Did the Hebrews believe God was a physical deity?

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Did the Hebrews believe God was a physical deity?

As for God being an abstract deity instead of a corporeal being or "superhuman" like the Greek, Roman, Egyptian or Norse Gods, there is indication that Yahweh was originally thought of as a physical being.

Yahweh is given a number of emotions in the Old Testament. Yahweh advocates slavery and war. Animal sacrifice and the smell of burning meat is pleasing to Yahweh. Yahweh causes disease and deformity as punishment. Yahweh's name is also "Regret." And God is frequently made angry by those who disobey him.

Not only does God literally walk in the garden, but wrestles with Jacob in Genesis 32:

"And Jacob remained alone; and a man wrestled with him until the rising of the dawn.And when he saw that he did not prevail against him, he touched the joint of his thigh; and the joint of Jacob's thigh was dislocated as he wrestled with him. And he said, Let me go, for the dawn ariseth. And he said, I will not let thee go except thou bless me. And he said to him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. And he said, Thy name shall not henceforth be called Jacob, but Israel; for thou hast wrestled with God, and with men, and hast prevailed. And Jacob asked and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, How is it that thou askest after my name? And he blessed him there. And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel For I have seen God face to face, and my life has been preserved. And as he passed over Peniel, the sun rose upon him; and he limped upon his hip. Therefore the children of Israel do not eat of the sinew that is over the joint of the thigh, to this day; because he touched the joint of Jacob's thigh the sinew." (Genesis 32:24-32)

For the Phoenicians, God is depicted as riding on a chariot, winged, and carrying a staff. The original concept of God may have been physical just as other deities were believed to be.

"This Phoenician silver drachma has the image of Yahweh on it. It was made around 350 BC. It's now in the British Museum. It depicts a bearded divinity enthroned over a winged chariot wheel. Admittedly, this is a non-Jewish representation of Yahweh. But, it is the first recorded effort of an ancient people to depict Yahweh as Zeus. Notice the solar wheel, symbolic of the sun, and wings which represent being aloft and in motion. Once again a man in the sky! Notice the eagle in his hand. The inscription to the left of the eagle's head says, Yahweh. Yahweh appears again looking like his Greek cousin Zeus in a third-century AD wall mosaic in a Jewish synagogue in Palestine. It becomes more and more evident that the notion of a strictly formless “aniconic” deity was exclusively the product of abstract philosophizing on the part of the Deuteronomic priests during the Babylonian Exile and did not represent any more ancient Israelite belief. "


Heaven originally meant the sky and above, literally, just as Mount Olympus and Apollo were supposed to be in the sky. Instead of an atmosphere, the Earth is covered with a solid firmament that has shutters that open to let in the flood waters and close to stop the waters from falling. The Earth surface is a flat circle with a round firmament dome, overall resembling a snow globe. God's throne is above the firmament where he can look down and observe all the Earth. The angels also come from above the firmament. When someone is ascending to Heaven, by chariot or ladder or other means, it is literally traveling upwards to a physical location called Heaven.

It's possible the early Hebrews believed God was a physical deity who travelled in and above the skies of Heaven, rather than being an abstract otherdimensional entity.

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God ate with Abraham

God ate with Abraham (Abram).

Moses talked with God face to face as a man does with a friend.

The Hewbrews/Israelites were instructed to bury their bodily waste as God walks to and from throughout the camp.

It was only when Moses Miamonides (the RAMBAM) introduced a non-corporeal interpretation of God as the way to see all of the anthropomorphic statements, did "Jews" start teaching heavily about this in what we call today "Judaism."

Moses Miamonides was a doctor to Muslims at the time he came up with his opinions.

0 x 0 = Atheism. Something from nothing? Ahhh no.
And Karl, religion is not the opiate of the people, opium is. Visit any modern city in the western world and see.