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Yahweh and the God of the Patriarchs

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 August 2011

Frank Moore Cross Jr
Harvard University


The modern discussion of Patriarchal religion may be said to begin with the brilliant essay of Albrecht Alt, Der Gott der Väter, published in 1929. Alt proposed to use new means to penetrate into the pre-history of Israel's traditions of the old time. He repudiated the methods of such earlier scholars as Robertson Smith and Julius Wellhausen, who attempted to reconstruct the pre-Yahwistic stage of the tribal forebears of Israel by sifting Israel's early but fully Yahwistic sources for primitive features, primitive in terms of an apriori typology of religious ideas derived largely from nineteenth century idealism. Such procedures, Alt recognized, yielded merely the superstitious dregs of Israelite religion at any of its stages. As early as 1929, it was obvious to him that the archaeological data bearing on the second millennium gave a very different picture from that painted by the older historians. At least it was clear that the religion of Israel's neighbors was on a very much more sophisticated level than that being predicated for the pre-Mosaic tribes.

Research Article
Copyright © President and Fellows of Harvard College 1962

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1 Beiträge zur Wissenscbaft vom Alton und Neuen Testament III, 12 (1929). Republished in A. Alt, Kleine Schriften zur Geschichte des Volkes Israel I (München, 1953), pp. 1-78.

2 See especially Gunkel's, H. introduction to his Genesis [HzAT] 2nd ed. (Göttingen, 1902), “Die Sagen der Genesis,” pp. XI–XCII.Google Scholar

3 For Alt these contacts were not so much in the Patriarchal, pre-Mosaic period, as in the era of the entry into Canaan in “Israelite” times. In our view this is a fundamental weakness in Alt's point of view, a position increasingly untenable in view of our present knowledge of the movements in Palestine in the second millennium B.C. There is not space to debate the matter here. However, by “Patriarchal” we shall mean regularly the elements of Israel's forebears who moved about in Palestine before the Mosaic age.

4 Cf. Albright, W. F., From the Stone Age to Christianity2, pp. 188 f.Google Scholar; n. 71, p. 327; Alt, p. 26, n. 2.

5 Alt, p. 10: “Dagegen 1st die Identität Jahwes mit dem Gott der Väter nicht einfach vorausgesetzt, sondern wird sozusagen vor dem Auge des Lesers erst im Verlauf der Erzählung feierlich vollzogen, indem der erscheinende Gott auf Moses Fragen hin seinen Namen Jahwe mit eigenem Munde ausspricht (V. 14). Eben darin besteht die spezifische Funktion dieser Erzählung im Gesamtaufbau des elohistischen Werkes, dass sie dem Leser einerseits den ganzen Abstand zwischen Väterzeit und Mosezeit sub specie Dei zum Bewusstsein bringt und andererseits den Unterschied dann doch wieder in einer häheren Einheit ausgleicht, indem sie ein und denselben Gott als Träger der alten und der neuen Gottesbezeichnung erscheinen lässt.”

6 So-called JE.

7 It is in this context that we are to understand the kinship elements particularly common in the Amorite names of second millennium B.C., and in the earliest onomastic material of Israel.

8 Les textes paléo-assyriens et l'Anden Testament,” Revue de l'histoire des religions 110 (1934), pp. 2965Google Scholar; cf. Alt, A., op. cit., p. 31, n. 1Google Scholar.

9 Ilabrat corresponds to Sum. Ninšubur, messenger and grand vizir of Anu; cf. Lewy, p. 52, n. 57. Note also il5 ebbarūtum, “the god of the collegium,” and ili ummeāniya, “god of my principal” [Lewy, p. 53, n. 59; CAD VII, p. 97] which replace Ilabrat. On Ninšubur, see most recently, D. O. Edzard, Wörterbuch der Mythologie, ed. H. W. Haussig, p. 113.

[Thorkild Jacobsen suggests that “Il(i)-abrat (is) most likely a shortened appellative form of il(i)abrātim, 'El/god of the people/folks’” (private communication). Cf. Soden, W. von, Orientalia 26 (1957), p. 314]Google Scholar

10 Correcting the usual text slightly on the basis of the Hebrew MSS, Sam., Syr.; cf. LXX.

11 Lewy is far less convincing in his attempt to identify ‘El ‘Elyon with Šalem. See below in the first section for an alternate analysis.

12 Compare also the phrases in the Bir-Rākib texts: wrkb'l b'l byt (Panammu II, 22); and 'Ihy byt 'by, “the gods of my father's house.” (line 3 of the text published by Donner, H., “Ein Orthostatenfragment des Königs Barrakab von Sam'al,” Mitteilungen des Institute für Orientforschung III [1955], pp. 7398)Google Scholar. Cf. the Nabataean text [Jaussen I, 59 = Alt 16] lmr byt' 'lh t[ymw?], “to the lord of the family, the god of T …”

On the divine name rkb'l, see now the names (in cuneiform texts from Ugarit): bin ili-ma-rakub and bin rakub-ba'l. In Canaan, rkb seems to have been used in epithets of Ba'l-Haddu, e.g., rkb 'rpt (68:10, etc.), “the Cloud-rider.” At Zinčirli rkb'l seems to have had lunar characteristics: he is called ba'l harran, is listed alongside šamš in a series which includes Hadad and 'El (Panammu I, 2–3, 11, 18; II, 22), and in the “Scribe's Orthostat” is represented by what appears to be a lunar symbol.

