13 Facts About Yahweh


In later centuries, El and Yahweh became conflated and El-linked epithets such as El Shaddai came to be applied to Yahweh alone, and other gods and goddesses such as Baal and Asherah were absorbed into Yahwist religion.

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Yahweh is invoked in Amherst Papyrus 63, and in Jewish or Jewish-influenced Greco-Egyptian magical texts from the 1st to 5th century CE.

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Biblical scholar Frank Moore Cross has proposed that Yahweh derives from a potential epiphet of El: du yahwi saba?ot, "he who creates the hosts", perhaps the epiphet of El as patron deity of a Midianite league.

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The current consensus is therefore that Yahweh was a "divine warrior from the southern region associated with Seir, Edom, Paran and Teman".

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Yahweh filled the role of national god in the kingdom of Israel, which emerged in the 10th century BCE; and in Judah, which emerged probably a century later .

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In 9th century, the Yahweh-religion began to separate itself from its Canaanite heritage, with the rejection of Baal worship .

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Centre of Yahweh's worship lay in three great annual festivals coinciding with major events in rural life: Passover with the birthing of lambs, Shavuot with the cereal harvest, and Sukkot with the fruit harvest.

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Yahweh-worship was famously aniconic, meaning that the god was not depicted by a statue or other image.

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The early supporters of this faction are widely regarded as being monolatrists rather than true monotheists; they did not believe Yahweh was the only god in existence, but instead believed he was the only god the people of Israel should worship.

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Finally, in the national crisis of the exile, the followers of Yahweh went a step further and outright denied that the other deities aside from Yahweh even existed, thus marking the transition from monolatrism to true monotheism.

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The notion that Yahweh is "to be venerated as the creator-god of all the earth" is first elaborated by the Second Isaiah, a 6th-century exilic work, though the case for the theological doctrine again rests on Yahweh's power over other gods rather than independent monotheistic reasoning.

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Yahweh is frequently invoked in Graeco-Roman magical texts dating from the 2nd century BCE to the 5th century CE, most notably in the Greek Magical Papyri, under the names Iao, Adonai, Sabaoth, and Eloai.

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The frequent occurrence of Yahweh's name was likely due to Greek and Roman folk magicians seeking to make their spells more powerful through the invocation of a prestigious foreign deity.

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