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Origins of Judaism

Started by prime, Feb 19, 2024, 11:49 AM

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QuoteCalled the stele of Mesha, it contains the earliest known extra-biblical mention of the deity worshipped by Jews, Christians and Muslims and, since its discovery in 1868, it has fueled the argument over the historicity of the Bible.

In the text, King Mesha recounts how Israel had occupied the northern regions of his land and "oppressed Moab for a long time" under Omri and his son Ahab – the biblical monarchs who reigned from Samaria and made the Kingdom of Israel a powerful regional player in the first half of the 9th century B.C.E.

Based on the stele, it appears that the Yahweh that 9th century B.C.E. Israelites worshipped had more in common with the Moabite deity Chemosh than with Judaism's later concept of a single, universal deity. The fact that Mesha found a temple of Yahweh to plunder in Nebo contradicts the Bible's contention that the exclusive worship of a single God had already been established and centralized at the Temple of Jerusalem in the time of King Solomon. (