On the pronunciation of Bir-Rākib see Friedrich, J., “Das bildhethitische Siegel des Br-Rkb von Sam'al,” Orientalia, 26 (1957), pp. 345–47.Google Scholar

13 Alt, op. cit. pp. 68–77.

14 See further below. The Nabataean-Arab goddess, 'El-Kutbā' presents an interesting study in syncretism. See Strugnell, John, “The Nabataean Goddess Al-Kutbā' and Her Sanctuaries,” BASOR 156 (1959), pp. 2937.Google Scholar

15 To this series add Milik 2, Nouvelles inscriptions nabatéennes,” Syria XXXV (1958), p. 231Google Scholar. The new inscription reads … ldwšr' 'lk rb'l.

16 Alt, Nos. 33–45.

17 Alt, Nos. 13, 14. The latter reads 'l qṣyw l'lhhm b'l[šmn], “the clan of qṣyw to their god, Ba'lšamên, the former: l'lh qṣyw.

18 On the date of the 'lh rb'l series (Rab'el II), see , Milik, op. cit., pp. 233 f.Google Scholar

19 Alt, No. 45. On the identity of Nabataean Ζεὐς Ήλίου and Ba'l Šamên, see the conflate deity Adad-and-Šamaš in the new “pantheon list” from Ugarit (references in n. 35). The solar character of Ba'l Šamem is underlined already by Philo Byblius, Eusebius, Praep. evan. I. 10.

20 On the chronology of the early Nabataean inscriptions, see Cross, F. M., “The Development of the Jewish Scripts,” The Bible and the Ancient Near East, ed. Wright, G. Ernest (New York, 1961), p. 161, and notes 103-105Google Scholar; Starcky, J., “Inscriptions archaique de Palmyre,” Studi Orientalistici in onore di Giorgio Levi della Vida II (Roma, 1956), pp. 520527Google Scholar.

21 On this reading, see , Starcky, op. cit., p. 523Google Scholar, n. 3, and on the interchange mlkw/mnkw, mlktw/mnktw, see also , Milik, op. cit., pp. 228, 234Google Scholar; and Nouvelles inscriptions sémitiques et grecques du pays de Moab,” Studii Biblici Franciscani, Liber Annuus IX (19581959), pp. 354 fGoogle Scholar.

22 Cf. Albright, W. F., “Abram the Hebrew,” BASOR 163 (October, 1961), pp. 3654.Google Scholar

23 As a matter of fact, Ba'l Šamên may have penetrated into Arabia long before Nabataean times, as did Nabū (= han-'aktab / al-kvtbā'). Cf. Albright, W. F., BASOR 1956 (December, 1959), pp. 37 f.Google Scholar

24 Genesis 21:33. As generally recognized yhwh is secondary here.

25 Genesis 14:18 ff. In v. 22, omit Yahweh with LXX and S, as well as for traditio-historical reasons.

26 Genesis 17:1, and passim.

27 Genesis 33:20, “El, god of (the Patriarch) Israel.” Cf. [] 'ēl 'ēlōhê 'abīkā, Genesis 46:3, “El, god of your father.” The article is to be omitted in the latter epithet, since in any case, it developed after the loss of inflectional endings in Canaanite including Hebrew, probably at the beginning of the Iron Age. The first examples of the true article fall in the tenth century, and even in inscriptions of this period it is not used systematically, and is quite late in invading poetic and/or liturgical language. In Ugaritic prose, hnd and hnk may contain a demonstrative particle which specialized later as the article. Cf. Dahood, M., “The Linguistic Position of Ugaritic in the Light of Recent Discoveries,” Sacra Pagina, ed. Coppens, J. et al. (Paris, 1959), pp. 271 f. and references; andGoogle ScholarAlbright, W. F., “Specimens of Ugaritic Prose,” BASOR 150 (April, 1958), pp. 37 f., n. 11Google Scholar.

28 Gen. 31:13; 35:7. The epithet raises special problems in view of the later hypostatization of Bethel which we cannot deal with fully here. The material has been collected and discussed by Eissfeldt, O., “Der Gott Bethel,” Archiv für Religionswissenschaft 28 (1930), pp. 130Google Scholar; Vincent, A., La religion des judéo-araméens d'Éléphantine (Paris, 1937), esp. pp. 562592Google Scholar. Other, parallel appellations are ‘ēl ro'ī (Gen. 16:13) and 'ēl běrīt (Judg. 9:46) both of which also raise special problems requiring discussion on another occasion.

29 I.e., 'El with a genitive adjunct (Eissfeldt) or as El with an appellation in apposition. Cf. tr 'il, 'il mlk, lṭpn 'il d-p'id, etc.; b'l zbl, zbl ym; 'al'iyn b'l, etc., etc. The appositional construction is awkward with 'ôlām unless we suppose that an expression 'ēl dū 'ālamī, or the like, stands behind it. On the other hand the appositional construction is quite suitable, e.g., with 'l 'lywn qnh … “'El, the most high, creator. …”

30 The classical, critical statement of this view is that of A. Alt; U. Cassuto defends with modern tools a modified form of the traditional view (La questione della Genesi [Firenze, 1934,] 6082).Google Scholar

31 On 'ôlām as a divine name in the Old Testament, see Cross, F. M. and Freedman, D. N., “The Blessing of Moses,” JBL 67 (1948), 209, n. 85Google Scholar. In addition to Dt. 33:27, cf. Isa. 40:28, Jer. 10:10.

Father Mitchell Dahood has called my attention to Psalm 75:10, where he reads, no doubt correctly, w'ny 'lm/'zmr l'lhy y'qb, “I'shall magnify the Eternal one/Sing to the god of Jacob.”

