Answers to Questions by Yair Davidiy (29 August 2017, 7 Elul, 5777)
Is there proof that Judaism evolved from Canaanite paganism?
No. It used to be claimed that archaeological finds at Ugarit (Ras Shumra) in Northern Syria were attributable to Canaanites. The Hebrew name of God was found, the name "El" (another Hebrew name for God) was also there.
There was a language written in cuneiform Script that resembled Hebrew. There were other Biblical type names etc.
This was all dated to ca. 1300 or earlier. This was before the Hebrews had firmly established themselves in the land.
It was therefore assumed that the Hebrews had borrowed aspects of Canaanite culture.
A look at the evidence however shows that the finds should be dated to ca. 800 BCE or later and that all similarities to Hebrew lore were attributable to Israelites (e.g. King Solomon) having been in the region.
Immanuel Velikovsky, "Ages in Chaos," chapter v, "Ras Shamra"
The Israelites especially the Ten Tribes in the north intermixed with the Canaanites, learnt their ways, synthesized the Canaanite religion with their own, etc.
That was why they were exiled.
This too is what the Bible tells us.
7 Now this came about because the sons of Israel had sinned against the LORD their God... and they had feared other gods 8 and walked in the customs of the nations whom the LORD had driven out before the sons of Israel... 9 The sons of Israel did things secretly which were not right [Hebrew: VaYachapu" i.e. "synthesized"] against the LORD their God. Moreover, they built for themselves high places in all their towns, from watchtower to fortified city. 10 They set for themselves sacred pillars and Asherim on every high hill and under every green tree, 11 and there they burned incense on all the high places as the nations did which the LORD had carried away to exile before them; and they did evil things provoking the LORD. 12 They served idols, concerning which the LORD had said to them, You shall not do this thing. ....15....and went after the nations which surrounded them, concerning which the LORD had commanded them not to do like them. ...18 So the LORD was very angry with Israel and removed them from His sight; none was left except the tribe of Judah.
9 Now in the fourth year of King Hezekiah, which was the seventh year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, Shalmaneser king of Assyria came up against Samaria and besieged it. 10 At the end of three years they captured it; in the sixth year of Hezekiah, which was the ninth year of Hoshea king of Israel, Samaria was captured. 11 Then the king of Assyria carried Israel away into exile to Assyria, and put them in Halah and on the Habor, the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes, 12 because they did not obey the voice of the LORD their God, but transgressed His covenant, even all that Moses the servant of the LORD commanded; they would neither listen nor do it.