Excellent question for a thread! I have used such ideas as “literary seams” to guide the researcher into identifying metaphysical positions with either specific time frames… and/or with specific factions!
For example, we know from the use of seals, that the more recent kings of Judah (because it doesn’t seem like there were very ancient kings of Judah) were interested in the Egyptian symbolism of resurrection (sun with wings, beetles with wings, etc.), and yet we also know from an inventory of the Old Testament that there is only the barest whiff of any interest or acknowledgement of an after-death resurrection of either body or spirit.
Enoch and Elijah disappear bodily. Maybe even Moses.
The term “Standing” can be an oblique reference to an afterlife in the presence of Yahweh… but this is most noticeable in the New Testament literature.
Samuel being brought forth back into the Mortal Realm suggests that this is something that could happen to anyone, assuming you have a cooperative wizard with the right skills.
But I digress! The above is just an example of the kind of detective work I’m interested in!
We have Ezekiel who describes God intentionally misleading his clumbsy followers.
We have Moses describing other Gods in the 10 commandments.
We have Psalms (or is it Proverbs) that seem to have the most explicit references to a council of Gods.
Then … is it Isaiah that says not only are the idols for other gods dead and dumb… but there are no other gods!
All of these things should be dropped down into a timeline that recognizes the following environments:
Judah legends prior to the arrival of the Israelite refugees (due to Assyrian attacks).
Judah legends AFTER the arrival of the refugees.
Judah legends after the Babylonian exile.
Judah legends after the Persian hegemony (Persian religious sensibilities dramatically change after 400 BCE!).
The Jeremiad community appears to have left Egypt after Persian eliminated the international border between Persia and Egypt. Persia ruled Egypt more or less for at least a century before Alexander defeated all the native armies Persia could throw at him. The returning Jeremiad Community would have had considerable contact with huge priestly organizations… and their records and histories. Egyptian proverbs could be learned and then re-written to suit Jewish tastes … etc. etc.
Post 400 BCE Persian hegemonmy - - in 400 BCE, we read that the Persian throne becomes willing to violate an old Persian taboo: no statues of the Great God !!! It is possible to imagine the returning Jews accepting and embracing the original taboo… and then reacting strongly against any imperial changes that
relaxed that taboo.
It is also easy to imagine that a Jewish scribal faction may have accepted the change, and opposed the
other scribal factions that were unwilling to make the change.
- Once Alexander had defeated the Persian “machine”, the Magi (who had established support from the government all along - - barring a few hiccups here and there) would have suddenly found themselves floundering on their own. Greek administrations may have offered some supports to the highest levels (as is normal to any occupying administration) - - but not with the comprehensive aspect as in the days of old.
This is when Zoroastrian ideas and principles (sometimes monotheistic, sometimes not) might have found a new kind of dissemination - - not with compulsory delivery, but with missionary zeal that comes along with wandering priests, looking for pockets of support and enthusiasm!