Monotheism In Ancient Israel

Decent Essays
Henotheism is defined as the adherence to one God without denying the existence of other deities. Many scholars have suggested that the people of ancient Israel were henotheists. Their arguments are based off the scriptures that refer to God as more powerful than the other gods. An example of this would be found in Exodus 18:11, “Now I know that the Lord is greater than all other gods, for he did this to those who had treated Israel arrogantly.” Just because other gods are mentioned throughout the Bible does not specifically mean that the Bible teaches henotheism. Henotheism was thought to be created to depict the early stages of monotheism. In 1st Corinthians 8:5-6, Paul the Apostle told the Corinthians, “There are many gods, but for us there…show more content…
Because if God is all powerful, then an idol is nothing and it would hardly be worth the mention. Then again if idolatry truly does serve other gods then this explains why YHWH and his chosen people are so against idolatry. When the people of ancient Israel worshiped and served other gods it undermined the power of God and the covenant with him. Many Christians believe that ancient Israels understanding of God was monotheistic from the beginning. However, when someone does study the concepts of monotheism in ancient Israel they can conclude that many Israelites were not in fact monotheists. Many people of ancient Israel did have a hard time accepting the belief in YHWH alone. When Joshua did renew the covenant with the new generation of Israelites he told them, “Now therefore revere the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness; put away the gods that your ancestors served beyond the river and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. (Joshua 24:14)” There are hundreds of examples in the Bible to remind the people of Israel to worship no other gods but the God, YHWH. During the time of Hosea and Micah there were only a handful of faithful people who still worshipped YHWH alone. In Micah 4:5, “For all the peoples walk, each in the
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