Jerusalem by its priests, preached by the various prophets, and the kings of Judah made efforts from time to time to centralize worship in Jerusalem.

Save this PDF as:

Size: px
Start display at page:

Download "Jerusalem by its priests, preached by the various prophets, and the kings of Judah made efforts from time to time to centralize worship in Jerusalem."


1 Yahweh and Ba'al in Ancient Israel According to the Bible and New Archaeological Evidence 1) Ephraim Stern Hebrew University Introduction The traditional Biblical sources present Yahweh as both a universal deity and a national Israelite god. The latest archaeological evidence indicate that the Israelites, and especially the Judaeans, were indeed worshipers of Yahweh during the period of the monarchy. The difference between the two sources lies in the form of worship. From the Bible, one might assume that all legal cult was concentrated in the Temple of Jerusalem and was conducted strictly according to the precepts of the Torah. However, archaeological evidence point to other cultic practices. It is true that Yahweh was the only Judaic god, since almost all theophoric private names (such as Yehonatan and Netanyahu) include the component "Yahweh". However, Within the territory of Israel and Judah several sanctuaries have been uncovered, as well as thousands of clay figurines depicting two deities, male and female, which may be considered part of the cult of Yahweh and his "Consort" 'Astart. The names of both are also mentioned in a recently discovered Israelite sanctuary. It thus seems that in the Biblical period Yahweh was worshipped in Judah in the same manner as the Ba'al cult was practiced by other peoples of the region. Only in the Persian period and after the return of the Babylonian exiles were these practices replaced by the Torah cult. During recent years many archaeological finds connected with the everyday cult practiced in Judah during the late 8th century BCE and until its end, have been uncovered. We shall base our discussion here on the archaeological finds only and not the biblical examples. The conclusions reached are, in a way, simplified and one-dimensional, for with one or two exceptions, at Kuntillet `Ajrud and Deir `Alla, no religious literature, or religious texts have survived. Most of the relevant material encountered in the various excavations in Judah belongs to what may be called Yahwistic paganism. It consisted mainly of the remains of sanctuaries, bamot (open sacred high places), as well as altars and figurines, or other vessels that were in use in those sanctuaries. It is interesting to observe, concerning the use of all of these cultic artifacts, that there was hardly any difference between their function in the cults of the various nations of Palestine, including that of Judah. The major differences between the cults of the various nations of Palestine in this period was expressed mainly in the different names of the chief national gods: Yahweh in Judah, Qos in Edom, Milkom in Ammon, Ba`al in Phoenicia, etc. In Judah there was always the monotheistic central cult practiced in the Temple of

2 Jerusalem by its priests, preached by the various prophets, and the kings of Judah made efforts from time to time to centralize worship in Jerusalem. They did it in the days of Hezekiah, perhaps in the early period of Manasseh and certainly during the reign of Josiah. Regarding the quantity of the remains of the cult objects related to Yahwistic paganism from this period in Judah, it seems that the success of efforts to promote the monotheistic central cult was not very great. This pagan cult was very common in Jerusalem and the rest of Judah during this entire period until the very end of the monarchy, in marked contrast to the impression obtained by reading the Bible alone. The Sanctuaries It may be assumed according to recent archaeological finds that in Judah, many sanctuaries dedicated to the national god were erected at various sites. Such a sanctuary was called: "the house of Yahweh." The most important among them and the central one was without doubt the one on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The Bible itself attests to the existence of additional sanctuaries at Bethel, Shiloh and Beersheba.(1 Samuel 1:24). Another sanctuary was erected during the 7th century BCE in Bethel by one of the surviving priests from the kingdom of Israel who initiated the new deportees into the Yahwistic cult. And as the writer of 2 Kings 17:41 points out, perhaps in irony: "those nations worshiped the Lord, but they also served their idols." A complete Judaean sanctuary was uncovered by Y. Aharoni at the Judaean fortress of Arad. Although erected long before the 7th century BCE, many scholars tend to attribute its last stages (Strata VII-VI) to this period, from the beginning of the 7th century BCE until the destruction of the kingdom, while others tend to believe that it was destroyed earlier. In either case, this temple may serve as an example for all other Judaean temples and sanctuaries of the period. The Arad sanctuary contains three parts: 'ulam, hekhal, and debir and was oriented east-west. From the central unit, the hekhal, one stepped up three steps to the holy of holies, to a raised platform, upon which one of its mazzebot (stelae) was found in the destruction level; two additional ones were built into the wall of the holy of holies, and were thus not in use during the sanctuary's last period. On the third step, two limestone incense altars were found, on the upper part of which were remains of a burnt material, probably incense. In the courtyard, another large altar was uncovered. Its dimensions were 2.5 x 2.3 m. and it was built of clay bricks and unworked stones and covered with a heavy layer of plaster. On the left side, a small room was excavated, which contained a clay incense stand. Aharoni thought that the plan of the house and its contents make clear that "it was a Yahwistic-Judaean temple." Besides the Arad sanctuary, some additional cult platforms were uncovered in other Judaean fortresses of the 7th century BCE. I. Beit-Arieh, for example, recently reported the existence of cult platforms approached via several steps near the gates of the Judaean fortresses of `Uza and Radum. Another bamah was previously reported by Y. Aharoni near the gate of the large Judaean fortress of Tel Sheva, where a large four-horned stone altar was found. Recently a similar installation was uncovered in the Judaean fortress of Vered Jericho. The excavator, A.

