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Has anyone ever researched the origins of the Jewish religion?

I am asking this because I discovered that before the Babylonian Exile Jews had several Gods, or names for God that are the same as the Ancient Canaanite religion (El, Yahweh, El Elyon, Baal).

After the monotheistic zoroastrian Persians freed them the Jews became monotheists again. Are there any historical sources that state that the Jews (or Canaanites) were monotheistic before?

I do know that the Jews took the Torah (the first five books of the Old Testament) with them to Babylon. Throughout these books God is addressed to by El, Yahweh, El Elyon and Baal. Does anyone know more about this matter?

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Baal was a word used for many different deities. It is also mentioned in the Quran in relation to Elijah and his people.

الصافات: وإن إلياس لمن المرسلين * إذ قال لقومه ألا تتقون؟ * أتدعون بعلا وتذرون أحسن الخالقين؟

Edited by Ozzy

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Two more infants have been infected with a deadly herpes virus in the last three months after undergoing a controversial religious oral circumcision in New York City.

The latest cases bring the count to 13 infants since 2000, two of which suffered brain damage and two died from the virus which can rapidly spread throughout its body.

The ultra-Orthodox Jewish practice of metzitzah b'peh requires a practitioner to orally suck the baby's penis to 'cleanse' the open wound following its circumcision, making them susceptible to the 

 

: Since 2000 13 known cases of herpes have resulted from the practice, two of which suffered brain damage and two others died

The religious practice that dates back to more than 5,000 years defies warning by the city's department of health which says there is no safe way to perform the oral suction on an open wound.

More modern Jewish practices use a sterile aspiration device to clean the wound or a pipette opposed to the oral sucking.

But some rabbis stand grounded behind the practice, calling it a religious freedom while noting its long history.

In September the department voted to require parents to sign forms consenting to the risks of the practice after the death of two children who contracted the virus through the practice.

The parents of those newly infected boys are said to have not signed those forms.

According to Rabbi David Zwiebel, executive vice president of the Orthodox Jewish organization Agudath Israel of America, two-thirds of boys born in New York City's Hasidic communities are circumcised in the oral suction matter.

The health department claims they've had complaints in past by parents who say they weren't made aware that the oral practice would be performed on their child.



Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2304793/Two-babies-stricken-HERPES-ritual-oral-blood-sucking-circumcision-New-York-City.html#ixzz4VIerDaaS 
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20 hours ago, MuhammedAli said:

Has anyone ever researched the origins of the Jewish religion?

I am asking this because I discovered that before the Babylonian Exile Jews had several Gods, or names for God that are the same as the Ancient Canaanite religion (El, Yahweh, El Elyon, Baal).

After the monotheistic zoroastrian Persians freed them the Jews became monotheists again. Are there any historical sources that state that the Jews (or Canaanites) were monotheistic before?

I do know that the Jews took the Torah (the first five books of the Old Testament) with them to Babylon. Throughout these books God is addressed to by El, Yahweh, El Elyon and Baal. Does anyone know more about this matter?

Biblical scolars today generally agree that the Torah was written in the 6th century BC and that this marks the infancy of Judaism. As you say the Torah tell the Hebrew tribe fall into worshipping Kanaanite Gods. Hebrews may very well derive from the Kanaanites thus coming from a polytheistic religion worshipping El and his wife Ashera, Gods also mentioned in the Bible. Hebrew is also very close to other Kanaanite languages. Archeology support the Biblical scholars in that a slow transition from polytheism to Judaism begins in the middle of the first milennium BC

 

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Judaism is a contrived word- first used by the Romans to describe the inhabitants of Judea and their customs; judaism is not the "religion" of the Torah. Today, there is great tension between Muslims and Jews, between Islam and Judaism. The source of this tension is not a religious one, but a political one: one which is exacerbated by the current situation in Israel. Many believe that the religion which is known as Islam and its philosophy began with Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him עליו השׁלום) in Arabia. This misunderstanding is due to a lack of understanding of what Islam means and where this concept originated. A careful study of the Hebrew scripture will show that the concept of Islam was developed among the Israelites- being the original and only acceptable form of worship delivered to Adam (Peace be Upon Him עליו השׁלום).


