HEBREW 258: The History of God: Evidence from the Psalms




The Israelite deity, with an unpronounceable name, may seem to have no history, having simply existed from the beginning of time. However, closer examination of the biblical evidence reveals a complex story of how a wilderness god associated with storms and warfare gradually emerged as the one God of Israel. This course analyzes key texts of the book of Psalms that, in extolling the qualities of the Israelite deity, reveal different aspects of his character: his nature as a storm god and warrior; his geographical links to the south of Israel, between the Negev and Egypt; his adoption of the traits of a sun god, linked to the domains of law and justice; and his emergence as the head of the heavenly council and creator of the world. The course presumes basic proficiency with Biblical Hebrew.