Yahweh

By Levi Clancy for Student Reader on
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Yahweh was the deity of early Israelites and was a precursor to the God of today. Yahwism emerged during Iron I due to contact with Midianite traditions. However, a Late Bronze Age text mentions a Yahwistic name Yahu of Shasu. Yahweh was sometimes depicted as having a consort named Asherah, although this polytheism was later banned under Judean king Hezekiah.

When Pharaoh heard of it, he sought to kill Moses. But Moses fled from Pharaoh. He settled in the land of Midian, and sat down by a well. Exodus 2:15

Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian; he led his flock beyond the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. Exodus 3:1

LocationItemTimeDescription

Silwan Tomb

Royal Steward Inscription

8th cent. BC

The Royal Steward Inscription states, "This is the tomb of …yahu who was over the house. There is neither silver nor gold here, yet his bones and the bones of his servant-wife with him. Cursed is the man who opens this (tomb)."

Kuntillet ‘Ajrud

Ostracon

8th cent. BC

On an ostracon, “Yahweh of Teman and his Asherah”.

Khirbet El Qom

Ostracon

8th/7th cent. BC

Yielded an ostracon with an impression of a hand and the inscription, “Uriyahu the Governor (or singer) wrote it. May Uriyahu be blessed by Yahweh, for from his enemies he has been saved by his Asherah.”