Judaism is an invented name for the religion of Hebrew scripture, which only existed from the times of the Roman occupation of the Land. During the Roman occupation of the Middle East, the Romans gave the name iudaismos (Judaism) as the name of the practice and customs of the people in the land of Judea (Iudaea), the Southern part of modern day Israel; the people of Iudaea, then, were called Iudaeus or Jews. Prior to this time, there was no such thing as "Judaism". So what was the religious term used to describe the religion of our patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Peace be Upon Them עליהם השׁלום)?


The Bible did not give a name to the “religion” of the patriarchs nor of the children of Israel, however, according to the Qur'an, the religion (deen: the core beliefs) of Abraham (Peace be Upon Him עליו השׁלום) was Islam, and this was the same (deen) as all the other patriarchs. Some scholars have explained the definition of Islam as “submission.” Submission is not an accurate definition of this concept. The name Islam is from the IV verbal stem in Arabic اسلم aslama. This verb stem has a cognate relation to the Aramaic אשלים ashlim and the Hebrew השלים hashlim. All three have the same meaning: to be perfect, complete, to fulfill, to surrender, pay, to make peace etc. The concept of surrendering or handing over as payment can be established by the Arabic verses of the Bible such as: “وَاسْلَمَ ابْرَاهِيمُ رُوحَهُ وَمَاتَ بِشَيْبَةٍ صَالِحَةٍ” [Then Abraham surrendered (aslama) his spirit and died in a good old age]; “سِمْعَانُ الْقَانَوِيُّ وَيَهُوذَا الإِسْخَرْيُوطِيُّ الَّذِي أَسْلَمَهُ.” [Simon, the one surnamed Judah Iscariot, who handed him over (aslamahu)] (The Bible Gen 28:8; Matthew 10:4). The fact is, then, that the concept of Islam predates Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him עליו השׁלום) as can be derived from the Tenakh (an acronym for the Hebrew Scriptures: Instruction, Prophets, and Writings).


Many believe the concept of Islam began with Muhammad ibn Abdillah (עליו השׁלום) in 610 CE, but this would be an incorrect assumption. The Qur’an made it very clear that Muhammad did not come with a new religion, but came to confirm the religious creed [millah] which began with Abraham (Peace be Upon Him עליו השׁלום) (Qur’an 22:78). The Qur’an also explained that Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him עליו השׁלום) did not innovate a new religious doctrine, “قُلْ مَا كُنْتُ بِدْعًا مِنَ الرُّسُلِ وَمَا أَدْرِي مَا يُفْعَلُ بِي وَلَا بِكُمْ ۖ إِنْ أَتَّبِعُ إِلَّا مَا يُوحَىٰ إِلَيَّ وَمَا أَنَا إِلَّا نَذِيرٌ مُبِينٌ” [“Say, ‘I am not an innovation from the messengers nor do I know what shall be done with me or with you; I only follow what is inspired to me, I am only a clear warner.”] (Qur’an 46:9). The Qur’an avows time and again that the religion (deen) that Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him עליו השׁלום) was preaching did not originate with Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him עליו השׁלום), but with Adam (Peace be Upon Him עליו השׁלום)- the religious creed [millah] being passed along through the lie of Abraham (Peace be Upon Him עליו השׁלום); this testimony demands that the concept of Islam should be easily found in the Hebrew Scriptures.


 In the Torah, God commands: תָּמִ֣ים תִּֽהְיֶ֔ה עִ֖ם יְהוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֶֽיךָ׃ "you shall be perfect (tamim) with YHWH your Deity" (The Bible Deuteronomy 18:13). This is interpreted by King Solomon (עליו השׁלום) as: וְהָיָ֤ה לְבַבְכֶם֙ שָׁלֵ֔ם עִ֖ם יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֵ֑ינוּ לָלֶ֧כֶת בְּחֻקָּ֛יו וְלִשְׁמֹ֥ר מִצְוֹתָ֖יו כַּיֹּ֥ום הַזֶּֽה׃ "Let your hearts be perfect (shaleim) with YHWH our Deity, to walk in His statutes and to guard His commandments as this day" (The Bible 1Kings 8:61). This provides a Textual and semantic relationship drawn between tamim and shaleim. To be tamim, one needs to have the heart shaleim with God by fulfilling His commands. This is, essentially, the definition of the name Islam: to be perfect, complete, to fulfill, to surrender, pay, to make peace etc.


