Father of the Gods
Gilded statuette of El from Tel Megiddo
Other names
AbodeMount Lel
RegionLevant (particularly Canaan) and Anatolia
Personal information

(Ugarit religions)

Syrian equivalentDagon[1][2]
Mesopotamian equivalentAnu, Enlil[3][4]
Hurrian equivalentKumarbi[3][4]
Roman equivalentSaturn
Gebel al-Arak knife Possible depiction of El with two lions, B.C. 3450[5]

ʼĒl (/ɛl/ EL; also 'Il, Ugaritic: 𐎛𐎍 ʾīlu; Phoenician: 𐤀𐤋 ʾīl;[6] Hebrew: אֵל ʾēl; Syriac: ܐܺܝܠ ʾīyl; Arabic: إل ʾil or إله ʾilāh[clarification needed]; cognate to Akkadian: 𒀭, romanized: ilu) is a Northwest Semitic word meaning 'god' or 'deity', or referring (as a proper name) to any one of multiple major ancient Near Eastern deities. A rarer form, 'ila, represents the predicate form in the Old Akkadian and Amorite languages.[7] The word is derived from the Proto-Semitic *ʔil-, meaning "god".[8]

Specific deities known as 'El, 'Al or 'Il include the supreme god of the ancient Canaanite religion[9] and the supreme god of East Semitic speakers in Early Dynastic Period of Mesopotamia.[10] Among the Hittites, El was known as Elkunirsa (Hittite: 𒂖𒆪𒉌𒅕𒊭 Elkunīrša).

Although ʼĒl gained different appearances and meanings in different languages over time, it continues to exist as -il or -el in compound noun phrases such as Ishmael, Israel, Daniel, Raphael, Michael, and Gabriel.

Linguistic forms and meanings

Cognate forms of “ʼĒl” are found throughout the Semitic languages. They include Ugaritic ʾilu, pl. ʾlm; Phoenician ʾl pl. ʾlm; Hebrew ʾēl, pl. ʾēlîm; Aramaic ʾl; Akkadian ilu, pl. ilānu.

In northwest Semitic use, “ʼĒl” was a generic word for any god as well as the special name or title of a particular god who was distinguished from other gods as being "the god".[11] ʼĒl is listed at the head of many pantheons. In some Canaanite and Ugaritic sources, ʼĒl played a role as father of the gods, of creation, or both.[12]

However, because the word ʼĒl sometimes refers to a god other than the great god ʼĒl, it is frequently ambiguous as to whether ʼĒl followed by another name means the great god ʼĒl with a particular epithet applied or refers to another god entirely. For example, in the Ugaritic texts, ʾil mlk is understood to mean "ʼĒl the King" but ʾil hd as "the god Hadad".[13]

The Semitic root ʾlh (Arabic ʾilāh, Aramaic ʾAlāh, ʾElāh, Hebrew ʾelōah) may be ʾl with a parasitic h, and ʾl may be an abbreviated form of ʾlh. In Ugaritic the plural form meaning "gods" is ʾilhm, equivalent to Hebrew ʾelōhîm "powers". In the Hebrew texts this word is interpreted as being semantically singular for "god" by biblical commentators.[14] However, according to the documentary hypothesis, at least four different authors – the Jahwist (J), Elohist (E), Deuteronomist (D), and Priestly (P) sources – were responsible for editing stories from a polytheistic religion into those of a monotheistic religion. These sources were joined together at various points in time by a series of editors or "redactors". Inconsistencies that arise between monotheism and polytheism in the texts are reflective of this hypothesis.[15]

The stem ʾl is found prominently in the earliest strata of east Semitic, northwest Semitic, and south Semitic groups. Personal names including the stem ʾl are found with similar patterns in both the Amorite and Sabaic languages.[16]

Historical development

There is evidence that the Canaanite/Phoenician and Aramaic conception of El is essentially the same as the Amorite conception of El, which was popularized in the 18th century BCE but has origins in the Pre-Sargonic period. Any "changes" in El's status can be explained by the randomness of available data. Tribal organizations in West Semitic culture also influenced El's portrayal as a "treaty partner" in covenants, where the clan is seen as the "kin" of the deity.

