[b-hebrew] re: their altars

Yigal Levin leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il
Sun Mar 6 01:36:13 EST 2005

While I do not think that the Yahwist wrote at Kuntillet Ajrud - it's not
likely that such a major work of literature was composed at such a small
desert outpost, and J is much to Judahite in outlook - nor that the
inhabitants of that site were Edomites (the mention of YHWH of Samaria
etc.), it has been claimed (by John Bartlett et al.) that the Edomites may
have originally worshipped YHWH, and only later adopted the cult of Qaus (or
Qos/QWS). The fact is, that there are lots of biblical passages that reffer
to YHWH coming from Edom, Paran or Seir, that the Bible (that is, the
various authors of many biblical strands from J to Obadiah) considers the
Edomites to be Israel's "brother", reflecting a cultural similarity, and
that the Bible does not mention either Qaus or any other Edomite deity
(while it does mention the Moabite Chemosh and the Ammonite Milkom/Molech).
Qaus first appears (as a theophoric element of Edomite royal names) in late
8th century Assyrian documents, becoming more common during the Babylonian
and the Persian periods.


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