What is it about?
Were Judeans at Elephantine venerating statues? A man named Yedoniah wrote to the high priest of Jerusalem in 410 BCE; this high priest was mentioned in the Bible (Neh 12:22). Yedoniah was a priest for a community of Judeans living on the Egyptian island of Elephantine during the Persian Period. Ten years later, in an administrative document, this same priest Yedoniah appears to dedicate donations of silver to two entities besides YHWH. Could these entities have been cult statues?
Why is it important?
If Judeans in good standing practiced a form of YHWH worship that included cult statues, this would change our perception of early Judaism as fundamentally imageless or "aniconic."
Read the Original
This page is a summary of: Cult Statuary in the Judean Temple at Yeb, Journal for the Study of Judaism, September 2016, Brill, DOI: 10.1163/15700631-12340446.
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