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Bible Q

Does Deuteronomy 32:7-9 say that Yahweh has a father Elyon?

Some critics of the Bible have claimed that Yahweh has a father Elyon as recorded in Deuteronomy 32:7-9.

Elyon is the Hebrew word for Most-High in verse 8, and Yahweh is the Hebrew word for LORD in verse 9.

Remember the days of old;
    consider the generations long past.
Ask your father and he will tell you,
    your elders, and they will explain to you.
When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance,
    when he divided all mankind,
he set up boundaries for the peoples
    according to the number of the sons of Israel.
For the LORD’s portion is his people,
    Jacob his allotted inheritance.

No. This is part of the theory (or dogma) that because the surrounding pagan nations were polytheistic and had pantheons with different names for different Gods that the clearly monotheistic Middle Biblical Hebrew corpus of texts that makes up the bulk of the Old Testament is a creative fiction, and that the much earlier events described in these texts have been altered to present Israel as monotheistic when they were not. These ideas have been around in various forms since long before Julius Wellhausen (1844-1918).

The problem with such theories is that Christ and his apostles confirm the belief in one God and one God only so clear in Old Testament corpus.It is no surprise that the Jews were constantly drawn to polytheism and idols

““You shall have no other gods before me.”‭‭Exodus‬ ‭20:3‬

“Who among the gods is like you, Lord? Who is like you—majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders?” ‭‭Exodus‬ ‭15:11‬ ‭

But these earlier texts do not support that other gods actually exist, any more than Elijah mocking Baal as having gone on a journey proves that Baal existed. It’s simply a reference to the beliefs of pagans, and idol-worshipping Jews.

“I am the Lord, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God. I will strengthen you, though you have not acknowledged me, so that from the rising of the sun to the place of its setting people may know there is none besides me. I am the Lord, and there is no other.” ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭45:5-6‬ ‭

Isaiah’s statement that there is no elohim but One is not a case of different theology to the prohibition of idol worship, it’s simply a different way of saying it. And Isaiah and Jeremiah are both of them still using the Exodus and Elijah language to mock idols, in which there is no ruakh, no spirit, in these later texts.

These ideas originated as part of a reaction against the Bible in the 18th Century, but today reoccur in the context of Christians who do believe, but are searching for evidence of fallen angels, literal Satan and demons in an Old Testament that clearly lacks these beliefs present among the many if not most of Pharisees and populace in Jesus’ day.

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