early origins of biblical God

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early origins of biblical God

Post by Japhethite »

Islam says the name of God in the Koran is only Allah. In the bible the name of God seems to be Yhwh/Jhvh. The other names like El/Elohim, Adonai, I Am, Abba, etc are more like titles or epithets or forms of address, while God's only actual personal name seems to be Yhwh.
Some say that the name Yhwh is only from Moses, while before then he was only El (Shaddai), and some say he got it from Midianites/Kenites. Some Jews are also against writing or speaking the name and replace it with Adonai "Lord" or Ha-shem "the name" or G'd/G-d, and Mesianics don't like the "sacred name sayers". However the following list shows that the name Yhwh was known before Moses.

God said I am Yhwh Gen 15:7, 18:14, 19, 28:13, Exod 3:15-16, 18
God said El/Eloah/Elohim Gen 9:6, 16, 17:7-8, 26:24, 28:13, 31:13, 35:1, 46:3, Exo 3:6, 12, 15-16, 18
God said El Shaddai Gen 17:1, 35:11
God said I Am Gen 15:7, 17:11, 26:24, 28:13, 31:13, 35:11, 46:3, Exod 3:6, 14
Angel of the Lord said Yhwh Gen 16:11, 22:16
Angel of God said El/Elohim Gen 21:17, 22:12, 32:28
Angels said Yhwh Gen 19:13-14
Eve said Yhwh Gen 4:1
Eve said El/Elohim Gen 3:3, 4:25
The Serpent said El/Elohim Gen 3:1, 5
Men called/defied Yhwh Gen 4:26
Mehujael & Methushael & Mahalalel have El in them.
Lamech said Yhwh Gen 5:29
Noah said Yhwh Gen 9:26
Noah said El/Elohim Gen 9:26-27
Elishah's & Elam's name have El in it Gen 10
A saying says Yhwh Gen 10:9, 22:14
Abram/Abraham called on Yhwh Gen 12:8, 13:4, 21:33
Abraham said Yhwh Gen 14:22, 15:2, 15:8, 22:14, 24:3, 7, 40
Abraham said Adonai Gen 15:2, 8, 18:27, 30-32
Abraham said El/Elohim Gen 20:11, 13, 22:8, 24:3, 7
Abraham said El Eliyon Gen 14:22
Abraham called on El/Elohim Gen 21:33
Melchizedek said El Eliyon Gen 14:19-20
Sarai/Sarah said Yhwh Gen 16:2, 5
Sarah said El/Elohim Gen 21:6
Hagar called on Yhwh Gen 16:13
Hagar said El/Elohim Gen 16:13
Ishmael's name has El in it.
Abimelech said Adonai Gen 20:4
Hittites said El/Elohim Gen 23:6
Eleazar said Yhwh Gen 24:12, 27, 35, 42, 44, 48, 56
Eleazar said El/Elohim Gen 24:12, 27, 42, 48
Laban said Yhwh Gen 24:31, 50-51, 30:27, 30, 31:49
Laban said El/Elohim Gen 31:29, 50, 53
Isaac entreated Yhwh Gen 25:21
Rebekah inquired of Yhwh Gen 25:22
Isaac said Yhwh Gen 26:22, 27:7, 27
Isaac called on name of Yhwh Gen 26:25
Isaac said El/Elohim Gen 27:28, 28:4
Isaac said El Shaddai Gen 28:3
Abimelech said Yhwh Gen 26:28-29
Abimelech said El/Elohim Gen 21:22-23
Jacob(-el)'s name has El/Elohim in it.
Israel's name has El/Elohim in it
Jacob said Yhwh Gen 27:20, 28:16, 21, 32:9, 49:18
Jacob/Isarel said El/Elohim Gen 27:20, 28:17, 20-22, 30:2, 31:5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 42, 32:2, 9, 30, 33:5, 10-11, 35:3, 7, 48:11, 15, 20-21, 49:25
Jacob said Mighty One of Jacob 49:24
Jacob said El Elohe Gen 33:20
Jacob said El Shaddai Gen 43:14, 48:3
Bethel has El/Elohim in it Gen 28:17, 22, 35:7
Peniel has El/Elohim in it Gen 32:30
Leah said Yhwh Gen 29:32-33, 35
Leah said El/Elohim Gen 30:18, 20, 31:16
Rachel said Yhwh Gen 30:24
Rachel said El/Elohim Gen 30:6, 23, 31:16
Judah's name has Yhwh in it Gen 29:35
Judah said El/Elohim Gen 44:16
Yahuwesph/Joseph's name has Yhwh in it Gen 30:24
Joseph said El/Elohim Gen 39:9, 40:8, 41:16, 25, 28, 32, 51-52, 42:18, 43:29, 45:5, 7-9, 48:9, 50:19-20, 24-25
Joseph's brothers said El/Elohim Gen 42:28, 50:17
Joseph's steward said El/Elohim (or Neter?) Gen 43:23
Pharaoh said El/Elohim Gen 41:38-39
Moses said Yhwh Exod 4:1
Moses said El/Elohim Exod 3:13.

This seems to confirm my theory that the name of the biblical God may also be found in other early cultures traditions, such as Egyptian, Mesopotamian, etc. (Egyptian god Yah/Ah/Aah/Iahu?) Though whether Yahweh as the god of the Hebrews/Israelites was known by the Egyptians between Joseph and Moses is uncertain. Compare the followers/companions of Apophis in the El-Arish inscription and the adversaries of Re(-Harakhty)" in the legend of Horus of Edfu with the Hebrews of 'Exodus'. The "Shasu of Yhwh" do appear in Palestine in the 18th dynasty.