Eventually, El’s cult became central to the ethnogenesis of Iron Age Israelites but so far, scholars are unable to determine how much of the population were El worshippers. It is more likely that different locales held different views of El.[17]

Proto-Sinaitic, Phoenician, Aramaic, and Hittite texts

The Egyptian god Ptah is given the title ḏū gitti 'Lord of Gath' in a prism from Tel Lachish which has on its opposite face the name of Amenhotep II (c. 1435 – c. 1420 BCE). The title ḏū gitti is also found in Serābitṭ text 353. Frank Moore Cross (1973, p. 19) points out that Ptah is often called the Lord (or one) of eternity and thinks it may be this identification of ʼĒl with Ptah that lead to the epithet 'olam 'eternal' being applied to ʼĒl so early and so consistently.[18] (However, in the Ugaritic texts, Ptah is seemingly identified rather with the craftsman god Kothar-wa-Khasis.)[19] Yet another connection is seen with the Mandaean angel Ptahil, whose name combines both the terms Ptah and Il.[20]

In an inscription in the Proto-Sinaitic script, William F. Albright transcribed the phrase ʾL Ḏ ʿLM, which he translated as the appellation "El, (god) of eternity".[21]

The name Raphael or Rapha-El, meaning 'God has healed' in Ugarit, is attested to in approximately 1350 BCE in one of the Amarna Letters EA333, found in Tell-el-Hesi from the ruler of Lachish to 'The Great One'[22]

A Phoenician inscribed amulet of the seventh century BCE from Arslan Tash may refer to ʼĒl. The text was translated by Rosenthal (1969, p. 658) as follows:

An eternal bond has been established for us.
Ashshur has established (it) for us,
and all the divine beings
and the majority of the group of all the holy ones,
through the bond of heaven and earth for ever, ...[23]

However, Cross (1973, p. 17) translated the text as follows:

The Eternal One ('Olam) has made a covenant oath with us,
Asherah has made (a pact) with us.
And all the sons of El,
And the great council of all the Holy Ones.
With oaths of Heaven and Ancient Earth.[24]

In some inscriptions, the name 'Ēl qōne 'arṣ (Punic: 𐤀𐤋 𐤒𐤍 𐤀𐤓𐤑 ʾl qn ʾrṣ) meaning "ʼĒl creator of Earth" appears, even including a late inscription at Leptis Magna in Tripolitania dating to the second century.[25] In Hittite texts, the expression becomes the single name Ilkunirsa, this Ilkunirsa appearing as the husband of Asherdu (Asherah) and father of 77 or 88 sons.[26]

In a Hurrian hymn to ʼĒl (published in Ugaritica V, text RS 24.278), he is called 'il brt and 'il dn, which Cross (p. 39) takes as 'ʼĒl of the covenant' and 'ʼĒl the judge' respectively.[27]

Ugarit and the Levant

For the Canaanites and the ancient Levantine region as a whole, ʼĒl or ʼIl was the supreme god, the father of mankind and all creatures.[28] He also fathered many gods, most importantly Baal, Yam, and Mot, each sharing similar attributes to the Greco-Roman gods: Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades respectively.

As recorded on the clay tablets of Ugarit, El is the husband of the goddess Asherah.

Three pantheon lists found at Ugarit (modern Ras ShamrāArabic: رأس شمرا, Syria) begin with the four gods 'il-'ib (which according to Cross;[29] is the name of a generic kind of deity, perhaps the divine ancestor of the people), ʼĒl, Dagnu (that is Dagon), and Ba'l Ṣapān (that is the god Haddu or Hadad).[29] Though Ugarit had a large temple dedicated to Dagon and another to Hadad, there was no temple dedicated to ʼĒl.

ʼĒl is repeatedly referred to as ṯr il ("Bull ʼĒl" or "the bull god") and 'il milk ("El the King"). [30]He is bny bnwt ("Creator of creatures"),[31] 'abū banī 'ili ("father of the gods"),[32] and ab adm ("father of man").[31] The appellations of "eternal", "creator" and "eternal" or "ancient creator" are "characteristic designations of 'El in Canaanite myths and liturgies".[30] He is ḥātikuka ("your patriarch"). ʼĒl is the grey-bearded ancient one, full of wisdom, malku ("King"),[31] ab šnm ("Father of years"),[31] 'El gibbōr ("ʼĒl the warrior").[32] He is also called lṭpn ʾil d pʾid ("the Gracious One, the Benevolent God") and lṭpn wqdš ("the Gracious and Holy One").[17]

"El" (Father of Heaven / Saturn) and his major son: "Hadad" (Father of Earth / Jupiter), are symbolized both by the bull, and both wear bull horns on their headdresses.[33][34][35][36]

The mysterious Ugaritic text Shachar and Shalim tells how (perhaps near the beginning of all things) ʼĒl came to shores of the sea and saw two women who bobbed up and down. ʼĒl was sexually aroused and took the two with him, killed a bird by throwing a staff at it, and roasted it over a fire. He asked the women to tell him when the bird was fully cooked, and to then address him either as husband or as father, for he would thenceforward behave to them as they called him. They saluted him as husband. He then lay with them, and they gave birth to Shachar ("Dawn") and Shalim ("Dusk"). Again ʼĒl lay with his wives and the wives gave birth to "the gracious gods", "cleavers of the sea", "children of the sea". The names of these wives are not explicitly provided, but some confusing rubrics at the beginning of the account mention the goddess Athirat, who is otherwise ʼĒl's chief wife and the goddess Raḥmayyu ("the one of the womb").[citation needed]

