It seem clear, from what I've read on the subject that Abraham and his peeps were
in the region of Turkey and Syria before moving down to Palestine. During that time
people joined their tribe and if the following story is correct, many of them were slaves
who were escaping one the Northern Empires.
The Ugaritic texts make special mention of the Apiru in reference to runaway slaves. One source mentioned runaway slaves had grown accustomed to finding asylum with the Apiru.
Slaves would seek out these Apiru after crossing on the Ugarit side of the border with the Hittite Empire.
The Apiru are again shown operating outside the bounds of local law, as concealing a runaway slave was against the law. It was expected that runaway slaves would be extradited back to the countries from which they had fled. The Apiru, apparently, were not swayed by such policies, despite their proximity to the Hittite Empire.
It is interesting to not the similarity between the Hebrew and the Apiru in regards to their social status. Both groups are often portrayed in bondage of some sort.
Do you have insight into the Habiru? Could have become the Hebrews?
The Akkadians had a pantheon similar to that of the Hebrews and the Canaanites. The Akkadian god Marduk corresponded to the Canaanite-Hebrew god El. In the Akkadian Creation Epic the god Marduk was king of the secondary gods called Anunnaki
It turns out that that while EL was called the “creator god” it was believed this “father of all gods” had as many 52 sons, Baal and Dagon being chief among them. Then were were the lesser gods, Mot, Ashtar, Astarte, Lotan, Melqart, Resheph, and others. Most shocking of all is the name Yahweh. This son of El does more than make an appearance in the Hebrew scriptures, he become the central character. However, 100 years before Abraham was born EL and Yahweh were written about by pantheist and preserved in clay at Ugarit.
According to the Hebrew scripture, Abraham first encounters EL (or rather a priest of EL Elyon) in the city of Jerusalem, which was known in antiquity as Salem. In the Book of Genesis, Abraham rescues his kidnapped nephew, Lot, from the Mesopotamians, and on returning from battle he meets Melchizedek, king of Salem, who gives him bread and wine and blesses him in the name of El Elyon (“God Most High”). Until the Ugaritic texts were decoded, it was just assumed this was the same God to whom Christian pray–but was it? Or was this EL the Canaanite ”Father of gods” and YHWH one of his many sons who the Jews would later claim as their own?
edit on 10-11-2012 by wasaka because: (no reason given)