His strongest denunciation is directed against the religious practices of the time in Judea - the worship of the Canaanite local deities (the Baals), the Phoenician Tammuz, and the sun and other Babylonian and Assyrian gods (vi., viii., xvi., xxiii.); he maintained vigorously the prophetic struggle for the sole worship of Yahweh.
It would be reasonable to assume that Moab, Ammon, Edom and kindred tribes of Israel in the 15th and preceding centuries were included in the generic term Habiri (or Hebrews) mentioned in the Tell el-Amarna inscriptions as forming predatory bands that disturbed the security of the Canaanite dwellers west of the Jordan.
The Tell el-Amarna despatches are crowded with evidences of Canaanite forms and idioms impressed on the Babylonian language of these cuneiform documents.
Ilani here simply corresponds to the Canaanite Elohim.
He ventures into a more disputable region when he penetrates into the obscure realm of the Abrahamic migration and finds in the Abrahamic traditions of Genesis the higher Canaanite monotheistic tendencies evolved out of Babylonian astral religion, and reflected in the name El `Elyon (Gen.
Moreover, the definitely ethical character of the religion of Yahweh established by Moses is exhibited in the strict exclusion of all sexual impurity in His worship. Unlike the Canaanite Baal, Yahweh hasnofemale consort, and this remained throughouta distinguishing trait of the original and unadulterated Hebrew religion (see Bathgen, Beitreige, p. 265).
The kadishtu of the temples of the Babylonian Ishtar) were foreign Canaanite elements which became imported into Hebrew worship during the period of the Hebrew settlement in Canaan.
For it involved a transition from the simple nomadic relations to those of the agricultural and more highly civilized Canaanite life.
To the original nomadic Pesah (Passover) - sacrifice of a lamb - there was attached a distinct and agricultural festival of unleavened cakes (ynassoth) which marks the beginning of the corn harvest in the middle of the month Abib (the name of which points to its Canaanite and 1 The tablet is neo-Babylonian and published by Dr Pinches in the Transactions of the Victoria Institute, and is cited by Professor Fried.
Now when the Hebrews succeeded to these agricultural conditions and acquired possession of the Canaanite abodes, they naturally fell into the same cycle of religious ideas and tradition.
Accordingly, whenever His presence and power were displayed in places where the Canaanite Baal had been worshipped, they came to be attached to these spots.
Power and presence (numen) there, and the same festivals and sacrifices which had previously been devoted to the cult of the Canaanite Baal were now annexed to the service of Yahweh, the war-god of the conquering race.
The process of transference was facilitated by two potent causes: (a) Both Canaanite and Hebrew spoke a common language; (b) the name Baal is not in reality an individual proper name like Kemosh (Chemosh), Ramman or Hadad, but is, like El (Ilu)" god," an appellative meaning " lord," " owner " or " husband."
For when Yahweh gradually became Israel's local Baal he became worshipped like the old Canaanite deity, and all the sensuous accompaniments of Kedeshoth,' as well as the presence of the asherah or sacred pole, became attached to his cult.
Similarly in the earlier pre-exilian period of Israel's occupation of Canaanite territory the Hebrews were always subject to this tendency to worship the old Baal or `Ashtoreth (the goddess who made the cattle and flocks prolific).3 A few years of drought or of bad seasons would make a Hebrew settler betake himself to the old Canaanite gods.
Even in the days of Hosea the rivalry between Yahweh and the old Canaanite Baal still continued.
Times of peace meant national disintegration and the lapse of Israel into the Canaanite local cults, which is interpreted by the redactor as the prophets of the 8th century would have interpreted it, viz.
It is probable that necromancy, like the worship of Asherah and `Ashtoreth, as well as the cult of graven images, was a Canaanite importation into Israel's religious practices.
It is easy to discern from varied allusions in the Old Testament that the Canaanite impress of sensuous life clung to the autumnal vintage festivals.
His power was asserted in and from Canaanite soil.
Broke up the security within the Canaanite borders.
Palestinian states on the other, and that they could scarcely have escaped the all-pervading Babylonian influences of 2000-1400 B.C. It is now becoming clearer every day, especially since the discovery of the laws of Khammurabi, that, if we are to think sanely about Hebrew history before as well as after the exile, we can only think of Israel as part of the great complex of Semitic and especially Canaanite humanity that lived its life in western Asia between 2060 and 600 B.C.; and that while the Hebrew race maintained by the aid of prophetism its own individual and exalted place, it was not less susceptible then, than it has been since, to the moulding influences of great adjacent civilizations and ideas.
Israel's faithlessness is shown in idolatry and the prevailing corruption of the high places in which the old Canaanite Baal was worshipped instead of Yahweh.
10-26 (J), but had also become tainted and corrupted by centuries of Canaanite influence and practice which especially infected the cult of the high places.