In the earlier passages of Torah, there are verses which draw a relationship between התהלך hithaleik and תמים tamim for example: אֵ֚לֶּה תֹּולְדֹ֣ת נֹ֔חַ נֹ֗חַ אִ֥ישׁ צַדִּ֛יק תָּמִ֥ים הָיָ֖ה בְּדֹֽרֹתָ֑יו אֶת־הָֽאֱלֹהִ֖ים הִֽתְהַלֶּכְ־נֹֽחַ׃ "these are the generations of Noah; Noah  was a perfect just man in his generation: Noah walked (hithaleik) with the God" and וַיְהִ֣י אַבְרָ֔ם בֶּנ־תִּשְׁעִ֥ים שָׁנָ֖ה וְתֵ֣שַׁע שָׁנִ֑ים וַיֵּרָ֨א יְהוָ֜ה אֶל־אַבְרָ֗ם וַיֹּ֤אמֶר אֵלָיו֙ אֲנִי־אֵ֣ל שַׁדַּ֔י הִתְהַלֵּ֥ךְ לְפָנַ֖י וֶהְיֵ֥ה תָמִֽים׃ "when Abram  was ninety-nine years old, YHWH appeared to Abram and said to him: I am El Shaddai, walk (hithaleik) before Me and be perfect (tamim)" (The Bible Genesis 6:9; 17:1). These verses prove that the concept of Islam predates Judaism: naturally, then, Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him עליו השׁלום) could not have been the founder of Islam. In truth, Islam has always been the prescribed form of worship since the dawn of humanity.


The idea of being tamim and shaleim is equivalent to walking with God, or rather walking by the way He has prescribed. One who walks with God and has his heart shaleim with God by doing His will is naturally called מֻשְׁלָם mushlam. The act of being shaleim with God would then be called הִשָּׁלֵם hishaleim. In Arabic, one who does the will of Allah is called a muslim and the religion is Islam. The concepts are identical.


Melchizedek (Peace be Upon Him עליו השׁלום) was the priest of the Most High in the time of Abraham (Peace be Upon Him עליו השׁלום)  and was called the King of Shaleim, a city which could be identified as Jerusalem Yerushalem (The Bible Genesis 14:18). There are many who hold that the name Jerusalem means "city of peace" or "founded of peace", etc. However, there is also the possibility that the name Jerusalem could have been derived from the combination of the imperative plural form of the verb yarah, which would be yeru, and the participle shaleim: hence, Yerushaleim could mean יְרוּ שָׁלֵם Yeru Shaleim (Yeru Shaleim translates as a command meaning to Teach Shaleim or, in other words, Islam). All this proves that the concept, if not the very name, of Islam predated the advent of Muhammad ibn Abdillah (Peace be Upon Him עליו השׁלום).

I am Qara'i and I am a member of the benei HaMiqra HaQara'im; we follow the original "religion" of the Israelite, like the Shomerim- not like the Rabbinical "Jews" who wrote a book called Talmud and claimed it was the true Oral Torah delivered to Moshe (Peace be Upon Him עליו השׁלום). These are the idolaters among Israel who invented lies against God; these are the ones Allah wrote about in the Qur'an (وَمِنْهُمْ أُمِّيُّونَ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ الْكِتَابَ إِلَّا أَمَانِيَّ وَإِنْ هُمْ إِلَّا يَظُنُّونَ فَوَيْلٌ لِلَّذِينَ يَكْتُبُونَ الْكِتَابَ بِأَيْدِيهِمْ ثُمَّ يَقُولُونَ هَٰذَا مِنْ عِنْدِ اللَّهِ لِيَشْتَرُوا بِهِ ثَمَنًا قَلِيلًا ۖ فَوَيْلٌ لَهُمْ مِمَّا كَتَبَتْ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَوَيْلٌ لَهُمْ مِمَّا يَكْسِبُونَ). We, on the other hand, are those mentioned (لَيْسُوا سَوَاءً ۗ مِنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ أُمَّةٌ قَائِمَةٌ يَتْلُونَ آيَاتِ اللَّهِ آنَاءَ اللَّيْلِ وَهُمْ يَسْجُدُونَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ وَيَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنْكَرِ وَيُسَارِعُونَ فِي الْخَيْرَاتِ وَأُولَٰئِكَ مِنَ الصَّالِحِينَ). 