In the Ugaritic Ba'al cycle, ʼĒl is introduced having an assembly of gods on Mount Lel (Lel possibly meaning "Night"),[37] and dwelling on (or in) the fountains of the two rivers at the spring of the two deeps.[38] He dwells in a tent according to some interpretations of the text which may explain why he had no temple in Ugarit. As to the rivers and the spring of the two deeps, these might refer to real streams, or to the mythological sources of the salt water ocean and the fresh water sources under the earth, or to the waters above the heavens and the waters beneath the earth. A few miles from the swamp from which the Litani (the classical Leontes) and the Asi (the upper Orontes) flow, Baalbek may be the same as the manbaa al-nahrayn ("Source of the Two Rivers"), the abode of El in the Ugaritic Baal Cycle[39] discovered in the 1920s and a separate serpent incantation.[40][41]

In the episode of the "Palace of Ba'al", the god Ba'al Hadad invites the "seventy sons of Athirat" to a feast in his new palace. Presumably these sons have been fathered on Athirat by ʼĒl; in following passages they seem to be the gods ('ilm) in general or at least a large portion of them. The only sons of ʼĒl named individually in the Ugaritic texts are Yamm ("Sea"), Mot ("Death"), and Ashtar, who may be the chief and leader of most of the sons of ʼĒl. Ba'al Hadad is a few times called ʼĒl's son rather than the son of Dagan as he is normally called, possibly because ʼĒl is in the position of a clan-father to all the gods.

The fragmentary text R.S. 24.258 describes a banquet to which ʼĒl invites the other gods and then disgraces himself by becoming outrageously drunk and passing out after confronting an otherwise unknown Hubbay, "he with the horns and tail". The text ends with an incantation for the cure for a hangover.[42][43]

El's characterization in Ugarit texts is not always favorable. His authority is unquestioned, but sometimes exacted through threat or roundly mocked. He is "both comical and pathetic" in a "role of impotence."[44] But this is arguably a misinterpretation since El had complementary relationships with other deities. Any “differences” they had pertained to function. For example, El and Baal were divine kings but El was the executive whilst Baal was the sustainer of the cosmos.[17]

Hebrew Bible

The Hebrew form (אל) appears in Latin letters in Standard Hebrew transcription as El and in Tiberian Hebrew transcription as ʾĒl. ʼĒl is a generic word for god that could be used for any god, including Hadad, Moloch, or Yahweh.

In the Tanakh, 'elōhîm is the normal word for a god or the great God (or gods, given that the 'im' suffix makes a word plural in Hebrew). But the form 'El also appears, mostly in poetic passages and in the patriarchal narratives attributed to the Priestly source of the documentary hypothesis. It occurs 217 times in the Masoretic Text: seventy-three times in the Psalms and fifty-five times in the Book of Job, and otherwise mostly in poetic passages or passages written in elevated prose. It occasionally appears with the definite article as hā'Ēl 'the god' (for example in 2 Samuel 22:31,33–48).

The theological position of the Tanakh is that the names ʼĒl and 'Ĕlōhîm, when used in the singular to mean the supreme god, refer to Yahweh, beside whom other gods are supposed to be either nonexistent or insignificant. Whether this was a long-standing belief or a relatively new one has long been the subject of inconclusive scholarly debate about the prehistory of the sources of the Tanakh and about the prehistory of Israelite religion. In the P strand, Exodus 6:3 may be translated:

I revealed myself to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob as El Shaddai, but was not known to them by my name, YHWH.

However, it is said in Genesis 14:18–20 that Abraham accepted the blessing of El, when Melchizedek, the king of Salem and high priest of its deity El Elyon blessed him.[45] One scholarly position is that the identification of Yahweh with ʼĒl is late, that Yahweh was earlier thought of as only one of many gods, and not normally identified with ʼĒl. Another is that in much of the Hebrew Bible the name El is an alternative name for Yahweh, but in the Elohist and Priestly traditions it is considered an earlier name than Yahweh.[46] Mark Smith has argued that Yahweh and El were originally separate, but were considered synonymous from very early on.[47] The name Yahweh is used in Genesis 2:4, while Genesis 4:26 says that at that time, people began to "call upon the name of the LORD".[48][49] El's title of "El Shadday", which envisions him as the "god of the steppe", may also derive from the cultural beliefs of Upper Mesopotamian (i.e. Amurru) immigrants, who were ancestors of the Israelites.[17]

The Destruction of Leviathan by Gustave Doré (1865)

In some places, especially in Psalm 29, Yahweh is clearly envisioned as a storm god,[50] something not true of ʼĒl so far as scholars know[51] (although true of his son, Ba'al Haddad).[52] It is Yahweh who is prophesied to one day battle Leviathan the serpent, and slay the dragon in the sea in Isaiah 27:1.[53] The slaying of the serpent in myth is a deed attributed to both Ba'al Hadad and 'Anat in the Ugaritic texts, but not to ʼĒl.[54] But some scholars argue that "El Shadday" reflects a conception of El as a storm god.

