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July, 1003 


I. Glaser's Theory. 

Is it any longer possible to determine the original 
force and inter-relations of these Babylonian, Hebrew, 
and Aryan names of the or a deity ? This secular question 
has recently been again raised by the Himyaritic scholar, 
Dr. Eduard Glaser \ who endeavours to show that all five 
terms are philologically one, the archetype and primary 
form being the Indian Dyaus, whence the others are 
directly or indirectly derived. It may at once be stated 
that the main contention breaks down completely, and 
that for the same reason that has made shipwreck of so 
many similar theories — neglect of some of the essential 
factors of the problem. With characteristic frankness 
Dr. Glaser admits that he is no " Kenner des Indischen," 
while on the other hand he strangely overlooks the Italic 
field which will be seen to present an insuperable objection 
to the acceptance of his general views. These are no- 
where formulated in very precise language; indeed are 
often expressed somewhat vaguely, and even with marked 

1 Jehowah-Joris und die drci Sohne Noah's, Munich, 1901. 
VOL. XV. Q q 


symptoms of doubt and hesitation. But their general 
tenor may be deduced from a number of passages which 
will be found interspersed with other matter between 
pages 19 and 25 of the monograph, and may here be 
conveniently brought together. 

Of the term mrv he considers that " die altesten Formen 
sind nj (dazu die verlangerte Form *ny und V 1 (dazu in}), 
denen sich als vollstandigere Formen Jaweh (durch Hinzu- 
fugung der Silbe ill zu V 1 ) und Jehdweh n ) + n ) anschliessen." 
Thus Glaser takes Yah to be the oldest form, without, 
however, explaining the process and raison d'itre of the 
later developments, which have been so ingeniously set 
forth by Mr. J. H. Levy in a recent number of this Review. 
This conclusion I may here say that I all the more readily 
accept since it is both highly probable in itself, and also 
harmonizes completely with my own views regarding the 
provenance and true relations of Yahveh (Yah). 

Glaser continues: " Diese Form [Yak or Yd, Yau, per- 
haps also Yd] hat gar nichts Grammatisches an sich, ja 
es kann nicht einmal, wenigstens nicht mit stichhalfcigen 
Griinden, behauptet werden, dass sie semitischen Ursprungs 

ist. Jah ist jedenfalls alter als die israelitische Geschichte 

Anderseits erinnert der babylonische Gott Ea, der vielleicht 
Ejah oder Ijah lautete, an Jah." Here also I am in full 
accord, as it is part of my thesis that Yah is non- Semitic, 
and identical with the pre-Semitic Sumerian god Ea of 

Then : " Eines springt sofort deutlich in die Augen : 
die Aehnlichkeit des lateinischen Jovis und der ersten Silbe 
von Jupiter mit Jhoweh oder JSweh, bezw. mit J"(ct)M. 
Man erklart bekanntlich den Componenten piter in Jupiter 
in der Regel als indisches pitar, latein. pater, ' Vater,' und 
erblickt im ersten Componenten Ju eine verwandte Bildung 
mit Zeus=mdi&dh Dydus m (Jovis + pater, aus Diovis + pater, 
aus indisch Dyauspitar, dazu Dios, Genitiv von Zeus). 
Da Dyaus sowol an Zeus wie auch an Jovis (Djauis, Jauis) 
genugend deutlich anklingt, so dtirfte der Zusammenhang 


des griechischen und des romischen Gottesnamens mit dem 

indischen Dyaus als feststehend anerkannt werden Wenn 

dem aber so ist, dann frage ich: warum soil das nur fur 
Jovis und Jupiter gelten, warum nicht auch fur ITiiT, W 
und V ? Ich finde dass z. B. W viel genauer noch als das 
lateinische Ju dem indischen (D)yau(s) entspricht. Fur 
mich steht also fest, dass auch der israelitische Gottesname 
lautlich genau in demselben Verhaltnis zu dem indischen 
Dyaus steht wie der rbmische, aber etwas weniger genau als 
der griechische. . . . Dass auch der babylonische Gott Ea 
oder la lautlich mit (D)ya(us) identisch ist, bedarf kaum 
einer besonderen ' Betonung.' . . . Ebenso fest steht dass der 
indische Himmelsgott Dyaus, der semitische nj , der griechi- 
sche Zeus und der romische Jovis oder Jupiter ursprunglich 
ein und derselbe Gott sind." 

Here we part company, and I now propose to show 
that nearly the whole of this etymological superstructure 
stands on a baseless foundation ; that the Indian, Greek, 
and Latin terms have nothing in common beyond a 
common proto-Aryan source, from which all three spring 
independently one of the other; and that the Hebrew 
term does not, and could not, derive from any of them, 
but comes directly from the Babylonian which stands first 
in the group of names heading this article. 

II. Dyaus. 

The last three members of the group are by compax-ative 
philologists almost unanimously referred to a root div, 
to shine, which in the Aryan mother-tongue had already 
developed several simple and compound derivative forms. 
In India these are represented by such terms as <^ deva, 
a god, a demon ; ^^daiv, divine ; f^^C, divas, sky, day ; 
BSva-patir. father of the gods; divas-path and dyu-pati,. 
lord of heaven (Indra), and lord of day (the Sun). 

