"Yahweh," the ancient god now worshiped by Jews and Christians alike, is rendered as "Lord" or "God" by nearly all translators of the Bible.* However, the Old Testament reports on many gods worshiped by this tribe of Hebrews; but El, Baal, and Yahweh (Jehovah) stand out as the most prominent Canaanite deities directing the course of events in Jewish antiquity. Both the Bible and the archaeological record from Ras Shamra verify their existence; and they both attribute quite human qualities to all three of these deities. The evidence for the fact is cited below, in the religious text of the cuneiform tablets and in the illustrations of the artifacts that I extracted from the work of Claude Schaeffer,** who was the Director of the French Archaeological Expedition to Ras Shamra-Ugarit during nine successive seasons from 1929 through 1937.
The human-like Hebrew god El,*** the chief of the Elohim (gods), is one of the most important gods mentioned by name in the beginning books of the Bible. He also takes on a significant role in the archaeological records uncovered in the high priests' libraries at ancient Ras Shamra. In Genesis, he is described as "the most high God" and in Exodus as "God Almighty." Likewise, in the Ras Shamra texts, El, whose human-like body is portrayed below, is addressed as the god "Almighty."
The reason for such a title is displayed in the scene on the Ras Shamra stele above. In describing it, Schaeffer says: "El is seen as a god seated on a throne; he is of mature age, and in aspect both majestic and paternal. He accepts offerings from the King of Ugarit, who stands before him." Perhaps the king is also bringing him good news since he seems to be clapping his hands. "El rejoiced each time he heard the good news," added Schaeffer, "and his joy was boisterous, as we learn from another passage [from the Ras Shamra texts] which says: 'El stamps his feet on his stool. El laughs with his whole heart and snaps his fingers.' Then the god cried out: 'Good news, O my son, whom I have created. T he skies shall rain down fat, and the valleys shall become meadows.'"
Perhaps he was speaking to Baal, one of El and his wife Ashtaroth's seventy divine sons. He is mentioned many times in the Bible, which repeatedly points out that the Jews often worshiped him. One of many examples of the Israelites' great reverence for him is recorded in II Kings (21:3), which states that the Hebrew King Manasseh, "reared up altars for Baal, and made a grove, as did Ahab king of Israel; and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served them."
However, according to the religious tablets excavated at Ras Shamra, at one time Baal had no sanctuary amongst his Canaanite worshipers. Naturally, his mother Ashtaroth took notice of the divine discrimination and "complained that Baal alone of the many sons of El had neither temple nor sacred enclosure."
But to build him a sanctuary required permission from his father, the almighty god El, and Schaeffer goes on to explain how he was convinced to do so:
“To obtain the consent of the father of the gods, they get Hijon—a kind of goldsmith god, or Canaanite Hephaestos—to intervene. Armed with his pincers and his bellows, he melts silver and hammers out the gold to fashion the idols and various furnishings, a throne with its foot-stool and a table. All these, laden with offerings, are presented to El, who in exchange grants them permission to build.”
However, jealousies arose, and under the topic of Construction of the Temple of Baal, Lapton as overseer, Schaeffer continued with his summary of some of the Ras Shamra cuneiform tablets as follows:
“Provoked by Baal’s adversaries, disputes and bloody encounters arose. After these had been settled, the gods, assisted by various divinities, began to build the sanctuary. It appears that Latpon was appointed overseer, but he, lazy as he was wise and immortal, refused to take part in the work, while the goddess Asherat’s own handmaid busied herself in making bricks for the walls.
Baal himself helped in the building of his sanctuary, by felling cedars on the mountain sides for the structure of the temple, hurling his lightning, which the poet ingeniously compares with a saw."
Such a blazing saw sounds like a modern carbon arc cutting torch, but it may have been more advanced than the electric carbon arc technology that the gods from the ancient continent of Atlantis probably gave to the Egyptians. The ancient Egyptians could have passed it on to Moses, who used it to light up the Ark or Arc of the Covenant, wherein his electric god Yahweh resided. The holy box was later sent to Jerusalem, and placed in its celebrated temple, of which little now remains.