Such mythological motifs are variously seen as late survivals from a period when Yahweh held a place in theology comparable to that of Hadad at Ugarit; or as late henotheistic/monotheistic applications to Yahweh of deeds more commonly attributed to Hadad; or simply as examples of eclectic application of the same motifs and imagery to various different gods. Similarly, it is argued inconclusively whether Ēl Shaddāi, Ēl 'Ôlām, Ēl 'Elyôn, and so forth, were originally understood as separate divinities. Albrecht Alt presented his theories on the original differences of such gods in Der Gott der Väter in 1929.[55] But others have argued that from patriarchal times, these different names were generally understood to refer to the same single great god, ʼĒl. This is the position of Frank Moore Cross (1973).[56] What is certain is that the form 'El does appear in Israelite names from every period including the name Yiśrā'ēl ("Israel"), meaning "El strives".

According to The Oxford Companion to World Mythology,

It seems almost certain that the God of the Jews evolved gradually from the Canaanite El, who was in all likelihood the "God of Abraham" ... If El was the high God of Abraham—Elohim, the prototype of Yahveh—Asherah was his wife, and there are archaeological indications that she was perceived as such before she was in effect "divorced" in the context of emerging Judaism of the 7th century BCE. (See 2 Kings 23:15.)[12]

The apparent plural form 'Ēlîm or 'Ēlim "gods" occurs only four times in the Tanakh. Psalm 29, understood as an enthronement psalm, begins:

A Psalm of David.

Ascribe to Yahweh, sons of Gods (bênê 'Ēlîm),
Ascribe to Yahweh, glory and strength

Psalm 89:6 (verse 7 in Hebrew) has:

For who in the skies compares to Yahweh,
who can be likened to Yahweh among the sons of Gods (bênê 'Ēlîm).

Traditionally bênê 'ēlîm has been interpreted as 'sons of the mighty', 'mighty ones', for 'El can mean 'mighty', though such use may be metaphorical (compare the English expression [by] God awful). It is possible also that the expression 'ēlîm in both places descends from an archaic stock phrase in which 'lm was a singular form with the m-enclitic and therefore to be translated as 'sons of ʼĒl'. The m-enclitic appears elsewhere in the Tanakh and in other Semitic languages. Its meaning is unknown, possibly simply emphasis. It appears in similar contexts in Ugaritic texts where the expression bn 'il alternates with bn 'ilm, but both must mean 'sons of ʼĒl'. That phrase with m-enclitic also appears in Phoenician inscriptions as late as the fifth century BCE.

One of the other two occurrences in the Tanakh is in the "Song of Moses", Exodus 15:11a:

Who is like you among the Gods ('ēlim), Yahweh?

The final occurrence is in Daniel 11:36:

And the king will do according to his pleasure; and he will exalt himself and magnify himself over every god ('ēl), and against the God of Gods ('El 'Elîm) he will speak outrageous things, and will prosper until the indignation is accomplished: for that which is decided will be done.

There are a few cases in the Tanakh where some think 'El is not equated with Yahweh. One example is found in Ezekiel 28:2, in the taunt against a man who claims to be divine, in this instance, the leader of Tyre:

Son of man, say to the prince of Tyre: "Thus says the Lord Yahweh: 'Because your heart is proud and you have said: "I am 'ēl (god), in the seat of 'elōhîm (gods), I am enthroned in the middle of the seas." Yet you are man and not 'El even though you have made your heart like the heart of 'elōhîm ('gods').'"

Here 'ēl might refer to a generic god, or to a highest god, ʼĒl. When viewed as applying to the King of Tyre specifically, the king was probably not thinking of Yahweh. When viewed as a general taunt against anyone making divine claims, it may or may not refer to Yahweh depending on the context.

In Judges 9:46 we find 'Ēl Bêrît 'God of the Covenant', seemingly the same as the Ba'al Bêrît 'Lord of the Covenant' whose worship has been condemned a few verses earlier. See Baal for a discussion of this passage.

Psalm 82:1 says:

'elōhîm ("god") stands in the council of 'ēl
he judges among the gods (Elohim).