32 The extrabiblical occurrences will be discussed below.

33 See most recently Pope, M., El in the Ugaritic Texts (Leiden, 1955) 14 f.Google Scholar

34 , Pope, op. cit., 6Google Scholar; , Eissfeldt, El im ugaritischen Pantheon (Berlin, 1951), 2953Google Scholar. As the reader will note, these volumes, especially that of Pope, have done much to shape the present essay.

35 On the special problems of the “pantheon lists,” one published, one unpublished, see the report of J. Nougayrol and comments of Dhorme, E., CRAIBL 1957, 7785Google Scholar. For a third text of this type, see Virolleaud, C., Le palais royal d'Ugarit II, 4 (13 f.)Google Scholar, and C. F. A. Schaeffer, xiii-xiv. Until there is full publication of the syllabic text, RS 20.24, it is perhaps not judicious to discuss the epithet il-abī (?).

36 Cf. Dussaud, R., Les découvertes de Ras Shamra (Ugarit) et l'anden Testament, 2nd. ed. (Paris, 1941)Google Scholar; and especially Eissfeldt, O., El im ugaritischen Pantheon; and “El and Yahweh,” JSS I (1956), 2537Google Scholar.

37 , Pope op. cit., 82104Google Scholar. However, 'El is not yet a deus quiescens.

38 See further below.

39 This position has been most eloquently defended by O. Eissfeldt in the work cited above, n. 36.

40 Cf. , Pope, op. cit., 15.Google Scholar

41 Gen. 46:3; on the omission of the article, see n. 27.

42 See Bertholet's, A. essay, Götterspaltung und Göttervereinigung (Tübingen, 1933)Google Scholar now somewhat antiquated. An extraordinary example of cross-cultural assimilation is found in Kumarbi myths published by Güterboch, H. G., Kumarbi (Istanbul, 1946)Google Scholar. Another old but still interesting collection of bizarre instances of both hypostatization and fusion can be found in Albright, W. F., “The Evolution of the West-Semitic Divinity 'an-'anat-'attâ,” AJSL 41 (1925), 73101Google Scholar.

43 m'nh is, of course, the early orthography for mě'ōnô as well as mě'ōnâ.

44 Cf. the song of the “Arm of Yahweh,” Isaiah 51:9 ff.

45 The expression mlk 'lm is used as a title for Amenophis III in an unpublished Ugaritic text. See provisionally, Virolleaud, C., CRAIBL. 1955, 74 fGoogle Scholar. See below on , Pharoah's title, šamaš dārîtum, “the eternal sun,” n. 51Google Scholar.

46 This rendering has often been disputed, but no good alternate can be suggested. The term šnm is not the normal plural of šnt, “year” at Ugarit, but in view of double plural formations of this and other similar terms in Canaanite, it is not a serious objection in the case of a “frozen cliché.” Cf. 'attiq yômîn, “Ancient of Days,” probably in origin an 'El title (Daniel 7:9). Cf. Isa. 40:28; 26:4.

47 No. 36.

48 Damascius, De primis principiis (ed. J. Kopp), 125.

49 B III,18-IV (margo). See most recently on the passage, Gevirtz, S., “West Semitic Curses and the Problem of the Origin of Hebrew Law,” VT XI (1961), 142143Google Scholar; cf. Cross, F. M. and Freedman, B. N., Early Hebrew Orthography (New Haven, 1952), 12, n. 5Google Scholar, and Jenni, Ernst, Das Wort 'Ōlām im Alten Testament (Berlin, 1953) for bibliographical referencesGoogle Scholar.

50 See Virolleaud, C., op. cit. (n. 45), 74.Google Scholar

51 , Knudtzon, Die El-Amarna Tafeln, 146Google Scholar; 6,7; 155:6, etc. Cf. Gevirtz, S., op. cit., 143, n. 5Google Scholar.

52 Arthur Darby Nock has called my attention to CEMECIAAM, probably for CEMCΩAAM Hebrew šemeš 'ôlām in the magical papyri: Preizendanz, K., Papyri graecae magicae (Leipzig, 1928), II 169/70Google Scholar; IV, 591, 1805; V 351, 366, etc. These papyri are full of archaic elements, e.g., EPECXII'AA, presumably Sumerian Ereškigal II, 34; nevertheless it is interesting to find a Canaanite epithet in Egyptian documents of the fourteenth century B.C. and of the fourth century A.D.

53 An Aramaean Magical Text in Hebrew from the Seventh Century B.C.,” BASOR 76 (1939), 511.Google Scholar

54 Op. cit., (n. 49), 13 f. Professor Jenni kindly reminded me of this reading my paper was read at the Old Testament Congress in Oxford in 1959.

55 “The Egyptian Origin of the Semitic Alphabet,” JEA (1916), 116.Google Scholar

56 The Early Alphabetic Inscriptions from Sinai and Their Decipherment,” BASOR 110 (1948), 622.Google Scholar

57 On Asherah-‘Ilat's cultus in thirteenth century Lachish, see Cross, F. M., “The Evolution of the Proto-Canaanite Alphabet,” BASOR 134 (1954). 20 fGoogle Scholar.

58 On the temple of Ptah (-'El) at Ascalon in the Late Bronze Age, see Wilson, John in The Megiddo Ivories by Gordon Loud (Chicago, 1939), 1113Google Scholar.

59 The Mine M inscription (No. 358) was published by Butin, Romain F., S. M., in “The Serabit Expedition of 1930,” Harvard Theological Review 25 (1932), 184185, and Pl. XXVII. Monsignor Patrick W. Skehan has kindly written to me reporting that Butin's squeeze, in the collection of the Catholic University of America, conforms to my readingGoogle Scholar.

