Title page for ETD etd-05162011-154113

Document Type Doctoral Thesis
Author Mondriaan, Marlene Elizabeth
URN etd-05162011-154113
Document Title The rise of Yahwism : role of marginalised groups
Degree PhD
Department Ancient Languages
Advisor Name Title
Prof G T M Prinsloo Supervisor
  • monotheism
  • marginal groups
  • Kenites
  • Kenite hypothesis
  • exile/post-exilic
  • Asherah
  • archaeology
  • Rechabites
  • Yahweh-alone movement
  • Yahwism
Date 2011-04-18
Availability unrestricted
My motivation and purpose of this research particularly evolve around the question on the origin of Yahweh and the development of Yahwism, as well as the role of marginal groups in the maintaining of a pre-exilic Yahweh-alone monotheism, and the subsequent conversion by Judahites – who previously practised a syncretistic religion – to a post-exilic Yahweh monotheism. In accordance with the Kenite hypothesis, the Yahwist tradition originated in the South amongst the Midianites and Kenites. A Moses-type figure acquired knowledge about Yahweh from these tribes who venerated Yahweh before the Israelites did. According to the Chronicler's genealogy, marginal southern groups were all related. The Kenites and Rechabites had the opportunity, due to their nomadic lifestyle and particular trade – as coppersmiths – to spread their religious beliefs. Although the majority of Israelites practised syncretism, these marginal groups – particularly the Rechabites – sustained their Yahwistic faith throughout the Monarchical Period, actively involved in a Yahweh-alone movement. Jeremiah set the Rechabites – who followed a puritanical lifestyle – as an example for the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

My hypothesis is that the Israelite God Yahweh was originally a Midianite/Kenite deity and that marginal groups related to the Kenites, such as the Rechabites, played a signi¬fi¬cant and dominant role in the preserving of a pre-exilic Yahweh-alone movement, as well as in the establishment of a post-exilic Yahweh monotheism. My approach to this research was with the premise that the Yahwist tradition originated in the South whence it spread to Judah and the North. According to a recurring biblical tradition, Yahweh emanated from the South. Evidence from certain Egyptian documents endorses Yahweh's presence in the South.

It was also my aim to establish the interdependence – or not – of different disciplines relevant to the Hebrew Bible. In my research it became clear that archaeology and biblical scholarship – particularly historiography – cannot operate effectively without the acceptance of their mutual dependence.

© 2010 University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Mondriaan, ME 2010, The rise of Yahwism : role of marginalised groups, PhD thesis, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-05162011-154113/ >


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