This could mean that Yahweh judges along with many other gods as one of the council of the high god ʼĒl. However it can also mean that Yahweh stands in the Divine Council (generally known as the Council of ʼĒl), as ʼĒl judging among the other members of the council. The following verses in which the god condemns those whom he says were previously named gods (Elohim) and sons of the Most High suggest the god here is in fact ʼĒl judging the lesser gods.

An archaic phrase appears in Isaiah 14:13, kôkkêbê 'ēl 'stars of God', referring to the circumpolar stars that never set, possibly especially to the seven stars of Ursa Major. The phrase also occurs in the Pyrgi Inscription as hkkbm 'l (preceded by the definite article h and followed by the m-enclitic). Two other apparent fossilized expressions are arzê-'ēl 'cedars of God' (generally translated something like 'mighty cedars', 'goodly cedars') in Psalm 80:10 (in Hebrew verse 11) and kêharrê-'ēl 'mountains of God' (generally translated something like 'great mountains', 'mighty mountains') in Psalm 36:7 (in Hebrew verse 6).

For the reference in some texts of Deuteronomy 32:8 to seventy sons of God corresponding to the seventy sons of ʼĒl in the Ugaritic texts, see `Elyôn.

It has been argued that in the supposed original version of Deuteronomy 32, as preserved in the Septuagint and the Dead Sea Scrolls, Yahweh was described as a son of El,[57][58][59][60][61] although some scholars disagree with this view.[62][63][64]

That said, there are verses where El and Yahweh are unambiguously conflated (Numbers 23:8) but some scholars believe this is an attempt to portray El as a warrior god, as Israelite society grew and evolved into a nation-state. [17] In addition, Michael Heiser states that texts that were contemporaneously produced with the Book of Deuteronomy (e.g. the 8th century text of Isaiah 10:13) already credit the deeds of El to Yahweh and that separating El and Yahweh is 'internally inconsistent' within the Book of Deuteronomy (e.g. Deuteronomy 4:19–20, Deuteronomy 32:6–7). According to Heiser, it also begs the question on why the Deuteronomists would be so careless to introduce this error, especially a few verses later, and why they didn't quickly remove them as 'intolerant monotheists'.[65]


Philo of Byblos (c. 64–141 AD) was a Greek writer whose account Sanchuniathon survives in quotation by Eusebius and may contain the major surviving traces of Phoenician mythology. ʼĒl (rendered Elus or called by his standard Greek counterpart Cronus) is not the creator god or first god. ʼĒl is rather the son of Sky (Uranus) and Earth (Ge).[66] Sky and Earth are themselves children of 'Elyôn 'Most High'.[67][68] ʼĒl is brother to the God Bethel, to Dagon and to an unknown god, equated with the Greek Atlas and to the goddesses Aphrodite/'Ashtart, Rhea (presumably Asherah), and Dione (equated with Ba'alat Gebal). ʼĒl is the father of Persephone and of Athena (presumably the goddess 'Anat).[66]

Sky and Earth have separated from one another in hostility, but Sky insists on continuing to force himself on Earth and attempts to destroy the children born of such unions. At last, with the advice of his daughter Athena and the god Hermes Trismegistus (perhaps Thoth), ʼĒl successfully attacks his father Sky with a sickle and spear of iron. He and his military allies the Eloim gain Sky's kingdom.[66]

In a later passage it is explained that ʼĒl castrated Sky. One of Sky's concubines (who was given to ʼĒl's brother Dagon) was already pregnant by Sky. The son who is born of the union, called Demarûs or Zeus, but once called Adodus, is obviously Hadad, the Ba'al of the Ugaritic texts who now becomes an ally of his grandfather Sky and begins to make war on ʼĒl.

ʼĒl has three wives, his sisters or half-sisters Aphrodite/Astarte ('Ashtart), Rhea (presumably Asherah), and Dione (identified by Sanchuniathon with Ba'alat Gebal the tutelary goddess of Byblos, a city which Sanchuniathon says that ʼĒl founded).

El is depicted primarily as a warrior; in Ugaritic sources Baal has the warrior role and El is peaceful, and it may be that the Sanchuniathon depicts an earlier tradition that was more preserved in the southern regions of Canaan.[66][69]: 255 

Eusebius, through whom the Sanchuniathon is preserved, is not interested in setting the work forth completely or in order. But we are told that ʼĒl slew his own son Sadidus (a name that some commentators think might be a corruption of Shaddai, one of the epithets of the Biblical ʼĒl) and that ʼĒl also beheaded one of his daughters. Later, perhaps referring to this same death of Sadidus we are told:

But on the occurrence of a pestilence and mortality Cronus offers his only begotten son as a whole burnt-offering to his father Sky and circumcises himself, compelling his allies also to do the same.