60 See Figure 1. The bottom stroke of the 'alef (ox-head) is broadly cut, as are the two horizontals of the . Between is an ordinary lamed (ox goad), with the loop downward as in the second lamed, and the final letter of column 2 (most of which has split off). This first lamed of column 1 was read as the fish sign (Butin's samek, Albright's dalet). It is like no other fish sign in the inscriptions. Compare for example, the sequence ḏld … beginning the right column, and the 'l … sequence of the sphinx inscription, No. 346 (top).

61 In the Old Testament the usage survives, with a noun, in zê sīnay, older zū [<ḏū] sīnay, in Judges 5:5, and as a relative before verbs sporadically e.g., zû qānîtâ, “whom thou didst create.” This usage is, of course, well known in Phoenician [cf. Friedrich, J., “Zur Einleitungsformel der ältesten phönizischen Inschriften aus Byblos,” Mélanges Dussaud (Paris, 1939), 3747]. The use of ḏū in divine epithets is frequent in Old Canaanite, and ubiquitous in South Arabic. We shall have occasion to cite several below. Interestingly, the formation also appears not infrequently in Amorite personal names: zū-hatni, zū-sumim, etc. See the discussions ofGoogle ScholarGelb, I. J., “La lingua degli Amoriti,” Atti della accademia nazionale dei Lincei XIII (1958), 152Google Scholar; and Moran, W. L., S.J. “The Hebrew Language in its Northwest Semitic Background,” The Bible and the Ancient Near East, 61Google Scholar.

62 See Papyrus Harris, § 308 (Breasted, Ancient Records of Egypt IV, 163); the Memphite Theology, passim (see Wilson, John, ANET, 46Google Scholar and bibliography); etc.

63 Lachish IV: The Bronze Age, by Olga Tufnell, et al., Text, 128 (Diringer) PI. 38, 295. Cf. the Amenophis II seal, Rowe S. 37 (A Catalogue of Egyptian Scarabs [Cairo, 1936])Google Scholar, which bears a representation of Ptaḥ, and a hieroglyphic inscription, Ptḥ.

64 On the evolution and chronology of the Proto-Canaanite script, see Cross, F. M., op. cit. (n. 57), 1524Google Scholar; , Albright, “The Early Alphabetic Inscriptions…,” 913Google Scholar.

65 Albright in correspondence dated 7th November, 1958. The Sinaitic text is No. 353, col. 3. On the epithet, “lord of Vintage,” he compares that of Dionysus, “lord of vintage” (προτρύγαιος), worshipped at Tyre in Roman times. Of course, the title could be taken as “lord of (the city) Gath.”

66 Cf. the provocative name of the Mandaean genius Ptahil (= Ptah-'il?); compare Tawril in Mandaean, Ugar. ṯr 'il and Qabbalistic šry'l. On the latter, see Pope, p. 35 and references; on the Mandaean genii, see , Albright, AJSL 53 (1936), 12 and references.Google Scholar

67 Reading [yhwh] 'l ḏ(z) 'lm or the like as the phrase underlying the traditional yhwh 'l 'wlm.

68 Cf. , Pope's discussion of 'El's “seniority and senility,” 3235.Google Scholar

69 This follows the reconstruction of Ginsberg, H. L., Orientalia 7 (1938), 111Google Scholar. Cf. , Eissfeldt, El im ugaritischen Pantheon, 55; Pope, 51Google Scholar.

70 There is no longer the slightest reason to doubt this meaning of the root qny in Canaanite. To be sure it may stand closer in meaning in this and other contexts to “procreating” than “creating” in a medieval or modern sense. See most recently Gevirtz, S., op. cit., 143, n. 4Google Scholar; Irwin, W. A., “Where Shall Wisdom Be Found,” JBL 80 (1961), 133142Google Scholar; Pope, 51-52; Galling, K., “The Scepter of Wisdom,” BASOR 119 (1950), 17Google Scholar.

71 Texts 49: III, 5, 11; 51: II, 11; 51: III, 32; 2 Aqhat I, 25.

72 Texts 51: I, 23; III, 26, 30, 35; IV, 32.

73 Texts 51: IV, 48; 'nt V, 43, 44.

74 On ilu dū yaqniyu ṯ/ḏadī-mi, I Aqhat 219–220, see below.

75 apud Eusebius, Praep. evan. I, 10.

76 On the divine generations and god lists, see Edzard, D. O., op. cit., 74 f.Google Scholar; and Güterboch, H. G., Kumarbi, 100115, and referencesGoogle Scholar.

76a [See now the excellent article of Lack, Rémi, “Les origines de Elyon, le Très-Haut, dans le tradition cultuelle d'Israël,” CBQ 24 (1962), pp. 4464Google Scholar. Unfortunately it came into my hands after my essay was in proof.]

77 A: 10–12. See most recently Dupont-Sommer, A. and Starcky, Jean, Les inscriptions araméennes de Sfiré (Paris, 1958)Google Scholar; Fitzmyer, J. A., “The Aramaic Inscriptions of Sefire I and II,” JAOS 81 (1961), 178222Google Scholar; Noth, M., “Der historische Hintergrund der Inschriften von Sefīre,” ZDPV 77 (1961), 118172Google Scholar.

78 Cf. , Fitzmyer, op. cit., 192193.Google Scholar

79 Cf. the South Arabic epithet, 'l t'ly, “El, Most High,” Ryckmans, G., Les noms propres sud-sémitiques, I (Paris, 1934), 2Google Scholar.

