are more feasible but still have dilemmas.

Asherah-Asherah (Qudshu) like Anat, Astarte and Ishtar is called 'Lady of Heaven' (nb.t p.t) in New Kingdom Egyptian texts. However there doesn't appear to be anything in first-millennium BCE texts that associate her with the heavens at all.

Ishtar -is referred to as 'Lady of Heaven' in New Kingdom Egyptian texts but also is referred to as "Queen of Heaven" (sarrat same) in Akkadian texts.

Anat...well you've done an extensive job enough to show why it could be her referred to as the "Queen of Heaven" and it was originally what I believed to be the case as well, so that leaves us with Astarte.

Astarte-Astarte is as before mentioned called 'Lady of Heaven' in New Kingdom Egypt, but Astarte is also the Canaanite Goddess most frequently associated with the heavens in the first millennium BCE (ie. strt smm 'drm), 'Astarte of the Highest Heavens' in line 16 of the Eshmunazar inscription.

And John Day has compelled me to accept the following:

"There is considerable evidence for the popularity of Aphrodite Ourania, 'Heavenly Aphrodite' in the first millennium BCE Mediterranean world; for example two inscriptions from Delos, dedicated by Ascalonites are addressed 'to the heavenly Aphrodite, Astarte of Palestine.' Further Herodotus 1.105 states that the most ancient temple of Aphrodite Ourania was in Ascalon, and that the temple to this goddess in Cyprus was acknowledged by the Cypriots to derive from the one in Ascalon, thus indicating the Palestinian origin of her cult. Again, Pausanias, Description of Greece 1.14.7 mentions that the Assyrians and then the Phoenicians of Ascalon and the Paphians of Cyprus worshipped the Heavenly Aphrodite. (Ishtar and Astarte have been confused or their equation is here reflected.)

"Further, it is to be noted that the offering of cakes to Astarte is specifically mentioned in the fourth-century BCE Kition tariff, line, 9, where we read, 'To the two bakers who baked the basket of cakes for the [Holy]Queen' (though it is a different word for 'cakes' from that used in Jer.7 and 44). Finally, Astarte (unlike Anat) is a goddess against whom the Deuteronomist elsewhere polemicizes.

Thus, although certainty is not possible, the best case can be made for the Queen of Heaven being Astarte. Over against Ishtar, she has the advantage of a native Canaanite deity, such as the deep-seated folk nature of the cult depicted in Jeremiah 44 suggests. Over against Asherah she has the advantage of being associated frequently with the heavens in the first-millennium BCE. And over against Anat, she has the advantage of being mentioned explicitly elsewhere in the Deuteronomistic corpus (to which Jer. 7 and 44 belong) as a goddess worshipped in pre-exilic Israel.

Nevertheless, the fact remains that an Akkadian loan word is used for the 'cakes' in Jer. 7 and 44, so it is possible-as S. Ackerman argues-that what we have is not simply Astarte, but Astarte in syncretism with her Mesopotamian equivalent Ishtar."

Here is an interesting video I commented on some time ago, which demonstrates exactly this, that the people many times ignored the official religious worship in favour of the traditional worship of the Canaanites. They even blamed the events Jereamiah foretold on the fact that this worship had been banned by the Jewish Priesthood, as the article above testifies.

What is amazing is that this belief has migrated to chrisitanity, especially catholicism and its view and semi-deification of the Mary figure who has appropriated the title "Queen of Heaven" for herself.

Oh I agree with this... you won't get aqn argument from me objectively speaking, but it could be phrased in different terms. The bible writers were restoring the original faith of the one true God, not inventing it for the 1st time.

Well, I'm sure the video will be helpful as well. ^_^

Thank you for sharing this clip. :) I quite enjoyed it. This is where I am at a disagreement though. The Israelites it would seem, before the emergance of Yahweh, were very much in synch with their Canaanite neighbors. So how were the biblical writers restoring the "original faith" of the one true God if they hadn't recieved the name yet from Moses?

"Though the revolutionary concept of an eternal, absolute, and omnipotent and ONLY God was first proposed by Pharaoh Akenhaten and either adopted by the Hebrews, whom he seems to have protected, or re-invented by them, yet the name 'Elohim' , found in Genesis 1, is the Hebrew variant of an ancient Semitic name for one God of many-Ilu among the Assyrians and Babylonians; El among the Hittites and in the Ugaritic texts; Il, or Ilum, among the south Arabians. El headed the Phoenician pantheon and is often mentioned in Ugaritic poems (dating from the fourteenth-century BCE. )" --Hebrew Myths, by Graves and Patai.

As far as that statement goes regarding the Israelites being influenced by Akhenaten, there is little to hold or maintain that Akenhaten influenced the Israelites other then the argument presented by Sigmund Freud (in his book Moses and Monotheism) and then added on by a few scholars. That "Moses had been an Atenist priest forced to leave Egypt with his followers after Akhenaten's death. Freud argued that Akhenaten was striving to promote monotheism, something that the biblical Moses was able to achieve." That said, BEAR IN MIND AGAIN that the statement Akenhaten influenced the Israelites IS NOT a fact but speculation. That Moses succeeded would also appear to not be correct as one can see it took Josiah's reform, to have more of an impact.

But all this said, I'm not sure I understand, what "original faith" are you refering to?

I would have to disagree with this. I would say it is the ultimate title.

This appears to be an issue that there is no definitive answer for other than as the passages in the Bible convey and leave up to the mind to conjure. That there is no debate as to what the name "I Am" means is one thing. However we appear to be at an impasse on this matter of "I am" being an ultimate title.

Jesus used the priesthooods knowledge of the Canaanite gods to demonstrate his deity, which is what they had asked him about. That is why the High Priest immediately flew into a rage. He got the message immediately.

I'm very aware of what the bible portrays with all this. I just find it striking that so much of that Psalm I provided regarding Yahweh's kingship greatly reflects Baals kingship. And as was pointed out before some scholars go so far as to say the whole psalm is taken "wholesale" and just switched the names Baal to Yahweh. I wouldn't go that far but it is undeniable that the psalm is certainly influenced by Baal imagery.

I have a different take on that but it is too extensive an explanation for this thread. But you can look up the term "The Greater and the Lesser Yahweh", most of my view is explained by that term.

Okay Jor-el I had never heard of the term "Greater and Lesser Yahweh" before. And after an extensive amount of research into that term...I apologize but I must confess that I think that comment, "Greaterand Lesser Yahweh" is complete nonsense.

By John Williams:

"There is NO such thing in Scripture, where there is a Greater and Lesser "YHWH" for YHWH is singular, and is ONE. YHWH is defined in English terms for understanding, as "is-will-be-ing-was" (the Hebrew verb of being, or existence). In other words, there is the ONE Almighty YHWH, and there are the Celestial "Elohim" that were created by YHWH to do the expressed will of the ONE Almighty YHWH. The "Celestial" Elohim at times represent YHWH in designated authority, and may at times, even be referred to as "YHWH," but only as one holding, (for a designated time and/or purpose) the authority of YHWH."

"Having been designated or granted for a time, the authority of YHWH, does not make one YHWH, or a lesser? YHWH. "I am YHWH; and there is none else." Isaiah 45: 18. I suppose one could make the point, that there is "The Almighty" Elohim (with the singular Hebrew verb tense), and then there are the lesser "elohim (plural tense)," assuming that the term "elohim" as defined from the Hebrew is "mighty one(s)."

All through Scripture, YHWH always works and instructs through or by HIS Created "Elohim." HE at times kills or destroys through the Elohim. He Creates through the Elohim, and He sends Messages through the Elohim, yet the Elohim are NOT at any time YHWH. The Elohim, when referring to celestial beings, or Angel-Messengers, are created to perform the expressed will of YHWH; this includes the Elohim that are at times referred to as "satan" (the adversary Elohim). Even these "adversary" Elohim, when doing the "bad" or the "dirty jobs" always perform the will of the Almighty Father Creator YHWH. They will never devieate from YHWH's designated and expressed will."I form the light, and crate darkness: I make peace, and create physical destruction; I YHWH do all these..." Isaiah 45: 7.

Yahshua, on the other hand, is a direct son (literal seed) of David, the designated Redeemer of Israel. Born under the Power of the Spirit of YHWH, and "adopted" under Hebrew law by YHWH, then designated as "First Born" the only Begotten Son, and given the authority of the Father, through obedience to the law. This makes Yahshua the "Right Hand" of the Father, placed in the position of authority, and of full judgment, 1 Peter 3:22. It does not make Yahshua YHWH, or a lesser Yahweh. For his obedience, and his position as the second Adam, the Father Creator YHWH, gave to the Son Yahshua, the power, "to have life in Himself" John 5: 26, and the authority to give this life to others....(those believing his message), "Yah-shua" (Yah is Savior)." My link regarding Greater and Lesser Yahweh

One of the greater confusions that people seem to have, is that Israel was not monotheistic. It never promoted it, and the term existes today because people failed to interpret the bible correctly for a long time. Nor was it ever polytheistic.

