Yahwistic Identity in the Achaemenid period

Barnea, Gad. 2024. Yahwistic Identity in the Achaemenid period. Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 136 (1): 1-14.

The question of the Yahwistic identity – especially at Elephantine – has seen a resurgence of scholarly attention in recent years, which has highlighted the complexity of this issue. This article offers a new analysis showing that, already in the Achaemenid period, by the fifth century BCE, the Yhwdy label was, contrary to scholarly consensus, an ethno-religious identifier that defined all believers in Yhw – not just those from Yhwd. The identity of the Elephantine Yahwists within this overarching Yhwdy identity was modulated by their identification as ʾrmy – an attribute unique to that community.