Jewish God(s) for Beginners (updated)
by Martin Kerr
THE JEWS LOVE to boast that they are the originators of monotheism. This claim has been challenged by students of the Jews as diverse as Savitri Devi (in The Lightning and the Sun) and Sigmund Freud (in Moses and Monotheism). What is undeniable is that Judaism began as a polytheistic religion.
Jewish legend has it that there were originally 12 separate Hebrew tribes. In general, these ancient Hebrews worshipped a variation of the common Semitic pantheon. Among the gods which the old Testament lists as being worshipped at one time by the ancient Jews are Ashtoereth, Moloch, Chemosh and Asherah. Additionally, each tribe had its own special tribal god.