Here it has to be noted that the initial voiced dental 
persists not only in these and all the other numerous 

Q q 3 


Sanskrit derivatives, but also in the numerous neo- 
Sanskritic tongues, as well as in the Iranic and Letto- 
Lithuanian branches of the Aryan linguistic family. Thus 
Hindi f^ v div, the sky ; Zend dafoa, and Pers. yj dev, 
a demon ; Lettic Deevs, God ; Lithuanian Dievs and Dievas, 
God. But of an initial d there is no trace in Tahvek 
which consequently could not come from any of these 
sources directly. Glaser feels the difficulty, and is only 
able to suggest that " falls die genannten Nebenformen 
von Dyaus im indischen Schriftthum nicht nachweisbar 
sind [which is the case], dann miisste man irgend eiu 
benachbartes Land als das Bindeglied zwischen der in- 
dischen Form einerseits und der hebraisch-romischen 
anderseits betrachten." But the only possible "Binde- 
glied" between India in the East, and Mesopotamia and 
Canaan in the West, is Irania, which is above excluded 
by the persistence of d both in ancient and modern Persian, 
and also amongst the Lithuanians, who, as I hold, came 
originally from the Iranian tableland. What then be- 
comes of the assumption " dass auch der babylonische Gott 
Ea oder la lautlich mit (D)ya(us) identisch ist, bedarf 
kaum einer besonderen Betonung'"? The "connecting 
link " does not exist, and the whole argument falls to the 

Moreover, the Hindu Dyaus never assumed concrete 
shape as the name of the Deity, the Ens Supremum, as 
is admitted by Glaser himself, who quotes the remark of 
Lefmann, that "Dyaus und Prithivi gelangten auf indischem 
Boden zu keiner festen, bestimmten Gestalt," adding that 
"Dyaus anscheinend als concreter Gott iiberhaupt nicht 
aufkam." Dyaus was in no sense the head of a pantheon, 
like Zevs and Jupiter in Greece and Italy. He was rather 
analogous to the Egyptian p-nutir, to 6&ov, the divinum 
aliquid, the first faint concept of a godlike unity or essence 
underlying the confused hierarchy of lesser deities, and 
suggestive at most of a tendency towards monotheism. 
The concept seems best expressed by Max Muller's heno- 


theism*, a phase of belief in which each deity seems to 
stand somewhat apart, one a little more or a little less 
powerful than another, according to the realm of nature 
over which he presides, but without any fully recognized 
supreme headship. And the nearest approach to such a 
headship was, not Dyaus, but Indra, the ruler of the 
visible heavens, the (i rex deorum." the "Hindu Jove" 
as he has been called, whose dwelling was Indra-puri, 
" Indra's city," the Hindu Olympus, abode of the Immortals. 
Hence the claim of Indra to rank as the absolute god- 
head has been allowed by some Sanskritists, and Eichhoff 2 
amongst others remarks that "les ecoles philosophiques 
de l'lnde resumaient l'idee monothe'istique primitive par 
les noms de Devadevas, le dieu des dieux, Prajdpatis, le 
maitre des creatures, et mieux encore par Sdn, celui qui 
est." This is true enough. But quid inde% Here the 
question turns on the primary concept, not on the mostly 
fanciful interpretations of the relatively recent " ecoles 
philosophiques," and although the notion of Sdn, the self- 
existing, might seem to come nearest to that of Tahveh, 
as later understood, we shall see that such was not the 
original concept of the Hebrew Yah, any more than it was 
of Dyaus and Indra. Thus on all grounds — phonetic, 
theogonic, and even geographical — Dyaus, and with him 
all Hindu influences, is excluded absolutely, and the source 
of the intruding Yahveh must be sought elsewhere. 

III. ZET2 and Jupiter. 

In Greece and Italy the organic initial Aryan dental has 
been, so to say, broken into fragments, doubtless by contact 
with the pre-Aryan, Pelasgic and Ligurian, inhabitants of 
those lands. While holding its ground in certain well- 

1 "If we must have a general name for the earliest form of religion 
among the Vedio Indians, it can be neither monotheism nor polytheism, 
but only henotheism " (Sibbert Lectures, 1878, p. 230). 

2 Gram, generate indo-europeenne, p. 256. 


defined connexions, the d has in others been diversely 
modified, here disappearing before an inherent vowel (i, y), 
there passing to a distinct palatal y, written j, and else- 
where further shifting to a voiced or sonant sibilant z, as 
in the Eng. citizen, where z stands for the palatal y of 
the Fr. citoyen. This assibilation of d before i, or a weak 
palatal, is widespread both in Hellas and Italy, where it 
had certainly been established in prehistoric times. Thus 
the Gr. (vyov, beside the Skr. yugd and the Lat. iugum, 
may very well represent a proto-Aryan dugum, dyugum, 
from duo (two yoked together). So also Gr. fa intensive 
stands for an original ba, as in bdaiaos (awtd), beside CdOeos 
(Oeos). Compare also the southern (Apulian) Osean zlcolom 
=diem, ziculud= die, as in eiaucen ziculud zicolom xxx = 
'■ex illo die in diem trigesimum" (Tabula Bantina, 1. 17). 
Hence the inflected cases bios, id, bla postulate an original 
81s, probably a contracted form of Syewj, which passes 
normally to Zevs, voc. Zev, as in the Homeric ZeS irdrep. 
Thus this familiar compound runs on all fours both with 
the Skr. Dhapatir, as in murd'tii Ddvapatir iva (Bhar. Ill), 
and with Lat. Diespiter, Diespater, Diesptr, as in an archaic 
inscription from a tomb at Praeneste (Palestrina) :— 

Micos aciles uictoria hercles 
diesptr iuno mircurios iacor, &C. 1 

These practically identical compound forms show, not 
that all are " aus indisch Dyauspitar," as affirmed by Glaser 
(see above), but that such compounds had already been 
developed in ur- Aryan times, and were introduced inde- 
pendently by the first Aryan immigrants into India, 
Greece, and Italy. From the recent pre-Mykaenean (Pelas- 
gian ?) researches of A. J. Evans and others in the Aegean 
lands, it would now appear that the proto-Hellenes and 
the proto-Itali cannot have reached their Mediterranean 
seats from the Indo-European cradleland much before 

1 Lattes, Le iscrizioni pcdeolatine, &c, no. 12a, now in the Vatican 


2000 B.C. Even the Asiatic Aryans "invaded India by 
the north-west gate only some 4,000 years or less ago V 
But we shall see that Yah had already about that date 
been introduced into the Hebrew theogony, and occurs 
in still older Cuneiform inscriptions deciphered by Delitzsch 
as the equal of the great Semitic god ilu (El) of Babylonia. 
Hence neither Yah nor Yahveh, nor any of the other 
variants, can be derived from any Graeco-Italic forms (A 12, 
dies) in which initial d still everywhere persisted. The 
iuno— Juno (from an earlier Diuno) following the Diesptr 
of the above-quoted Praeneste inscription shows that this 
is a relatively late document, not older in fact than or 
"about 250 B.c. 2 " And we have the still later Horatian 
Diespiter igni corusco nubila dividens (Od. i. 34), and 
Diespiter negledus (Od. iii. 2). 