הנה הדת עם אלוה היא השלם Hennei hadith ‘im Eloah hishaleim
إن الدين عند الله الإسلام Inna deena inda Allahi’l Islam
The true religion with God is Islam (Qur’an 3:19)

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The Bible give the oldest known testimony of Abraham. According to this Abraham was promised the land of Israel to descendants, did they worship the god El, and no other gods. Despite this, the Israelis according to the Bible repeatedly worshipped other gods. When Moses met with God, he was told that Gods actual name was Jahve, Israelites still were worshipping other gods. All this is written on paper in the first milennium BC, centuries after it happened, so the accuracy is not very reliable. When it comes to the 1st century, the events and the scribes are rather close in time. Credibility is much higher, still the Bible tell us the Israelites worshipped other Gods. The god El's wife Ashera was even worshipped in salomons temple. Judaism ( or whatever you wish to call it) is according to archeology not 3.000 years old. If the word Islam covers all religions that worship only one God, then I wonder who they were 3.000 years ago. Sun worshippers? 

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Islam began with the creation- everything that exists is in practice muslim. Humans have a choice- it is by the hand of humans that corruption and disobedience spread to the world. The earliest form of writing is not much older than 6,000 years before present; prior to that, there is no proof of what was what, who was who, and what their practices were. Writing began long after humans developed communal societies- those societies were, sadly, polytheistic. It was on that scene that God chose Abraham to be the father of monotheism. His children, Israelite, Ishmaelite, and Midianite, etc. continued his tradition of monotheism. However, and sadly so, many of his children continued into idolatry as that was the norm among the nations they lived and served.

The name of God in Hebrew is not Jahve, it is YeHeWaH. It is from the Aramaic HeWaH and meant He Exists- an imperfect form having both a present and future tense in one. There have been lots of discussion on the Name, but that is of no consequence. El is the earliest name of a deity among the Semites; in the written record it is Anu- which was depicted as a star. The Semites, who wrested control from the Sumerians, adopted and adapted the cuneiform for the Semitic language; Anu, thus, became the Semitic El. The stories of the creation, of the creation of man, the flood, etc. are old stories passed along the Semitic lines- from Anatolia to Khuzestan, even into Arabia. For this reason, the pantheon among Semites are very similar. These stories were passed on to the sons of Israel too; they were recorded in the Hebrew Text- this is not the Torah as some have claimed and supposed. The Torah was what was delivered upon the two tablets of stone to Moshe (AS) on top of Mt. Sinai. These were written, in addition, upon a scroll which was delivered to the priests- the Kohanim. The Torah only comprised what was written on the Tablets- front and back; these can be seen today in the Hebrew Text and only vary among the Shomerim and the Qara'im- including the Rabbinic Jews who received the Text from the Qara'im.

It is clear, from the Hebrew text, that the narratives of the earlier peoples were also included in the Israelite traditions; the similarities of the Hebrew narrative and the Sumerian and Babylonian texts are more than striking. What is different between these two lines of narration is the aspect in which it is related. The Sumerian and Babylonian accounts explain the narratives from the aspect of polytheism while the Israelites narratives explain it from the aspect of monotheism- being heirs to the Abrahamic covenant. The differing aspects did not, necessarily, make the stories false; what it did do, however, provided proof that the narrative was much older than the written texts. The Torah, in reality, was a contract- a covenant- between God and the children of Israel; it was, basically, a lease agreement concerning the Holy Land. If they kept the covenant, they held the right to dwell in the Land and become its inheritors; if they disobeyed and violated the covenant, they were exiled from the land- they were evicted. That the narratives may be different in the written form than what really happened, for me, is not important. The important thing for me is what was recorded in Torah. Between the Shomerim and the Qaraim Text, there are 3,000 differences- the majority is in orthography. The only real difference between the two is in the place of worship; the Shomerim Text has Mt Gerizim as the chosen place while the Qara'im Text has no specific place mentioned. I, personally, lean toward Mt Gerizim.

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Hi Yaaqov

I am not going to argue on how Gods name, that first was revealed to Moses around 1.300 BC, was spelled. We both know who we are talking about. 