..................

I actually had a behemoth of a response to all this regarding monotheism and so forth and decided it would be in better taste not to respond to that here as this wasn't what the topic was created for. That said I trust you understand I don't get off topic further by discussing such.

Since God actually appears a number of times as a male physically there is no doubt.

LMAO If there were no doubt NO ONE would ask. :P:lol:

Thank you for your time Jor-el.

SINcerely,

:devil:

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Jor-el

Greetings Jor-el.

I trust you'll understand if I pass up on responding to a few aspects of that which you have sent (ie the whole debate of monotheism, henotheism etc. appears best suited for another topic in and of itself), not that I didn't read it or pay diligence to it, but am trying to keep on topic. That said thank you for your reply.

Hi DS,

Allright we can leave that issue for another time, I have no problems with that, thus we can stick to the OP topic. I'll only comment on those aspects we do have some disagreement on if you don't mind, that way we won't rehash what we agree with.

It would appear, the general consensus that the word meleket 'host' was used in the Masoretic texts in each instance where the word "queen of' should have been used. John Day suggests that this was an "apologetic alteration to avoid the suggestion that the people of Judah worshipped the 'Queen of Heaven.'"

I would say it is simply a situation that came about with the passage of time, some words were misspelled by later copyists of the text, not because they intentionally did so but because they did not know the meaning of the word. Since hebrew had no vowels and only consonants were used to write a word, many words had to be deciphered, so some words ended up with the wrong vowels, which changed their meaning. In my view they were not done on purpose but because the copyist was an ignoramous.

After looking further into this matter of the Queen of Heaven, while I was inclined to believed it was Anat, I am now inclined to believe that Astarte is the one referred to in the Bible as "Queen of Heaven."

That is a possibility. If it were clear, it would have been unravelled long ago. What is absolutely clear, is that Jeremiah denounced this practice held by many Israelites, as idolatry. And it was clearly never accepted within the central jewish beliefs of the time. In most cases it would be a practice held by those who were not informed of Israelite beliefs.

I would again draw a parallel to todays equivalent, of the Marian worship held in Fatima and other places, that clearly supercedes the belief in christ. No mattter how the Roman Catholic Church tries to teach the people, they persist in the practice due to ingrained tradition.

Thank you for sharing this clip. :) I quite enjoyed it. This is where I am at a disagreement though. The Israelites it would seem, before the emergance of Yahweh, were very much in synch with their Canaanite neighbors. So how were the biblical writers restoring the "original faith" of the one true God if they hadn't recieved the name yet from Moses?

"Though the revolutionary concept of an eternal, absolute, and omnipotent and ONLY God was first proposed by Pharaoh Akenhaten and either adopted by the Hebrews, whom he seems to have protected, or re-invented by them, yet the name 'Elohim' , found in Genesis 1, is the Hebrew variant of an ancient Semitic name for one God of many-Ilu among the Assyrians and Babylonians; El among the Hittites and in the Ugaritic texts; Il, or Ilum, among the south Arabians. El headed the Phoenician pantheon and is often mentioned in Ugaritic poems (dating from the fourteenth-century BCE. )" --Hebrew Myths, by Graves and Patai.

As far as that statement goes regarding the Israelites being influenced by Akhenaten, there is little to hold or maintain that Akenhaten influenced the Israelites other then the argument presented by Sigmund Freud (in his book Moses and Monotheism) and then added on by a few scholars. That "Moses had been an Atenist priest forced to leave Egypt with his followers after Akhenaten's death. Freud argued that Akhenaten was striving to promote monotheism, something that the biblical Moses was able to achieve." That said, BEAR IN MIND AGAIN that the statement Akenhaten influenced the Israelites IS NOT a fact but speculation. That Moses succeeded would also appear to not be correct as one can see it took Josiah's reform, to have more of an impact.

But all this said, I'm not sure I understand, what "original faith" are you refering to?

THe original faith as we understand the concept is that which is demonstrated in the Old Terstament view of God and revealed through Moses in the bible. It is on that concept that everything stands. It is also a concept that was not accepted by that generation, which died in the desert and by later generations in the land of Israel. They persisted in following the common cosmology which the bible so blatantly rejects.

Josiahs reform was exactly that, it was a turning back to the foundations of the faith as it was understood by him and the priesthood. It was a rejection once again of the common cosmology and mythology that dominated the Near Middle East. That would have included such things as the faith in a Queen of Heaven, consort to Yahweh.

This appears to be an issue that there is no definitive answer for other than as the passages in the Bible convey and leave up to the mind to conjure. That there is no debate as to what the name "I Am" means is one thing. However we appear to be at an impasse on this matter of "I am" being an ultimate title.

It is the one that stuck because it implies supremacy in all areas of existence.

I'm very aware of what the bible portrays with all this. I just find it striking that so much of that Psalm I provided regarding Yahweh's kingship greatly reflects Baals kingship. And as was pointed out before some scholars go so far as to say the whole psalm is taken "wholesale" and just switched the names Baal to Yahweh. I wouldn't go that far but it is undeniable that the psalm is certainly influenced by Baal imagery.

Of course it is influenced, but not as an acceptance. It is rather a usage of the imagery to suite their own purposes and to demonstrate the difference of their beliefs. They rejected Baal but did not reject the concept of a Regent.

Baal is the regent, who rules in the place of El, El having retired from the scene, gives preeminance to Baal as the Regent of the heavenly Council.

The bible states, that the Canaanites are dimwits, since the Regent is none other than Yahweh. Thus Yahweh is the Father, and Yahweh is the Regent as well. Simply put, the ancient Israelites believed in a form of Binatarianism. Thus the Greater and Lesser Yahweh.

Okay Jor-el I had never heard of the term "Greater and Lesser Yahweh" before. And after an extensive amount of research into that term...I apologize but I must confess that I think that comment, "Greaterand Lesser Yahweh" is complete nonsense.

By John Williams:

"There is NO such thing in Scripture, where there is a Greater and Lesser "YHWH" for YHWH is singular, and is ONE. YHWH is defined in English terms for understanding, as "is-will-be-ing-was" (the Hebrew verb of being, or existence). In other words, there is the ONE Almighty YHWH, and there are the Celestial "Elohim" that were created by YHWH to do the expressed will of the ONE Almighty YHWH. The "Celestial" Elohim at times represent YHWH in designated authority, and may at times, even be referred to as "YHWH," but only as one holding, (for a designated time and/or purpose) the authority of YHWH."

"Having been designated or granted for a time, the authority of YHWH, does not make one YHWH, or a lesser? YHWH. "I am YHWH; and there is none else." Isaiah 45: 18. I suppose one could make the point, that there is "The Almighty" Elohim (with the singular Hebrew verb tense), and then there are the lesser "elohim (plural tense)," assuming that the term "elohim" as defined from the Hebrew is "mighty one(s)."

All through Scripture, YHWH always works and instructs through or by HIS Created "Elohim." HE at times kills or destroys through the Elohim. He Creates through the Elohim, and He sends Messages through the Elohim, yet the Elohim are NOT at any time YHWH. The Elohim, when referring to celestial beings, or Angel-Messengers, are created to perform the expressed will of YHWH; this includes the Elohim that are at times referred to as "satan" (the adversary Elohim). Even these "adversary" Elohim, when doing the "bad" or the "dirty jobs" always perform the will of the Almighty Father Creator YHWH. They will never devieate from YHWH's designated and expressed will."I form the light, and crate darkness: I make peace, and create physical destruction; I YHWH do all these..." Isaiah 45: 7.

Yahshua, on the other hand, is a direct son (literal seed) of David, the designated Redeemer of Israel. Born under the Power of the Spirit of YHWH, and "adopted" under Hebrew law by YHWH, then designated as "First Born" the only Begotten Son, and given the authority of the Father, through obedience to the law. This makes Yahshua the "Right Hand" of the Father, placed in the position of authority, and of full judgment, 1 Peter 3:22. It does not make Yahshua YHWH, or a lesser Yahweh. For his obedience, and his position as the second Adam, the Father Creator YHWH, gave to the Son Yahshua, the power, "to have life in Himself" John 5: 26, and the authority to give this life to others....(those believing his message), "Yah-shua" (Yah is Savior)." My link regarding Greater and Lesser Yahweh

Ok Since you asked for it... I hope you don't get bored. ^_^

The study of ancient Ugaritic texts found in the Ruins of Ugarit, which was the precursor of various civilizations that neighboured Israel give us some very important insightd to how Jesus saw himself.

The Ugaritic people later called themselves Canaanites (Phoenicains) and among them we have the Philistines as well, which adopted Canaanite beliefs.

