ABSTRACT

The Biblical texts involving the Hebrew kings during the First Temple period present us with fascinating contradictions and inconsistencies. During that period a great struggle was being waged between the prophets of Yahweh and those of the Canaanite gods (Albright, 1968; Cross, 1973). The people themselves, whose need for a father-god in no way ruled out their need for a mother-goddess, a fire-god, a sun-god, a sea-god, and a host of other deities, were quite willing to practice Yahwism along with Baalism, to use a convenient shorthand for the various Canaanite cults. The projection of inner infanticidal, parricidal, incestuous, and other wishes on the gods made the latter psychologically indispensable.