The Son of Man: Studies in His Life and Teachings. Gross Alexander
The Biblical World
Yahweh became himself the Baal or the Lord of the land. His worship was then purified from the evil elements which it absorbed, by the contest, in the first instance, with the Syrian Baal who stood in with court luxury and oppression, while Yahweh represented the cause of simple life. Then in the humiliation of Northern Israel, and at the same time the recognition of the almightiness of Yahweh, came the conception of the purpose of Israel's choice and the demand of Yahweh for righteousness
... ssed by the prophets of the eighth century. This is the line of thought of the first four lectures. In the last two (there are six altogether), discussing the religion of Yahweh in Judah, a striking point is given in the notion that Manasseh's idolatry was not meant to be hostile or irreverent toward Yahweh, but that the sun, moon, and stars were worshiped in the temple as Yahweh's vassals, and thereby the conviction of Yahweh's supremacy over the whole world and all its gods was sharpened by this pantheon subordinated to him. All such endeavors, as represented in these lectures, to trace the historic growth of Israel's religion are praiseworthy and lead forward to its true solution, but they always involve such a one-sided selection of material for proof, and such preconceived views of biblical statements, that one is tempted again and again to say " non liquet; " yet they may be in the line of exact truth.