Aleph Lamech

George Athas gathas at mail.usyd.edu.au
Thu Jun 10 19:42:41 EDT 1999


The deity "El" was a very common deity in the Fertile Crescent, mostly in Syria-Palestine. He was
viewed as the father of the pantheon of gods and his wife was Asherah. He presided over the divine
assembly as a kind of divine president, much like Greek Zeus (though El probably corresponds more
with Kronos). At a later stage, El was essentially supplanted by Baal as the president deity. His
name is also used as a common noun for "god". We can compare this with "Zeus" whose name might be
derived from an Indo-Aryan word meaning "god". (Compare the word in many modern languages - 'Deus'.
The Roman god, Jupiter was the "Deo-Pater", the "father-god" or "godfather".)

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GEORGE ATHAS
 Dept of Semitic Studies,
 University of Sydney
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