Ze’ev Meshel

“Yahweh of Teman”: Like the Kuntillet ‘Ajrud pithos fragment, this pottery sherd, also from Kuntillet Ajrud, contains a blessing: “I bless you by Yahweh of Teman and by his Asherah.” Blessings found elsewhere use similar phrasing—referring, for example, to Yahweh of Samaria or to Yahweh of Hebron. Although most Israelites probably believed in only one god (Yahweh), that god sometimes had local manifestations that could become quasi-independent—attenuating the idea of a single, universal deity. The religious reforms of the eighth and seventh centuries B.C.E. were presumably intended, in part, to combat this tendency to multiply Yahwehs.