They had a common belief system in a pantheon of Gods and if we look carefully, we will find amazing parallels between the early Israelite Religion and the surrounding civilizations of that time.

The following is a short list of the most common names of this religion....

El - (also called Latipan) He is known as the Father of the gods, 'the father of mankind', the 'Bull', and 'the creator of creatures'. He is grey haired and bearded and lives at Mt. Lel. He is a heavy drinker and has gotten extremly drunk at his banquets.

Athirat - (Asherah, Ashtartian - 'the Lady of the Sea', Elat - 'the goddess') El's loving consort and is protective of her seventy children who may also be known as the gracious gods, to whom she is both mother and nursemaid. Her sons, unlike Baal initially, all have godly courts.

Anat - (Anath, Rahmay - 'the merciful') She Baal's sister and the daughter of El. Goddess of war, the hunt, and savagery. She is an archer. Virgin, sister-in-law (progenitor?) of peoples (Li'mites'?). She and Athirat are nursemaids to the gracious gods.

Baal - (also called Baal-Zephon(Saphon), Hadad, Pidar and Rapiu (Rapha?) - 'the shade')

The son of El, the god of fertility, 'rider of the clouds', and god of lightning and thunder. He is 'the Prince, the lord of earth', 'the mightiest of warriors', 'lord of the sky and the earth' (Alalakh). He has a palace on Mt. Zephon. He has a feud with Yam. His voice is thunder, his ship is a snow bearing cloud. He is known as Rapiu during his summer stay in the underworld.

Yam - (Nahar, Yaw, Lotan?, Leviathan?)

He is god of sea and rivers, he dwells in a palace under the sea. He carries a feud with Baal. He may have had in his following a dragon (tnn) which lives in the sea, a serpent (btn), and/or Lotan/Leviathan, or may have been all of those creatures.

Mot - (-and-Shar) 'Death and Prince/Dissolution/Evil', 'the beloved one'- Mot is the god of sterility, death, and the underworld. In one hand he holds the scepter of bereavement, and in the other the scepter of widowhood. His jaws and throat are described in cosmic proportions and serve as a euphemism for death.

These are the main characters in the story of Baal also called the Baal Cycle.

El saw a young woman (Athirat) and a friend of hers and fell in love... They became his wives and fathered 70 lesser Gods which are known as the sons of El.

One of these one of these sons of God (El) called Baal is quite ambitious and since El is getting old and wants to retire, he convinces his sister and mother to help him become the next Chief of the gods and sit on Els throne.

El refuses Baals and Athirats request and El chooses the sea god Yam to reign as king of the gods. Yam rules harshly, and the other deities cry out to Athirat, for help. Athirat offers herself as a sacrifice if Yam will ease his grip on her children. He agrees, but Baal opposes such a scheme and boldly declares he will defeat Yam even though El declares that Baal must subject himself to Yam.

With the aid of magical weapons given to him by the divine craftsman Kothar-wa-Khasis, Baal defeats Yam and is declared victorious.

However, the god of the underworld, Mot, soon lures Baal to his death, spelling ruin for the land. Baal's sister/wife Anat (Astarte) retrieves his body and begs Mot to revive him. When her pleas are refused, Anat assaults Mot, ripping him to pieces and scattering his remains like fertilizer over the fields.

El, in the meantime, has had a dream in which fertility returned to the land, suggesting that Baal was not indeed dead. Eventually Baal is restored. However, Mot too has revived and mounts a new attack against Baal. After this titanic battle, neither side has completely prevailed. Knowing that the other gods now support Baal and fearing El's wrath, Mot finally bows before Baal, leaving Baal in possession of the land and the undisputed regent of the gods.

The story represents the essence of the antagonism between Israel and its neighbours and if we look closely we see that much of the imagery is the same although the character portrayed by the imagery is different.

This served a dual purpose for the prophets of Israel...

1st they are telling the Canaanites that they got the story wrong... You dimwits, this is how it is... El (Yahweh) cannot get old, he does not retire but he does have a regent, which is also called Yahweh, God is the regent and the ruler at the same time... Thus we have the Greater Yahweh and the Lesser Yahweh.

The 2nd is the seperation of Yahwehs people from the rest of humanity as Gods chosen people.

Now for the point I'm trying to make... Baal is a God, he is a son of God, he was never human.... no mere human can be the regent of God he also has to be his son and to be the lesser Yahweh, he has to share the qualities of the greater as well, he has to be uncreated as The greater also is...

Jesus is the only one who qualifies... and that is why he used the words that identified him as the 2nd power in heaven to the High Priest...

Matthew 26:63-66

63 But Jesus kept silent And the high priest said to Him, "I adjure You by the living God, that You tell us whether You are the Messiah, the Son of God."

64 Jesus said to him, "You have said it yourself; nevertheless I tell you, hereafter you will see THE SON OF MAN SITTING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF POWER, and COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN."

65 Then the high priest tore his robes and said, "He has blasphemed! What further need do we have of witnesses? Behold, you have now heard the blasphemy;

66 what do you think?" They answered, "He deserves death!"

Isn't it interesting that Jesus always prefered the mantle of "Son of man" to that of "Son of God", he used that expression of himself all the time... now we know why...

The expression, "Cloud Rider" was uniquely given to Baal himself and may be found in the Bible as well, In the Old and the New Testaments. Jesus as much as gives himself this title, which enraged the Priests, who called it Blasphemy. Now why would they do that?

Because of the belief that the Priests themselves shared that there were actually two clear "Powers in Heaven". The Greater and the Lesser Yahweh, both equal in all things. Just as Baal himself became Reigning Regent but did not actually replace El as the Lord of Heaven.

Oh by the way, the bible actually mentions the Greater and the Lesser Yahweh in the same breath, so to speak.

If you want to read a little on the above see: HERE.

Below I provide an interesting article on the Greater and the Lesser Yahweh.

Greater and the Lesser Yahweh Part 1

Greater and the Lesser Yahweh Part 2

Finally I can't end this without mentioning Mike Heiser, who has taught me so much in this regard, so if you want to really learn about the Two Powers in Heaven, or the Greater and Lesser Yahweh, this is your chance to hear what he has to say.

Ask and you shall recieve... :tu:

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Yogigizmo

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.

Hey PA, sorry it took so long to answer you. I have excuses, but everyone does. Anyway, I remembered where that came from, Yale released a series of videos for an Open University course, featuring content which discussed the similarities of “God” (Yahweh) to EL (the Canaanite creator deity). Noting, Are Yahweh and El Distinct Deities? Dr. Michael S. Heiser. This is not Michael Heiser’s personal view (he is an evangelical Christian), he is simply describing the “consensus view” of his peers

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Jor-el

Hey PA, sorry it took so long to answer you. I have excuses, but everyone does. Anyway, I remembered where that came from, Yale released a series of videos for an Open University course, featuring content which discussed the similarities of “God” (Yahweh) to EL (the Canaanite creator deity). Noting, Are Yahweh and El Distinct Deities? Dr. Michael S. Heiser. This is not Michael Heiser’s personal view (he is an evangelical Christian), he is simply describing the “consensus view” of his peers

Hi Yogigizmo,

Could you elaborate on the above regarding Michael Heiser? I don't exactly understand what you are trying to state here. I'm very familiar with his work and my video in my post to DS is with him, explaining part of his view, so what exactly do you think he is stating in the article you mentioned?

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Paranoid Android

admittedly that is my opinion, but that I believe can be provided with sustenance.

Fair enough. I remember saying the same thing myself earlier in this thread :)

Let us consider some evidence to convey my point further on as I have brought up El's dwelling and on a mountain and age and such...

On to Daniel and the term 'Ancient of Days.' The term itself appears to be quite similar to the Canaanite term for El, 'Father of Years.'

I was just looking into this further, and it appears that several people dispute the translation of El as "Father of Years". See SOURCE for quote, but the point of interest is as follows:

The Ugartic expression ’b snm (in the phrase prs mlk ‘b snm), translated “father of years,” has also been cited as a parallel. This interpretation is disputed, however; Pope translates it “father of the eldest” and views it as expressing the great age (and concomitant debility) of El. According to Gordon and Jirku, ’b snm means “father of [the god] Snm.” Aisteleitner interprets snm as “the name of El’s exalted heavenly dwelling place,” translating qrs mlk ‘b snm as “the domain of the king and father, the snm”.

*Note - "Pope" mentioned here is the last name of the scholar in question, not a reference to the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church*

What is further interesting is as I noted before in the majority of these passages such as that of Psalm 102.25(24ET*) appears to be the only place in the psalm where God is not addressed as Yahweh but as, "my El." "Oh my God (eli)...thou whose years endure throughout all generations!" That appears to be the ONLY passage that refers to El and not addressed to or as Yahweh (cf. vv. ET* 1, 12, 15, 16, 18, 19, 21, 22). Is the passage alternating between Yahweh and El? Or is this an attempt to equate Yahweh with El?

