Yahwism presents itself under a variety of aspects, and the history of Israel's relations to the God Yahweh (whose name is not necessarily of Israelite origin) can hardly be disentangled amid the complicated threads of the earlier history.
The view that the seeds of Yahwism were planted in the young Israelite nation in the days of the " exodus " conflicts with the belief that the worship of Yahweh began in the pre-Mosaic age.
The course of the dynasty of Jehu - the reforms, the disastrous Aramaean wars, and, at length, Yahweh's " arrow of victory " - constituted an epoch in the Israelite history, and it is regarded as such.3 The problem of the history of Yahwism depends essentially upon the view adopted as to the date and origin of the biblical details and their validity for the various historical and religious conditions they presuppose.
Yahwism is a religion which appears upon a soil saturated with ideas and usages which find their parallel in extrabiblical sources and in neighbouring lands.
If nomadism may be recognized as one of the factors in the growth of Yahwism, there is something to be said for the hypothesis which associates it with the clans connected with the Levites (see E.
But Yahwism, like Islam, had its sects and tendencies, and the opponents to the stricter ritualism always had followers.
The history of Baalism among the Hebrews is obscured by the difficulty of determining whether the false worship which the prophets stigmatize is the heathen worship of Yahweh under a conception, and often with rites, which treated him as a local nature god; or whether Baalism was consciously recognized to be distinct from Yahwism from the first.
These smaller deities are, as it were, telluric, and the territory of each is virtually henotheistic - as also its traditions - and even as to-day the saints or patrons enjoy a more real veneration among the peasants than does the Allah of the orthodox, the long-established worship of the ancient local beings always hampered the reformers of Yahwism (cf.