5 Matching Annotations
  1. Mar 2022
    1. The historic books of the Bible were written by a “Yahweh only party” and are thus keenly critical of the worship of other gods in Judah. Still, it is clear from their description that polytheism was the norm in the First Temple period. It was only during King Josiah’s reform that the "Yahweh only party" really took control and began pushing other gods out of Judean minds.

      Polytheism was the cultural norm during the First Temple period. It wasn't until the reforms of King Josiah described in 2 Kings in the second half of the 7th century BCE that other Semitic gods were actively removed from the Temple and parts of culture in favor of Yahweh.

    2. The Bible also recounts that the ancient Hebrews worshipped a god named Moloch, who was associated with the Ammonites and with child sacrifice. This worship too was stamped out by Josiah in the same reform (e.g. 2 Kings 23:10).
    3. Yet the ancient Hebrews clearly adored them just like the other West Semites did. Ezekiel (8:16) recounts seeing people worshiping the sun in the Temple. We can infer this because the bible specifically condemns their worship, and we are told that Josiah took actions to stomp out the cult in the late First Temple period, the second half of the 7th century B.C.E. These actions included removing cult objects from the Temple itself (2 Kings 23:11).
    4. El had a consort, the goddess Asherah, and as Yahweh took El’s place, Asherah became Yahweh’s consort. We are told that the Asherah was worshipped in the earliest Temple of Jerusalem – not explicitly, but we are definitely told that her symbols were removed from the Temple, so they had to be there in the first place (1 Kings 15:13 and 2 Kings 23:14).It was only at the very end of the First Temple period, during the reign of King Josiah (the second half of the 7th century B.C.E.) that the cult objects of Asherah were taken out of the Temple, quite dramatically. There are quite a number of references to Josiah's monotheistic reforms, such as:."Josiah smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles and covered the sites with human bones" (2 Kings 23:14, New International Version)

      1 Kings 15:13, 2 Kings 23:14 and 2 Kings 23:14 indicate that the symbols of the goddess Asherah, a consort of El, were in the earliest Temple of Jerusalem as these sections describe the fact that they were removed.

  2. Sep 2021