A cursory reference to Oscan, Umbrian, and the other 
Italic dialects akin to Latin, will make it abundantly 
evident that the initial dental still also held its ground 
nearly everywhere throughout the peninsula well into the 
historic period, that is, long after Yahveh had been en- 
throned in Palestine. I am desirous to lay the greater 
stress on this branch of the subject, since it has been so 
strangely neglected by Glaser. 

In the Umbrian Tabulae Iguvlnae, which cover the 
period from about 500 to 100 B.C., the dental has every- 
where passed into the palatal, except of course in the forms 
corresponding to deus and the adjectival derivatives. Hence 
we have Iuvepatre (dat. case), Iupater (always voc. case), 
Iuve Krapuvi = Iovi Grabovio, Tcfri Iuvi, Tttse Iuvie, 
&c, beside dei Graboui, di Grabouie, &c. But in Oscan, 
Sabine, and Samnite documents, as in Latin itself, the d 
persists down to quite late times. Thus, in the Samnite 
Tabula Agnonensis, now in the British Museum, diuvei = 
iovi occurs four times 3 . The oldest Capuan (North Oscan) 

1 T. H. Holland, Anthrop. Jour., XXXII, 1902, p. 99. 

8 E. S. Conway, The Italic Dialects, Cambridge, 1897, vol. I, p. 310. 

s Conway, op. cit., I, p. 192. 


heraldic dedications (about 300 B.C.) have diuv- normally 
for the later iuv-, as in diuvilam tirentium ; elt diuvil ; 
diuvia, &c. So also in the fragment from Bruttium : 

biovFei Fepvopei ravpofx, 

while even in the archaic Latin of Praeneste we have 
fortuna diouo, where dioiu>=diouos=Iovis, Gen. case, 
with loss of final s, but retention of initial d. We know 
also from a passage in Varro about the Sabine god Sancus 
that the Sabine dialect retained the dental to the last: 
'Aelius Dium Fidium dicebat Diovis filium,' &c. (de Lingua 
Lat. 5. 66). In the same place he gives diuorn— caelum, 
as if the etymological association of Jupiter with the sky 
were still remembered. That the association was still felt, 
even in the time of Servius, is clear from that writer's 
comment on Aen. ix. 570 " Sane lingua Osca Lucetius est 
Iupiter dictus a luce. . . . Ipse est nostra lingua Diespiter, 
id est, did pater." This was something more than a popular 
etymology, for after all Diespiter really was the personi- 
fication of the bright sky, the day. The relation, however 
of dies to deus, as of Ski\ dina (Hind. a J din) to dyaus, 
is not so clear, while the corresponding Greek form appears 
to have been early merged in *Ais, and then lost with 
it, at least in the nominative case. 

It thus appears that in all the known Italic tongues 
the real form was some variant of dies, deus, and that 
the dental nearly everywhere survived till three or four 
centuries before the new era. Hence Glaser's assumption 
of " die Aehnlichkeit des lateinischen [bezw. italischen] Jovis 
und der ersten Silbe von Jupiter mit Jkoweh oder JShweh, 
bezw. mit J(a)hu," that is, with Jahveh, is highly un- 
scientific, and at variance with the elementary laws of 
comparative philology. It is as if we should compare the 
modern bishop, vescovo, and evique with each other without 
any reference to kirLcrKo-nos parent of all. Glaser would be 
the last person to do this, and I feel convinced that, had 
he not overlooked the Italic horizon, he would never have 


committed the philological heresies which abound in his 
learned essay. 

IV. Ea. 

Some reparation, however, is made by the admission 
that "die in den semitischen Landem nachgewiesenen 
Formen Ea, n>, mrv, W, V &c, sich als unsemitische, somit 
als Lehnworte erweisen." As these terms are thus declared 
to be non-Semitic " loan-words," and as we have seen that 
they cannot have been imported from India, Irania, Greece, 
Italy, Lithuania, or any other Indo-European land, nothing 
remains except the Hamitic Egypt, which is not in question, 
and the pre-Semitic Akkado-Sumerian Babylonia, which 
is very much in evidence. In fact by this simple process 
of elimination alone a strong prima facie case is already 
made out for the Sumerian god Ea, as the true " begetter " 
of Yah. For it might be asked, if not from this source, 
whence ? But the claims of Ea rest on much more solid 
grounds than this a priori argument, and we shall now 
see that they are supported by theogonic, phonetic, even 
historical and geographical considerations, which taken 
collectively may be regarded as conclusive. 

It might at the outset be objected that Ea is excluded, 
because he was not even the head of the Babylonian 
Olympus, being overtopped by Bel (Bel-Merodach), whereas 
" Yahweh ist der mit eiserner Consequenz aus dem Gotter- 
kampf der damaligen Welt herausgeschmiedete Mono- 
theismus " (Glaser). It is true that monotheism is mainly 
the outcome of a struggle between rival gods, but the 
struggle was a slow one, and the concept of pure mono- 
theism, as distinguished from monolatry, was not realized 
till later (prophetic) times. W. Robertson Smith rightly 
speaks of " Semitic monolatry " a (worship of one God), 
and not of Semitic monotheiam (belief in only one God). 

1 Old Test, in Jewish Church, Leot. X, p. 273. But he also speaks of " the 
heathenism of the great mass of the nation," Lect. V, p. 139 ; and further 
that the popular religion of Israel itself "was clearly modelled on the 
forms of Semitic heathenism" (ib., p. 285). 