80 This would also account for Philo's alleged confusion.

81 See Vida, L. della, “El 'Elyôn in Genesis 14: 18-20,” JBL 63 (1944), 19Google Scholar. On the Hittite Ilkunirsa, consort of Ašertu (Asherah), see , Otten, “Ein kanaanäischer Mythus aus Boǧazköy,” Mitteilungen des Instituts für Orientforschung, (1953), 125150Google Scholar; and the discussion of M. Pope, 52–54. To his discussion we should add only that the god kinnōr now appears in the god list from Ugarit (RS 20.24; cf. Text 17, 1. 10 where knr is to be read; , Nougayrol, CRAIBL [1957], 83.)Google Scholar.

82 Published by Dupont-Sommer, A., Semitica I (1948), 4368Google Scholar; Cf. Ginsberg, H. L., “An Aramaic Contemporary of the Lachish Letters,” BASOR 111 (Oct., 1948), 2427Google Scholar.

83 Ginsberg, ibid., 26, n. 8.

84 Tallquist, Knut, Akkadische Götterepitheta (Helsinki, 1938), 69, 366.Google Scholar

85 Tallquist, p. 54.

86 Tallquist, p. 2.

87 Tallquist, p. 71.

88 Tallquist, p. 64.

89 Compare also Ugaritic ba'l 'arsi (of Ba'l Haddu) Text 49:. I, 14–15; etc.

90 The Joseph blessing occurring in widely variant, but ultimately identical form in Gen. 49, and Deuteronomy 33: 13-17, must be dated in the era of the Judges, probably in the eleventh century B.C. See Cross, F. M. and Freedman, D. N., “The Blessing of Moses,” JBL 67 (1948), 205, n. 41Google Scholar.

91 See the lists of the neśî'îm in Num. 1: 5–15; 2: 3–29; etc.

92 See M. Burchardt, Die altkanaanäischen Fremdwörte und Eigennamen im Aegyptischen II, No. 826: sa-di-'-mi (following Albright's system for Egyptian syllabic orthography); cf. Albright, W. F., The Biblical Period (Pittsburgh, 1950), 7, 56, n. 20.Google Scholar

93 Virolleaud, C., Le palais royal d'Ugarit II (Paris, 1957), No. 58. 1. 18 ṯdy; cf.Google ScholarNougayrol, J., Le palais royal d'Ugarit III (Paris, 1955), 15. 42, 1. 15 'Ša-da-yaGoogle Scholar.

94 The Names Shaddai and Abram,” JBL 54 (1935), 173193Google Scholar. The latest study, and in most ways a superb one, is that of Weippert, Manfred, “Erwägungen zur Etymologie des Gottesnamens 'El Saddaj,” ZDMG NF 36 (1961), 4262Google Scholar.

95 Control of the sibilants in Canaanite depends primarily on the evidence of the Egyptian transcriptions. Fortunately the Egyptian equations are remarkably consistent. The following equivalences hold throughout the material.

It will be noted that Canaanite in the Amarna letters is listed in two columns, one for the main series of Canaanite letters, one for anomolous transcriptions from the Jerusalem Amarna letters. The Jerusalem transcriptions, as is generally recognized, probably do not reflect a different dialect, unique in the Canaanite group, but rather a peculiarity in the scribe's use of the syllabary: see , Goetze, “Is Ugaritic a Canaanite Dialect,” Language 17 (1941), 128, n. 15Google Scholar; Moran, W. L., op. cit., 59 n. 42Google Scholar. It may be noted also that the Proto-Canaanite inscriptions from Sinai also reflect the distinction between ś and š, following the pattern of Egyptian and Amarna data: Albright, W. F., BASOR 110 (1948), 15, n. 42Google Scholar. Thus, the writing ša-de4-e in Jerusalem Letter 287, 56 probably was pronounced śadē; in any case there is a consistent distinction between ś and š in the Egyptian transcriptions, in the Akkadian transcriptions including even the anomolous Jerusalem group, where the values are reversed. There can be no doubt, therefore that in South Canaanite, as well as later Hebrew, the sibilants ś and š had not fallen together in the Amarna Age. In Phoenician the shift ś>š took place before the development of the conventional alphabet, probably in the thirteenth century (when Ugaritic shifted to š; see Virolleaud, C., GLECS VIII [1960], 7273Google Scholar) or in the twelfth century B.C. At all events it must be insisted that the failure of the Phoenician alphabet to distinguish , š, and ś, has no bearing on the shift of the sibilants in other dialects. In both Hebrew and Old Aramaic, notation of the sibilants is incomplete, because scribes adopted, under influence of Phoenician scribal tradition an alphabet not devised for their phonemic system. In no case can it be held that the Proto-Canaanite alphabet developed independently in Palestine, Phoenicia and Aram; the palaeographical data will not tolerate such a view.

It must be argued on the basis of the Egyptian evidence (sa-di-'-mi), that the name šadday has as its sibilant, Canaanite ṯ or ś. Since Hebrew šadday requires either ṯ or š, an etymology with ṯ is required if we follow normal equivalences, as methodologically we must. Moreover, since both Hebrew śadê “steppe,” and Jerusalem Amarna ša-de4-e reflect Canaanite ś, an etymological connection with šadday is excluded (pace Weippert).