As to disputes about how to pronounce/spell the name, we might be able to guess by other names it occurs in.

Jehoahaz/Joa(c)haz "Yah held/holds (fast)"
Jehoash/Joash "Yah given" / "Yah strong"
Jehohanan/Yochanan/Johanan/John/Jonan/Joanna/Jona "Yah gift/given/mercy/gracious"
Jehoiachin "Yah established/appointed"
Jehoiada/Joiada "Yah knows/knoweth/known"
Jehoiakim/Joiakim/Joachim "Yah established/set up"
Jehonathan/Jonathan "Yah gave/given"
Jehoram/Joram "Yah exalted"
Jehoshaphat/Jos(h)aphat "Yah judges/judged"
Jehu "Yah is he"
Jesus/Jeshua(h)/Jehoshua(h)/Joshua/Yehoshua/Isa "Yah salvation/saviour"
Joab "Yah father"
Jochebed "Yah glorious"
Joel/Juel "Yah is El/God"
Joseph/Yahuwseph/Joses "Yah add" (Imhotep?)
Jo(a)tham "Yah upright/perfect"
Judah/Jew/Judea/Jude/Judas/Judith/Yehudah "Yah praise(d)"
Abijah "father Yah"
Azariah "help Yah"
Halleluyah/Alleuia "praise Yah"
Hananiah "gracious/merciful/given Yah"
Jeconiah "Yah establishes" / "establishes Yah"
Jedidiah "beloved Yah"
Jeremiah/Jeremy/Yirmeyahu "appointed Yah" / "exalted Yah"
Josiah "healed" / "supports"
Nathanias "gift/gave/given Yah"
Obadiah/Ovadyah "servant/slave Yah"
Zedekiah "righteous/just Yah"

Elbethel "God house God"
Eldad "God love(d)"
Elhanan "God grace/gracious"
Eli/Ali "my God"
Eliakim "God establishes"
Eliezer/Eleazar/Lazarus "God help/aided"
Elihu "God is his, he is my God"
Elijah "God Yah"
Elimelech "God king"
Eliphaz "God strength" / "God is fine gold"
Elisabeth "God oath"
Elisha/Elishah "God salvation/saves"
Elmodad/Almodad "God loved"
Elnathan "God gift/given"
Bethel "house El/God"
Daniel "judge God"
Emmanuel/Immanuel "with us God"
Hananeel "gracious God"
Jerahmeel "mercy God"
Jesuel "Yah salvation God"
Jezreel "seed God"
Joel/Yoel "Yah God"
Mahalalel "blessed God"
Peniel/Penuel "face God"
Reuel "look/see God"

Adonibezek "lord of Bezek"
Adonijah "lord Yah"
Adonikam "Lord arisen/raised"
Adoniram/Adoram "Lord exalted/heights"
Adonizedek "Lord righteous/justice"
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A'ah = Yahu?

Post by billd89 »

While I generally don't like to add unsourced material from a random website, this basic summary is richly suggestive:

A’ah was an early Egyptian moon god who created and controlled the calendar of the ancient lunar year - 12 months of 30 days each. The Egyptians were meticulous in their charting of the heavens: stars and planets, the sun and moon - but used the phases of the moon specifically to measure time. Since the priests used the lunar calendar to help inform the planning of agriculture that constituted a large amount of Egypt’s wealth, this led to him being considered a fertility god. Though the lunar calendar did not allow them to accurately predict the flooding of the Nile, the flooding was so important that they grouped all the months in relation to it. Akhet (June-September) was the time of the flood. Peret (October-January) was the time of planting, and Shemu (February-May) was the time of harvest. This system did leave an extra five days in the year though.

A’ah is said to have won a wager with Thoth over a game of dice that ended up in him winning enough lunar light to create 5 extra days. He is credited with adding 5 extra days to the year thus allowing Nuit, who had been cursed by Ra against having children any day of the year, to give birth to her children with Geb: Isis, Osiris, Nephthys and Set.

A’ah evolved into Iah (sometimes spelled Yah) and eventually, Khonsu and Osiris - but his original name, A’ah was the Egyptian word for moon. Eventually, the Egyptian noticed the star Sirius, the ‘dog star’ rose with the sun every day of the year and could be used to accurately predict the flooding of the Nile. The lunar calendar was then replaced with a solar calendar. This could explain why A’ah is often shown with both a crescent moon and a solar disk on his crown.

A’ah was represented as a young student, and pupil of Thoth, and as such was regarded as a patron of students. His symbols were the crescent and full moon, as well as the ibis and falcon.


It would seem A'ah dates back before 4250 BC. Fully developed, Thoth is certainly 500-1,000 years older than YHWH. Given that the Pentateuch is written in Alexandria c.272 BC at the Great Library of Alexandria, and the Moses Myth frankly exploits Thoth Myth in so many particulars, A'ah (=Yahu/YHWH) as 'Thoth's student' is especially intriguing. The possibility that what becomes 'Judaism' began as a cult offshoot of much older and highly literate Egyptian 'Thoth worship' is not smthg I've seen developed anywhere before. If we accept the foundational Torah myth that the 'Jews came out of Egypt' then that hypothesis certainly looks plausible.

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