A fuller account of the sacrifice appears later:

It was a custom of the ancients in great crises of danger for the rulers of a city or nation, in order to avert the common ruin, to give up the most beloved of their children for sacrifice as a ransom to the avenging daemons; and those who were thus given up were sacrificed with mystic rites. Cronus then, whom the Phoenicians call Elus, who was king of the country and subsequently, after his decease, was deified as the star Saturn, had by a nymph of the country named Anobret an only begotten son, whom they on this account called Iedud, the only begotten being still so called among the Phoenicians; and when very great dangers from war had beset the country, he arrayed his son in royal apparel, and prepared an altar, and sacrificed him.

The account also relates that Thoth:

also devised for Cronus as insignia of royalty four eyes in front and behind ... but two of them quietly closed, and upon his shoulders four wings, two as spread for flying, and two as folded. And the symbol meant that Cronus could see when asleep, and sleep while waking: and similarly in the case of the wings, that he flew while at rest, and was at rest when flying. But to each of the other gods he gave two wings upon the shoulders, as meaning that they accompanied Cronus in his flight. And to Cronus himself again he gave two wings upon his head, one representing the all-ruling mind, and one sensation.

This is the form under which ʼĒl/Cronus appears on coins from Byblos from the reign of Antiochus IV Epiphanes (175–164 BCE) four spread wings and two folded wings, leaning on a staff. Such images continued to appear on coins until after the time of Augustus.


Main article: Poseidon

A bilingual inscription from Palmyra[70] dated to the 1st century equates ʼĒl-Creator-of-the-Earth with the Greek god Poseidon. Going back to the 8th century BCE, the bilingual inscription[71] at Karatepe in the Taurus Mountains equates ʼĒl-Creator-of-the-Earth to Luwian hieroglyphs read as da-a-ś,[72] this being the Luwian form of the name of the Babylonian water god Ea, lord of the abyss of water under the earth. (This inscription lists ʼĒl in second place in the local pantheon, following Ba'al Shamîm and preceding the Eternal Sun.)

Poseidon is known to have been worshipped in Beirut, his image appearing on coins from that city. Poseidon of Beirut was also worshipped at Delos where there was an association of merchants, shipmasters, and warehousemen called the Poseidoniastae of Berytus founded in 110 or 109 BCE. Three of the four chapels at its headquarters on the hill northwest of the Sacred Lake were dedicated to Poseidon, the Tyche of the city equated with Astarte (that is 'Ashtart), and to Eshmun.

Also at Delos, that association of Tyrians, though mostly devoted to Heracles-Melqart, elected a member to bear a crown every year when sacrifices to Poseidon took place. A banker named Philostratus donated two altars, one to Palaistine Aphrodite Urania ('Ashtart) and one to Poseidon "of Ascalon".

Though Sanchuniathon distinguishes Poseidon from his Elus/Cronus, this might be a splitting off of a particular aspect of ʼĒl in a euhemeristic account. Identification of an aspect of ʼĒl with Poseidon rather than with Cronus might have been felt to better fit with Hellenistic religious practice, if indeed this Phoenician Poseidon really is the ʼĒl who dwells at the source of the two deeps in Ugaritic texts. More information is needed to be certain.

