Historians reconstruct pantheons to better understand their role in society (see below for examples of reconstruction as a historical method). Has there been any attempt to apply this historical method to the Semitic pantheon?

Please consider some of these reported findings of Biblical archaeology and Biblical criticism, from:

  • Kuntillet Ajrud
  • Khirbet el-Qom
  • Edomite culture archaeology
  • The synthesis of the Hebrew Bible as presenting Yahweh as "appearing" from Paran, "coming" from Sinai and Teman, "shining" and "exiting" from Seir with holy hosts and "Ashdat from his right, for them" and "marching" in storm from Edom field – along with the above findings.
  • The idea of an early Israelite approach according to which other gods exist (or can exist) and can be worshiped by non Israelites but shouldn't be worshiped by Israelites because they should only worship Yahweh → contrasted with a late Israelite approach according to which, Yahweh is the only god that ever existed, hence he was the god of this reality (or this cosmos), and worshiping other gods is a great sin.

An example for a reconstruction theory I look for:

A wide historical examination of Biblical archaeology and Biblical criticism, politics of the ancient near east (including the religious aspect of 'city states'), climate changes in the ancient near east, migrations inside the ancient near east and "religious innovation" in the ancient near east (Akhenaten and Yahwism), all can bring one to assume a discourse around several Canaanite polytheistic pantheons coexisting differently in different time periods, and I would like to learn more of it. For example:

  • Northern polytheistic Canaanite pantheon: Gods of Akkad, Phoenicia and Ugarit
  • Eastern polytheistic Canaanite pantheon: Gods of Aram-Damascus, Amon and Moab
  • Middle polytheistic Canaanite Pantheon: Gods of Judah, Israel, Edom and possibly Midianites and Nabataeans (might include El, Yahweh, Asherah Qos, Astarte, Anat, Baal and possibly also Ashdat)
  • Western polytheistic Canaanite pantheon: Gods of North Sinaitic nomads and Amalekites
  • Southern polytheistic Canaanite Pantheon: Gods of the Arabs and Habeshis.

The Yahwism sect rejected any such pantheon, of course.

My question

Have historians attempted to reconstruct the polytheistic Semitic pantheon, dividing it into sub pantheons?


Yahwism, of course, developed its rigid monotheistic nature later than perhaps your comment implies.

Moreover though, I think your question assumes a perspective that is too westernized (as in Ancient Greek or Roman).

Canaanite region religions that arose had relatively few major gods. Three (3) was quite common, a triad (that influenced early Christians to adopt the holy trinity): usually one male, one female, and one child.

A formalized pantheon is unnecessary with so few gods. This is contrasts with a dozen gods in Roman or Greek pantheons. The imperial nature and designs of those two empires (that sought to standardize, control, and expand over vast regions) were well-served by more formalized structures to train and assimilate new populations.

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    Once again, this would benefit from the inclusion of your sources. – Steve Bird Jul 4 at 22:59
  • phoenicia.org/pagan.html — provides an excellent summary of common Phoenician triad deities, usually specific to each city-state. – Now Childrens Jul 5 at 23:14

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