At the ancient city of Sidon the Canaanite (Phoenician) Deity YaM, meaning: "Sea", was the chief rival of Baal, meaning: "Master", for kingship among the Canaanite (Phoenician) Pantheon of Deities.
YaM, meaning: "Sea", sometimes took the guise of a Storm or Wind-god. His Personal name was YaW or, in some texts, Yawu. For instance, in the Epic of Baal, 'AL, speaking to Athiratu-yammi about their son YaM says:
..."The name of my son is YaW, Oh Dessese"...
The Personal name YaW of the Canaanite (Phoenician) Deity YaM is intriguingly similar to the shorten form of the Personal name of the Hebrew Deity, YH which is infact pronounced as YaW.
The similarity of names is parallelled by a similarity of roles, since Baal was considered to be the chief rival of YH by the ancient Hebrews. This identification is certainly a certain one, the two were actually the one and the same Deity.
Please consider -HOSEA 2: 16-17:
...And it shall be on that day, says YHWH, that you shall call me, 'AYSHY (Personal), and shall call Me no more Baali (My Baal). For I will take away the names of the Baals out of her (Israel's) mouth, and they shall no more remember their name"... -HOSEA 2: 16-17
Please Take Note:
..."You shall call me, 'AYSHY (Personal), and shall call Me no more Baali (My Master)"...
Like the Canaanites (Phoenicians), the ancient Hebrews regarded the PERSONAL Name of their tribal Deity, YHWH, as too sacred for common use, and they usually called him simply 'Adonai (My Deity), or sometimes, Baal (Master) or Baali (My Master).
The parallels between Baal and YHWH are quite detailed. For instance, both the Canaanites (Phoenicians) and the ancient Hebrews referred to Him, in His role as the Deity of Storms and War by the euphemism ..."The Rider On The Clouds"... -KTU 1.3 II 40; -PSALM 68: 5.
Both are portrayed as overcoming the YaM (Sea) and their enemies within it -PSALM 74: 13; -JOB 7: 12; -JOB 26: 12; -JOB 38: 8, and His henchman Litan called the Fleeing Serpent, the Twisty Serpent, Potentate with Seven Heads and, in Hebrew, Leviathan -ISAIAH 27:1 and -PSALM 74:13-14; -JOB 3:8; -JOB 40: 25 or -JOB 41: 1.
The origin of the name of the Deity of the ancient Hebrews is Canaanite (Phoenician). YHWH took over the history of Baal in ancient Hebrew folklore and is best understood as the ancient Hebrew equivalent of that Canaanite (Phoenician) Deity.
That YHWH was originally a son of 'AL is attested by a Canaanite (Phoenician) document -KTU 1.1 IV 14 from Ugarit. It reads:
..."SM . BNY . YW . ILT"... Which translates as:
..."The name of the son of 'AL, YaW"...
The ancient Hebrew Deity YHWH (pronounced as: YaWu; of which the shorten form YH pronounced as: YaW) was simply part of the Canaanite (Phoenician) pantheon.
He was Baal a Son of 'AL who took on the names YaW or YaWu which were the Personal names of YaM, who took on the guise of a Storm or Wind-Deity.
Later, as the National Deity of the ancient kingdom of Israel, YHWH was equated with the Canaanite (Phoenician) Supreme Deity 'AL. Please consider the following:
..."And 'ALHaYaM spoke to Moses and said to him, I YHWH, Who appeared to'AbraHam, to Isaac, and to Jacob, by the name of 'AL Shaddai; but My name YHWH I did not make known to them"... -EXODUS 6: 2-3
And 'Asherah (Athiratu-yammi) which means: "She who walks on the Sea"; became His wife. Please consider the following:
..."And he set up even image the Asherah (Athiratu-yammi) that he made in the house of which had said YHWH to David and to Solomon his son, in this house and in Jerusalem, that I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, I will put My name forever"... -2 KINGS 21: 7
Asherah (Athiratu-yammi) was the mother of 70 deities, including Baal.
One has to study these Scriptures in the original (by-pass the English translations), to discover that the God was the Canaanite God 'AL. (Further on we will compare YHWH with the Canaanite God 'AL with parallel quotations from ancient texts.)
One Ugaritic poem reads:
..."Now the 'Alonim (gods) were seating to eat, the holy ones to dine, Baal attending upon 'AL"...
..."The 'Alonim (gods) drop their heads down upon their knees"...
The Canaanite God 'AL and His sons had the same image, the image of man. YHWH and His secondary gods, had the same image:
..."And said YHWH (to His secondary gods), Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness"... -GENESIS 1: 26
Their image was that of a man, 'Adam looked liked them. In the beginning 'Adam did not know the difference between good and evil. But YHWH and His secondary gods knew.
The Serpent told Eve:
..."For knows 'Alohim (YHWH) that in the day you eat of it (the fruit of the tree of knowledge), then shall be opened your eyes and you will be as 'Alohim (gods), knowing good and evil"... -GENESIS 3: 5
The phrase, "you will be as 'Alohim (gods)" indicates the existence of other gods, beside YHWH. Had the writer of -GENESIS believed that there was only One God, he would have written "you will be as 'AL". When the book of GENESIS was written there was the belief of other gods beside YHWH.