3 Eitan, claims that it too was a cultic bamah. Some stone stairs were also found near the gate of the fort of Mezad Michmash, on the kingdom's north border, which were also thought to lead to a sacred platform or bamah. All these new finds strengthen Aharoni's assumption that all the kingdom's border-fortresses had cult places. In a large number of these fortresses, numerous figurines, altars and other types of cult objects were recovered. Such cultic installations were not unique to Judah, for in the destruction level of the late 8th century BCE caused by Tiglath-pileser III in the Aramaic town of Bethsaida at the northeast corner of the Sea of Galilee, as at Israelite Dan, an identical complete platform and steps were recently uncovered, surmounted by a stone stele. The existence of a Yahweh sanctuary at Lachish, thsecond city in importance in Judah, is indicated in the reliefs from Sennacherib's palace: A pair of large cultic stands is shown being removed as war spoils by Sennacherib's soldiers after the city was sacked by them. These stands belongs to a type known in smaller examples from many of the country's towns Concerning the Judaean cult in the 7th century BCE and during the last stage of the monarchy, the archaeological finds are quite heterogeneous: there are many occurrences of the name Yahweh in the ostraca found at Lachish and Arad as well as in ostraca from other Judaean sites. It appears in texts of oaths and blessings such as "I have blessed you to Yahweh"; "May Yahweh let my lord hear tidings of peace"; "May Yahweh bless you in peace," "May Yahweh give my lord pleasant tidings "; "May Yahweh give you prosperous tidings" etc.; or of a warning (not to open a tomb, etc.). There is also an inscription found at Khirbet el-qom in Judah from the same period mentioning the name of the divine couple that was worshiped by the locals: Yahweh and Asherah, exactly as they appeared in the earlier Israelite sanctuary at Kuntillet $`Ajrud. This Judaean inscription was found in a tomb at Khirbet el-qom (perhaps the town of Makkedah in the central Hebron Hills). The inscription says: "Blessed will be Ariyahu to Yahweh and his Asherah." At the nearby site of Beth Loyah, another Judaean tomb inscription was uncovered which mentions Yahweh as "the Lord of Jerusalem and the Hills of Judah." The very existence of sanctuaries dedicated to Yahweh in various towns outside Jerusalem was not peculiar to the 7th century BCE. In addition to the sanctuary at Kuntillet `Ajrud, dated to the end of the 9th century BCE, in the Mesha Stele, which is even earlier, the Moabite king tells that he had taken (from the city of Nebo) the vessels of Yahweh and had laid them before his own god, Kemosh. This means that in the Judaean city of Nebo, before it was sacked by the Moabites, there was a sanctuary dedicated to Yahweh. The "house of Yahweh" is also mentioned in many inscriptions of the period, for example, in one of the Arad Ostraca it is said of someone that "he is in the house of Yahweh." A recently published Judaean ostracon reads "pursuant to the order to you of Ashyahu the king to give by the hand of Zecharyahu Silver of Tarshish to the house of Yahweh three sheqels"; in an inscription on a small ivory pomegranate, N. Avigad reconstructed the fragmentary inscription: "sacred to the priests of the house of Yahweh." The meaning of the word qodesh (sacred), will

