The following are some brief notes on Sara Mandell’s entry titled “Israelite Religion” in the Encyclopedia of Judaism.
- “The Israelite religion presented in the Hebrew Scriptures has little substantial relationship to the historical reality” (1194).
- Narratives constructed reflect a post-Exile theological and ideological bias.
- No “Israel” before 13th century BCE, the most accepted date for emergence of historical Israelites (1194).
- Early Israelite were not monotheistic (1195).
- WOrshipped Yahweh, Asherah, etc.
- Prophets in the Hebrew Bible reflect a sect of religion in ancient Israel; they are not representative and did not necessarily have a large following (1191).
- “The history and religion of Israel are not one and the smae. Nor are they what is represented in the Hebrew Scriptures, particularly in the Primary History, a historically late, redacted composite that presents the diverse religious and hisotrical perspectives of its several layers of editors.” (1198).
For myself, this is a good general overview: Koch, Klaus, “Baal/Baalat”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 10 April 2017 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1877-5888_rpp_SIM_01382>