The Splintered Divine
A Study of Istar, Baal, and Yahweh Divine Names and Divine Multiplicity in the Ancient Near East
Aims and Scope
This book investigates the issue of the singularity versus the multiplicity of ancient Near Eastern deities who are known by a common first name but differentiated by their last names, or geographic epithets. It focuses primarily on the Ištar divine names in Mesopotamia, Baal names in the Levant, and Yahweh names in Israel, and it is structured around four key questions: How did the ancients define what it meant to be a god - or more pragmatically, what kind of treatment did a personality or object need to receive in order to be considered a god by the ancients? Upon what bases and according to which texts do modern scholars determine when a personality or object is a god in an ancient culture? In what ways are deities with both first and last names treated the same and differently from deities with only first names? Under what circumstances are deities with common first names and different last names recognizable as distinct independent deities, and under what circumstances are they merely local manifestations of an overarching deity? The conclusions drawn about the singularity of local manifestations versus the multiplicity of independent deities are specific to each individual first name examined in accordance with the data and texts available for each divine first name.
- 304 pages
- Type of Publication:
- Divine Epithets; Ancient Near Eastern Deities