4 be discussed below. As to the "house of Yahweh" mentioned in the two inscriptions, it is true that the scholars who published them believed that the reference is to the Temple in Jerusalem. However, in consideration of the information presented above, this need not be the case. The "house of Yahweh" may be located in any settlement within Judah, or place settled by Judaeans. It should be added that in the sanctuary of Arad, the names of two well-known priestly families: Meremoth and Pashhur, were found, who probably served in the local "house of Yahweh." Generally the priests who served in the Yahweh sanctuaries traditionally received their posts from previous generations within their families, passed from father to son. Only rarely were they appointed by the ruler. There are a few seals in which only the title cohen ("priest"), is added. One of them recently published is that of "Hanan the son of Helqiah the priest", who may have been the father of a high priest in Jerusalem. From a somewhat earlier period, the last days of the Israelite kingdom, comes a seal that mentions an Israelite priest who was active in the Yahwistic temple at Dor. It reads: "belonging to Zechario the priest of Dor" (cf. "Amaziah, the priest of Bethel," Amos 7:10). And there is also the seal of "Miqnayahu the servant of Yahweh," i.e., who served in the cult of one of the many Yahweh temples. Cult objects In the temples of the Judaean monarchy, as well as in the period's strata and tombs, many cult objects have been uncovered. These can generally be divided into two classes: one, of which there are only a few examples, is composed of ordinary clay vessels for daily use which turned into sacred ones after being dedicated with inscriptions incised or written on them. The majority of these are bowls, but there are also a few other vessel-types. The other kind of cult objects are vessels which, according to their form and character, are specifically intended for sacral purposes. Of the vessels of the first type, there are a few bowls and one krater in which the word qodesh ("holy") was incised after firing, sometimes in full, and sometimes only represented by one or two letters such as: qsh, q and sh. Such vessels were found in both Israel (Hazor) and Judah (Arad, Tel Sheva and Tell Beit Mirsim). They date to the late 8th and 7th centuries BCE. The word "holy" indicates that the contents of the vessels were dedicated to the sanctuary at each of these sites. This was probably done by the priests of the various temples. This hypothesis is now strengthened by the contents of two inscriptions: In Ekron in Philistia some inscribed jars were found with the words: qodesh le ashtoret ("sacred to the goddesses Ashtoret"). On other jars the word la-maqom which means "to the temple" is incised. The second inscription is on the ivory pomegranate mentioned above, which was mounted at the end of a short scepter and inscribed with the words "sacred to the priests of the house of Yahweh." Those four words summarize the entire story of all the qodesh inscriptions. It should be noted that recently, more dedicatory inscriptions have been found, which have not yet been satisfactorily explained, such as the inscription le-akhikha, ("for your brother"). Regarding the ivory pomegranate, this fruit became sacred as an emblem of fertility among all the country's nations during the Canaanite period. Many Canaanite cult objects depicting pomegranates have been found in Judah. Their holiness was recognized both in Judah and elsewhere in the country.