The Ugaritic names ṯdy, ša-da-ya thus fit our analysis, and perhaps we should add ṯdṯb, ṯadê-tāb(a) like Ilī-rām, 'ammu-rāma, comparing ṯb'm and ṯb'l. On the formation, see , Gelb, op. cit., §, and compare the epithet of 'El: ḏū-ṯāb (Sinai).Google Scholar

96 The development of the sibilants in Akkadian is still not clear. The data for the etymology of šadu is found in Old Akkadian. There are two recent treatments of this material, Aro, J., “Die semitischen Zischlaute () š, ś und s und ihre Vertretung im Akkadischen,” Orientalia 28 (1959), 321335Google Scholar; and Gelb, I. J., Old Akkadian Writing and Grammar; 2nd (enlarged) ed. (Chicago, 1961), esp. 3539Google Scholar; and Goetze, A., “The Sibilants in Old Babylonian,” RA 52 (1958), 137149 (called to my attention by Thorkild Jacobsen).Google Scholar

In Old Akkadian, *šadwum appears written SA.TU and ša-du-(im). The latter writing is expected, since etymological normally is written ša, ši, šu, etc. The writing SA normal with etymological š/ś, also occurs with etymological in the normative phase of Old Akkadian, and so frequently (see , Gelb, op. cit., p. 36) that its occurrence in SA.TU can certainly not surprise.Google Scholar

97 The only real argument for identifying Hebrew śadê, “plain, steppe” and Akkadian šadū “mountain, hill country” as cognate has been on the basis of meaning. However, their only common ground if we may put it so is upland steppes or lowland hills. As for their nuclear meanings, śadê is to har as sēru is to šadū, and their etymological identity can only be argued on the principle of what the Arab lexicographers call didd (literally, “contrary/similar”).

98 The primitive meaning is obviously “breast,” Arab. ṯdy, Heb. šad, Ugar. ṯd, etc. However, the secondary meaning developed for transparent reasons (cf. the American Grand Teton range), presumably in Akkadian, and as we shall see, in Ugaritic. Note also in Genesis 49:25,26, that after the mention of “your father's god,” and its parallel 'El Šadday, blessings are listed from Heaven (šamáyim), Deep (těhōm), Breasts (šadáyim) and Womb (ráham), and finally mountains. There seems to be a play on words here between šadday and šadáyim, and it is just possible that in the fertility clichés behind the present composition, there is also knowledge of the epithet of 'El's consort: Rahmay. We may also observe the association between mountains and the breasts of Tīamat in the creation account. See the lines of Enūma eliš published by , Gurney and , Finkelstein, the Sultantepe Tablets I (London, 1957), No. 12Google Scholar, lines 8'–9', now combined with older material, Landsberger, B. and Wilson, J. V. Kinnier, “The Fifth Tablet of Enuma eliš,” JNES XX (1961), 154179, esp. 160, 175.Google Scholar

99 See Milik, J. T., “Giobbe 38, 28 in siro-palestinese e la dea ugaritica Pdry bt ar,” Rivista biblica 3 (1958), 252254Google Scholar. To his evidence we should add the reading dpi-id-ra-i (Nougayrol dbi-it-ra-i) in 17.116, 3: PRU IV, 132.

100 This is confirmed in the pantheon list by her identification with Allatum.

101 In the Balaam Oracles: Numbers 24:4, 16. On the antiquity of this piece, see Albright, W. F., “The Oracles of Balaam,” JBL 63 (1944), 207233.Google Scholar

102 El and Yahweh,” JSS I (1956), 2537.Google Scholar

103 Eissfeldt, 30, n. 4; Pope, 61-72.

104 On ḏ/ṯadū, see below.

105 2 Aqhat VI, 46–49; 49: I, 4–8; 51: IV, 20–24; 129, 4–5; 'nt pl- vi:V, 13–16.

105a 'nt pl. IX: III, 21–24; cf. 'nt pl. ix: II, 23.

106 We may compare the mythological motives in Enoch and in the Aramaic Testament of Levi which localize the gates to heaven and to hell, at the pinnacle of Mt. Hermon and at the springs of Banias. See Milik, J. T., RB 62 (1955), 398406Google Scholar; esp. 404–5 and n. 2.

107 Psalm 82:1.

108 Isaiah 14:13.

109 137:19–21; cf. 137:13–15.

110 Reading 'il for the apparent ll; cf. Pope, p. 69.

111 A Note on Alphabetic Origins,” BASOR 121 (1951), 1721.Google Scholar

112 Compare the element zimri- in Mari personal names; the Ugaritic warrior class, ḏmr; bibl. zmrt in Exodus 15:2 and II Sam. 23:1 and South Arabic ḏmr. See Cross, F. M. and Freedman, D. N., “The Song of Miriam,” JNES 14(1955), 243, n. b.Google Scholar

113 On širtī, “I have been betrayed,” see Aībright, W. F., BASOR 89 (1943), 13, n. 13Google Scholar.

114 Provisionally see Virolleaud, C., GLECS VIII (1960), 7273Google Scholar for remarks on a new retrograde text, and references to the older ones. In these texts several phonemes have merged, including etymological ṯ and š. The script is highly developed (or degenerate) typologically from that of the normal texts. Both the developed phonemic structure and script suggest an advanced date.

115 Egyptian s and Hittite cuneiform š were pronounced /s/, as is well established. Cf. Albright, W. F., The Vocalization of the Egyptian Syllabic Orthography (New Haven, 1934), 13, n. 51Google Scholar, and references. For example, Egyptian sutah appears in Hittite as šutah; Tešup appears in Egyptian transcription as Ti-su-pi, and in Ugaritic as Tṯb. In Ugaritic we find 'alṯy, in cuneiform mat a-la-ši-ya, in Egyptian transcription 'A-ra-sa. Cf. Ugaritic ṯpllm, Suppiluliuma (Hittite cuneiform šuppiluliuma); Egyptian Mu-ra-si-ra, Mursilis, Ha-tu-si-ra, Hattusilis, etc., etc.

