Yahweh and the Gods and Goddesses of Canaan. (Briefly Noted).
Yahweh and the Gods and Goddesses of Canaan. By John Day (Sheffield Academic, $73). This book thoroughly examines the biblical and in-scriptional evidence dealing with Yahweh and El, Asherah, Baal, Astarte, Anat, and the astral and underworld deities. He concludes, against Frank Cross, that El and Yahweh were originally separate deities but that Yahweh was eventually credited with many characteristics of El. The golden calves of 1 Kings 12 are held to be images of the deity rather than pedestals on which the deity was enthroned. The Kuntillet 'Ajrud and Qirbet el-Qom inscriptions refer to Asherah's cult symbol rather than the goddess herself, but in some syncretistic circles Asherah was indeed Yahweh's consort. Molech, to whom children were sacrificed in the Old Testament, was the name of a deity and not the name of a kind of sacrifice (contrary to Eissfeldt). The worship of other deities was quite frequent in preexilic times, but there was a monolatrous party already in those times and absolute monotheism wa s first given explicit expression by Second Isaiah. Josiah's reformation played a significant role in the decline of the Canaanite deities in Israel. D. judiciously weighs competing notions about Canaanite deities contained in the nearly thirty pages of bibliography with which the book ends.