5 Many pomegranates of various types have been uncovered in Edomite and Philistine sanctuaries (see below) as well as in those of Judah: they have been found at Jerusalem, Ramat Ra$hel, Beth-Shemesh and elsewhere. The best representation is undoubtedly the pomegranate bowl found in a Judaean tomb of the late 8th century BCE at Tel Halif. As to the ivory pomegranate with scepter mentioned above, it is a well- known object in the Palestinian cultic repertoire from the Late Bronze Age (examples occur at the Fosse Temple at Lachish and in the tombs of Tel Nami, among others). It passed, virtually without changes, first to the Phoenician cult and later to that of the rest of the Palestinian nations and remained in use until the end of the Iron Age. Such scepters are known from many Judaean sites and are made of ivory, bone, metal and glass. There is no apparent difference between the Judaean scepters and those found in the sanctuaries of the other nations of the region. There was, therefore, no particular difficulty in transferring such an object from one sanctuary to another, that is from the service of one deity to another, exactly as was done by Mesha king of Moab. The other type of cult objects that were certainly in use in the Judaean sanctuaries and in those of the other nations of the country were the standard cult objects including clay figurines, anthropomorphic and zoomorphic vessels, stands, chalices, goblets and stone altars. Judaean Clay Figurines The pagan cult in Judah, whether of foreign (Egyptian or Phoenician) origin, or belonging to the local national Judaean cult of Yahweh and `Astarte, is represented by a rich and heterogeneous body of finds, particularly common during the late 8th to the early 6th centuries BCE. The clay figurines, which we shall examine below, are found all over Judah: from the Benjamin region in the north at Bethel, Tell en-nasbeh, Gibeon, Ramot, Moza, Jerusalem, Ramat Ra$hel, Beth-Zur and Tell Rabud, to Jericho and En-Gedi in the east and Gezer, Beth-Shemesh, Batash, Azeka, Tell Judeideh, Tel `Erani, Tel Halif, Lachish, Tell Beit Mirsim and other sites to the west. In the southern part of the country they are found at Tel Sheva, Tel Masos, Tel $`Ira, Aroer and Arad. They are found in large settlements and in small fortresses such as Khirbet Abu Tuwein. In short: at all towns from all parts of Judah. In Judah, unlike other kingdoms of the period, most of the figurines represent females, and are of the type known as "pillar figurines," i.e., figurines whose heads are mold-made, and are all nearly identical, bearing the same somewhat stylized expression. The body is solid and handmade, in the shape of a small column to which exaggerated breasts, supported by the goddess hands, were added by application. This deity is usually identified with $`Astarte-the fertility goddess. Sometimes the goddess is depicted playing a tambourine or holding a dove-her traditional symbol in all periods. She is seldom found with a hollow round body made on a wheel in the Phoenician type referred to above as "bell-shaped." Even rarer are those figurines made as flat impressed plaques that represent similar figures. Another popular type are the `Astarte figurines with "pinched" heads, sometimes called "bird-headed figurines." In this case the head is also made by hand rather than formed in a mold. These figurines, too, portray a standing female supporting her breasts with one or both

6 hands. It should be pointed out that the figurines from Judah, like all the rest, were painted in bold colors: white, black, red, etc. A few figurines have survived with paint intact, showing that eyes and hair were emphasized by painting and that sometimes jewelry was added around the neck. The best examples of painted figurines came from the City of David in Jerusalem. There are also $`Astarte figurines from Judah made of different materials, such as ivory and bone. As mentioned above, the distribution of the $`Astarte figurines shows that their cult was practiced all over the kingdom. Summarizing his recent comprehensive study of these Judaean figurines, R. Kletter writes; "if we adopt the heartland of Judah concept (i.e., Judah within the borders described above), then 822 figurines (ca. 96%) were found within this area. This number is so high that there is only one possible conclusion: that these pottery figurines are Judaean." It should be noted that out of the 822 figurines found in Judah, at least 405 came from Jerusalem itself, from various excavations there including those of Kenyon, Shilo, B. Mazar and E. Mazar in the City of David, and those of N. Avigad and others in the Upper City. Since Kletter's study (1996), many more figurines from Jerusalem have been published: female and male, some found a very short distance from the Temple Mount itself. Though found by the dozens at all the sites of Judah enumerated above, including Gibeon and Jerusalem, the male figurines are not well represented in the reports and literature. Now that we have some statistical data from the cult remains found in other parts of the country representing those of the Phoenicians, Ammonites, Edomites, and Philistines, it seems that there too, male deities constituted an important part of the assemblage. Here again, Judah did not differ significantly from its neighbors. The Judaean male figurines here, as those in the other kingdoms, appear in two forms: the more complete figurines depict horsemen who, according to one interpretation, are connected with the cult of "sun chariots" mentioned in the Bible, but according to a more plausible explanation, they represent the figure of the warrior god that appears in the cult of all other nations of the country: Phoenicians, Ammonites etc. (cf. Isaiah, 13:4: "the Lord of hosts is mustering a host for war"). The "Judaean horseman" is stylistically unique: the head is sometimes executed in the "pinched" form of the "bird heads," which is also used for some of the heads of the Judaean $`Astartes (see above). The horse, too, has a characteristic head: long and cut straight at its end, a head with no analogy among the horse figurines of other nations. The bodies of the Judaean horsemen and horses are solid and handmade. Another type of male head is one that is covered with a round "turban." This type is not familiar to us in its entirety, and there are only a few dozen examples. The turban here is very similar to the one worn by the Judaeans of Lachish, who are depicted departing the town in Sennacherib's relief. Similar turbans are carried by some of the male Israelite figurines from Megiddo, as well as some of the Ammonite stone sculptures (see below). If we compare the Judaean male figurine heads with the more complete Ammonite examples, both were apparently depicted with hands at their sides or with one hand raised in blessing. Who were the deities represented by these Judaean clay figurines? We can only guess: they might represent one of the foreign deities whose cult was practiced in Jerusalem, perhaps the