18), of stone pillars to the Canaanite Baal, of the Asherah-pole, molten images and the worship of other gods than Yahweh (Ex.
This is known as the Canaanite period, succeeded about loon B.C. by the Aramaean.
There is strong evidence at all events that many of the conceptions are contrary to historical fact, and the points of similarity between native Canaanite cult and Israelite worship are so striking that only the persistent traditions of Israel's origin and of the work of Moses compel the conclusion that the germs of specific Yahweh worship existed from his day.
They represent a protest against the contemporary Canaanite civilization and a reaction towards the simplicity of life which was felt more strongly in Judah or to the east of the Jordan than in the northern kingdom of Israel.
GEZER (the Kazir of Tethmosis [Thothmesj III.'s list of Palestinian cities and the Gazri of the Amarna tablets), a royal Canaanite city on the boundary of Ephraim, in the maritime plain (Josh.
The god of the Canaanite city was Baal-Berith: his temple was destroyed when Abimelech quelled the rising of his fickle subjects (Jud.
"It is generally recognized that this chapter holds quite an isolated place in the Pentateuchal history; it is the only passage which presents Abraham in the character of a warrior, and connects him with historical names and political movements, and there are no clear marks by which it can be assigned to any one of the documents of which Genesis is made up. Thus, while one school of interpreters finds in the chapter the earliest fragment of the political history of western Asia, some even holding with Ewald that the narrative is probably based on old Canaanite records, other critics, as Noldeke, regard the whole as unhistorical and comparatively late in origin.
Among the Canaanite branch, the king-god is more prominent, and apart from the Ammonite variant Milcom, numerous names compounded with Milkare found on Phoenician inscriptions and among western Semites mentioned in cuneiform literature (H.
On the whole, the biblical tradition that the Molech-cult was Canaanite and indigenous (Deut.
That this was what actually happened may be inferred from the fact that the Canaanite and Phoenician name for a priest (kohen) is identical with the Arabic kahin, a " soothsayer."
The kahin, therefore, is not a degraded priest but such a soothsayer as is found in most primitive societies, and the Canaanite priests grew out of these early revealers.
But the use of " kahin " for " priest " in the Canaanite area points to more than this: it is connected with the orgiastic character of Canaanite religion.
But it is soon learned that a similar physical state can be produced artificially, and at the Canaanite sanctuaries this was done on a large scale.
The Hebrews, who made the language of Canaan their own, took also the Canaanite name for a priest.
But the earliest forms of Hebrew priesthocd are not Canaanite in character; the priest, as he appears in the older records of the time of the Judges, Eli at Shiloh, Jonathan in the private temple of Micah and at Dan, is much liker the sadin than the kahin.
9; no doubt also money, a sin the Canaanite temple at Shechem, Judges ix.
Istilsam) the two nations should have chosen the same one independently to mean a priest is, in view of the great difference in character between old Hebrew and Canaanite priesthoods, inconceivable.
In point of fact the one rested on old Hebrew tradition, the other had taken shape mainly under Canaanite influence, and in most of its features was little more than the crassest nature-worship. In this respect there was no distinction between the Temple of Zion and other shrines, or rather it was just in the greatest sanctuary with the most stately ritual that foreign influences had most play, as we see alike in the original institutions of Solomon and in the innovations of Ahaz (2 Kings xvi.
The Canaanite influence on the later organization of the Temple is clearly seen in the association of Temple prophets with the Temple priests under the control of the chief priest, which is often referred to by Jeremiah; even the viler ministers of sensual worship, the male and female prostitutes of the Phoenician temples, had found a place on Mt Zion and were only removed by Josiah's reformation.'
4 seq.), and from the allusion in Amos we are led to suppose that at one time the Nazarites had an importance - perhaps even an organization - parallel to that of the prophets, but of a very different religious type from the Canaanite nature-worship.
6 (" the Canaanite was then in the land ") and Num.
To give a name to this new phenomenon the Israelites, it would seem, had to borrow a word from their Canaanite neighbours.
In fact the presence of an orgiastic character is as marked a feature in Canaanite religion as the absence of it is in the oldest religion of Israel; but the new Hebrew enthusiasts had at least an external resemblance to the devotees of the Canaanite sanctuaries and this would be enough to determine the choice of a name which in the first instance seems hardly to have been a name of honour.
In admitting that the name was borrowed, we are not by any means shut up to suppose that the Hebrew nebhiim simply copied their Canaanite neighbours.
Since the absorption of the aborigines in Israel Canaanite ideas had exercised great influence over the sanctuaries - so much so that the reforming prophets of the 8th century regarded the national religion as having become wholly heathenish; and this influence the ordinary prophets, whom a man like Micah regards as mere diviners, had certainly not escaped.
Tamar, the date-palm) and the old Canaanite elements (Zerah =indigena) by the younger Israelite invaders (Perez="branch").