Canaanite faith is the faith of Palestine and Syearia in the course of the third and second millennia (3000–1001) B.C.E. In the ﬁ rst millennium B.C.E. Canaanite faith got here into conﬂ ict with the worship of YHWH (“the Lord”), particularly within the northern kingdom of Israel.
Technically, the identify “Canaanite” applies solely to the traditional inhabitants of Palestine. But people additionally use it for all peoples and settlements that spoke languages generally known as “Northwest Semitic.” These peoples inhabited the area between two main historical powers, Egypt and Mesopotamia. Not a lot is thought intimately of their historical past. But in the course of the 20th century two main archaeological ﬁ nds unearthed many Canaanite texts. Among different matters, they make clear Canaanite faith. These ﬁ nds had been the traditional cities of Ugarit (found 1929) and Ebla (found 1968).
The Canaanites worshipped a number of deities. Two had been the pair El (the Semitic phrase for “god”) and Athirat, also referred to as Asherah. El was the “father of gods and men.” He created the world. Athirat was the mom of the gods. Together, they had been worshipped as king and queen.
Another pair of gods was BAAL, also referred to as Hadad, and Anat, his sister and spouse. The identify Baal means “lord.” A god of the storms, Baal is named “rider of the clouds.” Anat was a GODDESS famend each for magnificence and violence. Yet one other goddess famend for magnificence and violence was Athtart. Mesopotamians referred to as her Ishtar; the BIBLE calls her Ashtoreth.
A distinguished Canaanite fable issues the god Baal. It tells how he fought and defeated the ocean, a son of El named Yamm. But when Baal confronted one other son of El, Mot, the god of dying, he was defeated and killed. His sister, Anat, avenged his dying. Baal was restored to life and ultimately defeated dying in battle. Earlier students thought this story reﬂ ected the yearly cycle of the seasons. Current opinion takes it as referring as a substitute to an irregular drought.
Canaanite worship was very like worship in different elements of the traditional Near East. It centered on SACRIFICES and choices. The Canaanites carried out these on at the least two social ranges. One stage was the town. The king oversaw its worship. The second stage was the area people. Individuals appear to have carried out in native cults for themselves. They sacriﬁ ced at excessive locations all year long. They additionally held celebrations along side planting and harvesting in spring and autumn. Like many historical peoples, the Canaanites had a posh system of RITUAL specialists. It isn’t clear what any of the specialists talked about within the Canaanite texts really did.
During the ﬁ rst millennium, Canaanite faith in Palestine regularly gave means to the worship of YHWH. But the worship of YHWH additionally adopted Canaanite components. In some sense, YHWH combines the traits of El and Baal. He creates the world. He can also be a god of the storms. Like Baal, he rides the clouds (Psalms 68.4) and defeats the ocean (PSALMS 89.9–10; JOB 26.12–13). It can also be doable that Canaanite agricultural festivals lie behind the JEWISH FESTIVALS OF PASSOVER, Shavuot, and Sukkot.