Yahweh among the Gods: The Divine in Genesis, Exodus, and the Ancient Near East

Document Type


Department or Administrative Unit

Philosophy and Religious Studies

Publication Date



In this study, Michael Hundley explores the diverse deities of ancient Near Eastern and biblical literature, from deified doors and diseases to the masters of the universe. Using data from Mesopotamia, Hittite Anatolia, Egypt, the Levant, and non-priestly Genesis and Exodus, Hundley explains their context-specific approach to deity, which produces complex and seemingly contradictory portraits. He suggests that ancient deities gained prominence primarily by co-opting the attributes of other deities, rather than by denying their existence or inventing new powers. He demonstrates that the primary difference between biblical and ancient Near Eastern presentations lies in their rhetorical goals, not their conceptions of gods. While others promote divine supremacy, Genesis and Exodus promote exclusive worship. Hundley argues that this monolatry redefined the biblical divine sphere and paved the way for the later development of monotheism and monotheistic explanations of evil.


This book was originally published by Cambridge University Press. The book from the publisher can be found here.

Due to copyright restrictions, this book is not available for free download from ScholarWorks @ CWU.


© Cambridge University Press 2022