The popular notion that, not only the Israelites but all 
the Semites, were monotheists from the first, that mono- 
theism was with them , so to say, a racial character, is a 
delusion which involves its advocates in endless contra- 
dictions. Thus Renan, after telling us that "the glory 
of the Semitic race is this, that from its earliest days it 
grasped that notion of the deity 1 ," refers to the incident 
in the career of Mohammad, where he is reproached by 
the Koreish Sheikh, Otba, with causing disturbances and 
outraging their common tribal gods, Baring-Gould also 
writes that " the desert made the Arab monotheistic" and 
almost in the same breath that " Mahomet subverted the 
Ssabian polytheism 2 ." 

In point of fact this polytheism, characterized by the 
grossest anthropomorphism, and associated with the most 
revolting practices, prevailed throughout all the Semitic 
and Sumerian lands. "Before the time of Allah or of 
Yahveh every hill-top had its tutelar deity ; the caves 
and rocks, and the very atmosphere swarmed with ' jins ' ; 
Assyrian and Phoenician pantheons, with their Baals and 
Molochs, and Astartes, and Adonais, were as thickly 
peopled as those of the Hellenes and Hindus, and in this, 
as in all other natural systems of belief, the monotheistic 
concept was gradually evolved by a slow process of 
elimination. Nor was the process perfected by all the 
Semitic peoples — Canaanites, Assyrians, Amorites, Phoe- 
nicians, and others, having always remained at the poly- 
theistic stage— but only by the Hebrews and the Arabs, 
the two more richly endowed members of the Semitic 
family. Even here a reservation has to be made, for we 
now know that there was really but one evolution, that 
of Yahveh, the adoption of the idea embodied in Allah 
being historically traceable to the Jewish and Christian 
systems " 3 . 

1 Hist. gen. des langues sent., I, 5. 

1 Origin, &c, of Religious Belief, pp. 105, 118. 

3 A. H. Keane, Man Past and Present, p. 502. Cf. also Delitzsch : " Trotz 


But Yahveh himself, like all other supreme entities, had 
to undergo his normal evolution, which, as we shall see, 
was not perfected till prophetic times. At first he repre- 
sented merely the monolatric concept, and his identification 
with the Babylonian Ea thus offers no difficulty from the 
theogonic point of view. Assyriologists will remember 
that during the early Semitic rule, that is, under the 
South Arabian dynasty founded at Ur by Sumu-Abi, Ea 
was only a secondary deity, being subordinate, as king of 
the waters, to Anu and Bel-Merodach, rulers aloft. But it 
was not always so, and originally, that is, in pre-Semitic 
Sumerian times, Ea must have been the chief god, since he 
was the father of Merodach himself, that is, the Amar- 
uduk, " Brightness of the Day," who acquired the place of 
eminence by his triumph over the Mummu-Tiamat of the 
Babylonian Dragon-myth. In this contest Ea behaves 
badly ; he trembles with fear and, in prosaic language, 
runs away. But later he retrieves his honours in the 
Deluge-myth in which he plays the leading part, though 
now under the watchful eye of Merodach. He foretells the 
coming catastrophe to Xisuthros (Hasisadra), the Chaldaean 
Noah, instructs him how to build the ship, prescribes its 
dimensions, and so on. Now this Babylonian version of 
the myth is referred to the time of Khammu-rabi (Amra- 
phel), one of Sumu-Abi's successors at Ur, where he ruled 
as vassal of the Elamite king Laghghamar, who has been 
identified by Pinches with the Chedorlaomer routed by 
Abram (Gen. xiv). 

This identification has been questioned l ; but in any 

alledem . . . blieb Polytheisbtos, krasser Polytheismus, drei Jahrtausende 
hindurch die babylonische Staatsreligion " {Babel und Bibel, 1902, p. 49). 

1 Iu his excellent Early History of Syria and Palestine (''The Semitic 
Series," 1902), Dr. L. P. Paton accepts the record as genuine, and even 
bases on it an argument for the authenticity of some of the earlier parts 
of the Hexateuch, remarking that "the theory that a Jew of the exile 
derived the history of Gen. xiv from [late] Babylonian sources is fraught 
with grave difficulties." He, however, infers that the Abram of the 
incident was unconnected with the Abraham, father of Isaac, &c, whom 


case Sayce is justified in asserting that " the monarchs who 
ruled at Babylon when Abram was born [not later than 
2000 B.O.], claimed the same ancestor as did Abram's family, 
and worshipped him as a god. The [Semitic] kings who 
succeeded to the inheritance of the old [pre-Semitic Sume- 
rian] Babylonian monarchs of Ur were thus allied in 
language a,nd race to the Hebrew patriarch. Nor is this 
all. We find in the contracts which were drawn up in the 
reigns of the kings of Ur and the successors of Sumu-Abi, 
not only names like Saba, ' the Sabaean,' but names also 
which are specifically Canaanitish or Hebrew in form. 
Thus Mr. Pinches has discovered in them Ya'qub-il and 
Yasup-il [Jacob and Joseph], and elsewhere we meet with 
Abdiel and Lama-il, the Lemuel of the Old Testament. 
Even the name of Abram (Abi-ramu) himself occurs among 
the witnesses to a deed which is dated in the reign of 
Khammu-rabi's grandfather, and its Canaanitish character 
is put beyond question by the fact that he is called the 
father of ' the Amorite V " 

We also know from the Tel el-Amarna tablets that in 
the age of Abram and long before it most of Western Asia 
was dominated by the Babylonian arms and culture. 
Over 2,000 years prior to the exodus Sargon I had reached 
the Mediterranean, and Hommel tells us that Sinai is so 
called from the Moon-god Sin, who forms an element in 
the name of Sargon's son and successor, Naram-Sin, 
" Beloved of Sin." Hence " in migrating from Babylonia 
to Canaan, Abram was merely passing from one part of the 
Babylonian empire to another. The same manners and 
customs, the same law, even the same theology and litera- 
ture prevailed in both. The Babylonian divinities, Anu 
and Dagon, Hadad and Nebo, Istar or Astoreth, were 
worshipped in Canaan ; and at Harran, where the patriarch 

he does not regard as an historical person, but as "the collective name of 
a group of Aramaean peoples, &c." This, like his explanation of Yahveh, 
as the " God of Sinai and of Midian," seems to me paradoxical, and 
opposed to all intrinsic and external evidence. 
1 Early History of the Hebrews, p. 62. 


rested on his road to the west, was a temple of the Moon- 
god, second only to that of Ur, and founded like it by 
Babylonian hands 1 ." Lakhmu, one of the primaeval 
Babylonian gods, was enthroned at Bethlehem ; Anat, 
consort of Anu, occurs in the name Shamgar ben-Anath 
of the Song of Deborah, and Ur itself, meaning " city," is 
said to be the first element in Jerusalem, that is Uru- 
Salem, " city of Salim," god of peace 2 . This was the god 
Ninip who was still worshipped by the Jebusites on Zion 
in pre-Davidic times, long after Jerusalem had ceased to 
be a Babylonian stronghold. 

