[b-hebrew] Akhenaten and Hebrew religion

Karl Randolph kwrandolph at email.com
Wed Jul 21 17:59:48 EDT 2004

Patrina & Uri:

Just because Genesis doesn’t specifically mention it, doesn’t mean that the Patriarchs and earlier didn’t practice religious intolerance of other deities. That could have been part of what the Patriarchs considered background noise, taken for granted, hence not something to be specifically mentioned. Because it wasn’t mentioned means that we can’t prove either way.

Another issue: the religious practices mentioned in Genesis are not the same as in Exodus through Deuteronomy; God put a different set of religious practices on the nation of Israel than on individuals apart from Israel, which included the Patriarchs.

Finally, )L El is a title, not a name.

Karl W. Randolph.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Patrina" <patrina at bestmail.us>

> G'day Uri
> On Sun, 18 Jul 2004 09:18:24 -0700 (PDT), "Uri Hurwitz"
> <uhurwitz at yahoo.com> said:
> >   Your first point: correct, I too don't remember Aten mentioned in the
> >   Canaan EA letters. But the issue, as I understand it, is diffrerent.
> >   Both  Aten worship and Yahwism share an important aspect , that is
> >   intolerance of other deities. And since by biblical tradition this
> >   intolerance started in the Egyptian sojourn  - a tradition that can be
> >   fully accepted in outline -- there would be a clear connection between
> >   the two.
> That is such an important point I feel - usually people were very aware
> of not displeasing deities of other peoples, a view supported in
> biblical texts.  Such intolerance must have been thought foolhardy by
> the majority.
> >   To observe that the intolerance of other gods starts in the Egyptian
> >   narratives, one need only to take a look at the very different picture
> >   of this aspect in the Patriarchs outline history in Genesis (with one
> >   brief exception -- Gen. 35: 2-4 -- that would underscore  this, and
> >   deserves more discusssion).
> Yes, although the ironic part to me of the Genesis 35 passage is that it
> is a putting away of foreign gods from a Canaanitic point of view. 
> Jacob is honouring the deity of the land by building an altar to El
> (v.3).  This can be verified by the fact that Jacob also set up a
> massebah there and anointed it to the El of Beth-El (Gen 28:18, 31:13),
> a practice which was anathema to YHWH (Deut 16:22), and, even though
> considerable effort is made throughout the Tenach to blur any
> distinctions between El and YHWH, a few hints like this remain within
> the texts.

> >  
> > Kol Tuv
> >  
> > Uri
> Thanks for the references - I would certainly like to read 'The rise of
> Yahwism' and will try to get hold of a copy.
> Patrina Nuske Small
> Adelaide, South Australia
> -- 
>   Patrina
>   patrina at bestmail.us
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