11 Matching Annotations
  1. Mar 2022
    1. https://www.haaretz.com/archaeology/.premium.MAGAZINE-when-the-jews-believed-in-other-gods-1.6315810

      References to other Semitic gods in the Old Testament. Some general basics which will require some delving into translations and further research for stronger foundations in early Semitic religions.

    2. Legends of a storm god such as Ba’al defeating the sea are very common in the Ancient Near East.

      Storm gods like Baal are commonly seen defeating the sea in legends in the ancient Near East.


      Link this to mention of Rahab in Job 26:12.

    3. Dagon’s father was El, the head of the West Semitic pantheon. The name Israel, shows that El was originally the tutelary god of Israel (it’s right there in the name!), but over time, Yahweh took El’s place:“When the Most High (El Elyon) divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel. For the Lord's (Yahweh’s) portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance” (Deuteronomy 32:8-9).

      In the West Semitic pantheon of gods, El was the father of Dagon who was in turn the father of Baal. El Elyon is mentioned in Deuteronomy 32:8-9 and his name is a root word of the endonym Israel.

    4. In 1 Samuel chapter 5 we are told that after the Philistines captured the Ark of the Covenant, they took it to the Temple of Dagon in Ashdod. But this resulted in the miraculous destruction of his cult statue. Yahweh wins again.

      1 Samuel 5 describes an event at the Temple of Dagon, the father of Baal, in Ashdod where the cult's statue is destroyed.

    5. It seems that what this story and other biblical stories like it are telling is that the belief in Yahweh supplanted the worship of Ba’al. In fact it seems that in some ways, Yahweh subsumed Ba’al, taking on his attributes and powers.In some of the Bible’s more poetic texts, Yahweh is presented as a storm god in very much the same language that Ba’al is described:“At the brightness that was before him his thick clouds passed, hail stones and coals of fire. The Lord also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave his voice; hail stones and coals of fire. Yea, he sent out his arrows, and scattered them; and he shot out lightnings, and discomfited them” (Psalms 18:12-14).

      Biblical passages like Psalms 18:12-24 may be indicative of Yahweh subsuming the powers and attributes of other regional gods like Ba'al.

      This makes one wonder if Yahweh evolved from other cultures into the one true god of the Hebrews?

    6. Ba’al was an honorific title of the god Hadad, in much the same way that "Adonai" (“my master”) is an honorific title for Yahweh.
    1. https://www.haaretz.com/archaeology/MAGAZINE-monumental-structure-isn-t-phoenician-harbor-it-s-a-sacred-pool-of-baal-1.10679272

      The kothon of Motya in southern Sicily had first been assumed to be an artificial harbor. It wasn’t, archaeologist Lorenzo Nigro of Sapienza proves

      Overview of paper: https://doi.org/10.15184/aqy.2022.8

    2. Yet prevail, Baal did not; towns in biblical Israel named after him are gone, while towns named after other gods, including Shamash, the moon god Yarekh, and El, are everywhere.

      The towns in biblical Israel named for Baal were renamed or gone, but there are many towns named after other gods including Shamash, Yarekh, and El.

    3. Baal was also worshipped by the Canaanites and became the bugbear of the Yahweh followers, though early Israelites were clearly not the diehard monotheists that modern Jews tend to assume. They apparently adored quite the pantheon, including Baal. But Baal was especially irksome, it seems; his name appears dozens of times in the Bible, never in a good way; to this day, Israel has cities named after the god.

      Like the Canaanites, early Israelites worshiped Baal amongst a wider pantheon of gods despite the fact that later Jews were monotheists. Modern day Israel still has cities named after Baal.

      Which cities?

    4. But crucially, he believes the pool at the center of the complex may have also served as a surface to observe and map the stars. The water surface would have mirrored the sky, as water does – none other than Leonardo da Vinci pointed out the attributes of inert standing water when studying the night sky. For one thing, the stars were adored by the Phoenicians, whether as gods or deceased ancestors; and the position of the constellations was of keen interest to the sailors among them for navigation purposes, Nigro points out.

      Lorenzo Nigro indicates that the "kothon" of Motya in southern Sicily was a pool of Baal whose surface may have been used to observe and map the stars. He also indicates that the Phoenicians adored the stars potentially as gods or deceased ancestors. This is an example of a potentially false assumption often seen in archaeology of Western practitioners misconstruing Indigenous practices based on modern ideas of religion and culture.

      I might posit that this sort of practice is more akin to that of the science of Indigenous peoples who used oral and mnemonic methods in combination with remembering their histories and ancestors.

      Cross reference this with coming reading in The First Astronomers (to come) which may treat this in more depth.


      Leonardo da Vinci documented the attributes of standing water for studying the night sky.

      Where was this and what did it actually entail?

  2. Aug 2018
    1. Baalim and Ashtaroth,

      Ashtoreth was the primary female goddess, the moon goddess in ancient Canaan; her consort was Baal. The Phoenicians worshipped her as Astarte, and the Babylonians and Egyptians, as Ishtar. The Greeks later associated her with Aphrodite. In the Old Testament, there are numerous references to the condemnation of the worship of Astarte/Ashtoreth in chapters about Moses, Solomon, Elijah and more.