It was therefore inevitable that Ea also should be found 
amongst the Q , B"»ri , which accompanied Abram when he 
moved from Ur westwards, and may have even been the 
very penates which were afterwards stolen by Rachel from 
his kinsman, Laban, who had remained behind at Haran 
(Padan-Aram) when the patriarch continued his journey 
to Canaan. They were in fact those " other gods " which 
were " served " by Terah and his sons Abram and Nachor 
when they " dwelt on the other side of the flood 
[Euphrates] in the old time": ^irw D*rr?K Voyn (Josh. 
xxiv. 2) 3 . 

1 Sayce, Genesis (Temple ed.'i, p. x. See also Delitzsch, Babelu. Bibel, p. 28. 

2 So at least Sayce and Hommel, interpreting some Tel el-Amarna 
documents. But Cheyne, a safer and far keener critic, though not an 
" Assyriologist," thinks that "we cannot at present grant that Salimmu 
[Salim] is the name of a god, much less that his priest [Melchizedek] 
was the king of Jerusalem " (Founders of 0. T. Criticism, p. 239). The LXX 
also makes Ti = x^/w*, terra, reyio, not urbs; with which cf. Jer. xxiv. 5: 
D'TES yw = terra Chaldaeorum. 

3 This passage is fatal to the vehement special pleading of Hommel on 
hehalf of the " highest and purest monotheism " which he ascribes to the 
patriarchs, and to all the proto-Semites generally (Anc. Hebrew Tradition, 
pp. 76, Bo, 88, 292, &c). Here the Vulg. and A.V. have "servierunt" 
and "served" somewhat euphemistically ; but LXX the uncompromising 
ical Warptvoav 6(011 iripois. No doubt there are interpolations in Joshua, 
such as chap, xv shown by a comparison with LXX to be from Neh. xi. 
But it is unthinkable that a later scribe or monotheistic editor would 
wantonly put words into Joshua's mouth, needlessly stigmatizing the 
father of his people and of his religion as idolatrous at first. 


But although only one amongst many, Ea must still have 
been held in high esteem, not only as a member of the 
oldest Babylonian triad — Anu, Bel, Ea — but also because 
of the conspicuous part he had played in the Story of the 
Flood, a document which was necessarily known to Abram, 
and was no doubt brought by him with other reminiscences 
from "Ur of the Chaldees." Here I should like to point 
out that the historic character of Abram, so strenuously 
denied by Wellhausen, Cheyne, and most of the " higher 
critics," seems clearly established by this very expression 
t: from Ur of the Chaldees." In the Hebrew it is Kasdim 
(D^'f? "W») which was the form current in the time of 
Abram's contemporary, King Khammu-rabi. Later it 
became successively Kardu and (during the captivity) 
Kaldu, whence the LXX e/c rfjs x^pas t&v XaA8atcoi>, and 
the Vulgate de Ur Ghaldaeorum. If therefore the 
"Abramic Myth " were an exilic creation, or a &~!?y?, the 
eponymous hero must have been described as migrating 
from Ur-Kaldim, and not from Ur-Kasdim, a form 
already obsolete as a geographical expression in post- 
exilic times. Hence although Kasdim still persists in 
Isaiah (chaps, xiii, xliii, xlvii, xlviii), in Ezekiel (i, xi), and 
in Jeremiah (chaps, xxiv, xl, xli), Daniel substitutes "l^JB' 
(Shinar, i e. Shumir or Sumir, the original name of the 
pre-Semitic South Mesopotamia) for the land (chap. i. a). 
Daniel's N'nb'? (v. 7, and elsewhere) does not mean " Chal- 
daeans" in the ethnical sense, but I think always "wise 
men " or soothsayers. Sayce, however, suggests that Kas- 
dim " most probably represents the Assyrian Casldi; 
' conquerors,' " in reference to the Semitic conquerors of 
Sumir and Akkad, while "the Greek word Chcddaeans is 
derived from the Kaldd, a tribe which lived on the shores 
of the Persian Gulf, and is first heard of in the ninth 
century before our era. Under Merodach-Baladan the 
Kalda made themselves masters of Babylon, and became 
so intimate a part of the population as to give their name 
to the whole of it in classical times " (Fresh Light from the 



Ancient Monuments, p. 50). It is curious to find Herodotus 
using this term both in the sense of a people (tovtwv be 
litTatjv Xakbaioi, vii. 63) and of the priests or ministers of 
the god Bel (a>s \4yovo-i ol XaA5aioi eovresi pees to-6tov tov 
deov, i. 181, and elsewhere). The explanation of this puzzle 
is that the Chaldaeans long after losing their political 
power retained their renown as the depositaries of ancient 
Babylonian lore. Ceasing to be a tribe or a nation, they 
became the astrologists, wizards, and soothsayers of the 
eastern world. 

Returning to Ea, it is reasonable to suppose, on the 
specified grounds, that he would be generally well received 
as a superior deity, eclipsing Merodach himself, and 
gradually taking a foremost place amongst the local 
gods, until he became at last the national god of Israel. 
Merodach, it should be remembered, had the great disad- 
vantage of being intimately associated with Bel, and as 
the Baalim of evil repute were already numerous enough 
amongst the Amorites, Philistines, and Canaanites, a 
reformer like Moses might on this account also have been 
induced to give the preference to Ea (Yah), introducing 
him, perhaps somewhat suddenly, at the psychological 
moment some time during the exodus, and thus would be 
explained the rather startling announcement in Ex. vi. 3. 

