Canaanites and Israelites?

Canaanite religion describes the belief systems and ritual practices of the people living in the ancient Levant region throughout the Bronze Age and Iron Age. the Canaanite religion seems to have involved a rich mythological tradition which served as a bridge between the more ancient Mesopotamian religions and the later Greek and Roman gods. Several of the most famous Greek gods, for example, clearly evolved from Canaanite antecedents, just as several of the Canaanite gods grew out of Mesopotamian roots. The supreme deity of the Canaanite pantheon was El, together with his consort, Asherah. As with the Greek tradition, these early gods were later supplanted by younger, more immediate presences, especially the rain/thunder god Ba’al and his consorts, such as the warrior goddess Anat and the love/fertility goddess Astarte. Early Israelite religion may once have shared the Canaanite belief in El and other gods, before the Jewish monotheistic tradition emerged. study of the Ugaritic material from Ras Shamra—together with inscriptions from the Ebla archive at Tel Mardikh and various other archaeological finds—have cast more light on the early Canaanite religion. Canaanite mythology was strongly influenced by Mesopotamian and Egyptian traditions. At the same time, Egypt appears to have inherited certain religious traditions from the Canaanites as well. Canaanite religious beliefs were polytheistic, with families typically focusing worship on ancestral household gods and goddesses, while honoring major deities such as El, Ashera, Baal, Anat, and Astarte at various public temples and high places. Kings also played an important religious role, especially in certain ceremonies, such as the sacred marriage of the New Year Festival, and may have been revered as...