7 Phoenician Ba$`al. But, more plausibly, they represent the national Judaean god, Yahweh and his consort $`Astarte, for all these figurines-as we have seen-are Judaean and only Judaean. The combined archaeological evidence of references to the name of Yahweh (and his `Astarte), in ostraca and other Judaean inscriptions of the period and the fact that many clay figurines are typical only of Judah, bring us to the inevitable conclusion that between foreign pagan practices and pure monotheism, most of the material collected here belongs to what may be called Yahwistic paganism. It includes remains of sanctuaries, bamot (open sacred high places), as well as altars and figurines, and other vessels in use at these sanctuaries. There appears to be hardly any difference between the function of these artifacts in the Judaean cult and in those of the other Palestinian nations. The only real difference is the name of the chief national god, which was Yahweh in Judah. In the background there was always the monotheistic central cult practiced in the Temple of Jerusalem in the days of Hezekiah, perhaps in the early days of Manasseh and certainly during the reign of Josiah. Regarding the distribution of the cult objects of Yahwistic paganism from this period, it seems that those promoting the monotheistic central cult did not really succeed and Yahwistic paganism remained very common in Jerusalem and the rest of Judah throughout the entire period until the end of the Monarchy. It is true however, that while in most cases it is possible to interpret the Judaean figurines in this manner, there are some figurines of a different nature: for example a figurine from Beth-Shemesh which carries an open lamp of the Late Judaean type on its head (figurines of deities, both males and females, carrying lamps on their heads have been found to date to the same period among the Phoenicians as far away as Cyprus and the western colonies, and in the Transjordanian kingdoms). A molded plaque figurine was found at Tel `Ira in the Beersheba Valley, it probably represents a hermaphrodite figure, with female breasts and phallus, holding a tambourine. We know of two other hermaphrodite figurines in ancient Palestine: one is Ammonite, its head surmounted by a quadruple spiral symbol, it is bearded and pregnant. The second one is Edomite, found at a site in Transjordan; it also holds a tambourine and carries a lamp on its head. Although these three figurines represent different formal types, they nevertheless share hermaphroditism and remain a mystery to us. The last type of Judaean cult objects to be dealt with here are the anthropomorphic and zoomorphic vessels. In addition to the clay figurines described above, and in parallel to the cultic finds among the other nations of Palestine during the 7th century BCE, many clay stands have been uncovered at the various Judaean sites. These, decorated with human figures, are hollow clay vessels made in the shape of regular Judaean vessels but open towards the base or at the top. Usually, bearded males are portrayed, but sometimes female figures are depicted. Unique among these vessels is a published small juglet found in the City of David in Jerusalem. Two sides were impressed in a mold and depict two faces of `Astarte, with her peculiar Judaean headdress. This juglet is reminiscent of the Phoenician-style "face vessels." Such anthropomorphic vessels were a permanent feature in the repertoire of cult objects of the period's Judaean sanctuaries, and many have also been uncovered in the cultic centers of neighboring states. Unique anthropomorphic vessels have been found in Judah at Tell en-nasbeh, Lachish, ]Beth-Shemesh and Tel `Erani. The tradition of such vessels is an old one in Palestine, and was