This is the more probable since on three tablets in the 
British Museum, dating from the time of Khammu-rabi 
and his father Sin-mubalit, Delitzsch has recently found 
Ea already identified with ilu (el), the most general name 
for the deity amongst all the early Semitic peoples. Sub- 
joined is one of the passages, with this eminent Semitic 
scholar's transliteration 1 : — 

^y? ££ *f- «f 

la- ah- ve- ilu 

m # eH HF- 

Jo- ku- um- ilu 

1 Babd und Bibel, p. 47. There is an error in the Cuneiform text as here 


It would be impossible to overrate the value of these 
texts in the present connexion. They at once establish 
the original form of Tahveh (la or Fa) which has been 
arrived at independently by different processes of reason- 
ing by Glaser and Levy. And they also show that so early 
as the time of Abram, if not earlier, this Akkado-Sumerian 
divinity had already been recognized by the first Semitic 
conquerors of Babylonia as equal in rank or identical with 
the great god Ilu himself. Hence his adoption by Moses 
during the exodus was after all but a natural revival, 
and had merely the effect of perpetuating the relations 
between Elohim and Jahveh, as already accepted in a 
general way by the Semitic forefathers of the Israelites 
while they still sojourned in Padan-Aram. Well may 
Delitzsch exclaim that these fragmentary Cuneiform tablets 
are priceless documents recording names " welche religions- 
geschichtlich von weittragendstem Interesse sind — die 
Namen: Jahve id Gott . . . dieser Jahve ein uraltes 
Erbteil jener kanaanaischen Stamme, aus welchen dann 
nach Jahrhunderten die zwolf Stamme Israels hervorgehen 
sollten" (ibid.). The very expression — "Yah is El" — 
strikes a Biblical note, and might have served as the 
archetype for the numerous analogous formulas which 
pervade Holy Writ from the Pentateuch to the Prophets. 

In any case all these deities — I am sceptical about De 
Lagarde's M=" Goal" — had probably at first been merely 
the baCjjLoves e-ni\dpioi, the genii loci, that is, the tribal, 
district, or territorial gods, who were the potent champions 
of the national cause, and shared the fate of their votaries. 
How completely bound up they were with the political 
vicissitudes of the times, down even to the very close of 
the pre-exilic period, is well seen in Is. xxxvi and xxxvii, 
where Sennacherib's herald, Rabshakeh (" Head Sheikh "), 
scornfully asks the men seated on the wall, " Ubi est Deus 
Emath et Arphad ? Ubi est Deus Sepharvaim 1 " But 

reproduced ; but this is corrected in the above transcript from an erratum 
supplied by Delitzsch on a separate slip. 


farther on these territorial gods have become the kings 
of these places : " Ubi est rex Emath, et rex Arphad % " &c. 
As who should say, we have vanquished the gods with the 
kings of Sepharvaim and of Samaria, and so will it be 
with Hezekiah also and his god, Yahveh! This belief 
in the potency of the genius loci still survives even 
amongst Christian peoples, and Prince Kropotkin tells 
us that the Siberian Cossacks hold the district gods of 
the heathen "in a sort of awe. They don't think much 
of them, but these gods, they say, are wicked creatures 
bent on mischief, and it is neVer good to be on bad terms 
with them 1 ." 

V. Yahveh. 

Even Yahveh, despite his high Babylonian pedigree; 
formed no exception to the general law of upward develop- 
ment, but, like all the other deol km\d>pioi, passed suc- 
cessively from the polytheistic through the monolatric to 
the monotheistic phase, this last not being reached till 
some time before the captivity. The process itself is in 
accordance with the inflexible laws of nature, Which does 
nothing in a hurry, since " slowly and as by instinct man- 
kind struggles towards the light *' (Matthew Arnold). 

Yahveh's transition from Ea (read also A3 and la in 
the Cuneiform documents) presents no phonetic difficulty, 
such as that of Glaser's break-neck jump from Dyaus to 
Ea and Yah. There are no troublesome initial dentals or 
sibilants (d, Q to be explained away, and we know that 
the form Yahu (nom. case) was already familiar to the 
Assyrians, one of the lexical Cuneiform tablets giving this 
word as meaning a god in Hebrew, and identifying it with 
the Assyrian word Yahu = "myself." "Wherever," aptly 
remarks Sayce, "an Israelitish name is met with in the 

1 Memoirs of a Revolutionist, I, p. 238. Cf. also the Thracian Zalmoxis at 
once both god and king (Herod, iv. 94, and Plato, Charmides, V) ; and 
" the gods who dwell in the land of Assur," quoted by Sayce from an 
Assyrian document (Assyria, p. 76). 
VOL. XV. R r 


Cuneiform inscriptions, which, like Jehu or Hezekiah, 
is compounded with the divine title, the latter appears 
as Tahu, Jehu being Yahua, and Hezekiah Khazaki- 
Yahu 1 ." 

This venerable Assyrian etymology seems almost to 
anticipate Mr. Levy's explanation of the Tetragrammaton 
niiT, the self-subsisting, where, however, the Aramaic hewd 
appears to be employed instead of the equivalent Hebrew 
rpn="He is" (v or w for y). The substitution itself is 
highly suggestive, as implying that the Tetragrammaton 
in its present form can date only from the post-exilic 
period, when Ezra and the other priestly scribes were 
already much better acquainted with the northern (Syriac) 
than with the southern (Hebrew) language of the western 
Semites. No doubt the Aramaic m"T (for the Hebrew !YHV>) 
alone occurs in all the pre-exilic writings when used as 
a separate name. But it never occurs when this word 
forms one of the elements in compound names, where the 
) is always final (paragogic or inflexional, not radical). 
The reason is because these — rP3K, rPJ3, and many others — 
are genuine national names, formed in Israel before the 
spread of Aramaic influences southwards, and left un- 
touched, or at least rarely tampered with, by the post- 
exilic scribes of Aramaic speech. On the other hand, the 
exclusive use of rw merely lends additional support to 
the now generally accepted view that, as they now stand, 
all the pre-exilic texts are post-exilic recensions by Aramaic- 
speaking scribes. 

