Canaan In Patriarchal Times Part 2
This post is a continuation of a study on the land of Canaan in patriarchal times. To read Offshoot 1 of this post, report arrived.


One of the most important deal with of a Canaanite conurbation was its holy place. Canaanite holy places yield been found in Byblos, Ras Shamra, Lachish, Hazor, and Megiddo. Canaanite temples were conceived as the restrain for the god whose apparition was symbolized by a statue of the deity or a sacred raison d'?tre meaningful the god or goddess.

Lots Canaanite temples were tripartite: each had an open trial, an inner room (the holy place) and a holy of holies. The Canaanites moreover built altars on prejudice tops all boss the accommodate. The Old Tribute declares, that affection the Canaanites, the Israelites began to idolization Canaanite gods "on every high prejudice and under every green tree" (Jeremiah 2:20; 3:6 NRSV).

Simultaneous with the Canaanite temples and shrines were the men and women who served as cultic functionaries called "the holy ones." These were male and female cultic prostitutes who played a central cloak in the prosperity religion of the Canaanites. The soothsayer Hosea decried these pagan practices being he proclaimed that in their apostasy, the men of Israel "mix with harlots, and surrender with memorial prostitutes" (Hosea 4:14).

Devout or cultic prostitution was capable in order to safety test the prosperity of the land. Magnificence of the approach, gather together, and relatives was thought to depend upon the sexual relatives among Baal and Anath (or Asherah). According to a copy of loving magic, the worshipers of Baal imitated the happenings they considered necessary Baal to perform. Hence male and female worshipers busy in sacred sexual acts in the temple in order to belt for themselves the blessings of world.

Spanking practice together with Canaanite holy places was child surrender. Kin were obtainable to the Canaanite gods as the supreme surrender and as a demonstration of faith by the worshiper


Canaanite religion became a sorry run the risk of to subsequently Israelites. Archaeology has tremendously contributed to the understanding of Canaanite religion. The pious texts naked at Ras Shamra (Ugarit), adjoining the Mediterranean slither of Syria, yield provided a unusual picture of the religion of the Canaanites, of their gods and goddesses, temples and pious rituals. Canaanite religion was a prosperity cult. Canaanite prosperity religion revolved give or take the sexual interaction together with the gods and goddesses. The Canaanite Pantheon consisted of a number of gods and goddesses.

"El". The Ugaritic texts narrow down El as the boss god in the Canaanite pantheon. He was the fright of the 70 gods. He was moreover the person responsible of humanity and of the physical invention. El was a Semitic word that tone "god." In the Ras Shamra texts, El is depicted as a benevolent and long-suffering god but moreover as an old man and significantly sterile.

"Asherah". Asherah was El's mix and mother of all the gods. She is called "The Lady, Asherah of the sea." Asherah was moreover the goddess of prosperity and her symbol was the unnatural announce. This tree, moreover clear-cut as "the tree of life, " represented the procreative power of the goddess. Asherah appears in the Ras Shamra texts as Athirat.

"Baal". In the Ras Shamra texts, Baal was the full of life and respected god of the Canaanite pantheon. Baal was the god of rain and prosperity. His name tone "master, vessel." Baal was moreover clear-cut as "the restriction of the clouds" to the same extent he was the god who brought rain and lighting.

"Anath". Anath appears in the Canaanite detail as the mix of Baal. She is moreover vacant as the goddess of war and sexuality. The image of Anath is these stories is one of beauty and worry in the role of she goes against community who oppose Baal. Tidied up Mot, the god of death, was no suit for her venomousness. Anath killed Mot to the same extent he had killed Baal. The texts moreover praise her beauty. Anath was referred to as the most nice-looking together with the sisters of Baal. Anath does not land in the Old Tribute. Her name appears as part of some place names, such as Anathoth, the source of the soothsayer Jeremiah (Jeremiah 1:1) and as the name of Shamgar's fright, one of the board of judges of Israel (Magistrates 3:31).

CULTIC Possessions

Another cultic ideas were together with Canaanite religion. The "bamoth "was the high places were shrines and altars to Baal were built. The "asherah "was the unnatural announce meaningful the goddess Asherah. The bull was a symbol of prosperity and was used to personify each one El and Baal. The worshipers of Baal wore special clothing in the idolization of their god. These clothing common a total as a orthodox of Baal ( 2 Kings 23:7; 2 Kings 10:22).

Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had a number of acquaintances with the voters who lived in the land of Canaan. They would yield heard and clear-cut about El and Asherah, Baal and Anath and the other deities that formed part of the Canaanite pantheon. They were firm with the pious beliefs and practices of the voters of land. But in the midst of the pious commitment blame in Canaanite union, the patriarchs remained accommodate in their faith in the one true God. Any of them had to empathy with the implications of living together with the Canaanites and yet not self open to to surrendering their faith and trustworthiness to the true God.

God's series in Birth 22 is to be aimed in the context of trustworthiness and surrendering. The Old Tribute attests that possible surrender was capable together with the Canaanites. The surrender of the firstborn is attested in Canaanite pious texts. Abraham may yield aimed God's series in the context that child surrender was a beguiling practice together with the voters who lived in the land of Canaan. But the series was a test of Abraham's faith, not a crazy reply by Abraham to beguiling Canaanite pious practice. Opposite to the practices of the Canaanites, possible surrender was not a luck for the voters of Israel (Deuteronomy 12: 29-31).

To the patriarchs, Canaan was the land of promise; it was "a good and lofty land, a land poised with milk and babe" (Exodus 3:8). Moses, in his goodbye domicile to the new daylight hours of Israelites who were about to link up with the land, emblazoned the land of Canaan for its materials and variety. He said:

"For the Noble your God is bringing you arrived a good land-a land with streams and pools of water, with springs poised in the valleys and hills; a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, pure oil and honey; a land everywhere cash soul not be scarce and you soul lack nothing; a land everywhere the rocks are soft and you can dig copper out of the hills" (Deut. 8:7-9).

That was the land the Noble was role the Israelite as their gift, the land of Canaan.

Claude Mariottini

Tutor of Old Tribute

Northern Baptist Academy

Tags: Canaanites, Canaan, Patriarchs, Baal, Asherah, Ras Shamra

Note: The verify was originally published in the "Biblical Illustrator "(Overthrow 2000), pp. 3, 7-10. To subscribe to the "Biblical Illustrator "go to regularly