This is not the case with the Canaanite sanctuary north of the holy city. A large part of Baal's temple was uncovered in the excavations at Ras Shamra, pictured in the aerial view below:
Even without much of a temple remaining, Moses's god holds a higher position than Baal in the hearts of Jewish and Christian worshipers to this day. This can, for the most part, be attributed to the inspirational writings of the authors of the Bible. Yahweh was their favorite, even over El and Baal, and the Bible keeps him alive. We do not know how El passed on, but the ancient cuneiform tablet above describes the death of Baal. Undoubtedly, Yahweh, in real life, met the same fate; and, like the artifacts depicting El and Baal above, there is some physical evidence of his human-like existence.
One of the most important artifacts attesting to the fact is found stamped on a coin of the fourth century B. C., minted during the period Israel was ruled by the last of the Persian kings. It is illustrated above. Note the wings on the chariot that the Jewish god Yahweh is riding. The Hebrew idea of wings (of the wind) clearly manifests itself in the carbon arc light flashing over the Ark or Arc of the Covenant, which is explained well on another website. The bird in Yahweh's hand, like that the one on the sacred Egyptian ark below, symbolizes an electric mirror. Its dazzling brilliance announced to naive Egyptian worshipers the presence of their god. Yahweh's carbon arc searchlight was no exception.
Nevertheless, what is significant about the ancient Hebrew gods of the Jews is that Yahweh finally won out over El and Baal. The priests who wrote Exodus (15:11) explain his prominence in Jewish worship then and today by acclaiming: "Who is like unto thee, O Lord, among the gods." "O Lord" is an English title that Bible translators repeatedly and quite deceptively give for the Hebrew word "YHW" in which the ancient Jews failed to add the written vowels. The imaginations of most Bible commentators now add the "a" and "eh" sounds to fill out "Yahweh," the name of the Hebrew national god, the one Jews and Christians worship as the "God" of the Bible today.
However, for "Yahweh" eventually to become the "God" of our Bible took awhile. Speaking of this Hebrew god in The Religious Teachings of the Old Testament, Albert C. Knudson, a professor in the Boston University School of Theology, pointed out:
"The sole godhead of Yahweh was a truth that was only gradually attained. The different steps in this development may be distinguished with a fair degree of clearness. We begin with the Mosaic age. It was to Moses that the establishment of Yahweh-worship was due. Previous to his time the Israelites seem to have been polytheists. On one of the [Hittite] cuneiform tablets discovered by [Professor Hugo] Winckler at Boghazkj and belonging to the pre-Mosaic age we read of "the gods" of the Habiri or Hebrews, and in Josh. 24.2, 14f. and Ezek. 20.7f., 24 we are told that both in Mesopotamia and Egypt the Israelites worshipped other gods.
"The very name 'Yahweh' also points in the same direction. The manifest purpose of such a name was to distinguish the god of Israel from other gods. If the Hebrews had not believed in the existence of other deities, there would have been no need of giving a personal name to the Divine Being through whom they were delivered from Egypt. He would have been to them simply God."
* YWH is only one of the gods of the Bible, who appears nearly 7,000 times in the Old Testament. Various English vowels and consonants are used to spell his name. It is often written as "Yahweh," or "Yahveh" with a "v" instead of a "w." Sometimes it is spelled "Jehovah." Yet, in nearly all English bibles, translators have persisted in changing his name to "God" or "Lord." We know of only one exception: The Holy Bible, Amended King James Version, published by The Philadelphia Publishers Association. This commendable work renders the name YWH as "Yahweh" throughout the Old Testament-instead of using highly deceptive English words such as "Lord" and "God."
** Claude F. A. Schaeffer's Cuneiform Texts of Ras Shamra-Ugarit, The Schweich Lectures of the British Academy 1936
*** Keep in mind that you will not normally read the Hebrew god El's name (standing alone) in the Bible. It will usually appear simply as "God" instead of "El." The deviant translators of the Bible, for the most part, have chosen to change his name from "El" to "God" because they don't want us to know any better. They want us to think there is only one god in the Old Testament when there are, in fact, many! This is just one of many pious frauds perpetrated by translators of our bibles and magnified by our religious leaders today. Christ said the blind were leading the blind in his day, and things haven't changed much today, when a one-eyed priest could be King. As they say, "The first priest was a wise man who met a fool!" In this age of the Internet and enlightenment, are we going to continue to play the role of the fool? Shame on us if we do!