I agree that human writings are no older than 6.000 years. However the first mentioning of the God Jahve in writing is less than 3.000 years ago. Before that there is no evidence in writing or from archeological findings that support any knowledge of the God that revealed to Moses his real name was Jahve. On the contrary, archeological findings support the Biblical stories that tell us that many Israelites still in 500 BC were polytheists. 

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The name YHWH is a name specific to the people of Israel; that is, it was first used among the Israelite religious community. The etymology of this name is much older.

YHWH is from the Semitic root HWH [הוה] which came from an older root HWH [חוח]- the difference is only in the first radical- He [ה] versus Het [ח]. One of the earliest traditions among the Semitic people is concerning a deity known as EA- which in Sumerian meant Source of Water. This deity was the deity of fresh water and was also the inspiration behind the creation of humanity; incidentally, this deity was also instrumental in saving humanity from the flood. The reason why this is important is because the Semitic HWH [חוה] was used in reference to flowing springs of water; this idea is also found in the Hebrew Text in reference to "living waters". Leviticus 14:5, for example, reads "And the priest shall command to kill one of the birds in an earthen vessel over running water [mayim hayyim]." The Qur'an explained that all life was made from water, 21:30

أَوَلَمْ يَرَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا أَنَّ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ كَانَتَا رَتْقًا فَفَتَقْنَاهُمَا ۖ وَجَعَلْنَا مِنَ الْمَاءِ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ حَيٍّ ۖ أَفَلَا يُؤْمِنُونَ

Do not those who disbelieve see that the heavens and the earth were closed up, but We have opened them; and We have made of water everything living, will they not then believe?

This is nearly identical to the Babylonian creation story- which was recorded in the Hebrew Text. According to the Babylonian creation, Marduk defeated Tiamat [the personification of the primordial waters], he split her body in two to form the heavens [shemayim- from the Semitic she mayim (that which is from water)] and the earth. In Genesis, God divided the water- creating the firmament- and caused dry land to appear do the reduction of water. It is from the earth, the lower half of the deity Tiamat according to the Babylonian narrative, that humans were created; Genesis explained that humans were made from the earth in the tzelem and demuth of God. tzelem is a physical representation of a deity while demuth has to do with blood- a likeness from blood relation.

The Quran explained the same thing above- the heavens and earth were one unit; they were divided; everything living was made from the water. 

I strayed a bit, so I will get back to my point. EA, when conjugated in the 3rd imperfect Akkadian would be IHYeH- this is extremely similar to the 1st imperfect found in Exodus 3:14 EHYeH [from the verb HYH]. The Hebrew 3rd imperfect is YiHYeH, but the Aramaic HWH- from which YHWH is derived- is YeHeWeH. In all actuality, YHWH is the sum of the Babylonian Marduk and EA. 

I am losing my train of thought, so I will pause here.

 

 

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Hi Yaaqov

I have not studied Hebrew, so I cannot determine if what you say is right or wrong. All I know is that it is disputed since the vocals are not written. Anyway. In the story of the burning bush, God tells Moses that he has been known by the name "El", but here reveals that his name is actually Jahve. This distinguishes Israels God from the kanaanean God "El", husband of the godess "Ashera", that still was worshipped among the israelites when Genesis was written. The Bible strongly warns the Israelites to stop worshipping other Gods than Jahve. 

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On the contrary, the vocals were written. The YHWH is not from a Hebrew verb, but Aramaic; this is why the YHWH is never written in the Aramaic portions- do to a taboo against pronouncing the divine name. The Hebrew verb HYH does not appear in Aramaic- it is a Hebrew verb. The name given to Moshe was EHYeH- the 1st person imperfect of HYH. However, the YHWH, given a few verses later, is from the Aramaic HWH- not the Hebrew HYH. HYH in Hebrew is used so much that it would be confusing to use the 3rd imperfect YiHYeH as the name of God. In Aramaic, however, the verb HWH is the Aramaic equivalent of the Hebrew HYH and must be used- since there was no other possibility. In the places in the Aramaic Text where the 3rd imperfect of HWH was used, the writers employed a L instead of the Y prefix for the 3rd imperfect. Once the Y prefix is replaced, the conjugation of the YHWH becomes clearly YeHeWeH- as even Gesenius, and most other Hebrew lexicographers note.