See also


  1. ^ Fontenrose 1957, p. 277–279.
  2. ^ Feliu 2007, p. 301.
  3. ^ a b Güterbock 1983, p. 325–326.
  4. ^ a b Archi 2004, p. 329.
  5. ^ du Mesnil du Buisson, Robert (1969). "Le décor asiatique du couteau de Gebel el-Arak" [The Asian decor of the Gebel el-Arak knife] (PDF). BIFAO (in French). Vol. 68. Institut Français d'Archéologie Orientale. pp. 63–83. ISSN 0255-0962. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 February 2014. Retrieved 30 October 2014.
  6. ^ "Online Phoenician Dictionary". Archived from the original on 10 August 2014. Retrieved 11 May 2022.
  7. ^ Cross 1997, p. 14.
  8. ^ Kogan, Leonid (2015), Genealogical Classification of Semitic: The Lexical Isoglosses. Berlin, Germany: De Gruyter. p. 147.
  9. ^ Matthews 2004, p. 79.
  10. ^ Gelb 1961, p. 6.
  11. ^ Smith 2001, p. 135.
  12. ^ a b Leeming 2005, p. 118.
  13. ^ Rahmouni 2007, p. 41.
  14. ^ For example: Keller, Catherine (2009). "The Pluri-Singularity of Creation". In McFarland, Ian A. (ed.). Creation and Humanity: The Sources of Christian Theology. Westminster John Knox Press. p. 74. ISBN 9780664231354. [...] Elohim – a flux of syllables, labial, multiple. Its ending marks it stubbornly as a plural form of "eloh"; here (but not always) it takes the singular verb form [...]
  15. ^ Van Seters, John (2015). The Pentateuch: A Social-Science Commentary (2 ed.). New York: Bloomsbury T&T Clark. p. 13. ISBN 978-0-567-65880-7.
  16. ^ Beeston, A. F. L. (1982). Sabaic dictionary: English, French, Arabic. Louvain-la-Neuve: Editions Peeters. p. 5. ˀL I n. ˀl, ˀl-m R 3945/1 &c (ḏ—ws²ymm), ˀlh, d. ˀly, p. ˀlˀlt; f. ˀlt Gl 1658/5, YM 386/4, ˀlht YM 386/2, ?p.? ˀlht J2867/8 god/goddess, divinity | dieu/déesse, divinité
  17. ^ a b c d e Lewis, Theodore J. (2020). The Origin and Character of God: Ancient Israelite Religion through the Lens of Divinity. Oxford University Press. pp. 73–118. ISBN 978-0190072544.
  18. ^ Cross 1973, p. 19.
  19. ^ Wyatt 2002, p. 43.
  20. ^ Smith, H. (1956). "The Relationship of the Semitic and Egyptian Verbal Systems. By T. W. Thacker. pp. xxvi 341. Geoffrey Cumberlege. Oxford, 1954. 42s". Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society. 88 (1–2): 102–103. doi:10.1017/S0035869X00114728. S2CID 162288496.
  21. ^ Albright, Wm. F. (1966) The Proto-Sinaitic Inscriptions and their Decipherment, p. 24
  22. ^ Robert William Rogers, ed., Cuneiform Parallels to the Old Testament (New York: Eaton & Mains, & Cincinnati, Ohio: Jennings & Graham, 1912), pp. 268–278.
  23. ^ Rosenthal 1969, p. 658.
  24. ^ Cross 1973, p. 17.
  25. ^ Donner & Röllig 1962–1964, No. 129.
  26. ^ Binger 1997, p. 92.
  27. ^ Cross 1973, p. 39.
  28. ^ Kugel 2007, p. 423.
  29. ^ a b Cross 1973, p. 14.
  30. ^ a b Cross, Frank Moore (1962). "Yahweh and the God of the Patriarchs". The Harvard Theological Review. 55 (4): 225–259. doi:10.1017/S0017816000007914. JSTOR 1508722 – via JSTOR.
  31. ^ a b c d Cassuto, Umberto. The Goddess Anath: Canaanite Epics on the Patriarchal Age. Bialik Institute, 1951, p. 42–44 (in Hebrew)
  32. ^ a b Cross Jr., Frank Moore (1962). "Yahweh and the God of the Patriarchs". The Harvard Theological Review. 55 (4): 225–259. doi:10.1017/S0017816000007914. JSTOR 1508722 – via JSTOR.
  33. ^ Caquot, André; Sznycer, Maurice (1980). Ugaritic Religion. Iconography of religions. Vol. 15: Mesopotamia and the Near East. Leiden, Netherlands: Brill. p. 12. ISBN 978-90-04-06224-5. LCCN 81117573. OCLC 185416183.
  34. ^ van der Toorn, Becking & van der Horst 1999, p. 181.
  35. ^ Schwabe, Calvin W. (1978). Cattle, Priests, and Progress in mMdicine. Minneapolis, Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press. p. 19. ISBN 978-0-8166-0825-6. LCCN 77084547. OCLC 3835386.
  36. ^ Falk, Avner (1996). A Psychoanalytic History of the Jews. Cranbury, New Jersey: Associated University Presses. p. 49. ISBN 978-0-8386-3660-2. LCCN 95002895. OCLC 32346244.
  37. ^ KTU 1.2 III AB B
  38. ^ KTU 1.2 III AB C
  39. ^ KTU 1.4 IV 21.
  40. ^ KTU 1.100.3.
  41. ^ Steiner (2009).
  42. ^ Palmer, Sean B. "El's Divine Feast". inamidst.com. Sean B. Palmer. Retrieved 5 February 2012.
