chapter  3
18 Pages

Yahweh, the god of monarchy

ByJeremiah W. Cataldo

Max Weber once described Yahweh as a war god of the pre-monarchic confederacy of "Israelite" tribes. Most scholars have accepted that the cultural concepts of Yahweh and Elohim developed out of their own respective traditions but were later combined during the time of political centralization. The "remnant" community followed Yahweh because by embodying the sociopolitical identity of a "people of Yahweh", it sought to make itself ready for the desired restoration of the political kingdom. Weber's description was not based only on the deity's connection to temporary deliverers, as the judges were, but was also presupposed by Yahweh's role as the national god of the kingdoms of Israel and of Judah. The narrative context of the judges is best understood by first analyzing the paradigmatic judge, Moses. The book of Judges – and its more idealistic counterpart, Joshua – tells the story of the "Israelite" conquest of Canaan.