The Sun of God?

The Sun of God? October 8, 2012

Jim Davila mentioned an article (behind a paywall) about the depiction of the Sun, apparently as divine, in mosaics in Israel. There are quite a number of such mosaics, and the most common connect the twelve signs of the zodiac with the twelve patriarchs, and have God as the sun in the middle. Here is an example from the Beit Alpha synagogue:

The Mandaeans identify Adunai, the God of the Jews, as Shemesh, the sun. It is an identification that is simply assumed rather than one that seems to be attempting to introduce a controversial polemical suggestion.

J. Glen Taylor wrote a monograph on the connection between Yahweh and the Sun in ancient Israel, which can be read on Scribd.

One of the most interesting pieces of possible evidence for the identification of Yahweh with the sun in ancient Israel is the Tanaach cult stand, which is on display in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. It depicts Asherah in two different ways, as a woman and as a tree, and presumably Yahweh in two different ways, invisible between cherubim and as a sun disk on the back of an animal.

Setting aside whether this was simply what Yahwism was in an earlier period, or a terrible perversion of it, what do you make of the idea that ancient Israelites may have worshipped the sun? Would it make more sense of some Biblical texts? Would it change your view of their religion, or for that matter, of the later form of it which severed, repudiated, and edited out most of the evidence for such links? Are there any piece of evidence that seem incompatible with this conclusion?


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