:unsure:

I would say El is a less formal reference to God. I cannot really say why the author of the Psalm used it this way, though attempting to equate Yahweh and El would not be my first conclusion.

Let us examine further my statement regarding El's dwelling, not just Canaanite texts but the Bible itself.

Isaiah 14.13 appears to refer to a divine assembly held on a sacred mountain. In Ugaritic texts El's assembly indeed did meet on a mountain. Isa. 14.13 again makes that reference to sitting on the "mount of assembly" (har mo'ed). In Ezekial the name God (El) is used in 28.2 and 9. In Ezekial 10.5 we see the name El-Shaddai ('El-the mountain one'). Ezekial 28.2-"I sit in the seat of God in the heart of the seas." This is suggestive of Canaanite El who dwelled at 'the source of the rivers, in the midst of the double deep.'

Further it shows that in all likeliness Gen. 2.10-14 is then connected as it's the garden of God at the source of the rivers (Gen.2-3 appears to place the garden of God/Eden precisely where Canaanite myth located El's dwelling.) This would appear to be Armenia (that in Ezekial 28.14, 16, Eden is set on a mountain also aids Armenia and a mountain rather then the Persian Gulf as some have suggested).

On a side note: Interestingly enough Noah's Ark landed on Ararat (one of the mountains of Armenia).

First I would suggest that an assembly on a sacred mountain (such as Isaiah) is a far cry from God's "dwelling place" being on a mountain. I don't have the energy right now to search for verses but the Hebrew Bible is filled with examples where God's dwelling place is first found at the Ark of the Covenant, then at the Temple in Jerusalem. Then in Post-Jesus times the reference to God's dwelling place being in our hearts.

The second point you raise about Ezekiel the imagery seems to be implying how the King of Tyre has fallen and is laid low. The imagery of casting someone down from somewhere makes sense to put the setting on a mountain. At one point they were on a mountain and now they are "lower". This is consistent with the imagery of God as being in the heavens - the Babel story is an obvious example of this.

While I see the point you are raising I don't actually think it can be seen as a reference to God's "dwelling place".

A genuine question-who is the king in the following passage? In Ps. 48.3 [ET2], we learn that Jerusalem is "beautiful in elevation, is the joy of all the earth, Mount Zion, in the far north, is the city of the great king." That in Isaiah 14.12-15, the shining one attempts to ascend above the clouds and stars and sit on the mount of assembly appears to make reference to the sons of El (assembly on a mountain). Thus further possibility as to El dwelling on a mountain.

Thank you PA. I had a hard time getting the link to work but appreciate that you sent it nonetheless.

SINcerely,

:devil:

I admit to not having looked extensively at this passage. I'm pretty tired and am about to head to bed. But based on my current reading and research I'm trying to sift out whether the King is Yahweh, or whether it is Baal. Regardless of which it is (and as I said, I'm pretty tired so don't quote me as to which is which) the resolution seems to be that "God" is the highest. So if it is Baal then however high Baal is, then God is higher. If it is God, then the peak is where God is at.

Sorry, I'll look into this question later. I've spent most of my time looking at the other questions you raised and now find myself quite burned out after seeing the clock on my computer. Whichever the case, though, the point I seem to get is that God is highest.

Best wishes,

~ PA

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Dying Seraph

Fair enough. I remember saying the same thing myself earlier in this thread :)

That you did. :tu:

I was just looking into this further, and it appears that several people dispute the translation of El as "Father of Years". See SOURCE for quote, but the point of interest is as follows:

The Ugartic expression b snm (in the phrase prs mlk b snm), translated father of years, has also been cited as a parallel. This interpretation is disputed, however; Pope translates it father of the eldest and views it as expressing the great age (and concomitant debility) of El. According to Gordon and Jirku, b snm means father of [the god] Snm. Aisteleitner interprets snm as the name of Els exalted heavenly dwelling place, translating qrs mlk b snm as the domain of the king and father, the snm.

*Note - "Pope" mentioned here is the last name of the scholar in question, not a reference to the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church*

My sole reason for providing 'Father of Years' was because it appeared to be the general consensus. But I'll go you further. ;)

Regarding 'Father of Years'-- "This is now the standard rendering, first suggested by C. Virolleaud, it has been accepted by manmy scholars, including Cassuto, Emerton, Hvidberg, Cross, and Caquot. It fully coheres with the referrence to El's Grey hair. That snm* as well as snt* should mean 'years' in Ugaritic agrees with the fact that Hebrew has a plural construct form senot* (besides sene*) as well asw* the absolute plural form sanim* (cf. variant Ugaritic plural forms r'asm*, r'ast*, and r,ist* from r'is 'head'). None of the various alternative proposals is compelling. Thus, O. Eissfeldt, El im ugaritischen Pantheon, translated 'ab snm* as 'father of mortals', connecting snm* with Hebrew sana* 'to change', Syriac sena* 'to depart', but the Ugaritic equivalent has a t not s, ie tn(y). M. H. Pope in El and the Ugaritic Texts translated 'Father of Exalted Ones', comparing ARABIC snw, sny, 'shine, be exalted, eminent' or samina 'be tall, prominent.' BUT it is NOT CERTAIN that this root is otherwise attested in Ugaritic. U. Oldenburg, The Conflict between El and Ba'al in Canaanite Religion, renders 'Father of Luminaries,' BUT that epithet is found elsewhere ONLY in the New Testament." ----John Day

Others have followed Oldenburg like J. Aistleitner also appealed to the same basic root in comparing Arabic sanam* 'elevation' but I digress...

"Finally various scholars have seen in snm* the name of a god. S and S Rin, 'alilot ha'elim*, consider snm* as a variant of slm* (Shalem), But there is NO evidence elsewhere of this variant spelling of that divine name in Ugaritic...."---once again John Day. He mentions other renderings submitted but again I presented 'Father of Years' as it was the most conceded or accepted as a proper rendering.

NOTE* is here presented because I cannot translate these words as they are written as I have yet to find a proper place to download and translate the ancient words to put up here. So whilt the letters themselves are present in the words, lines, or dashes above or below letters are missing.

First I would suggest that an assembly on a sacred mountain (such as Isaiah) is a far cry from God's "dwelling place" being on a mountain. I don't have the energy right now to search for verses but the Hebrew Bible is filled with examples where God's dwelling place is first found at the Ark of the Covenant, then at the Temple in Jerusalem. Then in Post-Jesus times the reference to God's dwelling place being in our hearts.

I would agree if we are ONLY going by the Bible. ;) However in seeing Ugaritic texts and the "sons of El" and the biblical passages, while the Bible makes no direct mention of a mountain as a DWELLING, the parralels are at least to me undeniable. The fact that the ancients very much beleived Paradise to have been on a mountainous region (again suggests Armenia). WHile you and I today and Christians accept heaven beign within and all around us (as gnostic texts portray) or up in heaven or a firmament, or of something spiritual in nature, the fact remains the ancients very much believed paradise and the dwelling of God to be on earth. As Baals dwelling was on Mt. Zaphon and since Yahweh has incorporated a ton of Baal appropriations and imagery, and with Baal not just as a generic term (thanks to these direct parallels with Ugaritic Gods), the case can be made again that if they are equated then a mountainous dwelling is feasible.

As far as not having the energy...the post isn't going anywhere. lol Your well being is more important than a post. ;)

The second point you raise about Ezekiel the imagery seems to be implying how the King of Tyre has fallen and is laid low. The imagery of casting someone down from somewhere makes sense to put the setting on a mountain. At one point they were on a mountain and now they are "lower". This is consistent with the imagery of God as being in the heavens - the Babel story is an obvious example of this.

It would convey to me that the concept of God dwelling on a mountain was accepted and that the author new this and used it for his story to talk of the hubris of an individual aiming to be in the highest dwelling and being cast to the lowest low.

While I see the point you are raising I don't actually think it can be seen as a reference to God's "dwelling place".

Fair enough. :) However there remains the phrase or name 'El-Shaddai'

I admit to not having looked extensively at this passage. I'm pretty tired and am about to head to bed. But based on my current reading and research I'm trying to sift out whether the King is Yahweh, or whether it is Baal. Regardless of which it is (and as I said, I'm pretty tired so don't quote me as to which is which) the resolution seems to be that "God" is the highest. So if it is Baal then however high Baal is, then God is higher. If it is God, then the peak is where God is at.

Since the story originally appears in referrence to Baal and then later used for Yahweh when he came about or his "divine" name became revealed you are right by saying either or. What appears to me is that the Yahweh party is merely attemtping to take bits and pieces of these other Gods El, Baal, etc. and incorporate them into Yahweh to make him this super deity. Eight Bits exlained it so much more eloquently early on in this topic but I am inclined to agree with his sentiments on this matter.

