Saturday, 19 March 2011

Polytheism in the Bible

In this post, I want to set out some of the passages in the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible) that contain evidence of elements of polytheism in ancient Israelite religion.

Who is like you, Yahwah, among the gods?
Who is like you, majestic in holiness,
awesome in splendour, doing wonders?
(Ex. 15.11)

Yahweh executed judgements even against their gods.
(Num. 33.4)

When Elyon apportioned the nations,
when he divided humankind,
he fixed the boundaries of the peoples
according to the number of the sons of God;
Yahweh's own portion was his people,
Jacob his allotted share.
(Deut. 32.8-9)

So now Yahweh, the god of Israel, has conquered the Amorites for the benefit of his people Israel. Do you intend to take their place? Should you not possess what your god Chemosh gives you to possess? And should we not be the ones to possess everything that Yahweh our god has conquered for our benefit?
(Jdg. 11.23-24)

Ascribe to Yahweh, O sons of gods,
ascribe to Yahweh glory and strength.
(Ps. 29:1)

God has taken his place in the divine council;
in the midst of the gods he holds judgment.
(Ps. 82.1)

There is none like you among the gods, O Lord,
nor are there any works like yours.
(Ps. 86:8)

For Yahweh is a great god,
and a great king above all gods.
(Ps. 95.3)

For I know that Yahweh is great;
our Lord is above all gods.
(Ps. 135.5)

El came from Teman,
the Holy One from Mount Paran....
Before him went Deber,
and Resheph followed close behind.
(Hab. 3.3-5)

One day the sons of God came to present themselves before Yahweh, and Satan also came among them.
(Job 1.6)