It may be incidentally remarked that such popular and 
theogonic etymologies, as are here in question, were common 
enough in those early times, as shown, for instance, by the 
surprising transformations of the Babylonian god Dagon. 
This deity was originally associated with Anu, god of the 
sky, but was later supposed to be a fish-god, a sort of 
merman, because in Hebrew 3*J meant fish. But in Canaan- 

1 Fresh Lights from the Ancient Monuments, p. 75. Cf. also Azri-Yahu = 
Azariah — Ussiah, the Jewish king reduced by Tiglath-Pileser, c. 740 B.C. 

ea; yahveh: dyaus ; zeys; jupiter 577 

itish ]yj meant corn ; therefore in passing still westwards 
he became a rural deity, guardian of the crops, brother 
of El and Baal, inventor of bread-corn and the plough. 

Coming now to the theogonic evolution of Yahveh, it 
is important to note that a main result of the literary 
analysis of the " higher criticism " is that the Yahvistic 
document, formerly supposed to be the later portion of 
the Pentateuch, is "now regarded as the earlier *, and is 
ascribed by some to a southern Jew, who flourished in the 
ninth century B.C., and held grossly anthropomorphic con- 
ceptions of Yahveh. The two Elohistic portions, now 
almost inextricably interwoven with J, are attributed to 
some northern scribes, who wrote in the eighth century 
with a marked theological bias. Then there was a still 
later " Prophetic or Pre-Deuteronomic Redaction " by a 
writer or writers whose chief aim was to effect some sort 
of reconciliation between the contradictory J and E records. 
Deuteronomy and the other avowedly priestly documents 
are exilic or post-exilic, as indeed are all of the general 
and final recensions. 

It follows that in its present form the great bulk of 
Biblical literature is post-Davidic, and consequently that 
much of the J and E phraseology occurring in the reputedly 
early texts is of but secondary importance for our purpose, 
and to be received with extreme caution whenever a 
"Tendenz" may be reasonably suspected. Some of the 
language employed by the post-exilic scribes may no doubt 
be the honest reflexion of unbroken esoteric tradition, oral 
or even written, for the Tel el-Amarna tablets alone are 
sufficient evidence of a widely-diffused knowledge of letters 
in pre- Mosaic and even in pre-Abramitic times. But there 
are passages bearing on the points here at issue which 
may be unhesitatingly rejected as the echoes, not of early 
traditions, but of contemporary theological teachings. 

1 Thus De Lagarde: "The abstract is everywhere later than the con- 
crete ; therefore Elohim (as a singular) is later than Yahve, &c." (quoted 
by Cheyne, Founders of 0. T. Criticism, p. 184). 

Br % 


Such I hold to be Gen. xxi. 33, where the strange associa- 
tion of Yahveh with the asherah devoted to the orgiastic 
rites of Semitic heathendom 1 throws an unexpected light 
on the above-quoted passage from Josh. xxiv. 3 ; such 
Deut. x. 17, Exod. iii. 14, and especially the rrtn* 'os of 
Exod. vi. 3 ; and in general all those expressions which 
betray the transparent intention of endowing the Abramitic 
and Mosaic Jahveh with the attributes of pure mono- 
theism. Such expressions are anachronisms, standing in 
violent contrast to the crude anthropomorphism which 
breaks out continually in the closest connexion both with 
Yahveh and Elohim throughout the whole of the pre-exilic 
period from Genesis to Ezekiel. Sayce, who is himself at 
times distinctly iconoclastic, rejects the theory of develop- 
ment in the Jewish religion, declaring it to be "a mere 
product of the imagination," and commits himself to the 
statement that the " belief in Yahveh displayed in the Song 
[of Deborah] is as uncompromising as that of later 
Judaism. Yahveh is the God of Israel who has fought 
for his people, and beside him there is no other God 2 ." It 
is the here italicized words which do not occur in the 
text, that are the " product of the imagination." For 
Deborah Jahveh is merely a national deity, the "God 

1 In later times, when Israel was slowly emerging from the crude 
polytheistic state, all these nVvjJN , whether effigies (Judges iii. 7 ; 2 Kings 
xxiii. 6, &c), or groves, of the goddess Astarte, as above, had to be 
destroyed. Hence the injunction, lucos igne comburite, in Deut. xii. 3, and 

* Early History, pp. 301-2. It may be pointed out that the develop- 
ment theory so rashly denied by Sayce is fully admitted by the late 
Dean Farrar, who refers to the teraphim, the golden calf, the betylia, 
the brazen serpent, &c, as proving "most decisively that a pure mono- 
theism was the result of a slow and painful course of Gfod's diseiplinal 
dealings amongst the noblest thinkers of a single nation, and not, as is so 
constantly and erroneously urged, the instinct of the whole Semitic race; 
in other words, one single branch of the Semites was under God's 
providence educated into pure monotheism only by centuries of misfortune 
and series of inspired men " (Kitto's Cyclopaedia of Biblical Literature, III, 
p. 986). 


of Israel," who needs aid and curseth the people of Meroz 
" because they came not to the help of Yahveh," for whom 
also " from Heaven fought the stars ; in their courses they 
fought against Sisera." This is rank astrology, and Sayce 
himself admits that the Judges belonged to an age when 
"the Baalim seemed to have gained the mastery over Yahveh" 
(ibid., p. 388). And commenting on the altar raised by 
Gideon to Yahveh-Shalom on the ruins of that of his rival 
Baal, he also admits that " it is true that between Yahveh 
and Baal the Israelite of the day saw but little difference ] . 
Yahveh was addressed as Baal, or 'Lord,' and the local 
altars that were dedicated to him in most instances did 
but take the place of the older altars of a Canaanitish 
Baal. Mixture between Israelites and Canaanites, more- 
over, had brought with it a mixture in religion. Along 
with the titles, Yahveh had assumed the attributes of 
a Baal, at all events among the mass of the people" 
(p. 308). 

