The Chief Canaanite Deity
- El - (also called Latipan, and possibly Dagon) He
is known as the Father of the gods, 'the father of mankind', the
'Bull', and 'the creator of creatures'. He is grey haired and bearded
and lives at Mt. Lel. He is a heavy drinker and has gotten extremly
drunk at his banquets.
- Mt. Lel is where the assembly of the gods meet. It
is El's abode and the source of the rivers and two oceans, as well as
where those waters meet those of the firmament. It lies 'two layers
beneath the wells of the earth, three spans beneath its marshes.' It
had been thought to be a field and not a mountain. The mansion there
has eight entrances and seven chambers.
- Source: Canaanite/Ugaritic
Mythology FAQ, ver. 1.2
EL is the supreme creator god of the
Canaanites who lives with the other gods on Mount
Zaphon (similar to Mount Olympus of the
Greeks but located at the mouth of the Orontes river near the border
between Turkey and Syria). He is the father of all the gods and men and is
often addressed as such by the Canaanite gods. He is the god of the earth
and the air who is represented by a bull. He is derived from the Sumerian
god AN. In the Bible EL is translated as God. Elohim is the plural form of
EL yet in most places in the Bible it is used in the singular sense so it
is also translated as God instead of gods. Strict monotheism was not fully
developed in Israelite thought until their exile to Babylon. Before then
Yahweh (translated as Lord in the Bible) was the god of Israel and Judah
(officially their only god) whose principle power and characteristic was
that of justice and righteousness. Because he judged other peoples and
gods he soon came to be seen as the supreme God (the equivalent of EL),
and finally as the only God for all people. Echoes of Israel's earlier
stages of understanding are found in some old psalms as follows:.
- Psalm 82:1: Elohim has taken his place in
the assembly of EL, in the midst of the elohim He holds judgment.
- Psalm 29:1: Ascribe to Yahweh, O sons of
EL, ascribe to Yahweh glory and strength.
- Psalm 89:6: For who in the skies can be
compared to Yahweh, who among the sons of EL is like Yahweh,
of Canaan as Described by the Ugarit Tablets
More Images of El