The Pierpont Morgan Library/Art Resource, NY

Gideon smashes the idols his father had erected to the Canaanite god Baal in this scene from a colorful 13th-century French illustrated Bible now in the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York. In the Book of Judges, Gideon is sometimes called by his other, theophoric name, Jerubbaal—which ironically contains the name of Baal, Yahweh’s rival, whose worship he opposed. Scholars have taken the presence of biblical names like Jerubbaal as evidence for polytheism, or at least recognition of foreign gods, among the Israelites. But Tigay observes that these names were the exception, not the rule. More than 90 percent of the theophoric names in the Bible incorporate some form of the name of Yahweh.