What " a mixture in religion " may mean is not quite 
clear. But when we are told that the cult of the zealous 
Yahveh was thus contaminated by the cult of Baal, god of 
the conquered Canaanites, we are reminded of the Graecia 
capta which feros victores cepit. But Sayce goes further, 
and after wrestling with the exceedingly anthropomorphic 
episode of Jacob and the ladder, calls Yahveh " the God of 
the locality" (p. 81), just as Cato (quoted by Dionys. Hal. 
ii. 49) calls Sabus, the eponymous hero of the Sabines, 
6 IdyKov balpovos kitiytopiov, " son of the local god Sancus " ! 
Moreover, in Judges xvii, Yahveh becomes an idol, a molten 
image of silver, worshipped jointly with the teraphim in 
the house of Micah ; on which Sayce again writes : " The 

1 W. R. Smith's reference to another such incident in the history 
of Gideon is instructive : " Gideon erects a sanctuary at Ophrah, with 
a golden ephod — apparently a kind of image — which became a great centre 
of illegal [idolatrous] worship " (op. cit., Lect. VIII, p. 220). Still later 
the very Temple itself was invaded by the worshippers of the Babylonian 
Tammuz, identified with the Phoenician Adon and the Greek Adonis 
(Ezek. viii. 14). 


ordinary Israelite, including a Levite who was the grand- 
son of Moses, takes it for granted that Yahveh must (sic) 
be adored in the shape of a twofold idol. Nay more ; by 
the side of the graven and molten images, which were 
meant to represent the god of Israel, we find also the 
images of the household gods or teraphim, whose cult 
forms part of that which was paid to the national deity " 
(ibid., p. 281). Here " the national deity " again becomes, 
like Ea, one of the numerous gods whom Abram brought 
with him from Ur to Haran. And this cult, which he 
shared with the other teraphim, " survived to the latest days 
of the northern kingdom ; it was practised in the household 
of David (1 Sam. xix. 13) and is even regarded by a 
prophet of Samaria as an integral portion of the estab- 
lished religion of the State (Hos. iii. 4)" (ibid., p. 281). 

We read further that, in the time of the Judges, " though 
officially the Baal of Israel was Yahveh, the mass of the 
people worshipped the local Baal of the place in which they 
lived 1 . Yahveh was scarcely remembered even in name 
(sic); his place was taken by the Baalim and Astaroth of 
Canaan " (ibid., p. $33). Now a protest must be raised 
against this distinction between " the Baal of Israel " and 
the other Baals. It was not recognized by the later 
redactors, for whom the very word Baal was such an 
abomination that it was eliminated, for instance, from 
the Tobaal of Judges ix. 26, the Massoretic text substituting 
I3jr?3, " son of a slave," for the true form preserved in the 
LXX. So also Adoni-jak and Jeho-shaphat take the place 
of Adoni-baal, and Baal-shaphat, although elsewhere we 
have njpya, where Baal is actually declared to be Yah, as 

1 All did so, and W. R. Smith points out that even "to Isaiah Jehovah's 
presence with his people is still a local thing. It could not, indeed, be 
otherwise, for the people of Jehovah was itself a conception geographically- 
defined, bound up with the land of Canaan, and having its centre in 
Jerusalem" (op. cit., p. 355). And at p. 379 : "It was as natural for an 
Israelite to worship Jehovah as for a Moabite to worship Chemosh." In 
other words, the tribal territory and its tutelar deity were co-extensive 
geographical expressions. 


if in the protracted struggle between the two rivals the 
the national god of Canaan had at one time overcome 
the national god of Israel. In any case even David looked 
on the sway of Jahveh, not as absolute but as geographical, 
strictly limited to Israel, since when driven into exile he 
said to Saul that " it was not only from his country that 
he was driven, but from the God of his country as well. 
In leaving Judah for Gath he had transferred his duties 
from Israel to Philistia, from Saul to Achish [king of 
Gath], from Yahveh to Dagon 1 ." Hence, whenever the 
Israelites were overcome in battle, Yahveh was also con- 
sidered to be overcome, and in the inscription on the 
Moabite Stone King Mesha is able to boast that, after 
vanquishing Astaroth and Nebo [the Babylonian god of 
prophecy worshipped on Mount Pisgah], he took from 
them the arels [champions?] of Dodah and Jahveh, and 
rended them before Khemosh 2 . 

As this Moabite chief is identified with the Mesha of 
2 Kings iii, we are still only at the monolatric stage in 
post-Solomonic times, for he was the contemporary of 
Jehoram of Israel and Jehoshaphat of Judah. One is at 
times inclined to ask whether the pure monotheistic con- 
cept has ever been fully realized except by a narrow 
esoteric circle, whether even in these latter days Yahveh 
is not still for many the God of the " Congregation of 
Jacob " rather than the Ens Supremum in the strict sense 
of the term. Thus the truly lovable and large-minded 
Moses Mendelssohn (grandfather of the composer) writes 
in his famous reply to Lavater : " Our rabbis unanimously 
teach that the Law is obligatory on our people alone." All 
others are to conform to the laws of nature and of reason, 
and those that do so " are called virtuous and the children 
of eternal salvation 3 ." This is quite in the spirit of Ruth's 

1 Sayce, Early History, p. 390. 

* Sayce, The Higher Criticism and the Verdict of the Monuments, p. 367. 
Khemosh was the chief god of Moab. 

3 M. Samuels, Memoirs of M. Mendelssohn, p. 54. 


" Thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God " — 
a beautiful lesson of universal love and forbearance, if not 
under an all-pervading Jahveh, then, perhaps, in Spinoza's 
all-diffused natura naturam. 

An affirmative reply may now be given to the question 
at the opening of this essay. 

Dyaus, a vague personification of the sky, has no kind 
of relation to Yahveh, but is connected through their 
common Aryan origin with ZET2J and Jupitbk, more 
concrete personifications of the sky. These two are 
equally unconnected with 

Jahveh, who is to be identified in every way with the 
Babylonian primaeval god Ea. 

These relations are indicated by the bracketing of the 
two separate groups at the head of this article. 

A. H. Kbane.