That the Israelites continued, and some continue today, to be polytheist was never a question- it is the reason they were sent to exile. The Qur'an, which was sent to Israelites as well- since they, too, are part of humanity- exhorted the Israelites to keep their covenant with God; the only covenant they made was at Sina- as the Qur'an noted. Sadly, many have continued in their polytheistic ways.

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Hi Yaaqov

It really does not matter to me how we spell Jshve as long as everybody understands who we mean.

The Quran was only sent to the Arabs, written in the Arabic. Jews, Romans, Russians and Swedes only recently recieved translations of it. 

 

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15 hours ago, andres said:

Hi Yaaqov

It really does not matter to me how we spell Jshve as long as everybody understands who we mean.

The Quran was only sent to the Arabs, written in the Arabic. Jews, Romans, Russians and Swedes only recently recieved translations of it. 

 

 

The Qur'an was sent to the Arabs and written in Arabic- I agree; the message was a mercy to all the world- especially to people who were without a sacred text explaining the principles of Tawhid, Adl, Risalah, etc. 

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On 1/9/2017 at 2:14 PM, MuhammedAli said:

Has anyone ever researched the origins of the Jewish religion?

I am asking this because I discovered that before the Babylonian Exile Jews had several Gods, or names for God that are the same as the Ancient Canaanite religion (El, Yahweh, El Elyon, Baal).

After the monotheistic zoroastrian Persians freed them the Jews became monotheists again. Are there any historical sources that state that the Jews (or Canaanites) were monotheistic before?

I do know that the Jews took the Torah (the first five books of the Old Testament) with them to Babylon. Throughout these books God is addressed to by El, Yahweh, El Elyon and Baal. Does anyone know more about this matter?

 

The Semitic language is called so because it is the language of the sons of Sam bin Nuh (AS). The earliest written Semitic language is Akkadian- named after the city Sargon conquered when he became King. Sargon was a Semite- a son of Sam (AS) through Ashshur. When the Semites took over the Sumerian Empire, they adopted and adapted the Sumerian cuneiform to Semitic- they, basically, changed the pronunciation of the cuneiform signs, but not the meaning. Anu, who was the deity of Heaven and King of the divine beings, was written the same- with an 8 pointed star. The Semites pronounced this ILU and later developed into ILH. ILH developed, as the Semites spread South and Westward, into ELaH [Aramaic], ELoaH [Hebrew], ILaHun [Arabic], etc. The final H has been considered parasitic by linguists. The old Akkadian was written ILU; the U and O are part of the same consonant in Semitic and in Old Aramaic and Hebrew, the final H functioned as an O and A vowel- matres lectionis. For instance, the final H in the Hebrew name of Suleiman (AS) functions as the O vowel- SHLoMoH; on the other hand, the final H in the word Torah functions as an A vowel- ToRaH. The final H in ILaH and ELoaH may have developed from the Akkadian U and the Aramaic emphatic Alef- which came at the end of words that are definite in nature. Since Aramaic preceded any of the Cana'anite languages- that is, Cana'anite developed from Aramaic- this could explain the Hebrew pronunciation having both an O and A phoneme at the end- ELoaH. Hebrew, as well as Arabic, later developed a proclitic definite article- HL [Hebrew] and AL [Arabic]. Both Hebrew and Arabic retained the Alef Lam He radicals as the nomen for deity. Allahu is derived from the article al and ilahun- Al-Ilahu. The medial kisra eventually assimilated into the Lam and became Allahu- the Ilahu. In Aramaic, this was ELaHa- the final Alef being the sign of definiteness. In Hebrew, this became HaELoaH- the singular form of Elohim.

El is Semitic for deity, El Elyon is Semitic for God Most High- one of the names of Allah is Al-Ali- from the same root Ayin Lam Yod/Alef [the two being, in essence, the same vowel]. Ba'al is the Semitic for lord- an equivalent for Adon. YaHWeH- actually YeHeWaH- was an Aramaic word used to represent the Hebrew YiHYeH as explained to Moshe (AS) at Sinai. It is noun derived from the 3rd imperfect of the root HWH and meant the Existing/Living. It is equivalent to the Arabic al-Hayyu.

