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Yahweh Roars from Zion | Amos 1:2

What we have in Amos 1:2 is not a simple statement of divine authority; that these judgements come from Yahweh, but an ideological statement of Judah and Jerusalem that they come from the correct Yahweh — the Yahweh of Jerusalem. We can thus imagine that it was somewhere in this clash of Yahwistic symbols that the germ was planted of the aniconic Yahweh of later Judaism. Where both Samaria and Jerusalem — and many other Yahwistic temples in Israel and Judah — had visual representations of their god, this conflict between the bull-Yahweh of Samaria and the lion-Yahweh of Judah ultimately assisted in the process which ended with the complete prohibition of graven images of Yahweh or any other god (Deuteronomy 5:8–9).

David’s Temple in Jerusalem | 2 Samuel 12:20

What is actually then presented to the reader of 2 Samuel 12 is a seventh or sixth century BCE retrojection; from a time after the 722 destruction of Samaria (and the northern kingdom of Israel) by the Assyrians, when Jerusalem was the only remaining Hebrew kingdom and at a time when the sacrificial cult of Yahwism was centralised (or was in the process of being centralised) in the city. We are then left with the problem of why later editors — of which there were many — overlooked or elected to leave this temple in 2 Samuel 12. It is unlikely to have been an oversight. A temple of Yahweh in Jerusalem when there wasn’t meant to be one is simply too much of an oversight, so we must accept that there was a temple in the city of Jerusalem in the tenth century. Yet, this need not have been, as Römer asserts, a temple of Yahweh.

Make Yourself an Ark | Genesis 6:11-17

The ark Noah was instructed to build is a sanctuary; both a place of safety and a place of cultic sacrifice. The ark is a holy place constructed in a written text composed after the destruction of the Jerusalem temple. Knowing this, we are able to reconstruct the meaning of the allegory of the great flood in Genesis. God had ‘determined to make an end of all flesh.’ This we can only read in reference to the fates of the Hebrew kingdoms of Israel and Judah. Israel — a people of Yahweh — was destroyed by the Assyrian Empire in 722 BCE. The population of the northern kingdom was deported to exile beyond the Euphrates and so Israel ceased to exist as a political and cultural entity. The Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem, the capital of the southern Kingdom of Judah, and its temple in 587 BCE threatened the Judeans with the same fate of cultural annihilation.