The Prophetic Tradition and Resisting Folk Religion
During the period of Judah and Israel’s monarchies, it was the prophets who resisted folk Yahwism, that is worshipping YHWH alongside the gods of indigenous folk religion. As I mentioned in the previous post, scholars have pointed out that Israel became truly monotheistic only after the Babylonian exile which brought independent monarchy to an end. With the national existential crisis of the destruction of the temple, the capital and exile from their homeland, the warnings of the prophets over the centuries that folk Yahwism will have disastrous consequences had been horrifically vindicated. Yet it was those same words that gave the people hope for restoration, refocusing and energizing them for covenant faithfulness to YHWH alone.