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Water and Storm Polemics Against Baalism in the Deuteronomic History


Fred Woods

The Deuteronomic History is replete with images of water, storm, and drought. This book is a fascinating study of these images as keys to a polemic against the Canaanite pantheon of Baalism. Canaanite deities, particularly the storm god Baal, competed directly with Yahweh, the single deity who led the Hebrew tribes out of Egypt. Leaving Nile-irrigated Egypt and settling in the more arid regions of Canaan, these tribes asked their new neighbors: «How do your gardens grow?» The resulting popularity of Baalism among the Hebrews brought forth awesome rebukes from Yahweh. This work critically examines both historical and textual sources, including the literature of the Ras Shamra Texts. It offers bold insight into the symbols employed by Deuteronomic Historians and their clear agenda to convince a wayward people that Yahweh, not Baal, was the god of heaven and earth, storm and sea.