Yahweh: Origin of a Desert God
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Recognizing the absence of a God named Yahweh outside of ancient Israel, this study addresses the related questions of Yahweh's origins and the biblical claim that there were Yahweh-worshipers other than the Israelite people. Beginning with the Hebrew Bible, with an exhaustive survey of ancient Near Eastern literature and inscriptions discovered by archaeology, and using anthropology to reconstruct religious practices and beliefs of ancient Edom and Midian, this study proposes an answer. Yahweh-worshiping Midianites of the Early Iron Age brought their deity along with metallurgy into ancient Palestine and the Israelite people.