Who were those gods the Serpent was referring to? The gods to whom YHWH said, "Let Us make man in Our image"...
After Adam and Eve ate the fruit, YHWH said:
..."Behold, the man has become as one of Us, to know good and evil"...
-GENESIS 3: 22
The expression "one of Us" indicates that YHWH was talking to His peers; the secondary gods, His sons, the ones mentioned in the following verse:
..."Now came a day when came the sons of 'Alohim (YHWH) to present themselves before YHWH"...
-JOB 1: 6
As mentioned above, YHWH presided over them:
"'Alohim (YHWH) stands in the community of 'AL; in the midst of the 'Alohim (gods) He holds judgment"... -PSALM 82: 1
"I have said, 'Alohim (gods) You are; and sons of A'lyon (Most High) all of you"...
-PSALM 82: 6
The "sons of 'AL" were also called "the morning stars":
..."When the morning stars sang together, and shouted for joy all the sons of 'Alohim (YHWH)"...
-JOB 38: 7
Ugaritic text: The sons of 'AL, the assembly of the stars:
..."That the sons of 'AL may know and the assembly of the stars may understand"...
The Book of -JOB is a poem that employs parallelism. The expressions "the morning stars" and "sons of 'AL" are parallel. Hebrew poetry, 'parallelism' often provides the double statement of a single matter.
Likewise for the Ugaritic passage:
"The sons of 'AL and "The assembly of the Stars" are a parallelism.
The "sons of 'AL" were also called the "assembly of the stars".
The "assembly of the stars" or the "morning stars" was also called "the host of Heaven" (literally: "the army of the sky").
The word "host" can mean:
1.) Host (organized army),
2.) Host (of angels),
3.) Sun, Moon, and Stars.
The stars were divine beings. In the following Scripture, the stars (the army of the sky), fought from Heaven against Sisera.
..."The stars fought from the heavens; from their courses they fought with Sisera"...
-JUDGES 5: 20
The stars were standing on both sides of YHWH:
..."I saw YHWH sitting on His throne, and all the host of Heaven were standing by Him, on His right and on His left"... -1 KINGS 22: 19
The belief that the stars were live persons appears in the Book of -REVELATION, where a star was given the key to open the bottomless pit:
..."And I saw a star out of heaven which had fallen onto the earth. And the key to the pit of the abyss was given to it". And he opened the pit of the abyss"...
-REVELATION 9: 1-2
The "host of heaven" was part of the assembly of 'AL and corresponded to the Canaanite "assembly of the stars." The Israelites worshipped the stars as secondary gods:
..."And have gone and served other 'Alohim (gods), and worshipped them; either the sun, or the moon, or any of all the host of the heavens (stars), which I (YHWH) have not commanded"... -DEUTERONOMY 17: 3
They worshipped the stars at the time of Josiah:
"And the king commanded Hilkiah the high priest, and the priests of the second order, and the keepers of the door, to bring out from the temple of YHWH all the vessels that were made for Baal, and for Asherah, and for all the host of the heavens"... -2 KINGS 23: 4
In some ancient cultures kings and heroes were deified upon their death and joined the assembly of stars. An Egyptian pyramid inscription addressed to King Pepi I (who ruled during the 6th dynasty, ca. 2345-2182 B.C.E.), reads:
..."O Pepi, you have gone away (died) to become a spirit, to become powerful as a god --- among the spirits, the Imperishable Stars"...
The Egyptians believed that the stars were the powerful spirits of kings. Pepi became "
a powerful god". As we will further examine, the spirits of the dead were called "gods".
The Cushite-Akkadians had a pantheon similar to that of the Hebrews and the Canaanites.
The Cushite-Akkadian god Marduk, corresponded to the Canaanite and Hebrew God 'AL.
In the Cushite-Akkadian Creation Epic, the god Marduk was king of the secondary gods who were called Anunnaki:
..."Marduk, the king of the gods divided all the Anunnaki above and below --- three hundred in the heavens He stationed them as guard"...
The Anunnaki correspond to the "host of heaven" or "sons of 'AL" of the Canaanites and of the Hebrews. Marduk allotted portions to the Anunnaki:
..."To the Anunnaki of heaven and earth (Marduk) had allotted their portions"...
Likewise, the Canaanite God 'AL A'lyon allotted portions to His sons:
..."When 'Alyon (Most High) divided to the nations their inheritance (portion of); when He separated the sons of 'Adam, He sat up the bounds of the peoples, according to the number of the sons of Israel"... -DEUTERONOMY 32: 8
In the following Scripture these "sons of 'AL" are called the "host of heaven," whom 'AL allotted to all the nations:
...And that you not lift up your eyes towards the heavens and shall see the sun, and the moon, and the stars, all the host of the heavens, and you be drawn away and worship them, and serve them; which YHWH your 'Alohim (God) has allotted (divided) to all the peoples under all the heavens"... -DEUTERONOMY 4: 19
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..."YHWH is in His Holy Temple; YHWH, His Throne is in the Heavens; His eyes see; His eyelids will examine the sons of 'Adam"... -PSALM 11: 4