The Semites, in my opinion, were originally monotheistic, but I cannot prove that; the earliest writing developed around 6,000 years ago and, by that time, the kingdoms were polytheistic in nature. My theory is that the nations began to refer to God according to the different natures of the One True Deity- this is similar to the Asma'ul-Husna. Allah is the Giver of Life and the One Who Causes Death [al-Muhy wa al-Mumit]. Eventually, these natures began to take on a false idea of separate deities. 

There is but One Deity, He has the beautiful names.

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On Monday, January 09, 2017 at 2:14 PM, MuhammedAli said:

Has anyone ever researched the origins of the Jewish religion?

I am asking this because I discovered that before the Babylonian Exile Jews had several Gods, or names for God that are the same as the Ancient Canaanite religion (El, Yahweh, El Elyon, Baal).

After the monotheistic zoroastrian Persians freed them the Jews became monotheists again. Are there any historical sources that state that the Jews (or Canaanites) were monotheistic before?

I do know that the Jews took the Torah (the first five books of the Old Testament) with them to Babylon. Throughout these books God is addressed to by El, Yahweh, El Elyon and Baal. Does anyone know more about this matter?

Zotoastrism is not a monotheistic religion. It is a "monolatric" religion. In such religions many Gods exist, but only one is chosen to worship. To me this seems very much like the religion described in the Bible to have existed before Jews became monotheists.

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7 minutes ago, andres said:

Hi Yaaqov

 Traces of a monotheistic semitic religion preceeding Judaism has never been found. All indications say they were polytheists.

 

This is only an assumption based upon the fact that the earliest written records recorded a polytheistic society; what, in fact, earlier civilizations were is not known- only surmised based upon later developments in early societies. 

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Just now, Yaaqov Ben Yisrael said:

This is only an assumption based upon the fact that the earliest written records recorded a polytheistic society; what, in fact, earlier civilizations were is not known- only surmised based upon later developments in early societies. 

It is also based on archeological findings. 

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If we were to take, as an example, a view of the Arab world- post Muhammad (SAAWAWS), but without the Text of the Qur'an available- let's say the Qur'an was only oral. The only thing which remained of this "oral" tradition would be a few references to it in later works, or inscriptions- or graffiti- or other sources. There are, as far as I am aware, 99 attributes of Allah- each explaining a different aspect of His nature. Do you think the Arab world would be considered monotheistic when so many names of the Deity is used? I think it is possible that is how polytheism developed- from the various aspect of the same Deity being preferred over the other.

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5 minutes ago, andres said:

It is also based on archeological findings. 

What archeological findings prove polytheism in absence of monotheism? How would it be proven by mere archaeology?

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30 minutes ago, Yaaqov Ben Yisrael said:

What archeological findings prove polytheism in absence of monotheism? How would it be proven by mere archaeology?

Statues of Gods have been found and can be dated. The Bible mentions kanaanean gods, they have been found all over, verifying the info in the Bible. This is a large subject and you will have no problem to find info online or in a library. (If you live in a country with no censure)

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Archaeology, like many other sciences, is highly subjective and relies upon a lot of supposition of the scientists doing the research. One cannot, without the existence of later written influences, determine strictly from the existence of statues that a society is polytheistic.  My earlier example, though not proof in itself, is useful in showing how preconceptions work in excavations. Without the large Texts of Islamic works, and with only a few inscriptions having various names of Allah, one might suppose the Islamic era was highly polytheistic. There is reference to Allah, al-Rahman [also found in pre-Islamic era inscriptions], Allahuma, etc. Without the those Texts explaining these are all the same Deity, it would be easy to assume polytheism. Writing only began around 6,000 years ago; before this time, no one can say if there was no monotheistic societies or if the concept of polytheism developed from monotheism or vis a vis.

Edited by Yaaqov Ben Yisrael

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Why dont you just do a little study of what has been found in the Holy Land in writing and archeology concerning the religions in the area. Or in the entire semitic area. 

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Archeology can also reveal what religious ideas people had before the written word by excavating graves. We have paintings in caves from people living 40.000 years ago in places like France and Australia that can give a hint of their beliefs. Graves from the Neanderthals, a close relative to us humans, extinct also about 40.000 years ago, show they had religios tradition. 

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