  43. ^ McLaughlin, John L. (June 2001). The Marzeah in the Prophetic Literature. Leiden, Netherlands: Brill. pp. 24–26. ISBN 978-90-04-12006-8. LCCN 2001025261. OCLC 497549822.
  44. ^ Margalit 1989, p. 484.
  45. ^ Coogan, Michael David (2009). A Brief Introduction to the Old Testament. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 74. ISBN 978-0-19-533272-8. LCCN 2008034190. OCLC 243545942.
  46. ^ Hendel, R. S. (1992). Genesis, Book of. In D. N. Freedman (Ed.), The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary (Vol. 2, p. 938). New York: Doubleday.
  47. ^ Smith 2002, pp. 32–34.
  48. ^ "Genesis 3 (Blue Letter Bible/ KJV – King James Version)". Retrieved 8 May 2013.
  49. ^ "Genesis 4: King James Version (KJV)". Blue Letter Bible.
  50. ^ Smith 2002, p. 80.
  51. ^ McBee Roberts, Jimmy Jack (2002). The Bible and the Ancient Near East: Collected essays. Eisenbrauns. p. 321. ISBN 978-1-57506-066-8.
  52. ^ Brand, Chad; Mitchell, Eric; et al. (November 2015). Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary. B&H Publishing Group. p. 384. ISBN 978-0-8054-9935-3.
  53. ^ Scoggins Ballentine, Debra (May 2015). The Conflict Myth and the Biblical Tradition. Oxford University Press. p. 130. ISBN 978-0-19-937026-9.
  54. ^ Smith, Mark; Pitard, Wayne (24 December 2008). "El's Relationship to Baal's Enemies". The Ugaritic Baal Cycle: Introduction with Text, Translation and Commentary of KTU/CAT 1.3–1.4. Vol. II. BRILL. pp. 52–53. ISBN 978-90-474-4232-5.
  55. ^ Alt, Albrecht (1929). Der Gott der Väter; ein Beitrag zur Vorgeschichte der israelitischen Religion [The God of the Patriarchs; a contribution to (the study of) the (pre)history of Israelite religion] (in German). Stuttgart, Germany: Kohlhammer Verlag. LCCN 49037141. OCLC 45355375.
  56. ^ Cross 1973.
  57. ^ Anderson, James S. (27 August 2015). Monotheism and Yahweh's Appropriation of Baal. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 77. ISBN 978-0-567-66396-2.
  58. ^ Barker, Margaret (29 November 2012). The Mother of the Lord: Volume 1: The Lady in the Temple. A&C Black. p. 124. ISBN 978-0-567-52815-5.
  59. ^ Grabbe, Lester L. (2020). Balentine, Samuel E. (ed.). The Oxford Handbook of Ritual and Worship in the Hebrew Bible. Oxford University Press. p. 100. ISBN 978-0-19-022211-6.
  60. ^ Day, John (15 June 2010). Yahweh and the Gods and Goddesses of Canaan. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 25. ISBN 978-0-567-53783-6.
  61. ^ Flynn, Shawn W. (6 September 2019). A Story of YHWH: Cultural Translation and Subversive Reception in Israelite History. Taylor & Francis. p. 81. ISBN 978-1-317-24713-5.
  62. ^ Hess, Richard S. (2007). Israelite Religions: An Archaeological and Biblical Survey. Baker Academic. pp. 103–104. ISBN 978-1-4412-0112-6.
  63. ^ Smith, Mark S. (2008). God in Translation: Deities in Cross-cultural Discourse in the Biblical World. Mohr Siebeck. p. 203. ISBN 978-3-16-149543-4.
  64. ^ Heiser, Michael S. (6 June 2008). "Divine Council". In Longman III, Tremper; Enns, Peter (eds.). Dictionary of the Old Testament: Wisdom, Poetry & Writings: A Compendium of Contemporary Biblical Scholarship. InterVarsity Press. p. 113. ISBN 978-0-8308-1783-2.
  65. ^ Heiser, Michael (2006). "Are Yahweh and El Distinct Deities in Deut. 32:8-9 and Psalm 82?". LBTS Faculty Publications and Presentations: 278 – via Liberty University.
  66. ^ a b c d Miller, Patrick D. (1967). "El the Warrior". The Harvard Theological Review. 60 (4): 411–431. doi:10.1017/S0017816000003886. JSTOR 1509250. S2CID 162038758.
  67. ^ van der Toorn, Becking & van der Horst 1999, p. 294.
  68. ^ Botterweck, G. Johannes; Ringgren, Helmer; Fabry, Heinz-Josef (1974). Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament. William B. Eerdmans Publishing. p. 132. ISBN 978-0-8028-2335-9.
  69. ^ Green, Alberto Ravinell Whitney (2003). The Storm-god in the Ancient Near East. Eisenbrauns. ISBN 9781575060699.
  70. ^ Donner & Röllig 1962–1964, No. 11, p. 43. and No. 129.
  71. ^ Donner & Röllig 1962–1964, No. 26.
  72. ^ Jones, Scott C. (2009). "Rumors of Wisdom: Job 28 as Poetry". BZAW. 398. Berlin, Germany: Walter de Gruyter: 84. ISBN 978-3-11-021477-2. ISSN 0934-2575.


Further reading