How Old Is Judaism Without its Canaanite Heritage?

R&I – FS


How Old Is Judaism Without its Canaanite Heritage?

After a short serf on the WWW for further information on the religion and belief of the ancient Queen Athaliah of Judah (reigned (840-36 BCE). Who was infamous for the slaughter of the royal heirs of the House of David in the kingdom of Judah in 840 BCE. Except, however, for the sole infant Joash aka Jehoash who managed to survive queen Athaliah murderous spree. All thanks to Jehosheba, the daughter of King Jehoram and sister of Ahaziah. (see 2 Kings 11:1-2) Athaliah was an Israelite/Samarian and not a Judaean. She was born into the House of Omri of the kingdom of Israel/Samaria and was an ardent follower of the god Baal.

(Athaliah is the only reigning female monarch recorded in Scripture; no other Israelite or Judean woman managed to become queen again until the Second Temple era when Salome Alexandra reigned, 76-67 BC. Salome Alexandra was not from Blood royal or from the House of David, which went extinct in the 6th-century BCE. The Hasmonean Dynasty (140 BCE-37 BCE) were a priestly class that took the Greek title ‘basileus,’ meaning ‘king or emperor.’ [Ibid] They became Priests-Kings in a theocracy. Such as the Pope-Kings of the Papal States era (756-1870).)

We know that many religions had what we term Jewish followers before monotheism became established by later Jews after the Babylonian exiles returned to their ancestral homeland of Judah, known then as Yehud Medinata (c. 539 BCE-c. 332 BCE).

Yet, we are led to believe that the Judaism of today is two millennia older than Christianity, and is the oldest of the Abrahamic religions. There is no doubt that it is the oldest Abrahamics, but wrong when it comes to the monotheism we know today. Even Abrahan was willing to sacrifice his son to his God, but which god was that El or Yahweh or both or one of the other Canaanite gods? One has to remember that the early Canaanite religions were a major factor in the creation of Judaism not forgetting that Asherah was a major goddess to both the Israelites and Judaean worshipers in the 7th century BCE. The scholar S. Ackerman has made a further case of royal ideology paralleling Asherah and the queen mother in ancient Judah. (see syncretism below).  

The evidence of similarities between Canaanite and Israelite societies has led to a major change in the general understanding of the relationship between these two societies. Rather than view them as two separate cultures. [Mark S. Smith (2002), The Early History of God: Yahweh and Other Deities in Ancient Israel, p. 25, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, Grand Rapids, Michigan and Cambridge, UK.]

 Scholars and biblical archaeologist work within four Iron age periods on the history of the Israelis:

Iron Age I (IA I) 1200–1000 BCE

Iron Age IIA (IA IIA) 1000–925 BCE

Iron Age IIB-C (IA IIB-C) 925–586 BCE

Iron Age III 586–539 BCE (Neo-Babylonian period) It’s where we see Judaism monotheism being born.

As the early Israelites worshipped Yahweh and a host of Canaanite gods and goddesses, including El, Asherah and Baal. In the period of the Judges and the first half of the monarchy, El and Yahweh became conflated in a process of religious syncretism.*

*(The blending of two or more religious belief systems into a new system, or the incorporation of beliefs from unrelated traditions into a religious tradition. It is contrasted by the idea of multiple religious belonging and polytheism, respectively.)

 The names Israel and Canaan are mentioned on the c. 1208 BCE stele in the reign of Pharaoh Merneptah (1213-1203 BCE). Not as individuals nations, but as some scholars on the text of the stele state: The word Canaan is written with a special linguistic feature called determinative, denoting land. Israel is written with the determinative for people. Meaning the Israelites of Canaan.


What do you say about the monotheism of the Israelites and the Judaeans?

What does this mean for the God of the Christians, whose OT is paralleled with that of Judaism?

What do you say about the late monotheism of Judaism, which must affect all the biblical personages in the other Abrahamic religions, not just Judaism?




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