8 probably derived from the Canaanites. Many other types of 7th century BCE cult objects found in Judah were also common among the other nations of Palestine, such as clay figurines of animals, especially horned animals such as bulls, stags and deer, but birds, mainly pigeons, are also portrayed. There are also numerous figurines of horses (which in some cases may be fragments of figurines depicting mounted horsemen). At Lachish, Tel Sheva and elsewhere were found small clay models of furniture: sofas, chairs and stools. These were placed as votives in sanctuaries or graves by the Phoenicians, Ammonites and Edomites. Among the other clay figurines were also models of sanctuaries and many "shakers," that is: round closed clay vessels in which some small loose stones were sealed. These may have served as musical instruments in cult ceremonies. Altars We have already dealt with the large horned stone altar intended for sacrificing animals, and one made of brick from the Sanctuary of Arad. In the holy of holies of the Judaean temple at Arad were also found two limestone incense altars and a stone stele. The altars are of the long type, usually equipped with four small horns on the four corners. This type first appeared long before the 7th century BCE and many have been uncovered in the territory of the kingdom of Israel (Dan, Megiddo and Tel Qadesh), as well as in ancient Judah (Gezer, Lachish). This type continues in Judah into the 7th century too, as indicated by finds at Arad and Gezer, and was also found in Jerusalem in the destruction layer attributed to the Babylonians near the Temple Mount. It is mainly attested, however, by the many altars uncovered at 7th century BCE Philistine Ekron, discussed above. These altars were not always located in sanctuaries but were sometimes left in private houses and workshops. In Judah, as in Edom and other regions, there was a clear change from the use of this type of limestone horned incense altar to smaller altars (of both stone and clay), which resemble a small box standing on four feet. These were probably introduced here by the Assyrians, and Assyrian prototypes exist. They occur at all of the important Judaean sites of the 7th century and come to replace the previous horned-type totally during the Persian period (see below). Additional stone artifacts with a long prior history used in the Judaean cult of the 7th century are the stone stelae (mazzebot). At the Arad sanctuary, a large stone stele was found standing in the back of the holy of holies. It was about a meter high and its sides were smooth and painted red. It was found in the last destruction of the sanctuary, generally attributed today to the Babylonians. Beside it were found two more stelae built into the wall of the room, which were probably not in use during this last phase. The use of stelae in Judah and Israel was common during previous periods and undoubtedly continued old Canaanite traditions (an example is the stele found by Y. Aharoni in the temple of Lachish, dated to the 10th century BCE). The line of stelae found at Dan in the temple adjacent to the city gate is also dated to the 7th century BCE. Additional stelae have been found in Aram, Philistia, Edom, and elsewhere. A unique and surprising find concerning another Judaean religion, the monotheistic religion practiced in the Temple of Jerusalem, was uncovered at Ketef Hinnom in Jerusalem. These were two silver charms inscribed with the text of the Priestly Blessing (Numbers 6:24-26), the oldest

9 existing evidence for the use of this text which is still recited today by observant Jews. These artifacts also provide proof that the form of the text had already been fixed by this time. There is still some debate concerning the exact date of the find, which was written either in the later part of the Judaean monarchy or somewhat later, during the 6th century BCE, but this issue is not pertinent to our presentation.

10 (Yahweh and Ba'al in Ancient Israel According to the Bible and New Archaeological Evidence: ) Dr. Ephraim Stern Hebrew University.,..,,..,,, [Yehonatan] [Netanyahu],. ( ), ( ). Astart...., 8 (everyday cult).,.., Kuntillet Ajrud Deir Alla. (Yahwistic paganism)., bamot ( ),, (figurines),. (cultic artifacts),,., ( )., (Qos), (Milkom),

11 ( ).,,.., (Manasseh),. ( ),.,.., (national god). (the house of Yahweh). (the Temple Mount in Jerusalem).,, ( 1:24). 7.,. 17:41 :.. (Y. Aharoni) (Arad). 7, ( 7-6 )., 7.,.,. ( ulam), (hekhal), (debir),., (raised platform). (destruction level) ( ) (mazzebot[stelae]).,.., (m 2 ),, (plaster).,, (clay incense stand). (Y. Aharoni),, (Yahwistic-Judaean temple)., (cult platform) 7., - 1 (I. Beit-Arieh), ( Uza and Radum). (Y. Aharoni) bamah (Tel Sheva).. (Vered

12 Jericho). (A. Eitan) bamah. (Mezad Michmash)., bamah. : (cult places)., (figurines), ( ) III (Tiglath-Pileser III), (Dan) (Bethsaida), (stone stele). (Lachish), (Sennacherib) (reliefs)., (stands)., ( ). 7,., ( ).,,,,,. ( ). - (Khirbet el-qom) (divine couple) (inscription). (Asherah), (Kuntillet Ajrud). ( [the central Hebron Hills] [Makkedah] ) -. (Ariyahu) (to Yahweh and his Asherah). (Beth Loyah),. 7. 9, (Mesha Stele) : ( [Nebo] ), (Kemosh).,.., (Arad Ostraca). : (Ashyahu) (Zecharyahu) (Tarshish) (sheqels). (N. Avigad),. qodesh( ).