Sorry, I'll look into this question later. I've spent most of my time looking at the other questions you raised and now find myself quite burned out after seeing the clock on my computer. Whichever the case, though, the point I seem to get is that God is highest.

Best wishes,

~ PA

No apologies necessary. Everyone's time is and has been appreciated. Be well and take care.

SINcerely,

:devil:

EDIT: Spelling among adding more of *.

Edited by Dying Seraph

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eight bits

DS

Not to throw a spanner in the works, but I'd like to record a different perspective about the masculine "Ancient of Days."

I begin from the premise that Daniel is late, Second Century BCE, which would place it long past any direct influence from the ancient religion of the neighbors. The seventh chapter plainly identifies itself as a dream narrative (or possibly a waking-in-bed vision).

If so, then the Ancient of Days is likely to be an instance of the Wise Old Man archetype. The Wise Old Man isn't typically a god.

He is a "knowledge worker." A judge is fine, as is an initiator of humans. He might easily be mistaken for a god, but he is more teacher than ruler.

Western European people see their capital-G God in Blake's "Ancient of Days," but the gentleman with the compass is actually Blake's own protean Urizen. Many Eastern Orthodox interestingly see the Ancient of Days as Jesus, and there is iconography of "Old Man Jesus" based on Daniel 7. This reflects both Jesus' mythological role as ultimate judge, but also the initiatory and facilitating role that Jesus plays in Orthodox anthropology, and of course, the Gospel Jesus being the consummate teacher throughout, steeped in his people's literature.

There is a second mythical "old man" motif: the yielding of the old king (or god) to his young successor king. Lol, this is Golden Bough territory. But it isn't the Wise Old Man, it is the old giving way completely to the new. I think you will find that in the neighbors' mythology, but you'll also find it in the Greek myths that may be more immediately an influence of Daniel.

There is some intersection between the Wise Old Man and the Dying King, in that a role is transmitted forward. However, it is two different thoughts. The Wise Old Man isn't a former king, and doesn't die in order to pass the role along. The Wise Old Man calls the initiate to remember something from the past - no mystery, then, that he would do a star turn in an apocryphal work like Daniel.

The bottom line isn't that I have a problem with your overall theory of Yahweh and El, but rather that I think that simply isn't what Daniel is about. Daniel is the product of a Judaism that is much weathered, and centuries past its adoption of Yahweh as the distinctly Jewish national deity. If anything, a late Yahweh is being retrojected back onto Hebrew history and prehistory, but not as the masculine Ancient of Days, who just isn't a god, whether Jewish, Canaanite, Greek or otherwise.

Other views are possible, of course.

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eight bits

My apologies

in an apocryphal work

Obviously, apocalyptic, not apocryphal. 'Twas early in the morning for me. Sorry.

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Jor-el

DS

Not to throw a spanner in the works, but I'd like to record a different perspective about the masculine "Ancient of Days."

I begin from the premise that Daniel is late, Second Century BCE, which would place it long past any direct influence from the ancient religion of the neighbors. The seventh chapter plainly identifies itself as a dream narrative (or possibly a waking-in-bed vision).

If so, then the Ancient of Days is likely to be an instance of the Wise Old Man archetype. The Wise Old Man isn't typically a god.

He is a "knowledge worker." A judge is fine, as is an initiator of humans. He might easily be mistaken for a god, but he is more teacher than ruler.

Western European people see their capital-G God in Blake's "Ancient of Days," but the gentleman with the compass is actually Blake's own protean Urizen. Many Eastern Orthodox interestingly see the Ancient of Days as Jesus, and there is iconography of "Old Man Jesus" based on Daniel 7. This reflects both Jesus' mythological role as ultimate judge, but also the initiatory and facilitating role that Jesus plays in Orthodox anthropology, and of course, the Gospel Jesus being the consummate teacher throughout, steeped in his people's literature.

There is a second mythical "old man" motif: the yielding of the old king (or god) to his young successor king. Lol, this is Golden Bough territory. But it isn't the Wise Old Man, it is the old giving way completely to the new. I think you will find that in the neighbors' mythology, but you'll also find it in the Greek myths that may be more immediately an influence of Daniel.

There is some intersection between the Wise Old Man and the Dying King, in that a role is transmitted forward. However, it is two different thoughts. The Wise Old Man isn't a former king, and doesn't die in order to pass the role along. The Wise Old Man calls the initiate to remember something from the past - no mystery, then, that he would do a star turn in an apocryphal work like Daniel.

The bottom line isn't that I have a problem with your overall theory of Yahweh and El, but rather that I think that simply isn't what Daniel is about. Daniel is the product of a Judaism that is much weathered, and centuries past its adoption of Yahweh as the distinctly Jewish national deity. If anything, a late Yahweh is being retrojected back onto Hebrew history and prehistory, but not as the masculine Ancient of Days, who just isn't a god, whether Jewish, Canaanite, Greek or otherwise.

Other views are possible, of course.

Just a question, do you really think that the Jews of the 2nd Temple period and before, ever saw and interpreted Daniel in the same way you have just done?

I for one do not believe so, all the evidence available demonstrates that they saw the Ancient of Days as God Yahweh himself, and all of them have also seen the man who comes up to the ancient of days as the future Messiah of Israel...

That said, would you be so kind as to give us a source for this view?

On the subject of the Book of Daniel, there are a number of theories, the idea that it is a late 2nd Century B.C. work is just one of them. There is as much evidence against this view as for it.

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Dying Seraph

DS

Not to throw a spanner in the works, but I'd like to record a different perspective about the masculine "Ancient of Days."

I begin from the premise that Daniel is late, Second Century BCE, which would place it long past any direct influence from the ancient religion of the neighbors. The seventh chapter plainly identifies itself as a dream narrative (or possibly a waking-in-bed vision).

:) Nothing is set in stone, so please throw as many spanners as you wish.

I agree with you. However a believer in prophecy would disagree. IMO there are/have been a few complications with trying to date (let alone a few inaccuracies in the book/texts itself) the Book of Daniel so I tend to ignore that aspect admittedly try and focus on the passages in Daniel and let those more qualified to date it.

That said the date naturalists tend to preffer is 185-165 BCE correct? That would certainly put it long past any direct influence from a neighboring region. Since Jerusalem in northern region of Judah was a buffer zone or rime region for trade routes, I felt it easy to absord or embrace other beleif systems. Hence while even if not directly influenced, the tale/s of Daniel through oral tradition picked up a few things along the way. In fact along the way many other tales got tacked onto Daniel (ie. Bel and the Dragon among two others preserved in the Septuagint). My impression is that while Daniel was written or may have been written say 185-165 BCE, I do beleive that the narrative and stories in the book are much older.

That chapters 7-12 are "prophetic" or as you put it "dream narrative" in nature I do not deny.

If so, then the Ancient of Days is likely to be an instance of the Wise Old Man archetype. The Wise Old Man isn't typically a god.

He is a "knowledge worker." A judge is fine, as is an initiator of humans. He might easily be mistaken for a god, but he is more teacher than ruler.

It's feasible. The term itself and the rest of that verse for that matter, not just referring to 'Father of Years' but also to the white hair may simply be a archetype and may not be in reference to a God. What your presenting IMO suits the Canaanite thought regarding El. More of a teacher and a wholly benevolent patient, instructor of sorts (although El appears to indeed be seen as a God as well as Father, was this the case with the Israelites?).

As it stands the passage is ominous enough to possibly not refer to God. However I am inclined to beleive it is. And that these associations of Age and hair are an attempt to convey wisdom for certain. But the term itself 'Ancient One' of 'Ancient of Day' IMO is loose enough to allude to El as referred to in Canaanite literature as "Father of Year" and with his grey hair...I am led to believe the author may have been aware that these were references to God. That he didn't just sit on a throne but a fiery throne, and with millions of angels minsistering I am inclined to believe thus the passage is in refference to an aged God not just a being.

But I could very well be wrong about everything.

Western European people see their capital-G God in Blake's "Ancient of Days," but the gentleman with the compass is actually Blake's own protean Urizen. Many Eastern Orthodox interestingly see the Ancient of Days as Jesus, and there is iconography of "Old Man Jesus" based on Daniel 7. This reflects both Jesus' mythological role as ultimate judge, but also the initiatory and facilitating role that Jesus plays in Orthodox anthropology, and of course, the Gospel Jesus being the consummate teacher throughout, steeped in his people's literature.

I think this would go toward those that accept prophecy isn't it? That the passage is written before Christ and to attempt to associate Jesus or reflect Jesus would thus convey prophecy would it not? As it stands admittedly I am not sure whether I accept prophecy as a possibilty.

You could be right that it may be referring to Jesus, or it coule be reflections of El and his Divine assembly.

Perhaps you know, just how popular was the notion of Jesus as savior before he was born? Why only accounts written after his death as a divine savior, judge, etc.?