116 A review of recent research until 1957 can be found in Mayer, R., “Der Gottesname Jahwe im Lichte der neuesten Forschung,” Zeitschrift, BiblischeNF 2 (1958), 2653Google Scholar. To this we should add the following selected items of recent date not to be found in Mayer's paper: Murtonen, A., A Philological and Literary Treatise on the Old Testament Divine Names 'l, 'lwh, 'lhym, and yhwh (Helsinki, 1952)Google Scholar; Segal, M. H., “El, Elohim, and YHWH in the Bible,” JQR 46 (1955). 89115Google Scholar; Reisel, M., The Mysterious Name of Y.H.W.H. (Assen, 1957)Google Scholar; Freedman, David Noel, “The Name of the God of Moses,” JBL 79 (1960), 151156Google Scholar; Abba, R., “The Divine Name Yahweh,” JBL 80 (1961), 320328Google Scholar; Mowinckel, S., “The Name of the God of Moses,” HUCA XXXII (1961), 121133Google Scholar.

117 yahū apparently was selected as the combinatory form, yahweh as the independent form quite early in wide circles.

118 The seal, shortly to be published along with the Museum's fairly extensive collection, is exquisitely designed and engraved, on one side in the positive, on the other side in the negative. No doubt it belonged to a Temple official of Judah. The element -yaw < -yahū is expected in early Judah as well as Samaria. After about 700 B.C., despite a continuing general tendency to syncope of intervocalic h, spellings reverted to the historic -yhw, only to shift again to -yw by the fifth century.

119 The reference is reported by Albright, W. F. in JBL 67 (1948), 380Google Scholar. The list is to be published by H. W. Fairman of Liverpool in the near future.

120 Again, without more forms, we cannot be certain of the laryngeal. On the analysis of these forms, see Gelb, I. J., “La Lingua degli amoriti,” ad. loc.Google Scholar

121 This is posited by the Barth-Ginsberg law (so-called), which operated throughout the Canaanite dialects including Ugaritic, and widely in Amorite, although there are some unsolved problems in the pattern of qal imperfect forms among the Amorite dialects.

122 In his article cited in note 116, S. Mowinckel asks how one explains the form yahū if yahwê is taken to be a finite, imperfect verb form. As a matter of fact the necessity of explaining both forms on the basis of documented historical changes is one of the reasons why yahwê must be analyzed as an imperfect of the causative stem. In the early Canaanite dialects, the imperfect of the causative is yaqtilu (indicative), yaqtil (jussive). In tert. -yod verbs the forms appear as yaqliyu and yaqlī; in verbs both med. waw and tert. yod, the forms are *yahwiyu > yahwī (indie.) and yahwī > yahū (jussive). These forms are not theoretical projections, but are based on patterns in Canaanite and Amorite verb forms which actually appear in vocalized scripts (cuneiform, Egyptian syllabic orthography, and roots in ‘alef in Ugaritic). Hebrew reflects late stages of the parallel development of imperfects and jussives in other stems: yihyê/yĕhī, yiḥyê/yeḥī. The št-stem (causative-reflexive) of ḥwy in Hebrew (and Ugaritic) also supplies an analogy: yištaḥăwê (imperfect indicative); yištaḥū (jussive, 3. m. sing.).

Mowinckel also argues that Neo-Babylonian transcriptions of Jewish names ending in -ya-a-ma indicate a pronunciation yahwa (sic!) of the divine name in these combinations. Since this notion seems to survive among Hebraists in spite of all advances in our knowledge of Neo-Babylonian orthography, a comment is in order. Final short vowels were lost in Babylonian well before the Late Babylonian era, but the syllabary designed to show these vowels continued in use. ma in the final position in transcriptions represents w (only); ya-a-ma is the normal way in Late Babylonian to represent -yaw. This -yaw is the same as that of fifth-fourth century alphabetic texts -yw for -yaw < yahū. See the fundamental work of Hyatt, J. P., The Treatment of Final Vowels in Early Neo-Babylonian (New Haven, 1941)Google Scholar. For a new series of names in -yw, see Aharoni, Y., Excavations at Ramat Raḥel (Roma, 1962), passim.Google Scholar

123 Occasionally one hears a protest even from a distinguished scholar, that a verb meaning “to cause to be” is too abstract or philosophic a concept to be predicated of an ancient Proto-Israelite deity. The problem may be semantic, and solved by translating “create, procreate, form, make.” Certainly I can see no ground for supposing that causatives of verbs “to be” imply ontological speculation on the part of the mythopoeic peoples of the Near East. In any case causatives of verbs meaning “to be” in the sense “create,” as well as other terms most easily translated “create,” predicated of deity, are ubiquitous in Near Eastern onomastica: Akk. ušabšū, Canaanite and/or Amorite yahwī > yahwê, yakīn, yakānin (yěkônēn), yaqnī (qal), yabnī (qal), etc. As a matter of fact this is to be expected. In Canaan and Mesopotamia, the epithets of the gods describe them, male and female, as creators of heaven and earth (see above), father or creatress of all creatures, gods and men, formers or progenitors of the world. As a matter of fact, fertility, order, and creation are bound together in the old myths; the cosmogonic myth was at the heart of Canaanite and Near Eastern religion, and the drama of creation central to its cultic life. Indeed, the radical novelty of Israel's early faith was its attempt to shift this center from creation to historical redemption in the cultic life of the nation. But the new forms of “historical” religion were in full continuity with Israel's past and contemporary environment, including pre-Mosaic Yahweh. This is evident in the recrudescence of creation themes in the royal cultus, and, of course, in the apocalyptic, where the typology between creation and salvation, Urzeit and Endzeit is full blown.

124 C. Virolleaud has recently signaled the appearance of the verb hwy in Ugaritic (GLECS VIII (1959), 66Google Scholar). He writes that in a quadrilingual (so!) lexicographical text from Ras Shamra, “on lit ú-wi en face des mots sumérien, akkadien et hourite qui signifient ‘être.’”

