What religion were the Jews before there was Judaism?

What religion were the Jews before there was Judaism?

Some of the many variants of paganism.

Define ‘Judaism’ first.

If we’re talking about the pre-exilic Israelites: the majority of the people would have followed the more syncretistic folk religion, what some people call ‘pagan Yahwism’. ‘Official’ Yahwism (‘Yahwism’ is a standard term - ‘Judaism’ is a bit anachronistic to apply in this time period) is the one endorsed by the Jerusalem temple and the prophets, the form of religion expressed in the OT books.

JW’s, pretty sure. :slight_smile:

OK sorry, ummm, I wonder what the idols were that Rachel stole from her father when she fled with Jacob.

I think often each household had their family idol, but I’d need to check.

Abraham was the father of the Israelites and he was from Iraq and the people from which he came worshiped idols mostly. Though one cannot say that none still worshiped the One True God. I think that is about all one can say.

Linus2nd

Judaism.

Iraq wasn’t around as a nation back then.

hmmm OK…ummm…I wonder if the Semtic people is a better term to employ.

Yes Abraham came from Ur in what is now Iraq. But was Laban, father of Rachel and Leah, a Jew?

I’m to understand that Judaism arose out of the pre-Jewish Canaan religion that was widespread through the Levant. At least, that’s what the archeological evidence supports.

But was Laban, father of Rachel and Leah, a Jew?

Rachel stole and hid Laban’s idols, so it is traditionally understood that Laban was not a monotheist.

It’s interesting that Jacob’s favorite wife, Rachel, was still attached to the “little gods”. Maybe this is a clear sign of how the house of Israel is going to behave down through the centuries.

It’s interesting that Jacob’s favorite wife, Rachel, was still attached to the “little gods”. Maybe this is a clear sign of how the house of Israel is going to behave down through the centuries.

She was not an idol-worshiper. Her father, Laban, however, was. Rachel actually stole and hid Laban’s idols not to worship them, but as an act of disfavor towards idol worship.

I suppose that is possible, but scripture does not state her motives for taking the idols.

I suppose that is possible, but scripture does not state her motives for taking the idols.

Nowhere in Holy Writ is Rachel accused of idol worship. It’s pretty base to make a false accusation of idol worship against a revered biblical figure without having supporting evidence or, at a minimum, a citation from a reputable theologian. In Judaism, the traditional interpretation among the Jewish Sages is that Rachel hid Laban’s idols not because she revered them, but as an act of defiance against her father in opposition to idolatry. If you have evidence to the contrary, please cite.

I should have proposed my idea as a possibility. Your explanation is more probable.

God revealed himself to Abraham, and through Abraham created his people.

The little idols were household gods which were thought to protect the house and it’s people They were little statuettes in human form. I just now looked in my Navarre commentary which puts forth the supposition that Rachel seems to have wanted the idols for superstitious reasons, but it gives no hard evidence for it.

It can be argued, however, that from the beginning and down through the centuries the Jews had difficulty fully letting go of idols and tended to be somewhat syncretists in their worship.

I just now looked in my Navarre commentary which puts forth the supposition that Rachel seems to have wanted the idols for superstitious reasons, but it gives no hard evidence for it.

From the Jewish Encyclopedia on “Rachel”:

“The Rabbis differ as to the reason why Rachel stole her father’s teraphim. Some consider that she did so in order to conceal Jacob’s flight; others, that her object was to turn her father from idolatry (Pirḳe R. El. xxxvi.; Gen. R. lxxiv. 4; “Sefer ha-Yashar,” section “Wayeẓe,” p. 47a).”

There isn’t the indication according to the Jewish Sages that she was at all an idol-worshiper. In Judaism, Rachel is revered as one of the four matriarchs.

Sounds quite plausible to me. In any case, I won’t lose much sleep over it either way. :slight_smile:

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