There is a second mythical "old man" motif: the yielding of the old king (or god) to his young successor king. Lol, this is Golden Bough territory. But it isn't the Wise Old Man, it is the old giving way completely to the new. I think you will find that in the neighbors' mythology, but you'll also find it in the Greek myths that may be more immediately an influence of Daniel.

There is some intersection between the Wise Old Man and the Dying King, in that a role is transmitted forward. However, it is two different thoughts. The Wise Old Man isn't a former king, and doesn't die in order to pass the role along. The Wise Old Man calls the initiate to remember something from the past - no mystery, then, that he would do a star turn in an apocryphal work like Daniel.

This was also done with Baal ascending the throne of and replacing the older El is it not? The old 'Ancient of Days' stepping aside so to speak for 'Prince Ba'al' to take over. You may be correct as far as the Greeks playng a more prominent role of influence however there are several possibilities. Some scholars have suggested Persian influence simply because of some of the words found in Daniel.

The bottom line isn't that I have a problem with your overall theory of Yahweh and El, but rather that I think that simply isn't what Daniel is about. Daniel is the product of a Judaism that is much weathered, and centuries past its adoption of Yahweh as the distinctly Jewish national deity. If anything, a late Yahweh is being retrojected back onto Hebrew history and prehistory, but not as the masculine Ancient of Days, who just isn't a god, whether Jewish, Canaanite, Greek or otherwise.

There is no doubting that if one accepts the date of 185-165 BC that it is most definitely long after it's adoption of Yahweh. However some date the Book of Daniel earlier the earlier I've seen it 7 century BC. Whether one accepts prophecy or not or what date or the other, I cannot help but fathom and speculate that just as the majority of literature in the Bible, the thoughts were well known and orated long before being accepted as the written word in the Bible. So even if Daniel was written in 165 BCE I am inclined to believe orally, the tale or those compiled in it are older. As far as the prophetic passages, Daniel 7-12 (I beleive it is up to 12 that's prophetic) I truly do not know what to make of dating it. As I said before I leave that to those more qualified. I just try and formulate thoughts based on the evidence I have.

In regards to considering the term 'Ancient of Day's' a masculine term, I can only surmise you are objecting to my equating Yahweh to El and thus the title's to one another? It may not be. IMO the term 'Father of Years' (not in dialect but in title) which is El's title and the mention of El's garments and hair color directly coinciding with that of the 'Ancient of Day's who's hair is also mentioned. However Zeus is very well feasible as the influence for the title as well as garments and hair being white as opposed to grey such as El.

Other views are possible, of course.

What? You mean either of us could be wrong about something let alone it all? :P:lol:

Thank you for the insight Eight Bits. :yes:

SINcerely,

:devil:

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eight bits

Jor-el

I suspect that Yahweh had been differentiated from El before the Second Temple went up. This limits my concern with how late Second Temple Jews might have viewed their Daniel, insofar as the topic of this thread is being discussed.

As usual with my posts, anything that isn't sourced specifcially uses readily searchable terms, and like all posts by everyone, what I say in my posts is my view.

DS

Masculine

I was just linking the two terms, our "Wise Old Man" and their "Ancient (man) of Days." (There is another archetype, Wise Old Woman...).

Dating and such.

It's interesting that the dating to early-mid Second Century BCE accords with several thoughts, and isn't necessarily a "naturalistic" issue. It is certainly possible for someone who believes in prophecy to believe that a given work is a novella about a prophet. Similarly, someone who believed in the "God breathed" quality of the canon might believe that God inspired apocalyptic material for the comfort it gave its first readers.

The point of dating would not be to claim that Daniel didn't have influential antecedents, but rather that the later Daniel is, the harder it is to identify any specific antecedent for any element it shares with several mythological systems. Personally, I think it comes too late to shed light on the very specific emergence of a distinctive Hebrew Yahweh from the neighbors' El.

When I say "comes too late," I mean to conjecture that it was composed in more or less the form we have it, written for then-living readers with a specific purpose in mind. It is not, in my view, like the Odyssey, something finally written down after a long career as an oral work, featuring characters from other tales. The writer of Daniel had read the Hebrew Bible, of course, but would have no personal knowledge of any of the developments in question here.

Other matters arising

That chapters 7-12 are "prophetic" or as you put it "dream narrative" in nature I do not deny

I just meant that the text places the narrator in bed for this vision. Where our "Chapter 8" begins is a new episode in the text, another vision, with no mention of the narrator being in bed.

What your presenting IMO suits the Canaanite thought regarding El. More of a teacher and a wholly benevolent patient, instructor of sorts

Somebody's idea of King, God or Self could be, at core, a Wise Old Man, around which other ideas about power, wealth and responsibility become attached to form a "complex." Many living people retroject pretty much that onto the historical person Marcus Aurelius, for example.

As that example shows, though, it would be very difficult to link one act of "archetypal (al)chemistry" with another at a different time and place. The archetypes were available to all, everywhere and always, as were the "template biographies" of kings and gods.

A "grown up" god might be a very attractive idea, just as a "Philosopher Emperor" makes Marcus-of-the-imagination attractive. But Silicon Age readers reinventing an Iron Age strongman would have nothing specific to do with a Bronze Age people imagining one of their gods that way, beyond the same psychological dynamics.

with millions of angels minsistering

The text doesn't say angels. Just myriads. Compare Walt Whitman's parenthetical remark, in his account of his vision of the individuated Self (Song of Myself 51):

"I am large. I contain multitudes."

Look also at the West's premier Wise Old Man, Tiresias in the Odyssey. He appears set against all the shades of Hades, as the one among them who is different. That's primal imagery (and he is one of them, not a different order of being, just different).

Here's a nice example based on that scene, nice because the artist gets the balance between the "one-on-one" quality of speaking with a WOM, and the multitudes which often accompany WOM instances, all in one image.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/24/Johann_Heinrich_F%C3%BCssli_063.jpg

Perhaps you know, just how popular was the notion of Jesus as savior before he was born? Why only accounts written after his death as a divine savior, judge, etc.?

There's another thread all by itself! No, I don't know.

I just do think it's interesting that a large group who definitely think of Daniel as a prophetic work, make the link for the Ancient of Days to Jesus and not his Father in some of their iconography. I see how they get there, but it's still an interesting take, in my opinion.

This was also done with Baal ascending the throne of and replacing the older El is it not?

Yes, for the gods, but that's not,

The old 'Ancient of Days' stepping aside so to speak for 'Prince Ba'al' to take over.

These are two separate uses of the symbolic potential of "aged." The Wise Old Man is at the very height of his powers, while the elderly god is at the end of his power. The Ancient of Days doesn't make way for the other character, the one like a son of man, in Daniel 7.

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Jor-el

Jor-el

I suspect that Yahweh had been differentiated from El before the Second Temple went up. This limits my concern with how late Second Temple Jews might have viewed their Daniel, insofar as the topic of this thread is being discussed.

As usual with my posts, anything that isn't sourced specifcially uses readily searchable terms, and like all posts by everyone, what I say in my posts is my view.

Readily searchable?

Let's just say that is a city I never visited in my travels, Heck I don't even know the cities name!

If the differentiation was actually as real as that, there would be no mention of El at all in the texts...

The fact is that throughout the entire Old Testament, El is always and uniquely associated with Yahweh, they are in fact the very same being and have always been considered to be so by the Jews from the earliest of times.

The view of their disassociation is merely resultant from the widely held (and in my opinion erroneous) view that the early Hebrews were polytheistic, when that cannot be demonstrated from any of the texts we have or from archaeological finds.

That many Hebrews practiced idolatrous worship of idols in no way detracts from the view that from the very beginning, the Hebrews were uniquely devoted to a single God, which they name as the God of gods, the God Most High, known by the epithet Yahweh-El.

Edited by Jor-el

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Dying Seraph

Hi DS,

Allright we can leave that issue for another time, I have no problems with that, thus we can stick to the OP topic. I'll only comment on those aspects we do have some disagreement on if you don't mind, that way we won't rehash what we agree with.

First and foremost Jor-el many apologies for such a tardy response. Things have been...well for lack of a better term chaos. Thank you for your time on the topic and again my apologies.

I would say it is simply a situation that came about with the passage of time, some words were misspelled by later copyists of the text, not because they intentionally did so but because they did not know the meaning of the word. Since hebrew had no vowels and only consonants were used to write a word, many words had to be deciphered, so some words ended up with the wrong vowels, which changed their meaning. In my view they were not done on purpose but because the copyist was an ignoramous.

Oh I am in full agreement words get misspelled or confused and lost in translation. As far as intent or not we cannot say for certain. But admittedly it does seem reasonable (to me) that the "Queen of Heaven" term would be purposely distorted. But we can't know exactly what was in their (writers) intentions.

That is a possibility. If it were clear, it would have been unravelled long ago. What is absolutely clear, is that Jeremiah denounced this practice held by many Israelites, as idolatry. And it was clearly never accepted within the central jewish beliefs of the time. In most cases it would be a practice held by those who were not informed of Israelite beliefs.

