Friday, February 18, 2022

The Golden Calf and Bull-El?

PROF. RAMI ARAV: The Golden Calf: Bull-El Worship. (
Northern Israel worshipped El/YHWH in the form of a golden bull. The Bible mocks this graven representation of the divinity by describing it as a calf.
It's clear that the Northern Israelites used the Bull as some kind of divine symbol. What the symbol represented is less clear. Frank Cross thought that it was iconographic. I don't have an opinion myself.

For more on the Bull hymn in Papyrus Amherst 63, see here. And for other posts on that remarkable papyrus, see here and links. It is written in Aramaic and Canaanite, but in Demotic script.

For other PaleoJudaica posts on the Golden Calf tradition, its reception, and other metal bulls/calves in antiquity and more recently, see here and here and follow the links.

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