Sunday, August 31, 2008

Henotheism in Israelite theology?

From an interesting post I found on the Daniel Pipes website from May of 2007, posted by "Bill" -- indicating that there was a layer or level of henotheism in Israelite theology, perhaps enfolded into its monotheism, and also perhaps never eradicated:

"HEAR, Oh Israel, The LORD, OUR G-D, is ONE"

After millenia, it's high time we translated that sentence correctly from the original Hebrew :

HEAR, Oh Israel, YAHWE (The Lord) IS OUR GOD, (but) YAHWE is ONE

That "(but)" comes after "OUR GOD" which in the original Hebrew is a plural (our Gods).

At that particular time (8th century BC) the sages and the prophets had to strenuously emphasize that all the gods venerated by the Israelites were IN YAHWE . But that YAHWE was ONE.

Remember the cry : "YAHWE (Adonai) HU HAELOHIM" (chanted to this day by the Jews) "YAHWE IS THE GODS"

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