Well not necessarily. Excavations always unearth new things. Those are the key words I thnk. "Of the time." Other gods appear to have been readily embraced even up to the time of Josiah. It was never accepted by the Yahwist party, that's for certain. But I am inclined to accept that God (and I don't just mean Yahweh) and Goddess worship were much more rampant than many accept.

"Every ruler who reforms national institutions or, like King Josiah, has reforms pressed upon him, must either write a codicil to the old religious charter, or produce a new one: and this involves the manipulation or complete re-writing of myths. It became clear that if Judea-a small buffer state between Egypt and Assyria-was to keep its political independence, a stronger religious discipline must be inculcated, and the people trained in handling arms. Hitherto most Israelites embraced the easy-going, Canaanite cult in which goddesses played the leading role...This, though all very well in peaceful times, could not steel the Jews to resist the invading armies of Egypt and Assyria. A small tough Israelite minority was led by the Guild of Prophets...These prophets saw that Israel's sole hope of national independence lay in authoritarian monotheism, and ceaselessly declaimed against goddess-worship in the Canaanite sacred groves. The Book of Deuteronomy , published under Josiah bans numerous Canaanite rites, among them ritual prostitution, ritual sodomy, and all forms of idolatry. The subsequent demise of the Davidic crown converted all the Babylonian exiles to this view. When Zerubbabel rebuilt Jehovah's temple, he no longer had any competitors. The Baals, Astartes, Anaths and all the other Canaanite deities were dead so far as the Judeans returning from captivity were concerned."

Hebrew Myths by Graves and Patai

THe original faith as we understand the concept is that which is demonstrated in the Old Terstament view of God and revealed through Moses in the bible. It is on that concept that everything stands. It is also a concept that was not accepted by that generation, which died in the desert and by later generations in the land of Israel. They persisted in following the common cosmology which the bible so blatantly rejects.

Okay I see what you are saying Jor-el but here is my dilemma. What were the Israelites worshipping before God was "revealed" to Moses? Before their return or exodus? Was it one God before then? I don't think so otherwise Moses wouldn't have come with Yahweh and been so insistant on worship of this ONE GOD. I am inclined to think that before and after the name was "revealed" to Moses that God and Goddess worship was still quite prevalent and that they (Israelites) in all likeliness worshipped the same El and Gods their neighboring Canaanites did. That would make the faith Moses brought to the people, an adopted faith IMO. As I presented before we have records that Akenhaten indeed worshipped One God (Aten), and it seems feasible to me that Hebrew slaves or others (as there were trade routes to consider) were aware of this and brought it with them back to influence their people. Please don't get the misconception that I am insisting Akenhaten is the originator of worship of ONE God (although it looks that way) as it's very possible others have had the same thought. And I don't rule it out even. BUT as it stands with evidence I am inclined to believe that the Hebrews possibly witnessed/received and embraced this notion from Akenhaten as it stands. There is more proof for Akenhaten then there is for the fictional Moses. And again regardless of that even IF Moses was real and eventually brought this God to his people, it still would be adopted not original. At least admittedly I just fail to see how it's original.

And as I also presented above. By the time Zerubbable had rebuilt there were no competitors anymore. Yet there seems to have been before that. And as far as returning with the new fresh concept of one God above the rest so to speack, appears to have started with Akenhaten. But I could be wrong.

Josiahs reform was exactly that, it was a turning back to the foundations of the faith as it was understood by him and the priesthood. It was a rejection once again of the common cosmology and mythology that dominated the Near Middle East. That would have included such things as the faith in a Queen of Heaven, consort to Yahweh.

It is the one that stuck because it implies supremacy in all areas of existence.

Of course it is influenced, but not as an acceptance. It is rather a usage of the imagery to suite their own purposes and to demonstrate the difference of their beliefs. They rejected Baal but did not reject the concept of a Regent.

Baal is the regent, who rules in the place of El, El having retired from the scene, gives preeminance to Baal as the Regent of the heavenly Council.

I can't help but feel they (authors) embraced characteristics of Baal when it suited their desires.

The bible states, that the Canaanites are dimwits, since the Regent is none other than Yahweh. Thus Yahweh is the Father, and Yahweh is the Regent as well. Simply put, the ancient Israelites believed in a form of Binatarianism. Thus the Greater and Lesser Yahweh.

In regards to that statement of the Canaanites being dimwits...if one wishes to accept that stance that is fine. I am inclined to believe this is just part of that one sided view of the Hebrews demeaning their neighbors. If the name was not revealed to the Canaanites but to the Israelites, then how would the Canaanites know that the regent is Yahweh? That doesn't make a lick of sense to me Jor-el. It just appears to be Israelites casting judgement. Please explain. Just when I was understanding you, you lost me. :P:lol: The name was revealed to the Israelites, not the Canaanites, so if they are not aware of the name (since it wasn't revealed to them and all) how the hell can they accept Yahweh as a regent when all they know is Baal and rest of the Canaanite Pantheon? This name was revealed to supposed Moses. All I see is bias from the Yahwist party in all this sad to say.

Ok Since you asked for it... I hope you don't get bored. ^_^

I certainly did and since the term "Greater and Lesser Yahweh" to me was nonsense I am glad you delved further to clarify.

....

The story represents the essence of the antagonism between Israel and its neighbours and if we look closely we see that much of the imagery is the same although the character portrayed by the imagery is different.

I have read the Baal myths and I see no antagonism Jor-el. While the myth does pertain to the land of Canaan, the main purpose appears to be a story of they cycle of the seasons and fertility of the land. There appears no where in the Canaanite texts that applies to the land of Israel of the conflict with Israel that I have witnessed. As far as the hostility in the tale it is meant to apply to just how cruel baron desert can be and just how beautiful it can be when there is no drought and the land is fertile. Hence, Baal being dead for half the year, then rising again to restore the crops. No where do I see nothin that pertains to antagonism but fertilization mythology. Is there something in the passage in particular you could direct me to that would convey such hostility between peoples and not the region intself?

This served a dual purpose for the prophets of Israel...

1st they are telling the Canaanites that they got the story wrong... You dimwits, this is how it is... El (Yahweh) cannot get old, he does not retire but he does have a regent, which is also called Yahweh, God is the regent and the ruler at the same time... Thus we have the Greater Yahweh and the Lesser Yahweh.

I don't doubt any of this regarding the Israelites putting down their neighbors and saying, "you people are wrong." The Israelites seem to have loved telling others they were wrong. :rolleyes::no: I am just inclined to accept the Hebrews took the story and made it to suit their purpose. I see nothing substantial to show otherwise.

The 2nd is the seperation of Yahwehs people from the rest of humanity as Gods chosen people.

Now for the point I'm trying to make... Baal is a God, he is a son of God, he was never human.... no mere human can be the regent of God he also has to be his son and to be the lesser Yahweh, he has to share the qualities of the greater as well, he has to be uncreated as The greater also is...

Jesus is the only one who qualifies... and that is why he used the words that identified him as the 2nd power in heaven to the High Priest...

Indeed he did. This would solely depend on whether one would consider him truly "righteous" or a nut job making bold statements. I can see the point you are making now Jor-el. And I appreciate the link by Heiser really helped. Why no mention of Jesus as the savior then until after his death? Only Baal is known as the regent before Christ is born, during his life, and some 20 years plus after the dude is dead. I don't understand how one can accept Jesus and equate him to Baal and son of God as Canaanite texts portrayed a mythological figure and one attempt to try to associate them to Jesus. I truly don't understand that. I suppose this is where faith comes in and hence where I am having a personal dilemma I suppose.

Matthew 26:63-66

63 But Jesus kept silent And the high priest said to Him, "I adjure You by the living God, that You tell us whether You are the Messiah, the Son of God."

64 Jesus said to him, "You have said it yourself; nevertheless I tell you, hereafter you will see THE SON OF MAN SITTING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF POWER, and COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN."

65 Then the high priest tore his robes and said, "He has blasphemed! What further need do we have of witnesses? Behold, you have now heard the blasphemy;

66 what do you think?" They answered, "He deserves death!"

Isn't it interesting that Jesus always prefered the mantle of "Son of man" to that of "Son of God", he used that expression of himself all the time... now we know why...

The expression, "Cloud Rider" was uniquely given to Baal himself and may be found in the Bible as well, In the Old and the New Testaments. Jesus as much as gives himself this title, which enraged the Priests, who called it Blasphemy. Now why would they do that?

Because of the belief that the Priests themselves shared that there were actually two clear "Powers in Heaven". The Greater and the Lesser Yahweh, both equal in all things. Just as Baal himself became Reigning Regent but did not actually replace El as the Lord of Heaven.