Unfortunately, I cannot accept Virolleaud's identification. The spelling ú does not represent h, but hu. See , Cross and , Lambdin, “A Ugaritic Abecedary and the Origins of the Proto-Canaanite Alphabet,” BASOR 160 (1960), 2126Google Scholar; esp. 24 f. Of course the PI sign can be read in a variety of ways. I think the most likely reading is u-wa /huwa/, to be understood as the pronoun huwa, “he.” The use of the pronoun as a copula in Canaanite is well known. For example, in the name hw'il/ huwa-'il/, the element huwa means in effect “He is,” and the full name, “He is god (or 'El);” cf. Hiya-abna (PRU II: 104,7; 104, 20).

125 For example, in Amorite names, note the following yatub'll (ya-šú-ub-DINGIR), hypocor. yatubum ( = Heb. yāšûb), or *yaṯubānu (cf. yaphurānu); yahwī-'il, hypocor. yahwiyum (ya-wi-um).

126 See already Albright, W. F., BASOR 70 (1938), 19Google Scholar; and Archaeology and the Religion of Israel (Baltimore, 1942), 195, n. IIGoogle Scholar; , Goetze, BASOR 93 (1944), 18Google Scholar has queried the longer sentence name proposed by Albright: 'al'iyu qurādima qāriyêya ba'arsi malḥamati. In 51: VIII: 34, 67: II: 10, 18 the short form 'al'iyu qarrādīma is used; in 'nt III, 11; IV, 51 the long formula occurs. The matter need not be decided for our purposes here. The short form 'al'iyu qarrādīma is indisputably a sentence name.

127 67, V, 17. This is probably not an error for the usual 'al'iyānu ba'l, but the hypocoristicon without termination: “I Ba'l prevail …” Cf. Hebrew 'ehyê in Exodus 3:14 and Hosea 1:9.

128 Cf. the earlier discussion of the vocalization of the name: rakub (a). A stative perfect is quite possibly original.

129 Cf. šākin urpāti, and rākib ūmi, epithets of Adad. Probably the epithet originally belonged to Hadad. However, rkb'l, named alongside 'El and Hadad at Zincirli, has split apart, perhaps originally as an hypostasis, from Ba'l-Hadad and/or 'El.

130 This name is interesting in view of the suggestion of David Noel Freedman, on wholly different grounds, that the curious combination Yahwê 'ělōhîm in the primordial stories of Genesis goes back to an earlier sentence name of the god of Israel, namely, Yahwê-'El, in which the element yahwê still preserved verbal force.

131 G. Ryckmans I, 16.

132 Ryckmans I, 28.

133 “Jahwe Zebaoth,” Miscellanea Academica Berolinensia (Berlin, 1950), 127150Google Scholar. As Eissfeldt shows, the key passages are I Samuel 1:3, 11; 4:4 ('rum bryt yhwh sb'wt yšb hkrbym) 15:2, 17:45 (yhwh sb'wt 'lhy m'rkwt yśr'l); II Samuel 6:2, 18; 7:8, 26,27; Psalm 24: 7-10. The original formula was associated with the ark, the cherubim iconography, and the wars of Yahweh.

134 “Der Name Jahweh,” OLZ 1909, cols. 211–214.Google Scholar

135 I Aqht 219–20. The context is broken and difficult. It appears to say who formed the mountain (s).”

136 Or if one prefers, one strand of the Epic tradition.

137 If the biblical authorities are not sufficient, we can enlist the aid of Wellhausen, Julius: “Jehovah was only a special name of El …” Prolegomena to the History of Israel, trans. , Black and , Menzies (Edinburgh, 1885) 433, n. 1Google Scholar.

138 El and Yahweh,” JSS I (1956) 2537.Google Scholar

139 See most recently on the cult of Jeroboam, deVaux, R., Ancient Israel (New York, 1961), 332336Google Scholar, and the literature cited, 540–543.

140 The young bull was no doubt conceived as a pedestal for the god. However, there were, we suspect, grounds for the accusation in Exodus 32: 4 // I Kings 12:38 that the bulls of Dan and Bethel were worshipped. A god and his animal “participated in each other,” and while the god might be conceived as enthroned or standing on the bull, in Canaanite mythology, he also easily transformed himself into his animal and vice versa.

141 Obviously the term 'elōhîm, capable, whether singular or plural, of taking a plural verb, lent itself to retouching (in Ex. 32:4). However, the effect is weird. Aaron only made one calf. “These gods” belong to Dan and Bethel.

142 Cf. Eissfeldt, O., “Silo and Jerusalem,” Supplement to Vetus Testamentum IV (Leiden, 1957), 138147.Google Scholar

143 Ugaritic texts: 49, IV, 34; VI, 26–27, etc.

144 The bull was associated, of course, with other gods, not least Ba'l-Haddu. Jeroboam did not attempt to introduce Ba'l; if he had, tradition should have preserved the fact in vivid invective.

145 Pope, 24–32.

146 See Pope, 44–45.

147 Pope, 47–54.

148 Professor Jacobsen (who has kindly read this paper, and aided me in more than one difficulty in dealing with Mesopotamian lore) comments on the “historical” character of the Patriarchal god as follows: “I have the impression that a great deal of what is seen as true in Alt's view can be very greatly deepened by going into the Mesopotamian concept of the ‘personal’ god … The elements of ‘power to effective decision and acting’ inherent in the concept of the ‘personal god,’ and the development in Mesopotamia around the time of the First Dynasty of Babylon which has the ‘personal’ god turn away from his protégé in anger at cultic and moral offences leaving him open to attack by evil, all seems to me to have relevance here.”

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