13 ,.,,.,.,,. Meremoth Pashhur,... cohen ( ). (Hanan the son of Helqiah the priest),., (Dor) (Yahwistic) : (belonging to Zechario the priest of Dor) (cf. (Amaziah), 7:10). (Miqnayahu the servant of Yahweh),.,..,.. (bowl).,.,,., (krater), qodesh( ).,, qsh, q, sh. (Hazor) (,, [Arad, Tel Sheva, Tell Beit Mirsim]) (inscription), (Philistia) (Ekron), : qodesh le ashtoret ( [Ashtoret] ). la-maqom,., (scepter). qodesh (inscription).,, (more dedicatory inscriptions)., le-akhikha ( ) (inscription).,.

14 .. (Philistine) ( ). (Ramat Rahel), - (Beth-Shemesh)., 8 (Tel Halif)., (repertoire) ( [Lachish] [Fosse] [Tel Nami], ).,,,.,,,,..,., (deity). (Mesha)..,,, (chalices), (goblets), (stone altars)., ( Astarte), 8 6. :, (Bethel), (Ramat Rahel), - (Beth-Zur), (Tell Rabud) (Jericho) - (En-Gedi), (Gezer), - (Beth-Shemesh), (Batash), (Azeka), (Tell Judeid ), (Tel Erani), (Tel Halif), (Lachish), (Tell Beit Mirsim). (Tel Sheva), (Tel Masos), (Tel Ira), (Aroer) (Arad). (settlements) (Khirbet Abu Tuwein).,.,, (pillar figurines).,.,, (by application). ( Astarte)..

15 .. (bird-headed figurines) (pinched)... (bold).,,.,,...,,. (R. Kletter) : (the heartland of Judah concept) (, ), 822 ( 96%).. (pottery figurines). 822, 405 (Kenyon), (Shilo), B. (B. Mazar) E. (E. Mazar) N. Avigad,. Kletter (1996),.,., (Gibeon),..,,,, (assemblage).,.,., (horsemen). (sun chariots),, (warrior god) (cf. 13:4< >).. (pinched). ( )....

16 (turban).. (a few dozens)., (relief). ( ), (Megiddo).,,,.?.,.,,.. (inscriptions) ( ), :, (Yahwistic paganism). (altars), (figurines),,, bamot( ) (remains).. ( ) ( ). (in the background)., (Manasseh),.,.,.,,., - (Beth-Shemesh) (open lamp) (. [Cyprus], [Transjordanian kigndoms] ). (a molded plaque figurine) (Beersheba Valley) (Tel Ira). (hermaphrodite figure).,.., (quadruple spiral symbol),...,,.

17 ., 7,.,,,.,., (a published small juglet).,. (face vessels). (repertoire). (cultic centers). - (Tell en-nasbeh),, -, (Tel Erani).,. 7.,,, (stags), (deer),,. ( ).,.,,, (sofas, chairs, and stools).,, (votives). (shakers). (loose)..,. (stone stele).,. 7, (, ), ( [Dan], [Megiddo], [Tel Qadesh]). 7. (Temple Mount),., 7, 7.,. ( ),... (prototype). 7, ( ).

18 7, (stone stelae [mazzebot]).,,. 1m,.,.,. (phase)., ( Y. Aharoni, 10 ). (Dan) (, the line of stelae) 7.,,,., (Ketef Hinnom). (charms), (the Priestly Blessing: 6:24-26). ( ).., 6..

19 1 :,,., ( ),??? : I don't know if it was equally made. Metal is not very well preserved. Even bronze, too. You would need a very special condition to keep it. So what we have now is mostly made of clay. But it doesn't mean that in antiquity the number was not equal. We know from the bible that they made figurines also from wood. But in the climate condition of the land of the bible, they cannot survive. One more thing to say. People brought figurines to the priests. The figurines were to be left either in tombs but mainly in sanctuaries. After certain times, the priests had to get rid of some of them which got broken or worn. But they could not throw them as they are, because they were sacred. So they excavated a pit and threw them into it in order that they should not be reused. They wanted people to buy new ones. So in many cases we find dozens of them in pits, while the sanctuary, which was above, does not exist today. We call the pits "geniza.".....,......, ,.. 2 :,? : They are found. But none in the territory of Judah, and of Samariah. For the Samaritans were also a kind of Jews in a different way. Not a single figurine belonging to the Samaritans or the Judaeans have been found from the Persian period and on. The only figurines we can find are on coins. But these are figurines which were imitating the value of money and have nothing to do with religions. As an expert of the Persian period, which is from the 6th to the 4th centuries, I can say that figurines of any kind up to now, not a single figurine has been

