Pax Christi everybody!
I came across this post by the Biblical scholar/actor Dr. Thom Stark, where he responds to Dr. Michael Heiser about the Biblical authors’ view of God’s supremacy. While I am convinced that the faithful Israelite was often monolatrous, it disturbs me to consider the possibility that even so much as one of the authors thought that God was subordinate to another; despite Heiser’s accusation, Stark does not deny that some Israelites thought of Yahweh as supreme, but he believes that this view was not uniform and provides extra-Biblical evidence as such:
"> I pray to thee, O Lady of ladies, goddess of goddesses.
O Ishtar, queen of all peoples, who guides mankind aright,
O Irnini ever exalted, greatest of the Igigi,
O most mighty of princesses, exalted is thy name.
Thou art indeed the light of heaven and earth,
O valiant daughter of Sin.
O supporter of arms, who determines battles,
O possessor of all divine power, who wears the crown of dominion,
O Lady, glorious is thy greatness; over all the gods it is exalted.
Anu, Enlil and Ea have made thee high; among the gods they have caused thy dominion to be great.
They have made thee high among all the Igigi; they have made thy position pre-eminent.
Once again, Ishtar is described as the greatest of all the gods, but this clearly does not include the higher gods Anu, Enlil, and Ea, who are the ones responsible for her exaltation. They established her preeminence. Clearly that her greatness is exalted “over all the gods” does not and cannot mean that it is exalted over the higher tier of deities, which would include also her father Sin."
And here’s some more:
"> My lady, your divine powers are mighty powers, surpassing all other divine powers; Nanshe, there are no divine powers matching your powers. An, the king, looks joyfully at you, as you sit with Enlil on the throne-dais where the fates are to be determined. Father Enki determined a fate for you. Nanshe, child born in Eridug, sweet is your praise.
Clearly Nanshe is not superior to Enlil, the king. Neither is she superior to Enki, her father, who “determined a fate” for Nanshe. In other words, Enki is the one who exalted her. She, along with Enlil, determines the fate of humankind, but her own fate is determined by a higher god, her father Enki. She reigns at the top of the second tier, but the higher gods remain in position above her."
Heiser has not responded, which is odd for a scholar of his expertise.
This view is consistent with the reading that El either surrendered his throne to or had it taken by Yahweh, like Ba’al Hadad, which I’m already not too sure about. I personally can’t understand how the authors of The Bible couldn’t have thought of Yahweh as, at the very least, king of the gods, and if what Stark says is true, I’m not sure how to handle it.
You can read the post below if you want. Thoughts?