All this tells me is that he attempted to associate himself with divinity. But again there is nothing substantial to have proven Jesus was what he said he was. Hence faith. If one accepts raising people from the dead and cursing and destroying fig leaves, and encouraging people to abandon everything they worked hard for and their family so be it. As far as Jesus referring to himself as son of man...I respect it more than son of God. At least it conveys he's from mankind, descendant of Adam. Not some dude in the sky by saying son of God.

IF you stated "Greater and Lesser Gods" I could accept and stand by that. "Greater and Lesser Yahweh" to me is an attempt to raise the stature of a man to a saviour. And I find that nonsense. Hence faith I guess. And I don't mean to demean you if I am coming across that way. I respect where you are coming from and glad you explained...I just still can't in good conscience accept the term "Greater and Lesser Yahweh."

...

Ask and you shall recieve... :tu:

Ask and I shall receive. I can't thank you enough, especially for the link of Heiser who made more sense then the other links IMO. While I don't grasp it or accept it I can see where you are coming from now and I thank you for that as it was important to me to see where you are coming from. :yes:

However I confess am led to conclude this term "Greater and Lesser Yahweh" is stretching it. Mr. Heiser even mentions I can't remember his exact words but mentions that 2 and/or more Gods were accepted/worshipped for some time up until I think the date he gave was 2nd century AD. Which I don't dispute. As I even mentioned I have no dispute if the term was Greater and lesser God/s. As it stands I can't accept the term "Greater and Lesser Yahweh" as anything factual and I think would be contradictory to what is in the Bible, regarding Yahweh being only ONE God. And when one acts for or through Yahweh they aren't suddenly Yahweh. As they are acting on behalf OF the ONE Yahweh.

SINcerely,

:devil:

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Dying Seraph

DS

Masculine

I was just linking the two terms, our "Wise Old Man" and their "Ancient (man) of Days." (There is another archetype, Wise Old Woman...).

Greetings 8 Bits. I apoligies to you as well for the tardy response and thank you for your contribution. :)

That there is. And maybe I am approaching this as a horse with blinders on but all I see are the correlations to Canaanite texts and El. If there is another connection or something that one sees I am all ears. Or eyes in this case. As it stands I am inclined to believe that "Ancient of Days" is meant to be masculine as it bears similarities to "Father of Years" the epithet of Canaanite El and also in Genesis regarding the term El-Olam which is possibly 'El, the Eternal One,' or 'El, the Ancient One.' And in the Bible itself at least IMO that women don't have very prominent roles, thus portraying a sort of "Man's world."

Dating and such.

It's interesting that the dating to early-mid Second Century BCE accords with several thoughts, and isn't necessarily a "naturalistic" issue. It is certainly possible for someone who believes in prophecy to believe that a given work is a novella about a prophet. Similarly, someone who believed in the "God breathed" quality of the canon might believe that God inspired apocalyptic material for the comfort it gave its first readers.

The point of dating would not be to claim that Daniel didn't have influential antecedents, but rather that the later Daniel is, the harder it is to identify any specific antecedent for any element it shares with several mythological systems. Personally, I think it comes too late to shed light on the very specific emergence of a distinctive Hebrew Yahweh from the neighbors' El.

I am in agreement that it does get harder. However I don't see that as the case regarding Dan. 7 and believe it to be very much influenced by Canaanite thought. Not just the term Ancient of Days to be being similar to Father of Years and also what we get in Genesis which is El-Olam possibly meaning, 'El, the Eternal One,' or 'El, the Ancient One,' but also regarding the hair as I mentioned before and even the imagery of the one on a throne. I can't help but feel that ultimately Dan.7.13-14 also derives from Canaanite mythology, the one like a son of man who comes with the clouds of heaven and reigns for ever after being enthroned by the Ancient of Days appears to ultimately derive from Baal to me, in that Baal the rider of the clouds', and the beasts and sea whose rule is succeeded by that of the one like a son of man, appears at least to me to reflect Yam and Leviathan and others that were eventually defeated by Baal. All this said you could be right and maybe I'm looking into it too much to find a connection that perhaps isn't there.

I'll finish off with this, even if Dan. was written much after any Canaanite influence directly, the myth was obviously known and held onto by the author otherwise he never would've made these connections. The same can be said even later in the time of Jesus when he made some bold statements that he knew would rile up Caiaphus...thus dating was never really a reason that mattered to me.

When I say "comes too late," I mean to conjecture that it was composed in more or less the form we have it, written for then-living readers with a specific purpose in mind. It is not, in my view, like the Odyssey, something finally written down after a long career as an oral work, featuring characters from other tales. The writer of Daniel had read the Hebrew Bible, of course, but would have no personal knowledge of any of the developments in question here.

Again this comes with the dilemma of not being able to give Daniel a solid date. I've seen compelling cases attempting to date Daniel from Second century BC to as I said before seventh century BC. It's possible the author/s of Daniel read the Hebrew Bible and not have personal knowledge of any of the connections. But It seems to me to much to ignore.

Other matters arising

The text doesn't say angels. Just myriads. Compare Walt Whitman's parenthetical remark, in his account of his vision of the individuated Self (Song of Myself 51):

"I am large. I contain multitudes."

Look also at the West's premier Wise Old Man, Tiresias in the Odyssey. He appears set against all the shades of Hades, as the one among them who is different. That's primal imagery (and he is one of them, not a different order of being, just different).

Here's a nice example based on that scene, nice because the artist gets the balance between the "one-on-one" quality of speaking with a WOM, and the multitudes which often accompany WOM instances, all in one image.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/24/Johann_Heinrich_F%C3%BCssli_063.jpg

Well yes and no. This is my fault. Normally I use the New Geneva Study Bible, however at the time of posting I was using the Bible on my most immediate person. And that Bible most certainly DOES state the word angels. However I was using the New Living Translation Touchpoint Bible which is very dumbed down but again at the time was the only Bible at my disposal.

But to prove if anything that I am not insane, I wanted to show the passage. :lol:

From the Touchpoint Bible:

Dan. 7.9-10 "I watched as thrones were put up in place and the Ancient One sat down to judge. His clothing was white as snow and his hair like whitest wool. He sat on a fiery throne with wheels blazing fire, and a river of fire flowed from his presence. Millions of angels ministered to him, and a hundred million stood to attend him..."

And I really dig that image thank you for sharing it. :)

I just do think it's interesting that a large group who definitely think of Daniel as a prophetic work, make the link for the Ancient of Days to Jesus and not his Father in some of their iconography. I see how they get there, but it's still an interesting take, in my opinion.

I've seen it done too. I associate El with Ancient of Days not Jesus. For later in Daniel 7.13-14 we get this:

"I was watching in the night visions and behold, one like the some of man, coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days..."

Why would Jesus come to himself? :lol: But I digress...

These are two separate uses of the symbolic potential of "aged." The Wise Old Man is at the very height of his powers, while the elderly god is at the end of his power. The Ancient of Days doesn't make way for the other character, the one like a son of man, in Daniel 7.

I get what you are saying Eight Bits at least with y brain being fried I think I do. And I concede you are right it's possible as the passage is not direct enough stating who it's in regards to or about. But I can't help but believe with all the imagery in it that it is strongly influenced by Canaanite mythology.

My little Canaanite and Biblical check list if you'll indulge me. ^_^

Terms referring to divine wisdom found in both, check.

terms regarding age and hair in almost sync form, (IMO at least) check.

terms referring to both having a court or assembly of some sort, check. (This one is loose as this thought was popular among many regions).

terms regarding an individual coming on a cloud (Baal and Jesus) check.

terms regarding the one coming on the cloud and taking the ancient ones place, check.

Thanks again for your time and again apologies for the tardy response.

SINcerely,

:devil:

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eight bits

Jor-el

Yes, readily searchable. If that prospect doesn't interest you, then that's not my problem.

I don't find the persistence of El in Hebrew literature any more surprising than the persistence of Jove in English literature. Please note also that I have not argued against DS's basic hypothesis, but have discussed only the bearing of Daniel on the question.

DS

Symbolic thought is tricky. It is a fact that the same image, a gray beard, is both the emblem of power and wisdom, and the sign of numbered days and physical decline. How neat that is, to be both a thing and its opposite writ large, and thus to be the thing in itself.

Even in our own modern culture, consider the iconography of New Year's Day: an old man succeeded by a baby or young boy, but the old man is typically robust, ambulatory, and armed.

http://polarbearstale.blogspot.com/2011/12/old-and-new-year.html

Of course, I could be wrong about the bearing of Daniel on El and Yahweh, even if I have the date right. I think in the long run, though, my scepticism about attributing to direct cultural borrowing that which can be equally well or better explained by the common heritage of the species will serve me well. Other views are possible.

Oh,

Why would Jesus come to himself?

Whenever it was dreamt, Daniel 7 narrates a big dream, in the Jungian sense. Who else would the dreamer come to, if not himself?

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