20 found. There is much difference when we compare it to the 8th to the 7th centuries, which is only 150 years. For we have rosen as many as 1500 figurines from such a short period..,...,., : ( ),.,,.,, ( ),.? : I'm afraid that I will disappoint you. I tell you why. We can go back not to the 2nd millenium, not to the 3rd millenium. We can go back to the mesolithic, which is the tens of thousands of years in the land of the bible. I am not speaking about Iran nor Iraq, nor any other center. (Although Frankfurt said that we are not in the center at all and are only in the periphery between Egypt and Mesopotamia, I do not accept this opinion) We can go back to the mesolithic, which I said is very very ancient period. For that is one period after the old-stone period. Through all this time we found figurines of couple. It can be also added that we find more of the women figurines than the male figurines in antiquity. In addition, usually the female ones are rendered much larger than the male ones, although this is not a rule. My impression is (and I really saw every material that has been found in the region) that these couple were in use, were practiced, or were adorned since the beginning of the day. So I can't tell you that there, at first, was only a goddess and a man came later. According to the archaeological finds, I understand that the male and female gods had coexisted since "the beginning." These days, because in a few months should be in other millenium, maybe we think in a different way. But right now there is not a basic change from what I showed you even if we go back for many many centuries (center). (

21 , ),....., ( ),,.,.,.,,.,. 4 :,,,? : None in the 1st millenium B.C. However, there are exceptions in Canaanite religion, which is earlier. In the Canaanite religion, it is much more complicated, much more sophisticated than the one of the 1st millenium B.C. There is one exception, but we know of it also in inscriptions. It is the unity between the god and the goddess. We have, for example, phrases or inscriptions, which says "Ashtoret, the face of Baal." Sometimes, there are figurines of Ishtaal, Kemosh in Moabite inscriptions. There is also "Kanit pene Baal". Kanit is also the name of Ashtoret, so the phrase means she is the face of Baal. These kinds of duplicates have both parts of women and men. We know this is the unity between the two ,. 1000,., ( ). (unity).,,...,,... 5 :,,? : I can't speak about everything in one hour. This is a good question, but to answer it, I need a lot of time. I will try to make it as simple as possible. The problem is the Canaanites were settled between Egypt and the north: Syria, Mesopotamia.

22 (That's why Frankfurt called it periphery ) So the southern Canaanites adopted emblems and forms from Egypt. The northern did the same but the forms are of the north. The Phoenicians are late Canaanites, whose name is given by the Greeks, but really they were Canaanite of the 1st millenium B.C. The Canaanites were from the 2nd millenium. Those Canaanites which continues to the 1st millenium, we call them by the Greek name: Phoenicians, to make a difference. The ancient Canaanites survived in one land: very short, very small piece of land, which is between Arbath, Syria and the coast down to Tier. All the rest in 12th century was captured by other nations: Arameans in the north, Judaeans in the south, and Philistines, so on and so on. But the tradition of the 2nd millenium of the Canaanites was preserved in this small area. Now all the people who came in after 1200 B.C., e.g. Israelite, Juaean, etc. did not have a material culture traditions. They came from the desert and came with no tradition. So all of them adopted the Phoenician one. So naturally they adopted also many many Egyptian emblems. I made it as short as possible..,..,. ( ).,.., , ,,. 12 :,,, ,, :? : I'll try to make a short answer to a very very complicated question. We study human material and it changes every years. So if you learn the methods or the procedures of the change, you are able to date it. Everything that human being is producing is changing. It is not the same. So if you learn that the methods of the changes, you can date everything by your own. Nowadays we are assisted by laboratories. We give, for example, ashes of Carbon14 to the

23 laboratories and they give us a very accurate date. I think we shall be out of work in a very short time. Everything that you find, you give it to the laboratory, you shall get the date. So you may not need any archaeologist any more.., , (C 14).....